LC1It's a good day when the book you pre-ordered a month or so ago lands on your desk, a good day indeed. I had been waiting (not so) patiently for Lena Corwin's Made By Hand for a little while, hoping it would make its way across the seas in time for me to put together one of the projects as a Christmas gift for my nieces. I try to make their presents each year, or give them a vintage keepsake - they get so much stuff already, are beautifully spoilt with books and toys, that I like to keep it simple.

Lena's work is kind of amazing. I've been reading her blog for a while now, and following along with the range of projects she takes on. She is prolific and endlessly creative and manages to make such detailed, crafted beauties that feel both raw and refined - never overdone or cluttered. Her work feels delicate and whimsical but strong and bold at the same time.

LC3LC5Made By hand is her bit of curation - a whole book of projects by friends and artists that I happily spent last Sunday morning pouring through. From Caitlin Moicun, Erin Considine and Jaime Rugh to Emily Eibel and Ilana Kohn, the whole thing is bursting with beautiful and inspiring ideas - some traditional, some intricate and some challenging. The photography is from Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes, so of course I loved every still. There are detailed instructions and step-by-step images on beautiful crisp white pages, and I was pleased to find a few how-to videos on the website too, for good measure.

I plan to tackle Jaime Rugh's woven placemats for the girls' Christmas present, and maybe even Cal Patch's braided rugs and Erin Considine's coiled bowls in the new year if all goes well...LC2* All images by MAV and SCB for Lena Corwin.