From Our Bookshelf


The DIY Pantry: 30 Minutes to Healthy, Homemade Food
by Kresha Faber, FW Media

reviewed by Noelle A. DeMarco

It is a new world of food additives, preservatives, and chemicals. Food production has changed in the past 50 years, and whether you firmly believe in making everything from scratch, or you’d rather just pop into a shop and grab a can of condensed soup, I think we all can agree that fresh is usually best. (I say usually because you just can not make Doritos at home. Sorry, but no.)

All those things you find yourself reaching into the pantry for? Guess what—you can most likely make them yourself.
Are you a baker? Make your own sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, cake mixes, and butter. Keep granola on hand all the time, and whip up cornbread all year round. More of a cook? Make your own hot sauce, stock, pizza and pasta sauce, mayonnaise, even Worcestershire sauce! Taco shells, pickles, chocolate-hazelnut spread, salsa, and spice mixes, you’ll be set for quite a while.

If you already enjoy preparing food your own way, or if you’re looking to perhaps incorporate a few more healthy condiments into your daily routine, you’ll definitely find great ideas here.


Handmade for the Garden
by Susan Guagliumi, STC Craft

reviewed by Noelle A. DeMarco

The DIY craze has moved outdoors and taken up residence in the garden. Here you’ll find one-of-a-kind tools, pots, trellises, stepping stones, plant markers, baskets, and more.

Make use of items that would otherwise end up in the trash heap, like that old garden hose. Create aged finishes and textured surfaces on new or old pots to give them a bit more backstory. Fashion plant markers out of pretty much anything you can think of (broken pots, embossed metal, engraved terra-cotta…).

The beautiful photography will have you dreaming of all the garden possibilities, and with the easy-to-follow instructions, you will be DIYing in no time.


stylish weddings: 50 Simple Ideas to Make from Top Designers
by Jenny Doh, Sterling Publishing

The flowers have bloomed, the air is warm, and that time has arrived: yes, spring (duh), but also wedding time! June is the month of brides, and if you know of any, this book will really come in handy. Heck, even if you don’t know a single bride-to-be, there are still beautiful, simple, and cost-effective projects to craft for everyday occasions.

These days, wedding trends are skewing more towards handmade tradition. Brides and grooms want their own touches and family values woven into their ceremony and reception. This is where you can’t beat homemade; you have complete control over your final product.

Label the bride and groom chairs with funky vintage frames and chalkboard paint. Galvanized favor tins are a cinch to make and are a great way for guests to remember your special day. Rose and cabbage vine garland is a fun way to add a bit of earthiness to the ceremony.

The book is divided into sections based on designer and wedding style, which include a Farm Chicks Wedding, a Natural and Organic Wedding, a Vintage Glam wedding, a Romantic and Pretty Wedding, a French-Inspired Wedding, and a Rustic and Elegant DIY Wedding.

There are tips from each designer, like ways to cut costs, and all the instructions are easy-to-follow with lovely photography.

For a chance to win this book, visit the current giveaways page!


DIY Chalkboard Crafts
by Lizette Schapekahm Adams Media

Remember chalkboards? In this new world of smart boards and tablets, I’m not even sure if an actual chalkboard is used in classrooms anymore. In spite of that, chalkboards are still enjoying some time in the spotlight.

Chalkboard paint can be used on prettymuch any surface, which equalsmany crafting possibilities. A few coats of paint and a stick of chalk and you can turn nearly anything into a funmessage holder, clock, garland, or bookends.Make personalized coasters for your next party, a fun faux slate serving tray, or a sweet and customizable Advent calendar. You can transformeveryday household items, garbage picks (we know you do it), and everything in between.

There are clear instructions and photos for every project, as well as a list of tools and helpful hints that will get you chalkboarding in no time.

For a chance to win this book, visit the current giveaways page!