Sunday, September 18, 2016

Origami Jewelry Review & Giveaway

Origami Jewelry: More Than 40 Exquisite Designs to Fold and Wear by Ayako Brodek (Author) – released Oct 30 2007 by Kodansha USA. In this attractive 128 page hardcover the art of paper folding is combined with simple jewelry-making techniques and the results are impressive! Think paper is too delicate? The author strengthens her paper jewelry by coating it with a polyurethane mix. She also relates her experiences of testing other substances for durability, though prefers a satin-finish, water-based polyurethane. Gather some paper craft and jewelry making supplies, all readily available at craft shops and some dollar stores. Practise some origami folds, learn some simple jewelry-making techniques - it's all in the book. Then choose from a directory of designs - projects are arranged by season and rated for difficulty. You will find meticulous text, photo and diagram instructions for wearable accessories, costume jewelry and handcrafted treasures. Get your copy below!


Choosing paper
Basic folds and bases
Building blocks
Finishing jewelry


Rose brooch, barrette, and earrings
Butterfly brooch, hairpin, bracelet, and earrings
Flower bouquet brooch
Rabbit brooch
Chick in egg brooch
Flower choker and earrings
Flower beads and butterfly necklace

Fish brooch and earrings
Sunburst brooch and earrings
Candy colors necklace, bracelet, and earrings
Crab brooch and earrings
Seashell brooch, necklace, and earrings

Leaf brooch and earrings
Chunky bead choker and earrings
Shades of fall necklace and earrings
Pumpkin brooch
Pinecone necklace and earrings

Tree brooch, earrings, and pin
Star brooch and earrings
Festive foil beaded necklace and earrings
Wreath brooch
Angel pin and earrings
Heart earrings

Paper crane brooch, tie tack, and earrings
Kimono brooch and earrings
Paper fan brooch and earrings
Samurai helmet brooch and earrings
Frog brooch and earrings


 Kimono earring, page 115.

 Chunky earrings, page 84.

Seashell brooch, necklace, and earrings, page 78.

Origami Jewelry is available worldwide at Kodansha USA. Check out their unique catalog at Kodansha USA. Kodansha USA has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Origami Jewelry! One winner will be selected at random. Open until October 3, 2016. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Kimono, Vanishing Tradition Review

Kimono, Vanishing Tradition: Japanese Textiles of the 20th Century, 2nd Edition, by Cheryl Imperatore (Author), Paul MacLardy (Author), and Tena Turner (Contributor) released February 2, 2016 by Schiffer Publishing. This is a revised and expanded second edition. The kimono, a traditional Japanese garment, once worn on a daily basis, is today worn mostly on special or formal occasions. Simply, a kimono is a full-length robe with long sleeves, it is secured in place with a decorative belt and includes various accessories, yet the kimono has a great many subtleties. This beautiful, 8 1/2″ x 11″ hardcover publication will help you gain a greater understanding of the kimono and it's influences. It's colorful 256 pages take you through the evolution of the kimono, from it's ancient origins to the modern garment of today. I return again and again to the remarkable photos, over 525 of them. It's easy to see how the kimono has charmed people around the world. While it remains an important part of Japanese ritual, ceremony and celebration, it's beauty, style and aesthetic appeals globally making it an enduring fashion statement. I have one! I looked it up in this book and discovered it's called a Yukata, a lightweight summer kimono. I adore it. I bought it at a second hand store. The US based authors gained their knowledge and expertise from decades of buying, selling and collecting Japanese kimonos and textiles. Looking for sophisticated display, inspiration and/or reference? Get your copy below!


