Thursday, 5 March 2015

40 Awesome Book-Inspired Craft Projects

As today is World Book Day I thought it might be nice to celebrate by sharing a roundup of some book-inspired DIY & craft projects. I've scoured Pinterest and other sites to find some of the best ideas for crafting all things book-related, from actual bookshelves and storage to bookmarks, jewellery and more! Don't forget, if you don't want to use old books for your projects you can always use photocopied pages or craft boxes designed to look like books instead!

Home Decor & Homewares
1. Stacked Books Table Lamp
2. Repurposed Book Coat Rack
3. Book Headboard
4. Book Page Ornament
5. 'The Grim' Mug (inspired by Harry Potter)
6. Written Mural
7. Palette Coffee Table
8. Book Page Bunting
9. Poetry Pillows
10. Book Planters

Bookshelves & Storage
1. Anthro Bookcase
2. Geometric Concrete Bookends
3. Wallpapered Bookshelves
4. Washi Tape Shelf Edging
5. Fabric Book Basket
6. Ladder Bookshelf
7. License Plate Bookends
8. Picture Frame Bookshelves
9. Book Slings
10. Drawer Bookshelf

Bookmarks & Book Covers
1. Linen Bookmarks
2. Paper Book Covers 
3. Arrow Bookmarks
4. Upcycled Bookmarks
5. Fabric Covered Books
6. Pom Pom Bookmarks
7. Magnetic Washi Tape Bookmark
8. Bookmarks & Journal Wraps
9. Felt Heart Bookmark
10. Cat Bookmark

Jewellery & Accessories
1. Vintage Book Clutch
2. Miniature Book Bracelet (inspired by John Green)
3. Decoupage Book Shoes
4. Skirt With Pockets (inspired by Red Riding Hood)
5. Storybook Paper Rose Bouquet
6. Mini Book Necklace
7. Tote Bag (inspired by Dr Seuss)
8. Wire Arrow Necklace (inspired by The Hunger Games)
9. Quote Scarf
10. Book Bangle (inspired by Pride & Prejudice)

Happy World Book Day!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Makery: Sewing

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, image via Goodreads
makery sewing kate smith

Makery: Sewing is the second crafty title from The Makery founder Kate Smith who's passion for creating shines through in the book which includes over 30 sewing projects to inspire readers to get sewing!

Similarly to the original book simply titled Makery (which is also a brilliant one to have in your collection) the design is beautiful with a colour-themed cover and stylish layout. The full page colour photographs are really lovely and showcase the projects well with additional line illustrations also included to help with some of the trickier tutorial steps. The final section of the book shares details and illustrations demonstrating different types of stitches and techniques that will come in handy along the way, perfect for those who may be new to sewing or some of the processes used. Speaking of which, don't be put off if you're not an expert sewer, the projects found in this book are varied and there's some great ideas for beginners.

The projects are split into three categories - Fashion, Gifts and Home - making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for. My personal favourites from each category would have to be the Vintage Belt Bag, a pretty embroidered linen tote with upcycled leather belt handles, the Book Covers made from bold patterned fabrics and the Sweet Tin Foot Stool another upcycle which uses an old tin to create a modern and unique piece of furniture.

Sewing would be the perfect gift for any experienced or aspiring crafter in your life, or even as a little treat for yourself. Once again The Makery's Kate Smith has managed to come up with some wonderful ideas which are presented beautifully and are sure to inspire readers - I for one hope to see more books from her in future!

Makery: Sewing is available now!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Character Style Inspiration - Melissa Joan Hart's Most Famous Roles

Today's Character Style post in a 3-in-1 special featuring Melissa Joan Hart's most famous roles. After reading her autobiography Melissa Explains It All earlier this year, and as a fan of all three of these shows, I was inspired to take a look at how the famous character's wardrobes compare.

In her role as Nickelodeon's first female lead Clarissa Darling (Clarissa Explains It All 1991-1994), Melissa's wardrobe was full of quirky, mis-matched early 90's ensembles which broke away from the trend of matching sets. In a behind-the-scenes feature a sixteen year old Melissa Joan Hart sums up her character's style as 'fun, imaginative' with 'no boundaries' and even shows off the small padlocks that adorned every pair of her shoes. Clashing colours, bold patterns, oversized pieces and lots of jewellery make Clarissa's statement wardrobe unique and perfect for the sassy teen.

