DIY Temporary Tattoos, A Year of Sewing, Photography, Knits from Norway | Crafts & DIY, April 1, 2016

Art Instruction

HEATHER HALLIDAY, American Jewish Historical Soc., New York

Peterson, Bryan. Understanding Exposure: How To Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera. 4th ed. Amphoto: Crown. 2016. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9781607748502. pap. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607748519. ART INSTRUCTION

understanding exposure 032316Peterson has been working as a photographer and teaching photography (he founded the Bryan Peterson School of Photography) for decades. This latest edition of his very popular, user-friendly guide suitable for beginners explains exposure—the key to successful photographic images—in plain, easily understood language. Peterson breaks down complex theories into simpler concepts, offering many helpful tips and shortcuts along the way. Following an introductory chapter defining exposure, subsequent sections cover aperture, shutter speed, light, special techniques, including use of filters and multiple exposure, and electronic flash. Numerous successful photographs are provided as examples throughout, and each caption tells exactly what model of camera was used as well as the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. VERDICT Daring beginner photographers ready to take the leap of configuring their cameras to “manual” will find lots of guidance and reassurance here.

Präkel, David. Photography Exposure. 2d ed. Fairchild: Bloomsbury. (Basics Photography). 2016. 184p. illus. index. ISBN 9781472590916. pap. $39.95. ART INSTRUCTION

photo exposure 032316Serious hobbyists and aspiring professional photographers will appreciate the depth that Präkel delves into here in this compact guide to exposure. The author, an experienced photographer, provides readers with prodigious details about operating the manual settings of either their digital or film cameras, which allows for greater creative control. This practice can help readers understand the technique well enough to use their camera’s automatic functions better, too. A chapter on theory kicks off the guide, explaining what makes a good exposure and discussing light itself. Sections thereafter cover shutter speed and time, aperture and depth of field, light meters, and dynamic range. Each supplies a short exercise to experience these concepts firsthand. Successful photographs as well as charts and illustrations augment the intelligent text, rich in scientific and quantitative explanations, on crisply laid out pages. VERDICT Intermediate and advanced photographers can use this guide to take their work to the next level.



Detrick, Judy. Simply Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide to Elegant Lettering. Watson-Guptill: Crown. Apr. 2016. 96p. illus. index. ISBN 9781607748564. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607748571. CRAFTS

simply calligraphy 032316Veteran calligrapher Detrick provides a basic introduction to italic lettering in this attractive beginners’ guide to calligraphy. Starting with basic skills, including proper ways to hold and position a broad-edge fountain pen, basic strokes, and proportions, the author moves through the lowercase alphabet, grouping letters with like forms. Each of the letter groupings includes a two-page spread with written instruction and a description of the letter formation on the left-hand page, and large, clearly rendered italic letters with guidelines for the order of pen strokes on the right-hand page. The capital italic alphabet is presented in the same manner, followed by coordinating numerals and a brief overview of flourishes. A few small projects for novice calligraphers to practice their skills include a notecard, a wedding invitation, and a menu and place cards for a formal dinner. Two additional alphabets, Uncial and Fraktur, are shown, but there are no guidelines on how to create the ­letterforms. VERDICT Detrick’s ­knowledge is extensive, but this guide barely scratches the surface of the topic. Some may find the focus on basic italic lettering refreshing; others may prefer a more comprehensive volume, such as Gaye Godfrey-Nicholls’s Mastering ­Calligraphy.

Holsting, Kaisa. Bead It, Iron It, Love It! Over 300 Great Motifs for Fuse Beads. Barron’s. 2016. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 9781438007533. pap. $14.99. CRAFTS

bead itFuse beads, also known as Perler beads, are cylindrical plastic beads that can be fused using a hot iron. It was once mainly a popular children’s craft, but grown-up crafters have discovered the possibilities of creating pixelated art with these inexpensive supplies. Holsting, who sells retro video game–inspired jewelry in her Etsy shop, introduces adults to creating fuse-bead jewelry and accessories. There’s not much to it, but Holsting provides tips for properly fusing beads without melting them too quickly and hints for cleaning irons that have fallen victim to mishaps. The heart of the book is the multitude of motifs, which include pixelated tech icons and emoji, plants and animals, holiday decorations, and abstract designs. A series of projects demonstrates potential uses for fuse-bead crafts, including directions for transforming finished pieces into brooches, bookmarks, key chains, and earrings. ­VERDICT The combination of retro flair and inexpensive, easy-to-use supplies makes this a good choice for teen crafters. Adults who love 8-bit style will also appreciate ­Holsting’s lively collection.

