Book Reviews | Craft x Stew | Page 2
Category name:Book Reviews

This Is Not A Book

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I’ve spent the last few months working on This Is Not A Book by Keri Smith. I find this book very hard to describe, so here’s the Amazon description instead.

In this uniquely skewed look at the purpose and function of a “book”, Keri Smith offers an illustrated guide that challenges readers to creatively examine all the different ways This Is Not a Book can be used. With intriguing prompts, readers will discover that the book can be.

I’m posting some of the pages I’m pleased with. More will follow in future posts.


Process: I colored the first page with pastels in the middle and colored pencils around the edges. I covered the page with thin contact pager so the pastels wouldn’t bleed. For the second page, I printed out a secret agent online, and glued it on.


Process: I used green watercolor pencils for the background and pink pencils for the flowers. The writing was done with high quality, thin tip markers.


Process: I used  a combination of signatures and hand prints. The hand prints were done by my nephews and with tempura paints.


Process: No changes. I followed the instructions exactly.


Process: I worked with watercolor pencils, coming up with the design as I worked on it.


Process: My son filled out this interview.



Process: I took a photo of a plate of food, cut it into a circle and glued it onto the page.


Process: I had young, very pregnant friend draw on this page. I completed the drawings with watercolor pencil. You can definitely tell what my friend had in mind when she did the drawings.


Process: On the left side is a page of bats, printed out from the internet, and glued on. On the right side are Scooby Doo stickers.


Process: I photocopied the page and ripped the photocopy into strips. I then crumbled one strip, soaked one in water, rolled a strip, etc. For the final step, I loosely glued the strips back into the book, making sure to leave the new textures intact.



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The Complete Passover Cookbook

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The Complete Passover Cookbook

The Complete Passover Cookbook, by Frances R. AvRutnick, is not a new book. In fact, my copy was published in 1981.

And though I have newer Passover books, with color pictures and recipes by brand name chefs, this oldie but goodie is still my favorite. Ms. AvRutnick’s recipes are consistently tasty, don’t require hard to find ingredients, and are quick to throw together.  That’s all I ask for from a cookbook.

So far, I’ve made seven recipes.

The Matzo Brei recipe was the first thing I tried.  It’s a classic Matzo Brei recipe, available in almost any cookbook. I just added shredded cheese at the end (per my son’s request) and we loved it.

A few days after I made the Matzo Brei, I tried the Matzo Brei Variation. This recipe is similar to the original, with the difference being that only one egg is used instead of four. The result is a lot healthier, without any loss of taste. Btw, I changed out the water for vegan/parve chicken broth.

The Basic Farfel Stuffing is the best Passover stuffing I have ever had. It combines chopped and fried onions and celery with matzoh, broth and seasonings. I followed the basic recipe pretty closely, just reducing the oil, skipping the parsley and using chicken broth instead of water. The only major adjustment I made was to bake the stuffing in a covered pan instead of inside a bird.

The Potato Pancakes recipe was actually turned into a very low fat kugel. I used the exact ingredients listed, but instead of frying the resulting mixture, I baked it. I ate the kugel as soon as it came out of the oven and it was GOOD.

Next was Farfel Pudding, a combination of matzo farfel, nuts, fruits and a little sugar, baked into a sweet side dish or not so sweet dessert. I made this dish several years ago, so I don’t remember much about it, but I have a large notation saying “very good!” next to the recipe.

Another winner was the Apple Cake 1. This delicious dessert used cake meal, sugar, oil and apples. It’s covered with a streusel topping (minus the flour, of course).

The only recipe that wasn’t enjoyed much was the Hamburger Popovers. The popovers were bits of dough, shaped into a muffin tin and stuffed with seasoned meat. I didn’t taste this dish, since I’m a vegetarian, but the other diners said there was too little meat for the ratio of dough. I believe the problems with the dish were my fault, since I did use slightly less meat than was called for.

Even though The Complete Passover Cookbook is out of print, it is still available used at Amazon.

By the way, I loved this book so much, I immediately decided to get the other cookbook written by Frances R. AvRutnick. It’s called Kosher Cookery, Classic & Contemporary.

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American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook

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I had the American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook sitting around my house for many years before I finally used it. I had picked it up about 7-8 years ago at a library sale, and it just sat on a shelf in my basement.  I was afraid that cutting back on fat would mean losing good taste so I never tried it out.

