Crafting with Nature is now available for preorder (UPDATE now for sale HERE!) and I thought I would take the chance to answer a few questions you might have before making the leap to buy! Here is the thing...PRE-ORDERS MATTER! I know as a reader I never preorder anything. I just wait for it to release and then buy it then. I did not realize how much is determined BEFORE the book comes out and preorders help determine how Amazon ranks and features the book and can also affect sales orders. So if you KNOW you are going to buy my book, please do it now!
1. Is this just another craft book with pinecones glued to stuff? Nope! The main difference between traditional nature crafting books and "Crafting WITH Nature" is the focus on growing your own craft materials. I don't just show you crafts to make with lavender or sage or pine, but I teach you how to GROW it as well! Each chapter focuses on a plant, or related grouping of plants, and a full Grow Guide or Gather Guide outlines tips, strategies and best practices for growing or gathering those particular plants.
2. Grow AND Gather? Yes!! A few chapters focus on gathering your plant materials, mainly from the woods, while others offer ideas for "gathering" natural materials from your local grocery store! The rest of the chapters focus on growing from seed or baby starter plants. My hope is that anyone in any zone can either grow OR gather all of the plants in Crafting with Nature.
3. Which plants are in the book? How did you choose? I chose the plants based on several criteria. First off, I choose some of the easiest plants in my arsenal for beginners, such as beets, onions and even the humble potato! All are root crops and easily grown by beginners. They also make FANTASTIC dyes and stamps! Secondly, I wanted to cover the seasons and so you will find pinecones and acorns gathered in fall in one chapter, then tomatoes and lambsear grown in summer onto three full chapters of Christmas inspiration and more!
Thirdly, I wanted to cover many different zones of plants from the Northern USA to Puerto Rico. An entire chapter is devoted to tropicals where I teach you how to make your own coconut oil from palm trees and gather your own sea salt from the ocean.
4. So this is a gardening book, right? Yes and No. Each chapter will teach you how to grow a particular plant and then make crafts, recipes or DIYs with that plant. If you aren't interested in growing any particular plant, you can skip to the grocery store or plant nursery and craft from there!
5. So this is a craft book, right? Yes and No. There are over 100 crafts, tutorials or DIYs in Crafting with Nature, but beginner gardeners will definitely enjoy this book as well! Learn how to grow potatoes and ginger from the leftover "ends" while cooking, grow lavender from seed, baby young magnolias, transplant lambsear and more! This is your introduction to easy beginner gardening!
6. How do I buy the book? Can I get a discount? You can preorder the book NOW on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (See above how important preorders are!) Pricing is determined by some algorithm I don't understand by the powers that be (i.e. NOT me!). What I do know is that if you preorder on Amazon and the price drops before the release date, Amazon refunds you the difference. Once the book releases on March 22nd, you will be able to find the book in traditional booksellers both online and in brick and mortar bookstores. I will also have copies available with me at signings, conferences and a VERY fun crafting event at the Sweet Clover Antiques Barn that I will have more info on later! (May 21st)
7. Can I get a signed copy? Does it cost extra? Yup! NOPE! If you preorder the book, you can get a FREE bookplate signed by me! Simply fill out the form below with your address and verified purchase and I will mail you a signed bookplate (or 2! or 3! or 20!) for however many books you choose to buy. If you have previously purchased the book, same goes for you. Just fill out the form!
9. Where do you garden? I am currently in my zone 6 garden in Pennsylvania and I have a LOT of work to do. We moved into our current home (See all the Stonecrest posts HERE) over a year ago, but then moved to Puerto Rico for Act 20 quite soon after moving to Stonecrest. (Interested in the Puerto Rico story? START HERE and find all the Palmas del Mar and Puerto Rico posts HERE!)
Our home at Stonecrest has two formal garden beds by the front porch along with plenty of pots (you can see a bit of it HERE) and two formal little beds around the driveway pillars. I have a small vegetable plot "curing" for planting as soon as it is warm enough and there is also a creek cutting through the lower 2 acres, creating a "wildish" natural garden. This year, those formal beds and the vegetable garden are my priority. Once they are solid, the wild garden will go beyond basic "taming" and I am going to go WILD with bulbs :)
While we are in Puerto Rico, I garden in pots. I get quite frustrated with the birds and iguanas eating everything and have discovered that many, many zone 6 plants quite hate it here! I should have known better, but I moved here hopeful with packets of seeds to grow veggies on my porch. Tomatoes and herbs worked, but everything else failed dramatically. Apparently, your veggies need to be literally caged or they are eaten by bugs and other creatures. (...and we thought DEER were bad!!) That said, it was a great learning experience gardening in a different zone and I enjoyed learning and sharing (in the book!) how to make sea salt, DIY your own coconut oil and more here from Puerto Rico!
10. What is next? Gosh, I wish I knew! I would love to write a book ALL about bulbs -- maybe the Cut Flower Crafter?? I would LOVE to finish decorating Stonecrest and tell its story. I would love writing a book about Finding God in the Garden. I would love to continue working with my favorite garden and craft brands (Burpee! Ball Seed! Longfield Gardens! Consumer Crafts! Duluth!) and continue to write here at A Nest for All Seasons for a good long while. I hope you will join me for the ride!