Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Getting Crafty

'Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A-To-Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration'
By: Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Format: Hardback
Published: Potter Craft; Mar. 2009
Pages: 416

Synopsis: Organized by topic from A to Z, Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts contains complete instructions and brief histories for more than 30 techniques, detailed descriptions of the necessary tools and materials, and easy-to-copy templates. Martha and her team of crafts editors guide readers through each subject, from botanical pressing and decoupage to rubber stamping and wreaths, with characteristic clarity and unparalleled attention to detail.
In addition, each entry in Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts is chock-full of tips and advice. Handy glossaries in the entries--such as a comprehensive gem glossary, a glitter glossary, and a color glossary for making tinted wax--are valuable references that crafters will refer to again and again. What’s more, the Tools and Materials section outlines the best essential supplies that every crafter needs to have on hand, and the Sources pages clue readers in to the vendors and suppliers that the magazine’s crafts editors rely on most.
Filled with solid technical know-how, and presented with gorgeous color photographs, this handy guide can be read page by page and kept as a lasting reference by crafters and artisans alike.

My Take: No I don't make a lot of crafts. That's not to say that I don't wish I could. It's just, well, I don't have the space, the time, the patience, etc. So let's back it up and tell you how this book/story came into being. Long before this book even came out, my mom, who is a HUGE Martha Stewart fan emailed me and was like, I want this book! So being a good little daughter I got it for her for mother's day laughing to myself like 'mom's! they want the silliest things!'. Months went by and then Thanksgiving rolled around and I was at my mom's house and this very book was on her coffee table and I was idly flipping through it and exclaimed 'holy crap this book is amazing!' because it is! It details every kind of craft you can think of, or well, that my pea size brain when it comes to crafts can think of. It's huge, I swear, and beautiful, and well laid out, and I HAD TO HAVE ONE.

Calendar made from scratch!
So I went home and ordered two. One for me and one for a friend that was getting married whose birthday was coming up. I thought maybe this would provide some ideas for a bridal shower or something. Then it promptly sat on our shelves for close to a year because that's what happens. Life. People get married, people pass away, people work long hours, hang out with friends, pay bills and generally forget about Martha and then one day you are hanging out with your friend and you look at each other with that knowing glean in your eye and exclaim....'Let's Get Crafty!' Because why not, you have a Saturday,  you have a book to inspire you, you've been meaning to do it for like, a year, and you have each other to cheer you on. 

We decide upon our crafts of choice, get up and the crack of dawn (8:30am), pile into the car and head to Michael's, where we drive around the massive parking lot because we don't know where it is. I've been to the Target but I don't get my craft on much. Side note, who knew so many people went to Target so early on a Saturday? Once locating the Michael's in a dejected corner of the parking lot we head inside to be greeted by none other than Martha Stewart coming over the loud speaker instructing us what to buy. It was as if a sign from God! Or Martha.

Being a dork with my first finished coaster!
After flipping through the massive tome we had decided on making two projects: 'Painted Tile Coasters' and a 'Botanical Calendar'. We pretty much found what we needed for the coasters quickly but the calendars, well that was harder. Martha suggested rice paper. We could find newspaper, regular paper, card stock, etc but no Japanese rice paper. We were starting to get frantic. What we were going to do? Then we stumbled on some calendar kits in the scrapbooking section and those looked like fun and so we decided to make those. We then headed to Home Depot to buy our tiles for the coasters and we were off to craft.

The coasters we made first because we figured those would need to dry and they turned out pretty awesome. Considering neither of us have really done anything like it before we were pretty pleased. Then we started on the calendars. We have to design 12 months, that's a lot of creativity. The fact that we are sitting their crafting and chatting is probably something we never would have done if we didn't have this book and even though the calendars are absolutely nothing like Martha's original design they are our inspiration and isn't that the point. To get us crafting? And having fun? And it was fun. So much so that we've scheduled another day next month!

Cover Lust: As with all things Martha, the cover has her face on it but don't you want to look at it? She is the reason you are inspired to buy this book after all, right? Right? :)

(I bought this book)


  1. NICE job! Love the post....made me chuckle.

  2. "Michael's in a dejected corner of the parking lot"...too funny! Nice work! Let's get crafty!

  3. So something for a friend of mine, she is always crafting, and doing new things I have never heard of :)

  4. I shelved this at the library the other day and thought to myself, "shells?? Really Martha, who works with shells anymore?" Maybe I shouldn't judge Martha by her shells!

  5. This looks like an awesome book, but I don't think even Martha can help someone as "hopeless" as me, when it comes to crafts:(

  6. Look who's going to give old Mats a run for her money! Love the coaster, love the review!

  7. awesome awesome review! if this doesn't make you want to go out there and buy the book and get crafty, i don't know what will.

  8. This sounds like an AWESOME book and one me and me and my sisters would have a marvelous "craft aft (craft afternoon)" with! We drink wine and do crafts. Whether you enjoy the crafts or the wine or both it is good times! Glad you had fun doing crafts with your friend!

  9. If you ever have a crafting day that's more like a crafting evening, perhaps including wine, I'm so in.


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