This is a wonderful book for anyone who works in mixed-media. The idea of doing a self-portrait may make many people put the book down before they even crack it. This book is something you should at least flip through as it gives you clues of what to look for when trying to define yourself and how you are unique. This is useful study for any type of portraiture as it makes the artist pay attention to things like eye placement and lip shape in comparison to other portraits. The portrait does not have to be an exact image of the artist. It can also be a representation or it can be a portrait of the person the artist wants to be. The main thing for artists to keep in mind when creating a portrait of the self is to be introspective. The book walks the artist through the importance of a self-portrait, knowing yourself, and revealing yourself. A lot of the things talked about in the book are good for artists regardless of the medium they choose. I highly recommend this book to anyone more curious about discovering what makes them unique.
This is a nice book for anyone wanting to get started in creating an artist’s journal. While a bit different from art journaling, there are still some fundamentals here that could be used for that craft. This book focuses more on the types of journals an artist can create, such as travel. The book discusses multiple media; however, many pages shown only combine a couple such as ink and watercolor. If you are wanting to complete multimedia pages, this is probably not the book for you. However, if you want to create pages that document your daily life or certain parts of it, in an artistic way with illustrations, Cathy Johnson provides a great starting point. This book asks questions such as, “What do you want from an artist’s journal?” to help the reader get started in finding the type of journal that is right for him/her. There are also chapters on test driving different media and the journaling lifestyle, just to name a couple. Great book to start with!
This is a wonderful book for anyone wanting to dive into the world of mixed-media art journaling. There are lots of techniques to try out, particularly with watercolors. If watercolors are a medium you wish to learn more about, this is the book for you. The instructions are clear without being overbearing. They still allow for a lot of experimentation on the part of the reader. The author tells you which tools you will need for each exercise, specifying which are optional. She also discusses some brand names to try out. I found this book to be very useful, especially when combined with other books and magazines on mixed-media art. There are also prompts at the end of the book for continued thought and fun with art journaling. The author encourages the reader to make a mess and try things out for fun. While the book gives some of the basics, there is still room for the artistic reader to soar.
This is a fantastic book for the beginning fantasy watercolorist with information on faces, hands, feet, and everything in between. It also has beginning watercolor instruction for those not well-versed in it already. I absolutely loved this book and plan to add it to my personal collection soon. It was exactly what I was looking for!
This is a great book especially for those wanting to begin with oils, acrylics, or digital media. Watercolorists would have to adapt the shades of the washes from lightest to darkest. Hodgson lays it all out step-by-step as the title implies, instructing the artist on drawing out and painting fantasy characters and backgrounds. He walks the artist through six different paintings, all using various methods, creatures, and poses. A good reference to keep on hand as well. Just wished it was geared a little more for watercolor too.
A fun read for knitters everywhere. While the secrets are not necessarily new revelations to those of us knitting for awhile, the book brings humor and good-hearted advice to the craft. Some of the patterns are truly delightful and I can’t wait to knit them up. I ended up adding this book to my personal collection because I just enjoyed it that much. Sit back with a cuppa and read Stiefel and Souza. You won’t regret it.
This is nice for beginning scrapbookers as it gives a list of essential tools one needs to begin this craft. It is also good for intermediate scrappers because the book contains a refresher course on some of the techniques for scrapping as well as pages and pages of inspiration. This is the updated and expanded edition that came out a decade after the original and it has so much more as well as updated pages for inspiration since tools and techniques have changed somewhat. A great reference for anyone to have on hand!
This book is excellent for anyone who wants to learn more about the different types of libraries and how to use them. Even if the reader is not a crafter, there is much information to be gleaned from this book about how to make the most out of library resources and how to find what you are looking for. The author gives a lot of tips and websites for various types of collections that might interest crafters, as well as sites for digitized collections. Tips are also given for what to expect when viewing rare books and what some of the policies may be for libraries who hold them. The second half of the book has a lot of information about projects and how the creators for each project used their libraries as inspiration. Inspiration can come from images from books or even from the architecture of the library itself. While many of the projects are not to my personal taste, I did think the explanations for making something similar were clear enough. The projects had information about the original images that inspired each piece so that the reader could see just how the designers’ minds worked. Very interesting book. Even if the reader doesn’t craft, the first half is a must read for any library patron.
The projects in this book are fantastic! This might be another one I order for my personal collection. This book is all about altering books and making them into something new. The projects include lamps, lampshades, ornaments, mobiles and wall hangings. Like Playing With Books, which I reviewed earlier this month, the instructions are written clearly. The one thing that has me on the fence about purchasing this particular book is that the accompanying images for the directions for each project are drawn diagrams rather than photos. Still, the diagrams seem fairly clear. I am looking forward to delving into the projects in this book.
This book has some nice projects in it with different types of bindings. However, it is not meant to be a book for beginners. Some of the instructions assume the reader has made at least a couple of books before and therefore glosses over certain steps. The instructions use photography rather than drawn diagrams, which is nice. This would be a great book for someone who has already done a little bit of book binding before. It might be something I add to my library at a later date.
Playing With Books is a book about altering other books. This a terrific source of ideas for the reader who wants to take old books and make them into something new. There are project ideas packed onto every page. The projects range from simple to more complex with an artists’ gallery for further inspiration if the projects aren’t enough. Most of the projects use tools that the reader might already have at home or can easily find in craft and hardware stores. The steps are explained fairly well, but the reader might need other books to explain some of the sewing or other skills used in making the projects. The photography is wonderful and shows the projects at their best while demonstrating the techniques being taught in the written instructions. There are even ideas for sources of free books the reader can use for the projects. This was an exciting book to read and I have already put it on my wish list to add to my library at home. I can’t wait to get started!
