Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love by author and designer Blair Stocker is full of crafting projects primarily for the home, many made using recycled or everyday objects from your house. I counted 15 projects in each of the 4 project sections, which are organized per season: spring, summer, winter, and fall. That is a ton of projects! And they are all vary a lot as far as some are useful and some are simply decorative.
After the introduction, there is a section on basic tools you need for the projects. Then the book moves directly into the projects, and each project chapter starts off with a page full of thumbnail photos of the chapter’s projects. This book comes in hardcopy as well as Kindle form, so I’m guessing maybe the thumbnail photos are linked in the electronic version of the book. Still, it is nice to see them all on one reference page that includes the page numbers so that you can go right to a specific project if you see one you like.
As far as the projects go, they really range widely as far as skill level and use. For example, the “Mummy-Wrapped Vases and Votives” are obviously meant as decorations for Halloween, and they are a snap to make, easy peasy. But then there is the “Crocheted Treasure Bag” that doesn’t look super hard for anyone who knows how to crochet, but it is not an immediate gratification project either. Then there are projects that are more in the middle as far as time and skill required like the “Advent Calendar” that uses up lost of various wool and felt and other fabric scraps.
Lots of these project reuse materials, so if you are the type who enjoys recycling, especially when it comes to fiber, then you will find many of the projects in this book appealing. She recycles old sweaters a lot, bits of yarn, felt, etc. The author discusses this idea in this book trailer:
Wise Craft is published by Running Press and came out in March 2014. It is a chunky softcover book that is also available in digital format and retails $20 in the US and $23 in Canada. On Amazon, it is running around $15. The digital copy is $9.99. Along with all the interesting projects, it is a “pretty” book as far as the photography goes, though a few of the projects I would have liked to see more images of or more of the completed project. For example, the “Crocheted Treasure Bag,” which I could actually see myself making, does not show the bottom part of the bag. Maybe because the strap is so long this was an issue for the photo, but then a little sketch of the bag would be helpful, which is something done in some of the other projects, both showing a photo and illustration of the project.
Hand made and home and recycling are all wrapped up together in this unique craft book.