Abruptly, two years ago, I was told by my doctor I needed to lose a lot of weight.  Suddenly, it became my go-to cookbook.

I’ve made quite a few recipes from the Quick & Easy Cookbook and I’ve compiled a list of them. Since I am a vegetarian, all of these recipes are either vegan or dairy.

Below, I’ve listed all the recipes I have made, including my opinion on their tastiness.

5 Star Recipes

My variation on the Delicious Low-Fat Herb Spread was posted a few months ago. In short, the recipe calls for combining dried herbs with low-fat cream cheese. In the book, the spread was used in Cucumber And Herb Cream Cheese Sandwiches, but I skipped the cucumber. The result was wonderful.

From the soup and stews chapter, I tried Three-Bean Chili. This recipe required a little tweaking since it calls for beer, which I don’t like. Three cans of beans are combined with canned tomatoes, beer, cumin and chili powder. After the mixture cooks for a short while, it is topped with yogurt. I made this chili with onion soup instead of beer and it was delicious.

The Broccoli With Easy Mustard Sauce was delicious. By preparing the sauce while the broccoli was cooking, the entire dish was completed was completed within five minutes. The recipe also comes with a version using new potatoes, but I haven’t tried that one yet.

For a snack, I tried the Layered Pesto Spread. If you skip the optional toppings, this recipe is a two ingredient winner. Rinse, drain and process cottage cheese till smooth.  Add in purchased pesto and chill. Yum!

4 Star Recipes

The Stuffed French Toast was made from French bread, slit open and stuffed with a low-fat cream and orange mixture. Since I’m not crazy about the taste of orange and cream cheese I substituted peaches. The bread was then dipped in egg whites and fried in Pam. I enjoyed this recipe but I believe that next time I will mix the cream cheese with cherry preserves or try a savory filling. Pizza sauce and shredded cheese may be nice.

The Thirty-Minute Minestrone was the only soup recipe I tried. This soup turned out fine, but since I already make a very similar dish,  which I like slightly better, I won’t make it again.

3 Star Recipes

I didn’t love the Open-Face Vegetable Sandwich but that may be my own fault. English muffins are spread with mustard, layered with fresh vegetables and topped with cheese. The sandwich is then heated till the cheese melts. Theoretically, the sandwich tasted fine, but melted cheese on fresh vegetables does not appeal to me.

The German-Style Noodles also came out okay, but it just wasn’t for me. This dish is a combination of cooked medium noodles, carrots, cabbage, low-fat sour cream or yogurt, green onions, caraway, salt and pepper. The problem was that I don’t like caraway. With other seasonings though, I probably would have enjoyed this.

I’m not sure why I didn’t like the Sesame Pasta and Vegetables, but I think it was because I held back a little on the fat.  The recipe calls for both margarine and sesame oil and since that seemed a bit much for my diet, I skipped the margarine.  To be fair, I might try making this one again, this time using the exact ingredients called for.

Recipes I Still Want To Try

There are still plenty of recipes that I still want to try; Peppery Spaetzle, Toasted Barley Pilaf, Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce and the Savory Snack Mix.


All in all, I believe the American Heart Associate Quick & Easy Cookbook is a winner. The recipes are fast and healthy, don’t require exotic ingredients, and range in taste from 3-5 stars. There is a good nutrient analysis plus some scattered cooking tips, which are very helpful.

Get your own copy of the American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook at Amazon. Sadly, this book is out-of-print so you will need to purchase an inexpensive used copy.

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The Wish List

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The Wish List

The Wish List by Barbara Ann Kipfer,  contains 6,000 ideas for things to make, cook, see and do. I ordered the The Wish List back in the late 90’s, when it first came out.  As soon as the book arrived, I immediately went through it and checked off everything I had done so far. Later, around 2005 I went through the book again and marked additional experiences I had had. This weekend, I did my third pass through the book.

