Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Fire Tablet Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Learn more Fitbit
Profile for Phoenicia > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Phoenicia
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,759,960
Helpful Votes: 162

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Phoenicia (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Page: 1 | 2
Everything Alice: the Wonderland Book of Makes
Everything Alice: the Wonderland Book of Makes
by Hannah Read-Baldrey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book with lots of great ideas, 13 Aug. 2011
This is one of those books that you love very much, or do not like at all...

So whether you will like it, depends on your taste and expectations.

One reviewer thought the projects were badly made and amateurish. She is right about some projects - the authors do not have a steady hand when it comes to paper cutting, so these projects do look a bit crude and unfinished. But if you are a good papercutter, your items will look much better, and if you are not, yours will still look good enouogh.

So, in my opinion, this makes it a book suitable for all levels of crafters.

I used to be someone who had to do everything perfectly (I got over it), and I always find it refreshing to look at projects that are not perfectly made.

Their food recipes, and the results photographed in the book, are impressing, without being complicated (lemonade with a touch of lavender - that sounds intriguing).

I find their topiary cupcakes a wonderful idea: a small topiary bush made out of a round lollipop, covered in icing and edible green glitter, decorated with small sugar flowers, and stuck into a cupcake. Make a few of these and you will have a mini garden for your tea party.

There are lots of wonderful, creative, original ideas like this in the book. It made me want to get started and try things out. And gave me ideas for my own projects ('this looks nice, but I would change this and that').

Their home made cookies (recipe included) with icing decoration are another of my favourites. They show you how to make your own cookie cutters from disposable aluminium baking trays (or barbecue trays or similar), so you can cut out toad stools, clocks, teacups, rabbits and other Alice related shapes.

There is a chapter on making hats, some using real millinery (webshop address for materials included at the back), to wear to the mad hatters teaparty. I don't think I will ever try that, though I am intrigued by making hats. But you can easily adapt their hat ideas to make some original paper hats for your tea party.

I love all the tea party related stuff: the invitations in the shape of a tea cup (or a real hand sewn fabric invitation cushion in the shape of an envelope with fabric postage stamp!), the crown shaped place cards, the tea cozy, the cheshire cat sandwich toppers, the decorated party lights, and large (really large) easy to make decorative fabric roses.

There are lovely ideas for cheshire cat handwarmers/cushions and a mobile made from felt with embroidered Alice related shapes and of course a cheshire cat.

There is such a lot in this book, it will keep you busy for a while. The main materials used are patterned fabric, felt and paper/cardstock. And of course there are food recipes for cakes, cookies, teas and cordials.

Templates are included, though they are a bit sketchily drawn, in coloured pencil, and have to be enlarged.

I am really happy with this book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2011 6:39 PM GMT

Paper Celebrations: Over 50 Innovative Papercraft Ideas for Celebration Gifts and Cards
Paper Celebrations: Over 50 Innovative Papercraft Ideas for Celebration Gifts and Cards
by Jane Alford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cardmaking in the old-fashioned way, 18 July 2011
No expensive machines or special tools are needed for this book! But if you do have a die cutting machine, this book will give you enough projects and ideas to use all those little flowers, stars, hearts and whatever else you punched out.

As the other reviewer wrote, the book will give you lots of ideas, and the projects can be easily adapted to your own taste. Which to me makes a craft book a good craft book.

All templates needed are included at the back of the book (you will have to copy them), most of them in real size, others will have to be enlarged by 200%. The techniques used are not very complicated and are well explained. The step by step photographs are clear and easy to understand.

Here and there the author uses store bought stickers, but the shapes are simple enough to draw them yourself, or they can be replaced by any other shapes you like. The success of the projects in the book is not determined by the materials used here.

You will find ideas for cards, bags, small boxes and a few booklets. Some of the ideas I already know from other books, but the author uses them well, so I was never bored.

Every project has some nice little detail that makes it special, and will make the one who receives it feel special too.

