Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Books to Help You Get Stuff Done!

Focus for this list:
I occasionally do something other than read. No, really, I do! Mind you, when that happens, I frequently go in search of books on the topic. Really! In any case, I hope some of these books will help you get stuff on your list done as well. 
NOTE: all photos are of my own doing, of my own projects! 


1.  Quick Quilts to Make in a Weekend, edited by Rosemary Wilkinson
This was the first quilting book that didn't scare me. In fact, I ended up making one quilt loosely based on one of these patterns. It took me about a year to get it done, but then again, it was only my second quilt!

2.  Around the Block with Judy Hopkins: 200 Rotary-Cut Blocks in 6 Sizes  by Judy Hopkins
This is my favorite reference work on how to make organized quilt blocks without breaking my brain doing math.

3.  That Dorky Homemade Look: Quilting Lessons From a Parallel Universe by Lisa Boyer
This is the book that liberated my soul, and gave me the heart to keep quilting. 

4.  Cut-Loose Quilts: Stack, Slice, Switch, and Sew by Jan Mullen
After Lisa Boyer turned me loose, Jan told me how to make it REALLY interesting!!!  :)
Yes, each square is centered by a fussy-cut flamingo doing something at the beach: dancing the flamenco, riding a motorcycle, snorkeling, shopping, etc, etc, etc. 

Really, this is a quilting book for how to make the whole thing relaxing. That is, unless you're someone who particularly enjoys parallel lines. Some do!

5.  The Lazy Indoor Gardener: How to take care of your house plants with the least possible effort by Roberta Pliner

Mr. Turkey Bird just found this book at the library book sale, and yet, it describes my philosophy of plant care just perfectly. We took it along to the store when shopping for new victims! 

Mind you, Hubert, the philodendron cuddling up to the poetry and nonfiction shelves, has survived three different moves, and has lived in 4 different cities in 3 different states.

6. Western Garden Book of Edibles: The Complete A-Z Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruits  by Sunset Publishing
As you can see, we're pretty ambitious for folks living in an arid climate. 
This is a photo of the only pepper to actually form and ripen last year. The tomatoes did a fabulous job, and we'll replant them this year, AFTER having consulted our new encyclopedia of plants that Might actually survive here!

7.  The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn by Paul Tukey
A gift from our dear friend, on the occasion of our first lawn, this was actually a fascinating read. 

Painting (with Watercolors):

8.  The Complete Watercolorist's Essential Notebook by Gordon MacKenzie
9.  Brush With Watercolour: Painting Landscapes the Easy Way by Terry Harrison

I spent a year living in New Mexico recently, and my mother got me involved with watercoloring, which led to a class in painting with acrylic. Only one of the paintings on the wall is mine (the little one that copies the bigger one) but I'm still wildly proud of my efforts! If you, like me, spent all of your electives in music or science class, these two books will help you branch out and explore your artistic side.

FUTURE projects!

10.  Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb by Peter Nelson
No. I don't have a picture of my treehouse yet. I don't live near any trees that are big enough or sturdy enough, which, most of the time is just fine with me. I tend to feel that most trees are out to get me. (Redliners by David Drake. 'Nuff said)

Still, I read this book with the intensity of someone who is in desperate need of an arboral retreat. So, when the revolution comes, I may be perched in a tree, happily reading a book, and ignoring the rest of the universe. Oh, and blogging!!!


  1. I love to read too and I love books that tell me how to do stuff. It's why I still have all my nursing text books. having books makes me feel smart!
    Great list.

  2. I really love your idea to illustrate your recommendations with pictures of "real" projects of yours this time! I find this really inspiring - even though there's no way to get ME into quilting ;-) I have some books on herbs by the way - maybe that might be an interesting topic for you two - I mean, since you two love cooking - and herbs can be used for all sorts of things, maybe even in connection with quilting? ;-)

  3. Thanks for the great list. I'm so glad you linked up to my Swing into Spring party.

  4. Great books, I would love to be a better garderner than what I am! ;-) And how cool would it be to have an awesome treehouse. Would love to see what you do with that! Thanks for linking up!

  5. What a great list of reads. I tend to research a lot before getting anything done, hence thinking that procrastination leads to creativity...
    Marianne @ piecesofmymind-marianne.blogspot.com