Here are some of the things I marked off as completed:

1.  Learn sign language

2. Watch my a cat give birth to a litter of kittens

3. Sell my crafts at a craft fair

4.  Live without television

5. See with 20/20 vision

6. Be asked for a recipe for something I’ve cooked

7. Get a Cosmetic Makeover

8. Visit the restored buildings of Colonial Williamsburg

9. Spend a weekend in Atlantic City

10. Learn to draw

11. Take a course in sculpture

12. Take a trip to Disney Land when no one else is there

13. Read the complete works of Shakespeare

14. Learn to read music

15. Study the Dialogues of Plato

16. Paint the sets for a show

17. Keep notebooks in every room of the house so I can jot down thoughts on the spot

18. Reread my favorite book

19. Take up Yoga

20. Keep bees and make honey (my daughter did this)

21. Donate my library to the library

22. Volunteer time at an animal shelter

23. Own every book ever written on my favorite subject

24. Read Good Night Moon with a child

25. Pray at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

26.  See the cherry blossoms in Washington, D. C

27. Call in to a talk show

28. Spend an entire day in the library-just browsing

29. Participate in a Passover Seder

30. Be the only visitor in the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C.

31. Toast marshmallows and tell ghost stories around a campfire

32. Go on retreat

33. Take in a show at the Planetarium

34. Learn Archery (my kids did this)

35. Visit the site of the witch trials in Salem

36. Continue my education-for the rest of my life

37. Collect the stamps of foreign nations

38. Learn enough geology to know if a rock is sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous

39. Visit a chocolate factory and collect free samples

40. Teach a child to ride a two-wheeler

41. Take time off from my career to raise my children

42. Learn to make stained glass

43. Find my old childhood toys

44. Float on the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth

45. Teach English to a foreigner

44. Explore back roads in New England, as the leaves turn color

45. Throw a lavish banquet

46. See penguins dive

47. Learn the art of speech making

48. Phone or visit my eldest relative regularly

49. Help keep a culture alive

50. Have a home that my children’s friends love to visit

51. Watch the Fourth of July fireworks at the Washington Monument navy base in Annapolis

52. Learn CPR

53. Make fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast

54. Redecorate my home from top to bottom

55. Collect antique retro books

56. Quit smoking

57. Toast marshmallows and tell ghost stories.

58. Take a battery of aptitude and personality tests to find the career that best suits me

59. Design and sew my clothes

60. Live within my means

61. Undergo hypnosis in order to quit smoking diet

62. Write a children’s book

63.Shear a sheep

64. Create a terrarium

65. Experience childbirth

66. See a recipe of mine published in the newspaper

67. Visit Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which is commemorated in the “Star-Spangled Banner”

68. Keep a record of the lessons I learn

69. Grow lettuce hydroponically

70. Grow corn in my backyard

71. List the contents on the side of every storage box in the garage

72. Graduate from college.

73. Learn to cook genuine Southern fried chicken

74. Learn Yiddish

75. Paint pottery

76.  Sail the Chesapeake Bay and fish for crab

77. Outfit myself at the thrift shop

78. Visit Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

79. Treat myself to a massage

80. Work two part-time jobs instead of one full-time job

81. Be part of a neighborhood watch group

82.  See the battlefield at Gettysburg

83. Drive Virginia’s Skyline Drive

84. Open my home to someone in need.

85. Start a business with my spouse.

86. Go on a flea-market tour of America.

87. Get a manicure.

88. Go out on a date with my spouse on Saturday night.

89. Find a buyer for my house in two weeks.

90. Desktop-publish my own business cards.

91. Learn fencing.

92. Build a greenhouse and have living things year-round. 

93. Paint a mural on my wall.

94. Spend a warm spring day at the races.

95.  Make copies of old family photographs.

96. Take ballet lessons.

97. Make homemade potato chips.

98. Visit the holy sites of Jerusalem. 

99. Make s’mores.

100. Visit the site of Jamestown, Virginia, first permanent English colony in America.

101. Whale watching along the coastline of Redwood National Park New England.

102. See Rodin’s statue of The Thinker.

103. Climb Visit Masada on the shore of the Dead Sea.

104. Read everything my favorite author has every written.

105. Get a huge refund from the IRS.

This next list is of things I would like to accomplish in the future. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get these goals completed, so I wrote down some tentative ideas to get myself started.

For The Future:

1. Scale an indoor climbing wall. Very doable. I’m just not going to go too high.

2. Paint with watercolors. My husband just bought me a set of watercolors in tubes, plus a set of brushes. Maybe Youtube has some lessons.

3. Start a publishing firm. I would love to write and publish my own books and nowadays it’s sooooo easy. I need to read up on this.

4. Take a creativity workshop. I’m not sure how or when I will do this, but I will keep my eyes open.

5. Carry a sketchbook. I just bought Wreck This Journal. Once I get a larger purse, I plan on carrying it around with me.

6. Play the harmonica or washboard. Maybe there is a book or video I can use.

7. Photograph town landmarks and turn them into postcards. I’d like to turn photos of Israel into products and sell them on Etsy. I think I already have most of the skill set, but I just need to get motivated.

