Well, it’s our last book of the week post for 2020 and I have decided to not continue with sharing a book for each week into 2021. Instead, we’ll mix it up a little bit and I’ll just share some favorites from a variety of categories, including books. I love my resource library, though, and I’m glad I shared 52 of my favorite books with you last year! It gave me an excuse to visit some old favorites and to purchase some new ones to review.
Here are the books I picked to finish out the year…
The Painted Art Journal
I love just about everything that comes from Jeanne Oliver. I bought her ruffled camera bag and some clothes from her website about 10 years ago! Since then, I have followed her creative journey and we even met up for coffee when her family was visiting Gettysburg, PA. She is not only a creative force but a great encourager and champion for other creatives. The Painted Art Journal is an extension of all of that. It is a book about creative play – about creating in an intentional way while also allowing happy accidents. I tend to have a hard time letting go and just letting things happen when I’m creating. I don’t like messes and that means I can miss out on the beauty that can be discovered when you drop your self-consciousness and just play. It’s for that reason that I love this book and it has encouraged me to get into my sketchbooks and create without expectation more often.
I’ve recently pulled it off the shelf again to revisit some of the exercises.
I bought Half Baked Harvest Super Simple not noticing that the book was written by Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest! When I got home and started looking through it, I was delighted to see that I had purchased one of her cookbooks. I have enjoyed making many of the recipes that she shares on Instagram and her website. This book is filled with wonderful, tasty recipes. Beyond that, I love studying her food styling and photography. She has an amazing talent for presenting food. So, I’ve enjoyed this book from a culinary standpoint as well as a creative one.
I made the cinnamon rolls in this book for Christmas (minus the chai flavoring) and they were the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. They were the perfect balance of sweet icing/filling and savory bread.
The Color Scheme Bible
I was introduced to The Color Scheme Bible in a Jeanne Oliver class taught by Melissa Fink. I knew it would be right up my alley and it definitely is. It’s a book for interior design specifically, but there are so many artistic and creative applications. I immediately read through it and marked pages of color palettes I liked.
Using one of the color schemes in a painting or creative project would be a great way to break out of a slump and explore new color combinations. It’s just another great resource to add to the shelf if you do a lot of design work (or you just love color!)
Encyclopedia of Sewing & Fabric Crafts
I selected Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing & Fabrics because it is another great resource if you like making things and exploring new mediums to create with. The way I like to use this book is to look for project ideas or how to do something and then I’ll make it in my own way.
As with all of Martha’s books, the photography is clean and lovely and all of the information is detailed and from professionals who really know what they are doing.
The Perfect English Farmhouse
If you like farmhouse style or primitives, you will love Perfect English Farmhouse. First of all, it’s just a beautiful book. The photography is amazing and the homes featured are unique and interesting to study. I also love that the styling is very relaxed. The homes look lived-in and not overly edited and styled for the photos. While I love a beautifully-styled photo, it’s refreshing to see the spaces are enjoyed and lived it. It gives them rooms even more soul.
I looked through this one a lot over Christmas break, enjoying the old homes vicariously through the stories about the families who live there.
So, I felt like it was the perfect book to round out the year.
If you missed the rest of the books of the week that I shared in 2020, you can find them below…
Making a Life | Martha Stewart’s Organizing | Essentialism | Slipcover Style | Daily Painting
City Farmhouse Style | A Place for Everything | Color: A Visual History | Conscious Creativity
The Life of a Bowerbird | New Americana | Making Winter | Painting Clouds & Skies in Oil
The Art of Beatrix Potter | BHG New Cookbook | Nora Murphy’s Country House Style | BHG Trade Secrets | Simply Living Well
The Art of Still Life | Cozy Minimalist Home | Creating a New Old House | Keep Going
All Along You Were Blooming | Furniture Makes the Room | On Flowers | French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings | Get Your House Right
New Farmhouse Style | Mastering Composition | Beautiful | Spruce
The Stuff of Life | Old Home Love | Beginning Drawing Atelier | BHG Decorating Book 1961
John Singer Sargent Portraits in Charcoal | Welcome Home | Great Country French Style | Arriving Home
The Organic Artist | The Beauty of Home | Inspired You | In the Mood for Colour
Landscape Painting: The Complete Guide | Pierre Deux’s French Country | Aged to Perfection | Shadow & Light