Celebrate Spring

Spring is upon us and it’s the perfect time to refresh and rediscover your love of craft, with new ideas and inspiration from the latest library arrivals! Take a look at some vibrant tie-dye and crochet designs, as well as various innovative quilting and sewing projects for you and the family. And, if you are looking for something different, you might like to experiment with beads and wire to create cute and clever jewellery or ornaments using innovative techniques by Amy Kopperude. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverTie-dye : dye it, wear it, share it / Shabd Simon-Alexander.
“Tie-dye has grown up and resurfaced as one of todays most inspired looks. Whether dip-dye, shibori, ombre, or the traditional circle pattern, the new take on tie-dye is amazingly fresh, fashionable, and fun. In “Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It,” acclaimed fashion designer and artist Shabd Simon-Alexander shares her techniques for creating the innovative styles that make her own hand-dyed collection so popular. Packed with Shabds design secrets, colour guidance, expert tips on making each piece distinctly your own, and twenty-two step-by-step projects for garments, accessories, and home decor items, this book will soon have you creating sophisticated dresses, leggings, scarves, tees, and more. Once you experience tie-dye like this, you’ll never think of it the same way again.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe collage workbook : how to get started and stay inspired / Randel Plowman.
“The author of The Collage Workbook has been making at least one small collage per day for many years and has chronicled his work since 2006 on the blog acollageaday.com. Plowman covers design basics, tools, and techniques before inviting readers to make their own mixed-media found-object artworks using 50 short exercises. Hundreds of examples of inspiring collages are included. A companion website to the book, thecollageworkbook.blogspot.com, provides links to sources for public-domain imagery and a place for readers to share work. Verdict? This book will help readers see creative possibilities in mundane and unusual places.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Belle & Boo book of craft / [projects conceived and made by Lucinda Ganderton and Lisa Pendreigh] ; illustrations by Mandy Sutcliffe ; photography by Laura Edwards.
“’The Belle & Boo Book of Craft’ provides all the inspiration and know-how needed to bring to life a magical world. Sewing projects include an irresistible cuddly rabbit toy, a washingline wendy house and an explorer’s canvas satchel for playtime as well as a robust beanbag and stylish toy storage for your child’s room.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverModern holiday : deck the halls with 18 sewing projects : quilts, stockings, decorations & more / Amanda Murphy.
“Fabric and quilt designer Murphy brings her bright, modern aesthetic to holiday sewing in this collection of Christmas-themed projects. She begins with nine quilts, most of which are the perfect size for snuggling on a cold winter’s night, and then follows with nine home decor projects. For many of the patterns, especially the quilts, a different choice of fabric or color palette would make them more suitable for everyday use, rather than as holiday gifts. Several of the projects incorporate intermediate or advanced techniques, such as precision piecework and hand or fusible applique, but directions are provided. Verdict? Holiday projects are ever popular, and summer is the time to start thinking about handmade gifts. Modern quilters will enjoy this fun collection.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverSimply retro with Camille Roskelley : fresh quilts from classic blocks : use precut jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters & more / Camille Roskelley.
“In her second book, fabric and quilt designer Roskelley (Simplify with Camille Roskelley) returns to her area of expertise-traditional-style quilts with modern flair. The collection includes 11 designs in a variety of sizes, from wall hangings to baby quilts to a queen-size bedspread, most sewn in the aqua, red, green, and white palette that has become the author’s trademark. Once again, she focuses on time-saving precut fabrics, although directions are provided for quilters cutting from yardage. Verdict? Roskelley’s designs are popular among the online quilting community, and her designs are contemporary enough to appeal to modern quilters yet classic enough to appeal to traditionalists.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverGrowing up modern : 16 quilt projects for babies & kids / Allison Harris.
