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Are you interested in sewing and knitting, book arts and letterpress printing, traditional crafts and the new DIY, sewists of yesterday and today, vintage-inspired design, and all things handmade? Then join in the conversation at Hand-Made. We'll share information on unique items from the Library's collections as well as details on Library events that cater to the curious crafter in us all.

Alabama Chanin at Handmade Crafternoon.

Our next Handmade Crafternoon is on May 15, 2010--with special guest Natalie Chanin, the creative director of Alabama Chanin and the author of Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style.  Chanin's line of clothing and home goods mixes homespun techniques--like stencils, applique, string quilting, and more--with gorgeous modern designs. And her approach to production--slow and sustainable--is noteworthy.

Natalie 

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Earth-Friendly Crafting, Then and Now.

If you like to make stuff, chances are that when Earth Day arrives each year "green" handicrafts come to mind.  Perhaps you make new items from materials that others would consider wornout or trash; or maybe you seek out all-natural materials for your crafts.  If crafting of this kind  interests you, you might want to look back in time at how crafters from decades past approached "green" crafting. 

Here are some vintage books from the Library worth browsing both for entertainment and information:

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Crafternoon Favorites, Old and New

This weekend's Handmade Crafternoon was full of industrious, creative attendees—I never fail to be wowed by the skills, enthusiasms, and interests each member of our community brings to Handmade Crafternoons. 

Thanks so much for joining us!  My thanks also go out to Maura Madden for making us laugh while introducing us to some of her favorite books, both old and new, from the Library's collections. 

Here are the books we browsed with her on Saturday:

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Share the Fun at April 17th's Handmade Crafternoon

Get ready, because you are the star at this Saturday's Handmade Crafternoon!  We invite you, our attendees, to bring your own craft projects to work on in the company of friends.

Maura Madden, my favorite expert at creating crafty social gatherings, will lead the afternoon and will share some of her favorite projects and craft books. Don't want to BYOC (that is, bring your own craft)?  Between crafty things? No worries—we'll have craft 

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Books about Puppets and Felt.

March 20th's Handmade Crafternoon was full of creative energy and happiness, thanks to all of you who came and got crafty, and also of course thanks to the felt and puppet inspiration offered by our special guest, Kata Golda.  And I was glad to hear from many of you that the books that I gathered with the help of two enterprising Library interns were a particular hit!

So, without further ado, here's the booklist from that day.

As 

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Hand-Stitched Mice at Handmade Crafternoon.

Don't worry! Our felt mice won't be frightening-- unless you want yours to be!Our next Handmade Crafternoon is in just two days, and my co-host Maura Madden and I hope that you will join us.  We've lined up a sweet special guest, Kata Golda, who makes extraordinary little toys and creatures out of felt  (and whose book Hand-Stitched Felt is a great guide to making your 

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A Paper Sculpted Goldfish.

Included among the books I brought out for last month's Handmade Crafternoon was one that I've been slow to return to the shelves because I want to try my hand at so many projects within it. The book in question is Kenneth Ody's Paper Folding and Paper Sculpture, and I'm a fan because it contains a really broad range of projects--from cute little projects like dog scuptures to some seriously elegant lacy paper 

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Do It Yourself Fun, 1920s Style.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, this little book offered sage advice as well as entertaining distraction for those in England lucky enough to be able to be included in weekend getaways to the country. The Week-End Book was the work of Francis and Vera Meynell, who attempted to balance the competing interests of excellent book design and affordable production in the books they created for Nonesuch, their private press.

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A Book Arts Booklist.

If you were one of the nearly 80 crafty book artists-in-training who came out for Handmade Crafternoon last weekend, thanks for joining us as we folded and glued and cut our way to unusual pop-up paper garland book structures.  And speaking of books, a number of guests asked about getting a list of the Library books I brought along for browsing that day.  Your wish is my command.  Here are the titles I gathered to inspire us; each title links to its record in the

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Book Arts at Handmade Crafternoon.

