Arts & DIY | November 1, 2012

Norman, Edle Catharina. Beautiful Winter. Sellers. 2012. 126p. tr. from Norwegian by Margaret Berge Hartge. illus. photogs. ISBN 9781416208471. pap. $15.95. crafts

Norman’s appreciation of seasonal, natural materials inspired the creations in her first collection of craft projects to be translated into English. The wreaths are especially beautiful, and range from lush displays of greenery to minimal arrangements of bare branches with delicate ornamentation. The directions are often brief, and the “basics” section at the beginning of the book is very basic, so some experience with floral craft is helpful. ­VERDICT Experienced crafters who enjoy using natural materials in their holiday decor will be inspired by Norman’s festive creations.

Nisbet, Amanda. Dazzling Design. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2012. 222p. photogs. ISBN 9781584799887. $50. INTERIOR DESIGN

Designer Nisbet crafted her own style while helping Manhattan acting friends decorate their homes, eventually founding her own interior design firm in 1998. Here she explains her approach to residential decorating through more than 200 photographs of her commissions in Manhattan and the Hamptons. Concentrating mostly on living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms, she shows a bold use of color and a mixture of classical and modern style furnishings and art. A list of resources for furniture, fabrics, and decorative accessories is provided.VERDICT Nisbet’s style will appeal to those interested in a sophisticated, visually striking decor.

Cory, Steve & Diane Slavik . Affordable Kitchen Upgrades: Transform Your Kitchen on a Small Budget. Creative Homeowner. 2012. 240p. illus. index. ISBN 9781580115346. pap. $19.95. DIY

Want a fantastic kitchen, but don’t have big bucks to spend? Cory ( Deck Designs) and newbie Slavik present some reasonable options. The focus here is on specific budget-friendly projects that can be done by confident homeowners that look good and function well. The book combines galleries of upgrade options with clear step-by-step instructions, and the illustrations shine. There are many useful tips, from how to deal with contractors to managing quick fixes. The storage ideas are worth the cost of the book alone. VERDICT This book does not cover a complete gutting and renovation of a kitchen; it’s just bite-size projects. The selection is great, however, and this is a good companion to Do It Yourself Kitchens: Stunning Spaces on a Shoestring Budget (Wiley, 2011). Highly recommended for all readers interested in home improvement.

The following titles are reviewed in the November 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Ferroni, Lara. Food Photography: Pro Secrets for Styling, Lighting & Shooting. Pixiq: Sterling. 2012. 192p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454704089. $29.95. ART INSTRUCTION

Cooney, Daniel. The Complete Guide to Figure Drawing for Comics and Graphic Novels. Barron’s Educational. 2012. 192p. illus. index. ISBN 9781438000985. pap. $24.99. ART INSTRUCTION


Country Living: Deck the Halls: Christmas Notecards, Labels, Ornaments, and Other Festive & Fun Projects. Hearst. 2012. 192p. ed. by Katy McColl. illus. photogs. ISBN 9781588169235. pap. $19.95. crafts

Stenklov, Tone Merete & Miriam Nilsen Morken. Christmas Crafts Scandinavian Style. Stackpole. 2012. 112p. illus. photogs. ISBN 9780811711234. pap. $19.95. crafts

Gleason, Chris. The Versatile Shed: How To Build, Renovate, and Customize Your Bonus Space. Betterway Books. 2012. 144p. Illus. ISBN 9781440319235. Pap. $19.99. DIY

fiber crafts

Adams, John Q. Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays: 30+ Seasonal Patchwork Projects To Piece, Stitch, and Love. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. 2012. 128p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 9781454702795. pap. $19.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Messent, Jan. Knit the Nativity. Search Press. 2012. 64p. illus. photogs. ISBN 9781844488728. pap. $12.95. FIBER CRAFTS