8. Produce my own multimedia shows on my computer monitor. For my website.

9. Find a use for everything. I would love to spend one week finding a use for (almost) every bit of trash in the house, including food packaging.

10. Set up a large trust fund for my daughter son. Pretty much self explanatory.

11. Read all of Agatha Christie’s books.  I’m a big mystery fan and I consider her books to be classics.

12. Learn the art of relaxation. Mindfulness, meditation and guided relaxation are all on my list of things to learn.

13. Notice daily miracles. I just bought two books to work towards this goal. Both are about looking at the mundane and seeing something new and exciting. One is called Side Walks: A Journal for Exploring Your City and the other is How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum.

14. Cook a different ethnic meal every night for two weeks. I am especially interested in Indian food, but I will try anything as long as it is vegetarian or vegan.

15. Keep on learning new things. I would like to learn Photoshop, photography, layout, graphic design and  origami.

16. Finish what I start. I have  a blouse, a needlepoint, and a plastic canvas tissue box cover which need to be completed. Plus there are a couple of kids toys I committed to making, along with a family cookbook and some board games.

17. Learn to make flatbread. I would like to try my hand at pita, naan, chapatis, matzoh, tortillas, etc.

18. Learn to cha-cha. I don’t know why but I’ve always been fascinated by old dance steps. I’d love to do this with my husband. I’m sure Youtube has a video on this.

19. Sketch with pastel crayons. I just bought some pastels and this is high on my list of to-do’s. Should I experiment or get lessons?

20. Learn to make popsicles. I can already make a couple of simple popsicles and now  I would like to try out some  upscale recipes.

21. Learn one great card trick. My husband and son are both interested in magic. I would love to have one or two great tricks I can call my own.

22. Master sewing. I can do easy garments and alterations. I would like to be an expert.

23. Keep a list of all the books I read, with quotes of my favorite passages. I’m planning on using a Reading Journal.

24. Stay at the historic King David hotel in Jerusalem. I can’t afford to stay there, but maybe I can pay the 140 shekels to sit by the pool.

25. Read every book I own. I probably own too many books to read them all, but maybe I can commit to reading a certain type, like all mysteries or all personal finance books.

26 Eat a meal cooked by Julia Child. Actually, eat a meal cooked by me, using only Julia Child recipes.

27. Make my own cheese. I’ve done some very rudimentary cheese making, but I would like to do more. Plenty of how-to books available.

28. Work on an archaeological dig. There are several very close to my home, so this might be easy to arrange. I have to check it out.

29. Grow all my own herbs. I was growing my own hydroponic herbs for a while. This time I would like to grow herbs vertically, on my patio.

30. Read the complete works of Jane Austin. I haven’t read any of her books yet, so this may take a while.

31. Solve a whole book of brain teasers. Or, an entire puzzle magazine. I would be happy with either one.

32. Learn the language of my ancestors. I am trying to learn Hebrew. I listen to a dvd every night, but after a year, I am still on 7 out of 90.

33. Try Spelunking. Well, not really. But I do want to visit the Sorek Stalactite Cave.

34. Really get to know every painting exhibit in my favorite museum – even if it takes a lifetime of visits. I’m not sure which museum to choose. Maybe the Burnt House museum because it’s small and easily accessible. The Wohl Museum of Archeology might also be a good choice.

What adventures have you had? Or hope to have? Please feel free to write me with a list of some of your favorite experiences and/or goals. I’d love to hear what they are.

Note: All links to Amazon are affiliate links.

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Side Walks

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side walks

I live in Ramat Beit Shem­esh, one of the most rel­ig­ious cit­ies in the world (lit­er­ally).

Though we have a pop­ula­tion of over 80000, we don’t have movie theat­ers, mini golf, amuse­ment parks, bars, etc. We don’t even have many eat in res­taur­ants.

I’m very hap­py liv­ing here, but it does make life a bit bor­ing at times.

It’s for this reason that I pur­chased a book called Side Walks, by Kate Pocrass. Side Walks en­cour­ages you to ex­plore your own neigh­bor­hood.  It helps you to dis­cov­er the as­pects of your town that are uni­­que, fun, and worth in­ves­tiga­ting.

Per­fect for some­one who lives in a city where ideas for rec­rea­tion­al ac­tiv­ities are­n’t ob­vious.