This weekend we launch our spring 2010 series of Handmade Crafternoons--free hands-on salons that allow you to learn from inspiring working artists, try your hand at making something new, and browse selections from the Library's research collections. I hope that you'll join us this Saturday afternoon as book artist Esther K. Smith, author of How to Make Books,

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Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth and Bee Space

Although I don’t keep bees, I’ve lately found myself being drawn into their curious world—looking into New York City’s beekeepers; investigating honeybees in history, literature, design, and in the kitchen; even incorporating the 

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Clothing Choices, 1941 and Today

There's much being written (Cheap and A Year Without "Made in China" are two recent examples) these days about the ethics behind the quality and quantity of what we buy and consume--including clothing.  So when I came upon this 1941 wardrobe survey in Design for Living, I wanted to share it. 

 Click image for larger view

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Mark Your Calendars for Spring 2010 Handmade Crafternoons!

Happy 2010, curious crafters!  It's time to mark your calendars for the next round of Handmade Crafternoons, the Library's free series of DIY days co-hosted by yours truly and Crafternoon author Maura Madden.  Here's the line-up:

Saturday, February 20, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Esther K. Smith, author of How to Make Books, Magic Books & Paper Toys, and The Paper Bride, will wow us 

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Inspiring Books, a Little Bit of Sewing, and an Unforgettable Skirt!

Last Saturday's Handmade Crafternoon was full of fun and creative comradery, thanks to all of you who joined us and thanks also to our talented and friendly Modern Women of Sewing who shared their thoughts about what inspires them and how they turn what they find at the Library into stunning designs, patterns, illustrations, and more.

A few highlights for me were learning about how artists from Louise 

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Sew Your Wild Oats on Saturday, Dec. 12th.

I'm wrapping up the final details for December 12th's Handmade Crafternoon and it should be a really fun and inspiring time. I hope that you can join me and my co-host Maura as we welcome our THREE special guests (Denyse Schmidt, Liesl Gibson, and Heather Ross) who will talk about what inspires them in their work and what books and magazines they love here at 

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Modern Women of Sewing!

Next Saturday (December 12th) is shaping up to be a great afternoon of handmade fun at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building , with three--yep, three--amazing special guests! Heather Ross, author of Weekend Sewing; Denyse Schmidt, author of Denyse Schmidt Quilts; and

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Thanks, Mike Perry!

This past Saturday’s Handmade Crafternoon was the best sort of frolicsome fun, thanks both to our special guest artist Mike Perry and also to all of you who came out and went creative-crazy with the paper, scissors, and glue.

Mike Perry got the whole gang drawing and talking together within seconds of starting the afternoon with a series of timed, collaborative drawings. And the results? Impulsive and brilliant. And it wasn’t just drawings—some there 

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A Big Yarn Weekend in New York City

This weekend is a big one for yarn lovers, knitters, and crocheters—there’s both a Handmade Crafternoon devoted to knitting and crochet, and there’s also a weekend-long Yarn Crawl that’ll take you all over the city! Here are the details on both events:

About the next Handmade Crafternoon: Date and time: Saturday, October 10th, from 2:00 to 4:00pm Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (Room #227, located in the 

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December 12th's Handmade: Crafternoon.

Interested in quilts, handmade clothes, and what goes into the work of fabric and pattern design? Then mark your calendars to come to December’s Handmade: Crafternoon and meet some modern women of craft who work wonders with textiles.

Heather Ross, author of Weekend Sewing; Denyse Schmidt, author of Denyse Schmidt Quilts; and 

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November 14th's Handmade: Crafternoon.

November’s Handmade: Crafternoon will be all about paper and books! And really, is there anything better?

If you’d like to try your hand at some basic book making (both sewn bindings and not), origami, or other paper-based creations, please come along! Our special guest will be artist and maker Mike Perry, who will share his creative expertise on this fun afternoon. We’ll have lots of supplies on hand to share so that you can make your own handmade book!

Here are the details: Date and time: Saturday, November 14th, 

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