I knew Craftivity: 40 Projects for the DIY Lifestyle, by Tsia Carson, was coming out soon and was so excited to see it in person. Tsia is behind the mighty SuperNaturale, a mammoth site of group contributors, a forum, tutorials, and a whole lot more on crafting. You can spend a lot of time over at this site getting inspired, it's almost too much. Craftivity is a condensed version of this type of craft think-tank in book form. The book has 40 projects by different contributors.
In the intro, Tsia actually writes about not making stuff. About supporting friends who craft and really thinking about what you need to create before you buy supplies. She actually gives tips on shopping for craft supplies without over spending. Brilliant! Especially if you are creating to save money - why spend so much on the materials?
Tsia is also very down to earth and forthcoming about not being an expert crafter. Which is wonderful to read. It's more about process than product for her. She teaches design professionally and you can tell; these projects are more heady and conceptually interesting than always practicable, but that's great by me. For instance one project is about making moss graffiti. Seriously. This is so cool I can't believe it. You actually write on a rock (the photo is of one in a forest, perfect for that site-specific art project) and then the directions explain how to make moss grow over the lines you just drew.I can't get enough of this type of stuff. Jenny Hart embroiders on a screen door for her project. That is just plain rad. Here's some other projects: A Knit Hammock, A Crochet Skull, Lace Shawl, Bling Bling Teapot, Wheelbarrow Fireplace, Soft Octopus and many more. . .
And a re-use of vintage stuff project. The book has categories; yarn, fabric, paper, wood and thrift/found objects. I might not make all of them, but the book gets you thinking, and the inspiration it provides is powerful. The projects are by mighty talented people, and the directions are good. Clear and easy to read, they really cover everything for each project (including how-to-knit/crochet directions for the yarn projects, silk-screen directions, etc.)
I am a sucker for book design and this one is a real beauty. It's minimal without being chilly, uses my favorite color of green on the cover, and the full bleed photos are modern without being too design-y. The book also has a few one-page features on different artists throughout and this one artist, Obadiah Eelcut, draws his own money for bartering and has it in circulation. In my mind, this alone is worth the price of the book. I have a thing about fake money or barter currency, that type of thing, and although I know others don't necessarily share this obsession of mine, I found the discovery of this artist completely thrilling.