Friday, June 17, 2005

What a Bibliophile!

I have been buying too many books. And magazines. I'm running out of room to put them! I'm truly glad my NeedleTrax program which helps me keep my inventory doesn't have a financial total available or I'd have a heart attack (or more likely Thom would). When 6 large bookcases are filled with craft publications — the fantasy/sci-fi and computer books are elsewhere — you just know you have a problem. Is there a 12-Step program for biblio-holics? Never mind, I don't think I want curing quite yet.

Just in the last couple of days I got 2 books in the mail from That Bead Lady in Ontario plus 2 from the local Book Warehouse. I swear there was a good reason for every one of them! Beaded Crochet Designs by Ann Benson is quite wonderful for a bead crochet lover such as myself. It includes some different ideas for combining beads, other types of beadwork (peyote, brick stitch), joining ropes, and wirework than I've seen before. Her designs are a bit sweet for me, especially with the little girls playing dressup while modelling some of the pieces. I'm more of a spicey kind of girl myself! However, as technical inspiration there's some juicy ideas here and it's enough different in style from Judith Bertoglio-Giffin's books to make it worth owning all.

The other book I got from Cathy (the actual Bead Lady!) is my old sci-fi author acquaintance Margaret Ball's book Embeadery. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this book. I know it's self-published but I think she could have used better paper and instead of putting the colour plates in the back, they should be interspersed in the text. I feel like I need to cut them out and paste them in the correct place like those stamp books I had when I was a kid! I guess she's a good writer but not a book designer. Either that or her book was starting to exceed her printing budget which is probably more the case. The techniques described are like regular embroidery stitches but with beads on the threads. The nicest examples in the book are all on the cover. One of these days I'd like to make a wall hanging and hope to use some of the stitches in here. Well it's on my list anyway.

I lucked out at Book Warehouse (discount and remaindered books) and found the last copy of the late Gosta Sandberg's The Red Dyes: Cochineal, Madder, and Murex Purple. I saw it for $42.00 at Maiwa Handprints last time I looked but was discounted down to a mere $19.99, less than half price! How could a dyed-in-the-wool dyer like me resist? I've read the guild's copy of course, but there's nothing like having your own copy when the need to look up something about kermes or Turkey red arises. I plan to buy a copy of Jenny Balfour-Paul's book on indigo soon too. Then I'll have red and blue. And yellow is so easy to obtain from just about any plant. A whole rainbow awaits!

The second book I got at Book Warehouse was The Pattern Companion: Knitting by a number of knitwear designers. It seems to be a compilation drawn from seven previous books. I'd never seen this particular book before but since it was only $11.99 and had more than a few interesting and adaptable patterns in it, it came home with me too. I think it was considerably better value than the Knitter's magazine I just got that had not one pattern in it that I particularly liked. Even if I never knit a thing out of a book or magazine, I should at least fantasize about making some of the patterns.

Have I managed to justify my purchases sufficiently? I haven't even mentioned the magazines yet. Never mind. Now I just have to find room for them all on the shelves. But first I have to cover them with clear adhesive-backed plastic, stamp the inside cover with a hand-carved stamp, and write my name and the year in. Have to make sure everyone knows these are my books!

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