Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Bag: Clothes, Crafts, and CRAZY cool!

The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe
by Anuschka Rees
265 pages

Normally, this kind of book isn't my thing.  I'm just not that into clothes.  But I liked this book because:
A) it was about breaking away from the endless consumerism of buying cheap, disposable clothes and following fads and
B) it took into account the fact that there are many, many different styles and personality types when it comes to clothing and
C) it had exercises to help put the theories in to practice.  (For example, take a photo of what you are wearing every day for two weeks and then analyze what you are wearing a lot and what you look good in.  How does how you want to look match up with how you actually look?)

I thought the book was very sensible, and I am going to recommend it to Arwen when she gets a little older.

Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed
by Victoria Hudgins (Creator of the blog A Subtle Revelry)
175 pages

I will let the author telling you what the book is about in her own words.

It always begins the same: We see a pretty photo, we click the link.  We read a post that starts with "melt the wax" and we freeze because we don't really know how to melt wax, what kind of wax to use, or where to buy the wax.

We then search "working with wax" online and, upon article after article of technical jargon that often contradicts itself, and is full of unrelated keywords and obnoxious ads.  We get discouraged, downhearted, and quickly put aside the original idea we has to be creative, to make something new and unique with their hands.  And we returned to scrolling through the pin boards, seeing great ideas and dreaming about accomplishing them someday.

Victoria covers the basics of these categories:

  • spray paint
  • plaster of Paris
  • concrete
  • paper
  • thread
  • wax
  • would
  • Clay
  • glue
  • fabric
  • metal

She also has very simple projects included for each category.  There's some stuff I want to try, like the baskets woven from T-shirts and the concrete planters and the plaster of Paris/lace doily bowls.

Each section is not exhaustive – if you know a lot about what wood or fabric already, for example, you will find them pretty simple, but that is okay.  It's just enough to get someone started using each material.  And the projects are simple enough that you aren't going to get in over your head too much.

That's not the case at all for the next book, though.

Extraordinary Projects for Ordinary People: Do-It-Yourself Ideas from the People Who Actually Do Them
Edited by Noah Weinstein
465 Pages

This book represents the best (or the wackiest) of Intractablesl.com.

Most of these projects I couldn't do because they involved wires and programming something called an Arduino.

  But the cool factor is really high!

  • flame-growing jack-o'-lantern
  • Star Trek-style bedroom door
  • solar-powered ray gun
  • amphibious couch-bike
  • tree climbing robot
  • birdcage dress
  • pocket laser engraver
  • digital camera Halloween costume – that actually takes pictures
  • bike jacket with turn signal
  • bacon roses
  • vacuum-cleaner bazooka
  • solar-powered bicycle

Yes, the more I read the book the more nervous my husband got!  It has inspired me to want to turn our summer family reunion into a family events where we design and build a boat that can break down and fit in the back of a sedan.  I'd also like to make the next-and-bolts chocolate using a DIY silicone mold.

It really made me envy those people who have computers/electrical type of technical skills.  I need to get me some of those….

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