Kemp, Beth. How To Make 50 Fabulous Kumihimo Braids: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Flat Braids for Beautiful Cord Jewelry and Fashion Accessories. Barron’s. 2016. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 9780764167997. $21.99. CRAFTS

kumihimoIn her second book, Kemp (Twist, Turn, & Tie 50 Japanese Kumihimo Braids) explores flat braids using a kumihimo plate. The plate, which is square and contains slots in which the thread is placed, enables the creation of a flat braid, similar to the traditional friendship bracelets that children make. The introduction provides a pictorial guide to using the kumihimo plate, selecting fibers for braiding, managing the threads, and starting and finishing the braid with knots, beads, and findings. The focus of the book is the projects, which are graded by skill level and feature numerous beginner-level designs as well as some for intermediate and experienced braiders. The pages have a consistent presentation, with braiding diagrams and instructions along the bottom, and supplies, tips, and techniques at the top. Ample color photographs, both close-up and full-view, show the detail and construction of each braid. Though bracelets are the first use that comes to mind for braids, Kemp explores a variety of uses for kumihimo, employing the finished braids as a basis for necklaces, bookmarks, and even shoelaces. A cardboard kumihimo plate is included with the book, allowing crafters to explore braiding with a square plate without investing in a separate foam tool. A template for constructing a square plate is also included—a nice backup for when the cardboard one is separated from the book. VERDICT This user-friendly introduction to kumihimo using a plate is an excellent companion to Kemp’s ­previous book.

Sheldon, Kathy & Amanda Carestio. Banners, Buntings, Garlands & Pennants: 40 Creative Ideas Using Paper, Fabric & More. Lark Crafts: Sterling. 2016. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 9781454708971. pap. $17.95. CRAFTS

bannersBunting patterns are a mainstay of crafting books—they’re generally easy to make, and they add a quirky essence to household decor. Sheldon (Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry) and Carestio (Never Been Stitched) curate this collection of garlands and buntings made from paper, fabric, felt, yarn, and various ephemera. The styles are surprisingly varied, including a simple-yet-modern garland of paper circles sewn together, a banner featuring felt forest animals and trees, and a decorative bunting constructed from holiday cookie cutters. Levels of difficulty range from simple crafts created with scissors, string, and a hole punch to more intricate pieces using cutting templates or hand embroidery. The instructions are straightforward, and templates for cutting and stitching are provided. Contributors include a cadre of well-known crafters, including Mollie ­Johanson (Stitch Love), Aimee Ray (the “Doodle Stitching” series), and Cynthia Shaffer (Coastal Crafts). VERDICT The abundance of cute, unusual ideas in this fun collection will appeal to a variety of crafters.



redstarBaldwin, Pepper. DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It. Griffin: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2016. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 9781250087706. pap. $18.99. DIY

DIY temp tattoosThis unique book offers an alternative to people who aren’t quite ready to commit to a permanent tattoo. Baldwin, a designer and retailer of temporary tattoos, covers a lot of considerations for a successful temporary tattoo in her first book. The focus is on creating your own tattoo designs with discussion on placement, size, and composition. The book takes readers from original creations to tracing an existing pattern or use of online offerings. Once the creation is printed onto temporary tattoo paper, directions follow on how to apply and treat the tattoo for longer wear. Baldwin’s great instruction includes thumbnail pictures for steps in the process, and once the technique is learned, the possibilities abound. Half of the book comprises an inspirational gallery, and some illustrations include a QR code (quick response code) to access designs online. VERDICT There is nothing else quite like this title, which fills a niche. Highly recommended.

Jackson, Katie (text) & Ellen Blackmar (photos). Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture: 20 Step-By-Step Projects Anyone Can Build. Timber. Apr. 2016. 264p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781604695830. pap. $19.95. DIY

outdoor furnitureIf you want to build your own outdoor furniture, but have zero to little woodworking experience, this book is for you. Furniture designer and first-time author Jackson strives to take the stress out of woodworking for beginners. At the start, the fundamentals of tool use, techniques, and material selection are finely detailed before jumping into 20 simple projects. Clearly organized with tools, a cutting list, and other materials needed, each project contains steps of construction that are illustrated, helpful, and encouraging. Many of these garden-related arrangements include containers, seating, and tables. Some standouts showcase a pretty bistro table, a modern slat bench, and an ingenious rolling coffee-table. However, many designs are very familiar and can be found in other outdoor furniture project books. VERDICT The strength of this work is the high level of instruction, which makes it perfect for beginners. Recommended for woodworkers who are new to the craft.

