In general, I’m one who likes to check out books from the library as it saves money and space in your house, but design books are different. They are reference books used for inspiration or tutorials to have on hand when you’re making. For this reason, in addition to our monthly book club, I decided I would share some of my favorite design and craft books with you in a new feature called Lars Library. Every season I’ll share my favorite books, generally new releases, so you can be in the know on the latest and greatest books on the market right now, books that you should definitely add to your design library. Check in every so often for the best of the best. You can find them all on one page here.
It’s May, Lars Book Clubbers! As we remember and celebrate mothers and the women who have influenced us this month, we wanted to share with you the incredible story of one resilient, unwavering mother whose enterprising wits and enduring humor kept her family out of poverty. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan tells the story of Evelyn Ryan, a married mother of ten children and a “contester” during the 1950s and 1960s. As she completed songs, poems, and advertising jingles for various companies, her pencil and paper kept her children fed, clothed, educated, and even entertained. Evelyn Ryan was a woman ahead of her time, providing for her family when women weren’t encouraged to do so, and had little to no say in financial matters. Author and daughter Terry Ryan tells her mother’s story and shares her prize-winning writing in a wonderfully humorous way, despite their hardships and struggle with an alcoholic father and husband. We hope you are inspired by this story, surely a tribute to tireless, hard-working mothers everywhere! Feel free to follow along with us @larsbookclub , where we’ll post quotes and thoughts from the book. Check back in the middle of the month too, when we’ll have some discussion questions and artwork up on the blog for you! Happy reading!
How have you liked Seven Flowers? Did you dive in or have you had to take it slowly? Potter gives you LOTS of information, we know. It may be hard to digest it all, but we hope you’ve learned a few new things and gained more appreciation for these amazing flowers. Here are some questions to think about – we’d love to hear your thoughts! And BOY are there some beautiful books regarding flowers! Be sure to check out the further reading suggestions!
This month our featured illustrator is Portland-based, Yas Imamura of Quill and Fox, a long-time favorite of Brittany’s. She’s created a beautiful poster with a quote from the book:
“It isn’t enough to let the flowers bloom; we must decode what they have to say.”
We’ve included a free Seven Flowers printable bookmark and art piece to remind you of the beauty of flowers.
Get the free Seven Flowers printable bookmark on the next page!Read on →
A new month means a new book! In our world today, we have the ability to view, enjoy, or seek out any flower we wish to beautify our homes or bestow as a gift. But these flowers didn’t always exist on our home shores, wherever that may be. They came from foreign lands near and far; they were discovered and dissected, revered and reproduced. Seven Flowers and How They Shaped our World by Jennifer Potter explores a handful of flowers that became religious icons, status symbols, metaphors for emotions and matters of the heart, and so much more. They infiltrated poetry and the arts, and even created financial frenzies! Read along as we discover the origins of the Lotus, Lily, Sunflower, Opium Poppy, Rose, Tulip, and Orchid. Jennifer Potter masterfully uncovers how these beautiful plants changed our world and what they tell us about ourselves. Find the book here and follow us on our @larsbookclub Instagram! We’ll post daily quotes or highlights from April Book Club, and we’d love to hear your thoughts!
Every month, in addition to our featured book, we feature an illustrator who creates an original print with a quote from the book and a bookmark, free to download. I was excited for this month’s book, about an English couple’s move to Denmark, because I would get to choose a Danish illustrator. Sabine Brandt, of Sister Brandt, was one of the first Danish graphic artists I ever came across and I was so thrilled when she said yes!
Have you enjoyed The Year of Living Danishly? Would you ever make a big transition like this couple and live somewhere new for a year? (Sounds wonderful to me, actually…) Here are a couple of questions and some further reading suggestions for you. Feel free to continue to read along with us, and share your thoughts! Comment on our daily Instagram posts @larsbookclub, which continually highlight a section or quote from the book, along with sharing a lovely picture of Denmark (there are too many to share, really)!