Monday, June 2, 2014

Petit Collage by Lorena Siminovich

I may be one of the few people who had never heard of Lorena Siminovich or her company "Petit Collage." I had not seen or read any of her blog before receiving the book so this title was my first introduction to her creative genius. Read more about author Lorena Siminovich.

First Impressions
When I first opened the package, there was of course the thrill of putting your hands on a brand-spanking new, hot off the press book (I haven't yet outgrown that feeling and I'm 45). The bright cover with a sneak peak at several of the projects waiting inside were an immediate sell.  I love that the blue strip with title is glossy and creates a nice contrast to the matte finish of the rest of the cover. Peeked inside and LOVED the interior decorative paper (not your normal boring white endpapers!).

The whole book is a visual treat. The initial pages have a very nice introduction to the author, an explanation of what tools and supplies will be used in the book. And not just a list but a visual depiction of each item--much more interesting and clears up any confusion on what to have on hand.  Also an explanation of the guide indicating the level of difficulty for each project.

Content Review
The book is a compilation of 25 projects of varying difficulty: easy, intermediate and advanced.  Most projects used supplies that a moderately crafty person may already have in their home.  Anyone living near decent shopping should be able to readily find what they don't already own.

Each project was laid out sort of like a good recipe: ingredients listed first and then the directions for putting it all together. I loved the fact that the projects show level of difficulty, had a personal bit of info about the background of the project, showed multiple photos of examples. Helpful sketches were included where needed.

Sprinkled throughout, the author also has various tips.  Some include alternatives to change things up for seasonal use or suggestions for substitution if you don't have the exact supply listed.  I also liked that many projects also had a way to complete the project with children.

Section 1 "Room to Grow" is full of ideas for adorning a child's space with a name plaque, baby mobile, growth chart, jazzed up toy bin and 6 other adorable projects.  Section 2, "Family Life" has clever ideas for the whole family: coat rack, memory box, family memo board and 5 others. The last section, "Playtime" has 7 ideas for unique and hand-made things to entertain your young person.  My presonal favorite was the portable dollhouse.

In this world of instant and ready-made, I love the idea of creating--either with or for your child--inviting spaces and toys that will foster additional creativity.  I appreciate the suggestions for ways that children can make some of these projects or assist with them and have a chance to feel the satisfaction of having created something special for their own space.

The back of the book included some further explanation of techniques such as decoupage or working with wood and metal. This is followed by a resource guide--very helpful for those who may not live near craft shops--for some online retailers. She also has projects listed in back with suggestions for where to find items for that project.  This is then followed by a section with templates for copying.  The template indicates what size to enlarge the image. It would be really nice if a CD were included instead for the templates because it isn't always easy to get a hardback book flat enough for copying.  The book closes out with an index although with so many bright and colorful pictures, it's not hard to flip through and find the project you are interested in.

All in all, I heartily recommend this book to all levels of crafters.  With projects for babies on up, this would make a great gift for just about anyone.  I'm excited about using up some of my insanely copious craft stash on some very cute items for decorating and play.

This idea-packed, full color hardcover treasure is available to purchase from Random House for $24.99.

Happy Crafting!

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review.

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