Category Archives: Craft

Books to Help you Live Sustainably at Home

What does sustainability mean to you?  Most people are aware that sustainability is important, but may struggle to decide how to incorporate sustainable practices into their lives.  This week Team Booko has brought together lots of ideas on how to get started.  Many of these ideas only require small changes – such as ditching plastic straws, or walking instead of driving short distances.  Others are fun and creative, encouraging us to try making / cooking / upcycling.  These books also show that sustainability are interlinked with mindfulness and decluttering – meaning that it is not only good for our environment, but good for our health and our wallets too!

A Life Less Throwaway: the Lost Art of Buying for Life by Tara Button

Tara Button was a work-hard, spend-hard advertising executive when she realised that her shopping habits – meant to make her happy – was having the opposite effect.  So she started to fight back against the current culture of planned obsolescence – the idea that products should have a limited (ie short) lifespan – and instead, started a movement that celebrates products that are made to last.  A Life Less Throwaway explains the concept of “mindful curation”, with plenty of tips and strategies to help us only buy things that fit the purpose, that we love and that can last a lifetime.

Simple Acts to Save our Planet: 500 Ways to Make a Difference by Michelle Neff

If you want to live in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible way, but don’t know where to start, then this book is for you.  Michelle Neff has created a bumper book of “Simple Acts of Kindess” for our planet. Many of the ideas look at how to reduce waste, bolster animal and insect populations and lower energy consumption.  These Simple Acts show us that even the tiniest change to our lifestyle – such as BYO coffee cups and shopping bags, and buying items with minimal packaging – can have a lasting positive impact on the environment. What’s more, many of these ideas – such as eating less processed food, and using meat and veg scraps to make stock – can also benefit our own health.

Upcycle: Turn Everyday Objects into Home Decor by Sonia Lucano

Upcycle is a fun, contemporary project book that shows you how to turn some everyday items into home furnishings.   Sonia Lucarno has chosen starting materials that are available cheaply or for free, such as old dishes, glass jars, bedsheets and wooden pallets.  Learn how to turn cotton sheets into a tote bag, wooden pallet into a coffee table, or glass jars into terrariums.  There are detailed instructions including lists of materials.  Start salvaging these bits and pieces from the waste stream and turn them into chic, functional pieces for your home.

Perfect Imperfect: the Beauty of Accident, Age & Patina by Karen McCartney, Sharyn Cairns and Glen Proebstel

Perfect Imperfect is a sumptuous coffee table book with a subtle environmental message – by celebrating the beauty of age and imperfection (some may call it “character”), it encourages us to purchase thoughtfully rather than frequently, to value curation rather than consumption.  Perfect Imperfect puts a modern spin on the age-old Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, bringing together contemporary design with well-worn objects.  The stunning interiors feature a mix of comfort, design and thoughtful beauty, and are selected from homes, hotels, shops and studios around the world.

Low Tox Life: a Handbook for a Healthy You and a Happy Planet by Alexx Stuart

Alexx Stuart has distilled the learnings from her own quest for a Low Tox Life into a guide to help you live with better health and less stress.  Alexx Stuart was fighting chronic inflammation when she realised that our hyper-industrialised society was contributing to her ill-health.  She started to pay closer attention to product labels, and reducing the use of synthetic fragrances, disposable plastics and processed foods, and has seen a dramatic improvement in her physical and mental health.  Organised into four intuitive sections of Body, Home Food and Mind, Low Tox Life is a guide that encourages us to make more informed choices about the food we eat, and the things we surround ourselves with – and highlights that better choices can benefit both ourselves and our environment.

100 Things to Recycle and Make by Fiona Hayes

It’s never too young to help children understand the importance of sustainability, and what better way to do it than through a fun activity such as crafting.  Fiona Hayes, author of the popular Crafty Makes series, has chosen 100 of her favourite projects for crafting with recycled materials.  Ideas range from the decorative to the practical, including toys, stationery, decorations and storage.  The projects are helpfully arranged by the main starting material, eg cardboard tubes, egg cartons, paper plates and materials from nature, and include step-by-step instructions.  100 Things to Recycle and Make is a great sourcebook for anyone who spends time with children!

