I have just been reading a beautifully inspiring craft book which I thought that I would share with you.
Little Sew and Sew by Christine Leech (Quadrille 2013) is a sewing and embroidery book with more than 30 projects in most of which are simple enough for beginners, and in any case, are described well with lovely illustrations and diagrams. I love the styling and fresh yet classic approach, it's just a lovely lovely book.
Christine is a busy busy woman, being an art director in the magazine industry as well as craft book author, and blogging her many makes over at Sew Yeah!
As I found this book at the library (love my library - it's all craft books and murder mystery here in the sticks) it will definately be on my Santa List. There are too many cute projects in the book, I can't do them all before they will want me to return it! I can't even decide which to start first, the Kissing Children Tote, the Alphabet Wall Hanging (sneak peak below right) or the Birdcage Tea Cosy. If you want to make someone something gorgeous for Christmas, take a look!
Here's the Amazon link.
Note: I wasn't asked to do this review, I just did it because I LOVE the book. Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing X
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Shockingly, as it does not seem like more than a week since the summer, it is mid-November and there is little more than a month until my favourite holiday. I have already plugged CraftFEST which is happening over on Creative Connections at the moment, and obviously, that is because I have a stall over there, but please do consider popping over to buy some handmade goodies as Christmas presents. I have made a Top 3 reasons why I feel you should:
1. Handmade products have travelled less far to be with you - even if the raw materials have come from overseas, the final product comes direct from the maker in your own country, it has not been shipped and frieghted hither and thither across the country from warehouse to depot.
2. Handmade products have been made using traditional and sustainable skills
3. Handmade product purchasing supports local/regional economies rather than putting money in the hands of large global enterprise, who often filter money and resources away from where they are needed.
There are so many other reasons - not least that you can get a really cute unique gift for a reasonable price that doesn't "cost the earth".
Happy browsing x
Saturday, 16 November 2013
Today is the beginning of veritable feast of craft, the wonderful on-line craft fair that is CraftFEST!
My Made By Dolly Stall can be found there too.
Between 16th and 23rd November many great UK makers and designers are gathered under the one virtual roof, making your independant handmade shop a LOT more simple. Please grab a cup of tea and browse, browse, browse. Maybe you might even be tempted to purchase something special ......
My Made By Dolly Stall can be found there too.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Now Autumn is truly here lots of rainy days present themselves asking to be filled up with simple, easy to initiate things-to-do.
I thought that I would share with you a recent activity that has been entertaining my children for hours, which is basically your average cutting and glueing exercise, but maybe also fuels the young/old imagination a bit!
Large piece of paper with a house outline drawn on - either by you or your child depending on the age. Add some floors, wall divides or encourage them to do this.
People - you can print out favourite characters from CBeebies, cut them from magazines, draw them yourselves. In our pictures you will see the family from a Milly Molly Mandy Book which we enlarged on the photocopier.
Furnishings - here you need old magazines, catalogues or furniture pamphlets. We also like random bits of fabric, scraps of coloured paper, glitter glue etc.
Talk!! This is a great activity to give for them to get on with alone, but if you talk with them about what they are doing and ask their opinions on the house layout etc you will have some delightfully screwy chats I guarantee.
I hardly need add instructions, apart from to say to any perfectionist adults out there - don't let the kids rampant disregard for scale and domestic order upset you too much! A bath in a tree outside, doors on the roof, birds in the lounge, it's all good - take a deep breath, and admire the finished fantasy dwellings......
Friday, 25 October 2013
Halloween is a fun time for children in this country, lots of sweets, parties and a little mild spooky fun. My kids love dressing up, carving a pumpkin and as far as I am concerned, it is a harmless festival. In fact, psychologists have suggested that indulging in fantasy scares, like reading a spooky fairytale or ghost story, help children work through anxieties they are too young to articulate or rationalise.
I am not, however, very keen on the Trick or Treat aspect of doorstepping your neighbours, and if you are not comfortable with that, or more generally with the emphasis on ghouls and ghosties around Halloween, finding a way of allowing your children to join in without an outright ban is always problematic.
This year, put an alternative spin on the festival. World Vision UK are asking that on 31st October, we remember the children around the world who really do live in fear. They have come up with the utterly adorable idea of placing a heart pumpkin on your doorstep. On a dark, dark night, you can show the world you care with your pumpkin burning bright, a little lantern of love and hope for universal childhood.
You can read more about the Night of Hope on the Worldvision website. They have carving guides, pumpkin recipes and a very sad case study about a little girl in Uganda who was ultimately helped by World Vision to escape a forced marriage aged 15.
Please do consider signing up, you might even win the prize of a cookery class with Lesley Waters, which you are entered into when you do. Bonus!
|Image courtesy of World Vision UK|
Monday, 21 October 2013
As much as I love my little cat guys, I do resent how much one might pay for a cheaply produced cat toy, if you went out to buy such a thing. Our kittens love to play, like the children do, with boxes, the wet washing, jingly things etc, but to prevent them destroying the house (that is, both children and cats) sometimes toys are a good answer.
To welcome my new cats home, my children and I put together some simple cat toys we have had endless fun with.
We made two types of toy, a Cat Wand and some Mice.
CAT WAND INSTRUCTIONS
You need a range of ribbon, or scrap fabric strips,
craft feathers (or collected from garden?),
string (here we used out string from the veg box),
a bamboo cane
and some sort of ball. This is an old golf practice ball, which worked very well.
You need some more scrap fabric
a piece of string or ribbon for tail
some stuffing - toy stuffing/wool work best but you could also add some catnip
I have made a sort of pattern to download free here. Apologies for scrappy hand drawn-ness of it, I don't have the correct software or know-how to make a better one....