The big day is only 3 weeks away…and we’re here to help. This week on the blog we’ll be sharing food and entertaining tips to help you through the festive season.
With the biggest gift giving day of the year fast approaching (yikes it’s only just over 3 weeks away) it’s easy for panic to set in and totally ruin your budget. So let’s flip that panic and make the festive season much more merry by embracing our inner creativity and having a clever little crafty Christmas instead.
Our elves have scoured the internet for titles that we think have the most fun craft to try. So sit back, grab yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and let your imagination flow…
Weaving Within Reach by Anne Weil
The resurgence of the ’70s in fashion and home decor has brought about a new trend in crafting; weaving. Anne Weil gives macrame basket weaving, and other weaving skills a makeover with beautiful photography and styling with projects that can be made on various easily sourced looms, and even some that don’t require a loom, with just about any kind of material or fibre (including yarn, leather, and paper). The photography is light and bright, and the book’s look is a little bit bohemian. Best of all, projects are organised by time commitment (one hour, weeknight, and weeknight projects), so readers can craft at their comfort level…and you could totally finish something by Christmas!
Craft the Rainbow by Brittany Watson Jepsen
What began as an Instagram hashtag and project collection (#CrafttheRainbow) that quickly went viral has become a show stopping book, offering a rainbow of completely new project ideas. Learn how to make playful party decorations, luscious flowers, amazing cards, and sophisticated wreaths, garlands, centrepieces, and more than you can imagine, all with nothing but the creative power of paper. Sought-after designer Brittany Watson Jepsen is known for the unusually imaginative and amazingly beautiful designs she creates for her website and host of clients (including Anthropologie). In Craft the Rainbow, Jepsen walks readers through the easy basics of transforming simple paper -including tissue, crepe, cardstock, leaves of books, and vintage and recycled paper- into vibrant, fanciful, handmade projects suitable for every occasion.
Japanese Stitches Unraveled by Wendy Bernard
Japanese stitch patterns are eye-catching and much sought after by devotees, but before now, they often seemed out of reach, whether locked behind Japanese-only instructions or tangled up in difficult-to-decipher illustrations. Japanese Stitches Unraveled offers over 160 rare patterns inspired by these elusive and intricate Japanese stitch designs, along with fully illustrated charts, familiar symbols, and clear instructions for every single stitch. Each stitch pattern receives Bernard’s unique four-direction makeover-topdown, bottom-up, back-and-forth, and in-the-round. To showcase the knitting in action, Bernard also includes instructions for six garments as well as her famous formulas for knitting without a pattern.
Go on, give it a go, you know you want to.
By Hand: The Art of Modern Lettering by Nicole Miyuki Santo
In a world of screens and social media, people are constantly searching for ways to reconnect to the handmade and the authentic to add a personal spark and a beautiful look to everyday objects and occasions. The art of modern lettering is a point of connection, a way of crafting letters and words into something that delights the eyes and feeds the soul. With unique projects and an Instagram-worthy aesthetic, By Hand provides an inspirational jumping-off point for readers who want to incorporate lettering into a slower, more intentional lifestyle. Blending the aspirational and the instructional, By Hand brings the beauty of lettering beyond the page, through 30 distinct projects, from dip-dyed place cards to acrylic home furnishings. Relatable lessons introduce readers to the essentials of lettering, including tools (watercolour brushes, brush pens, and markers), fonts, and essential lessons, with the warm and welcoming approach of popular Instagram letterer Nicole Miyuki Santo. Encouraging lessons sprinkled throughout the book add a touch of mindfulness, while bright, airy photography and step-by-step lettered samples make this lovely volume a stunning approach to an on-trend pastime.
Discover a fresh, new take on the traditional craft of macrame, a craft that was incredibly popular in the seventies, is currently enjoying a renaissance. Macrame projects are the best way to bring the current trend for hippy luxe, boho interiors into your home (oh and for other people too…sorry totally forgot we are thinking of crafting presents for other people!) Macrame for Beginners includes very on trend macrame projects for inside and outside the home. You can choose from 12 different projects with an ‘easy’ and ‘more advanced’ version for each so you can develop your skills as you go. Learn all the basic macrame knots with the knot tutorial library so you can get started with your favourite projects whether it’s the ubiquitous hanging plant holder or a statement arch for the garden or a doorway.
The Flower Expert by Fleur McHarg
Flowers are a beautiful gift to receive. Fleur McHarg is a florist in the true, traditional sense of the word. Guided by the eternal wisdom of Constance Spry, the trailblazing early 20th century British florist, Fleur believes in letting flowers be the stars of the show by working with the natural shape of a flower or branch. When it comes to beauty, you can’t beat nature – but you can learn how to showcase it for startling impact. The Flower Expert is a stunning celebration of Fleur’s artistry and her ability to fuse modern and classic to create a style that suits each occasion.
So much craft…so little time.
This is a must watch for all of those looking for creative inspiration. Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing — which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.
With only 5 weeks until Christmas (oh yes, you read that right!), time is ticking to ensure your gifts reach family and friends who live overseas. But fear not, we are here to help.
If you fancy purchasing a book, DVD or board game as a gift for someone living abroad, Booko has some clever functionality where you can purchase in their local currency and the gift gets shipped directly to the recipient. How great is that!
Here’s what you do:
First off, jump online to Booko.
In the top right hand corner, there will be a flag (it’s usually your local country flag). Click on this and all the countries that Booko works with will appear. Select the country flag that you want to send your gift to. What’s great is that when you choose a different country, both the shipping charges and times are specific to that country (so it’s easy to make sure your gift will make it in time).
Let’s have a look at an example…
In the screen shot above we have selected the USA. From here, we will have a range of online booksellers that we can purchase from, just like you do when shopping in your local country on Booko. All prices and delivery charges have now been converted to USD. We can also see the shipping times involved.
We decided to purchase this book from Amazon UK, which is based in the UK but ships globally. Because it is getting close to Christmas, you may want to choose a book retailer that has speedy shipping times. It makes sense to get the book delivered directly to your family and friends, it saves on postage costs, postage times and it gives you greater security that it will arrive before the big fellow in the red suit!
Do remember that when shopping online it is important to keep in mind the delivery dates for the country you are sending to. We’ve made a handy little table to help you with this.
Last Order Dates for Christmas (using standard delivery)
|Shop||To AUS||To NZ||To US||To UK|
|Amazon AU||13 Dec (Country)
19 Dec (Metro)
|Amazon CA||14 Dec||14 Dec||14 Dec||14 Dec|
|Amazon UK||21 Dec|
|Angus & Robertson||TBC|
|Book Depository (dispatched from AU)||23 Nov – 12 Dec (Country)
10-13 Dec (Metro)
|5 Dec||5 Dec||5 Dec|
|Book Depository (dispatched from UK)||10 Dec||5 Dec||10 Dec||17 Dec|
|Booktopia||13 Dec (Country)
17 Dec (Metro)
|Wordery||10 Dec||10 Dec||14 Dec||17 Dec|
Some stores have express delivery or even same-day delivery options; these details and further country information can be found by clicking on the store name.
(Just a little fine print…Booko cannot take responsibility for deliveries which do not arrive by Christmas so please check the delivery estimates when ordering).
Finally, if you end up missing the postie completely and there’s no way a book, board game or DVD is going to arrive in time, then you always have the option of sending a gift voucher from one of the book stores. Gift vouchers are emailed directly to your recipient…which means you can sit back and pat yourself on the back for being clever this Christmas.
Ho Ho Ho.
Writer Pico Iyer discusses the meaning of home, the joy of traveling and the serenity of standing still in a time when more and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own.