Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk" by Kathy Sheldon

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  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (October 2, 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454703495
  • Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches 

I received this book book for review and I actually had to chuckle to myself. I missed the shrinky dink craze of the 70's and had no experience with shrink plastic of any sort before I made the pears on an Artist Trading Card that I made last month and that was based on the colors of pears. I have to admit to becoming interested in the possibilities - and then, this book arrives! What good timing! Thank you Lark!

If you've ever had any questions on what this shrink plastic is - this is the book for you! It's clearly written, beautifully illustrated, clear, concise and, I have to admit ,that I am planning to give several of the suggested projects a whirl because they are 'that' nice looking. I guess my comment would be "this is not your grandmother's - or mother's - shrink plastic art. 

Kathy Sheldon gives very well presented information about the relatively short background of this intriguing product and the projects that are presented, designed by some really excellent artists, are things that will both catch your eye as well as your imagination. You'll find all necessary information about what supplies you will need - none of which are very costly. I bought my dedicated polymer and plastic oven at the thrift store for a song and the plastic sheets are also quite economical. I think most of will have the other required items in our crafty homes already - so you'll most likely be almost ready to go when the book lands on your doorstep - or in your Indie bookstore's bag.

It's a really fun book, filled with really nice projects that will be sure to please any crafty gal or guy. With adult supervision and assistance I think that older kids can join in the fun with you too.

The pear on the lower left is my first attempt at using shrink plastic. I used the inkjet variety.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Winter King by Thomas Penn

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I have to admit to being a history geek. For me, history is alive and energizing - not something static and remote. My obsession is European history from the 12th through 17th centuries - especially British history - so of course this book piqued my interest immediately.

I had not read too terribly much about Henry VII in the past and, with this book, Thomas Penn, brings this most important of English monarch to life in a very enjoyable, very interesting, fashion. There is no pedantry about this book, although the historical research  and detail is truly remarkable . It is detailed to be sure but the details add to the read - they don't detract from the flow of the book as can become an issue with some dry historical missives. This book is lively, enthralling, detailed and enjoyable!

"Winter King" has put some of the names and historical circumstances into prospective for me. Although Henry VII was a power house of a monarch it is his son, Henry VIII, who generally gets most of the press. I learned more about the man who became the King; how he managed to cling to the monarch in a very uncertain time, how he found his way through a mire of intrigues & plots to depose him, and how, it is my impression, he was the King who really was spymaster. Mentally agile, ruthless,intelligent, thoughtful and canny, Henry VII is an engrossing historical character and this book is a winner!

Yes! I heartily recommend it for other history obsessives or Tudor fans. Well done!