Monday, August 03, 2020

Origami Fold-By-Fold Review & GIVEAWAY

Next level challenge! Learn to fold beginner to advanced with Origami Fold-By-Fold by John Montroll. It features 35 animal and polyhedra (3-D geometric figures) origami models. Animal subjects include a selection of fish, insect, bird and mammal folds. Polyhedron models include the 5 Platonic solids - tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, icosahedron and dodecahedron. Crease patterns are also included for these models. Begin with the easy folding in the first chapter and work your way through the book at your own pace - from simple through intermediate, complex and very complex. All of the designs are folded from one square sheet of paper, and adhere to a no cutting, no glue approach. A reference section shows origami symbols (lines and arrows) and basic folds (pleat, squash, petal, rabbit ear, double-rabbit ear, inside and outside reverse, crimp, sink, spread squash, blintz frog base and a double unwrap fold). All folding sequences have step-by-step instructions with large, clear, full-color illustrations. Ideal for dedicated folders who want to build and reinforce their folding skills. See the complete table of contents below. Dover Publications released the 128 page paperback on July 15, 2020. It is also available in e-book format. Get your copy below!


Basic Folds
Appreciating Origami Fold-by-Fold

Simple Origami
Simple Fish
Tropical Fish
Lady Bug
Stink Bug

Dragon Fly
Australian Pelican
Black-Necked Crane

Complex Origami
Koala Bear

Very Complex
Woolly Mammoth
Sunken Dodecahedron

The tetrahedron I folded from page 30/31.

Origami Fold-By-Fold 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 August 18, 2020. Canada & USA only. Good luck! 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Plant Lady Embroidery Review & GIVEWAY

Stitch from the garden season-to-season with Plant Lady Embroidery: 300 Botanical Embroidery Motifs & Designs to Stitch by Applemints. Browse through a charming selection of hand embroidery designs and project ideas in this very pretty book. Each motif comes with an easy to read diagram pattern and full-size template. Patterns include the motif number, stitch name, number of strands, color number and other relevant information. How to transfer a design, prepare the floss, thread a needle and knot is clearly reviewed for those new to embroidery. Fifteen basic stitches are used in this book. Each of these embroidery stitches is illustrated step-by-step so anyone can follow along. All of the designs were created with No. 25 Olympus brand embroidery floss. A thread conversion chart for Olympus to DMC brand floss is supplied. Standard size 3 - 7 embroidery needles and a 4 - 6 inch (10 - 15 cm) hoop will work for most of the patterns. These are original designs created by a group of talented Japanese artists! It is a well-organized and thorough reference. See the complete table of contents below. Quarry Books released this 120 page paperback on April 28, 2020. Get your copy below!

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Also in series Cat Lady Embroidery!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Meditative Stone Art Review & GIVEAWAY

Create your own beautifully painted stones with Meditative Stone Art by Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango. Learn how to get the stunning results you see below! Maria shows exactly how she paints her elegant stones from beginning to end. This includes her preferred tools and supplies, what she looks for when collecting stones, where to find and how to prepare them. There are 44 step-by-step projects - 21 mandalas and 23 nature-inspired designs. These include single and multi-color mandalas, flowers, leaves, fish, beetles, butterflies and moths. All come with a level of difficulty (most are rated easy), a supplies list and comprehensive text and photo instruction. Three ways of putting a design on the stone are looked at in detail - tracing, using a grid and drawing freehand. Templates for all designs are at the back of the book. See the complete table of contents below. Rock Point released this 144 page paperback May 12, 2020.  It is also available in e-book format. Get your copy below!
Meditative Stone Art is available worldwide at Rock Point Gift & Stationery. Check our their unique catalog at Rock Point Gift & Stationery. Rock Point Gift & Stationery is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 30, 2020. Canadian and US addresses only. Good luck!

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Monday, July 06, 2020

Modern Rainbow Patchwork Quilts Review

Quilting has a fresh new look in Modern Rainbow Patchwork Quilts by Paula Steel. It features 14 gorgeous rainbow-themed patchwork projects - 3 mini projects, 5 cushions and 6 quilts. The smaller projects are ideal for beginners, while the blankets are for those more confident. Chapter 1 begins with the basics - color, fabric, tools and techniques. In Chapter 2 tutorials cover the skills necessary to complete the projects and serve as a reference. They include blocks, basting, quilting, binding and making an envelope cushion. Both the tutorials and projects are broken down into easy-to-follow steps with detailed illustrations. Alternative design ideas like changes in color, size, fabric etc. are offered for each of the blankets. A link to a downloadable PDF with coloring pages and a layout supplement is included. With her contemporary designs, techniques, fabrics and color choices Paula shows us an appealing take on modern quilting! The complete table of contents is listed below. Casemate IPM released this 176 page paperback on May 19, 2020. It is also available in e-book format. Get your copy below!


