At first glance, this book is overwhelming to the point of being tacky and out of control. And it is in some ways: there is so much going on it's hardAt first glance, this book is overwhelming to the point of being tacky and out of control. And it is in some ways: there is so much going on it's hard to figure out what's something to make and what's window dressing, what's a pithy quote or anectdote and what's instructions or an idea. Most of it isn't something you'd find in an issue of Martha Stewart, but then, I don't think that's what it's going for. This is down home, ordinary people, middle America kind of stuff and I was surprised at how much I liked it.
I leafed through it just to see what on Earth was in there because it is incredibly disorganized or maybe just poorly organized but there's a method to the riot of insanity. And I found a little thing I kind of liked-a repurposed sweater made into a santa hat to top a tree. Since I'm not Christian I always feel a little weird with a really religious symbol like an angel or a star on top.
(And before you say ti's a Christian holiday, it was a pagan holiday first. although I'm not pagan either. I celebrate as many holidays as there I can. I have a menorah I light and a couple of dredals. I have some Kwanza ornaments. I have some funny little Saturnalia decorations and I'm still trying to find a way to incorporate Ramadan. Above it all presides a large Buddha. I used to put him in a Santa hat because I think he had a good sense of humor and he's up there all year round in a serious manner, but my sister got really offended so I stopped doing that. But I digress.)
The toppers always topple over anyway because we get Noble Firs each year and they're kind of sparse up there. A santa hat would be perfect on multiple levels and I like the idea of recycling an old garment.
And then another silly but adorable idea--using a silver dog bowl to make a tree stand for a table top tree with dog ornaments. Since I have a whole box of dog ornaments and we trade off every other year normal tree, dog tree, I found this very exciting. Maybe I can have both!
There's a delicious looking spinach and walnut salad, a painted front doormat tastefully saying welcome with nothing cutesy in sight, and a way to package up a bulb of paperwhites for a nice gift. Before I knew it, I realized I actually kind of wanted to buy the book.
And then I saw the picture. I was thinking about one of my foster daughters, Kim, and how she would like this packaged up treat and then I saw the tag on it: To Kim, From Kelly. No lie. Page 250. Check it out.
This book is very frustrating. It's got some adorable little patterns that look like they would look great even if kid made them. Now I know a parentThis book is very frustrating. It's got some adorable little patterns that look like they would look great even if kid made them. Now I know a parent is supposed to love everything their child makes, but really, it makes it that much better if it's something that your guests will like seeing, too, when they come over and you're displaying your loved ones art.
BUT... there isn't a single photograph in here. They're all cutesy illustrations (and four color photos don't cost any more to print than full color drawings) and that's just not a good enough substitute for a photo in a craft book, especially for a young child. Kids have a tough time separating reality from make believe (fiction from nonfiction) and in this hazy wonderful world, extrapolating how something would look in the real world compared to how it really would look if they made it, is just beyond the capability of most in the age range this book is aimed at.
When I was reading the book, I wondered if the authors had even tried their ideas out. Some of the things really needed them such as the borax stars. You can't tell what they look like at all from the pictures. I've made them and it's so cool. The pipe cleaners come out crystallized like there are thick chunks of ice all over them. You can't tell they were originally pipe cleaners. (This particular project is for children a little older than some of the others.)
I can't help but think the lack of photos and comprehensive instructions is why there aren't any reviews here. My library had a copy so it's not obscure. And it was published less than two years ago so it's not old nor too new. It's sad because I think this would be a popular title with those that work with little kids and want to do not-so-messy and quick crafts. I would totally have bought it if it had photos. ...more
This book is awful, truly awful. I love the idea, but the execution is extremely flawed. Everything is messy. I get that reusing and putting stuff togThis book is awful, truly awful. I love the idea, but the execution is extremely flawed. Everything is messy. I get that reusing and putting stuff together isn't always pretty and that's part of the charm. The deconstructed look is chic. A book that does this kind of thing well is The Sweater Chop Shop: Sewing One-of-a-Kind Creations from Recycled Sweaters.
But not this book. Whoever made the samples in the book couldn't sew a consistent line to save their job if it depended on it. It's really truly messy. The sewing is awful in these pictures in a professionally produced and published book. What would these bags look like if I did it?
On top of that, the bags are ug. ly. UGly. Really UGLY. The one on the cover is the most interesting one and if you look closely, you can see how poorly it is sewn. It only gets worse from there.
There are actually a few gorgeous bags but they are samples of work from designers who are introduced in the book not patterns. (These designers didn't contribute patterns. I can only guess they didn't know what the end result looked like.) Those designs were innovative and interesting. One was a purse that when laid flat looked a lot like an S crossed with a Yin Yang circle with a zipper around the edge. But when zipped up, it made a cute bag. Lovely.
I don't know why anyone would want any of these things but OMG they are adorable. Very well made, which is lovely to look at in a book but I know my rI don't know why anyone would want any of these things but OMG they are adorable. Very well made, which is lovely to look at in a book but I know my results would be quite different. I'm just not as exacting a sewer as you have to be when you're making miniatures. Beautiful step by step pictures and templates sit right next to the project rather than in the back where they're all mixed together.
This is the perfect craft book except I don't get it. These projects are so lovely but made with felt, they would never last with the toddlers who they are probably aimed at. Unless you want a decorated layer cake cut into big slices to tease your coworkers with. But it deserves a five so that's what it gets. Heck, I might even get my own copy and make something just because it's all so adorable.
If you like miniature cuteness, this book is for you....more
Ah hell. After the last one I said I was done with this series but then I had to go look at the cover and there's a dog there. A freakin' dog. I'll reAh hell. After the last one I said I was done with this series but then I had to go look at the cover and there's a dog there. A freakin' dog. I'll read almost anything in a genre I love that has a dog on the cover. Sigh....more
Cute little book with good information on how to make biscornu, which are embroidered* three dimensional cushions that were original used as pincushioCute little book with good information on how to make biscornu, which are embroidered* three dimensional cushions that were original used as pincushions. The patterns aren't great. There are only a couple that I would make, but they're better than a lot I've found on the net. There is also a varying degree of skill, size and time commitment in the patterns.
It's a small book for the price but it's one of the better books by Leisure arts which is usually pretty hit or miss. The best thing about it is that there is only one other book on Biscornu that I can find and it's an ebook and terrible. It's patterns are even worse as the majority aren't just patterns but have cutesy motifs like angels and trees.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning a new way to use embroidery
*many people use cross stitch, a type of embroidery, but the patterns in this book are what we traditionally call embroidery in the US....more