Saturday, March 16, 2019

Origami of the Sea Review & GIVEAWAY

Origami of the Sea comes with everything you need to start folding right away! As shown on the cover below there are 8 aquatic origami projects. Step-by-step text and diagram instructions accompany each model. There are 200 sheets of colorful origami paper measuring 17.8 x 17.8 cm (7 x 7") This paper comes in a variety of solid colors and patterns, all with a matte finish. You also get a link to video instructions clearly demonstrating how to fold each design. A variety of noted paper folders created these models Vanda Battaglia, Pasquale D'Auria, Francesco Decio, Marc Kirschenbaum, and Nick Robinson. This 256 page paperback will be released on March 20, 2019 by Dover Publications. You can pre-order now. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS

Instructions
Techniques

Blue Whale
Marc Kirschenbaum

Penguin 
Pasquale D'Auria

Shark
Pasquale D'Auria

Common Eagle Ray
Pasquale D'Auria

Deep Sea Fish 
Pasquale D'Auria

Simple Fish
Nick Robinson

Squid 
Nick Robinson

Small Boat
Francesco Decio
Vanda Battaglia


Origami of the Sea 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 March 31, 2019. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!





Thursday, March 14, 2019

Journal Sparks Review

You don't have to be a kid to love Journal SparksFire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking by Emily K. Neuburger. It's a mixed media, artistic adventure! Collect your favorite art supplies and ideally a blank journal. With 60 imaginative and engaging art prompts it's bound to inspire a creative journaling habit. As shown below, the activities run the gamut - from coloring, to cutting and pasting, drawing and writing, folding and more. It comes with 10 pages of vibrantly colored collage paper, 3 pages of stickers, 1 page of pop-out speech bubbles and an envelope template. I'm not surprised it's won a bunch of awards. Its pages are amusing, delightful and motivational. I treated myself to a new journal and watercolor paint set while examining Journal Sparks. If you wonder what I'm up to, I'll be reveling in its pages! Storey Publishing released the 164 page paperback on April 18, 2017. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS

About the Author
Getting Started

Chapter One
Observation

Chapter Two
Invention

Chapter Three
Collection

Chapter Four
Color & Construction

Chapter Five
Wordsmith

Chapter Six
Journal Challenges

Chapter Seven
Journal Making & Hacking

Acknowledgements

Fortune Envelopes
Collage Papers
Pop-out Speech Bubbles
Stickers




COLOR YOUR MOOD  pages 24 and 25.




FRAGMENTS  pages 46 and 47.




MANDALAS  pages 94 and 95.



BEGIN WITH THE HAIR  pages 96 and 97.




TINY POEMS  pages 102 and 103.


Journal Sparks is available worldwide at Storey Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Storey Publishing. Storey Publishing is an imprint the The Workman Publishing Company


Journal Sparks and my new watercolor paints and journal.


https://www.storey.com/

Monday, March 04, 2019

The Organic Painter Review & GIVEAWAY

No paint? No problem: Says British painter Carne Griffiths whose dynamic and fantastical paintings in ink, tea and alcohol sell for upwards of £3,500. In his just released book, The Organic Painter, he reveals how he uses unconventional materials and techniques in his work. His unique book is divided into two main parts. Part 1 - Preparing Your Materials - is about getting ready to paint. It covers the stuff you need to do before you paint. It even includes step-by-step instructions for making your own ink and fashioning a quill from a turkey or goose feather! Part 2 - Projects - is about challenging your creative process. There are 15 themes with exercises designed to introduce unusual materials and/or techniques to your painting. The idea is to try new things, explore and experiment as part of the painting process. You will not lack for inspiration, samples of the artist's impressive work are throughout. This book has changed the way I think about painting and creating! Quarry Books released this 128 page paperback February 12, 2019. A Kindle version is also available. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS
___

INTRODUCTION

Part 1:
PREPARING YOUR MATERIALS

PREPARING SURFACES: Stretching Paper and Priming Objects
SOURCING: Liquids and Materials for Painting
GET READY TO MAKE MARKS: Using Brushes and Found Objects
ALCHEMY: Palettes, Pens, and Mixing Materials

