Friday, May 27, 2022

Perfect Books For Summer

I received these books for review.  They're perfect for summer because they are full of ideas and activities that you can use to stay productive and busy during the summer.  Whether you need ideas for rainy summer days, or just a way to relax and take a break from a hectic summer of active play, these books are perfect!

I received the following books from Ulysses Press.   

Mixology and Murder by Kierra Sondereker ($19.95):   This book pairs deliciously cocktails with the infamous true crime stories that inspired them.  It's perfect for anyone who loves true crime stories, from
terrifying serial killers to baffling cold cases and secretive cults.  This first of its kind cocktail book will let you dive into these horrifyingly true stories as it gives a new meaning to the phrase “bad and boozy.”  It will quickly become your go to resource for true crime info and delightfully boozy drinks, including:

  • Fugitive Fizz
  • Sazer Ax Murderer
  • The Perfect Lime (Mojito)
  • Amityville Amaretto
  • Colada Confessions
  • In Cold Blood Orange
  • And More!

Mixology and Murder is the perfect gift for any true crime junkie who knows that, sometimes, the best way to deal with the excitement of a serial killer finally getting caught or the frustration of finding out that case is still unsolved is a good, strong drink.

Hand Lettering For Self - Care by Lauren Fitzmaurice ($18.95):   Use this book to create beautiful lettering from the heart.  This first ever calligraphy meets self care guide is packed with fun and easy projects.  Each project is designed to soothe anxiety and decrease daily stress while creating beautiful art.  Learning calligraphy and hand lettering is more than just a fun hobby.  It's also a calming self care practice that requires absolutely no prior experience.  With simple and mindful practice, you’ll cut down on stress, make time for yourself and learn a new skill.  Use the easy to follow guide on lettering, the explanations of the common tools you’ll need and the tips on how to establish a routine for regular practice and creative time to have yourself relaxing in no time.  Learn everything from brush pen lettering to calligraphy to create your own unique style... even if you’re a beginner.  To help you along your self love journey, this book includes:

  • Fun and inspiring projects
  • Exercise prompts
  • Step by step instructions
  • Practice sheets
  • And so much more!
This book offers plenty of tips and advice on how to improve your lettering, as well as how you can use lettering to find peace and calm.

I received these next books from Rocky Nook.  

The Official Unicorn SPiT User's Handbook by Michelle Nicole ($34.95):  Packed with over 50 colorful projects for home decor, apparel, artwork and much more, this book will show you how to create colorful masterpieces using Unicorn SPiT.  Unicorn SPiT is a paint, gel stain and glaze concentrate, all in one bottle!  You can use it to create a multifaceted, 3-dimensional effect on wood, glass, metal, fabric, pottery, wicker, concrete, laminate and more.  It’s safe, nontoxic and comes in a variety of outrageous colors.  In this book, Michelle Nicole (the inventor of Unicorn SPiT) shares the best tips and tricks for using this magical substance to create all new works of art.  This book details everything you need to know, including:
  • How to use Unicorn SPiT as a paint, alcohol ink, glaze, stain, dye, antiquing agent, watercolor, resin tint and beyond
  • Over 50 projects for transforming any object, including furniture, clothing, glassware, decorative wood, metal and more
  • Handy instructions for mixing colors to create unique new shades
  • Detailed charts showcasing how Unicorn SPiT can be used on a variety of wood types and surfaces
  • And much, much more

It's the perfect gift for anyone who loves being crafty or just for rainy day activities.

The Perfect 100 Day Project by Rich Armstrong ($25):  This book will help guide you in devising, completing and sharing a 100 day creative project.  Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, you can unleash the creative person hiding inside of you.  The 100 Day Project is a global phenomenon in which people choose a creative pursuit to practice every day for 100 days.  You can even share the results of your project online with the rest of the #100dayproject community.  There is an official 100 day project annually, but you can start your project any day that works for you.  It can be anything that inspires you, from painting to writing to baking to embroidery.  You can choose to run a mile, write postcards to friends or just make your bed.  Dedicating as little as 5-10 minutes every day will encourage and cultivate your creative spirit, and can lead to explosive creative growth.  This Perfect 100 Day Project workbook provides support and inspiration on your 100 day journey.  Whether you’re struggling with deciding on a project, starting your project or successfully finishing and sharing your work, the information and exercises in this book will help you grow your creative habit, organize your thoughts and use your imagination.

Watercolors With Markers by Jessica Mack ($24.95):  Did you know that you can use your brush pen markers to create vibrant, colorful watercolor paintings?  In this easy to follow guide, noted artist Jessica Mack teaches all of the techniques you need to get started and practice through a series of fun projects.  Markers are vibrant, inexpensive and extremely versatile.  They’re also less messy than paints, and they require less equipment to get started.  Because of this, they're the ideal tool for creating at home or on the go.  And blending them with water really unleashes their magic!  This book has over 35 projects ranging from fashion illustration to florals, and galaxies to food.  Each project will help you hone your painting skills, leaving you with a beautiful, finished piece of art at the end.  Whether you’re new to painting, or looking for another way to use your markers, these fun projects will provide you with a relaxing and enjoyable way to grow your skills.

Watercolor Botanical Garden by Rachel Eskandari ($24.95):  Relax as you dive into the ultimate guide to creating watercolor paintings of your favorite flowers.  From bright red roses to deep green cacti, this gorgeous, easy to follow book will show you how anyone can paint luminous watercolor flowers and botanicals.  Noted artist and instructor Rachel Eskandari details how anyone can paint a garden of bold, creative watercolor images.  This book features colorful step by step images, and shows you how to master the basics of watercolors and then expand your color palette to create some boldly unconventional floral artwork.  It details everything you need to know, including:
  • Color theory and mixing for creating unique shades
  • Utilizing the skills of blending, gradients and shading
  • Lessons for creating 25+ different plants and flowers including roses, cacti, peonies, nigella, agave, anemones, queen of the night, leaves and more
  • How to incorporate multiple botanical images for a gorgeous landscape painting

This is a perfect activity for a rainy day or for relaxing and winding down after a stressful, hectic day.

The Posing Playbook for Photographing Kids by Tamara Lackey ($39.95):  If you're hoping to capture some great photos of your kids and their friends this summer, then you'll love this book!  If you've ever photographed children, then you know that most of them don’t cooperate with posing.  As the photographer, you try to deliver lasting, impactful images in which kids look great.  You also want to create photographs of kids that are authentic, engage their spirit and convey their unique personalities.  But how do you harness the wild energy of a kid who won’t stop moving?  How do you create energy and dynamism with a kid who just seems bored and not into it?  And how do you do that while still achieving a compelling composition with flattering light and the proper exposure?

Tamara Lackey has been photographing children and families for years, and in this book she teaches you her strategies and techniques for successfully posing and photographing children.  Tamara begins the book with a discussion of “organic posing,” an approach to directing the subject that focuses on making small adjustments that build up to a successful shot.  Then she moves on to the psychology of photographing children, covering how to read your subjects, work with different personality types and elicit genuine engagement.  She also discusses gear, accessories, composition, lighting and camera settings. 

The real core of the book consists of five chapters where Tamara tackles typical shooting scenarios and works through each kind of shoot, explaining what worked, what didn’t, and how each shoot progresses from start to finish.  Covering the real world challenges you’ll face when photographing children, Tamara discusses photographing children in the studio, in urban settings, on commercial and fashion shoots, in outdoor natural settings and in groups.  At the end of each of these chapters, she provides a handy reference guide of poses to fuel and inspire your shoots.

This book is full of tips and advice that will have you taking photographs of your kids like a pro as you preserve beautiful memories.

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