Monday, 28 February 2011

So now she thinks she can review anything...


Oh get me, I've been asked to do a series of book reviews. Ok, two reviews, but I shall spin it out into a jolly important series if I can, of course! Ya may or may not know that because of the traffic through this blog, I am now and then asked to promote/review a product. Usually I don't because there's nothing in it for the 'traffic'. That's you. This time though, the publisher of the books offered a discount and free P&P which I thought quite attractive.

So I had to choose from the huge New Holland Publishers site - and I thought that the books should reflect what I blog about. So this is the first one - a book of 50 card making ideas by Vivienne Bolton. It's a semi hardback and yields beautifully - you don't have to break the spine to make it lie open while you faithfully copy from it..gotta be a good start! The projects and instructions are really nicely photographed, step-by-step and not overloaded with superfluous text, a real skill in terms of instruction and description.

It's a great book for anyone who wants to know how craft, stamp, stick, to create cards, but is a bit scared to have a go without instruction or change up their modus operandi a little. It's also a gift for those people who feel the need to save anything to use again - Vivienne employs wrapping paper for central and background images and a has nice easy way to line envelopes; she like so many others, says 'never throw anything away'. Definitely in her blood then, crafting!

Now the thing about any craft book is that it can show you what to do, but it can't update the products or the terminology. This book was published before the word 'sketches' was applied to card making; the gallery of ideas that shows variations on a basic design or use of colour are just that really, and there's a nice selection of templates for scaredy cats like me too. I particularly liked Vivienne's house template, and her tips for tracing them - there's always a tip you don't have yet, huh.

There's a nice attempt at using largely generic equipment too, which I think is most important to the beginner or the hesitant! The over-stashed like me will recognise the Fiskars branded tools (even a Shape Boss!) ; they are acknowledged for supplying some equipment. However, the use of these obvious pieces is limited and wouldn't I don't think, put the reader in a panic because they didn't own them - after all, a punch is a punch, n'est pas?

In every respect it's a classic 'how-to' book and once you know how to, it's a useful 'springboard from which to create your own designs' as Vivienne says. This is one of a handful of books by Vivienne Bolton - remarkably, I couldn't find out much about her online; I don't know why, but I was fully expecting a blog; I guess three Google pages about your books is actually far more fulfilling!

Handmade Cards and Gift-Wrap is published by New Holland Publishers, price £12.99.

Enter the discount code Stamping at the checkout to receive 20% discount and free P&P.

(Free P&P to UK residents only!)
Offer valid until 1st September 2011

You'll be amused to know that the second book review is about Crochet. Watch this space!

18 comments:

Milliesmarvels said...

Great review Julia! It's hard for Cardmaking books to keep up with the trends you're right but this does look very useful, templates are always good! The last two things I was asked to review (and politely declined) were slippers and garden lights...I do craft in my slippers sometimes....
Jane
x

Sandra said...

Great review

Diane said...

Now...you might laugh...but I am wanting to get into crochet.....even if it's just to stop me falling asleep in front of the tv of an evening! I will watch with interest...

Wipso said...

Well done you Julia. It's nice to see someone appreciates your talents :-)
Hugs,
A x

Rita said...

Nicely done! :)

Pam said...

Well done! Crochet, that should be intersting! I did some as a child but am totally lost as an adult but have fab friend at work who makes allsorts so I cheat and ask her!! Hugs Pam x

Carmen said...

Great review Julia :D I really look forward to the crochet one as that is something I am desperate to master but am so cack handed as my Mum used to say.

Amy said...

Hm.
I am traffic.

I am at peace with that....

Now look here.
I saw the title of the post on my blogroll, and I thought:

Yes,
I sure as hell CAN.

So can you.

Traffic doesn't care.

Lyn said...

Well, anything more than one is a series, right? Great review too - although I love my puter, there's nothing better than a good book, except a good book with a discount and free P&P!

I, myself, I, was taught by my darling grandma how to crochet at the tender age of 6. I started with miles of chains (which unravel very easily when you want to re-use it!) and worked up to clothing, fine lace doilies and crochet shawls for my babies. You will be relieved to know that none of the "clothing" was ever a crocheted bikini ......

Doone said...

oob can't wait for the crochet book - there are so many recently after no one did it for about twenty years...now everyone is trying it, Jolly Spiffing I say

it's so much quicker and easier than knitting.

Nice review, and I do wish the trade would stop inventing new words for selling/marketing old rope and invest in some Really New Ideas...

Neet said...

That was a great detailed review. Think you did it credit and it sounds like a bargain, especially with the discount. Thanks for enabling!

MaggieC said...

That is an excellent, positive review. I am dying to see the one about crochet - that is something I intend to go back to as being easy to do in front of the TV or in cramped spaces. I need a long shawl type scarf thing to wrap round me in the evening at this wedding in Spain in August - did I really say that - me doing another shawl. Wash my mouth out, but crocheting is much simpler, and it will be my choice of design this time.

voodoo vixen said...

Well, poop to the UK peeps only!! Nice review though and it always helps if you are buying for someone else... like my Mum... but she doesn't live in the UK either.... :(

Pam said...

Great review Julia! Superb tackling of the Bolton book. I will look into it further and only because of your review I might add. Any chance for your own publishing w/New Holland Publishers? Really. Think about it.

Marjo said...

Awesome Julia!

xoxo Marjo

Dragon said...

Nice one, Julia... well done on your review and for getting asked in the first place - get you eh!!!
Frankie
xx

Scrapcat 1 said...

Nice review Julia, like the house card you hightlighted and getting a discount and free p+p for the traffic thats fabulous.

Ohhh Snap said...

Well written review :D. Love that house card, and it sounds really useful. Since I'm not in the UK, I'll have to keep a weather eye out for it!