Category Archives: Craft book reviews

Paris Street Style Coloring Book

Fashion Coloring Book 3

Paris Street Style by Zoe de las Cases

It looks like the coloring book craze isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.  I keep seeing new coloring books popping up. One book that caught my eye was Paris Street Style by Zoe de las Cases.  I was drawn to this coloring book because of the subject matter, fashion.  It’s the perfect subject for coloring.  There are no rules on how to color a dress or pair of shoes.  Each coloring page is a fresh canvas.

As usual, I’m going to share a few pictures from the book.  When it comes to craft books, you need to see if the content appeals to you.  I could go on and on about a craft book but if you don’t find the content appealing, my words mean nothing.

Fashion Coloring BookThe first thing I noticed about this coloring book is that all the pages are sketches.  To me, it’s like coloring the pages of someones well thought out sketchbook.

Fashion Coloring Book 4Another detail I should point out is that the book is 8in x 8in with 96 pages.  This makes the book a little hard to lay flat.  I had to force the book flat to color the pages.

Fashion Coloring Book 2Not all the pages are of people.  There are many pages filled with patterns.  This coloring book offers a lot of variety.

Fashion Coloring Book 5Some of the pages consist of collections such as these sewing supplies.  Other collections include: shoes, skirts, bathing suits and underwear.

Overall,Paris Street Style is a fun coloring book for teens and adults.  It’s great for travel when you want something to do/make without all the baggage.  I have this book on my coffee table with a cup of color pencils.  When friends visit, they can pick up the book and color if they want.

If you would like to learn more about Paris Street Style, please visit Penguin Random House.

I received Paris Street Style through Blogging for Books.

Book Review: Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop

Japanese Woodblock Print WorkshopJapanese Woodblock Print Workshop( A Modern Guide to the Ancient Art of Mokuhanga) by April Vollmer

Between my love for Japanese aesthetics and the arts, April Vollmer’s book Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop immediately caught my eye.  I was first drawn in by the bright print that’s on the cover of the book (one of April’s prints).  But when I opened the book, I was really taken away by the passion and respect April has for the art of Japanese Woodblock printing (mokuhanga).  This book took three year’s in the making and is truly a labor of love.

Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop (JWPW) is an all-encompassing guide about mokuhanga.  In it you will find everything from the history of mokuhanga to a step by step outline of how a print is made.  This book is highly detailed and technical.  I would recommend it for experienced printmakers who want to expand their knowledge on the subject of mokuhanga.

Japanese Woodblock Book 6Suzuki Harunobu (1725 -1770) Eyogami(calendar print): Show-Woman with a Monkey

The first chapter of the JWPW is  “history and significance”.  Along side it are examples of prints such as the wood block print above.

Japanese Woodblock Book2This is just one of many pictures you will find in the “Tools and Materials” chapter.  There are also instructions for using the tools.

Japanese Woodblock Book 3Here’s an example of what some of the step by step instructions look like.  Pictured above are the last steps for re-covering the baren.

Japanese Woodblock Book 4“A professional papermaker keeps fibers in suspension by keeping the slurry in motion as the water drains for the sugeta.”

There’s an entire chapter focused on washi (Japanese handmade paper)!

Japanese Woodblock Book 5The Dive by Henrik Hey

One chapter is dedicated to contemporary artists using mokuhanga.  This chapter is very inspirational to look through with all the unique prints.

Japanese Woodblock Book

Zova #6 (blue) by April Vollmer.

To learn more about Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, please visit April’s site.

I received Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop from Blogging for Books for this review.

Craft Book Review: Just add Watercolor

Just add Watercolor

Just add Watecolor by Helen Birch

I’ve always wondered how artists achieve certain looks with watercolor.  I’ve only used the medium in its traditional form.  I’ve never ventured out with trying different techniques and styles.  Therefore, I was very interested in reading Helen Birch’s book, Just add Watercolor.  The book is filled with 96 illustrations from contemporary watercolor artists.  Just add Watercolor was created to inspire and share useful techniques and tips.

