Books that Lisa Congdon loves

Over the years Lisa has nurtured a blog, along with her art practise. We've glimpsed mentions of great books and authors in her blog. These are a collection of books she found great.
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How to Live a Good Life

by Jonathan Fields

About the book:  Nearly every choice we make and action we take, from adolescence to death, is driven by a single, all-consuming quest: to live a good life. Problem is, there's no clear, practical road map to get there. No single collection of proven strategies that don't require you to buy into a particular doctrine, dogma, faith, or belief in order for you to get the proverbial keys to the good-life castle. At the same time, a mountain of misinformation distracts and deludes millions into actions and paths destined to fail, then lays blame when the “absolute truths” offered yield nothing more than absolute misery. How to Live a Good Life is your antidote: a practical and provocative modern-day manual for the pursuit of an extraordinary life. No need for blind faith or surrender of intelligence; everything you'll discover is immediately actionable and subject to validation through your own experience. You will discover 12 elements, drawn from the intersection of science, spirituality, and the author's years-long global quest to interview and learn at the feet of masters from nearly every tradition and walk of life. You will: • Explore a side of happiness that will not only lead to more joy but also awaken you to forgiveness. • Learn how to cultivate a fierce sense of meaning and purpose in all you do. • Discover the unlikely marriage between gratitude and desire and the futility of the near delusional optimism that infects so much of today's personal-growth landscape. • Revel in the power of belonging and learn how to cultivate it. • Open to both the responsibility and the gift of freedom, and the transformative power of compassion. • Understand how to stop living a stress-addled, checked-out, punch-list life and revel in the grace and gift of present awareness. • Discover how to reclaim your sleep, movement, and nutrition, and seed a wellspring of health and vitality. Though respectful of tradition, spirituality, and faith, there will be no sacred cows. Long-held myths, often taught as truths, will nonetheless end up busted. Ideas you've held dear will be challenged, then replaced with a new set of guidelines that will, maybe for the first time, unlock a future you've sensed was always there but until now has felt perpetually just beyond reach.

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Meanwhile in San Francisco

by Wendy MacNaughton

About the book:  Take a stroll through the City by the Bay with renowned artist Wendy MacNaughton in this collection of illustrated documentaries. With her beloved city as a backdrop, a sketchbook in hand, and a natural sense of curiosity, MacNaughton spent months getting to know people in their own neighborhoods, drawing them and recording their words. Her street-smart graphic journalism is as diverse and beautiful as San Francisco itself, ranging from the vendors at the farmers' market to people combing the shelves at the public library, from MUNI drivers to the bison of Golden Gate Park, and much more. Meanwhile in San Francisco offers both lifelong residents and those just blowing through with the fog an opportunity to see the city with new eyes.

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Scandinavian Gatherings

by Melissa Bahen

About the book:  From the creator of the popular Lulu the Baker blog, this darling book of Scandinavian-inspired gathering ideas includes recipes and crafts for every day and special occasions. Equal parts entertaining, crafting, and cooking, it features 10 seasonal family-friendly gatherings filled with Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish flavors and traditions. There are 40 accessible and modern recipes for sweet and savory treats, and 30 simple craft projects perfect for decorating and entertaining, as well as vivid color photographs throughout. With gatherings like Nordic Brunch, Woodland Tea Party, Afternoon Fika, Lucia Day, Christmas Cookie Exchange, and more, this charming book is perfect for fans of Scandinavian style, food, and tradition.

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A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart

by Maria Alexandra Vettese,Stephanie Congdon Barnes,Molly Wizenberg

About the book:  An exploration of 365 days of shared experiences between two friends on opposite sides of the country, inspired by their blog, 3191 Miles Apart. Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes share a love of art and design, handmade pleasures, and a well-lived domestic life. Almost a decade ago, they began their first year-long project together, posting a photo from each of their mornings on their blog, 3191 Miles Apart, named for the distance between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon. 3191 Miles Apart quickly acquired a worldwide following of readers drawn in by the delicate intimacy of their shared experiences. A Year Between Friends celebrates their most recent project together—a visual representation of 2015, month-by-month, side-by-side, but miles apart. In addition to 400 photographs recording their daily inspirations and creative undertakings and a foreword from New York Times bestselling author Molly Wizenberg, this unique collaboration expands on their prior work with over 25 handmade crafts and seasonal recipes, notes on simple living, and personal stories that follow the tide of a year filled with new life, change, and loss. It is an intimate joint portrait revealed through photographic snippets—mending a sweater, making a mobile from a cherished collection, creating fabric dyes from natural materials, baking scones—that defies distance through the celebration of shared moments of calmness, warmth, and family. Both aspirational and down-to-earth, A Year Between Friends is an inspiring visual love letter to friendship and creativity, a timeless reminder to appreciate life one day at a time, to slow down, to cherish simplicity, and to make the extra effort to do things with care and with the people we love.

