I have very high standards for craft books, and so I tend to preview a lot of craft books at my library rather than buying them outright. I even ask the librarians to order new books and am delighted when they purchase my recommendations, as they did with Craftivity. So 99.9% of the time, I look at the books and occasionally make notes about a particular project or two that I might enjoy making ... but this book won me over within the first few projects. I liked it so much that I placed an order to buy it, and that's very unusual for me. Very. Of the 40 project "recipes" in the book, I expect to make my own versions of more than half of them, and that's an amazing ratio.
Tsia Carson has selected some astoundingly creative folks to contribute to this book, and it shows. Even when the projects *sound* as though they might be old-hat, the actual project directions and illustrations show something fresh and unique -- by now, for example, it seems like everyone and their sister have been making felt flower broaches, but the one in Tsia's book, designed by Desiree Haigh, is a fun 3-D design I haven't seen elsewhere. Similarly, there are loads of patterns and designs for "softies" online, but Pearce Williams' Soft Octopus is a fun variation that looks really complex and professional when finished, but the instructions and pattern are clear and really quite simple to follow.
And then there's Jenny Hart's (SublimeStitcher.com) submission of an embroidered Screen Door ... and Jennifer Kabat's unique suggestion of what to do with a moth-eaten sweater (no, it's not felted) ... and the very craft that brought me years ago to Glitter (the crafty discussion board hosted at Supernaturale.com): a crochet skull! I mean, hey, This Is NOT Your Mother's Crochet! This book is literally filled with contemporary, hip twists on the DIY lifestyle.
The book design, as would be expected from an author who's co-founded a successful NYC Design firm, is clean, supremely functional, and elegant. The photos are luscious, and the instructional photos (step by step knitting, crochet, and embroidery stitches, for example) are clear, precise, and absolutely helpful. And the artists showcased are inspiring on their own -- I mean, hey, Noney Money? I *love* that!
So thank you Tsia, for not only hosting the world's best crafty community, but for gathering such fabulous artisans to offer us all wonderful, unique projects that are entirely do-able.