Book Review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman

Book Review: Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman Review by Dawn Thomas 288 Pages Publisher: Storey Publishing Crafts & Hobbies, Crochet, Yarn I was so happy to get this book. We are expecting our seventh grandchild this fall. The parents have decided not to know the sex of the child so I am planning making neutral color projects until the baby arrives. The book is divided into different themed chapters. Little Hats & Caps: There are hats for newborns and toddlers in this section. There is even a hat for a doll with a matching child’s hat. Little Socks & Bootees: I had such a chuckle when I saw the Sunshine Boot Toppers. There was also a pattern for Mommy and Me leg warmers that are so cute and practical. A few patterns are given in multiple sizes so they can be made for babies and toddlers. Little Tops & Dresses: I found a pattern called Dad & Me Necktie Shirts for a father and son look alike moment. There is a pattern for a Tiny Tango Vest that is adorable with ruffles along the bottom. Little Bottoms: This chapter had several patterns for diaper…

Book Review: Cast Iron Cooking by Rachael Narins

Book Review: Cast Iron Cooking by Rachael Narins Review by Dawn Thomas 96 Pages Publisher: Storey Publications Cooking, Food & Wine I have a cast iron frying pan and use it almost daily for almost 20 years. I like the fact it heats evenly and retains heat. Another important aspect of cast iron is that once it is seasoned, the foods will not stick to the pan. This cookbook begins with why and how to buy cast iron. There are several different shapes and sizes to consider and Ms. Narins covers them all. The author follows it up with how to season and care for you cast iron. The second section of the book is devoted to recipes. As expected the first set of recipes are for breakfast dishes. The recipes range from a type of German popover and full English breakfast to a dish that resembles breakfast nachos and the traditional breakfast potatoes. The next set of recipes includes lunch and dinner options. She includes not only grilled cheese sandwich but also a twist on tomato soup. I was surprised to see a pizza and spanakopita cooked in a cast iron frying pan. Ms. Narins also includes cultural dishes…

Book Review Herbs for Long-Lasting Health by Rosemary Gladstar

Book Review Herbs for Long-Lasting Health by Rosemary Gladstar Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Storey Basics 128 Pages Health, Mind & Body  Chapter one: Perspectives on Aging Rosemary tells stories about a couple of her mentors. She also tells the story of Master Li Ch’ing Yuen, a Chinese herbalist that lived to be 252 years old. I was pleased to read that her daughters had a different perspective on aging. They see aging for what it is – a part of life – and not something to fear or avoid. Although she believes genetics is important for longevity, she also believes herbs and a healthy lifestyle are also important. Ms. Gladstar discusses the claims from cosmetic companies on how to look younger. Chapter two: The herbal home medicine chest This chapter discusses different types of herbs and their qualities. Ms. Gladstar goes into the history of herbalism and its connection with witchcraft. She includes specific herbs with their beneficial properties and ways to use them. Chapter three: how to create long-lasting good health The author explains foods that support well-being and long life. Vitamins and supplements are included, along with their benefits. Chapter four: recipes for longevity and well-being Ms….

Book Review Pure Soapmaking by Anne-Marie Faiola
Crafts , Hobbies , Soap , Storey Publishing , Uncategorized / February 8, 2016

Book Review Pure Soapmaking by Anne-Marie Faiola Review by Dawn Thomas 240 Pages Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC Crafts and Hobbies I was very happy to review this book since I am making soap again. Recently, I read Anne Marie’s first book, Soapcrafting, and her Soap Queen Blog for Bramble Berry Soap Making Supplies Inc. Soapmaking can be a rewarding hobby as long as you take the proper precautions. The book begins with an introduction to handmade soap. The author recommends reading the science of soapmaking before attempting the soapmaking process and I second her opinion. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and it is best to be diligent to prevent them. She also explains the environmental impact palm oil has on the orangutan population. In the first chapter, the author explains the soapmaking process. She begins with the science behind soapmaking and includes some common terminology. Anne Marie also includes a page on emergency response actions. When working with lye, you should take every precaution for safety. The next chapter is devoted to selecting the proper tools and equipment. There is a list of necessary tools and recommendations along with optional tools. She explains the different types…

