The joy of finishing something!

If you have been looking at the new craft books coming through the blog lately, you will have seen my on going battle to actually finish something!
Well on Wednesday I finally managed to finish a project! Admittedly a small one, but still. A family member requested this for his young son, and after a push of “you know it is cold” I finally got it finished. This was a great little knit, quick, simple and the wool was lovely to knot with! It’s a Bear hat, 1-2 years, Cashmere merino.

The hat comes out of Simply knitting., the Feb 2011 issueBear hat 1-2 years

I can start a new project!

I have finished something! Yeah – keep an eye on the craft blog, photo coming soon! That also means I can start a new project…..

Syndetics book coverCraft wisdom & know-how : everything you need to know to stitch, sculpt, bead and build / from the editors of Lark Crafts ; compiled by Amy Rost.
This title covers dozens of the most popular crafts in one complete, all-encompassing resource. The book is organized by type of craft and includes sewing, knitting, and other needlework; paper crafts, glasswork, and more. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJewellery solutions : hot to care for, repair and restore your jewellery / David McLoughlin. With lots of books out about making beaded jewellery it is great to see one about care and repair!

Syndetics book coverWood engraving : how to do it / Simon Brett. This is an easily followed, simple how-to-do-it manual on wood engraving for the beginner, written by one of the masters of the field. Illustrated with beautiful images, it is both a practical handbook and an art object in its own right. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLoop-d-loop lace : more than 30 novel lace designs for knitters / Teva Durham ; photographs by Adrian Buckmaster.
“…In this installment, Durham shatters the idea that lace is old-fashioned by presenting more than 30 cutting-edge knitting designs that are as up-to-the-minute style-wise as they are thoroughly steeped in lace tradition. The projects cover a wide spectrum, from classic shawls and camisoles that utilize traditional laceweight yarns and revered stitch patterns, to ultramodern pullovers and accessories in bold colors and chunky yarns that showcase lace at a larger scale. ….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSock and glove : creating charming softy friends from cast-off socks and gloves / Miyako Kanamori.
“This guide contains step-by-step illustrations and instructions on how to make 13 delightful softy creations, all pieced together from ordinary socks, gloves, and mittens.” (Syndetics summary). Note from Librarian – School Holiday projects anyone?

Syndetics book coverCute and easy quilting and stitching : 35 step-by-step projects to decorate the home / Charlotte Liddle.
Beautify your home with Charlotte Liddle’s 35 gorgeous projects, all using quilting, applique and embroidery. All the projects come with clear instructions and step-by-step illustrations, so even novice stitchers will be able to make something they are really proud of. (Syndetics summary).

Completing projects….

Projects completed: 0/10. New projects started: 3. I may have a problem…Still no reason not to look at the pretty new craft books.

Syndetics book coverPlayful patchwork : happy, colorful, and irrestible ideas and instruction for modern piecework, appliqué, and quilting / Suzuko Koseki.
“In “Playful Patchwork,” author Suzuko Koseki takes readers through a variety of different uses for fun, creative patchwork. The book shows step-by-step instruction and photos for piecework, applique, and quilting to inspire a diverse range of projects. …With “Playful Patchwork “the possibilities are endless.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe artful bird : feathered friends to make and sew / Abigail Patner Glassenberg.
“Join the flock! …”The Artful Bird ” presents 16 incredibly charming, quirky, personality-filled birds for you to make! Through a detailed chapter of step-by-step basic birdmaking techniques and tips, you will not only learn to make these cute creatures, but also discover how to craft your own patterns for almost any bird–real or imagined. Plus, check out an international gallery of birds from other noted fabric bird makers for more inspiration!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo baby with love : 35 gorgeous gifts to make for babies and toddlers / Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell.
“A collection of 35 beautiful projects, all with charmingly illustrated step-by-step instructions. You will be spoilt for choice with these gorgeous gifts, all created with love and to be passed down through future generations.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover Decorative fusion knots : a step-by-step illustrated guide to new and unusual ornamental knots / written and photographed by JD of Tying it all togehter. Some great new ways of creating decorative knots. I find these great for finishing of the odd project or adding a new dimension to old accessories.

Syndetics book coverChain mail jewelry : contemporary designs from classic techniques / Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte.
“…Plumlee is an expert on ancient chain design whose projects for necklaces and bracelets are based on classic Byzantine chain design with added embellishments. Taylor and White's book is a collection of projects by several artists inspired by the techniques of medieval chain mail armor. All are quite elegant and contemporary and require little more equipment than pliers and infinite patience. … (c) Copyright 2010. …No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverMachine stitch : perspectives / Alice Kettle & Jane McKeating.
Some interesting techniques especially for those interested in mixed media.

