For Crafting Fun During the Holidays…

The crafty librarian recommends the following pretty new books!

Syndetics book coverHandcrafted wire findings : techniques and designs for custom jewelry components / Jane Dickerson, Denise Peck.
“Add personal style at minimal cost with custom-made findings. …Making custom findings enables jewelry makers to affordably create just the right component to complement their own jewelry designs. …With fundamental skills for beginners that progress to more sophisticated designs, this book covers techniques such as basic wirework, texturizing, silver fusing, adding patina, and traditional finishes. ….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTerrific toe-up socks : knit to fit / Janet Rehfeldt.
I know! Another sock book! But for those of you that can manage them this book has some different (and lovely) designs and very clear instructions for those trying their first sock. (Crafty Librarian)

Syndetics book coverHoopla : the art of unexpected embroidery / Leanne Prain ; photography by Jeff Christenson.
“…Prain takes a traditional approach, beginning with a cursory look at the craft’s history and highlighting practicalities, such as tools and equipment, finishing techniques, and stitching resources. But it is between these lines that the author’s true innovation and fun starts: specifically, with interviews with 28 working embroiderers and the same number of unusual projects to complete. … Projects don’t disappoint, with directions as clear as the designs are funky: handkerchiefs emblazoned with microbes, a modern cuckoo clock stitched on Aida cloth, and knuckle-tattoo church gloves…., Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverHop skip jump : 20 eco-friendly toys to sew / Fiona Dalton.
This book shows us how to make 20 gorgeous soft toys using natural and repurposed materials. It’s so much more special to give a handmade gift than to purchase something mass-produced. Here you’ll find a raft of fun and easy-to-sew toys, including Arnold the penguin, Doris the sausage dog and Harriet the tortoise. (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting pleats : stunning garments and accessories / Olga Pobedinskaya.
If you are looking for that next step in knitting and wanting to play with different textures then this book is a must. (Crafty Librarian)

Want to avoid overdues this Christmas and New Year?

With so much happening over silly season don’t get caught out with overdue fines. Sign up with Library Elf and get an email BEFORE items are due!

What is this?

Library Elf is a service which can help you keep track of the items you’ve borrowed, and the titles you have on reserve. You can get updates via email of when your items are nearly due, and when items are overdue.  And if you’re a parent, you can add your child’s card to your account, so you can monitor that at the same time.

Please note: Library Elf is an independent service based in Canada, so we are unable to take responsibility for Library Elf ’s failure to deliver e-mail or other notices. If you’re interested in signing up to this service, we do advise you to read through the information provided first, in particular the privacy statement about the library card details you’re providing to them.

Interested? Click through and sign up to Library Elf!

Craft for lazy summer days!

In need of a new project for those long summer days? Check out some of our great new books! The first one up is knitting hats, and yes I know it is summer, but think – you will actually have a new hat ready by winter! Rather than the alternative. i.e. head gets cold THEN start knitting hat, hat finished by spring……

Syndetics book coverWeekend hats : 25 knitted caps, berets, cloches, and more / Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Melissa LaBarre.
” Embrace the hottest head-turning fashion accessory: the knitted hat The clever designs of Hats 2.0 will have enthusiastic knitters everywhere rejoicing in year-round hat style. …Inside you’ll find: Expert advice to spark the interests of a variety of skill levels with special attention paid to exploring cables, lace, color, and texture. Twenty-five contemporary designer hat patterns …Tips and tricks on how to maximize the use of specialty yarns and accessories to add a little panache to your designs. … Whether you’re interested in comfort, style, or just knitting enjoyment, Hats 2.0is your all-in-one resource for creating want-to-wear knitted caps. “– Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverThe cloth paper scissors book : techniques and inspiration for creating mixed-media art / [edited by] Barbara Delaney.
“Where paint, paper, fabric, metal, and wax all come to play. Uncover the very best articles and projects from Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. ….Explore the exciting worlds of collage, journaling, encaustic, printing, assemblage, and more. … The only rule in this mixed-media guide is that there are no rules. In addition to the tips and techniques, the experts elaborate on their favorite tools and mediums, including …. Perfect for all skill levels,… showcases inspiring projects for both those who are new to the world of mixed media and those who already love mixed media and are looking for exciting new ideas”– Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverPaper wonderland : 32 terribly cute toys ready to cut, fold & build / Michelle Romo.
“This is a collection of super kawaii-like paper toy templates–ready to be cut out, built and played with or displayed. So sweet they make your teeth hurt, Michelle Romo’s cute style can be summed up as Japanese-influenced cuteness with mid-century modern flair. Her characters can be brought into 3D life with only an X-acto knife and some glue. Besides people and animals, the collection also includes an adorable house, a sweetly spooky ghost and moustaches that can be assembled and worn.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScandinavian quilt style : over 40 sewing projects for home comfort and style / Trine Bakke. Scandinavian designs often have a flavour and design all of its own. This book is no exception. If you are looking for some different ideas, especially on how to use hard to match fabrics check out this book. (Crafty Librarian)

