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Anne Heidemann's Blog

The Nonstop Garden

The nonstop garden : a step-by-step guide to smart plant choices and four-season landscapes by Stephanie Cohen & Jennifer Benner — We would all love for our gardens to be bursting with color and interest all year long, but it takes a little planning to achieve. Cohen and Benner offer a number of strategies for designing a year-round garden and have included ten design plans for those just starting as well as loads of suggestions for trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, and more.

Little Green Dresses

Little green dresses: 50 original patterns for repurposed dresses, tops, skirts, and more by Tina Sparkles; photographer, Erica Beckman — Looking for a way to refresh your wardrobe without spending big bucks? Here you'll find lots of ideas for revamping existing clothing in your closet or from a thrift store, places to find inexpensive fabric, and sewing instructions for all levels. These patterns are printed so that you can photocopy onto larger paper and sew from there. Check out this Q&A with author Tina Sparkles at Craftzine.com.

Guide to Michigan Vegetable Gardening

Guide to Michigan vegetable gardening by James A. Fizzell

This is the ultimate guide to veg gardening in Michigan and includes just about everything you could ever want to know about growing your own food here in MI. In addition to full sections on virtually all the vegetables you might want to grow, this book also includes up-to-date county extension information, a hardiness zone (we're 6a here in Canton) map, and freeze. frost and precipitation details. Definitely recommended for local gardeners at all levels of experience.

Incredible Edibles

Incredible edibles : 43 fun things to grow in the city by Sonia Day ; photography Barrie Murdock

If you're looking for a few good edibles to grow, this book is a great place to start. Even if you only have a patio, balcony, or other limited area, almost all of these 43 plants are doable. These edibles are also versatile ingredients for a home cook, and are for the most part quite easy to grow. Large, crisp photographs make this book a winner.

The Felted Bag Book

The felted bag book : 21 simple projects for every occasion by Susie Johns

Are you in the market for a sturdy bag that you can make yourself? You may find just the thing in this book of over twenty felted projects. They range from clutches to purses to totes and use a variety of techniques: knitting, crochet, wet felting, and reusing existing materials. Crafters with some experience will have a head start, but there are also projects here for beginners.

Starter Vegetable Gardens

Starter vegetable gardens : 24 no-fail plans for small organic gardens by Barbara Pleasant ; photography by John Gruen

For experienced or beginner gardeners, this book has a wealth of resources for planning your veggie patch. As advertised in the title, there are 24 garden plans, but there is also a ton of really useful information about many of the plants you may want to grow. For instance, did you know that mulching your potato plants with straw can help deter Colorado Potato Beetles? See page 116 for more on that, and don't miss all the other great info included in this book.

Eco Books

Eco books : inventive projects from the recycling bin by Terry Taylor

Handmade books sound neat, but how easy is it to actually make one? Turns out, pretty easy! You can take materials you have around the house and make them into books in a variety of styles. This book shows how to make forty different types of books ranging from easy (complete in an afternoon or less) to more advanced styles that might take a little longer. You can also reuse a ton of different materials for the covers, including egg cartons, cardboard, fabric, an old mouse pad, cereal boxes, and lots of others.

Sew Retro

Sew retro : 25 vintage-inspired projects for the modern girl & a stylish history of the sewing revolution by Judi Ketteler
This book is a treasure trove for the home sewer. It offers quick glimpses into the history of home sewing and includes easy projects inspired by vintage pieces. The vintage color photographs and illustrations are enough to make this a fun book to flip through, but the projects are also great for hobby seamstresses at any level.

Hattitude: Knits for Every Mood

Hattitude : knits for every mood by Cathy Carron

Want to make a hat? Got little to no knitting experience, or maybe just some easy patterns that you can whip through? This book has got you covered with forty different designs using a wide variety of yarns. From a cloche to a stocking cap to a fedora, if you can name a hat, it's probably in here. My favorite is the Aloof (which is also available free online). What's yours?

Simple Sewing

Simple sewing: the complete illustrated machine-side reference of tips and techniques by Beth Baumgartel
Have you ever needed to mend a ripped seam, or wanted to make your own simple curtains, but weren't sure where to start? These and many, many other projects are detailed here, along with basic guides to sewing machines, working with patterns, and a guide to fabrics. This is an ideal book to have at hand when sewing at home.

100 Afghans to Knit & Crochet

100 afghans to knit & crochet by Jean Leinhauser & Rita Weiss

100 afghans is a lot of blankets! But you'll be glad for the selection when you look through this book, because you can choose just the right design to suit your taste. There are more crochet patterns than knit, but the variety is still quite impressive. You can also find one of each available free online: Americana (crochet) and Rainbow Rib (knit).

The Sewing Answer Book

The sewing answer book by Barbara Weiland Talbert
This handy little book has answers to hundreds of the most common questions home sewers find themselves asking. If you've got a problem working with plaids, need help adjusting a pattern to fit your personal size, or wonder what maintenance your machine might need, this book has the answer.

Button It Up

Button it up: 80 amazing vintage button projects for necklaces, bracelets, embellishments, housewares, & more by Susan Beal
Buttons are ubiquitous, but how many of us think to use them for more than just functional purposes? This book outlines dozens of colorful projects for all kinds of buttons. You can also check out the Button It Up! blog, which has further instructions and ideas.

Art Cloth

Art cloth : a guide to surface design for fabric by Jane Dunnewold
This book contains detailed how-to instructions for embellishing your own one-of-a-kind fabrics. From dyes to paints, stamps to stencils, screenprinting to resists, there are a myriad of techniques here with which you can make your fabric unique and beautiful.

New England Knits

New England knits: timeless knitwear with a modern twist by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre
When I think of New England and knitting, my first thought is of bulky cabled sweaters, but this book offers a wide variety of projects in a range of styles. Nothing here is oversize or stiflingly heavy, and there are even a number of small projects, like a the Brattleboro Hat and the Groveland Satchel.