New Craft books and UFOs

I have decided that I have to finish some of my UFOs (unfinished objects) before I am allowed to start any more. Due to this please do not tell me if there are any good projects in these books. I don’t want to know.

Syndetics book coverLittle crochet : modern designs for babies and toddlers / Linda Permann.
Permann shows you how to use modern colors and natural fibers to crochet one-of-a-kind gifts for the little ones in your life. Note from a crafty librarian, my friend LOVES this book.

Syndetics book coverFresh flower arranging / Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks.
“”Step-by-step designs for home, weddings & gifts”–Cover.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit your royal wedding / Fiona Goble. Ummmm……..not quite sure what to say on this one.

Syndetics book coverEarly 20th century embroidery techniques / Gail Marsh. For the followers of Gail’s other books this looks to be another excellent edition.

Syndetics book coverArt at the speed of life : motivation + inspiration for making mixed-media art every day / Pam Carriker. If you need some inspiration for turning your UFOs into new projects this ahs some great ideas!

Syndetics book coverKnitting vintage : 30 knitting project inspired by period fashions / Claire Montgomerie. The vintage trend is still in vogue, here are some more excellent pieces!

Yeah it is Winter! (well Autumn, same thing!)

I am sure all the crafters out there are rejoicing in the cold weather, nothing like staying in and crafting the weekend away. Which leads me to a question, why is my jobs list longer than my weekend? So much craft so little time.

Syndetics book coverMaking vintage jewellery : 25 original designs, from earrings to corsages / Emma Brennan.
“The vintage look is hot. Beginning jewellers can update their own collections with these timeless, handmade pieces that bring individual flair to even the most basic outfit…. There is also a comprehensive techniques section with lavish photography to guide the novice through all the basics, from working with wire to sewing on sequins.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLinen and thread : creating homewares embellished with embroidery and ribbon / Monique Lyonnet ; photography by Frederic Lucano.
I have not got my hands on this one yet, but I loved “made in France’s” black work book, if this is half as good I will be impressed!

Syndetics book coverCoffee cozies.
“What does the well-dressed coffee pot wear? All knitters are sure to have their favourite among the 30 colourful, fun designs in this great new addition to the popular “Cozy “series. The cozies–all created and contributed by the readers of “Knitting” magazine–use a wide range of techniques, …And because cozies are small and quick to knit…. –it’s a great place for beginners or experienced knitters to polish their skills and learn new techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTimeless quilts : / designs by Ruth van Haeff and Janine Flew.
A friend did one of the quilts from this book and it turned out beautifully!

Syndetics book coverNew decoupage : transforming your home with paper, glue, and scissors / Durwin Rice ; photographs by George Ross.
“Inexpensive and remarkably easy to do, decoupage is enjoying a resurgence of popularity …..With a brief history of the art and a review of all the fundamental decoupage techniques, plus an exciting look at the future of decoupage, New Decoupage puts a fresh face on an ever-popular traditional craft. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet treats in cross-stitch : 53 delightful projects to embroider / Tinou Le Joly Sénoville ; photography by Frédéric Lucano ; styling by Sonia Lucano ; [translator, Melissa McMahon].
The “recipes” in this are lovely, but they do make you hungry!

We are having a number of events through May so keep an eye on the craft blog and see you there!

And MORE procrastinating….

The ironing pile is getting bigger, and I am perfecting the art of procrastination!

Syndetics book cover30-minute earrings : 60 quick & creative projects for jewelers / Marthe Le Van.
“”Sixty to make in thirty!” …This 60-piece collection showcases an array of inspired and stylish projects that don’t demand a large investment of time or money, but do give jewellers the pleasure of sharpening their skills and enjoying spectacular results. The imaginative and diverse designs feature everything from elegant gold, pearls, and sterling silver to nontraditional and repurposed materials. Every one is gorgeous! …” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe children’s year : seasonal crafts and clothes / Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling. Keep the kids occupied over a wet weekend!

