Monday, 24 October 2011

BOOK REVIEW: CRAFT by Kirstie Allsopp

“ a good book to make stuff with the kids”

Kirstie Allsopps new book Craft, seems to be making waves in the book charts this Autumn, so being a lover of most things handmade and always interested in what makes a good bestseller, I wanted to investigate. 

For those of you internationally who are unsure of who Kirstie is, don't worry, she's a very much homegrown British product, so you'll either love her or you'll hate her for it. She is a buxom country girl from good stock, with a thick mane of glossy black hair, who has presented a how to sell your property style program in the UK for years, you may have heard of her famous cousin, Cath Kidston? 

The book cover sees a picture of Kirstie with a TV grin on her face, holding a basket of designer crafty delights, including the pink version of a roll of Cole and Son Wallpaper I have in my bedroom. I hate to say it, looking very slightly like a Stepford Wife, but not to worry the photos inside are far more natural!

The book itself has a simple fresh design & photography which is very nice and clear. It is based on a TV series, so the projects reflect the varied nature of the show, which consists of entering Country Craft Shows – fundamentally a really lovely idea. The projects are, in the most part very simple and good for an out of town very beginner; a mix of sweet classic ideas with the super basic, this book is not for someone seeking the fashionable new wave of arts and crafts (yes we do need to come up with a name for this) its more for the old school, which is great when you are just starting out, it has an air of the 1970s Things To Make, Ladybird books.  On a positive note this makes great rainy day projects for mum and kids, such as the Ice Cream Balls, the Paper Dolly Chain and Handmade Paper, all things I made with my mum when I was little.

As Kirstie is not an experienced crafter or maker, in the same way Jamie is a cook or Martha is a Crafter; she is someone who loves arts and crafts and who is fundamentally a presenter about a subject she admires. This book is more about her experiences of craft, and not perhaps the exciting new stuff which is going on out there at the moment. Not to say there is still a big market for it which is clear by how well it is doing, a really good book to make stuff with the kids.

paper jewellery

table runner

paper angels

button jewellery

ice cream balls

photo album

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