Craft A Creative Business Review

Book 1

Author: Fiona Pullen
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: 2015
Pages: 240 pages

Craft A Creative Business is a book for anyone who has ever considered running their own creative business; whatever your craft might be! It is a really genuine exploration of what it means to run your own business, not just looking at the advantages but presenting a realistic image of what you can expect, which unfortunately does require a fair bit of hard work! However, Pullen’s honest portrayal of running your own business is drawn from her own experience so she know what she is talking about, and though realistic, she doesn’t make it look scary. This is a complete handbook to everything you need to know about setting up a successful creative business and it is explained in such a straight forward and easy to understand way that won’t leave you confused or frightened (even the scary legal stuff!)

Book 2 Continue reading

Skirts and Dresses for First Time Sewers Review

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Author: Christine Haynes
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: January 2015
Pages: 144 pages

Dressmaking is a craft that I have been toying with the idea of for a long time. I desperately want to make my own clothes and dream of having a wardrobe packed full of my own creations, but the idea of it also terrifies me. I imagine there is nothing more satisfying than replying to someone who comments on your outfit, “Thanks, I made it myself!” however, the realm of darts and invisible zips is a pretty frightening one. Recently, I took the plunge and dipped my toe into the murky waters of dressmaking and discovered that it is actually more accommodating than it first appears. If you’re a first time sewer just beginning to explore the craft or a more established dressmaker, this book is an ideal resource for everyone!

Book 1 Continue reading

20 to Make: Papercuts

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Author: Louise Firchau of Paper Panda
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: March 2015
Pages: 48

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Twenty to Make series; they cover every craft imaginable, have a great range of projects and are amazing value for money – and Papercuts is by far one of my favourites! This book first appealed to me as over the last year or so papercutting has started appearing everywhere! There are a number of small businesses that specialise in it popping up and suddenly there are papercut cards in every high street shop! And obviously, as a crafter, my first question is, how can I do that myself? Luckily, Twenty to Make: Papercuts has the answer!

Edit 2 Continue reading

The Crafter’s Guide To Packaging Handmade Products

Book 1

Author: Viola E. Sutanto
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: February 2014
Pages: 176

When this book caught my eye, I was instantly intrigued. While I have hundreds of books on craft projects, I haven’t before seen any on packaging them. I thought that the concept seemed really interesting and it was something that I hadn’t thought about before, so I was interested in what the book could contain. When it arrived, I was thrilled to see how much was crammed into this little book, and I was surprised just how much I had to learn about packaging!

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As soon as you open the book, you are greeted with an adorable but accessible book. I love the way that the contents page is divided into three sections, which are identifiable from the tags at the top of the page. The first section, ‘Materials and how to use them’ is a section examining the different packaging resources that are available to you, and what different forms they come in that you can use. Section two, ‘Designing Your Packaging’ shows you some fun and simple ways to package your goods with the materials that you have selected from the first section. It uses some wonderful designs to inspire you to get creative with your packaging. The third section is a bundle of resources that you can use, including templates and useful information. This book follows a logical layout that enables you to progress through the book from choosing your materials to designing and developing stunning and unique packaging for your handmade gifts in an easy and leisurely way.  Continue reading

Craft Show & Sell: Expert Tips for Confident Craft Selling

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Author: Torie Jayne
Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.
Published: January 2014
Pages: 144

When I first chose Craft Show & Sell as a book to feature on my 2014 Lust List, I knew very little about it other than the brief online synopsis that I had read. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to review a copy of the book, and I am so glad that I did! This book is absolutely crammed full of professional tips on how to run a craft company, whether it is online or at craft shows, covering everything that you ever wanted to know from organising your craft room to taking professional photographs.

Following a brief introduction, the book features five chapters, covering; Getting Started; Branding; Selling Basics; Selling in Person; and Marketing. No matter whether you are a complete beginner when it comes to craft selling, or an old had, this book has a fantastic showcase of tips that everyone can benefit from.

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One of the unique features of this book is the fact that it literally covers everything from the very first stages of setting up a craft business, but it covers the things that you might not consider such as how to organise your craft space in the most efficient way. Many of the pages are pretty text heavy, but the advice is very clear and easy to understand, and the pictures throughout the book are stunning. Continue reading

22 Before 22: Recent Reads Round-Up

One of the items on my 22 Before 22 list was to read 20 books of my choice. I’m actually doing better with this one than I thought I would! Because I have to read so many books for university, I wasn’t sure how much time I would have to fit in reading books of my choice but I have been making the most of the time that I have had and I have flown through 7 books already! I have been doing some other reading as well as these books, mainly for my voluntary work with Booktrust, but I am just reviewing the ones that I have chosen. Here are some mini reviews of what I have read so far.

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

1. More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. Continue reading

Storyland Cross Stitch by What Delilah Did

I first saw this book weeks ago when it came into work. Instantly I fell in love with it and smuggled it away into the cupboard ready for pay day; and then pay day didn’t come when it should have! It has been sat there patiently ever since and I have seen so many blog post about this book that I have been itching to finally get hold of my own copy. Well, as pay day came last week, I instantly treated myself to it!

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The book features 15 projects and an array of designs that are cleverly grouped by ability. As a confident stitcher, I would feel happy tackling any project in the book, but for beginners, I can imagine that it is comforting to be able to work up through the stages from some more simple patterns to more challenging ones.

My favourite design in the Wise Owl Pillow: Continue reading

5 Craft Books I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands On…

Every once in a while I like to have a nosey at what books will be coming out in the near future, particularly craft books. It is often hard to get a taste of a craft book without being able to look inside it at the photos and projects but the other day I came across five title that, just from their synopsis, really stood out for me and have worked their way onto my wishlist! Since there are so many craft bloggers out there who read my blog, I thought I would share them with you! I have listed them in date order (newest releases first) but the dates are only the suggested UK publication date so bear in mind that they may be subject to change!

1. Sew and Stitch Embroidery is by the owner and designer of Penguin and Fish, a company specialising in adorable stitched and sewing projects.

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That massive cushion sold this whole book to me! I can’t resist these cute designs! I am still perfecting my embroidery skills but what a great way to practise! I cannot wait to try these adorable projects! This one is due out on the 31st May 2013.

2. The second book that caught my eye was Hoop-La!: 100 Things to do with Embroidery Hoops by Kirsty Neale. Continue reading

Change Your World in 71 Days: A Review

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Author: Tom Connellan
Genre: non-fiction, self help
First Published: 2013
Pages: 160 (advance ebook version)

If you’re anything like me you might look at self-help books lining the shelves in a bookshop with a sceptical eye. While I have nothing against them, I am somewhat reluctant to believe that a book can tell me how to live my life. However, if your anything like me you may have also discovered that there are times when you do need to reassess the way you are living as it isn’t working for you. I have found this recently with the stress of university and the need to start thinking about what I want to do when I leave education. Since I had nothing to lose when I was offered the chance of reviewing this book, I thought I might as well see if my perception of self-help books was wrong. Continue reading

Crochet One-Skein Wonders: A Review

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Authors: Judith Durant and Edie Eckman
Genre: non-fiction, crafts, hobbies, crochet
First Published: 2013 by Storey Publishing
Pages: 288 (advance ebook version)

I have a complete addiction when it comes to buying craft book (that probably doesn’t come as a surprise!) but what my collection seriously lacks is a ‘go to’ crochet book when I fancy a new project. With so many fantastic patterns being easily accessible online crochet books really have to stand out to grab my attention, and I often struggle to find books that have more than one pattern that I would like to try. Continue reading