Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's all about the craft

Last week I spent a few days focusing on our new music; for the rest of this week I'll be looking at all our new craft resources. Fall is a perfect time to crank up your crafting activity or dive into a totally new medium. Not only is the weather conducive to indoor tasks, but Christmas is right around the corner!
Sewing Green: 25 projects made with repurposed & organic materials by Beth White caught the eye of one of my co-workers. "What is environmentally-friendly sewing?" As White points out, don't throw away that frayed sweater, those faded curtains, or that stained shirt. With her clever suggestions (and a handy section of pattern sheets), you can save those prints, colors and textures you love. Make lounge pants, coasters, slippers, aprons, scarves and shopping totes. The color photos showcase her examples - skirts made of pillowcases, baby toys from old sweaters - and she offers tips for those who are new to sewing. She also promotes the idea of fabric swaps, using cloth napkins and making your own laundry detergent.
Contemporary Loom Beading: a new look at a traditional stitch is by Sharon Bateman. This book can actually be used two ways. You can use her dimensions and construction techniques to build various projects (leashes, cell-phone holders, switch plate covers, guitar straps, bracelets and chokers). Or you can adapt the beautiful patterns to your own uses and embellishment projects. She has over 75 different patterns in the appendix to choose from. Bateman begins the book with tips on beads, tools and techniques, as well as clear instructions on how to do the weaving, finishing and embellishment. The end of the book has instructions on building your own bead loom. The projects themselves do not, unfortunately, indicate their difficulty level. Novice may want to start with Beading on a loom : a beadwork how-to book by Don Pierce, or our video Bead woven necklaces: loom beading techniques by John Santich.

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