BookBingoNW2019: DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

You may not have heard the term DIY before but you’re likely familiar with the concept. Do you grow your own herbs? Cook? Make small home repairs? Knit? Sew? Change a flat tire on your bicycle? Well that means that you do it yourself (DIY). And any book that teaches you how to make something that you’d normally buy, or do something that you’d usually pay a professional to do instead can count towards your DIY bingo square.

If you don’t already DIY, this square may seem daunting. Here are a few titles that are entertaining and informative reads in their own right, regardless of whether or not you plan to make any of the projects.


Continue reading “BookBingoNW2019: DIY (Do-It-Yourself)”

DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food

Today is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and historically the busiest shopping day of the year. If the idea of battling frenzied crowds for the latest must-have doo-dad makes you want to pull the covers over your head and never come out, we have an idea for you – make your own gifts! You’ll get to stay home, avoid the clogged streets, and maybe even learn a new skill. And nothing says you care like a homemade present! Here are a few recent titles to inspire you:

Miniature Terrariums
Terrariums are among some of the easiest, quickest and cheapest crafts to make. Try it out yourself at our Holiday Craft workshop coming up next Thursday, November 29th at the Central Library, 5:30 pm (free and open to all while supplies last).

Take a Tin by Jemima Schlee
You’ve probably got a few tin cans lying around the house somewhere. Upcycle these ubiquitous household items into lamps, storage and other fun gifts. Continue reading “DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food”

Wide Open Spaces

Far away far away, I want to go far away.

To a new life on a new shore line.

Where the water is blue and the people are new.

To another island, in another life…

(from Far Away by Ingrid Michaelson)

I was lucky to grow up in a DIY environment since the women in my family have all been blessed with something like a “creating” gene. Smells of baking and crocheted projects lying about were just a part of my childhood. My dad was the fixer-upper working in the garage or the garden out back. We had rabbits I took care of and of course my favorite activity – climbing trees! This all took part in the city so urban homesteading has always fascinated me, but getting back to the land calls me too. Continue reading “Wide Open Spaces”

Hunt Like A Woman

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed…we simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”

                                                    — Wallace Stegner (The Sound of Mountain Water)

Growing up as a child my grandfather would go on hunting trips and I mostly imagined a bunch of Elmer Fudds killing Bambi’s mom. Luckily I’m very close with him and respected that he would be very noble about the endeavor; but guns were still frightening to me especially shooting them at a living thing. That slowly started to change when a friend of mine would talk about hunting as one of his favorite things. He is like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to firearms and his knowledge of the subject was fascinating. I started to see firearms differently, almost as pieces of art and discovered that each one has its own history. Also, the more I thought about where our food comes from, and how it’s processed, it made question whether hunting is nobler way to provide food then through the cramped surroundings and industrial slaughterhouses most of our meat comes through now. I’m not sure where this will lead me, but my mind has been opened to possibilities, and the library has been a great resource of learning about the subject. Continue reading “Hunt Like A Woman”

What I Made: Cute & cuddly children’s toys


photo: abby

photo credit: abby









Although I have no children of my own (and don’t plan to), I really enjoy knitting for babies and toddlers. The projects are quick and totally adorable, and parents really appreciate these one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. Recently, I’ve gotten into knitting and sewing toys for my friend’s newborns. Here are some photos of toys I’ve made using patterns from books in the Library’s collection. Check them out and get inspired!

Above left is Stripe Dog from Fun Dolls by Aranzi Aronzo and Jumbo Elephant from Knitted Toys: 25 Fresh and Fabulous Designs by Zoe Mellor.
Below: Adorable baby Luna has a new friend with Lovable Rabbit Doll from Last-minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

 photo credit: Carey Goldenberg

Other books to check out:

What I Made column: Seattle is home to a thriving DIY ethic and culture. As part of an occasional series of posts, we feature hand-made items created by staff at The Seattle Public Library, and the library books, CDs, and DVDs that showed them how to do it themselves. We hope you’ll draw inspiration from their creations and check out some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!