Simple Times Crafts

Simple Times * Preview the Book * Simple Times Crafts
2010 Simple Times Book Tour * Interview with Amy Sedaris about Simple Times

Before you start crafting, it’s probably a good idea to become aware of the most common types of crafting accidents, which are: 1. Sawdust fires 2. Pine cone lodged in throat 3. Decoupage fatigue blackout 4. Dried flower fungal infections 5. Seed sensitivity 6. Hanged from a yarn noose 7. Feather asphyxia, and last but not least, 8. Vaginal bleeding.

Doll Wig Door Knob: When you feel you are too old to play with dolls, or more importantly, society does, there is a creative adult way to continue your relationship. Remove a doll’s wig and place it over a doorknob, creating a festive furry handgrip. Also, you can remove the wig, and attach an elastic band and wear it as a beard or bangs. Instant new look.

Coconut Chip Earrings: To create exotic earrings, run a wire through a piece of coconut shell so that the razor-sharp shards dangle freely close to your face. Warning: No hugging or swift head turns.

Decorative Crap Caddy: Don’t just bring your stool sample to the doctor’s office in any old sack, create your own special crap caddy. Decorate a plastic container with adhesive stars.

Felt Fruit of Our Labor Pins: Materials – Scraps of colored felt, safety pins or pin backs, embroidery floss and needle, cotton batting, scissors. Cut fruit shapes, leaves and stems out of felt. Stitch around the border using a blanket stitch-whip stitch or a running stitch, and leaving a small opening for stuffing. Stuff with cotton batting and stitch the hole closed. Attach leaves and stem with embroidery floss. Stitch or glue pin to back.

Real Hob Knob Glass Candles: Glue dried peas to a glass. Paint the outside, including the peas. Insert a candle. This tactile craft is also terrific for the blind.

Marshmallow Stars: Using a needle, pierce the marshmallow with string and knot it at the end so the marshmallow won’t slide off. Rub glue on toothpicks and roll them through glitter. Insert all the glitter-covered toothpicks into the marshmallow at various angles. Hang the star in a suitable place, preferably somewhere “out of this world.” You can color the marshmallow in food coloring mixed with water, and you can cut the marshmallow into more of a ball shape. The skill and coordination required for this project is minimal. Amy says, “I made this craft myself, so there was very little muscle involvement.”

Rusty Nail Wind Chime: On an emotional downswing, toss a fistful of nails into your backyard. At a later date, during a manic phase, search the yard for what are now rusty nails. Once collected, string them together to make a wind chime.

Shepherd’s Beard: To achieve this handsome shepherd’s beard, save the hair from your hairbrush for at least six months. Apply to face using toupee tape, and fill in the bald spots with eye pencil.

Pompon Turn Around: Apply an 18 x 18-inch pompon to an elastic band that is 9 inches wide. Scoot this over your toilet seat, with the seat closed so the pompon is sitting on top. When you need to use the toilet, flip the pompon around, lean back and enjoy the comfort. When finished simply remember to turn your pompon toilet seat cover back around; if you don’t, it can get infested with urine, feces, toilet paper, tampon applicators, as well as vomit and bacon grease.

Elliot’s Cilantro Treats (homemade treats for rabbits):
1 Banana
1/2 c. Pineapple, crushed (Do not drain juice. If you are using canned pineapple, make sure it is just pineapple in juice. Do not use pineapple in syrup.)
2 c. Cilantro, chopped
1 c. Rabbit pellets
1 c. Oats

You will need 2 baking sheets or stones lined with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Puree banana, cilantro and pineapple until consistency is smooth. Grind oats and pellets into a powder (a clean coffee grinder works best for this). Mix the puree, oats and pellets together in a large bowl, and knead the dough until it is stiff enough to form a ball. Divide the dough in half, and place on baking sheets or stones, and roll to about 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut the sheets of dough into small squares (a pizza cutter works well). Bake for 30-35 minutes. Be careful not to brown them too much, especially if you are using baking sheets (metal sheets brown faster than stones). Turn the oven off and let the treats sit in the warm oven for several hours. This last step is very important because it’s what dries out and hardens the treats.
Hint: When you are rolling out the dough, put plastic wrap over it. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.
Courtesy of Katie Richardson.
(Note from Katie: This is my recipe, and Amy’s bunny, Dusty (pictured) goes bonkers for them. If you have a pet rabbit, I highly recommend these! But remember, they’re loaded with sugar, so they’re meant to be given as occasional treats.)

Tampon Ghost: Instructions – Self explanatory.

Mouse Ghetto: When a mouse has been injured in a trap or eaten poison and the end is near, there is something you can still do for him. Create a mouse ghetto in which he can spend his final days feeling at home.

A cardboard box
A mouse-tress (see page 136)
Saltine crackers to use as canvases
Some tatters of things
Leftover soup and coffee grounds
Maybe some paint
The ability and desire to create a depressing space

Instructions: Create an environment of quiet despair by giving the mouse the vestigial remnants of his former life but reducing the colors and appointments to the bare minimum so as not to give him hope. Use coffee grounds to distress the mouse mattress. After a while the mouse’s life force will wither and you will have done your best, which is not good enough, to assist in the expected final outcome for which the mouse was most certainly headed.

Copyright 2010 by Amy Sedaris
Photos by Jason Frank Rothenberg