Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Sweet Valley High Craft Fair

One of the huge benefits of being a graduate student/instructor at IU is the library system--not only is the IU library system AMAZING, but my library science degree is pretty much the minimum qualification that one would need to actually be able to understand how to access and search and obtain all the information available in such a huge and complex system.

For instance, the IU libraries will get me anything I want. Anything. And I can want it for any reason. I wanted a copy of for Sydney, for instance. It's the soundtrack to the first film, is lauded as having one of the best film scores ever, features a rare Diana Ross cover, and is out of print. See how much it is on Amazon? Yeah, I interlibrary loaned it from IU, and they picked it up off of a public library in Portland for me. Mine for two weeks.

Take another of my obsession--crafting in literature. I find it highly amusing to read an author's non-professional take on crafting whenever it's included in a novel for some random reason. So when Margo Rising reviewed Sweet Valley High's Boy Trouble, including a secondary plot involving Jessica and a craft fair, I WANTED it. So I interlibrary loaned it from IU--they only had to go to New Albany, Indiana, to get this one for me.

Okay, there are so many ridiculous things about this book. Check out Margo Rising for the complete plot recap--here, all you need to know is that DeeDee is Elizabeth's friend and she's an "artist". When we join her and Elizabeth and all the other juniors at the lunch table--Todd Wilkins, Winston Eggbert (swoon!), Enid Rollins, and Bill Chase, in case you were curious--she's showing off her hand-painted shirt (barf!) and tell Elizabeth that she has a big craft fair this Saturday.

In the parking lot of the mall.

Vendors from all over the state are going to come hawk their wares in a mall parking lot. Um, really? I guess in the early 1990s...

And speaking of, how did a popular teenager ever get the idea to sell at a craft fair in the early 1990s? It was all ducks in bonnets and dried flower wreaths back then. Not that DeeDee's crap is much different: A black and turquoise seascape design, my friends--are you picturing it? Now picture it in a size large, because that's the way you LIKE it, and picture it on your body. Yep, it's the early 1990s, all right.

And an alligator-skin wallet? Is that supposed to tell me she's rich? Thanks for handing the planet down to me, lady.

But look, y'all! Craft fairs give you positive self-esteem!Now I know that a lot of crafters consider a lot of their work art (I admit I'm one of them, with some of my stuff), but I have yet to meet an "artist" who would sell at a craft fair. The one time I suggested to one of my artist friends that he could make a lot of money selling his ceramics at a craft fair, he made it VERY clear to me that he would not be caught dead whoring his work out at some low-rent craft fair. So it makes me laugh that DeeDee is written as seeing craft fair vending as the start of an art career.

Of course it's inevitable that Jessica gets involved in some hijinks--she booth-sits for DeeDee and gets caught up in some kind of mistaken-identity fiasco in which she decides to paint her own T-shirts to sell to a boutique owner who comes by, and of course they're fugly, but the boutique owner doesn't even rat her out when he gets ahold of the real DeeDee to offer her the real deal (Wholesale, DeeDee! Never consign!). The real plot, however, is some laughable business in which Patty and her boyfriend break up over a misunderstanding that neither will talk to the other about--don't worry about it, because it's really boring.

In other news, on the same garage sale day in which I found my dressmaker's dummies, Matt had a world-class score of his own:
It's a few of the issues from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, the one with continuous covers. Matt's especially excited because the big geeky thing is that Mr. Fantastic's stretchy arm can be seen, I guess, stretching through the whole thing. See it over the big green face?

Yeah. I'm not sure how many more issues Matt needs to get the whole scene, but there's always another garage sale, right?

P.S. Ever figure out why I would use a Dremel to cut a vinyl record album? Check out my tutorial for making vinyl record album pendants over at Crafting a Green World.


Anonymous said...

I drool over Matt's find, and if dh saw it, he'd be drooling too. Why would anyone want to get rid of those issues at a yard sale is beyond our comprehension.

As for the Sweet Valley High book...uh, thanks. I think. ;)

I've only used dh's IU Library access to get chemistry textbook for ds1. Guess I'm a mere amateur at this whole library thing.

Anonymous said...

Your artists never selling at a craft fair reminded me of when my friend and I were at Michaels, cooing over tiny birds for scrap booking, and I asked her, "So really, what's the difference between arts and crafts?" and some lady overheard us and said, "Crafts are when it doesn't turn out good." Tee.