I adore Jennifer Paganelli’s crafty, colorful style and when Chronicle Books asked me if I would like to review and giveaway a copy of her new book, Happy Home: Twenty One Sewing and Craft Projects to Pretty Up Your Home I was excited to say the least. Jennifer Paganelli doesn’t know it, but she has inspired me in my own life’s work more than any other artist.
I have kept a magazine clipping file of all the artists and designers who have inspired me over the years. There are quite a few that feature Jennifer. The two most inspiring to me are the two clippings you see below. Note the spiral notebook – that clipping is from 2004 – 5 years before I started In My Own Style. The clipping on the right shows her in her home studio that she had built onto her house so she would have a bright and sunny place to work. That clipping dates back even further. After reading about her home workspace is when the light bulb went off in my head to do the same in my own home, but to an unused room – which now I affectionately call -my studioffice.
When Happy Home arrived on my doorstep I had just come home from my daughter’s college graduation. I had read on Jennifer’s blog a few years ago that her son attended the same school my daughter did and I always hoped I would run into her over one of the Parent’s Weekends or visits to Burlington,VT, but I never did.
So when her book arrived I was eager to sit right down and devour it -and I did. Front to back. Happy Home will make you happy – the colors, the projects, the easy breezy relaxed style that is Jennifer. I think she says it best in her introduction, “feels like a warm hug and brings a smile to your face”.
Like most sewing/craft books, Jennifer included a chapter on general instructions as well as how to do several different stitches. The pattern sheets are stored in a pink envelope with the pattern of one of the fabrics she designs on it. The envelope is in the front of the book. It makes a world of difference when you can keep the pattern sheets organized and in good shape project after project.
The projects range from throw pillows to bed canopies. There are 4 sections in the book.
Decorate is all home décor projects from drapery to pillows.
Accessorize has instructions for making things like dog beds and tote bags.
Party shows you how to make garlands for a birthday or stockings for Christmas.
Dream is the last section in the book covering items like bed skirts and duvets.
I have not had time to actually make any of the projects in the book yet, but I do have a “to do list”. I have a stack of beige boxes in my studioffice that are going to be getting a makeover following the directions for Pretty Boxes on page 69. Her fabrics are scrumptious and very affordable, too – under $10 a yard.
I also want to make these Sophia Christmas Stockings on page 128 – traditional, but with a cheery vintage twist. I have already gathered some of the fabrics so stay tuned to see them in a post around the holidays.
As with every book Chronicle publishes the photos are beautiful, the projects are enticing and most importantly the step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. The skill level ranges from basic to more advanced so there is something for everyone.
This is one of those books you keep forever not only because of the fabulous easy to do projects, but because of the style – one of a kind. You won’t ever want to part with it – just flipping though the pages and not reading a word is highly inspiring!
Jennifer’s blog, Sis Boom was the very first blog I ever landed on back in 2006 and I was smitten. Her blog has exploded into her store where she sells the patterns and fabrics she designs. If you have never been – you are in for a treat. So much color, inspiration, and happiness.
To enter to win the copy of Happy Home, you just have to leave me a comment.
This giveaway has ended.