“For busy moms who want to quilt, 16 one-of-a-kind quilt projects to make for babies and kids, Almost all the patterns offer sizing for baby quilts and 7 of the patterns easily adapt to fit size crib and twin. Also includes instructions for a pillow and quillow, Fun, full-color photographs throughout the book are sure to inspire both beginner and expert sewists.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverCrochet-opedia : the only crochet reference you’ll ever need / Julie Oparka.
“Crochet instructor Oparka has gathered a collection of crocheting wisdom, information, and projects into this reference. Though supplies and equipment for crochet are amply covered, the focus is on technique, and Oparka covers everything from getting started to specialized techniques such as Tunisian crochet and hairpin lace. This will prove useful to experienced crocheters who need a refresher on a particular technique or who are looking for projects to expand their skill set. Verdict? Crochet reference works are much less common than ones for knitting, and this one has all of the basic information crocheters will want to have on hand.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverCrochet at home : 25 clever projects for colorful living / edited by Brett Bara.
“Get 25 small and quick crochet projects from top designers to add color and cheer to your home! In Crochet at Home, editor Brett Bara and a team of crochet experts bring 25 exciting home projects to life. Explore a collection of practical, pretty pieces for your kitchen, living room, and bedroom: from a riotously colorful blanket, to a delicate bunting of crocheted snowflakes, to flower-inspired trivets that are anything but dull-and even a full-sized ottoman! Techniques such as felting, lace, and crocheting with wire will appeal to beginner and advanced crocheters alike. Projects are made in affordable yarns, especially for large pieces and ones that take a beating, like kitchen accessories. Join Brett and her team of all-star crocheters in this cheerful, affordable, and occasionally humorous take on home decor in this new and approachable resource.” (Publisher description)

Syndetics book coverAimee Ray’s sweet & simple jewelry : 17 designers, 10 techniques & 32 projects to make / Aimee Ray with Kathy Sheldon.
“Ray (Doodle Stitching) and Sheldon (Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry) have curated a collection of fun and quirky jewelry incorporating a number of techniques such as embroidery, needle felting, and basic bead stringing. Most of the projects require only entry-level skills (and entry-level tools), but the results are surprisingly sophisticated, and the standouts are reminiscent of the trendy accessories popular on Etsy (or in funky craft boutiques). Vedict? DIYers with a taste for cute crafts will appreciate this book, and these introductory projects may whet their appetite for more advanced work, especially in embroidery and needle felting.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverFashion jewelry : the collection of Barbara Berger / text by Harrice Simons Miller ; photography by Pablo Esteva.
“Recognised as one of the world’s foremost collections, Barbara Berger’s costume jewellery portfolio features many of what are considered the twentieth century’s most significant designs. Fashion Jewellery: The Collection of Barbara Berger highlights over 200 beautiful and noteworthy examples from her more than 4,000 pieces. From legendary couturiers such as Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Valentino to contemporary designers including Daniel Von Weinberger, Iradj Moini, and Kenneth Jay Lane, this title presents the jewellery of over 60 designers, many of whom are among the industry’s most revered names. Published in conjunction with the Museum of Arts & Design’s Bedazzled exhibition, this book is the first definitive title on Barbara Berger’s costume jewellery anthology to date. With original photography and an informative text written by leading expert Harrice Simons Miller, Fashion Jewellery: The Collection of Barbara Berger is the ultimate accessory for jewellery aficionados and fashionistas alike”. (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverBead bugs : cute, creepy, and quirky projects to make with beads, wire, and fun found objects / Amy Kopperude.
“Creepy-crawlies take a turn for the ornamental in this collection, which features designs for 23 different insects and sea creatures (and, oddly, an owl). In her first book, Kopperude heads off the likely question-What would I do with an insect made out of beads?-by presenting each insect as part of a project, such as an ant magnet, a fly tie tack, and a spider sun catcher. Most of the projects require simple tools that should be in most beadworkers’ collections, such as pliers, wire cutters, and craft adhesive, and the projects themselves are simple enough for beginners to tackle. Verdict? The theme is unusual, but it works. Projects like the dragonfly wine-glass charms might appeal to wedding crafters, and some of the creepier designs, like the bat mobile, are perfect for those decorating for Halloween.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Celebrate Winter with crafts!

