Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Zoom Loom Review


Look I'm weaving! It's fun and easy with the Zoom Loom. The Zoom Loom is a new and improved version of the 4" x 4" pin loom. It is made by the Schacht Spindle Company of Boulder, Colorado. Inside it's handy carrying case is a sturdy 4" x 4" Zoom Loom, 6" weaving needle, 3" tapestry needle and an instruction booklet. The instruction booklet includes patterns for a scarf, place mat and tablet/e-reader case. However the possibilities are endless. Like crochet you may simply join the squares together. The Zoom Loom is ideal for beginners like me. My first squares are below. Free Zoom Loom patterns and ideas are available at Schacht. There is also a pin loom book. With the Zoom Loom you can weave anywhere, anytime. It only weighs 3.2 oz. Updates include sloping interior edges, extended sides, molded-in instructions and a yarn slot. It's an efficient and comfortable little loom to weave on. I love it. Get yours below!


This is my work on the Zoom Loom. I used alpaca wool because it's what I had left over from my knitting days. 



This is the Schacht instructional video. I especially like the Zoom Loom e-reader case.

The Zoom Loom is available worldwide at the Schacht Spindle Company. Established in 1969, by husband and wife team Barry Schacht and Jane Patrick, Schacht makes quality tools for spinners and weavers. Check out their catalog at the Schacht Spindle Company. The Zoom Loom is also available at your local yarn store.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Origami Garden KIT Review & GIVEAWAY

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden by Mark Bolitho (Author) and Brent Darby (Photographer) is a 128 page Paperback released – April 20, 2017 by Publisher: Jacqui Small. Inside you will find 30 sheets of 7" x 7" square origami paper and over 25 garden themed paper folding projects. Each project has a difficulty rating of easy, intermediate or more challenging, though most are intermediate. The paper comes in a colorful and attractive variety of solids and patterns. The larger 7" size paper is a treat! I warmed up by folding the Easy Rose design. Then I moved on to the Bird (pictured below), Pear and Nut folds. There is a lot of folding, but it's satisfying folding. I found the diagram and text instructions very clear. The Perfectly Mindful Origami series also includes Origami Paper Boxes, Origami Zodiac and Geometric Origami. There are many benefits to doing origami – including boosting mindfulness. Get your copy below!

CONTENTS
Mindful Origami
Getting Started
Easy Rose

SEEDS AND PLANTS
Seeds
Nuts in a Bowl
Seedlings in a Pot
Plants in Pots
Flowers
Hydrangea
Four-petal Blossom
Four-petal Balloon Flower
Pentangle Variation
Five-petal Blossom
Five-petal Balloon Flower
Palm Leaf
Cactus in a Pot
Pine Tree

FLOWERS
Classic Lily & Iris
Calla Lily
Rose
Tulip
Water Lily
Fuchsia
Bunch of Flowers

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Strawberry
Mushroom
Pear
Tomato
Chili Pepper

GARDEN LIFE
Butterfly
Frog
Bird
Snail

Resources & Acknowledgements

Origami Bird
The origami bird design is from the Garden Life chapter. It has a difficulty rating of intermediate. You may notice that I left out a couple of creases – personal preference. 

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden is available worldwide at Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Check out their unique catalog at Jacqui Small. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 28, 2017. Prize includes cost of shipping. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Origami Heart Bracelets Giveaway WORLDWIDE

Origami Heart Bracelet
Win a set of 3 handmade Origami Heart Bracelets. These one-of-a-kind bracelets are made out of exquisite handmade Japanese paper. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck! WORLDWIDE. Open until July 26, 2016.

Origami Heart Bracelet Tutorial.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden KIT Review & GIVEAWAY

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden by Mark Bolitho (Author) and Brent Darby (Photographer) is a 128 page Paperback released – April 20, 2017 by Publisher: Jacqui Small. Inside you will find 30 sheets of 7" x 7" square origami paper and over 25 garden themed paper folding projects. Each project has a difficulty rating of easy, intermediate or more challenging, though most are intermediate. The paper comes in a colorful and attractive variety of solids and patterns. The larger 7" size paper is a treat! I warmed up by folding the Easy Rose design. Then I moved on to the Bird (pictured below), Pear and Nut folds. There is a lot of folding, but it's satisfying folding. I found the diagram and text instructions very clear. The Perfectly Mindful Origami series also includes Origami Paper Boxes, Origami Zodiac and Geometric Origami. There are many benefits to doing origami – including boosting mindfulness. Get your copy below!

