Saturday, 20 September 2014

PaperCrafter Issue75... festive makes to make now!

Issue 75 of PaperCrafter Magazine is out now, featuring my Jingle Bells and Patchwork Stars (flat or puffy). Lovely designer papers, fun makes - time to get crafting!

Monday, 15 September 2014

50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make: Review


50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make

For perfectly wrapped gifts, gorgeous hair slides, beautiful corsages and decorative fun

By Deanna Csomo McCool

Search Press 2014
Paperback, £10.99

ISBN 978-1-78221-200-3



Star rating: ****



The autumn craft-a-lanche of pre-Christmas craft titles has arrived. There’s so much quality stuff to choose from, it’s difficult to decide which title to feature...


Today’s spotlight is on a fun and useful ribboncraft title. My logic is that you can keep it in mind when visiting the autumn batch of consumer craft events – go shopping with particular projects in mind so you can selectively stock up on your ribbon stash.


This book is exclusively about textile ribbon techniques – no look-in for paper ribbons or giftwrap ribbons (such as curling ribbon). Having said that, textile bows make fabulous embellishments for papercraft projects, particularly giftwrap treatments –  the author is aware of this and gives it a mention, citing project suitability for papercraft designs where appropriate (example: #30 Round and Round Bow – a fan-shaped creation).


Clip-mounted hair bows and embellished hairbands are a particular strength of this book, not surprising, since the author’s ribboncraft credentials stem from her highly-successful hair bow business. There are good tips for attaching bows to clips and for customizing plastic hairbands. You will also find pew bows (if wedding decs are on your personal agenda), and stemmed flowers and leaves – great for home dec. One of my favourite bows is #12, The Two-Colour Twisted Boutique Bow, a nifty party trick – one bow, diff colour each side.


A pictorial gallery of bows is featured up front – your select-a-bow guide. Each bow is accompanied by clearly-drawn step-by-step illustrations and detailed how-tos. Required ribbon widths and quanities are provided for each bow design. Although this book is most suitable for bowcraft beginners, even those more experienced in ribboncraft are sure to pick up a few new tips and techniques. 


The bows featured in this book are ideal for production crafts, if you are thinking about making gifts- to-give or participating in a pre-Christmas craft fair. 


Since my blog is The Papercraft Post, here’s a list of bows in the book that could be adapted to papercraft versions (using paper ribbon or hand-cut paper strips) without too much tweaking (in no particular order): #44 Aster, #26 Straight Loop Bow, #35 Whimsy Flower, #1 Shoelace Bow, #4 Bow Tie, #33 Finnish Snowflake, #34 Latticed Snowflake.

Note: I was provided with a review copy of this title.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Paper Flowers, by Denise Brown


Paper Flowers

35 beautiful step-by-step projects

By Denise Brown

Cico Books, September 2014

Paperback, £12.99



Star rating: ****



Yes, another paper flower book – everybody’s jumping on the paper flower bandwagon. Don’t pass this one by though – it’s a winner.


The author, Denise Brown, is not a stickler for horticultural authenticity. Inspiration – not imitation –  is the name of the game.  Although most of her creations could not quite be categorized as fantasy flowers, she does take lots of creative license with her designs. This approach works a treat, and the flowers in this book have personality-plus. The flowers are cheerful – very giftable, or suitable for home decor.


My favourite aspect of the book is its variety in the choice of papery materials and crafting techniques, selections dictated by the flower form that is to be achieved. You will find flowers made out of cupcake liners (anemones), tracing paper (dandelion clocks, honesty seed head), pearlised quilling paper (hyacinths), and coffee filters, as well as those made from more conventional paper flower-making materials, such as crepe- and tissue paper. The author appreciates the value of double-sided paper (Origami Flowers).


The skill level of the book is accessible to all, with lots of fun techniques to keep you interested. Fringing, shaping, layering, colouring.  In addition to the flowers, there are some delightful paper-cut seed packets.


The book is divided into three categories Simple Yet Stunning, Bright and Beautiful, and Sophisticated Style. Well-drawn step-by-step illustrations accompany each design, along with thorough how-tos. Full-sized pattern templates are provided back-of-book.


Scottish readers: the crepe paper Thistle Head may come in very handy.


So, for a paper flower book that focuses on fun, this could be the one for you.  Many of the projects have kid-appeal, and would be suitable as a “together” crafting project.

Note: I was sent a review copy of this title.