Monday, August 5, 2013
How-To Books, Pioneer Crafts, and Folk Dolls-from my 49 Tips on Living Green
Another Monday,and the rain beats down on our roof as though it would break right through and drown us all. Below are two more of the original tips. When time was my own, I loved browsing how-to books. I found many self-help books interesting, even if they couldn't help me. Dr. Laura's were always the most fun, and there was one about business called When Smart People Fail that gave anyone looking for a job a lot of insight. I love our local botanical center for many reasons, but one is that they have a great library, displayed in a comfortable setting. The books are all on plants and gardening, and are lovely in their own right. What a great place to research this topic, all in one place, where you can sit in style and take notes. I learned a lot about pioneer crafts by making dolls. G. Stanley Hall's 1897 classic A Study of Dolls gives lots of insight into pioneer and urban crafts, and into the creativity of children. Innovative children he studied made dolls out of all types of found objects, including old shoes, rags, and even meat! Corncob and corn husk crafts have origins in Native American and European culture, cf my post on Corn Dollies. Wendy Lavitt's American Folk Dolls is another good source. 7.Invest in a good library on how to books and books on going green; don’t over look free government publications and consumer reports. Many books and magazines on these subjects can also be found at library sales, and library cafes, where they cost as little as a dime. You can also recycle your old magazines by bringing back the ones you have read and do not need any more. 8. As a family hobby, review pioneer crafts including soap making and butter making. Try making jam or jelly and using canning jars. If you are lucky and have your mother’s or grandmothers’ glass fridge containers nad storage boxes, check to see if they are lead free and use them. Martha Stewart's book have great ideas, as do Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books. Local museums and national parts have kits and publications on this topic as well. The Scouts for both genders have plenty of tips for crafts and how-two projects in their manuals and various brochures on earning badges. Joining Scouts or any similar organization is still the best way to learn self reliant crafts and folk arts.