September is Bee Aware Month

Spring is here at long last and that means it’s time to Bee Aware!
Did you know that without bee pollination we’d have no apples, blueberries, coffee, chocolate or even jeans? These are all foods and products pollinated by busy little bees and now they need our help. Not only do bees produce a wonderful, natural food source, they also play a significant role in supporting our food chain.
We want to do our part to help raise awareness for our buzzing little friends and how important they are so we’ve thrown together some tips and resources to help you get started.

These new bee books are a must see:

Syndetics book coverBackyard bees : a guide for the beginner beekeeper / Doug Purdie.
“Just about anyone can keep bees. All you need is a bit of space in your backyard (or on your rooftop) and a little love for the creatures that pollinate the vegie patches of your neighbourhood. Once introduced to the charms of beekeeping and the taste of warm honeycomb direct from the hive, you’ll be hooked. Backyard Bees is the ultimate guide to installing and maintaining a hive through the seasons. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSave the bees with natural backyard hives/ Rob and Chelsea McFarland, founders of HoneyLove.org.
Save the Bees will walk readers through the inexpensive and easy to use equipment, caring for the bees as they grow their colony, harvesting honey and prepping their bees for the cooler months. With the Save the Bees approach, readers will learn to attract wild bees and with minimal upkeep, the hives will pollinate local crops and flowers and provide a bounty of delicious, all-natural, backyard honey.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe rooftop beekeeper : a scrappy guide to keeping urban honeybees / Megan Paska with Rachel Wharton 
“This useful manual, at once a good read and a pretty object, features a relatable first-person narrative, checklists, numbered how-tos, beautiful illustrations and 75 color photographs. Covering all aspects of urban beekeeping, this book also provides readers with plenty of sweet recipes for delicious treats, tonics, and beauty products to make with home-harvested honey.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLetters to a beekeeper / Steve Benbow, Alys Fowler.
“Part beautifully designed coffee-table book, part manifesto, this collection of engaging letters, emails, texts, recipes, notes and glorious photos creates a record of the trials, tribulations, reward and joys of working with, rather than against, nature. For lazy gardeners to novice beekeepers (and everyone in between), this is the best rule-breaking, wildlife-friendly, guerilla, urban gardening insect-identifying, honey-tasting, wax-dripping, epistolary how-to book you could ever hope to own.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe urban wildlife gardener : how to attract birds, bees, butterflies, and more / Emma Hardy.
“Packed with planting ideas and simple gardening techniques to attract birds, bees, butterflies, beneficial bugs, and more to your outside space, if you would like to attract wildlife to your garden, you need to learn which plants to grow, how to provide nesting areas, when to prune shrubs or mow the grass and more.  No matter what size your outside space–from a single windowbox to a full-sized backyard, The Urban Wildlife Gardener contains hundreds of easy-to-follow tips and techniques, simple projects, and essential plant know-how.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Also, don’t miss the September issue of New Zealand Gardener from one of our branches or borrow an online copy through PressReader.
Wondering what happened to our Central Library rooftop bees? Don’t worry they have been hibernating all winter but will be out there looking for pollen soon so get planting.

If you want more info or want to see what’s on during Bee Aware Month, check out these websites:

Apiculture New Zealand
Bee Aware Month Facebook Page
Wellington City Council Bee Aware Month Info
Wellington Beekeepers Association
News – Dominion Post, 7 Sept 2016

So let’s all help spread the bee love and don’t forget to tag your social media posts with #beeawarenz17

The art of creating – new craft books in July

Ikebana, the old Japanese art of arranging flowers, has remained popular for hundred of years and is loved by many for its natural beauty, simplicity and spirituality. I’ve cherished the Ikebana demonstrations offered by my aunt Mary to her students and often, to charitable organisations for women. My aunt had an amazing talent putting together stunning flower arrangements and at the same time explaining the history and philosophy of the Ikebana art. All her special arrangements were created with plants and flowers from her delightful home garden and she was very proud of Ikebana. Find out more about this unique Japanese art in the book ‘Japanese Ikebana for every season’, featured in this collection of our latest library arrivals, and enjoy these picks of our new craft books!

