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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Coastal Crafts -- Book Review

 Disclosure: Lark Crafts gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

We have been having a heat wave here in Massachusetts this week. It ended today with some much needed rain. However it made me not want to give up the feeling of summer. Hazel is back in school now and I actually took a part-time job to fill my days a bit while she is there, but I still want summer back. How about you? Well I found a wonderful way to preserve some beach memories and they are from Coastal Crafts by Cynthia Shaffer.  

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coastal-crafts-cynthia-shaffer/1119935331?ean=9781454708841

I fell in love with many of the crafts in this book. I love the candle on the cover, but could not find the right jar for it. I'm still looking. We do not need anymore pillows, so I skipped those for now as well. We did however enjoy making some stationary. Some of the book stationary are pictured on the back cover.



The idea was to make a stencil by tracing a starfish. I did this and I made one of a scallop shell. I used a brown lunch bag for the brown paper and a piece of light blue textured handmade paper and a burlap trim that I found in clearance at Michaels this week.


Hazel decided to join me while I was making these (she had to finish watching something on television first because she was tired and interested). She had trouble with cutting out the objects after using the stencils and also wanted some more stencils. I remembered the ocean life stencils I bought over the summer and we pulled them out for her. She went to town with them. She started putting the stencils directly on the cards and also tried tracing the starfish and then adding color. She loved making these.


You can also see her beginning of first grade spelling. She is learning to spell by sounding out the words, so not too bad.  

One of the many things I liked about the book is that it gives a tutorial on how to make every day sticks from your backyard into drift wood. We hardly ever find good pieces of drift wood for crafts on the beaches to which we go. I however was lazy and tried to skip the soaking over night part and regret not doing it. I removed the bark and painted them with a white wash. They came out all right but not perfect.  I used them in our Driftwood Framed Starfish. I made a few other changes as well. She used subway art sea words on brown craft paper for the background and had a tag with the definition of starfish. She also tied her background onto the top and bottom sticks and I glued our own. We used our "Mermaid kisses and starfish wishes" saying that we fell in love with this summer. Hazel wanted this one to say starfish instead of sea stars.

 Again I should have followed the tutorial for the driftwood, but alas I did not. I also did not find the best sticks in our yard. Steve likes to pick them up all the time so it was slim pickings when I looked except in his compost piles near the brook in our yard. Never the less Steve and Hazel both like it so we are keeping it. 

The final project I attempted but did not follow the tutorial and should have was the Coral Vase but I used a candle and none of her three patterns really fit my candle, so I decided to freehand it. That was a big mistake!!

 Hers look much better. Hazel thought mine were suppose to be bees or fireflies. Oh, well. Painting is definitely not my strongest talent. 

We are planning on making one of the sailboats for my sister for Christmas. You can check out a few more of the great projects in the book at Lark Crafts blog and at Cynthia Shaffer's blog.  The book has a great mix of ocean life crafts and nautical crafts. It is a fun way to remember the beach especially while the weather begins to grow colder! It also has some great ideas on what to do with the shells and things collected on your vacation. Make one of the crafts and save the memories! We highly recommend this book for fun beach inspired crafts!

For some of our beach inspired crafts check out: