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.