Friday, November 20, 2009

Redhead Review: Cookbooking

Cookbooking by Barbara Winkler starts out with the declaration that it is "the delicious new way to scrapbook" right in the subtitle. When I started looking through the book, I definitely agreed. It is filled with lots of yummy layouts and plenty of scrumptious ideas.

The focus of the projects that Winkler, former executive editor of Family Circle magazine, demonstrates makes recipes rather than photographs the focal point of her scrapbooking efforts. That doesn't mean there aren't lots of photos too as wonderful pictures of family, friends and exotic locals do grace the pages of these delightful creations. Souveniers and memorabilia also fit easily into the many layouts shown.

These highly creative and decorative customized cookbooks recognize the central role that food has in our daily lives, family occassions, and world travels. Winkler has set the book up so that you can recreate the projects no matter your individual level of scrapbooking experience or expertise. Scrapbookers and stampers, from novice to advanced, will find something to spark their creativity between the pages. It is the inspirational ideas that I really enjoyed and the realization of how many different looks could be achieved using the projects as models.

Winkler shows us several different scrapbooking projects on a number of different themes including a travel journal, an album of heritage recipes, a handy guide to family favorites and a celebration of sweets. If you aren't into traditional albums, there are still lots of projects from which to choose. How about a funky kids' recipe box using foam dividers? An accordian album for drink recipes? Maybe a beautifully collaged tin for easy breakfast treats? Or a beautiful felt album to store holiday recipes?

I loved that the projects were shown as fully realized creations. Winkler takes you with her, through concept to completion. In each project, you will get information on the cover, the dividers, basic techniques, materials, sample layouts and finishing touches. She even includes a couple of her own recipes to whet your appetite. It is this practical step-by-step structure which makes this book so approachable.

I found the whole book fascinating and wanted to try all the projects! Alas, there is never time to play as much as we would like so instead I combined my favorite elements from a couple of projects. I loved the idea of a special cookbook just for holidays, but even on a good day my sewing skills are just not up to even the simple challenge of a felt album....besides I have no idea where my sewing machine currently resides.

I loved the ideas of pockets for holding the recipes from the holiday album layout so jotted that down in my idea book. I also loved the accordian album for beverage recipes so wanted to use that format for my new holiday recipe book. As accordian albums have lots of surfaces, I decided to create a unified look for all my recipes using tags. With 12 "pages" and 2 covers I had enough room for my favorite brunch, dinner, treats, and sweets recipes. While the project could be adapted to include many holidays, I decided to focus on just Christmas for this one.

I was pleased with how fast this project went together! I spent much more time picking recipes than I did making this fabulous little cookbook. Here's what I created:

I added collage pictures and dimensional stickers to the front cover.

Inside, the accordian pages used alternating red and green panels and some designer paper to create pockets for my recipe tags.

On the back of each stamped tag, I adhered a family holiday recipe which I had also accordian folded.

To finish up the project, I added another collage image to the back cover and some more stickers.

This book has many great projects that would make beautiful additions to any home and wonderful gifts for the holidays. I would recommend it to beginner scrapbookers and papercrafters as well as advanced paper artists. Approachable and informative, it is a great book to add to your shelf of papercrafting resources.

If you are interested in a step-by-step guide to how I created my holiday cookbook, come back and check out Gingersnap Creations tomorrow!


  1. This is great. I've just started scrapbooking recipes. I'm going to have to check that book out!


  2. This is an awesome review and project - I can't wait to try making one of these.


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