Enjoy the changing of season and get your creativity flowing with some fabulous finds in our latest arrivals of craft books. Find out about perfect weekend craft projects that require little or no specialist skills, including quilting, beadwork and crochet projects, as well as, knitting stylish hats and beanies to accessorise and express your own style. And, if you enjoy vintage craft, you will find lots of ideas and inspiration how to inject character and charm into your home using unique vintage pieces!

Syndetics book coverLight & layered knits : 19 sophisticated designs for every season / Vicki Square.
“A collection of nineteen women’s tops made from comfortable fibers–such as silk, linen, cotton, and bamboo–and light yarns that can be layered and removed at will.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFantastical hats & beanies / Jenny Occleshaw.
“Here is a delightful collection of unique easy-to-make hats and beanies to suit every outfit and occasion. The collection includes projects suitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike. Every project is explained using easy-to-follow instructions. Hats and beanies are not only a fabulous way to accessorise and express your own style, the hand-made hats and beanies also make personal and unique gifts for friends and loved ones. With such a variety of techniques and styles, there really is a hand-made hat or beanie here for everyone.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverHip crochet / Natalie Clegg.
“The interest in crochet is surging and making a huge comeback – and will surely be with us for some time. The need and desire to make handmade items is growing all the time as people find new ways to save money and new crafters take up some of the more traditional needlecrafts. Crochet has crept onto the catwalks and into fashion stores but the cool way to crochet now is to make unique crocheted items for the home that are colourful, quirky and funky. Many of the projects use traditional techniques and patterns but with brighter and more colourful yarns such as the zingy motif bedspread or the Union Jack cushion. Others are wonderfully contemporary and guaranteed to brighten up any home, such as the crocheted string of chillies or carnival bunting. From bedspreads and cushions to baskets, bags, egg cosies, doorstops, Christmas decorations and even a crocheted clock, “Hip Crochet” is full of wonderful easy-to-follow projects. All the projects have clear instructions and beautiful photographs and a techniques section at the beginning covers everything you need to know to make gorgeous crochet items for your home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilting on the go! / Jessica Alexandrakis.
“Maybe you have the urge to sew but don’t want to be stuck behind your sewing machine all the time – English paper piecing quilting is wonderfully portable. You can stitch on the train, bus, or airplane, in waiting rooms, in the car while your baby naps, or at the beach – all the stolen moments when your hands are idle. Learn to build a tool kit with everything you need to get stitching. When you’re done, just snap it shut and your project is safe and waiting for when you’re ready to sew again. Clear explanations and step-by-step photography will have you stitching in no time and, before you know it, beautiful patterns will materialize from your fingers, which you can use to create a colourful quilt, a cushion, a bag, and much more. Includes detailed instructions for preparing templates, basting techniques, joining pieces and finishing techniques, and with a myriad patterns to try, you’ll find this book full of inspiration for you to find an idea and make it your own.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverThe artful parent : simple ways to fill your family’s life with art and creativity / Jean Van’t Hul.
“Jean Van’t Hul, mother of two, lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. She has been writing about children’s art and creativity on her blog, The Artful Parent , since 2008. A graduate of Wellesley College with a major in art history and studio art, Jean worked in various art and nonprofit fields before devoting her time to writing and raising kids. She loves to share process-oriented art, seasonal crafts, and joyful learning opportunities with her own daughters and through her children’s art groups, her magazine articles, and on her blog.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPearl Lowe’s vintage craft : craft projects & styling advice for the modern vintage home.
