Tag Archives: Dover Publications

Book Review: An Introduction to Hand Lettering – Crafter’s Essential Guide

An Introduction to Hand Lettering with Decorative Elements

By: Annika Sauerborn

Have you ever looked at a hand lettered card, decorative sign or wall plaque and thought you would love to be able to do something like that? Ms. Sauerborn has written the book that will give you the instructions and the inspiration to master hand lettering with a little practice.

An Introduction to Hand Lettering is divided into several helpful sections. Most importantly is the Materials section. You have to use the correct tools to eliminate frustration and elevate success. You probably have most, if not all of the materials needed to begin. Pens, pencils, rulers, and sketching paper are a few examples.

Following the layout of the book, you will start with borders, frames and lines, and then work your way up to images as well as various alphabets. If you feel unsure about drawing freehand, be sure to have some tracing paper on hand to practice.

There are countless uses for Ms. Sauerborn’s Decorative Elements. Handmade birthday and holiday cards will wow your friends and cost a fraction of the price you would pay for a greeting card these days. The section entitled “Seasonal Illustrations and Occasions” is my favorite. Making your own gift tags for Christmas is cost effective and will add a sweet personal touch to every gift this holiday season. Making personalized signs for the holidays is also fun. You could hang one at the front door to greet visitors. They just might want you to make one for them!

This book is designed for teens and adults because younger children would most likely become frustrated if they tried this on their own. I say this because there are no set designs, but you are given all of the elements to create hand lettered items that are only limited by your imagination. Even if you aren’t a “crafty” person, you can trace the images and letters to create whatever you envision. If you are artistic, you will be delighted by the inspiration and ideas you find inside these pages.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Cats in Origami – Cute and Clever

Cats in Origami

By: Nick Robinson

In the intro to Cats in Origami, the author explains that he chose cats for this book because he wanted to capture that fluid motion of these beautiful creatures. He states that in the origami world, “…cats are rather rare and were usually flat, quite lifeless designs.” His designs are full of life and motion, bringing the featured felines to life.

With full color pictures as well as the obligatory pages if instructions, you will be able to create 20 amazing projects. If you are a novice, I suggest you grab some practice paper after reading the type of paper you need to be successful and then turn to the pages detailing folds and techniques. There are only four pages of these and just like any other new craft or art, it is probably best to practice to ensure success.

All of the designs are cute and much to my delight some of them can be very useful. For example, the Cat Envelope design paired with the Cat Card will be perfect for your cat loving friend’s birthday card. There are two different cat boxes, Cat in a Box and Cat Box. I can picture both of them done with holiday paper holding a tiny treasure for someone special.

My favorite design is the Neko Bookmark. In Japanese, “Neko” means cat. These adorable bookmarks will help you save the place while reading and can easily be slipped in a cookbook or diary to hold your place. If you are giving a book as a gift, make it more personal by creating a Neko Bookmark to accompany it.

While many origami books are for all ages, the detail of most of these designs may be difficult for a younger child. That being said, adults and teens should have no trouble following the explicit directions given by Mr. Robinson as well as the other contributors to Cats in Origami. Be sure to check out the Credits and Biographies sections to see which designer created your favorite cats as well as their history in origami.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Color & Scratch Mindfulness: “Be Inspired. Be Relaxed. Be Creative”

Color and Scratch Mindfulness

By: Dover

Why should kids have all the fun of creating cool pictures with specialized scratch art paper and a stylus? Color & Scratch Mindfulness has pages of Zen pictures to color as well as a packet of scratch art pictures to reveal with the included stylus.

Each picture to color has quotes to help you meditate or just relax while using your favorite colored pencils or paint pens to complete the designs. Such as “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without” – Buddha. There are also quotes from authors and poets.

Color & Scratch Mindfulness gives you 23 coloring pages and 10 scratch art cards. Perhaps you will leave them in the book when finished or maybe frame one or more of them to enjoy. The choice is up to you. All you have to do is eloquently put on the back cover “Be Inspired. Be Relaxed. Be Creative”. I would like to add: Be Joyful.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: A Year of Stone Painting: Mindful Thoughts & Beautiful Designs

A Year of Stone Painting

52 Mandala Designs to Inspire Your Spirit

By: F. Sehnaz Bac

A Year of Stone Painting takes us thoughtfully and mindfully through an entire year of meditative creativity. In ancient Sanskrit Mandala means “circle” or “completion”. Mandala represents the universe, and per the author, “In Buddhist tradition, the act of creating a mandala represents transformation of the universe….”. And he goes further to say that mandala design begins with a point in the middle, then develops with different shapes such as rectangles, squares and most commonly circles “…and the beginning of a journey toward knowledge and wisdom….” .

The author gives the reader guidelines as to the type of stones you need, how to prepare them and the other tools and materials that are required. Techniques are outlined to ensure your success. You can choose how you want to draw the designs on your stones, either freehand, freehand with concentric circles or freehand with a grid of concentric circles and lines in case you want to be absolutely sure your design is balanced. There is a page with illustrations of shapes and motifs that are used in the designs in the book so that you can practice drawing them on paper instead of straight on the stones if you choose to do so.

