Book Review

The Complete Guide to Card Making: 100 techniques with 25 original projects and a template gallery by Sarah Beaman. Published by Collins & Brown ISBN 1-85585-979-3

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Sarah Beaman cover

In this book the author touches on several techniques for the novice, the curious, - and the rest of us! :o) the book could either be viewed as fairly comprehensive or pretty basic, depending on the reader's own level of skill and experience.

I found it interesting (and in some cases enlightening!) whilst 'having a go' is often the best way to get proficient at a new technique, it is sometimes an expensive way of finding out how to use a material, a tool or produce an effect seen elsewhere or heard about second-hand.

The first few chapters cover much of what is covered on the Forum- and if not there, then in Carolyn's Hints & Tips on the Craft Site. Included are chapters on making card blanks (choosing card, measuring, cutting, apertures and inserts), making envelopes and techniques for decorative edges for cards, there's also a section with tips on attaching and sticking 'bits' to your card using different mediums.

Different techniques are each given their own chapters, learn how to decorate your own paper, transfer images, use stencilling & printing, spraying & stamping, stitching, using fabric & ribbon, punching & piercing, collage, embossing (both dry and with heat), using glitters, wire, foil and gilding, making 3D cards . and (phew!) so much more!

For each project (25 in all) there are templates to trace or copy - which I thought was a great idea!

With some techniques I caught myself thinking "Oh but that's simple! I can DO THAT" or "She doesn't need to tell me THAT" -but then I've never used them in my card-making (!!) so perhaps what I've secretly been thinking was "so THAT's how you do it! It looks so simple - I could give that a go!"

As I mentioned before, a lot of what is covered can be found on either the Forum or in Carolyn's Hints & Tips, but, I don't know about you but my computer isn't portable so it is nice to have something 'crafty' to immerse myself in whilst in bed or away from home!

What I liked most about this card-making reference book is that not only is it easy to dip in and out of, but the clear step by step photographs and detailed (but straight-forward) instructions taking me through each technique and project and take the 'intimidation factor' out of trying something new.