Crafts & DIY Reviews | February 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Mothes, Lee. Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse. Storey. Mar. 2013. 224p. illus. index. ISBN 9781612120294. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781603428590. DIY

Teacher and carpenter Mothes’s first book is filled with nostalgic charm. A gallery of possible clubhouses is introduced, all variations on a simple plan. An introduction to basic hand tools is obviously aimed at youth—the drawn illustrations are just right—with instructions added for adults. The projects are cleanly broken down and quite manageable, with lots of tips for both kids and adults. The last section of the book focuses on outbuildings for adults, but instructions here are abbreviated. VERDICT Any interested kid or adult can build a clubhouse with this book in hand. Fantastic advice and encouragement make each project approachable. For more sophisticated design, adults might be more inspired by Chris Gleason’s The Versatile Shed. A great addition to any building collection—highly recommended.

Endo, Yasuko. Bead Embroidery: Stitch Samples. Interweave. 2012. 87p. illus. ISBN 9781596687066. pap. $17.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Embellishing embroidery with beads is a good way to add dimension or shine to stitchery. This book by designer Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration, instructing stitchers on how to add beaded embroidery to a variety of fabrics. The book’s organization is unusual. Beaded stitches are presented in a stitch dictionary format on the left-hand pages, while the right-hand pages are devoted to stitch techniques. Project ideas are interspersed throughout, but directions beyond the colors of floss and beads used are not included. The last segment of the book gives diagrams for each of the beaded stitches. VERDICT Unusual organization aside, this is a lovely guide for stitchers who want to add embellishment to their handwork.

Wisbrun, Laurie. Embellish Me: How To Print, Dye, and Decorate Your Fabric. Interweave. 2012. 176p. photogs. index. pap. ISBN 9781596688629. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Austin-based fabric designer Wisbrun explores the possibilities of fabric embellishment in her first book, which covers a diverse variety of techniques for adding pizzazz to sewing projects. After an overview of fabric types and design principles, Wisbrun gets into the nitty-gritty of decorating fabric, including printing, dyeing, and embellishing with beads, sequins, thread, and other elements. Interviews with professional fabric artists are included throughout the book, allowing sewists a peek inside several different studios. VERDICT Wisbrun’s techniques apply to all crafts involving fabric, from garment and accessory sewing to quilting to embroidery, so there’s plenty of appeal here.

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

 American Jewish Historical Society, New York

Lakin, Michael. A–Z of Botanical Flowers: In Watercolour. Search. 2012. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781844485628 pap. $35. ART INSTRUCTION

 Champaign P. L., IL

Hunt, Melissa. Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewelry Makers: Techniques, Inspiration, and Professional Advice for Stunning Results. Griffin: St. Martin’s. 2013. 192p. illus. index. ISBN 9781250015327. $27.99.CRAFTS

 Champaign P. L., IL

Houts, Janet & Jean Ann Wright. Log Cabin Quilts: The Basics and Beyond. Landauer. 2013. 128p. illus. ISBN 9781935726289. pap. $27.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles

Adler, Jonathan. 100 Ways To Happy Chic Your Life. Sterling. 2012. 172p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781402775079. $24.95. INTERIOR DESIGN