Booko’s Valentine’s special: If you love it, learn to repair it.

Love is certainly in the air this week with it being Valentine’s Day tomorrow. But the day of love doesn’t just have to be about showing your love for people, you are allowed to love your favourite things in your home too.

This week we want to show you that you can love your home and the treasures you have inside in it for years and years, and we have found the books that help you to do just that. Sometimes our belongings can become a little worn, or our love of them fades as they no longer look how we would like them to. Fear not, there is good news, you can change things with a little elbow grease. The books we have found help you to explore your inner eco warrior and DIY skills showing you how to recycle, reuse and repurpose the treasures we already have in our homes along with some fabulous titles that will help you love the planet too.

Sustainable Home by Christine Liu

The Sustainable Home is an inspirational and practical guidebook to maintaining a more environmentally friendly household. Sustainability enthusiast and zero-waste advocate Christine Liu takes you on a tour through the rooms of your home inside the living area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom all the while offering tips, tricks and 17 step-by-step projects designed to help you lead a more low-impact lifestyle. Whether its by making your own toothpowder, growing your own herb garden or up-cycling old pieces of furniture, there are numerous ways, both big and small, to make a difference.

Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth

Many of us are already doing what we can to adopt a greener lifestyle. We recycle, try to reduce our waste and plastics, choose organic food when shopping, eat less meat and opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products. Yet we often wish we were doing more and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Live Green is a practical guide of 52 changes, one for each week of the year, you can make to your home and lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment. Tackling all areas of your life from your cleaning routine, home furnishings, food shopping, fashion choices, natural beauty and Christmas, this book has all the ingredients to help you achieve a more sustainable year. From making your own eco-friendly cleaning products, buying vintage furniture, making your own moth repellent and improving your natural beauty regime to creating a capsule wardrobe and creating your own ethical Christmas decorations. Discover how to get the most out of life by living with intention. Live simply. Live Green.

The Nordic Home by John Arne Bjerknes

John Bjerknes is a partner and design director at Nordic – Office of Architecture and his writing conveys his vast experience within design, development, and planning of small and large-scale construction projects. Given its unique focus on organically integrating people with nature using sustainable techniques, Scandinavian design currently occupies an important position in the architectural and interior design worlds. Nordic Home captures this exciting trend by showcasing 45 case studies exemplifying the best of Nordic architecture and interiors. It is a seriously beautiful book with inspiring interiors. 

The Art of the Natural Home by Rebecca Sullivan 

This book is perfect for those interested in sustainability, natural products and mindfulness. It’s all about taking the time to create your own homemade products, from face masks to floor polish and from medicinal honey to massage oil. Taking inspiration from her grandmother’s generation, Rebecca Sullivan has put together this thoughtful and appealing manual to caring for yourself and your home. Traditional methods are resurrected or updated to suit the modern home, using simple, natural ingredients. The first part of the book is dedicated to the Home, and covers cleaning products for every room, ideas for pickles and preserves, and tips on everything from natural laundry treatments to how to grow your own cocktail garden. The second part covers Health and Beauty, and includes bath salts, make up, serums, perfumes and even beard oil, as well as healing remedies such as burn salves and herbal teas. This inspiring guide is a must for anyone interested in living a simpler, more purposeful life.