Each week for a year is represented with a different design and mindful thoughts to accompany your painting. For example, week 5 is the Peace Wreath Mandala. We are told that “Each one has to find his peace from within” and this particular design symbolizes every step we take to reach that peace.

Week 32 is entitled Feel. It reminds us of the times we feel good and the times we feel bad. Unlike most of the others, it is only red, white and black. The weekly designs are inspirational and beautiful. I can imagine restful hours of painting that will enable you to slip into mindful thoughts. Too often we are bombarded with noise, the hustle and bustle of everyday life and electronic devices. Maybe a little inspiration and creativity will help renew and rejuvenate your spirit.

If you don’t want to search out stones, consider using paper instead. You could easily create all of these designs on small or large pieces of paper. If you choose to use paper, you might want to use pens or pencils instead of paints. However you approach these beautifully inspirational designs I am sure you will enjoy the peace and serenity you will experience while creating them.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Reviews: Game On! Fun Word Games for Kids

3.12.19Game On! More Awesome Activities for Clever Kids

By: Patrick Merrell

Over 100 pages of learning fun awaits the children that grab a pencil and open this book. Game On! Is a compilation of all types of wordy games and puzzles to challenge and delight the young people in your lives. It includes crossword puzzles, mazes, brainteasers, hidden puzzles and much, much more.

Colorful illustrations and the variety of activities encourage kids to see which type of puzzles they choose first. This type of book lends itself to be browsed through and completed in any order. Maybe your child is the type to want to do the pages in order, maybe not. Either way it is his or her choice.

This would not be appropriate for children that are too young to read and spell. But it is absolutely perfect for the 8 to 10 year-old age group. I suggest taking this on a road trip. You only need a pencil and eraser and your child will have hours of entertainment that doesn’t require headphones or a battery.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Beautiful Press-Out Butterflies – Taking Paper Airplanes to a New Level

Beautiful Press-Out Flying Butterflies

By: Richard Merrill

Beautiful Press-out Flying Butterflies takes paper airplanes to a whole new level. By following the simple instructions on the first page, you and your child can create a squadron of brightly colored, detailed butterflies. Each of them has information as to where in the world that particular butterfly lives as well as interesting facts.

Not all butterflies eat the same nectar. For example, the Julia butterfly can be found from Brazil to Texas and Florida but in the summer migrates to Nebraska. It usually eats nectar from the Lantana flowers, but also alights on caiman’s heads (relatives of crocodiles) irritates the caiman’s eyes with their proboscis then drinks the tears. That is one brave butterfly!

Each page will teach your child about butterflies. Then with a few simple folds and a coin (to help balance your butterfly when it soars, your child will spend countless hours flying them indoors and outside.

Merrill dedicates his book to his late grandfather, Dr. A. I. Good, who was an avid lepidopterist (butterfly expert). Thanks to Dr. Good’s inspiration, we can all learn about and enjoy butterflies with this enchanting book.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Reviews: Two New Craft Books to Entertain and Delight

Origami of the Sea

By: Dover Publications

Beginners and those who already love the art of Japanese paper folding will enjoy this book of sea creatures. It begins with the basics. While there are 200 sheets of beautifully colored sheets of origami paper included, there are also guidelines to purchase additional sheets at your local stores. The proper way to fold the paper is also outlined in clear, easy to understand instructions. There are additional pages of techniques that have diagrams to ensure your success no matter what your previous origami experiences have been. There are also video links at the top of each page of instruction to assist you if needed.

Soon you and/or your children will have a sea of creatures created from nothing more than paper and a few folds. My personal favorites are the simple fish. Make a school of them to hang from your child’s ceiling. The boat is simple and colorful and the shark would be fun to play with while imagining undersea adventures.

The only drawback is the pages are loosely bound so that the Origami paper can be easily removed without tearing. That also makes the instructions easily removed. I would suggest either popping the instructions into a Ziploc bag or use a hole punch and yarn to keep them together and prevent them from being misplaced.

Thanks to the following for their contribution to Origami of the Sea. Vanda Battaglia, Pasquale D’Aurai, Francesco Decio, Marc Kirschenbaum and Nick Robinson created the diagrams, videos and text. The beautiful photographs are courtesy of Dario Canova and Nick Robinson.

The Royal Stickers

By: Eileen Rudisill Miller

Children love Princes and Princesses. Disney has assured a steady stream of fairytales that are beloved by all. But real life Princes and Princess are even more fascinating because they are actually real people.

Ms. Miller has created a cute little book of stickers that feature William and Kate and Harry and Meghan. Beautiful wedding gowns and dashing military uniforms as well as tiaras, rings and bouquets.

The Royal Stickers will make a great addition to your children’s Easter Basket. I usually have small books like this tucked away for my grandchildren. It is fun to surprise them with small treasures like this book.

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 © 2019 Laura Hartman

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