Just add Watercolor 5

Just add Watercolor is broken down by paintings: Traditional watercolor, Gouache, Digital, Mixed media, Other water-based media and Non-paper media.  The book is formatted with one page sharing the technique used to create the illustration along with a description on how the image was created.  The text also includes details such as: what paper the artist used, paints, brushes, techniques, styles, etc. You also get a “Tip” for each illustration.

I should add, this book is not a step-by-step tutorial watercolor book.

Just add Watercolor 6In the beginning of the book you’ll find thumbnails for all 96 illustrations along with the page number it coordinates with.

Below are a few images from Just add Watercolor:

Just add Watercolor 3 Digital Illustration by Helen Dealtry

Just add Watercolor 4

Mixed media Illustration by Jule Van Wezemael

Just add Watercolor 2Other water-based media illustration by Hatsuki Miyahara

In Just add Watercolor, Helen has curated a lovely collection of contemporary watercolor illustrations.  Hopefully you got a sense of this from the images I shared.  Overall, I think this is a good book for technique reference and inspiration.   To learn more about Just add Watercolor, please visit Penquin Random House.

I received Just add Watercolor from Blogging for Books for this review.  I specifically requested this book to review.

Craft Book: Eline’s Dollhouse

DIY Miniature dollhouse bookOnce in a while I’ll come across a truly inspiring craft book. Such is the case with Eline Pellinkhof’s book “Eline’s Dollhouse: with more than 90 mini-home decorations you can make yourself”. This book is written in Dutch. There are no pictures or illustrations for making the projects. However, for me it’s more for inspiration than anything else. If I really need the directions for a project, there’s always Google Translate.

The concept of a dollhouse miniature craft book isn’t new. However, a bright, contemporary, cottage style house is. Plus, the styling for the rooms is gorgeous.  I could talk about it all day but it’s best if I just show you.

DIY miniature dollhouse book 2Lets start with the sewing room.  Look at that tiny cork board and the vases have crocheted covers.

DIY miniature dollhouse book…and a sewing room wouldn’t be complete without a fabric stash.  Am I the only one loving this?!

DIY miniature dollhouse book 3Here’s the bedroom.  The hanging fabric lampshade is one of my favorite things about this room.  The lampshade is also one of 90 projects in the book.

DIY miniature dollhouse book 4I like the black and white checker tiles for the kitchen.  It’s hard to see, but on the left, there’s a chandelier hanging from the ceiling with trimmed birthday candles.

There’s so much more to see in this book but I couldn’t photograph it all.  To learn more Eline’s Dollhouse and the author, click here.

I noticed in the book there are some tiny colored pencils.  That reminded me of a post I wrote long ago on how to make miniature pencils .  I’ll be sharing that tutorial again here this Friday so please come back and check it out. 

Sewing Book: Sew-licious Little Things

Sew-licious Little ThingsSew-licious Little Things: 35 zakka sewing projects to make life more beautiful by Kate Haxell

I have a sewing book to share with you today, Sew-licious Little Things. But it’s not just any sewing book, it’s a zakka style sewing book! Zakka is the Japanese term for “many things” but is also considered a craft genre in itself. Plus, many of you know I’m a big fan of the zakka aesthetic.

Sew-licious LIttle things includes 35 zakka sewing projects. The book is broken up into chapters: For carrying my stuff, To keep my stuff cozy, To make gorgeous things, and To chill. The book is good for intermediate level.  Just from looking at the projects, I would say you need some basic knowledge of sewing. That said, a lot of the projects are simple to make. Included in the directions are step-by-step illustrations. There’s also templates in the back of the book for the sewing projects (some are full-sized and some need to be enlarged).

Below are a few of my favorite projects from Sew-licious Little Things.

Sew-licious Little Things 4Java Jacket

Sew-licious Little Things 3Tied Up Bag

Sew-licious Little Things 2Pocket Pouch – I need to make on of these for my tote bag.

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