CHAPTER 1 The Basics

Introduction to the basics
Using colour and fabric options
Rainbow order (ROYGBIV)
Using the whole Rainbow or part of it?
Types of fabric
Sourcing your fabrics, finding a rainbow
Useful tools / Things you will need
Extra fun tools I use

CHAPTER 2 Tutorials

Introduction to tutorials
Basting Quilts
Quilting your quilt
Binding your quilt
Making an envelope cushion
Half Square Triangle Tutorial
Method 1. Half Square Triangles 
(two at a time)
Method 2. Half Square Triangles 
(four at a time)
Method 3. Half Square Triangles 
(eight at a time)
Trimming Half Square Triangles
Flying Geese Tutorial
(one at a time)
(four at a time no waste method)
Diamond in Square

CHAPTER 3 Quilt Projects

Introduction to quilt projects
Vintage Stars Double Quilt
Racing Stripes Lap Quilt
Ombré Compass Double Quilt
Starburst Lap Quilt
80s Revival Single Bed Quilt
Picnic Squares Quilt

CHAPTER 4 Cushion Projects

Introduction cushion projects
Vintage Dash Cushion
Cabin Block Stripes Cushion
Shaded Arrows Cushion
Large Garden Floor Cushion
Neon Squares Cushion


Introduction to mini projects
Large Rainbow Star Purse
Rainbow Coasters
Rainbow Drawstring Bag


Shopping Guide


Ombré Compass Double Quilt

Starbust Lap Quilt

Cabin Blocks Cushion

Large Rainbow Star Purse

Back cover of my copy.

Modern Rainbow Patchwork Quilts is available in Canada and the USA at Casemate IPM and in the UK and Europe at Pen and Sword Books. It is published by White Owl an imprint of Pen & Sword Books, a publishers based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. 

Atomic Kitty 
Not in the book but a PDF is available at Paula Steel Quilts
Download for mini quilt, large tote bag and cushion (pillow).

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Make Music Day with BASH THE TRASH

Today is Make Music Day! It's a free, global musical celebration held every June 21, the summer solstice. This year’s event is moving to a virtual experience with BASH THE TRASH as one of the highlights! Environmental art educators will teach participants how to make musical instruments from found objects - think recycling bin, craft cupboard, junk drawer or whatever you have. 

Look at the pure joy on these children's faces! It's one of the reasons I wanted to share Make Music Day with you!

Photo credit Erika Kapin Photography.

Check out the Instrument Building Lab. Above is the Percussion - 4 in 1 Can. You'll find many more instrument making videos at BASH THE TRASH.

Today participants can join Bash the Trash on a video call to get tips from expert Bash the Trash instrument builders, share their creations and play them with others! Folks who want to show off their instruments, ask questions and participate with the Bash the Trash-ers can register on Zoom, and anyone else can watch live on YouTube. Here is the Zoom registration link: and here’s the link to the YouTube live stream: Don't miss out on this fun and unique way to help the environment while harnessing the power of music!

Monday, June 01, 2020

3-D Papercraft Review & GIVEAWAY

Learn how to make beautiful three-dimensional paper art with drawing paper! Just released 3-D Papercraft: Create Fun Paper Cutouts from Plain Paper by Yoko Ganaha and Piggy Tsujioka. In their brand new book you will find 280 templates to make 3-D paper art. The authors use 80 lb. (220 gsm) paper to make letters, numbers, symbols, decorations, ornaments, signs, displays, motifs and more. Browse their 280 piece project gallery and choose the design you would like to make. Go to the page indicated to find the pattern. Photo copy the pattern, enlarging it following the clearly printed percentage shown. Follow simple instructions that involve cutting, taping, marking, folding and shaping paper. Depending on the methods you choose the authors recommend the following supplies - removable tape, ballpoint pen and poster board, tracing wheel and cutting mat, craft knife, scissors, masking tape, paper glue and a hole punch. To display your models use putty-like adhesives, double-sided tape, thumb tacks and a stapler. All designs are listed below in the table of contents. Dover Publications released the 160 page paperback on May 21, 2020. Get your copy below!

