Saturday, July 18, 2009


Some interesting new craft books for the summer:
Eco-craft: recycle, recraft, restyle by Susan Wasinger shows you how to use natural, found and recycled items to make interesting objets d'art for the home. The projects range from the complex - a chandelier made of baby food jars, wire and barrel hoops - to the quite simple: a small LED light in a bowl covered with glass beads to make a beautiful accent light. You can also make bowls of recycled paper, purses from coffee-bean bags, and a rag rug from old sweaters. The project that I find the most interesting (and looks the least like it was made from trash) is the Moorish screen. The filigree insert in the tri-fold frame is actually made from 6-pack rings that have been melted into layers! Very cool.
Pretty Little Potholders is the companion book to Pretty Little Pincushions. Quilted, embroidered, appliqued, decorated with lace, buttons and beads, the ideas in this book are all very fun and festive. These are all relatively easy to make (there's a nice chapter at the beginning of the book on the basics of basting, stitching and padding the potholders so that you don't burn the heck out of your hands using them). Perfect hostess, birthday and shower gifts for the chefs in your life.
Bag Bazaar: 25 stylish bags to sew in an afternoon, by Megan Avery, is for people who know how to sew. I don't, and I can see that it would take me considerably longer than an afternoon to create a bag using Avery's instructions. She gives you dimensions, rather than an actual pattern, and lists out the sewing directions without any photos (and very few illustrations). That being said, if you are comfortable with terms like 'seam allowance' 'fusible interface' and 'topstitching', then this is a great book of ideas and instructions for making a variety of bags, from a cosmetic bag to a wine tote to a diaper bag. Add your own fabulous fabrics and embellishments, and you will have some very stylish projects to fill up your closets.

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