I don't know about you guys but I am really starting to get into the festive spirit. I've been wrapping gifts, writing cards, listening to some of my favourite Christmas songs while I've been working and watching lots of cheesy made-for-TV Christmas movies.
So I am definitely in the mood for today's book review: A Swedish Christmas: Simple Scandinavian Crafts, Recipes and Decorations by Caroline Wendt & Pernilla Wastberg.
There is lots of festive goodness inside this book, which is translated from the original Swedish.
It's a nice hardback, with lovely matte paper pages and pretty polkadot end papers...
... and lots of lovely photos! (I also love the handwritten-look of that font).
In an age when craft books have to compete with a vast sea of free
online content found on blogs and via Pinterest, this stuff is very important, I think! A book that's nicely designed from
cover to cover and is a pleasure to hold in your hands and look at =
something print-outs from blogs just can't match.
There are lots of different projects / festive crafting ideas crammed into the book's 128 pages - 60 by my count, although that does include some variations. They're divided into five chapters: Enjoy the Festive Feast!, Time to Relax, December in Bloom, Around the Christmas Tree, & The Great Outdoors!
Lots of different crafts are included in the book, e.g: baking, stenciling, crochet, knitting, sewing and flower arranging. There are lots of different materials used too - fabric and yarn, of course, but also moss, tin cans, beads, wire, nail polish and even (in the case of this rather cool gingerbread man pot stand) cement!
As you'd expect from a book with so many project ideas, lots of the projects are quite simple with just a few steps of instructions... though there are a few with more detailed instructions, like the ones involving knitting and crochet.
But craft projects don't need to be complicated to be good ideas and fun to make! I particularly love this idea for creating a "Christmas tree" from an arrangement of pine branches and baubles:
These little elf cocktail sticks are also seriously cute!
There are a definitely projects in here that I am never going to make - I am, for example, never going to cover a stool with moss to use it as a garden ornament, and I am not going to make a bird feeder from a heart-shaped arrangement of red apples.
But there are lots of things I really want to try, like these awesome knitted plant pot covers (which I think would make great additions to plants you're giving as gifts but would also be a fab way to add some "winter cheer" to your space without having "Christmas" stuff everywhere)...
... these pretty, wrapped home-baked candy bars...
... and these lovely little ice lanterns (though I'm not sure how long they'd last in the not-always-that-cold English winter?)
Overall, I think this is a really nice book with a good mix of quick and more complex projects, lots of different crafts to choose from and a "something for everyone" style that ranges from cute to stylish, and from quirky & fun to traditional.
A Swedish Christmas: Simple Scandinavian Crafts, Recipes and Decorations by Caroline Wendt & Pernilla Wastberg is published by Floris Books. RRP £14.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops. You can also get 20% off copies bought directly from Floris Books with the discount code LUPIN13 (discount expires 31st December 2013)
[Disclaimer: Floris Books sent me a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]