Posted in Home

Sewing 101 Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily Through Step-by-Step Instruction – Editors of Quarry Books


Sewing 101 is an excellent guide for anyone new to sewing and sewing enthusiasts.

This book includes DIY projects such as sewing garments and Home Décor and offers tips and techniques on sewing.

It starts with the basics—the sewing machine and its accessories—Bobbins, Presser Feet. The author guides you on how to insert the needle, wind the Bobbin, thread the needle and so on. The reader will learn other techniques such as how to balance tension, Sew a seam (and special seams), Hand Stitches, and Hand Hems.

From there the book progresses to Hand-sewing supplies ( such as threads, needles), measuring and marking tools, cutting tools (scissors), pressing tools, and additional materials like cutting boards, elastics, bodkin, basting tape and more.
This section also covers types of fabrics, guidelines on choosing the right one—and tips on how to store them.

Another section introduces patterns— selecting a pattern, types of patterns, inside the pattern, pattern layout and more.

The subsequent chapters cover sewing projects (skirts, jackets, apron etc) and Home décor—Raw-edge Fland Pillows. Knife-edge pillows, pillowcases, baby blankets, tablecloths, Roman shade and more.

The easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by photos to guide the reader. Highly recommend.

  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group – Quarry (3 September 2019)
Posted in Book Review

Botanical Baking: Contemporary Baking and Cake Decorating with Edible Flowers and Herbs – Juliet Sear

bake.pngThere is nothing like colorful organic flowers to jazz up a plain-looking cake and if you can eat them, so much the better.

In Botanical Baking, Juliet Sear guides the reader on where to source edible flowers 🌺 and lists different kinds of flowers as well as details of each flower’s flavor. ( Alyssum, candytuft, Apple blossom, Dahlia, and more). She offers tips on how to store and preserve edible flowers for later use.

She provides the baking basics starting with basic instructions to guide the reader on how to bake layer cakes 🍰. She also suggests sizes and layer number for making the cakes in this book.

In the first section of this book, the author presents recipes that are used throughout the book. For instance, the layer cakes and cupcakes call for the simple sponge recipe; she uses vanilla buttercream recipe for frosting and base for her chocolate ganache buttercream. Using easy-to-follow instructions, she guides you on how to layer and fill a cake,🍰 as well as present decorating tips.

Using a variety of edible flowers, she presents a handcrafted selection of baked goods including lavender meringue lollies, ganache trio, ganache and cake tails accompanied by gorgeous photos. Other treats include lavender biscuits, iced rings, macarons and more.

The book concludes with templates and a list of suppliers in the UK for future reference.

Botanical Baking is filled with so many treats that will motivate hobbyists and seasoned bakers to create edible decorations. I highly recommend.

  • Pages: 144
  • Publisher: SewandSo (18 June 2019)

Available on Amazon

Posted in Book Review

Anywhere, Anytime Art: Illustration: An artist’s guide to illustration on the go! – Betsy Beier



Anywhere, Anytime Art: Illustration is the perfect “how to” guide to make art on the go using a combination of medium and style.

The author introduces the reader to scientific illustration, botanical illustration, portraiture, fashion illustration, food illustration and so on. She presents 12 creative projects as well as illustration styles, tools (pencils: graphite pencils, watercolor pencils; sketchbooks, paint, brushes, watercolor, gouache, and more), and techniques to create storytelling illustrations.

She explores different color palettes and shares tips on how to combine colors for subjects and evoke different moods.

The projects in this book are easy to follow: for each project, the author provides tips on media to use, step-by-step sketches, adding patterns and details, and lastly, adding color for the final touches.

This book also covers doodling; the author shows you how to doodle with different shapes, and how to draw and color scenery. For instance, a scene at the farmer’s market. She guides the reader on how to make patterns, illustrate a meal—be it in a coffee shop, a restaurant, a local grocery store—and the Japanese Kaiseki meal. She provides some high-level tips on drawing fashion.

Other projects include hand lettering, patterns—inspired by different countries—and collage illustration. The reader will learn how to create collages using newspaper clippings, tickets and other ephemera from their travels, draw and paint on ticket subs to create memorabilia.

This book will teach you how to find inspiration wherever you are and find beauty in the mundane. I recommend to art lovers.