How to Make

Crown 1
Thistle, Olive Branch
Wave Borders
Decorative Frills
Angel Wings
Quill Pen
Gecko, Horseshoe
Skull, Lightning
Sword, Iron Bars, Thorns, Bones
Crown 2
Anchor, Star
Decorative Alphabet

Four-Leaf Clover, Tulip, 3 Kinds of Hearts
Simple Flowers
Ducks, Rabbits
Fish, Pigs
Plain Alphabet
Plain Numbers
Flowers and Leaves for Vases
Lily of the Valley Basket
Flower Basket
Party Decorations
Rose, Climbing Rose
Flowers on Branches
Holly, Pine Cones, Fir
Apples, Pears, Oranges
Elephant Pop-up

Houses, Trees, Fences
Box-Shaped Symbols
Box-Shaped People and Animals
Cubic Alphabet
Wall Racks, Hooks

Ladles, Kitchen Tools
Decorative Borders
Letters, Numbers
Tables, Chairs, Cups, Pots, Symbols, Birds

papercrafts paper crafts

papercrafts paper crafts

3-D Papercraft 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  a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until June 15, 2020. Canada & USA only. Good luck!

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Printmaking Review & GIVEAWAY

Get started in handcraft printing with Printmaking: How to Print Anything on Everything by Christine Medley. No experience or expensive equipment is required for the projects in this book. Learn about the tools, materials and techniques of printmaking and create your own with 12 projects as listed below in the table of contents. Chapter 1 introduces four types of printing - relief, intaglio, screen and lithography. It includes sections on plate types, cutting tools, printing, ink, paper, cleanup, editions and resources. In Chapter 2 learn how to make different printmaking tools from household objects and low-cost materials such as toilet paper rolls, erasers, gelatin, leaves and plants. It also looks at - workspace, inspiration, design & production and color. In Chapter 3 print with found and natural objects like feathers, potatoes, fruit, corks, cookie cutters, chopsticks and more. Four beginner printing projects are included. Chapter 4 explores printing with custom stamps and plates. Four projects, with easy-to-advanced options, build on skills learned in previous chapters. Chapter 5 is about screen printing and photographic techniques. It has four more-advanced projects. Try different techniques and discover the rewards of printmaking! Dover Publications released the 144 page paperback on April 15 2020. Get your copy below!



Introduction to Tools, Materials and Equipment

Your Creative Toolbox

Printing with Found and Natural Objects

 1. Make Paper Ornaments
2. Print Flour Sack Towels with Produce
3. Create a Set of Note Cards and a Belly Band
4. Monoprinting with Gel Plates

Printing with Custom Stamps and Plates

5. Stamp a Custom Gift Wrap Collection
6. Design and Print Seed Packets
7. Make Tea Light Luminaries
8. Create Multicolor Fine Art Prints Using Traditional and Alternative Blocks

Screen Printing and Photographic Techniques

9. Screen Print on Wood Using Cut and Painted Stencils
10. Print a Coffee Mug and Coaster Set
11. Screen Print on Textiles and Combined Techniques
12. Solarplate Relief Prints

About the Author

Printmaking 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 May 17, 2020. Canada & USA only. Good luck!

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Origami Boxes Review & GIVEAWAY

Learn how to fold paper into packets you can use! Origami Boxes features instructions for 8 container folds and includes 200 sheets of colorful 7 x 7 inch folding paper. These easy to remove sheets come in 20 different patterns and colors. With designs from 7 noted origami experts each model is distinctly different from the next. Contributors include Vanda Battaglia, Riccardo Colletto, Francesco Decio, Rita Foelker, Max Hulme, Francesco Mancini and Nick Robinson. So far I've folded the tray for treats, wedding favor, Arlington box and fortune purse. I found the detailed diagram and text instructions very clear. Two of the designs were created specifically as favors, one for a wedding and the other a baptism. The complete table of contents is listed below. Dover Publications will release this 256 page paperback on April 15, 2020. It is available now for pre-order. Get your copy below!