“Pearl Lowe is a fashion and textiles designer based in Somerset. Her bespoke dresses launched her mainline collection in 2006 and sold internationally in Liberty and a range of high-end boutiques. Her high-street range for Peacocks, which launched in 2009, has sold-out season upon season. Pearl has also created successful lines of soft furnishings, candles and stationery for several high street, online and boutique retailers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage home : stylish ideas and over 50 handmade projects from furniture to decorating / Sarah Moore ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“Recycle, revamp and rejuvenate; with over 50 projects Sarah covers a whole spectrum of imaginative ideas for every room of the house, from blanket curtains to patchwork wallpaper, clever storage crates to fun mobiles for children, as well as unique ideas for dining, sleeping and bathing. Interweaved throughout the book are ideas for ‘one thing four ways’ to show how the same piece of furniture or a room can be updated with different look, plus handy advice on essential kit and techniques. Aimed at all skill levels, the projects can be completed in a few hours or over a weekend so you can revamp and refurbish your home in no time at all.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLace, ribbons and bows : 35 vintage-inspired projects to make and treasure / Ann Brownfield and Jane Cassini.
“Indulge your nostalgic fantasies with this beautiful collection of ideas for things to make and give. Using lashings of lace, pretty prints, pearls, diamante, ribbons and all things vintage, Ann Brownfield and Jane Cassini have created 35 unique projects for romantics everywhere. In ‘Alluring Lace’ choose from embellished silk cushions, vintage pouches, and lace and diamante gift cards, while ‘Beautiful Bows’ has ideas for lampshades, felt purses and a lingerie bag. Finally, ‘Arrays of Ribbons’ will inspire you to make vintage scarf chairbacks, beautiful gift boxes and tags. With inspirational photographs and clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations that make every project easy, this book will appeal to oldfashioned girls everywhere.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverThe complete guide to wire & beaded jewellery : over 50 beautiful projects and variations using wire and beads / Linda Jones.
“This is the essential companion for any fan of stunning jewellery made from wire and beads. Celebrated jewellery designer and best-selling author Linda Jones presents a must-have collection of beautiful pieces in a variety of styles. Packed with designs for daytime, ethnic-inspired necklaces, fun projects for kids, pretty pieces for special occasions and items suitable for beginners, keen crafters will find all they need here”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMetallic seed bead splendor / Nancy Zellers.
“Nancy Zellers is a bead artist and teacher who lives in Colorado. She especially enjoys encouraging others to develop their own style through teaching beadwork classes. Nancy has taught at the Bead&Button Show, the Puget Sound Bead Festival, the Rocky Mountain Bead Society Bead Bazaar, and other venues. Nancy’s work has been featured in many magazines and beading books, including ‘Bead&Button’, ‘500 Beaded Objects’, ‘The Art of Beaded Beads’, and ‘Beading with Crystals’. Her sculptural pieces have appeared in regional and national contemporary art shows.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCreate your own jewellery : over 100 inspiring ways to make stunning pieces from all kinds of materials, with practical step-by-step projects / edited by Ann Kay.
“This title features over 100 inspiring ways to make stunning pieces from all kinds of materials, with practical step-by-step projects. It contains over 100 ideas and easy-to-make projects, plus scores of tips and inspiration for creating many different types of hand-crafted jewellery. It features every kind of jewellery – from bangles, brooches and pins, to necklaces, rings, pendants and earrings – plus designs for buttons, badges, cufflinks, hair ornaments and trinket boxes. All techniques are shown in fully illustrated step-by-step format – clear, simple and easy to achieve, with stunning pictures of every finished piece. It covers a wide range of different crafting techniques using easily acquired equipment and material: including metal, wire, beads, ribbon, felt, silk, shells, mosaic, ceramics and paper. Jewellery always makes a very personal statement, and creating your own pieces is a wonderful way of saying even more about yourself and your taste. Better still, many of these ideas are so inexpensive, you can give yourself a new look quickly and easily. This book is designed to teach you everything you need to know about making jewellery, and covers all the materials, techniques and equipment you will need.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Refresh your perspectives with new inspirations

Enjoy this delightful mix of craft books with projects, ideas and tips for all the crafts enthusiasts to create and get great pleasure from the wonderful results. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverThe new jewelers : desirable, collectable, contemporary / Olivier Dupon.
