Get to Know the Alachua Staff - Hobbies Edition

Welcome back to Alachua’s ‘Get to Know Alachua Staff’ blog. This week’s edition will cover your friendly library staff’s favorite hobbies. Below you’ll find what each staff member loves to do in their free time along with resources to check out if you’re interested in picking up a new hobby.

cross stitch

Mrs. Tracey’s favorite hobbies include cross-stitching, reading, and playing with her dogs. Cross-stitching is a new hobby but she finds it a very relaxing craft that keeps her hands and mind busy.

Find great cross-stitching books in our catalog.


In her spare time, Ms. Lisa’s favorite hobby is to hike. She enjoys visiting the local nature trails and parks to get her weekly exercise in. North Central Florida has many beautiful areas to explore. Hiking is a great way to be outdoors while burning calories.

Check out our books on Florida trails and specifically the following items Lisa recommends.

Hiking the Florida trail : 1,100 miles, 78 days, two pairs of boots, and one heck of an adventure by Johnny Molloy 

Hiking the Gulf Coast : a guide to the area's greatest hiking adventures by Joe Cuhaj

Gainesville & Ocala : your guide to the area's most beautiful hikes by Sandra Friend


Mr. John’s favorite thing to do in his time off is to go hiking in the Appalachian Mountains. A nice hike to do is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One can hike to the top of Clingmans Dome observation tower to see spectacular views of the mountains. These pictures were taken in October at 7:00 am in the morning. I highly recommend nature lovers visit Clingmans Dome sometime in your life. 

Here are some titles on hiking.

sewing, masks

Mrs. Jessica is very crafty. In her spare time she does a lot of sewing. Lately, she’s been making face masks!

Check out some of these titles on sewing.


One hobby that, Ms. Jordyn, decided to take up during quarantine was painting. She found some great step-by-step guides online that really helped. She says, “It feels great to complete a painting and know that I created it, but it can also be frustrating getting to that point because I am a perfectionist and want it to be exactly right!”

Check out step-by-step classes on Creativebug or materials from our catalog. Creativebug is a free resource with your library card.

wood workingwood working

Pat helps her husband, Joe, build custom furniture for their family.  She says she enjoys going to the mill to pick out the best red oak that they can find.

When Pat was in high school, she learned how to tool leathercraft kits such as purses, belts, and wallets.  She kept the tools, and it’s a hobby that she picks up now and again.

When she married Joe, a master woodworker, he said, “Why don’t we combine our hobbies and build some custom furniture?”

Through the years, people have asked them to go into business, but Joe says, “That would take all the fun out of it.”

Pat says they design their projects together and usually do their best work on a napkin when they dine out.

Most, but not all, of the designs are southwestern-style.  Pat has helped her husband build beds, including a Murphy bed, dressers, night-stands, tables, chessboards, entertainment centers, shelves, and three cribs that turn into toddler beds and regular double beds for their three grandsons.

Interested to learn more about building furniture or tooling leathercraft?  Check-out these books recommended by Pat herself.

Shaker Furniture: The Complete Updated & Improved Classic by Tom Moser

Furniture Makeovers Simple Techniques for Transforming Furniture with Paint, Stains, Paper Stencils and More by Barbara Blair

Design Secrets Furniture: 50 Real-Life Projects Uncovered by Laurel Saville

The Furniture Bible by Christophe Pourmy

Leathercraft for Beginners: With Easy-to-do-Projects by Ross C. Cramlet

Leathercrafts by Geoffrey Franklin and Valerie Schafer Franklin


Mr. Richard loves to garden because it relaxes him and keeps him connected to nature.  He says, “Seeing the results of my efforts is very satisfying. Even at my age, I am still amazed at how so many different types of plants all begin with a little seed.”

Check out these materials on gardening in Florida.