I was very excited last week when this book plopped through the letter box. It had been on my Amazon wish list for ages and when the opportunity arose to review it, I jumped at the chance!
As I already own both ‘Sew’ and ‘Make’ (disappointed with one, loved the other!) and am a complete stitching novice, I was intrigued as to how I would rate this book. I’m glad to say that it lived up to my expectations and is probably my favourite book of the three.
As regular readers of this blog may know, needlepoint and cross-stitch are not crafts that I would usually indulge in and so I found the introduction section particularly useful, clearly explaining the various stitches and techniques that would be needed for the projects. I was glad to see that the projects didn't stay at the beginner level though, but were graded through to more difficult or longer term projects such as the rug and seat cover.
Although there is a fair spread of projects in the book I did find the range slightly limited - there were a lot of cushions and pouches of various kinds, (and does anyone ever use a candle shade?!). I was particularly drawn to the use of soluble canvas to embroider designs onto clothes and other objects and am wondering if I can maybe use some of the needlepoint ideas as cross stitch designs in this way too. I am also thinking of possibly using some of the designs on a smaller scale to make pictures with.
Of all the projects included within the book, my favourites by far are the Union Jack designs and I can’t wait to start the cushion. I do however, also want to make the Electric Flowers cushion, the Stripe rug, the pincushion, the gadget case....
For those crafters who are not so keen on Cath’s instantly recognisable florals, don’t worry! There are plenty of her other designs included in the book and it would not be so difficult to adapt these to fit other projects.
Though the variety of projects seemed a little limited to me, the book does contain a lot of ideas and designs that could be used as a starting point for other gifts to make for yourself or others. As a long time lover of Cath Kidston's designs and products, I thought the book itself was wonderfully photographed and whether you buy it for yourself or for someone else, is a real addition for any Cath Kidston fans out there. Would I recommend it? Definitely.
Today I walked into my local newsagents and found a copy of Country Living tucked away at the back of a shelf, hidden behind all the Dutch home magazines. It was a small thing, but it really cheered me up.
Somehow this other magazine managed to jump into my basket too, and so I spent a lovely quiet hour or so at home with a coffee, reading and wishing just a tiny bit that I was able to go to the Country Living Christmas Fayre as I would usually be doing about now.
If I'm really honest, I'm struggling at the moment. The initial excitement and euphoria of moving to another country have faded, the unpacking has long been finished and most of the first phase of redecoration which has kept me busy for so long has now been done. Reality has hit like a bulldozer and I'm feeling really homesick and lonely. I've really struggled with finding a new rhythm since the move and as you may have noticed, not much crafting has been done. On top of all this, I'm still struggling with the 'mystery illness' which began around this time last year, and no one seems to be able to tell me what the problem is, which means I have now been taking morphine for the pain since last November and am begininning to wonder if this is me now, forever.
Bleurgh!! There, that's how it really is in one big, rather-feeling-sorry-for-myself splurge. Phew. Sorry.
If you're still reading, well done. I'm sorry for being so glum. I don't want you to think it's all doom and gloom. It's not. I have so much to be thankful for and I am. It's just that sometimes it's the small things that are needed to make the day seem a little brighter..
Once again, I had the chance to pattern test for the lovely Kitschycoo. This time it was for her reversible zipper hoody, and once again, it was a breeze to make!
Ladybug had the pleasure of modelling the finished article and helped to choose the fabrics. I love how it turned out and despite vowing never to sew with shaggy fleece/fur ever ever again ( 5 needles and HOW much fluff??) I can see another few of these on the horizon...
Amanda is having a give-away over on her blog for a chance to win the pattern. Pop over and say 'Hi' !
I'm getting back into my usual routine and am spending at least part of every day behind my sewing machine - yay!
This weeks makes have included a gift for a tiny new baby born ten weeks too early. I made it from the softest minky chenille and girly floral fabrics but am convinced that its going to be much bigger than she is. I've had the idea in my head for a while and managed to put it together in an evening. There are things that I'm definitely going to change for next time though.
I also managed to put together another idea that has been floating around in my head for a while - a cat collar!! our cats regularly come back home minus their collars and I really begrudge paying €7 or so for a collar that I don't really like. A month or so ago I ordered a whole batch of safety clasps and so when Mr Marmalade (guess which cat the children named..!) came home sans collar last night, it was a perfect time to put ideas into practice - and this is the result :
I am ridiculously pleased with it, though next time will do a double thickness of ribbon to make it a bit sturdier.
And here's a picture of the fat man himself wearing it!
This week I have also struggled with and given up on 'the dress that nightmares are made from'....
Will show you more next time!
Last week I did my first real 'making' since the move, and it felt soooooooo good to be back behind my desk! The office/workroom is all unpacked and apart from a minor re plastering job and a lick of paint, is all set up and ready to go.
Want to see what I made? Go on then....!
I hosted a baby shower for a friend, and as part of her gift, made her this pair of baby shoes and matching burp cloths.
I also made her a baby bouquet of vests and socks - I haven't made one of these for ages!
I had lots of fun preparing for the baby shower too, making cupcakes:
(I loved these. Was very tempted to leave them up, but my girls nabbed them all for their rooms!)
The very observant amongst you may have noticed a sneak peek of the blanket that I'm making for the baby too. It's still not finished, and the baby is due next Monday. I'll give you a closer look next time.. xx
I'm very excited, as I've never had a vine before. As soon as I saw the first bunch, I kept spotting more and more and more! The vine is so overgrown and neglected, that I didn't expect much from it - will have to wait a bit longer to see if they are edible.
All of our garden is sadly very neglected and overgrown. We have four fruit trees in there ( not sure what fruit they will grow!) but they are so overgrown and surrounded by weeds, they are hard to spot! Next year, next year, I will start on the garden..... (need to get the inside done first!)