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.
After reading the book The Smartest Kids in the World: and How They got that Way, I started wondering how much can pedagogy be taught, and how much of it is just having a good personality. And by “good personality” I was thinking of the charismatic “hail fellow well met type”. I should have remembered that people with “hail fellow well met” type of personalities, usually get more credit than they deserve see the book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Should teachers be required to get a good education or does getting a degree in physical education, qualify you to teach math in high school. How much can training benefit a teacher?
Science reporter Ben Carey provides us with a user’s manual for how our brains work.
Some of the methods I learned from this book seemed intuitively correct, but I didn’t know why they worked; other methods were new to me. I did know that studying for two hours straight is less effective than studying one hour on one day and then another hour a couple of days later. The deeper we have to dig to retrieve a piece of information, the more likely it is to stick. This explains why comprehensive exams are better for you, though less popular. I did know that when you reach an impasse, you should stop, take a break, then go back to the problem. I’ve advised my husband to do this, but now I have evidence to back me up.
I didn’t realize how important it is to mix things up, what author Carey calls interleavement. Drills are fine, but you don’t want to spend a long period of time on the same one, or same type of problem. For example when practicing music do some scales, then some etudes, then play a piece through, then work on tone, then go back to scales, etc. Carey posits that this is really critical in math because you need to be able to figure out which type of formula to apply to different problems. Often in school, students do fine on an individual section, but then fail the comprehensive test because now they have to select which formula to apply. Another way to mix things up is to study in different places and under different conditions, though if you can study in the room where you will take the test, this will assist you when you take the test, but not in the long run. You want to know if you are merely studying to pass a given test, or want to retain the knowledge for the long run.
I enjoyed the way Carey wove together academic research studies with real world applications. I liked this book a lot, and wish more of my teachers and professors had imparted this type of knowledge.
Estes guides you in how to interpret your dreams. First she gives you guidance in remembering your dreams, including writing them down, having a tape recorder near your bed, and vowing to remember your dreams. She discounts, using standard dream dictionaries to interpret symbols. She advises paying attention to the nouns in your dreams, and then looking for synonyms to figure out what they might represent. Often, I find there is a major difference in the tone or feeling of my dream, compared to what actually happens in my dreams. Sometimes, there are really yucky feelings, without anything ominous actually happening. So I wasn’t sure the noun approach would really work for me.
She also covers specific dream narratives that lots of people experience, like flying dreams, or waking up late for a test, of finding yourself without your clothes. The one recurring dream that I have that she didn’t cover is the one where I am choosing my bed in a dorm room, or some variant thereof.
I tried her methods and got some advice from my subconscious that I’ve ignored, that I know I should take care of, but don’t really want to. So much for amplifying my subconscious.
Twitter for Dummies is all encompassing book on Twitter. Twitter is used by millions of people around the World to communicate with each other. From the casual friends to use in the business sector Twitter is a hit and this book tells you the ins and outs of the media.
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.
Box Lunch is an adult oriented book. It deals with the taboo subject of sex. Why sex is taboo is beyond me. Oral sex is the subject matter of this piece of work. This could be one of the funniest books I have read and yet instructional too. If you do not like explicit sexual books then stay away from this one. Diana approaches Box Lunch from her own experiences. If you’re not familiar with the author it’s because she edits and writes for the lesbian magazine, On Our Backs. I would recommend this book.
Cunningham has written numerous books on the subject of Wicca and anything that relates to it. This book is more then about magick, Cunningham wants the reader to realize how important it is to have a relationship with earth. Wicca is an earth oriented religion. This is not Scott’s best work but is a decent introduction for those with no experience at all.
Lamott gives us an inside peek at her writing processes and the advice she gives to her workshop students. Hilariously written, as one reviewer notes, the book is “a warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer’s world and its treacherous swamps.” Lamott is not shy about telling her students and readers that writing is hard work and what we think of as reward, publication, may not ever happen. And yet, we should keep on writing about ourselves, our lives, our very ups and downs. She encourages us all to just keep writing day by day. A good dose of humor is thrown in to keep us from getting too despondent. Lamott tackles libel, beginning writing, taking classes, and finding writing partners with a good dose of reality and fun in her text. I highly recommend it for any creative person who needs a good laugh.
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.
This book, a follow-up to Steal Like an Artist, continues Kleon’s advice on creativity by encouraging artists everywhere to show their work. This particular volume discusses the value of sharing work in online communities through blogs and other social media. Not only does the artist make work public in this way, but he or she also shares with others a bit about process and how the work is made. I found this book to be just as valuable a resource as the first and have already read it twice. It is inspirational and will have artists everywhere wanting to get up and share what they do with others. As Kleon notes, the world owes us nothing. We have to give selflessly in order to get and this book will show the reader how. I highly recommend Kleon’s work to artists of all kinds. Create–share. What a fun cycle to be in!
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.
He starts by explaining what a regular Google search (as the most popular and search engine) is good at and what it is not. He also shows you some tips to improve Google’s ability to find what you are really looking for. He also emphasizes that while Google may be the best place to start a search it is not the best place to end it.
He shares websites that let you tap into the knowledge on the “deep web” or many websites and databases that have reliable information available but that will not be found by a Google search.
In spite of having attended several training sessions on the deep web, MacLeod’s book has some that I had never heard of before. He also had some tips for searching Google that I was unaware of such as how to limit your search by country of origin of the website.
A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds is full of delightful ideas for escaping into one’s own imagination. However, it also provides lots of useful tips for dealing with negative emotions you might come across. Take the negative emotions into various rooms of the castle to deal with them. That is the essential meat of the book. There are rooms to express love, creativity, happiness and other positive emotions. The reader is encouraged to have fun building these mental rooms and is given some great starter questions for building each room. The author also encourages physical manifestations such as drawings of the rooms and conversations with different aspects of the reader’s personality. Very enjoyable and lots of great ideas.
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!