Tag: imagination

9 Arts & Crafts Books To Help You Make Awesome Creations

If you’re suffering from a little work or world burnout and want both a distraction and something creative to do, then this list is for you. These books will teach you new crafts to get your hands and your imagination working, and you’ll find yourself relaxed and surrounded by tons of art in no time.

Image Via Simon and Schuster

1. Faerie Knitting: 14 Tales of Love and Magic by Alice Hoffman and Lisa Hoffman

This brilliant book combines stories and crafts. Faerie Knitting is a collection of fourteen original fairy tales about love, loss, trust, perseverance, and a magical garment. Each tale incorporates a magical accessory representing the values and qualities of the heroine, and the book includes a original knitting pattern so you can make it yourself! This is definitely the perfect book for lovers of books and of knitting, as it takes both concepts and combines them to make the stories more tangible and the creations more meaningful.

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2. Pyrography Workbook: A Complete Guide to the Art of Woodburning by Sue Walters

Okay, you should definitely be careful with this one and follow all the safety instructions included within, but if you love fire and art, then this book might be for you! Pyrography is a Victorian art that means to draw with fire. Walters covers inspiration and practical information for both novices and advanced burners, and she will teach you how to prepare your wood, select materials, and finish your project. The book is highly-detailed and very informative, and numerous techniques are covered and taught. If you’re interests, check out Pyrography Workbook! Just please be careful.

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3. Mixed Media Mosaics: Techniques and Projects Using Polymer Clay Tiles, Beads, & Other Embellishments by Laurie Mika

This is another book that will help you through the whole crafting process. Mixed Media Mosaics will teach you how to make your own tiles with polymer clay, so that you can control the shape, size, color, texture and make your tiles just how you want them. You’ll learn traditional tiling techniques, how to work with grout, how to cut glass tiles, and then you can let your imagination run wild and make whatever you want! Do you want to give your mosaics a regal look? This book covers mica powders, and how you can use them to do just that. Do you want to paint? Make molds and cast your own relief tiles? Text tiles? Or add some beads, jewelry, or other embellishments to your artwork? Check out this book!

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4. F*ck Off, I’m Coloring! Swear Word Coloring Book by Adult Coloring Books

Okay, this one is a little less about learning something new, but it’s still an awesome way to get your creative juices flowing and give your brain a break. All while laughing at the brilliance of this book. If you’re an adult who’s got both a little anger at the world and some colored pencils, this is the book for you! This book has forty creative and complex pictures which you can color in to your heart’s content, helping you relax and let off some steam. And the “classic and wonderfully original ideas, exclamations, and swear words” in the designs that you get color in don’t hurt either. Go check this out and have fun!

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5. Whimsical Stitches: A Modern Makers Book of Amigurumi Crochet Patterns by Lauren Espy

With Amigurumi, the Japanese art of crochet design, any crocheter, novice or advanced, can create these adorable little cuddly creations. Whimsical Stitches includes easy-to-follow patterns, pictures, and instructions so in no time you’ll have one of these amazing crafts to call your own. Espy has divided the patterns into five themes: In the Garden, At the Aquarium, Down on the Farm, At the Bakery, and At the Market. You’ll be able to explore a variety of fun and creative patterns and projects.

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6. Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move by Keisuke Saka and translated by Eri Hamaji

Karakuri are traditional Japanese mechanized puppets, and this book will teach you the intricacies—gears, cranks, cams, levers, etc.—behind these amazing creations. It includes pull-out pages so you can make your own while following the detailed and informative instructions and diagrams. Karakuri will also teach you about the physics behind how the puppets move and operate, so you actually learn about how it works and you’re not just following instructions blindly. If you’ve got a creative and imaginative spirit and a analytical mind ready to learn, this is the book for you!

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7. Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book: Fun, Easy-to-Make Projects with Your Swiss Army Knife by Chris Lubkemann

This is another craft to be cautious about, but when you’ve learned how to turn nothing but a twig, a few minutes, and a Swiss Army Knife into forty-three unique, creative, useful objects, it’ll be worth it. This book includes step-by-step instructions for whittling basically everything, like utensils, knitting needles, a bow and arrow, animals, coasters, and so much more. Lubkemann also provides advice and information on how to choose your wood, how to sharpen your blade, and how to safely control your knife. So get those creative wheels turning, and learn how to whittle!

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8. Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the Hive by Petra Ahnert

No, this isn’t actually magic, though it might as well be from how cool it sounds. Apiarist Petra Ahnert will teach you about the history of beeswax and how to mold it into stunning and useful creations. The book includes step-by-step instructions for making candles, balms, salves, creams, scrubs, soaps, ornaments, art, and more out of beeswax. You can follow along with the beautiful pictures while you make the most amazing crafts. And if you’re slightly scared of bees or don’t want to intrude on their space, don’t worry, you can use store-bought beeswax. Go check this book out!