A Family Guide to Waste Free Living by Lauren Carter

Tackle our ever-growing waste problem with all the information, advice, budget-friendly recipes and projects you’ll need to start reducing waste in your life. A Family Guide to Waste-free Living makes it simple and sustainable for families to eliminate waste in the home, at work and out in the world. This is a practical and inspiring resource for anyone wanting to live more sustainably. When it comes to waste-free living, Lauren and Oberon Carter really know their stuff. In 2015, they decided to get serious about minimising their ecological footprint, successfully reducing their energy consumption by more than 60 per cent and transitioning to living completely waste and recycling free. They have written this fantastic guide to help and encourage other families do the same. A Family Guide to Waste-free Living provides a roadmap for anyone wanting to reduce their waste. It is packed with information and offers practical and achievable solutions for eliminating waste in the home, at work and in the world. Inside you’ll find simple activities for the whole family instructions on building waste-free kits for around the house and out and about. You’ll also find a plan for creating change by advocating to government and business. Tackle our ever-growing waste problem with all the information, advice, budget-friendly recipes and projects you’ll need to start reducing waste in your life.

Waste Not by Erin Rhoads

‘We need to talk about waste. Shrink-wrapped veggies, disposable coffee cups, clothes and electronics designed to be upgraded every year: we are surrounded by stuff that we often use once and then throw away. Each year Australian households produce enough rubbish to fill a three-bedroom home, including thousands of dollars worth of food and an ever-increasing amount of plastic, which takes hundreds of years to break down and often ends up in our oceans or our food chain. But what to do about such a huge problem? Is it just the price we pay for the conveniences of modern life? What if it were possible to have it both ways – to live a modern life with less waste? That’s where Erin Rhoads, aka The Rogue Ginger, comes in. Erin went from eating plastic-packaged takeaway while shopping online for fast fashion, to becoming one of Australia’s most popular eco-bloggers. Erin knows that small changes can have a big impact. In Waste Not she shares everything she’s learnt from her own funny, inspiring – and far-from-perfect – journey to living with less waste.

Enjoy!

New Year Party Planning

We hope you all survived the fun and excitement that is Christmas Day and now that that is behind us we are continuing the party season with New Year celebrations. Can you believe it is 2020 next week? How is it that when we think of 20 years ago we naturally think of the 80s but, no… it was 2000. Yikes! (makes us feel old…).

To ring in the new year, many people have a bit of a bash and we thought we’d share some of the best books on the market that will help elevate your soirée into something a little more memorable. 

Just a note, some of these books contain ideas for fancy smanzy drinks involving alcohol so please remember to drink responsibly and look after each other as you welcome in the new year. 

Mix Tape Pot Luck by Questlove

What if Questlove threw a potluck dinner, and everybody came? He picked the guests. The guests picked the recipes. The result is the ultimate potluck cookbook. Questlove is best known for his achievements in the music world, but his interest in food runs a close second. He has hosted a series of renowned Food Salons and conversations with some of America’s most prominent chefs. Now he is turning his hand to creating a cookbook. In Mixtape Potluck Cookbook, Questlove imagines the ultimate potluck dinner party, inviting more than fifty chefs, entertainers, and musicians such as Eric Ripert, Natalie Portman, and Q-Tip and asking them to bring along their favourite recipes. He also pairs each cook with a song that he feels best captures their unique creative energy. The result is not only an accessible, entertaining cookbook, but also a collection of Questlove’s diverting musical commentaries as well as an illustration of the fascinating creative relationship between music and food. With Questlove’s unique style of hosting dinner parties and his love of music, food, and entertaining, this book will give readers unexpected insights into the relationship between culture and food.

The Champagne Guide by Tyson Stelzer

This one is for those who like to ring in the new year with some bubbles. This is the world’s most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to Champagne, featuring all the latest vintages. The Champagne Guide 2020-2021 contains fully independent assessments, with profiles and ratings, of over 120 champagne producers and 800 cuvées. Inside you’ll find: Independent assessments and ratings of more than 800 cuvées, all tasted recently; all of the latest insights on the top 120 champagne houses, growers and cooperatives; a Hall of Honour to acknowledge the best producers in Champagne this year; highlights of all the best champagnes of the year at every price and style; updated assessments of the past 24 vintages in Champagne; a chapter on decoding champagne labels and bottling codes along with maps of the champagne villages and vineyards.

