Inspirational ideas for Craft Lovers

Take a look at this gorgeous collection of new craft books and get inspired with lots of ideas on how to kick-start your craft projects. Experience the contemporary culture of craft with vibrant knitting and papercraft designs for yourself, family and home. Celebrate winter with the most sophisticated knitting designs – they’ll certainly turn heads. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverPaper made! : 101 exceptional projects to make out of everyday paper / Kayte Terry.
“Repurposing diva Terry transforms trash to treasure, fashioning newspaper, wallpaper, or plain old paper headed for the garbage into beads or bangles or headboards. A merchandise manager for Anthropologie and a crafter, Terry has transformed playing cards into lampshades, and an abandoned roll of raffle tickets into a coffee-table conversation piece. An avalanche of catalogues can become a cavalcade of crafts: the “Ring around the Rosy Vase” is constructed of pages woven from advertising usually destined for refuse. Paper maps become passport covers or origami birds on a string for a child’s nursery. The process may appear tedious at times, with instructions to cut 100 paper strips, but they are well worth the payoff of drink umbrellas from paper scraps and papier-mache pinatas bursting with treats.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverUltimate papercraft bible : a complete reference with step-by-step techniques / consultant editor, Marie Clayton ; [contributors, Sarah Beaman, Paula Pascual].
“Papercrafting encompasses a variety of techniques, and this reference provides basic information and simple projects explaining a number of popular crafts. Topics covered include cardmaking, scrapbooking, papercutting, and origami; brief descriptions of a few other papercrafts, including quilling, decoupage, and papermaking, also are included. The step-by-step approach is appropriate for novice papercrafters. Most steps are illustrated with line drawings, and photographs of finished projects are provided. Verdict: Crafters interested in basic information about a variety of papercrafts will find enough to whet their appetites, but the depth of coverage is definitely secondary to the breadth.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverI can herringbone : from basic stitch to advanced techniques, a comprehensive workbook for beaders / Melissa Grakowsky.
“The second in Lark’s “I Can” series (I Can Right-Angle Weave) focuses on herringbone stitch, a versatile stitch commonly seen in African beadwork. After a brief introduction to the building blocks of herringbone, Grakowsky explores the styles and variations of the stitch, including flat and tubular work and creating herringbone bezels for larger stones or beads. The organisation is tailored toward all levels of beadworkers-each chapter progresses from basic to advanced projects-and a nice variety of styles is represented, from simple and straightforward to opulent and decorative. The project directions are well organized, and the illustrations clearly show the thread path for each step-a huge help for new beaders or for complex projects. Verdict: This promising new series provides novice jewelry makers with a basics-and-beyond approach, and helps fill in gaps in experienced jewelry makers’ knowledge.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverNew earrings : 500+ designs from around the world / Nicolas Estrada.
“”Every piece of jewelry draws the viewer into a story and a world of its own,” Estrada (New Rings) says in this visual treat of imaginative works by 180 artists and jewelers. Devoid of any commentary other than Estrada’s own short biography, a preface, and an introduction, the majority of the book is devoted to the illustration of more than 500 pieces of personal, visual, wearable art that anyone can own. The colorful earrings featured are organized in four categories: elegant, daring, delicate, and sublime. Their designs range from the traditional to the flamboyant, with a variety of techniques, including positive/negative, light/shadow, and asymmetrical forms and shapes. The work concludes with an index of artists arranged by first name and highlighting their country of origin, educational training/background, selected exhibitions, and personal website. Verdict: This book should prove useful to both art students and other jewelry enthusiasts. Especially recommended for those whose collections focus on fashion, jewelry, and photography.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverMetropolitan knits : chic designs for urban style / Melissa Wehrle.
“Big city. Big style. Discover knitting that’s fashionable yet timeless. Knit for uptown or downtown with a trend-setting New York City designer. With these 20 polished, sophisticated projects, knitwear designer Melissa Wehrle has created a collection that perfectly reflects the rhythm, flavor, and drama of city life. From a chunky cabled sweater and hat to a beautiful tunic and gossamer cardigan, Melissa’s designs are beautifully shaped, expertly finished, and ready to be shown off on the street. They feature a variety of construction and finishing techniques, including knit-in pockets, tabs, button details, slip-stitch edgings, and small slits and pleats. Projects are divided along three themes: Heart of the City- Designed for those who enjoy sleek midtown in mind. Urban Bohemia- The downtown bohemian goddess will love these looks. City Gardens- Made to inspire a sense of tranquility. These three looks balance out a complete picture of the modern woman. What more could a city knitter need?” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverRowan’s greatest knits / edited by Kate Buller.
“Internationally renowned Rowan is a knitwear company that has been making gorgeous yarn and stylish, yet classic patterns to go with it for thirty years. With Rowans Greatest Knits, the company celebrates decades of great knitwear designs from such beloved and noted designers as Kaffe Fassett, Jean Moss, Sasha Kagan, and Annabel Fox. Featured in-house talent includes Martin Storey, Kim Hargreaves, and Marie Wallin. Included in Rowans Greatest Knits are 30 patterns from 1980 to the 2000s. With 80 stunning color photographs pulled from the original pages of Rowan magazine, Rowans Greatest Knits, with an an introduction by Kaffe Fassett, also presents its most popular patterns. And, these are modeled by, among others, a young Kate Moss. Patterns include yarn replacement suggestions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArtful color, mindful knits / Laura Miltzer Bryant ; photography by Alexis Xenakis.
With expert instruction in the use of hand-dyed yarn, this pattern book gives knitters and crocheters the edge they need to stitch with confidence. Working with artisan hand-dyed yarn opens a world of possibility for a crafter, but problems can arise if the patterning is accidental, inconsistent, or unattractive. The author shows how to analyze the dye skein and reveal its color repeat, allowing the crafter to employ stitch gauge and stitch count to intentionally pattern the finished work. As a contrast, further strategies and stitch choices are shown that blend the colors to overcome unwanted pooling and create more gentle gradients. With 40 patterns for a wide variety of projects, this manual will have crafters constructing vibrant scarves, shawls, kimonos, and more. (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverThe art of seamless knitting / Simona Merchant-Dest and Faina Goberstein.
“Ask a group of knitters to name their least favorite part of knitting a garment, and many will say seaming. This aversion has led to an abundance of patterns-especially for sweaters-that don’t involve seaming. In this guide, experienced knitwear designers Merchant-Dest and Goberstein explore the whys behind seamless knitting, describe the various shapes of seamless garments and accessories, and educate knitters on best practices for seamless knitting. For the truly seam-averse, there’s even a section about adapting flat-knitting patterns for seamless knitting in the round. Eleven patterns-most for sweaters-are included. Verdict: Rarely do knitting books contain both gorgeous patterns and authoritative information on technique; this title is a notable exception. The background information about seamless knitting is useful, and the patterns are beautiful.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

