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Other Crafts
Books
Roses in Silk and Organza Ribbon
Roses-in-silk-and-organza-ribbon
Price: ± R166.95

Do you have a quilt to decorate? Or maybe you want to add some artistic flair to a handbag, scarf or outfit? Roses in Silk and Organza Ribbon is the perfect book to get you started.

This book may look small but it is chock-a-block full with equipment lists, techniques to learn (over 60!) and projects to try. Di van Niekerk includes an extensive section on the types of fabric to use, and of course, ribbons.

To the beginner, this could seem intimidating. Who knew there were so many types of silk and organza ribbons? Learning the different stitches may be a bit tricky, especially if you aren’t handy with a needle. But don’t worry, there’s a very useful illustrated section showing how to do each stitch.

The book includes 16 different projects to work on, ranging from easy to complex. You’ll learn how to make petals, rose hips, stems, leaves, rosebuds, all sorts of roses, as well as birds, birds nests, butterflies, bows and wisteria.

Each project lists which ribbons and thread to use, needle sizes and other extras you might need (such as beads or anti-fray agents). The types of stitches used are also mentioned, along with their reference pages.

Then the real fun begins – there are step-by-step photos for each part of the rose you’ll be working on, as well as helpful hints. Before you know it, you’ll have created a beautiful piece of art.

Ideally, this book is the most useful for crafters who have some basic needlework experience, but even beginners should give it a try.

Reviewed by Tarryn Henrick

Published by Metz Press

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Watercolour Flowers
Watercolour_flowers
Price: ± R157.95

Janet Whittle’s Watercolour Flowers is the type of book that blows you away. Although it’s definitely aimed at someone who has knowledge of watercolour, it’s also one of the most inspiring books I’ve seen in a while. Janet has unbelievable talent and flipping through the pages, I couldn’t help but feel motivated to try some of her techniques or rekindle my love of art.

Watercolour Flowers is perfect for those who have experimented in watercolour (and flower painting) and want to improve their technique. If you find you can’t get the right colours, or want to learn how to use them more effectively, this book will show you how.

Like in many craft books, a general list of materials is included. However, Janet is very specific in stating that watercolour is a type of art that allows you to be fluid in how you work. The paint you use, the brushes, the paper and how you mix your colours can give different outcomes, so an artist shouldn’t stick to one way of doing things, or one set of tools. I think this is perhaps the most useful piece of information any person can be given. Art should be about exploration!

Following the list of materials is a comprehensive colour guide. Janet shows the types of colours she uses, how she uses them, and the types of things they work best for. Although all hints and tips are linked to flower painting and watercolour, it is possible to extend this to other types of painting and colouring.

Watercolour Flowers is filled with large, bright photographs that give the reader a clear idea of how a finished product can look. The technique images are clear and big enough to illustrate her methods.

Included in this book is a “getting started” checklist, containing helpful information about things to remember before, during and after painting. There is also a list of the painting techniques used and what each method entails. This is useful for someone who has the groundwork, but not sure where to go from there.

This is a great book to use in conjunction with your own projects. This is not a step-by-step guide to painting and it doesn’t include projects you can do with her. But what it does do is help you build confidence in your painting, enhance your technique and get you trying new things. Watercolour Flowers is also available in Afrikaans.

 

Reviewed by Tarryn Henrick

Published by Metz Press

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Designs Galore
Designs galore
Price: ± R195.95

As Monique Day-Wilde and Angie Franke rightly point out, there is nothing worse than being confronted with a blank page. And it’s even worse when something creative is expected of you. Here is where Designs Galore comes in – there are over 400 designs just to get your creative juices flowing.

Monique and Angie have taken some of their most popular drawings from previous publications, along with new illustrations, and put them together in this handy book. Each page is dedicated to single or multiple images, providing you with helpful reference material or inspiration for your own craft projects.

It’s suggested that you use elements from their designs to create your own. Adapt, enlarge and mash-up; all these are great ways to use this book. Designs Galore is the perfect book for classroom or casual use.

