gift guide: gifts to hone skills.

December 3, 2018

Knitting Skills: A new knitting pattern +/or the yarn to complete it.

Knife Skills: A new cutting board (plus phone holder) +/or a new knife for practicing.

Cocktail Skills: A handy guide to strong drinks +/or a whiskey cup for something simpler.*

Homesteading Skills: Primers for Backyard Skills +/or Your very own worm bin.

Copyediting Skills: The Elements of Style, illustrated +/or tools for notes and notating.
Art-making Skills: Watercolors for anywhere +/or Guides to making art in difficult times.

Color-finding Skills: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking +/or a bag to do the harvesting.

Anti-racism Skills: A workbook for a lifetime of anti-racism work** + Soft Heart Mist for helping the journey.


Mending skills: Inspiration and step-by-steps and/or the materials to get started

Gifts that hone skills become gifts that last far beyond a single holiday. With any luck, they’re gifts that last a lifetime. In the spirit of personal, professional, and creative growth, here are a few ideas close to my own heart. Wherever you are, or whatever your interests, I hope this list might serve as something of a jumping off point this season.

* A restock of Nur Ceramics is coming soon.

**This book is a free resource. Please consider sending a donation to the author directly.

Many thanks to Anna Jacobs for research assistance on this post. 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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  • Reply Christie December 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    These are great, but coming too late for us to use for Hanukkah. 🙁

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 3, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Sorry I wasn’t able to get everything finished sooner! The good news is, almost all of these books should be available wherever you shop for books locally and two of them can be downloaded right away!

  • Reply Ro December 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Best gift guide I’ve seen in a long time!!! Thanks!

  • Reply Tabitha December 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    somehow Michael Ondaatje is connected to Make Ink! Am really hoping this is under the tree for me.

  • Reply Cori December 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    These have been wonderful gift guides! Thank you for sharing, love hearing about different smaller makers, it can be hard to stumble across them on your own!

  • Reply Kelly libby December 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Really loving this list!!

  • Reply Valerie Coulton December 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I agree that this is the best gift guide I’ve ever seen. But this blog never disappoints and often surprises in the loveliest of ways.

  • Reply Ellie December 6, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Lovely gift guide! I am a longtime reader, but have never commented. Just wanted to pop in and say I deeply appreciate your well thought out posts and how true your blog feels. I am also a resident of Brooklyn and would love to hear of your favorite restaurants, cafes, or little shops that you frequent. I’m always looking for new recommendations 🙂

  • Reply Libby December 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    This is such a great gift guide. Thank you for sharing such thoughtful pairings!

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