Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Inspiration: Crafty Books. Books. Books.

Before we get down to the books I wanted to thank you all for your kind and supportive comments and e-mails about our big move. It does feel as if the energy has shifted around here and things are moving forward. So good.

Books are in the hot seat for packing. We are pulling out a few we want to keep available but the rest are heading for the boxes... or back to the library soon.

Typically I would like to show you what has actually been made from the books I share here but this post is all about inspiration... and wanting to remember these books, and the ideas and projects I love in them so when we get all set up again for full fledged making I can dive in... 

Just looking at the cover of Making Handmade Books is inspiring. I did make a journal using this book as a guide but it was gifted and not available for a photo shoot. It is on my list to make some travel journals for the family. There is plenty of inspiration to be found within these pages.

I have been using fabric to wrap gifts for some time now but have been winging it with questionable results. Furoshiki Fabric Wraps takes all the guess work out of using fabric to make pouches, bags, and numerous gift wraps for a multitude of shapes and sizes. Most of the methods are no-sew and use simple knots to hold things together.
The little belt pouch in the photo above is brilliant. I can't count how many times we have been out on a hike and in need of a collecting bag. A large hankie or bandanna (which I always carry) would have worked perfectly. Now I know how to do it. Great fun!

Alicia Paulson has a style that just beams with quaint peacefulness. I am late on the scene... just picking up her second book last week... but am smitten with her ideas and designs. The strawberry motif she stitched on this table cloth had this California girl swooning. Love.

Knot, Thread, Stitch is filled with fun and funky embroidery with mixed media projects. I especially liked the portraits sections with this technique of transferring a photo to fabric for embroidery. That is right up my alley.

I have only recently begun following the work of Geninne Zlatkis. She is so amazingly creative and inspiring... and super nice too. Her book is vibrant and beautiful... it is worth just looking at for that alone. But the projects and techniques have me aching to get some new stamps carved and explore that world deeper.

Free-Form Embroidery is filled with the most wonderful stitches put together in the most stunning ways. In this book the focus is ocean and trees with a few flowers thrown into the mix. Trees are right at the top of my favorite things list and the ocean frequently battles for the top spot... so I love all of the stitching inspiration found within these pages. I have been working on little projects that incorporate some of the concepts found here... but I will have to wait to share those as they still need some finishing touches.

The Complete Photo Guide to Needlework is another great resource that really needs to be added to our home library. The step-by-step photos and drawings explain the ins and outs of stitches beautifully.


There is more to share in the world of books. Soon...

A hot debate is raging here about the chapter book we will read on the five to six day drive to New Mexico... The Hobbit is currently in the running but there is no consensus just yet.

Any ideas for a chapter book that will engage and entertain the six to nine year-old crowd, while not driving the almost forty crowd crazy would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Some lovely inspiring books, I am hoping to add some needlework to my crafting days this year :)

    1. I have been really enjoying needlework lately. So many possibilities.
      I love this idea:
      I was thinking it would make a great table runner to add to at the holidays... Fun.

  2. treasure island is great. :)

  3. we just started the runaways (elizabeth goudge) last night. our fave read alouds so far (besides lhotp because that series is a given) were father and i were ranchers and the evolution of calpurnia tate.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations Amanda.
      It has been a few years since we read The Evolution of Calipurnia Tate. Loved it. That would well worth a read again!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing all these books. I've been dying to get Geninne's stamp book. Embroidery seems to keep cropping up on my radar as well. Maybe after our move...

    1. Her book is great. You will be inspired!!