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Beth

  •  Sewing

    I recently decided to take up quilting because I really wanted to make my son’s baby blanket myself.  While I have done some sewing, I never tried quilting since it always looked so intimidating!  It turns out that quilting really isn’t that difficult.  I was able to teach myself patchwork quilting and needle turn appliqué with a few books, online tutorials, and some advice from the wonderful ladies at the Cotton Shop.  My baby blanket turned out so well that I’ve decided to keep going, and I even made my husband a quilt for Christmas!  Here are some helpful books to begin quilting: 

    3.6 Complete Guide to QuiltingCOMPLETE GUIDE TO QUILTING
    By Better Homes and Gardens
    (2002)

    If you already have a project in mind and just need help figuring out how to get it done, this is a great comprehensive resource.  I really like using this book as a reference guide.  It contains easy to follow step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of techniques, making it easier for you to turn your vision into reality. 

     

    3.6 All Things QuiltingALL THINGS QUILTING WITH ALEX ANDERSON: FROM FIRST STEP TO LAST STITCH
    By Alex Anderson
    (2015)

    My favorite thing about this book is that all of the instructional pictures demonstrate the steps for both right-handed and left-handed people.  It even color codes the cutting material so that it’s easy to visually pick out which one is which.  This book is also a comprehensive guide; although it is structured to walk you through each stage of your quilt rather than serve as an index for techniques. 

     

    3.6 Quilting BasicsQUILTING BASICS: A STEP-BY-STEP COURSE FOR FIRST-TIME QUILTERS
    By Michael Caputo
    (2016)

    This book is set up a little differently.  It gives all the preparatory information first, and then skips to the end with binding and caring for your projects.  Then it uses twelve workshop projects to teach all of the in-between stuff.  The advantage here is that you’ll end up with lots of practice on small projects instead of practicing on an important quilt you have in mind. 

     

    3.6 Visual Guide to Patchwork QuiltingVISUAL GUIDE TO PATCHWORK & QUILTING: FABRIC SELECTION TO FINISHING TECHNIQUES & BEYOND
    By Stash Books
    (2017)

    Aspects that make this book especially helpful are the quilt block tables that explain what size to cut your shapes in order to make different sized blocks, and detailed photographic instructions for different appliqué techniques for both hand and machine sewing.  I especially appreciated that the hand-sewing instructions included pictures for both right and left-handed sewers. 

     

    3.6 Quilt as DesiredQUILT AS DESIRED: YOUR GUIDE TO STRAIGHT-LINE AND FREE-MOTION QUILTING
    By Carlene C. Frable
    (2007)

    Different than all the other books listed, the main focus here is the actual quilting part of the project.  It offers detailed instructions for quilting with straight lines, and quilting free-motion patterns on a regular domestic machine.  Each quilting design also has a benefits and drawbacks box, which will help you decide on a design that will work for your project.

     
  • Farmers Market

    One of my favorite summer activities is taking a stroll through the Provo Farmers Market with my mom. I can seldom think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning! I love seeing all the locally made products and the local artists, and it’s a great place to get some locally grown produce or honey. There are even food vendors, making it a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch.  One of my favorite finds was a golden raspberry start that I haven’t killed yet, and I should get berries from it this year! From a fun date, to finding good produce for dinner, to selling your wares, the Farmers Market has something to offer for everyone. Check out these farmers market-related books you can find at the library: 

    7.30 The Harvest Eating CookbookTHE HARVEST EATING COOKBOOK: MORE THAN 200 RECIPES FOR COOKING WITH SEASONAL LOCAL INGREDIENTS
    by Keith Snow
    (2009)

    Harvest Eating is a lifestyle of using in season, locally grown and raised foods. The idea is to be more sustainable in our food choices and use whole, natural ingredients in cooking. This book contains over 200 recipes that are organized by season to help in buying fresh ingredients. 

     

    7.30 Complete Canning GuideCOMPLETE CANNING GUIDE: FREEZING, PRESERVING, DRYING
    by Better Homes and Gardens
    (2015)

    This is a comprehensive food preservation guide. It has instructions for many different food preservations techniques such as canning, drying, fermenting, and pickling. Recipes range from simple to inventive, and will give you all the knowledge you need to preserve your great farmers market finds. 

     

    7.30 Animal Vegetable MiracleANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A YEAR OF FOOD LIFE
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    (2007)

    When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move to a rural area in Appalachia, they decide to spend a year taking on a new challenge. They will live only on food they can produce themselves or buy from so close to home they would know the person who grew it. From prolific zucchini plants to interesting adventures with turkeys, this book is a great look at how one family succeeded at eating locally. 

