Monday, May 26, 2014

Stash and Smash by Cindy Shepard


Stash and Smash: Use Your Stash . . . Be Creative . . . Have Fun! Turn Everyday Objects from Life into Art Journals! by Cindy Shepard says it has 120+ Great Ideas right on the cover and, although I haven’t counted how many are actually contained in the pages of this very short book, there may very well be that many. I’m not sure only because I saw some redundancy in some of the projects. Still, this book is filled with colorful inspiration, many different projects of varying degrees of difficulty. 

Actually, one would have to assume some of the projects are easier than others because there aren’t many instructions. For those who need specific measurements and detailed step-by-step instructions, this is going to be a problem. Not an insurmountable one. The author has some videos on youtube where she shows a few of the clever tricks and things she presents in the book. (She also has a facebook page, a pinterest page, and even a g+ profile.) 

For instance, the first two page spread includes 11 different ideas to get you started. Collecting phrases and images, using yarns and fibers, binder clips personalized with the help of scrap paper, and such. Later, she shares how to make a simple toilet paper roll book (a less complicated version of a project I’ve seen online) that uses a screw and nut to hold the pages together.

Yes, that probably should be nut and bolt, not screw. There are other careless mistakes like that and the quality of the layout is sometimes questionable, with page numbers being obscure to illegibility because of the images beneath. And Shepard’s personal interests come forth on pages devoted to zentangle and steampunk (which didn’t evoke steampunk very much, in my opinion). 

Still, I think there’s enough here to say with full confidence that anyone is bound to find something that will inspire creativity. Is the book worth the list price of $16.99? No. You can find it for less on amazon. I’d say it’s worth the lower list price on amazon than on the publisher’s own website. My granddaughter and I will be making a toilet paper roll later this summer. I was thinking she could use to collect her favorite words or memories, things she has learned, or will learn in 1st grade. 

I recommend this book to anyone who has become enamored with smash books. Haven’t started one yet? The many ideas of this book may be a bit overwhelming. If you get this book and feel it’s too daunting, set it aside and just play with your smash book for a while. A few months or a year later, pick it up again. I’m confident you’ll be less overwhelmed and as delighted as I was. As I am. 

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