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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pool Of Inspiration
Assembled from eighteen years worth of articles in the Martha Stewart Living magazine from America this compendium embraces thirty two projects covering all manner of crafts, both popular and the more esoteric. Each craft is covered in such a thorough way that the basics are treated without overcomplication while also suggesting more ambitious projects to tempt and...
Published on 20 Dec 2009 by Graeme Wright

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's major strength is also it's major flaw
I'm not the craftsperson in the family, but between us we thought this would be a great inspiration and give us ideas for things to do together when our daughter is a little older.

In that respect this book is great - packed from start to finish with ideas; beautifully presented and printed and with the air of quality that would make it a good gift...
Published on 17 Dec 2009 by bomble


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's major strength is also it's major flaw, 17 Dec 2009
By 
bomble "bomble" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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I'm not the craftsperson in the family, but between us we thought this would be a great inspiration and give us ideas for things to do together when our daughter is a little older.

In that respect this book is great - packed from start to finish with ideas; beautifully presented and printed and with the air of quality that would make it a good gift.

Unfortunately, there is so much inside these pages that there isn't the detail needed to really have much chance of starting as a beginner and progressing. This gives a snapshot of so many ideas that, if you were a cunning crafter already, I'm sure you could pick this up running. But for the novice it looks a bit daunting and there's not always enough explanation to really feel confident about giving these methods a go.

Comprehensive in breadth but a bit thin on detail.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pool Of Inspiration, 20 Dec 2009
By 
Graeme Wright "book worm" (salford) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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Assembled from eighteen years worth of articles in the Martha Stewart Living magazine from America this compendium embraces thirty two projects covering all manner of crafts, both popular and the more esoteric. Each craft is covered in such a thorough way that the basics are treated without overcomplication while also suggesting more ambitious projects to tempt and inspire the experienced crafter. The chapter on candlemaking, for example gives step by step instructions using shop bought moulds as well as using everyday objects to create more unusual designs. As each chapter is accompanied by clear, expressive photographs this enhances the objective of the book, namely to inspire the reader to attempt the projects. It would take an extremely world weary reader to not find something in these three hundred and fifty pages that catches their attention.
As well as the projects there is an informative section dealing with tools and materials, again illustrated, from decoupage glue to bone folders. This is particularly useful for beginners, giving them the confidence to ensure that they are buying the correct equipment for a project. There are also some very handy templates which can be used with block printing, glass etching, tin punching and many of the other crafts covered by the book
Finally there is a list of, thankfully, British sources for crafting tools and materials complete with website and e mail addresses where applicable. Too often in the past books similar to this have been published with source listing to satisfy their American readership. It is of great credit that the British publishers have researched and added this source list to enable their readers to buy such specialized materials as light sensitive fabric and Japanese origami paper without having to trawl through search engines or convert prices from dollars to pounds.
All in all this is a valuable addition to any crafter's library and a pool of inspiration to most.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 7 Jan 2010
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
This is a fabulously illustrated book that is packed with great craft ideas. The only problem is that there isn't enough room to give detailed information for all the crafts so it may be better appreciated by the more experienced crafters. It has filled me with inspiration though and I will pick out some of the ideas and concentrate on them. There are some handy sources at the back of the book to help with finding out more about the crafts, and they are all UK based which is a plus.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Craftastic !, 7 Dec 2009
By 
Ponytail (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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This is brilliant. For the size of the book, and the amount of information held within, it's very reasonably-priced. The book covers a number of crafts, giving the reader enough information to start on a few projects in each area, though obviously not to expert level. However, unlike many other crafts books I've read, you do actually learn enough to try things out, and there's clear information about the tools you need for each project.
I assume this book was first published in the US and I'd like to thank whoever was responsible for changing the supplier list to UK-based ones. This alone is worth the price of the book - thanks to the list, I've found a toy shop (of all places) in my town sells light-sensitive paper !
It's a beautifully-designed book, and a pleasure to read, even for those crafts I'm unlikely to ever try out (I discovered a whole new way of using decoupage, though I probably will never do it for myself). My only disappointment was the small number of templates, though to be fair, many of the projects could be copied just from looking at the photographs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy!!, 2 Dec 2009
By 
Mrs. Denny S. Abeykoon "Genuine reviews from ... (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration

The first thing I'd like to say about this book is that it is extremely heavy! so bare this in mind before purchasing,especially if you have a back problem like me. It was too heavy for me to lift so my husband had to put it on the table for me. Not a plus as I like my craft books to be portable. Aside from this content wise it's nicely set out, the projects are ok but other than one or two things like the beading & soaps which I liked, I'd either seen it before or I wouldn't ever use it ,like the guilding for example. So unless you are a Martha fan, if you are a seasoned crafter it's not really a necessary addition to your craft library. Also I'd have liked to have seen more suggestions for alternative projects as to me this was really lacking especially with regards to the calligraphy section.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad for a beginner or as a Christmas gift for new crafters, 27 Nov 2009
This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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I have a lot of craft books, some are encyclopedia types like this containing a small amount of detail on lots of different crafts and others that are specifically about one craft. I suppose the Martha Stewart name holds some weight for some people, especially in the US, where she is almost an institution but for me, not so much. I've also read that her name appears on other books and products that she has no direct involvement with at all and I am unsure if that is the case with this book or not. But this looked like a nice book so I thought I would take a look.