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. (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverSweet knits : 30 cute designs for kids / Catherine Graham-Evans ; photography by Ella Mayfield.
“Catherine Graham-Evans has been passionate about knitting from an early age, and has always designed and made her own pieces. She studied fine art at university, before becoming a primary school teacher. In 2008, Catherine began designing, knitting and selling handknit and crochet items for children. In 2010, she gave up full-time teaching, and now creates patterns for books and yarn companies, as well as handknitted items for sale”. (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverAdorable animal knits for little people : 20 super-cute, animal-themed hat, mitten and bootee sets to knit / Nuriya Khegay.
“Cute coverall hats to keep your child’s head, ears, and neck warm and toasty. Practical pullover design ensures your little one won’t tug it off. Stylish matching mitten and booties “paws” and scarves. Patterns to suit all knitting levels, from beginner to advanced, and in a range of sizes from 6 months to 4 years”. (Book Cover)

Creative craft ideas for winter – featuring literary knits!

Winter is a great time for cosying up with craft books and this inspiring selection of our latest arrivals, full with delightful finds, may be just what you need to lighten up the winter blues. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverLiterary knits : 30 patterns inspired by favorite books / Nikol Lohr.
“More than 30 projects inspired by classic literature Literary Knits features 30 knitting patterns inspired by beloved characters from classic books; from Pride and Prejudice to Moby Dick, The Catcher in the Rye to The Chronicles of Narnia-and many more in between. Inspired by some of the most beloved characters from favorite books, including an elegant Daisy Cloche inspired by The Great Gatsby and a late ’50s-inspired Holly Golightly Dress imagined from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the more than 30 knitting projects in this unique collection will inspire.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHand-stitched home : embroidered inspiration, ideas, and projects / Caroline Zoob ; photography by Caroline Arber.
“Projects for your home include a beautifully sheer patchwork curtain, an heirloom quilt that incorporates found and original embroidery, shelf edging embroidered with an array of kitchen motifs, decorative panels for glazed doors and a charming nautically themed laundry bag.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStitch it for Spring / Lynette Anderson.
“A gorgeous collection of Spring-themed quilting and stitching designs from top fabric designer Lynette Anderson, including table runners, wall hangings and larger quilts, as well as smaller, quick-to-stitch gifts, all featuring Lynettes new fabric range from Lecien. Beautiful fabrics, fresh colours and cute designs are enhanced by a book design that captures Lynettes heart-warming, quirky style.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle stitches : 100+ sweet embroidery designs – 12 projects / Aneela Hoey.
“Hoey’s name is familiar to many modern quilters-she’s one of the founders of the popular Fat Quarterly e-zine, and her fabric lines for Moda blend fairy-tale whimsy with cheery color palettes. In her first book, she applies her charming aesthetic to a variety of small-scale embroidery projects. After an introduction to basic embroidery stitches and their uses, Hoey presents a variety of projects that combine small embroidered designs with simple sewing. The motifs are interchangeable, and all are included on reusable iron-on transfers. -VERDICT Embroidery is gaining in popularity, especially among younger crafters. Hoey’s cute, vintage-inspired approach will appeal to novice stitchers.”

Syndetics book coverStitched in Scandinavia : 39 contemporary embroidery projects / by Karin Holmberg.
“Karin Holmberg studied textiles in Stockholm, where her degree show exhibition was greatly admired for its original work stitching traditional Scandinavian motifs onto clothes from H&M. Her work has been exhibited internationally in museums and design fairs. Karin is the new star in the Swedish craft world when it comes to stitching, and teaches embroidery courses and workshops in Stockholm. She also takes on private commissions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlueprint crochet sweaters : techniques for custom construction / Robyn Chachula.
“An introduction to sweater and garment construction that will provide an understanding of working with crochet to make better-fitting garments. Robyn Chachula began her career as a structural engineer with a specialty in historic preservation and renovation, which uses her ability to take big projects and break them into little items anyone can understand. She is the author of ‘Blueprint Crochet: Modern Designs for the Visual Crocheter’ (Interweave, 2008). Visit her blog, crochetbyfaye.com.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDessert roll quilts : 12 simple dessert roll quilt patterns / Pam & Nicky Lintott.
“Pam Lintott opened her shop, The Quilt Room, in 1981, which she still runs today, with her daughter Nicky. Dessert Roll Quilts is Pam and Nicky’s ninth book for David & Charles following on from their eight extremely successful jelly roll quilt books including the phenomenally successful Jelly Roll Quilts and the last in the series Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverExploring canework in polymer clay : color, pattern, surface design / Patricia Kimle.
“An award-winning polymer and metal clay artist and designer,Patricia Kimle has contributed more than 30 project articles to magazines. She has written several successful books, including one published by Kalmbach, ‘Perfectly Paired’. She is a member of the International Polymer Clay Association and is a designer member of the Craft and Hobby Association.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdditions to clay bodies / Kathleen Standen.
“Kathleen Standen studied ceramics at the London Metropolitan University. She was joint winner of the 2010 Contemporary Ceramics Award by Millcove Gallery and in 2011 her work was selected to represent Ireland in the FuLe Museum in Fuping, China. She has exhibited in the UK, Ireland and China and is a member of the Craft Council of Ireland.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMedieval-inspired knits : stunning brocade and swirling vine patterns with embellished borders/ Anna-Karin Lundberg.
“Inspired by 15th- and 16th-century church paintings in her native Sweden, Lundberg sought with her first book to recreate the stunning colors and all-over designs in knitwear. Swedish yarn and Scandinavian techniques are used to create the sweaters and accessories in this book, and each pattern includes narrative instructions as well as the necessary charts. The result is a close cousin to classics of colorwork like Alice Starmore’s long-out-of-print Tudor Roses-works of art made wearable. VERDICT Though this book appeals to a specialized audience-knitters with an interest in traditional stranded colorwork and the skills to make such detailed patterns-those knitters are passionate about their craft, and will appreciate Lundberg’s inspiring collection. (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)

