Monday, November 21, 2011

For a Better Black Friday - DIY

The winter holidays are nearly upon us.  At the library, we realize a lot of our patrons are trying to save a little cash this year.  And because we are tuned-in to those needs like aliens to the mothership, we’ve got our eye on DIY gifting titles to recommend for your crafting pleasure.  If you're really quick about it, you might even snag a spot in the final workshop of our free "Thrifty Gifter" series on December 22

My family has also been trying to work more thrifty DIY projects into our holiday routine.  Going out on a limb last year, we typed into our Google browser: “what to give everyone for Christmas,” and the Internet gave us this brilliant gift: a pattern for MarthaStewart felted pigs. Amazing!!  (If we'd been really smart about it, we could have skipped Google altogether and used the library's fabulous Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center. And so my husband and I joined the throng at the fabric store on Black Friday, picking out our assortment of colorful patterned fleeces:  Hot-pink!  Giraffe-print!  Horse-heads!  Camo!  Plaid!  We had never sewed anything before in our lives.  But over the next four weeks, interspersed with work and highway travel, we brought 16 little piggies into fruition.  We also drank a few adult beverages and watched sooo many episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  It was a perfect storm.

And they were pretty adorable!  You can see the entire photo gallery on Flickr , or you can just take my word for it.  We wrapped them up in pretty little boxes with one bar of Mo’s Bacon Chocolate each.  So save a little cash this year and get a little closer to the ones you love.  Make some felted pigs together.  Or stroll on over to the library and get inspired to create something else.  I already know what I'm going to be making…

Suggested Crafting:

Highlighting the influence Japanese craft has imparted on the world of fiber arts, this illustrated manual showcases the stylish sensibilities of eastern expertise in creating handbags. Sewers are shown how to create distinct and fashionable works of functional art, such as a wool tweed travel bag, a stylish denim bag with grommet and zipper details, a roomy tote with contrast lining and inside pockets, a wool messenger bag, and a soft luggage tote.

I Heart Felt is a follow-up to the author’s very successful first book on felting (Knit One, Felt Too), which was really meant as a beginner’s guide. I Heart Felt is also appropriate to newcomers in felting, but it pushes the creative edges on just what you can do with felting, making for a hugely imaginative and engaging collection of 33 original designs

If you’re a fan of amigurumi, you already know that super-sweet crocheted bunnies and kitties and pandas have taken the indie craft world by storm. The dolls in Creepy Cute Crochet eat your typical amigurumi for breakfast! This unique craft book contains more than 25 patterns for zombies, ninjas, Vikings, vampires, aliens, robots, and even Death himself. Each easy-to-follow pattern is presented with step-by-step diagrams, hilarious commentary, and full-color photographs of the creatures in their natural environments.

The Illustrated Bead Bible by Theresa Flores Geary
From Abalone and Abija to Zen Beads and Zipper Stitch, this lavish glossary contains a goldmine of beading information! Eager beaders will discover a broad overview of the subject, with definitions that cover historical background, technical details, and cultural customs. The topics include tools, materials, bead types and skills, finishes, and even the countries famous for advancing the art.

With input from more than 50 leading specialists, no other book covers the field so comprehensively. Need guidance on yarns, needles, tools, basic techniques, specialized applications, terminology? It’s in here—with lots more, from diagnostics to blocking to designs.  This is the knitter’s ultimate reference guide.

Origami Holidays by Duy Nguyen
A snowman that will never melt, a pretty basket to fill with painted eggs, a paper scarecrow with a jack-o’-lantern face!  It’s easy to make these origami pieces with basic instructions and detailed illustrations for every fold.  Decorate your tree with a lovely angel, or impress everyone with an elaborate sleigh complete with all the tiny reindeer.

Yarns made from plant fibers, modern synthetics, and silk take the spotlight in this collection of 21 classic knitting patterns. Some knitters are discouraged by the thought of baggy hemp sweaters and droopy cotton socks when they consider vegetable fibers, but this authoritative, fun, and light-hearted guide promises that, while wool has no equal when it comes to elasticity and warmth, the right tricks and techniques produce non-wool fashions that fit well, wear well, and hang beautifully.

Quilting for Peace profiles quilters in more than 25 essays about individuals and organizations devoted to making quilts and other necessities for the needy. The efforts range from Quilts of Valor, which makes quilts to honor wounded soldiers; to the Sleeping Bag Project, which distributes 100,000 homemade sleeping bags to the homeless every year. This timely book also includes 15 projects and guidelines for quilters who want to contribute to an existing effort or establish a new one.

Rachel - Programs

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

You'll have to plan ahead for next year with this one maybe, but I checked out _Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat_ by Kaori Tsutaya (translated from the Japanese by Amy Hirschman). This is for real--helpful tips, ideas & directions for items to make, the whole scene!
My cats aren't shedding much at this time of year, but those lovely winter coats will come off later, I know.