October 2011

Knitting through the Storm

Winter is blowing in which means it might be time to pick up the knitting needles.

Yarn crafts can be fun for all ages. In fact, I’ve known quite a few little (under ten years old) boys who were even happy to start crocheting chains which could stretch around the house. Winter is the perfect time for knitting or crocheting in front of the fireplace. And you might even get a scarf or blanket out of it to keep you even warmer! However, if you are looking to product something from yarn that is actually practical and decent looking, then consider picking up the Vogue Knitting.

Vogue Knitting is widely popular with beginners and advanced knitters alike. Over 50 experts convened to create this beautiful guide filled with word definitions, descriptive images and more. Many people even consider this the one knitting book you need to get yourself started. The only common problem cited is that it is difficult to search for terms because the index isn’t quite up to par, but if you are just looking to flip through and teach yourself to knit than this is a great book.

The added benefit is that Vogue is virtually synonymous with style and fashion. Not only will you learn to knit, but you will learn to knit something beautiful. Popular projects include blankets, scarves, leg warmers, sweaters and much more. In fact, if you get a jump start on it now, you might even be able to knit up a few gifts for the holidays. Nothing says cheer quite like a homemade gift which is practical as well. Knitting is a great craft for all types of people, jump right in with Vogue Knitting.

Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire

by Barbara Lewis

As a beader, I often find myself bored with the basic concept of stringing beads on wire.  While there are nearly limitless possibilities when it comes to arranging said beads, sometimes my creative ambitions lead me to wonder about all the amazing creations waiting to be had with other jewelry making styles.  One area I always shy away from is anything to do with torching or firing.  I would love to do clays and enamels, but I’m a little nervous about the mechanical side of it.

Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry aims to temper those fears with a dose of excitement about beginning a new project.  The author, Barbara Lewis, exhibits such a passion and enthusiasm for her craft that it is impossible not to want to rush right out and build my own enameling studio.

Go Beyond the Usual Greeting Card

Get inspiration from this book on handcrafted cards.

There are two types of crafters – the ones who are into paper crafting and the ones who just don’t get it. This divide doesn’t exactly start brawls in the yarn aisle but if you are looking to cross over or join the paper crafting team the book on cards from Paige Gilchrist. Gilchrist’s book titled, “Handcrafted Cards: From Elegant to Whimsical” offer 60 designs for paper crafters.

Making cards is one of the most practical of paper making activities. Although snail mail has taken a back seat to email in the modern era, this doesn’t mean that people don’t like cards. And a homemade card is far more personal than one purchased at a store. However, the first few cards a crafter makes often end up, well, novice. It seems easy to get started making cards, we have all seen them before and now how they should look, but actually fashioning one doesn’t always work out so well.

Crafts Start in the Bag

Teenage girls usually love the thought of sewing their own clothes but give up after the first few seams, this book is the perfect solution.

Sewing can be a practical and completely fun hobby for teenage girls and boys interested in fashion. However, even the “easy to sew” patterns can be frustratingly difficult for teens and usually the sewing 

machine gets shoved back in the closet before the arms are sewn on a shirt. “Simply Sublime Bags 30 no-Sew, Low-Sew Projects” is a great book for teenage girls interested in sewing. The book is super easy to follow, has big pictures and perfectly simple to understand directions. It avoids using obscure sewing terms and is made for girls who are just starting out.

But teenage girls aren’t just looking for sewing patterns which are easy to make. They want a great result for their hard work as well. Fortunately this book delivers on that a cute product. The bags are fantastic and totally practical for taking to school and out with friends to show off. Sewing can be fun but most people stick to pajama pants for a reason – the uneven hems and noticeably skewed seams are a bit embarrassing anywhere but inside the privacy of your own home. The projects which results from “Simply Sublime Bags 30 no-Sew, Low-Sew Projects” will be something any teenage girl, or even adults, will be very proud of. The author, Jodi Kahn, also makes each project very unique and memorable. Some examples of bags to sew include “shower curtain tote”, “charmed” and more. There is something for everything looking to start sewing. 

The Craft of Capturing Family Heritage

Learn new ways to capture the beauty and essence of old things.

New Ideas for Crafting Heritage Albums” is an excellent book for any adults (or particularly creatively inclined children) who are looking for a long-term project which will be cherished for

generations. This is not your average scrapbooking how-to guide, but rather an in depth discovery of different ways to preserve a family’s unique history.