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Search tags: Cooking-and-crafts
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review 2018-03-14 11:17
Amazing Origami Boxes
Amazing Origami Boxes - Tomoko Fuse

by Tomoko Fuse


Origami has interested me since childhood but these 20 original designs take it to a new level. Tomoko Fuse has achieved recognition for her modular designs and these intricate boxes and dishes show why.


This is not a beginners book. However, the instructions are clear and although I think practicing on cheap paper is a good idea before using the beautiful, decorative origami papers shown in the colorful illustrations, at least most of them should be possible for anyone with patience and prepared to practice.


If you have no experience with origami, I suggest an easier beginner's book would be better to start, but some of the square boxes are reasonably easy and once those are mastered, the harder ones should be doable. As I said, practice with cheap paper first. Common printer paper can be squared by folding it over and removing the excess. When you've got the hang of a design, then the origami papers will make it beautiful.

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review 2018-01-29 11:13
Alice Starmore's Glamourie
Alice Starmore's Glamourie (Calla Editions) - Jade Starmore,Alice Starmore

by Alice Starmore


This is a knitting book with a difference. It focuses on costuming and has pictures of some incredible creations the author has designed. The big difference, however, is that the costumes also have stories attached, so it's more than a craft book.


The author also explains much about how she made each of the costumes and the inspiration behind them.


There is one disappointment though. The patterns in the back are not for the elaborate costumes pictured with the stories. We don't get those. They are for items more for everyday wear, with some elements of the costumes. For example, the Raven costume that drew my attention to the book is truly magnificent, but the related pattern given is for a basic poncho with some of the feather design that was incorporated into the more intricate costume.


Looking at the sale price of the book, I do feel let down that the actual costuming patterns were not included. While someone walking around in something like the Raven costume would be immediately perceived as a nutter in ordinary circumstances, there are events where costuming is appropriate and I would love to make this one for such events.


Having said that, the everyday wear patterns are unusual in their own right and the book is certainly attractive for someone who wants to add some unique items to their wardrobe. Details about stitches are given and I think any fairly experienced knitter could easily follow the patterns.

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review 2017-12-09 15:19
Plum Dandi Knits
Plum Dandi Knits: Simple Designs for Luxury Yarns - Alicia Plummer,Melissa Schaschwary

by Alicia Plummer, Melissa Schaschwary


As the cover and description would indicate, this is a book of knitting patterns. What's unique about it is an emphasis on stitch patterns that create romantic designs that are very fluid, like nature.


My one complaint about it is that a lot of the patterns are for 'accessories'. I counted 2 patterns for leg warmers, one flared, 1 pair of warm looking socks, 4 shawls, one with a massive cable design, 2 patterns for fingerless gloves with interesting textures plus a pattern for enclosed mittens, an interesting headband that I'll certainly make, 2 scarves, a sort of cabled hat with a big fluffy ball at the top plus 2 more hats, one that the texture pattern made me think of dragon scales, and a cabled blanket.


This wouldn't be bad if there were more patterns for pullovers and cardigans. Apart from the above there was a patter with delicate stitch patterns in a cardigan and shrug, a striped pullover vest, a turtleneck pullover, an interesting patterned cape that I would make longer, and one other pullover with a lovely pattern going down the sleeves which I am very likely to make. No jackets or dresses, which might have benefited from the sort of design that has gone into the projects offered.


There's an extensive stitch glossary, including some unusual ones like the long-tail cast on that I haven't seen elsewhere. I'd say this book is for the more experienced knitter. There are plenty of pictures in color and the stitches are illustrated with clear drawings.


Overall a good knitting book, but I'd like to see more patterns for everyday clothes. You can only make so many hats and scarves before you have too many, no matter how cool the designs.

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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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