Handmade Living with Lotta Jansdotter review

My review of Handmade Living by Lotta Jansdotter is going to be a little bit different than my other book reviews – simply because this is a lifestyle book rather than a project book.  When I figured that out, I’m going to be honest.  I was worried that this book was going to be a big snooze.  The good news is that it’s quite the contrary – after cracking open the binding, I didn’t get up for at least an hour.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lotta’s life, her design, her work space and her entertaining.

I really enjoyed Handmade Living because it’s fascinating to get the story behind the artist.  Lotta’s story and life are inspirational, and she seems like a great person.  She’s one of those people that I wouldn’t mind going to lunch with and maybe even shopping for cute, modern goods afterward.  I like Lotta because she’s definitely an artist but she’s crafty, too.  She also has great taste in shirt colors:

Lotta with her book and “the great one”

After reading this book, here’s what I love about Lotta. #1, her hair. It’s like mine except messier, and I didn’t even know that was possible. #2, her son’s name: August. I’ve always wanted a son named August that I could call “Gus.” #3, she’s Scandinavian. My great-grandfather was Norwegian, and my family has always appreciated Scandinavian style. Of course I love her design as well, and I know you will too. I’m giving away one copy of Handmade Living so that you can get as engrossed in the words and pictures as I did. Here are the rules. 

1. Comment on THIS blog entry. Why would you like to win this book?
2. Only one entry per person.
3. Contest will close this Wednesday, January 12th at midnight (EST).
4. PLEASE leave your e-mail address if it’s not attached in Blogger – I need some way to reach you.

Full contest disclosure here.
Winner of the Paper + Craft book giveaway was Dawn Newsome.
THANK you so much for all of the questions you asked for my New Year’s post.  I should have the answers up in the next few weeks.  The ten Mod Podge starter pack winners are Reflections from Granny, Two Little Hooligans, Jacobs Family, The Scrapbook Speedway, Vintage Retouche by Mary, Minding Momma, Linda, Twelve Days Old, Elisekayem and Leah Claire.


  1. Anonymous says

  2. zoe ross says

  3. Mary Zoom says

    Oh my! I would really, really, REALLY love to win this book! Lotta Jansdotter’s work has always inspired me, and I would love to learn more about her as a person.

  4. StampinCathy says

    What a creative and inspiring crafter. I would love to have this great book. Thanks for a chance.

  5. urbangypsymama says

    Okay you are so right about her choice in shirt colors. I am moving into a little bitty house that needs some work and I could use some inspiration!

  6. Maisy says

    Lotta sounds like someone I’d like to be friends with. I’d definitely love to win her book, as I’m always looking for new things to do with paper! Thanks for the opportunity to learn a “Lotta” new things! (sorry… I couldn’t resist! LOL)

  7. Izzy says

    I kinda got myself into a crisis wondering what is the point of my hobby projects, is a handmade style of living really a possibility and then along comes Amy with this book… Maybe it hides some answers for me, I just got to win it, right? Thanks for the opportunity! :)

  8. Barbara says

    Lotta guides you along the path of developing your own creative space that defines you – I would love to have this book

  9. Brooke Douglass says

  10. Diana says

    Thank you for the chance to win this book!! It so sounds like a book that I would love to read and then do some projects. Lotta sounds like a fun person and how could she not be when Martha had her on her show!

  11. Beth Ann says

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read this book I am Scandinavian as well and I think it would be super inspiring to read her story!

  12. Lori m says

    I’d love to win this book, I’m always looking for new ideas, things to make, I save it all and recycle anything I can, all inspiration is welcome in my home.

    Thank you so much for the winning gift, I’ve become a Mod Podge snob sort of snob lol, you can look but don’t touch my Mod Podge he he.

    Enjoy, blessings, Lori m

  13. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    Definitely trying to start the year with a fresh perspective. This would be the perfect inspiration!

  14. says

    I would love to win this book- I’m trying to live more simply and that includes handmaking things rather than buying them. This book would be a nice inspiration!

