First take your genuine medieval priory…

Reclaiming Style: using salvaged materials to create an elegant home
By Maria Speake and Adam Hills · Reviewed by Jo Drysdall

The title and cover of Reclaiming Style are promising: a clever storage space is finished with panels of reclaimed weatherboard, their timeworn surfaces creating a characterful finish and promising, with the superimposed text, a treasure-trove of ideas for outfitting your home in repurposed goodness.

Grow Your Handmade Business

Grow your Handmade Business
By Kari Chapin · Reviewed by Jess Soutar Barron

Grow Your Handmade Business is the book to give someone setting out on the professional handmade journey. People who are gungho enough to pursue such a trip won’t necessarily stop long enough to buy the book themselves, but it is one they should read.
On the gift tag you might write something similar to the quote found on page 65: “Surround yourself with people who support you, people who understand the long work hours, the importance of making dreams happen, and people who share their resources and community with you.”

Good enough to eat

Whittaker’s Passion for Chocolate

By J. H. Whittaker & Sons Ltd · Reviewed by Andy Heyward

The very instant I picked up this book I wanted to eat it. The book is so sumptuous looking I was tempted to lick the pages. The rich chocolatey brown and sepia tones, coupled with the golden inlay and type, made me feel like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory carefully peeling back the cover to show a hint of gold below.

Home Sewn: a Kiwi design story

Home Sewn

By the New Zealand Fashion
Museum · Reviewed by Jo Drysdall

I still remember the thrill of being allowed to look through my mother’s wardrobe of home-sewn clothes when I was a little girl. As a fashionable young woman, my mother had sewn most of her own outfits: party frocks with fitted bodices and flared, flirty skirts, neat little shift dresses, and tailored, timeless Chanel-style suits. Home Sewn begins with a brief historical overview that places these homemade treasures in their Kiwi context…

Creating memories

Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects & Activities for Dads & Kids to Share
By Ken Denmead · Reviewed by Andy Heyward

I always judge a book by its cover and this cover appealed to me in a blokey, nostalgic sort of way. The orange and yellow colour scheme reminds me of the old electronic user manuals I would find lying around my own dad’s workshop. He was a sparky for the power board and would have countless, unfinished repair jobs on the go to poke around and explore.