Fans of the cheerful and charming Mary Engelbreit look can now bedeck all sorts of home accessories with her delightfully colorful ideas. Engelbreit's instantly recognizable retro-1930s-style illustrations grace the chapter openers, and her hallmark motifs--checkerboard stripes, cherries, stylized flowers, teapots--are in evidence, but the dozens of projects are nicely generic enough that crafters' own versions will shine with whimsy and not look like mere Engelbreit wannabes. Pull up a multihued barstool to a sunny table set with button-flower place mats; create brightly festooned lampshades, pillow shams, beribboned tassels, and painted vases to enliven any room; perk up your windows with playfully embellished shutters, pegboard-shelf curtain toppers, and etched-bottle tiebacks; or bring your creativity outdoors with ornamental birdhouses, vivid citronella candleholders, and a clever bubbling fountain made of colorfully painted flowerpots. Each of the imaginative projects is shown in three color-scheme variants so you can chose the palette that best fits your style, since, as Mary says, "We should surround ourselves with our favorite things," which are often the special things we've made ourselves. --Amy Handy
Greeting card illustrator Engelbreit, whose witty, nostalgia-inspired illustrations now decorate over 1000 products, extends her influence to home decorating projects. Her instructions are well written and illustrated and include three different color versions to allow one to match one's own decor. Decorative projects for dining, lighting, cushions, furniture, window treatments, and accessories are included, requiring simple sewing, painting, and embroidery skills. All public libraries will be wise to purchase given Engelbreit's popularity.
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