Saturday, 21 January 2017

Print & Pattern: Nature, by Bowie Style. Review.

By Bowie Style

Laurence King Publishing 2017

304 pages, 430 colour illustrations

Paperback £19.99

ISBN 9781780679150

Star rating: *****

From time to time I run features on surface pattern design. Knowing how to D-I-Y decorate your projects is an indispensable superpower for a  papercrafter. Today I am spotlighting Print & Pattern: Nature, the newest addition to the superb Print & Pattern series. These books  are lovingly-curated bumper compendiums of themed designs by the best and the brightest global talent in the surface pattern field. The series is the brainchild of Marie Perkins, a.k.a. Bowie Style, the freelance designer whose Print & Pattern blog, going since 2006, has upped the profile of surface pattern design. 

When it comes to print and pattern design, Mother Nature is the mother lode – so it is surprising that this volume has not come out sooner – now that it is here, cause for celebration. Within the pages of the book, you will find patterns and motifs inspired by flora and fauna – beautiful botanicals, birds and butterflies – and lots of cute cacti designs (I know you love them). There are designs for fabric, stationery and cards, giftwrap, wallpaper, and homeware products.  All of the designs are reproduced in full colour on quality paper and are accompanied by a capsule bio of the designer, citing background and design influences. (Always a pleasure to discover what makes creatives tick.)

What sort of designs are featured? Stylized motifs with subject matter suitable for papercraft-y applications: mason jars, cacti, terrariaums, pot plants, leafy designs, folk art motifs - hard-edged designs and painterly techniques.

Dip into Print & Pattern: Nature if you are seeking inspiration for a project colourway, or if you want to get a feel for current trends in pattern design. Settle in with a cup of tea and enjoy a design odyssey.

There are several themed other titles in the Print & Pattern series – all are great go-to resources for design ideas.
The Print & Pattern range from Laurence King.

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

Monday, 16 January 2017

Fold & Cut Giveaway

Today I have a giveaway - Search Press has kindly donated a copy of Naomi Shiek's gorgeous new papercutting title Fold & Cut, featured here yesterday.

To be in with a chance, contact me at
You have until midnight 24 January. After the closing date, I'll select a winner at random.

Open to UK residents only.

Good luck!

Fold & Cut, new papercutting title by Naomi Shiek

48 Super-Symmetrical Templates to Cut or Trace
By Naomi Shiek
Search Press 2017
Paperback, £12.99
ISBN 9 781 782 21518

This isn’t quite a book review, more a “heads up, here’s a lovely new papercraft title”. You see, I am not quite an impartial reviewer – I had the privilege to contribute, in a small way, to the making of this book. The author, Naomi Shiek (pronounced chic – and her designs most certainly are), lives abroad – so, being a locally-sourced papercrafter,  I was called upon to be the “hobby hands” for the how-to photography. Fun assignment.

Now, more about the book. This is a papercutting book with a unique concept – all the designs are symmetrical, so the paper is folded and the cutting time is reduced dramatically – halved, or even quartered. Lightbulb idea! You have the option of cutting the templates out directly from the book, or you can download the templates from the provided link and print them out yourself on to the paper of your choice. This enables you to produce projects in quantity for parties or special occasions.

The book includes 24 projects and additional templates, often offering alternative versions of a design – example – the filigree papercraft scissors come in two styles. The designs are exquisite and imaginative, with an emphasis on woodland flora and fauna (the author's speciality) – Naomi Shiek has a fluid style. There is plenty of variety in end-purpose – not just cards, cards, cards. My favourite is the Leafy Gift Tag, with three layered leaves in graduated sizes. Other projects include a tea light Lantern, Feather Cupcake Toppers, Leafy Giftwrap, Leafy Ribbon (papercuts in a repeating design), a Fox Mask, and an Enchanted Castle Card, and a butterfly Mobile. The lush, folded Wedding Invitation is given in three different designs.

The projects cater to varying levels of papercutting experience – something for everyone, newbie to advanced.

The project shots are gorgeous, the step-by-steps detailed, and the designs are all provided full-size. The basic how-to section upfront will get you up-to-speed. 

This concludes my “non-review” of a noteworthy new papercutting book.