     

    7.30 Selling your CraftsTHE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR CRAFTS
    by Chris Franchetti Michaels
    (2010)

    Online isn’t the only avenue to selling your crafts! This book teaches crafters not only how to find and use different selling outlets, but also how to manage your business, manage inventory, price your goods, and more. This should be a useful reference for selling your goods at a farmers market. 

     

    7.30 Growing Organic Vegetables and HerbsSTOREY'S GUIDE TO GROWING ORGANIC VEGETABLES & HERBS FOR MARKET: SITE & CROP SELECTION PLANTING, CARE & HARVESTING BUSINESS BASICS
    by Keith Stewart
    (2013)

    Have you ever thought about becoming a farmer? This book will help you get started with your own farm! It includes instructions for farm equipment, growing crops, harvesting, and marketing your produce. 

     

    7.30 Compact FarmsCOMPACT FARMS: 15 PROVEN PLANS FOR MARKET FARMS ON 5 ACRES OR LESS
    by Josh Volk
    (2017)

    Want a market farm but don’t have acres and acres of land? This book has 15 plans for farms on 5 acres of land or less! From the urban rooftop to rural locations, tour these profitable small-scale farms full of tips and resources for planning your own small farm.

     
  •  houseplants

    I love houseplants!  I usually acquire some new ones during the winter when everything is so dreary and dead outside.  There’s just something refreshing about being surrounded by greenery in the dead of winter.  Since I don’t have very good light from any of my windows, I have found it very helpful to look at books like these to find plants I would be able to accommodate.  It’s also fun to flip through them and daydream about all the beautiful plants I will be able to house one day if I ever get sunny windows! Houseplants:

    4.3 HouseplantsHOUSEPLANTS
    By Lisa Eldred Steinkopf
    (2017)

    When you don’t have any yard space to nurture your green thumb, houseplants are the answer!  This guide teaches you how to take care of your houseplants to ensure they are happy and healthy.  It contains profiles for more than 150 plants to help you choose the plants that will be best for you. 

     

    4.3 The Indestructible House PlantTHE INDESTRUCTIBLE HOUSEPLANT
    By Tovah Martin
    (2015)

    Anyone can grow healthy houseplants if you pick the right plants!  This book focuses on very tough but beautiful plants that can withstand a fair amount of neglect.  No houseplant is completely maintenance free however, so it still includes instructions for how to care for your (almost) indestructible plant.   

     

    4.3 The Indoor Plant BibleTHE INDOOR PLANT BIBLE
    By Dorte Nissen
    (2005)

    Each plant gets its own page in this book.   Each profile contains information about the plant and care instructions, complete with icons that make it easy to visually browse for a plant with certain needs.  Each plant is pictured with well-done photographs, rather than illustrations. 

     

    4.3 The Complete Guide to HouseplantsTHE COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOUSEPLANTS
    By Valerie Bradley
    (2006)

    Have a specific room in mind but don’t know what plant to put in it?  This book has lists for various rooms in your home and lists of plants with certain traits.  There’s also a directory for 250 different plants complete with photographs, a description, care instructions, and propagation instructions for each one. 

     

    4.3 Terrarium CraftTERRARIUM CRAFT
    By Amy Bryant Aiello
    (2011)

    To go in a slightly different direction from the books listed thus far, terrariums also make great indoor plant decorations.  This book gives instructions for 50 different terrarium designs along different themes such as forest, beach, and desert.  These terrariums are sure to add an interesting display piece to your home. 

     

    4.3 The New TerrariumTHE NEW TERRARIUM
    By Tovah Martin
    (2009)

    This book doesn’t just give instructions for recreating a specific terrarium design, it also gives the reader a lot of information about terrariums and how they benefit plants.  With sections for different types of containers, set-up, care, and plant species, The New Terrarium will be especially helpful for anyone interested in creating their very own plant terrarium.

     
  • history forgot

    History is seldom a straightforward affair, and often throws people who have made important contributions to the world to the wayside.  Especially when they don’t fit some predetermined profile of what someone with those contributions should be.  I think this forgotten and then rediscovered aspect adds an additional level of interest to their stories!  So many people think history is boring and dry, or very black and white.  The truth is that history is full of intrigue, mystery, and depth.  These five people are all noteworthy for contributions made, but have been banished to the margins of history all for different reasons. 

    11.30 Genius BelaboredGENIUS BELABORED: CHILDBED FEVER AND THE TRAGIC LIFE OF IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS
    By Theodore G Obenchain
    (2016)

    Before germ theory was understood and accepted, Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis had a brilliant solution to appalling mortality rates of new mothers caused by childbed fever: basic antiseptic measures such as hand washing by those attending births.  His solutions to childbed fever were ahead of his time, and rejected by the medical community for a number of reasons.  