Part 2:
PROJECTS

EXTENDING TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES
INK SPILLS: Using Chaos to Start Your Image
PUT THE KETTLE ON: Using Tea to Paint Floral Patterns
CAFFEINATED PORTRAITS: Using Coffee as Paints
A WEE DRAM: Adding a Little Booze to Your Paintings

THROWING PAINT: New Ways to Launch Paint at Your Work
A PINCH OF SALT: Using Salt to Create Texture
USING THREAD AND STITCHING IN YOUR WORK
HOT STUFF: Using Flame and Smoke to Create Marks
CUTTING YOUR OWN RUBBER STAMP

NEGATIVE SPACES: Using Leaves to Create Textured Layers
THE BIG SPIN: Using Gravity and Centrifugal Force
LIFT OFF: Using Boiling Water to "Lift" Paint
USING GOLD, SILVER AND COPPER: Subtle Mark Making
GETTING MESSY: Combining Media to Create Layered Work

SAMPLES OF WORK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
INDEX










THROWING PAINT: NEW WAYS TO LAUNCH PAINT AT YOUR WORK

THROWING PAINT: NEW WAYS TO LAUNCH PAINT AT YOUR WORK

I just can’t sit still when I paint! If I am in a comfortable position when working it seems to create a stillness to my work, which just doesn’t suit me. As a result, I have taken to working at all sorts of angles and using an easel that adjusts quickly from horizontal to vertical. This movement has had a huge effect on my painting—as I rotate and tilt the board, I create accidental spills and arcs in the work, which I then use and interpret into my style of painting.

USING GOLD, SILVER, AND COPPER: SUBTLE MARK MAKING

USING GOLD, SILVER, AND COPPER: SUBTLE MARK MAKING

Metallic paints can give a real richness to a piece of work. The way that they play with the light and jump out from the page makes them ideal for highlighting areas of your work. Gold, silver, and copper leaf create a smooth and reflective surface. These are generally available as imitation gold—or even as real gold up to 24 karats—and give your work a real opulence! Using gold leaf in a painting usually works best right at the end of the process; you can create layers that will sit over the gold, but the full impact of using it will be lost slightly.



The Organic Painter 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 March 18, 2019. Canada & the USA only. Good luck!



Friday, February 22, 2019

The Art & Craft of Handmade Books Review & GIVEAWAY

Have a story to tell? Make your own books with The Art & Craft of Handmade Books by Shereen LaPlantz. This packed guide contains written and illustrated instructions for seven book models and 25 patterns. It's a revised and updated reprint of work first published in 2001 by Lark Books. While there are prettier books, for substance this book stands the test of time. Learn step-by-step how to create a wide range of handmade books using a variety of materials, tools and techniques. The first project and a variation are shown below - the Concertina and the Concertina with a Text Book Wrapper. Making them involves measuring, cutting and folding paper. Successive projects build upon each other. Latter chapters focus on stitched or sewn bindings. See the complete table of contents below. Multiple galleries showcase contributions from more than sixty artists. Dover Publications released this 128 page paperback July 20, 2016. A Kindle edition is also available. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

BASICS
Vocabulary
Glossary
Materials
Tools
Techniques

PROJECT SECTION

Concertina
Bestiaries
Formats
Concertina Gallery

Slit Concertina
Imposition
Counting Books
Slit Concertina Gallery

Star  Tunnel Book
Abecedaries
Making Tunnel Holes
Faux Postage and Artists' Stamps
Star Tunnel Gallery

Pamphlet and Running Stitch
Making a Hole Jig
Book Parts
Making an Explosion Page
Pamphlet and Running Stitch Gallery

Tacket Binding
Commonplace Books
The Dressed Book
Tacket Binding Gallery

Coptic Stitch
Botanical Books
Book Mapping
Coptic Stitch Gallery

Recessed Skewer Binding
Specimen Books
Embossing
Ephemera, Broadsides, and Catchpenny Prints
Recessed Skewer Gallery

Contributing Artists
Acknowledgements
Index
Colophon



The Art & Craft of Handmade Books 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 March 10, 2019. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Dangle a Day Review

