stealKleon has written a fantastic little book that may be a quick read, but should be read again and again as it is jam-packed with content.  The book lists 10 things the writer wishes he had known when he started creating and they are fairly universal no matter what the reader makes (and everyone should be making something).  Kleon is a writer and artist but this advice applies to anyone who has the least bit of a creative streak, which is EVERYONE.  Don’t miss out on this little gem because of it’s size.  There are many things the reader can learn from reading and re-reading Steal Like An Artist.  This book is now on my Kindle!

09. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Crafts, How To's, Marsha, NonFiction

Real Life Journals by Gwen Diehm, read by Marsha, on 04/09/2014

JournalsThis is a great book for learning more about the craft of bookbinding.  There is a lot of terrific material in here for beginners with thorough instructions for each step, as well as lists of materials and where to find those materials.  Diehm even includes a couple of websites to check out in case the readers’ local craft stores do not carry bookbinding materials.  The book is a wonderful resource and has a pamphlet for creating your own “bookbinding adventure,” which allows the reader to answer a series of questions and, depending on the answer, flip through to the appropriate binding for the project the reader has in mind.  Diehm even walks the reader through this process using nine examples of real journal-keepers as they made decisions about what kind of book they wanted for their journal.  Diehm followed up with each reader to find out what they liked about their journal and what they would improve for next time. The final chapter of this book contains background information about journals, including famous journal-keepers such as da Vinci.  I highly recommend this text to anyone looking into creating their own journals.  I am even planning to add this volume to my own personal craft library.

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Compact Houses by Gerald Rowan, read by Tammy, on 03/08/2014

compact homesGuide to making the most of smaller homes though several of these I didn’t consider small. The book gives floor plans, guides to what to consider when designing room layouts, ways to remodel small spaces to make them more energy efficient and a few general ideas to make the most of every inch in your smaller home.

I was hoping for more ideas on remodeling an existing small home.

 

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A pioneer in the world consciousness effort, Shakti Gawain details the practical technique of using mental imagery and affirmation to produce positive life changes.  creative-visualization-complete-book-on-tape-shakti-gawain-audio-cover-artThis includes the Pink Bubble Technique, Grounding and Runnbook covering Energy.  I find these exercises very useful and recommend work by Shakti Gawain.Visualization

28. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cookbooks, Fiction, How To's, Humor, Informational Book, Noelle, NonFiction

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris, read by Noelle, on 01/08/2014

Cute. Quirky. Weird. Adorable.  INAPPROPRIATE!  Charming. Hilarious. Delicious.  Those are just a few words that come to mind when reading this book, which was a great deal of fun.  If you’re familiar with Amy Sedaris, then you’d expect nothing less.

Are you lacking direction in how to whip up a swanky soiree for lumberjacks?  A dinner party for white-collar workers?  A festive gathering for the grieving? Don’t despair. Take a cue from entertaining expert Amy Sedaris and host an unforgettable fete that will have your guests raving.  No matter the style or size of the gathering-from the straightforward to the bizarre-I LIKE YOU provides jackpot recipes and solid advice laced with Amy’s blisteringly funny take on entertaining, plus four-color photos and enlightening sidebars on everything it takes to pull off a party with extraordinary flair.  You don’t even need to be a host or hostess to benefit-Amy offers tips for guests, too!  (Number one: don’t be fifteen minutes early.)  Readers will discover unique dishes to serve alcoholics (Broiled Frozen Chicken Wings with Applesauce), the secret to a successful children’s party (a half-hour time limit, games included), plus a whole appendix chock-full of arts and crafts ideas (from a mini-pantyhose plant-hanger to a do-it-yourself calf stretcher), and much, much more!

06. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Brian, Fiction, How To's, NonFiction · Tags:

Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, read by Brian, on 06/04/2013

If you are a hardcore zombie fan, this book is for you.  Max Brooks wrote the popular World War Z, where the world had to fight off zombies to survive.  He takes a fiction/nonfiction look on what to do to survive such attack and the other humans still hanging around.  You learn how the living undead move and survive, the best way to fight depending on where you live, what the best weapon is to use and many more things.

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This book takes you room by room and shows you how to add shelves, storage and the like to various rooms to keep them organized.

Like many books of this nature, they still don’t solve my problems with having enough place to put things away.  The book had colorful pictures showing examples of the ideas.  The examples looked very nice, and very expensive.  The rooms displayed seemed to have a lot of space to start off with.  Ordesky so often suggested building custom made storage, well of course, she profits from building these high end organizing units.  She devotes a couple pages to safes, and storing your valuables. complete-home-organizer-maxine-ordesky-paperback-cover-art closetsInteresting, but nothing earthshattering.

20. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Crafts, How To's, Kira, NonFiction

Hook, Loop 'n' Lock: Create Fun and Easy Locker Hooked Projects by Theresa Pulido, read by Kira, on 05/18/2013

hook loop  hooking loopshooknloopNot too many books out there on Locker Hooking.  One of the instructors at Camp Shannondale in Southern Missouri teaches this craft, and I’ve been intrigued.  I really love the modern look achieved with brighter colors, and fancy fabric, like recycled sari silk.

This book contained both excellent instructions for beginners, as well as “patterns” for cool projects.   I’ve seen a lot of  the photos/projects in her book on the Pinterest website.

26. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Crafts, How To's, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

Christmas Crafts Scandinavian style by Tone Merete Stenkløv and Miriam Nilsen Morken., read by Kira, on 03/10/2013

 

Cmas Crafts Scanda

A very nice collection of Christmas crafts.  I’m Not sure that the projects are all that different from other Christmas craft books.  But the projects look much classier than a lot of others, I couldn’t tell if this was mainly due to the color choice (lots of creams, beige, neutrals) or because of the high quality craftpersonship.  It is inspiring – but I have enough knitting projects at the moment, not to have been tempted to carry out any projects.  cmas crafts 2

 

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27. December 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction

The Handknitter's Yarn Guide: A Visual Reference to Yarns and Fibers by Nikki Gabriel, read by Kira, on 11/14/2012

There is so much for knitters to know about yarn.  And this book is a good place to start – actually I’ve been knitting for about 3-4 years and still learned a lot.  Each page presents several swatches of a yarn and how it knits up – including how it knits up in different basic patterns (eg. garter versus stockinette).

Note they do NOT review by yarn manufacturer, only by gauge (or weight).

 

 

 

30. November 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson, read by Tammy, on 11/29/2012

A history of tea and tea-time in England with emphasis on Jane Austen’s lifetime as well as examples of different tea traditions from different levels of British society and quotes from Austen’s novels that illustrate these traditions.

Did you know that coffee appeared in England before tea? Some households even served coffee or hot cocoa instead of tea at tea time but since tea had become the fashionable drink of high society and royalty this afternoon or evening repast became refered to as “tea.” The book includes recipes for tea treats and other drinks served at tea time with both traditional recipes and modern forms of the same recipes.

29. June 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags:

From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Book by Kathleen T. Horning, read by Angie, on 06/29/2012

From Cover to Cover is an excellent resource for anyone who talks about, reviews or purchases children’s books. It has clear and concise chapters on every type of children’s book: nonfiction, poetry, chapter books, picture books, etc. While the subtitle states this book is about evaluating and review, the majority of the book is on evaluating books. Reviewing doesn’t come in until the final chapter. Not that it is a bad thing. The information in the evaluating chapters is great. Horning goes into the history of the literature, the different parts, what you should look at and how to evaluate it. She even gives examples of excellent books in each genre. Great resource and very helpful.

15. June 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Tracy

Mr. Food's Meals in Minutes by Art Ginsburg, read by Tracy, on 06/15/2012

If you hate to cook, like me, this cookbook is for you. Most of the recipes use ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Just a few fresh ingredients make a quick trip to the store which is another job I hate. Art’s instructions are easy to follow and he even gives tips on each page to make the recipe even more convenient. I tried the stove top meatloaf and it took 30 minutes and he recommended using instant mashed potatoes. What’s hard about that. My next recipe will be carrot cake cookies. Everything goes in one bowl, bake and your done. There is a section for Dinner for Two. There are no recipes with more than eight ingredients. Spend less time cooking and have more time to do fun things like eating.

Interesting jewelry projects alongside a simple story of an artist being commissioned by THE  Fairy Queen to create jewelry for her various friends.  Excellent description of how to make wings, using tissue paper and modge podge and wire.

04. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, How To's, NonFiction · Tags:

Do One Green Thing by Mindy Pennybacker, read by Brian, on 04/03/2012

Like or not, Doing things better for the environment helps everyone in the long run and if you don’t believe it, it doesn’t hurt either. Do One Green Thing is a book which gives ideas on how to save the Earth through simple choices.  There are chapters on: food & drink, healthy homes, transportation, personal care and so forth. I recommend taking a look at the book and finding areas you would like to work on and see how easy it is to help change the World with very simple steps.

26. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

Upcycling : create beautiful things with the stuff you already have by Danny Seo , read by Kira, on 03/25/2012

UpcyclingI try Not to stereotype women and men, but I really was Not surprised to learn the author was a dude, it explained the more urban riveting look, with less beauty.   A number of them looked really junky.  He did employ a really wide variety of objects in his different projects.  There was one project I wanted to try, but now without the book in front of me, I cannot remember it – rats!

19. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

The cloth paper scissors book : techniques and inspiration for creating mixed-media art by Delaney, Barbara, read by Kira, on 03/17/2012

The Cloth Paper Scissors BookVery Nice Eye-Candy – beautiful pics.  Unfortunately, this appears to be highlights instead of in-depth detailed instructions.  One of my favorite artists Beryl Taylor has 2 pieces in here, however she covers one of these highlights in her book Mixed media explorations : blending paper, fabric, and embellishment to create inspired designs across several chapters.  So they highlights are inspiring, but they won’t provide a lot of details
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15. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Crafts, How To's, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

Angel crafts : graceful gifts and inspired designs for 47 projects by Harrison, Holly , read by Kira, on 03/14/2012

Angel craftsHarrison presents an amazing variety of crafty angels you can make – ranging from tin cans to strips of fabric, and an Elvis Presley version.

15. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

Block printing : basic techniques for linoleum and wood by Allison, Sandy, read by Kira, on 03/10/2012

Block printingSomehow the examples were kinda’ dark, not very appealing to me.  It did show you how to carve on Linoleum and wood, instead of just speedball rubber.  It also gave very detailed instructions on transfering using graphite paper, but I didn’t see anything on using fingernail polish remover, like I’ve done in the past (nasty-smelling, but easier than the graphite paper work).

OK.

15. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Crafts, How To's, Kira, NonFiction

Crafting with cat hair : cute handicrafts to make with your cat by Tsutaya, Kaori , read by Kira, on 03/09/2012

Loved the little cat puppets.  I suspect my short-haired cats fur would be difficult to work with.  Its interesting to note that most of the projects used felt as a background for felting a picture on top of.