     

     

    11.30 Rosalind FranklinROSALIND FRANKLIN: THE DARK LADY OF DNA
    By Brenda Maddox
    (2003)

    British chemist Rosalind Franklin was crucial to the discovery of the structure of DNA.  In 1962 her colleagues Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson received the Nobel Prize but it was Franklin’s data and photographs, for which they did not give her credit, which led to their award-winning discovery.  

     

     

    11.30 The Fossil HunterTHE FOSSIL HUNTER: DINOSAURS, EVOLUTION, AND THE WOMAN WHOSE DISCOVERIES CHANGED THE WORLD
    By Shelley Emling
    (2011)

    The rhyme, “she sells sea shells by the sea shore” was inspired by Mary Anning, who discovered the first dinosaur skeleton at the age of twelve.  Before this discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct.  Her finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.  

     

     

    11.30 The Woman Who Would Be KingTHE WOMAN WHO WOULD BE KING
    Bby Kara Cooney
    (2014)

    Hatshepsut was one of the few women in the indigenous dynasties of Ancient Egypt to rise to the position of Pharaoh.  Of those few women, she reigned the longest.  Her reign included one of Egypt’s most productive building periods, but near the end of the reign of her successor someone tried to erase her from the historical record.  Henrietta Lacks – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

     

     

    11.30 The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksTHE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
    By Rebecca Skloot
    (2010) 

    The first “immortal” human cells, cells that will grow in culture, were gathered from a woman named Henrietta Lacks.  Her cells have been vital for many medical advances such as the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping, and more.  However Henrietta was not ever informed that her cells had been taken and used for research, making way for all sorts of questions on ethics.

     

     

  • expecting

     

    My husband tells me that I have a researcher personality because every time I decide to do anything new I always try to find as much information as I can about the topic beforehand.  When my husband and I decided it was time for us to start having children, naturally I read everything I could find on how to make it happen.  Then once we found out I was pregnant, I focused my searches on books about pregnancy.  These are the books I found that have been most helpful so far in my search!

    WTE Before Youre ExpectingWHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU’RE EXPECTING
    by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
    (2009)  

    This book has all of the useful information from diet and lifestyle changes to make before you start trying, how the menstrual cycle works and how to pinpoint ovulation, to challenges and how to get help.  What I loved most about this book is how the information is organized.  Every topic has its own section and sub-topics have bolded beginnings, making it very easy to skip irrelevant information without missing anything you want to know.  

     

     

    impatient womans guideTHE IMPATIENT WOMAN’S GUIDE TO GETTING PREGNANT
    by Jean M. Twenge
    (2012)

    I really related to the title of this book!  Once we decided to start trying I was so impatient for it to happen.  This book is great because it has very detailed information on how the different stages of the menstrual cycle work, different methods for how to pinpoint ovulation, and how to use that information most effectively.  It also has information about diet, miscarriage, when to talk to a doctor, and more.  

     

     

    WTE When Youre ExpectingWHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
    by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
    (2016)  

    What to Expect When You’re Expecting is full of information starting with lifestyle, diet, and dedicated chapters for each month, through  labor, delivery, and postpartum, and includes information about expecting multiples, managing complications, and loss.  This book has been my go-to resource for random symptoms or questions and for an overall look at what to expect each month.  The index is thorough and especially helpful when I’m not sure what month has what I’m looking for.  I have tried looking at other books that do a walk-through of pregnancy, but this one has been most detailed and has the clearest organization method so far.  

     

    WTE Eating WellWHAT TO EXPECT: EATING WELL WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
    by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
    (2005)  

    It turns out that I really like the What to Expect series!  While What to Expect When You’re Expecting does have a chapter dedicated to eating well with the same diet theory, this book also includes how to eat well for a lot of different situations common to pregnancy like gestational diabetes or heartburn, a chapter about weight gain, and even eating well postpartum.  The best part is it has a full cookbook section at the end that follows their diet advice!  

     

     

    doula guide to birthTHE DOULA GUIDE TO BIRTH: SECRETS EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN SHOULD KNOW
    by Ananda Lowe
    (2009)  

    What I liked most about this book was it didn’t pass judgment or try to scare the reader regarding hospitals or medical pain management.  I don’t want to make fear-based decisions when it comes to birth, and this book provided a lot of useful information about the birth process and different approaches without trying to scare readers in one direction or another.  Even though I have decided not to use a doula, this book was still worth the read.