Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Books For Makers From DK (With A Giveaway)


There are so many creative pursuits I'd like to try for the first time or get back into - sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidering, weaving. I feel like I'd make a great retired person. Or lottery winner. But then I probably wouldn't do much beyond eating pasta on my patio in Tuscany. I digress.

DK Canada knows that March is an ideal time to get out your craft and activity books, for kids and adults alike. DK offers a wealth of fine books for makers of all ages. While we're technically out of hibernation, we're not quite into the really nice weather, so it's a good time to hang indoors with a hot beverage and explore our creative sides. Hopefully we can crack open a window or two and craft while fresh breezes flow.


I'm sure I'm not alone in admiring the carefully lettered chalkboard quotations that talented folks display on their Instagram feeds. I have to admit I'm currently terrible at lettering. I'm turning to The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering to change that. According to author and freelance artist Dina Rodriguez, lettering is "the illustration of letters created through a sequence of pencil drawings, refinements, redrawing, and final inking." The first chapter of the book explores essentials, including the parts that make up letters and the tools and materials needed for hand lettering, chalk lettering and painting. Photographs of hand stretches are included so you can warm up your hands before a lettering session. You are encouraged to intentionally set aside time each day to practice so that you can memorize styles rather than needing ongoing visual references.

The second chapter immerses you in the basic techniques of hand lettering, starting with two alphabets for beginners, including a serif and a sans-serif style. Add impact using illustrations and doodles related to your wording. Once you have mastered lettering styles, transfer techniques, inking and colours, move onto the lettering projects outlined in the final pages. Do something as simple as a hand-lettered gift tag or transfer your artwork to a t-shirt, mug or cap. Create a birthday card, a shadow box quote, a drop cap journal, an inspirational canvas, a cool sandwich board for your shop, a wedding monogram, a pennant and more. The possibilities are endless and I could even see starting an Etsy shop once you truly get the hang of it. (I'll just add that to my retirement plans...) Read on to enter to win a copy of The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering.


Okay, this one is more for my daughter than me. She is interested in dressmaking and I hope she develops the sewing skills that I have failed thus far to develop. I can sew paper hearts into a garland and make the odd vintage fabric doll dress, but that's about it. The Sewing Book: Over 300 Step-by-Step Techniques should get her going, if not turn her into Molly Ringwald's character in Pretty in Pink. (Sew your own prom dress, anyone?)

From the introduction: "The Sewing Book provides a comprehensive guide to all sewing techniques, whether it be for dressmaking, tailoring, crafts, or soft furnishings. If you're new to sewing, you'll find many tips to help and guide you. If you have been sewing for many years, there will be lots of new ideas to try." Adds author Alison Smith, "The ability to produce a unique item of clothing or something for your home is truly rewarding." I don't doubt that!

The first section of The Sewing Book looks at the items you'll need to start - sewing machines, threads, pins, cutting tools, measuring tools, marking aids, pressing aids, notions, fabrics and patterns. The second section covers techniques (both machine and hand sewing), with over 300 to try, all outlined in step-by-step photos. There are 10 projects (graded by difficulty) to practice these techniques, ranging from a tote bag to a wrap skirt to a shift dress to a child's reversible jacket. There is a toiletries bag project and an envelope cushion too. The third section of the book contains patterns for the projects and a glossary of sewing terms.


I mean, maybe I should restrict myself to tackling one or two hobbies, but it's hard to set those limits. I've always wanted to try embroidery - in a fun, modern way. Embroider Your Life: Simple Techniques & 150 Stylish Motifs to Embellish Your World, by Nathalie Mornu, isn't your grandmother's embroidery. You'll learn how to embroider cool stuff like ampersands, monograms, mystic symbols and astrological signs. There are tattoo-themed motifs, images of aquatic life, woodland creatures, feathers, flowers, weather motifs and more.

But first things first. Start by reading about the necessary floss and thread, hoops, fabric and other tools. Find out how to place the fabric in the hoop and maintain a good work surface. Learn how to get your designs from anywhere and everywhere by transferring motifs. The most popular stitches are clearly illustrated, and you'll find out how to make patches and display finished work too. You can stitch on jeans, lampshades, sweaters and bags as well. It all seems pretty manageable, seeing as you can start with a small section of embroidery. There's really no reason for me not to tackle this new hobby.

Check out the hashtag #DKMakerMarch to see the other DK books people are enjoying this month.


What creative hobbies do you currently enjoy or want to try?

Giveaway: Enter to Win A Copy of The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering!





Enter to win a copy of The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering. Residents of Canada may enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below until April 16th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




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30 comments:

  1. i am not very creative, or artistic, at all ! I have a daughter however who is! She would love to learn calligraphy, so this book would be great for her - she also loves expressing herself through photography.

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    1. I feel like everyone is creative in some way - it could be the way you bake or cook, the way you style your hair (not me!), the way you arrange your furniture or even just enjoying books. But I hear you that some people are more enthusiastic about certain pursuits and it's great that your daughter wants to express herself through these methods. My daughter likes to try any and every kind of artistic expression too. :)

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  2. I am already an Artisan and I make many things , most having to do with the Metaphysical on the side of Natural Witchery and Magick and all things Fae Folk . I would really love to try out crochet though would love to make warm sweaters and cozy slipper socks lol

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  3. I really want to try to knit.

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  4. I'm having fun with chalkboards and lettering on signs. The book looks awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. I like sewing and cross stitch.

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  6. I have been dabbling in quilting lately.

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  7. I am learning pottery and ceramic painting.

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  8. I like knitting.

    Sara

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  9. I really admire hand and chalk lettering and would love to learn. I also want to learn how to knit.

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  10. I scrapbook and knit.

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  11. I really want to learn how to knit.

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  12. I want to learn how to knit
    Marlene V.

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  13. I would love to learn to knit. I love baking and writing.

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  14. I enjoy painting, songwriting and filmmaking

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  15. I make jewelery! I wish I was a better artist!

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  16. I enjoy sewing, baking, and a few crafts but want to learn embroidery and bullet journalling (yes that counts lol, since I'm terrible at drawing)

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  17. I just learned how to cross stitch and am loving it ! My next goal is embroidery . I would love to make personalized tea towels for the ladies in my life for next Christmas . That is my goal !!

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  18. photography is my new hobby, I love trying new techniques!

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  19. I love crocheting and drawing. I would love to do more work with fibers and paint but I just haven't made the time.

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  20. I love DIY, sewing, cooking and anything that I can make with my hands. It is so enjoyable to be able to make something and admire it for years or pass it on and give joy to others.

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  21. Gardening, then small stuff for the garden . I had seen a bench made of recycled fence posts on (evil)pinterest and I made that to hold flower pots. We also did a trellis that we put into the ground for my climbing vines. This year we'll make a cat cage outside my window, on the cememnt pad that is there for them to go outside safely.

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  22. I like paper crafts, especially using scraps so I make iris paper folding cards. I like origami but haven't done any for a while. I also quilt and sew. I want to start refashioning clothes that don't fit me, especially if they inform scrap fabrics.

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  23. I want to create a junk journal and experiment with mixed media art

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