FIrst off - I want to show you what our front yard and garden looks like today. I keep seeing blooming shrubs, daffodils, and more all around the web and then I look outside in disbelief. Yikes - yes that is snow. It is melting slowly everyday but it was 15 degrees here last night. The sap is running and the mud is coming - those two things happen simultaneously in western Massachusetts. We have to take the sweet with the mud and dirt. I washed all the floors on the main floor and basement of the farmhouse yesterday. It didn't last long - the people and the dogs tracked more mud in. I think I need to call a truce with the mud and just forget about it. In a month I can start again. At least having it clean for a few minutes made me feel a little better.
Onto the subject at hand..... It's funny how sometimes you run into people again in your professional life after years and years of not seeing them or hearing what they are doing. Does that ever happen to you? Yes, Facebook has made it easier to keep abreast of friends' goings-ons but that always seems to be personal stuff as opposed to professional. It was a great surprise to me that my old friend Susan Guaguliumi has authored a new book called Handmade for the Garden.
Susan and I know each other through yarn and knitting. I remember meeting her at one of the first trade shows I ever attended where she was demo-ing some kind of knitting machine. Our paths have kept crossing over the years. I have always admired Susan's talents - she has written several books on machine and hand-knitting and even owned a yarnstore. Susan is one of those people who can do anything she puts her mind to.
Now Susan is sharing one of her long-time passions (and mine) with the world - GARDENING and the HANDMADE. Those of you in warmer climates may already be out pottering in the soil but for us here in New England, we can only hope and dream for a bit.
Handmade for the Garden is a beautiful book - it is paper bound and chock-full of great projects for you to make for your garden or for gifts. In Handmade for the Garden - I do love that title - she shares how to make all kinds of fun things to use in your garden. From seed-starting to containers, it is all here. Illustrated by Sun Young Park, Handmade for the Garden is another great title by STC/Melanie Falick Books. The lovely photos are by my friend, John Gruen.
I love these terracotta pots stamped with flowers. An easy project with very clear instructions.
Susan and I must live in a parallel universe. There is a whole section on how to make mosaics for the garden. Remember these pots I made a couple years ago?
I fiddled around myself figuring it out as I went. In Handmade for the Garden, there is an entire chapter with explicit How-To. Susan has even built a wall of mosaic that is incredible. I need one! Seriously - this wall is stunning.
Have you ever fooled with hyperfufa? My sisters and I did a few years ago on a summer afternoon. Our projects imploded as we didn't have the mix right. Too bad Handmade for the Garden wasn't around then. We would not have wasted our time and money. I'll be putting hypertufa pots on my to-do list this summer.
There are even ideas for garden ornaments - including this funky "spring" flower. It takes "recycled" to another level.
If you are a gardener, you have seen the wall pockets for annuals. Here's Susan's take on it using burlap and her sewing machine.
This book is jam-packed with instruction. That is a real plus. So many times, books like these are just pretty photos with little to no instructions to really create. Talk about frustrating. But not this one - Susan has figured it out for us and explicitly tells us how to make everything pictured. There are plenty of helpful how-to illustrations by the talented Sun Young Park. Her name may sound familiar -- she has illustrated Natalie Chanin's Alabama Chanin books and April Bloomfield's cookbook A Girl and Her Pig.
Check out Susan's blog here which has many gardening projects on it and fun ideas for making. I especially love the ideas for birdhouses.
Here's what I have for you all today - a chance to win Susan Guagliumi's Handmade for the Garden published by STC/Melanie Falick Books. Here's how to enter......
Tell me what you are planning to make and do in your garden this coming summer. Are you planting something new? Are you adding a garden? Are you building something? I can't wait to hear.
Spring is coming. I can't wait. What about you?
Contest is over. The winner is: Anonymous said...