What I Made: A Treehouse for My Daughter

Seattle is home to a thriving DIY 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 some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!

When we moved to Seattle several years ago, my husband asked my daughter (then six years old) if she’d like a tree house in the backyard.  Of course she said yes. When the tree was still bare three years later, I decided this project needed some jump-starting if it was going to get completed before her high school graduation.  So I did what comes naturally to a librarian — I looked for books.  I checked the library catalog under the subject “Tree houses” and reserved several books.  When the books arrived a few days later, I brought them home and placed them strategically on the kitchen table.

My daughter was soon flipping through the books, attracted to Continue reading “What I Made: A Treehouse for My Daughter”

What I Made: Embroidered & Embellished

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 some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!

Photo by Rosemary W.

I often find inspiration in books.  I recently came across a new book, A Rainbow of Stitches, that featured simple, but nicely worked embroidered designs, and that provided the spark I needed to embellish some of my fleece caps.  I’ve made a dozen of these fleece caps, or more, over the past few years.  They keep me warm, inside the house and out, during our cold and damp winters. The Seattle Public Library has many great embroidery design books, and you can find them by searching our catalog for “embroidery.”

~Rosemary, Greenwood Branch

Editor’s note: Rosemary is a multi-talented DIY-er who, in addition to embroidering, also quilts, sews and bakes up a storm on a regular basis! You can see more of her wonderful creations and learn about the library books that inspire her craft on her personal blog.

What I Made: Rich Chocolate Ice Cream. Mmmm. Jealous yet?

Seattle is home to a thriving DIY 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 some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!

So the hubby and I got an ice cream maker for our wedding.  Despite the fact that neither of us has ever made an icy treat more complex than a popsicle stick in a paper cup of frozen orange juice, we were pretty excited.  We were already planning our future as handcrafted ice cream vendors a la Whidbey Island Creamery when we made our first batch – which promptly failed to freeze.  Some cursing and a few hours in the freezer later, we did manage to salvage something vaguely ice-cream like.  Hmm.  Maybe sticking to a recipe would have helped. 

Luckily, the more-ice-than-cream initial batch was still delicious enough to prompt a second attempt.  When I saw 500 ice creams, sorbets and gelatos: The only ice cream compendium you’ll ever need on display at SPL, I knew this little pink confection of a book had obviously been written and placed on the shelf solely for us.  Armed with the recipe for rich chocolate ice cream, a bar of Ghirardelli and a lot of determination, we resumed our battle with the ice cream maker.  Just a few minutes into the freezing process, it was clear that this batch was going to be fantastic.  Thick, creamy ribbons of frozen chocolate began forming almost immediately.  After our first attempt, which had stubbornly remained vanilla-cinnamon soup after half an hour in the machine, this felt like nothing short of a miracle. 

Needless to say, the final result was delicious.  Even when I was licking the bottom of my bowl, though, I wasn’t done devouring the book – with glossy, colorful pictures and drool-worthy recipes, it’s food for the soul all on its own.  Maybe you’ll see my creamery some day after all. 

I’ve seen (but haven’t tried) lots of other gorgeous ice cream recipe books – have you found any that you love? 

~Audrey