Craft Books Galore

East Side Books has just received an impressive pile of beautiful arts and crafts books that are not only visually pleasing but offer a new take on the art of jewelry making, rubber stamping, paper making, and doll crafting. If you are beginning to think about homemade Christmas gifts, or are just in need of some inspiration to jazz up your own creations, come on in and check out the new titles East Side Books has to offer.

The Art and Craft of Jewelry by Janet Finch is one of the most lovely and practical jewelry making books around. Intended as “a practical guide to high-style, low-cost design,” Finch offers a breathtaking array of jewelry making options. This book won’t stay on our shelves long. Nor will Jackie Dodson’s book How to Make Soft Jewelry. Using primarily fabric, notions, and beads, Dodson explains with excellent detail how to
“create stunning fashion accents on your sewing machine.” She even has a section on how to make the popular “worry doll” necklaces and earrings.

Most of us associate rubber stamping with cute designs and funny little sayings. The books Rubber Stamp Extravaganza and Rubber Stamp Carving take rubber stamping to a whole new level. Vesta Abel in Rubber Stamp Extravaganza uses mixed media stamping techniques and Native American influences for design. The results are spectacular. If Abel’s book inspires you to consider rubber stamp images that you can’t buy at Ben Franklin, pick up a copy of Rubber Stamp Carving by Luann Udell. She teaches you how to carve your own rubber stamps using a few simple tools. It is all I could do to not abandon writing this blog and jump into a bit of rubber stamp carving.

Once you have your rubber stamps made why not test them out on paper you make yourself. For pointers in the craft of paper making start with the book The Art & Craft of Handmade Paper by Vance Studley. He takes you through the paper making process step-by-step. With your homemade paper in hand, peruse Unique Handmade Books by Alisa Golden and Handmade Books and Cards by Jean G. Kropper. Both are an excellent find. Not wanting to invest quite as much time as paper making requires? If this is the case, pick up a copy of Papier Mache Style by Alex MacCormick or The Art and Craft of Papier Mache by Juliet Bawden for an updated twist on this elementary school craft.

If doll making is your thing you are in luck. East Side Book has eight new titles for you to choose from.  Four of these books are by Susanna Oroyan who has been making dolls since 1972. Her designs are not only gorgeous and whimsical, but her instructions are clear enough for a beginner to follow along. The Oroyan titles we have available are: Anatomy of a Doll; Finishing the Figure; Fantastic Figures; and Designing the Doll. Just as inspiring is the book put out by Somerset Studio entitled The Art Chronicles: A Collaborative Journey of Discovery. Along those same lines is the book that most intrigued me, Art Doll Adventures by Lisa Li Hertzi. I would love to own any of the creations presented by Hertzi.

If you are looking for general inspiration, we have a number of titles just in that offer excellent ideas that can be carried over into any area of crafting. I loved looking at Collage: A Complete Guide for Artist by Anne Brigadier. Another excellent title is Imagery on Fabric by Jean Ray Laury. On a more psychological level, we now offer the books Illuminations: The Healing Image by Madeline McMurray and Reading Meaning produced by Scripps College. East Side Books also obtained three lovely books that honor the African American tradition: Who’d A Thought It by Eli Lean; The Art of African Textiles put out by the Barbican Art Gallery; and The Personal Treasures of Bernard & Shirley Kinsey put together by the California African American Museum.

If you are arty and crafty don’t miss out on this fabulous collection of books offered right now by East Side Books. If you need any assistance locating the above mentioned titles or any other books, please ask our staff members for help. But don’t wait, these books won’t last long on our shelves!

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