Thursday, 29 September 2011

A review. Entirely solicited.

As if to exaggerate my sense of importance in the interweb craft cosmos, a chap from Quirk Books (the quirky division of Random House publishers) asked me to review a book that's out tomorrow.  The reason for the invitation and the bribe of a free hardback book, is of course, the statistics that this blog generates on any given Wednesday.  So, thanks for that, it's why I make you read this stuff.  
Microcrafts (one word....)
Tiny Treasures to Make and Share

It's a nice book - not huge, probably 11 x 8, something close..very handle-able. Beautifully photographed, and the intro includes a nice big up to the photographer who worked hard to bring a sense of scale to the projects.  Very helpful to the reader, I must say. Generally the book presents a single project across a double page, classic editing with the full page photo at left.  Nice touches include tips in separate boxes, and a tag detailing finished size and designer. And nice clear but small font - all to remind you that you're working in Micro.  Neatly.






It's a collaborative project overall and includes a nice section at the back where the designers have some words about themselves, in the third person, and it includes their shops or online presence which is nice.  Seeing other things that they do is interesting..mostly they all continue to work in Micro!

There are some fairly standard projects - but nicely adapted to be tiny - I particularly liked the bunting - simple enough I know, but stitched together paper triangles strung between two skewers over a lovely cake is just enchanting..and certainly the tiny effort involved shouldn't be saved for children's cakes.  Fimo charms aren't new, but these are pretty and made easy - again, don't leave these on the children's menu...there is some really fun jewellery to be had here.  But if you want new - there's plenty....bird feeders from drinking straws, micro   macrame, micro owls and my word, wool felting on a planetary scale!
I liked the friendly and patient instructions.    Indeed, this must be the case - that teeny little book standing up on the front cover in the picture above is my first attempt.  I made signatures, followed instructions and HAND STITCHED the binding...and I'm going to do more..they are so sweet.  This is a breakthrough for me. ( Fat fingers and no patience.)  

The book is bang on trend really; delivering projects that are hand made, and largely from scraps of course - two things that are currently attracting a lot people to crafting.  And why not.  Nice graphics like the 'stitched' page headings and some graph paper behind the supplies lists for each project do reflect current scrapbook and craft trends, non? 


So do I have any dislikes?  One mild one - I'm a metric gal, largely because it's easier (!) and this book is clearly pointed at an American market that still uses Imperial.  So in measuring, I did actually use a calculator (Mr Dunnit) to make conversions.  


But really that's it.  If you know anyone who works in tiny and really is in their comfort zone in the Micro format; this will make a great gift. At £11.99 it's a lovely one too.  From your favourite book retailer of course. And who knows, maybe one day, we can have an English collaborative, metric version too! 

And as a final hurrah to the blog stats that got me this gig - if you're a WOYWWer and would like to have this copy of the book as a gift from me and Quirk, leave a comment.  Masses of comments of course, will require a draw.  I'll report back.

30 comments:

Penni said...

Wow - this books sounds and looks great.

TFS

Hugs
Penni
X

Mrs A. said...

Wow. You made that little book!!! Must get my paws on this. Please stick me in the draw for it. Hugs Mrs A.
p.s. I must be the only english person still sticking to Imperial weights and measures.

JoZart said...

No! I'm still inches and yards, pounds and ounces but I manage metric when necessary, as it is so often.
The book looks full of ideas and I'd love a crack at it!
thanks for the chance Julia!
JoZarty x

fairy thoughts said...

looks great, i just wish micro crafts were quicker but I'm sure they aren't. sounds like a must for my dolls house . . . if I ever get it finished that is lol
janet
ps I use metric measurements but I still think in inches.

Helen said...

Your review reads well and the book sounds great - count me in too - in Imperial all the way. Inches, ounces, feet, pounds that's me.

Lunch Lady Jan said...

Cor, that wee little book is impressive - well done! After 10 years of working in a school, I'm a metric gal - with the exception of kilometres. I can visualise a mile but km? No chance!! xx

CRAFTY WOMBLE said...

Inch measurement aside ( getting used to use them alot recently but feels somehow backwards) I'm in for the adventure of micro art please. Great review by the way.

SueH said...

I Great book review Julia. I can see why you were asked to do it because you are certainly very eloquent with word. You’ve done a stirling job at describing everything, so much so I think I would like a closer look at the book and would love to be included in your draw.
Happy Crafting!
Sue
x

Ann B said...

Another imperial girl here (in more ways than one my sister would tell you).
The book looks very interesting and I love your mini book as well

Karen said...