  15. aimee says

  16. Connie says

  17. says

    I would LOVE to win this book because I love crafting…my Grandma was/is such a craft-happy person, & as a result, I’m really into crafting too! I would be ecstatic to receive a cool book like this! Thank you for doing such a great giveaway!

  18. says

    I would love this book because I’m always interested in new crafting ideas, and I would love to see what fascinated you. I am half Swedish and also love things Scandinavian.

  19. stefeni says

    Looks like a great book. I would love to learn more ways to decor my house because man does it need help.

    spunkycrayon at yahoo dot com

  20. Daisy says

    I would like to win this book because I became interested in content, after he was given a preview of what it is.

  21. TeenaBugg38 says

    I would LOVE to win this book!! I think with the economy the way it is we should ALL focus more on handmade gifts and decor for our homes…its good for the environment if we recycle things we may normally thro away and of course its good for our wallets too….and home made is o much better anyway!!!

  22. Chelsea says

    I’ve admired all her books for awhile and just haven’t added any to my collection yet. I’d love to start off with a win!

    chelsealexander at hotmail

  23. Stacy Disarrayed says

  24. Jess says

  25. The Scrapbook Speedway says

    sounds like a good book. but i am so not a reader! lol…. good luk to the rest of you!

  26. chinamomxtwo says

    This book looks great! I love the idea that it’s a way of life–Way cool.. Thanks for the chance to win. :)

  27. BelafonteX says

    Scandinavian style is my latest obsession! Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win.

  28. Sherry says

    I would love to win this book. I just opened a handmade Etsy shop and am very inspired by the Scandinavian style and have been using it for ideas for my projects. Wonderful sounding book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Aimee says

    I would love to win this book because I am 3/4 Scandinavian (Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic). I love sharing my heritage with others.

  30. WriterGirl says

    I love Lotta!!! I’m another Norwegian who loves the Scandinavian vibe. I like the fact that it’s handmade living…not just one aspect. Thanks!!

  31. Pattie Cordova says

    I would love to win this book because I’m striving to move towards that lifestyle, especially with children in the house and don’t know where to begin.

  32. Angie says

    I would love to have this book to inspire me. I have a room full of craft supplies and have lost my inspiration.

  33. Katelyn says

    I would love to have this book so I could envy her whole life! Just kidding…I would love to get more ideas for anything and everything!

  34. Georgine says

    I like her books and her style. And I am blond and I live in a predominately Swedish town. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  35. RoseMamie says

    I adore Lotta and would LOVE to learn more about her and her life!! What a great giveaway..thank you!

  36. Amy @ Increasingly Domestic says

    I would love to add this to my crafty inspiration bookshelf:) She looks like so much fun!

  37. Kelly says

    We all need to continue being inspired by others. Lotta is a great source of inspiration. thanks for the giveaway.
    k3ll3yb0b at gmail dot com

  38. Dana says

    I would love to learn more about Lotta as well as gain some inspiration for the new year!

    danabnsn at gmail dot com

  39. Cory says

    i would love to win this because i need to leaner how to hand make more stuff because i’m broke
    mychancetowin at gmail dot com

  40. Andrea says

  41. L says

    I’m always looking for a “modern but not too modern” look for our house, and particularly struggle with finding that balance in crafts. The cover looks like such a promising aesthetic!

  42. Frivolitea says

    Oh my goodness would I love this book. I love to read about people who live a “handmade” life. So inspiring!

  43. Bec Clarke says

    Oh I love reading about clever crafty people and their life/space/inspiration.
    Thank you for the chance to win and the heads up on a great new book.

  44. Janet says

    I could use some inspiration for the new year. 2010 was a long one.

    jdoll at mail dot win dot org

  45. Teri "Terrific" says

    Thank you for this opportunity to win Handmade Living.
    I would love to have this book because:
    a) I’ve never heard of Lotta
    b) I love to craft…anything!
    c) I love to read…especially about crafters/crafting
    d) I love the blue shirt she’s wearing on Martha 😀
    e) The cover is intriguing: the designs on the left, the sweater she’s wearing on the right 😀
    Thanks, again, for your FUN and informative blog.
    Teri “Terrific”

  46. SummersDesigns says

    I would love this book because I love handmade things and I am always looking for more ways to incorporate them into my life. Thanks!

  47. Nazanin says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this book. I’m a student and I borrow craft books from the library every week and work on all their projects. Craft books inspire my creativity. I have started making a collection of all the craft books that I can afford so that I can attach my own adjustments and the pictures of my creations to the original tutorials. I can mostly afford used and outdated books and I’d love to have a new book in my collection. I hope that I win this book. :)

  48. Carrie says

  49. Chrissy says

    Wow I saw her on Martha and would absolutely love to read her book. I could use alittle lift to my January blues, right now :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  50. Avalon says

    I love reading other people’s stories and backgrounds. It helps me to see where people are coming from. And it doesn’t hurt that she has great taste and is super crafty!
    Thanks for the give away! avalon.marsh (@) gmail.com

  51. felicia says

    I would love to win this because so far I have loved all of her books! Also my daughter’s name is August :)

  52. Vicki says

    Ooh…this looks like such a great book. I saw it on amazon awhile back and thought it looked so cool! I actually have it on hold at the library right now, but it would be so much nicer to have my own copy…(:

  53. Kylie Craftafarian says

    I would love to win this book to use as inspiration for future crafting. Thanks for the chance to win!

  54. Mitchgreen says

    Would love to win. I love reading about what inspires and influences craft from other countries. Sounds like a good read!!

  55. Betsy Rocks says

    I found your blog a few days ago. I go thru mod podge as much as you!! And I just printed Lottas pic so I can do my hair like that in the morning! FUN FUN FUN

  56. sbcmom says

    I’ve been trying to add more handmade items to my home. This books looks like it would be a fantastic read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. Barbie says

    This winter has been an uneventful one, just dreary and gray. We haven’t even gotten any snow to speak of. I new book with new inspiration would really give me a lift. Thanks!

  58. who is ashlee? says

    I would love to have a new read! I live in an “IKEA” home and would love to read a book about scandanavian style with personality. Have a wonderful week!

  59. Speckled Kat says

  60. Jennifer says

  61. Linda Kish says

    Since I am Scandinavian, it would be great to embrace the styles of my heritage.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  62. Debbi says

    Would love to have this book as a good reference on Scandinavian design. The simplicity is beautiful.

  63. Heidi says

    Well, it just sounds like a good read! She has such a simple style that I would love to learn more about!

  64. Renee G says

    I would love to read this book to give me a little insight into her work/life and inspire me in the new year.

  65. Jessica says

    Besides having a life-long commitment to reading anything by a Scandinavian who not only has great hair by also has a son named August . . .
    I cleaned my sewing/craft room and I feel that I need a little reward! :)


  66. Cathy says

    I would like to know more about her and how her creativity began…Thanks for the chance to win!!

  67. renee wood says

    i would love to win this book as i am so committed to spending as much time as possible making and creating this year.
    i plan to shop and spend less and make more, this book looks like it will help me achieve my goal.
    thanks for the opportunity!

  68. [email protected] says

    The cover of this book alone piques
    your interest. Winning this inspirational book would be a lovely way to start 2011!

  69. veggiegrl says

    This book seems amazing and of course I would love to have it. I am big on making as much as you can at home rather than buy it. I would love to read more about her.

  70. veggiegrl says

  71. Deb30906 says

    I would love to read the book simply because of your review. You make it seem like a must read book.

  72. Donna says

    If the “Great One” recommends the book it might be worth reading. Thanks for the chance to win!

  73. catnap says

    Instead of standing next to the Great One, she is the great one. I have another of her books and I love her handmade style. Having been to Sweden and Denmark, I have fallen in love with Scandinavian style sensibilities. The sneak peek I took at the book has me excited about the inspiration she packed into her book. Can’t wait to read it.

  74. annemk says

  75. Sangeetha says

    I like Lotta, simple and cute designs. I have borrowed and read this book from my library and love it!

  76. phyllisarts says

    This sounds like an amazing book! I would love to incorporate her ideas into my crafty life! sounds like a wonderful addition to my library!

