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Good Crafternoon, Milwaukee!

Hi, my name is Mandy and I am addicted to Etsy.com, the world's online craft fair. You name it, I've bought it there: artwork, jewelry, knit goods, even fudge. And that's barely the tip of the iceberg of what you can find on this site. Enter one search term and you'll find yourself down the rabbit hole again and again. I dare you to log on and limit yourself to 5 minutes of looking around - it's the Lay's potato chip challenge for websites!

But wait, this entry isn't just an unsolicited, unpaid advertisement. Every time I click through and let PayPal make my consumerist dreams come true, this thought crosses my mind: I could make a lot of these items myself! Take a look at these books and perhaps you can avoid my fate. Or, take it a step further, hone your skills, and open your own shop on Etsy! I likely will be your best customer.

The Big Book of Knitted Monsters knitted monsters.jpg by Rebecca Danger
If I ever move past basic scarves and hats in my knitting repertoire, these adorable creatures will be my next step. I am particularly fond of Hugo, the Couch Potato Monster on pp. 48-49. Great gifts for the young and young at heart!

ceramics for beginners.jpg Ceramics for Beginners: Surfaces, Glazes and Firing by Angelica Pozo
This was my favorite subject in art classes in high school. This book skips the potter's wheel and jumps right into decorating techniques for clay pieces at all stages, from newly formed to already fired in the kiln. Numerous photographs and encouragements from the author to be creative abound.

textile art.bmp The Complete Photo Guide to Textile Art by Susan Stein
Gorgeous photographs outlining color theory and a multitude of fabric techniques from screenprinting to tie-dyeing to quilting. As inspirational as it is instructional.

jewelry guide.jpg
The Ultimate Jeweler's Guide by Joanna Gollberg
A concise yet seemingly comprehensive guide to the tools and techniques needed to make your own jewelry masterpieces. The spiral-bound book lays open flat, so you can keep this right next to you while you're soldering away! (welding degree not included)

Patternmaking for a perfect fit by Steffani Lincecum
I'll be honest: I can barely sew on a button. But from the number of patterns and articles of clothing I've seen for sale on Etsy, the art and science of sewing is alive and well. This book is for the budding Project Runway contestant!

Submitted by Mandy @ Central

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