Sunday, January 13, 2019

Butterflies in Origami Review & GIVEAWAY

Many origami butterfly models exist but I haven't come across these ones before - Butterflies in Origami by Nick Robinson! Inside, the British origami master has hand-picked 20 lesser known, though wonderful, origami butterfly folds. These unique designs are from a variety of noted paper folders including the author himself. Each has large, clear diagram and text instruction, as well as colorful project photos. All models start with a 7 inch square. I really like the paper-to-model ratio that is included. Each design has a difficulty rating and the designs increase in difficulty. If you do get stuck, there is a link for each project to a step-by-step video tutorial. I was hooked after making the first butterfly. Dover Publications released this 128 page paperback October 17, 2018. Get your copy below!


How to fold - choosing paper

9-Fold Butterfly
Pinwheel Butterfly
Emerging Butterfly
Butterfly Envelope
Sunbathing Butterfly

Yoshizawa's Butterfly
Australian Butterfly
Donahue's Butterfly
Meadow Brown
Moth Silhouette

Daisy Butterfly
Snyder Butterfly
Spotted Butterfly
Butterfly Card
Gigandet Butterfly

Loving Butterflies
Donachie Butterflies
Butterfly for Nick Robinson
Crowding Butterflies

The 9-Fold Butterfly by Lee Armstrong.

9-Fold Butterfly

This is the 9-Fold Butterfly I folded.

9-Fold Butterfly

Butterflies in Origami is available worldwide at Dover Publications. Dover, Great Books, Variety & Value Since 1941. Check out their catalog at Dover Publications. Dover has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until January 27, 2019. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!

Monday, January 07, 2019

Happy: The Journal Review & GIVEAWAY

Thinking of keeping a journal? Happy: The Journal by Fearne Cotton is a 12-month, daily, write-in journal. It is partially dated with the month and number, for example January 1, January 2 etc. Each day has a thoughtful writing prompt. Each month has a theme. The spaces for writing in are lined. Some sample pages are shown below. Fearne is a passionate ambassador for Mind, an organization throughout England and Wales that promotes healthy minds. I recognize her from UK television. She is surprisingly candid about her own struggles. I've kept a journal before, mostly stream of consciousness, and like Fearne I found it cathartic and revealing. This time I'd like a little nudge. I've decided to work my way through it. The benefits of keeping a journal are many including greater awareness. Ixia Press released the 256 page paperback on December 28, 2018. Get your copy below!

Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.2 inches (15 x 2.5 x 20.8 cm)

Happy: The Journal is available worldwide at Ixia Press a division of Dover PublicationsIxia marks Dover's first foray into frontlist self-help publishing in the company's 75 year history. It is named after the South African flower that represents happiness. Check out their unique catalog at Ixia Press. Dover has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until January 21, 2019. Canadian & USA addresses only. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Wedding Origami Review

Make origami cranes for your wedding with Wedding Origami: The Ancient Tradition for Love and Celebration by Katherine Furman and Duy Nguyen. It's an all-in-one origami book and paper pad measuring 6 x 6 inches (15.2 x 15.2 cm). Inside you will find instructions for folding 3 paper crane models, followed by ideas on how to use them as gorgeous wedding favors, bouquets and decor. There are also some wonderful ideas for origami wedding activities. The majority of the book is made up of 500 pages of easy to remove folding paper. It is beautifully patterned on one side and blank on the reverse. The paper has a matte finish and the ink does not rub off on your hands when folding. There are 20 sheets of each of the 25 patterns. Once reserved for the elite nowadays anyone can incorporate origami into their wedding. Cider Mill Press released this 576 page paperback March 14, 2017. Get your copy below!


A Brief History of Origami
The Symbolism of the Crane
Folding 1,000 Cranes
The Different Orizuru
Colors of the Orizuru

Legend for Lines and Arrows
Basic Folds
Traditional - Style Crane (easy)
Fancy Crane (medium)
Migrating Crane (expert)
Stringing Senbazuru

Origami Activities for Before the Wedding
Projects and Decor for Your Wedding Day

Page 4 and 5.

Page 24 and 25.

Page 54 and 55.

