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Crafting for ICPL

by Beth on July 23rd, 2013
Crafting for ICPL Cover Image

Last December ICPL had it’s first fundraising crafts bazaar, and to say it was a great success would be an understatement.  So many wonderful hand made arts and crafts were donated, and people had such great things to say about the bazaar and how much fun they had crafting for ICPL that we’re doing it again!

Details will be out soon, but until then, here are some great new craft books to light your creative fire.

Tie-Dye: dye it, wear it, share it by Shabd Simon-Alexander.  Tie-dying fabric or clothing can be as simple or as complicated as you make it.  One thing it’s guaranteed to be is FUN!

Tie-Dye leads you step by step through the entire process, from the tools you’ll need, to the types of dyes and additives you’ll want to experiment with.  A single dye can look completely different on different types of fabric, so quite a bit is devoted to choosing the right fabric and dye to get the results you want.  Twenty two different projects are included, as are a trouble shooting section, cheat sheets and an index.


In the 70′s girl scouts did it with jute and called macrame.  Today Paracord Crafts are all the rage.

You can make a lot more than just plant hangers using nylon parachute rope called “paracord.”  From key fobs and dog collars to jewelry and fashion accessories, if you can tie a knot you can create with paracord.

Parachute Cord Craft  and Paracord Fusion Ties are two new books at ICPL that can get you going.   Parachute Cord Craft is a beginners book, with great simple projects using basic simple knots.   Paracord Fusion Ties takes it to a whole other level, with advanced ties and projects.



Crochet a Zoo by Megan Kreiner.  Elephants and pandas, zebras and giraffes – you’ll find them all in Crochet a Zoo. Instructions for 14 zoo animals and a zookeper follow 12 pages of basic how-to-crochet instructions with well drawn illustrations that seem simple to follow.  Knowing a bit about yarn weights and how to read crochet patterns might make this even easier to follow, but none of the projects seem very complicated.   The instructions include finishing touches for each critter.


Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry.   Are you a habitual paperclip bender? Do you enjoy playing with wire?  If so you should check out this new book edited by Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott for Lark Jewelry & Beading.  She has put together a collection of forty wonderful projects by 27 different designers.  Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants and even a ring!  A seventeen page guide to the supplies and skills you’ll need to learn starts this well written book.  Full color photographs and illustrations are provided for each project.  The publishers deserve praise for the layout of this book.  A photo table of contents shows you in one glace all the projects and their location – a rarity in crafting books. An index to all the designers, with their websites and email is included.


101 Fabulous Small Quilts

by Beth on April 30th, 2013
101 Fabulous Small Quilts Cover Image

I love quilting.  From choosing the pattern and all the fabrics, to cutting the pieces and creating the quilt itself, I love each step.   Unfortunately, for me quilting is usually a cool-season activity.   I just can’t seem to get enthusiastic about dealing with 5 or 6 yards of fabric when the weather is hot.  But I’ve found a way around that! Small quilts!  From 48″ square to 12×18″ or any size in between.  They are just as much fun to make as a full size quilt, with only a fraction of the fabric to deal with.   Now I can give in and make that Red and White quilt I’ve always wanted to make, but have avoided because there would have been too much red in a full-sized quilt!

101 Fabulous Small Quilts from That Patchwork Place is a great collection of quilts.  There is a wide range of beautiful designs, with full color photos and easy to follow instructions.   But there are some important things missing in the book itself.

The introduction and back cover mention quilt designers by name, yet there is no name index.  There is a table of contents, but it contains only the names of the quilts, and not even in alphabetical order.  The arrangement of the book, if there is one, I just can’t grasp.  Logical groupings such as stars, strips or applique would have been very helpful, or at the very least a thumbnail next to the title in the table of contents.

As it is, the only way to find something in this book if you don’t know the name of the quilt is to flip page by page through it.  Which I’m sure is something most quilters will love doing, as this really is a book of eye candy for quilters.  As a Librarian who also quilts, I find it frustrating that a book with such potential fell so short.

That’s not to say I won’t be buying myself a copy.  It’s too beautiful a book not to.

Not your everyday craft books!

by Beth on August 5th, 2011
Not your everyday craft books! Cover Image

Summer time.  When the humidity hits 75% and the heat advisories start popping up, I start looking for things to do inside. And what better way to while away the hours by the fan or AC then by breaking out the craft supplies!  So I wandered through the library’s craft section (upstairs at 745)  and came up with a handful of odd-ball craft books with lots of neat thing to try.

Want to make yourself a duct tape kitchen apron, a wallet, or a cell phone case?   Brake out a few rolls of duct tape and take a look at  Ductigami : the art of the tape by Joe Wilson.

Are you a fan of monsters, or do you know someone who is?   Check out Me Make Monster! A mish mash of monster craft by Jenny Harada.  Make all sorts of monsters – little or big.  Each project has a list of supplies and tools needed followed by simple, well written instructions and lots of color photographs to help you make your very own monsters.



Now if crafting to you means Christmas or Holiday decorations, try Fa la la la Felt: 45  handmade Holiday Decorations by Amanda Carestio.  A very bright and colorful felt crafting book with 45 simple holiday projects.  Nice photos of the finished projects, but not of the steps, although most are so simple they don’t really need photographs.  Starting with an introduction that talks about different types of felt, making your own felt by recycling old wool sweaters, and a section on basic embroidery stitches, and templates  for all the projects this could get you in the holiday spirit months early!

Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson contains “33 designs for your surly side” and instructions on how to turn your own favorite snide comments or phrases in the cute little bits of non-work-friendly art for you or someone special. 



Just in the mood to craft, but have nothing in mind?  Go for AlternaCrafts by Jessica Vitkus.  This book has a lot of neat ideas.  Broken down into three  sections: Projects to Wear, Projects for your Home, and Projects to Give, this book contains a wide range of projects including stamping with raw vegetables, tying a macrame bracelet, up-cycling clothing, making sachets, or making bouquets of paper flowers.

Consider yourself an advanced crafter?  Making Stuff: an alternative craft book edited by Ziggy Hanaor might be more your speed.  Starting with an instructional section to learn how to knit, felt, applique, sew and crochet, then sections on crafting clothing, jewelery, plus three more sections of oddball crafts, this book is lots of fun, but more for the experienced crafter or knitter.  And just a note – this book was published in England, so sometimes some of the English is confusing.  (I think Fairy Lights are just white Christmas Lights)

Now of all the craft books I looked at, there was one I just have to buy for myself, and it’s huge.   The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano has over 150 craft projects – little to big / simple to complex.  Things that made me burst out laughing or stare at in disbelief.  Things I never would have thought of on my own, but that he breaks down so simply I can’t wait to try them. Beware of this book.  You’ll want to buy it too.

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