giving: a woven pouch.

    December 10, 2019

    giving a woven pouch | reading my tea leaves

    Just about one year ago, Rose Pearlman and I began collaborating on simple, useful craft projects that could be easily made from inexpensive hardware store materials and that can serve a practical purpose in your home. In celebration of the past year of working together, we’ve designed a series of holiday gift guides that showcase just some of the ways that these humble crafts can become a part of a special holiday gift—or simply be the gift itself.

    ***

    a woven pouch kit.

    All of the gifts below use the tutorial Rose and I created for a woven pouch. But if you’re not feeling crafty yourself, or you’re short on time, you can give the gift of a kit for a friend or family member to make a pouch for themselves. Here’s what you should include: a rectangle of corrugated cardboard (roughly 3 ¼” x 4” for a small pouch), cotton string or yarn for weaving (roughly 5-6 yards), 3 yards of strong string to create the warp (even dental floss will do!), ¾ yard of leather cord or extra string of your choice for the cord tie or necklace strap (we wrapped all of our strings around wooden clothespins to keep things organized), a darning needle, and tape. Tuck the supplies into a drawstring bag, and include a note pointing the recipient in the direction of the woven pouch tutorial. (If you’d like to recreate the tag we made here, this is the customizable rubber stamp set we used to stamp the url onto a piece of card stock.)

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    giving a woven pouch | reading my tea leaves

    a tiny paint set.

    For someone who has creative pursuits and hobbies high on their list of resolutions, these handmade paint stones from Beam Paints might offer the perfect push in the right direction. They’re made from lightfast pigments, tree sap, Manitoulin honey, and gum arabic and they come beautifully packaged in their own protective beeswax wrappers. Tucked into a woven pouch, they make for the sweetest portable set for taking artistic diversions on the road.

    giving a woven pouch | reading my tea leaves

    a secret spot.

    Offering a very small gift is a lovely thing to do, no matter if it’s been poured from precious metals or a more humble variety of gold—honey, say, or beeswax. Presenting such a gift in a handmade pouch makes it feel all the more festive, and we could all use a place to secret away our necessities (or our indulgences). Here, we included Marble & Milkweed’s Rosy Lip Tint, something I personally try to never leave the house without.

    giving a woven pouch | reading my tea leaves

    a beginner’s felting essentials.

    The pleasure of having a little project nearby to satisfy creative whims and to keep other distractions at bay was the inspiration for this gift. To create the kit, tuck a bit of roving, a few felting needles (slip them into a paper straw or poke the ends into cork to keep fingers safe from pokes!), a wooden needle felting handle, and a link to some simple instructions into a handmade portable project pouch.

    giving a woven pouch | reading my tea leaves

    a budding botanist’s tool pouch.

    What’s better for small scientists (and urban detritus scavengers) than a handheld magnifying glass slipped into a tiny collection pouch? This wooden dual magnifying glass (5x and 10x) from Bella Luna Toys is made of shatterproof glass and framed in beech wood and it’s makes for a sweet and sturdy entry point to scientific wonder and discovery.

    giving a woven pouch | reading my tea leaves

    a promise of something to come.

    No matter if it’s a handmade voucher for a hot cocoa date or a gift certificate to Stories Bookshop (insert the local indie of your choice!), bundling up a little IOU in a tiny pouch makes the promise of a gift to come even more magical.

    ***

    As always, we’re hoping these ideas serve as a guide in the truest sense of the word and provide a bit of inspiration for making a gift yourself, with the budget you have and the holiday spirit that best suits you. If you decide to tackle any of these projects on your own—for giving away or keeping close to home—we’d love to see! Tag @readtealeaves and @rosepearlman on Instagram and share with the hashtag #simplehandmadeholidayrmtl.

    This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.

    giving: a macrame basket.

    December 9, 2019

    floral wire macrame basket | reading my tea leaves

    Just about one year ago, Rose Pearlman and I began collaborating on simple, useful craft projects that could be easily made from inexpensive hardware store materials and that can serve a practical purpose in your home. In celebration of the past year of working together, we’ve designed a series of holiday gift guides that showcase just some of the ways that these humble crafts can become a part of a special holiday gift—or simply be the gift itself.

    ***

    a macrame basket kit.

