The Art Journal Workshop Traci Bunkers

61hoy+x-6BL._AC_US218_Pub: Quarry Books


Many people want to express themselves through visual journaling, but are stuck or intimidated with how to get started, what to write, or how to move beyond gluing down a few images or putting some paint on the paper.

With beautiful illustrations, The Art Journal Workshop breaks down the entire working process of journaling with step-by-step photos and instructions from start to finish. You’ll learn how to use different media such as paint, photographs, and collage, while following journaling prompts and exercises to help you dig deeper and enrich the journaling process and experience. Traci Bunkers discusses the benefits of visual journaling, and walks you through battling a creative funk when you’re feeling down or uninspired.

Additionally, The Art Journal Workshop provides exclusive access to online videos that show the author creating six visual journal pages from the book, start to finish, through time-lapse video clips. This visual guide enhances the information in the book, showing her work progress in a way that goes beyond what can be captured in still photographs or through text.


Visual Journalling has always been an interest of mine.

It enables me to be creative and expressive and is a hobby that can be picked up and put down at whim. I have several on the go at any one time and depending on my mood I can be inventive and as individual as I choose.

This book gives ideas and inspiration, and shows how from start to finish, an art journal can be a mindful and artistic exercise.

You do not need to be a fantastic artist to design a journal, words and pictures can be collaged, drawn and even photographs can be used. Glitter, fabric, leaves, nothing is out of bounds, all you need is your imagination.

Traci Bunkers gives sound advice and ideas for everyone to be able to construct such a book, it can be a travel journal, a memory book or even a gift to someone.

This quirky work book is brilliant, and a must have for anyone who needs a helping hand to begin. It is highly original and very inspiring.

What is important is that it is fun and meaningful to you.



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Making Fantasy Cloth Dolls Jan Horrox

51XpgPOwJWL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press Ltd

Building on the success of Jan Horrox’s previous book, Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls, Jan’s new book focuses on her exquisite fantasy dolls, including beautiful fairies, amazing mermaids, an enigmatic witch and a steampunk doll with attitude. These magical dolls are full of character and are amazingly easy to achieve with the help of this practical book. Step-by-step instructions are provided for all the basic techniques, including how to make the bodies, heads, arms, legs, hands and feet; how to make the hair; and how to needlesculpt and paint the exquisite faces to really bring your character to life. There are instructions for making webbed fingers, delicate fairy wings as well as a mermaid’s tail, and there are three easy-to-follow projects to put all your newly acquired skills into practice. Jan encourages the reader to use their imagination and create dolls of their own, and the alternative designs that accompany each project show how easily this can be done simply by changing the faces, colours, fabrics and embellishments used.


If you are a fan of making dolls then Jan Horrox will be a name you know.

This book is a fabulous and worthy follow up to her book, Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls, which is perfect if you are new to doll making.

This book is filled with wonderful fantasy dolls. Fairies, Mermaids and Witches are just divine. The illustrations alone are inspiring and creative.

The screen printing section in this book is brilliant, and gives you an opportunity to design your own fabrics for these projects.

Every step of making the dolls is easy to follow. The templates are full sized and the dolls themselves are amazing and intricate. Their fingers and toes are so life like, it is easy to see why these books are so so popular with doll makers and sewists.

My favourite has to be the witch Rhiannon, but each of the ladies are superb. There are six in total, and can be made using scraps from your stash or using specific designed fabric for a stunning effect.

These dolls are more than just dolls, they are future heirlooms and keepsakes.

Each one perfectly formed and beautifully dressed, their facial features give personality and charm.

Highly recommended.


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Each colour glossy page is filled with beautiful illustrations, that give a step by step guide to ensure each part of your doll is perfectly formed.


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Troll D.B.Thorne

515R3TO1w0L._AC_US218_Pub: Corvus

Years ago, Fortune gave up on his daughter, Sophie, after a troubled adolescence. Now she’s gone missing, vanished without trace. And after weeks of investigation, the police have given up on her, too. Driven by guilt, and a determination to atone for his failures as a father, he takes on the search himself. He soon finds that his daughter had been living in fear of a vicious online troll who seemed to know far too much about her. Could Sophie’s disappearance be linked to this unknown predator? Fortune is about to discover that monsters which live online don’t always stay there


This was a book I devoured in just four hours.

Fortune is a business man, he loves his work and to be honest it takes precedence over everything else.

Now his life is falling to pieces and his daughter is missing

After a series of events, he is faced with the Police chasing him for embezzlement and murder, and finds himself chasing clues to search for his daughter.

This is a WOW of a read. The drama does not stop and it is gripping.

The plot is completely of the moment, and is highly original and what’s more is very very realistic.

If there is one book you need on your reading list, it is this one.



The French Girl Lexie Elliott

51ALn99byyL._AC_US218_Pub: Berkley Books

We all have our secrets…

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway…until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive. And there are some people you can’t forget…like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free…


This was an interesting debut.

