American Craft magazine has a special digital bonus issue out now. The Craft of Design goes behind the scenes with 25 artists and craftspeople and showcases what they create. You won't want to miss Wendy Stevens metal purses and Jennifer Merchant's layered acrylic jewelry.
Finny Stools by Scott McGlasson
Lost & Found Mug Set by Andrew Gilliatt
Today I am so excited to have a project excerpt from the new book from Nails, Nails, Nails! by Madeline Poole (published by Chronicle Books). This small format book features 25 gorgeous and creative DIY nail designs. Each project comes with step by step photos so you can make your own nails fancy!
One lucky Coquette reader will win a copy of Nails, Nails, Nails!. To enter, please leave a comment to this post telling me why you want this book. Please note that you must be a resident of the US or Canada. The giveaway will end on Friday, June 14, 2013 at 5pm PST. Good luck!
Half Moon Nails
from Nails, Nails, Nails! by Madeline Poole
This is a girly yet grown-up look, featuring painted crescents and retro color contrast. Color-coordinate your outfit for two-toned fun.
Get the full DIY for the Half Moon Nails after the jump!
When I received Amy Palanjian's new book, So Pretty! Felt my 4 year old immediately said "Oh Mommy can we make these flowers?", referring to the beautiful array of felt flowers on a fabric clutch pictured on the cover of this book. Amy is the former deputy editor of ReadyMade magazine and her previous book is So Pretty! Crochet, one of my all time favorite crochet books (Coquette post here.) Needless to say, I am excited to be a part of the So Pretty! Felt blog tour. The book contains 24 stylish projects that are really easy to make. Many of them are so wonderful to make and give as gifts. Perfect for anyone to start DIY'ing!
Here are a few of my favorite projects:
I have a good felt collection and I love working with felt. It's one of the easiest materials to craft with because you never have to worry about frayed edges. These Rosette Hairpins are an easy way to get started and break into my felt stash. I love how they can dress up your ordinary bobby pins. I plan on making a few for my daughter.
This Double Ruffle Necklace is perfect for a little pop of color and texture to an outfit.
Likewise for the Spiral Necklace. It's such a beautiful statement necklace and the color combinations can take your outfit to the next level.
If you're interested in making very stylish projects that are easy, So Pretty! Felt is for you!
Please visit the rest of the blogs below for the So Pretty! Felt blog tour happening through next week!
Thursday, May 9 – The Sweetest Occasion and Ambrosia Creative
Friday, May 10 – West Coast Crafty and One More Mushroom
Saturday, May 11 – Mod Podge Rocks
Monday, May 13 – Handmade Charlotte and Fabric Paper Glue
Tuesday, May 14 – MINT and A Spoonful of Sugar
Wednesday, May 15 – Positively Splendid and Hart and Sew
Thursday, May 16 – Rouge and Whimsy and So You Think You're Crafty
Friday, May 17 – Aesthetic Nest and Dollar Store Crafts
I have lived with my French man (aka my husband) for nine years. I now understand the nuances of French cooking which I have learned from both my husband and my in-laws, on our many travels to France. French cooking isn't as complicated as most people think. Their dishes incorporate lots of healthy vegetables and stews.
This is why I love Rachel Khoo's new cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes ($19.88 on Amazon), published by Chronicle Books. First off, who can resist a stylish Brit who sautés while clad in red lipstick looking like she jumped out from an Anthropologie catalog? The Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef grad who has her own BBC cooking show of the same name, cooks her French cuisine in her teeny-tiny Paris kitchen with only a mini oven and two gas rings. It makes you amazed that if this young gal can cook in such a small space with limited equipment, I too can whip up French fare in my "big" (compared to hers) apartment kitchen.
(Photos: Chronicle Books)
Rachel brings in the home-style of French cooking but brings in her own twists which I love. Pot au Feu is an essential soup in our household. We have it a lot in the winter or when someone in the family is sick. Usually by the third day of the big pot of beef soup, we devour it on the first day and by the third day, everyone is over it. Rachel provides some fantastic additional recipes such as sauces and a fajita recipe for the leftover meat and veggies. There is also a classic ratatouille recipe that most will love. For me, it's a great way for me to get my daughter to eat veggies. (I also love how she tries to teach me how to say "ratatouille" in a perfect Parisian French accent.)
