200 More Crochet Stitches Tracey Todhunter

51kGDTmsCnL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press Ltd

A brand-new collection of 200 crochet stitches for crocheters of all abilities. Following the success of 200 Crochet Stitches comes 200 More Crochet Stitches by bestselling designer Tracey Todhunter. This brand-new collection includes both classic and new stitches, reflecting the modern crocheters thirst for new ideas and innovative techniques. As well as popular traditional stitch styles such as ridges, cables and ripples, there are complex Tunisian stitches, trellis and picot, plus textured patterns like bobbles and puffs for those who like to add some 3D fun to their designs! This is the only stitch guide to combine clear, photographic step-by-step instructions, charts and examples of the stitches.The book also includes feature spreads that explore ideas for yarns and colours, along with the multiple ways you can use your newly learnt stitches in garments, accessories and homewares. This is a book packed full of instruction, ideas and inspiration that crocheters everywhere can dip into time and time again.


My review

This is a book filled with over 200 crochet stitches. It is complete with steps to each stitch and is accompanied with a visual image.

Simply explained, the stitches included are lace, textured and even 3D stitches.

My favourite has to be the Tunisian stitches, which I haven’t yet tried, but each of the included stitches are brilliantly  showcased.

They can be used for making blankets, edging and the Crochet Skills section at the back of the book ensures that everyone will know the basic of crochet before they start.

The abbreviations are in US and UK styles, and the explanations are simple to understand.

What I noticed about this book was the colours. Each stitch is beautiful, and 200 more Crochet Stitches is a book that inspires.

This is a must have addition to your craft room.



About the Author 

I am a freelance writer and knitwear designer. For over 20 years I worked with a variety of voluntary and community groups on issues ranging from parental rights, environmental justice and race equality. In 2006 my Parish Council paid me to organise the first ever conference for low carbon communities. This led to the formation of the Low Carbon Communities Network and a life spent wearing a groove from my village to London. I have contributed to several publications and worked as a consultant to organisations such as Defra, Green Alliance and the 10:10 Campaign. These days I make a living from crochet design and teaching. I have also collaborated with several yarn companies to produce knitwear collections and previously contributed to “Fun Hats – Delightful and Amusing Hats to Knit, Wear and Love” (Search Press); “Crochet: The Complete Step by Step Guide” (Dorling Kindersley) and The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet. My designs regularly appear in Inside Crochet magazine.

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Papercut Landscapes Sarah King


51d5jPBGM5L._AC_US218_Pub:  Search Press

Papercutting is a perfect craft for beginners, as you can achieve amazing results with the most basic of materials – a pencil, eraser, craft knife or scalpel, a piece of paper and a cutting surface.

Sarah’s art encapsulates the beauty of the English countryside, particularly the towns and villages around the Kent coast where she lives. Her use of fresh, vibrant colours and delightful compositions evoke memories of happy times, and expert papercrafters as well as those new to papercutting will find the charming, naive style of Sarah’s work irresistible.

Sarah’s down-to-earth approach to her art makes it enjoyable and accessible to all In the book she includes sections on choosing your materials and colours, and there is step-by-step guidance through all the basic techniques you need before embarking on the twelve gorgeous projects on the seaside, town life, the wilderness, and more.


My review 

Paper is a big passion of mine and when I saw this book I knew I just had to have a go.

The designs are amazing..I adored the balloon projects.

Sarah King is a master paper crafter and she shares her techniques, giving us a one on one tutorial in every aspect of paper cutting.

This craft is explained in detail, everything you need to know is all in this book, which includes a guide of what you will need to get started.

The ‘templates’ are stunning, and simple. but the finished effect of each design is absolutely brilliant.

There is good advice on how to make your own pictures from photographs or by free hand and what I especially loved was that this is a craft that is affordable and doesn’t use vast amounts of ‘stuff’ to create something beautiful.


This is not a craft for children, due to the use of craft knives.. but there is no reason why they cannot share the joy of paper piecing and learning along with you.


Of course I had to have a go and chose a balloon design..

I chose my design and traced it onto thin card..


Carefully using a craft knife, I started to cut the pieces out, leaving a thin line between each section of the picture. You cannot rush this process!!  Papercutting is a slow craft but oh so satisfying.


The next step.. I made a background for my design using paint and a water brush.