Popsicle Party by Louise Pickford

Okay, so this may not be the book of choice for a New Year’s party in the UK but we know those down under will love it. A chilled popsicle, grabbed and shared round languorously from the freezer on a boiling hot day is a simple, nostalgic pleasure. These juvenile treats have clearly not lost their appeal amongst fun-loving adults, and recent trends have seen these childish ices transformed into something far more sophisticated, with fresh natural ingredients and gourmet flavours. Adults and children alike will adore Coconut, Mango and Passion Fruit ice pops: a rainbow of colours and three of your five-a-day in the most enjoyable way. A stash of dairy-free Almond Milk, Honeycomb and Salted Chocolate Pops will always be welcome, while making Buttermilk, Rosewater, Raspberry and Pistachio Pops with whole raspberries set inside would be the most attractive end to any dinner party. It is remarkably easy to make these frozen treats at home, so stock up your freezer and have a posh popsicle ready for any occasion.

The Modern Gentleman by John McCarthy

This compact volume introduces modern gentlemen to some of the greatest pleasures in life, from the very best spirits to the most complex hot sauces to the suavest of accessories. The book is targeted to aspiring bon vivants, modern metrosexuals, millennials, and hipsters eager to become the new gentleman. Content not only includes quick guides to great drinks, foods, and cigars, but also makes the case for why every real gentleman needs a great flask, a classic pen, and a watch that may not be ‘smart’ but will make you look and feel like 007. Features short essays on each subject, with classic illustrations accompanying each, all in a handsome package that will evoke thoughts of a trusted old leather-bound book.

Paper Pom Poms and other Party Decorations by Juliet Carr

We love to add a little decoration or two to jazz up a party and why not try your hand at making your own this year. Discover how to create a spectacular setting for your next party with these 35 fabulous projects. From eye-catching pom-poms to pretty garlands and stunning giant flowers, you’ll want to make every one of these wonderful paper decorations. Begin with the classic pom-poms–popular in the 60s and 70s, but enjoying a stylish revival today. Make them in different sizes and colours for a real impact. Learn, too, how to make honeycomb balls, a star piata, and rosette snowflakes–all beautiful hanging decorations that will look great hung from the ceiling, or in a window. In chapter 2, you’ll find garlands and bunting. Why not try the cupcake garland, using cupcake cases to sit around fairy lights and look like twinkling flowers? Or have a go at the vintage book bunting that would add character at a themed party, or even in your workspace. Finally, create impressive centerpieces – giant roses and daffodils, a coffee filter flower wreath, and waxed floating lilies are among the striking designs. The projects use a variety of paper materials, including tissue, cardstock, and crepe paper, as well as recycled magazine pages and gift-wrap–and no specialist craft experience is needed. Step-by-step photography will show you exactly what to do. You’ll also find out about all the different types of paper available–such as water-resistant tissue paper, and two-tone paper that has a different colour on each side of it–as well as where to buy them. Plus, every template you’ll need is included at the back of the book.

Batch Cocktails by Maggie Hoffman

As anyone who has hosted a dinner party knows, cocktail hour is the most fun part of the evening for guests–but the most stressful for whomever is in charge of keeping the drinks flowing. The solution, though, is simple: batch it! In this fun collection, Maggie Hoffman offers 65 delicious and creative cocktails that you don’t have to stir or shake to order; rather, they are designed to stay fresh when made ahead and served out of a pitcher. Recipes such as Tongue in Cheek (gin, Meyer lemon, thyme, Cocchi Rosa), Friendly Fires (mezcal, chili vodka, watermelon, lime), BirdsnBees Punch (rum, cucumber, green tea, lemon), and even alcohol-free options are organized by flavor profile –herbal, boozy, bitter, fruity and tart, and so on– to make choosing and whipping up a perfect pitcher of cocktails a total breeze.

Enjoy!