Wedding Origami is available worldwide at Amazon USAAmazon Canada and Amazon UK etc. Cider Mill Press is an independent publisher of high-quality cookbooks, elegant wine and spirits projects, humorous parodies, classic children's books, and more. Check out their unique catalog at Cider Mill Press.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Make Art Every Day Review & GIVEAWAY

Get your creative life on track with this adorable and fun 52-week planner! Make Art Every Day is A Weekly Planner for Creative Thinkers by Katie Vernon. It comes with over 500 cute stickers. Make your creative life flourish by completing  a variety of activities such as - setting goals for your creative practice, finding inspiration/feasting your eyes, taking care of yourself, trying a new technique, making a creative connection and making an art appointment. Some of the stickers correspond to these categories, while others are customizable. In addition, there are basic tutorials on mark-making, hand lettering and working with watercolor and acrylic paints. Write, draw and color in - it's made for personalizing. Each week is spread over two pages and runs from Sunday through Saturday. It's non-dated so you may start your creative adventure anytime. It's the perfect planner for creative types! Publisher Quarry Books released the 128 page paperback on December 26, 2017. Get your copy below!


How to use this book
Sticker key
Basic mark making
Hand lettering primer
Creating with color

Your Creative Journey Starts Here: 52 Weeks of Exercises: Prompts, and Reminders

Also Featuring These Step-by-Step Creative Starters:
How to sketch in public
How to play exquisite corpse
How to draw a peony
How to collage a landscape
How to paint a fluffy bird
How to make a repeat pattern


Find 16 Sticker Sheets at the End of This Book!

Make Art Every Day is available worldwide at Quarry Books, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Quarry Books. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until January 10, 2019. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Your Year in Art Review & GIVEAWAY

Is one of your New Year resolutions to be more creative? Then check out Your Year in Art: A project for every week of the year to overcome blank-page anxiety and inspire creative exploration by Chelsea Ward. Gather your supplies (a multimedia sketchbook, pencils, pens, coloring implements, etc.) and start drawing. Just follow the prompts. Every week you get a new lesson and assignment including ideas, inspiration and encouragement, all designed to help you develop a routine of drawing. How much time you devote is up to you, five minutes a day, half-hour a week or more. What a fun way to get better at drawing! See below for the table of contents, author's recommended tools and materials, and a sample exercise layout. Walter Foster Publishing released this 112 page paperback on November 27, 2018. Get your copy below!


Chapter 1:  Basics
Week 1:  Art-solutions
Week 2:  Empowering Words
Week 3:  Shape-finding
Week 4:  Mark-making
Week 5:  Ink Wash
Week 6:  Points of View
Week 7:  Contour Drawing
Week 8:  Color Theory

Chapter 2:  Loosening Up
Week 9:  Mindful Doodles
Week 10:  Draw Your Tools
Week 11:  Primary Color Challenge
Week 12:  Eraser-free Drawing
Week 13:  Line Drawing
Week 14:  Opposite Hand
Week 15:  Illustrated Recipe
Week 16:  Mandalas
Week 17:  Living Letters
Week 18:  Pattern Search
Week 19:  Zendoodles

Chapter 3:  Branching Out
Week 20:  Lists of Lists
Week 21:  Baker's Dozen
Week 22:  Drawings by Color
Week 23:  Draw in Public
Week 24:  Scapes
Week 25:  Sky Study
Week 26:  Sketch Crawl
Week 27:  Map-making
Week 28:  House Portrait
Week 29:  Collect a Rainbow
Week 30:  Botanical Study
Week 31:  Windows

Chapter 4:  Getting Personal
Week 32:  Artist's Block Solutions Flowchart
Week 33:  Self-portrait Collage
Week 34:  Your Day in Doodles
Week 35:  Hand Study
Week 36:  X-ray Vision
Week 37:  Figure Study
Week 38:  Illustrated Quote
Week 39:  Self-portrait
Week 40:  Coordinates
Week 41:  Bucket List

Chapter 5:  Keeping at It
Week 42:  Timed Drawing
Week 43:  Daily Challenge
Week 44:  Bird's Eye View
Week 45:  Drawing Still Life
Week 46:  Rorschach
Week 47:  Travel Postcards
Week 48:  Where You Stand
Week 49:  Micro & Macro
Week 50:  Elapsed Time Study
Week 51:  Block Busters
Week 52:  Art It Forward

Meet the Author

Author's recommended tools and materials.

Sample week. 
Your Year in Art is available worldwide at Walter Foster. Walter Foster is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Walter Foster is one of the most recognized names in art instruction. Check out their unique catalog at Walter Foster. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until January 3, 2019. Canadian and US addresses only. Good luck!

