Sometimes it can take a while to get the engine running in January. You’re full up on mince pies, mulled wine and board games and the thought of getting back into the swing of things can be a little daunting. Here are a few of my favourite books to help get your crafty engine running in 2012.
From Picasso to Jeff Koons accompanies Venet’s exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York this month. A collection of pieces designed and made by artists like Picasso, Nam June Paik, Arman and Dali, Venet aims to question the meaning and function of jewellery. For me, it’s more about poring over great, unique, inspired, original, crazy, brilliant pieces of jewellery. Simple.
The Crafters Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum is for designers and makers who take their own product photographs and who want to improve those photographs without blowing the budget. Makers are guided through camera basics and how a photograph is made, along with tips and techniques for how to use photographs to best tell their brand story. The great thing about this book is it’s jargon-free proving you don’t have to be a “photographer” to take great product shots.
“A collection of wonderful and whimsical craft projects from the ever so crafty Pip Lincolne”. Whimsical would be the perfect word to describe this book – it’s colourful, fun, full of easy to make projects most suited to hobbyests and first timers. The thing I love most about this book is that it encourages you to create your own designs within the given project. Great for timid crafters! Best make: Sweet Ride Bike Seat Cover
The Liberty Book of Home Sewing has been reviewed left, right and centre since it’s release in October so you’d be hard pressed to have missed it. It’s the kind of book you keep to hand down to your daughter. Full of classic designs with a contemporary twist, each projects gives the option to “take it further” making this book perfect for those wanting to push themselves a little in 2012. Best make: Contemporary Brick Quilt.
The Kids Crafternoon series is a must for any crafty family home. Each book in the series – Sewing, Papercraft, Beading and Felting – features 25 brilliant projects that are wonderfully unique yet fun and easy to make (some require more skill than others). My kids (ages 4-8) have bookmarked loads of the projects – the 8 year old has already started his felt animal iPod case, my daughter is desperate to make a felt fascinator and the 4yo has his eye on these cute paper owls (above). Truly inspirational books.
Split into five sections – For Her, For Him, For Baby, For Kids and For the Home, Knits to Give by Debbie Bliss could easily keep you busy making for birthdays, anniversaries or just for the hell of it throughout the whole of 2012. There are enough entry-level projects for beginners as well as more tricky projects that will satisfy you seasoned knitters. Each design is unmistakably Debbie Bliss; clean, classic and totally gorgeous. Best makes: Beaded Clutch Bag and the Ladybird Backpack.