It is also a book that I have mixed feelings about,

Six friends holiday in France, and when the sexy next door neighbor disappears and several years later turns up dead, there is a feeling that all of them have something they do not want to be discovered.

Their ‘friendships’ seem based on the secrets they each share and Severine is a girl that is forever present.

This is not a pacy read and quite unlike other books of this genre.  It was a book I picked up and put down, I think because it was a little slow.

I really wanted to love The French Girl but to be honest I didn’t care about it. The characters were dull and the constant ‘appearance’ of Severine, was annoying. It could have been so much better with a bit more imagination and more pace.

I  hope this authors next  book is more gritty.



The Color Lab: Color Cues for Rug Hooking Wanda Kerr

38349775 Pub: Ampry Publishing

Playing and working with colour is one of the greatest pleasures we are afforded as human beings. Wanda Kerr’s The Color Lab: Color Cues for Rug Hooking explores what colour is, how to create it, and how to mix and match different colours in a rug to create your own masterpiece. By understanding the palettes, hues, and saturation involved in selecting different colours, rug hookers are able to apply new techniques to their beloved rugs to create more realistic and appealing designs. Infused with a combination of technical tips for the dedicated artist and down-to-earth language that even beginner rug hookers can relate to, Kerr’s book is a must-have for rug hookers of all experience levels.


As a crafter, colour is an important element in most things I create.

The Colour Lab enables you to choose your colours wisely for Rug Hooking, giving information on colour ‘families’ contrast and design.

I think that the lessons learned can be used in other areas of craft and artwork.

Each chapter is a lesson in the various colour techniques, it will help you develop your design and enhance your work to it’s full and best potential.

I never realised the importance of colour and texture fully until I read this book and I learned a lot. It is an interesting and knowledgeable book that guides and teaches,and along with the exercises given I believe I will be more artistic and adventurous with my colour designs.


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Hooked on Celtic Rugs Gail Lambert


download (1) Pub: Ampry Publishing

Hooked on Celtic Rugs contains a gallery of 20 Celtic rugs to serve as inspiration for your on designs as well as 12 intriguing designs to model off of by master designer David Rankine. Come with us into the colourful world of Celtic rug hooking, a world of amazing designs. Celtic rug expert Gail Lambert leads us through the process of colour planning and hooking these appealing designs, with tips and suggestions on deciphering and untangling a pattern, outlining the complex details, and finishing your hooked piece. As a special treat, Gail included seven Irish recipes for the busy rug hooker. With this book you’ll learn how to colour plan and hook your Celtic rug, how to create illuminated letters and fanciful birds, and how to create both simple and complicated Celtic knots.


Rug Hooking is a craft making a huge comeback..

This is a beautiful book that showcases the most stunning Celtic designs. If nothing else it is truly inspiring.

The Introduction is interesting, covering the start of Celtic design and the history of the symbolic and religious background.

A complete lesson in ‘how to’ is clear and easy to understand and pointers and tips are highlighted.

What I loved about this book, is that is also littered with recipes, soups, scones and breads, my big favourite  a Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb is going to be a family treat.

The patterns are amazing and the colour co-ordination show these rugs off to their very best. The designs are in the back and can be photocopied for easy use. I probably shouldn’t say this but they would also make some beautiful embroidery designs for matching cushions etc.

The designer David Rankine is truly talented and Gail Lambert is a master of her craft.

Hooked on Celtic Rugs would be  good starter book for beginners, and for advanced rug hookers the ideas and designs are inspiring and stunning.


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Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls Jan Horrox

51MF9zWMtVL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press

This highly practical guide to cloth doll making is aimed at those who are new to doll making, as well as more experienced needlecrafters. Jan’s beautiful dolls are exquisitely made, yet by breaking the process down into easy-to-follow steps, they become surprisingly easy to achieve. Full of character and life, Jan’s dolls are made using a wide range of colourful fabrics, trims, ribbons and buttons and are ideal for using up scraps and oddments of materials. There are clear, step-by-step instructions for making hands, feet and faces, together with diagrams where needed, and useful templates for all the body pieces are supplied at the back of the book. With three different projects to choose from, and three alternative designs using different colour schemes and materials, this book provides the means to make your own gorgeous doll, whatever your ability, and gives ideas and inspiration for many more.


While not a quick sewing project..

sewing amazing dolls and watching them come to life is a thrill for any sewist.

This book has three unusual and beautiful dolls to create, with helpful hints and tips and an array of ideas for decorating and trimming.

These lifelike dolls are exquisite. They are cleverly designed and with full sized templates and a few fabric scraps, you too can make a doll that stands 16 – 18 inches high.

Every step is told using words and pictures and are very in depth.  You really cannot go wrong.

The illustrations are divine, and easily inspire.  This is a must have book, the details and the information given will really help you develop your doll making skills and I cannot wait to get started.


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Each page is in glossy full colour and the dolls are stunning.


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