Reading List

I love knowing what inspires my favorite artists and bloggers, so I thought you might be interested to see what books and blogs keep me hooked. Let me know if you have any questions about the books and blogs listed here, or if you have a suggestion for a new blog I should follow.

- Jennifer


Polymer Clay Inspiration

  • Anything by Donna Kato – I’ve mentioned before how much I admire the work of Donna Kato, and her instructional books are must-have reference items for any polymer clay artist. She covers all the basic techniques in great detail, and I constantly refer to her helpful instructions.
  • The Polymer Clay Techniques Book (Sue Heaser) – While not nearly as in-depth as Donna Kato’s books, this book provides a basic overview of the many possibilities of polymer clay, including some not discussed by Kato.
  • Polymer Clay: Creating Functional and Decorative Objects (Jacqueline Gikow) – Clay vessels are my favorite projects, so this book is a natural fit.
  • Polymer Clay Daily – I’ve been an email subscriber of PCD for several months now, and already I don’t know what I did without its daily dose of polymer inspiration!
  • It’s All About Creating – I was introduced to Marlene Brady’s work when she was featured in Polymer Clay Daily, and I love watching her projects as they advance from raw ideas to finished products.

Quilting and Sewing Inspiration

  • Raggedy Reverse Applique (Kim Deneault) – As a result of working my way through this book, Raggedy Reverse has become my absolute favorite quilting technique. So much fun!
  • Making Vintage Bags (Emma Brennan) – The bags in this book are BEAUTIFUL and are perfect starting points for making your own designs.
  • Sew & Stow (Betty Oppenheimer) – While the projects are great, my favorite parts of this book are actually the first and last chapters, where Oppenheimer covers all the basic techniques of sewing and project construction and gives tips for making your own patterns. So helpful!

Owning a Crafty Business

  • Handmadeology – Handmadeology is a must-read blog for any Etsy artist. Timothy Adams and his team of bloggers cover everything related to running an online business, and their combined experience can answer just about any question you have.
  • My Wife Quit Her Day Job – While this blog isn’t specific to a crafty online business, the basic business tips and ideas apply to any online business owner.
  • Craft, Inc. (Meg Mateo Ilasco) – This book has been my constant companion the past 8 months. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering starting a part- or full-time crafting business.
  • The Craft Artist’s Legal Guide (Richard Stim) – This book is an amazing reference and has sample versions of just about any legal document you will ever need. Even better, Stim explains what all the legalese means and why it’s important!
  • Handmade for Profit (Barbara Brabec) – While some of the information in this book is geared toward those who are not web-savvy, it still is a treasure-trove of tested ideas and information for making a living with your craft.

Fellow Crafters

  • Alisa Burke – Artist, author, and teacher Alisa Burke maintains a beautiful blog full of her daily projects and creativity. I can’t seem to get enough of her bursts of color and elegant lines.
  • Crafty Staci – Staci of Crafty Staci fills her blog with fun tutorials and bright colors. You’re sure to be inspired!
  • BlessedBe’s – Carrie Mayer was one of my featured artists a few months ago, and her blog is also a must-visit. I particularly love her posts about home décor and crafty design ideas.
  • Trina’s Trinketts – Trina’s frequent Etsy Finds and Treasury posts always remind me that I’m part of an amazing and creative online community.
  • Frog Prince Paperie – Paula at Frog Prince Paperie creates custom graphics and designs for parties of all sorts, from birthday parties to anniversary celebrations, and her “real party” features are amazing. I’d love to have someone throw me a party like that. :)

Blog Love

  • Today’s Letters – Emily and Tim’s fun style and infective love for life and each other are sure to capture you just like they did me.
  • Enjoying the Small Things – Kelle is an amazing photographer with a gorgeous family. Her outlook of taking everything one step at a time is a wonderful reminder of the importance of savoring every moment.
  • What Would a Nerd Wear – Tania’s fashion diary is a great inspiration, and she proves that a limited wardrobe and limited budget don’t have to mean lack of style.
  • My Closet in Sketches – While I love Lauren’s unique fashion style, her daily sketches and handwritten blog text are what set her apart from your run-of-the-mill fashion blog.
  • Freakonomics – I admit it. I’m addicted. The books got me hooked, and the blog feeds my habit. :)
  • Altucher Confidential – James Altucher is a frequent contributor to Freakonomics, which is how I happened upon his blog. While I frequently disagree with his points of view, they always get me thinking, which is valuable in and of itself.
  • Booksprung – I’m the proud owner of a Kindle 3, and Booksprung keeps me up-to-date on the lates news in the eBook world.
  • Articulations – This is my mother-in-law’s blog, where she candidly discusses religion, politics, and everything in between.

Favorite Books & Authors

  • The Bible – What can I say? It’s a classic. :)
  • Anything by Madeleine L’Engle – While she’s most known for her children’s literature, L’Engle’s works for adults are amazing. Each books is more insightful and thought-provoking than the last. I’ve read nearly everything she wrote multiple times, and I continually come back for more.
  • Woman in White (Wilkie Collins) – I first read Woman in White in high school, and I’ve probably read it 10 times since then. I love mysteries, and this book combines suspense, mystery, and romance to create a Victorian page-turner. It’s a wonderful book that continually captures my imagination.
  • Anne of Green Gables Series (L.M. Montgomery) – I first read them as a child and re-read the whole series every few years. I don’t think I’ll ever lose my love of Anne’s adventurous nature and unstoppable spirit.

One Last Link …

  • The Citizens of Porkopolis – This link isn’t so much of a reading suggestion as a visiting suggestion. Tom Green, the owner of the company, is a good friend, and he is a wonderful cook. Those who live in Cincinnati should definitely check it out.

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