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Archive for 'Books'

Books: Room for the Baby

Room for the Baby by Michelle Edwards

(Random House) Michelle Edwards does it again, with her new story for kids who are awaiting a new baby in the house!

In her story, the mom has a lot of items that she’s kept to recycle and reuse — some day.  Sounds familiar?!  Now, a baby is on the way, and the big brother-to-be is helping mom and dad make room for new baby, and not only they find room for the baby, but also a lot of everyday discarded items that they can recycle into useful items for her.

Filled with practical uses of the new and used supplies you have held onto “for future use,” this story is sure to appeal to your children who experience the love of crafts in their household, and awaiting their new sibling’s arrival.

Following is a quote from the publisher’s website: “Inspired by her creativity, the neighbors get involved, and soon everyone is stitching and knitting something. As the months go by and the family celebrates the Jewish holidays from Passover to Hanukkah, big brother helps his mom get ready, too. But things move slowly and he continues to worry: will there ever be room for the baby?”

Michelle Edwards has been a columnist for our Evolving through Crafts column, and also her book Knitter’s Home Companion has gotten rave reviews on our blog.  To read the review click here.



Random House is giving away a copy of Room for the Baby to a lucky winner!  Enter a comment on this post by Sunday, February 17, Midnight PST for a chance to win a copy of this book.  You must reside in U.S. to win a copy.

Posted by Living Crafts on Feb 4, 2013 10:34 PM | 42 Comments

Imagine Childhood Giveaway and new Book!

“Childhood is more than just a stage in our path to adulthood, it’s the time in our lives when our imaginations have no limits.  It’s the time when we learn how to be inventors. It’s the time when we watch clouds and butterflies with wonder and admiration.  It’s the time when we fall in love with the world.  Childhood is not just a developmental stage, it’s the development of a perspective, and quite a beautiful one at that.  In 2008 we established to support and nurture the growth of that perspective.  Imagine Childhood is a family owned and operated company offering high quality environmentally conscious toys, activities and stories that encourage exploration, creativity, and open-ended unstructured play.”  Sarah Olmstead, Imagine Childhood

Sarah Olmstead has a new book out (which will be reviewed on our blog soon) with the same name as her store:  IMAGINE CHILDHOOD: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play- 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure.  This book is a part of the giveaway on this post, but you can also purchase signed copies on her website.  Here is her blog post on behind the scenes work for the project.



Imagine Childhood is offering a big giveaway to one lucky winner, residing in U.S., which includes all four items below:

1)      One European Sewing and Knitting Kit,

2)      One Set Nature Keepsake Bags,

3)      One Basket Kit of your choice, and

4)      One copy of Imagine Childhood book:  IMAGINE CHILDHOOD: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play- 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure.

To enter the drawing for a chance to win all four items above, please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday midnight pacific time, October 24th, 2012.  In addition, Living Crafts readers are offered a 10% discount between 10/20 – 10/24.  The discount code will be “LivingCrafts”.

Posted by Living Crafts on Oct 20, 2012 07:00 AM | 713 Comments

Books: Grow Your Handmade Business

Grow Your Handmade Business

by Kari Chapin

(Storey Publishing)  Can I make a living creating and selling my crafts?  That’s the question Kari Chapin answers in this book, a sequel to her best-selling book, The Handmade Marketplace, also published by Storey.  This wonderful book cheers you on and coaches you on how to make a livelihood from your passion, including stories from other creative people, their struggles, successes, and advice.  That’s not all, she also covers the business side, including developing budgets, strategies, and also funding.  If you’ve always dreamed of having your own craft business, or already have one and are looking into the next step, this is definitely worth checking out.  While you are at it, be sure to give The Handmade Marketplace a look too.



Storey Publishing is giving away a copy of Grow Your Handmade Business to a lucky winner!  Enter a comment on this post by Wednesday, August 1st, Midnight PST for a chance to win a copy of this book.  You must reside in U.S. to win a copy. 


