December 7, 2010

"Happy Haul-idays" from Chronicle Books

Now, I know that the point of the holiday season isn't to see how big of a "haul" of presents you can get... but when one of my favorite publishers offers a giveaway like this, it's not possible to turn down.

Here's the deal: I sort through the massively huge list of drool-worthy books & crafty items on Chronicle's website, and choose $500 worth of products. Then I put up this blogpost and link to it here. All you have to do? Comment on this post, and if I win, you win too. Sounds good, right? That's what I thought too :)

So here I go... my ultimate wish-list of $500 worth of products from Chronicle Books:

For Crafting

  • Amy Butler's Style Stitches — $29.95 — I am fully addicted to making bags, as I'm sure my dear husband has learned over the last few years. So how could I possibly turn down a brand-new book from the lovely & talented Amy Butler? Even better, this book is designed to give the reader basic patterns which we then take and tweak to make it perfect just for us. Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot!
  • Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living — $29.95 — Confession: I am also addicted to Lotta Jansdotter. Not just to her books, but to her ideas, her sketches, her notecards, and everything she does as far as crafting goes. And the fact that this book includes recipe cards with classic Swedish dishes? It's almost too much of a good thing.
  • Whip Up Mini Quilts — $24.95 — I've always been intrigued by the idea of mini quilts, especially since Crazy Mom Quilts started talking about them a few years back (and especially when she posted about her liberty mini quilt). I have yet to try my hand at them, but maybe this book would give me the push that I need.
  • Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones — $24.95 — This book has been on my wish list for so long that I was having a hard time remembering if I already own it or if I just wish I did. Of course, with no kids of my own (yet), I really don't have the "need" to own a book on how to make little-people clothes (as the amazing Carolyn calls them), but since when does a crafting "want" have to be a "need"? ;)
  • The Pillow Book — $24.95 — Since Ember has a habit of claiming every pillow in our house, we can officially never have too many pillows, since one or more are always covered in dog hair. And every sewer worth her salt (where did that phrase come from, anyways?) knows that the easiest (and cheapest) way to redecorate is to throw a few new splashes of color around the room with new pillows. Yet another reason why you can never have too many pillows.
  • D.I.Y. (Design It Yourself) Deck: 25 Ways to Design Your World — $16.95 — I love the idea of this deck -- 25 projects that can change your wardrobe, your decor, and your house, all while teaching you the unique DIY style that so many of us have come to love.

For Someday

  • My Future Listography — $16.95 — isn't this the perfect follow-up to my 101 in 1001 Days goal? I can start my new list (see #101: on day 1001, publish a new 101 Things to do in 1001 Days list) in here, while admiring the beautiful artwork of the talented Nathaniel Russell.
  • Lotta Jansdotter Stencils — $24.95 — I've always been impressed by the intricate designs that can be created simply by stenciling a design on walls, and what a difference it makes in a room. This book could seriously come in handy when brainstorming ideas for a blank wall in a house that we actually own (someday).
  • Dorm Decor — $19.95 — Who doesn't love oversized pillows & stylish bulletin boards for inspiration? This how-to book on creating all of the most fashionable dorm decor will prove useful when I have a craft studio/room/corner to decorate (again, someday...).
  • Girl's World — $24.95 — This book is full to the brim with girly eye-candy that I'm sure so many young girls would love. I have a few girls who I consider "mine" until I have my own, and it would be so fun to design things for them out of this book.

For Organization

  • Lotta Jansdotter Notes & To Do's — $12.95 — With 50 sheets of colorful notepaper and 375 sticky notes, all decorated with Lotta's unique style (see above: addiction to Lotta Jansdotter), there's no chance of me forgetting anything in 2011 with this set by my side.
  • 2011 Moleskine - Color a Month Daily Planner — $40 — I'm always needing notebooks to write things down in, and now, thanks to my mentor and the beautiful notebook she gave me, I'm becoming more & more dependent on having a notebook with me at all times. But between my notebooks, my brain, and my phone, I often have so many different schedules going at the same time that having one place to write it all down would be a lifesaver. Now the real question is, would I remember to switch it out every month?
  • Sukie's Noteblock — $14.95 — These noteblocks are so cute, and ever practical (see above: the necessity of having a notepad or paper available at all times).
  • Pocket Moleskine Volant Address Book Dark Pink — $8.95 — I think we currently have about three address books rattling around in drawers in the apartment, which is quite possible three too many, but until I figure out an easy way to maintain all of our family & friend's addresses and contact info where both Ryan & I can access it without having to turn on a computer, I need just one more so I can organize the rest. Perhaps this one will do the trick. (And, with the bright pink color, my chances of misplacing it like I have the other three, decreases significantly!)