There are nine sections to this book: Lines and Designs, Flowers and Foliage, Fruit and Vegetables, Creatures Great and Small, The Birds and the Bees, Forms and Figures, Scenes and Scapes, Classics and Culture, and Cute, Quaint and Quirky. This book will suit anyone with an artistic flair – with such a selection, there’s a design for any art or craft you can think of.

The best thing about Designs Galore is the great local content. It's a nice little surprise for the South African reader. Under the “Forms and Figures” chapter, there are line drawings of African men and women, and in “Scenes and Scapes” there are some wonderful renditions of familiar landscapes – Table Mountain, Cape Agulhas and Mouille Point, for example. In the “Classics and Culture” section, there are a few traditional African motifs as well.

What the book lacks in words is made up in inspiration. Designs Galore is about getting you motivated and getting you creating.

Reviewed by Tarryn Henrick

Published by Metz Press

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Words for paper, art & craft creations
Words for paper art and crafts
Price: ± R150.95

As someone who’s a “words” person, this book really spoke to me. Because, as the name suggests, it’s filled with words, words and more words to use in crafting projects – I couldn’t have asked for a better distraction!

Anyone can use this book, whether you’re into scrapbooking, fabric art, paper collages, knitting or crocheting. Whatever your poison, you’ll need words somewhere along the line to enhance your creation. And when you do, you’ll be ever so glad to have this book on your shelf, especially if you’re not really a “words” person yourself.

There are 23 categories, covering themes like toddlers, girls, boys, friends and friendship, love, music, time, hobbies, travel and holidays, and pets. Each themed chapter goes on to detail phrases, poems, quotes, and words that really embody each theme.

Monica de Beer, the author of Words for paper, art & craft creations, is obviously a word fanatic herself. In quite an ingenious move, she’s drawn inspiration from everyday life, as well as from local and international movies, books, newspapers, TV, plays, and music.

Then there are all the lekker South-Africanisms that sneak through, particularly in the Heritage & nostalgia chapter. A few words and phrases are “Braai”, “Local is lekker”, “Our rainbow nation”, “Boerewors” and “Biltong”. They’re wonderfully familiar, as are the quotes and poems from home-grown favourites like Madiba and Nataniël. 

But the best thing about this book is the variety – something for everybody, thing or situation. I mean, where else would you find words of wisdom from Confucius, Aristotle, Dr. Seuss and Winnie the Pooh (who has many a wise word to share indeed) all in one place?

Reviewed by Cara Visser

Published by Metz Press.

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Quilt a Gift
Quilt a gift
Price: ± R144.46

The author sets exactly the right tone for this book with her insightful foreword: in our fast-paced world, it is more important than ever to remember that simple joy is found in acts of creating, and giving. With years of experience and her own pattern company, author Barri Sue Gaudet has poured her heart into this book, which is full of gift projects.

Apart from the blessings you’ll be passing to your friends and family with your quilted wonders, you’ll be able to build your needlework confidence with this book. All skill levels are covered, so whether you’re new to the sewing scene or a master of the art, you’ll find something that suits you. Quilt a Gift is also fun because it doesn’t only have strictly traditional quilting designs: nearly all the projects incorporate felt, appliqué and whimsical embroidery too.

Projects are carefully grouped according to special occasions and themes like Birthday, Thank you, Wedding, Baby, Mother’s day, Hearts and home, Friendship, and Christmas. Visually, the book is wonderful, containing large colour photos of each creation, as well as smaller ones of stitching details. After seeing the sweet pin cushion beside a sprig of blue forget-me-not flowers, I was ready to get sewing.

What I really liked about this book (apart from all the charm) is its reader-friendly layout. For example, above each project Gaudet suggests how long it will take to complete. This makes it so easy to page through and find a project that fits the amount of time you have available. I fell for the cute little felt cupcake gift tags that only take 2 ½ hours – perfect for a last-minute gift.

All the patterns are included at the back of the book, as well as “General instructions” to help avoid making silly mistakes. A really useful feature is the page full of local supplier details for across the country and online. So, you’ll be able to stock up on threads and fabrics without a fuss.

Quilt a Gift doesn’t just offer many striking and beautiful patterns; it reminds us to value the people in our lives with personal expressions of gratitude and love.

