Crafts and Hobbies

The Joy of Gingerbread

 What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by creating a festive — and edible — holiday decoration that has been a Christmas tradition for centuries: gingerbread!  

Making Holiday Gifts

Now's the  time to begin making special gifts for families and teachers. Get started by taking a day or two to skim through craft books at the library, or go online and find some ideas. In this article, we've gathered a few neat projects for beginners as well as book and Web site recommendations to help create a crafty Christmas.

Ornaments

Our Apple Harvest Makes for Two Splendid Seasons

Whether they're Galas, Granny Smiths, Yorks, Winesaps, or Ginger Golds, apples are one of Virginia's loveliest and most useful crops and were much enjoyed by the early colonists and pioneers as well as today's families. Crisp, sweet apples-- harvested in the chilly days of October, can be part of your celebrations in November and December. Click here to learn more about local apple festivals, apple recipes, apple crafts, and apple books for young readers.

Get Ready, Get Set, Knit

With cooler weather just around the corner, now is the time to knit something to keep you or a loved one warm this winter. If you are not a knitter don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Don’t let words like knit, purl, cast on, yarn over or decrease two fill you with anxiety. They are the terms used to guide you through your project and are explained in almost every knitting book or Web site. Read on for suggestions on how to get started in knitting.

Get Ready, Get Set, Knit

With cooler weather just around the corner, now is the time to knit something to keep you or a loved one warm this winter. If you are not a knitter don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Don’t let words like knit, purl, cast on, yarn over or decrease two fill you with anxiety. They are the terms used to guide you through your project and are explained in almost every knitting book or Web site.

Abracadabra!

The purpose of magic has changed since temple priests in ancient times used mechanical devices to make wine pour from statues' mouths and doors open with the sound of thunder. Entertainers in the Middle Ages would try other techniques such as sleight of hand to mystify the crowds as they traveled from city to city.

Saving Summer in a Jar: Preserving the Fruits of the Season

This is the time of year when delicious fruits and vegetables fill the homegrown gardens and bins at farmers' markets. An abundance of heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and sweeter peaches make August the right time to practice the very rewarding work of preserving.

Halloween Fun

Get ready for some spooky good times! We found lots of games to play, stories to share, crafts and recipes beyond compare. Learn to make your own costume, have a creepy cool party, carve a pumpkin, and get lots more tips to make this Halloween the best one ever.

Beautiful Butterflies

They flutter around the tall, bright flowers in springtime and summer, only stopping to drink sweet nectar or lay their eggs on green leaves. Who would believe a gorgeous butterfly could come from a homely caterpillar?

You can watch this miracle happen at your house. Grab a butterfly book from the library to learn how to find their eggs and raise them from creepy-crawlies into splendid winged beauties. While you wait for them to grow, try a butterfly folktale or two. People around the world have made up stories about butterflies!

Dying for Tie-Dye

Feel like putting a little free spirit in your summer? Get on your oldest clothes, grab some buckets and rubber gloves, and head for the backyard to create beautiful tie-dye crafts.