I’ve found another book to add to the huge collection of printing, design, craft and sewing books I already own. Make it your own by Anna Alicia is a how-to book, full of 25 ‘stylish projects for your home’. There are quite a few of these kinds of books on the market but this one is the first book I’ve seen in a very long time when I actually want to make most of the things out of the book. Every project has been carefully chosen to be either a wonderfully useful item or decorative piece to enhance your home.
The first thing that strikes you is how beautifully the book is presented, it’s a hardback book (which I have to secretly admit I prefer when it comes to craft books) and the layout and photography (by Jacqui Melville) is just gorgeous, I really want to live in the home where these photos were shot.
The book is split into four main areas; Organising, Nesting, Decorating and Celebrating, each area is filled with a variety of projects, everything from blankets, to light pulls to lampshades. Here is my favourite project from the book, the Plaited Mat.
We’re planning on having all wooden floors in our house and so I can see myself making quite a few of these. It’s the perfect project for someone who always has lots of fabrics lying around!
The most refreshing thing about Anna’s book is that she cares deeply about where and how the materials she uses are made which is something she brings into her own work as a designer. To see more of Anna’s work, please visit her website.
Now let me introduce you to the author, Anna Alicia…
What is your favourite project in the book?
Oooh, that’s a tricky question as I’ve become quite attached to all the projects! I think I’d have to say the wool-embroidered cushions. It was one of those projects where so many elements just seemed to fall together – the beautiful organic crossweave cottons made the perfect canvas for the bold, stylized floral patterns stitched in Debbie Bliss’s lovely eco yarns. It’s also a great project for exploring your own design style, which is the idea behind the book – I used it to indulge my love of folky patterns and clashing colours, but with free-hand embroidery the possibilities are endless.
Why did you choose to use mainly eco-friendly materials for the projects?
Trying to shop as ethically as possible is really important to me and I wanted to highlight the fact that it’s not just about finished products but also the materials we use as crafters. It’s still a real challenge to source eco-friendly / ethically produced materials and for some projects it’s just not possible, but that’s changing, and I believe the more demand we create for them, the more it will change for the better.
Tell us about your work as an accessories designer.
Under my label A Alicia I create mostly statement necklaces using eco-ethical textiles and vintage materials. I also produced a ceramics range last year which has now sold out, but I’m hoping to make another one! I’m really looking forward to getting back to some jewellery designing now that my book is finished! There are a different set of practicalities to jewellery than to homeware, so I feel really lucky to get to work with both.
Where do you create your work, do you have a workshop or studio?
At the moment I’m looking for a new studio. I have a tiny kiln for my ceramic work, so I’m searching for somewhere I can get that up and running!
Would you like to write another book and if so, what would you write about?
I would love to write another book (or 10)!!! It was an amazing experience and I have so many more ideas! I’d love to do a follow-up interiors book for all the projects I couldn’t fit into ‘Make it Your Own’, and an accessories book full of textile jewellery, bags, scarves…. I could go on and on!
Anna’s book is out NOW and available directly from her website as well as all good book shops.