I first discovered artist and designer wonderwoman Beci Orpin on Instagram a couple of years ago, and her feed instantly became my favourite; explosions of colour, ideas for craft projects and snippets of everyday life made it a winner. Both of her books went on my wishlist straight away, and I was very happy to find myself clutching her second one, ‘Home’, in my sticky little paws on my birthday this year.
I love craft books, and I’ve got an awful lot of them; half of our giant IKEA Expedit unit is dedicated to great tomes on art, photography, crochet, sewing, and basically anything to do with making things and living a creative lifestyle. The one thing that always makes a project book a hit in my eyes, though, is when it’s more than just a list of patterns and directions; I like to see how the artist or maker displays and uses the finished product, and that’s what I like most about this book. Each project has clearly detailed and well photographed instructions, and is finished off with a couple of images which demonstrate ways to show off your latest make – from hanging handprinted napkins along a piece of bakers twine to making a wooden house for your jumping jackette, Beci provides ideas that would probably never cross your mind.
The projects themselves are great; ranging from useful items such as rope baskets, box shelves and bead trivets to decorative lovelies like the paper patchwork, forever cactus (I’m definitely having a go at this after yet another plant shuffled off to leafy heaven this weekend) and colourful fridge magnets, there’s pretty much something for everyone. The best thing is that nothing is complicated; the processes are simple but really effective, and a lot of the things can be made in an hour or so, so they’re ideal if you’re looking for something to satisfy a quick burst of creativity. There are bigger projects, such as the cosmic moth lamp, braided rug and painted chairs, but these are still easy to do and would be great for passing the time on a rainy Sunday afternoon. What’s even better is that there are a series of templates at the back, so you don’t need to worry about drawing out shapes or printing things off of the computer.
The one thing I can’t not mention, because it made me love this book more than any of the others in my collection, was the way you get a mini-tour around Beci’s home – and this is some serious interior porn. Think rescued and upcycled retro furniture, shelves groaning with eclectic displays and explosion after explosion of colour; this is one book that I never get tired of looking at, and it’s so inspirational. If you haven’t already got it, put it on your wishlist for Christmas!