Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade. 101 Beautiful and Useful Craft Projects You Can Make at Home by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson

I received this book as a gift recently. As an avid and long-time crafter and craft instructor, I was delighted with this present. Although I haven't had the chance to make any of the projects from it yet; I am thoroughly impressed by what this book offers.

To begin with, the presentation of this book is outstanding. Page after page of full-size color photos and detailed, easy-to-understand instructions for each project. And when it comes to projects, this book stands out for the variety of items featured.

Unlike a lot of craft books that have a certain theme or offer a limited number/types of crafts to make; Homemade has something for everyone and for every part of your home too.

A sampling of the 100 + projects included in Homemade:

* Citrus Pomander
*Knitted Angel
*Victorian Sand Pincushion
*Summer Salad Trough
*Summer Bunting
*Restoring a Garden Table
Pumpkin Lanterns
*Elderflower Cordial
*Patchwork Wall
*Razor Shell Candleholders

and many, many more....

I love the fact that the authors have run the gamut of all things Homemade, in the very best sense of the word. Many with a nostalgic and/or heirloom touch as well.

Gifts (for yourself or others) from the kitchen stove, sewing projects, garden ideas for indoors and out, home decor items, clothing...all with an emphasis on keeping costs and waste down and using up the many items that accumulate in our homes. Transforming the mundane into something marvelous!

I am really looking forward to making several of these projects in the coming year. I am a firm believer that crafts should be all about reusing materials and not going out and buying a bunch of things at a craft store and putting them together. Rather like comparing a painting done from an empty canvas as opposed to a paint-by-number kit LOL. Obviously, there is no comparison. In results and in the satisfaction of making something that took imagination, a bit of work and very little cash spent!

Homemade is a great place to start, to get those creative ideas flowing!

I would recommend this book for people of all ages and skill levels.  There are projects that could be easily adapted for children and some that would require a bit of supervision and assistance. This would be a great resource for teachers too.

From the publisher's website: Chock full of practical, thoughtful advice from seasoned crafters, Homemade contains over one hundred craft projects that require you to look no further than your very own home. As economic and environmental factors start to play a greater role in consumer decision-making, Ron Badger and Elspeth Thompson suggest an alternative to buying. Taking everyday objects from around their homes, they transform these objects into beautiful works of art, which reflect the love and care they put into their projects. Divided into seasons, Homemade provides a years worth of activities to improve your home. It gives sound advice on how to restore a garden table, make a patchwork wall, cook delicious pumpkin soup, and more. It also includes a section on homemade basics, which details how to sew, knit, and crochet using a variety of patterns! Homemade is the perfect gift for a friend interested in crafting, or a delightful treat for you and your family. With advice from Badger and Thompson, little additions to your homelike summer troughs full of flowers and natural cleaning products will make all the difference. Your home and your family will thank you.

You can check out more about this book, the authors and several ordering options at the publisher's website: Skyhorse Publishing.

Overall rating for this book: Excellent. 5 out of 5.

Friday, January 27, 2012

End of January Update for My Real Life Reviews

Hope everyone is having a great start to 2012.

 I'm happy to share that January has been a very productive month for me. I have almost completed the rough draft of the novel I'm working on! It's been going very well and within a week or so, I expect to have that phase of this project finished.

I plan to get back to blogging and writing reviews by early February. I've missed being here at My Real Life Reviews on a regular basis but it's been very gratifying to note that my readership has continued to grow each week, while I was away! I hope that visitors have enjoyed the archive reviews and found them helpful.

I have several good, ok and just plain BAD product reviews in the works right now so stay tuned. And Mr. Cheddar has some "paws up" and "paws down" feline-friendly reviews he'll be sharing soon too.

Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful week! I hope to be typing up a storm here. ;<)
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