- An inspired geometric-pattern coffee table made of balsa wood
- A hand-lettered statement wall featuring your favorite quote
- A quick and easy electrical tape update for your refrigerator
- A set of beautifully designed serving dishes
Packed with bonus styling tips from hanging the perfect gallery wall to making mismatched furniture work, Happy Handmade Home is design inspiration for personalizing your own space.
- ISBN-13: 9780770434052
- ISBN-10: 0770434053
- Publisher: Potter Style
- Publish Date: August 2014
- Page Count: 240
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.06 x 0.71 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.91 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-15
- Reviewer: Staff
In the cover photo, the authors, two sisters who produce A Beautiful Mess blog, lounge on turquoise couches, a white shag rug on the floor; one is typing on the laptop while the other fluffs a polka-dotted pillow. Whether or not the reader likes the aesthetic of crafty meets hipster chic, there will be a desire to be friends with the author-hosts so as to be invited to their next party for a "Birthday Cake Martini." The book mostly consists of beautiful, if standard, porn-with-pillow-shams photography (lots of light filtering through filmy window coverings), but the authors do show a bit of decorating daring, including a black living room accent wall that actually looks good. Every few pages, the sisters offer a craft idea, which range from the unoriginal, such as creating a kids art gallery wall using wire and clothespins, to the bizarre, in which white electrical tape is employed to give style to a black refrigerator. In the introduction, the authors instruct readers to identify what features stand out in "favorite spaces" of all kinds, to make lists of how rooms might be used unconventionally (playing cards in a dining room), and to do some soul searching ("Make a list of 100 things about YOU.") The idea is to make home an expression of one's personality, a skill that the authors have clearly mastered. (Aug.)
Lifestyles: Making the cut
At first glance, the tripartite title Scissors, Paper, Craft might conjure rock, paper, scissors—that immemorial game. But Christine Leech’s lovely paper designs are not for children to make, although kids could certainly assist with some, play with others and be enchanted by all. These are for adult hands to cut, shape, bend, curl and punch: gorgeous designs for home, workplace and wonderful gifts. All 30 clever paper projects combine eye-catching gracefulness and simple construction, and prove the author knows the manifold demands on our time and patience when it comes to crafting. Her sets of inexpensive, simple materials and clear instructions effectively offer relief to busy schedules, for each project is designed with practical ends in mind, along with aesthetic ones. This range of utility goes from storage systems to gift tags, pop-up cards to mobiles. One favorite is the “Shadow Tree Picture,” which turns paper into magic.
Sally J. Shim focuses on just one form of paper craft with Pretty Packages: 45 Creative Gift-Wrapping Projects. Who knew there could be so many ways of wrapping a present? Shim works in South Korea, which has an ancient tradition of high craftsmanship, obviously transcending the gender-specificity of that word. Compared to Leech’s book, these projects increase both the time and the patience factors, and many more materials than paper are involved. But insofar as the designs are more complex, the results are stunning. A number of the wrappings—in watercolor, felt, fabric, stitched paper, yarn, vellum, etc.—are so beautiful, it would almost be a shame to unwrap the darn things. I love the simple flourishes the most: the gift tag cut out of thin wood into a small, sweet flag, or the clay medallion, inscribed with the monogram of the person receiving the gift and attached with string, ribbon or a wire hook. As the busiest season for gift-giving approaches, Shim’s projects can inject some unexpected fun into what, for most, is a tedious task and will ensure your packages bring smiles before and after opening.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
The name of Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman’s lifestyle blog says it all: A Beautiful Mess. For these two gurus, more is definitely more. The more stuff you create, the more home you make. They have published their most delightful projects to date in A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Place. The sumptuously photographed volume lays out how to maximize your creativity—not just in your very own home, but rather to make your home your very own. Larson and Chapman take a refreshing, rule-breaking approach to interior style: They tweak every room with adventurous hacks and fresh repurposings, like a taped pattern for the refrigerator, a geometric update for your coffee table, a pegboard on the bed, swings in the playroom and more in every other livable space. If you’re hoping to transform your home without emptying your savings account, look no further.