October DIY + Business Book Club + Giveaway

october-diy-business-book-club-dear-handmade-lifeWhen I was in high school, my friends and I pushed against anything that was popular. We were the weird artsy group of girls that wanted to be unique in a sea of striped rugby shirts, cuffed pale blue jeans and braided leather belts. We relished in our thrift store finds like vintage 1960s dresses, men’s polyester trousers and screen printed t-shirts with sayings like: ‘”Virginia is for lovers” or “If you lead a good life, say your prayers and go to church, when you die, you’ll go to Texas.” When big brands starting coopting our ‘cool’ and making new versions of the vintage clothing we spent hours and hours hunting for, we started wearing even weirder things in hopes that they were so different that no one else would want to wear them.

It wasn’t just what we wore. This philosophy of seeking out the out-of-the-ordinary-things spread into the things we did, what we listened to and what we read. Best sellers were completely off the list. If everyone liked it, then it was already passé in our eyes.

Now, that I’m approaching 40 and juggling all the joyful responsibilities of adulthood like scheduling bi-weekly Costco trips for a good deal on toilet paper and paying the bills on time, I don’t have the same time and energy I had in high school to research and seek out cool stuff. I find myself looking forward to marathon sessions of watching my favorite televisions shows more than heading out to a local bar to see a band that I may or may not like or spending hours pursuing titles in a used book shop for a gem that no one has ever heard of. Yet, I still get a little weary of jumping on the bandwagon when I start hearing chatter about something that’s a ‘must-read’. This is exactly how I discovered #GIRLBOSS which has been all the rage on social media for a few months and I didn’t want to buy it, let alone read it because EVERYONE was reading it.

Then, I let go of my high school philosophy of the coolest stuff being underground and just bought the book! I’m so glad I did, I haven’t finished it yet, but so far I’m loving Amoruso’s balls out and super honest approach to female entrepreneurship which is embodied in quotes like, “You are not your own special snowflake”. Here I am, one more person in a sea of people telling you to read this book. It’s a quick read and chances are that if you’re a creative entrepreneur you’ll get something out of it. If #GIRLBOSS isn’t your speed, don’t worry! We have three other great titles in our Dear Handmade Life DIY + Business Book Club this month: Illustration School: Let’s Draw Magical Color by Sachiko Umoto, Made by Hand by Lena Corwin and 20 Ways to Draw a Doodle and 44 Other Zigzags, Hearts, Spirals, and Teardrops: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers by Rachael Taylor. All four books have made me super happy this month and I hope they make you happy too! We’re making it super for easy for you to get inspired by these books since we’re giving some of them away.

-Nicole S.

To enter the contest:

If you want to win three of these books Illustration School: Let’s Draw Magical Color by Sachiko Umoto, Made by Hand by Lena Corwin and 20 Ways to Draw a Doodle and 44 Other Zigzags, Hearts, Spirals, and Teardrops: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers by Rachael Taylor, just leave comment on this post letting us know why you’re excited for fall (hello! crinkly leaves beneath our feet, winter craft fairs and so much more!). Post your comment by October 29th 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.

1. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

2. Illustration School: Let’s Draw Magical Color by Sachiko Umoto

3. Made by Hand by Lena Corwin

4. 20 Ways to Draw a Doodle and 44 Other Zigzags, Hearts, Spirals, and Teardrops: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers by Rachael Taylor

The contest is now closed! Congrats to Mayuri!

october-diy-business-book-club-dear-handmade-life-girl-boss-made-by-hand-20-ways-to-draw-a-doodle october-diy-business-book-club-dear-handmade-life-girl-boss-made-by-hand-20-ways-to-draw-a-doodle october-diy-business-book-club-dear-handmade-life-girl-boss-made-by-hand-20-ways-to-draw-a-doodle october-diy-business-book-club-dear-handmade-life-girl-boss-made-by-hand-20-ways-to-draw-a-doodle


  1. I’m very excited for fall because I live in Oakland. Oakland (and all of California) is kind of a season-less region, but if we were to have any seasons at all, they’d be “AAAAH TOO HOT” and “sweater weather.” I’m from Seattle, so I spent most of my life in sweater weather. Every year around this time, I get really excited (and more than a little homesick) when it’s time to haul out (or buy new) cardigans and pullovers. It signifies the passing of time and the transition of life (you know, that whole death to rebirth thing), which many people find discouraging, but I find very inspiring.

    Of course, ask me again in February what I like about Fall and I will tell you that I like NOTHING about Fall and EVERYTHING about Spring. 🙂

    Anyways, I want to win these books because 1: I am a #girlboss, 2: I need more craft books, 3: I think this stuff is magic.

  2. Even though I am now living in the southern hemisphere (and so summer is aapproaching), I’ve been missing my northern hemisphere roots; fall fashions, pumpkin lattes, the crisp morning air, and the beautiful colors in nature.

    I’d like to win these books because, frankly, they all sound awesome.

  3. It’s been so hot in Southern California all year that I can’t wait for fall weather (and hope we get some). The cold breezy nights are much needed (for myself and my electricity bill!) and I can’t wait to have Disney movie & hot chocolate nights with son. I have never read these books before and would LOVE to win them! I am a #girlboss and love me some good DIY!

  4. I am excited about fall because I love to bake and make soup. Here in Southern California we are being denied that, it is 90 degrees today!! 90!!! Please let me win because it’s too hot to bake and make soup.

  5. One of my favorite things about fall is entering the company Halloween costume contest. Past entries have included a cereal killer, an interdepartmental envelope, and an oompa loompa. Closely guarded secrets are the norm until the big reveal. I guess I’m getting known for this since the company president came to my department to verify that I was dressing up this year (I am:) )

  6. To me fall is a riot of colors and cooler weather (which we in So. Cal are still waiting for). Plus we get to celebrate Halloween and look forward to Thanksgiving! It’s just the beginning of the holidays to me!

