The ladies at the library where I work recently attended the NELA conference, where they were able to participate in multiple workshops, talk to vendors, and meet up with colleagues. My direct supervisor came back with this book and rave reviews - she let me keep it at my desk for a few days, and I was hooked. I already have an entire document devoted to ideas from this book and I can't wait to implement some of the ideas in it! Such a great book definitely deserves its own book review, so here goes.
This is Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects , quite possibly my new favorite book. Jessica Pigza is a rare book librarian at the New York Public Library. As if that's not cool enough, she's also an avid crafter, knitter, and general design enthusiast. This book might be a bit specialized for those of you who don't work in a library or have an interest in crafts, but I don't think you'd be here if you didn't ;)
Short summary: I want to be her.
Long summary: Jessica wrote this book for crafters who are looking to expand their sources of inspiration by using library resources and materials to come up with or re-use old ideas. For instance, a Godey's Ladies Book inspired a beautiful and easy fabric flower fascinator, while Japanese heraldry symbols (basically little coats of arms) inspired colorful felt coasters. She guides the reader toward new ways of implementing design, whether it's a cross stitched wall panel inspired by illuminated manuscripts, or a quilled paper pendant inspired by gold filigree book covers. Anything can be turned into a new design or used in a craft - it's just a matter of researching and choosing!
This book also directed me to the Victoria and Albert Museum website. Holy. Cow. I want to go there! I'm so happy they have a comprehensive website - otherwise I'd buy my ticket to London today. There are so many collections, style guides, history bits, and beautiful photographs. I could browse for hours, but a few of my favorites are the Aestheticism Movement under the 19th Century Design Styles collection, and Embroidery in the Textiles Collection.
If you're looking for even more inspiration, check out Jessica's Pinterest boards. I'm officially obsessed with stitch sampler books (a future DIY?), illumination, book art, and ribbon embroidery. Not to mention researching old books for inspiration. The possibilities are endless!