Good reads.

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I’ve had plenty of time to read while I’ve been off work…I thought I’d share my impressions of some of the books I’ve been going through!

The New American Herbal – Stephen Orr (2014, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York)

Need a comprehensive (and I do mean comprehensive) herbal?  Look no further.  This may be one of the most detailed and beautifully-photographed books about herbs available to readers today.  Over 125 species from the common to the unusual are profiled, complete with growing tips and uses and a handful of recipes.  A must-add for the gardening bookshelf – I can see myself consulting this one over and over again.

Inchies:  Create Miniature Works of Art Using Textiles and Mixed Media Techniques – Peggy Donda-Kobert, Editor (2015, Search Press, California)

I am not terribly talented an utter failure when it comes to doing crafts and art: I can’t knit, crochet, felt, sew, quilt, spin, scrapbook, fold origami, tat, quill, draw, paint…well…you get the idea.  I do know how to embroider, though, and when I recently saw these “inchies” on a website, I was intrigued.  No, make that obsessed.  Once my wrist heals, this is going to be a dedicated pursuit.  The really cool part about inchies is that they’re adaptable to pretty much any art or craft discipline – which means that you quilters and lace makers and felters might really get a kick out of them.  Plus, they’re a fun way to use up fabric scraps, beads, and other embellishments.

The Flower Recipe Book – Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo (2013, Workman Publishing Company, Inc., New York)

Oh yeah, I failed to mention above that I can’t arrange flowers, either.  But that didn’t stop me from drooling over this insanely creative and inspirational book.  If you’re a florist, or just love to bring cut flowers indoors to admire, this book is chock full of breathtakingly gorgeous arrangements using 41 plants as bases “ingredients” for “recipes” that feature each individually as well as grouped with other flowers and floral elements.   One of the best things about this book is these are plants you’re probably growing in your garden:  sunflowers, roses, alliums, stock, carnations, hydrangeas, etc..

These ladies also have a Wreath Recipe Book using the same layout and staggeringly fabulous photography.

Green Art:  Trees, Leaves, and Roots – E. Ashley Rooney with Margery Goldberg (2014, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., PA)

This very cool art book features the work of primarily American artists of a wide range of disciplines, all interpreting the subject of trees (and tree parts).  From metal, wire, clay and wood sculpture, glass, paint, etching, light, outdoor installation – even fire and gunpowder(!), these works are as varied as the artists that have created them.  An absolute delight to pore through…and to be inspired by.

 What books have inspired you lately?