  7. I am so excited about fall, all of my favorite foods are in season. Also all of my favorite holidays happen, halloween, thanksgiving, my birthday….

  8. I love fall weather, scarves, planning for the holidays, kids in costumes and the many things we have to be THANKFUL for. 🙂

  9. i am just so glad that the florida humidity is finally starting to drop!! i was able to sit on the patio saturday evening reading magazines and i wasn’t sweating!

  10. #GirlBoss is on my to-read list! I will definitely check out the other books mentioned.

    Every fall I look forward to buying the pre-made vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving meal at the grocery store. I’m the only person in my family who likes Thanksgiving food…

  11. My 4 year old is finally settling back into school. My new-ish 9-month old guy is finally gaining independence and eating real food. Light scarf and sweater weather (my favorite) is now upon us. That all makes for an amazing climate for me to focus on my own projects!

  12. I’m excited for fall do I wear jeans again and stop shaving my legs! As well as sweaters and closed toe shoes. It’s been a very hot summer her in SoCal so crisp days will be welcome

  13. I’m in love with this time of year. The light takes on a peaceful quality and the air gets crispy. My favorite holiday, Halloween, gives me the excuse to make decorations that will keep the tradition going for kids who have only “Trick or Treated” in malls. This year it was transforming large sheets of styrofoam (that had padded an appliance delivery) into large skull heads with different hats! So much fun and, hopefully, a memory for those little ghouls and ghosties!

  14. Autumn here in New Mexico is rather peaceful with warm days that allow me to sit outside rather than broil under the sizzling sun of Summer.
    The leaves are falling, more with each gust of wind, covering the ground with yellows and varied browns. I, too, have been crunching the leaves–so fun.

  15. I am excited for the scarfs, the boots, and the vampy lipsticks. But I have still been wearing short-sleeves and sandals because California still feels like summer, but we are getting there. Soon, soon.

  16. I love fall! The changing weather. Getting to break out the hoodies and sweaters. Cozying up with a mug of hot cocoa or coffee (whatever your preference).

    1. so. many. soups. (and grilled cheese.)
    2. mega comfy sweater tights!
    3. a guilt-free reason to go bananas baking 30 kinds of dessert to share.
    4. snuggy blanket kitty cat lap time.
    5. crochety, painty, stampy, shrinky, knotty, beady, stitchy, gluey christmas crafting time (and chalking up any unfinished bits as a great head start for next year).
    6. in southern california, maybe, just maybe, getting a chance to wear galoshes.
    7. daydreaming of next year and all the fun projects and business ideas to come!

  18. I’m excited about fall because I am a true crafter and love to continue to experience crafts I have not tried yet and this is the time of year where emphasis is put on crafting and plenty of craft fairs!

  19. I love the fall because of colors and also love to eat anything pumpkin, drink hot beverages ad wear warm sweaters!

  20. More than any other season, fall means I can be a kid again…. I get to play with dead leaves, jump in puddles, eat as much as I want, dress up for Halloween, put too many marshmallows in my hot chocolate, wear too many layers/panic when I have to go to the bathroom, and just enjoy life!

  21. I love the fall because it means being able to finally wear boots and cozy sweaters! The cooler weather lets me spend an evening crocheting an afghan, making lentil soup and being inspired by blogs without guilt.

  22. I have the best reason to be excited for fall this year, and that is for the arrival of our first baby! Any day now Madelyn will be here. I’m grateful for this being such a special year and bring able to spend the holidays at home with her. Yay fall!

    – Frances

  23. Fall is another season to do something new which for me I’m excited to explore art. These.books are perfect to look through for ideas outside with fall leaves scattered around me.

  24. Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year. When the weather is cool, I love to bake, knit, or cozy up on the couch with my doggie and good book. I can’t wait!

  25. Changing of seasons require the letting go of the past and embracing what is now and ever present. Fall is a changing of a season the shedding of leaves from what was and preparing for the winter cold of a next season. In life we go through all kinds of seasons none in order like the season of the weather. We can only predict that seasons in life are not forever and will change at some point. Whatever season we are in, a heartbreak or a thrilling adventure or in love we have to remember to be ever present and know that you can not take back tomorrow, you can only be right now. Fall for me is walking away from carefree summer days, to intentional creative nights with my girlfriends. With warm tea in hand and twinkle lights from a pumpkin scented candle near by and paint stains on my worn in pants from the many seasons of painting; I am around those that inspire me most and encourage me to love myself for who I am yet challenge me to push myself further. Fall is a season of falling of the leaves of shedding away something and letting go and preparing for what is to come.

    -emily julian

  26. Fall is wonderful! Even though I live in Southern California and don’t experience the true fall colors, I enjoy keeping our warm weather during the day and feeling it cool down in the evenings. Always the best time for evening walks with family and friends!

  27. Fall is my favorite time of year, the leaves change into a multitude of colors, and it gets colder which means you can wear your colorful pea-coats, and cute wool beanies!

    Fall brings my favorite holidays; Halloween when you can be anyone you want for a night (which is coincidentally my birthday), Thanksgiving for spending time with the family, and Christmas in all it’s glory of presents and slightly spiked eggnog :). The fall keeps us closer together, reinstating those family roots that were lost while us kids were away having fun in the sun. It’s time for cuddling up, warm fires, and being together.

    I would love to win these books! I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and I think that reading and listening to others’ opinions are the best way to go about that process. I love to learn, love books, and anything craft/DIY. 🙂 Thank you for the opportunity!

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