Reviewed by Dale Sandberg

Published by Metz Press

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Turn your hobby into a business
Turn your hobby into a business
Price: ± R129.95

Hobbies – particularly arts and crafts – are for after hours and weekends only, right? Wrong. You too could ditch the lousy job and turn your beloved hobby into a dream career or thriving business. But where do you start?

With nine detailed chapters, Turn your hobby into a business explores various aspects of going solo – and, more importantly, making a success of it. Having an idea is one thing, but what about getting down to the business of franchising, mail orders, advertising and accounting?

The book contains extremely useful information that you’d normally not consider in the excitement of starting up. It teaches you how to focus your idea and get going, to identify your customer, to choose an outlet, to market yourself, to expand when the time is right, to understand and manage your financials and other business must-knows.

It also lists useful contact numbers and resources (guilds, festivals, websites and publications among others), although these might be a bit outdated considering the book was published in 2005.

Every few pages, there are handy hints boxes that answer crucial questions. The case studies throughout the book are also particularly enlightening – straight out of the arts and crafts sector, they are proof that it can be done!

It’s not a particularly pretty or attractive book – perhaps that’s its only downfall. It’s probably got to do with the subject matter which doesn’t require many graphics. That said, the chapters are all very well organised and the entire book flows in a logical, user-friendly way.


Reviewed by Cara Visser

Published by Metz Press

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Just stitch
Just Stitch
Price: ± R175

The authors of Just stitch – a South African mother-and-daughter duo – teamed up on this, their first book together, to reflect their collaborative creativity. Having both taught all over the world, Just stitch was inspired from ten years of travelling and an assortment of stitch-witchery from different continents and cultures.

Just stitch, published by Metz Press, is any embroiders dream and makes provision for novice as well as more experienced individuals. The book is themed ‘fauna and flora’, and contains the most beautiful photography and illustrations showing how to render embroidered butterflies, delicate dragonflies and an abundance of floral blooms onto just about any fabric surface.

The first chapter, called “The sewing basket”, introduces different threads, ribbons, fabrics, needles and other tools necessary to start stitching. It even gives handy hints on where to store your trinkets. The second chapter details stitching techniques of varying degrees of difficulty, from simple photo transfers to more complicated appliqué, trapunto quilting and barbola.

Once you’ve grasped the basics, the third chapter is lovingly divided into projects per colour group. Take your pick from oyster white, lilac and lavender, salmon, burgundy and indigo to name a few – just heavenly! And last but not least, at the back of the book you’ll find an extremely useful illustrated gallery of stitching terms and 20 pages of stitching templates.

The book is dedicated “To all who enjoy the inspiration of antiquity and the pleasure of stitching” – I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Reviewed by Cara Visser

Published by Metz Press

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Flower Fairies in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork
Flower Fairies
Price: ± R169.95

If you are a fan of Cicely Mary Barker’s angelic Flower Fairies, then the projects in this book are bound to delight you. The book aims at instructing embroidery fans on how to create exquisite renditions of five of the Flower Fairies. The fairies taught in the book include the Periwinkle fairy, Black Medick fairies, White Clover fairy, Stork’s-Bill fairy and the Red Clover fairy. Each fairy is accompanied by a charming song, and the illustrations of the fairies are beautiful.

Each project is accompanied by detailed explanations and photographs that make the projects accessible to both newcomers and seasoned embroidery enthusiasts. The book includes a section on the various stitches and terminology needed to attempt the projects in the book, and the general hints and tips section offers the crafter some useful advice they can put into practice once starting their projects.

This book offers gorgeous projects for those who love embroidery, and the flower fairies are so charming that it’s difficult deciding which of the projects you want to try first!

Reviewed by Lauren Inggs

Published by Metz Press

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Woodcraft - A practical guide
Woodcraft - A practical guide
Price: ± R110.00

Shows you how to cut, paint and assemble a delightful variety of both useful and decorative painted wood items, some of which include humorous and sentimental sayings for added charm. Each project is presented with a complete list of requirements, detailed instructions, suggested variations and alternatives, and a colour photograph of the finished item. Templates for every project are included in the back of the book and the informative introduction covers general painting and finishing techniques that will inspire you to create your own original designs. The book also features lists of idioms and sayings suitable for various projects or events, as well as examples of easy lettering. Projects include

• Welcome signs; garden signs  • Board games and puzzles  • Curtain tie-backs and matching door signs, pencil holders and so on for a nursery, study or guest room  • Kitchen items such as an egg holder, a wall clock or memo board  • Smaller items such as a key ring holder or friendship flower  • Christmas projects, including candle holders, Christmas tree decorations, Christmas card-holders and much more.

