I don’t know about you, but it used to be that when I visited those “big box” home improvement stores, one of my favorite places to spend some time was the book section. I adored all those lovely books laden with nice photographs of just about every potential project that you might ever want to take on, and even some you may not have thought up yet. But now, for some inexplicable reason, they no longer have nice books. Try your library instead! The Dyer Library has added some new ones to our collection. Let me tell you about a few…

How about “Building Garden and Patio Furniture”? I recognize that spring seems doubtful right now, but we all know it must be coming. What better time to construct a couple of Adirondack chairs? This book features step-by-step instructions for not only chairs, but a really attractive bench (I need one), tables, a doghouse and window boxes. All you need is the lumber and several expensive power tools. Go for it!

Expecting a little arrival soon? You may want to check out “Ideas for Great Baby Rooms.” Some of these may be … a bit over the top. But there’s one in there that includes large African animals painted as a super cute mural, and wouldn’t that be a look that a child could grow into? If you aren’t a parent or grandparent-to-be, then you might enjoy “Backyards.” This weighty tome includes clear color photographs that are too numerous to count of some amazing backyard ideas, including — I know this sounds strange but you really have to see it — sawn off oxygen tanks that hang from their rounded ends and dribble water. You can also “make music by banging on them”(?) So maybe not all of the ideas are fully do-able. This book also includes some wonderful gardens, play areas, swing sets, patios, arbors, etc. that are sure to set you imagining.

A few other possibilities: “Garden Inspired Silk Flowers” — step-by-step instructions with photos for creating some marvelous flower arrangements, “Simply Beautiful Greeting Cards,” a book for people with a fair amount of time to spend on crafting really interesting cards (with the hope that whomever you send them too will not just pitch them into the trash). If you’re feeling like starting a weightier project you might enjoy “Landscaping With Stone.” It includes beautiful garden designs, ponds, stonewalls and pathways, all crafted with a material that will be readily available around here after the snow melts.

One last suggestion, for a trendy new renovation project, “Decorative Concrete.” All the home dec shows are playing up concrete countertops; this book includes a bathroom sink that has a little stream running across the countertop. That sounds weird but it looks fantastic. If you don’t need one of those, it also offers ideas on patios, stepping stones (the ones with inlays are really beautiful), tables and interesting planters.

Even if you aren’t up for a project right now, these books are perfect for just inspiring a few dreams. And when the weather outside is frightful, who doesn’t enjoy dreaming? Just stop by our display of these new books, near our check-out desk. We hope to see you soon.



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