The Handmade Marketplace

handmade marketplace

The Handmade Marketplace
2nd Edition, Updated and Revised

Kari Chapin
Storey Publishing, 2010, 2014

This book covers the ins and outs of turning your craft items into money. The author covers setting goals, branding, basic business practices, basic marketing – which includes advertising and publicity, and social media. It is full of advice and lots and lots of testimonials of other crafters who have been successful at both online and brick and mortar sales.

I found the book to be very readable and informative. All the testimonials got a little annoying for me, but that’s a personal thing. It really boils down to whatever you put into your business is what you’ll get out of it.

Rating 3 out of 5 paws, mainly due to the testimonials that go on and on and on. Maybe if the pertinent information was all in one place and the quotes from successful folks were in different parts of the book instead of mixed in together – you’re reading info that’s really good, turn the page and wham! there’s another testimonial to wade through before going on with the info – then I would have liked the book more.

Reviewer: loc jackJack

Death by Petticoat

death by petticoat

Death by Petticoat
American History Myths Debunked

Mary Miley Theobald
with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012

From Goodreads, “Every day stories from American history that are not true are repeated in museums and classrooms across the country. Some are outright fabrications; others contain a kernel of truth that has been embellished over the years. Collaborating with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Mary Miley Theobald has uncovered the truth behind many widely repeated myth-understandings in our history in Death by Petticoat….

“Pregnant women secluded themselves indoors, uneven stairs were made to trip up burglars, people bathed once a year, women had tiny waists, apprenticeships lasted seven years–Death by Petticoat reveals the truth about these hysterical historical myth-understandings.”

We read about this book in a magazine from Colonial Williamsburg and were very pleased to find that our library carried a copy. If you like trivia or reading about American history, you’ll enjoy this book. It is well researched, highly readable and each myth is illustrated with drawings, paintings or photographs.

The myth of the title is “So many colonial American women died from burns when their long petticoats caught fire that it became the second-most common cause of death, after childbirth.” According to the author’s research, the leading cause of death for women during colonial times was disease; and perhaps the thought that a skirt catching fire was such a horrific death it made people think it happened all the time; in fact, it was a very rare occurrence. Most women’s skirts were cotton, linen or wool, which, again according to the author, tends to smolder rather than flame up and burn.

Other myths debunked include, “Beds were shorter back then…”; “The Dutch bought Manhattan…for $24…”; “Women ate arsenic to lighten their complexions”; and “The position of a horse’s leg on an equestrian statue tells how the rider died.” All very amusing and very interesting!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for a enlightening view of colonial America!

Reviewer: jack-locJack



Help, Thanks, Wow

help thanks wow

Help, Thanks, Wow
The Three Essential Prayers

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 2012

From the dust jacket, “Three simple prayers to get you through tough times, everyday struggles, and the hard work of ordinary life.

“Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing about faith and prayer. And in Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she’s learned about prayer into these simple, transformative truths.

“It is these three prayers – asking for assistance, appreciating the good we witness, and feeling awe at the world—that get us through the day and show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they have meant over the years and how they’ve helped, and explores how others have embraced these ideas.

“Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is a book that new readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure.”

This short and profound book is another treasure to add to our permanent Library collection. Its always good to be reminded that sometimes the shortest prayers are the most effective. Sometimes, simply by saying ‘Help’ when we are at our most desperate is more effective than an hour-long treatise. And, remembering to say ‘Thank You’ when that answer to prayer comes (even if it wasn’t what we expected or even wanted) prepares us to say ‘Wow’ when we get a glimpse God at His most everything.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws – spectacular!

Reviewer: Jack




Small Victories

small victories

Small Victories
Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 2014

From the dust jacket, “Anne Lamott writes about faith, family, and community in essays that are irreverent and wise. Now, in Small Victories, she offers a message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she notes, but they change us – our perceptions and our perspectives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find meaning in getting lost and amazement each time we are finally found.

“Profound and hilarious, honest and unexpected, the stories in Small Victories are proof that the human spirit is irrepressible.”

Another thoughtful and insightful book by Ms Lamott, this time with a focus on the Grace of God. Grace is what gets us through our daily lives, especially when we want to chuck it all and give up. We are reminded that God is with us through the small minutia of life all the way to the big stuff. We are reminded we are never left alone.

The essays are short and easily read but will stay with the reader a long time after putting the book down, although, it is on my list of “To-reread” books. Ms Lamott is at turns funny, sometimes shocking in her attitude, and continues her rants against the Bush presidency. But don’t let her left-wing politics keep you from reading the wisdom she shares. God’s children are a diverse bunch and Ms Lamott – in her post-hippie life is no exception.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws for helping me to see those improbable moments of Grace.

Reviewer: jack-loc Jack


Hallelujah, Anyway


Hallelujah, Anyway
Rediscovering Mercy

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 2017

From the dust jacket, “As we struggle to navigate an increasingly complex world and understand our place in it, mercy points the way forward, Anne Lamott writes in Hallelujah, Anyway. In this insightful, encouraging book, Lamott explains that it is mercy – the promise to offer and receive relief and forgiveness – that lies at the heart of all great faith traditions and our own spiritual identity. As it has for millennia, mercy gives us the chance to, in Lamott’s words, “soften ever so slightly” to understand one another more deeply. By embracing mercy, we give our families, our communities, and even ourselves the opportunity to see the world in gentler and more engaging ways. Mercy is the medicine, the light that shines in dark places.

“With the sensitivity, wisdom, and humor that have won her millions of readers, Anne Lamott explains the importance of mercy in our lives, the extraordinary power it can have if we welcome it, and the unexpected value of sharing it with others and with ourselves. As forthright as it is honest, as surprising as it is joyful, Hallelujah, Anyway reveals both universal truths and a path home.”

Another one of Anne Lamott’s books we here are LOC truly loved. Like her other books, it is highly readable – meaning, accessible to anyone (whereas some inspirational books are clearly written by and for theologians and other spiritual thinkers). She weaves personal stories with profound wisdom that you don’t even realize you’re learning something. The chapters are short, as is the book so even if you’re super busy with work, kittens and other stuff, you’ll still find the time to read this book. And, reading in short snippets would probably be best – you don’t want to miss any of the pearls by reading too quickly!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws – yes, it is that good!

Reviewer: jack-locJack