CRAFTS & DIY Reviews, March 15, 2012

Art Instruction

Fisher, Tim. How To Paint Flowers in Acrylics. Search, dist. by IPG. 2012. c.64p. illus. index. ISBN 9781844485826. pap. $17.95. ART INSTRUCTION

Artist Fisher encourages readers to treat the exercises in this slim guide as a starting point, to ignore convention as they see fit, and to stick with their avocation to achieve the most satisfying results. The guide provides three multi-step projects the reader can try and also covers materials, color, tone, composition, and drawing. Many examples of acrylic flower paintings are provided, all done by Fisher, in a wide array of styles. VERDICT This will be popular with beginning painters and weekend hobbyists.


Miller, Christine Mason. Desire To Inspire: Using Creative Passion To Transform the World. North Light: F+W. 2012. c.144p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781440310737. pap. $24.99. CRAFTS

Through interviews and samples of their work, Miller, a mixed-media artist and businesswoman, introduces readers to the artists who inspire her. The book’s design reflects Miller’s collage-y aesthetic, with plenty of full-color photographs, reproductions of artwork, and inspiring quotations. Each chapter features one aspect of inspiration and concludes with a variety of exercises intended to unlock readers’ creativity. VERDICT Crafty types who enjoy works by Sabrina Ward Harrison, SARK, or Julia Cameron will enjoy Miller’s take on the power of inspiration.

starred review star Weinstein, Michael. On Folded Wings: Paper Airplanes for All Ages. Cypress House. 2012. c.128p. illus. ISBN 9781879384798. pap. $16.95. CRAFTS

Most of us have folded a simple paper airplane at one time or another, but few of us have folded the intricate, extraordinary paper airplanes found in Weinstein’s (Stationery Flight) second collection of paper airplane patterns. The step-by-step instructions for folding each airplane are excellent, and the information on flight and profiles of aviation pioneers, which explain the whys behind paper airplanes, are fascinating‚ and educational.VERDICT There’s broad appeal here, but teens, preteens, and origami buffs of all ages will appreciate this collection the most.

do it yourself

Whitman, Jim. The Woodworker’s Studio Handbook: Traditional and Contemporary Techniques for the Home Woodworking Shop. Quarry: Quayside. 2012. c.176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781592537587. pap. $24.99. DIY

Woodworker and first-time author Whitman shines in this addition to Quarry’s studio handbook series. Shop layout, tools, and materials are followed by a dozen projects that illustrate different techniques. The projects are organized well, with tools and materials lists and thumbnail instructional photos. The book’s illustrations and design are top-notch and attractive. VERDICT With its broad range of techniques and projects, this is more appropriate for an intermediate woodworker, as beginners will not have the needed equipment or skills. While more focused books on specific woodworking tools and techniques are available, this is a good overview. Recommended for larger public libraries.

FIBER crafts

Hammett, Carri. Knitting 101. Creative Pub: Quayside. 2012. c.192p. illus. index. ISBN 9781589236462. $24.99. FIBER CRAFTS

Former yarn shop owner and knitwear designer Hammett ( Ready, Set, Knit Cables ) takes a basics-and-beyond approach in Creative Publishing’s latest addition to their 101 series of how-to books. Each chapter is devoted to a different skill, starting with the basics and moving on to more advanced techniques, such as colorwork and lace knitting. The DVD that accompanies the book includes tutorials that give knitters who are visual learners the opportunity to see the various techniques in action. VERDICT Beginning knitters interested in branching out beyond knit and purl will appreciate Hammett’s straightforward approach and simple projects.

Roach, Kristin M. Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitching. Storey. 2012. c.224p. illus. index. ISBN 9781603425643. $18.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Mending is one of the more unglamorous handwork tasks‚ many consider repairing holes in garments to be drudgery. Craft blogger Roach aims to change that view with her first book, a collection of instructions and simple projects intended to make mending fun. The projects have a definite hipster handmade feel, but the instructions, which include everything from sewing on buttons and repairing zippers to repairing snags and pulls in knitwear, are useful to a variety of audiences. VERDICT This is a clever take on a subject that, while commonplace, is not covered in most sewing books.

Sheldon, Kathy & Amanda Carestio. Heart-Felt Holidays: 40 Festive Felt Projects To Celebrate the Seasons. Lark: Sterling. Apr. 2012. c.132p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454702818. pap. $14.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Sheldon and Carestio ( Fa La La La Felt) branch out beyond Christmas in their second collection of seasonal and holiday-themed decorations made out of felt. Their definition of holiday is fairly loose‚ projects range from a child’s bat costume for Halloween to felt fireworks for the Fourth of July, as well as a number of patterns for festive seasonal garlands and ornaments. Cutting templates are provided, though some need to be photocopied and blown up before use. VERDICT These whimsical, easy-to-sew items make fun gifts for children who enjoy imaginative play‚ or adults who like a bit of cuteness with their crafts.

interior design

Court, Sibella. Nomad: A Global Approach to Interior Style. Chronicle. 2011. c.256p. photogs. bibliog. ISBN 9781452104966. $40. INTERIOR DESIGN

Court applies the ideas that she explored in Etcetera: Creating Beautiful Interiors with the Things You Love to show how foreign travel can inspire decorative touches to home interiors; whether one is incorporating souvenirs into home decor or using the colors and textures of another culture as inspiration. She travels to five countries‚ Japan, Italy, India, Syria, and Mexico‚ and details each trip, identifying the objects and experiences that inspired her. For each location, she creates a theme and color palette and shares photographs of homes in Sydney, Australia‚ including her own‚ that exemplify the design inspiration from each country. VERDICT With over 400 photographs and plenty of design advice, this book will give professionals, students, and experienced amateurs ideas for incorporating ethnic decoration into residential interiors.