Be­fore I start­ed fil­ling in the sec­tions of this book, I was con­vinced there was ab­solut­ely noth­ing to do near­by. But after just an hour or two I came up with a small, but ex­cit­ing list.

  • Stalactite Caves
  • Music Festival
  • Bowling (Yigal Alon 24)
  • Tel Beit Shemesh
  • Beit Guvrin National Park
  • Train
  • Swimming
  • Benjamin Children’s Library
  • Mirchaz G’mach
  • Emunah Shiur
  • Tuesday Night Board Game Group
  • Thursday Night Board Game Group

Okay, I admit it. Still not a lot to do. But it is much more than I had ever thought of with­out the book.

In ad­d­i­tion, Side Walks has quite a few “chal­leng­es” that can be done vir­tu­ally any­where. My son and I did the fol­low­ing…

When eat­ing out, order the weird­est thing on the menu. The un­us­ual items are of­ten the tas­ti­est. At the very least, you will have a good story to tell others.

We went to two baker­ies and one ice cream store and at each stop, shared some­thing we had never tried before; choc­ol­ate souf­fle, rum and rais­in ice cream, berry cheese past­ry, a tiny cheese roll and a fruit flav­or­ed water. The whole ex­cur­sion cost about seven dol­lars, in­tro­duced us to some un­usual treats and al­lowed us to spend a fun few hours to­geth­er out of the house. We had a great morn­ing doing some­thing we never would have thought to do with­out the guid­ance of the book.

If you live in a tiny town, out in the coun­t­ry, or even (as I do) in one of the most re­lig­ious cit­ies in the Mid­dle East, Side Walks will allow you to take ad­vant­age of all the en­ter­tain­ment re­sour­ces avail­able to you.

Side Walks: A Journal for Exploring Your City (affiliate link)

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Massive Craft and Cookbook Haul

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source: Horia Varlan

Living in the Middle East, it’s sometimes hard to get books written in English. Fortunately, I’ve discovered two book sites that offer free shipping to Israel. The first is Book Depository which sells new books only. The other is Better World Books which sells both new and used books.

Since discovering these two sites I have gone a little shopping crazy. I went on a massive book buying spree that lasted for months.

Many of the books I bought were older volumes, but with timeless ideas. These were bought mainly as references. I will use these for techniques, rather than actual projects.

The few new books on the list, were absolute “must-haves” in my mind and to be used in the very near future. I marked those as new.

Here is a list of every craft, cooking and creativity book I bought.

Paper Crafting
How to Make Pop-Ups by Joan Irvine
How to Make Super Pop-Ups by Joan Irvine
Creative Paper Art by Welch, Nancy
Crafting with Handmade Paper by Hercher, Gail
Paperhouse by Hall, Mary Ann
Paper Crafting with Carol Duvall by Duvall, Carol
The Complete Book of Papercrafts by Lorenz Books
Decorative Papercutting Beautiful by Morrell, Deborah
The Book of Papercutting by Rich, Chris
Paper as Art and Craft by Newman, Thelma R.
CardMaker’s Hand-Lettering Workbook by Nancy Burke (new)
Origami Handbook by Rick Beech
Papercrafts and Origami by Painter, Lucy (Ed).

Creating Handmade Books by Golden, Alisa J.
Making Books by Hand by Manna, Philip
Handcrafted Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks & More by Browning, Marie

Creativity Books
Caffeine for the Creative Mind by Stefan Mumaw (new)
InGENIUS: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig (new)
365: A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin (new)
Thinkertoys by Michalko, Michael
Serious Creativity by de Bono, Edward

Drawing Books
You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler (new)
One Zentangle a Day by Beckah Krahula (new)

Jewish Cookbooks
Kosher Kettle by Kaplan, Sybil R.
Kosher on the Coast by Congregation Nertamid Sisterhood
Manna from Heaven by Rudlin Torah Academy
Secrets of Fat-Free Kosher by Bernstein, Deborah
Jewish Holiday Style by Brownstein, Rita Milos

General Cookbooks
Quickies by Rosenberg, Monda
American Country Inn Bed & Breakfast Cookbook by Maynard, Kitty
Good Recipes For Hard Times by Newton, Louise
Cheap Eating by Edwards, Pat
Quickies 2 by Rosenberg, Monda

