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Yael Bolender "From Cuculapraline-Frenchic" (Los Angeles, CA)

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Kirstie's Vintage Home
Kirstie's Vintage Home
by Kirstie Allsopp
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.00

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice but kind of Schizophrenic (?), 13 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Kirstie's Vintage Home (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I already bought two other books from Kirstie, and since I am working in home decor, I thought it would be interesting for me.
Actually, it is, because there are a few things that I like. I precise I am a big fan of the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic style, but my own personal style is more kind of Boho Chic.
So everything linked to distressed pieces of furniture, or gold leaf use on wood, or upholstery, or even the use of vintage fabrics, even if these vintage fabrics are not automatically my style, I just love.
I also love the design of the book itself with these old labels to introduce each new chapter. They remind me the old French labels of my childhood.
But beside this, I am kind of a little surprised to see a whole chapter on a crocheted jellyfish, for example. It's fun, I make crochet myself, I love the teal color, but I don't see myself doing that for my home, even if my kids were still small. They would look at me, saying "are you serious?"
Stunned also by the tree mural with shelves as another example. Not my style at all, I understand some people may like that, it is not horrible. It is just that I don't get how she manages to link all these different styles in one book and liking them all? I mean sometimes several styles may seem different, but we can guess a link between them and understand what the author likes in each of them. But here, it is really, really very different from one chapter to the other.
What makes me think that Kirstie adopted the style of each crafter, artist or designer. She doesn't have a true deep and real own style which would link them all in a common thread.
If you were taking all these elements, making them all yourself and placing them in your house, it would look totally incoherent, not harmonious at all and it would make you look like a total schizophrenic person.

I suppose the author wanted to cover all the possibilities and all the styles? Of course, she invites us to do it with our own taste, but honestly, I don't see how a piece of Art like this Tree mural shelves or a crocheted jellyfish could fit in a Shabby Chic or Louis XVI styled home?
Basically, the author goes to meet several artists, craft people, makers, workers, and shows us what is possible to make.
The intention is good, I just regret to still not know what is Kirstie's style? I like to get a personal point of view, rather than a basket full of miscellaneous ideas coming from different persons, who, of course, don't all have the same common taste.
Since her previous book was already a mix of crafts and makers, I thought she would be revealing now what she loves personally, and it is unfortunately not the case.
Hence the 4 stars only. Still 4 stars, because the book is nice and well done, beautiful photos, a few great ideas.

If you like things to be totally mixed with no common thread in the style, this book is sure for you, it is a true melting pot of things to make, not all as easy as it may look.
Nice book, though.

P.S.: On one piece of furniture, a chair, it is said that they used a mat emulsion paint. I am almost positively sure that it is not a water based paint, but an oil-based one. I think some information may be given to simplify the things for the readers, the problem is that the result will look totally different, making the readers think they made something wrong.
I may be wrong myself, but I don't think so.

2nd P.S.: I didn't finish to read the book entirely yet, so if I have something to correct, I will, because I want people to be perfectly informed.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2012 5:32 PM GMT

Kirstie Allsopp Craft
Kirstie Allsopp Craft
by Kirstie Allsopp
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Spirit, Many Crafts, Good Result!, 4 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Kirstie Allsopp Craft (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I already had the 1st one by Kristie and I was curious to see what was going on with the second one. I precise I don't live in the UK, I am French living in Los Angeles. I don't know much about the author, never saw her shows, except a few pieces on Internet, and before reading her first book, I had no idea who was this person, I just bought her first book because I am an Art and Craft teacher, and Artist, and was curious to find maybe something new elsewhere.
Anyway, I would say that this second book gave me the same feeling as the first now : I really appreciate Kristie's personality and spirit, I like her way of tackling Arts and Crafts projects, even if originally, she was not a specialist of these things, I think that's how people should consider making Arts and Crafts.
The only 4 stars, it's just because I am not crazy about all the different projects she is showing in her book. I am not so much a needle and sewing girl, a little, but not so excited about that, some of the projects are not as simple as they may look. It is true that sometimes tools are needed and they may not be affordable to everybody. It is also not always my taste, kind of not "artsy" enough for me.
But it is also true that you will find a wide variety of crafts and that is a good thing, because it allows the readers to try different things. The explanations are not always obvious or easy to understand, but with a little patience, it is doable.
As conclusion, I would say it is a book to have, because this author is definitely different from any other, she's very original in her approach. I probably wont' make one thing from this book, but never mind, I am still happy to have it.
That is why I recommend it, I think everybody can find something interesting in it, and the book by itself is rather beautiful, good job!

Kirstie's Homemade Home
Kirstie's Homemade Home
by Kirstie Allsopp
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very surprising book for someone who didn't know Kristie !, 20 April 2011
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I never saw Kristie on TV, never heard of her, had no idea she even existed, since I am French living in Los Angeles. This book randomly crossed my eyes, and I don't know why, I wanted to see who was this woman. I precise I used to be an Arts and Crafts teacher in France, an artist too, what I still am (I hope) and I have a home decor boutique named "Cuculapraline-Frenchic" in Los Angeles.
I read all the reviews shown here, and I was not expecting much. But actually, all the contrary happened. I don't think it is a bible of arts and crafts, it rather gives a nice overview of what is possible to make at home and what requires actual classes to learn this or that. I am not crazy about Kristie's home style, which is, well... nice, interesting, rather conventional, but cosy and comfortable, livable, we see she has kids, no doubts about that, and she seems to have a nice taste, but it's not exactly the best design ever (at least for me...)
However, I absolutely loved Kristie's personality, character I mean, her way of thinking, writing, and explaining things. I think she is a very interesting and lovely person. Yes, she doesn't make all the crafts which are inside, but at least she tries, and I think she's much more gifted than it may look, but she's smart and respectful enough to show the people who are professional in these matters and who teach her how to do things. Most of the TV people would have pretended to make things themselves without even mentioning who is behind the scene. Kristie is absolutely very correct and wonderful for that.
I am really amazed by this person I didn't even know weeks ago !
Then, I loved the last part in the book (which is very small actually) about where browsing for vintage things, like flea markets, yard sales, and so on. I am a hunter myself but it gave me a good overview on how it works in UK (basically it works exactly as in the US). And it's not because she buys antiques and vintage items that it means she's rich ! I am not rich and I am addicted to this way of buying, we can find many things for almost nothing and it is so much more fun than going to Target or any other nationwide stores !!!
So now, I managed to watch a few videos of her, just to catch the idea of how she is on TV and chiefly who she is.
Whatever she makes, whoever she is, with a famous name or not, she's for sure a very, very noticeable and interesting person !
And her book is mostly a reflection of her. If you love her, you will love her book. As simple as that !
I will keep her book for sure, just because I had such a great time reading it !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2011 8:37 AM GMT

The Continuous Thread of Revelation: An Evolution of Work
The Continuous Thread of Revelation: An Evolution of Work
by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Easy but interesting, 16 May 2010
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It is more like a journal of the different works made by this artist, mixed with her personal life, so it is not always easy to understand, because she speaks of people beside pictures which don't show the same people, a little confusing, but the main subject : her Art work, is interesting.
No "how to do this thing", we must just guess or imagine. It is beautiful, sometimes weird, sometimes elegant, but I don't regret my purchase.
I didn't receive it a long time ago, and didn't have time yet to get deeper. The impression I give here, is my first one (always the best one, by the way).
In conclusion, I would say it is not an easy book to understand, not because it is super intellectual but more because it is strangely organized. However, for people interested in Art and original creations, it is interesting.
Unfortunately a little too short.
It is more a brochure than an actual book. But once again, still interesting.

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