Monday, August 9, 2010

Martha to the Rescue

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts
Potter Craft, pub. 2009
ISBN: 9780307450579

I have to admit that I am skeptical of Martha Stewart, specifically when it comes to crafts. I have always associated her brand with generic and over-commercialized products. I do admit to using some of her recipes and they turned out wonderfully so when I heard about her forthcoming craft encyclopedia I was curious and of course skeptical.

I picked up a copy at the public library and meticulously poured over it as soon as I got home. The first thing I will say is that I was turned off by the cover. There's Martha pretending to glue a sea shell to a garbage can or maybe a planter. Either way it is exactly the kind of thing I'd expect and exactly the sort of thing I would  never in a million years want to make. Once I got over my dislike of the cover and opened the book I was impressed with the photos. Without reading a word, I found the photos inspiring.

Aside from the fact that it is branded as Martha Stewart, the content is wonderful! It is very broad and even though I am not interested in some of the chapters, there is enough content that does interest me that I found myself wishing I had the time for some new projects. Techniques are outlined clearly with wonderful examples. Materials are laid out and the projects are wonderfully diverse. There really is something for everyone. Everything from albums to wreaths is covered. Easy crafts like paper cutting and punching to highly skilled crafts like gilding and silk screening are included. I particularly loved all the craft ideas inspired by nature and the chapter on pom-pom animals is adorable. The back of the book includes a lot of helpful templates for projects and a buyers guide.

I hate to admit it, but I think I'm going to buy this book for my very own bookshelf! It is a super useful resource and a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

I have given it 4 instead of 5 stars mostly because some of the projects require a large investment just to get the supplies and probably isn't super practical for those just starting out or just looking for a fun activity.

Skill Level: Beginner - Advanced
Rating: ★★★★

1 comment:

  1. Ya know? A cover is worth a gazillion words. I would not even have picked up the book! I can just hear myself saying,"eewww!" But then you moved beyond it. Less shallow than I, I would say, and found gems. Thanks, I'll go check it out. Adore your blog BTW.

    o not that i have anything against Martha, just that cover!