November 12, 2009

Book Review: 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse by Garth Johnson

Book Review:

by Lorina Pellach-Ladrillono
of The Original Beadscarf

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse by Garth Johnson
pub. date: Nov 2009 / 320 pages

'Inspirations' might be a better word than 'Ideas' for the title of this book. I would imagine that most crafters, myself included, have experienced what would be akin to writer's block. One flip through Garth Johnson's '1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse' could inspire at least several weekends of creative energy.

Inside this beautifully curated and photographed book are images of items whose parts would have likely found their way to a landfill. Instead, they have been fished out of a junk drawer of extra castaways and recycled/ repurposed into jewelry, objects d' art, bags, couture dresses, clocks and even furniture.

Amazingly, no parts or refuse are rejected!

The impressive collection includes playing cards transformed into butterflies and attached to pearl necklaces; single bud flower vases created from empty toothpaste tubes and Full scale art installations. Fabric, glass, even ice is recycled! Postcards in place of wallpaper; Tea carton wallpaper and furniture; Bottlecap mosaics to mimic famous paintings; a sugar packet table cloth in a pretty flower motif; money chandelier made of US $1; and most striking, if not downright gruesome-, jewelry made entirely of dismembered Barbie doll parts- again, no part spared!

As I thumb through 1000 Ideas, I couldn't help but notice the works of many crafty colleagues I know featured from TheNewNew and beyond.

Although the works included in this book are mostly from USA, there are also adaptations from Canada, New Zealand Germany, Finland, UK, Spain, Australia, Israel and Sweden to name a few.
So next time you are feeling crafty but can’t seem to get going, pick up this book, grab that remnant you’ve been saving for ‘making something someday’, and get inspired.

Be warned though: I have a feeling this book may just spawn a new generation of crafters!

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