Want to create beautiful letters and intricate strings of charms? Angela Porter (the best-selling coloring book creator) is the author and illustrator of A Dangle a Day. It's a fun workbook for anyone interested in learning how to dangle. Angela demos how she builds her dangles, layer-by-layer, from pencil sketch through adding color. She dangles the letters of the alphabet, numbers and all four seasons. Her dangles become more elaborate as you progress through the book. Following every demo is a space called "Now it's your turn!". This is where you get to practice and experiment with dangling. Follow the authors example or do your own thing. There are 68 step-by-step dangling exercises. I've included the first two below. Use the tools and materials of your choice or follow the authors recommendations. Dangles are perfect for accenting artwork, stationery, planners, and journals. An introduction to bullet journaling also known as BuJo is included. Race Point Publishing released this 144 page paperback on January 15, 2019. Get your copy below!



CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
What Is a Dangle?
Recommended Materials
Bullet Journals A Primer

PART ONE:  DANGLE CAPS & NUMERALS

PART TWO:  DANGLE DESIGNS FOR EVERY SEASON
Winter
Spring
Summer
Autumn

Dangle Directory
About the Author
Acknowledgements

Page 14

Page 15











My copy. Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.7 x 25.4 cm (8 x 0.6 x 10 inches).

A Dangle a Day is available worldwide at Race Point Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Race Point Publishing. Race Point Publishing is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA.




Thursday, February 07, 2019

Easy Bird Origami Review & GIVEAWAY

Learn about and fold 30 colorful birds with Easy Bird Origami by Tammy Yee. To use simply remove the page of the bird you would like to fold. The pages are perforated for easy removal. One side of the paper has fun facts about the bird. The other is pre-printed with origami fold lines and a realistic bird image just waiting to be revealed. All 30 bird folds are one of two origami models the Standing Bird or the Flying Bird. Diagram with text instructions are provided. If you get hopelessly stuck there is a link to a step-by-step video on YouTube. The 8 inch square paper is extra durable, making it harder for small hands to tear. Dover Publications released this 64 page paperback on July 18, 2017. It's ideal for young paper folders and birders alike. Get your copy below!


Contents

Banded Broadbill
Black-Capped Chickadee
Blue Tit
Common Bullfinch
Eurasian Jay

Fischer's Lovebird
Flame Bowerbird
Kakapo
Magnolia Walbler
Malayan Banded Pitta

Pompadour Cotinga
Rose-Breasted Cockatoo
Sociable Weaver
Splendid Fairywren
Strawberry Finch

American Kestrel
Antarctic Petrel
Baltimore Oriole
Common Redpoll
Eastern Bluebird

European Bee-Eater
Gouldian Finch
Hawaiian Flycatcher
Lilac Breasted Roller
Northern Cardinal

Purple Honeycreeper
Red-and-Yellow Barbet
Red-Backed Kite
Silver-Breasted Broadbill
Spangled Cotinga


Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 9.5 inches (21.6 x 0.3 x 24.1 cm).


This is the Standing Bird model I folded by following Tammy's YouTube video. I used dollar store paper to practice. The model stands very well. I quite like the design.

Easy Bird 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 February 21, 2019. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook Review

Learn and improve your lettering with the Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook by Abbey Sy. Her terrific new volume is a workbook for practicing letters. It contains instructions and guided exercises related to hand lettering. With over 80 two-sided worksheets, you'll get plenty of practice. These full-size pages are perforated for easy removal. Abbey leads you through a wide range of styles. See the detailed Table of Contents below. I've included an excerpt from the Tools & Materials section to show the tools needed to get started. You probably already have them - a pencil, colored pencils, various pens and markers. Abbey's new workbook makes lettering practice easy - just follow the prompts! Rockport Publishing released the 192 page paperback was October 16, 2018. Get your copy below!



