Crafts & DIY Reviews | April 1, 2013

Doh, Jenny. Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. 2013. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454704003. pap. $19.95. art instruction

This unusual guide focuses on hand lettering as a means of visual expression. Distinct from machine- and computer-generated typography, hand lettering has a broad range of creative applications. The book opens with a short technical lesson on lettering, which includes explanations of such terms as ascenders, descenders, and mean lines. The guide then goes on to showcase the unique lettering styles of 16 different artists, each one discussing his or her process and providing a complete alphabet sampler. Readers can use these samples as inspiration to experiment with the exercises provided throughout. VERDICT Artists of all skill levels can enjoy this title.

Leech, Christine & Hannah Read-Baldrey. Everything Oz: Make Munchkin Placecards, Over the Rainbow Cake, “I’m Melting” Witch Candles, and Much More. Chicago Review. Apr. 2013. 144p. index. ISBN 9781613748107. pap. $24.95. crafts

L. Frank Baum’s classic fantasy novel has captivated readers for more than 100 years, and the film version is an icon of American popular culture. This collection, a follow-up to the authors’ Alice in Wonderland -themed Everything Alice , presents a wide variety of Wizard of Oz -themed projects. Most of the entries involve sewing, cooking, or papercraft, and the crafts tend to be easy enough for beginners to handle. Projects range from the obvious (sequined ruby slippers) to those with a more tenuous connection to the source material (bran muffins?), but most are true to the 1939 film version of the classic book. VERDICT Fans of the book or the movie will enjoy this whimsical collection of projects, as will anyone who wants to have an Oz -themed party.

Finzer, Rich. Maple on Tap: Making Your Own Maple Syrup. Acres U.S.A. 2013. 116p. illus. index. ISBN 9781601730343. pap. $15.95. DIY

Real maple syrup is the result of a lot of time and labor. Finzer allows the reader to chuckle at his beginner’s mistakes then neatly lays out the process with options. The organization of the book is very amateur friendly—a bit of history and trivia, followed by a glossary of terms that are used in following chapters. Each step in the process is covered, from tapping the trees for sap to bottling the amber goodness. Equipment and methodology are well described, with some of Finzer’s own adaptations. VERDICT This manual covers a very specific process in excellent detail and is more introductory than Rink Mann & Daniel Wolf’s Backyard Surgarin’ and more comprehensive than Joe McHale’s Maple Sugaring at Home . Great for enthusiasts and those interested in home production in the right geographic areas—the northeastern United States and southeast Canada. Highly recommended.

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


Day, Jesse. Line Color Form: The Language of Art and Design. Allworth Pr. 2013. ca.144p. illus. ISBN 9781621532446 pap. $19.95 ART INSTRUCTION

Kahn, Sherrill. Mixed Media Master Class with Sherrill Kahn: 50+ Surface Design Techniques for Fabric and Paper. C&T. Apr. 2013. 143p. illus. ISBN 9781607054238. pap. $29.95. art instruction


Shannon, Maggie Oman. Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation. Cleis. May 2013. 264p. illus. ISBN 9781936740406. pap. $16.95. crafts

White, Jessica C. Letterpress Now: A DIY Guide to New & Old Printing Methods. Lark Crafts: Lark Books. 2013. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454703297. pap. $22.95. crafts


Dakin, Karla & Others. The Professional Design Guide to Green Roofs. Timber. 2013. 300p. bibliog. illus. index. ISBN 9781604693126. $39.95. DIY


Fassett, Kaffe & Liza Prior Lucy. Kaffe Fassett Quilts: Shots and Stripes. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2013. 176p. illus. ISBN 9781617690167. $35. fiber crafts

Hiraiwa, Natsuno. Shape Shape 2: Sewing for Minimalist Style. Interweave: F+W. 2013. 120p. illus. ISBN 9781596687578. pap. $24.95. fiber crafts

Lundberg, Anna-Karin. Medieval-Inspired Knits: Stunning Brocade & Swirling Vine Patterns with Embellished Borders. Trafalgar Square. 2013. 128p. illus. ISBN 9781570765612. $24.95. fiber crafts

Tomkies, Debbie. Complete Knitting Skills: With 27 Exclusive Teaching Clips To View Online. Barron’s. 2013. 256p. illus. index. ISBN 9781438001715. pap. $24.99. fiber crafts


Edwards, Kelly. The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish House. Medallion. May 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781605425320. pap. $27.95. interior design



  1. cigado says:

    Where I can get that Creative Lettering Book? I visit local book store but not found it.