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)

New Year Inspirations

Take a look at this eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring clever and creative ideas to help you kick off the New Year. Experience the contemporary culture of craft with gorgeous crochet and embroidery projects, passed down through the generations, from mothers to daughters and learn new techniques. And, if you like to add dimension or shine to stitchery, designer Yasuko Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration in her book ‘Bead embroidery stitch samples’. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverSimple crochet : with more than 35 vintage-vibe projects for your handmade life / Sara Sinaguglia.
Crafter and blogger Sara Sinaguglia has created 35 easy-to-make crochet projects for everyday life. From cushions, coasters and bags to toys, scarves and pot holders, bring a little of Sara’s stylish vintage vibe into your crafting life. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrochet workshop : learn how to crochet with 20 inspiring projects / Erika Knight.
Crochet Workshop is the perfect book for the beginner. Under Erika Knight’s guidance even those who have never picked up a crochet hook before will soon be making gorgeous projects and all the while learning new techniques and adding to their skills. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomespun vintage : 20 timeless knit and crochet projects / Jane Crowfoot.
The craft skills that have traditionally been passed down through the generations from mother to daughter are as popular as ever, boosted by the current vogue for all things vintage. Drawing inspiration from the interiors and fashions of the 20th century, this book is packed full of knit and crochet projects which will fit perfectly into any vintage-inspired interior. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFree-form embroidery with Judith Baker Montano : transforming traditional stitches into fiber art / [Judith Baker Montano].
“For embroiderers ready to make the leap of faith from pillowcases with kittens stamped in blue to fiber art, Montano’s newest serves as a beautiful bible. Having embroidered dancing spoons on dishtowels helps, however, because “transforming traditional stitches into fiber art” requires knowing the basics. In the introduction, Montano, an award-winning fiber artist, author (Elegant Stitches), and teacher, encourages embroiderers to leap from traditional to free-form stitchery by describing her own journey from a frustrated little feather-stitcher to a fiber artist, honoring her influences in her account. She annotates supply lists: threads and ribbons, yarns and fabrics, hoops and tools. “Techniques” starts with choosing background fabrics and ends with framing finished work. Montano’s abundant stitch guide, a quarter of the book, ranges from A for arrowhead to W for whipstitch. The guide moves seamlessly to “Combining Stitches,” which illustrates ways to thread trees, vines (even “evil” ones like kudzu), and shrubs via photographs and drawings; ditto, flowers and fish. Montano marries an embroiderers’ guidebook with a nature study to produce eye candy. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly). (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBead embroidery stitch samples / Yasuko Endo, CRK Design ; [photography by Yoshiharu Ohtaki, Nobuei Araki ; translated by Sean Gaston, Yuko Wada, Takako Otomo].
“Embellishing embroidery with beads is a good way to add dimension or shine to stitchery. This book by designer Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration, instructing stitchers on how to add beaded embroidery to a variety of fabrics. The book’s organization is unusual. Beaded stitches are presented in a stitch dictionary format on the left-hand pages, while the right-hand pages are devoted to stitch techniques. Project ideas are interspersed throughout, but directions beyond the colors of floss and beads used are not included. The last segment of the book gives diagrams for each of the beaded stitches. VERDICT Unusual organization aside, this is a lovely guide for stitchers who want to add embellishment to their handwork. (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 summary)

