Tag Archives: books

Crafty How-To’s {Paperback to Hardback}

I found a tutorial featured over on Craftzine this morning that shows how to take a ratty paperback book and turn it into a really nice hardcover book. I think I’ll try it on a particularly sad copy of Watership Down that I’ve been reading to pieces since I was seven. All it takes is some stiff cardboard, fabric and a glue stick… too easy!

Apartment Style

I finally took some time a few weeks ago and reorganized our living room in the apartment. We salvaged some boards and I made some book cases for all of the books we have in boxes and made some hidey-holes for Linus underneath.

The whole place is so much bigger and less jumbled together. AND Linus has fewer cords he can put in his mouth, fiddle with and accidentally nip right through.

For the Love of Books

via: Feeling Stitchy

Heyo, they’ve got the right idea! Villagers in Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset have re-purposed an old phone booth, turning it into a wee free library. Villagers can use the booth at any hour and exchange a book they’ve already read for a new one. Apparently this phone booth is just one of many being re-purposed as part of a national program (they are purchased for 1 pound) although the others have been turned into other things like toilets or art installations.

Via: BoingBoing/BBC News

Made from Scratch

Star sent me a link to this book called Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich a good long while ago. This is the description Powells had, and I loved it:

“Starting off as a young, single woman with a desk job and a city apartment, Jenna Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. She didn’t own land or have much practical experience beyond a few forays into knitting and soap making, but she did have a strong desire to opt out of what she saw as a consumer-driven culture. After moving across the country to a rented farmhouse in northern Idaho, she learned to raise chickens, keep bees, and grow her own food.

This is the story of her joyful, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful journey toward self-reliance. Along the way, she learned that an abundance of enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment could make up for a lack of knowledge, and that reaching out to others for mentoring and guidance could help her reconnect with her community.

From the satisfying work of starting a new garden and installing honeybees, to the bliss of gathering fresh eggs to be baked into a quiche served with warm-from-the-oven bread and hand-churned butter, Made from Scratch shares the deep satisfaction that comes with providing for oneself. In an encouraging and entertaining voice, Woginrich weaves into her narrative easy-to-follow instructions for making your own clothes, teaching yourself to play a musical instrument, and much more.

In any setting — urban, suburban, or rural — with any level of experience, it’s possible to take small steps toward self-reliance. Windowbox vegetable gardens, a batch of homemade strawberry jam, a handknit sweater, or a small flock of backyard chickens all satisfy the craving to homestead. It’s not about having a rustic cabin on five acres, complete with a pickup truck and a barn full of livestock. For Woginrich, it’s about being more receptive to learning the simple skills most of us have forgotten, and finding joy in the process.”

How can you NOT fall in love with a description like that? However, I didn’t want to buy it yet, not without giving it a test drive. So I flounced over to the library website and ordered it. I finally got around to biking in to Sandy to pick it up last weekend. One day later I had devoured it. I got a little giddy over the projects she took on, her reasons for doing them and the way she writes. Her chapters include titles like Chickens: the most exciting backyard accessory since lawn darts and Grow Your Own Meal: I get cocky with my hoes, etc. So good! Anyway, she covers a wide gamut of cool things. While this isn’t really a how-to tomb, it is a great source of inspiration and a good place to start down the path of awesome. It’s short and full of little annecdotes about what goes wrong (and right) during her process of acquiring livestock, gardening, learning to play wacky-tacky mountain music and living in a 100% satisfying way.

You could probably hear some wistful sighs coming from my direction while I read Made from Scratch. Someday… I will be Jenna Woginrich…. if Jenna Woginrich’s name was really Hannah… and Hannah was really me. Get it? No, I don’t either. Just roll with it. Anyway, I’m adding this to my list of “I gotta have that BOOK!” books along with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (I liked this book better than AVM), Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening, and others I can’t think of off the top of my noggin.

Too Much Fun

For the past two days we’ve been planting and digging and moving dirt all over the place. We’re trying to take advantage of all this good weather because we hear it’s not going to stay (I’m secretly thinking it’s all a big trick to get us to work as hard as possible). I dug holes for the Auto Lukens yesterday before I went downtown. Today I decided to take my bike out for a spinny-spin up to Sandy to mail the lion someone ordered from etsy and pick up some books at the library. It’s about 25 minutes of peddling to get there and a little less to get back. After that I dug some holes for the lavender in the front yard and then I had to shovel out 7o cubic feet of clay dirt from the planter box (that was just ONE) and then dad brought in 70 cubic feet of nice poopie-sand dirt for the veggies to live in. I got that all smoothed out and then I figured that was enough for one day. It doesn’t sound like much but between biking to Sandy and shoveling I was busy for about six hours. YIKES!

This is a picture of all the plants we’ve planted (between the three of us) in the last two days. It’s alot, lemme tell you.


This all looks like too much fun.

Maybe I should get around to doing some homework or something….. naaaahhhh, it’ll wait.