  77. says

    i am looking to start my own business where i can work from home and raise my daughter at the same time. am collecting from resources as inspiration and this would help guide me in the right direction. thanks for the opportunity.

  78. Leah S. says

    I love sewing with Lotte–she really helped me get over my initial fears of it. I lived in Denmark for ten months and fell in love with their style. If I won this book, I would be the most stylin’ Texas Dane out there.

  79. Debbi says

    Why would I LOVE to win this book…….. INSPIRATION I can use all the help I can get. I love to do crafts but am not creative, this book could get the juices flowing.

  80. PringlesPalo says

    i’d love to win this book to learn from lotta’s own inspirational journey, as mentioned from the review. i look up to designers and artists alike, lotta is a testimony of self-taught and living a fun life. it will be great to participate in this giveaway.

  81. kksewell says

  82. Cindy d says

    I love knowing more about the person behind the crafts, regardless of who it is. The book sounds inspirational and informative. Thanks for the chance to win!

  83. Elena says

    I love the idea of handmade living and would love to read about how others embrace it and explain it to others who may think it’s crazy.

  84. I've arted!! says

    I have recently become enthralled in blogs by crafty people & I absolutly can’t seem to stop reading the “about me” section. I hope I win this book to get more ideas and inspirations & so much “about me” stuff:)

  85. says

    Ooh, I’d love this book if only because her awesome hair could finally convince me to chop mine off! I’m always afraid to go too short, but I’d love to!

  86. SLucy says

    I want to win this because I love handmade and I love making things myself and I love winning things 😉
    hypersky5 at hotmail dot com

  87. Anonymous says

    Would love to win this book for so many reasons, but let me try to sum them up:1. I love to read 2. Anything Martha recommends is worth buying 3. Ditto goes for you!! 4. I made it my 2011 Resolution to become more “crafty”, “artsy” and “homey”! No more taking the pants to the dry cleaner to fix the hem or buying someone else’s beautiful Christmas craft that I know I can make myself and put my heart and soul into. 5. I would love to win something – I don’t ever remember winning anything!
    Love your blog so much. thanks
    [email protected]

  88. sillykid says

    I have always read inspirational books all my life because I am a bi-polar person. The more I read about other people or about ways to fix myself I do. I have alot of craft stuff but I need a kick in the bottom to get going and I just love home made items. So yes I really need a book like this. If I don”t win it I will go buy it. So thank you alot for the chance to win the book.

  89. shobelle says

    This book looks so very cool!

    I would love to win it so I can further organize my house & craft space. And, decorating tips are always useful!

    Thanks for the opportunity, Amy!


    shonijunk (at) yahoo (dot) com

  90. Barb says

    I was just recently introduced to the wonderful world of Lotta and her books. I received Simple Sewing, and can’t wait to test it out. I would love to learn what inspires her and take a peek at her world.

  91. Sarah and Nathan says

    I would love to win this book! I’m so visual it would be a great way help encourage my own creativity

  92. Anne Marie@Married to the Empire says

    I already have one of her books and really like it. This would be a nice addition to my collection of craft inspiration books.

  93. jengd says

    This sounds like it would be a great resource. I find it interesting that there are recipes and stencils in the back- a different type of book all together.

  94. avalonne83 says

    I think it could be a great source of inspiration for me as a crafter.

    Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

  95. Marguerite says

    I would like to be able to add this book to my (small) library of design and crafting books as it sounds inspirational, informative and entertaining. What more can you ask of a book? Great giveaway. Thanks.
    marguerito at comcast dot net

  96. craftydill says

    two reasons i would love to win this book: like you, i LOVE Scandinavian design and i’ve heard nothing but good things about it

  97. Hannah says

  98. ~ Cee ~ says

    I am obsessed with Scandinavian clothing, decor … anything! I would love to win this book! Thank you so much for this incredible giveaway!
    ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com

  99. We2review says

    I would love to win this book! I have just retired from my job and I am so excited about being able to craft when I want to! There are so many ideas just waiting for me to try!!! Thanks for the opportunity.