Syndetics book coverStitch New York : 20 kooky ways to knit the city and more / Lauren O’Farrell.
Cute, quirky and slightly insane, this unique knitting title will show you how to knit all the most famous New York people and places. Inspired by and created for city chicks who don’t like rules but love knitting. Projects are simple enough for beginners, yet bonkers enough to inspire more seasoned knitters. Brilliantly written in Lauren’s sassy style, with clever tips and techniques. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBowerbird : creating beautiful interiors with the things you collect / Sibella Court ; photography by Chris Court.
Sibella Court’s wanderlust has made her one of the world’s most sought after stylists and creative directors. Much like her avian counterpart the Australian bowerbird Sibella is famous for creating interiors that entice and inspire from found objects beloved mementos and upcycled furniture. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDaring adventures in paint : inspiring techniques with collage and mixed media / Mati Rose McDonough.
“Daring adventures in paint is a colorful, whimsical adventure of a book that explores inspirational paint and mixed-media techniques. Written by the well-loved artist/illustrator/blogger Mati Rose McDonough, this book’s approach to making art is a bit like uncovering a hidden treasure, a treasure that resides within each aspiring artist. Through a myriad of both practical applications and creative exercises, Mati shows artists how to ‘find their magic’–the place of confidence from which they can access the vision of what they want to share with the world”–Publisher’s description. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEmbellish me : how to print, dye, and decorate your fabric / Laurie Wisbrun.
“*Starred Review* Persuading other designers to collaborate on a crafts book is unusual but certainly nothing new. What stands out in first-time editor-author Wisbrun’s collection is her joy with (and space devoted to) 10 designers, all of whom boast growing international renown. Each contributes not only a handful of step-by-step photographic how-to’s on her particular specialty but also spotlights her work in a four- to six-page gallery and submits to an interview. The 30-plus choices of embellishment techniques range from old (applique, dyeing, and embroidering) to new digital-like methods, such as cyanotype printing (a photographic process that uses sunlight to print an image). Nor are the initial stages of embellishment neglected: Wisbrun covers a wide span of tools and techniques as well as fundamental fabric abcs, while Maine artist Heather Dutton provides a good overview of how to design a pattern. A further bonus is a final chapter on going pro, complete with three perspectives cum interviews.–Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Bright ideas for Craft Lovers!

