‘moontree letterpress’

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Crafters, Bakers and Cooks

Monday, December 7th, 2009

For the makers in your life, few gifts are more fun than brand new supplies. While I try to use recycled materials whenever possible, there are times when new materials are a necessity (or a really fun luxury). And these fine, fine items are a real joy.

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Thick, luscious hand-dyed felt from OhMa Felt! I found OhMa on the blog of felt crafter extraordinaire Kata Golda. They provide the felt she uses in her beautiful, whimsical felt treasures. So I ordered a “Winter Pale” Combo pack and was thrilled when I opened the package. Wrapped in brown tissue paper with a sweet letterpress tag was a stack of thick, subtle felt, the likes of which I had never *felt* before. Dense and soft, not a bit itchy, and in colors as lovely as can be, I became a fan instantly. And I’m certain your recipient will feel the fandom too.

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I have long adored Purl and Purl Patchwork. The two Soho shops have superb collections of delightful fabric and yarn in every price point, color, and material. And I took a wonderful hand quilting class with my mom at Purl Patchwork and loved the experience. So what could be better than a Purl gift certificate for your favorite knitter or seamstress/seamster? They can be used online or in the stores for all of the good things they sell, or for their classes. That’s a stitchy, knitty delight.

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Cupcake kits from Bake It Pretty are a dream gift for anyone who loves to make the sweetest kind of cakes. The kits come with a selection of baking cups and cake toppers, as well as a bag of multi-colored jimmies. And I love the fact that they instruct buyers to, “Please use the memo box below for special instructions such as: ‘this kit is for a boy or girl’, ‘go heavy on the pink please’, ‘no clown-stuff because they scare me’, etc.” Any baking site that recognizes the fear of clowns, even in cake topper form, is a website after my own heart. And be sure to browse around the whole Bake It Pretty site. There is so much fun stuff on there, you’ll want to forgo the gift giving and spend all of the money onacquiring good things for your cake decorating stash instead.

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Pick up a pack of exquisitely simple letterpress recipe cards from Moontree Letterpress for your most creative cook. Give them a pretty place to jot down the secret ingredients for all of their best dishes, and they’ll most certainly reward you with something tasty in return. I love the look of all things letterpress, and Moontree is one of my absolute, all-time favorite letterpress companies. Your culinary recipient is certain to fall sway to the pressed charm as well.

And if you’ve got some change to spare in your gifting budget, treat yourself to something new for your own craft closet or kitchen cupboard. In this time of holiday madness, it’s nice to treat yourself to something soft and sweet. I’m sure that you deserve it.

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Love in the Crafternoon (and in the Library)

Friday, February 6th, 2009

In just nine short days, hearts will be all aflutter in the name of love. And you can count my heart among them, ’cause I am all about the valentines. Even during my single-est days, I still dug the sweetest of all holidays, since it’s a great excuse to make cards for all of your loved ones, not just your kissing buddies. In fact, Crafternoon was born from a valentine-making party I threw for my momma back in 2002, so of course I’ve got a soft spot for the 14th of February.

And this Sunday I’m going to be hosting my annual Love in the Crafternoon at my friend Samara’s beautiful children’s art center, The Painted Cloud. I absolutely cannot wait to get crazy with some gluesticks. But I’ve got some prep work to do! Saturday is baking-and-paper-mining day. Yes, I have to go through my stacks of delightful craft items and pull out a pile big enough to excite the crafty masses, but small enough to transport to Williamsburg. And I’ve got to make a sweet treat or two to feed my crafters. I’m thinking lemon squares might be a bright and cheery addition to a wintery weekend.

I promise to take lots of pictures, like the one at the top of this post. That’s a sweet something that my friend David made last year. I couldn’t agree with the sentiment more. Valentine’s Day is definitely not for clones, and hosting your own Crafternoon guarantees your day will be a totally unique celebration.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for inspiration, why not head to your local library and ask a librarian to pull a few cool craft books from the stacks? Last night I had the good fortune to attend the finale party for Design by the Book, a collaboration between Design Sponge and The New York Public Library. The concept of Design by the Book is this:

Step One: Bring a group of designers to the New York Public Library to have them meet with a librarian and discuss their areas of interest.

Step Two: Send the librarian off to do some research.

Step Three: Have the designers return to the library to review the books that were pulled for them.

Step Four: Send the designers off to embark on a new project using something they found in the library as their inspiration.

The results are fantastic. The collaboration was documented on video and the episodes can be seen by clicking the link above or heading to the NYPL youtube channel. Who knew the library had a youtube channel? My talented friend Rebecca Kutys of Moontree Letterpress was one of designers involved with the project, as well as the person who came up with the idea in the first place. She and the other designers came up with such incredible projects. It makes me want to go spend this whole weekend in the library, but that will have to wait. I’ve got a lot of love notes to craft.

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