Archive for the ‘Crafts & Hobbies’ Category

Loved ‘Pattern Magic’? Try These!

Monday, July 29th, 2013

If you like the Pattern Magic books, try:

This Just In: Crafts

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Six Recently-Arrived Titles from the Crafts Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check!


Gift Ideas: Film & Television, Music, Photography, Fashion, Crafts

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Let us be your personal shoppers!

ABC’s booksellers don’t just sell books: as well as being voracious readers, almost all ABC staff members are personally responsible for buying the books for one or more sections in the stores. That means you’ll always find someone who can put exactly the right book in your hands when you need it. We asked our buyers for their tips for the best gifts for the upcoming holiday season, and they came up with some great ones: new books, classic books, magazines, games, merchandise, and stationery.

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Film & Television, Music, Photography, Fashion and Crafts as supplied by Ester, Nyjolene, Marten and Sophie.

Even more gift ideas can be found here and here!


Quilty Pleasures: Kaffe Fassett and the History of Patchwork

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The Colorful Craft of Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe (pronounced ‘kayf’) Fassett is a world-renowned and much-loved American textile designer and artist who started his long career in an unlikely place: on a train. On a visit to the wilds of Scotland, he was captivated by the palette of the landscape, and bought armfuls of Shetland wool in the colors he saw around him. On his way home,  he asked a lady in his train carriage to teach him to knit, and not so very long later, his first knitwear designs had been commissioned by Vogue.

Kaffe grew up in California, at his parents’ family restaurant, Nepenthe. Set on a sunny peninsula above the Pacific Ocean, the building was designed by a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright and became a popular haunt of the colorful, crazy and creative set of the 1950’s and 60’s; Kaffe was surrounded by painters, artists, sculptors, dancers, writers and film stars. A love of  form and color bloomed, and the energy and exuberance of this rich childhood milieu found its way into his art.

At nineteen, he won a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston but, inspired by his conversations with Christoper Isherwood, he left for London and set up home near Portobello Market at the height of the swinging sixties.  Fassett had actually started out as a minimalist painter, a fact which shocks anyone familiar with his designs, but was so enamored of the colors of the market, particularly the fabrics, that he switched to working in needlepoint. Then came the visit to Scotland, the spreads in Vogue, and commissions from fashion houses, films stars and royalty.

In 1988 the V&A hosted an exhibition of Kaffe’s work, making him the first living textile artist to have a one-man show at the museum. He has written more than thirty books and hosted television and radio programmes for the BBC and Channel 4, including his own very popular series, ‘Glorious Colour’. He has also worked with Oxfam on a project that works with villages in Guatemala and India to produce fabric designs for sale in the west.

As well as knitting and needlepoint, Fassett works in mosaicrugmaking and paint; but these days, he concentrates on patchwork. It appeals to his two great passions, pattern and color. He’s skilled in a variety of media, but Fassett is actually far less concerned with the technical aspects of making things – and would insist that he is technically mediocre in everything he does – than with the thrill to be had from solving the puzzle of organising colors into pleasing patterns.

He exhorts his fans to go crazy with pattern and color, to let loose and dare to experience them in unexpected and unconventional ways. He now devotes his life not just to the production of his own pieces, fabrics, books and designs, but to sharing his passions with as many people as possible by talking about his work all over the world. His love of color and pattern is infectious, and that’s why we are thrilled that Kaffe Fassett will be visiting our Amsterdam Treehouse to present his autobiography Dreaming in Color, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd.

To Fassett, quilting is a thrilling puzzle of pattern and shape. To most of the rest of us, it’s a dowdy sort of hobby, albeit with practical results, that’s been around for maybe a couple of hundred years. Read on to find out how the humble quilt has a history long as infinite spools of thread and as varied and colorful as patchwork itself.


CANCELLED – Win tickets to Julia Cameron’s lecture on creativity!

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Unfortunately Julia Cameron has cancelled the event, so there are no longer tickets to be won

In co-operation with Bliz Events, The American Book Center is giving away 5 pairs of tickets worth € 90 each for Julia Cameron’s lecture Creativity & Divinity”, taking place in Houten on Friday, May 11th, 2012.

Julia Cameron is a novelist, playwright, songwriter, poet, and the author of the ABC Evergreen The Artist’s Way. First published in 1992, The Artist’s Way is credited with helping millions find and express authentic creativity in their lives, in their work and in the world.

During her lecture Julia will remove every myth and monster that you hold dear that stops you from living your most creative life! Discover and recover your creative self. Stop telling yourself that “It’s too late”. Stop waiting until you make enough money before you do something you love. Stop thinking it’s just your ego whenever you yearn for a more creative life. Release the beliefs that dreams don’t matter, that your family and friends will think you’re crazy, or that creativity is a luxury you can’t afford. Julia will teach you how to do all this and much more! To find out how to enter the draw to win a pair of tickets, see our blog.

On May 12 and 13 Julia will also give a workshop on The Artist’s Way!

For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the lecture, just answer the following question:

Name an activity that Julia advises in The Artist’s Way to let your creativity flow.

Send your answer in an email to before May 6th. In the subject line, write “Julia Cameron Prize Draw”.

Date: Friday May 11th
Time: 19:00 – 21:30
Venue: Theater Aan de Slinger, Houten
Note: please bring a pen and a notebook
Normal Ticket Price: € 45; tickets at the door: € 50
More information: Bliz Events