Studio Musings

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Minute Book Ideas and Earring Challenge

While searching for a last minute gift idea for a couple of friends, I found myself thinking about some of my personal favorite books. I thought I'd share two of them here just for fun. Who knows, maybe one will be perfect for someone on your list.

The Deep, by Claire Nouvian
The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss is without a doubt one of my absolute favorite books for inspiration. If you've followed my blog at all, you'll know that the ocean is one of my major sources for inspiration.

The Deep is filled with images of some of the most beautiful and bizarre living forms from the ocean's twilight depths. It's one of those coffee table books that keeps you turning the page. Everyone I've ever shown the book to - male or female, adult or child, has found something to interest them. I just wish Amazon included a look inside feature so you could see how large and lovely the pictures truly are!

by Valerie Peterson & Janice Fryer

Growing up, every Christmas my siblings and I helped our mother make enough cookies to give away to the neighbors on our block. She'd start right after Thanksgiving, and we'd store the cookies in large tins (originally they were empty 10lb coffee cans) until we'd baked enough to give to everyone. A few years ago Mom confided that we made cookies because we couldn't afford to do anything else. But homemade cookies spells Christmas and community to me and I still follow the tradition she began (on a much smaller scale).

A couple of years ago I purchased  Cookie Craft: From Baking to Luster Dust, by Valerie Peterson & Janice Fryer, just before hosting a cookie cutout party.  Just in case my guests needed inspiration, of course! Cooke Craft covers the art of creating beautifully themed sugar cookie cut-outs year round, not just for Christmas, with a huge range of decorating techniques and beautiful gallery pages that tempt me to experiment every time I flip through their pages. And their sugar cookie recipes taste great, too!

I just noticed that they have a newer book out, Cookie Craft Christmas.  If I'd found this earlier in the season, it would definitely have been on my wish list! 

by Denise Peck
Which brings me to the last book on my list and the challenge I mentioned in the title of this post. Jennifer over at Beading Daily suggested taking a New Year's Challenge, instead of making a resolution, with the idea of making a pair of earrings a day, each and every day, for a month.

I'm thinking I just may have to try this in January.  Many of the pairs would be beaded, because that's what I do, but Jennifer also suggested 101 Wire Earrings for inspiration. Reviews mention that it includes instructions on how to make a variety of ear wires and hooks and it occurred to me that I could capture two birds with one net (I'm a catch and release sort of girl) by using the challenge to expand my wire working skills as well. But I wondered if there's an even better book out there.  Any suggestions? 

Anyone interested in joining me in this challenge?

1 comment:

  1. 101 Wire Earrings is a great book - you might also try The Earring Style Book ( but 101 will have more techniques. I could be up for a challenge :-)