CONTENTS
Mindful Origami
Getting Started
Easy Rose

SEEDS AND PLANTS
Seeds
Nuts in a Bowl
Seedlings in a Pot
Plants in Pots
Flowers
Hydrangea
Four-petal Blossom
Four-petal Balloon Flower
Pentangle Variation
Five-petal Blossom
Five-petal Balloon Flower
Palm Leaf
Cactus in a Pot
Pine Tree

FLOWERS
Classic Lily & Iris
Calla Lily
Rose
Tulip
Water Lily
Fuchsia
Bunch of Flowers

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Strawberry
Mushroom
Pear
Tomato
Chili Pepper

GARDEN LIFE
Butterfly
Frog
Bird
Snail

Resources & Acknowledgements


The Origami Garden book and paper pack. The bird design is from the Garden Life chapter. It has a difficulty rating of intermediate. You may notice that I unfolded a couple of creases –  personal preference. I used pink paper from the pack that comes with the book. The folded bird measures about 5" beak to tail.




A look inside. 


Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden is available worldwide at Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Check out their unique catalog at Jacqui Small. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 28, 2017. Prize includes cost of shipping. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Hand Lettering A to Z Review & GIVEAWAY

Hand Lettering A to Z: A World of Creative Ideas for Drawing and Designing Alphabets by Abbey Sy. This 128 page Paperback released– April 15, 2017 by Rockport Publishers shows you how to get creative with lettering. You will learn which hand lettering tools to use–  the basics and the nice-to-haves, depending on your preferred medium. Start practicing right away by creating your own alphabet, using your unique handwriting as a starting point. Continue by experimenting with 13 different alphabet styles in serif, sans serif and script fonts. International artists–Meg Hyland, Joao Neves, Tippy Go, and Lisa Lorek all contribute lettering exercises. You will find quote samples in different languages. Two pages of embellishments show ideas for patterns and details you can incorporate into your designs. Do it yourself projects let you show off your hand-lettering skills. A gallery showcases works for inspiration. The wonderful whale illustration below is just one example. And then you are well on your way to creating unique and personalized text for any occasion. Get your copy below!

CONTENTS
Introduction

TOOLS & MATERIALS
The Basics
Paper
Pens, Pencils,  Brushes & Paint
Finding and Filtering Ideas
Fonts and Type Styles

LETTER EVOLUTION

SERIF
Swash Serif
Lazy Serif's
Bone Type
Woodpecker by Guest Artist Joao Neves
Midwestr by Guest Artist Lisa Lorek

SANS SERIF
Condensed Capitals
Inline and Outline
Nature Story
Bubble Letters with Gradient by Guest Artist Googly Gooeys

SCRIPT
Freehand Brush Script
Lined Script
Retro Script
Swish & Flick by Guest Artist Meagan Highland

EMBELLISHMENTS

APPLICATIONS
Custom Artwork
Art Journal
Notebook Cover

GALLERY SHOWCASE
Abbey Sy
Joao Neves
Lisa Lorek

Acknowledgements
Index
About the Author


My creative space is one end of the dining room table.


Guest Artist: Joao Neves. The objective of the artwork was to show some of the historical figures that were born during the life expectancy of a whale. Page 115.

Hand Lettering A to Z is available worldwide at Rockport Publishing, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Rockport Publishing. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 16, 2017. Prize includes cost of shipping. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!


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Happy Canada Day

July 1st is Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bruce Botanical Food Gardens Visit

Bruce Botanical Food Gardens
These are the photos of my visit to the Bruce Botanical Food Gardens last evening. I picked 4 varieties of mint and turned them into a wreath. I used some of the mint to make a tisane for my boyfriend Graham. My recipe is very simple – pour boiling water over clean mint leaves and stems, add a little honey and steep.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Little Loom Weaving Review

Little Loom Weaving: Quick and Clever Projects for Creating Adorable Stuff by Andreia Gomes is a 111 page Paperback released on May 9 2017 by Publisher: Ulysses Press. This charming book introduces a trending craft – little loom weaving. Self-taught, portable loom weaver Andreia shares what she's learned on her journey from homemade, cardboard loom maker to artisanal hand weaver and founder of the LOOP Weaving Co. It's a modern take on an ancient craft. Wikipedia says "Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth." Andreia shows what's needed to start weaving without too much of an investment– a simple loom, some yarn and this book. She covers tools and materials, then yarns and techniques. The first project is how to make a basic loom from a 30" x 40" wooden canvas frame. It's followed by a variety of diverse though uncomplicated weaving projects using a small, portable loom, a frame loom, a branch, a piece of drift wood, a circular loom and a hanging planter. Andreia guides you step-by-step through the process of making 14 gorgeous hand woven pieces. Difficulty ratings of 1 thru 5 accompany each project. Her work is inspirational. I love this book. It makes me want to take up weaving. Get your copy below!