Contents

INTRODUCTION
How to Use This Book
Essential Terminology
Fonts & Type Styles
Tools & Materials
Starting with Pencil
Working Freehand
Letters & Layouts
Alternative Letters
Flourishes & Embellishments
Using the Practice Sheets

PRACTICE SHEETS
Warmups, exemplars, and practice sheets for 6 lettering styles, including numerals and punctuation
Sans Serif/Serif Warmups
Simple Sans Serif
Embellished Sans Serif
Simple Serif
Swash Serif
Script Warmups
Simple Script
Embellished Script

Practice sheets for taking your lettering to the next level
Bounced Words
Flourishes
Embellishments
Inspirational Quotes

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR





The Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook is available worldwide at Rockport Publishing, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Rockport Publishing.



My copy. Product dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11.1 inches (21.8 x 1.7 x 28.2 cm).




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hand Lettering & Calligraphy Review & GIVEAWAY

Turn letters into art with The Complete Photo Guide To Hand Lettering & Calligraphy by Abbey Sy. Her book is suitable for those new to hand lettering and calligraphy, or those seeking to improve current skills. It covers the basics, traditional calligraphy, modern hand lettering, decorative lettering and digital lettering. See a detailed table of contents below. You get over 30 large practice sheets. There are exercises and creative projects throughout. The author encourages you to read and take notes, learn the terminology, use the practice sheets for application of skills and experiment and have fun. Several Philippines based artists are introduced and share their work. This 192 page paperback was released June 12, 2018 by Publisher: Quarry Books. It's part of the Complete Photo Guide Series: The Essential Reference for Novice and Expert. A Kindle edition is also available. Get your copy below!


Contents

Preface
How to Use This Book

Tools and Materials
Traditional Tools
Modern Tools
Digital Tools
Other Tools for Lettering
Surfaces

Lettering and Primer
Anatomy Lesson
Alphabet Characteristics
Forming Letters
Adding Weight Lines
Connecting Letterforms

Classic Calligraphy
Using Traditional Tools
Using Modern Tools
Italic Calligraphy
Copperplate Calligraphy
Spencerian Calligraphy
Blackletter Calligraphy
Roman Calligraphy
Offhand Flourishes
Project

Modern Hand Lettering
Using Traditional Tools
Using Modern Tools
Basic Script
Adding Bounce
Flourishes
Flowers and Leaves
Projects

Decorative Lettering
Using Liners
Serif
Sans Serif
Letters and Layouts
Creating Illustrations Within Letterforms
Projects

Digital Lettering
Getting Started
Tools
Scanning and Basic Editing
Drawing Letterforms
Creating Special Effects
Adding Dimension
Projects

Practice Sheets
Resources
Glossary
Contributors
Acknowledgements
About the Author
Index

My copy. Product dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches (21.6 x 1.7 x 28.4 cm).

Hand Lettering & Calligraphy 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 February 12, 2019. Canada & the USA only. Good luck!


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My First Book of Sewing Review & GIVEAWAY

Learn how to sew with My First Book of Sewing by Catherine Guidicelli! This pretty book is ideal for learning and practicing hand and machine sewing basics. It's contents are presented with step-by-step illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions. The Introduction covers essential sewing skills and techniques. It is a handy reference to be returned to over and over. The 22 beginner friendly sewing Projects are suitable for girls. These practical applications allow for skill and technique development. Make some fun and functional items while building your sewing confidence! All sewing projects are listed below. Measurements are in both inches and metric. Patterns, a Glossary and Conversion Chart are found at the back. Knowing how to sew opens up a world of creative possibilities! Dover Publications released this 240 page paperback on October 17, 2018. Get your copy below!


Contents

INTRODUCTION
Materials
Fabrics
Sewing by hand
Sewing with the machine

PROJECTS
Customized jeans
Yo-yo badges
Flower blossoms
Butterfly knots
Scrunchies
Bandannas
Triangle scarf with braid
Striped scarf
Headbands
Bookmark
String of pennants

Drawstring bags
Tissue pouches
Planner cover
Pillow cover
Small bins with square base
Fox pillow
Funny charms
Lined tote bag
Tutu-style skirt
Lined pencil case
Apron

PATTERNS
GLOSSARY
CONVERSION CHART



Striped scarf, page 99.


Funny Charms page, 183.

My First Book of Sewing 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 February 5, 2019. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!


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!


Contents

Introduction
Foreword
How to fold - choosing paper
Techniques

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
Caterpillar
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!