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Take a look at some vibrant crochet designs as well as, various innovative quilting and patchwork projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverFind & keep / Beci Orpin.
“Be inspired with Beci Orpin’s beautfiul new book Find and Keep. This gorgeous ideas and craft book features all of Beci’s favourite things, from wall murals such as life-size paper Christmas trees, to embroideries and herb gardens and picnic fare. Discover where Beci gets her inspiration from and follow her in her studio, at home and out and about as she gathers ideas for her projects. Learn how these ideas come to life and then apply them yourself with 25 make-at-home projects that cover a wide range of crafty mediums, from collages to cushions and t-shirts to teacups. With simple step-by-step instructions and tips and beautiful page design by Michelle Mackintosh, these cool crafty ideas are new and fresh and bound to appeal to fans of Beci’s work and crafting in general. So, get inspired, get creative and go find, make and keep!” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverFun family crafts / Kelly Doust.
“Demonstrates how to make crafts with children that can be used around the house, with a list of materials, instructions, and tips on tasks that are most suitable for children for each project.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA passion for quilting : 35 step-by-step patchwork and quilting projects to stitch / Nicki Trench.
“With bags, quilts, blankets, pillows, table runners and more, A Passion for Quilting is filled with innovative quilting and patchwork projects to try. With 35 eye-catching designs to sew, every stitcher will fall in love with the projects in A Passion for Quilting. With something for everyone, Nicki Trench employs quilting, appliqué, embroidery and patchwork techniques to create items to make for the home, or to give as personal gifts to family and friends. Divided into four chapters, start by making Blankets and Quilts using colourful blocks and vintage fabrics. Take the picnic quilt out on a summer day or decorate your baby s crib with the cot quilt made with vintage fabrics. Carry Out is next, packed with projects for people who love bags. The glamour purse is covered with pretty yoyos while the beach bag is great for storing all your vacation essentials. Accessories and Gifts has book covers, needle cases, cushions and more that are certain to put a smile on the face of the recipient. In the final chapter, Kitchen and Dining Room, there are trivets, tea towels and chair seat covers to add colour to your culinary spaces. At the back you will find a handy techniques section explaining all the stitches you ll need to complete the projects. With creative ideas to inspire both beginners and more experienced stitchers, you are sure to find the perfect project to feed your crafting addictions!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverClever crocheted accessories : 25 quick weekend projects / edited Brett Bara.
“The ideal curator, Brett shares a first-rate lineup of projects. Whether you are a beginner or experienced crocheter, there is something for everyone: hats and caps, including a cloche, porkpie hat, and tam; scarves, shawls, and cowls, from chunky to drapey to snug; eye-catching mittens and arm warmers; delicate lace socks and cozy man-slippers; flirty bags; and sparkly jewelry. Each piece is designed with standout details so that even the simplest pattern has that “wow” factor by showcasing lust-worthy yarn, an unexpected technique, or a fun embellishment. Techniques you’ll discover include Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, and Bruges lace. The all-star roster of designers includes Robyn Chachula, Doris Chan, Mari Lynn Patrick, Regina Gonzalez, Drew Emborsky, Linda Permann, Kristin Omdahl, Ellen Gormley, Cal Patch, Pamela Wynne, Linda Cyr, and Vickie Howell.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverQuilt love : simple projects to stitch & treasure / Cassandra Ellis ; photography by Rachel Whiting.