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1
WEAVING TOOLS AND LOOMS
Weaving Loom
Essential Weaving Tools
Weaving Terms

CHAPTER 2
CHOOSING YARNS
Yarn Fibers
Yarn Weight
Color Theory: How to Choose Coordinating Colors of Yarns
Choosing a Warp Yarn

CHAPTER 3
WEAVING TECHNIQUES
Warp the Loom
Tabby Weave
Methods for Minimizing Draw-in
Rya Knot
Design Geometric Shapes
Create Blocks Using Straight Slit
Create Triangles Using Diagonal Slit
Soumak
Loupes
Finish Your Woven Piece

CHAPTER 4
PROJECTS

Make Your Own Loom

My First Woven Wall Hanging
Woven Necklace
Branch Weaving
Desert Vibes Wall Hanging
Everyday Coaster
Summer Bracelet
Fluffy Wall Hanging

Tiny Framed Weaving
Woven Keychain
Boho Pillow
Minimalist Wall Hanging
Driftwood Board
Circular Wall Hanging
Hanging Planter

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PagePage
Page 16Page 11
PROJECTS - Branch, Necklace, Pillow & Key Chain.

Weaving loom / Tear
A portable loom with a warping area of 30cm x 40cm (12"x16").




Photo Credits: Andreia Gomes.

Little Loom Weaving is available worldwide at Ulysses Press. Named for five out of the last eight years as one of Publishers Weekly’s ten “fastest-growing small publishers,” Ulysses Press is reinventing the relationship between reader, author and publisher. Check out their unique catalog at Ulysses Press.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Blippo Surprise Kawaii Bag Review & GIVEAWAY WORLDWIDE

Look what just arrived! It's a Surprise Kawaii Bag from the Blippo Kawaii Shop. It's just 1 of 5 NEW Fukubukuro Lucky Bags now available. Fukubukuro lucky mystery bags are popular in Japan. The bags are packed with random items and sold for a substantial discount! 

The Blippo Surprise Kawaii Bag is filled with an assortment of cute and practical  items! Each bag includes a mix of at least 15 items chosen from the kawaii warehouse. The retail value of the included products is approximately 50 USD! The bag is also the perfect gift for anyone who loves mystery surprises! Get yours below!

Blippo Surprise Japanese Magazine Pack
1.  Blippo Surprise Japanese Magazine Pack

Blippo Surprise Candy Bag
2.  Blippo Surprise Candy Bag

Blippo Surprise Kawaii Plush Bag
3.  Blippo Surprise Kawaii Plush Bag

Blippo Surprise Kawaii Stationery Bag
4.  Blippo Surprise Kawaii Stationery Bag

Blippo Surprise Kawaii Mixed Bag
5.  Blippo Surprise Kawaii Mixed Bag

All 5 Fukubukuro Lucky Bag's are available worldwide at the Blippo Kawaii Shop. Blippo has generously offered to giveaway a Surprise Kawaii Bag. One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 6, 2017. WORLDWIDE. Good luck!

Handmade by Deb Blippo Surprise Bag Giveaway

100% Guaranteed

Blippo Kawaii Shop

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Stick it TO 'Em: Playful Stickers Review & GIVEAWAY

Stick it TO 'EM: Playful Stickers to Color & Create: 275+ stickers with sass for family, friends, and frenemies by Bailey Fleming. This 104 page Paperback released May 8, 2017 by Walter Foster Publishing is an amusing sticker adventure with something for everyone. It is divided into 3 sections by sticker type. The first is fully designed, ready-to-use stickers with a high-gloss finish. Designs range from edgy and funny to cute and silly. Just peel and stick. The second is color-your-own stickers. These are uncolored designs ready for you to personalize. Embellish with felt tip pens, colored pencils, watercolors and brush pens. Or use your favorite craft medium. The third is blank sticker templates. These are for creating your own unique, customized stickers. The author shares her creative process in 10 tutorials on sticker making, including supplies, drawing and lettering. All stickers are on high quality paper, adhere well and come in a variety of  sizes and shapes. A book of  FUN. Use any way you like.  Get your copy below!


