Silver Clay Workshop

Getting Started in Silver Clay Jewellery by Melanie Blaikie

9781784944803 FINAL

Ever since I attended a workshop given by Emma Mitchell from Silver Pebble Design, I have been interested in silver clay jewellery making. I love the technique and the easy way that you can make something incredibly beautiful in a matter of no time. The only down side is that I  thought that as a technique it was rather limited, the Silver Clay Workshop shows otherwise.

3-INITIAL-PENDANT1-W

This book is a proper ‘how to’ manual explaining, with step-by-step photography, how to use different techniques. Each project is graded A,B or C, in terms of difficulty so the reader is aware of what standard of craftsmanship is required before embarking on a project.

17-SYRINGED-RING-STONE

 

The different types of silver clay are described and the way to use them. You can purchase it in clay form in a syringe or as a paper. It is all too easy to start on a new craft, spend a fortune on tools and equipment and then end up abandoning it after just a few attempts. What is great about this craft is that the outlay for the first eight projects in this book is really very little. Most of the tools and equipment can be found round the house. I love the fact you can even make rings with silver clay and you can add precious stones. If you want to start a new craft and achieve great results quickly then this is the book for you. Melanie Blakie runs her own workshops and courses and all information can be found on her website http://www.silverclayworkshop.co.uk/

19C

Silver Clay Workshop, Melanie Blaikie, GMC, £16.99, availble from https://thegmcgroup.com

BlogFooterTurqiose

 

Making and Marketing a Successful Art and Craft Business by Fiona Pullen

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 17.32.58

This is an updated version of Craft as a creative business first published in 2013.

To begin with it is worth mentioning a little about Fiona she originally graduated in law but with a husband and young son decided she wanted to be self-employed. After much research she launched the website The Sewing Directory. Launched in 2010 it very quickly became one of the UK’S top sewing websites with over 1.5 million visitors a year and with a social media following of over 80,000. This woman knows her stuff and she writes in a very easy to understand and straightforward manner.

Fiona describes how creative people often find the technical side of running a business difficult to manage and so she wrote the book in order to help people to address those problems.

The book covers self-employment and the questions you need to ask yourself before becoming self employed. It covers the legal side of running a business, how to present yourself and selling both on line and off line. For me the most important and fascinating chapter in the book is about social media and how to use it. This brings me to why Fiona has updated her original book.

As she asks “What has changed?’

‘Since the first edition of this book, the popularity of video in social media has exploded. The social media section of this book has been almost completely re-written, with more focus on using video to promote your business.”

To build a decent web site you need to have great images. Fiona goes into detail about how to take good pictures for your web site. A great example of a friendly face in her work space is Lisa Comfort of Sew Over it.

p91 - Sew Over It

There are some wonderful examples of successful on line businesses such as paperpanda.co.uk a paper cutting business with a face book following of over 250,000.

Torie Jayne a lifestyle blogger with over 1.25 million followers on |Pintrest. She explains what she does to achieve a consistent high standard with her boards.

P131 -Torie Jayne Pinterest Profile_adjusted

The acrylic statement jewellery brand known as Tatty Devine explain how they make their instagram account work.

p125 -Tatty Devine (3)

Reading this section of the book made me feel almost panicky thinking about how much time it all takes, until I read Fiona’s piece on scheduling social media.

Digital influencer, Rachel Pinheiro gives tips on live video streaming. Sewing expert Debbie Shore explains how to build a successful You Tube Channel.

The legislative and tax information has been updated and is current.

All the downloads mentioned throughout the book are available from the Search Press website searchpress.com

As Fiona says

‘The world of business constantly changes, so it pays to be on top of these changes to use them in a way that befits your business.’

This is a really useful book and my copy is already very well thumbed. If you haven’t already done so, go and buy it now.

Published by Search Press £12.99

BlogFooterOrange

RELAXED COASTAL STYLE

 

9781849759625

 

When I heard about the book Relaxed Coastal Style, by Sally Denning I was very keen to review it. I met Sally many years ago as she was setting out on her career as a stylist, and she used my house as a shoot location. Since then I have been very aware of her meteoric rise in the ‘styling world’ and so knew this would be a gorgeous book and I was correct.

