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.

For the Love of Winter

Winter has always been the time for me to slow down, to cuddle up, to pause and recharge, especially after the holidays. But that slowing down doesn’t stop me from enjoying the season.

Image result for winterlust"

Winterlust: Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season by Bernd Brunner. In winter I’m not hiding out until the sun comes back–if anything I’m more present and taking full advantage of the season. This book offers essays on the meditative quality of winter and all that it has to offer us, such as the magic of snow and the activities it provides, as well as it’s ability to turn us back into children again. Winter is also the season of comfort, along the lines of the popular hygge movement of warmth and contentment. As you embrace the season, that in turn slows you down to be here and now–instead of the go, go, go. Continue reading “For the Love of Winter”

Bus Reads for December

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 December:

37796866. sy475 Vox by Christina Dalcher. A read-alike for A Handmaids Tale, women of America can no longer hold jobs and are limited to 100 words a day. They are forced to wear a bracelet that will give an electric shock if they break their silence after their word limit. Dr. Jean McClellan was once a cognitive linguist – she watches her daughter endure these limits. An opportunity comes that could make a change not just for her and her family, but all women.29936927

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. A story of identity and home – the author tells the story of her family from life in war torn Vietnam to their escape to America. It’s a reminder for a lot of us to not disregard the immigrant story and how our family makes us who we are. Continue reading “Bus Reads for December”

The Yule Log Times Three!

An 1848 drawing of St. Nick hauling a Yule log
Seattle Weekly

Each of us has a picture that pops into our minds whenever we hear about the yule log. Whether it’s a log on the fire during Winter Solstice, a decadent dessert, or a cozy mystery. Here are a few items in our collection to celebrate the yule log in its many forms!

For apartment dwellers or those of us without a fire place you can stream your yule log fix! Access Video offers an hour of log burning, with music included, in The Ultimate Yule Log – “the Christmas classic! Instrumental and vocal music set against yule log fireplace footage. Songs include “Silent Night,” “Deck the Halls,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” ”O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Good King Wenceslas,” and more!” Continue reading “The Yule Log Times Three!”

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food in Fiction

With holidays in full swing you might find yourself in need of a little break from the table. Here are a few novels that celebrate food in fiction. How it brings us together, pushes us apart, or leads us on an adventure to sights, sounds, and smells we never knew before.

Continue reading “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food in Fiction”