Who isn't busy during the holidays? Clear, concise instructions teamed with brilliant yet simple ideas make this new book a must-have for holiday crafters with little free time on their hands. Taking only five to fifty-five minutes to complete, each project can be fitted into a busy schedule. The 30 projects are arranged in sections according to the time required to complete them. For example, gift tags decorated with bay leaves and rosemary sprigs can be made in under 15 minutes. It takes only 30 minutes to make a calla lily centerpiece. Forty-five minutes is plenty of time to make door wreaths, a glimmering silver twig tree, or an elegant eucalyptus garland. Designs use simple and available materials (natural or artificial) such as pine cones, fruits, ribbons, cinnamon sticks and grapevine wreaths to give your home that handcrafted feel without a lot of work.
If you are intimidated by flower arranging or using flowers in your decorating, this book might be a good start. It has some simple projects to do in 15 to 45 minutes that look elegant and just perfect for the holidays. I am not going to say it is great book. It does have some good arrangements but some of them are also a little busy - to me. But for a start - I think it would be a good to even just read to get ideas.
Some of the projects... Cally Lily Tree (on the cover) Dried Apple Ring Berry Heart Chairback Festive Pinecone Clove studded and carved limes Leaf Wrapped Candles
Also how-to instructions on how to make a triple bow, dry fruit, make lime roses, moss rope and so on.(less)
I really enjoyed the photos/styling of this book. I enjoyed many of the ideas. Seo brings the concept to reduce, recycle and reuse upfront in party pl...moreI really enjoyed the photos/styling of this book. I enjoyed many of the ideas. Seo brings the concept to reduce, recycle and reuse upfront in party planning. Very nice ideas about reusing household items or getting items at thrift stores to repurpose for party decor. Many of the ideas are very chic and can be adapted to fit your needs.
Okay so the bad things....There were some things I didn't get why he felt they were green. I mean there shouldn't be a lot of trash after a green party. And he suggested using bamboo paper plates. Now that is more eco-friendly then the plastic disposable plates or regular paper plates...but what would be even more eco-friendly is using real everyday plates. Getting a plain white porcelain plate - and you can plan any party around that. Or picking up odd sets at thrift stores and mixing and matching is always to me a better choice then paper. He also did bottled water. Plastic bottles of water....I loved what he did with them making flavor waters but why not pitchers of filtered tap water with fruit in them instead of plastic water bottles.
Over all I am glad I read it. I enjoyed it. I am always thinking of ways to be more green and it did give me ideas for that. (less)
I liked this book better then the party book. Again I really enjoyed the photos/styling of this book. He really hits the concept to reduce, recycle an...moreI liked this book better then the party book. Again I really enjoyed the photos/styling of this book. He really hits the concept to reduce, recycle and reuse over and over. Some nice ideas about reusing household items or getting items at thrift stores to repurpose to wrap your gifts, make handmade gifts and gift tags.
I enjoyed seeing him make bows from the scented perfume cards in magazines. He tore them out very carefully. And then opened up the scented edge. He cut 1/2-inch strips across the sheet, starting at the scented edge and stopping an inch from the end. Then you fold it up accordion style - neatly stacking the strips on top of each other. With a pair of sharp scissors take each strip and curl by pulling it over the blade. The quicker you pull it over the blade the curlier it will get. And then attach to gift. The colors and images on the bow turn into a bouquet of colorful ribbon.
He also used the same concept of curling ribbon by pulling VHS tape out of the plastic tape cassette. And he wrapped a wine bottle in newspaper leaving 5 inches extra on top and cut that into strips and curled also.
Some things I didn't feel looked great. He took an old string of christmas lights to tie around a package but I just didn't think it looked good. I believe it probably could have but I just don't feel it was styled right in the book. Something else I wasn't sure about was that he used the inside of silver foil part of potato chip bags to wrap gifts. He washed them of course and then wrapped so the silver was showing out. But I just wonder how someone would feel opening a gift wrapped in a potato chip bag? I guess if they knew you were going green maybe they would accept it but would they think you were weird? Does it matter to save the environment? I don't know. But I thought it was odd. It looked pretty in the book - just wasn't sure how someone would feel opening a gift wrapped in it.
Overall the book did give me ideas for wrapping and decorating gifts in more green ways. I think often people forget repurposing is a green option. (less)
You can tell this book was written in the 80's. The crafts are kind of dated. That doesn't mean that they aren't crafts people still do - they just ar...moreYou can tell this book was written in the 80's. The crafts are kind of dated. That doesn't mean that they aren't crafts people still do - they just aren't crafts I enjoy or enjoy the look of either. I am sure a few of them could be adapted to a look that I would enjoy more but overall they weren't crafts that I was like to take the time to create. If you like sewing projects or needlepoint projects this book might be enjoyable to you. (less)
If you want a complete guide that gives you ideas for food, entertaining, decorations, gift giving and crafts for the holiday season - this is the boo...moreIf you want a complete guide that gives you ideas for food, entertaining, decorations, gift giving and crafts for the holiday season - this is the book for you. The book begins with a countdown to Christmas, with helpful tips on what to buy when, and which preparations should be done first. It includes a week-by-week countdown to help you plan and organize your Christmas shopping and cooking, plus a timetable for preparing food on Christmas Day and suggested holiday menus. I found the recipes and projects to range from simple to complex. There are projects on how to create a festive table setting, how to decorate your home with projects to make wreaths, garland and candles, how to make homemade ornaments to decorate your Christmas tree and how to create your own holiday cards and gift-wrap. It has a whole section of crafts to make with kids too. Their are menus and recipes for holiday dinners, vegetarian meals, party foods and buffet dishes. The recipes include several different stuffing recipes, sauces and preserves, desserts and treats, drinks and cocktails and edible gifts. There were some recipes that sounded delicious to me and others that I didn't sound appetizing to me at all. I really enjoyed the vegetarian meal selections. The book also included techniques on how to test cakes to see if they are done, how to make almond past and royal icing, how to stuff and roast a turkey, how to make a glaze and so on.
As I said it is a complete guide to Christmas...with over 200 recipes, 50 projects and 1400 color photographs.
Although I think the book was very well done and has so much to offer I didn't make notes while I had this checked out and I didn't create any of the crafts. I am not sure if that though was because I checked it out in the summer and wasn't yet really in the holiday planning stage. I do think it would be worth another look. I remember really enjoying the edible gifts recipes and many of the crafts. (less)
Last-Minute Gifts to me in implies that it would be gifts I could make with things I have on hand at home. At least it does for me. So I was expecting...moreLast-Minute Gifts to me in implies that it would be gifts I could make with things I have on hand at home. At least it does for me. So I was expecting quick easy gifts made from what I have at home without having to go out and buy lots of items to make it. And it had a few projects like that but the majority are things I don't normally have at home. So it wasn't a book that helped me.
The instructions and photographs were good though. And many of the ideas were quick and easy once you had the supplies. Many of the items didn't require a lot of supplies so that was nice too. (less)