I just got my advance copy of Simple Gifts and after a long, long, looonnnggggg journey, I have to tell you…
It's gorgeous! Since you can only see pictures of the cover, let me tell you a little about the physical book. It's 160 pages of full-color goodness (the talented Gregg Snodgrass took the photos and Michaela Murphy lent her talents as stylist and model; she really is a good woman to know). The matte-laminated hardcover has spot lamination over the title and the paper stock is thick and yummy. The book feels as good as it looks, which is saying something.
The book has a long history, which I won't go into. But it was originally conceived as an illustrated book and when Voyageur Press decided to publish it, it became a book with loads of photography. Which meant I had to make all 50 projects look really faboo for the photo shoot. I can't even tell you all the random places I had to pick up materials, tools, and props but I will say that the men at Home Depot readily helped me cut down a slab of pine so I could make a kick-ass tool box (it may have helped that I was wearing a dress).
The reason that the materials were so random is that the book is chockablock with projects for everyone on your list—mom, grandpa, newborns, kids, pets, hostesses, co-workers, significant others, and anyone you really, really like—and they range from easy and quick to "Hi, can I borrow your table saw?" The projects assume you're a beginner and walk you through knitting, sewing, felting, candle-making, wood-working, hammering, embroidering, book-binding, papier mâché, découpage, cooking, baking, and everything in between. And, heck, if you don't make anything else in the book, the salted caramel recipe is worth the $20 by itself (but with 50 crafts, each project only costs 40 cents!).
I'll be sharing more about Simple Gifts as the books roll in and events get scheduled, but I had to gush a little (and let you know that you can preorder your copy now). I'm always a bit giddy whenever the first real advance arrives.