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Holiday arts and crafts – because summer isn’t forever

  Think for a moment about all the good intentions that hit us around October and November – all the beautiful, hand-crafted gifts we want to make for family and friends. The problem? We don’t have enough time then, especially if we want to learn something new. 
  Now is the time to plan and start those gift projects – or just make yourself something nice. With artisanal soaps ranging from $7 to $35 per bar on Amazon, the book DIY Artisanal Soaps by Alicia Grosso can save a lot of money for some special gifts that can be customized any way you like. Many ingredients are often sold right at Farmer’s Market. Green tea, lemon grass, honey, rosemary, mint, ginger, and lots of other items can be locally sourced. Essential oils are a common ingredient in artisanal soaps also. 
  Grosso’s book has beautiful photos and tips for packaging and even selling your soap in addition to step by step instructions. I notice on-line, the fancier the packaging, the costlier the soap, and Grosso covers this also. Everyone loves special soap, whether in the bath or adding scent to a drawer. 
  Crafts for Baby:  Beautiful Gifts and Practical Projects by Alison Jenkins is a book you might need any time of year, too. Again, a great feature of this book is its photography, inspiring the reader to learn how to make a fun gift. Just on the cover alone, the sweet teddy bear, heart-soled booties, carry-all bag, and box make me want to open this book. You end up with a blueprint you can keep by tracing project patterns and re-sizing them as needed. (Remember, we can help you with things like that using our store of helpful DIY items and experienced staff happy to help you get started.) 
  I love knitting hats because they are both fast and useful. Weekend hats:  25 knitted caps, berets, cloches, and more by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LeBarre, says it all. Choose from among 25 hats and make one in a weekend. Start now and your whole extended family can have a new custom hat to keep warm when it gets cold. Reviewers have focused on the “outstanding variety, clear directions, and good pictures.”
  Is there anyone on your list who already has lots of hats, is dedicated to Dial soap, and doesn’t need baby items? Consider brewing up a batch (or dozen) of specialty craft beers. Beer Craft:  a Simple Guide to Making Great Beer by William Bostwick is great. From “regular” beer to fruit and sour beers to little beer surprises like coffee, chocolate, and homegrown hops, this book shows you how. From start to pour, from growing hops to making your own labels, this is your guide. Your kitchen isn’t just for meatloaf, remember.
  As Library Director Mary Chasseur says, “We not only have an extensive collection of books and magazines featuring arts and crafts directions and ideas, but we also have quite a collection of items that you might find helpful. We have increasingly delved into a variety of maker projects. People appreciate a homemade gift.” (As an aside, please consider donating items you are done with that could be used in any types of DIY projects. That’s a significant way that we accumulate them.) These four books are only a taste of ideas that await you on our shelves.
  See you at the Library!
  Upcoming Events:  Summer Reading starts June 1 for all ages, including adults. Please see our website and calendar for details.



(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News