Book Review Herbs for Stress & Anxiety by Rosemary Gladstar

Book Review Herbs for Stress & Anxiety by Rosemary Gladstar Review by Dawn Thomas 128 Pages Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC Publication Date: April 16, 2014 Health, Mind & Body I thought this book was perfect for this time of year. It is not always easy to stay sane during the holidays. Ms. Gladstar provides ways for us to do just that. The introduction asks readers when the last time they were peaceful. I thought that was a good question and an excellent beginning. In chapter one, the author explains the nervous system and its functions. She discusses how the brain interprets different signals. I like the analog she uses showing pain as a signal and a smoke detector. You would not turn off a smoke detector without finding the source of the alarm so why not find the source of the pain. I thought this was a powerful statement. The chapter continues with the use and benefits of natural therapies. Chapter two discusses natural remedies. The remedies she talks about are the use of herbs and flower essences. There are recipes for tinctures and teas. The chamomile tisane sounds very soothing. The author continues with depression, headaches, herpes, insomnia, seasonal…

Book Review: The Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier

Book Review: The Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC 240 Pages Cooking, Food & Wine I was very excited to read this book. I love everything apple and knew I would find tasty new dishes to try and was not disappointment at all. There are eight chapters with over 125 recipes. Chapter one is an introduction to apples. The author gives the history of how apples began in central Asia and the genetics behind today’s apple. I learned a new term while reading this book – pomologists (apple breeders). The author provides advice on how to determine the correct number of apples for a recipe. The second chapter covers apples in breakfasts and breads. Several of the egg and apple recipes surprised me in this chapter. I never considered combining apples and eggs together. My favorites in this chapter are the baked apple-craisin oatmeal, and apple fritters and doughnuts. I added powdered sugar to the fritters and doughnuts for the granddaughters. I liked the list of apples for breakfast and snacks the author provided. I thought the coffee can bread was ingenuous. The directions for the apple coffee cake were so easy and…

Book Review: Beaded Jewelry Stringing Techniques by Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans, and Kate Feld

Book Review: Beaded Jewelry Stringing Techniques by Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans, and Kate Feld Review by Dawn Thomas Storey Basics Series Storey Publishing, LLC 88 Pages Crafts & Hobbies As a budding beader I was excited to find the Storey Basics series. I have been beading for many years but have only completed simplistic projects. This book involves stringing beads onto stringing material. Each chapter has tech tips. The book has many ideas for creating assorted pieces from necklaces to bracelets and more. The authors go into great detail on beading materials in the first chapter. The location of the bead hole depends on various positions or their uses. The deciding factors are shape and how the bead hangs. The authors describe the different types of glass beads. Another section describes the different gemstones and their qualities. The following section describes the types and qualities of metal beads, findings and clasps. I was not aware of the different cultures and traditions of making metal beads. Another section discusses beads made of natural materials like wood, bone, and horn. Chapter two discusses the different materials used for stringing from nylon to natural materials. Chapter three explains the differences in findings and…

Book Review: Beaded Jewelry Knotting Techniques by Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans, and Kate Feld

Book Review: Beaded Jewelry Knotting Techniques by Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans, and Kate Feld Review by Dawn Thomas Storey Basics Series Storey Publishing, LLC 88 Pages Crafts & Hobbies This is the second book I read in the Storey Basics Beaded Jewelry series. I learned quite a bit in the first book and the information continues into this installment. The first chapter gives details on how to tie proper knots in nylon, silk and other cord material. The authors make recommendations on specific types of cords depending on beads and use. This book is a valuable addition to anyone interesting in improving their knot techniques. The second chapter covers ends and clasps. This includes basket and side-closing bead tips, bullion and different crimp findings. There are recommendations on specific clasps depending on the type of jewelry, bead and use. As in the first book, chapter three details the type of tools needed for knotting. The authors recommend common tools but also specialized knotting tools that may or not be in your current toolbox. They also recommend inspecting your tools for wear or damage. Using these tools will make it easier for you to complete a project. Chapter four describes the…

Book Review: Beaded Jewelry Wirework Techniques by Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans, and Kate Feld

Book Review: Beaded Jewelry Wirework Techniques by Carson Eddy, Rachael Evans, and Kate Feld Review by Dawn Thomas Storey Basics Series Storey Publishing, LLC 89 Pages Crafts & Hobbies This is the third book in the series I have read. The other two included stringwork and knotwork. Working with wire is a natural progression when making jewelry. There are several projects I wanted to make but did not know how to begin. This book provided me the knowledge I need to begin and the confidence to finish. Chapter one covers the basics on wire. The authors start with the history of wirework going back to the Egyptians around 6000 BCE. There are different types of wire and gauges. In chapter two the authors discuss the different types of chains and composition. Jewelers use chain as accents, extenders or the foundation of a jewelry piece. There is certainly a variety of types of chain including single, links, rollo, Figaro, belcher and bar. Chapter three tells you everything you need to know about findings. These include clasps, earrings and an assortment of other metal items. There is a description on each type of finding. The most common type of clasp is the…