Violette joined us today on Tuesday Shmoozeday for a live interview. It was a total blast! Don’t worry if you missed it you can still watch and join in the fun. Just click the button on the video and start this fun journey with Martiel and Violette.
Visit Violette’s website to learn more about her and her wonderful whimsical artwork.
Long time no see! How are you? I am doing well. I took a few weeks off because my husband FINALLY returned home from a looooooooooooooooooong deployment and we needed to spend some much needed quality time together.
The holidays are over, school is back in session, my husband is back to work and that means *I* am back to work! I have a few projects that I have been piddling with for the past couple of weeks, but you will have to wait a little bit longer to see any of those.
For today, I wanted to share a project the CraftyLink design team will be working on this year and do my very first book review. You can see a flip through of the book, hear the full review and see the collaborative journal in the video below.
This book has some good interviews by artists who have participated in collaborative projects and it is FULL of gorgeous, full color photos. This is not a book that will tell you how to run a collaborative project, but it will definitely inspire you. The artists talk about who they worked with and why, but not about the specifics of the projects or details about how they ran their exchange. If you enjoy reading interviews, then you will definitely enjoy this book. If you are looking for inspiration, this book will definitely inspire! If you are looking for a guidebook on how to run a collaborative project, this is not the book for you. I will be sure to let you know if I do find one of those ‘guideline’ books!
Now let’s talk about the collaborative journal the CraftyLink Design Team is working on. Over the course of the year, members of the design team will be working in two moleskin journals that will be kept for in-person retreats and classes. We will pass the journals amongst ourselves and when they are full of juicy goodness, we will have two collaborative projects that retreat participants can see, feel and be inspired by! We will be posting photos of the journals as they progress though out the year so you can follow along with their journey as it unfolds.
If you would like to be a part of a collaborative project, head on over to my CraftyLink group Mixed mEDIEology and join the Collaborative Projects Discussion. If enough people are interested, I will set up one or more collaborative projects for members to work on thought out the year.
If you have any questions about the book or the collaborative projects, feel free to leave them in the comments section below, or hop on over to my student union and join the Questions discussion.
For anyone wanting to give making handmade books a go, I really recommend ‘How to Make Books’ by Esther K. Smith.
For someone like me who loves paper crafts, handmade books can be a great way to show off your skills, or keep all your paper treasures in one place. They also make lovely gifts and keepsakes.
I discovered ‘How to Make Books’ whilst at university and have used many of the projects inside. I now regularly revisit this book when looking for inspiration for gifts for family and friends, or on a rainy day.
This book guides you from the very basic instant book for a beginner, up to much more complex projects making some rather exquisite handmade books. It teaches various binding and folding techniques, along with inspiration for how each book may be decorated or used. The instructions are extremely easy to follow, with step by step illustrations and lovely images of the author’s own examples.
Here’s my own example of the Accordion Postcard Album (found on page 42) that I created as a final outcome for my final major project, whilst studying BA Graphic Design. I made these three books as a series to store and record postcard size images of altered books I had made as part of the same project, (my tutors loved them!)
Personally, I think this book is a brilliant investment for anyone wanting to try their hand at making books. Find it online, along with some other fun and inspiring books by the same author. (I also follow Esther K Smith on her Facebook page, she posts some really lovely, crafty things!)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with Stacey live during my show 12 Questions with Martiel about her book, creativity and life as an artist. You can watch the entire video anytime online, just click to go!
Stacey was also gracious to share some free stuff with us during the show. Visit her site for all the goodies and explore on your own or check out the list below for an itemized list.
I’d like to thank Stacey for taking the time to visit with me during this live interview. We had a great time and I hope you enjoy learning about her book and what makes her stay creative.
See you next month for another author interview!
Coming Next Month!
Join me for my show 12 Questions with Martiel during Tuesday Schmoozeday on Nov. 13, 2012 for an interview with author Lisa Solomon of “Knot, Thread, Stitch”. We are going to have an interview and a DEMO.
Normally I have a strict rule about waiting until October 1, to start watching Halloween movies or looking at Halloween decorations in stores. I don’t want all of the spook and excitement to be over before the season even begins. However, this year, I will be making a TON of Halloween themed projects, so I figured I better get a head start!
Hocus Pocus is one of my all time FAVORTIE movies! We watch it every Halloween without fail and someday I WILL make one of those witch costumes.
