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on 29 January 2007
First off I must admit that I have not seen Danielle Proud on TV, or even heard of her before I picked up her book, therefore am unsure whether the book works better as accompanying notes to previous demonstrations. I flicked through and a few of the projects grabbed my attention so I thought I'd give it a go. On closer inspection I am quite disappointed, the instructions seem a little haphazard and some of the projects are just a bit too, well, shonky.

I like her style and what she is trying to encourage, I am concerned though that the projects could go all too easily wrong for novices [especially the sewing projects] and that there isn't really much new for anyone with a bit of experience under their belt. Good styling and colour ideas, a few novel touches [I especially like the fabric covered lampstand and the 'crazy' restrung chair] but all in all I would have got better bang for my buck if I had bought a few old seventies craft books from a charity shop as that is the era she has plundered for inspiration. I think better go straight to the source, the instructions are likelier to be more thorough and solid than Proud's version.
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on 18 May 2010
I love crafts, and bought this book about two years ago after reading a rave review about both the book and it author in the Sunday Times, but I think the review was written through rose tinted specs (she later got a short lived column in the magazine). Danielle Proud seems like a lovely person with a genuine interest in craft, but this is simply really, really poor. Its heart is in the right place, but it is more about bohemian, lovely photos of her than actual instructions. The craft projects themselves are often ridiculous (mirrored stair rises involving removing all the backs of your stairs, string covered chairs, charred chairs ...) and the ones that are actually useful (laundry bags) have virtually no diagrams such as you get in proper dressmaking or craft books, just a couple of artistic photos. Thus, the 'sewing' projects will be incredibly difficult for anyone with little knowledge of the topic, and the rest just sound like an expensive disaster waiting to happen. It's like having a book of origami with only the final picture to go on! The quality of paper in the book is also poor.

If you are interested in crafts I think your best bet is to get a book that deals with each craft separately and properly, old fashioned books are often the best on craft. This book contains hardly any instructional diagrams and doesn't outline any basic techniques or explains the tools - it's more about looking pretty. An absolute waste of my money. Sorry, Danielle, but you haven't done yourself proud here.
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on 19 December 2006
This is a really beautifully designed book inside. Printed on lovely paper, the photography and layout and the projects are very stylish.

Nothing is too difficult and the instructions are very thorough. For this reason you might look at it and think it maybe a little 'easy' for your already crafty-oriented person but it's such eye-candy that you shouldn't overlook it just because the projects borrow quite heavily from 70's-era craft standards. Some of the stuff we think of as quite naff (ie macrame!) are sort of updated in the book and it makes you go, hey, actually that could look quite spesh...

It makes an absolutely PERFECT gift for the kind of person who says things like "Oh, I wish I was creative!" but they lack the confidence to pick up and try making something from scratch cos they think they wouldn't know where to start. I have bought this book as a Christmas present for a friend who matches the above description and I haven't wrapped it yet because I love leafing through it!

I also really like the author's promoting the creative reuse of old stuff. It's not going to cost you a lot to make the projects and it's lovely to turn something worn out into something beautiful instead of having it go to landfill. Don't get the wrong idea,this is NOT make-do-and-mend stuff, it has a very boho-chic, vintage vibe. I had not heard of Danielle Proud previous to seeing the book in the shop but I will be keeping an eye out for more from this "Nigella of crafting"!
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on 25 October 2006
This is a brilliant and inspirational book packed full of great - and easy - ideas to funk up your home. Danielle Proud is clearly a genuis when it comes to craft. I've barely touched a needle and thread since school but after being given this book I have great plans for my new flat - thanks Danielle. This book makes a fab gift!
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on 22 June 2011
I got this book as a gift from my friend. I've never heard of the author before, but she introduced couple of nice projects in the book.

Pros:
+ the book looks really good
+ variety of projects to choose from
+ good tips

+/- projects are explained and easy to understand, but sometimes this could've been done better
+/- you have to like author's style to use this book to its fullest
+/- reminds me of the '70s

Cons:
- I've known how to do most of the projects long before I got this book
- some of the projects may not be for everyone (be careful if you never used sewing machine, reisin or a heat gun)
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on 16 July 2010
I was very disappointed with this book and thought some of her before pics looked "hipper" and more "modern" than her efforts. It was all a bit too 1970's for my taste. I do applaud her ideas and yes my own project will look different if I use a more contemporary fabric but I don't find the pictures very inspiring for me to even give it a go. Everything looked very homespun in a bad way! I wish I had not wasted my money on this book or the international delivery to get it here!!!
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on 2 October 2006
If you want your home to showcase your own individual, funky style, and don't want to spend a fortune - THIS IS THE BOOK TO BUY. Practical, accessible and a total inspiration for any modern housebuyer. I've been bored to tears with my current Ikea-one-size-fits-all flat for ages, and this has given me SOOOO many ideas to get started on.

Loved this so much I've already pre-ordered it for my mum for Christmas! The perfect present.
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on 23 September 2013
This book is just one of my favourites. The craft projects are just so easy to follow and the techniques are so versatile that if you have a creative mind you can so much more with these. Includes all sorts of projects from mosaic to making your own oven gloves, up cycling old furniture etc. If you are a crafty person you'll love it. I borrowed it so many times from the library then decided to buy my own from amazon. I bought a second hand but it was in a very good condition almost looks new. If you are a crafty person you'll love it.
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on 31 August 2008
Out-of-the box ideas for ways to really make homeware personalised and fun without feeling like you should join the WI. Uptodate (despite the old-fashioned/ American-style title), using traditional and more modern techiniques. A real inspiration
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on 1 December 2013
I was lent this book originally but liked it so much decided to get my own copy. Don't agree with the other reviews I've read on the site. I like it!
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