“In this beautiful new book, Olivier Dupon introduces the finest modern jewelers practising today. Featuring 108 both up-and-coming and established designers, the book is divided into nine categories inspired not by traditional jewelry typology, but by style and look. Rough stones appear with exquisitely faceted gems; organic forms vie with geometric structures; feathers and leather take their place next to platinum and diamonds. The book showcases fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, luxe jewelry, conceptual jewelry, and much much more. Over 800 mainly colour photographs display the jewelry alongside portraits of the designers at work, shots of sketches and works in progress, studios and boutiques. Complete with short, informative profiles and useful contact details for the designers, as well as a listing of recommended shops, this publication offers a wealth of inspiring material and is a must for any aficionado of jewelry, design or craft.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrystal jewelry inspiration from the Create Your Style ambassadors / compiled by Karin Van Voorhees.
“Tapped by Swarovski for their expertise, innovative work, and sophisticated design sense, this book stages an elite corps of jewellery makers, industry opinion leaders and innovators. This book is not juast a showcase of their work, but also a glimpse into their world. Meet some of the most creative jewellery designers in the world and join their sparkling community”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMastering peyote stitch / [Melinda Barta].
“”With interest in beadweaving on the rise, Mastering Peyote Stitch provides a much-needed look into the most integral technique-peyote stitch. With 15 styles in all, beading geniuses will finally have an accessible, easy-to-understand guide to one of the fundamentals of beadweaving, brought to you courtesy of Beadwork Editor Melinda Barta. In the “Peyote Basics” chapter, you will learn the basics of creating flat peyote bands, then advance to circular and tubular variations, eventually learning to fashion dimensional jewelry pieces. Once you’ve mastered the basics, Melinda dives into designing dimensional jewelry pieces. Additional chapters cover combining peyote with other popular beadweaving techniques (right-angle weave, herringbone, and bead embroidery) and creating unique edgings and embellishments for finished pieces. Melinda, together with Beadwork’s Designers of the Year, including Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Carole Ohl, Melanie Potter, Jean Power, Cynthia Rutledge, and Sherry Serafini, demonstrates a range of styles in 15 beautiful jewelry projects. “– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPatterns for pooches / Anne Burton ; photographs by Michael and Anne Burton.
“Author Anne and her husband brought home a Boston Terrier Puppy named Bean and from the start as a new pet owner he was a handful. Also Anne quickly worked out with the cooling weather and the Nebraska winds that Bean was not shy about his lack of enthusiasm for the cold and would hide under blankets and crawl under sweaters. Having learned to Crochet in school and only knowing a few basic stitches Anne took on the challenge of designing Bean some outfits. Starting with 10 designs for Bean and some sweaters for other dogs of different shapes and sizes pretty soon a small business was born. This book has 35 designs for dogs. Anne has included her most popular designs from her very successful on line business that keeps getting reordered time after time. She would describe her style as simple and practical with a quirky sense of humour. She uses crochet because it is a versatile medium that can be easily modified and customized. Throughout the book there is sizing options and instructions on how to tailor an item to give your dog the best fit possible. Basic crochet stitches are used for the patterns so easy for beginners to intermediate levels. Patterns include both UK and US stitch names and measurements. A conversion chart should be checked before starting your patterns to make sure you are familiar with similarities and differences between stitch names”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverSimple crocheting : a complete how-to-crochet workshop with 20 projects / Erika Knight ; [photographer, Yuki Sugiura].
