You Are Awesome, Cicada Books, 2012.
First, how nice is it to have a book that right up front tells you that you rock? I need more books like that. You Are Awesome is a book of 21 crafts; gifts for yourself, or to make someone else feel awesome. I need more of that in my life, too.
Cicada’s books are always works of art before anything else; they take such care with their design and pressing that it’s a pleasure to simply handle the books before even checking out the contact. This one is done in the simple style of a child’s board book, with heavy cardboard covers and bright, sharp imagery; you can image a loving parent, or aunt or uncle or beloved friend, creating a lot of these crafts from Abbey Hendrickson for a child, in the same style as the design, but they’re also equally sharp for adults. The lo-fi laptop template, or the ring toss, are definitely geared towards children, but hey, you know what? If I wasn’t totally useless at crafts, I would make the ringtoss, and I would put it outside my cube at work, and I would make coworkers use it, and we would all laugh more. (We laugh a lot in my office, but it’s totally frequently the laughter of oh-my-God-how-did-that-happen.)
The craft projects, with their straight-forward instructions and their lovely photographs and their easy-to-use templates are all fantastic, but I want to point you guys to Hendrickson’s introduction, for a note on what Cicada and this book and Abbey herself do best: she says that she lived for the failures in her projects, because they were the ones that she kept close. The great ones went out into the world, but the failures inspired her to do more things. That’s what this book does; even if I never make another project from it, just having it stacked above Cicada’s lovely 2011 State of Craft on my desk makes me want to make something, every day.
It is the best advice: you are awesome, and you should make things that make you and other people happy, and that is the point of this book, which makes the book and Abbey Hendrickson also awesome. It’s circular. A circle of awesome.
You can buy both You Are Awesome and State of Craft from Cicada here, or through your regular online retailers.