Standing Pin Cushion Doll

This fantastically frightening doll must have once guarded the sewing room of a committed krafter. One of the things I love most about these krafts is the attention to detail. It's obvious the creators were All In. Check out the tiny cathedral window blocks edging the hem of the dress! They are a truly beautiful touch on this scary piece of art. And that pin cushion bustle? What can I say? Maybe it also served as a krafters voodoo doll.

Spotted (and left behind) at Urban Ore in Emeryville, CA on May 17, 2012.


Bathroom Krap

Here is a fine example of the ubiquitous decorative towel set. At least, it seemed ubiquitous when I was growing up. Every house (but my own) had these do-not-use towels on display.  I used them on more than one occasion. I would carefully wipe my hands on the back side and make sure I straightened them before I left. Yah, I was such a rebel. Actually, this set seems far more kitschy-cool than the ones from my memory that were embellished with pre-gathered lace and pearls by the yard and invariably covered in dust. ick.

I don't have any those, but I do have this set. Fun, huh?

Material: terry cloth towels, cotton crochet thread
Technique: crochet
Provenance: unknown, SW Missouri


One that got away

Sometimes at night I lie awake regretting the decluttering spree that resulted in the loss of one particularly kraptastic gem. (I knew that decluttering could come to know good end. Darn Flylady.) I even went back to the Goodwill where I dropped it off, hoping that it had stayed in that location, but no luck. It was a long shot. The best I can do now is try to paint a word picture for you, and really, when it comes to krap, my words usually fail.

Picture this if you can: a scrub brush. It is made from the carefully cut-out handle of a plastic milk jug. The scrubby part is gathered tulle in a pleasant shade between lavender & purple. The scrubby part is affixed to the milk jug handle with some very pretty purple crocheting. The whole functional item turns FUNtional with the addition of a beautiful plastic purple flower at the top of the handle.

::sigh:: It was perfection. Why did I ever put it in the give-away box? I'm still sad about that decision.


What the hell is it: corn edition

Ok, so this craft is obviously corn on the cob. But beyond that...what it is it? Crocheted, I know that. But was it meant to be functional or merely decorative? I always like to assume a functional intent on the creator's part, because that, in my opinion, epitomizes the Krafter Spirit: kreating a beautiful object intended to solve a particular life problem.Also, the fact that this cob was left with an open slit in the back makes it appear that maybe it was not simply part of a crocheted Thanksgiving cornucopia centerpiece. (Although if it *was* that would be super awesome, too. I would totally buy it.)

So, some ideas:
Maybe it was intended to be a cozy of some sort.

A remote cozy?
A microphone cozy?

An eyeglass cozy?

A cell phone cozy?
Or maybe...it was meant to be precisely what it has came to be used for in our house: play food!


Scary Krafts

Clowns are scary. Tacky, handmade, decorative clowns are even scarier.

It's hard to know for sure what the intent of this kreation was. Unless there is a piece missing, my best guess is that it was made to set on a shelf with the legs dangling off. For my impromptu photo shoot, I put it on the end of a broom. It has a stiff cylinder inside that was quite suitable for this display method.

The head is a foam craft ball covered with pantyhose. Felt features are affixed using straight pins, which indicates that this baby is true vintage krap!

My favorite thing about the clown is the awkwardly lumpy, decidedly not pointy hat.

Material: fabric, yarn, pom pom, felt, foam ball, panty hose, straight pins, cardboard tube, batting
Technique: pantyhose stuffing, sewing, pinning
Provenance: consignment sale, Joplin, Missouri


Worst of Etsy

Etsy is an amazingly varied and interesting place. A lot of the stuff on there is really cool, a little bit of it is fantastic and then every once in awhile you come across something that is truly frightening, like this child's coffin on wheels. I found it by using their new pounce feature that finds stores with zero sales. J L Burch will also make a coordinating dress & angel wings to match the rolling casket. Ok, so it's supposed to be for a wedding, but it's just too creepy. If they start selling those scary angel wings & caskets at $650 a pop, I think I will cry.


Kraptastic Kristmas!

When I went to Missouri in October, my aunt found this gem at a Kraft show. It was created by an old (and I do mean OLD) family friend, Ms. Opal Spencer. (I unintentionally purchased about 5 items made by OS, which should give you some indication of what an amazinginly kraptastic krafter she is.)

This gem won (in our estimation) the award for Best In Show (and also the "what is it?" award for ambiguous obscurity.)

Material: bath towel, yarn, pom pom, artificial floral pick, ribbon, felt, googly eyes, false eylashes, jute
Technique: towel folding, hot gluing
Provenance: community kraft sale, Southwest Missouri


Dishtowel Britches

On my last trip to Missouri, I caught a couple of local craft shows. At one, about 4 or 5 different vendors were selling these dishtowel britches. I wasn't going to buy one until I found this gem. I confess: I bought it solely because of the little note attached. Brilliant.

Don)t get excited
Don)t louse your head
These are not for you
but your dishes instead
Untie the yarn pull Out
the stiteches you now
have two dishclothes
But you have lost your

Material: dish towel, yarn, paper
Technique: towel folding, yarn tying, typing
Provenance: community kraft sale, Southwest Missouri


"Pocket Cross"

So said the sign above the little selection of plastic canvass crosses. It's a cross in a pocket for a pocket. Redundant? Not at all.

The purported purpose of the pocket cross is to remind the user of their chosen faith. You know. In case you are prone to forgetting your religion, you can carry this little plastic and yarn cross with you so that whenever you search for change for the meter or try to find quarters for the tip cup at Starbucks, "OH! There it is! RIGHT! I'm a CHRISTIAN. Dang. I almost forgot. Thank God for my pocket cross. Otherwise I might have put nickels in the tip cup. Whew!"

