My Favorite Books & Giveaway

by Diane Henkler on 04/17/2014

Do you know what April brings beside April showers?

April brings books…pretty books, crafty books, decorating books, lifestyle books. A good percentage of these creative type books are published and released in April.  It is just the way the publishing world works.

Since I have been blogging I have received lots of books from publishers to review and this April is starting out no different.

When my book, Instant Decorating came out in 1994 – it was in April.  Every April since I was a young mom trying to make a house a home I have always looked forward to seeing what new bound inspiration was coming.   Over the years I have bought a lot of creative lifestyle books and devoured each one.  I have kept them in my studioffice on the IKEA Billy bookshelves behind my desk.

When I get in a cleaning and purging mode that usually happens every Spring and Fall, I go through my collection and take the books that no longer inspire me to the thrift shop. Some are just plain old and outdated, but there are a few that have made a such a huge impact on my life that I don’t think I will ever part with them.


One of my favorite books goes back to the 80′s, but is timeless and still available to buy today. It is the red book in the stack – Living A Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard.  I have four copies – one of them signed.  This book made the biggest impact on my life more than any other.  Once day I shall write an entire book about just how much.

The other books that I won’t be parting with anytime soon is my very first Barefoot Contessa cookbook titled, Parties. It was given to me as a Christmas present. It is dog-earred and food stains splatter the pages.

The Power of Style  by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins.  It is all about why you should let your personal style shine and gives examples of very stylish woman throughout history who defined the art of living well.

My book, Instant Decorating  

Girlfriends Forever by Susan Branch.  I love her illustrations and this was just a delight visually as well as inspiring.

Feeling at Home by Alexandra Stoddard is my favorite decorating book  - EVER!  Not a lot of photos, more of a why you should decorate your home for you and not follow trends.

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach - still a great read. Kind of a  daily devotional about lifestyle.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman.  She keyed the term “Mollifer” in a home.   You may remember when I wrote about it.

My Junior Girl Scout Handbook basically taught me everything I know about being crafty :-)

The Simplicity Reader by Elaine St. James is all about ways to simplify every aspect in your life.

Last, but not least is Style by Kate Spade.  This is a fun fashion style book with chic watercolor illustrations that just make me smile.


Each of these books is a classic for me. They helped me along my path to live more authentically and creatively while giving me the confidence to live in my own style.


Over the past few weeks I have received 3 new creative lifestyle books to review. I enjoyed each one and will be giving all three away to one of you to enjoy, too.


The first is Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring.  I enjoyed Holly’s first book and have drooled over Leslie’s blog – for years!



The pages are filled with pretty flowers, creative arrangements, styling techniques,  and design tips.  It is organized by color.


The second book is called Soft Fonts by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate.


If you love fonts and lettering as much as I do, you will enjoy the dozens of step-by-step tutorials showing how to make decorative items for your home with fabric, fonts, and lettering using your sewing machine.


The third book is Packaging Your Crafts by Viola E. Sutanto. It is for anyone that likes to put their creative mark on everything they make to give or sell.


Once of my favorite projects in the book is how to jazz up bottles of wine with newspaper and gift wrap to give as a hostess gift.


I love love love this idea….so chic!  I want to do this on the back of my bike.  I have a wine crate, I just have to get the rack to place it on.


How to Enter the Giveaway:

If you would like to win the book trio, just leave me a comment telling me:

What decorating or creative lifestyle book made the biggest impact on you?


Giveaway is open to all continental US residents.  I will choose the winner via at the end of the day on Monday April 21st.

Good Luck!


Happy Weekend! Happy Easter!





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