Friday, 24 March 2017

The Button Box, by Lynn Knight.

The story of women in the 20thcentury, told through the clothes they wore

Lynn Knight

Vintage paperback 2017

£ 8.99 UK/$18.99 CAN

ISBN 978-0-099-59309-6

This has nothing to do with papercraft, although I have noticed that papercrafters are incredibly fond of button embellishments. Neither is this a book review – because I have not yet read this title. I am so very excited about my excellent find, I want to share it with you. This is just out in paperback. I can’t imagine I missed it when it was published in hardcover last year.

Anyhow, this is a social history of women told through the buttons in Lynn Knight’s family button box. (I had a button box – it was black and had a golden embossed swordfish on the lid... my mysterious treasure trove.) Lynn Knight has also written a bio of Clarice Cliff, the renowned (and very collectable) ceramic artist, which is also on my very long reading list. Each chapter of The Button Box has a flagship illustration of a button – jet button, shank button, toggle... :) Are you tempted to read?

This book is surfing on a lit trend – using objects as a way in to biography or social history. I heartily recommend The Real Jane Austen, a life in small things, by Paula Byrne, which was, I think, the first of its kind (all credit to Paula Byrne, admired and copied by many). Nothing papercrafty about that either, although Jane Austen had a lovely writing desk which is featured within.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Paper Stars, by Karen-Marie Fabricius. Review.

25 festive decorations for every occasion

By Karen-Marie Fabricius

Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications, Ltd.,  March 2017

Paperback, £12.99

ISBN 978-1-78494-337-0

Star rating (very appropriate!):  ****

This delightful new title from Danish papercrafter  Karen-Marie Fabricius will surely brighten your crafting day. In Denmark, paper stars are part of the festive tradition. Making paper stars is Karen-Marie’s pet project – and in this title, she shares her star-making know-how with you – folded, papercut, woven and most prominently, stars fashioned using a quilling comb. The stars would make superb party decs – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries   and come into their own at Christmastime, of course. 

The Woven Star section contains some designs you may be familiar with – the 3-D Froebel Star, made out of woven paper strips, popular mini Lucky stars (wishing stars), Swing Star (curled segments, in strips). The Origami section contains pleasing modular designs – Faaborg is a swirl of interlocking elongated triangles, Svendborg is a mind-boggling modular origami 3-D extravaganza. Many of these stars provide good opportunities for using mixed prints – always a cheerful option.  The kirigami section is perhaps the weakest (it is the least 3-D), but here you will find the neat idea of using two interlocking shapes to construct the finished star. 

The Quilling Stars are splendid. Fabulous filigreed extravaganzas. There are excellent construction step-by-steps for these (and all the projects in the book) – so you can create the stars in a methodical manner. Foolproof! Some of the stars use only the quilling comb, others use comb plus conventional quilling tool. Some are purely geometric, others are shaped into graceful organic curves.

The author had thought of everything – she has even included a tutorial on how to magic your own quilling comb out of paper and cocktail sticks, should the need (or inclination) arise. And, at the back of the book, are handy templates with grids and concentric circles, for keeping your stars on track.

Each section has a welcoming intro blurb – hygge – in which the author shares her personal take on the projects to come. A sprinkling of historical info, some personal reminiscences, suggestions for project end-use. Nicely done, and very Scandinavian on-trend .:)

Note: I was given a review copy of this title.

Monday, 13 March 2017

The invention of paper

There'd be no Papercraft Post without the invention of paper. :) Here's a capsule history from the BBC: