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Anne Heidemann's Blog

Ultimate Guide: Walks, Patios & Walls

Ultimate guide : walks, patios & walls by senior editor, Kathie Robitz — One of the things that really brings a professional look to a landscape is the use of stone and other mediums that contrast with plants. This book offers step-by-step instructions and design inspiration for a wide variety of walks, patios, and walls, with skill levels ranging from easy to challenging to difficult.

The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques

The dressmaker's handbook of couture sewing techniques : essential step-by-step techniques for professional results by Lynda Maynard — Making your own clothing, or making for others, can be deeply satisfying, but when the insides don't look as good as the outsides or the garment can't survive being laundered, one can quickly get frustrated. This book offers instructions for techniques for finishing, for showing off special details, for hiding what you don't want to show off, and for selecting the right techniques for your project. Also included is a directory of fine fabrics, including how to handle them and special techniques that will help preserve their luxury feel.

75 Birds, Butterflies, & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet

75 birds, butterflies & little beasts to knit and crochet by Lesley Stanfield — Amigurumi and critter knitting have gotten quite popular lately, and this book brings a natural approach to each. Included here are patterns for flowers, bugs, leaves, sea life, fruit and veg, and even eggs and bird nests. All of the projects within are realistic rather than cartoonish, and some even use non-traditional knitting/crochet materials such as raffia.

Tomorrow's Garden

Tomorrow's garden : design and inspiration for a new age of sustainable gardening text and photographs by Stephen Orr — Many people are embracing the opportunity to DIY rather than hiring a landscaper, and lots of folks are increasing their awareness of the lasting impact that garden design choices make on the overall landscape. Maybe you choose to grow edibles to cut down on your grocery costs, or perhaps to plant an ornamental garden instead of maintaining a lawn that requires a lot of water. These and other sustainable choices are covered here by garden expert Orr.

Extraordinary Gardens of the World

Extraordinary gardens of the world by Monty Don — When I think about where I'd like to travel, places with beautiful gardens rank high on my list. This book is a virtual travelogue of all types of gardens located in places all around the globe. The large format suits this book well, as the photos are big and colorful, inviting the reader to get the feeling of being in each garden. Gardeners and travel buffs alike will enjoy this book.

Mastering Color Knitting

Mastering color knitting : simple instructions for stranded, intarsia, and double knitting by Melissa Leapman — Colorwork techniques are among the most intimidating to many knitters. It's so easy to get your strands tangled, or for a carefully worked intarsia pattern to end up puckered or stretched. This book includes a lot of instructions as well as tips for making your colorwork come out looking like you hoped it would, and has twelve projects to try.

Wild Color

Wild color : the complete guide to making and using natural dyes by Jenny Dean — This guide not only provides instructions on how to dye your own yarn, it also includes an extensive, detailed list of plants you can use to make your own natural dyes. In addition, there is a handy chart for determining what dyeing method is best for which types of fiber, and each plant listing shows swatches of what colors you can expect to create with it. Many of these plants may already be growing in your garden!

Trees and Shrubs: A Gardener's Encyclopedia

Trees and shrubs : a gardener's encyclopedia by senior consultants Geoff Bryant and Tony Rodd — A companion to Annuals and Perennials, this book provides the same kind of detailed information, but this time about trees and shrubs that a gardener might use in the garden and landscape. There are a wide variety of plants listed, including twenty species of Maples alone.

Miller's Costume Jewelry

Miller's costume jewelry by Judith Miller — This book is a guide to costume jewelry, with basic information about the evolution of costume jewelry throughout history as well as a visual guide to pieces by various designers. Throughout the guide, there are sidebars that highlight the jewelry worn by famous people, including actresses, first ladies, and others.

Annuals and Perennials: A Gardener's Encyclopedia

Annuals and perennials : a gardener's encyclopedia by senior consultants, Geoff Bryan and Tony Rodd — As a gardening enthusiast, I'm always looking for new plants I haven't yet grown and for ways to add color and texture to my gardens. This book provides terrific inspiration in addition to useful information. There's a chart that provides easy access to all the details about each plant, as well as detailed descriptions for all and color photographs for many of the listings in the encyclopedia.

130 Mini Quilt Block

130 mini quilt blocks : a collection of exquisite patchwork blocks using ready-made fabric bundles by Susan Briscoe — If you're looking to get started with quilting or looking to find a use for all the fabric packs in your stash, this book is a great resource. It not only has 130 quilt block patterns, but also includes ideas for projects to use those quilt blocks, including a mini tote bag, a pillow, a hot pad, and more. Learn more about the author at her website, and join us at our Quilt Group which meets once a month (check the Program Calendar for dates).

All Dolled Up

All dolled up : sewing clothes and accessories for girls and their 18-inch dolls by Joan Hinds — Do any of the little girls in your life have American Girl or other 18" dolls? This book includes instructions and patterns for over a dozen articles of clothing and accessories for both dolls and the little girls who love them. A few variations for 15" baby dolls are also included. You can see a video about the book and check out more about the author at her website, Fancywork and Fashion.

The Artful Garden

The artful garden : creative inspiration for landscape design by James van Sweden and Thomas Christopher — It's easy to think of being inspired by viewing paintings and art, but how often do we think about great works of art when we plan our garden or landscape? This book recommends doing just that. Why not check out one of our Museum Adventure Passes and see what strikes you?

The 100 Thing Challenge

The 100 thing challenge : how I got rid of almost everything, remade my life, and regained my soul by Dave Bruno — Do you ever feel like you have too much clutter in your life? Like maybe the stuff that surrounds you is threatening to take over? Dave Bruno had that feeling, and he decided to winnow his belongings down to only 100 items. This book talks about how he did it and the impact it had on his life, which was far greater than just having fewer possessions. His blog's motto is "Reduce - Refuse - Rejigger" and offers continued insights like those contained in this book.

Built by Wendy: Coats & Jackets

Built by Wendy coats & jackets: the Sew U guide to making outerwear easy by Wendy Mullin, with Eviana Hartman — Wendy Mullin has a system for sewing that involves clear instructions and patterns, plenty of diagrams, and a little contemporary flair on the classics. Here you can find how-tos for over twenty variations on three basic designs: fitted, basic, and straight coats and jackets.