Putting your hands to good use is the theme of these top-notch gardening and arts and crafts books, all reviewed in Booklist
between May 15, 2016, and May 1, 2017. —Rebecca Vnuk
200 Skills Every Fashion Designer Must Have: The Indispensable Guide to Building Skills and Turning Ideas into Reality. By
Aisling McKeefry. 2016. Barron’s, $24.99 (9781438008967).
The skills outlined in this book—divided into sections focused on design, illustration,
fabrics, garment construction, branding, and career skills—are intended to be a start-to-finish guide for the aspiring fashion designer.
The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being. By
Kathi Keville. 2016. Timber, $24.95 (9781604695496).
Fragrances attract or repel, so are important in the natural and social worlds. The photographs accompanying these aromatic-plant profiles are lovely and inviting to gardeners
who wish to plant and nurture a fragrant garden.
Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself. By Carin Oliver. 2016. Quirk,
Fun and thrifty possibilities for cats are featured here, including not just hideouts but
also scratching objects and a geometric pleated tunnel.
Crochet Geometry: Geometric Patterns to Fit and Flatter. By Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby.
2016. Lark, $17.95 (9781454709190).
These inventive and playful designs are all built on rectangles, circles, and triangles as
foundations; it’s all about having fun with geometry.
Essential Pruning Techniques: Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers. Rev. ed. By George E.
Brown. 2017. Timber, $49.95 (9781604692884).
In contrast to the previous edition, entries here often feature one or more color photos
of a highlighted plant—nearly 700 images in all—along with, as before, pruning tips and
notes on habit.
Freeform Crochet with Confidence: Unlock the Secrets of Freeform Crochet with 30
Fun Projects. By Carol Meldrum. 2016. Barron’s, $18.99 (9781438007007).
This guide to crocheting without true patterns allows readers to investigate the possibilities of free-form crochet in an organized manner, offering instruction, tips, and projects.
Fresh from the Garden: An Organic Guide to Growing Vegetables, Berries, and Herbs in
Cold Climates. By John Whitman. 2017. Univ. of Minnesota, $49.95 (9780816698394).
This an excellent resource for home gardeners at any level, especially beginners, offering a thorough introduction to the basics of organic gardening.
Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants in Your Garden. By Noel
Kingsbury. 2016. Timber, $40 (9781604695656).
This work details the history of each genus’ cultivation, from ancient to modern times;
varieties; growing conditions; literary references; and culinary and landscaping uses,
among other topics.
Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties and Planting the
Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat. By Barbara Pleasant. May 2017. Storey, $19.95
The heart of the book is a showcase of 28 “pantry” vegetables, from asparagus to winter squash, and throughout, author Pleasant reconnects our imagination to our soil to our
labor to our mouths.
Wise Craft Quilts: A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork. By Blair
Stocker. 2017. Roost, $29.95 (9781611803488).
Vintage or secondhand fabrics, whether from cherished events and persons or thriftshop finds, provide the foundation for Stocker’s collection of 21 quilts, all with amazing
TOP 10 CRAFTS & GARDENING
assume the reader will obtain milk directly
(no instructions for raising backyard cows or
goats) and includes butters, yogurts, cheeses,
and more. Beginning beekeepers will appreciate the background information as well as
practical instructional guides. Overall, a
detail-laden volume ideal for hobbyists and
serious DIYers. —Anne Heidemann
Fashion Jewelry: A Beginner’s Guide to
By Courtney Legenhausen.
June 2017. 176p. illus. Lark, paper, $21.95
Jeweler Legenhausen begins her guide to
jewelry making with a brief discussion about
design, noting that nature is a “huge source of
inspiration” for her, along with architecture,
objects, and the human form itself. She encourages readers to start with a sketch, then
quickly moves on to an illustrated introduction to the tools of the craft, which include a
wonderful variety of pliers and such materials as metals in both sheets and wire, clasps
and pins, beads and string. Legenhausen
suggests using inexpensive materials while
getting the hang of the techniques, which
are covered in baby steps, each demonstrated
in bright and open page-layouts featuring
crisp, close-up photographs. She covers bead
stringing, wire wrapping, pearl knotting,
jump rings, and hammering metal. Readers
then arrive at the projects section, in which
Legenhausen matches basic techniques to 16
forms of jewelry invitingly open to interpretation, including an elastic beaded bracelet,
chandelier earrings, and a stamped letter
pendant. With useful charts and resource information as well as lots of encouragement,
this is a superbly well-designed and effective
how-to. —Donna Seaman
The Fine Art of Paper Flowers: A
Guide to Making Beautiful and Lifelike
By Tiffanie Turner.
Aug. 2017. 264p. illus. Watson-Guptill, $25
Turner has spent years perfecting her technique for creating flowers from crepe paper,
wire, and glue, focusing on making realistic
(but not 100 percent botanically accurate)
creations that evoke the real thing. Lest one
think that crepe paper is just one thing, she
recommends seven types which can be worked
in seven different ways to create varying looks.
A number of familiar blooms are included,
such as bougainvillea, carnation, daffodil,
morning glory, and a variety of roses. Even the
humble dandelion is here. A chapter outlines
the leaves, stems, and buds that complete the
look of each faux blossom, with specific details
provided for each type of plant. Most of the
book is focused on creating stemmed flowers
appropriate for arranging, but instructions for
several other specific uses are also provided:
garlands, boutonnières, bouquets, crowns,
fascinators, and headdresses. A final chapter
describes creating giant flowers using balloons