Cleverly Crafting: The Best of Bookmans Craft Books


Posted in In Our Stores on 30 Mar by

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Bookmans celebrates Arts & Crafts all year long, but we highlight it in the glorious month of March! With just a couple days left we wanted to highlight the best of our craft books for you to get your hands on this Spring.

Tucson is full of artists and crafters and you better believe they make Bookmans their number one stop when looking for inspiration! If it’s not in our “Art Room” where we have books on sculpting, quilting, claying (that’s a thing, right?) and many other crafty ideas, then it’s in the art we have hanging in our stores, or the amazing little trinkets that can be re-purposed for all sorts of creative endeavors. There’s never a dull spot in a Bookmans; inspiration flows through our orange shelves like the wind in the willows!

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We wanted to highlight some of the amazing books we have that might help to ignite your artistic passion. It wasn’t an easy task. There were so many books to choose from we ended up with a stack too high to talk about each one of them individually. Drool over the ones we selected and then come in to check out all the others we didn’t have time for. These books will surely help get you started on crafting or give you a new perspective on a project you’ve been struggling with.

If there’s one thing we have a lot of here in the desert its gourds! Take a stroll down our beautiful Rillito River path here in Tucson and you’ll see them weaving their way along the desert washes. Never fear the daunting task of painting a starch white canvas again, gourds offer not only a beautiful back wash to paint on, you can use them for so many different things. Written by Ginger Summit and Jim Widess, we found a book titled The Complete Book of Gourd Crafts. Encompassed within its 143 pages you’ll find 22 projects, 55 decorative techniques and 300 inspirational designs.  If that doesn’t get the wheels rolling we don’t know what will! This book gives you in depth steps to make each project as easy as a paint by number for toddlers.

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We can’t speak for our sister stores in Flag or Phoenix but down here in the valley there is no shortage of thrift, antique or resell stores. They are literally everywhere…ourselves included! These two books speak to our hearts. Up-cycling by Danny Seo and the Salvage Sisters by Kathleen Hackett and Mary Ann Young. Each book looks at everyday items that can be completely re-purposed for practical use or crafted into something totally unimaginable. The Salvage Sisters give us five simple rules to keep in mind when out looking for objects to art, we’re sharing them with you because we liked them so much! We’re also a little biased, we think you should use these rules when shopping at Bookmans, too.

  1. When in doubt, DON’T throw it out.
  2. Rust is a variation of red.
  3. Don’t look at it for what it is, but for what it COULD BE.
  4. Broken? All the better. Imperfect is perfect.
  5. Never worry about how to get it home, JUST GET IT.

In a day and age when material objects overwhelm us, these books help give us a fresh perspective on how we can use old junk to revamp our lives!

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As most people know, sometimes Bookmans has to “pass” on items at our trade counter. This means we just weren’t able to make an offer in store credit or cash. This also means you have to haul the items back out to your car and take them elsewhere, but not always! Bookmans donates to lots and lots of local schools and organizations. Most common are books that were either in too rough of shape to resell or we simply had too many of those specific titles and the generous folks of our community leave them behind for donation. A book more than one employee here at Midtown fell in love with is, The Repurposed Library by Lisa Occhipinti. This books is full of “33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life.” AMAZING! Now, for all those hardback Patterson books we have in our donation bins we can craft them into beautiful wall decorations, keep sake boxes or even a page work quilt! Never again will you have to feel guilty about getting rid of a book. There are so many options when it comes to re-purposing them into pieces of function and art.

This month we want to inspire the artist in all of you. Pick up one of these amazing titles or check out the in-store displays we have featuring these and many others. Not into building something out of nothing? We also have adult coloring books, activity books, journals and sketchbooks! Bookmans will never let you down when it comes to finding an outlet for your suppressed creativity. Here’s to happy creating.

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