Since Rachel is a trained pastry chef, dessert recipes are included in the book, but for me the main entrees and side dishes make this a must have book for everyday cooking. I have read this book cover to cover which I can't say I do for most cookbooks. (The photos of her around Paris are divine!) A lot of the wisdom that Rachel brings in her book, I can hear my father-in-law, Jean-Marie say as well. But I love how Rachel brings her own voice to this with a touch of originality by suggesting or adding other ingredients to create a different twist. My advice to you is to start with some of the stews, seafood and veggie dishes in the cookbook. You definitely won't go wrong. Then work your way up to the more advanced recipes featuring meats and the desserts.
(Photo: EasyLiving UK)
My first recipe I tried from this book was the Spring Lamb Stew (Navarin d'Aagneau Printanier). I know it was delicious because everyone in my family devoured it without saying a word.
The next recipe I am going to try is this Cassoulet Soup. Watch the video above from BBC Food.
I also love what Alexis Watts of Chronicle Books is doing on the Chronicle Books blog. She's trying out recipes from The Little Paris Kitchen over the course of the next few months just like the Julie/Julia project.
As digital as I am, when it comes to books nothing beats cracking open a real paper book and smelling that new scent of paper. Ah! Books become memories and I am lucky that while growing up my parents would always give me books as gifts. Some of my childhood books (where some are at least 35 years old) adorn my daughter's bookshelf, taped up tattered spines and all.
As the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping soon arrives, Chronicle Books has started a wonderful idea for us to share the gift of a good book with their Give Books campaign. Whether you are young or old, no one can deny how special a good book can really be. Think of a special book you love and want to share or match a book to your BFF's personality.
This holiday, Give Books!
Books make the perfect gift: They're personal. They're beautiful. They can inspire creativity and transport you to another world. Driven by a shared love of books, reading, and a commitment to support bookstores and literacy, Chronicle is launching a community-driven campaign to Give Books this holiday. We're partnering with authors, artists, bloggers, bookstores, and librarians to share their favorite reads and inspire your gift-giving this season. Whether you love the smell of books, the feel of paper, or the sight of colorful spines lining the shelves, join us this holiday and Give Books.
Now through December 31, enjoy 30% off + free ground shipping on all holiday orders at ChronicleBooks.com! Enter discount code GIVEBOOKS at checkout.
I've chosen 10 books and paper goods below which I plan to give to family and friends this holiday season. And guess what? You can win each of these 10 books too by entering this giveaway. Simply leave a comment to this post to enter. The giveaway will run through this week and end on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 5pm PST.
Note: This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced soon. Thanks to everyone who entered!
Here are my 10 picks for the holiday gifts for my family and friends:
Boo Little Dog in the Big City ($12.95)
100 Years in Fashion ($40)
Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful ($29.95)
Step It Up Knits ($22.95)
Paris in Color ($19.95)
Decorate Workshop ($27.50)
Liberty Art Nouveau Notecard Set ($15.95)
Julia Rothman Bookshelf 2013 Agenda ($12.99)
Chronicle Books will be having a huge Back To School Warehouse Sale next week. Save 65% on select titles!The sale will be at Chronicle Books Corporate Headquarters ONLY.
680 Second Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Wednesday, August 22, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday, August 23, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday, August 24, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Stock up on back to school items, gifts for yourself and friends with 65% off hundreds of selected titles. Choose from cookbooks, children’s books, lifestyle + home, arts + crafts, art + design, photography, travel, pop culture, and music titles. Plus, journals, stationery, and much more!
Happy Home: Twenty-One Sewing and Craft Projects to Pretty Up Your Home
By Jennifer Paganelli
I often have friends tell me they have a sewing machine and that they want to learn how to sew. My answer to them always is that they need to find the right project and to just start working on it. The more sew, the more you hone your sewing skills. That's why I love this new sewing/craft book, Happy Home: Twenty-One Sewing and Craft Projects to Pretty Up Your Home by Sis Boom Fabrics founder and designer Jennifer Paganelli (published by Chronicle Books). The book features beautiful home and entertaining projects that each have step-by-step instructions. Patterns for the projects are also included in a special envelope in the front of the book.
