Author: Eli Maor | Publisher: AAHR Maor Ltd
As summer break approaches, parents everywhere begin questioning: what am I going to do with the kids all summer?! Author and artist Eli Maor knows the best way to keep kids and parents happy is crafting – and it doesn’t have to get too fancy to be fun!
Maor, a “crafting minimalist,” specializes in using what is all around us to create beautiful, fun crafts and DIY projects. With a passion for recycling, upcycling, and just using what you have on hand, Maor creates gorgeous and fun projects from common household objects like toilet paper rolls, fabric scraps, even sticks and twigs from the back yard.
I like a good craft project, and I like to think I’m reasonably handy at “making things” – I actually make some of my own clothes. What I am not, however, is an artist. Like, at all. Seriously, no artistic skills whatsoever. Can’t paint, draw, sculpt, or anything else along those lines. But The Craft Kingdom looked like a lot of fun, so I requested it on Netgalley. I can’t say I thought it would turn me into Picasso, but hey, I can always stand to learn some new skills!
I decided the best way to review a “doing” book, was to try the activities. How do I know if the instructions are good, or if you can actually achieve the desired result, if I haven’t tried it? So, I roped in my friend Ashley (of Book Club fame) to help me, and we videoed our progress. Go and watch that below. We’re hilarious. Obviously…
Ashley and I had a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed The Craft Kingdom. The photography is well-shot, and the images of Eli Maor’s work are beautiful and inspirational. I can’t say that Ashley and I managed to achieve anything nearly so good, but the pictures did make it seem like it might be possible. It was one of those books that was so pretty, it was just a pleasure to flip through.
I thought there was a great range of crafting activities, with something for every skill level. And some of the activities were quite unique, I would never have thought of them, which was interesting. I also really liked that you didn’t need any particular equipment or materials to make most of the projects. The ends were completely achievable with household or commonly used items, which I think is a real USP for The Craft Kingdom.
Some of the language needed an edit, as the sentences were a little run on, or structured oddly, and there was the odd typo. However, it was clearly written by Eli Maor, and definitely had the character of the artist, so the occasional language snaffoo didn’t affect my enjoyment of the whole too much. The instructions were clear, and the descriptions were easily understood. I also thought the introduction at the beginning of the book was very touching; so much so, I think I had already decided I would like this book, just based on that.
This book gave two somewhat-adults a great afternoon, and would be equally fantastic for children. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for something a little different to do on a rainy afternoon, or a way to entertain small people during the holidays. And if you have any actual talent for this stuff, I think it might even be a great way to decorate your home inexpensively or give you some ideas for turning a hobby into a money-spinner.
On to how Ashley and I fared…
We decided to try “Stamping”. Which is basically making print patterns, using paint, some canvases I bought on Amazon, and household objects, to make art. Welllll… In our case, art might be stretching it too far…
As you can see, we carefully prepared all our materials… And poured ourselves some wine (I don’t like to say whether the wine affected the end result…).
And the end results were… (Big reveal moment)
As Ashley pointed out, one of mine looks suspiciously familiar… Whoops!
And that’s all she wrote folks!
Next up, Ashley and Mim review cocktails… The publisher very kindly sent me Drink Me: Curious Cocktails from Wonderland. A cocktail recipe book, with an Alice in Wonderland twist. For this, we needed some extra bodies. And wallets. Cocktail ingredients are expensive… Seriously… And the review for that will be up on, or shortly before, 18th September.