Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sketchy Stories Review

Sketchy Stories: The Sketchbook Art of Kerby Rosanes Flexibound by Kerby Rosanes (Illustrator) – released May 31, 2016 by Race Point Publishing. Kerby Rosanes is a Filipino Freelance Illustrator who works with pen and ink. You may know him as author of  New York Times bestseller Animorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge or other popular titles Doodle Invasion, Never Quit Drawing and Imagimorphia. You can now peek inside this talented artist's personal sketchbook. His 128 page Moleskine contains over 200 detailed black ink doodles, each titled and dated. His sketches come to life on top quality 5 x 8  inch, heavy cream-colored paper, with rounded corners and elastic closure. Every picture tells a story. Magical. Inspirational. Get your copy below!


Introduction by Chuckie Campbell
Drawings 2012 - 2016
Thank You

Coronation 2014

Lost City 2015

Eclipse 2015

Owl Castle 2015

Sketchy Stories is available worldwide at QBOOKSHOP. Race Point Publishing is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA and is dedicated to producing high quality illustrated books, calendars and journals in a variety of subjects ranging from art, cooking and crafts to entertainment, performing arts and the natural sciences.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Giveaway Hop - The Colors of Asia Coloring Book

Welcome to the Giveaway Hop! My prize is a copy of  The Colors of Asia: An Anti-Stress Coloring Book for Calm and Creativity, paperback released May 24, 2016 by Tuttle Publishing. It features 90 stunning decorative designs and patterns, based on porcelain and textile objets d'art, from across the exotic continent of Asia–  Indonesian batik, detail from a Turkish plate, an Indian elephant pattern, a silk embroidered dragon from Myanmar and more. Color using your own pencils and/or fine markers. Printed on large 10 x 10 inch sheets of thick white paper. Various styles and levels of difficulty. Printed on both sides. About the drawings at the end of book. So much fun to color! Get your copy below.

Thumbnails of motifs
90 motifs
About the drawings

#4 Indian floral pattern © Sherbinina (Dreamstime)

#6 Koi pattern © Ssstocker (Dreamstime)

#11 Indian paisley ornament © Liudmila Horvath (Dreamstime)

#12 Cranes, long life © Dtvector (Dreamstime)

#25 From a painted China bottle, plate 77 from Examples of Chinese Ornament: Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections by Owen Jones (S. & T. Gilbert, London 1867)

The Colors of Asia Coloring Book is available worldwide at Tuttle Publishing. Check out their unique catalog, rooted in Asian culture, language and history at Tuttle Publishing.

TUTTLE Publishing has generously offered to giveaway a copy of  The Colors of Asia Coloring Book. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck! Canadian and USA addresses. Until July 4, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more great prizes visit the other stops in this giveaway hop. Most are USA residents only.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified Review

Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified: Learn to Braid with a Kumihimo Disk – by Rebecca Ann Combs, released March 18, 2016 by Kalmbach Books. Kumihimo is the traditional Japanese technique of braiding. It is a centuries-old art form that today can be done with a kumihimo disk, a modern, compact braiding disk that lets you create braids with flexible cord or wire. Simply set up your fiber on the disk and then move it around the disk in a pattern forming a beautiful braid. The technique is simple and yields dozens of complex and intriguing patterns perfect for jewelry making. In her 128 page paperback experienced kumihimo instructor Rebecca shows you how to make 26 pieces of contemporary jewelry using the kumihimo braiding disk. She begins with a thorough introduction to kumihimo, followed by comprehensive instructions for 5 different braids. These 5 kumihimo braids serve as the starting point for the 26 sophisticated bracelet and necklace projects. Project instructions are meticulous and include a supply list and text, diagram and photograph instruction. The results are impressive. This is Ms Combs second book on kumihimo jewelry making, the first a best seller in it's category. Get your copy below!