I was taught metric, but prefer the 'old workings' of inches and yards - makes more sense to my poor little grey cell. Love the little book, so cute.

Morti said...

Nice work on the microbook! I'd love that book - but not so much for me as my mother as she's a dollshouse afficionado...bless her cottons. I sense a christmas spend coming up!

sandra de said...

I'm all metric but do appreciate inches. The teeny book is so sweet.

Bella said...

what a nifty little book and a great review! I have an inches ruler just o deal with books like these...

Siobhan Brignull said...

you are so much further ahead in the world than me, I can visualise inches and feet, I can visualise cm, but metres I dont have the foggiest, sounds like a fun idea to work in micro and I love your first attempt, whoop whoop Ms Dunnit . . x

MaggieC said...

That book sounds wonderful, and those little books you made are fantastic. By the way, I am definitely imperial for everything except money. Material has to be in yards and inches, wool has to be in ounces, and recipes are definitely pounds and ounces. My daughter would adore that book, she loves doing micro sized crafting.

Jingle said...

This sounds like a fantastic book! And I don't think you give yourself enough credit! You are quite certainly qualified to review things!!! I would love a copy!

ally fiddy said...

Sounds a fab book, and right up my street, loveing the small and fiddly as you know I do!

misteejay said...

That's a fab little creation you have achieved - sounds like a super book for folk who love 'tiny'.

Don't put me in the draw Julia - although I visit on a Wednesday I don't 'play' so it wouldn't be fair.

Toni xx

Carmen said...

I love Quirk books - I have a horror/thriller of theirs to review which I made the mistake of reading in bed (It's called Bedbugs - yeah, I have to check EVERYWHERE before bed now!)

Fabulous review Julia - I'm with misteejay. I do lurk but haven't played in a while so don't enter me in the draw. :D

Carmen said...

P.s I think anyone who reads these books, does the crafting etc.. is a potential CUSTOMER is the exact person who should be reviewing. You are the perfect person.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

great book (both the one you reviewed and the little one). i would love to have this book and have a mini project on my one of these days list!

Sande said...

Great review and super job with the micro book.

Having had a dollhouse business I love working on anything small, so the book is right up my alley.

I only wish these project book would be spiral bound, so they would lay flat when your working on your project, instead of the pages flapping back and forth, and losing your place wasting time or having to the page down with a glass. Though not too bad if filled with a nice Merlot...my last attempt at though end up with the book covered in said Merlot. Grr.

Must have this book.

Moy Yin said...

This book is so interesting! I really like the mini book you made.

Moy Yin

qwiksave said...

I love little things, but my failing eyesight (pah, age!) can make it a little tricky. I do both metric and 'old money', whatever the instructions are in, makes life simpler. ☺ xx

Darcy said...

ooo that book sounds lovely, I adore all kinds of craft books. I have a problem with measurements, I was brought up by a grandmother who used imperial, but of course at school I had to do metric. So now I live a very confusing life of using both lol I tend to use inches for larger areas and cms and milimetres for smaller areas. When it comes to baking though its got to be in ounces.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I LOVE that teeny book you made. Pretty awesome. I'm not a teeny gal, but I sure appreciate anything small because I know it would be hard for my arthritic fingers. For years in school and when working, I used metric, but now that I am no longer in that world, I have reverted back to English/Imperial. I have to say SHAME ON the publishers of the book. It takes very little time at all, other than laziness, to add metric measurements to any English instructions, and vice versa when starting with metric measurements.

In this big blogosphere, I know I'm in the minority when it comes to the way I measure the world. That's why I try to take my audience into account. If I know I'm going to have a lot of British or Oriental readers on a given day, I'll include conversions. So should publishers!

okienurse said...

WOW very nice! Just got internet access here in Spain so I hope I am not to late in getting in on the drawing. I think it would be awesome to make little mini books at Christmas for the grandchildren with their names on them. Thanks for reviewing and sharing this!
Vickie

butlersabroad said...

Interesting little book you've got there. I'm back and ready for WOYWW again tomorrow, so throw my name in the hat please! Oh, and that Out to lunch thing on todays post, is quite possibly my favourite little humourous saying, I've loved it for years!

Hugs
Brenda

Kottage Kreations Jewelry Designs on Etsy said...

OMGeeee! I have been looking everywhere to find out how to make a book for my latest muse. Would you share the recipe with me??? I have the book cover and the back cover, but it's the inside that has me stumped!! HELP!

Ohhh Snap said...

I'd love to win the book, so thank you for the chance :D. I think in inches and feet so I wouldn't even need a calculater lol.