Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway - The Big Ass Book of Crafts 2

By on Monday, January 02, 2012 66 Comments

I missed Mark Montano's first book but he recently sent me his latest one, The Big Ass Book of Crafts 2 for review.  Now I know what I missed!

It's as big-ass as the title states. Full of fun projects that any one can do using materials that are not hard to find or recycling and re-purposing others in novel ways.

If you are expecting dainty, pretty crafts, you'd be disappointed. This book screams "craftoholic" with bold, funky and occasionally outlandish designs.  You may not agree with his choices of materials but you can take the ideas and run with it!

The book speaks to all creative souls with plenty of can-do spirit.  Plus those who appreciate a writer-designer with a great sense of humor! The book was a joy to read and I admit I chuckled in places.

Mark explains what he does in just one sentence - "I write BIG-ASS books, sleep with a loaded glue gun, teach sewing at the Braille Institute, host TV shows (The Learning Channel) and I whip out my crayons in public."

Yes, he is a whirlwind of activity as shown by the more than 150 projects crammed into his new book.  He covers not just jewelry but home decor, small table design, fun things to make for kids and even how to update your tired looking accessories.  Two of my favorites are the zipper embellished shoe and the scrap lace bag and shoe ideas.



He has been crafting since childhood as his parents used crafting as a way of calming him and his brothers down.  I'm not sure if that reduced the mayhem at all because he ruefully admitted to childhood misdemeanors involving heating up plastic on the stove.

But it all turned out in the end as he was able to come up with his melted water bottle plastic jewelry. Shown here is the bracelet tutorial  from the melted plastic jewelry section.  I preferred his necklace design which didn't have the black faceted beads.


Mark now habitually collects and buys all sorts of fun things just in case he could make something out of them. Who but Mark would bother to buy not 1 but 50 wiffle balls from the dollar store?

We talk about the flowing of creative juices. In Mark's case, it's more like Niagara Falls.  Every little thing or activity in his daily life releases the flood waters.  Eating potato chips one day led to the fabric-based Pretty Pringles necklace. Looking out the window at his neighbor's uninspiring weather vane resulted in a new one, a Christmas gift to her.

In fact, his female friends are always in luck because while Mark doesn't wear the sparkles and embellished designs he creates, they do.  He designed this beaded fringe necklace for his best friend Shaye. The how-to is in the book as well as on his blog. What's so big-ass about it?  There is no need to bead every strand - Mark used beaded fringe by the yard!

Beaded Fringe Necklace
I also loved his braided yarn scarf - a warm "necklace".  You could substitute the button for a small beaded brooch for that extra touch of class.

Braided Yarn Scarf
But he didn't neglect the manly stuff either.  He explains, "You know, stuff that a guy could make and then puff out his chest in pride while biting the cap off a beer bottle."  The Everything But The Bathroom Sink backsplash is just one of those projects.  Women can definitely make it too. What I liked about some of the how-tos in the book is the use of rhinestones, beads, glass cabochons and buttons - things we already have in our collections.  Perhaps some unloved beads and crystals could become spectacular in a future Mark inspired craft project.

Most of the projects are easy to do. Some will require you get familiar with concrete mixes but Mark explains it in such a clear manner, you're encouraged to try.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Backsplash

Maybe you are like Mark who is fond of doll heads but I found them too creepy.  But even I have to say the doll head night light (above right) does look appropriate in the home of a super-crafter.

He constantly experiments - one beautiful craft involved using alcohol inks on aluminum flashing which was used to cover a wooden box.  The final effect did give it the look of malachite hence the name of the project. He suggested using this technique to cover anything from tabletops to mirrors and drawers.  But I think this technique is worth exploring on a much smaller scale - aluminum jewelry!

Maybe Malachite Box
Many of the projects weren't to my personal taste but there were gems I plan to try in different ways. I learned about new techniques and alternative ways of putting things together to create something unique.  This book should be read with an open mind and with your creativity gear engaged.

Giveaway
If you want a chance to get inspired the Mark Montano way, there is an extra copy of the book for one lucky winner.

All you have to do is make a comment below. Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower or also on Facebook Fan page or Twitter . If you also do shout outs about this giveaway on your favorite forum, own blog, Facebook or Twitter even Google+ those will count as additional entries too!  Please say so in the comments.

This international giveaway ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, January 9, 2012. I will pick a winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to come back and check! Good luck!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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66 comments:

  1. I would LOVE to have this book!
    I shared on FB

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  2. Sounds like an awesome book! Would love to have!

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  3. Thank you so much Pearl and Beading Gem Journal and also MARK MONTANO...This is an awesome and marvelous giveaway and I am lining up for my chance. Hope you all had a very safe and happy holiday season...
    I am so excited about this giveaway I am bout ta pee my pants...yippie thank you thank you thank you

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  4. Wow first came to know of Mark's book through Bev's blog. Been hooked ever since. thanks for such a great giveaway

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  5. Find my shout out at:

    http://www.craftyscrappin.com/2012/01/big-ass-book-of-crafts-2-giveaway_02.html

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  6. Follow your blog through GFC and Facebook

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. I checked out his website. Great ideas. I follow your blog

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  9. This looks like a book I'd love to own. I suffer from "Creative Addiction Disorder" and always looking for another creative outlet!
    I'll post this on my fb fan page -https://www.facebook.com/artzjewlery and my blog - http://artzjewelry.wordpress.com

    Zoraida

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  10. I'm your blog follower. I love his great and crazy ideas.

