Sunday, 22 April 2012

Crafty Book Bargains

As promised in my last post, I’m back to tell you about the books I bought while we were visiting my folks in England.  I thought I’d tell you a bit about each one (like mini-reviews) and show you my favourite projects from them.  So, here I go.....

I bought ‘Weekend Sewing’ (by Heather Ross) from a super-cheap book shop in Lichfield.  Sorry – I can’t remember the name of the shop.  The book cost £5. 


Most of the projects seem fairly achievable, and the introduction to the book states that all of them can be done in a weekend (or a day, or just an hour or so).  The ‘look’ of the book is bright and fresh, there are lots of diagrams to show you exactly what to do, and the photography is gorgeous!  There’s a huge range of projects (over 40), including:  bags and pouches, table linens and other kitchen stuff, slippers, gloves, dresses, skirts, PJs, and babies’ and kids’ clothes.  I especially like the clothes in the book, as I think craft books with an equal balance of ‘garments’ and ‘other stuff’ are a rarity.  Since buying the book, I’ve read some pretty negative reviews of it on Amazon (yes, I know it’s normal to read reviews first, THEN buy).  These reviews say that there are errors in a few of the patterns/instructions.  I was really disappointed to read this, as I LOVE this book, and was really excited to get going on some of the garment projects.  Of course, some of the reviewers were going crazy about this, while others wrote that the errors didn't really bother them and weren't a big deal.  So, I guess I just need to try the projects for myself and see how they work for me.  Even with a few errors, though, I think the book was great value for money (at the price I paid for it).  I’m not sure, though, that I’d be willing to pay the RRP of £14.99 knowing that there are problems with some of the projects.

These are the projects closest to the top of my ‘to do’ list (I’m hoping that none of them are the ‘problem-projects’):





I bought ‘Sewing Green’ (by Betz White) from the same bargain bookshop.  This one cost £6.


The book contains 25 projects, all of which are made with organic or repurposed materials.  There are also lots of hints, tips and resources to encourage environmentally-conscious sewing.  Like ‘Weekend Sewing’, this book has a fresh, modern look and some lovely photos.  There are also some really beautiful projects (pretty skirts, gorgeous cushions and blankets, super-cute kids’ stuff, and the AMAZING scarf on the front cover, for example).  As I was picking out my favourites to show you, I realised that they're all felted thingamabobs.  So, I guess that's what I feel the book does really well.  But, I have to say that I’m not so keen on other repurposing projects - I’m not particularly taken with projects that blatantly ‘look’ repurposed.  And this book has four or five that I’d put into that category (for example, an apron made out of an old shirt, a bag made out of old jeans, and a sunshade made from used Capri Sun cartons).  For some people, though, as I’ve read in other reviews, these are the projects that are most appealing.  Each to their own, of course!  I’ll definitely be trying out some of the makes in this book, and I’m pleased I picked it up. 

These are a few of my favourite projects:




The third book I wanted to share with you wasn’t a bargain book shop special.  I got it from Simon for Easter (don’t worry – I had plenty of eggs too).  This one’s called ‘The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos’ (by Heidi Adnum).  At the moment, the Amazon price is £8.44. 


I LOVE this book!!!  I thought I was on to a winner by putting it at the top of my Amazon wish list, as the 6 reviews there are of it on Amazon at the moment are ALL 5*.  And I wasn’t disappointed one little bit!!!  I took night classes in photography many moons ago (when I first went to uni).  The classes were great (especially the ones where we got to mess around in a darkroom), but I’ve forgotten most of what I was taught, and digital cameras weren’t around then (or at least we didn't learn about them).  This book starts from the most basic of basics (which really helped to refresh my memory), and goes on to explain things in finer detail (covering how to get the best results when photographing different types of craft products, how to edit and store your photos, and how to use your images to promote your crafty business).  There are also pages dedicated to sharing practical photography hints and tips from well-known crafters.  And, best of all, the book is a treasure trove of amazing photos of all kinds of crafty products!!!  I’ve read the whole book through, from start to finish.  It explains everything (camera settings, lighting, composition, etc) in easy-to-understand terms, and the author’s writing style is friendly and informal.  I can see myself dipping back into this book (for advice AND inspiration) time and time again.  I’d definitely recommend it!!!

