This Bookworm’s Christmas Acquisitions

Christmas isn’t just about the gifts, but I thought I’d share some of my gifts that I’m excited to dig into.

givethemgrace Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson. This has been on my to-read list for awhile – it’s officially now on my 2014 Books To Read List.



DehydratorBible_800 The Dehydrator Bible by Jennifer Mackenzie, Jay Nutt, & Don Mercer. We love using our dehydrator, but I thought I could use more ideas of things to do with it. The thing I love about this book is that has a variety of recipes, including things to give as gifts, and just-add-water mixes that would be perfect for camping or backpacking.




babyknits  Baby Knits Made Easy by DK. Yes, I’m learning how to knit. I think I should have another hobby besides reading, right? I’m excited to try some of these projects. Technically, most of the things can be made larger so they’d fit David as well. I love how the patterns are cute, but not super elaborate.  There’s a variety of patterns, too, from stuffed toys to blankets to clothing.



quilling  Thrilling Quilling by Elizabeth Moad. Ever since I borrowed a quilling book from the library, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it. But, I told myself I’d put a book and the supplies on my Christmas wishlist and see what happened. Well, I’m all set to go now once David takes a nap and I have my other work done!




I’ve never included magazines on this blog before, but I received a subscription to Mother Earth News, and I’m excited to read it.  And sometimes as a stay-at-home-Mom, getting the mail is the highlight of my day. Josiah and I are into gardening, cooking, and “homesteading” type things, so it’s a good fit for both of us.


The Little Hands Art Book

I don’t want to wait until David is 5 to start doing art projects. And although I have ideas of my own, it’s nice to find some new ideas for things to do with him. My goal is one “art” project (besides coloring and water-colors which he does frequently anyway) a week. The great thing is that I have a ton of supplies left-over from when I taught preschool.

littlehandsart  Here’s a book I’ve been using for inspiration:The Little Hands art Book by Judy Press. It’s geared towards 2-6-year-olds. I love that the materials are simple and the projects are simple. Last week we made a caterpillar out of an old egg carton, markers, and pipe cleaners. I have the old version of the book (thrifted!), but apparently there’s a new edition out there.

In Case You Wanted to Learn How to Knit

I’m working on a knitting project. Before you get too impressed, let me tell you about what happened last night. To summarize, I ended up having to start completely over. I was not happy. I’m slightly scared to try again, but I guess I really can’t go backwards any further.

I took a beginning class at our local library, but to supplement my learning, I also checked out some beginning knitting books.  These are not to blame for last night.

Knitting 101 is my favorite. knitting101 I actually decided to buy it. (It was either that or keep checking it out of the library until I am no longer a beginning knitter.)  This book includes basic instructions with helpful photos and projects that build on each other. (And the projects do not look like they came from the 80s.) There is a DVD too, but I haven’t used it yet. I know there are resources on Youtube and knitting websites, but sometimes I still find books most helpful in learning new skills.

Right now I’m working on a lace neck-warmer thing (not sure of the technical term). I think part of what I need to learn is how to correct myself without taking out too much work. Guess that’s what my knitting group is for. That and moral support and chocolate.

Here are two other books from the library: Getting Started Knitting and Simple Knitting.  They were fun-looking, but I liked Knitting 101 because it seemed more user-friendly for some reason.

At the Library

David loves the library. Unfortunately, this means that he uses his (very) loud voice to express his excitement. We walk run past the people sitting studiously at the computers, and when I ask him to use his “quiet voice,” he gets terribly offended and screams “NOOOO” even louder.

We haven’t been kicked out yet.

Here are some highlights from our bags:

For David: Boats on the River by Peter Mandel.



I am getting a little tired of dump trucks and bulldozers. I picked this one out, in hopes that David will expand his interests to include boats. So far he has enjoyed counting how many people are on each boat.



For me:

Quilled Flowers: A Garden of 35 Paper Projects Quilled-Flowers-coverby Alli Bartkowski

After drooling over this book, I decided I’m going to have a new hobby.  Quilling looks fun and inexpensive . . and perhaps it will be something I can get into. I’ve bought some cards at Ten Thousand Villages that were quilled, but little did I know that that is what the technique was called. I decided to go quilling-crazy on Pinterest.  We will see if my “new hobby” gets any further than that.



Naturally Fun Parties for Kids: Creating Handmade, Earth-Friendly Celebrations for All Seasons and Occasions by Anni Daulter

funpartiesMost of this book is geared towards older children than my two-year-old, but I still had fun looking at recipes and thinking of ways to celebrate living in each season of the year. I really want our home to be a inviting place for others, and as David grows I want his friends to have fun playing at our house. This book made me dream a little bit in color of what that might look like.

Power Tools Will Not Scare Me

I’m afraid of power tools. I like all of my ten fingers.  However, ever since watching my dad create things in his shop during my childhood, I have been fascinated with wood, and creating things with wood. Even though I have made several projects (with a LOT of assistance),  I lack the “can-do” attitude in regards to wood that I have in other areas of my life.

I’m determined to change this. I found a book to help. Of course.

handbuilt-home  The Handbuilt Home,  written by Ana White, is full of wood projects made by women. (Now, men can make these projects too, but I was particularly excited to see projects that other women made. Part of my lack of confidence goes back to my assumption that wood is a man’s thing.)

Ana White runs a great blog as well — check it out here:  — but what I love about the book is its organization and projects.  For each project, Ana identifies what level of skills you need, the general price range, and how long the project should take. She has beginning through advanced projects and they are all beautiful and practical. I think I will start with a picture frame or gallery ledge. . . but I can always daydream about the child-sized adirondack chair and farmhouse picnic table.

I also picked up the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking from a thrift store for a buck.

Although these books are very cool, I know that the people around me will probably be the most help. Thanks in advance, Josiah and Dad.

If you see me wandering around Lowe’s with a puzzled expression, you know what I’m up to.

Sew Everything Workshop

sewingbook copyPhoto credit: *Leanda / / CC BY-NC

I’m new to the sewing world, so I thought I’d share a book with other beginners out there: Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide.  sewworkshopI  know that there are plenty of beginning sewing books out there. I chose this book, you may choose to use another. This book helped me conquer a lot of my sewing-related fears. Diana Rupp includes  background information such as supplies, terminology, and types of fabric, but also plenty of sewing projects to keep you busy. I’ve made several of the projects using the instructions she gave: pincushion, sewing machine cozy, & kitchen apron. I’ve also used the project instructions as sort of a guide for projects I’ve made on my own – a pencil skirt and a patchwork quilt. Diana includes 25 projects, 10 of which have paper patterns.

I like many things about this book, such as her writing style and helpful photos, but perhaps the thing I like most is the variety of projects and their timeless quality. Diana includes four types of projects: clothing, accessories, home, and gifts, and although this book is several years old, I don’t look at the projects and think “Wow, that is so outdated.” If you want to see photos of what other people have made check out this Flickr group (I’m too lazy to take photos of my own work. . maybe someday.)

Do you sew? How did you learn?  Any sewing books you’d recommend?