“When scraps from personal items are incorporated, such as a baby blanket or a vintage T-shirt–that quilt becomes a cherished keepsake. A new take offers today’s quilters a modern twist on free-form, scrap, and patchwork quilting by combining fabric mementos into quilts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBaby crochet : 20 hand-crochet designs for babies, newborn-24 months / Sandy Powers ; photography by Tara Renaud.
“This collection of crochet projects for boys and girls includes a range of hats (from a beanie to a newsboy), two cozy cocoons, bunting and baby blankets, a hooded sweater, legwarmers, mittens, booties, and four sets featuring body suit & hat, cocoon & hat, diaper cover, and more. The sizes range from newborn to 24 months.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGeek chic crochet : 35 retro-inspired projects that are off the hook / Nicki Trench.
“Capture the spirit of the sixties and seventies with these patterns for scarves, skirts, tank tops, turbans, and more. Do you have a passion for vintage fashion? If so, you’re guaranteed to love the 35 patterns in ‘Geek Chic Crochet’.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrochet boutique : 30 simple, stylish hats, bags & accessories / Rachael Oglesby.
“This book was written with a beginning crocheter in mind. Despite all patterns having a skill level of “beginner” or “easy,” as an advanced crocheter I did find some projects I really liked. The Chain Scarf which is a scarf consisting of layers of chains made with the plain chain stitch was a great idea. I have some very ornate yarn that would be lost in a normal crocheted garment or accessory, but it definitely would look like “jewelry” used in this scarf. I also thought several of the hats were really cute and very practical, especially the Bubble Beret and the Slouchy Beanie.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverCast on, bind off : 54 step-by-step methods / Leslie Ann Bestor ; photography by John Polak.
“Discover the perfect beginning and ending for every knitting project! This one-of-a-kind reference presents more than 50 ways to cast on and bind off, creating edges that are tighter, looser, stretchier, lacier, longer-lasting, prettier–whatever your project needs, you’ll find it here. Detailed instructions for each technique are combined with step-by-step photography so that nothing is left to chance. At-a-glance charts identify the best cast on or bind off for various types of knitting, as well as cast on/bind off pairs that work well together. This indispensable guide will ensure that all of your knitting projects are polished and pleasing, from start to finish!” (from Syndetic summary)

Syndetics book coverCrazy-cool duct tape projects : fun and funky projects for fashion and flair / Marisa Pawelko.
“Marisa shares 24 of her best DIY Duct tape ideas, with step-by-step instructions and how-to pictures. You’ll learn how to make fashionable wearables like gloves, leg warmers, a kilt and a halter top. You’ll also find crafty ideas for functional items like a vase or night light. Projects cover a variety of skill levels, so you’ll get plenty of creative inspiration whether you’re just a beginner or an experienced Duct tape aficionado.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSide by side : 20 collaborative projects for crafting with your kids / Tsia Carson ; photographs by Meredith Heuer.
“Crafting is always more fun and more meaningful when it’s shared with those you love. Discover the joy of working alongside your child while creating arts and crafts that inspire. With these twenty whimsical projects in a variety of mediums, you and your child will find fun ways to work collaboratively and independently – together on the same project, or side-by-side on related projects”–Cover.

Syndetics book cover “Anna Maria’s needleworks notebook / Anna Maria Horner.
The book features four categories of needlework: cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, and crewel. Each category offers advice on common tools used, Anna Maria’s favorite techniques, and hold-your-hand instruction on how to develop your own inspired patterns. In addition, each project journals her process right down to the precise fabrics and exact color number of every thread used in the beautifully photographed examples.” (Syndetics summary)