Book Reviews, Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

‘Folded Book Art’ by Clare Youngs, Book Review

p83.jpg

35 beautiful projects to transform yourbooks-create cards, display scenes, decorations, gifts and more.

I have been fascinated by book art since it first appeared on the scene about fifteen years ago. In those days it was more a technique used by artists but in the last few years it has become very popular in the craft world. It looks very difficult to do, particularly the folded books where an image appears as if by magic.

p79.jpg

What Clare Youngs has managed to do is to show her readers how to make some inspired book art pieces. For those of you who love books and think it is a travesty to cut them up, it is worth considering what Clare says in her introduction.

‘ Four years ago I wrote Book Art. In the introduction I talked about my love of books and how the decision to cut or fold doesn’t come easy. I still find this hard, but I have made a few rules for myself: I never cut up a rare book and I only use tatty and damaged books or samples that would end up being recycled.’

The book covers three main techniques:

Folded books includes many ideas, here are a few of my favorites: an ampersand, a butterfly a bird a knot and a star.

The making scenes section , has a little mermaid, a fairy tale castle, honey comb and bees and mushrooms and ferns, there is even knitted paper.

Mushrooms & Ferns.jpg

The chapter on refashioning pages includes brilliant origami slip covers that look very like, much of the ceramics currently in the shops. I love the little sailing boats and the baby elephant on wheels. There is a lovely selection of tags to make and hydrangers.

There are templates, tools and techniques.

Clare has such a strong graphic style and having read the book I came away wanting to make everything! So I can see what I will be doing in the autumn and winter.

Folded book art by Clare Youngs published by Cico Books £14.99 www.rylandspetersandsmall

Photography by Jo Henderson © CICO Books

Why not also check out CICO’s new craft website – https://makeetc.com

p94

BlogFooterTurqiose

Uncategorized

‘Flourish’ by Willow Crossley Book Review

Flourish. front cover

Stunning arrangements with flowers and foliage

by Willow Crossley published by Kyle Books £19.99

www.kylebooks.co.uk

Page 36-37 Tulips.jpg

Willow Crossley is an inspired floral Stylist whose arranging style is wild and natural. As she says in the introduction to this book

‘ Foliage is the key; the more the better. I often have big containers at home filled with foliage, no flowers. In early spring, bringing in embryonic branches is magical.

In this book, I want to show you how bringing flowers into your home can be so life enhancing. I’m not saying that they have to be masterly, beautifully designed creations. Just a couple of branches or a few wispy stems in a vase makes all the difference. I want to inspire you to think differently when it comes to choosing flowers and colours’

Pg 86-87 Flowers in Vases on Shelf.jpg

Willow is very generous in sharing her knowledge with her readers. She starts by giving her ‘hero’ flowers, the ones she always falls back on, those that will make the arrangement work. She divides these into seasons and adds the foliage fillers as well.

The arrangements within the book are divided into seasons and flowers types. There is a section on how to ‘condition’ flowers and keep them lasting for as long as possible. There are steps on how to create a garland. The basic tool kit and materials are given including types of twine, string raffia. Containers that will work are mentioned too. A lovely and inspired book, now where are the secateurs?

Flourish by Willow Crossley is out now. Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Emma Mitchell.

BlogFooterTurqiose

 

Uncategorized

‘Pure Colour’ by Jane Cumberbatch Book Review

9781909815988.jpg

Picking up this book with its Marjorelle blue cover, fuschia pink endpapers and acid green graphics you know you are in for a visual treat. Stylist Jane Cumberbatch has created an inspirational source of colour inspiration.

‘Decorating a room is like painting a picture.’

As Jane says ‘There is nothing more pleasurable that starting with a blank canvas and filling your home with the colours and textures that you find most pleasing.’

The book is divided into five colour palettes: blues, greens, yellows, pinks and whites.

IMG_7191 high res.jpeg

‘The garden, the sea and the landscape are our colour charts and provide a veritable paint box of inspiration. From the bean greens of the vegetable patch, to the eau de nil wash of a calm evening tide, images are stored as snapshots. The first pink rosebud on a May morning is as perfect a shade for a wallpaper border as it is a cue for a lipstick colour or fabric for a long swirly summer skirt.’

So whether you are looking to transform your whole house, or simply for a few quick and easy ideas to brighten up a neglected corner, you are sure to find inspiration within these pages. Jane’s own notes and musings read like a diary and you feel as though you have been allowed into someone’s secrets thought processes. The book is packed full of stunning, evocative photographs.

I particularly like her rhubarb and custard, yellow and pink, combination. This is not a pairing that I would have thought of, but it works. There are practical examples throughout, whether you prefer to experiment with adding small splashes of contrasting colour to bring life to a room, or try a softer, more harmonious scheme. The book is packed full of everyday ideas to enable you to furnish your home with freshness and simplicity.

IMG_3393.jpeg

BlogFooterOrange