Craft Hope

Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause
“It started with a pillowcase dress…and grew into a worldwide movement: crafters using their passion to help those in need. The Craft Hope blog-which organizes crafters to make handmade items for charities-has attracted followers around the world. This book, written by the site’s founder and featuring crafting’s hottest start, celebrates the cause and encourages others to join in.
Each project is matched with a specific charity, with alternative suggestions for local places to contribute the item. The projects-all with beautiful photographs, step-by-step instructions, and templates-include: cheerful quilts for hospitalized children, soft dolls for Nicaraguan orphans, tug toys for animal shelters, knit gloves for homeless shelters, a cloth backpack for schoolchildren in Africa, a stylish purse for women moving out of abusive relationships, and knit scarves for fostercare teens heading off to college. Contributors range from fabric designers Amy Butler and Heather Bailey to popular authors and bloggers such as Amanda Soule (, Handmade Home), Karri Meng (French General), Amy Ray (Doodle Stitching), Celine Dupuy (Simple Sewing with a French Twist), Vickie Howell (Craft Corps), Cathie Filian (Creative Juice), Susan Wasinger (Eco Crafts), and Betsy Greer (Knitting for Good).
In addition, there are plenty of helpful tips on how to give locally and globally, how to give thoughtfully and appropriately, and how to empower those you are helping.” → more info

Nikki McClure

I’ve been a fan of Nikki McClure for some time. Her exquisite paper cuttings are simply wondrous in their detail. She uses an exacto knife to create her beautiful images, each from a single sheet of paper. The painstaking detail. The complexity. I find her work enchanting and perfected suited to children’s illustrations. Her collection of books are available at Buy Olympia, along with a lovely assortment of notecards, gift tags and other paper beauties.

Mama Is It Summer Yet? is a heartwarming tale of a little boy who asks the same question of his mother, again and again; a theme familiar to mothers who try to satisfy the curiosity and eagerness of their little ones, and to children for whom waiting a few weeks might as well be a few decades.

The First 1000 Days is a baby journal unlike most. Parents have long enjoyed chronicling their children’s early days of life, but Nikki’s illustrations elevate the experience to a creating a work of art that will be eventually passed on to your child. There’s lots of room for notes and such, and tons of her beautiful work to inspire to more than a record of the order that solid foods were introduced. This journal makes you want to write something wise and eternal. My children are six and three and I’m thinking about buying two of these, just because they are so beautiful and poetic.

“The Great Chicken Escape is a true story, or as close to truth as I could ascertain from the chickens themselves.” These are Nikki’s own words about this book. And judging by her illustrations of nuns wrangling chickens, this will probably be one of those books that your child requests over and over.

Nikki is a self-taught artist who has been making paper cuts since 1996 and who produces her own merchandise. You can find Nikki’s books, t-shirts, notecards and other merchandise, as well as her original paper cuts on Buy Olympia.

Spreading the handmade word

vivalamoda coverA fabulous new online magazine has just published its first issue on Handmade Fashion, and you really must check it out. VivaLaModa is a stylish, well-designed look at indie designers and trends, and it is a great and lovely read.


See what I mean? Contributors for this first issue are Aster, Kay Tse, Lori Ward, Randi Eccleston, Lora Dégraff, Karina Gallo, Diana Rajchel, Estefanía Nava, and the Editor is Ainhoa. Go stop by and tell them I said hello. I can’t wait for issue 2.