Recommended Read – Artful Ways with Mixed Media

300x300_32bf40879f64564d6e921f935db7990eTitle: Artful Ways with Mixed Media

Author:  Monique Day – Wilde

Overview: (taken from www.chapters.indigo.ca) “Learn to combine texture, line, and color in mixed-media collage, altered art, and montage. This lavishly illustrated book makes this popular form of expression accessible to people of all skill levels. Beautiful photographs of 23 mixed-media pieces are accompanied by step-by-step instructions explaining the materials and techniques used in each piece. The stunning layered projects will get readers” creative juices flowing and inspire them to experiment in this unique and versatile form.”

Thoughts/Comments: Mixed media is a favorite of mine. I enjoy creating mixed media pieces as well as appreciating others. This book is full of various projects with instructions for each one. At the beginning of each project there are a few sentences that summarize the project and materials and / or techniques that will be used. I found myself reading these to quickly determine if had the resources and skills for the various projects. The projects in here differ greatly and there is lots to be learned from this book. At the end of the book there is a visual guide describing the different methods / techniques used throughout the book.

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Recommended Read – Yarn Bombing

Title: Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti

Author:  Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain

Overview: (taken from www.chapters.indigo.ca) “On city street corners, around telephone posts, through barbed wire fences, and over abandoned cars, a quiet revolution is brewing. Knit graffiti is an international guerrilla movement that started underground and is now embraced by crochet and knitting artists of all ages, nationalities, and genders. Its practitioners create stunning works of art out of yarn, then donate them to public spaces as part of a covert plan for world yarn domination.Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti is the definitive guidebook to covert textile street art. This full-color DIY book features 20 kick-ass patterns that range from hanging shoes and knitted picture frames to balaclavas and gauntlets, teaching readers how to create fuzzy adornments for lonely street furniture. Along the way, it provides tips on how to be as stealthy as a ninja, demonstrates how to orchestrate a large-scale textile project, and offers revealing information necessary to design your own yarn graffiti tags. The book also includes interviews with members of the international community of textile artists and yarn bombers, and provides resources to help readers join the movement; it’s also chock full of beautiful photographs and easy step-by-step instructions for knit and crochet installations and garments.”

Thoughts/Comments: When I picked this book up at work It was a new concept to me. I had not seen stuff like this around Edmonton at the time so I was naturally intrigued. After flipping through the first few pages you are given the impression that Yarn Bombing is a form of street art. “Yarn Bombing can be political, it can be heart-warming, and it can be funny” – Pg. 18. The question of why on should Yarn Bomb is explored on Pg. 20 with points such as “It provides opportunities for self expression”. If you are still a little unsure about what it is, on Pg. 21 they give some examples of what Yarn Bombing looks like. It can be things such as car antenna cozies, doorknob covers, and sweaters for trees. They also compare Yarn Bombing to traditional graffiti. From here they go on to showcase all sorts of different types and examples of Yarn Bombing. I really like the ones done on street signs, fences, poles, etc. They seem like a neat addition to urban settings.They do however showcase ones done more in a natural setting such as sweaters for trees. I cannot help but wonder if/how these types of projects would effect a living and growing tree. would wrapping a knitted piece around the trunk and branches of a tree hurt it or inhibit growing in some way? I have to say that my favorite project they show in here is the hanging shoes/shoes on a wire on pg. 170. Everyone knows that image of old sneakers hanging from telephone wires in urban settings. This is a play on that with knitted shoes. Overall I think this book is wonderfully creative. I do wonder though if this type of work would be accepted by society since traditional street art is often frowned upon and even illegal. Also, who cleans it up when it starts to fall apart and get dirty?

Recommended Read – The Art Of Papercutting

51iK8sKR2qL._SL500_Title: The Art Of Papercutting

Author: Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Overview: (taken from www.chapters.indigo.ca) “Papercutting has a long history, originally as a traditional folk art practiced across Europe and North America, and now elevated to new, sophisticated levels. Here, Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell presents a stunning collection of 35 papercutting projects, ranging from party decorations, découpage pictures and paper flowers, to greetings cards and gift tags. All have easy-to-follow instructions, with advice on the best paper to give your projects a superb result. Papers used in this book range from lightweight crepe paper and tissue to heavier weight card and watercolour paper. Recycling plays an important role, too – finding, collecting and using small scraps of discarded paper to incorporate into something new is a rewarding process. Here you will find wallpaper, postage stamps, gift wrap and postcards given a new lease of life. Whether you are new to the art of papercutting, or a skilled crafter looking for fresh ideas, the projects featured in the book will inspire you to pick up scissors and paper and create something beautiful.”

Thoughts/Comments: This book is divided into greeting cards, party decorations, gifts and treats, and for the home. Since i spent years making greeting cards I found this section to be not that impressive. The party decorations had some nice ideas. The gifts and treats section had ideas that could be used in many ways or combined with other ideas. I usually look at these types of books for inspiration and fuel other ideas of mine. This book was simple with easy instructions and had nice modern ideas.