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It isn't easy to pastiche Stewart, who designed a line of house paints based on the colors of the eggs her chickens laid. But Finley gets in some funny lampoons while uncovering the edgy obsessiveness and darker psychology of a life lived close to a glue gun. Just as Stewart publishes a monthly calendar of her formidable activities, so Finley uses the easy frame of a calendar year for her satire (October—Halloween, when 50 guests are served a breakfast of lifesize marshmallow ghost pancakes). Finley tells us, "I've come to the conclusion that there is a craft project in everything around us." Some of the projects are topical no-brainers: Father's Day parties decorated in a Lorena Bobbitt/penis motif; Menendez room makeovers for angry teenagers, with pictures of Lyle and Erik on the wall. More are grotesque and macabre: cockroach centerpieces for Easter (bunny ears are attached to their little bodies); bath mats woven from hair caught in the bathtub drain; and a do-it-yourself casket. Finley lines hers with "handmade velvet from France that I've bleached, dyed, and detailed with lace made by nuns in Belgium." One feels that Stewart could easily one-up her there. Finley is more fun when she's silly and surreal: "Well, wouldn't you know that under my left armpit I started growing marigolds! The dwarf orange variety. I left them alone till they got established." And she's more pointed in her diary of a depressed and angry woman: "5:30 a.m.: I don't want to get up. No one cares about my thirty-foot coconut cake heart with cherry butter cream inside."
With her funny illustrations, Finley serves a merely clever amuse-gueule that could have been a more substantial meal.