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Anne Heidemann's Blog

A Rainbow of Stitches

A rainbow of stitches : embroidery and cross-stitch basics plus more than 1,000 motifs and 80 project ideas by Agnès Delage-Calvet ... [et al.] ; photography by Frédéric Lucano

Organized by color, this book offers a tremendous number of ideas for embroidery and cross-stitch projects and motifs. The designs range from cute to elegant, craftsy to modern, satisfying a wide range of tastes. I have been wanting to learn more about embroidery for awhile and I think this book will be a great place to start.

Songs from Lonely Avenue

Songs from Lonely Avenue by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Fans of the Brian Setzer Orchestra will not be disappointed by this latest album, a soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist. It's what Setzer imagines might be the appropriate accompaniment to a throwback noir film, including blues, swing, and jazz tunes that feel like they could be classics. It's a fun exploration that provides plenty of opportunity for Setzer to show off his virtuosic guitar chops.

Door to Door Organics

Do you like fresh produce? Do you want to support local farmers? Are you, like me, not a fan of going shopping? I recently discovered Door to Door Organics, and now I have fresh produce delivered to my house once a week. It's great! They have several different basic orders to choose from, and you can customize your order and add items however you'd like. The food comes from local farms including Beautiful Earth Family Farm and Two Creeks Organics, both located in nearby Chelsea. I heartily recommend their goods and their service.

Applique Your Way

Appliqué your way: 35 pretty sewing projects and patterns by Kayte Terry; photographs by Jennifer Causey

This book is chock full of stylish projects you can make yourself from easy to find materials. There are items you can wear, to decorate your home, and to give as gifts. There are also easy-to-interpret instructions and some patterns and templates are included. My favorite project is the Woodland Felt Ornaments which remind me of some handmade tree ornaments we had when I was a kid.

The American Meadow Garden

The American meadow garden: creating a natural alternative to the traditional lawn by John Greenlee; photography by Saxon Holt

This book is chock full of ideas for both individual plants and combinations that work well in a meadow garden. There are many grasses, both flowering and not, as well as other plants common to meadows. Many of these plants can be used in a suburban home landscape, even if you don't have room for what feels like a whole meadow. The photographs of existing meadow gardens are also beautiful and inspirational.

Wild Young Hearts

Wild Young Hearts Wild Young Hearts by Noisettes

This album is full of fun, upbeat songs that feature the versatile vocals of lead singer Shingai Shoniwa. She seems completely comfortable with styles from disco to 60s soul to jazz, all of which are reflected in the pop songs on this album. Perfect for bopping around the house or around town, these happy songs will keep a spring in your step.

Swedish Knits

Swedish knits : classic and modern designs in the Scandinavian tradition by Paula Hammerskog and Eva Wincent; photos by Rikard Westman
This book has the usual introduction to the basics of knitting, but also includes more detailed information on garment construction and a number of advanced techniques. It also has a great section on what to do when something goes wrong - your cable twists the wrong way, something turns out too large or too small, and other common problems. There is also quite a bit of info on interpreting patterns and on making your own. Finally, the sweater patterns are beautiful. This book is a treasure trove of information for knitters.

Re-bound

Re-boundRe-bound : creating handmade books from recycled and repurposed materials by Jeannine Stein
Ever needed a notebook or journal for a specific purpose but couldn't find one the right size? Or one that looked cool? This book shows how to bind your own from a variety of everyday materials, like a hot water bottle, bathroom rug, or potato chip bag. You could also use a record album cover, an old sweater, or even a couple of used-up gift cards.

Photojojo!

Photojojo! : insanely great photo projects and DIY Ideas by Amit Gupta with Kelly Jensen ; photography by Kelly Jensen

Besides featuring the cutest dog ever on the cover, this book is packed with ways to improve your photography skills, projects to make the most of your photos, and techniques for making the most of your camera. The projects and ideas range from beginner to more experienced photographer/crafter, so everyone should find something that appeals.

Vogue Knitting Shawls and Wraps

Vogue Knitting Shawls and Wraps

Vogue Knitting can always be counted on for stylish patterns. The shawls and wraps contained here run the gamut from those appropriate for a casual day at the beach to cuddling up with a book by the fireplace to a snazzy dress-up night out. The patterns are clear and concise and the fibers recommended range from those available at a local big box craft store to fancier yarns sold only at local shops or online.

Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs: A Bountiful, Healthful Garden for Lean Times by Jim Wilson

One of the most rewarding things I've done in the past few years was to start growing my own veggies. It not only encourages me to eat better, it also gives me a fun way to exercise, saves tons of money on my grocery bill, and provides me with a bounty that I can share with friends and neighbors. This book is a terrific guide for how to integrate veggies into your garden or start a vegetable plot from scratch. It contains a wealth of tips and tricks in addition to the basic how-to info. I got inspired to start growing my own food by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Bulb

Bulb by Anna Pavord

This comprehensive guide to flowering bulbs is filled with useful information and gorgeous photographs. Description, historical context, and growing condition information is provided for each variety. Many bulbs are included and the book concludes with a section on growing bulbs. This book is not only useful, it is beautiful to look at. The earliest bulbs are now blooming in my garden. Are they blooming in yours?

Crazy Lace

Crazy Lace: An Artistic Approach to Creative Lace Knitting by Myra Wood

Ever get the urge to pick up some needles and yarn and just go wild? This book encourages just that and offers some helpful hints for ending up with a product you enjoy as much as the process. From totally random to knitted objects with a little more structure and/or design, this is a great guide to free-form lace knitting. If you're looking for folks to knit with, drop in to the next Knit Night on April 12.

What's Wrong With My Plant?

What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?) A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

This book is just what you'd expect from the title, and it's filled with brief, detailed explanations of plant problems accompanied by color illustrations of each. There is also a full-color photo gallery of problems that I found extremely helpful for seeing the difference between similar-looking problems. There are also a bunch of organic remedies, safe for use on edibles and in areas where children or pets are active. This is a book I can see myself coming back to on a regular basis.

The New Low Maintenance Garden

The New Low Maintenance Garden The New Low Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It by Valerie Easton

This book profiles a series of gardens, each of which demonstrate particular techniques, design elements, and themes. These gardens are stylish but completely achievable and many of them are of reasonable size - no sprawling estates beyond the reach of a suburban gardener like me.