Category: Crafting

Coloring Flower Mandalas by Wendy Piersall {Review, Giveaway and Illustrator Interview}

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Last Fall, I shared about Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendy Piersall. Her book opened the door to a side of me that had been left dormant for far too long. In coloring again, I’ve been able to relax easier, stay focused, and rediscover that sense of accomplishment when a design is fully completed in coloring. I was encouraged to start experimenting in my art and in doing this I discovered new techniques I never imagined I’d enjoy so much. I’ve been very inspired by Wendy and her gorgeous designs that I feel obligated to share about one of her latest offerings “Coloring Flower Mandalas“. Continue reading

Summer Crafting Fun: Granny Squares Scarf Kit {Review}

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When the days are far too hot to spend time outdoors in the Summer sun and heat, it’s always nice to spend time indoors working with ones hands. Crafting preferences differ by individuals so there’s a huge array of kits and books to jump start one in a direction of interest.  Today will be the first of many more craft kits and book post I’m happy to feature for children to adult.  If you or someone you know is a fan of working with yarn and either knows or wants to learn to crochet, you’ll be happy to learn about the following Granny Squares Scarf Kit!  Continue reading

Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin’ Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo {Book Review}

 

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Expressing your appreciation and total love of Adventure Time has never been so fun! If you call yourself a crafty person and tend to dabble in a little bit of everything in the craft world, you’ll love this offering! The bright and cheerful crafts perfectly embody these well loved characters from the Land of Ooo! Sure as a fan you could go out and purchase pre-made accessories and decor but there’s really something special about making it yourself!

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There are 23 projects total in this book. What kind of crafting? Well, there’s sewing, crochet, knitting, needle felting, sculpting, painting, and more. The craft pattern categories are Total Toytopia, Bling-A-Ding-Ding, Rhombus Home Decor, & Geek Chic Fashion. Crafters can create felt finger puppets, plushies, jewelery of all kinds, wall art, super cute nail art, pillow, cozies, and much more! I really like the variety!

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The patterns are very easy to follow! What I love is before you start a project, each is talked about. That just gives it a more personal touch in which I quite desire in any instructional arts & craft book! Next there’s a “You’ll Need Area” followed by the numbered steps to create the project. Some of the patterns have detailed illustrations as well as full color photographs. Throughout the book there are helpful Adventure Tips to encourage you to try another method if you aren’t comfortable with a certain technique. You’ll also find characters from the show on many of the quoting memorable lines from the show.

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One of my favorite and by far the simplest project in the book is the BMO’s 8-Bit Fuse Bead Coasters! There are six designs for these and so easy that younger kids could create them with little help. It’s an excellent craft to do during a Adventure Time marathon to me? Who couldn’t use another coaster or two? But really, you don’t have to stop there. How about a Slumber Party where you have a painting nails sessions and follow the Oh My Glob, Nail Art pattern? If you love to cosplay, the are many projects you can use to create an amazing outfit! There’s no doubt that much creative fun is to be had!

Other things to note is that the book helpfully explains where to buy supplies for the crafts and there are templates that can be copied and enlarged per pattern instructions. The back of the book features a section of helpful website links such as crafty websites to show off your work and the links to the D.I.Y Heroes whom are the artist that created the wonderful projects found within!

Adventure Time Crafts is an awesome craft book that fans of any age is sure to enjoy! If your up for a challenge and an amazing adventure in crafting, you’ll be certainly pleased! I know, I was!

Interested in Purchasing?  Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin’ Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo can be purchased in paperback ($13.89) or digital format ($11.84).

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience of the title.

 

Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein {Book Review}

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Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein is a must have for needle knitters of any skill level. If you enjoy learning new techniques and creating your own original designs from them, you’ll adore this book. It’s really an extremely well laid out block stitch dictionary that gives you the freedom to mix and match to your hearts desire. I believe one could grow in their knitting needle skills by whipping up one block at a time and in turn the end results could be a beautifully unique afghan of all those blocks!

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This book features 150 block patterns that can be used to create a plethora of projects. Aside from the instructions for the numerous blocks there are also over ten patterns which include a bag, scarves, pullover, vest, afghan, shrug, sweater, a few toys, a tote bag, and several hats. There are many pages worth of different types of edgings and joining techniques which are essential in completing all sorts of projects.

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The Chapters in this book are as follows;

Chapter 1. Basic Building Blocks
Chapter 2. Ornate Appliqué, Embroidery, and Cords
Chapter 3. Creative Colorwork
Chapter 4. Special Techniques
Chapter 5. Cables and Counterpanes
Chapter 6. Eclectic Styles

Fullscreen capture 1222014 121527 PMDo note aside from the chapters that are several other areas in this book that explains to readers the important of gauge, how to mix-and match blocks, abbreviations to know, handy techniques, & resources. I feel that the book is laid out quite well. In each of the chapters, the first few pages are filled with full color photos as well as the name of each block to be knit in that section. The block instructions and charts are easy to understand and follow.
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If you are not a fan of seaming knitted projects this book may not appeal to you. Though I would say that it opens the door for many interesting pieces. In the back of the book there’s copy the pages, cut out the blocks, and try them out on the assembly diagrams in the instructions. It makes for some fun combinations! I really like all the texture and raised designs quite a bit. It’s shown me you can make truly amazing looking things when knitting! I’m looking forward to growing my skills starting with the more simple textures and moving up to dabbling in cables, exploring color work, and much more! I would highly recommend this book for any knitters collection!


About the Author: Beloved knitwear designer NICKY EPSTEIN is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting on the Edge, and Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch. Her designs have also been featured in Vogue Knitting magazine and many other knitting publications, on television, and at art exhibitions. She currently resides in New York City and travels extensively, teaching and lecturing.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience of the title.