In any case, there are 32 crafts covered in this book, most of them averaging around 6-10 pages per craft, including pictures. Most of the crafts are actually quite simple - adding glitter to gift tags, stamped stationery, making animals out of pom-poms etc. But some are very pretty indeed, though the techniques are not new in themselves - the dogwood wreath, some of the paper flowers and birds, marbleizing and silkscreen printing.

Some of the more complicated crafts do not get enough page space. For example there is a section on beaded jewelry but like most of the more complicated crafts, the section is not really long enough to do it justice, but would be more suitable as an introduction to a beginner, who would then need to buy a book on jewelry making if they wanted to take it further.

There is a section on tools and materials at the back of the book which again is suitable for a beginner but for me I don't really need a photo of a glue stick or coloured pencils, masking tape etc. The basic techniques section at the back consists of two pages, this section could really do with expansion to make the book a whole lot more useful!

All the sources at the back of the book are in the UK.

Recommended for beginners or those interested trying something different to their usual crafts. It could make a nice Christmas gift, I'm thinking especially for younger crafters who want to branch out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, varied and lots of gorgeous photos., 30 Nov 2009
By 
sam155 (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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This is a beautiful, heavy, glossy book full to bursting with handicraft ideas from jewellery making, flower making (paper and beads), soap making, pictures, photos on fabric, and decorative arts.

I was particularly interested in soap making as its something I always wanted to do. The instructions are very clear, and the photographs abundant and inspirational.
Despite Martha Stewart being very much a US phenomenon, I was pleased to see that the many pages of stockists at the back were all UK based.

There are other helpful touches too, like patterns and stencils at the back for you to cut out or copy.

The only very tiny reason I only gave this four stars instead of five is that I thought "Who has that sort of time?" as I waded through photos of individually picked off pine cone "petals" reassembled one by one to make a flower shape. That's just me though.

If you take crafting seriously, or even if its a career or a sideline, this is an excellent book with some great ideas and a lot of things I never would have known (how to make fabric printer ready in order to print photos on cushions and bags for example. I'm certainly going to try making my own decorative scented soap, though I may draw the line at the pine cone flowers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of crafts are included but misses out several important types, 25 Nov 2009
By 
Mrs. F. Huxley (Rugby, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
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This is a very large heavy book claiming to be an encyclopedia and an A - Z guide but fails to deliver this in my opinion as there is no inclusion of needlecraft/woolcraft which to me is a very fundamental part of craft.

However, the crafts covered are beading, block printing, botanical pressing, calligraphy, candlemaking, clay, decoupage, etching glass, fabric flowers, gilding, glittering, jewellry making, marbleizing, matting & framing, mosaics, nature crafts, origami & paper folding, painting china & glass, paper cutting & punching, paper flowers & birds, photo crafts, pom-pom animals, quilling, rope crafts, rubber stamping, silkscreening, soap making, tin punching, wirework and wreaths.

The instructions are clear but not detailed or broken down into step-by-step points which would be easier to follow. This book was originally published in the US and has been rewritten for the UK market as alot of the sizes are given in inches, quarts, cups etc with metric measurements in brackets afterwards but I did come across places in the book where there was no conversion. Also there is no reminders to stick to either metric or imperial as the conversion is not exactly the same. Each project is clearly photographed and there tips to help you achieve the desired affect thoughout.

At the back of the book there is an excellent section where each of the main tools and materials are photographed with a description which is great aid when shopping but because this is a US book the products photographed may not look the same here in the UK.
This section is then followed by a list of UK suppliers for the tools and materials required with web address and telephone numbers.

If you like papercrafts, beading etc. you will get alot from this book but if you're a needlecrafter look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martha Stewart, 31 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
What a lovely book - read all the reviews before buying and they are all spot on, and yes it is quite heavy as it is very comprehensive.

There is so much that its hard to know where to start! but as I'm hoping to make things for Christmas presents I'll have to choose soon, and the magic is you could just open the book at random and say thats what I'm making and end up with a lovely gift.

For me there isn't anything in this book that is a less than enthusiastic - I like that.

I didn't know who Martha Stewart was but I am very glad she's written this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book for an experienced crafter, 14 April 2011
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This review is from: Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A - Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration (Hardcover)
I'm not the biggest fan of M. Stewart but after reading these reviews, I thought I would give it a try. NO REGRETS. It's a good craft book, if you can look past all the "cutesy" stuff and take things to the next step. Use her examples and change them up - if you don't do hearts and flowers, use her ideas for the projects with different motifs. I brought the book to work (youth club creative workshop) and it has been great! But you'd have to be a slightly experienced crafter, or else it might feel a little overwhelming. But I'm glad I bought the book and am now more open-minded towards Martha Stewart.
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