Introduction to the 2nd Edition

1. History
2. Yukata - Cotton Robes
3. Nagajuban - Undergarments
4. Women's Kimono
5. Tomesode - Kimono for Formal Occasions
6. The Obi and Accessories
7. Women's Hoori - Short Silk Jackets
8. Michiyuki - Overcoats
9. Men's Apparel
10. Uchikake and Furisode
11. Children's Kimono
12. Furoshiki & Fukusa - Ceremonial Cloths
13. Religious & Ceremonial Wear
14. Fragments Into Finery - Japanese Textiles Renewed


Kimono, Vanishing Tradition is available worldwide at Schiffer Publishing. Schiffer Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books catering to people's passion's. Check out their catalog at Schiffer Publishing.

-owned, independent publisher of high- quality, nonfiction books since 197

Friday, August 26, 2016

96 Elephants Origami Challenge

We need your help! 96 Elephants is attempting to break the Guinness World Records title for the largest display of origami elephants. The current record is 33,764. They're looking for 35,000 of them - the number of African elephants killed each year for their tusks. For origami instructions, both diagram and video, as well as all details go to 96 Elephants OrigamiMust be received by September 16, 2016. Happy folding! 

For more options like signing their petition or donating, go to 96 Elephants

Monday, August 22, 2016

Japan Candy Box Review & Giveaway

My sweet subscription box arrived safely from Japan Candy Box. They send an email to notify of shipping and provide tracking information.

I've been anticipating it's arrival and am excited to open it! Their box is designed to open with ease. 

How adorable! There's a list of this month's selection and a brief handwritten message in English. Everything inside is intact. All packages are pristine and well within best before dates. 

July 2016

Meiji DIY Oekaki Sherbet Candy 
Lion Ramune Candies 
Kabaya Kakigori Shaved Ice Gummy
 UHA Grape Peeling Gummy
 Marukawa Shaved Ice Gum 
Kabaya Panda Chocolate Cookies 
Sakuma Triangle Milk & Fruit Candy 
Koala March Chocolate & Strawberry Biscuits 
Sanrio Characters Strawberry Marshmallow 
Kasugai Chibi Vege Ramune Candy

I place my sweet treats in a rustic wooden box and make it into a unique centerpiece for my dining table, perfect for sampling! My boyfriend and I dig in. My favorite is the Sherbet Candy and his the Shaved Ice Gummy. We both agree the candy is fresh and bursting with flavor. What a fun treat!

Want to get or give a box of sweetness every month? It's easy. Choose your subscription plan. Pay safely. Under US$20 a month includes free worldwide shipping. Your box is filled with 8-10 quirky Japanese sweets and snacks. A different selection arrives monthly. Open, enjoy and repeat!

Japan Candy Box subscriptions are available worldwide at Japan Candy Box. Japan Candy Box has generously offered to giveaway a box. One winner will be selected at random. Open until September 5, 2016. Worldwide. Good luck!

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Duct Tape Bags Review

Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects for Totes, Clutches, Messenger Bags, and Bowlers by Richela Fabian Morgan Paperback released July 12, 2016 from Clarkson Potter. The best selling duct tape author shows you how to make 40 fabulous handbags using duct tape. Her results are impressive – part art-piece, part usable accessory! Duct tape used to be a wide, sticky, silver tape, made of cloth, used to repair things. Today it is available in every color and pattern imaginable making it a hot crafting material. These original bag projects are based on a straightforward technique of making duct tape fabric, no sewing required. Detailed, step-by-step text and photographic instructions show you how to make the fabric, the closures and the bags. There are also very useful demos on the author's facebook page CraftyRichela. Must have tools include – parchment paper, self-healing cutting mat, scissors, craft knife, metal ruler, graphite pencil, ballpoint pen, grease pencil and flat-nose pliers. Projects are rated easy, moderate and challenging. Want the ultimate urban style tote? Get your copy below!


