Upwrite's Gift Guide 2016

Upwrite's Gift Guide 2016

We love giving presents around here. So much so that both of us could probably exhaust our meager bank accounts each time a gift-giving occasion rolls around (and trust us, our definition of “gift-giving occasion” is quite liberal).

As the holidays approach, you can probably guess we’re more than a little bit giddy about sharing gift ideas with you. We’ve hand-picked a few our favorite pieces of art, books, magazines, services, and experiences with you and your loved ones in mind--and the best part is, every purchase you make will support some of our most beloved hope-stirring friends and artists. So please, do us (and our husbands) a solid and buy something for from our gift guide before we literally just buy it all. Happy holidays!

"No. 2,"  Hayley E. Morgan

"No. 2,"  Hayley E. Morgan

Art Prints by Hayley Morgan

Just a few weeks ago we spoke to Hayley Morgan about her artistic process and how she cultivates a life of quiet and intention. For as little as $15 (you read that right), you can purchase one of Hayley’s dreamy-as-heck original prints. And for less than $100, you can buy one to own on canvas. This is perfect for the abstract expressionist in your life (if you're lucky enough to have one). 

Greeting cards designed by Anna Elkins as part of the "Take Heart" series

Greeting cards designed by Anna Elkins as part of the "Take Heart" series

"Take Heart" Greeting Cards

These beautiful and original greeting cards by poetess and artisan Anna Elkins are the perfect way to send a little bit of poetry to those you care about this season.  Each one carries a thoughtful, encouraging lyric that steps beyond a simple holiday sentiment. The best part of ordering these cards if that 10% of all proceeds goes to an art studio that gives developmentally disabled individuals a space to give life to their own creative visions. ou can learn more about Anna's heart and her artistic process by reading her interview with us earlier this month but fair warning: you will be a little bit in love with her by the end of it. 

 

Original hand lettered artwork by Claire Busler

Original hand lettered artwork by Claire Busler

Joysoaked Handmade

Our good friend Claire Busler (lovingly known around these parts as Dr. Donut) is a constantly spinning wheel of witticisms and wisdom (and, to our delight, the occasional Kanye lyric). She also happens to have dang cute handwriting, which she exercises in her bullet journaling (ask her about it tho!) and more recently, her customized print shop, Joysoaked Handmade.

Equal parts pithy and pretty, Claire’s miniature prints will add a sparkly dimension of of...you guessed it...joy to your home or office. Go get you (or the millennial hand-lettering enthusiast in your life) some!

Brand Consultation with Erin Nausin of Primavera Studio

It's no secret that Erin Nausin of Primavera Studio is our girl. Though she's an incredibly gifted writer (and has written for us a number of times), her "wheelhouse" is in the world of graphic design. A work-from-home mama with a penchant for connecting your heart to your visual brand, Erin offers "Brandstorm Sessions," online coaching calls designed to equip creatives to do their thing with authenticity and zeal. As a special this month, she's doing written brand consultations for $50--all the fixins' of a normal coaching call, but on paper (and probably pretty). If you're giving a gift to a business owner in need of a refresh or rebrand, you won't want to miss this one. 

 

The Brothers K, David James Duncan 

We can’t explain how much we adore this book. A sprawling coming-of-age tale told from the perspective of four brothers, The Bros K is a collection of hilarious and heart-wrenching parts forming a really deep and meaningful whole. Addressing themes as diverse as childhood trauma, family tension, religion, and baseball, the book is a long read (especially for those of us accustomed to 140-character ideas), but its poetic language and multi-layered plot make this jewel of a novel feel like an absolute breeze. And a really rewarding one at that.

 

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction,  William Zinsser

If your intended gift recipient has a degree in Creative Writing, English, Rhetoric, or any associated field, you might want to slow your roll -- they already own this book.  It's on practically every undergrad syllabus, and with good reason: this handbook for clean, informative nonfiction writing is indispensable for anyone that seeks to communicate a written message. We really can't laud this book enough as a layman's tool and crash course for writing effectively. 

 

The White Album, Joan Didion

Precise without becoming impersonal, ecumenical without becoming preachy, this collection of essays a the master of the form at the height of her powers of observation is as relevant now as it was when it was published. If our current political climate has people in your life feeling twisted, this book might be a better antidote than that meme you were tempted to send. 

 

The Best American Non-required Reading, 2016

The annual roundup of  flash fiction, listicles, and short stories that veer to the bizarre brings levity, spontaneity, and fun to the "anthology" genre. This year's collection should be an especially rollicking one, with guest editor Rachel Kushner at the helm. Perfect for the quirky McSweeney's aficionado on your list.     

We might be an online home for hope, but trust us, we’re all about print publications. There’s nothing like holding a book or magazine in your hands, annotating in the margins and dog-earing your favorite pages. In a world of hyper-palatable, ready-to-consume internet content, there’s something really special about getting a glossy magazine in the mail--a true labor of love crafted by some really hard-working journalists. Here are some publications we’re excited about.

Christianity Today

Even if you don’t identify as a Christian, we can promise you’ll be both challenged and inspired by the excellent stories covered in this publication. Some of our favorite hope-stirrers, including managing editor Richard Clark, writer D.L. Mayfield, and formerly, author Katelyn Beaty, have worked hard to make CT a hospitable but convicting online and offline space, and we believe you, your faith, and our world will be a little bit better with a subscription.

Image Journal

The intersection of faith, art, and culture is a place you’ll find us often, and the folks over at Image have curated a pretty incredible spot along these lines. Filled with cover-to-cover essays, poems, and visual art, this mag makes a perfect gift for the spiritual wayfarer in your life. Not to mention a gorgeous addition to anyone's coffee table. 

Still need ideas for what to gift your favorite hope enthusiast? Visit Upwrite's Resource page, where plenty more encouraging and informative books by some of our favorite people await. 

Keep Your Warmth: Coffee, Tea, and Connection

Keep Your Warmth: Coffee, Tea, and Connection

The Man in the Mirror: Self-Evaluation with Michael Jackson

The Man in the Mirror: Self-Evaluation with Michael Jackson