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Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF [Paperback]

April Winchell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 6 2010
HANDMADE? IT LOOKS LIKE YOU MADE IT WITH YOUR FEET.
 
A chicken poncho. A painting of a corn dog. A clock made out of an old “mostly clean” cheese grater. All this and more await you in the pages of Regretsy, a veritable sideshow of handcrafts gone wrong. Based on the eponymous hit blog and arranged in categories such as Décor, Pet Humiliation, and Christmas, Regretsy showcases the best of the worst, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the purely horrifying. Each page of this jaw-dropping volume features the actual seller’s online listing with a light coat of snarky commentary to give it a good shellacking. So join us as we descend into handmade hell and gawk, gasp, and marvel at the disturbingly odd artifacts that Regretsy has collected for your viewing pleasure, proving that you can never have too much of a bad thing.

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Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF + Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings + How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
Price For All Three: CDN$ 34.01

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Review

 
“A hall of fame for artistic impulses gone oddly awry.”—Salon
 
“Uproarious.”—Entertainment Weekly

Wildy funny.- Los Angeles Times
 
So much funny, we're not sure where to begin.- Gawker
 
Brilliant . . .  unexpectedly wonderful.-Movieline
 
Ridiculous . . . completely unique and absolutely bonkers.-Time Out New York
 
Amazing!- Gizmodo
 
Absolutely wonderful and downright horrifying.- New York Magazine
 
Genius.- Yahoo
 
Wonderful sarcasm . . . Regretsy's the unofficial authority on the absurd.- Thrillist
  
Winning snark.- The Onion AV Club

About the Author

April Winchell has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in the entertainment industry, working as an advertising executive, a radio show host, a comedy writer, and a voice actress. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good laugh for a great cause. Jan. 11 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This fantastic book is a must-have for the hand crafting fan. Not everything made by hand and from the heart makes sense it seems... and this is where hilarity ensues! Proceeds from the sale of this book also go to a great cause.

[ j ]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great to make you laugh July 20 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this book right before I went to the hospital for two days and boy did it make the trip bearable. Lots of witty humour, brute honesty, and great "products", made this book awesome. CF4L!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  73 reviews
58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat more gentle than I thought...in a good way! April 15 2010
By Coy R. Powers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First let me say that I've paid some serious attention to this book. The reason is that I'm a ...um... 'contributor.' I'm featured in it, so the book suddenly has some real impact on me. If this part will make you think I am more biased for the book, then you can stop reading here.

April chose the item of mine she wanted to rip on, and I sent her some high resolution pictures and my consent. That's all the input I got as to what would be said about my stuff. I'm happy to say that she didn't make me cry! I also got to 'defend' my piece, but I honestly felt like I didn't need to defend it, so I spent that part in promoting my store. Hehe.

This isn't some bit of Etsy bashing propaganda, and it's not just to make fun of the stuff on Etsy, either. It's a sort of a window into some of the more eccentric things you can find on Etsy. Sure, you can search Etsy for stuff yourself, and you'll find some weird things...but there's no way one person could find all of the 'treasures' in this book all by one's self.

If you like shopping on line, and you like weird stuff, give it a look! It's good for a laugh at the very least.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect For Those Of You In Need Of A Pink Leopard Goat Coat Aug. 8 2010
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Regretsy" is a truly brilliant concept and book. April Winchell manages to mix amusing personal anecdotes with truly flabbergasting Etsy items that you can actually buy to absolutely wonderful effect. This is a great book for those who love hand-crafted things and DIY projects. The only thing that kept me from giving it a perfect five star rating is the omnipresent profanity in the book. I would have otherwise loved to have bought several more copies for people I know that like crafts, but the language flatly ruled that out. Don't misunderstand me, it's still plenty funny, but the expletives do not enhance the book and limit the target audience needlessly.

Having made that disclaimer, the book samples a perfect assortment of disturbing kitsch for sale on the Internet. I loved it immediately when she described this collection as "self-expression that misses the mark in some way." I'll say. There's not a single bad choice in the book, but some really do rise above the rest, starting with p. 12 which is a disgusting-looking "Brooch with Vintage Buttons" that inspired Winchell to comment "Tell her you'd marry her all over again with a prolapsed anus." What's scary is that that's the perfect comment. The "Charming Pond Scum and Amoeba Pendant" on p. 18 would go well with the brooch, while p. 30 features a "Chicken Poncho" ("modeled by Bantam Chick Lil Danya"), and in possibly my favorite thing in the entire book a "Pink Leopard Goat Coat" (p. 35; it is exactly what it sounds like and inspires a comparison with Kim Cattrall) is modeled by one extremely unhappy looking goat. Maybe she just looks sad on second thought.

The book gets stranger as it goes along, particularly in the "Toys and Dolls" section. on p. 48 there is an item titled "Wikette - Alien Doll Handmade by Kathleen" which Kathleen describes thusly: "One thing that makes her unique is the fact that a walnut was used for her head. If you have any questions feel free to contact me." Winchell did have some questions, as it turns out: "1. What am I looking at? 2. Where did the alien get the horse? Is it an alien horse? If so, does it contain nuts? 3. What if I wanted the head made out of a filbert? 4. How much is shipping to Earth? 5. Can I buy this if I have squirrels?" Perfect, April. Absolutely perfect. Moving past a frightening item on p. 51 that is so terrifying that I won't even attempt to describe it, we eventually get to "Art," but you may have wished you didn't. There are some truly stunning works here, my favorite of which (p. 90) is a painting called "Corndog on a Plane," which in the description justifying the $85 price tag says "Reminds me of the time I flew to New York and had a corndog."

