Tag Archives: crafts

Book Review: Printmaking – How to Print Anything on Everything

Printmaking

How to Print Anything on Everything

By Christine Medley

Printmaking may not be a hobby you have considered, but this book might just change your mind. The how’s, whys and supplies are clearly outlined. Using beautiful color pictures among the step-by-step instructions will have you starting a new craft that will soon be your favorite.

Beginning by showing the reader the 4 types of printmaking, as well as plate types (blocks, stamps, found objects) your interest will be stirred and creativity will be awakened. On to cutting tools for carving designs and actual printing you will start to imagine the personalized cards, pictures and gifts you will be able to make.

But hold yourself back until you read the chapters on ink, paper, cleanup as well as design and production. I often get excited and want to jump in with both feet, but printmaking does take a bit of precision that is best taken on after reading the entire book before starting. That doesn’t mean you can’t jot down some ideas and notes for when you start.

Printmaking, How to Print Anything on Everything, is written for adults, not children. The tools needed as well as the various inks and precision needed requires adult supervision at the least if you choose to have your children help.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: 3-D Paper Craft – Personalize Your Space on a Budget

3-D Paper Craft

Create Fun Paper Cutouts from Plain Paper

By Yoko Ganaha & Piggy Tsujioka

Wall art needn’t be expensive. Yoko Ganaha & Piggy Tsujioka will show you how strong and beautiful 3-D Paper Cutting can be. Your designs will add personalized POP to your walls, personalizing your space for pennies.

Several different alphabets, flowers, holiday items such as snowflakes and pumpkins can be created from drawing paper. They suggest using 80# (2gsm) paper. Then copy the page of the pattern you choose, enlarging it as needed. Each pattern has the creases shown for you to copy to the back side of your paper, then fold accordingly.

There are diagrams, pictures and detailed instructions to allow you to succeed in creating fabulous, one-of-a-kind wall art for pennies. Tips and tricks such as when and where to us a tracing wheel, hole punch and ordinary household glue are included in the instructions.

Adults and teens can easily create these fun paper cutouts. But that doesn’t mean your children can’t help pick out a design for you to put on their wall, or make a collage to hang from their ceiling. The smaller designs could be used to decorate a stunning Christmas tree. The possibilities are endless and extremely economical and fun to make.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Japanese Wonder Knitting – Beautiful Stitches for Knitters to Learn

Japanese Wonder Knitting

By Nihon Vogue

 Japanese knitting is different but similar to American knitting. The process of knitting is the same. Both use needles and yarn or thread, both have instruction charts. The major difference is Japanese knitting focuses on patterns that can be made into knit items, American knitting emphasizes items, not the patterns. Instead of picking a stitch, American’s normally pick a pattern instead. This may sound confusing, but when it comes down to it, knitting is knitting and with Japanese knitting the beauty of the pattern will draw you in, then you can find the perfect item you want to create using the charted instructions.

Japanese Wonder Knitting features a variety of stitches as well as the patterns you can create using them. There are “Point Lessons” that teach you each stitch. There are complete, easy to understand written instructions as well as color photos to walk you through each step. At the end of the Point Lesson, there are color pictures of the swatch as well as a list of the projects in the book using the stitch. There is also a section that lists the types of yarn used, including weight, yardage and type such as baby alpaca and British wool DK.

Some of the patterns included have some colored pictures. Some have no pictures at all, which is not my favorite way to determine if I want to make an item. The patterns are for knits large and small. There is a hat, headband and tea cozy, as well as a blanket, shawl and purse. The number of techniques featured is impressive. They include double-knitting, entrelac and smocking.

