Sunday, March 29, 2009

Books for the Craft-Obsessed

You may have seen this post, in which I explained my recent craft obsession. Here are some of the titles I'm using to feed my addiction, mostly via my library card so far:
  • blanket statement: one thrifted wool blanket repurposed into 40+ projects -- Easier than Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects though I do love the idea of using all those cute sweaters to make cute little cupcake pincushions and such. Blanket Statement has the advantage of needing just one wool blanket for the bulk of your supply list and has some simpler projects, while Warm Fuzzies has more projects that would be beyond me, I think, though the boy's robot vest is awesome-- how often do you see projects for boys? Incidentally, both Betz White and Vicki Haninger have great blogs-- and Vicki's a local (who was so sweet to autograph our copy!)
  • Softies: Simple Instructions for 25 Plush Pals -- Just finished reading this one from the library, but with my limited sewing skills, I don't know that there are many projects in it I'm ready to tackle, seeing as how several of the projects are rated as "moderate" or "challenging." I think I'm probably going to need Softies Kit: Instructions and Tools for Creating 15 Plush Pals as it's a kit that comes with everything you need to sew the cute little cake project from the first book. And the animals on the cover are way cuter on the kit! The first Softies book is a goldmine of info, though-- I love how Laskey has given the websites of the 25 project creators, so that I can go digging on the web.
  • Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners -- OK, I can't draw at all, but I love the idea of "drawing" with thread! Her designs are all so great-- they make me want to decorate all of Bug's jeans or something! Of course, if I ever got into clothes decoration, I'd have to get this title, but since it's in Japanese, I'm going to have to wait until I develop some skills!
  • Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens -- I first put this one on hold at the library when I wasn't sure how I wanted to make my hand-printed fabric buttons. Seeing as how I've been selling them since January, but only checked out the book in February when my turn came up in the hold list, I obviously didn't wait for any professional advice! However, if I decide to print on anything besides muslin or try techniques besides rubber stamping, I'll have to pick this one up. I love the organization of the four chapters, especially how she has 2 projects for each technique. The four chapters include Getting Ready to Print (with tips for choosing a surface, a design, a printing method, and inks or paints), Stamping (custom rubber, foam, and carved rubber), Stenciling (freezer paper, contact paper, and mylar), and Screen Printing (paper stencils, screen filler stencils, and photographic emulsion stencils.) I liked this one better than Lotta Prints: How to Print with Anything, from Potatoes to Linoleum though Lotta does have some beautiful designs.

Then there's the whole crafty side of me that's more about being resourceful and living a more sustainable life than making things. Two recent reads have been Made from scratch : discovering the pleasures of a handmade life by Jenna Woginrich as well as The prairie girl's guide to life : how to sew a sampler quilt & 49 other pioneer projects for the modern girl by Jennifer Worick. They're both excellent reading, but I don't think we'll be raising chickens anytime soon. For now, I'll just hope to get the vegetable garden in and that my little foray into bread baking sustains itself!

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