The first part of the book consists of Sally’s unique take on coastal style, celebrating the colours and textures of the seaside: bare wooden boards, unadorned windows, and furnishings covered in robust linen or cotton that will endure salt water and the sun’s rays or gently fade with age. Sally also explores lighting, furniture and coastal decorative accents such as maps, charts and nautical-themed accessories.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 13.31.16

She draws inspiration from beach combing, displaying shells and driftwood to feel close to nature and the sound of the waves. Sally and her photographer have travelled far and wide to shoot a selection of glorious coastal houses, cottages and hideaways that are guaranteed to enchant and inspire.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 13.30.42

The second reason I was keen to get hold of a copy of this book is that it features the house of Jane and Martin Will who own the old Coastguards cottage on Deal seafront. I grew up in Deal although in those days it was less glamorous than it is today. It is now full of artisan shops, pavement cafes and galleries such as the homeware and gallery ‘Will & Yates’ that Jane co-owns with artist Caroline Yates. The Will’s house is as lovely as the gallery painted in soft greys and inky blues and furnished with simple functional pieces of furniture and ‘brocante’ finds.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 13.30.57

 

Wherever you live, Relaxed Coastal Style will inspire you to adopt the relaxed, informal simplicity of life by the sea.

Relaxed Coastal Style by Sally Denning (£19.99) with photography by Benjamin Edwards ©RylandPeters&Small.

BlogFooterOrange

Wreaths by Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler from Worm London

170725_Worm9886.jpg

My last blog post was on making a floral headband wreath for Midsummer day celebrated in Sweden. This post is for those who wish to go larger and make a wreath for their home.

Wreath  Fresh, Foraged & Dried Floral Arrangements

It was the architect, flower loving,  boyfriend of my daughter Alice, who first introduced me to Worm London, the young hip flower designers and stylists.  They  design flowers for weddings, supper clubs and parties. They also work as stylists for magazines, books and TV Shoots. Katie Smyth and Terri  Chandler are inspired by seasonal wild, foraged materials and the meaning for flowers.

This is Katie and Terri’s introduction to making your own seasonal decorations. With natural materials and foraging having a renaissance at the moment, this book shows you how to use your finds in a most creative way. As they say in their introduction

“Nurturing that connection with the world around us and its changing seasons is important to us, and we want to encourage you to experience this too.”

170725_Worm9759.jpg

The authors use the experience of their global travels where they have  studied garlic garlands on the first day of May across the Greek islands, midsummer  wildflower wreaths in Scandanavia and flamboyant adornments to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, wreaths can be a warn welcome, an original gift or simply a beautiful addition to your home.

Most of the projects in the book are relatively straightforward to make. The materials and methods of making are accessible and it looks very different from traditional formal floristry.

The book is divided into  four main sections, Fresh, foraged, dried  and  festive wreaths. Their is an introduction and basics on tools materials and making basic shapes. The book finishes with a  glossary, suppliers list and index. The midsummer wreath is glorious and I particularly like  the mobile made from honesty the enormous Christmas wreath and the kitchen herb bundles. I really enjoyed this book, particularly the lovely photos by Kristin Perers and very much look forward to making some wreaths.170724_Worm8645

Worm London

 BlogFooterOrange

 

 

 

Today we show you how to Cultivate, Dye and Create using INDIGO.

Indigo by

Kerstin Neumüller and Douglas Luhanko

Everything you need to grow, extract and use indigo.

Discover indigo; one of the world’s most mystical yet widely used dyes. In this practical and inspirational handbook, textile experts Kerstin Neumüller and Douglas Luhanko take the reader on a journey from plant to pigment to garment, sharing their passion for this powerful  and popular dye.

They have collected a variety of classic and modern dye recipes to suit every skill level and equipment, including more environmentally friendly alternatives. There are recipes for both synthetic and natural indigo, accompanied with handy gardening tips for those wanting to start from scratch and grow their own indigo plants.

The authors go on to explore indigo’s true potential in a variety of craft projects, ranging from Japanese resist-dyeing techniques (shibori) to embroidery (sashiko) and quilting. There is also advice on combining indigo with other pigments to create a kaleidoscope of hues.

Packed with tips and advice throughout and suitable for both beginners and more advanced dyers, Indigo is an essential book for everyone who wants to create unique indigo craft projects.