If you are a knitter and love to try new techniques and stitches, this is the book for you. After learning a new stitch, you can incorporate it into hats, mittens, scarves or just about anything you can imagine knitting. It is fun to learn and grow as a knitter.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Inspired Shawls -Stunning Patterns for Knitters

Inspired Shawls

15 Creative Patterns for Year-Round Knitting

By Laura Zukaite

Inspired Shawls is Fashion Designer Laura Zukaite’s brain child. She has created 15 stunning shawl patterns that range from easy to expert. All of her creations include beautiful color photographs, diagrams, charts and detailed, easy to read instructions. General abbreviations are listed at the end of the book, but any special abbreviations/instructions are conveniently printed on the first page of the pattern along with the gauge so you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to the end of the book as you are knitting.

The beauty and diversity of these patterns is a knitter’s dream. Some of the shawls, like the Catagena and Nazca are as delicate as butterfly wings. Others are colorful and warm. I love the Geo Aztec Shawl. Knitted in DK/Light Worsted weight, with adorable tassels on each end makes this fun and functional shawl a favorite.

There is an interesting page about Ms. Zukaite’s design journey. Born in Lithuania, she learned to knit as a child. Now living in New York, she has studied at Parsons School of Design and has designed for Gap and Ralph Lauren to mention a few. She has published patterns in various knitting magazines and is the author of Lux Knits, Lux Knits; The Accessories as well as Inspired Shawls. I love the color, patterns and the inspiration in Inspired Shawls.

I highly recommend this book to knitters from novice to expert level. Happy knitting!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Cat in My Pocket Embroidery

Cat in My Pocket Embroidery

Ten Purrfect Projects

By Hiroko Kubota

Born from need, continued with love, Kubota creates hand embroidered cats. With her newly published book, Cat in My Pocket Embroidery, she shares her knowledge and artistry, allowing us to recreate her fun felines.

From choosing the proper threads to use (single strands of size 25 embroidery floss) to the proper fabric (plain weave, nonstretch and smooth such as linen or cotton) is thoroughly discussed. Other items needed to complete your project are needles, an embroidery hoop, transfer paper, pins and a seam ripper. The author gives readers recommendations for each of the tools needed. Also included are ten cat templates to trace or photocopy to ensure your success.

Stitching techniques, starting and finishing have step-by-step instructions as well as photos and illustrations to ensure a successful outcome to your project. Kubota recommends starting one of the first three projects before branching out to the remaining seven. Each of the first three have between forty-six to forty-eight steps. The remaining seven projects have fewer steps, because you have already learned the proper way to introduce color and texture with your stitches.

I recommend this book to experienced embroiderers. But if you are a novice stitcher and feel compelled to embellish a shirt, purse or tote with one of these adorable cats, do not let me dissuade you. The instructions, images and illustrations are clear and concise. If followed, anyone with a little practice are destine to be successful.

As most crafters acknowledge, it is as much the enjoyment of the creative journey as it is the appreciation of the finished product. Kubota states, “I am pleased to say I am not the only person who appreciates the warmth, personality, and individuality of handcrafted products…”. I could not have said it better.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Review: Origami Fold-By-Fold

Origami Fold-by-Fold

John Montroll

Novice and seasoned origamists will enjoy learning and practicing the ancient art of Origami with this easy to learn instruction book by John Montroll. He introduces the reader to the craft with designs that range from simple to very complex. The brief history of paper folding provided by Montroll is interesting and teaches us that origami has roots in China, Japan and Germany.

You must begin your journey to becoming proficient by learning the symbols (lines and arrows) and basic folds. The author has written clear instructions that includes step-by-step color illustrations of each fold. He then begins with a simple fish. My favorite easy creation is the scallop. You could use it to make adorable place cards for a summer get-together.

As you go further into the book, the difficulty level increases. There are elephants and other zoo animals, sharks and even a sunken dodecahedron. First of all, I didn’t even know what that was (it is one of several stellated icosahedrons of 60 equilateral triangles). I had to look up stellated icosahedrons – it is a geometric shape. The sunken dodecahedron is as difficult to make (57 steps) as it is to say, but I seriously want to make one now that I know all about them.