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Becoming Me: a Work in Progress

by Andrea Pippins

About the book:  A beautifully illustrated interactive journal from the creator of the empowering adult coloring book I Love My Hair--featured on BuzzFeed, Mashable, and more. Encourages self-discovery and nurtures creative expression! This gorgeous full-color journal and activity book will get you coloring, doodling, and writing your way to your best self. Combining quotes from inspiring women, positive affirmations, and artistic advice direct from Andrea Pippins, along with supportive prompts and exercises, this uplifting book is the perfect tool to get those creative juices flowing. And with stylish hand-lettering and full-color illustrations throughout, Becoming Me is a perfect gift and keepsake--as well as a powerful tool for self-expression. Praise for I Love My Hair by Andrea Pippins: "The girl power stress-reliever we all needed." --Bustle.com "Pippins's imaginative images will inspire your inner artist and fashionista." --The Huffington Post

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I Love My Hair

by Andrea Pippins

About the book:  For fans of Johanna Basford's Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest comes a hip, gorgeous doodle coloring book about all things hair. Unlike other adult coloring books, which depict nature scenes and cityscapes, this title celebrates strong, confident women with a passion for style, design, and fashion. Revel in the mesmerizing patterns and intricate details of Andrea Pippins's delicate pen-and-ink illustrations, ready for you to color, complete, and embellish. Lose yourself in page after page of bold hairstyles and accessories, from rows of braids, to Mohawks, to sweeping updos, to cascades of ribbons and beads. Be transported to another world as you ink in Medusa's slithering coiffure, Cleopatra's elaborate headdress, and Marie Antoinette's towering bouffant. Perfect for experienced color-inners and newcomers alike. Coloring enthusiasts of all ages will love this empowering and stylish book. So go ahead--let your hair down, grab some pens or pencils, and add some color to your life. "Pippins's imaginative images will inspire your inner artist and fashionista." --The Huffington Post "The girl power stress-reliever we all needed." --Bustle

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Women in Science

by Rachel Ignotofsky

About the book:  It’s a scientific fact: Women rock! A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more! From the Hardcover edition.

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The Gutsy Girl

by Caroline Paul

About the book:  Why should girls miss out on the joy of adventure? They can jump off rocks, swing on ropes, and climb trees just as well as boys can. But girls often allow fear to stand in their way. In The Gutsy Girl, author Caroline Paul emboldens girls to seek out a life of exhilaration. Once a young scaredy-cat herself, Caroline decided that fear got in the way of the life she wanted--of excitement, confidence, self-reliance, friendship, and fun. She has since flown planes, rafted big rivers, climbed tall mountains, and fought fires as one of the first female firefighters in San Francisco. In The Gutsy Girl, she shares her greatest escapades as well as those of other girls and women from throughout history, and offers engaging activities such as confidence-building stances, creating a compass, positive self-talk, and using crickets to estimate outside temperatures. Each section includes a place for girls to “journal” their adventures, thus encouraging a new generation to develop a zest for challenges and a healthy relationship to risk. The Gutsy Girl is Lean In for young girls, a book about the glorious things that happen when you unshackle from fear and open up to exhilaration. Fully illustrated and enlivened throughout by bestselling illustrator Wendy MacNaughton's whimsical pen-and-ink drawings.

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Roy G. Biv

by Jude Stewart

About the book:  Fascinating and original, everything you never knew about colour

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Knit the Sky

by Lea Redmond

About the book:  Record the beauty, emotions, and experiences of everyday life — not in your journal but with your knitting needles! Author Lea Redmond offers 32 enchanting projects that will inspire you to create beautiful finished pieces full of personal meaning and memories. Stock up on shades of blue, gray, and white and knit one strip of a scarf each day for a year, using the color that matches the sky on that day. When you’re done, you’ll have a unique memento of your year better than anything you can keep in a scrapbook. Or when you’re traveling, knit postcard-size swatches at each place you visit, using the colors you see around you. When the trip is over, piece the swatches together into a throw or scarf that will remind you of your journey every time you use it. Or knit a height-chart scarf for a beloved baby, starting with her length at birth and adding inches each year until you have the perfect gift for her 18th birthday. These are knitting projects like no other, resulting in one-of-a-kind heirlooms that tell a story only you can tell. Redmond provides instructions for all the stitches and techniques you need, as well as required patterns.

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Knitting Without Needles

by Anne Weil

About the book:  Who knew you could actually knit without needles? Put down those complicated knitting projects that take forever to finish. Knitting Without Needles brings cool home, gifts, and clothing accessories--cowls, totes, rugs, poufs, scarves, and more--within arm’s reach. An all-in-one resource for a new kind of craft, this book shows you how to loop yarn with your fingers or your forearms with thirty patterns that are simple to follow and produce stylish results. Best of all, many of them knit up fast—in less than an hour! Even if you’ve never picked up knitting needles, you can easily master the techniques to make fun knits with kids and for kids (a princess crown, baby booties) and even last-minute gifts (a statement necklace for your fashionista friend). With stunning photography, plenty of step-by-step photos, and a detailed resource section, Knitting Without Needles is your go-to for a new way to knit. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Beauty of Different

by Karen Walrond

About the book:  Explores beauty in nine fresh ways and challenges the reader to revel in her own uniqueness, in a book that combines beautiful imagery, portraiture, insightful commentary, essays and interviews in a multisensory, self-discovery-provoking exploration of what is really beautiful.

