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The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home Hardcover – Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang (Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584797363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584797364
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 840,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A gorgeous visual feast of domestic perfection, packed with ideas for creating your own idyll' (Eve )

'This lovely book is sure to appeal to the domestic goddess in everyone' (Prima )

'She brings big ideas to homemaking and makes sure her tips and suggestions are easy to do, easy to adapt and sure to set off a chain of further ideas' (Easy Living )

'The book, which is packed with jewel-bright pictures of her work, from shimmering iced cupcakes to knitted carrot-coloured tea cosies, is an eccentric delight' (Evening Standard Home & Garden Magazine - Book of the Week )

'Beautifully illustrated, it’s fun stuff' (Scotland on Sunday ) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jane Brocket is the creator of the gorgeously colorful blog www.yarnstorm.blogs.com, which has a huge international following. A Master of Wine and lapsed Ph.D. student, she lives with her husband and three children in Berkshire, England.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SJR on 3 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully photographed, beautiful to look at and creatively inspiring. I go back to the pictures again and again - the colours and juxtapositions are inspiring for the aspiring crafter, beautiful eye candy for a dull day. Brocket also writes very interestingly on the interaction between creativity and domesticity, and I also found the account of her thinking through crafting, and how she finds ideas and inspiration very interesting - this also helped me to think about where my creative ideas and inspiration come from too. This is not a 'how-to' book - it is an account of the way in which a crafter can find ideas out of the everyday and make art and craft in a small-scale domestic way. It is also a celebration of the creatively domestic - not the boring housework things, but a demonstration of how one can make something lovely to look at and cheering to the psyche out of the mundane things of everyday life. She also demonstrates that you don't need a dauntingly high level of skill and expertise to make beautiful things - fantastically coloured iced buns, simple knitted socks, little bits of embroidery - they are all within reach of the beginner crafter.

If you want detailed instructions on how to make quilts, knit socks and bake cakes like Jane Brocket, she has written other books with patterns and instructions for these things, but what marks her out is the way in which she locates each thing she makes in a creative hinterland, and explains how she comes up with inspiration, and why she makes what she does. This is the book that got me into knitting and quilting and wildly eccentric cake icing quite late in life and with no previous form - I love it and go back to it on a regular basis if I need a bit of inspiration and colour in my life! My teenage daughter loves it too.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Angel Jem VINE VOICE on 9 Oct 2007
Format: Hardcover
I, too, am familiar with the work of Jane Brocket through her blog, yarnstorm, and true blog-devotees will recognise many of the photos and indeed content of the book as areas that have been covered on the blog in the past. There is plenty to keep a domestic artist inspired here, from the sumptuous pictures to the evocative words and the short chapters mean that you do not need a great long stretch of time to read them. It is not a manual, so readers seeking a recipe or a sock pattern would do better to look elsewhere. Having said that, there is an extensive list of stockists at the back, and Jane always credits books, publishers, patterns and inspiration where necessary so as a springboard to a life as a domestic artist the book is just the inspiration needed to go and find that angora wool you bought on sale last year and to get knitting.... as long as you can read and knit at the same time!
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful By tattooedlulu on 17 Sep 2008
Format: Hardcover
This books looks so scrumptious! I guess I was expecting the answers to all my 1950 housewife's dreams. But no. There are a few recipes and that's it. No how tos, no patterns, no much. What I got from it is how lovely (and oh so slighty smug) the author is with her lovely house and lovely life and lovely collection of crinoline ladies.

However, the book is very beautiful to look at.
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62 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Sea Breeze on 12 Oct 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jane Brocket's book is a visual and literary feast. It excites you and makes you want to go and create. It is one of the most inspiring craft books that I have read in a long time.

But, I cannot give it five stars because it is so frustrating to use. There are no knitting or quilting patterns in the book. You cannot make the items she has made without going and buying another book and some of the books she refers to are out of print. Also, there is no index. Whilst the way she has themed the chapters is charming, it is hard to find a recipe if you want to cook it.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Victorian Reader on 18 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book is very attractive, with beautiful photos and a charming lay-out. But there, I think, it stops. It is one long parade of 'look at me - am I not wonderful?' For instance: Rather than giving useful ideas on quilting, the author tells us how her son helps her with laying the quilt blocks and what a lovely experience that is. What do I care? If I like the quilt pattern I might want to make it myself, but there are no hints on how to do anything yourself. Furthermore, the tone used in the book annoys me. Another commentator used the word smug: that's exactly how I would describe it. I can go on, but the bottom line is that I thought the whole thing was just an empty shell. Pretty, but empty.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. M. K. Thompson on 18 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to the book as I had frequently visited the blog and enjoyed the photographs...however when I started the book I realised a blog doesn't translate into a book. While a blog is a diary (of sorts), a book is a much more concrete and lasting evidence of one's literary efforts (that cannot be changed, once commited to print). These two concepts somehow clash in the book, giving us a picture and a commentary on privilege and choice (someone else made that comment but I hope they don't mind me using it here). Domesticity is not an art, it's a job, and if we're lucky or priviledged enough we may make pretty things out of beautiful, expensive yarns and beautiful, expensive fabrics!

The term used in the title is repeated so often through the book, it became very annoying and lost the meaning altogether. I must confess that I didn't finish the book, I looked at the pictures and flicked through the last 70-odd pages, but the book just became more of the same to me - rather simplistic and self-centred. I do appreciate the fact that all literary output IS, in fact, subjective, but there could have been a balance somewhere there; so maybe the title of the book should have been "The gentle art of domesticity according to me".

I , too, knit, crochet, sew, quilt, bake, try my hand at different crafts, as this is what they are. They probably amount to domesticity, but I wouldn't call them art.

The 2 points I give the book are for the photographs - very good for a coffee table type book.
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