Heading into the summer months isn’t usually the time I think about coziness, but since many of us are spending a larger proportion of our time close to home these days, it feels like a word that applies to the weird times in which we currently live. So I thought for this post I’d write about activities I associate with coziness, all manner of crafts & hobbies, as well as a very comforting sub-genre of mystery: the cozy. I promise I won’t dally in mysteries forever here, but this felt like the right time for this post. Mostly, because I want to introduce you to a new electronic resource: Creative Bug!

Creative Bug allows you to explore or expand your crafting practice. Because I am a knitter, I was most drawn to this section of the site and saw quickly that there was a class in entrelac knitting for me to explore. The librarian in me also saw a class in altered book making techniques that appeals to my bookishness. Whatever arts & craft discipline you’ve been wanting to explore: from baking to drawing and beyond, there is likely something for you here! So: follow the link, create an account, and check out what is available in this exciting new resource; access is free with your library card.

If electronic access to these sorts of videos isn’t quite what you are looking for: remember the JCLS collection has a wealth of craft and hobby books for you to choose from. When I am looking for materials for myself using the catalog in this part of the collection, I usually do something really simple like type the hobby into the keyword search field on the catalog and use the filtering option on the left hand side of the page to limit the results. My personal favorite way to limit results is to select book for the format and then sort the results by “date acquired.”

…and about cozy mysteries. This genre, if you are unfamiliar, if notable for its small-town settings and its amateur sleuths. Typically these mysteries don’t include the grimmer details of the murder, and the sex & violence tend to happen “off stage.” They also usually resolve neatly at the end of each book with the bad guy getting what’s coming, and come with a side order of light romance. You can see how these books can be identified with a comforting adjective like “cozy.” If you are thinking about “Murder, She Wrote,” you are on the right track. Often the sleuths are also involved in hobbies or professions that are unique… enter the crafting cozy mystery. Good news: there is even a crafty cozy series set right here in Jackson County! Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mysteries are set in Ashland, OR. Each book even includes a recipe! So, if you are stuck at home and wanting to “visit” Ashland, do it with this mystery series, which you can access at home with Library2Go OR you can place a hold and pick up at the JCLS branch of your choosing using front door service.

For your browsing pleasure, I’ve created a list with recent craft books AND some crafty cozy mysteries (including the first book in the Bakeshop Mystery series) for you to explore if you are so inclined. You can find that link HERE.

What craft or hobby do you want to develop during our current “paused” moment?