Table of Contents

Introduction
Tools & Techniques

Bailey's Favorites
So Many Emotions
Cupcake Currency
Spirit Animal
Pinata
Peace & Love
WTF (Where's the Food?)
99 Problems
YOLO
Unicorn Queen
Unicorn Ride

About the Author

Glossy Stickers
Color-Your-Own Stickers
Sticker Templates

Stick it TO 'EM: Playful Stickers to Color & Create is available worldwide at Walter Foster Publishing, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Walter Foster is one of the most recognized names in art instruction. Check out their unique catalog at Walter Foster Publications. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Stick it TO 'EM: Playful Stickers to Color & Create! One winner will be selected at random. Open until June 15, 2017. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

video
Look inside


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

drawing calm Review & GIVEAWAY

drawing calm: RELAX. REFRESH. REFOCUS with 20 drawing, painting, and collage workshops inspired by Klimt, Klee, Monet, and more by Susan Evenson. This 144 page Paperback – released April 1, 2017 by Publisher: Quarry Books, is a collection of mixed media projects to promote creative practice. The author begins by taking you through the following steps: finding time, setting up your work space, and gathering the tools and materials necessary to collage, paint, draw and pastel. Next are 5 simple warm up exercises to choose from. They quiet the mind, activate the right brain and help to improve the creative experience. Then using the works of great masters for inspiration, Susan guides you step-by-step through the process of making art, with a variety of techniques such as torn-paper collage, blended pastels and wet-on-wet watercolor, in colors and moods that suggest calm. Creative Healing Educator Mary Rockwood Lane provides commentary on the arts and it's benefits to the body, mind and soul. Below is an example of how each project is presented – Chapter Three's Silent Beach. Get your copy below! 

CONTENTS

Foreward
Introduction

GETTING STARTED

Chapter 1 WARM-UP EXERCISES

Chapter 2 DELIGHT
Chapter 3 QUIET
Chapter 4 WARMTH
Chapter 5 HARMONY
Chapter 6 CALM
 Chapter 7 LIGHT
 Chapter 8 RHYTHM

Chapter 9 MAINTAINING THE CALM

Acknowledgements
About the Author
Index

Page 49 Silent Beach Chapter 3 QUIET, Project 3











A beach offers a still point where we can let go of our busy schedules, clear our minds, and tune into nature. This Degas drawing has a wonderfully peaceful feel to it. What I love about it is that Degas created such a deep vista of sand, sea, and sky simply with horizontal bands of color. I’ve played with this idea, using torn strips of paper colored with watercolor and gouache, but you could try it with pastel. Allow for some ambiguity, as getting specific or busy can change the feel of the work entirely. Let your colors remain flowing and soft.

YOU WILL NEED :

• 8″ x 10″ (20.5 x 25.5 cm) or 9″ x 12″ (23 x 30.5 cm) Bristol board or watercolor paper
• three pieces of watercolor paper, 8″ x 10″ (20.5 x 25.5 cm)
• watercolors and gouache
• paintbrushes, in a variety of sizes
• water
• matte medium

Imagine a seascape, using the Degas painting as a reference. Paint the Bristol board with a sand color. It can be an off-white or light brown, or lighter in some areas and darker in others. Allow the paint to dry completely.
silent-beach-drawing-clam-quarto-creates2

Paint the three pieces of watercolor paper, one in varying shades of blues, another with whites, and the third with soft yellow tones. Orient each of these horizontally on your workspace.
silent-beach-drawing-clam-quarto-creates3

Tear the painted sheets from step 2 into irregular horizontal strips. The paper can still be a little wet. There may be rough spots and crooked lines, which is okay. Enjoy the imperfections.
silent-beach-drawing-clam-quarto-creates4

Imagine a band of deep water at the bottom of the page, a brighter horizon line toward the middle, and a vast sky above. Overlap the pieces of torn paper on the background, brushing water over them to hold them together. Notice how you can add piece after piece to construct the three areas of color. The brightest band is in the center of the page.
silent-beach-drawing-clam-quarto-creates5

Attach the strips to the surface with matte medium. Starting at the bottom, attach the darkest section. Move up to the brightest area and then to the sky. Don’t worry if the colors aren’t coming together the way you want them quite yet. Let the matte medium dry.
silent-beach-drawing-clam-quarto-creates6

How do the bands of collaged color look? Do you have beautiful torn edges that are adding to the depth of the landscape? Add a few more torn pieces of painted paper, if you like. Now focus on how the color is lying on the page. Do you need to add anything? Does it feel hazy and beautiful, or do you want richer color? You can go back in with paint now and work on any areas that need a little something more. Start with a watery paint and let the subtle colors and torn paper textures remain important elements on the page. Enjoy the subtlety of the sea, sky, and the beautiful textures you’ve created.

drawing calm is available worldwide at Quarry Books, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Quarry Books. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until June 6, 2017. Prize includes free shipping Canada & the USA. Good luck!
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