Oooh – this has turned into a super-long post.  Sorry!!!

If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.....

Happy Sunday to you!

Carly

x

19 comments:

  1. Hello lovely :o)
    oooh thank you, what a useful and informative post.
    I have been thinking about treating myself to weekend sewing...i think i should get on with it now!
    happy sunday
    love jooles x

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  2. They seem like great finds - thanks for sharing your reviews x

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  3. I haven't read any of those books but am pretty sure I will fairly soon, in fact am just about to order the photography one...thank you for the mini reviews, very helpful xx

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  4. Great reviews! I haven't heard of any, but am particularly interested in the photography book! I just looked it up on the US Amazon, and it's temporarily out of stock! But I'm going to keep this one in mind, it sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thanks for reviewing the photography book- I've not seen one before that is just about pictures of craft items.

    Like you, I did a class in photography while at uni, and have also forgotten all I learned! I might just be investing in this sometime soon!

    XX

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  6. I have far too many craft books........according to OH anyway, personally I don't think a girl can ever have too many craft books......great reviews Carly, I like the sound of 'Sewing Green', I love the idea of using repurposed materials.
    lily xx

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  7. Hello sweet Carly! Thank you for sharing your fantastic new craft books! I really appreciated the reviews and will have to look these up on Amazon. I also love the photo book, as I need to learn a lot about taking pictures! It sounds like a wonderful resource! How are you feeling sweetie? Are you all well now? I pray that you are doing much better! Thank you for your sweet comment! I wish you could come over and play in my sewing room too! Wouldn't we have fun!!! Much love, Paula xoxo

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  8. What great finds! Looks like lots of fun projects. I am going to have to look for the photography book. I could sure use some help--especially for indoor pictures.

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  9. I will have to look into that photography book! Looks very good and I know I could use some tips! :)

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  10. I havent read any of those books but they look worth buying and are not too expensive either.

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  11. Another fab post Carly! Thanks for sharing, I will have a look at them later, not that I've got room for any more books.

    Lou xxx

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  12. Hi Carly,
    I have the Weekend Sewing book and I love it. I have made two projects from this book and it was easy-ish (I sewing the boy's shirt and as I was my first time ever sewing a shirt I was very slow in this project). Thanks for the tip on the photography book. ;)
    xx

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  13. Thanks for taking the time again to review some lovely looking books!
    That photography book looks really interesting- I've really enjoyed photographing the stuff (technical term) for my blog, so I might check it out.
    Enjoy your week, my lovely.
    Xx

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  14. I do love all kinds of crafty books....I have too many but can't resist buying more!...You have some lovely finds here and the photography book looks wonderful...
    Hope you have a lovely week,
    Susan x

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  15. I have the first two books and absolutely love them - I still have to make something though.

    Nina x

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  16. Hello Carly,

    I am a made craft book lover so reading your reviews beats the usual Amazon ones I plough through hands down. I love the pictures you shared of the first sewing book. Doesn't that orange slip dress look wonderful? I agree with you about recycled fabric projects and I totally believe I would learn loads from the photography book. I NEED to learn!

    Thank you so very much for sharing those really good reviews with us, Carly.

    It's good to have you back.

    Stephanie

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  17. Hi Carly,

    I've nominated your lovely blog for the Sunshine Award.

    lily xx

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  18. Thanks for sharing...it is always nice to know a little bit more about books before one takes the plunge to buy them.
    Happy weekend. xoxo And creating.

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  19. I've just come across from Lily's Making It Vintage blog. Great reviews. I think I could do with the photography book, my picture taking leaves a lot to be desired. I shall now go and read through your past posts.

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Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit, and for taking the time to leave me a comment. It's always a pleasure to hear from readers, and it really makes my day!

Carly

x

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