And for the extra forgetful, the pocket cross comes equipped with a mimeographed poem to remind you why you have this weird plastic/yarn item in your pocket to begin with:

The Cross In My Pocket

I carry a cross in my pocket
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.

This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm.
It isn't meant to protect me
From every physical harm.

It's not for identification
For all the world to see.
It's simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.

When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or a key
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price he paid for me.

It reminds me, too, to be thankful
For the blessings day by day
And to strive to serve Him better
In all that I do and say.

It is also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my Master
And give themselves to his care.

So I carry a cross in my pocket,
Reminding no one but me,
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
If only I'll let Him be.

Material: yarn, plastic canvas, paper
Technique: needle point, typing
Provenance: community kraft sale, Southwest Missouri



This would, I think, be the best place to go shopping for kraptastic krafts.

What do you think?


Kraptastic Krafts: holy edition

One of my favorite things is finding the kraptacular in unexpected places. I went to church with my sister and her husband back in Missouri and was delighted to find this decked out bathroom immediately adjacent to the sanctuary of the country church. I'm talking, literally adjacent. The door to the bathroom is right at the end of a row of pews, so close you could nearly reach out and open it while listening to the sermon, or if the spirit moved, a kraptastic duet.

Seriously, what is up with the tandem toilets?

[I apologize for the poor image quality. I was trying to be sneaky about taking the pictures.]

As you might expect, this particular church participates in ritual potlucks on a bi-weekly basis. Lovely.

Material: fabric, lace, embellished vintage Home Interiors decor items, silk flowers, terracotta pots, and only the good Lord knows what else
Technique: sewing mostly
Location: AG church, Southwest Missouri


Kraptastic goodness

I made a treck to Missouri lately to visit family, and while I was there I caught a few craft shows. Wow, did I get some fabulous stuff. I can't wait to share it. You have been warned.


First installment of "What the hell is it?"

I really enjoy finding the odd handmade item that has no discernible purpose even though you can tell that the krafter *obviously* made it for a very specific function. It is with great pleasure that I present to you these amazing artifacts of kraftivity. What do you think they are? What purpose would they serve? I'm completely baffled. They range in size from 12.5 to 18 inches. I am in possession of seven of these wonderful items.

Material: yarn, plastic clothes pins
Technique: crochet
Provenance: yard sale, Southwest Missouri


Frizzy haired doll in wicker chair

Just to clarify, not all bad crafts are kraptastic. Some are just crappy and/or dumb. There are a special few, though, that have the ellusive quality that makes them thoroughly impressive. Often, kraptastic krafts earn recognition simply because they are so splendidly kraptacular they command notice. In other instances, the kraft may appear trite at first glance, but closer inspection reveals that the krafters have gone that extra mile--added an admirable dash of ingenuity--that makes the kraft something really special. This is the kraft item that has been kreated to be both functional and (at least in someone's opinion) beautiful.

At first, I passed over this kraptastick kraft as just another fugly piece of of dusty krap at the Goodwill store. On closer inspection, however, I realized that dolly had some hidden talents that katupulted her into the sphere of kraptastic.

She is embellished at every turn with plastic string pearls, lace and ribbon. When I looked at her in the store I accidentally knocked her off her pedestal and that is when I discovered the first surprise: her kreator thoughtfully krafted (and embellished!) a potpourri-filled lace cushion for her tiny bum.

I sat her down rather abruptly and she started playing music. So not only is this doll decorative, she will also fill your room with the malodorous scent of Wal-Mart potpourri and delight your ears with a tinny, off-key version of "It's a Small World."

Material: doll, frizzy hair, fabric, lace, ribbon, plastic pearls, wicker, potpourri
Technique: sewing, glue gunning, ribbon weaving
Provenance: Goodwill, SF Bay Area


Variegated Rooster Potholder

Potholders provide many exciting opportunities for the Kraptastic Krafter. Everyone needs potholders, plus they are small items that are usually easy to make. Fun times all around.

I assume this rooster was intended to be a potholder. I could be wrong though. Let me know if you have another idea as to what its intended purpose was.

It has one obvious design flaw, which I demonstrate in the photo below. It cannot hold its own head upright. [Insert bad joke here.]

Material: yarn (variegated browns, brown, red, yellow)
Technique: crochet
Provenance: Southwest Missouri


evil doll

For the pilot entry on this blog, I am proud to present an exciting find sent to my by my Aunt Becky. This gem was discovered at a church-sponsored junk sale in Southwest Missouri. (I added the dagger because the expression on her face seemed to call for one.)

These sweet little dolls crop up unexpectedly in a variety of tacky crafting scenarios, not the least of which is the quintessential toilet paper cover. This gal is one of the more innovative and simultaneously mysterious applications I've encountered.

The long skirt with the drawstring at the bottom suggests that this was created to cover something; most likely not a bottle, since the drawstring would be superfluous. The piece of yarn tied eerily around the neck is the only clue that the krafter intended this item to be hung somewhere.

The most intriguing part of this design can be found on the doll's thoughtfully constructed apron. The four pockets are embellished carefully with cross-stitched category labels and decorated with tiny cross-stitch flowers. The categories are delightfully nonparallel: "Pets", "Dairy", "Cereal", and "Snacks". What is the unifying theme here and how do the pockets figure into this theme? Is this a dual plastic bag holder and coupon sorter? Are the apron pockets mini receptacles for tiny pets, small cheeses, and a miniature snack? (And aren't those two categories somewhat redundant?) We will probably never know, but feel free to kreate your own theories.

Materials: purchased plastic doll head & torso, navy blue lining fabric, light blue floral print cotton fabric, lace, cross stitch fabric, yarn, buttons, foil [not part of original design]
Technique: sewing, cross stitch, foil molding [not part of original design]
Provenance: Southwest Missouri