Christopher and I decided to watch Hocus Pocus last week and I made the offhand comment that we should make Book. Before I had even finished the sentence, technique ideas flooded my brain and I exclaimed “We should make BOOK!!!!”
So… we did!
You can view the video with a full picture tutorial below.
Thank the Spirits for HDTV and a pause button! I have scrutinized this book for days and tried to get every detail as close as I possibly could.
I found the perfect book to alter at my local thrift store. I thinned some of the pages and hollowed the middle of the book.
Next I started sculpting. I made the first knotted snake on a base using polymer clay. I started making the second snake but it was not tuning out as good as the first, so after some mental debating, I decided it would be much better to have a mold. I mixed up some Amazing Mold Putty® and created a mold for my knotted snakes. Since Amazing Mold Putty is oven safe, I was able to fire my polymer clay right in the mold which helped a lot! I made the two long snakes and the basic eyeball shape, also using polymer clay then fired them all in the oven for about an hour.
While the snakes were baking, I started working on the spine of the book. I sculpted the fingers with polymer clay, then I debated on how to fire them. If I pulled them off of the book, I risked ruining the shape and fit. If I left them on the book, I risked setting my house on fire. I decided a more precise replica was worth the risk, do after much dowsing with water, I put the book in the oven.
The original Book has an intricate clasp, with a circlet around the eyeball on the front, an animal claw on the back and a braided piece connecting them in the middle. I needed the clasp to be sturdy and hold up to regular wear and tear, so back to the polymer clay I went. I created the circlet and added a gem on the end. I had to make sure if fit exactly around the eye, yet still leave room for the stitches. Once that was finished, I sculpted the animal claw for the back, again leaving room for the stitches. I added tiny hinges to each piece, and then created the connecting braid to fit. All of the pieces were fired then painted with a coat of black, then layers of metallic silver to create the look of aged metal.
The next step was adding the stitches. I decided to use Creative Paperclay® instead of polymer for the stitches because I really didn’t want to have to bake the book two more times. I added Paperclay logs, and then sculpted the cuts and thread holes with a tool.
I painted the eyeball and attached it to the cover of the book, then using more Creative Paperclay® I sculpted the eye lids and creases of the eye.
I needed to create the look of skin, so I covered the entire book with layers of tissue paper until I reached the desired look. Next came three coats of paint in flesh tones and titan buff, and that was just the under painting!
I still needed to darken and age the book, so I created several different washes of brown paint and just layered it on until I was happy with the color and look of the book.
While the cover was drying, I painted all of the large pieces, first with a coat of black, then layers of metallic silver to match the clasp. I made the base plates for the long snakes by embossing chipboard, then painting them to match the other pieces.
The stitching was the trickiest part for me because no matter what thread I used, nothing looked right and everything kept raveling. It wasn’t until I tried using help cord that I got the look I wanted. I spent four and a half hours cutting and gluing each individual thread on the book.
Once everything was set and dry, I glued all of the large pieces to the book using E-6000. I let it set for a full 24 hours before moving on to the final step.
For the finishing touch, I added actual spells from the movie to the front of the book. I printed my pages, soaked them in a tea bath for aging, and then glued them in using gel medium. I had left a few original book pages in the front of the book, so I glued one spell page to the front and back of each of those pages.
And so, after five days of pretty steady work, that is how BoooOOOooook came to life
I love, love, LOVE the way Book turned out and I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. You can see more photos in the video slideshow below. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.
I was actually considering making and selling these replicas, as well as the eyeballs, so if you are interested in purchasing one, feel free to message me, or VISIT MY BLOG and leave a note in the comments.
This is the only book you will ever need to master the art of knitting stripes, slipstitch, intarsia, and stranded colorwork. What I first loved about the book, besides that it was published in 2012; it’s a spiral - easy to turn pages that lay flat!
The book focused on things like stripes and slipped-stitches to add color to your knitting, slip stitch & mosaic, standing, intarsia, dupicate stitch, embroidery and decorative embellishments.
Each section includes easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions, teaching all that is necessary to master the required knitting skills. Charts, diagrams, and graphs are also provided, and swatch exercises in each section give the reader a chance to try the skills. Sections end with three to five small projects.
Just as I’d expect from Lori , she does this with a variety of brand new stitch patterns to play with and new projects to knit. And, of course, clear explanations and great illustrations. Two primary techniques are used here. Stranded (often referred to as Fair Isle), and Intarsia (color blocks). Each chapter starts with thorough instructions about what the technique is, and how to do it. Next are stitches to play with and inspire you, and they are followed by patterns to make. All the usual suspects are included-hats, sweaters, scarves, purses, pillows, etc
There are other books that have similar goals and similar structures, but this one does it very well. I like the way Lori describes things, I like her eye for color, and her balance between being new and creative while sticking to tradition.
