Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homemade Living Home Dairy & Keeping Bees: Book Review (and Giveaway!)

By-Jenny2

Today we will be sharing a review of Homemade Living: Home Dairy and Homemade Living: Keeping Bees, two books by Ashley English sent to us by Lark Crafts. The DIY homesteading philosophy behind the Homemade Living series is close to our hearts, as Angel and I both strive to lead as homemade a life as possible. Additionally, we are friends with author Ashley English and love her blog Small Measure. So we are thrilled to be sharing our thoughts on these two books with you.


Lark Crafts is giving away a copy of each book to one lucky reader! Read to the end of this post to see the details.

I'll start with the Dairy book and Angel will continue with her review of Keeping Bees.

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Homemade Living: Home Dairy with Ashley English
All You Need to Know to Make Cheese, Yogurt, Butter & More


Like the other books in the Homemade Living series, Home Dairy is beautiful and incredibly informative, aiming to bring yet another aspect of a homemade life within easy reach of the average aspiring homesteader. Ashley covers history, techniques and equipment, and shares over 40 recipes for making all kinds of dairy goodness like cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream and body care products.

Home Dairy Review
Home Dairy Review
Home Dairy Review

The photos and design are a feast for the eyes, and the instructions and recipes are as straightforward as can be. Browsing through Home Dairy while preparing to write my review, I was seized with that same uncontrollable hunger I've felt every time I've flipped this book's pages.

I decided to make butter.

Home Dairy Review
Home Dairy Review
Home Dairy Review

It was easy, fast and delicious!! I can't wait to try some of her other recipes. I think it may be time to dust off the ice cream maker!

Last Christmas, I got my husband two essential books on cheese-making and I should have just waited for Ashley's book to come out instead. It covers all the basics and then some to tackle your dairy-making ambitions including a variety of both simple and impressive cheeses. There are even plans for a DIY cheese press! Home Dairy is a great addition to our cookbook and homesteading library.

Once again, great job Ashley! I am antsy to see what's next in the Homemade Living series!

* * *

By-Angel

Homemade Living: Keeping Bees with Ashley English
All You Need to Know to Tend Hives, Harvest Honey & More


Are you fascinated by bees? Are you moving down the ever-popular path towards self-sufficiency, and want to learn more about keeping bees on your own property (whether you live in the country or not)? Do you love looking at lovely photographs, trying new amazing recipes and learning a thing or two at the same time? Then this book is for YOU.

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Keeping Bees with Ashley English is the latest book in the Homemade Living series published by Lark, and just like the other books in the series (which I am lucky enough to also own) it is thorough without being overwhelming. Inside this beautiful book you will find information on bee culture, types of hives, what equipment you'll need, how to obtain bees, how to take care of health issues and much more!

You may not know this about me, but I'm married to a beekeeper. I know quite a bit about beekeeping as a result, and have a strong love for our bees. They are truly magical creatures! I am also a book lover, as is my husband, so we have a LOT of books about bees, and I was curious to see if Ashley had added anything new to the body of work already existing.

DSC_0521.JPG

I was not disappointed! Beekeeping information, for the most part, is universal. There are certain things that just are. Most books are very dry, with minimal photos and lackluster appearance. More technical than beautiful. Some books are beautiful, but haven't got adequate information to truly be helpful. Ashley's book covers both sides of the spectrum! Well organized, beautifully photographed and wonderfully written, this book has a permanent place in our beekeeping library.

When Lee first glanced through the book, he said thoughtfully, "Wow, Ashley really does a great job with these books!" (And coming from him, that is a high compliment!)

* * *

Giveaway:

Lark Crafts is giving away a copy of Homemade Living: Home Dairy and Homemade Living: Keeping Bees to one lucky reader. In addition to these books (and to tie things in to our generally stitch-focused blog), Jenny is throwing in a half-yard of cute yellow bee fabric. Angel will be sending the winner a small container of honey from her very own beehives.

Home Dairy Review DSC_0013

For a chance to win the books, fabric and honey, you can have up to 3 entries. Please leave a comment for each of the following things you choose to do. Make sure to include an email address.

1. Simply leave a comment.
2. "Like" Lark Crafts on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
3. Follow author Ashley English on Twitter, subscribe to her blog Small Measure or "like" Small Measure on Facebook.

Comments are now closed, thank you for participating! Comments will be open until Friday 6/10 midnight CST. No more than three comments per person please. We will draw a random winner and announce the name here over the weekend. The winner will be contacted by email. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (apologies to our international friends!). Good luck!

Congratulations to Sasha from One Rich Mother! She's the winner of Homemade Living: Home Dairy and Homemade Living: Keeping Bees by Ashley English, along with some fabric and honey from Stumbles & Stitches. We'll be in touch with you via email, Sasha.

Homemade Living winner


If you're new to Stumbles & Stitches, welcome! We hope you'll subscribe and come back. You can also "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

36 comments:

  1. Wow! What an amazing giveaway! Please give Lark Crafts a big thank you for these opportunities... as a reader I really appreciate it. *crossing my fingers that the random number generator doesn't have anything against the first post* (^:

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  2. I just learned about Ashley today and now I find this - what an awesome day! I was just about to buy the Dairy Book on Amazon - maybe I'll wait a week ;)

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  3. I am follower of both on Facebook and I follow Ashley's blog. Please enter me into the giveaway...Thanks

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  4. Awesome giveaway! The honey picture is gorgeous.

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  5. I like Lark Crafts on FB.

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  6. I like small Measure on FB.

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  7. As per usual you guys are offering up the best of the best!
    SashaBreeze(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I like Lark crafts on facebook
    SashaBreeze(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I am following Ashley on twitter.
    SashaBreeze(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. with all my sons allergies the Home Dairy book would be a great win!!

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  11. I have always wanted to learn about making cheese!!

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  12. Wow, these books look amazing! I'd love to read either of them!

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  13. And I like you on facebook, too :-)

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  14. I've already "liked" Lark crafts on Facebook... I get awesome e-mails from them now!

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  15. I just signed up to follow Ashley's blog, perusing through it and there's some awesome stuff!

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  16. I liked Ashley's FB and subscribed to her blog. Thanks!

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  17. Please enter me! I've been ogling these books on Amazon for a bit. I would love to win them!

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  18. Tammy lee bensonJune 7, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    What a great combo for books. So fun.

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  19. Have added Ashley's blog to my subscribe list. Been desperate for these books! Pipany x

    Poltiskofarm@talktalk.net

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  20. And I like Small Measure on FB too. By the way - the bee fabric is adorable! My MIL keeps bees and I keep wanting to make a quilt for her. Bee fabric is a bit hard to come by!

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  21. what a fun giveaway ladies! so much to learn

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  22. I "liked" Lark Crafts and Small Measure on fb. Would absolutely love to win the books.

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  23. I'm also following Lark Crafts and Ashley English on Twitter.

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  24. I'm following Small Measure's blog also. e-mail is deshong.connie@yahoo.com

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  25. Oh wow, the books sound and look fantastic! I'd love to win this great give away!!

    Sarah

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  26. What a great giveaway, thanks for the chance to enter! The dairy book especially looks like it would be super useful :)

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  27. And I'm following Lark Crafts on Twitter and Facebook!

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  28. what a lovely give away. I am fascinated by bees and would love to have my own hive!

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  29. I like small measure FB page

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  30. Very cool! Books look fantastic but I REALLY like the fabric. Hints about where to get it?

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  31. Liked Lark Crafts on Facebook. Great giveaway!

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