Friday, March 5, 2010

Review of A Compendium of Curiosities by Tim Holtz

Here's two more creations I made after receiving the new Tim Holtz book, A Compendium of Curiosities. They both use the alcohol ink monoprint technique for the background of the stamped image.  Although I have used alcohol inks a lot to make his "alcohol ink agate" backgrounds, this is the first time I have tried this.  It took a little practice to get some backgrounds that I liked, but I think I eventually got the hang of it.  I especially like the background in seashells.  These are two of the 35 techniques covered in the third section of this book.  Each technique is described in six illustrated, easy to follow steps.  Although many of these techniques have been covered in Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas (found here, here and here) or other tutorials on his blog, there are several new ones and it is wonderful to have them all in one place. Unlike the tag tutorials, these techniques do not result in a completed project; rather they show you how to create various pieces that can be used as either background or embellishments on completed projects.  I like that because I want to learn the techniques and then decide how to put them together.  If you're looking for completed projects, the fourth (last section) of the book is a gallery with 28 completed cards, tags, scrapbook pages, etc.  There's no description of which techniques were used in the completed project or cross-reference to completed projects in the technique section, and I wish there were.  But I guess the reader will just have to figure it out themselves.  The first section of the book is a list of tools:  24 different Tim products (including basis like scissors and heat tool; specialty tools like a scratcher and tiny attacher; and consumables like paints and inks).  I guess it's a sign of my interest in Tim stuff that I own at least one version of 22 of these!  (I do not have the texture hammer or tiny attacher.)  In my defense, I accumulated these slowly over time, often for classes I taught based on Tim's techniques, which were always very popular.  Plus, I use them all.  The second section of the book is called ideas and covers 22 products, mostly metal.  For each product, there's four photos of how these products can be used on a project with a brief description.  These products are things like corners, plates, fasteners, etc.  I own very, very few of these products, so this section did not appeal to me that much.  On the whole, the book offers a wealth of information for how to use the various products created and/or popularized by Tim Holtz. I also like the feel of the book - it's 75 pages or so and about 9x9 square.  It has a spiral binding, so it will lie flat, but the wire is covered and won't catch on anything. Two caveats:  if you don't own any of these products, the book is not really for you.  Also, if you're looking for a step-by-step guide to make completed projects (like the tag tutorials), you'll be disappointed.   But if you're looking for a primer on everything from alcohol ink to distress powders, A Compendium of Curiosities is definitely for you!  Since this review is longer than I anticipated, I'm going to review Tim's other publications in a separate post.


13 comments:

inge said...

Hello Maria,

nice cardbackgrounds you made with the AI technique.
I ordered the book too and it arrived this week. It was smaller than I thought but I love that there are so many pages and so many information on the inside.
I have mostly the products like ink,embosingpowder,... because I especially want to learn his techniques. I have also none of his ideaologyline, but seeing the photos I'm tempted to busy some of them for special projects....

thanks for your review of the book : it's nice to read how others feel about this book.

Anyway : I'm still reading in the book, but I'm already inspired to create a lot this weekend !
greetings from belgium
Inge

SarahLP said...

Thanks for a great review, Rinda! I've been hearing a lot about this book and I am getting very tempted to buy it (or at least ask for it as a gift!) - I have several alcohol inks and distress inks, plus other Tim stamps and masks, but I'm clueless as to how to use them! This book sounds like just what I need.
Love your projects too.

JO SOWERBY said...

morning maria,
what a g8 idea doing a book review and no-one better than tim's new book. i received mine via qvc last week with some extra's added so i can play around but at the mo i am preparing some teaching stuff for a 4 day supply teaching job starting on monday. enjoy more playing
Jo xxx

Karen said...

I'm always interested in book reviews, and especially like yours since it is accompanied by such nice examples--love the seashells tag.

Angie Hall Haviland said...

Fabulous tag and card, Rinda!!!! Great review...I just finished reading my copy yesterday. It will be staying in my studio for reference...unlike all my other craft/art books on the bookshelf in the family room because the studio overflowth. LOL :)

humel said...

Great, balanced review, you mentioned all the things that I was thinking :-) Love your tags! x

Elizabeth said...

Love the tags!!

Sherry Goodloe said...

thanks for the review. i am waiting patiently for my book and apron . . . maybe today???? :) I've got the new inks and am all set up to try some new techniques!

ps stop by my blog and enter my giveaway if you get a chance this weekend *smiles*

Luly The Joyful Cropper said...

Thanks for the review. I am anxiously awaiting my book.

Could you please tell me where you got that stamped image of the girl?

It is fantastic!

scrappyjacky said...

Great review,Rinda....I love the book.I especially love that it is NOT how to make completed projects...but techniques for using the products.I actually quite like the metals section because these techniques can be used on any found metal objects....not only his products.I do beg to differ on your comment 'if you don't own the products this book is not for you'...I own very few of his products...distress inks,a few Stickles,a few alcohol inks...but the book has already inspired me to buy more....I think seeing how to actually use the products will inspire many Tim 'beginners'.
I particularly love the effect you have got on the tag....it looks wonderful.

Anonymous said...

great review, Rinda... hope the Easter Bunny bring me a copy of the book.

Mariana

Amy said...

Thanks for the review Rinda.

Sian said...

Very interesting review Rinda. I have a feeling you might be right when you say it's not the book if you don't own the tools. It all sounds a little bit overwhelming for a complete Tim-technique beginner like me!