Syndetics book coverJapanese ikebana for every season / Rie Imai and Yuji Ueno ; photography by Noboru Murata.
” The true meaning of Ikebana–the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement–is the ability to take a few beautiful flowers and plans and tastefully present them in very simple containers to decorate your home. Whether for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or a special birthday or anniversary–“Japanese Ikebana for Every Season” simplifies and demystifies this ancient art by presenting 53 elegantly simple arrangements that anyone can create at anytime at home.
No matter what time of year it is and regardless of your taste or budget–the arrangements in this book will lend a touch of Japanese elegance to your home.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverFloral knits : 25 contemporary flower-inspired designs / Martin Storey ; photographs by Steven Wooster.
“Flower power fuels this collection of 25 knitted accessories, sweaters, and home decor wares. Knitwear designer Storey (Aran Knits) focuses on creating flowers with texture and color, whether sewn on or knitted into the pattern. The Fleur cardigan and the Tulip beret and fingerless gloves use color work to create lovely garden rows around the hems and cuffs of each project. The monochromatic Herbaceous pillow and throw turn to texture to create items for the home out of assembled knit squares. The Bloom bag and brooch make use of funky over-sized knit flowers. The cabled Blossom sweater, socks, and fingerless gloves are finished with delicate flower embroidery. The first half of the book presents the projects and the second half details the patterns. Knitters looking for exotic varietals or abstract renditions of our flowered friends should look elsewhere; this collection focuses on pictorial representations of the more familiar, much-loved domestic garden residents. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverHappy feet : unique knits to knock your socks off / Cathy Carron.
“Popular knitwear designer Cathy Carron has gone from head (her bestselling “Hattitude”) to toe, with this unique collection of socks, stockings, legwarmers, slippers, sandal socks, and more. Perfect for advanced beginner to advanced knitters, the more than 40 fashion-forward designs offer a variety of fun styles and challenges, including tube or spiral shapes, turned heels, afterthought heels, and toe-up. A helpful introduction gives readers a leg up on terminology, sizing, and fiber choices.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnitting reimagined : an innovative approach to structure and shape with 25 breathtaking projects / Nicky Epstein.
“Rethink traditional knitting with this groundbreaking collection of 25 sophisticated patterns for beautiful sweaters, jackets, and accessories from one of the most influential voices in knitwear design. Award-winning author Nicky Epstein offers knitters of all skill levels adventurous, wearable projects that showcase innovative and clever construction and garment details. From a tunic created by weaving sections of knitting to a pullover featuring braided sleeve details, these patterns all offer interesting new twists on classic handknit designs. The stitches are easy, but the eye-opening results will challenge the way knitters think about this age-old craft. Each chapter focuses on one type of treatment, including innovative shaping, weaving, and braiding, directional knitting, or cutting-edge ways to use edgings and colorwork. Distilling her more than 30 years of knit design know-how, Nicky shares all the tricks of her trade in this gorgeous volume.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnit in new directions / with Myra Wood ; photography by Alexis Xenakis.
“Freeing knitters with all levels of experience to become involved in the creative process and still make a garment that is knit-to-fit, this template-based approach is not math-dependent and works for people whether they prefer a structured or more freeform process. Knit in New Directions introduces techniques that encourage knitters to just have fun: strip knitting, creative short rows, patchwork, crazy quilt, and free-form knitting. It then explains the other essential tool—full-scale templates. Knitters learn to use the templates in the book and how to make one to their own measurements. Garment designs support each technique and template with two options. The Guided Tour provides full instructions for specific sizes as well as measure-as-you go versions. In the Alternative Routes, the template functions like a coloring book that allows the knitter to create completely new designs. Practical advice for how to achieve the best fit and finish is included with each design: blocking, a special stitch for seaming, and edge and embellishment options.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPretty funny tea cosies : & other beautiful knitted things / Loani Prior.
“Loani Prior, tea cosy knitter extraordinaire, is back with more of her fabulously outrageous creations. Pretty Funny Tea Cosies contains 25 knitted cosies and pretty things, with the focus on the pretty: flowers, leaves, fruit, loopy stitches and beautifully knitted and woven fabric…Including basic stitches, techniques and patterns, Pretty Funny Tea Cosies is a must-have for knitters and crafters and anyone who has ever wanted to have a Tibetan Tea Warrior tea cosy.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnitting smitten : 20 fresh and funky hand-knit designs / Jessica Biscoe ; photography by Keiko Oikawa.
“Knitting Smitten encapsulates the joy of knitting with 20 fresh and funky hand-knit designs by knitting newcomer Jessica Biscoe. This latest book in the popular ‘Simple Makes’ series includes covetable accessories, such as a delicate Maiden Braid Bracelet and chunky Moss Stitch Cowl, perfect presents, such as the dinky Coin Purse and loopy stitch Hedgehog Paperweight, and must-have homewares, such as the Flamingo Cushion and Pennant Patch Throw.” (Publisher’s description)

New Craft books and UFOs

I have decided that I have to finish some of my UFOs (unfinished objects) before I am allowed to start any more. Due to this please do not tell me if there are any good projects in these books. I don’t want to know.

Syndetics book coverLittle crochet : modern designs for babies and toddlers / Linda Permann.
Permann shows you how to use modern colors and natural fibers to crochet one-of-a-kind gifts for the little ones in your life. Note from a crafty librarian, my friend LOVES this book.

Syndetics book coverFresh flower arranging / Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks.
“”Step-by-step designs for home, weddings & gifts”–Cover.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnit your royal wedding / Fiona Goble. Ummmm……..not quite sure what to say on this one.

Syndetics book coverEarly 20th century embroidery techniques / Gail Marsh. For the followers of Gail’s other books this looks to be another excellent edition.

Syndetics book coverArt at the speed of life : motivation + inspiration for making mixed-media art every day / Pam Carriker. If you need some inspiration for turning your UFOs into new projects this ahs some great ideas!

Syndetics book coverKnitting vintage : 30 knitting project inspired by period fashions / Claire Montgomerie. The vintage trend is still in vogue, here are some more excellent pieces!