Posted on 3 Comments

The book pile, volume two


I do so love crafty books.  If I had unlimited funds, I’d run right out and stock my own creative library.  How fabulous would that be??  Sadly, funds are anything but unlimited, but I do get to treat myself now and then.  Since all of the books in my inspiration pile have cycled onto the shelf since I last talked about this, I thought it was time for another run-down of what I’m reading.

As I mentioned before, you can learn more about all of these titles here.  As I buy new books (or pick up a little something interesting from the library) you can keep up if you like by glancing over at the left sidebar under “reading.”  I keep that list very up-to-date.

So last night I got to spend an hour at the book store, snuggled into one of their comfy chairs with a pile of potential purchases. The only thing that can improve a night like that for me is getting to actually bring one or two of the books home with me.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have done it, but I splurged.  Yes, two of those babies came home with me last night, along with a Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream, because as long as I’m spending more money than I should, why not ingest more calories than I should as well?

It was a gluttonous feast of coffee and inspiration.

These are the two books I picked up:

  • Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a PillowcaseCraft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase– this has been on my wish list for months and months, and I finally could resist no longer.  My stack of thrifted pillowcases and I were powerless against its charming shirts, skirts, aprons, organizers, bags, and superhero capes.  I’m not sure what project will be first, but I really love the shirt project.
  • Blogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal: A Guide for Crafters, Artists & Creatives of all KindsBlogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal – Yes, I know I already have a blog, and I don’t really need a rundown of the various features of Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad, but the geek in me finds these things oddly interesting.  And more than that, there are profiles of, oh, at least twenty creative bloggers in the book, and that’s something I always enjoy reading.  Many of the profiles are of bloggers I am familiar with, some of them are even on my must-read list.  I’ve only had a chance to read the first two chapters so far, but I’m looking forward to the discussion on bringing beauty to your blog.  That seems to me a topic from which even a seasoned blogger could glean some useful tidbits.

Other additions to my book stash this summer include these two that I picked up on a recent trip to Burlington, MA:

  • Linen, Wool, Cotton: 25 Simple Projects to Sew with Natural Fabrics (Make Good: Crafts + Life)Linen, Wool, Cotton: 25 Projects to Sew With Natural Fabrics – This is a Japanese sewing book that’s been translated to English.  I love the clean lines of the projects, and the natural materials.  Everything is simple and uncluttered with pattern.  Sometimes even those of us who are immersed in color and pattern for a living need a little bit of natural linen in their lives, I think.  One complaint I have: in the introduction to the chapter on linen, the author explains how there are many different flavors of the material, in varying degrees of heaviness.  Then, in each project’s materials, she simply lists “linen.”  I would benefit from knowing what weightof linen is appropriate for each project.  Still, the projects are lovely.  It’s probably worth making an educated guess about the linen.
  • French General: Home Sewn: 30 Projects for Every Room in the HouseFrench General: Home Sewn– Mmm, I really love the aesthetic in this book.  The vintage French textiles are beautiful and have given me a new appreciation for the color red.  I’ve picked up some (non vintage and non French) red ticking fabric, and a thrifted red toile that I think will make fabulous pillow covers in my living room.

Also reading:

  • The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest: 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying and Pickling Fruits and VegetablesThe Big Book of Preserving the Harvest– You know I’ve been trying to spend these abundant summer months buying my produce only from the farmers’ markets.  That’s all well and good, but come winter, it’s back to the trucked-in stuff at the supermarket.  I bought this book in the hopes that I could literally bottle up some of that summer goodness for a colder day.  So far I’ve gotten some useful canning tips from it, but I really feel that I have barely scratched the surface with it.
  • Amulets and Talismans: Simple Techniques for Creating Meaningful JewelryAmulets and Talismans– This is a beautiful book, filled with scrumptious eye candy.  I haven’t gotten beyond just looking at the pictures yet, but I hear the text explains many of the author’s fabulous cold connection techniques.  The point of the book is to empower you to make artful jewelry that is ripe with personal meaning.


From the Library:

Keep it Seasonal, which has gorgeous photos and enough appealing recipes that I am thinking it needs to be added to my wish list, and Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts, which I think I will never, ever, finish before it’s due back.

On my Radar:


How about you?  Reading anything exciting right now?  Looking forward to anything new?

Posted on 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “The book pile, volume two

  1. How spooky – I have just written a post about some books I have bought too. We are over in the States at the moment and I spent the whole holiday (we are flying back to the UK tonight) looking for a decent bookshop. I found a huge Barnes and Noble and spent a happy hour browsing through the craft books. You are so lucky in the States to have a great selection of craft books and magazines – my local bookshop has 1 shelf devoted to craft books and most of that is taken up with card making books! Sorry for the long comment – I’m bored at the airport as I packed the books in the suitcase!
    .-= See Lynsey’s latest blog post: Books =-.

    1. Where in the States were you visiting? It would be so funny if we were at the same huge Barnes & Noble, wouldn’t it? (I was in Paramus, New Jersey last night). I agree, we are lucky here in that regard. Although online shopping is the great equalizer (and often cheaper, too!)

  2. We were in the south – Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The mall we found was in Chattanooga, TN. We’d never visited that part of the States before and actually really enjoyed it – lots of great thrift stores and very hospitable, friendly and polite people. And the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Scottsboro, AL was a fabulous find too 🙂 If you like that kind of thing!
    .-= See Lynsey’s latest blog post: Books =-.

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