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Sunday, December 09, 2018

Wall Art: Geometric Origami Review

Have some wall space to decorate? In Wall Art: Geometric Origami author Eleanor Kwei demo's 10 hip and stylish wall d├ęcor projects for your home. Learn how to make three-dimensional art installations and transform your space using simple origami folds. This boxed kit includes 50 sheets of large origami paper (9.5" square), a bone folder, an 8" piece of twine and a 48-page illustrated booklet. The booklet has step-by-step instructions for 10 origami wall art projects. I like them all! The enclosed materials are for making two of the designs #1 and #6, see below. All projects are clearly laid out and include photos, a materials list, a level of difficulty and the finished dimensions. Text and diagram instructions show how to fold the origami units, then assemble and install them. The use of double-sided foam stickers and strong adhesive packing tape is recommended. Any would make a fabulous holiday or winter project - living room, bedroom, kids room, hallway, classroom or work space. The possibilities are endless. It's a great value activity kit! Publisher: becker&mayer! released it September 25, 2018. Get yours below!



Project 1:  Light and shadow
Project 2:  Arrows
Project 3:  Abstract modern
Project 4:  Seaside
Project 5:  Butterflies
Project 6:  Birds on a wire
Project 7:  Koi motion
Project 8:  Bellflower wall hanging
Project 9:  Hexagon spiked wheel
Project 10:  Clouds


Back of box. Project #5 Butterflies.

Contents of kit - booklet, origami paper, bone folder and twine.
Images - Project #10:  Clouds, Project #6:  Birds on a wire

Introduction to Wall Art: Geometric Origami

A blank wall can be the perfect canvas for origami wall art—fun, lively, creative pieces that instantly transform a room with color and textural beauty. So, put your creative side to good use by choosing among the ten projects in this book and make them your own.
This book includes instructions for the basic origami folds you will use to make simple modular units that fit together and can be customized according to your individual taste. Included in the kit are the materials to complete two projects ('Light and Shadow' and 'Birds on a Wire'), and they serve as an introduction to the skills and techniques used throughout the book.
Geometric origami wall art is site-specific art that requires us to take into account where it is installed or exhibited. Therefore, before you select paper and begin folding, there are a few things to consider.

Things To Consider

Available Space
Consider the size of your room and its walls. A wall ornament can span the width of your room or occupy a portion of the wall, or it can be a focal point in the center. Position it above a bed or couch or utilize corners and edges of a narrow wall.
All of the projects in this book are customizable and adjustable. Note the finished width and height of the projects and compare that with the intended wall space. To modify the project to fit the space, adjust the arrangement of the individual units or, to recreate the arrangement exactly as shown in this book, use larger or smaller sheets of origami paper.
Colors And Their Psychological Effects
An important factor in interior design is color. Whether conscious or not, a piece of art displayed in a room where we conduct daily activities, will influence our mental state and behavior. For example, a piece of colorful wall art in a home office can provide a boost of positive energy, or use tranquil colors to introduce a sense of peaceful beauty to come home to after a busy day.
Positioning And Angles
Asymmetrical and angular lines suggest movement, activity, dynamism, and progress, while symmetrical and horizontal formations suggest balance, stability, and a sense of calm. Visualize the project in relation to the entire setting it will occupy.

The above is an excerpt from pages 4 and 5.

Wall Art: Geometric Origami is available worldwide at becker&mayer! a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at becker&mayer!

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Origami 101 Review & GIVEAWAY

This origami book is for beginners! Origami 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily Through Step-by-Step Instruction by Benjamin Coleman. It's an updated version of the same title that was first published in 2011. The author uses the innovative Glow-Fold method of paper folding. It's a diagramming technique he developed to simplify origami instructions. As you can see from the table of contents below, all of the origami designs stem from one of four basic shapes - the kite, square, basic and triangle. There are over 40 designs. I explored the folds under "The Kite Shape" heading because they appealed to me the most - the Loon, Roosting Robin, Tropical Fish and Peacock. I like their simplicity and clean lines. I found the instructions very clear. They include large diagrams, symbols, text and photos. If you get hopelessly stuck there is a DVD. This 224 page paperback was released August 21, 2018 from Publisher: Quarry Books. A Kindle version is also available. Get your copy below!


The Kite Shape
Folding the Kite Shape
Folding the Penguin
Folding the Broad Leaf
Folding the Loon
Folding the Roosting Robin
Folding the Tropical Fish
Folding the Parakeet
Folding the Peacock
Folding the Baby Seal
Folding the Chick
Folding the Simple Swan
Folding the Sitting Dragon
Folding the Snail
Folding the Graceful Swan

The Collapsed Square
Folding the Collapsed Square
Folding the Crocus
Folding the Rambunctious Dog
Folding the Eight-Pointed Star
Folding the Ornamental Box
Folding the Tree Ornament
Folding the Flowering Branch
Folding the Fractal Geometric 1
Folding the Pigeon
Folding the Scary Bat
Folding the Lilly

The Basic Form
Folding the Basic Form
Folding the Flying Crane
Folding the Sitting Crane
Folding the Old Crow
Folding the Sea Lion
Folding the Silly Goose
Folding the Rooster
Folding the Flying Dragon
Folding the Tyrannosaurus Rex

The Collapsed Triangle
Folding the Collapsed Triangle
Folding the Frog
Folding the Rock Lobster
Folding the Hermit Crab
Folding the Three-legged Gecko
Folding the Sea Turtle
Folding the Brown Bear
Folding the Hungry Fawn
Folding the Fractional Geometric 2
Folding the Human Being

Symbol Index Bookmark

The Tropical Fish. Made from the Kite Shape. Page 39.