Also available in Afrikaans as Houtkuns: 'n praktiese gids

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Woodcraft
Woodcraft
Price: ± R139.95

An indispensable guide for both newcomers to this craft and more advanced crafters, this book shows you how to achieve up to 10 different looks with the same basic template. There are more than 50 detailed projects with

• A beautiful colour photograph of each finished item  • A list of materials with clear, step-by-step instructions  • Practical hints and tips  • Plus a bumper 32 pages of complete templates.

The fresh and colourful ideas in this book are bound to have you painting and gluing in no time to create both useful and purely decorative items for your home.

Also available in Afrikaans as Houtkuns: verftegnieke en afwerkings

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Scrap-metal craft
Scrap-metal craft
Price: ± R120.00

This book will make you take a fresh look at metal and steel, showing you how to create a wide variety of useful and decorative items for your home from almost any piece of scrap metal, steel, or wire. Scrap-metal -craft brings you a host of ideas that will inspire you to explore you own creative genius to make unique items from scrap metal, or simply to put everyday metal objects to new uses.

• Step by step instructions for every project, with templates if required  • More than 50 full-colour photographs of finished items  • Various paint techniques and finishes are used and explained

Whether you do handicrafts as a hobby or to generate an income at craft markets, Scrap-metal-craft offers you something completely new and different.

Also available in Afrikaans as Metaalkuns

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Stylish crafts for your home
Stylish crafts for your home
Price: ± R159.95

With three bestsellers to their name, Tracy Boomer and Deborah Morbin are considered two of South Africa's foremost craft authors. Their latest offering boasts more than 150 craft ideas and projects to enhance your living spaces. Beautiful photographs of all finished items are accompanied by practical advice on choosing materials and finishes, hints and tips to avoid problems and pitfalls, and further finishing suggestions. The stunning projects are easy to complete and make use of. several techniques, clearly explained with useful alternatives.

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Touches of Style
Touches of Style
Price: ± R99.95

Packed with more than 40 decorating ideas that are grouped in chapters indicating the time required for each project. Choose to make a lampshade from photocopied sheet music in around an hour or spend a weekend on a complete bathroom makeover. A variety of techniques - paint finishes, trompe l'oeil, stencilling and decoupage - are clearly explained, accompanied by colour photographs and illustrations. Tips on flower arranging and ideas for door and window treatments, as well as examples of fool-proof colour schemes that will enhance any room, are also included. Whatever your level of experience, this book will bring out the home decorator in you.

Also available in Afrikaans as Maak jou huis mooi

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Paintcraft
Paintcraft
Price: ± R120.00

A practical craft book and a visual delight packed with ideas, information and tips on materials and techniques for decorative painting. Stunning full colour photographs guide and inspire, and the simple explanations tell you about mixing just the right colour, using just the right technique and adding just the right shading and highlights so your painted project will stand out from the rest. You don’t need art training or even be particularly talented – you just need to know how. And that this book tells you.

• Over 50 original templates, all designed by the author • Step by step projects on wood, bisque-wear, glass, paper, galvanized steel etc. • Essential techniques explained • Ideas for unique gifts or items that will be snapped up at any craft market

Also available in Afrikaans as Verfkuns.

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Ribbon embroidery and stumpwork
Ribbon embroidery and stumpwork
Price: ± R149.95

Published in cooperation with Threads & Crafts, South Africa's leading needlework and craft magazine, this book is a must for all lovers of ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. It is suitable for first-time embroiderers as well as those who wish to learn brand new techniques. It’s unique in its combination of ribbon embroidery and stumpwork and offers the following:

• The twelve panels of this outstanding design are each individually explained with step by step photographs and instructions, including a comprehensive guide to all needles, thread and ribbon required. • It includes several new techniques for experienced embroiderers • A comprehensive stitch glossary with colourful illustrations of more than 40 stitches • General information of stumpwork techniques • More than 30 floral designs to choose from.