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I then used small pieces of card, which I glued to the back of my balloon to give it some colour.

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I am really pleased with my finished design and will send it as a card to brighten someones day.

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Happy crafting x


About the Author 

Sarah King loves creating colourful, handcut, paper landscapes inspired by nostalgic memories of childhood caravan holidays and day trips to the English coast and countryside. Sarah has always been a maker, and credits her grandma for encouraging her creativity, with never ending supplies of boxes, pens and paints, and garden flowers to make ‘perfume’ from! A toy typewriter was used to make typographical badges that she sold at school; and since then Sarah has tried lots of crafts including wire-wrapping, origami, lino-cutting, cross stitch, and more! Sarah enjoys reading craft books and is delighted to have now written one about her favourite craft, papercutting





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Ultimate Handbook for Paper Crafters, Paper Crafts Magazine

51hc5o35OkL._AC_US218_Pub: Leisure Arts

Sure to become your creative partner in paper crafting for years to come, The Ultimate Handbook for Paper Crafters explains which design elements make a card fun and cute (polka dots for sure), clean and graphic (no frills), classy and elegant (sweeping and dramatic), and shabby chic or vintage (layers, layers and more layers). You’ll also learn how to use unique colour combinations like jewel tones and monochromatic schemes to design cards that really make an impression. There are step-by-step photos for popular stamping techniques, plus must-have information on essential tools. With more than 1,000 projects, tips, tools and techniques, this volume of fundamentals is one to keep within reach for whenever you need to create a little paper-crafted perfection!


My Review

If you love card making  this is the book for you.

If you thought you knew everything about making cards..think again.

Stamping, colour and brilliant techniques that will make your projects POP!! are beautifully demonstrated and simply explained.

I have been card making for a while now and this book is perfect for those of us who need inspiration and brilliant ideas. If you are in a lull and lost your mojo then this book will help you recover.

I loved the die cutting, flower making, and even the most simplest designs are effortlessly stunning.  This book really does give great ideas and with ribbons, buttons and even quilling, each project is bound to make the recipient know you have thought about them.

Every occasion and everyone have been thought of.. This book is superbly portrayed and expertly written.

I really had a great time making my cards and this book will be a permanent fixture on my craft table.

Highly recommended



I made a selection of cards using the techniques..

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These are shaker cards ..filled with sequins and beads



This card is stamped then an ‘overlay’ is added with the stamped butterfly cut out using a die cutter.

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I used a window die and placed a back view behind it. I added a flower card to give definition

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As you can see I loved this book


Happy crafting x





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Hidden Company Sarah England



5150yWPd9nL._AC_US218_Pub: Amazon Media

1893, and nineteen year old Flora George is admitted to a remote asylum with no idea why she is there, what happened to her child, or how her wealthy family could have abandoned her to such a fate. However, within a short space of time it becomes apparent she must save herself from something far worse than that of a harsh regime.

2018, and forty-one year old Isobel Lee moves into the gatehouse of what was once the old asylum. A reluctant medium, it is with dismay she realises there is a terrible secret here – one desperate to be heard. Angry and upset, Isobel baulks at what she must now face. But with the help of local dark arts practitioner, Branwen, face it she must.

This is a dark story of human cruelty, folklore and superstition. But the human spirit can and will prevail…unless of course, the wrath of the fae is incited…


My review 

It’s 1893 and Flora George is a pitiful sad creature, locked in an asylum and at the mercy of the staff and Doctor Fox-Whately, who are quite cruel and sadistic to all the poor inmates.

In the present day Isobel has rented the gatehouse, to what was the old asylum in order to come to terms with her ‘gift’ and it is she and the events of the past that turn this novel into a  creepy and disturbing read.

Isobel does not endear herself to the residents of the small Welsh village and she finds herself running into danger at every turn. Just what are the secrets these folk are trying to keep hidden??

The Victorian setting is brilliantly set and the cast of characters are superbly portrayed.

If I have one niggle..it’s that I really didn’t like Branwen,  she is quite harsh and I didn’t like her language, I felt she should have been portrayed as a little more spiritual. That said this is a riveting read.

I love a good scare and along with the final outcome this is a novel that provokes quite a few emotions. It is spine chillingly and deeply upsetting at times.

The author has a good knack of story telling and I was completely gripped, I really enjoyed my reading time.