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  11. LOVE that Maybe Malachite Box!

    I saw his first book, AWESOME! Would love to have this book.

    Blog follower, and Facebook follower, will post link to giveaway on Facebook.

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  12. Sounds like a fun book! And the first thing I thought: How creepy! A doll head! ;-)

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  13. LOVE that Maybe Malachite Box!

    I saw his first book, AWESOME! Would love to have this book.

    Blog follower, and Facebook follower, will post link to giveaway on Facebook.

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  14. I also shared on FB - 2 different profiles.... "scrapbookit" and "debra parker alobeidy"

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  15. I loved flicking through the first book, I am sure this won't disappoint. Thanks for the chance!

    thepricklypinecone(at)gmail.com

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  16. Love the water bottle bracelet & Maybe Malachite Box!

    I'm a blog subscriber

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  17. Would love the big Ass!! (ha!) What a great give away! I follow your Facebook page and blog, and have posted a shout out on my Facebook fan page for Heart On My Sleeve Store. (I'm on hiatus from my blog)

    Thanks, Pearl and Mark!!

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  18. I enjoy Mark Montano.....He is highly inventive! I also love the newsletters I receive from here! They are so very helpful to me and my jewelry!

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  19. Funny thing...I find my inspiration for jewelry in many things that are not jewelry. I believe this book would be very inspiring and lead to some new jewelry ideas.

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  20. Wow Pearl, what an unusual book. Full of exploration and creativity. I would love to win it, as I am preparing to teach a group of girls a mixed media class, and I think this would go along with the class perfectly.

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  21. Sounds like a great book...you never know what you will find in there!

    Cheers

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  22. i do wish that the url had worked

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  23. Wow, what a book!! I love it.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

    Laura

    malibran (at)cox (dot)net

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  24. I am also a blog subscriber.

    Laura

    malibran (at) cox (dot)net

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  25. and I follow you on FB

    malibran (at) cox (dot)net

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  26. Wouldn't you love to be in his head for a day??? I'd even take an hour following him around!

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  27. Thanks Barbara for the tip on the link. It has been fixed.

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  28. Wow, this book sounds so wonderful. I wish I was married to someone like him. We'd never be bored, that's for sure. Chuckle. Just the few items you posted are astonishing. I'd love to have the book, I'm sure there is lots in there I can transfer to my jewelry making or use on its own.

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  29. Your blog is awesome! I look forward to reading it every day. I'd love the Big-Ass Book of Crafts. The few illustrations you posted are so creative.

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  30. Will post this to my blog andrea-needlenotes.blogspot.com and also share this on my FB page (thank you Tainted Fibers for alerting me to this!) Happy New Year

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  31. Ooh, that looks so awesome! I would love to have it. I will forward this to some friends as well.

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  32. Reduce, reuse, recycle is my mantra! I cannot wait to read this book!

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  33. Blog subscriber, facebook fan


    I so much want this book!

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  34. What a fantastic book! These is one that, while I MUST enter for a chance to win it, I might just go out to buy it, since it has stuff that I could do AND projects my fiance might be interested in too!

    As always, I subscribe, follow on Twitter(I believe), and naturally have you on Facebook.

    Thanks so much, Pearl and Mark!

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  35. Posted on my Facebook! Looks like my kind of book, it's going on my wishlist!! Thanks, Michelle

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  36. Posted on my Facebook! Looks like my kind of book and is going on my Wishlist!! Thanks for the opportunity! Michelle

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  37. I just found your blog through Needle Notes. I am a new blog follower and FB follower. I would love to have this book!

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  38. Looks like a cool book! I love the aluminum + alcohol inks idea.

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  39. Can't win because I won in November, but you come up with the greatest things on your blog, Pearl. I think I'd better check out this book for my grandsons. I love the idea of using crafts to calm them down!

    Sue

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  40. Id love u have this book- looks awesome thanks Donna ...jewelledwings@ymail.com

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  41. What a wealth of WONDERFUL ideas. I would love to win this!

    (via email)

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  42. Sounds like a book that my great granddaughters and I could have fun with!!! Hope I win!!

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  43. Would love to have such a book with sooo many ideas

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  44. "Happy New Year!" This book would
    be a fun way to start the creating
    for the new year...
    Many thanks, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  45. "Tweet!"
    https://twitter.com/#!/cmh512/status/154004161279705089.
    Again, many thanks!
    Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  46. Also, I am an email subscriber
    to your blog...
    Merci, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  47. This book looks so interesting and I am ready to branch out!

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  48. just from the title i think i would love this book

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  49. I would love to win this book! I absolutely love creative ideas!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  50. Blog subscriber via Google reader

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  51. Blog follower - Aik

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  52. Facebook Fan - Aik Chien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  53. Twitter follower @aikchien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  54. Tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/154164311185559552

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  55. Now I have to go buy zippers so I can try those shoes!

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  56. i loved the first one..and im dying to get my hands on this one :) raineoc@yahoo.com

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  57. im a new blog follower :) raineoc@yahoo.com

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  58. liked your fb page :) raineoc@yahoo.com

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  59. Thank you for giveaway!!! I#m your blog follower and would love to WIN this book!!!
    xx Dian

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  60. Can't post a comment :( (via Facebook)

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  61. Wow - maybe this is the BIG ASS inspiration I need to jump start 2012! Thanks for sharing ~~T

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  62. It would be great to get some new ideas with this book.

    Elaine R
    emrosser@shaw.ca

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  63. You hafta admit there is a lot of originality there!

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