The Urban Homestead

The urban homestead: your guide to self-sufficient living in the heart of the city, by Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen, features a wealth of information for eco-conscious city dwellers looking to do their own food harvesting and preserving and get involved in urban homesteading. Recently released is also a revised and expanded edition of the book that features new projects. For further information, the authors also maintain an excellent blog (The Homegrown Evolution) for those interested in this topic.

The Urban Homestead focuses on how to depend less on big box living and features ways of living a more self-sufficient life by growing your own food, saving energy or producing your own, preserving food, all while living in an urban area with limited land.

Teen Stuff: The Crafty Girl's Guides to Almost Everything

Are your everyday items becoming a little too ordinary? Does your calculator need some sparkle to its numbers? Is your handbag looking lifeless these days? Good news: the Crafty Girl series has a solution (more like hundreds of them) to all of these problems. Author Jennifer Traig is fantastic at transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary with easy-to-follow steps for the crafty girl looking for some daily inspiration. Each book in the Crafty Girl series is dedicated to making one part of your life really sizzle, from Beauty to Accessories to Hair. Happy crafting!

National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month! Which means it’s time to dust off those knitting needles, bust out the sewing machine, grab the fabric, glue, ribbon, scissors, paint, and paper, and get making! It could be something big, something small, something quick, or something that will take a year to complete. It doesn’t matter, as long as those brains are thinking and those fingers are creating. Does that bookshelf need repainted? Does your bathroom need new curtains? Now is the time! Need ideas for new project? Check out CraftZine online (an amazing resource, former print magazine, and the sister of Make magazine), or try the Maker Shed, if you’re more into gadgets. There are also MANY books available at AADL with craft ideas, ideas for craft gatherings, and craft business related books. A few of my recent faves are One Yard Wonders and Handmade Nation.

Happy crafting!
National Craft MonthNational Craft Month

The Rugged Manly Art of Knitting: Some titles you may not know about.

Rosey GrierRosey Grier

Wonder of wonders, you can still get Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men on MelCat. For those of us in the boy knitting community, this is an iconic title, but I figured it had been banished to the realm of triumphant find on eBay or the local rummage sale.

Fortunately, others have picked up the mantle of fiber arts books for men. Knitting with Balls is all about men who knit and even gives some of the history of men knitting. Sailors and soldiers once had to learn how to knit just to make things like nets and socks.

The current grand dame of knitting herself Debbie Stoller even got on the bandwagon and wrote Son of Stitch and Bitch.

On February 21st, we will host The Rugged Manly Art of Knitting at the Pittsfield Branch Library from 2 to 3:30. Men of all experience levels are welcome. We will provide yarn and needles, and a couple of the guys on staff will be there to show you simple projects. I've put the word out in the knitting community here in Ann Arbor, and I think some experience knitting guys will also emerge from their yarn stashes and show up for knitting fun. It should be a good time. And for further proof of the legacy of men's knitting, here are pictures of Franklin Roosevelt and Cary Grant knitting.

FDR KnittingFDR Knitting

Cary Grant KnittingCary Grant Knitting

More Energy Meters Available!

energy meterenergy meter

Are you curious about how much energy your appliances are using? You can borrow one of our 19 Energy Meters to find out. The City of Ann Arbor has given AADL 7 meters for our patrons to use. You can borrow these kits for 4 weeks or longer if there are no holds on them. Need to research new appliances? Nothing beats Consumer Reports for unbiased information about products on the market. Even better: You can access this info from home with your aadl log in by going to our Research Page and clicking on Magazine articles!

More Energy Meters Available!

energy meterenergy meter

Are you curious about how much energy your appliances are using? You can borrow one of our Energy Meters to find out. The City of Ann Arbor has given AADL 7 new meters for our patrons to use. You can borrow these kits for 4 weeks or longer if there are no holds on them. Need to research new appliances? Nothing beats Consumer Reports for unbiased information about products on the market. Even better: You can access this info from home with your aadl log in by going to our Research Page and clicking on Magazine articles!

Locker Makeover

locker makeoverlocker makeover

Create cool stuff to organize and fix up your locker!
Keep pictures and reminders up front and center with a batch of marble magnets or personalize envelopes to keep schedules at hand.

Drop by Traverwood, Saturday 19, from 2:00-4:00 PM, for grades 4 - 8.

Cool Scrapbooking

Bring your collected content from that memorable event, and we'll provide the paper and extras to pull it all together on the page.

Wednesday, July 1 | 2:00-3:00 PM | Pittsfield | Grades 4-8

It's Lego and Manga Contest Time Again! Contest Guidelines Released!

Lego Contest year 2Lego Contest year 2

If it's summer it must be time for our annual Lego and Manga Contests! Use the summer to focus your creativity and maybe you will win! In order to enter either contest participants must read and follow the rules and guidelines. Children and teens aged preschool to 12th grade are invited to enter the 4th Annual Lego Contest. This year the Lego contest award ceremony will take place at Weber's Inn (3050 Jackson Ave) on Monday, August 10 @ 8:00 PM. For complete submission guidelines and the talent release form click here. Top finishers will receive gift certificates to Toys R Us, and we'll have medals for winners of the special categories!

It's our 3rd Annual Manga Drawing Contest for grades K-12. The award ceremony will be on Monday, July 27 @ 7:00 PM in the Downtown Youth Room. For complete submission guidelines and the talent release form click here. Top finishers will receive gift certificates for Wizzywig Collectibles!

Yes we can!

I have decided that my summer project will be canning and drying: preserving as much food from the farmers' market and garden so that I might eat local throughout the year. Books like The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle have inspired me to try to reduce the amount of food that I eat that comes from far away.

I figured that I could allay my fear of food poisoning by finding the right books and just diving in. A farmer friend recommended Putting Food By: a classic which I am glad to say was also suggested in Preserving Time in a Bottle (or a Jar), a recent New York Times article. The Times talked to Eugenia Bone about her new book: Well-Preserved (there are many holds on it which proves how many AADL patrons read the Times).

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