Category: Updates & News

Oh My! Gift Guide: Book Week

Oh My! Gift Guide | Book Week

This holiday season, we’ve asked some of our favourite creatives, bloggers, makers and OMHG members to join us in rounding up great gift ideas. This week, we’re all about books – books for little people, books for big people, books for creative people. Books, books, books! Make sure to read all the way to the bottom of the post, where you’ll find a fun surprise! But first, here are the books we think will make great gifts this holiday season:

Show Your Work

Kim’s Pick –  Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

“Showing off what we make – for fun, for sale, for other people – is the way we get our creations noticed. Artist and writer Austin Kleon lays it all out in this tiny, perfect book: why sharing is important, and how to do it so it makes you happy. This book would be a great gift for anyone you know who makes stuff, especially if they blog about it, do it for a living, or want to blog about it or do it for a living.” – Kim Werker is an editor, writer, and podcaster, and the author of Make It Mighty Ugly.


Lyndsay’s Pick – Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad

“This is a magical book of two little girls cooking their way to understanding the world. My two year old son and I both love it equally. It shows them making terrible mistakes in the kitchen (fallen tiered cakes, escaping octopus tentacles, burnt fish) and then continuing to learn and try, eventually coming up with beautiful simple french dishes that give adults back their sense of childhood. It’s a story of friendship, cooking and discovery. The illustrations are what makes the book truly special – Julie Morstad is an artist and illustrator and I’ve always loved the vintage children’s book feel of her artwork. I also simply adored any books with drawings of food or cakes or dessert when I was a kid – they’re the books from my childhood that stand out, so I hope this one will stand out for my son when he looks back.” – Lyndsay is a baker, blogger, freelance writer and photographer. Her main focus is Coco Cake Land, a modern cake and desserts blog featuring original cake tutorials, recipes and simple modern party ideas. She lives in Vancouver amongst the mountains, ocean and urban life with her husband and toddler son.  

lettering books

Shauna’s PickCreative Lettering and Beyond & Hand-Lettering Ledger

“Creative Lettering and Beyond is a great beginner’s how-to guide to learning lettering. (Though I’m a bit biased as this is my book!) And the Hand Lettering Ledger by the super talented Mary Kate McDevitt is one of my favorites in terms of inspiration. I love looking at her gorgeous lettering and love that she shows how-to steps.” – Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn is a hand lettering artist and illustrator living in Orlando, Florida. She loves vintage typography and emphemera and has an unhealthy obsession with purchasing books that she doesn’t have room for. Her work can be seen at and prints can be purchased at

Easy Gourmet

Marisa’s PickEasy Gourmet by Stephanie Le

“I love pretty much all kinds of books but I have a serious weakness for beautiful cookbooks. Easy Gourmet is filled with tantalizing taste combinations and stunning pictures that will leave your stomach growling. From the simple to the sublime, the spaghetti to the shrimp rolls, Stephanie’s recipes challenge you to get creative in the kitchen while producing gourmet dishes that don’t need to be saved for special occasions. I think this book would be a wonderful addition to any cookbook collection.” – Marisa Edghill is the author of Washi Style (UK edition / US edition) and a featured artist in Pinterest Perfect. 


Jessika’s Pick – Goodness in Unexpected Places gift pack from House of Anansi Press

“Marisa tweeted me a link to this set last month and I immediately bought the books for my 10 year old Ila but also so I could read them first. The Cat At The Wall by Deborah Ellis is about a little girl who finds herself reincarnated as a cat into a Palestine village in a house with a small boy who needs help and finds the answer to how one cat, or any one creature, can make a difference. In A Simple Case of Angels by Caroline Adderson it is the holidays but no one in Nicola’s town seems very happy. After her dog gets in trouble Nicola winds up volunteering at a local seniors home with a friend and they find out some of the residents are being held against their will. Freeing them brings out the very best in both Nicola and her badly behaved dog June Bug. Both of these books will make hearts of any age grow three sizes bigger, all filled up with goodness, giving, and grace.” Jessika is the cooperative director of Oh My! Handmade, learn more about her here

Creative Block

Shauna’s Bonus PickCreative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas by Danielle Krysa

“This is a go-to book for sure. I love this because it makes me feel less alone when I get artist block as well as giving me ideas on how to push past those blocks.” Filled with advice and projects from 50 successful artists, this would make a wonderful pick for artists and creatives in your life.

See more books we love over on our Pinterest board!

But wait, before you go – a special announcement! To spread our love for Books, we’re declaring this week Book Week! We’ve teamed up with publishers and purveyors of awesome things to bring you a week of giveaways. Each day we’ll be sharing a new and exciting giveaway! Here’s a hint of what’s to come and where to find it…

Oh My! Book Week | 5 Days of Bookish Giveaways

Monday – that’s today! See details below.

Tuesday – Does colouring bring you great Joy? Find Tuesday’s giveaway over on the Oh My! Handmade Instagram account.

Wednesday – While Pinterest might not be perfect, it is bursting with creative inspiration. Wednesday’s giveaway will be found on our Pinterest Books Board.

Thursday – Making doesn’t always have to be pretty, in fact, sometimes it’s better when it’s ugly. Join us on Facebook on Thursday for this mighty fun giveaway.

