Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Tea and Felt Biscuits

On the way back from the Post Office the other day I picked up a copy of the current issue of Creativity magazine, which includes a tea-and-biscuits themed project designed by me:

Bigger than an ordinary coaster, this colourful mug mat has plenty of room for your mug of tea (or coffee) and your biscuits of choice.

The mat is made from canvas and felt, and decorated with pretty woven ribbons and fun felt biscuits. The biccies were especially fun to sew! Of course, I had to eat lots of biscuits while working on this project - purely for research purposes, you understand :)

I'm looking forward to flicking through the rest of the mag during a teabreak... and deciding what to make with this month's cute cover gifts. Hmm...

Can't find docrafts Creativity Magazine in your local newsagent? You can subscribe here or buy individual issues here.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Book Review: Ladies of Letterpress

Today I'm reviewing a gooooooogeous book: Ladies of Letterpress.

Ladies of Letterpress "is an organisation that champions the reviving craft of letterpress, and seeks to showcase the work of women printers". This book is a collection of that work - from greetings cards to posters and from calendars to coasters.

This is a big book! Here's one of the pages next to a biro, to give you an idea of the scale.

The book is a cross between a stylish coffee table book and a poster book, as all the pages are perforated so you can (should you wish) tear out the pictures you like the best and put them up on your wall.

Over 80 different printshops are featured, with one main image then (overleaf) a selection of smaller images of their work. So, when you tear out a page all the info about the printer is on the back.


There are also short profiles of each printshop...

... and details of the paper, inks and press used for each piece:

The book also includes five interviews, with printers chatting about how they fell in love with printing, their favourite tools, business tips, etc.

There's a wide mix of different styles represented, and dozens of pages that I wanted to tear out and put up on my studio wall immediately.

My only niggle about this book is that the info about the main "poster" image is always printed in the gutter of the page (so it's quite hard to read) and on the "wrong" side of the perforations (so if you tear out a page then the information about that design is left behind). Honestly though this doesn't get in the way of my enjoyment of this book as I'm not a printer myself or a student needing to know that info... I just want to ooh over all the lovely designs!

This is a beautiful book whose contents would look equally great on your coffee table or your walls, and it would be a great buy if you're looking to decorate a space on a budget.

Ladies of Letterpress is published by Ivy Press. RRP £24.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

Please note: I was sent a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Important To Do List Tasks

There are lots of things on my To Do list at the moment, but three of them are in ALL CAPS with lots of exclamation marks:




I need my To Do list to "yell" these three things at me because they have been on my list for aaaages and yet I have not got around to doing them.

As you've probably noticed (unless you're reading this via email, an RSS feed or on your smartphone) I've already made a start on revamping my blog. The finished result is not going to be anything super fancy, but I've got dozens of small changes that need making - links that need updating, text that need re-writing, etc. - that I've been meaning to get round to for a long, long time. It feels great to be finally tidying things up around here!

Hopefully (with the help of my shouty To Do list) my blog will soon be looking spick and span, I'll have lots of finished projects to share with you guys and there will be lots of fabric and other crafty bits and pieces popping up in the destash section of my Etsy shop next week.  

In the meantime here's a peek at one of the projects that has been "in progress" for months (maybe even a year or more??? sigh)...

 ... and some of the stuff that will soon be added to my crafty destash sale. I'll be sure to announce here on the blog when everything's listed :)


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Beautiful Camellias at Chiswick House

A few weeks ago I had a very Nice Day Out at Chiswick House and Gardens in west London.

In the gardens is a huge conservatory (300 ft long!), built in 1813, which is home to a historic collection of camellias.

Each spring (when the camellias are blooming) there's a Camellia Festival, when as well as viewing the camellias and learning about the history of the collection you can also purchase some of the varieties for your own garden.

I didn't really have an opinion about camellias one way or the other before visiting the Festival, but oh my goodness they are so beautiful. Prepare to swoon:


Utterly enchanting - and a wonderful, cheerful burst of colour in the early, still chilly spring. 

This year's Camellia Festival has now finished but the camellias are still blooming - do go along for a visit if you can (the gardens and conservatory are free to visit, hurrah), or make a note in your diary to check out next year's Festival. I highly recommend it!

P.S. I'll be blogging more about my visit to Chiswick House & Gardens next week.


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