Kumihimo Toolkit
Braiding Fibers and Other supplies
Kumihimo Math

Chapter 1:  Eight-Warp Basket Weave
Double-Take Necklace
In the Loop Bracelet
Rodeo Queen Bracelet
Pirouette Necklace

Chapter 2:  Eight-Warp Half-Round Braid
Charm Bracelet
Leather Wrap Bracelet
Harmony Necklace
Mythic Adventure Cuff

Chapter 3:  Eight-Warp Square Braid
Midnight's Treasure Necklace
Stretch Goal Bracelet
Crystal Morning Necklace
Bridge Bracelet

Chapter 4:  16-Warp Hollow Braid
Check Me Out Necklace & Bracelet
Silk Ribbon Lariat
My Garden Bracelet
The Ombraid Bracelet

Chapter 5:  16-Warp Trapezoid Braid
Ancient Geometry Necklace & Bracelet
Bling Bracelet
The Waterfall Necklace
Triple-Threat Bracelet

Chapter 6  Mixed Messages
On the Vine Necklace
Sampler Necklace
Sunset by the Lake Bracelet
Mighty Micro Braids Necklace

Acknowledgments and About the Author

Traditional kumihimo wooden marudai.

Chapter 2:  Charm Bracelet

Chapter 2:  Leather Wrap Bracelet

Chapter 5:  Triple-Threat Bracelet

Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified is available worldwide at Kalambach Publishing's Jewelry & Beading STORECheck out their catalog at Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ultimate Wrap Bracelets Review & Giveaway

This kit contains the materials for 3 and the instructions for 12 bracelet designs.

Ultimate Wrap Bracelets Kit: Make 12 Easy, Stylish Bracelets Step-by-Step by Patrizia Valsecchi (Author), Antonio Attini (Photographer) released– Feb 2 2016 by Tuttle Publishing. Boxed kit includes 600 beads, 48pp book, 6 charms, 3 button clasps, 3 cords and 12 bracelet video tutorials. To begin you need a needle, embroidery floss and scissors. The bracelets aren't terribly difficult to make, secure the cord to the provided board then sew the beads on, adding clasps, charms and closures along the way. Once you learn a few basics, the possibilities are endless. I followed the video tutorial, pausing and referring to the book if necessary. Additional supplies available from dollar store or craft shop. Great fun! I am very pleased with the results. Get your copy below.

My first bracelet. The blue cord is secured to the board and blue beads are sewn on with blue embroidery floss. Board, cord and beads from kit.


Materials and Accessories
Your First Double Wrap Bracelet
How to Make the Flat Knot

The Designs
The Marrakesh
The Carmen
The Grace
The Samba
The Pocahontas
The Bora Bora
The Navajo
The Acapulco
The Camellia
The Mozart

Ultimate Wrap Bracelets is available worldwide at Tuttle Publishing. Check out their unique catalog, rooted in Asian culture, language and history at Tuttle Publishing.

TUTTLE Publishing has generously offered to giveaway a copy of  Ultimate Wrap Bracelets. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck! Canadian and USA addresses. Until June 13, 2016.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

MagPOP! Magnesium Glycinate by Orange Naturals Review & Free Sample

I just finished my 3 packet sample of MagPop Magnesium Glycinate a new magnesium infused effervescent drink with magnesium glycinate, vitamin C and electrolytes from Orange Naturals. To use, empty the single-serve MagPop packet into a glass and add 150 to 250 ml of water, or to taste. The individual packets are handy, they save measuring and are highly portable but I found it difficult to get some of the MagPop out because it stuck to the insides of the packet. To avoid waste I brushed it off. With the addition of water it dissolved completely, I stirred. MagPop has an effervescent, light orange taste. I'm not a fan of sugar substitutes Stevia and Xylitol but their taste is not overpowering. After only 3 samples of MagPop I noticed an improvement in my health, I slept better! I love how good it is for me and that it's made in Canada. Came with a $4 off coupon. I recommend. Canadian residents sign up for your free sample at socialnature.

Monday, May 16, 2016

501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs Review & Giveaway

501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs: Irresistible Stitchables to Brighten Up Your Life Paperback by Boutique-Sha (Author) – released February 9, 2016 by Tuttle Publishing. The sweet designs in this book tempted me to try the art of hand embroidery. Following the instructions in Part 5   Embroidery Techniques I got out a needle, some embroidery thread and a little burlap pouch to practice on. I tried a few of the embroidery stitches on Page 47 the Backstitch, Outline stitch, Running stitch and Satin stitch. Some of my first stitches are photographed below. Next I'll be choosing a design, transferring it onto fabric and stitching! I'll need an embroidery hoop and a method for transferring the designs, either a dressmakers pencil or carbon paper. Instructions give floss color and stitch for each design. Already I'm looking at everything around me, from apparel to home decor, to see what I can add a decorative embroidery accent to. Want to add a simple charm and homemade aesthetic to your favorite items? Get your copy below!