Taxidermy and associated arts are featured prominently here too. My favorite is "Fish in a Squirrel Suit Taxidermy" (p. 107,) although "Baby Rat in Altoid Tin - Original Mixed Media Sculpture" (p. 110, $45) is fierce competition for sure, as is the surrealist entry "Aardvark's Frog on a Succulent Ham" which the seller claims is "For the holidays or whenever," though Winchell claims "I had this for breakfast once in Louisiana." As you work your way to the end the entries get even more bizarre: "Doll heads in a bowl of Brussels sprouts," "Miniature Fairy or Dollhouse Toilet with Frog," "Christmas Nativity Meerkats," etc. In the end Winchell reveals who made these gems, how to get them, and discusses the vendors, most of whom are self-deprecating and amused by her work, and many of whom leave comments that Winchell reprints, giving the artists the final word.

This is a great book, and wonderful commentary on handcrafted wonders in the digital age. If you can get past the language, there's no way you won't find this hilarious, if occasionally disturbing.
42 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supassed expectations: HYSTERICAL! April 12 2010
By Diana Crites - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book far surpassed my expectations, and I expected quite a lot. I believed it would be funny, and it was hysterical. I assumed it would be interesting, and in fact I could not put it down. What I had not anticipated was the extent to which this book would be moving. And -- in all actuality -- inspirational.

What makes the Regretsy site consistently laugh-out-loud funny, the brazen humor and bold perspective of author April Winchell, is present in full force. Also delightfully represented are the mind-boggling DIY arts and crafts that serve as fodder for conversation and amusement.

But I believe that the best part of the Regretsy book lies in the poignant, insightful and absolutely riotous personal essays that introduce each chapter. The author's unique insight and candid commentary are hysterically funny and surprisingly poignant. But they don't go on long enough! Leaves me hoping the next book will be coming out very soon.

I also truly enjoyed the Epilogue, and reading from the featured sellers themselves. It was very interesting to get the full picture of the Regretsy experience.

I seriously doubt anyone could read this book without guffawing. It's that funny. Whether you're familiar with or passionate about Etsy, DIY, arts and crafts, or Regretsy, this book stands on its own and keeps you laughing. And, by the time you get through the Epilogue, chances are you'll be passionate about it all.
46 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, if you're a diehard fan of Regretsy May 4 2010
By geognerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A while back, a friend shared a link to a post on Regretsy. I checked out the site and got a few laughs. I noticed that a Regretsy book was coming out and asked my local library to purchase a copy. Thought it would be an entertaining read. After reading the book, I give it three stars.

The positives - The author tells some good stories, such as those found at the beginning of the chapters. The style of humor found on the Regretsy website is intact in the book. In fact, the book mirrors the website. An Etsy item is shown with its photograph and seller's description, followed by the author's commentary. A quick read.

The negatives - Found the writing too snarky at times. Some of the Etsy items were funny, others only made me shake my head because they were weird (though that fits the book's subtitle). There was more profanity than I expected, but it seems in-line with what you see on the website.

Summary - If you are a big fan of the website, you'll like the book. If you're just a casual visitor to Regretsy, peruse the book at the library before deciding to buy.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's snark and then there's snark July 17 2011
By Quaker Annie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
April Winchester and her army of reviewers on regretsy dot com and in this book put some depth into what it means to be snarky. Despite the whining complaints of those who think the comments are mean (and miss the points), what is happening here is many faceted.

There's a lot of good, beautiful, genuine handmade stuff on Etsy, the site that Regretsy is mainly focused on. Or at least there was when first it started out. Over the years, some crazy stuff has been creeping into the offers at Etsy, stuff that makes you say hmmmm. Or WTF. Or other things I can't put here. But you can put them into Regretsy. Some of the "artists" at Etsy create a lot of things related to body parts, male and female, as well as things that come out of your body. Some of them even create their "art" with things that come out of the body. Trust me, they doo doo. You'll find a lot of funny snarky silly comments about those things in the book and on the site.

There are also copyright thieves, people who try to pass their sweatshop work off as handmade creations, resellers and more - that's a service Regretsy provides to the real sellers and shoppers at Etsy. In addition, every month the artists and shop owners who belong to the Regretsy group, April's Army, donate their time and services to a week long fund-raiser - and others spend what little money many of them have to get the goods sold - helping a member in need. Regretsy the book is just a hand in what is a growing community.

The latest venture is a collaborative tarot deck created by 25 artists belonging to Regretsy, using "art" from this book and the website as inspiration. A good portion of the profits will be used to help artists in need - not just those who participated, but those who are part of the community and beyond.

The community doesn't respond well, ever, to those who are being mean to others. It's an incredibly giving community - read the book, but do it with all of this in mind. Even profits from the book go to charity.
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