Tag Archives: Dover Publications

Book Review: Origami Animals – Fun for Kids and Adults

Origami Animals

By Dover Publications

Origami Animals features twenty designs, eight of which are easy to make. If you are an expert or new to Origami you will enjoy this book. From kittens to caterpillars the step-by-step instructions will help you fold the included origami paper into over a hundred animals.

After you get comfortable with the folds and following the directions, there are more complex animals to create. Turtles, owls and even a crab will delight your children after following a few simple steps.

The book also included 200 sheets of origami paper, cut to the exact size needed. Rich solid colors as well as beautiful floral and geometric designs are included. One of my favorites is a butterfly/floral pattern that would be lovely made into a butterfly.

I recommend this book for novice folders. Children could easily learn to create the easier animals, perhaps with a little guidance from an adult until they get comfortable making the folds.

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

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Book Review: Making Christmas Bright With Papercrafts : Inexpensive and Adorable

Making Christmas Bright with Papercrafts

More than 40 Festive Projects

By Alice Hornecke /Dominik Meibner/Sabine Seyffert

Bring Christmas cheer to your home with these beautiful papercrafts. From decorating your home to entertaining guests and gifts for loved ones, Making Christmas Bright with Papercrafts. A little bit origami and a little bit of stencil work along with craft paper, scissors and glue you will be ready to dive in to create over 40 craft projects.

The designs are different levels. You can fold an adorable Christmas tree from plain green napkins for your holiday table for pennies. Maybe you would like to create pretty packages to hold yummy Christmas cookies out of craft or corrugated paper.

Christmas on a budget is easily achieved by creating decorations, gifts and advent calendars. Make your own Christmas cards, bows for gifts and wreaths. Because there are over 40 projects, there is something for everyone at every skill level. Many of the projects can be completed by children with help from an adult or older child.

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

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Book Review: Jane Austen Embroidery – Fascinating History, Beautiful Stitching

Jane Austen Embroidery

Regency Patterns Reimagined for Modern Stitchers

By Jennie Batchelor & Alison Larking

When you hear the name Jane Austen, of course you think of her as the famous author. But Jane Austen Embroidery will add a depth to Ms. Austen that most people are unfamiliar with. Per all accounts she was an accomplished embroiderer and truly took great joy and pride in the beautiful and utilitarian items she stitched. Items she created are currently housed at the Jane Austen’s House Museum, on display for all to see.

The main source for patterns back in Ms. Austen’s time was various women’s magazines. Included in this very book are 15 patterns that appeared in Lady’s Magazine from the 1770’s to 1810. Perhaps Jane herself stitched one of them and now you create them as well.

The authors have added a section on tools and resources for traditional embroidery. While it is different from most modern items embroidered, the basic stitches are the same. If you have embroidered before using the counted cross stitch method or a stamped image you should be able to jump right in and begin. Diagrams, pictures and step-by-step instructions will have you stitching in no time.

From start to finish this is a fascinating book about Ms. Austen and one of her favorite past times. It is a given that there are lovely items to create with easy to read tips and directions that will ensure your success. And on a history level, it is truly a fascinating read. I will look at Ms. Austen differently now. She is not just one of the most revered authors of all time, but a skilled embroiderer as well, taking as much pride in her stitches as she did with her words in Pride and Prejudice.  

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

 

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Book Review: Big Book of Balloon Art – Learn From a Master!

The Big Book of Balloon Art

More Than 100 Fun Sculptures

By Gerry Giovinco (aka Captain Visual)

Balloon animals fascinate adults and children alike. For a few dollars, you can create a zoo of colorful animals, hats, magic wands and even a little red wagon. Gerry Giovinco shares his knowledge and craft so that you can wow everyone with your balloon art.

From the type of balloons, to blowing them up properly (the amount of air is super important to the final product) and learning the all-important twists, Giovinco gives us clear written instructions with diagrams. When you get to chapter five and beyond, you will be making a colorful menagerie of critters and several popular hats.

Each pattern has written instructions and diagrams to ensure your success. While most of the designs are a bit complicated for children, there are a few that they can easily master. The cobra just needs a twist and a couple of bubbles and a headband is one easy twist.

A big bag of balloons is only a few dollars, and you will have hours of fun creating balloon art for friends, family and maybe even a few strangers that see your creations and want one for their children. I recommend this book for adults and children, with adult supervision and assistance for younger kids.

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

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Book Review: Easy Aircraft Origami

Easy Aircraft Origami

By Jayson Merrill

Jayson Merrill is back with his fifth origami book, Easy Aircraft. This origami master’s latest book contains 14 awesome projects. Each one will soar into the sky, taking flight after creation.

Step-by-step, clear and concise instructions are included for each of the aircrafts. Symbols and signs such as the different kinds of lines and arrows used in the instructions as well as the procedures for proper folds are clearly taught. Using detailed drawings to demonstrate each fold, you will be completing your aircraft with confidence and ease.

From the Hawker (16 steps) to the Mourningstar (39 steps) and the 12 aircraft between them, you will enjoy creating and flying each of them. It is a great way to engage your child. Taking them to a park or the backyard, you will have countless hours of fun together.

I recommend this book for adults or teens. As previously stated, your youngsters will enjoy the finished aircraft, but the precision needed for success is better left to adults.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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