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161 of 161 found the following review helpful:
Beautiful and inspiring but not all-inclusive Mar 31, 2009
"Here To Help"
This book is a compilation that includes more than 200 craft projects from Martha Stewart Living. If you read the magazine, a lot of these projects will look familiar. As someone who isn't organized enough and does not have the space to keep all the back issues of the magazine, having all of these craft ideas in one place is extremely convenient.
The book is absolutely beautiful, loaded with page after page of full color photographs and detailed instruction. The quality of the paper, cover, and binding are high, and I wouldn't hesitate to showcase this book on my coffee table. This is also a lovely gift that can be given with confidence.
While there are so many great crafts included I do have a few favorites from the magazine that were left out, which is unfortunate. I'll be clipping these from the magazines and storing them in or with the book. One omission I was particularly disappointed about was the lack of Christmas ornaments (with the exception of one - the Snowflake Ornament). Leaves me to wonder if they are planning another book devoted specifically to this topic - I hope so. There is no time of year I am more in the mood to craft. There also isn't much in the way of other holiday-specific crafts. But, alas, despite the omissions the book is chock full of fantastic ideas that will provide plenty of inspiration.
A wide range of difficulty levels is included, so that whether you are a novice crafter or veteran you are sure to find plenty of projects to suit your needs. Particularly helpful is an appendix of tools for crafting, showing full color photos and descriptions of every crafting tool you could need for the projects included in the book. Very helpful if you've never used something before and want to know what to look for. Also included are many useful templates.
The types of crafts included are:
Albums, Scrapbooks, and Memory Boxes
Matting and Framing
Origami and Paper Folding
Painting China and Glass
Paper Cutting and Punching
Paper Flowers and Birds
Pom Pom Animals
Had this book included holiday ornaments and other holiday-specific crafts I would have given it a 5 star rating. Everything else about the book is superb. Hopefully a companion book will be released devoted to holiday crafts. Still, I do not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in crafting.
72 of 74 found the following review helpful:
Beautifully done, and wonderful ideas- but NOT an Encyclopedia of Crafts Apr 01, 2009
By Naomi Manygoats
I love Martha Stewart's books, and am a life long craft-aholic, so I grabbed this FAST and ran to my nearest armchair. The crafts that are included, are quite good. However, so many crafts are not included at all, that I question how the book could possibly be an ENCYCLOPEDIA. If they had left out this word, I would have given them 5 stars for what is in the book, even though I personally don't consider Glittering (gluing glitter on things) to be a craft in itself- I would have called it Embellishing I think and made it a larger section.
The section on candle making has some really wonderful ideas. For example using dyed egg shells to pour candles in and set on the table in egg holders or using lemons as containers for candles. Techniques for how to dip, pour, roll, and make sand candles are included. Even how to make a candle mold and floating candles.
The Botanical Pressing and Printing sections was simply amazing, the clay section was interesting and I wonder how those polymer clay buttons for kids clothes hold up in the washing machine. The soap making section was nice, with extras like bath salts, but they strictly stuck to the melt and pour sort of soap, instead of the much nicer and more difficult to make soaps that take trickier processing and about a month to be ready to use (but are so worth it).
The Beading section was a small section of making little flowers and bugs with seed beads (they did included Beaded Jewelry under Jewelry Making but it is not terribly comprehensive). The Rope Craft section and the Etching Glass sections were very brief, as were several others, but what they had was neat and made me want to go buy Ropes and Etching Cream of all things.
The book is gorgeous, and a lot of fun, especially if you entertain a lot and need to make super cool Place Cards (has not happened yet at my house). And yes, it is inspiring as well. My main issue however, is not what is in here, but what is NOT in here. What about Antiquing Furniture, Basket Making, Crochet, Knitting, Weaving, Rug Making, Doll Making, Sewing, Macrame, Gourd Art, Glass Art, Stained Glass, and on and on I could go. The criteria for what was including is puzzling. A better title would have been Martha Stewart's Crafts V.I, and then hope for a V. II soon!
