Scandinavian Gatherings Craft Book Review
Scandinavian Gatherings is not a typical craft book. Half of it isn't even craft projects but cooking recipes and entertaining ideas. And I think it's great!
First off, it's really cute. The art alone is worth looking at. The aesthetic is simple and sweet but sophisticated. Looking through the book I kept thinking, oh that would make a nice cross stitch projects or that would be cute on a t-shirt.
After you are done oohing and aahing over the great art and perfect photos you realize the main goal of this book is to help you recreate a Scandinavian meal. Whether that is a hearty brunch, Christmas feast or a simple afternoon tea. Each meal section offers recipes to serve and crafts to create which compliment the food or theme.
I think this is such a great idea because this book gives you everything you need. Instead of having to find a recipe and then figure out what the decorations should look like you get everything in one spot.
I will point out that the crafts in this book are pretty simple. They seem to be designed as easy projects to throw together while the food is cooking but that isn't necessarily bad. Take the paint-dipped pine cone garland pictured above. This is not a craft project that is going to take hours as well as immense skill but sometimes that is exactly what you want. Many of the projects are so simple that kids could easily make them.
Other projects will take a bit more time and care to complete such as these painted name holders. For my sample project I chose the Mini Danish Heart Garland since it is getting close to the holiday season and these are traditional for Christmas.
They were really simple and fun to do. I made my own pattern so that I could have ones slightly larger than those in the book. Within half an hour I had a garland up and spreading cheer.
You can choose any colors you like but card stock or construction paper would work best. I taped mine to a simple white ribbon and pinned it to the wall with thumb tacks. While I was making these fun little hearts my cardamom bread was in the oven. There are no pictures of this bread as it disappeared into our mouths too quickly. I assure you mine looked exactly like the photo in the book!
Overall I thought this was a really clever and well done book. It was beautiful to look at, had fun and simple crafts and scrumptious recipes. Another aspect I liked about this book is that it gave some cultural reference to the food and crafts so that you learn a thing or two while having fun.
I would love this type of hybrid craft and cooking book to catch on so that we had books highlighting other regions of the world. Crafts and food from the varied regions of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and more would be fascinating and fun. This is totally the anthropologist in me talking but I still think it is a great idea. What region of the world would you like to see in a craft/cooking book? Leave your ideas in the comments.
Happy Crafting! And Cooking!