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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!

book review / fun with fabric by jane foster

books by

fun with fabric by jane foster
today i’m reviewing fun with fabric by jane foster. true to it’s title, this is definitely a fun book! as you may guess, it covers fun and generally quite easy things you can do with various fabrics from scraps, to bigger pieces. it also covers basic screen printing, digitally printed fabric and things like patchworking.

pretty pots from fun with fabric by jane foster
edgy tea towels from fun with fabric by jane foster
there’s a nice variety of things to make, and i think they’re suitable for anyone from a beginner to an advanced sewist. i feel this book will appeal definitely more to anyone with an eye for vintage or retro designs and maybe those among you with minimal scandinavian tastes. with a bit of imagination you can use the ideas in this to suit your tastes though.

it’s really quite easy to just ‘dip into’ though i feel it maybe could have been a touch better organised, it feels a little hotch potch in places. that really doesn’t matter though as this isn’t the sort of book that’s necessarily designed to be read from beginning to end.

pandas from fun with fabric by jane foster
sewing instructions from fun with fabric by jane foster
wall tidy from fun with fabric by jane foster
there’s some great touches in the book such as little suggestions for some of the projects, and i really love the illustrated instructions. as i am a person that learns visually as well as a tactile way this is a definite plus over just plain written instructions. also, in the back there’s some templates to help you along if you don’t feel comfortable making your own shapes.

i love the overall look and feel of this book, and as it has a very thick cover it’s durable and feels really nice in the hands. i’d definitely recommend fun with fabric for any crafty types and those looking for a little inspiration, sewing or otherwise.

sunday spark / 05

sunday spark, fashion, books by

green bush leaves
// i’m not into tumblr as much as i used to be, but amongst all the stereotypical ones there are some pure gems. when looking for some new ones to follow, i found this list of 90 best tumblr blogs for designers. there goes my day! i’ve found some amazing artists and designers though tumblr over the years.

// thanks to the mighty stumbleupon i uh ..stumbled upon this awesome photo series called ‘processed views’ with landscapes made from food by barbara ciurej & lindsay lochman. such a clever idea! i especially love the fruit loops one.

// i adore this 1940s rose print wrap dress. so, so pretty! on a more modern note, isn’t this surreal botanical print dress cool?

// i may or may not have got terribly distracted by this html5 drawing canvas recently. so simple and fun. which reminds me, have you seen patatap yet? well designed, fun to use and a great way to waste a little time! great for kids and adults alike.

// i’m intrigued by this book, make your own luck by kate moross. i like books that share advice and tips without being preachy, and kates work is wonderfully colourful and graphic, so this is a definite buy from my (ever growing) wishlist.

book review / fashion exercise book by frances moffatt

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fashion excersise book - front cover
today i’m reviewing fashion exercise book* by frances moffatt, essentially a colouring book for creative, fashion loving adults. sounds good so far! this brightly coloured (neon orange) book is full of 192 pages of images to colour and create on, as well as patterns interspersed throughout. even the front and back covers have things to do, which i think is rare for this kind of book. it is litterally packed to the brim with fun!

fashion excersise book - pattern
fashion excersise book - eye catching print
other than not being a fan of neon colours (not that it really matters in this case) i absolutely love this book, and if you’re anything like me, you will too. it has so many prompts for ways to make your own mark inside of it. for some reason i wasn’t expecting it, but the pages are like the pages in colouring books you have when you’re little. but that makes sense, right? i imagine you could use different types of media and even watercolour but nothing too watery.

fashion excersise book - black and white pattern
fashion excersise book - sparkle!
fashion excersise book - back cover
honestly, before i was sent this book, i hadn’t heard of frances. i think that’s fun sometimes though, to discover a book by someone you don’t know because you can’t be biased or don’t really have any expectations. i like that this is a book for anyone, from artists and creative types, those interested in fashion and even children and teens that are keen for some markmaking!

i am totally an advocate for books that are interactive in some form, and encourage or inspire you to be creative, and fashion exercise book definitely has all those features.

if you want to see inside the book a little more and learn a little about frances, here’s an interview, and videos here, here, and here.

* this was sent to me to review, but as always, all opinions are my own.

book review / abc by brian wildsmith

illustration, books by

abc by brian wildsmith
todays review is brian wildsmiths ABC. well, perhaps not a review as such, more me expressing my love for brian wildsmith. i’m not sure if it’s rare, but i’m having trouble finding it online, so if you want a copy i’d say keep an eye out in charity shops and bookshops, or one may pop up on amazon or ebay. his other books such as animal gallery are (a bit) more widely available.

this is essentially just an animal abc book, but it’s made more special by wildsmiths beautiful paintings and energetic style. i think this book was originally made in the 60’s, but could easily fit in with any childs – or adults – book collection now. each page has a painting of an animal corresponding to each letter of the alphabet. l, for example, has a lion.

alphabet by brian wildsmith
cat by brian wildsmith
cat CAT by brian wildsmith
the actual animals depicted are nothing new when it comes to ABC books, but it’s brians style that brings pure magic to this book. his wonderfully textured and colourful paintings are a thing of beauty. i also really love the colours he uses – both in his paintings and the colour choices for the text pages. it just works. i’m not sure why the words are spelled out in caps too, maybe to reinforce the spelling?

zebra by brian wildsmith
horse by brian wildsmith
although this is a childs book it most definitely will appeal to some adults too, namely those who are into art and illustration and/or ABC books. if you ever find this book, snap it up! it will be a treasure forever. mine is a bit worse for wear as it’s a used book i bought from a library, but it will always be a favourite.

have you heard of brian wildsmith before? who is/was your favourite children’s book illustrator?