Saturday, September 22, 2012

Extra Post: Blog Consolidation

I've decided to consolidate my blogs into one again.  I tried making a go of a craft book review only blog, but that's slow going right now, and I think I might as well combine the traffic.  I only got 2 posts in, so now is the best time to combine the two.

I'll still review craft books - in fact, I think I'll start reviewing a lot of things, art and craft related.  Maybe I'll splinter the book review blog off again once I really get this one on its feet.  For now though, my life is in a little bit of disarray.  I'll be able to keep up the blogging, though perhaps not in an orderly fashion for now.

First and last posts of the Art Rat Craft Book Review:

Post 1:

Hello Blogger world :)! I am sitting here surrounded by stuff, because I’ll be moving out soon. I hope to sell at least some of it to defray the costs of my new condo. As I pack up, I’m looking at all the craft books I have. Barely used, most of them. I have a lot of craft books, and a lot of craft stuff. I find it very hard to resist buying them, especially when they’re on sale. I guess there are a few reasons why. All those possibilities, all the ideas and little gems to dig up….like catalogues of things I can make exactly as I want them. Somehow I underestimate the time, energy, and (frankly) excuses I'll have to use these books on a regular basis :P. BUT, all that is about to change...

This blog is going to be dedicated to reviewing craft books. I will endeavor to make my reviews as informed and objective as possible – yes, you guessed it – by doing the crafts. Will I become a better craft person from this? Hopefully. Will I become rich? No, but with any luck my growing skills will at least help defray material costs through Etsy, or the occassional craft market. And who knows? I may well end up making something I need every now and again.

I think the most appropriate book to start with will be, “It’s a Wrap – Sewing Fabric Purses, Baskets, and Bowls”, by Susan Breier. I’ve chosen this book for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve already tried the crafting technique described in this book, and I like it. This will make it easier to keep up with my blogging responsibilities while moving, having done some of the work already and still having supplies left over.

I was fortunate enough to have come across the book as I was wishing I could somehow convert my leftover fabric stash into something useful that wouldn’t take that long to produce. This book offered an unusually fitting solution. It does require many yards of cotton clothesline, and many more yards of sewing thread, but it’s pretty satisfying to be able to cut those old remnants into a pile of strips and watch that pile dwindle away to nothing. In the end I am left with a flexible but relatively solid vessel, and since I'm often looking for things to put other things in, this is actually pretty practical.

I will be documenting my work as I go through this book. I won’t be doing every single design in the book, but I will try to at least do one craft from each section. At the end of the month I will write a full review. In the meantime, I will also use the time between the beginning of the month and the end to review other craft related products. These may or may not be related to the book of the month – they are simply to keep this blog interesting.

I'm starting this blog with the hope that I'll be able to sustain it within my means. I currently have a pretty good surplus of crafting goods, but I will be on a limited budget as to what I can afford, at least at first. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this up for more than a little while. At any rate, I feel like it's worth trying. If you are reading this first entry, thank you kindly for stopping by. Until next time, blogger world! :)

Post 2:

Good day blogger world!

It's been a week of crafting for me.  Between "It's a wrap" and a knitted birthday gift project, I have spent the time being crafty.  Here is a peak at some of the wrap craft work I've been doing:  So far it's an enjoyable book, now that I've got a an excuse to read it in depth.  Still fighting the urge to jump ahead, but as always, it's worth it to read the preamble.  And, the directions - that too.

While I'm on the subject of fabric crafts, I'd like to showcase a site that came to my attention a little while ago, and which I'm still pretty psyched about. It's called Spoonflower, and I love it! It's like the best parts of cafepress and deviantart, in a site that allows you to design your own fabric.  To explain what I mean: like on Cafepress, and to a lesser extent Deviantart, you can upload your designs for use on printed product - in this case, various natural fabrics. There are a number of repeat options (for creating patterns with your designs), and the option to size your fabric design too. Like deviantart, you can follow different designers, giving and receiving feedback on your work. And like both sites, you can have your own shop, where other users can purchase fabric with your designs on it. You do also have the option of keeping your designs private, just for you to purchase, which one may have reason for. I've worked up a modest collections of designs myself, and the samples I've bought have been pretty satisfactory (particularly now, with the new & improved colour system). I should also mention that they have a designer tool built into the site as well, though I havn't actually tried it yet.  Anyway, this is Spoonflower in a nutshell.  Here is a link if you'd like to see for yourself:

 ...and, if you're curious, here is the link to my shop:

I do so like widgets ^_^.  They make a blogger's life much more enjoyable.

This has been the second instalment of The Art Rat Craft Book Review.  Still getting a feel for this project, so I hope you'll bear with me.  I'm already reconsidering how I originally planned to structure this, but I will do my best to keep the content coming, and interesting.  Later bloggerverse!

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