The Peacock. Made from the Kite Shape. Page 47.

Origami 101 is available worldwide at Quarry Books, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Quarry Books. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until December 21, 2018. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Easy Origami Fold-a-Day 2019 Calendar Review & GIVEAWAY

I'm a big fan of activity and craft calendars. This is the Easy Origami Fold-a-Day 2019 Calendar. It's an all-in-one 2019 desk calendar and origami kit featuring the origami designs and folding diagrams of Jeff Cole. Everything you need for a years worth of paper folding fun is inside the box. There are illustrated, step-by-step instructions for hundreds of origami models - one for every day of the week. Saturday and Sunday are combined onto a single page. For easy reference the essential origami bases and symbols are on 5 tabbed cards. The origami designs advance in difficulty throughout the year and include a diverse selection of models. The 6" x 6" folding paper comes in a variety of colorful patterns. It has a magazine-like quality though does not tear while being folded. To use simply place the box on your desk or follow the instructions to fold into an easel-style desk calendar. The date is top center and some holidays are shown. Andrews McMeel Publishing released this calendar July 31, 2018. Get your copy below!

Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.6 x 6.7 inches (15.7 x 4.1 x 17 cm).

Back of box.

This is a scan I took of day one Tuesday January 1, 2019. It's a handy cone, can you fold it? Not familiar with the bases and symbols? The Key is included with the calendar.

The Easy Origami Fold-a-Day 2019 Calendar is available at Andrews McMeel Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Andrew McMeel Publishing. AMP has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until December 17, 2018. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fabulous Modular Origami Review & GIVEAWAY

I just got Tomoko Fuse's new book Fabulous Modular Origami: 20 origami models with instructions and diagrams. In modular origami multiple pieces of paper are folded and then assembled into a single unit. The Summary below lists the books 20 folding projects. All designs have a difficulty rating of 1 through 5, easy to expert. The number of modules per unit varies. The easiest models need only 2 pieces of paper while the most difficult require as many as 30. Nearly all have a recommended paper size of either 3 or 6" squares. Instructions are via large folding diagrams, complete with symbols and text. Photos by Dario Canova show the completed models from a variety of angles. Dover Publications released the 128 page paperback on September 12, 2018. Get your copy below!

Fabulous Modular Origami is available worldwide at Dover Publications. Dover, Great Books, Variety & Value Since 1941. Check out their catalog at Dover Publications. Dover has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until December 7, 2018. Canadian & USA addresses only. Good luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bound Review & GIVEAWAY

Want to create unique and personal handmade books? Check out Bound: 15 beautiful bookbinding projects by Rachel Hazell. Also known as The Travelling Bookbinder, Rachel enthusiastically invites you to come and make books. After exploring an introduction that includes tools, materials and techniques I jumped right in. So far I've made practice copies of the first three designs - the Slit Book, Concertina and Turkish Map Fold - using items I have on hand like printer paper, a bone folder, ruler, scissors and glue. Rachel shows how these can be turned into treasured keepsakes. Making them involved folding, cutting and gluing paper. All projects include a list of the supplies required and step-by-step instruction, both text and photograph. Rachel suggests doing the projects in order as they progress in difficulty. Later designs utilize sewing (the ladder, string of pearls and chain stitches).  You may want an awl, bookbinders needle, slitting knife, cutting mat and scalpel. There are very helpful diagrams, a glossary, resources and index at the back. I love the books aesthetic. The muted colors are easy on the eyes. Susan Bell did the photography. Every time I pick it up it leaves me feeling inspired. It's full of creative ideas for making gorgeous book art. The 160 page paperback was released October 16, 2018 from Kyle BooksGet your copy below!







Pages 20-21 tools.

Pages 28-29 materials.

Pages 80-81 concertina with pockets.

Pages 88-89 ribbon bound pages.

Pages 98-99 single section: running stitch.

Back of my copy. 

Bound by Rachel Hazell © 2018 Kyle Books, photographs © Susan Bell is available worldwide at Amazon. Ron Longe PR has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until December 2, 2018. Canadian & USA addresses only. Good luck!

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