Syndetics book coverGoldwork : techniques, projects and pure inspiration / Hazel Everett.
A source of information and inspiration for anyone interested in goldwork embroidery.(Syndetics) This book covers all the basics, but has plenty to keep the expert going too! (Crafty librarian)

Syndetics book coverWeaving flowers from New Zealand flax / Ali Brown. Great to have a Kiwi book on the blog! This book has all the tips and tricks you need as a well as some great ideas for using the flowers! (Crafty librarian)

More Christmas craft, wedding ideas and techno cozies! Plus, knitted dinosaurs!

After having a great crafting weekend last week, I thought everyone would appreciate some more great ideas for Christmas and more last minute gift ideas! (Well, as last minute as crafters get, at least!) Have a look at these great new books:

Syndetics book coverCraft / Kirstie Allsopp ; [text editor, Jeannot Hutcheson].
Kirstie Allsopp Craft is an inspiring collection of projects that introduces you to traditional crafting skills in a fresh, modern way. From making your own family scrapbooks and appliqué cushions to jam-making and handmade bunting, Kirstie Allsopp Craft contains 50 practical projects to inspire you to have a go. (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverHandmade weddings : more than 50 crafts to style and personalize your big day / Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle, and Shana Faust ; photographs by Joseph de Leo.
“Handcrafted details are at the heart of a beautiful wedding adding charm, … and style. …Whether you favor a modern, classic look or retro, you’ll find plenty of crafts and inspiration suited to your taste … At the front of the book you’ll find guidance on … sourcing materials, and working out timelines. … Handmade Weddings is the perfect handbook for the bride looking to style her day her way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTapestry weaving : design and technique / Joanne Soroka.
Tapestries were among the most prestigious of art forms, created for the mightiest in the land and valued for centuries. Despite its illustrious history, tapestry weaving is actually a simple technique that requires little equipment or expenditure, and can be done anywhere. … this lavishly illustrated book gently leads you through the whole process with detailed diagrams and exciting work by contemporary weavers. It will be useful to the absolute beginner, but experienced weavers will also find new ideas and techniques to tempt and inspire them (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverTechno cozies / Sue Culligan.
Includes 30 knitted, crocheted, sewn and felted projects, varying in complexity. This title covers such projects as cozies for ipods, laptops, computer screens and more. It is suitable for teenagers, busy mums and high-flying executives.(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitted dinosaurs : a collection of prehistoric pals to knit from scratch / Tina Barrett
Do you know your Stegosaurus from your Velociraptor – or a Diplodocus from a Triceratops? If not, then this fun and fact-filled book of prehistoric projects is a must-have. All dino-obsessed children and grown-ups alike will love these quirky knitted toys and with 15 different patterns to choose from there is no excuse not to get knitting. …Gallery pages show off the dinosaurs from every angle so you can get up close and personal with these prehistoric creatures. (Amazon)

55 Christmas balls to knit : colourful festive ornaments, tree decorations, centrepieces, wreaths, window decorations / Arne & Carlos ; [translation by Carol Huebscher Rhoades].
Who doesn’t love Christmas decorations? They are colorful and festive and bring joy to many both in the making and the decorating. Now Norwegian knitwear design stars Arne and Carlos bring fun-filled holiday crafting to knitters everywhere with their ornamental balls. They are easy to knit, easy to stuff and once you get knitting you won’t want to stop. Inspired by traditional Norwegian patterns each ball is a unique handmade creation ready to become a holiday heirloom. They are ideal for the tree, wreaths, mantels, centerpieces and window dressings, and make perfect gifts for friends and family. This book is bursting with creativity and inspiration, with one set of instructions and 55 patterns pick up your needles and start knitting. (Amazon)

Christmas crafts, creative embellishing, and upcycling…

Sorry I am a bit late with the new books! I got distracted thinking it might be summer. Then I stepped outside into the sunshine and froze in the wind…… Sigh.