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Stamp Stencil Paint

by Anna Joyce

About the book:  Textile artist Anna Joyce's design process is intuitive, relaxed, and rooted in the belief that we should live with color and pattern every day. Inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations, Joyce's distinctive projects showcase the beauty of the unexpected and the mark of the artist's hand. In Stamp Stencil Paint, Joyce shares her signature hand-printing techniques and infectious enthusiasm for adding patterns to ready-made surfaces such as fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Following beautiful step-by-step photography, crafters learn new, easy skills to stamp, stencil, and hand-paint wonderful projects for their homes, wardrobes, families, and friends.

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Write Here, Write Now

by Nicole LaRue,Naomi Davis Lee

About the book:  Discover, imagine, observe, explore, document, draw, share, and play with this illustrated guided journal for tweens. With quirky prompts, cool quotes, and terrific illustrations, this one-of-a-kind journal is the ultimate place for young writers to get creative and get writing!

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Nature Anatomy

by Julia Rothman

About the book:  See the world in a whole new way! Acclaimed illustrator Julia Rothman combines art and science in this exciting and educational guide to the structure, function, and personality of the natural world. Explore the anatomy of a jellyfish, the inside of a volcano, monarch butterfly migration, how sunsets work, and much more. Rothman’s whimsical illustrations are paired with interactive activities that encourage curiosity and inspire you to look more closely at the world all around you.

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Homegrown

by Heather Hardison

About the book:  Whether your idea of gardening is a tomato plant on your fire escape or a pumpkin patch in the yard, Homegrown is the ultimate guide to growing your own food and eating it, too! With clear and uncomplicated illustrations, author Heather Hardison guides readers through the process of planting, growing, harvesting, and preparing more than 25 of the tastiest, easy-to-grow vegetables and small fruits—such as spinach, kale, artichokes, and pears—and cooking them into seasonal, clean, and delicious offerings—including Fava Bean Crostini, Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho, and Parsnip Hummus. Using Homegrown’s tips for stocking your own unprocessed pantry, growing your own herbs, and pickling and canning the last of your bounty, anyone can learn to eat from the ground up. Part cookbook, part gardening guide, Homegrown is the perfect excuse to start a small container garden, cook a few seasonal dishes, and see where it takes you!

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Playing with Surface Design

by Courtney Cerruti

About the book:  Create unique and stunning imagery on any exterior with diverse surface design techniques from Courtney Cerutti, author of Playing with Image Transfers and Washi Tape. Whether you are looking to stamp on fabric, marble paper, etch into wood or clay, or create modern looks with neon and metallic, the projects in this book will provide endless inspiration. Playing with Surface Design is a practical and modern resource that will teach you the seven techniques of surface design: Paste Paper, Marbling, Monoprinting, Dyeing and Bleaching, Stamping, and Painting and Mark Making. This book highlights methods and contains multiple project per technique so that you can use them across all mediums. You'll learn how to make beautiful items, including gift boxes, albums, sketchbook covers, wall art, accordion books, and much more. Once you've mastered the techniques, you'll also explore multiple surfaces as a base for your designs â?? wood, fabric, paper, canvas, and book forms. A beautiful gallery will show the use of surface art in a wide variety of high-end artistic works to get your creative juices flowing.

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Art Before Breakfast

by Danny Gregory

About the book:  Packed with the signature can-do attitude that makes beloved artist Danny Gregory a creativity guru to thousands across the globe, this unique guide serves up a hearty helping of inspiration. For aspiring artists who want to draw and paint but just can't seem to find time in the day, Gregory offers 5– to 10–minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule—whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table—along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that's exciting, unintimidating, and fulfilling. Filled with Gregory's encouraging words and motivating illustrations, Art Before Breakfast teaches readers how to develop a creative habit and lead a richer life through making art.

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Print & Pattern: Geometric

by Bowie Style

About the book:  The latest book based on the popular Print & Pattern website, Print & Pattern: Geometric celebrates beautiful surface designs, patterns, and motifs made from geometric shapes such as circles, triangles, hexagons, etc. The patterns included reflect current trends for tribal, Aztec, and Native American designs, along with Scandinavian influences, and more mathematical and scientific looks. Product areas covered will include stationery, cards, and giftwrap, fabrics, wallpaper, rugs, ceramics, homewares, gadget skins, and more. Documenting the work of the best designers in the field, the book will be an invaluable source of reference and inspiration for surface designers, designer makers and craftspeople, graphic designers, illustrators, and textile designers.

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Creative Block

by Danielle Krysa

About the book:  Creative block presents the most crippling—and unfortunately universal—challenge for artists. No longer! This blockbuster of a book is chock-full of solutions for overcoming all manner of artistic impediment. The blogger behind The Jealous Curator interviews 50 successful international artists working in different mediums and mines their insights on how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated, and get new ideas to flow. Each artist offers a tried-and-true exercise—from road trips to 30-day challenges to cataloging the medicine cabinet— that will kick-start the creative process. Abundantly visual with more than 300 images showcasing these artists' resulting work, Creative Block is a vital ally to students, artists, and creative professionals.

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