Two New Books! Perfect Summer Reading For Creative Minds

Two new titles from Lark Crafts are sure to please - and will be welcomed additions to your summer reading list. By now, some of you have realized that I seldom review books that don't garner 4 or 5 starts from me. I simply won't waste precious time reading books that don't please me .. so my star rating are genuine - it's just the reason that you never see reviews from that are not worthy of my time and attention!  I'm exceedingly grateful to be able to review some titles from Lark - and, even though these titles are provided to me, if I review them  it means that I would buy them for myself. 
So here we go: 

* * * *
  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (June 5, 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454701996
Collage is definitely not my strong suit - generally I struggle with it and use it sparingly in my work. That being said, with my keen interest in all things transparent, I have found a renewed interest in collage and this book arrived at the right time! The book is beautifully written and, most important, the instructions are clearly written and illustrated.
The book covers the basics, of course: supports, adhesives, cutting tools, paints, how and where to gather images, on-line resources, storage and organization (did I use that word really?!). Next up are some basics about designs and composition and a chapter called "Layering 101" which is excellent!
The next section, which I love is called "50 Creative Exercises" and these exercises are are on using certain elements in your collage - like whites, typography, image pairings, dreams - you get the idea. These exercises are not specifically instructional, although each presents a paragraph to get your thought train moving,  but rather the idea is illustrated with examples. Trust me - the images are worth more than more words would be in the context of the exercises!

An image library is provided to get your creative juices flowing and a succinct Resource Guide is included for products, paints, glues, software, imagery and books. Well thought out. This one is a keeper for certain - and I actually think I will find renewed interest in using more collage in my mixed media work because of it !

I'm really quite excited about the next title and my mind is spinning with possible uses for the information in the book!

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts; Pap/Cdr edition (June 5, 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600597954

I have to admit that my crewel working days have long been over, but when I saw this book a quilt design popped into my head - and it won't go away! I have 'a thing' for circles and these are all circle designs !! Beautiful, whimsical, perfect circles. The books begins with a chapter entitles "New Crewel Basics" which I think is a perfect refresher for those who have done some crewel work before or for beginners who know nothing of the joy of gliding wool threads through linen or twill fabrics. Linen types, threads, needle choices, hoops, design tracing, knotting and supplies are covered in this chapter. Most importantly this chapter includes detailed diagrams of all of the stitches that you will use in making the designs contained in the gallery of designs that follow.

Next up is my favorite part of this truly wonderful book - the "New Crewel Design Gallery". Each design includes a border strip that has the necessary information for making the design; fabric, thread, stitches used, how to finish and any applicable notes for the pattern are included here.

A gallery of projects for the designs follows - pillows, skirts, bags, etc. Now - here's the thing - this book also contains a CD of all the motifs in the book. Can you say perfect?! Yes, I'm really happy with this fab book of inspired circular designs !


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  2. These both look interesting. I love Collage, and pick up almost any book about it, but the Creative Exercises will really put this over the top. The Crewel book should find a market, since there is such a resergence in the quilting, and embroidery crafts. Good Stuff!

  3. Thanks for the reviews, Marie. I keep toying with the idea of plunging into the collage arena, but talk myself out of it. Some collage I love, others seem like too much chaos on a page. I guess I have the same response to rhinestones on a quilt - some add sparkle to a beautiful quilt, some just look like a magpie got a little crazy with the sparkle spray. ;) Thanks and I will be checking out both books when I get to a good book store. I love embroidery, so the crewel one looks good. I love the design on the front. Wishing you a sun filled week and some time relaxing with a good book.

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