The new craft books this month are definitely worth waiting for though. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverChristmas crafting in no time : 50 step-by-step projects and inspirational ideas / Clare Youngs. “I was very surprised to see Christmas decorations up already. Good reminder that if you are wanting to craft for Christmas you need to get going! Lots of great ideas in this book especially if you have a good stash!” – (Crafty Librarian)

Syndetics book coverKnits to give : 30 knitted gift ideas / Debbie Bliss ; photography by Penny Wincer. “Yet another excellent book from Debbie Bliss, some of these would make excellent presents for Christmas!” – (Crafty Librarian)

Syndetics book coverCreative embellishing : easy techniques and over 25 great projects / Kayte Terry. “Really love some of the ideas out of this book. Would also highly recommend if you have a teenage crafter at home!” – (Crafty Librarian)

Syndetics book coverModern Shibori / Silke Bosbach. “I only got a quick look at this book as it had been reserved by some lucky customer, but it had some nifty ideas. What really got me was the simple instructions and great photographs. A lot of thought has gone into this book.” – (Crafty Librarian)

Syndetics book coverUpcycling : create beautiful things with the stuff you already have / by Danny Seo ; photographs by Jennifer Levy.
“Seo proves that one person’s junk is another person’s chic with 100 imaginative ideas for reusing, well, junk: silk flowers, old buttons and wine corks, old paint stirrers. Upcycling fashions disposable odds and ends into a new life of high-style repurpose. …Seo’s directions for projects for decorating, entertaining, giving, are super-simple; one chapter contains kid-friendly projects….Being eco-smart doesn’t mean being dowdy.” – (Publisher Weekly)

Law for Lunch postponed!

Fortunately, we won the World Cup! Unfortunately, this means we must postpone our Law for Lunch session today, because it clashes directly with the Wellington All Blacks Parade. The Parade starts at 12.15pm in Civic Square, and we think the cheering of the crowd will drown out our speaker, and make parking and public transport nearly impossible.

We will now be holding this session tomorrow, THURSDAY 27th, same time, same place – updated details below. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Dying Right: Avoid leaving legal problems as your legacy , Thursday 27 October, Wellington City Library, 12pm-1pm, Ground Floor, FREE.

In our final Law for Lunch session this year, Claire Coe will be looking at the following questions and issues around wills:

  • Why have a will and what to put in one
  • Preparing, keeping and changing wills
  • Gifts
  • Dying without a will
  • Potential claims on a will
  • Dependent children
  • Blended families

CLAIRE COE is a lawyer with Rainey Collins. Her work focuses mainly on assisting clients with Property, Trusts, Asset Protection, and Wills and Estates.

We look forward to seeing you there.

A day of crafting

I had a wonderful day on Friday. No work, no family, just craft. It was bliss! Highly recommended for all crafters a day to your self. Benefits include lowering stress levels, increased appreciation of family, and increased relaxation. Downside: increased annoyance at why you cannot do this more often. For planning your own Craft Day check out our some of our new books:

Syndetics book coverArt quilts. Vol. 2 : major works by leading artists / curated by Martha Sielman. Sorry to say I am not a quilter, there is something about trying to make corners meet and failing that annoys me. However the quilts in this book are gorgeous and almost make me want to have another go. – (Librarian)

Syndetics book coverThe encyclopedia of greeting card tools & techniques / Susan Pickering Rothamel. A great one stop shop if you love making cards, great techniques and ideas for the beginners and some interesting tricks for the more advanced. – (Librarian)