Card Making with Cricut
Card Making with Cricut
by Tanya Fox
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for starters, 6 July 2011
If you are an experienced Cricuteer, you may not need the book, because the designs of the cards are fairly basic. That is what I personally like so much about the book, and why I bought it.

If you like the cards shown on the cover, you will like the cards in the book. Do not expect advanced techniques or intricate designs, because then you will be disappointed.

I do not agree with the reviewer who called the designs tired looking. What tired me is looking at all those design papers. The same old brand names, the same styles, the same overkill on decoration. You cannot blame the cards for this.

(That is why I like Corinne Bradd's 'Christmas Papercrafts' so much, she often uses plain paper that she decorates herself, which gives the book a really fresh look.)

All in all, a very good book if you want to make cards with your Cricut, are overwhelmed by the possibilities, and just want someone to show you where to start.

Here is a list of the cartridges that are used in the book, and for how many projects each cartridge was used.

Home Decor (mistakenly called Home Accents) 2x
Home Accents (mistakenly called Home Decor) 2x
Doodlecharms 2x
Wild Card 19x
Hello Kitty Greetings 1x
New Arrival 1x
Walk in my Garden 8x
Plantin School Book 6x
Accent Essentials 1x
Beyond Birthdays 1x
Fabulous Finds 1x
Lyrical Letters 2x
ZooBalloo 1x
George and Basic Shapes 2x
Accent Essentials 2x
Graphically Speaking 5x
Indie Art 4x
Street Sign 1x
Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 3x
Opposites Attract 1x
Story Book 3x
Wedding 1x
Stretch Your Imagination 1x

Of course you do not need them all! It is nice if you own one font cartridge that has a playful font, or handwritten style font. And for the Type Style font you can use Plantin, or George, whatever cartridge was delivered with your Cricut Machine.

And I would recommend the Take a Walk in My Garden cartridge too, though that is also because it is one of my favourites (I would recommend that one anyway, even if you do not buy this book).

Many of the shapes used are fairly basic (flowers, stars, circles, hearts), so if you own only a few cartridges and these shapes are not in it, you can also hand draw these. Or swap them for any other shape you like. Who says a card must have a heart in it, if you would rather have a butterfly?

As you can see, Wild Card is used very often, so it is fairly essential that you own that one.

Although you could make the cards in the book without it.

But then, you could make the cards in the book without a Cricut machine, even, if you have the time, patience and confidence to hand draw all the shapes used.

I hope this review will help you decide whether you would want to buy this book. I like it, and will definitely use it.

Fast and Fun Folded Cards (Annie's Attic: Paper Crafts)
Fast and Fun Folded Cards (Annie's Attic: Paper Crafts)
by Tanya Fox
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some nice ideas, but long shopping lists, 30 Jun. 2011
For this book you will need lots of store bought, ready made items. The effects created in the project can be created only by using the 'prescribed' materials.

A typical shopping list for a project from the book is
Light turqoise card stock
Fruitcake glisten/Avalanche double-sided printed paper
Tea and Silk double-sided printed papers: pink floral, green words, pink distressed
Tea and Silk large chipboard heart
Stamp sets: Simple sentiments, Sentiments O'Simple
Inkpads: pink chalk, brown chalk, green-gray dye, turquoise dye
3 inches of green crocheted lace
Cream embroidery floss
Buttons: 1 turquoise, 1 pink, 1 ivory
Distressing tool
Sewing machine with cream thread
Fabric glue
Paper adhesive.

Compare this to a shopping list in the much better book 'Christmas Paper Crafts' By Corinne Brad:
Two sheets of A4 (Us letter) brightly coloured textured cardstock
Small, ball ended embossing tool
Gold inkpad
Small pieces of metallic gold card
satin ribbons, varying widths;
small sequins in coordinating colours;
gelly roll and opaque gell pens in jewel colours;
multi surface metallic liner pen

You see the difference? No prescribed colours, no brand names, and a lot of tools you will probably own already, or if you don't, you will use it for many other projects if you decide to buy it.

The choice is yours.

