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I’ve long been a huge fan of making paper flowers, so when I saw Fabric Blooms I thought it could be really fun to try out a new medium of flower making. The first thing I noticed was the lovely photography, which shows off the creations beautifully.

Not only do they have complete instructions to make the flowers, they also have ideas for how to use them in practical ways, like on headbands, pins and more. Since I’ve made yarn pom-poms, I started with the felt pom flower, which was surprisingly simple and fun to make. Next, I really want to try the embroidered circle flowers, they remind me of a Mexican fiesta!

I was very interested in Packaging Your Crafts for several reasons. First, I’ve been making handmade packaging for gifts for my whole life, including reusable fabric bags that the recipients always appreciated. My daughter is also selling Etsy products and we have been trying to figure out the best way to present them to her customers. I also run a party website so packaging favors is a big deal to me, too.

The book covers types of packaging possibilities, as well as the best ways to package certain types of items. I enjoyed reading the designer spotlight sections, where business crafters told about their experiences with packaging their products. I also found many ideas for gift tags (love the embossed look!), plus there are templates in the back for several types of boxes, including a cute milk carton style. I know I will be turning to this book again and again for suggestions and ideas for my business.

I have some experience with very simple origami, so I was interested in expanding my skills with Beautiful Origami Flowers. All of the flowers start out with one of four basic “bases” and then are added to in order to create original and classic floral styles.

I really appreciated the clear photos showing each step, as well as the final result and I also liked that each of the projects has a difficulty level so I could work up gradually to the harder ones. I tried out the white lily of the valley and it turned out adorable! I really want to work my way up to the advanced level cosmos, they are gorgeous! I use all kinds of scrap paper to make them; I love how inexpensive and easy it is to make something beautiful!