Syndetics book coverBig little felt universe : sew it, stuff it, squeeze it, fun! / Jeanette Lim.
“Enter the imaginative universe of felting, with this irresistible collection featuring a super-cute Asian-inspired aesthetic. Twelve “sets” include more than 60 projects, from fruits and a felt knife for “slicing” them to a show-stopping birthday cake with decorations and detachable candles. Hundreds of photos and full-size templates make the crafting easy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted socks east & west : 30 designs inspired by Japanese stitch patterns / Judy Sumner ; photography by Yoko Inoue.
“… Whether short or long, fine or bulky, simple or complex, each of the 30 designs in “Knitted Socks” “East and West” is named after an intriguing aspect of Japanese culture. For example, the leg of the Origami crew socks appears to fold in and out; and the Ikebana knee socks highlight a textural floral design. Step-by-step text and easy-to-read charts are included for each design,….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beaded edge : inspired designs for crocheted edgings and trims / Midori Nishida & CRK Design ; [English translation, Sean Gaston … [et al.]].
“… Add a personal touch with beautiful beaded trims. … 18 designs that range from delicate and classic to modern and bold…Each trim is illustrated with clear stitch diagrams that demonstrate the patterns, and the detailed step-by-step instructions will teach you to combine basic crochet techniques with beadwork for gorgeous edges and embellishments. …If you have a passion for personalizing and embellishing, you will find a treasure trove of new techniques in The Beaded Edge.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwelve by twelve : the International Art Quilt Challenge / Deborah Boschert … [et al.]. If you need some inspiration this is your book!

To craft or not to craft… CRAFT

Having a very interesting weekend, I am seeing how high the ironing can get before I end up having to do it…….here are some of my many ways I am procrastinating…..

Syndetics book coverSoft toys : 36 characters to knit and crochet.
This collection of 36 soft toys in knitting and crochet will inspire delight in children and the young at heart. Simple elegant design with full page photographs of each project.

Syndetics book coverAnodized! : brilliant colors & bold designs for aluminum jewelry / Clare Stiles.
Loved the many patterns in this, there is something for everyone in this book.

Syndetics book cover175 fresh card ideas : designs to make and give throughout the year / by Kimber McGray.
“Share joy with handmade cards! Handmade cards are fun to give and receive! “175 Fresh Card Ideas” is packed with ideas for all occasions—from kid-friendly themes and milestone birthdays to holidays, bridal and baby showers and sweet sentiments—so you’ll never be stuck without a design idea for any card-giving occasion. …Let “175 Fresh Card Ideas” help you celebrate any occasion!” (Syndetics summary)

Cut it, paste it, sew it : a mixed-media collage sourcebook / [edited by] Chisa Itou.
“”Cut It, Paste It, Sew It” offers both insight into the materials, techniques (both familiar and experimental), and inspiration from a collection of 10 international artists who bring their own distinct style and methodology to the art of collage. …This book offers completely original materials and methodology from talented designers and artists that have not been seen before. The content is presented in an easy and fun presentation that makes it accessible to beginners while at the same time inspiring to more experienced artists with content that isn’t available through online blogging or magazines.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFresh quilting : fearless color, design, & inspiration / Malka Dubrawsky.
“Brighten up any room with fun, contemporary, and functional projects exploding with sensational color! “Fresh Quilting” presents 21 brilliant designs featuring quilt artist Malka Dubrawsky’s intoxicating colours and unexpected palettes. Learn to create beautiful and lively pieces for you and your home–from modern quilts and fun pillows to flirty bags and scarves.. …You’ll be inspired to infuse your own brilliant palettes into each project and discover just how irresistible and beautiful contemporary quilting can be!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting over the edge : unique ribs, cords, appliqués, colours, nouveau : the second essential collection of decorative borders / Nicky Epstein.
Library note: Our last copy was so well used we had to replace it! HIGHLY recommended!

Kids, paper, glue and paint!

What could go wrong? Normally I am not one for looking at kids craft books. But I was recently dealing with a pile of new books and came across 3 great new kids craft and art books:

Syndetics book coverThe Usborne book of origami and other paper projects / Eileen O’Brien and Kate Needham . This book has great ideas while using simple tools, and yes the paper water bombs work really well, my nephews had a blast with them, and all we used was a pile of coloured paper. Mind you their dad is still in mourning for the back yard.

Big book of papercraft / Fiona Watt ; designed and illustrated by Antonia Miller, Non Figg and Katrina Fearn.
This text is full of fun and challenging things to make and do with paper, from paper crocodiles to 3-D bugs, book covers and embossing. It contains over 45 activities, each accompanied by simple, step-by-step instructions and clear illustrations to make them easy to understand and complete.

365 things to draw and paint / Fiona Watt ; designed and illustrated by Erica Harrison … [et al.].
This book is perfect for the young artist.

