Craftfulness

I recently found my crafting tote filled with two in-progress blankets, yarn, and crochet hooks. I’ve been spending my nights crocheting as a way to decompress and I’m enjoying how it has become a part of my settling in for the night. Slowing my busy mind and body to focus on the pattern I’m creating gets me back to myself. Crafting in this way provides a form of mindfulness meditation and brings its therapeutic elements into my daily life.

A few books in our collection touch on this very subject:

Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things by Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin

Davidson and Tahsin illuminate how craft practice re-introduces balance into our lives and our habits by cultivating creativity, carving out space for ourselves, promoting focus, creating a safe space for failure, and, ultimately, allowing us to make peace with imperfection. Whether you knit, crochet, sculpt, weave, quilt, tat, draw, or bind books—working toward small, attainable goals gives us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control that is proven to positively impact our mental health and happiness. (Goodreads)

A Craftsman’s Legacy: Why Working with Our Hands Gives Us Meaning
by Eric Gorges and Jon Sternfeld

“Despite our technological advances, we’re busier than ever, our lives more frazzled. That’s why the handmade object, created with care and detail, embodying a history and a tradition, is enormously powerful. It can cut through so much and speak in ways that we don’t often hear, or that we’ve forgotten.” —Eric Gorges, from A Craftsman’s Legacy

Gorges identifies values that are useful for all of us: taking time to slow down and enjoy the process, embracing failure, knowing when to stop and when to push through, and accepting that perfection is an illusion. (Goodreads)

The Knit Vibe: A Knitter’s Guide to Creativity, Community, and Well-being for Mind, Body & Soul by Vickie Howell

Dive into a special section on the health benefits of the craft. “Pick up some yarn, start where you are, get creative” is the message Howell weaves through the book. Gathering inspiration from all facets of the knitting universe, the book offers chapters on The Makings (go-to knitted gifts), The Surroundings (cool projects for your knitting space), and The Intention (vibe-y rituals, yoga, and self-care every knitter—and would-be knitter—craves). (Goodreads)

The Mindful Maker: 35 Creative Fabric Projects to Focus the Mind and Soothe the Soul by Clare Youngs

In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to find time to slow down and make time for the simple joy of making, so Clare Youngs has designed a wide range of beautiful and tempting projects to help you experience the pleasure and satisfaction that making something with your own hands can bring. The best thing about practicing mindfulness through craft is that you have something tangible to show at the end, and you can start small with the coral reef-inspired embroidery hoops, or just by making pompoms and tassels to be added to the edge of a pillow or blanket. (Goodreads)

For more inspiration checkout this Craftfulness book list!

~posted by Kara P.

Unexpected Embroidery Content

There are times as a reader when you pick up a book and you think you know exactly what you’re getting: this is an historical romance; this is a novel about a family. And you’re right, but you also discover that it is deeply about something else. That was my experience with the two novels below, novels which contained a surprising-to-me amount of high quality embroidery content.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (historical romance)
In the early 1800s Lucy, a scientist and an astronomer, has spent her youth helping her father with his work and publishing work under his name. After his death, she travels to London to apply to the Polite Science Society, a premier scientific organization of the day, and to try her hand at translating a French astronomy text. Turned away by the Society because she’s a woman, Lucy finds refuge with Catherine, a society widow who spent years supporting her explorer husband and is now interested in being Lucy’s patron. There is a lot here about the science of the era and the way it existed as a kind of gentleman’s pursuit; the roles available to women; and, for sure, the love that grows between Lucy and Catherine (this is a romance novel, so expect some steamy sex scenes). But I devoured it because of the detail lavished on Catherine’s hobby: embroidery. She embroiders maps, and botanical motifs, and the night sky on a finely woven scarf! The description of Catherine’s work made me hungry to see the way embroiderers blend colors, how elements of the natural world can be depicted, how craft becomes art. Continue reading “Unexpected Embroidery Content”

Who needs Disney+ when you have the library?

Sure Disney+ has new TV shows and movies to watch, but the library has the classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and lot of other great Disney resources too!Walt Disney

Whether you want to start at the beginning and learn about the man who dreamed up Disney with the book Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination,or read about the history of Disney from their art to their music, check out these books: Continue reading “Who needs Disney+ when you have the library?”

The Space Needle: A 21st Century View

How many times have you gauged your location or some necessary distance by that 605 foot spinning top of a landmark? Long after March 1962, the centerpiece of Seattle Center has evolved just as the campus it towers over continues to morph and change with the ever-growing city surrounding it.

The future is here! Built in record time, the Space Needle went from being a doodle of an idea, on a napkin, to an iconic landmark. Once the largest structure west of the Mississippi, the Space Needle is now dwarfed by buildings that soar over the 605 foot tower. Continue reading “The Space Needle: A 21st Century View”

Bus Reads for March

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time.

Here’s what I read on the bus in March:

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. On the day that Oliver is released from prison, Detective Colborne, who worked the case and is now retired, has come to ask a question. Oliver agrees to answer, but in his own way. He takes him back 10 years to when he and his classmates at Dellecher Classical Conservatory were working their way through Shakespeare. In their fourth year, the tragedy that was so popular in Shakespeare finally takes its toll. I was a little worried that the Shakespeare would overwhelm me, but the author did an amazing job of making the story accessible for everyone – both those enthralled by the stage and those who prefer to sit in the shadows. I also loved all the characters; they felt so real and flawed. Continue reading “Bus Reads for March”