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Search tags: Cooking-and-crafts
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review 2017-08-14 13:23
Contemporary Cables
Contemporary Cables: Classic Aran Reimagined in Current Styles - Jody Long

by Jody Long

 

I love cable knitting and the sweaters that result.

 

This is a collection of patterns for twenty-one different projects, each of them interesting in their own way. As with most knitting books, patterns for women dominate, though two of the three men's patterns are particularly interesting! No children or babies in this one.

 

Measurements and all instructions are very clear, giving both US sizes for needles and metric. The description says medium to advanced knitters, but I didn't see anything too complicated. Cables are actually very easy!

 

The patterns diverge from traditional into some creative combinations and there are at least three of them that I'm looking forward to knitting for myself. Full color pictures of all the finished designs and extensive charts to show texture or crossover patterns.

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review 2017-07-07 11:44
Holiday Cookies
Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season - Elisabet der Nederlanden

by Elisabet der Nederlanden

 

The introductory chapter tells of the author's Swedish background which bodes well for great cookie recipes. Then before we get into the cookie recipes, we get some technique pointers to make them come out well and the icing recipe that works best for decorated cookies.

 

The cookie recipes start with classics. Gingerbread men, decorated shortbread, swirl cookies and a few less familiar.

 

We then get regaled with the author's ideas for a Cookies Exchange Party, which sounds great fun and a chance to make some fancy cookies like Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies, Almond Ricciarella Cookies, Espresso Thins or especially tasty selections like Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies.

 

The third chapter gives us some warm holiday spice or fruit and traditional holiday cookies from several countries. Eggnog Madeleines, Cinnamon-Sugar Palmiers and Swedish Pepparkakorare are included among the International treats.

 

Then, speaking of treats, Holiday Confections is our next chapter and includes ideas for fancy wrapping gifts of cookies or confections along with recipes for holiday themed treats like Peppermint Bark and Apple Cider Caramels, as well as less traditional treats like Chocolate-Hazelnut Fudge and Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Squares.


Chapter 6 is all about decorating with cookies. The classic Gingerbread house and Christmas tree shaped sugar cookies with decorative icing are featured along with cookie tree ornaments and Candy Cane Cookies. If you really want to impress, the 3-D Christmas Trees made of stacked cookies and the Stained Glass Snowflakes would add something special to any holiday decorations.

 

There are resources for finding speciality equipment or ingredients in the back for the Americans, thought the rest of us will have to do our own sleuthing.

 

The color pictures throughout the book could entice any occasional baker to make the extra effort to do some extra baking this holiday season. The attention to detail in gift wrapping makes baking a present for the relative you never know what to buy for a definite attraction, as long as they aren't diabetic! Overall this is an excellent holiday baking book and probably the only one you'll ever need for cookies.

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review 2017-07-05 11:29
Embroidered Garden Flowers
Embroidered Garden Flowers: Botanical Motifs for Needle and Thread (Make Good: Crafts + Life) - Kazuko Aoki

by Kazuko Aoki

 

This is a lovely needlecraft book with advice on how to draw flowers with colored threads, in embroidery. It is loaded with full color pictures that show what can be accomplished with a few well-chosen stitches.

 

Hints are given about how to keep the shapes and colors in the artist's eye so that the image can be closely depicted in the stitches. About halfway through the book, instructions are given for how to embroider the beautiful flowers. Materials, stitches, everything you need is covered. Even the color numbers for DMC embroidery silks is included.

 

Detailed instructions are laid out for the specific flower designs in the pictures, but the reader is encouraged to use the same methods for embroidering flower designs from their own gardens or a field guide. There isn't a lot of text, but the little there is explains everything you need to know!

 

Overall an excellent tutorial on making these lovely designs.

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review 2017-07-04 10:03
Art on the Rocks
Art on the Rocks: More than 35 colorful & contemporary rock-painting projects, tips, and techniques to inspire your creativity! - Marisa Redondo,F. Sehnaz Bac,Margaret A Pericak-Vance

by F. Sehnaz Bac, Marisa Redondo, Margaret Vance

 

This is a colorful book showing what can be done with painting on rocks. The illustrations are beautiful and the designs reasonably simple so that anyone could probably create something of beauty with the tips given.

 

Like most craft books, it starts out with sections on tools and materials, how to prep rocks for painting and the best paints to use. The designs are offered in sections; Mandalas, Patterns, which includes hearts, feathers, dots, flowers and stars, Animals, and Nature, which includes various shapes like a leaf, raindrops and a butterfly wing.

 

It finishes off with a section about the artists.

 

Full color pictures illustrate the book throughout and step-by-step methods for achieving the designs make it easy. Techniques for color combination effects are made simple through example.

 

Graphs are included for design detail. The fox was my favorite, yet they made it so easy! This is a great, simple craft book good for children and adults who want to create something pretty with minimal drawing talent. Easy 5 stars.

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review 2017-01-09 12:17
The Art of Leather Burning
The Art of Leather Burning: Step-by-Step Pyrography Techniques - Lora Susan Irish

by Lora Susan Irish

 

This is a very practical book and easy to follow. It covers everything from types of pyrography tools, adjustable settings and other materials to leather work and all the practical details that go into working with leather, types and methods for burning designs.

 

I couldn't resist looking ahead to the designs provided in the back, but in doing so I discovered a real strength of the book. It doesn't just show you how to trace lines, but goes into detail about how to achieve shaded effects that make a project look really professional.

 

The segment on working with leather sticks to basics and there are recommendations for more detailed books on that aspect of the craft. This book is about the decorating process and it really delivers. It suggests practice grids to get to know the different patterns and how different tips and temperatures affect the outcome and also covers different types of dyes and other colorings that a crafter might want to use after getting the burned design onto the leather.

 

Overall an excellent book that does what it says on the cover and does it well and in great detail.

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