Another excuse to craft

Oh dear, it is wet…….I might just have to stay in tonight and do my crafts. What a pity. If you need a new wet weather project check out some of the new books that have just arrived…

Syndetics book coverScandinavian stitches : 21 playful projects with seasonal flair / Kajsa Wikman.
“The first flowers of spring, the smell of the sea, the warm colors of the maple leaves… inspire Kajsa to stitch, sew, and share. Each season is a new beginning and a great excuse to take on a new project. Her bright, colorful designs are sure to make you smile.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandcrafting chain and bead jewelry : techniques for creating dimensional necklaces and bracelets / Scott David Plumlee.
“From the classic Byzantine pattern to never-before-seen original designs, Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry provides everything you need to know to create beautiful chain and bead jewelry from start to finish. ….Guided by clear step-by-step instructions and photographs, you’ll learn how to: find and use the right tools, select the best wire and beads, wrap and cut quality-controlled jump rings, handcraft clasps and ear backings, assemble and bead more than 25 unique necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. … This truly is the complete chain and bead jewelry book. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLuxe knits : the accessories : couture adornments to knit & crochet / Laura Zukaite ; photograpy by Cathrine Westergaard.
“More luxury for the knitter! … These stunning scarves, hats, gloves, bags, and more are what Zukaite calls “memorable little statement pieces to decorate our lives,” and they’re a pleasure to knit.High-fashion photography, the author’s own sketches, and styling suggestions round out this beautiful package.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomemade gifts : easy techniques and great projects / Nicki Trench.
“Here are 20 projects that encompass crafting, baking, and gift wrapping–all designed to make any occasion memorable! First, check out the chapter on “Birthday Treats,” which features funky knitted camping socks and a beaded corsage. Turn to “Little Ones,” to learn how to make a cuddly stuffed bunny and an heirloom-quality baby blanket. “Special Occasions” offers up his-and-hers wedding night pillowcases and a Christmas jelly bean garland. And because there’s never a bad time to give a gift, the “Just Because” chapter provides instructions for making your own lavender bath oils and simply scrumptious peppermint creams.” (Syndetics summary)

Stitch! / Cath Kidston ; photography by Pia Tryde. For all those who need a new cross stitch or needle point project try Cath’s new book. Cath is very popular in the UK for her new take on floral design.

Variety is the spice of life! New craft books

The variety of craft books we have coming in at the moment is EPIC! “Design your own tees” more felting, wire and fabric projects and quick jewellery designs.

Syndetics book coverDesign your own tees : techniques and inspiration to stitch, stamp, stencil, and silk-screen your very own t-shirts / Jennifer Cooke.
I love the look of this one! T-shirts form a basis of my wardrobe but sometimes they need a little something extra!

Syndetics book coverFresh fashion knits : more than 20 must-have designs from Rowan’s Studio Collection / designs by Sarah Hatton ; edited by Kate Buller. I know another Rowan knitting book, but I love the detailing in the Rowan patterns even if they can be a challenge at times!

Syndetics book coverFelting fashion : creative and inspirational techniques for felt-makers / Lizzie Houghton.
“Crafters and fashionistas alike will go wild about this inspiration-packed book, which offers several ways to make felt and a wide range of patterns for stylish felt garments and accessories. The fashions include everything from hats to lavish full-length coats, and the instructions cover techniques for creating Nuno felt (a lightweight modern type that drapes) as well as traditional felts–plus methods for dyeing wool, ruching, and making cords, spikes, balls, and other embellishments.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCreative bloom : projects and inspiration with fabric and wire / Jennifer Swift.
“Cultivate Your Inner Artist! Prepare your own garden of self-expression with the creative fabric and wire projects inside “Creative Bloom.” The seeds of inspiration will be planted as you learn how to make a butterfly-adorned lamp, a sweet bird sculpture, an inspired canvas bag and a sparkling cloud cuff. Each project features innovative techniques that you can use again in your personal artwork. “Creative Bloom” features: – 21 pretty projects for your art studio, home and wardrobe – Vignettes and advice on gathering the right tools, forcing creative growth, finding inspiration in the seasons and staying motivated – Step-by-step techniques that show you how sculpt wire, stitch fabric to wire, make fabric pages and more! Grab some wire and rummage through your fabric stash. It’s time to unearth your creative potential!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover30 minute necklaces : 60 quick & creative projects for jewelers / Martha Le Van.
“Lark does have its finger on the pulse of contemporary crafts; look no further for proof than in this second-of-a-series jewelry craft collection. This book is packed with 60 necklaces, to be fashioned in a half hour or less. (Assumed here is that readers will know their wire and soldering and tool techniques, not to mention having a good familiarity with photo editing and imaging software.) Even if fingers are less than practiced in sawing, filing, planishing, and riveting, a few of the projects don’t mandate metalworking know-how. As to be expected, all feature color photographs, a list of required techniques and materials, and good step-by-step instructions with occasional variations and designer notes. Now to the design choices, which truly range from sedate to boldly twenty-first century, all using materials as disparate as green-gold pearls and 14-karat gold to recycled plastic bags and white table-tennis balls. Mark this as intended for intermediate jewelers.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 Booklist From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)