My good friend Dolin O'Shea of Lulu Bliss contributed to this book with her technical expertise. She assisted Jennifer in the technical pattern writing portion of the book. Dolin is such an amazing crafter and spent over ten years as a pattern designer at the Gap. Trust me, she knows her stuff! (Check out her knitting and crochet patterns.)
What I love about the book is how inspiring the book can be. With Jennifer's colorful Sis Boom fabrics used in the projects, you also get a dose of inspiration on decor and entertaining. As a crafter myself, I really like the detailed the descriptive illustrations are that go along with each project. This is especially helpful for complicated projects like a quilt. I'm a very visual person and love making quilts but I always forget the steps on sewing on the binding. This book has been so helpful in showing the right way to sew around the corners and get that perfect binding fold.
If you are a beginning sewer, some of the projects I recommend are Project No. 1: Rachel's Ruffle Pillow. It's always easy to start with a pillow project because it's a good-sized project that a newbie can easily accomplish. I also love Project No. 8: Laundry Bag, and the Napkins from Project No. 13. These are good starter projects to get your sewing muscles going.
For you bag lovers, you won't want to miss this simple project called Millie's Market Tote. It's just perfect for sewing a little treat for yourself.
If you can't sew but love pretty things, there are quite a few projects where all you need is a hot glue gun. I love the Pretty Box project above and the Pom-Pom Party Poufs below.
Happy Home does a great job of mixing sewing and crafts with plenty of inspiration and color!
Earlier this February, my friends over at Chronicle Books asked me as well as a few other fashion folks about what trends we saw coming from the New York Fashion Week fall shows. Designer Aya Akazawa (@petitgraphiste) wrote up this post on the Chronicle Books blog talking about the design process for creating these oh so stylish Pocketbooks that will be available soon.
I can't help that one of my favorite patterns this fall is polka dots and this sweet polka dot printed Pocketbook will look oh so stylish inside my handbag.
You can pre-order the set of Pocketbooks featuring 3 paperback mini journals (4" X 5 1/2") for$9.95. (Available after October 12, 2011)
If you missed it, check out my Fall 2011 fashion trend report featuring the colors, patterns, and styles you should look out for as you shop for your fall wardrobe.
Today I'm a part of the blog tour for Brett Bara's new book, Sewing in a Straight Line. Brett is one of those amazing crafters I have known for many years that can make just about anything. She's the host of Knit and Crochet Now on PBS, has a DIY column on Design Sponge, and crafts for her own blog, Manhattan Craft Room. She's got a great sense of style so it's no wonder that this book has some great fashion projects that are really easy to sew. In fact, all you need to know is how to sew in a straight line.
The projects in the book are stylish and sophisticated but are really simple to make. Brett gives you the basic building blocks to basic stylish pieces that you can use again and again and customize to your own taste. She also teaches you more sewing skills as you go such as how to easily sew zippers and more.
As a fashion-lover, I adore the clothing styles in this book. Sew a one-hour skirt (video how-to is below) or a zig-zag belt. There are so many great clothing projects, I just can't decide which one to start first! A favorite of mine is the flowy easy, breezy blouse that you can sew up literally in no time. It's so stylish for a wonderful summer day and can also be a beautiful beach cover up. As a bag lover, I also love that Brett has projects that goes beyond the regular tote. She has a handbag project using faux leather that doesn't look handmade at all. It's gorgeous I tell you! Just think how fun it will be to sew up your own wardrobe!
The book also has some amazing home projects such as this duvet cover and folded flower bowls. (They look so Anthropologie, no? LOVE it!) Give a quick update your home with these easy DIY pieces that are fresh and modern. From 15 minute pillow shams to a stylish pixelated throw for your couch, there are so many great projects you can easily make for your home.
As a part of the blog tour, Brett is I'm giving away a Singer sewing machine and a Singer serger! Yes one winner gets both machines! This contest will be open for the duration of the blog tour, and the winner will be drawn on August 12. Enter the giveaway now!
Visit Brett's Sewing in a Straight Line book page to find out more about her book and the line up for the rest of the blog tour.