Have you ever made a craft project combining wire with fabric? And would you believe that those two odd materials together could be combined into several awesome projects that fill a whole craft book? And that that craft book would be totally inspiring?
My answers to these questions was “never”, “no!” and “no way!” I guess I am a skeptic that now can see the light again, thanks to Jennifer Swifts beautiful book Creative Bloom. It is encouraging and inspiring in both words and easy to do projects with step by step instructions.
If you’ve read Kelly Rae Robert’s great book Taking Flight I think you can imagine what this book is like, though more craft centered than Kelly’s book that is about painting and drawing. Both have chapters with encouraging and wise words about how to take care and nurture creativity in your life sandwiched in with the projects. I think this is a craft book approach that speaks to me both visually and intellectually/emotionally with the written words!
Jennifer Swift talks about her own life story, how she discovered and fell in love with the combination of wire and fabric and how she uses it in her craft projects. The instructions and tutorial photos are clear and easy to follow, even for beginner crafters. Described in the book you will find ornamental flowers, wall decorations, garlands, a jewelry hanger, canvas art, a fabric art journal (!) and fun ways to decorate your sketchbook, inspiration board and hand bag!
The style of the projects are shabby mixed media, I guess that is one reason I just adore this book so much. Another reason is that I am simply inspired by what and how Jennifer writes, both in the book and at her blog, a new favorite of mine. My favorite part of the book is the jewelry section. A girl always needs new decorations, right?
I want to try to make some of the charms for a bracelet made out of homemade jump rings. The charms are made from the basic supplies (wire and fabric) but you also get to experiment with resin and clay! Another one now on my want-to-try list is the simple fiber necklace, just a strip of fabric with knots, embroidery floss, beads and assorted yarns wrapped around the base in a fun way. I like it because it is quick, simple and fun, and maybe even something I would wear?
I also like the coffee cup photo holder and the super cute broach or badge that proudly proclaims you’re an artist! I think everyone needs one of those! Plus it reminds me I need to make my own name badge f before our embroidery exhibition in May!
I really like that almost all the projects in the book uses simple and cheap materials that is readily available everywhere. Sure it is fun to experiment with all the new stuff that is coming out, but I just can?t afford everything that looks cool (and I don’t have anywhere to store it all, especially when authors namedrop brand names for all kinds of glues and paints you just have to have - are they sponsored?). I just hate when I get a beautiful book and it suggests I need to buy a ton of new stuff just to get started with one project.
Wire flower tutorial video made by a wire bending pro. Looks easy enough…
I have been gravitating more and more towards mixed media art books rather than craft books, but of course I am always curious about what is new on the market when it comes to inspiring books in all genres. Jennifer Swift wrote to ask me if I wanted to have a look at her new book and I feel very lucky have the opportunity to share it with you all! I will put it side by side with Sister Diane?s beautiful book Kansashi in bloom in my book shelf, they look great side by side and are both inspiring craft books. There are several other projects in this book that I love, but I can’t list them all here because then there will be no surprises as you get this book and start reading it. Let me know what your favorite project with wire and fabric is?! Me? I’m just starting to experiment with this!
Creative Bloom – further inspiration
* Creative Bloom – book information at Amazon where you can buy it.
* Previous book reviews by yours truly.
* Art as usual – Jennifer Swifts blog, a new favorite for me.
* At home with handmade books – a book review at a little hut and another book-review of the book Painted pages – I want both these books.