Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Review and Giveaway: Now I can Sew - 20 hand-sewn projects to make by Sian Hamilton

'Now I Can Sew - 20 hand-sewn projects to make' by Sian Hamilton is a book which contains 20 fun and colourful projects to make.  This is the ideal introduction to hand sewing for children from the age of 8 and up.

The main thing that instantly struck me about this book was the fact that each of the projects were things that you would use in everyday life.  SO many craft books have ideas for children to make which are things which will inevitably end up in a recycling bin.  This book however has ideas to brighten and enhance the usual things we use from day to day.  Cushion covers, bags, pencil holders, bookmarks, finger puppets and aprons to name but a few.  

We all know boys love monsters and so my seven year old wanted to have go at making the monster pencil holder (see top photo).  This was a good opportunity to test out how easy the instructions were to follow and how well the projects turned out as a whole.

With several pages dedicated to techniques which covers things like separating strands of embroidery floss, using a needle threader, knotting thread, knotting off thread, over sewing, measuring and marking, tracing templates, stitches and much much more there is simply nothing that you could need to know that is not covered in this book.  If you want your children to take up sewing then this is the book you should be buying for them.  
In fact, I would go as far as to say this could be a very useful reference book for adults just starting out with sewing as the visuals work so well together with the easy to understand language.  This makes taking up sewing a much less daunting prospect.

My son had absolutely no problems following the instructions as the pictures alone were pretty self-explanatory.  Using the stitching guide as a reference the monster pencil pot was made within the hour.  It involved cutting a plastic bottle in half, covering the sharp edges with masking tape and then sewing together the piece of felt.  He cut out the mouth, embroidered the eyes and then we glue-gunned the eyes and fangs on.  We have hundreds of coloured pencils around the house, so I love the idea of creating various coloured monsters to hold certain colours i.e. a red monster for red pencils, a blue monster for blue pencils etc.

Here are some projects we would love to create in the near future:

Overall, this is a vibrant, bright and colourful craft book bursting at the seams with inspiration for adults and children alike.  The photography is gorgeous, I love the way they capture step-by-step photos so that each project is almost fail-proof to follow.  Definitely a book that will be remaining in my crafting library for future reference.

For more info please visit https://www.thegmcgroup.com/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=7145&idcategory=0

If you would like to win a copy of this marvellous book, then please enter through Rafflecopter.

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Disclaimer: I was sent this book for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Review: Decorative Paper Craft by GMC Books

I was busy browsing craft books when my eyes met upon this book.   I knew I had to have it as the projects within it were completely irresistible.  I've never done any form of delicate paper cutting before but I knew within a few seconds that this was a craft I wanted to take up.

I got in contact with GMC Books who kindly sent me a copy of the book to review and off I went to Hobbycraft to purchase my supplies.  It's a really cheap hobby to get started with; all I needed was a scalpel, cutting mat and some good quality card.

I decided straight away that I wanted to make the pop-up bunny card because it just had that instant wow factor.  I also imagined the ways I could incorporate the template in to books I could make for my children.

The templates for the projects are at the back of the book and I did have to get a bit technical as the layout had to be enlarged by 200%.  This is something I have never attempted before with my printer, but after a bit of fiddling I worked it out.  It also means that more projects are packed in to the book so I am not complaining.

The instructions along with the photographs were very easy to understand and as you can see I was more than pleased with my first attempt.  I didn't have any frustrating mishaps and I was left with an urge to complete more projects from the book.  As suggested in the book I added my own illustrations to the blank rabbit and flower shapes to give the card a bit more character.

I liked the fact that the book gives you lots of tips along the way to expand the way you can alter a project.

There is such a lovely blend of novel projects that you can never get bored with this book, as you turn each new page there is always something new to inspire you.

Basically, the book is jam-packed with novel ideas.  I have my eye on completing the following projects:

Money Box Bear made out of paper mache

Notelets Gift Set

Floral Wall-hanging
My next project from this book though will most definitely be the fairytale papercut project which graces the cover of the book (see above).

This will remain a firm favourite within my crafting library and with the variation of projects will be a book I pull out time and time again.

For more info please visit https://www.thegmcgroup.com/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=7154&idcategory=0