VINE VOICEon October 17, 2011
There are plenty of craft books out there which can give more (and possibly better) projects on sewing, cross stitch, flower arranging, baking papercrafts etc, but there are very few that draw such a wide spread of crafts together and present them in one book. Designed to tie in with Kirstie's new show on craft, this book presents a really diverse range of projects. It is true to say that those who already have their chosen craft may not find it to their taste, but, for those who would like to dip their toes into other crafts, I think this book is a really good place to start.
The book is divided into the following chapters: Needlcrafts, Textile Crafts, Paper Crafts, Food Crafts, Garden Crats, Flower Crafts and Gift Crafts. In each chapter Kirstie (or her researcher I suspect) gives a brief background to the sections within that craft section - for example: Needlecraft - sewing, embroidery, knitting and quilting. This is then followed by a number of projects. There are some projects that I have really liked and will certainly be trying (one in fact I will start later today), and some that I suspect I will never even attempt, simply because they don't inspire me. On balance there are more projects that inspire than don't.
Vintage Bunting, Applique Cushion (really lovely with a hare on it), Embroidered Handkerchief (very pretty but simple design), Table Runner (machine embroidered), Bubble Coasters (knitted in stocking stitch), Stack and Whack Quilt (layer and cut a 'stack' of fabric and then whack it together by hand or machine), Cross Stitch Cushion (Very Emily Peacockish (might be by her as she is mentioned) really lovely sardines in a tin design - this is the one I'll be trying tonight), Devore Silk Scarf, Needlefelt Robin (this little robin has inspired me to try needlefelting - he will be lovely for Christmas), Felt Heart, Natural Dyes, Paper Sculpture Bird (I'll be trying this one for sure - really sweet), Paperbead necklace (paper folding with an old book), Paper Dolly Chain, Snowman Pinata (I'll be making one for Christmas!), Paper Bauble (paper cutting), Greeting Card (rubber stamping), Handmade Paper, Family Scrapbook, Fruit Cake, Ice-cream Balls, Party Jelly, Marzipan Penguins, Banana Cake, Sugar Flowers, Scones, Damson Jam, Pickled Summer Cucumbers, Spiced Pickled Plums, Blackberry Vodka, Carved Window Box, Elderflower Cordial, Mosaic Chair, Birdseed Cakes, Scarecrow, Willow Nesting Box, Petite Floral Exhibit (flower arranging), Table Centre (flower arranging), Garden Wreath, Corsage, Floral Line Design, Seedhead Mirror, Ribbon Rose, Making Perfume (how to make Kirstie's favourite blend of oils - and then yours), Lavendar Bath Creamers, Lavendar Bath Bombes, Silver Button Medallion (lovely simple idea using silver metal clay - requires special items, but a lovely result), Silver Leaf Pendant (silver metal clay again), Decorated Candles.
The projects are really thoroughly explained, step by step, and seem achievable to anyone from beginner upwards. Admittedly there will be considerable outlay if you decide to make everything in the book, buy all the specialist items, and then don't pursue the craft. All in all highly recommended - might not have enough for the committed specialist crafter, but a really good, thorough overview of a wide range of crafts. Well done Kirstie and your team.