I've just finished Pip Lincolne's book, Craft for the Soul (Penguin, 2015). The strapline for the book is - How to get the most out of your creative life, however, I feel this is misleading. I think it should read, How to Get the Most Out of Life!
It was exactly the book I needed after the last eighteen months of cancer and death and malarky. I am not a craft person. I can knit, I can sew, but I'm not great at either of them. For years, I tried every craft under the sun, and in retrospect I was looking for an outlet for my creativity and eventually I found it in writing.
What Pip's book does is connect you back to living a creative life and having an everyday life. I realised that I have been so so busy focussing on problem-solving for so long, I had forgotten how be creative and imaginative. This books gently coaxes you out of your cynicism and helps you dip your toes back into the creative waters.
Craft for the Soul is not a craft book. It's not a recipe book. It's not a self-help manual. It's a gorgeous, considered, reflection on what makes Pip Lincolne tick and what recharges her in her life.
I get the feeling that Pip went through some tough stuff prior and during the writing of this book, and her battle-weary optimism is what shines through.
Sometimes life is tough, and sometimes the answer lies is a toasted sandwich, a cup of tea, and watching a classic movie.
In this gorgeous book, Pip lists creative projects to try, food to make and helps you find your morning ritual. She extols the virtues of walking and catalogues the best movies to watch when you need to lay low.
This book, is quite simply, a treasure. It's the sort of book you can pick up and dive into on any page, and try anything, or you can work through it slowly, savouring it like a gorgeous dish.
It has echoes of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin but is more realistic, allowing us to just simply live and enjoy the moments that present themselves to us, while trying new things.
Buy a copy for everyone you know who might put too much pressure on themselves. Those who push and push and yet stay in the same place. This is their permission slip to stop and make a cup of tea, and just put their feet up for a while.
Get your copy here, and buy another one for a mate while you're at it!