INTRODUCTION: The Beauty of Duct Tape

THE ESSENTIALS: Basic Tools of the Trade

Keep Your Metal Tools Clean
Patterns and Templates
Tutorial: How to Make a Duct Tape Fabric
Tutorial: Magnetic Snap Closure
Tutorial: Jeans Button Closure
Tutorial: Neodymium Magnet Closure

Summer Fling
DCC Fringe
Sugar Mama
Sundance Kid
The Matrix

Granny Smith
Peacock Bag
Not for the Links

Mary Poppins
Oak Park

Punk Plaid
The Bowler Hat
Movement Underground
Caribbean Dream

Life Is a Beach
Lunch Bag
Shopping Spree
Along the Diagonal
Personalized Tote

Smile for the Birdie
The Peter Sherwin
Pull String Sling
Flower Girl
A Different Type of Go Bag

 Sundance Kid



Lunch bag. 


Duct Tape Bags is available worldwide at Penguin Random House. Clarkson Potter is the only dedicated lifestyle group within Penguin Random House. Founded in 1959, they are home to a community of award-winning and bestselling chefs, cooks, designers, artists, and writers—visionaries who seek to entertain, engage, and teach. Check out their catalog at Clarkson Potter.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Painterly Days: The Woodland Watercoloring Book for Adults

Painterly Days: The Woodland Watercoloring Book for Adults Paperback – by Kristy Rice released Mar 10 2016 by Schiffer Publishing. This exquisite 60 page book contains 25 x 2 gorgeous 9" x 12" woodland sketches on quality watercolor paper. The pages are double-sided with the same sketch on both sides, so you can practice or try different techniques. I did not experience any paint bleed through. Suitable for any skill level, just add paint and brush. A suggested materials list is included. I purchased the dagger paint brush from Kristy's list of personal favorites. I'm glad I did, it's lovely to paint with. A novice, I began by perusing the book and watching a couple of Kristy's videos. The extraordinary artist shares her techniques for creating stunning artworks via online demo and in book commentary. I chose a spot to paint, laid out my supplies and then jumped right in. I am thoroughly enjoying this book! One of a series of 3 books, my watercolor adventure will continue. I highly recommend. Get your copy below!


Berries, Leaves, and Pods
Birds and Blooms
Figs and Berries
Chinoiserie I
Chinoiserie II

Leaves I
Leaves II
Hummingbirds and Blooms
Ivy and Acorns
Lily Pads, Ladybugs, and Frogs
Deer in the Meadow
Thistle and Blueberries

 Hummingbirds and Blooms/Butterflies


My first watercolor - Berries, Leaves, and Pods

Painterly Days: The Flower Watercoloring Book

Painterly Days: The Pattern Watercoloring Book
A family-owned, independent publisher  high- quality, nonfiction books since 1974,
Painterly Days: 18 Watercolors & Paintbrush

Painterly Days: 12 Colored Pencils

The Painterly Days series is available worldwide at Schiffer Books. Schiffer Publishing is a family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality non fiction books since 1974. Check them out at Schiffer Books.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Zen Origami Kit Review & Giveaway

Zen Origami: 20 Modular Forms for Meditation and Calm by Maria Sinayskaya – Paperback released April 15, 2016 from Race Point Publishing. Kit includes a 128 page book and whopping 400 sheets of origami paper. Modular origami is the technique of folding 2 or more pieces of paper identically and then assembling them into a single unit. I start with the first project a Square Coaster requiring 4 sheets of paper to make. It's a design I haven't come across before and I find it both attractive and practical. I move on to the Giant Star (8 sheets) and Two-Faced Flower (6 sheets) with striking results. Having successfully completed the 3 warm-up designs my confidence has grown and I'm ready to tackle my first Fasett Sonobe. I begin with the 6-unit cube assembly and am delighted to be able to fold it. I am enjoying this book, the instructions are very clear and the designs sound. I like the paper too. There are 400 sheets measuring 3" x 3", mostly patterns with solid color reverses, all have matte finishes. It's nice to see some new patterns. A terrific modular origami kit.  Get your copy below! 

