One of our personal favorites this year was Leah Kramer's 'The Craftsters Guide to Nifty, Thrifty and Kitschy Crafts'. Kramer, a craft maven by every definition of the word, is responsible for starting the fabulous craftster.org, an online community for crafters of all stripes. Kramer is also one of the organizers behind Bazaar Bizarre, and if that weren't enough she is also part owner of Magpie, a crafty boutique in Sommerville, Massachusetts. A self proclaimed craft junkie, this book was inspired by Kramer's collection of craft books from the 1950's and 60's. In fact, about seventy percent of the projects that appear in the book are taken from those retro publications.
We'll admit at first we thought some of the projects seemed a little silly, Terry Loincloths anyone? But part of what makes this book so great is that these outlandish projects are the ones from the 50's & 60's. And there's something sort of charming about the crocheted doll face fridge magnets and beaded fruit. The actual images and text are reproduced so you can read pack-o-fun's (a manufacturer of many of these vintage craft booklets) original directions and delight in the drawings that accompany them. As Kramer states in the introduction, there's something sweetly nostalgic about craft projects from this era, not that we would have wanted to live in the 50's either, but it would have been fun to make a gold macaroni frame with your grandma back then.
SFist Christina Loff, contributing