    All of the gifts below use the tutorial Rose and I created for a structured macrame basket. But if you’re not feeling crafty yourself, or you’re short on time, you can give the gift of a kit for a friend or family member to make a basket for themselves. All you need is a bundle of 2 oz paper covered floral wire, a 12-inch ¾” wooden dowel, a drawstring bag, and a note pointing the recipient in the direction of the structured macrame basket tutorial. (If you’d like to recreate the tag we made here, this is the customizable rubber stamp set we used to stamp the url onto a piece of card stock.)

    Note: Like most everything in this year’s giving series, these structured baskets are super simple to customize and you can easily tweak the size by extending or shortening the length or width (or both!). Just remember to measure the size of your gifts before crafting your bag, to make sure everything will fit!

    floral wire macrame basket | reading my tea leaves

    a new hobby.

    In some circles, there’s nothing more precious than the gift of a few spoonfuls of sour dough starter. Give of your own bounty if you have some to spare and once the starter has been sufficiently coddled, the simple basket can serve as a place to stash potholders—or anything else the receiver’s heart desires. (We’re also minimalist-friendly gift givers: re-gifting encouraged!) If you’re absent the starter, but have a newbie sourdough enthusiast in your midst, a copy of Brooklyn baker Sarah Owen’s Sourdough and a black walnut lame would make a lovely pairing.

    floral wire macrame basket | reading my tea leaves

    a wee market basket.

    These wire-reinforced baskets are strong enough to use for storing real-life veggies like shallots and onions, but a pint-sized version filled with beautiful wooden play vegetables makes an inspiring market basket for make-believe farmers’ markets runs. Carrots, radishes, mushrooms, fennel, and spring onions are all available locally or online at Acorn Toy Shop.

    floral wire macrame basket | reading my tea leaves

    an at-home spa treatment.

    Whether it’s a homemade salt scrub or an exquisitely crafted rose, cardamom, and sandalwood velvet salt polish from Marble & Milkweed, pair an indulgent scrub with an organic washcloth, or mother of pearl spoon, for the person on your list needing a little extra care. Bundle everything together into a wire basket that can later serve as the perfect spot for storing rolled washcloths or reusable cotton rounds.

    floral wire macrame basket | reading my tea leaves

    a breakfast companion set.

    Give the promise of breakfast in bed along with a set of unbelievably delicious Vermont-made preserves (or a jam of your own making!). These 2-ounce jars provide the perfect opportunity for taste-testing the magic of V Smiley’s honey sweetened preserves. We paired them here with a cloth napkin from My Drap and a beech dessert spoon from Muji. If you’d like to up the gift-giving ante a bit, swap the simple spoon for this gorgeous handmade butter and jam knife from Brooklyn’s Two Tree Studios.

    floral wire macrame basket | reading my tea leaves

    a stationery bundle.

    Encourage an analogue start to the new year with the gift of beautiful and useful stationery. Rose and I are both fans of Appointed’s clean aesthetic and superior quality. Shown here: Their pencils, gum eraser, pencil sharpener, pocket notepad, a bundle of mini linen jotters, and paper tape. All packaged together, they might be just the encouragement someone needs for a fresh start in 2020.

    ***

    As always, we’re hoping these ideas serve as a guide in the truest sense of the word and provide a bit of inspiration for making a gift yourself, with the budget you have and the holiday spirit that best suits you. If you decide to tackle any of these projects on your own—for giving away or keeping close to home—we’d love to see! Tag @readtealeaves and @rosepearlman on Instagram and share with the hashtag #simplehandmadeholidayrmtl.

    This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.

    my week in objects (mostly).

    December 6, 2019

    1. this water bottle.

    {for making a valiant effort at keeping me hydrated during an insane week.}

    2. these stockings.

    {and the kids who were so excited to hang them.}

    3. this tiny glass vial.

    {because it sure was nice to carry just the right amount of face oil overseas.}

    4. this jumpsuit.

    {apologies for being a pregnant consumerist bore, but this arrived three hours before i took an international flight on wednesday and i’ve never been so excited to have something cozy and presentable to wear. don’t plan on taking it off until sometime early march…}

    5. this book.

    {because a book is such a beast to make and putting it out in the world is so scary and i’m so happy that rose did both of those things.}

    other things:

    holiday magic is killing us.

    a playlist for angry women.

    cactus leather.

    only ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’

    what happens to the stuff you donate?

    i like to bite their heads off first.

    i feel rooted to mammalian impulses.

    a movie without a villain?

    This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.

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