Sunday, September 23, 2007

book report

*photo from alternacrafts
I've been enjoying lots of non-fiction from the library lately. Anytime I read or hear about a good book, I go to my library's website and request a hold. When the title arrives at the branch near me, they call. And they've been calling a lot!
I was scrolling through the craftsanity podcast archives and came across an interview with Jessica Vitkus, the author of AlternaCrafts. This book is divided up into clothing, home, and gift projects, all of which seem to be pretty quick endeavors. Even though it came from the library's teen section, it has lots of ideas, like 'pin-tastic cards' and 'mock smock,' that I might try.
*photos from simple sewing with a french twist
After I saw that Beth had found Simple Sewing with a French Twist at her library, I checked and was pleasantly surprised that mine had a copy, too (they seem to be a bit slow getting craft titles). I've been looking at this one before bed, and there is a lot to look at--tons of cute projects, with diagrams for everything! So far, some of my favorites are the Versailles Velvet Ottoman and the Bohemian Flip Flops. More than 250 pages!
*photo from omiyage
On a quick browse at the library, I picked up Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition. I love looking at these very cute [but extremely time consuming+and detail oriented] projects. The photos are nice and bright.

On the same trip, I found Sewing with Nancy 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew for Your Home. This book looks like it was published way before 2002, and I laughed when I realized each sewing project was divided into steps that take 10, 20 or 30 minutes, not that they could be finished in that amount of time. Who was I kidding--there's a quilt on the cover--that's a bunch of 30 minute steps! Anyhow, it's pretty traditional, but there's one project I've got my eye on: the On the Go Machine Mat. I'm always sliding my sewing machine around on the table, and I like the little pockets that hang down from this mat--a great place to stash little threads instead of reaching for the trash can while sewing.

I found so many recipes I want to try in Quick Fix Vegetarian, like 'potato "dosadillas"' and 'cream of pumpkin soup topped with curried pecans.' My only complaint is that there are no color photos--one of my requirements for buying a cookbook.

And in addition to Simple Sewing on my nightstand, I've been falling asleep to Thoreau. Somehow I made it through school without reading anything he wrote. And I got a few calls from the library at the end of the week--I think they've got some fiction waiting for me.


  1. Oooh, I love Omiyage. I've made a couple of the little flower purses. A lot of hand-sewing in these! Unfortunately I didn't have the lovely silk kimono scraps that the author did.
    I have several Sewing with Nancy books -- very 80s and 90s -- her shows are what got me sewing in the first place (although I don't use many of her techniques).
    You might see if your library has a "suggest a purchase" option. I feel kind of greedy because I constantly suggest craft books to my library, and they've ordered the huge majority of them. I have a sneaking feeling that if the book is able to be ordered (not out of print), they simply order it.
    Thanks for the book report -- I'm definitely on the lookout for Alternacrafts and Simple Sewing with a French Twist.

  2. Isn't the library completely awesome? I love to drag home a stack of crafty books to flip through.

  3. This is a very obvious reminder that I need to get my butt to the library. I've seen these books reviewed in other places but always forget I don't have to *buy* them to enjoy them.


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