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Some Craft Books for Gardeners

Winter is a trying time for gardeners who long to be busy outdoors in the garden. Use this opportunity to start those garden-related craft projects. Here are some excellent books.

The “Great Book of Floral Patterns” by Lora S. Irish was released by Fox Chapel Publishing. It is the essential guide for crafters of all sorts. This has over a hundred, full size, ready to use patterns. Whatever your craft or hobby, this guide is invaluable. The designs are suitable for everything from quilting and stained glass to scrapbooking, decorative painting, and wood work to paper crafts.

There are patterns for various skill levels. Along with many types of flowers, it also includes patterns of bouquets, foliage, and flower baskets. For many of the designs, there are color photos of the flowers and the completed projects.

The author covers all the different flower shapes, and shows how these can come to life through arts and crafts projects. There is also a gallery of completed projects showing the patterns on needlework, flags, wood plaques, and other items. The patterns are listed alphabetically by flower name ranging from apple blossoms to violets.

“Ribbon Treasures From Celia’s Garden” by Faye Labanaris was released by the American Quilter’s Society. The author includes a touching biography of Celia Thaxter for whom the book is named. It has historic photos of Thaxter and her garden along with some of her poetry.

This features all sorts of floral projects that can be used for hats, handbags, jewelry, fashion accessories, clothing, and gifts as well as home décor. This covers all the basic ribbon methods, techniques, and supplies. It presents different types of projects for various skill levels. There are color illustrated, step by step directions for each project and technique.

In addition to all kinds of flowers, the designs also include berries, leaves, and stems. The author explains how to create each type of bloom. Some of the featured blooms include pansies, orchids, daffodils, poppies, and bellflowers. Several chapters are devoted entirely to roses.

“The Medieval Garden Design Book” by Ramona Jablonski is part of Stemmer House’s International Design Library series. This delightful title features designs that can be used not only for designing gardens but for all sorts of crafts. Ideas include stenciling, decorative painting, needlework, quilting, woodblocks, rugs, and paper projects.

These authentic designs feature every imaginable detail from medieval gardens. There are complete gardens along with garden furnishings, garden structures, and all types of garden features. The subjects include parterres, container gardens, water gardens, numerous knot gardens, and enclosed gardens.

The design shows how the gardens were used, particularly for pastimes, entertainment, and contemplation. In the introduction, the author provides a concise history of medieval gardens. It even includes lists of plants that were commonly grown in the garden.

With felting becoming so popular, some craft designers are now pushing the envelope. “Pretty Little Felts-Mixed Media Crafts to Tickle Your Fancy” by Julie Collings was released by North Light Books/F & W Media. This is the most inspiring book on felting that I’ve ever seen.

It takes felting to new heights by combining it with other craft materials, such as glitter, beads, lace, metal, paper, and buttons. Of the 20 innovative projects, about half feature floral motifs. The items range from useful items and tiny treasures that can be used for fashion accessories to home decorating items.

For each project, this provides color photos, a list of supplies, color illustrated, and step by step directions. This has easy to follow instructions for all the techniques. Among the flower-related projects are flower rings, flower pillows, pincushions, bags and satchels, scrapbooks, journals, and cell phone covers.

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