Crafts & DIY Reviews | March 15, 2014

Art Instruction

HEATHER HALLIDAY, American Jewish Historical Soc., New York

Jaladin, Aidaliza Aga Mohd. Sketching Basics: Onesketchingbasics033114 Point Perspective. Rockport: Quarto. 2014. 206p. illus. ISBN 9781592539321. pap. $24.99. Art Instruction

Offering many step-by-step sequential drawings and scant accompanying text, this title demonstrates well how ­one-point perspective sketching works. Every sequential drawing includes ample steps, with horizon lines and vanishing points shown, that readers can either study or try their hand at replicating. Some compositions are enhanced with color. Many different simple and complex forms, irregular shapes, real and imaginary objects, buildings, and spaces are included among the compositions. VERDICT This guide provides a thorough introduction to, or review of, one-point perspective for artists of all levels.

starred review starRees, Darrell. How To Be an Illustrator. 2d ed. Chronicle. 2014. 167p. illus. ISBN 9781780673288. pap. $24.95. ART Instruction

There’s more to being an illustrator than drawing and there’s more to being successful than being visually creative. This guide, written by seasoned professional illustrator Rees, shares the author’s insights on everything except the artistic aspects of the occupation, i.e., business concerns such as education, job hunting, project management, billing, and promoting yourself. It is beautifully illustrated with a wide array of examples by different artists, some of whom are interviewed within. VERDICT While those seeking­ ­­­step-­­by-­step drawing exercises must look elsewhere, this handbook can help anyone hoping to begin a career in the field.



starred review starKingloff, Amanda. Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun. Artisan. Apr. 2014. 272p. illus. ISBN 9781579655143. $22.95. CRAFTS

projectkid033114Kingloff, former lifestyle director, Parents magazine, and DIY journalist, specializes in crafts for parents and children. In this compilation of ecofriendly creations, she shares her imaginative ideas, many of which make clever use of household items such as empty K-cups, paper towel tubes, and juice boxes. The projects are organized by theme, which allows parents and other caregivers to choose projects that satisfy a child’s interests, such as animals, fashion, and play. The simpler entries are appropriate for preschoolers and up, while some of the more complex crafts are best for school-age children. Kingloff’s directions are a nice blend of photographs and text and are easy enough for youngsters to follow. These crafts provide an excellent jumping-off point for children’s creativity, since most are open-ended and require children to make a variety of choices that impact the final product. VERDICT Project Kid has broad appeal for parents and caregivers looking for ideas, as well as for librarians to engage the after-school or summer reading crowds with some low-cost craft activities.

Fiber Crafts


Doughty, Kathy. Adding Layers: Color, Design & Imagination. Stash: C&T. 2014. 128p. illus. ISBN 9781607058472. pap. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

Australia-based quilter Doughty (Material Obsession) made a name for herself with modern interpretations of traditional quilt designs. Her latest collection is more of the same—reinterpreted traditional blocks using modern fabrics and old-fashioned techniques. Color, layout, and scale are the main themes of the book, and the sample quilts are scrappy riots of color at first glance, but further exploration shows the thoughtful layout behind the colorful chaos. Techniques range from both simple to curved piecing to Y-seams and are best suited to intermediate quilters, although an ambitious beginner could easily follow ­Doughty’s instructions and attempt any of the projects. Handy tips for everything from efficient cutting to design and layout are included. VERDICT Australia is a hotbed of modern traditionalist quilting—Doughty and her contemporaries Sarah Fielke and Jen Kingwell are making a splash in the United States. Intermediate quilters who enjoyed the two Material Obsession books will gravitate to this one.

Miser, Lorna. Pick the Pieces. Leisure Arts. 2014. 128p. ISBN 9781609006761. pap. $22.99. FIBER CRAFTS

pickthepieces033114Miser (founder, Lorna’s Laces) brings her knowledge of yarn and garment construction to this collection of 12 patterns for children’s sweaters, which are followed by customization options that allow knitters to make a unique garment. Variations include decorative edgings, added pockets or appliqués, and a variety of collars. The designs range in size, six months to six years, and all are created using colorful worsted-weight yarn for quick and easy knitting. The construction is simple and tailored to children’s body types and needs—these are play clothes, not fancy outfits. Some of the sweaters are decidedly feminine, others are unisex as presented or with the customizations. Basic knitting knowledge is assumed; directions for increases, decreases, and finishing are provided. VERDICT Knitters looking to choose their own sweater adventure will enjoy the customizable designs in this fun collection.

Shore, Debbie. Half Yard Heaven: Easy Sewing Projects Using Left-Over Pieces of Fabric. Search. Apr. 2014. 96p. illus. index. ISBN 9781844488926. pap. $19.95.

If you sew, you probably have a scrap bin full of odd-sized pieces of fabric that you don’t know what to do with. Avid sewist Shore provides 26 small projects designed to use these small-to-medium scraps. Despite the book’s title, a half yard isn’t needed for most of the projects, which focus on cute, feminine accessories for women and girls. Highlights include the craft caddy, with numerous pockets to hold various bits and bobs of crafty stuff (and a convenient handle for portablility), a zippered makeup bag, and an easily customizable pair of house slippers with soft fleece soles. The projects are easy to sew and require basic sewing machine skills (straight and zigzag stitch, topstitching, and zipper installation), and key steps are illustrated with photographs. VERDICT This pretty collection will appeal to sewists looking for simple, quick projects to make as gifts.

Interior Design

GAYLE A. WILLIAMSON, Fashion Inst. of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles

Taylor, Will (text) & Andrew Boyd (photos). Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 192p. illus. ISBN 9781250042019. $32.50. Interior Design

brightbazaar033114Taylor has espoused a striking use of color in home interiors since 2009 at his popular blog, Bright Bazaar. Here he has gathered more than 200 photographs taken throughout Europe and the United States that showcase light-filled interiors with pops of color contributed by furniture, art, and decorative accessories. He describes how color, fabric, and pattern can enliven a room, and then provides ten color schemes along with details on how to supplement the look. Taylor explains how the residents of the homes he visited have used color in various spaces, including children’s rooms and gardens. Resources for furniture, lighting, art, paint, and blogs complete the presentation. VERDICT Those interested in using bold color in the home, whether a little or a lot, will find a wealth of fresh ideas here.

This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.