This is a review of the craft book Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures - Evolutions, Mutations, and Other Creations, by John Murphy, published by Lark Crafts as part of their Crafts/Sewing category. I love the title, as it sounds like a campy movie title. And that would be one movie I'd love to see: a bunch of adorable sock creatures taking over the world. Somehow I think the world would be a better place if there were more sock creatures in it.
But I digress.
You may remember John's first book, Stupid Sock Creatures, published back in 2005. It was pretty popular, as in more than 100,000 book and kit copies were sold. His whimsical sock monsters are so darn cute, it isn't surprising how popular his first book was. (And if you don't yet have it, I think you'll want to check it out, as well as his Closet Monsters book published in 2010!) John's new book will no doubt become very popular too, as I think readers will share with others how easy and fun it is to make these sock creatures. How easy is it to make one of these adorable cuties? Here's the answer - in John's own words - from the Introduction in the front of the book:
"... I wanted this book to stand for something more than just a sequel to the first book. I wanted to really emphasize the importance of sharing ideas and what it does to our human community. ... With that in mind, I sought out guest designers to fill these pages instead of hogging all the attention. ... The team consists of teens, tweens, threens, moms, dads, and one alien (just to show that anyone can make a sock creature.)"
The team that John mentions above are all people who not only read his first book and made sock creatures themselves, but these people also stayed in touch over the past several years and shared new creatures whenever they made them. To me as a reader, I love knowing that!
|Agree with me: these sock creatures are adorable times infinity!|
The book is split into two sections: Basics and Projects. Basics covers literally just that: the basic techniques you will need (plus the actual items you will need) to make a sock creature. John's humor is evident throughout, even in the titles of this section such as, "They Can't Yell without Mouths." This section covers everything you need to know in an easy writing style that takes any intimidation out of the reader. You're left thinking, "Yes, I could make that AND it would be fun, too!"
|Sample page from the Basics section of the book.|
The Projects section is so much fun to read for several reasons. Each sock creature is just too darn adorable, and the bright pictures are like sock creature eye candy. Each project is titled with the name of the creature, and each creature has his or her own little story. There are varying levels of difficulty in the projects shared, and varying ages of the contributors/designers as mentioned above. This means you could make your own sock creatures with your friends or with your kids. I'm doubting I could make these with my cats, so that is one drawback. My cats would not be happy I just said that, especially calling them a "drawback" - glad they can't read!
|Jerry Jerome (in the middle) and two of his buddies!|
John Murphy drew the illustrations throughout this book, and I enjoyed seeing the actual sock creatures turned into fun illustrations, sometimes with props drawn in, sometimes with word bubbles. This book is an entertaining read from start to finish. And with the holidays fast approaching, how much fun would it be to make some sock creatures to give as gifts this season? Very! I'm also thinking how fun this book will make as a gift for the sewer or crafter on your list. (And if that particular sewer/crafter was very good this year, maybe Santa will bring them all three of John's books, right? I know: Now you aren't sure if you want to be generous and buy these books for a friend, or put them on your wish list to Santa instead.)
Click here to visit John's fun website to learn more about him and his creatures. Visit Lark Crafts by clicking here to learn more about his book Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures and to purchase a copy.
I'm also giving away one copy to a lucky reader! All you have to do is enter below.
Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of this book to review and to give away, courtesy of Lark Crafts. The opinions about the book are entirely my own.
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