Since I craft through an eco-minded ethic, I have a habit of reading regular craft books through a green perspective, looking for the following characteristics: how friendly are the projects to being performed with eco-friendly practices, how mindful are the projects to a sustainable worldview, how well do the projects work in opposition to a consumerist, commercial culture?
Although Jeffrey Yamaguchi’s 52 Projects, based on his 52 Projects blog, is a little light on the how-to, step-by-step, hands-on tutorial component of your typical crafty book, 52 Projects works through a premise that we have the responsibility to bring meaning to our own lives through our own work, and this is a very green and crafty mindset.
If you’re a photographer, and especially if you’re a scrapbooker, 52 Projects will likely offer the most inspiration to you, since the book is extremely weighted towards photography projects. However, the projects are also amenable to crafting that has a multimedia component, as well as altered books and artwork, shrines and shadow boxes, and other memory keeping crafts.
The most important component of Yamaguchi’s book is his encouragement to modify each project to fit your own needs, and to create your own projects. The inspiration here doesn’t even have to rely on memory keeping projects–perhaps using up my entire flannel stash could be my next project, or altering all of the brand labels on all of my family’s clothing, or sewing a different stuffed dinosaur for every day in February.
It’s that project-thinking mindset that comes through as the most important component of 52 Projects.