Fiber Crafts


Haugland, Irene. Knits from the Heart of Norway: 30 Sweaters, Hats, Socks, and Mittens Inspired by the Telemark Region. Trafalgar Square. 2016. 128p. illus. ISBN 9781570767531. $24.95. FIBER CRAFTS

norway knitsDesigner Haugland, a native of Norway’s Telemark region, got her start in knitwear design during the 1970s, and her career has included designing ski sweaters for clothing manufacturer Dale of Norway. Throughout her experience, Haugland has maintained a fascination with traditional Norwegian costume, which informs the styles in this collection of sweaters and accessories with modern elegance. The designs feature small groupings with shared characteristics, such as a motif or a color palette, and each selection includes items for men, women, and children. Each of the pieces features all-over stranded colorwork, and the themes will be familiar to knitters well versed in Scandinavian stranded knitting—lots of stars, stripes, checkerboard patterns, and florals. But it’s the details that set Haugland’s ideas apart—whether it’s surface embroidery or a clever choice of a closure for a cardigan, the embellishments pop in a thoroughly fresh way. Full-color charts—a must for colorwork this intricate—as well as guidelines for shaping, steeking, and finishing are presented. ­VERDICT Knitters who enjoy Scandinavian-style colorwork à la Dale of Norway or Mary Jane Mucklestone will adore Haugland’s designs.

redstarIshida, Sanae. Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well. Sasquatch. Apr. 2016. 240p. illus. index. ISBN 9781570619953. pap. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9781570619960. FIBER CRAFTS

sewing happinessWhen Ishida lost her high-stress job, she felt that her life was set adrift. Faced with a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, she chose to regroup and focus on sewing—a hobby she enjoyed but had little time for as an adult. As she dove into a variety of sewing projects, she found herself healing both physically and emotionally. Each of the four sections of the book opens with a heartfelt essay about the role of sewing and creativity in Ishida’s life. In a world of Pinterest-perfect styling and overposed, overedited sewing blog photos, Ishida’s honesty is refreshing, and her thoughtful musings on the importance of “taking a break”—whether to sew, enjoy family, or simply appreciate our lives—are a delight. The minimalist style will be familiar to fans of Japanese sewing books, and the author’s openness to working with fabrics besides cotton (she includes patterns for wool, linen, jersey knits, and even leather or faux leather) will inspire sewists to try something new. Standout designs include a classic dopp kit sewn from wool felt, a pair of knit yoga pants that takes the intimidation out of sewing with knits and constructing custom-fit pants, and a child’s dress that replicates Ishida’s first project, a dress for her daughter. The instructions are thorough, the tips and advice are generous, and the overall presentation is thoughtful. VERDICT It’s unusual to see so much of the author’s personality in a sewing book, and Ishida’s appealing warmth makes this lovely collection a standout.

Lintz, Leah. Cross-Stitch To Calm: Stitch and De-Stress With 40 Simple Patterns. Interweave. 2016. 112p. illus. ISBN 9781632504531. pap. $16.99. FIBER CRAFTS

cross stitch to calmCross-stitch is having a moment—Etsy is full of homegrown designers peddling cross-stitch charts inspired by everything from contemporary design to TV, film, and literary fandoms. Lintz is one of those Etsy sellers, and her graphic, minimalist patterns are ideal for crafters who use the technique as a way to unwind. Lintz began designing her own charts because she was bored with the fussy, frilly styles that were on the market, and the charts in her collection include everything from hipster motifs (anchors, stags’ heads, a bird on a branch) to cute designs appropriate for a child’s room (a stylized ice cream cone, a moon and stars, a series of minimalist wild animals including an elephant, a tree frog, and a flamingo), with a few outliers, such as a sunshine that looks like it came straight out of late-1990s clip art. Many designs use only one or two colors of floss, making them an inexpensive way to attempt something new without investing in a lot of supplies. The directions, presented at the beginning of the book, provide a walkthrough of the basic stitches and techniques, with large illustrations that clearly show how the needle travels through the fabric. VERDICT This collection is ideal for beginners looking for no-fuss patterns that don’t require a rainbow of floss colors, or for experienced cross-stitchers seeking a quick, easy-to-finish, small project.

Interior Design

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

Williams, Nathan. The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living. Artisan. 2015. 368p. photos. ISBN 9781579656652. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781579656805. INTERIOR DESIGN

kinfolk homeKinfolk magazine is devoted to slow living, defined as a way to create a simplified lifestyle to focus on the quality of our experiences. In photo essays, Kinfolk editor-in-chief Williams (The Kinfolk Table) visits 35 dwellings in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia to show how the inhabitants’ embrace of this movement is expressed in their homes. Many of these sections are followed by essays reflecting on the lifestyles or designs displayed on the previous pages, with several featuring interviews with the designers. Although slow living may conjure up visions of sparsely furnished interiors, many here illustrate crowded bookshelves, art-filled walls, and rooms populated with children and pets in close to 300 color photographs. VERDICT This handsome volume filled with visuals and advice shows how to create an environment surrounded by meaningful objects and designed to facilitate the enjoyment of life.

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.