Review: Three Dimensional Beadwork by Sigrid Wynne-Evans

Three Dimensional Beadwork
by Sigrid Wynne-Evans
Rating: ****
Read 9/29/2013

Splendid! Wynne-Evans gives instructions that are not prescriptive but more suggestive. She trusts that the person reading her book is already at a high level of beadweaving expertise, and just guides one along. The ideas are stellar, the photographs adequate. Though there are patterns, they are presented as guidelines rather than rules, and there’s a lovely feeling of collaboration buzzing throughout the book.

Review: Literary Knits: 30 Patterns Inspired by Favorite Books by Nikol Lohr

Literary Knits: 30 Patterns Inspired by Favorite Books
by Nikol Lohr
Rating: ****
Read 8/23/2013
First off, you should know that I do not knit. I do, however, read books sometimes. That plus the lovely cover image inspired me to pick this up, and oh, I am heartily sorry I did. Because I want MOST of these literary-themed knits, and I haven’t the first intention of learning to knit. The Galadriel dress is perhaps my favorite knit item ever in the history of knitting. But I also need Edmund’s crown. And while I don’t really need Anne’s Puff-Sleeve sweater, I did burst into joyful laughter when I saw it.

Lovely photos, splendid idea. Please, buy this book and knit all the things for me.

Review: A bunch of Portland OR specific hiking books

Hiking Mount Hood National Forest
by Marcia Sinclair
Rating: **
Read 8/12/2013

This says, on the cover, “31 scenic hikes” so I can perhaps be forgiven for thinking I was picking up a guidebook. With maybe some maps or trail descriptions? Not so much, though the essays about the hikes were interesting enough, and Sinclair does refer one to the proper maps for each trail. Still, had I wanted essays, I wouldn’t have been shopping in the guidebook section.

Portland Forest Hikes: Twenty Close-In Wilderness Walks
by James Thayer
Rating: *
Read 8/12/2013

I didn’t find the maps herein very useful. More than half of the hikes in this book are in Forest Park and there are lots of very good Forest Park maps and guides. This isn’t one of them.

Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods
by Laura O. Foster
Rating: ***
Read 8/12/2013

I liked this guidebook enough to make a note to come back to it, but not enough to carry it around on an actual walk. It’s really HEAVY, printed on high-quality, glossy paper. I like Foster’s writing style a lot, but the book I’m actually going to buy and carry around with me is her The Portland Stairs Book, a much lighter, smaller book with similar walks in it.

Portland City Walks: Twenty Explorations in and Around Town
by Laura O. Foster
Rating: ****
Read 8/12/2013

Again, I liked this very well except why must it be so heavy? Foster knows everything about Portland, and is eager to share it with you, which is terrific. Her walks are nicely planned, and just random enough to keep you on your toes. It’s a book I’d like to have in my library but not one for the backpack.


Review: Stitch Workshop: Right-Angle Weave by Bead & Button Magazine

Stitch Workshop: Right-Angle Weave
by Bead & Button Magazine
Rating: ***
Read 8/12/2013

Splendid diagrams and decent photos. I didn’t find any of the projects inspiring, but I did come out of the book feeling like I have a more secure base in RAW. I’ve fallen in love with MRAW (M is for modified) and I suspect I will use that instead of regular RAW forever and ever, amen.

Review: How To Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig

How to look Expensive
by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig
Rating: **
Read 07/03/2013
A few interesting tips but mostly what I should have expected from a Glamour columnist. I keep thinking I should care more about how I look, and I buy clothes that look nice and makeup that looks nice and then I wear my yoga pants and barely bother to wash my face, let alone add a layer of anti-wrinkle cream, a layer of moisturizer, a layer of sunscreen, a layer of foundation, some eye cream, some powder. I lose interest before I even get the fancy facial cleanser put back in the shower caddy. This book, for me, was not the triumph of hope over experience, but yet another exercise in over-reaching my natural inclination.

Review: Teach Yourself Visually WordPress by Janet Majure

Teach Yourself Visually WordPress
by Janet Majure
Read 06/24/2013
I like the Teach Yourself Visually series quite a bit. I guess I’m a visual learner, I don’t know. The instructions herein are pretty clear, though this should really have been two books, one for the web-based free people and one for the self-hosted, because there are a lot of differences that I didn’t think got covered clearly in the text. It helped me quite a bit, though.