30 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Loved it! Apr 17, 2009
By Luanne Ollivier
fully admit it - I'm a big fan of Martha Stewart's crafting projects. I was given a subscription for Martha Stewart Living Magazine for Christmas a couple of years ago and have kept every issue. But that one year is just a fraction of what appears in this new release from Random House Canada. It covers 17 years of craft content from the magazine packed into 32 chapters!
I have been reading (drooling over) Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts for the last couple of weeks, savoring every last page (and there's over 400 pages!)
Each craft has an overview, the supplies needed, very explicit step by step instructions and many projects incorporating the techniques. All are accompanied by absolutely gorgeous full colour photos.
Many of the ideas presented are updated techniques on historical crafts such as candle making, soap making and quilling to name a few. Although some crafts may seem daunting on first view, they really aren't. I'm thinking of making candles for Christmas gifts next year. I could tin punch some holders for them. And then use stencilled gift wrap, stamped cards, origami boxes and calligraphic notes from other chapters to package them!
I've enjoyed working with stained glass before, but haven't tried my hand at glass etching. There are some great ideas for starting small with tumblers and working your way up to mirrors and hanging pieces.
Some of the ideas are so simple and yet so visually stunning. I loved the framed pressed botanicals. Sun prints were something I'd never heard of before. Using light sensitive paper, you burn the image in reverse and use it for a variety of designs.
Some of the chapters use newer techniques. I'm a dedicated sewer and had a huge light bulb moment when I came to the chapter on polymer clay. Buttons! I've always purchased those cute crafty buttons to finish off a child's outfit, but I'm going to try making some of my own.
I haven't even begun to touch on everything included in this truly encyclopedic book. There's beading, decoupage, gilding, mosaics, silk screening, wreaths and lots and lots more! There is a glossary in the back as well as templates and patterns for all the projects presented. I'm thrilled to have this book in my library.
I'll post some pictures of finished projects - but for now, I am happily rereading this book - there's just so much to take in in one read. One final word - I WANT TO LIVE IN MARTHA STEWART'S CRAFT ROOM!
33 of 40 found the following review helpful:
Not All That Encyclopedic in Scope Apr 21, 2009
By Donna K. Mcclish
As with all Martha tomes, dazzling eye-candy photography grabs the reader. This work is no exception.
The crafts Martha Stewart's Living magazine has been touting over the years(e.g. soapmaking, candlemaking, decoupage, wreaths, botanical pressing and printing) are here.
Some of the newer entries are marbleizing, nature crafts, quilling and origami.
Calligraphy, matting and framing are out of place in an encyclopedia of crafting. Calligraphy is an elegant form of writing and can't technically be called a craft. Matting and framing reproductions, photographs and needlework items are a skill that takes its place as a "finishing touch."
The mosaics chapter needed more clarification on just how to fit tiny pieces of tile together into a cohesive design.
Justifying the three-star rating, no chapter existed on the needle arts -- sewing, crewel, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, and embroidery in all its forms.
But, the title was right in one regard. This book will provide "endless inspiration" for any crafter perusing its pages.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
I love Martha, but this book is unimpressive... Sep 16, 2009
By Bladen's Mommy
I wanted this book so badly even after reading a few reviews that said it wasn't that great. I want to say that I love Martha Stewart and her magazines, but I wasn't that impressed with the craft ideas in this book.
There were a few projects that involved sea shells, which are way out-dated for my taste, some crafts that involved glitter, which I've always thought was common sense, a section on beading, which peaked my interest, but not enough to run out and purchase the necessary supplies, a section on botanical pressing...another that is out-dated for my taste, and so on.
I saw where another woman reviewed this poorly because there was no section on sewing, which is true. There is only one project that involves any sewing and that is the one where you make a tiny acorn with a real acorn top and a fabric bottom. You may sew an inch by hand and that's it.
The projects I found interesting were the glass etching project, which I've successfully completed. I was a little disappointed that you can find this on her website with the same exact photos and all, and it's FREE there! I found the stamping projects, and screen printing projects very interesting and I may attempt those as well. The stamping section sparked some interest as well and I'm probably going to give it a whirl too.
My advice is to look at this book in a library or book store before you purchase it! Then, if you are still interested, purchase the book from here, of course. Also, check her website for the crafts featured in the book. I think they are all there with similar if not the same photos...and once again, they are FREE there. I hope this helps=)
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