Friday – A special surprise for one and all! Make sure you’re following Jessika on Twitter so you don’t miss out on the fun!

Oh My! Book Week | Day 1: Creative Lettering & Beyond + Jet Pens Sampler - enter on

We’re giving away a copy of Creative Lettering and Beyond featuring our very own Shauna Lynn + a set of 5 brush pens from Jet Pens * – Shauna’s favourite pens for lettering!

*In case of a Canadian winner, Jet Pens prize will be a $25 gift certificate.

Giveaway open to US / Canada only. Winners chosen at random on Monday, December 22.

Enter here by letting us know your favourite books for gifting (or a book you’d love to receive!) in the comments. Get an extra entry for sharing one of our giveaway graphics on your website, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

This giveaway is now closed – Congratulations to Catherine Denton for her winning comment! 

Special thanks to Walter Foster, Jet Pens, Peter Pauper Press, Omiyage, Sasquatch and Scout Books for supplying us with all these awesome goodies to share with you!

Winter Slow Down & #24DaysofPresence

OMHG Winter Slow Down 2014

This December on OMHG we are taking a collective deep breath and putting the brakes on for the great Winter Slow Down of 2014. Think of it as a season of slow, or a holiday without hustle, permission to ease into a winter of contentment and calm-even if life is swirling around us. Whether you are a maker,  small business owner, shopper or someone who hides from the rush, it can be hard not to get caught up in the frenzy of the holiday season and end up overwhelmed. Commitments like packing orders, promoting sales, events, shows and magic making for our families are all important but we often prioritize them over rest and then need to squeeze in simple goodness. What if this year we all made our own policies that protect our right to slow down for one month a year? It starts here!

Instead of regular posts and social media-ing from December 1-24th OMHG is celebrating a new kind of advent with our #24DaysOfPresence challenge. For the weeks leading up to Christmas take time to document the gifts each day brings whether it is a lovely sunset, a sweet note, or a quiet moment then share them (or don’t!) with the hashtag #24DaysOfPresence. Connect with others who know that the real treasure is never presents but the gift of presence. Once we slow down we can start to pay attention to where our presence is most needed in our lives and communities. Why is being present not only for ourselves but especially for others so very hard?

Jean Vanier on Presence & Doubt #24DaysOfPresence The thought of slowing down causes many of us to become doubtful and we fear whether there is any real value in being present. Get some help busting those obstacles from our community and by being clear about your plans for the winter. Let your friends, family and customers know that you are taking part in the Winter Slow Down by posting one of our badges on your website and social media or write up your policy for a season of slow.

Here are 10 suggestions for things you could change to help slow down this season: 

  1. Prioritize connection & pay attention: Slow is a reminder that more isn’t always best, so focus on the connections you do have whether that is providing customer service with humanity and care or paying attention to what you and those you love need most.
  2. Take a break from regular blogging & updating: Let your readers and followers know you are taking a break and when you’ll be back! Link them back to this post and give them permission to slow down too.
  3. Reduce your online time: What if you only logged on once a day for one hour? How about once a week? Try limiting the time you spend online and focusing on real connection when you do plug in (setting a policy for what days you are available helps!).
  4. Limit answering email to one day a week: Set up an email autoresponder to let people know you are not as available this month, once you’ve made it a policy you are more likely to respect your own boundaries!
  5. Set a firm cut off date for placing orders or shutting down operations: Don’t go taking orders or setting up more work right up until the final hour, if you’ve ever made the mistake of agreeing to custom orders shortly before Christmas you know how big of a stress-reducer this can be! Let everyone know what days you will not be available and stick to it!
  6. Schedule rest time after social time: Social events are tiring no matter how extroverted you are. Build in rest time instead of going from one holiday party or show to another so you can really enjoy the events you attend.
  7. Start Distraction-Free Sundays: Are you able to turn off all the things for one day a week? In our house we put all the devices in one room on Sundays and only use them if there is an emergency. During the winter we try to keep the TV off, avoid commitments and wear our cozy clothes all day, we make big meals (and offer to share with others).
  8. Set your own hours: Start work an hour later or quit an hour earlier every day. If you have a day job go to bed an hour earlier and wake up an hour earlier. Use the time you made for resting.
  9. Create a ‘time out’ spot in your home: Whether it is a nook or a chair at your dining room table spend one hour every day there working on something you love. This can be playing board games with your children or planning out your meals for the week- whatever brings you joy.
  10.  Remember memories matter: Just like you can create policies to protect your slow season you can create a holiday philosophy that is all about making memories not making purchases. What kind of memories do you want to make this year? Use those as a guide to make your strategic plan for slowing down.

In solidarity with our season of slow after this week OMHG will be publishing just a couple of posts (one is a big one on the reason slowing down is personal for me) before January of 2015 when we’ll be back with a plan for the new year. Our last public #OMHG chat of the year is December 11 and our community will be hosting a video party on December 18th for citizens from 12-2pm EST on my 32nd birthday!

Thank you to our talented Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn for sharing her pattern with

Do you struggle to slow down and be present at this time of year? What will you prioritize during the Winter Slow Down?