Monday, 13 July 2020

Dereham Library Is Open!

We went into Dereham yesterday and found that the Library was open! They have a very carefully laid out, limited range of books - basically, ground floor only, one long bookshelf, walk down one side and up the other [that's all fiction] and along the parallel wall 2+metres away, some non fiction stuff including crafts. And at the end, opposite the self checkout machine, a shelf of children's books.
But as little fingers always want to touch, they had carefully arranged "Grab and Go" bags, each containing half a dozen books, arranged in age-appropriate sections. Rosie and I quickly chose a bag for her, and two craft books for me - these two were on a display, so I grabbed them and didn't spend time rifling through all the titles like I usually do. Rosie has been very happy about this, even making up a little library song to celebrate.
My first book, Patchwork Please, was full of little zakka projects [details of zakka here] Ayumi, who wrote this one in 2013, has a sewing blog, and even encouraged people to get the book and have a sew-along. There are lots of Pinterest pages out there with their creations. It's a pleasant book, but there wasn't anything in it I felt I wanted to make. Like many patchwork books, the projects are dependent on having just the right fabrics - and I am too mean to go and buy new stuff just to cut up and sew it together again. Ayumi uses lots of fabrics with words, numerals and symbols in their designs. 
A fun read, clear instructions, and good photographs though - so I will rate this one **** even though I won't be making any of the coasters, bibs or pincushions
The second book, eco-friendly crafting with kids by Kate Lilley was definitely *****  This has "35 quirky, colourful and fun eco-friendly projects to get little hands busy" Lilley also has a blogmini-eco. Many of the projects are ones I have done ages ago - and some in the last month, with Rosie
We have made our castle already. In the States the book is published under a different title and with a different front cover, but is otherwise identical. I like the idea of paper aeroplanes with simple launchers. And there are good recipes for homemade paints, pavement chalks and even oobleck [a non Newtonian fluid, named after the Dr Seuss book]
Yes, I liked this one, particularly the emphasis on making stuff from materials you already have, recycling, and personalising, to get one-of-a-kind productions. I have found playdoh recipes in dozens of books - but this one shuns synthetic 'food colouring' or powder paint - and produces these shades from turmeric, cocoa, red cabbage etc. 
Chapters have headings like nature, science, sewing and threading, boredom-busters and even music [yes Kezzie- five different instruments to create, plus a 'ribbon ring' to wave as you are dancing and singing] This books ticks all the boxes.
I found myself thinking "I'd like to try that sometime" [and maybe even let Rosie join in] It says "For pre-school kids" on the cover. The skills required vary enormously, sometimes the children cam be involved in the actual creation, other times, they would get to play with the finished product. I know 7 & 8 year olds who would enjoy some of these [and oobleck has universal appeal]
The Staff were as helpful as ever on Saturday morning - and during this summer, books will be renewed automatically for people who cannot get them back on time. 
One young lady, and her elderly granny are very happy that we can get to choose books again. Thank you Norfolk Library Services!


  1. Hooray for Norfolk libraries letting people in - unlike Suffolk. The eco-craft book looks fun.

  2. Some great ideas for projects-with-Grandma.

  3. I'm glad that your library has opened. :)

  4. Oh the recycled crafts sound great! I want to see the instrument ones! I've got a fun musical instrument I made out of junk- in fact, I think I made it out of the Bottle top snake kit you sent me once- this would be fun to do with Rosie-

    1. I have some tops leftover from the snake I just made with Rosie...

  5. I am wholly sure that you could quite literally write the book about crafts with stuff you already have! And it would be a tome! I've been missing you lots this week, with two covid spring sewing projects that are now covid summer projects, and will no doubt just as quickly be covid school non-projects!

    1. I brought fabric, pattern and best sewing machine with me, 5 weeks ago, confident I'd get my dress made in a couple of evenings. But I've just been too tired


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