Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things (Paperback)
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Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to as a “rest cure” at an inpatient facility. Before that, she had several very good years: she wrote a bestselling book, spoke at NASA, had a beautiful wedding, and inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to live as grown-ups in an often-screwed-up world, though these accomplishments mostly just made her feel fraudulent.
One of the few things that kept her moving forward was, improbably, crafting. Not Martha Stewart–perfect crafting, either—what could be called “simple,” “accessible” or, perhaps, “rustic” creations were the joy and accomplishments she found in her worst days. To craft is to set things right in the littlest of ways; no matter how disconnected you feel, you can still fold a tiny paper star, and that’s not nothing.
In Easy Crafts for the Insane, crafting tutorials serve as the backdrop of a life dissolved, then glued back together. Surprising, humane, and utterly unforgettable, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the unexpected, messy coping mechanisms we use to find ourselves again.
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“In Easy Crafts for the Insane, crafting tutorials serve as the backdrop of a life dissolved, then glued back together. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you might even make things.” —Country Living
“In Easy Crafts For the Insane, Kelly Williams Brown gets candid about her depression, feelings of imposter syndrome, and spending time at an inpatient facility. During this complicated time in her life, Brown turned to crafting to help piece her own life back together, one tiny project at a time.” –PopSugar
"[A] sincere, humorous memoir…Brown is able to express the gravitas of the lowest point of her life while maintaining a sense of humor with her dry wit. By openly talking about mental illness, Brown will inspire readers to do what she struggled to do herself: express difficult emotions and find a way forward through the darkness." —Library Journal
“Clever and whimsical and insightful and honest and charming and darkly funny--there is not a wrong note in the entire blessed thing. This is a perfect book. Read it immediately.” —Sarah Knight, New York Times bestselling author of Get Your Sh*t Together and the No F*cks Given Guides
"Kelly Williams Brown has created an incredibly valuable handy thing: a book you can either treasure for yourself or simply hurl to/at people in your life who don't understand about mental health obstacles but whom you really wish would. And! Another cool thing: anyone can follow the craft ideas to occupy a mind that desperately needs a break while creating neat whimsical objects. The book is humane, funny as hell, and relatable. It will help both our collective mental health and the glue and glitter industries." —John Moe, author of The Hilarious World of Depression
“Kelly's hilarious, inspiring, and instructional memoir not only adds an important new voice to the cultural conversation on mental health and self-care, it also taught me how to make a nail polish dragon egg, which I never knew I needed in my life until now.” –Alexi Pappas, author of Bravey
“Clever, hilarious, vulnerable, yet insightful. Easy Crafts for the Insane is my new favorite book. Wonderful story telling with an instant intimacy, cute drawings and smart crafting tips. Kelly Williams Brown is my current girl crush and writing hero.” —Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie
“[Easy Crafts for the Insane] combines basic crafting tutorials with moving and amusing biographical aspects in an effort to help readers tackle mental health issues…[Kelly’s] own experience of the positive impacts of crafting, which helped her get through her darkest days, inspired [her] to write this highly autobiographical, undeniably practical, and very entertaining self-help book.” —San Francisco Book Review
“Engaging… [and] showcases just how mental illness can affect the brain in a relatable way, the struggles that those with mental illness can go through, and how outside circumstances can really affect recovery.” —The Nerd Daily
“Kelly Williams Brown is welcoming readers to the darkest part of her life in hopes that something beautiful comes of it.” –Salem Statesman Journal
“Funny [and] self-aware…: that’s the MO in Easy Crafts, which details the worst two years of Williams Brown’s life with [a] bright, conversational tone.” –Portland Monthly
“[Kelly] relays her story with grace, broaching some challenging topics with humor and heart…Her book, like her crafting, is approachable. It’s sincere and honest, fearless and funny.” –Press Play Salem