Thursday, December 3, 2015

What I'm Reading in 2015: October and November

Well, I promised that I'd get to sharing what I read in October and November of this year.  If you aren't into non-fiction types of books this is going to be pretty boring for you to read, but this is what I'm into reading right now.

First up is...

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

I bought this book a while ago at a used store with the intent to read it and see if there was any knowledge to be gleaned from it.  And I finally sat down to read it recently.

I have to say I was impressed with how much this book covers.  It gives you different methods for raised beds, different things to plant, how to raise chickens and how to dress them and a lot of other things.

It gives you different ideas on planting from seeds and what is the best method to use to get good results.  I have to say that their opinions reflected my own on some methods, so I'm looking forward to trying the methods that he says works better than the ones I've tried. 

It gives you a good idea how to do a self sufficient lifestyle on very little land.  I found a lot of knowledge I could use to make my garden grow better this summer, so I consider this book a definite win on the book finds list.

Next up is a very special book, to me.

Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese De Dillmont 

This book fell into my possession when my dad passed away four years ago.  I had gone back for the funeral and to help my step-mom as much as I could bring the house into some semblance of order (my dad was a hoarder).  While going through one room of many that was wall to wall books, I found this book while cleaning out piles of others.

The book looked old, so I flipped open the cover and found something very special inside.  My great-grandmother's signature with the date 1902 in it.

I was thrilled to be in possession of a book that belonged to a member of my dad's family as my dad's family wasn't big on passing down heirlooms from generation to generation.  So, I grabbed the book with the intent to read it completely one day.

The book, however, was delicate;  the cover was falling off, the outer binding was coming off and there were several beginning pages that had fallen out of the book.  So, I put it aside with some other old books where nothing would happen to it and just dusted it from time to time.

Until last month, where I saw it on the shelf and was curious to see if there was new things to learn in it's pages.  So one careful page turn at a time, I read through the book.

And I learned a lot, actually.  The book covers tons of things, including macrame and all forms of needlework.  It really is the most comprehensive book I've ever seen on the subject.

There is a newer version of the book available (at the above link) on Amazon, but I guess the digital free version of the book doesn't include illustrations, which you DEFINITELY need for some of the tutorials on some of the techniques.  The book even covers knitting, crocheting and many other really useful things.  And in a very tiny (for my particular edition) book.

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to learn needlework of any type as it's the most comprehensive book I've ever read on the subject (and I own a couple comprehensive books on the subject).

Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you order through these links I'll just get a small amount of money from Amazon for helping them advertise the products.  You won't be charged any extra for your purchases through these links.  If you order through said links, thank you :).


  1. That needlework book is so special, with your great-grandmother's signature! I love stuff like that : )

  2. I loved reading about your special needlework book. As I've mentioned before, I work in a museum and although I work as an interpreter right now, I have also worked with the collection at this museum (and still could whenever I feel like volunteering my time). I can so appreciate every detail you wrote about the needlework book, from how delicate and fragile the pages are to the incredible inscription written by your great-grandmother on the inside cover. I LOVE looking over historic books and pages! There is just so much we can learn from them.

    If you (or anyone who reads this) is interested in looking at more old embroidery books, there are some archived books available on-line. I have found several through Pinterest, but here's a link to one example:

    And just for fun, here is a link to a newspaper article that I found while trying to research the time period a particular photograph was taken that I was accessioning into our collection (it is too amazing of a story not to share):

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Those are some awesome links, Rhonda. Thanks so much for sharing them!