  • Pages: 128
  • Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster (14 May 2019)

Available on Amazon


Posted in Book Review

Knitted Animal Friends: Knit 12 Well-dressed Animals, Their Clothes and Accessories – Louise Crowther


Knitted Animal Friends is a beautiful collection of knitted animal toys with over 40 knitting patterns and tips on how to design these toys.
The book offers tools and materials for making these patterns (yarn, needles, buttons, stuffing etc).

Also included in this book are the standard measurements for the body parts of the animals. Each chapter consists of a short profile of the knitted animal as well as the animal’s body and outfit pattern. The book is filled with beautiful photos and the patterns are easy to follow. I would recommend.

  • Pages:128
  • Publisher: SewandSo ( 7 May 2019)
Posted in Book Review

Black & Decker Readymade Home Furniture Easy Building Projects Made from Off-the-Shelf Items – Chris Peterson


This is a practical handbook on how to make home furniture using bits and pieces you find from a hardware store. It includes easy and interesting, and inexpensive projects homeowners can follow—a new workspace, a piece of furniture to add to your living room. The book also offers tips on the right hardware and working with different materials.

The projects in this book are divided into two sections: Creative Reinventions and Built-Ins from Stock Cabinetry. Both sections are filled with inspiring projects, accompanied by photos. A must-have for anyone looking for inspirations for their home.

  • Pages: 144
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (25 December 2018)
Posted in Book Review

Love Color: Choosing colors to live with – Anna Starmer


Love Color is a gorgeous book filled with ideas on choosing the right color combination and incorporating these colors in your home. There are so many color palettes to choose from, and Love Color includes tips that will boost the reader’s confidence in selecting their own color style when sprucing up their homes. It also offers tips on textures, patterns, lighting and choosing colors that can improve the reader’s mood and enhance their emotional well being.

The photos in this book are stunning! The colors are rich and vibrant and I like the concept used in this book where each chapter is sorted by color, thus making it easy to find ideas. Each chapter starts with a brief overview of the color discussed and then proceeds to show different color palettes used for each interior. I’m seriously considering buying a paper copy of this book. If you’re looking for inspirations for your home, this book is for you.

  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Ivy Press ( 4 October 2018)

Available on Amazon

Posted in Book Review

En Plein Air: Watercolor – Ron Stocke


En Plein Air: Watercolor is an excellent book for someone new to watercolor painting on location. The explanations are clear and accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

In this book, the author presents different drawing styles and shows you how to draw perspectives, how to choose the right equipment for painting on location, and even how to paint from photographs. He also addresses difficulties in subject placement and mistakes in drawing simple shapes.

Ron’s explanation of the color wheel and color mixing is concise and highly valuable. He presents a different concept of assigning a value to a subject rather than color. The author’s finished paintings are stunning!   

This is a book to be read and reread and I am definitely adding this to my list of art books! Highly recommend to fine-art lovers.

  • Pages: 128
  • Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (18 December 2018) 

Available on Amazon


Posted in Book Review

Hand Sewing Magic – Lynn Krawczyk


Hand Sewing Magic is an excellent “how to” guide for someone new to hand stitching and seasoned stitchers.

This book includes 10 DIY projects and several tips and techniques on hand stitching. It starts with the basics—threads, needles, and additional materials—and tips on how to store them. The subsequent chapters introduce different stitch and embroidery patterns and will teach you how to design items such as book covers, phone holders, tote bags and so on. This book includes templates and resources to inspire the reader. Highly recommend.

  • Publisher: Creative Publishing International (4 December 2018)

Available on Amazon

Posted in Book Review

The Complete Book of Calligraphy & Lettering – Cari Ferraro, Eugene Metcalf, Arthur Newhall, John Stevens


This is the perfect “how to” book for those new to Calligraphy and Lettering.
There are over 100 techniques mentioned in this book on how to master the art of beautiful writing.

It gives you all you need to know about creating beautiful hand letterings, and it also includes blank pages where you can practice. This book will teach you how to design and decorate congratulation and gift cards, wall posters, chalkboard signs, journal covers and so much more. Very inspiring and I recommend to everyone.

  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (25 September 2018)

Available on Amazon