Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Book Review: Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope: Ideas And Projects to Spark Your Creativity
by Suzanne Simanaitis

"Indulge your creative cravings! Explore dozens of stories, exercises and instructive projects, all designed to feed, encourage and sometimes flex your creative muscle. You'll tap into the joy of drawing, be encouraged to create art in bed, create your own folded-paper shrine, discover the liberation of stream-writing, practice idea brainstorming, make your own duct-tape purse, learn to quiet the negative voice in your head, dream up your own creative studio space and much, much more. Inspiring art and eye-candy on every page–a Kaleidoscope of creative energy awaits you today!"

The title is not misleading. I consider this to be a book that should be in EVERY crafter's library, regardless of the crafts you pursue.

It is NOT "just another project" book, like so many out there, but a book that instead inspires you to create and work on your own pieces and letting the process lead where it may. This is going to be a book I read again and again.

I know what I'll be buying my crafty chicas for presents this year now, that's for sure. The author (who is a wonderful lady, and another Suzanne) put together a craft book that can be read over and over, and isn't just filled with projects. It is, without a doubt, the best crafty book I've bought in a long time. Not only that, but there's so FEW books like this, that are inspirational and make you think and give you ideas, and new ways to see things.

When I get a major brain fart and I WANT to create something, but just can't figure out what, having something to look through to help give me ideas, and better yet, not just for art, but writing as well, is a complete sanity-saver.

There are WORDS in this book. Not just a lot of pretty pictures and instructions, but stories and inspirational exercises to work you through the creative process. The book is a journey of self-exploration, helping you to reinvent the creative you and find your own true style. It's all about finding yourself.

While there are projects included within the pages, they aren't your average crafting projects, with a definite focus on collage and mixed-media work. Ribbon flowers, crafting with metal, reflection decks, postcard books, portable shrines, beeswax art, even a tape purse! However, these are really a minor part of the book, the main focus is on finding your own creative side, and learning how to best apply it to your art.

I honestly can't find enough words to describe just how wonderful this book is. Buy it, read it, buy more and share with others.


Suzanne Simanaitis is also the editor and founder of ARTitude Zine, a quarterly, independent magazine about art, craft, and creativity. (ARTitude can be found at:

No comments: