It is that time of year again to decorate for the holidays and create handmade gifts.
The St. Petersburg Public Library is a great place for ideas. Craft videos, magazines and books contain creative ideas for many homemade projects.
Wreaths have become popular year round and make good gifts as well as decorations. Kathy Lamancusa's Guide to Wreath Making (TAB Books, 1990) and Great Wreath Ideas by Timothy W. Frew (Smithmark, 1992) show basics such as purchasing materials and making bows. Instructions are included for wreaths for special seasons or as permanent decorations to complement any decor.
Wreaths are just one type of decoration in Floral Keepsakes by Sunny O'Neil (Sedgewood Press, 1990). O'Neil's collection of dried flower arrangements includes baskets, wedding flowers, centerpieces, nosegays and floral accents to fill that little bare spot.
Looking for traditional decorations? Holiday Decorations You Can Make from Better Homes and Gardens (1974) has everything from tree trimmings and stockings to yard decorations. Although Christmas is the major focus, other holidays are included. A chapter is included for children age 6 to 12.
Two books from Better Homes and Gardens contain projects for the cross-stitcher. Four Seasons Cross-Switch (1990) and America'sBest Cross-Stitch (1988) are filled with projects big and small to use as decorations or give as gifts. Color photos accompany complete instructions and graphs.
Basic toys are fun to make, especially for babies and toddlers. Toymaking Basics by David Wakefield (Sterling, 1993) is a great guide for wood toys. Building blocks, a palette puzzle and a delightful shark pull-toy complete with snapping jaws are featured here, with excellent instruction for working with wood and tools.
Soft Toys for Babies by Judi Maddigan (Open Chain Publishing, 1991) is a collection of patterns for fabric toys that will appeal to little ones from birth to 18 months and are designed with the various stages of baby's development in mind. Each pattern is accompanied by a play guide explaining the different motor skills developed by each toy.
For unusual decorations, take a look at The Dough Book by Jane Bergli Joner (Broadcast Books, 1991). These whimsical crafts are fun to make and can be a family craft. Joner tells how to make the dough and preserve it and gives many ideas for projects.
Stained Glass Projects for the Home, by Nikolaus Koppel (Blandford, 1992), is a guide for those who want to learn the art of glass-working. Windows, table tops, planters and lamp shades are all explained, as well as the basics of working with lead, glass and copper.
Time is running out _ get started soon.