Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Group Tackles "How-To" books

My book group at the Bowdoinham Public Library is called Stitch and Pitch. We knit (or not) and pitch our favorite reads from the preceding month.  Instead of assigning a particular title, we agree on a theme and everyone reads whatever they want (or not) on that theme (or not).  We pride ourselves on being the guilt-free book group.  July's book theme was "How-To Books".  We were encouraged to try something new learned from a book. I don't need much encouragement to make a project from a book.  I've been squirreling away two new library books and I made a project from each of them.  The first is called The Perfect Handmade Bag by Clare Youngs.  It's got great recycled and repurposed fabric ideas and snappy designs for handbags and purses.  I wanted to start with the simple "Fold-up Shopper".  You know I am psycho about avoiding the plastic bag, so I try to carry handy, good-looking fabric bags and always have one "at the ready".  I thought this shopper would make a great teacher gift or a have-on-hand gift for ya-never-know-who.  I used a recycled sheet I lifted from Bin #1 at the Barn for the base fabric and added some new fabric with pretty rainbow kale on it. Thanks to my friend Deborah who made one along with me and figured where the pattern maker had made a small but annoying mistake.  If anyone takes the book out of the library, I'll be sure to share Deborah's simple correction.

 The next book I read is called The Reporposed Library by Lisa Occipinti.  If you came to the "Treasures from the Library Attic" booth at last year's Artisan Guild Show, you know that this book was made for me. I'm pretty excited when I can find a use for old books that don't sell at our used book sale.  This book contains 33 projects.  Several were familiar, and others I had never seen before.  I had recently received a slew of Reader's Digest Condensed Books and wanted to try my hand at using them for a book shelf shown in the book.  Please believe me when I say that condensed books DO NOT sell at the book sale and we end up hauling them to the Barn of Opportunity.  They do however, make lovely journal covers and, this time, a nifty shelf.  A trip to the hardware store for "mending plates" (who knew?), glue all around the pages, cut out a bit of pages and secure three books together end to end.

The brackets to hold the shelf were the fun part. When the banister in the Coombs School building was recently replaced, some old handsome (broken) metal supports were replaced.  Kevin Prout repaired them (solder?) and graciously let me have a few.

My plan is to hang this somewhere in the building so that we can all continue to admire these old metal pieces.

If a few of my book group pals would allow me to share, I'll post some pictures of their projects and inspiring books. Just say the word, women. We witnessed jam, crocheting, an impressive garden trellis, an RV waste management lesson, and a soldered pipe!  Please join us on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 in the library. August's theme: survival books.


  1. love the reuse/shelf-looking forward to attempting to attend the book group

  2. katie campbellAugust 12, 2011

    Love it and my new fleece!!

  3. Is that little clutch in the second picture in the book too? I need to find that pattern....

  4. That little "clutch" is the tote, all neatly folded up to slip in your purse. Cool, huh?


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