Posted by Living Crafts on Jul 29, 2012 11:13 AM | 321 Comments

Books: Vintage Designs to Knit

Vintage Designs to Knit

by Kim Hargreaves, edited by Kate Buller

(Trafalgar Square) On every page of this book, reviewed in Summer 2012 issue of Living Crafts, you’ll see something beautiful, classic, and familiar. Perhaps a sweater that reminds you of a glamorous movie star or an old movie or a grandmother’s photo. The designs are authentic and summon the styles of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. They are simple and sparingly adorned. This book is a must-have for anyone who loves the beauty of simple knits and purls….and some cables.

Finn and Edda on page 98

My absolute favorite designs are Finn & Edda on page 98, Agnes on page 124, and the red hot Audrey on page 8.  All yarns in the book are specified from the Rowan collection, and some are not all-natural, but the patterns are definitely worth spending the time to find the 100% natural equivalents.

Agnes on page 124



Trafalgar Square is giving away a copy of this book!  To enter the drawing, you must live in the U.S., and leave a comment here by Monday, July 30th, Midnight Pacific Time. 



Posted by Living Crafts on Jul 20, 2012 12:43 PM | 229 Comments

Books: A Felt Farm


A Felt Farm

by Rotraud Reinhard

(Floris Books) Adorable, precious, and lovely, this book will provide hours of fun felting a farm and all the people, animals, and props. There’s the farmer, and also his family, the dog, the lake, the ball that fell into the lake, and the stick used to fetch the ball out of the lake! Did we mention the iron stove, the donkey, and the visiting gnome? If you loved the “Knitted Farm” article in our Premier Winter 2008 issue, you will love this.  The book is filled with rich visuals, and following are three to enjoy!



The winner is Sandy Littell with following comment:  “I shared your post on FB and HOPE TO WIN!!!”  Thank you all who participated in this giveaway.

For a chance to win a copy of this book, please enter a comment below by Friday, July 20th, Midnight Pacific Time.  Giveaway open to U.S. Residents only.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jul 16, 2012 06:28 AM | 387 Comments

Books: Handmade to Sell


HANDMADE TO SELL:  Hello Craft’s Guide to Owning, Running, and Growing Your Crafty Biz

 By Kelly Rand with Christine Ernest, Sara Dick, and Kimberly Dorn

 (Potter Craft)  Hot off the press, and written by the founders, organizers, and executive staff of Hello Craft, a nonprofit trade organization dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters, this book gives you the A-Z advice on running your own handmade business.  From sourcing inexpensive materials, photographing your products, and setting up a booth at a craft fair, to launching an online storefront, branding and sales, all on a lean budget.  Handmade to Sell covers many subjects you may have questions on, and offers different options for each step of your way.  It is also full of fun illustrations and some photos.  If you are contemplating a new handmade business of your own, or already have one and want to make it more efficient, this is a great book to consider.



The winner is Jodya with following comment:  “The perfect how-to gift of encouragement for friends with talent & dreams for starting their own handcraft business! Hats off to the authors for leading the way.” 

Potter Craft is giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner.  To enter drawing, please leave a comment on this post by Sunday, July 15, midnight Pacific Time.  This offer is for U.S. Residents only.  The winner is chosen on a random basis.

Thank you for your participation.


Please send books or products for review to:


Living Crafts

4521 Campus Drive #302

Irvine, CA  92612


Posted by Living Crafts on Jul 12, 2012 09:12 AM | 411 Comments

Book Review: Reinvention


Reinvention:  Sweing with Rescued Materials by Maya Donenfeld, published by Wiley

If you love to sew, and want to reuse materials, this book is a must-have! 

Award-winning blogger Maya Donenfeld offers 28 projects that seamlessly merge stitching, sustainability, and resourcefulness with practical and simple design.  Each chapter is dedicated to a single material; linen, burlap, wool and more.  You will learn deconstruction techniques, sewing tips, and a background on each material.  Sewing is not all that is covered in this book.  She’ll show you easy methods for transforming fabric with paint and ink.  Stenciling templates and thorough instructions are provided, as well as encouragement to invent your own designs.

My favorite projects are the hammock and the poufs, and here are three more from the book:

Click on photo for the tutorial of this inspiration board, published on Design*Sponge June 21, 2012.


