A Fine Romance: Falling In Love with the English Countryside

I can’t quite remember what led me to reserve A Fine Romance at the library. I saw it mentioned somewhere… a diary, with watercolors. Right up my alley. Except it wasn’t. Quite.

I enjoyed it. Really. It’s just not quite my style of storytelling/diary writing. I also don’t have that much love for Beatrix Potter. (I do have a lot more love for the Bloomsbury group and the Arts & Crafts Movement, which she learned to love a good bit on her trip.)

Two Non-Fiction Books

I enjoyed Thug Kitchen so much that I reserved Thug Kitchen Party Grub. This is a good cookbook, though I didn’t find it quite as good as their first book. Not quite as many, “Oh I want to try that” moments but still a very good book.

I enjoyed Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books though it wasn’t quite what I’d been looking for when I picked it up. Still, I have some old books that I might just use to create a new book, someday.

Another Book Down #readathon

I finished Art Before Breakfast – 159 pages. I’ve been saving this specifically for #readathon and I’m glad I did. I didn’t love it but it did remind me that I should go back to making time for art. And, it gave me an idea or two about how to do that.

Three Non-Fiction Books

I didn’t feel like starting anything long last night, so I grabbed the three non-fiction art books on my library cart and that was the perfect choice for the last couple of hours before I turned out the light.

Beginners Guide to Chalk Painting was pretty boring. Probably pretty helpful if you’re going to be using any of these paints, though. But overall, ho hum.

Rock Art: Painting and Crafting with the Humble Pebble was an impulse pick up from the new non-fiction shelf at the library. Rock painting isn’t all that intense and you don’t really need to know a lot of techniques to do it but it was really fun to flip through all of the painted rocks. And, I was reminded of an idea I had for a rock garden for JMP… I am definitely going to work on that once we move next year.

I love The Sketchbook Project so you shouldn’t be surprised that I loved the book The Sketchbook Project World Tour. I’m kind of sad that I didn’t find a way to get to the museum in Brooklyn last month to see the sketchbooks in person. Sigh.

Four Non-Fictions

I couldn’t decide what to read last week so I reached for some non-fiction and then I just kept reaching for the non-fiction. I do that, quite a bit — in case you hadn’t noticed.

Materially Crafted wasn’t bad. Not great but not bad, either. I enjoyed it but I don’t think there’s anything in it I plan to do or make. It’s a nice reference if you don’t know much about some basic craft materials.

Oh Joy!: 100 Whimsical Projects to Create and Give Joy was fun. Lots of pretty pictures and color but not a lot of meaty projects.

The Alternative Jukebox was awesome. All the music, all the reasons why various bands and musicians were “alternative.” I got sucked down a Kurt Cobain hole and then I got sucked into listening to BBC 6 Music. What an awesome radio show. I love it.

Next, Art, Inc. No, I’m not planning on ditching my day job for a career in art. I grabbed the book from the shelf because I like Lisa Congdon and I thought it sounded interesting. It was interesting. I’m glad I read it.

Mid-Century Modern Complete

Oh boy, Mid-Century Modern Complete is very complete. The book is huge and beautiful and it made me want all of the things. It even had my beloved Boby trolleys in it. Oh how I want a Boby trolley. Or three. And also all of the couches and the posters and the chairs and the tables. Hell, a whole houseful of stuff.

Two More Art Books

I impulsed picked The Modern Flower Painter because it was pretty and I love watercolors. The book is super pretty and super detailed and if you want to learn how to paint flowers, this is your book.

Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces is fabulous if you want to improve your ability to draw and paint faces. Duh. Jane Davenport is fabulous, really. Great book (which explains why it’s constantly out of stock.)

2 Non-Fiction Books

Explore Mixed Media Collage was pretty good. The projects themselves weren’t really my style and none of the techniques were new to me — but, it was a pretty book and there were bits and pieces of projects that I really liked and will probably end up doing myself, at some point.

Then, Leonard Nimoy died and TW said RESERVE ALL THE BOOKS so I reserved all the books available in my library system. Turns out the books she wanted weren’t in our library system so, poop. I’ve already seen a zillion images from The Full Body Project but figured what the heck — I have the book. Nimoy died. I’ll read it. And it was ok. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. I’m not sorry I read it.

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them

I grabbed Pen & Ink from the new arrivals shelf just as an impulse pick — because I knew RJ would be at our house and I thought she might be interested in it. I think she read it. I’m not sure. But I very much loved it. The stories behind the tattoos were fabulous. Really good stuff (and a quick read, which was important after some very long work days.)

Handmade Nation

I have no idea why Handmade Nation was on the new arrivals shelf at the library. It’s old, old, old, old. But there you have it. It was there. I was amused. I checked it out.

I was even more amused when I started reading it. Everyone was so young! All of those sites were so new! Things have really grown and changed!

I kept stopping to see if featured artists/crafters/makers were still doing the type of work that was featured in the book, (sometimes yes, sometimes no.)

I found myself watching old Craft Lab videos with Jennifer Perkins and giggling like crazy.

I enjoyed the stroll down memory lane. 😉