Resources for Crafters

bibliocraft_bookAre there certain crafts or projects that you just keep putting off?

For me, it is altering a dress I just purchased. The problem is I don’t sew.  Not because I can’t, but because it’s just not the type of project I typically seek out. I’m more of an “instant gratification” crafter.  If a craft takes too long, I usually give up and there is a graveyard of unfinished projects to prove it.  Some of you probably know what I’m talking about.

But getting back to the subject, I know basically nothing when it comes to altering a dress or using sewing patterns and I don’t know anyone who can help me out.  So I turned to the library for help and was surprised to find so many how-to books on sewing! After browsing the shelves, I was able to find one that I believe will work.

So how about you?  Is there a project you would like to tackle but aren’t sure where to begin?  Try the library.  There are so many resources available to you.

Here are some books that you may find helpful.

BiblioCraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza.  It is a neat book if you decide to pick it up.

Color Play by Joem Wolfrom

The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making by Tammy Powley

Little Needle-Felt Animals by Gretel Parker

The Magic Pattern Book: Sew 6 Patterns into 36 Different Styles! by Amy Barickman

Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction by Abigail Patner Glassenberg

Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting and Storytelling in Watercolor by Felix Scheinberger

Are there any resources you have found helpful?  Please share them with us.



Books – Are They Always Better Than the Movies?

100 foot journeyAnyone who has a love of the written word, or works with and around books has probably thought, heard or said the following:

The movie was great but you should really read the book, it was way better.  The books are always better than the movies.”

Just another case in point why folks shouldn’t rule their lives by absolutes came in focus as I finished up The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais.  I was inspired to pick-up the book in the first place because it featured food, chefs, cooking food, eating food, foreign climes (India and France) and did I mention food? J

Imagine my disappointment when halfway through the book I was thinking “this isn’t at all what I thought it would be” and not in a good way.  The majority of the narrative was just SLOW and when the story did finally start to get interesting, it downshifted again.  Add to that, most of the characters just weren’t that sympathetic.  Perhaps my expectations were too high.  Or was I just not “getting” what the writer intended from his story?  Either way it was a letdown.  Another story full of promise relegated to my pile of “I’ve read better.”

This makes the fact that I borrowed the movie from the library seem a little odd.  But I’m glad that I gave it a second chance.  The film was full of color, life and humor.  You cared about the characters.  Better-yet, you actually liked the characters.  It was a totally different experience.  And it taught me that sometimes, as much as I don’t like to admit it, the movies are better than the books.


Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be difficult.  As the saying goes, you like what you like.  But I’ve found that trying something different can turn out to be enjoyable.  Like trying sushi for the first time or speaking out at a meeting when you would rather stay quiet.  Who knows, you may even like sushi. But unless you are willing to take a “leap of faith” you will never know.

So, if you are interested in stepping out of your comfort zone, I propose an experiment.  Try reading about a topic that you wouldn’t normally be drawn to or listen to a genre of music you don’t know much about.

If you’re not sure where to begin, you can try a book or music from the following list to get you started.


Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay

Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization  by W. Hodding Carter

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart

Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft by Simon Houpt

Under the Black Flag: the Romance and the Reality of Life among the Pirates              by David Cordingly


Rock Symphonies by David Garrett

Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles

X & Y by Coldplay

Plectrumelectrum by Prince & 3rdEyeGirl

Hypnotic Eye by Tom Petty

Carla Bruni by Carla Bruni

Lazaretto by Jack White

If you do happen to give any of these titles a try – post your reviews (positive or negative) here.  What would YOU recommend people give a read or listen, to move beyond their comfort zone?

Making Changes in 2015

girl looking off into distance

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

What an exciting quote!  To think that you can change if that is what you truly want to do.  That change could be improving your health, updating your education… anything you want.  This is the time of year that we usually make resolutions, but sometimes we don’t follow through.  So how can you do it?

It won’t be easy; it takes work, time, patience and a real commitment to yourself.  Many experts suggest setting goals and sticking to them.  I recently read Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success.  In it, he shares the SMART method for goal setting.  It is a useful tool you can use to get started.

Another step is to learn what it takes to make the change.  If you want to eat healthier, then you need to know which foods are good for you.  If you want to take better photos with your digital camera, you need to learn those skills.  Maybe you would like to get a better job, but you don’t know how to use certain computer programs.  Learning what is required is worth the effort.

Don’t forget to be understanding.  Many people give up on their resolutions because they let time get away from them.  Remember you have a whole year.  Just because you missed one step, doesn’t mean you have failed.  Be patient with yourself, pick up where you left off and keep going.

One last thing, you don’t have to do everything all alone. It is all right to ask for support.  That can come from friends, family, teachers or people in the community with similar goals.  Please don’t forget the library!  While we won’t get up to go running with you at 5:00 AM, we can provide help many different ways. From free online courses, to one-on-on technology help and classes to books on a variety of subjects, our friendly staff will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Good luck on attaining your goals and Happy New Year!