Perfect for horror fans with a twist that was quite unexpected. I love the explanation at the end.





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Princess Poppy: Please, please save the bees Janey Louise Jones

51fyma5i1wl._ac_us218_ Pub: Eden Cooper


PLEASE, PLEASE SAVE THE BEES! It is never too early to introduce your child to the need to nurture our environment.

Please, Please Save the Bees makes it accessible for young conservationists in the making! Dr Jess French as seen on CBeebies

NEW PRINCESS POPPY This is the exciting launch of the new rebranded Princess Poppy series that has sold over 6 million copies across many territories, including China, Portugal, Spain and Turkey since it was first published in 2003. With over 45 titles, Princess Poppy was celebrated as World Book Day in 2008, with sales that outsold leading brands, such as Paddington Bear . Princess Poppy, evergreen and beloved character is NOW back stronger, bolder and more inspirational, with great eco messages and values, longer stories and gorgeous illustrations!


My review 

The best thing about modern Children’s tale are the messages attached them.

Princess Poppy and her very best friend Honey want to make some strawberry ice cream, but Grandpa tells them the crop isn’t very good this year due to having fewer bees in the garden.

The two girls go on a mission to discover why !. Why are there fewer bees, What has happened to them and What can they do about it..

This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for young children and will definitely help them understand the importance of bees, the difference between a Honeybee and a Bumblebee and of course what we can all do to help them survive and increase their numbers.

There is a brilliant fact page at the back of the book, which makes this educational, informative and very enjoyable.

Not just for small children but for all readers who love a good picture book.





About the Author

Janey was born in Edinburgh and grew up by the seaside just outside the city. Janey published the first two Princess Poppy books herself (with her own illustrations) and the books were so popular that Random House Children’s Books soon bought the series and re-packaged the books. The series is now going from strength to strength, including picture books, activity books and sumptuous gift books. Janey has also written novels for young readers and the Princess Poppy Cookbook all of which have been very successful.

Janey read English at Edinburgh University specializing in the Victorian novel. Following this she became a teacher – a career that she absolutely adored – and then, with her husband, set up The Jelly Club, which has become an extremely successful chain of children’s activity centers in Scotland. She still very much enjoys visiting schools and talking to children to find out what they like doing and what makes them laugh. Janey lives in Edinburgh with their three sons.


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The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie



Recently, there have been some strange things happening at Styles, a large country house in Essex. Evelyn Howard, a loyal friend to the family for years, left the house after an argument with Mrs Inglethorp. Mrs Inglethorp is then suddenly taken ill and dies. Has she been poisoned? It is up to the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, to find out what happened.


My review

The Mysterious Affair at Styles  was Agatha Christie’s first novel.

I read somewhere that Ms Christie started writing as a bet,  because her sister said that there was no way that Agatha could write a novel. I think if this is true she won hands down..

This book is a great way to get to know the greatest detective in the world: Hercule Poirot. The funny little Belgian Detective whose little grey cells solve the murder and flush out the suspect.

The story is brilliant and with drawings of the layout of the house, the murder scene and even handwritten snippets of the will, we soon get to ‘help’ solve the crime.

AC novels are very character driven, but the way she unfolds the mystery is very very clever. This one for instance gives you a suspect, then free’s them until the ending shows that they did do it .. genius.

I have watched every TV show of these adaptations and one thing you soon realise after reading her novels is that are both very different, so don’t make the mistake of not reading at least one.

Written in 1916, Agatha Christie’s work has dated rather well. It is a joy to read and for ardent fans, a good place to start is at the beginning.


The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides


41ifIjpRtGL._AC_US218_Pub:  Orion

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?


My review

Obviously an ‘OMFG you must read’ review  is not appropriate!!!


OMFG you must read this.

It is a terrifically suspense filled and emotionally charged read that will be THE book of 2019

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and I honestly do not know how DEBUT author Alex Michaelides will follow this book. IT IS JUST NOT POSSIBLE!!!

Alicia is in The Grove being institutionalised for the murder of her husband, she has not spoken a word since his death and Theo believes he is the one to make her speak of what happened on that fateful night.

This is novel unlike any other novel you have read before, the twist when it comes is like nothing you have read before..it is the most genius and original of plots I have ever come across.

Superbly written, it is just explosive. It is going to make a brilliant film



@AlexMichaelides ‏



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