2014 Gift Guide | Books

We're kicking off our gift guides this week—starting with books we love. From arts and crafts to kids; here's a few books that have come across our radar just in time for the holidays!

Arts and Crafts

Art Inc.
The Essential Guide for Building your Career as an Artist
by Lisa Congdon
(Chronicle Books)

A practical guide revealing the many ways you can earn a living by making art —through illustration, licensing, fine art sales, print sales, teaching, and beyond by professional artist, Lisa Congdon.  Includes industry advice from successful art-world pros such as Paula Scher, Nikki McClure, Mark Hearld and more.  Edited by Meg Mateo Ilasco.  More info here.

Make It Mighty Ugly
Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When it Ain't Pretty
by Kim Piper Werker
(Sasquatch Books)

Fight off creative demons, self doubt, perfectionism, fear of failure, creativity blocks and procrastination with this book which offers up a multi-pronged approach o kick-starting creativity through inspiring essays, exercises, and tips, plus sage advice from all over the creative spectrum. Click here for more info.

Make & Give
Simple and Modern Crafts to Brighten Every Day
by Steph Hung, Erin Jang
Roost Books

A fun book with original ideas for making and giving gifts. Covering a wide range of techniques, from simple prints and sewing to paper cutting and painting, both beginner and advanced crafters will find something to create. Perfect for creating things for the holiday season.

Pretty Packages
45 Creative Gift-Wrapping Projects
by Sally Shim
(Chronicle Books)

Get inspired by packaging maven, Sally J. Shim who offers countless inventive ideas for personalizing gifts in simple, yet unique ways.  Perfect for the holiday season ahead.  Click here for more info.

Knit It!
Learn the Basics and Knit 22 Beautiful Projects
by Melissa Leapman
(Chronicle Books)

Learn the fundamental techniques and basic stitches to knit gorgeous projects, starting with the 22 stylish pieces in his book by Melissa Leapman.  Click here for more info.


Create The Style You Crave
The Sweet Spot Guide to Home Decor

While filled with visual eye candy, Create The Style You Crave explores how creatively expressing yourself in your home and garden helps you create the life you really want to live. A unique and hip home décor style guide where you'll find inspiration to explore your own sense of style, discover the essence of what makes your home feel good to you, and learn how to mix vintage, modern, and thrift store finds to create the eclectic look you crave on a budget you can afford. More info here.

Sarah Style
by Sarah Richardson

One of Canada's favorite designers shares inspiring room-by-room advice for designing the perfect home. More info here.

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade
HomePainting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space
by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

More info here.

Saarinen Houses
Jari Jetsonen and Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen

The first book about Eliel and Eero Saarinen's residential work, Saarinen Houses presents seventeen remarkable houses built over a span of six decades in Finland and the United States. From Eliel early twentieth-century Villa Pulkanranta—an eclectic of local Finnish design traditions and international influences—to Eero's Miller House, one of the most significant examples of modern domestic architecture in the U.S. (each project features original drawings and archival photos as well as new interior and exterior shots.  For more info visit Princeton Architectural Press.

Elements of Style
Designing a Home & a Life
by Erin Gates

An inspirational book from Boston Interior Designer and blogger,  Erin Gates which offers a uniquely personal and practical decorating guide organized by rooms in the house, and includes an extensive resource and shopping guide. Click here for more info.


Lomelino's Cakes
27 Pretty Cakes to Make Any Day Special
by Linda Lomelino
Roost Books

Be inspired to layer your cakes with fresh fruit, top with fresh flowers, slather with buttercreams, and even play with color, ombre style.

Plenty More
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Random House

The hotly anticipated follow-up to world-renowned Chef Yotam Ottolenghi''s bestselling and award-winning cookbook, Plenty, featuring 120 vegetarian dishes organized by cooking method.


The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Japanese art of Decluttering and Organizing
by Marie Kondo
(Penguin/Random House)

Japanese organizational consultant, Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level in this practical yet philosophical approach. Using her KonMari Method, a category-by-category technique to efficient tidying, this is a perfect book to motivate reader tos clear their clutter and enjoy the magic of a tidy home. Click here for more info.

The Chef Says
Quotes, Quips and Words of Wisdom
Compiled and edited by Nach Waxman and Matt Sartwell
(Princeton Architectural Press)

In Princeton Architectural Press' latest "Words of Wisdom" book series, The Chef Says is like an invitation to the ultimate food lover's dinner party, where cooks from ancient Greece rub shoulders with today's rising stars offering up advice, and wisdom in this handy little conversational book. A book that will captivate anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen, been inspired by a flawlessly ripe tomato, or resolved a crisis by adding more butter. Click here for more info.

Lost in Translation
An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
by Ella Frances Sanders
(Ten Speed Press)

An artistic collection of more than 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English.  For example, did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there's a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest?  Lost in Translation shows us how language impacts our understanding of the world and affirms our collective humanity.  Click here for more info.

940 Saturdays
Family Activities & a Keepsake Journal
by Harley A. Rotbart, MD

There are 940 Saturdays between a child's birth and the day he or she turns eighteen. This book encourages parents to journal each Saturday which also includes a removable booklet with a thousand ideas for family activities for every age. A perfect keepsake for preserving what you saw and did. Click here for more info.


Adventure Time Crafts
Flippin' Adorable Stuff to Mke from the Land of OOO

Fans of Cartoon Network's top-rated show will go nuts for these DIY projects featuring the strange yet lovable characters of Adventure Time as you've never seen them before —stitched, stuffed, bedazzled, and even crocheted.  This book brings together 20 projects to make at home including Finn's iconic hat as well as jewelry, toys, home decor, costumes and accessories.  Click here for more info.

Mix It Up!
Herve Tullet

The eagerly anticipated follow up to the New York Times Bestseller, Press Here, author Herve Tullet brings the same sense of wonder and possibility to the alchemy of mixing and creating colours.  Follow the artist's simple instructions and see colours appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered by the young reader's imagination.  Click here for more info.

Jan Halvarson


Coco Cake Land said...

940 saturdays ... oh my gad. that made me sad thinking about it! although that is almost 1000 saturdays ... still, you imagine it to be endless... oh time, you cruel mistress!! PS - love that Lomelino's Cakes book, I have a giveaway for it on my blog right now! :) (Make + Give is so cute, too!)

great list, jan!

Jan Halvarson said...

Lyndsay - yes how time flies!

amy - fieldtrip said...

such a great list of books jan - i want several of them :)!

Jan Halvarson said...

Thanks Amy!