Making Books by hand takes the time to show the reader steps not often shown in other books, such as how to fold the corners of bookcloth on a cover. This is a nice little reference book to keep nearby for that reason. The text contains instructions for several different types of books including accordion books, journals and scrapbooks, photo albums, and box books. Some instructions are more detailed than others and some of the photos really need to have been taken closer up so that the reader can see the details of what the author is referring to. But many of the instructions are well-written and the photography does not interfere with the reader getting a grasp on the content. There is even a chapter titled, “New Directions: Trends and Traditions” that has a more uncommon accordion book and a scroll. Included is also an artists’ gallery, which is sure to generate lots of new ideas. While this is not necessarily a book I plan to add to my library, it is one that I will probably check out and peruse again once I start making my own books.
Kleon has written a fantastic little book that may be a quick read, but should be read again and again as it is jam-packed with content. The book lists 10 things the writer wishes he had known when he started creating and they are fairly universal no matter what the reader makes (and everyone should be making something). Kleon is a writer and artist but this advice applies to anyone who has the least bit of a creative streak, which is EVERYONE. Don’t miss out on this little gem because of it’s size. There are many things the reader can learn from reading and re-reading Steal Like An Artist. This book is now on my Kindle!
If the reader is looking for a new way to express oneself, look no further! Golden has written a wonderful guide that not only gives some bindings to consider, but also has many different forms of accordion folds to experiment with. In addition, the author presents a preparation section for most projects that includes a prompt for doing a book similar to the one featured in the project. The steps are easy to walk through and the diagrams are fairly clear. The prompts give a detailed look at the author’s processes as she developed her idea. Overall, this is a great book and one I am thinking of adding to my personal collection.
Bookworks is a text about bookbinding and gives a lot of information about different methods of putting books together. To begin, I should mention this may not be the best book for a complete beginner. Some of the diagrams are rather unclear as are the instructions. The author seems to assume the reader has done some bookbinding prior to picking up her text. This is not to say the book is all bad, however. There is a marvelous section accordion folding that I have not seen in other texts of this nature. It has a lot of different ideas for using the said folds for various applications. Dogget also keeps the number of bindings she tries to teach to a minimum, thus not overwhelming the reader with all the different ways available to bind a book. The areas I feel could be improved include embossing covers and cutting recesses. These features were glossed over and I feel she could have spent more time with them. There are lots of great ideas in here, including a method for making a clasp for a diary you won’t want to miss. It is worth picking up Bookworks and giving it a look.
This is a great book for learning more about the craft of bookbinding. There is a lot of terrific material in here for beginners with thorough instructions for each step, as well as lists of materials and where to find those materials. Diehm even includes a couple of websites to check out in case the readers’ local craft stores do not carry bookbinding materials. The book is a wonderful resource and has a pamphlet for creating your own “bookbinding adventure,” which allows the reader to answer a series of questions and, depending on the answer, flip through to the appropriate binding for the project the reader has in mind. Diehm even walks the reader through this process using nine examples of real journal-keepers as they made decisions about what kind of book they wanted for their journal. Diehm followed up with each reader to find out what they liked about their journal and what they would improve for next time. The final chapter of this book contains background information about journals, including famous journal-keepers such as da Vinci. I highly recommend this text to anyone looking into creating their own journals. I am even planning to add this volume to my own personal craft library.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee uses the format of a travelogue to humorously describe knitter’s foibles (including the STASH). She also incudes a number of quizzes so you can find out what type of knitter, stasher, etc. you are. It was quiet funny and I actually learned a few things I hadn’t know (I am Not a process knitter).
Not too many books out there on Locker Hooking. One of the instructors at Camp Shannondale in Southern Missouri teaches this craft, and I’ve been intrigued. I really love the modern look achieved with brighter colors, and fancy fabric, like recycled sari silk.
This book contained both excellent instructions for beginners, as well as “patterns” for cool projects. I’ve seen a lot of the photos/projects in her book on the Pinterest website.
I really liked this book! Parkes (of the very useful site http://knittersreview.com/) provides detailed information about the various qualities and classifications of yarn available on the market. I appreciated the fact that she examined so many different varieties of yarn sources (eg vicuna) including hybrid sourced yarn, starting off with a family-tree” of fiber types. She discusses different methods of plying, ways to prepare fiber, as well as the various sources of fiber (animals, plants, manufactured).
I learned a lot. For example I learned about woolen-spun versus worsted-spun yarn – most yarn on the market is woolen spun, where they leave the short fibers in, creating a loftier and warmer yarn and therefore warmer material. The worsted-spun yarn takes only the longer staples of wool, and creates a more tightly plied – and therefore less warm – yarn, that really shows off stitch patterns, and its probably more expensive since they’re using more refined material, going that extra step.
She also provided many side by side comparisons of a given wool in one form versus the same wool but in another form (eg worsted spun versus woolen spun). She provides patterns specific to each yarn type that she examines. Though I liked that she provided brand name examples of the various yarns she discussed, I really wish her lists had been longer with more diversity. For example, for the worsted spun yarn, all her examples were 100% Cotton, cotton has no elasticity and hurts my hands, so none of the examples were helpful to me.
Overall though a really great book, I’m so glad we have it in our collection! I think I need to read all of her other books.