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Funky Stitches
Funky Stitches
Price: ± R149.95

Funky stitches takes a fresh look at embroidery and provides original ideas for fun and funky designs, inspired by anything from urban graffiti and children’s drawings to nature. An introductory section deals with practical matters such as fabrics, threads, needles, designs and how to transfer them, how to make up embroidered items and much more. The stitches are clearly illustrated and are simple enough for a beginner to master. There are more than 30 room-by-room projects, from the nursery to the kitchen, with suggested variations to show how the same basic design can be used to decorate or create a range of items with a similar theme. Every project in the book is accompanied by full instructions, templates and a beautiful colour photograph of the finished item. Also included are contemporary and fun ideas for gifts.

Ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans as Moderne borduurkuns.

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Making Kids' Clothes - Easy to follow projects
Making Kids' Clothes - Easy to follow projects
Price: ± R99.95

With the wonderful variety of strong, brightly coloured natural fabrics available today children’s clothes are fun to make and fun to wear. Easy-to-follow patterns and spectacular fabrics will inspire even the most reluctant among us to haul out a sewing machine and get busy. The designs cover the age-range from two to ten and with mix-and-match patterns and outfits you can create a new look for your child for every day of the week. This book has something for everyone – from fun windbreakers to dazzling dungarees and practical playsuits. The sizes are generous so that children will feel comfortable and unrestricted when they play in their new outfits which will last and last and last. Making kids clothes offers the following:

• More than 50 outfits and over 100 garments • Patterns to scale for each garment • Step by step sewing instructions for each garment • Suggestions for variations • Full colour photographs of each outfit • Close up photographs of specific finishes • Line drawings to clarify specific steps

Also available in Afrikaans as Maak kinderklere.

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Dried Fruit Gifts
Dried Fruit Gifts
Price: ± R99.95

In this delightful and unusual book Rachele Franco shows you how simple and easy it is to turn this healthy food source into beautiful and interesting arrangements, table decorations and gift presentations – to excite both the eye and the palate.

Dried Fruit Gifts includes: • Interesting and innovative ideas for containers, packaging and finishing touches • Simple instructions explaining how each arrangement is made • Step-by-step photographs to show you how to make flowers from dried guava chips, pineapple or apple rings • Gift ideas for everyone, from young children to sophisticated friends • Projects easy enough for anyone to tackle • Hints and tips and a host of extra ideas

Ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans as Droë vrugte - ’n Fees van idees vir geskenke en projekte met droë vrugte-kuns.

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For my baby
For my baby
Price: ± R149.95

Make practical items for baby’s room, outings and playtime. Includes step-by-step instructions and full-size patterns!

A practical book that shows you how to sew essential items for your baby’s room – from a basic curtain to a fitted sheet for the mattress – creating a space that is attractive, functional and safe. Also included are necessities for outings – from a backpack to a carry-cot – and special items for playtime. Practical hints and tips throughout are accompanied by advice on how specific choices may enhance you baby’s sensory and motor development. • Detailed step-by-step instructions with line drawings • Beautiful colour photo of every finished item • Suitable for beginners and busy working moms • Full-size patterns included.

Ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans as Vir my baba.

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A Perfect World in Ribbon embroidery and stumpwork
A Perfect World in Ribbon embroidery and stumpwork
Price: ± R175.00

If it was at all possible for Di van Niekerk to improve on her previous book Dreamscapes, then indeed she has.

A Perfect World is a rich, sumptuous celebration of the beauty of the natural world. The design, painted in watercolour by South African artist Verde, consists of 17 panels containing a total of 60 elements. Each element is presented individually, along with a list of its required materials, making it really simple to utilise a single element on its own in another craft project such as scrapbooking or knitting.

A feature of the book that I find very appealing is that each element is given with both its Latin and common names - education through craft!

A Perfect World features a full-colour double-page spread of the completed design, the original watercolour design for copying onto fabric, and a line drawing version of the design for those who'd prefer to choose their own colours and background; there is also a comprehensive (and easy to follow!) stitch gallery.

