Crafty Gifts for the Holidays and Beyond

As year-end holidays approach, you may be looking to supplement (or replace!) store-bought gifts with handmade items. Take inspiration from one of the books below and make use of these dark winter evenings to make a homemade gift.

Made with Love: Get Hooked with 30 Knitting and Crochet Patterns by Tom Daley
British diver and Olympian Tom Daley presents 30 patterns for knit and crochet items, as well as instructions for the novice just getting started with either craft.

Natural Kitchen Dyes by Alicia Hall
Discover how to use common plants – even food scraps! – to dye cloth and fiber, and then use your dyed items to make one of ten craft projects.

The Crafty Chica Creates! Latinx-inspired DIY Projects with Spirit and Sparkle by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Tap into a diverse range of Latin style with the wide spectrum of projects included here, from clothing and jewelry to home and garden decorations, party staples, and more.

Continue reading “Crafty Gifts for the Holidays and Beyond”

Craft for a Cause

I used to volunteer every year for a cause and it used to be my balm when things felt like too much. I rebuilt houses, fed the insecurely housed, and cared for children who had experienced trauma, abuse and neglect. The pandemic and my kiddo put all that on hold. Now more than ever though I feel this need to do more, but wasn’t sure how. A friend had reached out to me about contributing to a charity raffle to help women in need. She asked if I could donate a crocheted item – yes! yes! yes! That got me thinking about crafting as a way to give back to our community.

Here are a few books in our collection that show that idea in action:

Black Girls Sew: Projects and Patterns to Stitch and Make Your Own by Hekima Hapa and Lesley Ware

Black Girls Sew is an organization that takes sustainability very seriously, offering life skills to women and girls that trace back to the days of our indigenous ancestors.” -Eve, Brooklyn NY

The world bombards Black and Brown girls and boys daily with images and comments about what to wear, how to look, and everything in between. This book teaches the skills to claim their own style through creativity, to empower them beyond brands to be their truest selves, and declare: I am here! Take a lesson from this book – from basic sewing lessons to finding our creative side to making fashion work for all of us.

Continue reading “Craft for a Cause”

A Peek at Peak Picks for August 2022

Nine new titles are joining Peak Picks in August!

Fiction features three highly anticipated new titles by bestselling authors: Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising) returns with the story of a retired tennis pro who returns to the court after watching her records shattered by a rising new star in Carrie Soto Is Back; Mohsin Hamid (Exit West) channels Kafka in The Last White Man, an allegorical tale that finds Anders, a white man, confronting a new reality after he wakes up one day with dark skin; and Seattle born and raised Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) chronicles The Many Daughters of Afong Moy, where former Washington poet laureate Dorothy Moy seeks to break intergenerational trauma that has been passed down through seven generations of Chinese women. With the final fiction pick, Navajo police photographer Rita Continue reading “A Peek at Peak Picks for August 2022”

Recent Books Celebrate Magnolia Branch Architect

The life and work of architect Paul Hayden Kirk, designer of The Seattle Public Library’s Magnolia Branch, is commanding renewed interest due to the publication of two new books: Paul Hayden Kirk and the Rise of the Northwest Modern by Seattle author and filmmaker Dale Kutzera, and Paul Hayden Kirk and the Puget Sound School by Grant Hildebrand, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Washington.

Kirk was a pioneer and leading light of the distinctive Northwest modernist architectural style that flourished between the 1940s and 1970s. This style was influenced by a traditional Japanese aesthetic and emphasized simple and elegant designs that fit into the natural landscape.

Our Magnolia Branch is exemplary of this style, with its hallmark use of long beams of natural wood and large windows that fill the building with light and invite the outside in. Continue reading “Recent Books Celebrate Magnolia Branch Architect”

Yarn Is All You Need

‘Tis the season to break out your yarn stash and start making some knots! My mom taught me to crochet at a very young age, though I mainly stuck to anything square shaped like scarfs and blankets. I finally started to branch out this year, and I’m finally making a hat, which inspired me to up my crochet game — and now my husband is getting interested in knitting.

Here are a few books in our collection that have us excited to get our hooks and needles creating!

Book cover image for Guys Knit.

Guys Knit the Instruction Manual: for the Man With Nothing to Prove
by Nathan Taylor

If you’re going to get your person hooked on knitting, you might as well meet them where they are! And while the author admits he doesn’t speak for all men, he does know a thing or two about knitting and teaching men how to knit. Published under the Haynes Manual family, known for their more popular car manuals, this book is a great guide (and gift) for the dudes in your life! Continue reading “Yarn Is All You Need”