Syndetics book coverMaggie Meister’s classical elegance : 20 beaded jewelry designs.
By combining multiple beadweaving stitches, designer Maggie Meister captures patterns and motifs inspired by ancient jewelry, mosaics and architectural elements in 20 sophisticated jewelry designs. … The Matriarch’s Cuff builds on the design of a 17th century Jewish wedding ring; the Sappho Necklace incorporates designs from ancient mosaics; and the Santa Sofia Pendant borrows shapes from the onion-dome churches of Eastern Europe. – (adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverWrapagami : the art of fabric gift wraps / Jennifer Playford.
“Presents wrapped in cloth are highly prized in Japan. The secret is to use a cloth large enough to make a decorative tie. Illustrator and graphic designer Playford’s projects are wraps for many differently shaped objects, all using a single square of fabric and some decorative trinkets such as toys or chopsticks. These are wonderful for using up a fabric stash.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” – (adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverContemporary Irish knits / Carol Feller ; [photography, Joseph Feller].
Includes 20 Irish knitting projects that also discuss the remaining yarn mills and hand dyers in Ireland. – (adapted from Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverWeekend handmade : more than 40 projects + ideas for inspired crafting / Kelly Wilkinson ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy. Some great ideas in this book, well worth a look, especially if you like to recycle and make homemade gifts for friends. – (Librarian)

October: Crafting in the Sun!

The stitching is going well! So far there have been no little mishaps which is great. My main problem is choosing between my cross-stitch, my ribbon work or my blackwork! Decisions, decisions….
If you are short of choices check out some of our new books:

Syndetics book coverFuroshiki : the art of wrapping with fabric / Kumiko Nakayama-Geraerts.
“In Japan, gift wrapping is an art, and furoshiki-traditional Japanese wrapping cloths-are used to wrap gifts and as makeshift bags for carrying everything from books to lunches to a futon. … All of the steps are nicely illustrated, and there’s a full-page photograph of each wrap. Furoshiki is an eco-friendly alternative to consumable wraps such as plastic bags or paper gift wrap,…interest.c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverCountdown calendars : 24 stitched projects to celebrate any date / compiled by Susanne Woods.
“Make every occasion even more special! Today’s top designers share their ideas and techniques on how to commemorate life’s special events. Equal parts inspiration and how-to, this collection of custom-crafted countdown calendars is packed with creative ways to say’s here!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy grandmother’s knitting : family stories and inspired knits from top designers / Larissa Brown ; photographs by Michael Crouser. We all have those jumbers, cardigans and hats that Grandmother’s have knitted. This book pays tribute to all those Grannies with all those needles from a range of great knitwear designers including Ysolda Teague and Anne Hanson. Crafty Librarian.

Syndetics book coverCountryside softies : 28 handmade wool creatures to stitch / Amy Adams.
“All a crafter needs to bring these adorable critters to life is a little time, a few supplies, and a dash of creativity. Whether it’s a fuzzy rabbit personalized as a gift, or a charming family of birds to display in the home, this playful guide features easy-to-follow patterns, clear instructions and enchanting photography of the creatures in their natural habitats. Best of all, each project is graded according to difficulty (easy, moderate and slightly tricky) so both experienced and beginner sewers can share in the fun.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQueen of crafts : the modern girls’ guide to knitting, sewing, quilting, baking, preserving & kitchen gardening / Jazz Domino Holly. Never made jam before? Want to try sewing? Here is a great guide for trying all those things you are not sure on. Instructions are clear to follow and use modern techniques. Crafty Librarian.

Syndetics book coverCross-stitch and embroidery for babies, toddlers and children / Isabelle Leloup ; photography by Hiroko Mori.
I am generally a little sceptic about combining knitting and embroidery, however this book has some lovely ideas for babies and toddlers without going to over the top. Crafty Librarian.

Enough with the knitting….

Yet another debarcle with the knitting (first the hat was to small and now it is too big). I have decided to go back to stiching for a spell. At least if I get something wrong I can just add more stitches!
For your crafting pleasure, a selection of our new craft books……

Syndetics book coverBeautiful botanicals : 45 appliqué flowers & 14 quilt projects / Deborah Kemball.
“Plant an indoor garden with a bounty of lyrical applique designs. All the project patterns are interchangeable for creating endless combinations of flowers and leaves. See how color-saturated cottons, vibrant silks, and tone-on-tone chintzes breathe new life into botanical applique.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe knitted home : hand-knitted projects room by room / Sian Brown ; [photography by Tim Clinch].
This is a beautiful book of 30 knitted and crocheted projects for the home. It uses a variety of wools, silk, cotton and bamboo to make tactile and inviting, effortlessly stylish pieces.