The book is suitable for both beginners and experienced embroiderers.

Reviewed by Kerry-Anne Gilowey

Also available in Afrikaans as 'n Wonderwereld vir lintborduur en stumpwerk

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Cardboard Craft
Cardboard Craft
Price: ± R89.95

This book demonstrates the versatility of cardboard as a medium, and is packed with eye-catching projects you'll find difficult to resist. With little more than cardboard, glue and some finishing materials, you can create a whole range of beautiful and useful items at very little or no cost. Cardboard can be used for decorations for your home, for functional gifts such as a telephone set, for something special for a special occasion, for example an advent calendar for children, for interesting and original hand-made cards, and much more than you have ever imagined.

  • Over 30 practical and inspirational projects
  • A good balance, from easy projects which children can make, to more complicated ideas for more experienced crafters
  • Step-by-step instructions, simple and easy to follow
  • Templates for all boxes and 3-D items
  • Full colour photographs of every finished project
  • Simple line drawings to explain techniques where needed
  • Hints and tips boxes with a host of additional ideas and suggestions to help you produce original and innovative cardboard items

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Paint on Paper
Paint on Paper
Price: ± R159.95

This book is quite unlike any other craft title I've seen recently, and will appeal to a very broad base of crafters, from scrapbookers to beaders and card-makers to mosaic artists.

An incredible range of paper-decorating techniques are covered in the book, including dry-brushing, stippling, daubing, layered stamping, reverse stamping, lino-block printing, stencilling, encaustic art, batik, wax stencilling, sun paint, dip-dyeing, stamp-pad staining, scrunching off, embossed motifs, wax rubbing, marbling, monoprinting, vegetable dyeing, and metallic effects. I could go on and on - there are more than 130!

The techniques are interspersed with clear and colourful photographs and plenty of creative application and project ideas. The text is conversational and easy to follow.

The first section of the book is dedicated to describing the various kinds of paper used in the book (I had no idea there were quite so many different types of paper!), as well as the paints, dyes, glazes and tools you may need. There's even a very simple explanation of how to test the acidity level of any piece of paper, using ordinary household bits and pieces. You'll have to get the book to get the full instructions, but I'll give you a little hint - you'll need red cabbage, amongst other things. Intrigued?

Paint on Paper presents a selection of accessible projects and techniques, and is suitable for those just getting started with crafts, as well as advanced crafters looking to give their work a new twist; it's also likely to be a hit with children and their art teachers. In fact, this is the kind of book that every crafter should have on their bookshelf, because it's bound to come in handy soooner or later...

Reviewed by Kerry-Anne Gilowey

Also available in Afrikaans as Verf op Papier

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Easy Pewter Projects
Easy Pewter Projects
Price: ± R150.00

Each time a new Metz Press title lands on my desk, I know I'm in for a visual and creative treat. This time proved to be no different.

I must admit that I had some rather unflattering preconceived ideas about pewter craft, based largely on the same-old-same-old work I've seen in magazines and at a few craft markets recently. Well, Sandy Griffiths has very kindly put an end to my negativity, by bringing together a stunning selection of designs in her new book, from an exquisitely-patterned book cover (my personal favourite) to colourful Christmas decorations, and even pewter-covered candles (yes, you can put pewter onto candles!).

This book is well-suited to beginners (although there's plenty here for those who've already tried the craft as well), as Sandy gives clear instructions on what is required and how to get started. All the relevant materials and equipment are described and explained, and illustrated in clear photographs. The reader is then led through 3 beginner projects, to get acquainted with pewter-crafting techniques such as low-relief and high-relief modelling and applying patina.

The other projects in the book are used to teach accompanying techniques, such as adding decorative borders and edging, or making use of colour. Projects include light-switch covers, photograph frames, a tissue box and mirror set, an ornate antique clock, and even an artistic nude!

The book is packed with useful tips and ideas direct from Sandy's very creative mind, which gives it a very relaxed conversational feel - a lot like being in a class, really.

Reviewed by Kerry-Anne Gilowey

Also available in Afrikaans as Maklike piouter-projekte

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