A Beautiful Mess

Those of you familiar with the popular style and craft blog A Beautiful Mess will be delighted with this new book, A beautiful mess happy handmade home: Painting, crafting, and decorating a cheerful, more inspiring space. And for those of you not familiar with such messes… Welcome to a beautiful mess!

The book features home décor inspiration and has 90 DIY projects. If you’re looking for home and decorating ideas, look here.

AADL also has many other new craft and design books in the catalog if you’re interested!

Beginning Crochet Class

Saturday January 10, 2015: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grades 6 and up

Looking to get in on the return to handmade and DIY? Local crafter Beth Battey will get you started in the wonderful world of crochet with a basic beginner's project. Supplies provided.

Handmade Marketplace

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online is an amazing resource for anyone embarking on a new craft business or wanting to beef up their current one. The book discusses everything you want to know and learn about running your own crafty business in this day and age.

Handmade Marketplace talks about branding and logos, how to pick the right name, how/when/where to market via blogs, websites, social media, etc., how to set up a blog or website, taxes, the deal with wholesale and brick & mortar stores, how to get into craft fairs, how to set up a successful online shop, and more. It also features Q&A with several notable crafters offering tips. I really like that the book isn't all about "make stuff and create an Etsy shop."

The book is insightful, laid out beautifully, written in a wonderfully easy-to-follow format, and is chock full of useful information. Even if you think your bizz is well put together, it's nice to get some feedback to make sure you're on point and doing what you can to craft a great business!

From the same author is Grow your handmade business: How to envision, develop, and sustain a successful creative business, and here’s a list of many more books with great info!

Keyboard Rings!

Tuesday February 24, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Join us in turning old unused keyboard buttons into quirky rings! This quick and easy project is perfect for showing off your geeky side!

Get creative with Bobby Pins!

Wednesday January 14, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Join us in creating custom designed bobby pins using nail polish, glue and beads! You'll never have to leave the house wearing a boring brown bobby pin! Polka dots, squiggly line, cute little heart-the possibilities are endless!

British culinary history comes to life in Historic Heston

I was fascinated when I picked up the amazing new cookbook Historic Heston, by Heston Blumenthal. The book is a James Beard Award Winner for Cookbook of the Year 2014 and that prize was certainly well-deserved. In this fascinating tome, Blumenthal takes readers and chefs on a journey through the culinary history of Britain, from the middle ages all the way to modern day. “Alighting upon the most iconic and intriguing dishes, such as Meat Fruit, Powdered Duck, Tipsy Cake and Mock Turtle Soup, he delves into the story behind each one, before using them as inspiration for his own modern recipes,” reads the cover. I was particularly wonder-struck by the photography in the cookbook by Romas Foord: the image of a beautiful orange on one page is revealed to be constructed completely out of marzipan on the next. Later in the book, a close-up of meat stew is detailed enough to expose the individual spices in the broth. Seeing the ancient dishes as they would have been created in midieval times is a treat and Blumenthal’s adaptations to make them modern are completely usable. Historic Heston is truly a must-peruse for those interested in cooking, photography or British history.

New Craft Books!

Have you been keeping up with all the new craft books that have been rolling in? Book on crafting all sorts of things, including sewing, paper love, duct tape engineering, repurposing, and more. Now that the days get dark so early, it's a perfect time to start planning some new at-home projects to work on this fall and winter. I know I like to hunker down with old TV shows on DVD and a new project to keep me going. Here are a few stand-out titles:

Love At First Stitch

Scissors, Paper, Craft

Handcrafted Christmas: ornaments, decorations, and cookie recipes to make at home

Half yard heaven: easy sewing projects using left-over pieces of fabric

No-sew love: 50 fun projects to make without a needle and thread

And here are more of the new crafty maker books to keep an eye out for! Tis the season to craft. Wait, tis always the season to craft.

Tiny Expo: Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair — Downtown, December 13th!

Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair is back! After a few years of hopping around to different locales, Tiny Expo will land at the Downtown AADL this December 13th, 11am—5:30pm!

Just what IS Tiny Expo? It's a fun local, and handmade shopping experience that began with a small group of artists in 2010. As the initial group of creative folks banded together to hold a fun, informal little fair, expo-goers responded, and the show grew just a teeny bit each year. Finding a location that could fit everyone was a perennial challenge, though, and so Tiny Expo jumped around town — from Kerrytown to Felch Street and back again.

This year, the Downtown Library will host Tiny Expo's marvelous collection of local indie artists and crafters, including a few audience favorites from past Tiny Expo editions! We'll be announcing the final artist roster in mid November, but if you or an artist you know might be a good fit, you can apply here to be a part of things!

So, get excited, get ready, and mark your calendar — for the biggest little indie arts and craft fair, this December!

Duct Tape Bracelets and Rings

Tuesday January 20, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for teens and youth (grade 1 and up).

Cold weather and gray skies getting you down?

Make a bunch of crazy-pattern, colorful duct tape jewelry! It’s quick and easy!

New Year/New Vision-Create your own Vision Board

Tuesday January 6, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for Adults

Wellness coach Shawn King will help guide you in creating a visual map of your dreams and goals using the art of feng shui.

With poster board and old magazines we'll create a collage of pictures, phrases, words or items that represent you and your goals.

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