“Renowned British craft designer Knight presents a new collection of crochet designs (not to be confused with her previous book, Simple Crochet) that are particularly well-suited to readers who’d like to learn how to crochet, but don’t want to churn out unattractive items while doing so. Knight’s aesthetic — natural fibers in simple, unfussy designs – makes this collection look modern and nicely low-key. The British vibe throughout also appeals. Knight’s emphasis is very much on instruction, as the first 60 pages are packed with advice on choosing yarn and hooks, then shaping the stitches needed. It’s a thorough overview and far more helpful to beginners than the usual. Then come 20 designs, beginning with a simple dishcloth, and including all manner of items, from a scarf to slippers to a complex (and stunning) Asymmetrical Cardigan comprised of circle motifs worked in super-bulky yarn. Extensive charts and photographs accompany clearly written instructions. This book is a lovely addition to the crafter’s shelf. Full-color photos. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverFashion crochet : 30 crochet projects inspired by the catwalk / Claire Montgomerie.
“A beautifully illustrated publication with a fashion-forward feel, “Fashion Crochet” contains 30 crochet projects for a range of accessories and clothing items inspired by up-to-the-minute catwalk trends. Utterly contemporary and stylish, the projects incorporate a wide cross-section of techniques from granny squares and knotwork to lace and hairpin crochet. As useful for the highly experienced as the absolute beginner, this inspiring and chic book is divided into chapters on accessories, such as shawls, scarves, bags, hats, jewellery and decorative items, and separates, such as dresses, skirts, tops and beachwear. Each project is accompanied by fashion photographs showing the inspiration for the piece, and offers ideas on how to wear the item. Essential tools and techniques are clearly explained – from crochet hooks, working stitches and how to measure tension to adding embellishments and finishing off – with line drawings provided for more complicated techniques”. (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverThe finer edge : crocheted trims, motifs & borders / Kristin Omdahl.
“Prolific crochet designer Omdahl (Crochet So Fine) explores crocheted edge motifs in this colorful pattern dictionary. The edgings are organized by type of construction (top-down, bottom-up, side-to-side, miscellaneous) and each contains written and charted instructions as well as a full-color swatch. Patterns for crocheted garments and accessories round out the collection and show the edgings in use on real-world projects. VERDICT Several crocheted edging/motif books have been published in the last few years. Omdahl is a big name in the field, and crocheters will appreciate this nicely curated ensemble. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverKaffe quilts again : : 20 favorite quilts in new colorways from Rowan / featuring Roberta Horton … [et al.].
“A scintillating collection of favourite quilts by Kaffe and his designers, recreated in Rowans new fabrics, which in some cases has resulted in an entirely new colour palette. Add to the mix Philip Jacob’s sublime florals and Brandon Mably’s quirky designs and quilt designers are spoilt for choice. The quilt instructions are simple and clear and each features a sumptuous flat shot photo of the finished project, an ingredients list of the materials needed plus coloured diagrams, useful tips and templates. To top it off, the small rural village in Bulgaria where the quilts are photographed is the perfect backdrop for these beautiful designs”.
(Adapted from Amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverQuilting : from little things / Sarah Fielke.
A showcase of ten quilting techniques and styles with insider tips providing the quilter with an accessible way to try out new methods, textures and colours. (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverThe big-ass book of bling / by Mark Montano.
“A fun, flashy, and sassy book for beginner and expert crafters alike–with more than 150 new projects that will add pizzazz to everything from jewelry to tote bags! Now more than ever, most of us are scaling back on shopping sprees and holding on to things longer than usual. But we still need ways to liven up last season’s dress or add some sparkle to our everyday shoes. But how? No need for fancy tools or expensive supplies–Mark Montano presents this beautifully illustrated book that’s jam-packed with more than 150 easy-to-make projects. Featuring simple, step-by-step instructions for each project, The Big-Ass Book of Bling includes everything from ornate shoe clips to rhinestone-studded cuffs to flashy headbands–anything and everything that needs a little sprucing up. So “bling it on” and see how dazzling you can be!” ( Provided by publisher)