My First Book! :: Adornments :: Part 1

I'm so excited to finally and officially announce that I have a new book coming out! Adornments: Sew & Create Accessories with Fabric, Lace & Beads
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There's so much to say about it, but first off, it officially launches on August 21st and it's available for pre-order through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Second, the stunning photography you'll see on the cover and throughout the book was all done by my amazing friend, Elizabeth Messina.

Overall, the book was a huge undertaking, but I'm so happy with the end results and so excited to share it with everyone. I'll write a lot about it and for this first post, a bit about the book and the beginnings. It took over a year to complete and lots of help from lots of amazing individuals (full credits coming soon!). The book itself is full of accessible projects for both craft enthusiasts and those just getting into creating things. The publishers wanted me to create a range of accessories so the book has a little bit of everything including belts, headbands, earrings and necklaces. There is a lengthy intro chapter that covers all the basics and describes the tools and materials you'll need. The only thing you'll want to know a little about is threading a needle and hand sewing, but I'll show you everything else you need to know to create the projects in the book. Adornments
credits: Elizabeth Messina

It was really important for me that this book be both easy to understand while also being beautiful to look through. I wanted the overall design to match the Twigs & Honey "look" and also Elizabeth's own branding. So when you go through this book, I hope that you love the imagery and feel as much as you love the projects. I tried to come up with projects that were lovely items to wear, give and receive. I wanted the projects to also be adaptable and customizable according to the readers own tastes and style and also access to materials. Someday, I'd love for readers to send photos of the projects they've completed through my book - I think it would be wonderful to see the end results and how they customized the projects! Adornments
credits: Elizabeth Messina

A little more about the making of the book (Part 1):

When I was originally approached by Krause Publications / F+W Media in March of 2011, I remember being super excited but also nervous because I knew that it would be a massive amount of work and right at that time, I was just wrapping up that crazy, big Ann Taylor project, recently launched a new collection, was training new helpers, and was approaching the peak of wedding season. At this time, I literally thought I was at my maximum in terms of workload. My amazing husband, gave me a ton of encouragement, and my wonderful editors (Vanessa Lyman and Rachel Scheller) assured me that they really wanted to make sure the book fit my aesthetic and style. After Elizabeth Messina wonderfully agreed to photograph the book, we were on our way!

During the spring/summer of 2011, I created 20 individual how-to projects all from scratch. I made several extra how-to's that I eventually dropped, but the development of the projects was at times easy and other times tough! It's a challenge to make sure the projects are achievable for a wide range of skill levels while also keeping them interesting and lovely. I'm so used to sourcing really unique and hard to find materials and you have to think completely differently for a book - people need to be able to find the materials and tools! It's taken me years to develop the range of skills and techniques I use daily for Twigs & Honey and trying to insert as much knowledge into 1 book without overwhelming the reader was a tricky balance of enough information but not too much! To prepare for our book shoots, I created all the projects to completion and then created stages of each of the projects. I had to have duplicates of the materials so I could literally recreate each piece in front of the camera. So I had the raw materials, cut fabric, half-way finished pieces, fully finished pieces, etc. Our editor, Rachel, was really great in coaching me and guiding me through this part by letting me know what works best for how-to shoots.

Elizabeth and I started shooting at the Cleaners, at the Ace Hotel in Portland, OR. Our first shoot was a multi-day production in July and was exhausting but rewarding. It was great that our publishers trusted us and gave us the freedom to schedule and coordinate our own shoots, but it also meant that we had a ton of work! We're talking all day shoots, back-to-back. And the first shoot, we got through 4 of the how-to's and a bunch of beauty and detail shots - we still had 16 more how-to's! 

Okay - I have more to write about this book and will have a few "Parts" to follow!

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