Posting from Paradise
I must confess, dear readers, that I have gotten caught up in all the melodrama on the two blogs that simply everyone is talking about: 2 Peas in my Azz and Scrap Critic. While some of the name calling, etc. goes a bit beyond the pale, I do like the opportunity this affords women in the industry or who would like to be or scrappers/stampers who don't want to offend to voice their opinions w/o fear of reprisals.
Of the two, Scrap Critic, I think has the most merit. The intent of the blogger, as far as I can see, is to provide a forum for discussing various areas of scrapping (favorite technqiue, favorite designer, favorite magazine and also the opposite of favorite) as anon. I found the responses that stayed on the topic offered up by the blogger to be insightful and honest for the most part.
One of the topics I wish had been explored more was Idea Books. I have been a collector for over ten years and have some raves and pans.
To qualify for my Raves on an idea book it must offer a variety of techniques; these must be clearly written and, if possible, the steps accompanied by pictures. I like suggestions for variations and it should inspire me to go into a creating frenzy. I am technique driven in most of my scrapping and altered arts projects so obviously, I want to learn how! Pretty pictures and eye candy only inspire if they tell how!
Here are some of my all time faves: not all are scrapbook related but I've something from each in scrapbooking and they meet the above criteria.
Paint books: New Ways with Paint by Andrea Maflin (while this is a home deco book, every technique can be applied to paper with amazing results); The Painted Page by Laura Kennedy and Pam Lambie/ Pine Cone press (great techniques clearly explained and lovely layouts)
Inks and Stamping: Ink Art by Sara Horton (who is one of my favorite designers), Misty Mathews and Amie Wheatcraft. To me this is the bible of inking. Within these 35 pages you can find a gazillion idea and techniques both for the beginner and the advanced. This is also a Pine Cone Press book.
Altered books: (the techniques and ideas in these listed go far beyond the altered books themselves and offer unique ideas when applied to scrapbook pages): Any of the Design Originals Can Do Crafts books about Altered Books (especially the Materials Guide), Altered Books Workshop by Bev Brazelton (just plain yummy), Books Unbound by Michael Jacobs (the how to of binding, building and having fun with making journals and books), Vintage Greeting Cards by MaryJo McGraw: not at all what it sounds like although she does use the vintage card as her tool to teach. If you like vintage, heritage or want to learn some classy stuff, this one is wonderous.
Assorted Idea Books: Collage Discovery by Claudine Hellmuth ( this first volumn is great but I wasn't a big fan of the second one), Pockets, Pullouts and Hiding Places by Jenn Mason (lots of fantastic interactive ideas for altered project and some application for the scrapbook page), Transparent Art (my current favorite car trip book) by Sommerset studio...amazing stuff and so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.
Sommerset Workshop also by Sommerset Studio is like taking 4 classes at your leisure...I can't wait for vol. 2 on this one. Worth every dime, and it was not cheap. I also recommend the Wedding (I hear there is a second vol to this out but have not yet seen it). I loved, loved, loved this book. I was inspired to create and create and create. One tiny idea in the book would lead to 3 or 4 layouts for me.
I was not trained as an artist. My stick figures even look funny. I was an English teacher for eons and spent a long time looking for a basic design class for continued learning or for a good basic design book. When I found this one and read it, my layouts started having more cohesion and I realized (not always) why some of my layouts got picked up for publication and why others did not. My favorite basic design book (and it was recommended to me by a very good artist) is Design Basics for Creative Results by Bryan L. Peterson.
Let me know your favorites here also please!