For Traveling

  • Moleskine City Notebook: Stockholm — $17.95 — I do realize that it's December, but somewhere in my brain, it's still summer, and I just returned from my ever-so-short-but-amazing trip to Sweden. I mean, really, is it really almost 2011?? In any case, regardless of what month it is, I would have loved to have this moleskine with me for our one day in Stockholm, if for no other reason than to write down every single memory on the plane while flying home the next morning. Maybe the maps will job my memory enough to fill these pages five months later.
  • Moleskine City Notebook: New York — $17.95 — It's no secret to anyone who has spent much time with me that I'm 100% in love with New York City. I spent a grand total of six weeks there in the summer of 2006, and have dreamed of returning ever since (actually, it's another item on my list!). So this notebook could do one of two things: It could motivate me enough to start planning another trip that will come to fruition in the near future, or it could cause me to miss New York even more. I'm thinking it just might be worth it.
  • Moleskine City Notebook: San Francisco — $17.95 — How could I leave my very own beautiful city out of the mix when considering these travel moleskines? There is so much of San Francisco that I have yet to discover -- perhaps this notebook will help me do just that.

For Everything Else

  • Garden Anywhere — $24.95 — This book would normally be on the "For the Future" list, but since it's titled Garden Anywhere, I'm assuming that includes our 1000 square foot apartment with south-facing (and therefore sun-catching) balcony. The possibilities are endless!
  • Crafty Stickers — $10.95 — These stickers deserve to be on the list for no other reason than the fact that they are incredibly adorable. Enough said? I think so.
  • Dots & Jots Mix and Match Gift Bags — $9.95 — I'm deeming these highly necessary due to the fact that every time I go to grab a non-Christmas gift bag from our wrapping paper cupboard, I spend 10 minutes contemplating the fact that we don't actually have more than one or two non-Christmas gift bags, and definitely none that are appropriate for a 3-year-old's birthday party or Father's Day (note: I think currently we have one solid purple bag and one purple and green bag with a picture of a puppy on the front. See what I mean?) Therefore, this adorable grouping of bags and tags definitely need to be on my list.
  • Lotta Jansdotter Notecard Book — $15.95 — Now don't laugh at me. Yes, I realize this is the fifth Lotta Jansdotter item in my list, but hey -- I did tell you from the beginning that I'm thoroughly addicted. If you don't like it, you can move along. ;) These notecards display some of Lotta's unique drawing style, and might be the perfect thing to get me motivated as far as #98 (write 5 letters (a real, handwritten, old-fashioned, paper, envelope, and stamps, letter) to a friend or family member (Christmas cards don't count) ) on my list goes. Besides, you can never have enough pretty notepaper.
  • Everyday Celebrations — $24.95 — I'm big on spending as much time as possible with the people I love, and so I immediately loved the premise of this book: The closeness of family, the beauty of the seasons, laughter among friends, the festivity of a shared meal—why wait for the holidays to count our blessings and mark them by rejoicing? With both crafting and food recipes, this book combines everything I love about entertaining and spending time with family and friends.
  • Haven: Cozy Hideaways and Dream Retreats — $35 — My home is my haven, namely because of my husband, who makes wherever I am feel like home, but also because of the treasures we've surrounded ourselves with. Not expensive treasures, mind you, but things that are sentimental or special to us. I'm always looking for ways to make our apartment feel more "homey" and relaxing, and this book looks just about perfect.
  • Cath Kidston Masking Tape: Red Stars — $8.95 — One of the latest fads is decorative masking tape, and while I have to say that I didn't quite understand the attraction at first, I definitely understand it now! Who wouldn't want to wrap their Christmas presents in beautiful tape such as this? So many possibilities... so little time!

That rings me up to $499.90, which means my wish list has to come to an end. Not bad, I say. Not bad at all :) So, what are your favorites? Or go explore the catalog for yourself and report back on your findings. Who knows, you may just persuade me to change some of mine! I hope your Christmas season has already been just as blessed as mine has, and that all of your window-shopping (either cyber or glass) has been just as fun!

December 1, 2010


today was a "twofer" day as far as checking things off of my list goes, which is a great accomplishment considering until today i'd only finished 2 of the items in two months!

< sidenote > i think i kind of screwed myself over by making so many of the items multi-step tasks... it means that i really have closer to 500+ things to do instead of 101. oh well. i've always been an overachiever i guess :) < / sidenote >

in any case... we officially switched our cable and internet today. minor detail... we're not sure if it's going to work with our current tivo subscription, which is a bummer, but we'll find out more tomorrow.

i also participated in Pay it Forward Day today and purchased the person's coffee who was behind me in the drive-through window at Starbucks. it was a fun thing to do, but the funny thing is, i really wanted to see the person's reaction! i want to know what ended up happening -- did they pay for the person's drink behind them and keep the "pay it forward" sensation going?

in any case, it was a nice feeling to check two items off of the list today! here's hoping i can get more accomplished soon. for now, it's off to bed. it's been a busy week, and there's another long day ahead of me tomorrow. g'night all!