Kerstin Neumüller and Douglas Luhanko met when Kerstin was looking for someone to dye indigo with and, by chance, stepped into Douglas’s shop on the very day he had ordered a kit for natural indigo dyeing. Since then, they have explored indigo’s possibilities and limitations together. Douglas has a passion for denim and indigo and manufactures jeans in his own company Blue Highway. Kerstin is a men’s tailor with her heart in handicrafts. She has spent many years studying handicrafts

Published by Pavilion Books £15.99

Mad About The House

How to decorate your home with styleMATHouse NewCover2.png

As a keen follower of Kate Watson-Smyth ‘s blog Mad About The House, I have been looking forward to her book with eager anticipation. The book is written in much the same way as her blog: clear informative and witty, honest with a small amount of self-deprecation. As she freely admits she is not an interior designer and has never hired one. However she is a journalist who has been writing about interiors for the last twenty years, and who in that time has interviewed some of the best brains in the business.

If you are expecting a big colourful coffee table book, then you will be disappointed. There are a few lovely sketches and a few photographs including one of Kate’s own home taken by Paul Craig. What you do get is really good advice and help.

Since starting her blog in 2012 she has become the number one interiors blog and has won many awards for it.  Kate enjoys finding her own style, and in this book she gives you ways in which to find your style.

“Every room should have something that draws you in. An amazing piece of furniture, a funky light, a family heirloom.” As she says all homes have common elements whether it be a one bed flat or a ten bedroomed villa. In this book she guides on how to make your home tell your story.

MADH_Intro_Yellow REVIS

Much needed advice is given on how to use Pintrest, so that it is an effective tool when planning an interior space. The chapter on the various colours, their meanings and how to use them in interiors, and what goes with what is extremely useful. For those struggling with colour her idea of looking in your wardrobe to see the colour palette you love, is inspired. In the same way that outfits are put together with a main colour and then accessories in different colours, so a room is put together.

“Pick a colour-perhaps a neutral and put it on the largest area of your walls. That’s your clothes or main thing you are wearing. Choose a second colour for the largest piece of furniture say the sofa. This is your top or jacket. Add some pattern in the form of cushions: your earrings or necklace. The accessories- rugs, armchairs-are the final colour: your shoes and bag. The idea is basically 60 per cent one colour, 30 percent another and 10 percent the finishing touches.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Whatever your style, this book will guide you through everything you need to know to decorate your home with confidence and individuality. Kate reveals the rules of rug layout, explains how to buy a sofa, and shows how to get the lighting right in every room.

A must-have book for anyone who wants make their house a home.

 

Published by Pavillion Books £20

 

Blog: madabouthehouse.com

Instagram:@mad_about_the_house

#MadAboutTheHouse

BlogFooterTurqiose

Studio – Creative Spaces for Creative People

 

by Sally Coulthard

 Studio - Front Cover FINAL.jpg

If you are a designer, or just love creative people and enjoy seeing how and where they work, then this is must have book.

It is full of inspiration. The author, Sally Coulthard, lives on a farm where she rents out barns to artists. As she says ‘it’s a scruffy space, but the people who work there have transformed the building into something truly special. Not only have the artists organized their studios into useful spaces, they’ve also created rooms that express who they are and inform the work they produce. Each space reflects the personality of the person who works there –studios are like fingerprints, totally unique.’

The first part of the book has inspirational pictures and descriptions of different kinds of studio’s. Included are brights, mono, natural, industrial and collected.AlunCallenderPhoto_SarahCampbell_31_0125.jpg

The second part of the book is divided into different kinds of artists and designers and includes crafters, fashion and textile designers. Fine art, graphics and illustrators studios are featured as are the work shops of bloggers writers and photographers and last but not least are workshops and up-cyclers. nathalie leté 20(1)

Different kinds of buildings are as unique as the artists and designers themselves. One artist works in a shepherds hut another in a barn others in industrial warehouses and lofts. Some work together others by themselves.AlunCallenderPhoto_SarahCampbell_02_0045.jpg

The final section of the book deals with practicalities of how to plan your studio, getting organized, desks, lighting and storage are all explored. As are work tops and drying spaces. If you want to set up your own studio you need look no further than here. The book is truly international showcasing designers and artists from many different countries.CathDerksema_FINAL_HIRES-7.jpg

A joy to read and a very useful handbook.

Published by Jacqui Small at £25

BlogFooterOrange