Caroline's life · Embroidery

Crafty book finds at the Auckland City Libraries book sale

Crafty books

Polish needlework from Embroidery by Mary Gostelow


It’s the annual Auckland City Libraries book sale this week – only $5 for a bag full of books. Treasure hunting time!

I’ve made some wonderful crafty scores, including an amazing book about traditional embroidery styles from around the world – Embroidery by Mary Gostelow (1979). This 286-page book profiles different cultures and their embroidery styles, including regional similarities and differences, discussion of how traditions have survived, and wonderful images of stitchers at work and samples of their creations. This out of print text is an absolute treasure for a stitcher like me.

Polish needlework from Embroidery by Mary Gostelow
Polish needlework from Embroidery by Mary Gostelow


Armenian needlework  from Embroidery by Mary GostelowHopefully this book will lead me closer to discovering where my colorful floral doily is from. In one of my very fist blogs I wrote about stitching it to a t-shirt … I haven’t worn it since, as I’ve come across a few clues make me suspect its actually more precious than I first thought.

I found another great book on needlework, Embroidery from Palestine by Shelagh Weir (2006). The book contains embroidery and applique, amazingly detailed and layered, made in cotton, silk and woolen thread by Arab women of rural Palestine. The books contains wonderful images of women, in bridal wear, daily clothing and at work with needle in hand. It’s really, really beautiful.

Embroidery and applique from Palestinian EmbroideryFrom Palestinian Embroidery

Another useful find is Crafty Girls Road Trip by Ann Packer (2006), a guide to New Zealand’s craft spots. Although I know it has date already, it will be handy on roadies. What I wouldn’t give to write about a crafty road trip with my Crafty Lady friend, Mira. One day, my dear!

Crafty Girls Road Trip

Fantails from Small Birds of New ZealandI am also really happy with the wee book, Small Birds of the New Zealand Bush by Elaine Power (1970). Like many crafters, I love to put a bird on it. Cliche? I don’t care. Our native birds are beautiful and this is a really useful source book.

Clearly this isn’t a bagful…  I also have about 10 novels, including some classics (Pride and Prejudice), some thinkers (Poisonwood Bible) and some outright brain candy. All for five bucks. Score!

I am off to the Auckland Art and Craft Fair now.  What a great day already.


4 thoughts on “Crafty book finds at the Auckland City Libraries book sale

  1. What fun! I used to love buying bags of books at library sale – I don’t do it any more because I’m working hard on overcoming my book addiction/hoarding.

    I miss it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh dear, book addiction … I know that affliction. I had to face it head-on when I left the UK and had to consider paying for books by weight. The reference books will be keepers but to be honest, the novels probably won’t stick around. They’ll get read and passed on to a charity shop or school fair (unless they absolute crackers). Thanks for coming by my blog.

    1. You’re welcome! Its nice to see you here again. I got some post today (some craft magazines from the UK) and thought of you and your postal treasures. Be well x

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