Say what you will about procrastination and how it’s something that we all need to ~rise above~, but it can be a really effective motivating tool. I mean, what? I never procrastinate, coworkers who accidentally stumbled across my blog. But let’s be realistic here. If your week is anything like mine, you are struggling to get four different deliverables out the door before Christmas, and then one of your clients is like, “Hey, how’s it going? Sooooo even though I’ve been seeing some version of this deliverable since SUMMER, I’m going to wait a week and a half until this report is due to make MASSIVE CHANGES because YAYYYY. MERRY CHRISTMAS.” And you are staying at work late and Christmas shopping has slid very far down your list of your priorities.
Or due to your job/election/XBox/dachshund farm responsibilities, Christmas just snuck up on you. Your girlfriend asks you when you’re doing your gift exchange and your mind is going, “Wait, when is Christmas? It’s-it’s in a couple of weeks right OH MY GOD IT’S SUNDAY.”
Assuming that the mother/father/girlfriend/boyfriend/friend/coworker that you are scrambling to get a gift for is crafty, I’ve got just the solution for you. In this two-part series, I’ll help you get a gift pulled together in no time.
Let’s start with books. Books are a perfect gift if selected with care, and assuming you live within a ten-mile radius of a bookstore, easy to purchase. There are so many beautifully designed craft books out there. Which do you choose? Where do you start? I’ll help you find one that’s just right. I own each of these books I’m about to recommend and love them. I’ll also tell you of my progress for each, because if your relative or friend is anything like me, they’ll wait three years to actually start a project in one of them.
This book is gorgeous. Lotta Jansdotter takes you through her design inspirations, which often come from her travels. Her inspirations are separated by season and each season features some beautiful projects to complete, like pretty tunics and scarves.
Jenny’s progress – I’ve read it. It’s sitting on my coffee table, so that’s a start. No actual projects completed.
I bought Sanae Ishida’s book when I was on vacation in Arizona earlier this year. I was having a rough time in my personal life, so her book – about how she turned to sewing after a tumultuous experience at a start-up – really resonated with me. The book is separated by seasons, and each season starts with a personal essay of Ishida’s progress in renewing her life and spirit. She then offers simple, beautifully photographed projects to complete. Sample projects include yoga pants and an origami pillow.
Jenny’s progress – I bought fabric to make the yoga pants. Four months ago.
Tilly Walnes presents simple sewing projects that increase by difficulty. Each project teaches you a different skill and she provides very crisp and easy to follow instructions for the projects. Projects include the skirt shown on the cover, comfy pajama pants, and pretty dresses.
Jenny’s progress – I’ve bought fabric for the pants and copied the patterns for the pajama pants. Four months ago.
What really drew me to this book was the fresh, contemporary projects presented within it. I probably speak for a lot of new crocheters that I get really bored of all the basic projects presented to learn a stitch. You can only make so many washcloths. Marion Madel presents scarves and hats for the beginner, all without making the effort too challenging or overwhelming.
Jenny’s progress – I haven’t made a project from this book in awhile, but I did make a scarf and attempt some of the smaller-scale projects, like the little pouches and cloche hat (which did not turn out well. Haha).
If you’re anything like me, knitting is just a different LANGUAGE. I grew up learning basic crochet stitches, but I only started knitting this year. While I enjoy it, some of the concepts are challenging. I bought this book to help me wade through some of the more head-scratching stitches. It presents easy-to-follow guides on stitches that so far has been helpful to me.
For Future Crafty Entrepreneurs
I’m reading this book now and I LOVE IT. It’s chock full of advice from intelligent, badass women who are artists, entrepreneurs, and artists. It’s been my go-to lately for inspiration.
I can go on and on, but these books are really my favorites and I think it’s a good starting point for your shopping endeavors. Let’s meet back on Friday, and I’ll help you pull together some last-minute crafty kits for your loved one. I’ve just got to go to work now. Oh, and I still need to get a Christmas gift for Boyfriend too. 🙂