Part One  Little Scandinavian Sketches 
A Scandinavian Cityscape
Cute Cups
A Cosy Room
A Tidy Kitchen
A Visit to the Flea Market
Scandinavian Forest Designs
Adorable items from Eastern Europe

Part Two  Sweet Little Sketches
The Music's Playing
I Love Fruit!
Sweet Things for Girls
Stripes and Polka Dots
Japanese Celebrations
Birds & Flowers
Tasty Tea Time
Lace Patterns

Part Three  Cross Stitch Motifs
Scandinavian Style Cross Stitch
A Cross Stitch Alphabet
Cross Stitch Dogs and Cats
Continuous Cross Stitch Patterns

Part Four  Let's Embroider
Stylish Pouches
Sewing Items
Signature Stitching on Camisoles
Travel Companions
Apple Motif Tea Cozy and Teapot Mat
Dishcloth and Apron
Pot Holder for a Budding Chef
Napkins for Adults and Kids
Butterfly Shaped Pot Holders
Holders Basket Cloth

Part Five  Embroidery Techniques
Transferring Designs
Using No. 25 Embroidery Thread
Threading the Needle
Starting to Embroider
Finishing Off
Removing the Design
Embroidering a Line
Embroidering to Conceal a Surface
How to Embroider
Cross Stitch
When Using Fabric Other Than That Meant for Cross Stitch

Diagrams and Instructions

Some of my first stitches.

Backstitch, Split stitch, Outline stitch and Running stitch.

501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs is available worldwide at Tuttle Publishing. Check out their unique catalog, rooted in Asian culture, language and history at Tuttle Publishing.

TUTTLE Publishing has generously offered to giveaway a copy of 501 Enchanting Embroidery Designs. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck! Canadian and USA addresses. Until May 30, 2016.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Japanese Prints Coloring Book Review & Giveaway

Floating World Japanese Prints Coloring Book: Color your Masterpiece & Clear Your Mind Paperback – by Andrew Vigar (Author) released February 23, 2016 by TUTTLE Publishing. A magnificent collection of 22 authentic Japanese woodblock prints for you to color using your own colored pencils and/or fine markers. The 'floating world' refers to the term ukiyo-e "a school of Japanese art depicting subjects from everyday life, dominant in the 17th–19th centuries." Color a variety of subject matter rich in Japanese history such as geisha, kabuki actors, nature, landmarks and landscapes. Includes works by well-known masters such as Hiroshige and Hokusia. Arranged with a brief back story of the print first, followed by a copy of the original print, beside a large 8 1/2" x 12" uncolored print for you to color as you please. The prints are on good quality paper, single-sided and perforated so you can easily tear out, share, display and even frame your works-of-art. Relaxing and inspiring! Get your copy below.

View of Nihonbashi Tori-itchome Ryakuzu
Fuji from Kanaya on the Tokaido
Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Shirabyoshi Hanako
The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
Dawn Moon of Shinto Rites
Woman Applying Color to Her Lips
Plum Estate Kameido
Geisha and Her Servant Carrying Her Koto (below)
From the series Daydreams by Magic Lantern
Two Birds and Cherry Tree

Genji Viewing Snow from a Balcony
Suijin Shrine and Massaki on the Sumida River
From the series Daydreams by Magic Lantern
Asakusa Rice Fields and Torinomachi Festival
The Actor Danjuro Ichikawa VIII
Atagoshita and Yabu Lane (below)
Peonies and Canary (below)
The Otsuki Plain in Kai Province
Cat and Goldfish- Orange
Ryogoku Bridge and the Great Riverbank
Woman Making a Tray Landscape Showing the Full Moon
Morning Hair

Atagoshita and Yabu Lane
Utagawa Hiroshige

Uncolored Atagoshita and Yabu Lane

My Atagoshita and Yabu Lane, in progress.

Floating World Japanese Prints Coloring Book is available worldwide at Tuttle Publishing. Check out their unique catalog, rooted in Asian culture, language and history at Tuttle Publishing.

TUTTLE Publishing has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Floating World Japanese Prints Coloring Book. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck! Canadian and USA addresses. Until May 16, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Geisha and Her Servant Carrying Her Koto
Kitao Shigemasa

Peonies and Canary
Katsushika Hokusai