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9. Macramé: The Craft of Creative Knotting for Your Home written by Fanny Zedenius with photography by Kim Lighbody

Macramé, using knots to create intricate creations, is a fascinating and complex craft. Zedenius will teach you what you need to get started and about the thirty most popular knots, and she provides tips on how to combine different knots to make different and unique patterns. She also gives advice on how to hang and display your creations so you can show off your hard work. And that’s not all—this book covers how to ombré dye your creations, how to cleverly fray them, and how to add beads for even more creativity. If you’re at a loss where to start, you can just follow the instructions of one of the twenty-two projects, including “impressive wall-hangings, a beautiful table runner and napkins, whimsical dream catchers, and pretty plant hangers.” If you’re looking to up your home décor game with some DIY crafts, this book is for you!

These nine books will take you through a variety of crafts and skills, teaching you and guiding you through the tricky parts and giving you instructions on how to start. So get your game face on, take a break from work, dust off the creative part of your brain, and spend some time learning how to make these brilliant creations!

Featured Image Via Supergurumi

4 Books to Read By This Underrated Fantasy Writer

If you’re a fan of fantasy, you’ve probably read J.K. Rowling, Leigh Bardugo, and all the other must-read authors that swoop you up into a world of dreams and magic. But you may or may not have read Italo Calvino, an Italian journalist known for his short stories and whimsical fiction. Born in 1923, Calvino seems almost ahead of his time in fantasy and immersive settings. These magical twists always come when least expected because, in a Calvino book, anything is possible. If you want to take a dive into Calvino’s world (and come out feeling like someone unplugged your connection to reality), here are four books to try.

 

1. Invisible cities

 

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image via atisuto17 on newgrounds.com

 

If you love urban fantasy, or you feel whispers of magic in the night lights of the city, Invisible Cities will feel absolutely unreal in the most beautiful way. In this collection of short stories, each chapter features the description of a whimsical city narrated by Venetian traveler Marco Polo who relays his travels through cities of memory, desire, design, the dead, and the sky.

There’s a spider-web city suspended above nothing but air on a series of nets, and inhabitants must climb around to get from place to place. There’s a city of waste where residents only use everything one time before throwing it away- one bar of soap per hand wash, one set of sheets and pillow per night’s sleep. There is a city that is forever under construction to prevent its destruction and a city of wells and buckets built over a massive lake.

Invisible Cities combines fantasy, metaphor, and social commentary in an absolutely breathtaking read.

 

2. IF ON A WINTER’S NIGHT A TRAVELER

 

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image via archzine.com

 

The first time you open If On A Winter’s Night A Travelerit’ll feel something like trying to read this. This book is about you, the reader, trying to read If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino, but you keep receiving incomplete copies missing parts of the plot, or completely different books altogether. As a result, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler (and we never find out what that traveler does on a winter’s night) ends up combining about eight different plots for novels in total, each one more intriguing than the next. We never find out the endings. It’s just as frustrating as it is fascinating and addictive. In fact, this meta novel is more about the experience of the reader. Calvino uses the opportunity to make fun of books, readers, writers, publishers, translators, booksellers, and anti-readers in a way that’s strangely relatable.

If you love reading and meta stuff, this is definitely a book for you.

 

 

3. THE BARON IN THE TREES

 

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image via dribble

 

When you were a kid, did you ever dream about running away from home and living in the forest, maybe building a treehouse where you can sulk in peace? The Baron in the Trees is the story of Cosimo di Rondó, a young Italian boy who had similar feelings after a fight with his family. He ran away into the trees and proceeded to live there for the rest of his life. Cosimo creates a whole world for himself in the trees, making friends, helping others, and solving worldly problems.

This book is for any fantasy lover who has elaborate dreams of escape into a world of their own making.

 

4. MARCOVALDO: The SEASONS IN THE CITY

 

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Image via ioannagalanomati.blogspot.com

 

I like to think of Marcovaldo as cartoons come to life. Marcovaldo is an unskilled worker living in an Italian industrial city. He’s just trying to live a normal life and care for his family, but more often than not his imagination gets the best of him. Imagine the scene in cartoons where a person gets covered in a pile of snow and becomes a snowman. This happens to Marcovaldo. Imagine the scene where a person falls asleep on a raft in the middle of a lake and drifts over a waterfall, still sleeping. This also happens to Marcovaldo. Anything and everything happens to Marcovaldo, and fantasy just keeps intruding on the boring monotony of his working life.

If you’re a daydreamer who would rather chase fantasy than stay grounded in reality, you’ll probably relate to Marcovaldo as much as I did.

 

Basically, if you’ve never read Calvino and you’re in the mood for some fantasy that is also self-aware and unique, you HAVE to try one of these.

 

 

 

Featured image via telegraph.co.uk