Marie Osmond has been a crafter for years. She has designed a line of highly collectable dolls for many years. Her book HeartFelt Giving: sew and quilt for family and friends is a terrific tribute to her mother and her love of sewing. She begins the book by relating stories of her childhood and her love of sewing that she discovered at an early age. I found the stores to be genuine and heartfelt and fun to read.
Besides childhood stories, she has included 25 patterns for projects ranging from quilts to aprons to baby items to bags and more. The majority of the projects are adorable while the instructions are well written and easy to follow.
Heartfelt Giving is available from Amazon on sale for less than $12 or from Barnes and Noble for regular price of $21.95.
If you make something from this book- or have already made something, I’d love to see a photo and your review of the instructions and patterns. Leave a comment.
Before I start the review, I want to take a moment to clarify what makes a stitch dictionary different from your usual ‘crochet book’. Stitch dictionaries are collections of crochet (or knitting) stitches, motifs and edgings that you can use as the foundation for whatever item you’d like to make. They aren’t intended to tell you how to crochet an afghan- but if you know the basics of making an afghan, then you’re going to find some lovely stitches that you can use.
Many crocheters will have a stitch dictionary on their shelf as a reference guide and inspiration. Once you are familiar with the basics of crocheting, a stitch dictionary is a fabulous tool to help you design and modify projects. Is your triangle shawl looking a little drab? Check out the edgings section and select a great lace pattern.
I just wanted to clarify about what this book is intended to be… if you’re looking for a hat pattern, this isn’t the book for you!
About the Book
Crochet Stitches is a fairly comprehensive stitch dictionary. It contains over 300 stitch patterns (combinations of basic stitches to make an interesting fabric), edgings and motifs (squares and other shapes that you would assemble into a larger piece).
This book covers a wide range of stitches, including:
Textured stitch patterns
Cable stitch patterns
Bobble stitch patterns
Lace stitch patterns
Colorwork stitch patterns
Tunisian stitch patterns
Each stitch pattern/motif is written in standard crochet instructions, as well as charted.
The charts are a fabulous feature of this book. With complicated stitch patterns, the chart can often be easier to read/visualize than the written instructions, so it’s a real boon that both are included.
The book also includes ‘tips’ throughout the book that are tremendously helpful while crocheting.
Robyn Chachula’s Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia includes a number of stitch patterns and motifs, including non-traditional and Tunisian stitches that don’t appear in most dictionaries.
Each stitch pattern includes a photo, a description of when the pattern would be advantageous to use, written instructions and a crochet chart.
The book includes no additional illustrations. There is a page of stitch descriptions (that will tell you how to do the Tunisian Purl Stitch, for example), but these are simple descriptions, and unlikely to be adequate for most people to learn the stitch the first time. So, you may need to use the book in conjunction with another resource that with more stitch illustrations.
I think this book is a great resource… and I definitely find it inspiring! I recommend it to anyone looking for a comprehensive stitch dictionary!
I don’t normally gush over a book but I’m gushing, can you tell?
Moreover, I am completely enamored of one particular design. I loved it so much after making the first blue cuff:
that I made a second for my daughter in rainbow colors with a matte white background.
I used my own 12mm lampwork rainbow orbs for the clasps on both bracelets.
You can use 4mm cubes! I love 4mm cubes and rarely get to use them.
There are other designs that use cubes as well as rivolis, pearls, tube beads, crystals, and anything else you can think of. The cuff pictured at the top left on the cover is perfect as a base for freeform peyote.
There are excellent step by step instructions at the front of the book for someone just starting out and the designs get progressively more complicated throughout so even experienced beadweavers will find designs to challenge them. Something for everyone!
The last two designs are an interlocking weave bracelet done with size 13 seed beads (or charlottes) and a wonderful pattern for vessels that will get you going down the road of sculptural peyote.
There are floral designs, abstracted butterfly wings which would make lovely earrings, several designs with a tribal feel and an exquisite jeweled bracelet with a plethora of rivolis.
If you’re thinking about learning peyote (and why wouldn’t you because it’s AWESOME) I would use this book as a jumping off point. It even explains clearly that starting row that gives us all fits in the beginning.