The designs of the projects by Tanya Fox can be found in many books on card making: tri fold, harmonica fold, tea bag card. Used in a nice way, but nothing new or exciting.

And this book has only 48 pages, Corinne Brads book has 128, with many very clear, step by step photographs. Tanya Fox will only show you a photograph of the finished project.

... It is now about a week since I wrote this review, and on leafing through the book again, I like it better. In my opinion, there is an overkill on expensive, elaborately decorated papers, but if you can look through them (which is difficult sometimes), the designs for the cards themselves are rather nice, actually.

What did make me angry was that the four most beautiful cards (I would have wanted to make these immediately) used very expensive storebought templates ($20.00 each, and for each card you need another template), only available in the US, as far as I know. Shipping costs to Europe for the four of them would be about $40.00. Really! Something like this ruins a book for me. The good news is that the website that sells them is mentioned at the back of the book, and that you can find pictures of the templates there. So you can print these pictures, trace them and make the templates yourself.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the book does not give you step by step photographs. Only the finished card is shown, and a description of how to make it, which in itself is detailed enough. The techniques used are not that difficult, so you should be able to work things out without the pictures.

Christmas Papercrafts
Christmas Papercrafts
by Corinne Bradd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book!, 30 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Christmas Papercrafts (Paperback)
This is the paper craft book I have been looking for for years. The templates for all the projects are included (what a contrast with Tanya Fox's book 'Fast and Fun Folded Cards', which I also bought, which uses mainly store bought templates, and lots of them). This author knows how to decorate, using glitter and gel pens to draw simple borders of tiny dots or swirls, but very effectively. Although she also uses store bought embellishments, they are simple, and can easily be created from cardstock as well.

She does not use ready bought stamps, you do not have to use a certain brand of paper, or special collection paper kit to create the effect she uses. Her colour combinations are fresh, and can easily be replaced by other colours if you don't like them.

Her book really gave me lots of ideas to create variations of the projects she explains in the book. Her templates are often used in different ways, showing you how you can create a completely different effect by changing colour, using plain cardstock in stead of patterned ones, or vice versa.

It inspires to create yourself, with simple means, and not by running to the store to buy loads of different elaborate stamps and expensive accessories needed for one project only (like Tanya Fox does, see my review there).

The card on the front cover shows exactly what to expect, and there are boxes, table decorations and lots more, not just cards. And although the theme of the book is Christmas, I could see endless possibilities to use her techniques for non-Christmas projects.

This book made me want to start immediately.

This author has a gift for creating stunning projects with simple methods, used in an effective and original way.

A really refreshing, contemporary and inspiring book! I cannot praise her enough. I am going to see if she wrote other books as well!

Do-it-Yourself Therapy Book: Find the Fun in Dysfunction
Do-it-Yourself Therapy Book: Find the Fun in Dysfunction
by Potter Style
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: £13.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a beauty!, 5 Jun. 2011
This book is so funny... Well, it is not really a book, it is more of a kit in the shape of a book, filled with lots of ideas for keeping you busy inbetween therapy sessions, or in stead of going to therapy sessions (should you keep on going? A test to help you decide is, of course, included). And if you are only mildly insane and do not need therapy, it will keep you amused anyway.

In fact, almost anyone can benefit from this book, as long as they have the 'right' ('right' to be able to enjoy the book, that is) sense of humour.

Among my favourites are:

- the relaxation exercise postcards (yes you can take them out and send them to a friend in need, should you want to): each card has an innocent looking landscape on the front, a description of a relaxation exercise turning into a nightmare on the back of the card.

- the to do list for the obsessive compulsive person

- passive agressive notes, to give to friends, colleagues, close family and fellow citizens

- stickers for your medicine bottles, to mask their true contents

- 'cute therapy' stickers, and website-adressess to overdose yourself on cuteness, if the real world temporarily has lost its sparkle.

- dress up paper doll psychiaters: a choice of four.

And there is lots, lots more.