Next up in her role as Sabrina Spellman on another Nickelodeon show Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1996-2003), her everyday outfits reflected those found in other US high school based TV shows of the era - making UK teens in their uniforms envious! Her wardrobe even played a key part in the opening credits sequence during the earlier seasons which featured many fancy dress ensembles, and with the magic ability to change an outfit in seconds, why not have a little fun?! Cosy fine knit tops, mini skirts, collared shirts, choker necklaces, a trusty leather backpack and a whole lot of velvet all feature heavily - most of which are firm features in every high street shop and magazine today, over ten years later.

Finally Melissa's current role as town council woman Mel Burke (Melissa & Joey 2010-present) comes with it's own unique wardrobe, this time full of tailored pieces, designer heels and statement jewellery. In a backstage tour video Melissa shows the audience a sneak peek of the wardrobe department naming Karen Millen, Kate Spade and the Olsen twins brand Elizabeth & James as some of her favourite designers to wear on the show. Although she does seem to favour the occasional floral print or stripe, Mel's outfits often consist of more plain coloured items without the bolder prints we saw on both Clarissa and Sabrina.

Which MJH character's wardrobe is your favourite?

Monday, 2 March 2015

February Reads & Reviews

Considering it's the shortest month of the year February wasn't bad on the reading front. Not only did I manage to make a start on my 2015 re-reads challenge but I also finally got to finish a series that's been a favourite since I started blogging about books over two years ago. Undivided (2014), is the fourth and final novel in Neal Shusterman's Unwind series which follows a trio of teens set to be 'unwound', a process where all of their organs are transplanted into different donors leaving them technically alive but no longer whole. I won't say anything about the actual plot of the final book as I don't want to spoil the conclusion for anyone who might be planning on reading the series but I will say it was definitely my favourite read of the month!

I followed up with the second title in another series I recently started, Flawless (Sara Shepard, 2006), which follows the group best known as the Pretty Little Liars. The story picks up where the first book left off with the girls still trying to solve the mystery of A, and of course there were a few more twists and turns thrown in along the way. Just like the previous book I thought it was a nice quick read however I'm still firmly more of a fan of the show than the original novels.

Next up I read The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting (Holly Bourne, 2014) a YA novel which I felt had definite Mean Girls vibes. Set in the UK the book tells the story of seventeen year old Bree a wannabe author looking to lead a more interesting life that will inspire her next novel. As part of the plan Bree gets a makeover and works her way into the popular clique whilst secretly blogging about the whole experience. I picked up this title from my local library based on the many positive reviews I'd read online however it didn't turn out to be a favourite for me and I think it would perhaps be better suited to readers around Bree's age.

Another title I'd seen great reviews for was Love Letters To The Dead (Ava Dellaira, 2014) an epistolary novel with an intriguing plot focusing on teenager Laurel and the mystery of what happened to her older sister May. What starts out as an English assignment to write a letter to a dead person turns into a comforting way for Laurel to deal with her feelings and tell her story, filling a whole book with letters to various celebrities. Along the way we learn not just about Laurel's story but also snippets of the lives of those she is addressing the letters to which I thought was an interesting addition.

The final book in this roundup was also my first re-read of the year (and only my fourth re-read ever!) The Stepford Wives (Ira Levin, 1972). I'm sure most of you will already be familiar with the unique plot of The Stepford Wives but I'll be posting more about this one as part of the first update on my 2015 challenge so keep an eye out for that if you're intrigued to hear more about the classic title.

Reviews posted in February...
- Beaded Jewelry: Wire Work Techniques, Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans & Kate Feld (2015)
- Beaded Jewelry: Knotting Techniques, Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans & Kate Feld (2015)
- Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard (2006)
- The Bookshop Book, Jen Campbell (2014) 
- Cut Out + Keep: Around The USA In 50 Craft Projects, Cat Morley & Tom Waddington (2015)

What did you read this month?
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