review: A well-crafted home

a well-crafted home

A well-crafted home: inspiration and 60 projects for personalizing your space by Janet Crowther

This book is part of the current trend of making decor that will appear to be used or vintage. For many of them, you might be able to find materials at an estate sale or flea market, but you could also use new materials from Home Despot or your local hardware store. Each project is designated with a skill level and includes a finished size, so it’s easy to see at a glance if a particular project will work for both your ability and the space you have in mind. This aesthetic of this book, with matte color photos filled with tone-on-tone shades of cream, and its projects will appeal to fans of the decor on Fixer Upper. I feel like a few of these might actually be things that they’ve done on that show! The textiles used in the sample projects make you wish you could put your hands on them – you can almost feel the linen used to make a pillowcase and duvet. The book closes with instructions for a few of the techniques used, including several types of dyeing, a few ways of sewing seams, basic woodworking techniques, leather cutting, and distressing a mirror for an antique look. Like most books of this type, you may end up spending more on materials than you would buying a pre-made shabby chic item at a big box store, but the goal Crowther espouses is to enjoy the process as much as the product.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books


review: Handmade Heirlooms

Handmade Heirlooms

Handmade Heirlooms: Crafting with intention, making things that matter, and connecting to family & tradition by Jennifer Casa

This book embraces the idea of family heirlooms being special keepsakes that are, more often than not, handmade by someone in the family. One doesn’t often think of creating new heirlooms, but this book challenges the reader to do just that – instead of simply making a gift for a family member, make something that will be loved by that person and handed down over the years. These projects are made using a variety of techniques including knitting, crochet, sewing, and more. They range from traditional baby items like booties and caps to more unique objects like a knitted airplane toy. Some are more utilitarian, like a knitting needle roll and a monogrammed bulletin board.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the East Lansing Public Library through the MeLCat ILL system


review: Take a Ball of String

Take a Ball of String

Take a Ball of String: 16 Beautiful Projects for Your Home by Jemima Schlee

These projects are divided into categories of kitchen, office, porch, and bathroom, and include a variety of items made from standard twine or household cotton string. These creations are crocheted, knit, woven, or glued. Instructions for crocheting and knitting are provided in a separate sections, while the other techniques are detailed within the project instructions. All projects have a homespun, earthy quality.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Troy Public Library through the MeLCat ILL system


SAW Thursday- etsy squirrels

Get me ones of those squirrels! Etsy is one of my favorite sites for just lookin’ around, seeing what neat stuff people have come up with. It’s also a treasure trove of squirrely goodness!

tiny squirrel pincushion
tiny squirrel pincushion by TrackandFieldDesigns
This super kawaii fabric is perfect for a little mini pillow-esque pincushion.

Let 'Em Down Easy cards
Let ‘Em Down Easy squirrel cards by ScotiaMade
These cards are hilarious! The messages are funny and the silhouetted squirrel delivering them makes them all the more effective.

wood squirrel puzzle
squirrel puzzle by usnavyretiredvet
We totally had one of these when I was a kid! (We had some other ones, too, but I definitely remember the squirrel.)

squirrel print (male) squirrel lady print
squirrel print and squirrel lady print by berkleyillustration
I used this squirrel illustration on the inaugural day of Squirrel Awareness Week this year, and then I found that it is actually a print, for sale, along with a matching lady squirrel print. I really want to get these for my office.

rock squirrel note pad
rock squirrel note pad by boygirlparty
Rawk! I can just see this guy start to duck walk.

squirrel girl print
squirrel girl print by theblackapple
This style of illustration is so appealing, and works so well for the conceit.

And last but not least, a little shameless self-promotion:
Squirrel Wrist Purse by AnneArchy
Actually, my sistrah created this one, so it’s only semi-self, I guess. Mega cute, eh?


SAW* Monday – Craftster squirrels

It’s Monday, the second day of *Squirrel Awareness Week 2008!

Today we are going to check out some of the sweet squirrel projects created by the creative folks who spend time at Craftster.

wee felt squirrel
Iamsusie created this wee felt squirrel who, as an outlaw, of course wears a neckerchief. Mega cute!

Nintendo DS Lite Case

This adorable Nintendo DS Lite case by Bekanator features a grey squirrel whose tail functions as a strap to keep it closed.

pirate squirrel amigurumi

Amber555‘s pirate squirrel amigurumi is arrr-dorable! Perhaps he’s just a regular squirrel celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day.

tiny squirrel stuffie

inle_rah made this tiny squirrel stuffie from felt. I really want to make one of these and carry it around all the time.

wee little squirrel

I am completely enamored of this wee little squirrel by Badbird. He’s just begging to be fed tiny treats, isn’t he?

killer squirrel monsters from outer space

Finally, we have killer squirrel monsters from outer space. What more can you ask for?