Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ode to the Library!

I love my library. Absolutely love, love, love my library! There is a wonderful children's book section with comfy chairs and big bins on the floor so Owen can search through the board books on his own. There's even a playground next door! I check out so many craft books that my friendly librarian Meg now suggests more every time I'm in! It's wonderful!

I thought it might be fun to show you the ones I check out and give a quick review periodically. If you like this idea and it's helpful, let me know and I'll be happy to do it more often. (Especially if it means having to go back to my favorite place!) Here's the first batch of books:

Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross
Cliffs Notes Version: Informative, but not inspiring
Rating: 1 (out of 5) golden paintbrushes
Thoughts: If you're a beginning sewer or if you're someone who likes to follow meticulous details and patterns, you'll like this book. I didn't get much out of it. The projects and pictures are beautiful, but not original. I liked the way Heather diagramed her sewing machine, for the beginners to know which parts she's referring to. I also liked the description of fabric with "drape" vs. "body".
ReadyMade by Shoshana Berger and Grace Hawthorne
Cliffs Notes Version: Good for a lesson on the history of crafting materials and a laugh
Rating: 3 golden paintbrushes
Thoughts: This was one of the more informative and funny craft books I've ever read. It is broken down in six categories of raw materials (paper, plastic, wood, metal, glass and fabric), giving each material's history, facts about the material I'm certain you've never heard before, then they explore different projects. They even included projects that turned out to be big flops, which were really funny. The plastic section included an article on face exercises you can do to avoid plastic surgery... sure to induce some laughs and possibly more smile lines!
Most of the projects were completely original, although not really my style, they were very creative.
Eco Craft by Susan Wasinger
Cliffs Notes Version: Re-freshingly original look at Re-cycle, Re-craft, and Re-styling
Rating: 3 1/2 golden paintbrushes
Thoughts: I would recommend checking this book out if you're at all interested in recycling old things to make new things. Usually I'll get only a couple good ideas from a craft book. This one had me bookmarking like crazy! Susan came up with very original ideas that are right up my alley. I don't think I would buy this book (an accolade reserved for only the very best craft books!), but I would recommend looking at her projects because they are so unique.
The Sewing Bible by Ruth Singer
Cliffs Notes Version: Tons of sewing techniques demystified
Rating: 5 golden paintbrushes
Thoughts: This is one book I need to own! Beautiful pictures, easy step-by-step instructions, inspiring projects, this book modernizes old tried and true techniques and actually inspired one of my New Year's goals this year: tackle a tough stitching project! I love how Ruth takes something simple, like sewing on a button for example, she shows me how to do it, then shows me ways to start thinking outside the box to make it more unique. See the buttons with decorative stitches below? I had a moment on almost every page!
This book is not going to go out of style quickly either. She's made it timeless and beautiful. I can't wait to try my hand at this circular skirt!
Cliffs Notes Version: Inspiration at its best
Rating: 5 golden paintbrushes
Thoughts: I've talked about this book before. Every inch of it is inspiring to me. The colors and the pictures are almost spell binding. I just jump right in to Jane's world through this book and I love it there! In addition to the earlier post I wrote about this book, I also love that she included this picture of a mother teaching her children and the title is "A Life Well Spent." Amen! I've looked at it plenty of times and it never fails to choke me up! I highly recommend adding this one to your collection. It's the perfect book for getting past a crafter's block.
Want me to review a craft book you've heard about? Email me (createstudioblog@gmail.com) or send a comment my way and if it lives among the pages at my library you can be sure I'll go pick it up!


Lynn Kellan said...

This is great! I'm going to see if the last two books are in my local library! Thanks!!

Julie said...

YES, do more like this!!! I also love checking out crafting books from the library, and I mean A LOT of craft books. They are so fun to read, but this would really spare me the waste of time I feel that some of them can be. Also love the Domesticity book a ton, so thanks for these reviews!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the library too! Thank you for the list of books I'm going to peruse the shelves for :)

Lindsay C said...

I was looking at weekend sewing at the book store and I really want it !

Amy said...

I know have a new set of books to add to my list at the library. I must admit that I never thought about finding craft books at the library. Thanks for the insight on these books. I would definitely enjoy reading some more reviews too!!

Ruth Singer said...

I'm delighted that my book got 5 golden paintbrushes!
Hope you continue to enjoy it.

Ruth Singer

Jessica said...

First off I just want to say that I wish our library had these books.
(Maybe they do?) :) This is such a great idea! I would love to see more reviews in the future.


Jenn said...

Sarah, this is great! I have a gift card from B&N, and I will definitely be using it on one of these. I do have a question- I used to be a decent seamstress (I made my own dresses in high school), but it has been years since I have sewn anything but very simple curtains and one hem-less jersey knit skirt. Which book would be best to serve as a refresher for me? And have you ever taken one of the classes at a JoAnn store? I have all this free time now...

Julie said...

Love this idea! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to more reviews!

Sarah said...

Thanks for your comments! I never expected to get a comment from one of the authors!! Ruth, thanks for taking the time to stop by. Your book is amazing!

Jenn, I'd suggest Weekend Sewing out of the books I listed in this post. I'll be on the lookout for other beginning sewing books too! I haven't taken a class at Joanne's, but I'll bet it would be a good refresher. The best thing you can do is pick a project you're excited about and dive right back in. It will come back to you like riding a bike I'll bet. Hope your big move went well! Miss seeing more of you guys!

Laura said...

I saw The Gentle Art of Domesticity at Barnes and was so tempted to buy it. I'm definitely going back now! Thanks for the review.

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Love your reviews - do more!

Courtney said...

I'm not sure if I have ever commented, but I just had to on this post (and also I figure I should stop lurking). I love your blog but I really loved this post. I am not crafty, I really want to be, I try to be, but my crafts tend to be labors of love and not all that pretty. I can't wait to go to the library to get ideas and help. Thank you so much!
Oh, and I have a friend who does something that sounds very you: every year she hosts a "Pink & Red Party" around Valentines Day. Everyone has to bring an item that is $10 or under and is pink or red, we have snacks, make some kind of cute craft (we have made cards, marble magnets, and those little paper candy holder type things), and then we play Yankee Swap with the gifts we brought. It is really so much fun, and it made me think of you...

Kirsten said...

I wish my province's library system had some of these books in stock - I can't even get them through an inter-library loan!

Deborah Raymond said...

Your blog is wonderful and I posted an award for you on mine

Ashley W. said...

Thank you for these sewing book reviews! I now have to go to the library. I got a sewing machine for my birthday and I have been on the look out for anything sewing--ideas, techniques, patterns, sales...

I need to check out all the books and start some sewing projects!