Syndetics book coverKnitting with Peruvian yarns : 25 soft sweaters and accessories in alpaca, llama, merino and silk / Jane Ellison.
“Knitters of all skill levels can create luxurious garments using sumptuous yarns derived from the llama and alpaca herds of the Peruvian highlands with this project book. … The naturally hued, environmentally friendly merino wool, baby alpaca, and pima cotton called for in these patterns lend a palette of plums, blues, browns, ochers, and creams that instill an earthy sensuality to the attractive apparel. ….” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOilcloth inspirations / Sophie Bester ; with photographs by Fabrice Besse.
“Oilcloth Inspirations features over 25 stylish, practical projects to be made with oilcloth – the ultimate in durable, easy-clean fabric. Readers will learn all essential techniques, including sticking with glue, sewing and maintaining perfect finishes as they discover the fun of working with this inexpensive, yet fashionable fabric. The easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by simple patterns, ….” (Syndetics summary)

Crafting through the big chill

Hopefully everyone is managing to stay warm! I have had a recent knitting debacle; I thought I would try my hand at socks. Very bad idea, I have completed 1, but it has runs down the side! and I now have “leftitist” for those who don’t know, this is when you manage to knit 1 sock but don’t get around to knitting the other! Sigh. Time for another new project I think….Star Wars hat anyone?

Syndetics book coverThe Star wars craft book / Bonnie Burton.
“With this resource, fans of all ages and skill levels can bring the best of the galaxy far, far away right into their own homes. Fully illustrated, this guide features a variety of fun and original projects, from a Chewbacca sock puppet to an Ewok flower vase.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage craft workshop : fresh takes on twenty-four classic projects from the ’60s and ’70s / Cathy Callahan; photographs by Meiko Takechi Arquillos.
“Macrame, applique, decoupage, and more! …With an eye toward style, not kitsch, superstar contributors including … offer their unique interpretations on 24 vintage projects…. this spirited book makes vintage crafts perfectly stylish for today. Plus, it’s easy to get started with step-by-step instructions, how-to illustrations, perforated template pages, and a handy back pocket. Papiermache never looked so good!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSock knitting master class : innovative techniques + patterns from top designers / Ann Budd.
Learn the fundamentals of great sock design with 17 new sock patterns from 15 top knitwear designers. Bonus DVD includes additional tips.

Syndetics book coverPrint! : 25 original projects using hand-printing techniques on fabric and paper / Joy Jolliffe.
“Printing is a simple, effective way to make your mark on a variety of surfaces, from clothes to bedding to bags. Featuring an array of fun techniques-including block, transfer, and open screen printing-this engaging guide offers a multitude of prettily designed projects. Create a Primrose Skirt, a stenciled cushion, holiday wrapping paper and gift tags, personalized scrapbook covers, and more. Plenty of expert tips help guarantee perfect results every time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRegretsy : where DIY meets WTF / April Winchell.
“HANDMADE? IT LOOKS LIKE YOU MADE IT WITH YOUR FEET. A chicken poncho. A painting of a corn dog. … Regretsy, a veritable sideshow of handcrafts gone wrong. …Regretsy showcases the best of the worst, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the purely horrifying. Each page of this jaw-dropping volume features the actual seller’s online listing with a light coat of snarky commentary to give it a good shellacking. So join us as we descend into handmade hell and gawk, gasp, and marvel at the disturbingly odd artifacts that Regretsy has collected for your viewing pleasure, …”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSimple knits for easy living / Erika Knight ; photography by John Heseltine.
“This is an excellent book containing a variety of knitting tips and patterns for useful pieces for the home, such as blankets and cushions. It is a worthwhile investment for any knitter interested in creating useful and attractive objects for themselves or as gifts or heirlooms.” ( customer’s review)