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Reviews of creative books. Illustration, photography, fashion, textiles and more. If you are a publisher or book author/creator, and would like to work with me, get in touch!

print & pattern nature | book review

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print and pattern nature book review

print & pattern nature* – £19.99

if ever there was a book made for me, it’s this. full of colourful nature based patterns by various creatives, print and pattern: nature is a pattern lovers dream. this is the latest in the print & pattern series of books, previous ones include geometric and kids. it has the same layout as the previous books, with the initialled headings (in squared diamonds in this instance), brief bio and a page or two showing the work of the artists. as before, there’s a mix of quarter and full page pieces, so there’s a bit of visual variety when you’re flicking through.

print and pattern book: atelier bingo

swan and floral pattern

it’s hard to write a review of this without comparing it to the other books, but it’s equally as good when it comes to the work covered. the quality as always is excellent, the images are crisp, vibrant and well reproduced. though i would love if there was a little more variety in styles. whilst it’s good that everything fits together and flows, perhaps it would be nice to see something a bit ‘out of the ordinary’. it’s hard to put into words, and it’s probably down to personal taste. by no means a put-down on the book or the artists, i like pretty much every piece within it, which i definitely can’t say the same of, for other books i own!

spring-like floral pattern

print and pattern nature book

bold and colourful floral pattern

midcentury inspired pattern

print and pattern nature book: yellow florals

as before, there are many names i recognise and a few that i’ve never heard of, so it’s going to be a good source of discovering new artists and illustrators (and probably searching for them on instagram!). as a pattern maker and lover myself, books like this are a constant source of inspiration, and a wonderfully visual pick-me-up if i feel creatively fatigued.

print & pattern nature is an excellent addition to the ‘print & pattern’ series of books, and i can’t wait to see what comes next! if you’re as obsessed with nature based patterns as i am you will absolutely love this book, and even if you aren’t, i’m sure there’s a little something in there for all.

the very arty box | book review

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the very arty box | book review

the very arty box– £9.99

the very arty box is a recent release from the V&A. i’m quite a fan of their books and this is no change from that. the very arty box is kind of a book in postcard form, and i think this is a fantastic way to engage a younger audience and make it more tactile. there are 52 postcards in total, so you could do something each week of the year, just have a flick through and choose something, or use it to take inspiration and get making.

the ideas and activities include: creative prompts, tutorials on things such as marbling, encouraging doodling and drawing, facts on art history and pieces from the V&A collection.

as this is from the V&A it’s taken influence from their infamous archives and put it into a way that’s engaging and fun. it’s obviously aimed towards a younger audience, but like anything, i believe adults can always take similar amounts of interest and inspiration in products like this, whether you have children or not.

i personally am a huge fan of anything like this that will encourage creativity and learning in young people, and if you have a child that is curious and likes to learn whilst making things, the very arty box would be a fantastic little gift.

the very arty box from the V&A

tips for collecting - the very arty box

activity cards from the very arty box

doodling and colouring postcards

postcards from the very arty box

cut it out | book review

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book review: cut it out by poppy chancellor

cut it out!: 30 papercut designs to cut out and keep* – £14.99

despite being a collage maker myself, i don’t do much of what most call papercutting. this is partly because i prefer scissors over an scalpel (for dexterity/grip reasons). typically i consider what this book covers as papercutting, but there can be a collage element in it too. they’re different skills too, and i really admire the huge amount of skill and time that goes into papercutting!

firstly, if that front cover hasn’t drawn you in, i don’t know what will. isn’t it fantastic? it’s actually been cut too and it is certainly effective. for tactile people you will definitely want to feel this cover many times over.

book review: cut it out - intro

cut it out by poppy chancellor

‘cut it out’ starts off with an introduction to poppy chancellor, to papercutting and things you will need. it also goes into a bit of detail about the stencil templates and included within the book and how to display your pieces. there are quite a few chapters which have themes such as love, halloween, animals and more. in each, there are a few stencils for you to cut out (you can photocopy to keep the book intact) and each one is backed with lovely coloured card if you wish to cut directly from the book.

papercut template from cut it out by poppy chancellor

book review: cut it out - by poppy chancellor

a fun thing about papercutting is the ‘confetti’ you’re left with, and little snippets of it are included throughout the book, which i think is a nice touch. personally i’m very fond of the colours used in the book too, nice and colourful overall and really encourages you to get stuck in.

even if you don’t feel you’re artistic, cut it out is the sort of book almost anyone can get stuck into providing you’ve a bit of time and a scalpel! i highly recommend it, especially if you like making lovely decorations and personalised pieces.