Breast Cancer 5 Year Diary by Letts - Pink
Breast Cancer 5 Year Diary by Letts - Pink

5.0 out of 5 stars Pink Beauty!, 24 May 2011
The diary I received has a different cover from the one shown here on the website: a Baroque/Victorian Stencil Print. But it is at least as beautiful as the flower print, so I am not complaining.

The diary is bound in pink fake leather of a very good quality: it has the warm feel of real leather. the design is imprinted in dark pink. The diary looks very luxurious, with its silver edges on all three sides, and its pink ribbon as a page marker.

The print inside is in pink too, and there is enough space per day (7 lines) to write your daily diary notes. For five years!

It has a nice size, a nice feel, it is beautiful to look at, and GBP 1.30 of each book sold is donated to the Breast Cancer Campaign. What more can a woman want? (Of course, you DO have to like pink........)

I highly recommend it!

The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards
The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards
by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please decide for yourself, 14 Feb. 2011
I read the review by mr Stanton first (is it 'mr'? my apologies if it isn't), then decided to buy the book anyway, mainly out of curiosity. Please do read his review too, because it accurately describes the books flaws.

On the added fingers and toes: Jodorowsky assumes that the space between two fingers (can't remember which card it was, but the review of mr Stanton will tell you), which has been given the same colour as the hand, probably a printing mistake, is an extra finger. The extra toe is really clearly a part of the slipper in the regular Marseilles, and the adaptation in Jodorowsky's tarot does not look convincing to me.

And that is what makes the theories of Jodorowsky so unreliable. He sees his interpretation, or the interpretation of the 'original' Marseilles tarot, which he claims to have found in a shoebox, as the True Interpretation, without looking at it critically and without investigating other possible interpretations. With respect to the fingers and toes: nowhere does Jodorowsky mention the very possible other way I suggested of interpreting of what he sees.

He has many interesting views on the meanings of the cards though, and interesting suggestions for spreads.

His main interest in the Tarot seems to be the magical, occult side of the cards and their system. His psychological views are very Freudian, with a lot of emphasis on genitals.

So, whether this will be a useful book for you, is for you to decide.

If you are, like me, interested in Jungian psychology, and see the cards mainly as a psychological tool, this book will probably be a disappointment to you.

If you like hermetic societies, magic, and occult things, you will probably like the book.

If you are looking for a trustworthy book on the tarot of Marseilles, this book will not make you happy.

If you are curious, and interested in reading about unusual and strange theories on tarot history and meaning, you may like this book.

I do find this book an interesting read, it does sharpen my mind and makes me think - when I do not agree with J., which is almost all the time - why exactly I do not agree, and whether I can accept his theory as at least a possibility.

I do hope my review will have helped you to make up your mind about this book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2015 5:37 PM BST

Dexter - Season 3 [DVD]
Dexter - Season 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael C. Hall
Offered by Willcox Trading
Price: £14.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Dexter comes very close to danger..., 4 July 2010
This review is from: Dexter - Season 3 [DVD] (DVD)
...in this third season. As in the other series, the lead actors are magnificent and utterly convincing. Dexter's new opponent - Miguel - is as frightening as he should be. The emphasis is very much on the main characters now, and I found the dialogue of the supporting characters rather bland and uninteresting, which was a pity. But that is the only flaw I could find. I enjoyed it just as much as the first two series.

Book in a Month: Fool Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days
Book in a Month: Fool Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days
by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
Edition: Spiral-bound

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A writing course in a book, 22 May 2010
Like 'No plot, no problem' by Chris Baty, the aim of this book is to get you to write - and finish - a novel in 30 days.

Unlike the Baty book, where the main concern is to make sure you just keep writing, without looking back, and not worry about the quality of what you write, this book is more serious about the quality of your novel-to-be. Although this author, too, states you should not review what you wrote until your first draft is finished.

The book provides you with check lists, maps, tables, assignments, all to help you not to lose sight of where your story is (supposed to be) going.

I ordered both the book - and kit - by Chris Baty, and this book, and I am glad that I did.

Baty is more focused on motivation, Schmidt on technique. That is why I think they will work very well together.

Page: 1 | 2