Basic Instructions and Symbols
Paper Tips and Folding Tricks

Square Coaster
Giant Star
Two-Faced Flower

Fasett Sonobe
Lorence Sonobe
Florence Sonobe
Gemstone Sonobe
Este Sonobe
Esterre Sonobe
Isolde Sonobe
Selene Sonobe
Curly Sonobe
Imperial Rose Sonobe
Lotus Crown  Sonobe

Sky Star Kusudama
Skella Alpha Kusudama
Skella Beta Kusudama
Skella Gamma Kusudama
Rocca Kusudama
Fiorella Kusudama

About the Author

Two-Faced Origami Flower
Zen Origami is available worldwide at Race Point Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Race Point Publishing. Race Point Publishing is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Zen Origami! One winner will be selected at random. Open until August 8, 2016. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden Review & Giveaway

The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden: Over 45 Beautiful Floral Designs to Embroider, Plus 20 Great Project Ideas by Yuki Sugashima– Hardcover released November 2, 2015 by Kodansha USA. Japanese blogger Yuki from Y*Handmade shares her original designs for hand embroidery and practical projects featuring those motifs. The combination results in lovely handmade items you can use or gift. Her style is quiet and uncomplicated. Sew your way through the seasons with over 45 garden embroidery motifs ranging from only a few stitches to the addition of wire, bead and ribbon. Twenty tasteful project ideas introduce a variety of creative techniques. For even more possibilities mix and match. Or simply add a few extra stitches to your favorite accessories giving them a whole new look. Projects include thorough text, diagram and photographic instruction. Generally geared to the novice/intermediate level, patterns vary in difficulty. It's projects like these that build your skill and boost your confidence. Get your copy below!


A Year in Stitches: Spring
Violet sewing machine cover
Butterfly pincushion
Spring snowflake scissors case
Daffodil hanger cover
Red clover cushion cover

A Year in Stitches: Summer
Dayflower drawstring bag
Strawberry key chain
Cosmos compact mirror
Ranunculus phone cover
 Fern leaf shirt

A Year in Stitches: Fall
Bittersweet oven mitt
Rudbeckia apron
Aster napkin ring
Acorn egg cozy
Fall leaves coaster set

A Year in Stitches: Winter
Snowberry brooch
Barrette with yew sprig
Flowering-kale necklace
Camellia scarf
Plum-branch pouch

Getting started
Stitch directory

A true novice, I'm making a leaf pincushion (Spring project). First I'll embroider a simple Chinese tallow leaf (page 57) onto a piece of fabric and then sew by machine. A collage of the materials I've chosen is above. All instructions are in the book, though I'm mixing and matching to suit my ability.

 A Year in Stitches: Summer

Cosmos Compact Mirror

Ranunculus Phone Cover

The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden is available worldwide at Kodansha USA. Check out their unique catalog at Kodansha USA. Kodansha USA has generously offered to giveaway a copy of The Hand-Stitched Flower Garden! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 26, 2016. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sketchy Stories Review

Sketchy Stories: The Sketchbook Art of Kerby Rosanes Flexibound by Kerby Rosanes (Illustrator) – released May 31, 2016 by Race Point Publishing. Kerby Rosanes is a Filipino Freelance Illustrator who works with pen and ink. You may know him as author of  New York Times bestseller Animorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge or other popular titles Doodle Invasion, Never Quit Drawing and Imagimorphia. You can now peek inside this talented artist's personal sketchbook. His 128 page Moleskine contains over 200 detailed black ink doodles, each titled and dated. His sketches come to life on top quality 5 x 8  inch, heavy cream-colored paper, with rounded corners and elastic closure. Every picture tells a story. Magical. Inspirational. Get your copy below!


Introduction by Chuckie Campbell
Drawings 2012 - 2016
Thank You

Coronation 2014

Lost City 2015

Eclipse 2015

Owl Castle 2015

Sketchy Stories is available worldwide at QBOOKSHOP. Race Point Publishing is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA and is dedicated to producing high quality illustrated books, calendars and journals in a variety of subjects ranging from art, cooking and crafts to entertainment, performing arts and the natural sciences.