Winner is Nancy W. with comment:  “looks great! the Maya Made blog is fab — I love her burlap baskets!”

For a chance to receive your own free copy of this book, mailed directly from the publisher, please leave a comment here by Sunday, June 24th midnight.  The giveaway is open to those with a U.S. address.  Thank you!

Posted by Living Crafts on Jun 21, 2012 09:53 AM | 425 Comments

Sasha Kagan’s Scotty Dog Sweater and Beret

Doesn’t this gorgeous sweater and beret make you want cold weather right now? This is a perfect knitting project to start now to get ready for Old Man Winter who will be here before you know it!

These are both designs from Sasha Kagan’s Classic Collection by Sasha Kagan, published by The Tauton Press in 2011. Click here to download a free PDF tutorial.

Sasha Kagan’s Classic CollectionPhototgrapher credit: Chris Gloag.

This book is a collection of Kagan’s most iconic designs that span over the last forty years. Known best for her use of color and innovative intarsia designs to create striking patterns and motifs, Kagan’s designs have passed the test of time to become true classics in their own right. Kagan’s patterns are organized by four decades, offering you 5 designs from each decade, from 1969 to 2009.   All designs are updated and reworked in contemporary yarns so you can find them readily in stores.


The folks at Taunton Press have offered a copy of this beautiful book as a giveaway to our readers.  For a chance to win a copy sent to you in the U.S. please leave a comment on this post by Friday, October 14th.  Winner will be announced Monday.

Posted by Living Crafts on Oct 12, 2011 10:53 AM | 128 Comments

Modern Mix: Book Review and Giveaway

Modern Mix by Jessica Levitt will teache you to confidently mix and match fabrics for a fresh, clean look.

A printed fabric is so eye-catching…and when it’s paired with the right solid, the result is brilliantly graphic. These contemporary projects show off the dynamic partnership of large-scale prints and vivid solids. Filled with fabulous ideas and information for how to integrate fabrics, this book is a must-have for your sewing library. Includes a chapter on quiltmaking basics.

Jessica Levitt has been sewing and quilting since the age of 12. Always thirsting for some new craft, she has taught herself countless quilting techniques as well as costuming, event design, and home decor. She is a designer for Windham Fabrics. Her degree in engineering from Duke University is now largely unused while she pursues fulfillment in more creative endeavors. Jessica lives and works in New Jersey with her husband and two children. She blogs at


For a chance to win a copy of Modern Mix, please leave a comment on this post by Monday, October 17th, 2011 midnight.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 19th.  Although the giveaway is open to all, only with a U.S. address you can receive a print version of the book.  If you live outside of U.S. and win this giveaway, you will receive a digital copy of the book (oh just as GOOD!).

Posted by Megan Scott on Oct 11, 2011 02:47 PM | 52 Comments

Book Review and Giveaway! Sweetwater’s Simple Home

Sweetwater’s Simple Home will get you inspired to sew something handmade for every room in your house! This new release from Stash Books features 35 beginner-friendly projects, including quilts, pillows, table linens, and accessories—many can be made in a day or less.

  • The 35 projects are fresh and modern and there are great ideas for making things pretty and practical.
  • The mother and daughter team behind Sweetwater Designs also shows you how to incorporate simple, creative techniques for decorating with appliqué, stenciling, stamping, and embroidery.With
  • Sweetwater’s inspiring designs, it’s easy to add expressive touches everywhere, from the dining room to the bedroom to the laundry room. Keep it simple and surround yourself with things you absolutely love.



Stash Books is giving away a copy of Sweetwater’s Simple Home to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post (by Sunday 12 Midnight Pacific time – Sept 25)  telling us what handmade treasure you would sew for your home.




We Have a Winner!

Adrian Montfort-Guy Submitted on 2011/09/24 at 3:35 pm 

A beautiful book. I craft a lot, but haven’t had the courage to try quilting – I think I would like to make some simple quilts for my boys bedroom. I have fond memories of the quilt my gran made, the tents and forts that quilt became and it always seemed to smell of her. I’d like to give my lads those kind of memories.



Posted by Megan Scott on Sep 23, 2011 08:49 AM | 431 Comments


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