Healthy Cookbooks
1,001 Low-Fat Soups & Stews by Spitler, Sue
The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Shaw, Diana
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook by Weight Watchers
The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook by Wesler, Cathy A.
Prevention’s the Healthy Cook by Prevention Magazine
Fabulous Fat-Free Cooking by Fischer, Lynn

Needle Arts
The Ultimate Cross Stitch Companion Dorothy Wood
The Open Canvas by Carolyn Ambuter
The Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery by Ryan, Mildred Graves
Fabrications by Cargill, Katrin

Other Crafts
Papier Mache by Marion Elliott
Mobile Magic by Juliet Bawden
Stone Style by Purvis, Linda Lee
Traditional Floral Designs and Motifs by Orban-Szontagh, Madeleine
Step-By-Step Fabric Dyeing Project Book by Stokoe, Susie
Complete Home Crafts by Innes, Miranda
Imagery on Fabric by Laury, Jean Ray
Painting on Glass by Gilchrist, Paige
Mosaics by Soler, Fran
Wire & Glass by Maguire, Mary
The Family Creative Workshop: Beachcombing to Bottle Gardens
The Family Creative Workshop: Rosemaling to Scrimshaw
Encyclopedia of Projects for the Weekend Crafter by Kavaya, Karol
Wire Magic by Ball, Michael

Jewelry Making
The Art and Craft of Jewelry by Janet Fitch
Fashion Beading by Kim Ballor
Simply Beautiful Beading by Boyd, Heidi

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Favorite Craft Books

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Here is a list of the craft books I currently own, the books I did own but got rid of, and the books I would like to purchase. I love to see what other people are reading, and I thought you may too.

Craft Books I Own

Landscape Quilts by Nancy Zeiman – This is a beautiful book, but I wish the instructions were a little more clear.

Trip Around the World Quilt (Quilt in a Day Series) by Eleanor Burns – I don’t like the fabric choices but the instructions are super clear.

Quick Watercolor Quilts: The Fuse, Fold, and Stitch Method by Dana Pappas – Pretty designs and excellent instructions.

Scrap Quilts (Leisure Arts #1947) by Beverly Rivers – Beautiful designs and color combinations plus I love the idea of making something beautiful from a throw-away.

Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking by Becky Higgins – Features layouts and shows several ways to use each one.

A Year of Scrapbooking by Debbie Janasak – This is not my favorite scrapbooking book, but it is nice, and has a little bit of everything.

My Creative Companion: The Ultimate Scrapbooking Resource by Becky Higgens – I like this one a lot. Nothing here but tons of ideas for scrapbooking elements…titles, tags, lettering, etc.

Scrapbook Borders, Corners & Titles by Memory Makers – This is my favorite scrapbooking book. It’s full of really nice, creative ideas.

More 3D Origami: Step-By-Step Illustrations by Joie Staff – I actually handled one of these designs in real life and it was amazing…solid and good looking. I’m dying to try a project myself.

Craft Books I Got Rid Of

Quick Sewing Projects from Placemats by Susan Beck – This wasn’t a bad book, but I’ve seen everything in it elsewhere. Nothing new.

Making Handbags: Retro, Chic, Luxurious by Ellen Goldstein-Lynch – There was nothing in this book that I wanted to make, so I got rid of it.

Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay: 30 Techniques & Projects That Imitate Stones, Metals, Wood & More by Irene Semanchuk Dean – I was crazy to get rid of this book. Big mistake!

Art Stamping Workshop by Gloria Page – I bought this book for the explanation on stamp carving but the projects were a bit disappointment. I gave this book to my mom.

Polymer Clay Extravaganza by Lisa Pavelka – Another book I was dumb to get rid of. One day I’ll get another copy.

Polymer Clay: Creating Functional and Decorative Objects by Jacqueline Gikow – Selling this one was also a very big mistake. Eventually I will rebuy it.

Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland – Beautiful book with great instructions but I’m just not that “into” quilting.

Quick Country Quilting: Over 80 Projects Featuring Easy, Timesaving Techniques by Debbie Mumm – This book is okay, just not fabulous.

Nostalgia Patchwork & Quilting by Robby Savonen – This is another book that wasn’t bad, just not great.

Craft Books I Want To Buy

Watercolor Landscape Quilts: Quick No-Fuss Fold & Sew Technique by Cathy Geier – I already have a book on landscape quilting, but this one looks so appealing!

What Crafts Books Do You Own?

I’d love to hear about your favorite craft books. Please leave me a message with the names of the books you’re reading, and why. I’ll publish your responses as an update to this article.

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