Just when I thought I’d seen every kind of origami creation, Montroll taught me I have much more to learn. Both novices and experts will enjoy creating paper art with Origami Fold-by-Fold. If you make a stellated icosahedron, please send me a picture. I’d love to see it.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Sayings and Expressions Stained Glass Patterns

Sayings & Expressions

Stained Glass Patterns

By Anna Croyle

Sayings & Expressions brings us beautiful designs to be created using stained glass. There are 40 contemporary designs including two styles of alphabets and numbers. Additionally, there are beautiful designs including flowers and sayings such as “Home Sweet Home” and “Gone Fishing” with cute and quirky things like cats, bees and fish. My favorite is the “Tasting Room” that spotlights wine and grapes.

If you are a stained-glass artist, you will enjoy the inspiration and designs included in this book. But if you are a novice, you will need to find a book with actual instructions, not just designs. The author suggests Stained Glass Craft Made Simple by James McDonell, which includes general instructions, tools and materials needed for beginners.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Wreaths for Every Season – 24 Projects to Wow You

Wreaths for Every Season

24 Projects to Make Throughout the Year

By Stasie McArthur

There is nothing more welcoming than a beautiful wreath on your front door. It is fun to change wreaths with the seasons and holidays throughout the year, but let’s be honest, it is expensive to purchase ready made wreaths.

Stasie McArthur has solved this problem by writing Wreaths for Every Season. It includes twenty-four patterns for you to create at a fraction of the cost of store-bought wreaths. She reminds us that inspiration can be found everywhere, so keep your eyes open for everything that would look fabulous on your personalized handmade wreaths.

She lists the basic supplies need, such as paint, floral wire, tie wraps and pipe cleaners. To get started browse through her book, checking out the beautiful color photos to see what inspires you. The material list is included for each wreath, as well as step by step photos and written instructions to complete them. Make them your own by choosing flowers, fabric and bows that will make your wreath unique.

This fun and useful book will allow you to create stunning one-of-a-kind wreaths. You may want to create one for a friend of family member. I highly recommend this book to everyone that likes to add a personal touch for everyone that enters their home to see and enjoy.

 

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Cut and Assemble The Mayflower – A Full-Color Paper Model

Cut and Assemble the Mayflower

A Full Color Paper Model

By A. G. Smith

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so now is the perfect time to begin making this stunning paper replica of the Mayflower. Can you imagine the surprise on your guest’s faces when they see this detailed version of this famous ship?

The instructions are detailed and clear, but this is not a project that should be completed at the last minute as there are many steps as well as the time it takes for the glue to set after each section is complete. There are photographs and exploded views to assist you. The list of additional items needed is short. It includes many things you already have on hand, such as an X-ACTO knife, glue and a straight edge. Black thread, toothpicks and straight pins are used to create the rigging.

The sheer number of pieces demonstrates building this ship will not be a small or quick task. It is a show piece, and worthy of your time and effort. So much so that you will probably want to keep it out all year to enjoy.

I recommend this book for adults and teens, as children could easily become confused and/or frustrated with all of the small details, not to mention the use of sharp objects. By all means let your child help you with the easier parts of the model with adult supervision.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Origami Boxes – Fun and Useful

Origami Boxes

Dover Publications

Origami is cute, fun and offers beautiful things to create from paper. The patterns in Origami Boxes are simple, easy to construct and useful. I don’t know about you, but I like to put gifts in boxes and wrap them instead of using bags with tissue paper. I know it is faster and easier to use bags, but unwrapping a gift in a box is so much more fun for the gift and giver.

You can create the small boxes you need by using the step-by-step easy instructions included in this book. There are several different types of boxes, such as a flat box, a box with a hinged lid and a fortune purse. It is fun to give a small treasure in a hand made box of your own creation.

There are general instructions for novice and seasoned origami masters, as well as specific instructions for each of the eight boxes created by experts. As a bonus, there are 200 sheets of origami paper in various colors and patterns. You will soon have an array of beautiful boxes for small gifts in magnificent florals, soothing solids and eye-catching geometric designs.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review