April DIY + Business Book Club – 2015

April DIY and business book club on Dear Handmade LifeA few years ago Delilah and I heard Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh speak at Alt Summit and we were blown away. Sagmeister, a New York based designer shared pieces of his art exhibit/documentary The Happy Show about his search to “increase his happiness via mediation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals”.  One moment we were laughing and the next we (actually I think it was just me) were crying as the emotion of grappling with the common universal desire to be truly happy hit home.

After Stefan’s keynote we were lucky enough to run into him (and his lovely lady friend) at a party. He was just as rad as we chatted him up while waiting in line for a free glass of wine and a snack as we hoped he’d be when we saw him mesmerizing an audience of 500 people a few hours before. I could write for pages and pages about how inspirational his innovative work is. Whether it’s a film, advertising campaign, work of art or design piece, Stefan is awesome at creating something beautiful that also makes you think/question your life as you know it.

We’re beyond excited to feature his book Things I Have Learned along with four others in our Dear Handmade Life April DIY + Business Book Club. Stefan is in good company with Improv Sewing by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut, Hand Printing from Nature by Laura Bethmann, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction by Christine Haynes and Unconventional and Unexpected American Quilts Below the Radar by Roderick Kiracofe. Good news for you… we’re giving 4 of these away!

-Nicole S.

To enter the contest:

If you want to win 4 of these books: Unconventional & Unexpected, The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction, Hand Printing from Nature, and Improv Sewing, just leave a comment on this post letting us about a creative person that inspires you. Post your comment by May 1st at midnight to be entered to win. Make sure to include your email address so we can get your address and ship you some lovely things to read.

The contest is now closed. Congrats Tess!

April DIY and business book club on Dear Handmade Life April DIY and business book club on Dear Handmade Life April DIY and business book club on Dear Handmade Life April DIY and business book club on Dear Handmade Life



  1. I am always inspired by the many blogs I read. I would have to say Ali Edwards is my favorite actapbooking inspiration.

  2. Dame Darcy has been my muse for a long time: comic book artist/banjo & saw player/Palm reader/doll maker/fine artist/public access TV show host, etc. and she’s a very weird person too 😉

  3. Im incredibly inspired by both Nicole and Delilah. It’s amazing to see 2 creative women come together and create such a heartfelt and meaning business. You ladies rock my socks off and Im glad to know you.

  4. I know the question asked for one person, but I have two. (I know, such a rules breaker, I am!). The first is a darling woman named Glenda Westerfield. We went to law school together, and she was the most amazing writer and witty provocateur. She brings all of her creative wonderful to work as an advocate on behalf of others. The second is Sonya Renee Taylor, author of “The Body Is Not An Apology,” the poem, and founder of the radical self-love and body shame-ending movement and website by the same name. These ladies use their creative spirits to paint the world beautiful, and to make it safe for others to do the same.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever said that to either of them. Now, I will. Thanks for this question!

  5. Austin Kleon inspires me. I love both of his books: Show Your Work and Steal Like An Artist.
    The ideas are bite sized, and they charge you up for creating!
    I love that he shares so much of what he does too.
    All around awesome guy!

  6. My cousin Jade is always crafting something new and bright and creative. She inspires me to bake more and to get out the sewing machine!

  7. I am inspired every time I meet someone who loves what they do, even if it is not lucrative or prestigious. I am inspired when they took a leap of faith and it worked out! I am inspired by people that live by their own rules.

  8. I am super inspired by Lisa Cherry…. The owner extraordinaire of The Makery . I obviously love all the classes she puts on but I think its her love and genuine interest in all things creative and crafty and DIY that inspires me the most. Seriously… for all who have not met her I can not explain enough how contagious her creative energy is and not just for adults but kids too. Her support of the creative community and The Boss Ladies Group… The Makery is now attached to her hubby’s record store. She has created a raised bed for planting your creative seeds… a place where you feel excited to grow all your creative roots….

  9. My friend and teacher, Chiong-Yiao Chen inspires me. She is a talented, giving artist who is both caring and encoraging!

  10. I am lucky to have a lot of inspiring creative people in my life – my husband is a musician and sign maker, one brother is a chef, another brother is a graphic designer, sister in law a videographer, dad is a carpenter, grandma, mom, and I are all sewists and quilters, and I have several very crafty girlfriends. Artists all!

  11. My MOM is my biggest crafting inspiration. The one who make the tin man costume decades ago, the peach colored blazer for the color guard instructor, and so many many more. A current prolific quilter, she is diligent and fearless to try new things and doesn’t let a craft or fabric stop her. Thanks Mom for being an inspiration to me. (and she got a bit of it from her mom too!)

    Love the books in this post also – such a great variety and so interesting….

  12. Gwen Marston is a quilter and fabric artist who inspires me—she invented a “liberated” approach to quilting, which is fantastic. The book Unconventional and Unexpected reminds me of her imaginative and innovative approach to quiltmaking.

  13. I am always inspired by children! I teach art classes and the joy, creativity, and ways of seeing is so awesome. Most children create with little inhibition and just run with ideas, while many adults who start similar projects get stuck because they think they are doing it “wrong” or they are embarrassed. Free your mind and just make art.

  14. My quilt teacher, Mindy Gonzales, inspires me all the time. Not only is she a fantastic teacher, but she is patient and comes up with creative fixes to her students quilting problems. She is also an accomplished knitter and does lots of different types of handwork. Besides that she has wonderful taste. She goes to lots of estate sales and can find the one item in a house that is valuable that most people would overlook. In short, she is a constant inspiration to me!

  15. Most recently, I am inspired by Euka Holmes. (https://www.ekuaholmes.com). I came across her work in a Google Doodle. The way she uses color, pattern and shapes in her illustrations to convey the emotion of the subject matter is intricate and beautiful.

  16. I am inspired by my friend Trish who is like a “Jackie of all trades.”. She can sew amazing purses from dresses, bake delightful cloud cookies, grow organic foods, and drums up new ways to make party hats! Her spirit to be have fun to be creatives always inspires me togo out and create, too!

  17. My mom is my inspiration…she is an avid quilter and her sense of pattern and color seeps into every part of her life. She is an artist with nearly everything she does, from her quilts to her garden, to her home- even her “junk drawer” is lovely and interesting and I’m still hoping that her genes will awaken in me.

  18. I love all things Martha, but after I read a fantastic article about American Giant founder Bayard Winthrop, I am more inspired to continue being a part of everything that is great, and “Made in the USA”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.