Tray for treats
Rita Foelker

Wedding favor
Riccardo Colletto

Flat box
Francesco Decio & Vanda Battaglia

Arlington box
Nick Robinson

Ancient Japanese box
Francesco Decio & Vanda Battaglia

Max Hulme

Fortune purse
Francesco Mancini

Adrianna's box
Riccardo Colletto

Origami Boxes 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 April 26, 2020. Canada & USA only. Good luck!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Art of Watercolor Lettering Review & GIVEAWAY

Learn how to hand letter with watercolor - no experience necessary! New from the founder of KellyCreates and author of The Art of Brush Lettering (highly rated) this is The Art of Watercolor Lettering: A Beginner's Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Modern Calligraphy and Lettered Art by Kelly Klapstein. The Canadian lettering expert takes readers methodically through the process of watercolor hand lettering. Learn about the essential supplies you'll need - paints, brushes, and paper. Review some watercolor basics. This includes practical exercises to help develop your technique and style. The watercolor exercises continue throughout the book. Look at a variety of lettering (drawing) and calligraphy (writing or brush script) techniques using watercolor. Explore more advanced techniques, tools and materials for creating a range of effects with watercolor. Use your new skills to make designs for gifts, home decor, cards, journals and more! At the back of the book are 19 perforated sheets for trace and learn practice. Paint on these large 8.6 x 10 inch (21.8 x 25.4 cm) pages directly or photocopy them to make multiples. The table of contents is listed below. It's a complete guide to creating beautiful watercolor lettering! Quarry Books released the 144 page paperback on October 22 2019. A Kindle edition is available. Get your copy below!


My watercolor journey & the beauty of watercolor lettering

Essential supplies: paint, brushes, paper & more

Working with color, how to hold a brush, making swatches & warm-up exercises

Typography & lettering styles

Techniques & projects for creating with color

Creating & enhancing lettering with watercolor pencils, brush pens & other tools

Painting quotes, adding designs & other special touches

Alphabet exemplars, words & quotes for lettering projects

About the Author

While my lettering skills with my brush pen were evolving,  


Combining my love of writing, calligraphy, and paint brings me to a very joyful place right here in this book. And I hope it brings you all those wonderful artistic creative feelings too. I wish you a joyful, peaceful, and beautiful experience exploring the art of watercolor lettering.

As with any artistic venture, having the right tools can make all the difference.


When it comes to learning and practicing lettering with watercolor, there are a few important considerations, which you’ll read about in this chapter. Choosing the right brushes, paints, and paper will help make your learning experience easier and stress-free.

One of the reasons I love teaching watercolor lettering workshops


This book isn’t about all the technique and terminology of painting with watercolor, but I share basic knowledge to help you appreciate this wonderful medium. In this chapter, we also do some creative warm-up exercises to help you get well acquainted with your brush and feel more confident. 



With watercolor, you can paint the letters as you would in hand lettering, applying paint to form the structure of letters and words. In this chapter, we look at a variety of lettering and calligraphy techniques using watercolor. 

Watercolor’s properties as a liquid medium help us achieve beautiful results with lettering.


Watercolor’s properties as a liquid medium help us achieve beautiful results with lettering. Learn how to layer paint for monotone patterns, blend watercolor paints for rainbow and galaxy lettering, create dramatic results with metallic watercolor, achieve eye-catching white lettering, and more. Let’s take advantage of the mobility of the water and create some wonderful effects with color.

Watercolor lettering can be achieved in a variety of ways, not just with paint tubes cakes liquids


Watercolor lettering can be achieved in a variety of ways, not just with paint in tubes or cakes or liquids. You can create lettering with watercolor pencils, water brushes, markers, and more! Learning how to use these tools will help expand your watercolor lettering tool box when you’re designing projects.

learn watercolor paint lettering styles create colorful designs gifts, home décor, cards, journals,


After learning how to use watercolor paint and practicing some lettering styles, you can now apply your skills and create some colorful designs for gifts, home décor, cards, journals, and more.

How do we learn a variety of lettering styles with watercolor?


In the pages that follow, you will find brush script worksheets for repetitive practice. There are also exemplars of other alphabets that will help you develop an understanding of how to paint different styles, block, serif, sans serif, decorative and more. By practicing with these guides, you will be on your way to creating beautiful, artistic watercolor lettering!

The Art of Watercolor Lettering 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 April 5, 2020. Canada & the USA only. Good luck!

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