Monday, April 4, 2011

Transatlantic Crafting, by Doro!

Focus for this List:
My good friend, Doro, an avid musician, and English teacher in Germany, is also a passionate crafter. She makes gorgeous marionettes (puppets) and I've been lucky to receive one as a gift. Her list gave me some interesting insight into her life, and I hope you enjoy it as well!  Her website is HERE, if you can read German, and HERE if you prefer English! If you have a question for her, feel free to post it here; I'm sure she'll be watching! 

From Doro:
Some suggestions for books on crafts and hobbies  – if you speak German...but also some in English.  For those who like to do all sorts of handcrafted stuff – or would like to try out something new, I have some books I particularly like. Maybe you will like some of them, too.

1)   Zauberhafte Marionetten by Margot Koetzle. -- This is actually NOT a really good book on marionettes, but it got me into making them and I still make the controllers the way this book taught me. Good instruction for beginners, and even less talented artists can have fabulous results!
(PS: This is the one she sent me as a wedding gift . .. isn't she gorgeous?!)

2)   Creative Cloth Doll Collection: A Complete Guide to Creating Figures, Faces, Clothing, Accessories, and Embellishments, by Patti Medaris Culea. --  Looking for books on dolls clothes I came across this and had to order it. It took ages till I finally got it, but the waiting was worth it. Gorgeous dolls, and step-by-step guides for unskilled and skilled artists, instructions for embellishments, dresses, etc, recommendations for materials etc. And at the end of the book there's a gallery of dolls by different artists. This is one of the nicest books I've ever bought, seriously!
3)   PraxisWissen Filzen: Geschichte, Material, Nassfilzen, Nunofilzen, Trockenfilzen, Tipps & Tricks, Galerie, by Monique Rahner -- I'm just getting into nuno felting, but would also like to try out some other techniques, so I looked for a book that would give me a good introduction to materials, techniques, and give me inspiration. This book is awesome and explains everything nicely!
4)   The Dolls' Dressmaker: The Complete Pattern Book, by Venus A. Dodge. -- If you have kids who play with dolls, or make dolls, this is the book for you: rather easy patterns for different sizes from basic clothes to accessories, well explained. Unless you are looking for specific pattersn, e.g. medieval dresses for dolls, there won't be a better and more complete book for doll dressmaking. Best thing is: you get it for a fair price.
5)   Falken Lexikon der Seidenmalerei, by Karin Huber. --  While doing a lot of silk painting, I got this encyclopedia a couple of years ago and I still look things up every now and then.
6)   Hausschuhe stricken und verfilzen: Das Verfilzen übernimmt die Waschmaschine, by Friederike Pfund.  - I love knitting, so we decided to give away felt slippers for christmas last year. I got this book to get some ideas. It's not really inspirational, but it helped me a lot to find the right sizes and get an idea about the material. For those who know how to knit it's quite helpful, the rest is up to your imagination then. By the way: A pair of slippers can be finished in about 4 hours – and they are really nice and warm! Just in case you have cold winters...
7)   Falten, Färben, Faszination. Effektvolles Shibori leichtgemacht, by Annette Kunkel.  --  Working with silk every now and then, I just had to try out shibori at some point and found this book a good step-by-step guide for getting into that technique. I'm sure there must be millions of books like that in the US and elsewhere. Shibori is a teachnique for beginners as well as for pros – they go for the more complicated knots and effects then. After you know the basic patterns, you try out your own ideas anyway.
8)   Das Neue Handarbeitsbuch -- Everyone who does some kind of needlework has a book that introduces to the basic techniques. This is mine. My mother-in-law has the same and it's at her place where I first saw it. It's old, from the 70s – so old that the patterns it provides are the latest fashion again. For all of you who are planning to take up a hobby – and those who are already an expert in their field agree: get a compendium which gives you an overview right at the beginning. It gives you an idea of what you need to know, it often has some useful advices, and it's usually good inspiration."
9)    Fabric Dyeing and Printing, by Kate Wells. -- I got this book from my mother-in-law for my birthday (she used to work as a textile designer before she retired) at the time when I was experimenting with shibori and other techniques a lot. It provides a good overview if you're interested in that topic. I found it quite interesting, even though I just use it as a source of inspiration. I have it in German, of course!

10)  Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure, by Edouard Lanteri. --  Not too long ago I got frustrated with my sculpting skills. Lacking the time (and the money) to attend a class on it, I got this book. It's a bit dull, that's true, but invaluable. It helps me to understand the anatomy of the human body, especially faces, and shows some basic techniques. It's probably too abstract for a beginner, but for those who have already worked with clay, it can be a good help.

 from Mrs. Turkey:  I hope you've enjoyed this tour through Doro's craft room, and bookshelf!  I'm linking this post to the following linky parties: 

 Join in the fun!!!


  1. hey, thanks for visiting me today. My lemon tree doesn't have any thorns on it. I sure hope it will produce some juicy lemons for me. Janet

  2. What a talented lady! Love your wedding present. Thanks for sharing the books; I'm particularly interested in the Fabric dying and printing one as I'm thinking about taking up screen printing as a hobby.

    I was just popping by on the Tuesday Time Out blog hop and I'm so glad I did. I'm following ... :0)

  3. Thank you! You're really generous with your time and your kind words!

  4. Okay, that wedding present looks JUST LIKE YOU in college! hahaha I think it's the blue dress. ;)

    I do love all the craft pictures shown. Your friend is very talented.

  5. Wow! You have learned to do a lot of creative things.
    I love the slippers.

  6. Excellent list! My 12 year old was reading over my shoulder and I got an immediate "Cool! Can we make some of those too?" response out of him. Thanks for sharing these resources!

  7. Never heard of shibori before... now I'm horribly tempted to take up yet another crafting hobby! Thank you!

  8. Those marionettes are amazing! Totally makes me think of the Sound of Music!

  9. I have the feeling Laro should set up her own promotion agency - looks like she does a fabulous job spreading news and making people interested.

    Thank you for your comments and compliments. Laro inspired me to reactivate my own blog and focus on some of the creative things I do. As soon as I have a little more time I'll post some pics of how I do things. You'll see it's not hard to achieve awesome results without being an expert.

    btw: Shibori is like a bit tie-dying. You fold the scarf in a certain way, twist and tie it, and infuse colour. That's how it gets the batik-like effect. It's really simple and can be done with kids (cover everything well!!!).

    Felting can be done with kids as well, there are good books on felting with kids. I'm just getting into it, but our "teacher" does felting classes in elementary school, she said it's amazing to see the little ones work and come to really good results!
    My first attempts doing felting on my own failed. I recommend you visit a class or workshop first and have someone showing it to you. Over here we have weekend classes or short courses for about 3 evenings. It's worth it, especially since the instructor usually has a good choice of different wools, so you can try whatever you like.

  10. While I don't have a creative bone in my body, I love reading about people who do. I think that your friend Doro is a very talented lady, and I am thrilled to have received a glimpse into her crafts. Thank you for posting!

  11. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. You totally made my day. I hope you do sent me the pictures. I'd love to see what you did.

  12. Thanks for the German tutorial ;) Great stuff here! Thanks for sharing this at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  13. Hi Mrs. Turkey, My name is Joan Chavez and I am the Library Director in Santa Rosa, NM. Your mother is one of our best patrons. She reccommended your blog to me. I have enjoyed reading it and would like to list your link on our Library Newsletter if that is okay with you.
    my e-mail address is Let me know if this will be okay.

  14. That would be fabulous! If your newsletter has an online version, let me know, and I'll link to it from here as well. :)