Posts filed under ‘Books’

A little reward

Every once in a while, you need a little reward… so I got another Japanese embroidery book!

Japanese floral embroidery book

There was a time when I was obsessed with ladybugs…

Japanese floral embroidery book

Love these daisies – so simple and sweet.

Japanese floral embroidery book

And these random shapes are pretty eye-catching!

Japanese floral embroidery book

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March 18, 2015 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

Halfway around the world

Last week I had the pleasure of going to the launch of my friend Zoe Boccabella‘s second book, Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar. Whereas her first, Mezza Italiana, explored her heritage in Italy, this one captures the stories of her grandparents as they made the huge step of moving halfway around the world to set up a new life here in Australia. Of course, I came straight home and started reading – and I can report that I’m really enjoying it so far!

Zoe Boccabella Joe's Fruit Shop and Milk Bar book

February 16, 2015 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

Even more Japanese embroidery inspiration

I’ve been meaning to take some pictures of this lovely Japanese embroidery book to show you for a while. Nothing like the holidays for taking stock and remembering all those things that didn’t quite make it to the to-do list…

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

This book doesn’t have a particular theme, but there’s a lot of beautiful satin stitch and detailed close-up photos, along with outline drawings for all the works.

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

Plenty of inspiration – I always love anatomical hearts!

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

And there are also heaps of examples of creative lettering, like this one. Very pretty!

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

January 6, 2015 at 7:11 am Leave a comment

Two colours are better than one

I was a big fan of Japanese embroidery maestro Yumiko Higuchi‘s One Colour Embroidery book and I’m very excited to report that her new book, Two Colour Embroidery, is even better! It’s testament to the amazing things you can do with needle and thread – and a very simple concept.

Two Colour Embroidery book

Pears! Such a simple design, but so effective.

Two Colour Embroidery book

Zebras! Too cute!

Two Colour Embroidery book

And this image shows Yumiko Higuchi’s extraordinary way with French knots…

Two Colour Embroidery book

August 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm 4 comments

Folk fusion

Mr A recently came across this book for me on European folk fabric design and dress – part of the Pepin Press series on fashion, textiles and patterns. It’s an A4 sized collection with heaps of bright photos of fabric and embroidery designs from central and south-eastern Europe.

European folk book

The historical photos are great – alongside close-ups of similar embroidery designs, they reinforce just how much work went into some of these garments.

European folk book

The book also includes a disc of images and patterns, including these elaborate redwork and blackwork examples, so you can print them out and try them yourself.

European folk book

I’m a big fan of crewel embroidery and there are plenty of examples included in this book too. Fun for hours!

European folk book

July 3, 2014 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

Cover to cover

When Mr A and I were in Melbourne in January – it seems like ages ago now – we paid a visit to one of our favourite bookstores, Metropolis, and this is one of the special books that came home with us. It’s exactly as described: a miscellany of terms used to quantify groups of things. It’s the kind of book that I would have read from cover to cover as a child!

Compendium of Collective Nouns book

As you can see, it’s going to be a great source of inspiration and is already collecting a few post-it notes for a new series of woodcuts Mr A is planning. Me? I just want to make a circus of puffin cushions!

Compendium of Collective Nouns book

February 25, 2014 at 10:39 am Leave a comment

Things to make and do

It’s Lifeline Bookfest time again, which means hours of wandering up and down tables of tightly packed secondhand books of all descriptions, looking for hidden gems. As well as a few novels, I came across this early 1960s educational tome full of all kinds of homemade fun – like making pipe-cleaner dolls, 3D animals and a cardboard skyscraper.

Things to Make and Do book

Shadow puppets…

Things to Make and Do book

And all manner of paper-folding exercises. I think it’s going to be a good source of inspiration…

Things to Make and Do book

January 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

There’s a lesson in that

Mr A has long since worked out that to get me to have a proper holiday, he needs to remove me from the vicinity of my sewing machine! So for my birthday last year he bought us a long weekend in Melbourne, which we’ve just arrived back from. It was heaps of fun and I’ll tell you about our adventures later in the week, but I want to share my favourite find – this gorgeous retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Fir Tree with lavish illustrations by Brighton-based printmaker and illustrator Sanna Annukka. Even the shape of the book is eye-catching, an extra-long, slim edition.

The Fir Tree book

It’s no surprise from the illustrations inside that Sanna Annukka also designs for Finnish textile brand Marimekko. It was wonderful to read the story again – our weekend away was about enjoying each other’s company and stopping to appreciate all the fantastic things about our lives, so it was a timely and beautiful keepsake which will hopefully act as a lasting reminder.

The Fir Tree book

January 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm 2 comments

More stupendously great embroidery

I recently came across a rather wonderful embroidery book in one of my favourite local book haunts, Avid Reader at West End, and I’m so glad I snapped it up as a quick online search reveals that it seems to be out of print already. It’s really special, so I thought I’d share a few pictures. You can also see images from a Stitch Show exhibition held in Tokyo in September on the Tokyo Craft Guide blog (but I’m warning you, it’s a Pandora’s box!).

Stitch Show embroidery book

This 3D embroidery by Emi Takazawa is included in the ‘Traditional’ section, which I would have called the ‘This Will Render You Speechless’ section.

Stitch Show embroidery book

It’s hard to pick absolute favourites, but this robin by Kimika Hara would have to be right up there – talk about painting with thread!

Stitch Show embroidery book

Just lovely – flower buttons and cushion by Atelier Taffeta.

Stitch Show embroidery book

October 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm 1 comment

Spring is in the air

This week I’ve had a fantastic time pottering around at home, sewing, listening to the BBC (local radio during an election week got a bit much for me!), walking around my neighbourhood and visiting a few of the spring fetes and festivals that are in abundant supply at the moment.

I found these lovely Royal Copenhagen vases on a browse through the Paddington Antique Centre. Sadly, neither of them came home with me…

Royal Copenhagen vases

Speaking of Royal Copenhagen, today my friend Yolanda and I went across town to the annual Scandi Festival at Newstead and the ice cream was very, very good! This year it seemed to be all about the food, although there were also some craft stalls including Icelandic knitting and Lego jewellery. On the walk from the car, this whale caught our eye – to give you an idea of scale, it took up half the wall of a very large warehouse!

Whale graffiti

Yesterday we popped by the Oakleigh State School fete at Ashgrove, where I scored a couple of unexpected bargains including this Japanese embroidery book.

Ondori embroidery book

I’m getting a bit of a collection of these Ondori books…

Ondori embroidery book

Love that Arabesque embroidery on the right page!

Ondori embroidery book

September 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm 2 comments

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