Smoyg: Pattern Darning from Norway Yvette Stanton

61KBesiTK-L._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press(UK)

From the award-winning embroiderer who introduced you to some of the world’s most exquisite forms of traditional embroidery, comes a new how-to guide full of colourful images and enticing projects to help you discover the beauty of Norwegian pattern darning. Pattern darning is a simple technique, and beginners through to experienced stitchers will find much to delight in this book.

In Yvette Stanton’s book Smøyg: Pattern Darning from Norway, you will

*  explore where smøyg can be found in Norway and where it features on traditional clothing and textiles
*  enjoy many photographs featuring historical examples of smøyg
*  learn the stitches and techniques of smøyg with clear step-by-step instructions and detailed diagrams
*  be inspired by 13 original projects, from small through to large, with a range of useful and beautiful applications.
*  If you love colourful, geometric folk embroidery, this is the book for you.


Folk Art is a new passion of mine and I love embroidered pieces.

13 projects are beautifully worked and demonstrated in this wonderful craft book.

Hailed from Norway, Smoyg is a darning technique that not only is used as decoration, but is a way of telling which region you are from. This is a unique form of expression and men and women’s clothing are both ‘Smoyg’ed’

Belts, collars and hats are darned, using this method. Everyone can achieve this look, even if you have never picked up a sewing needle.

Smoyg is a running stitch,small stitches form incredible designs and what I really loved are the colours chosen to showcase the designs.

The projects include a needlecase and bookmarks, which are small, but the larger project of the shirt is just amazing.  This is the perfect craft to upcycle any garment or to add pizzazz. It is truly beautiful and so eye catching.

There is a pattern sheet included in this book, and there is a very good guide to stitches and techniques. It is a very educational book and there is no reason why you would need need any other help.

I highly recommend this book for the complete beginner or the advanced Smoyg’er, it is well presented and the craft is photographed in stunning colour.

The historical references are well worth a read, it is very interesting. This is a fun craft and one that is worth mastering.


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Mother Hannah Begbie

61DlDPz7wnL._AC_US218_Pub: HarperCollins

Her love for her daughter is everything

Her love for him is deadly

Cath had twenty-five perfect days with her newborn daughter before Mia’s deadly illness was diagnosed.

As her life implodes, Cath’s despair drives her to a parental support group where she meets a father in a similar situation, the dangerously attractive Richard – charming, handsome and adamant that a cure for their children lies just over the horizon: everything Cath wants to believe.

Their affair – and the chance to escape reality – is unavoidable, but carries catastrophic consequences: the nature of Mia’s illness means that Cath’s betrayal endangers not just her marriage but the life of her baby.

Can she stop herself before it’s too late?


Cathy meets Richard at a support group, both their children have Cystic Fibrosis, and baby Mia is just diagnosed so Cathy is sad, guilt ridden and angry,

Her husband Dave is coping in his own way, so when Richard reaches out she finds someones who understands and also cares.

This is an emotional read and I had real empathy for Cathy. She is looking to save her child and Richard gives her hope and maybe something more.

It is a difficult topic and the author did  good job at portraying Cathy through the many emotions of finding out your much wanted baby might die.

The end was unexpected and although this was a slow burning tale, it is well worth  read.

It made me think how I might behave if I had been in Cathy’s shoes.

Sad, brutal and beautiful



When I Find You Emma Curtis

51vpYqDFwWL._AC_US218_Pub: Transworld Digital

What do you do when someone takes advantage of your greatest weakness?

When Laura wakes up after her office Christmas party and sees a man’s shirt on the floor, she is horrified. But this is no ordinary one-night-stand regret.

Laura suffers from severe face-blindness, a condition that means she is completely unable to identify and remember faces. So the man she spent all night dancing with and kissing – the man she thought she’d brought home – was ‘Pink Shirt’.

But the shirt on her floor is blue.

And now Laura must go to work every day, and face the man who took advantage of her condition. The man she has no way of recognising.

She doesn’t know who he is . . . but when she finds him she’ll make him pay.


I really loved One Little Mistake, Emma Curtis debut novel and this is a good follow up.

It is an intriguing read, Laura has face blindness, Prosopagnosia. It is a condition I have never heard of so I did learn a lot about the condition

Thinking she is leaving a works party with ‘Pink shirt’, On ‘the morning after the night before’ she is horrified to discover she has spent a lusty night with a man wearing a blue one.

She sets out to find out who the man is and make him pay for ‘taking advantage’ of her her and her condition.

This is a twisty tale and a little far fetched. It is filled with drama and moves very fast. The story unfolds and as all the characters reveal themselves there are some shocks.

I didn’t guess who ‘Blue shirt’ was, and when I thought ‘yes it’s him’ I was wrong every time.

It is a good read and I was very entertained. Emma Curtis is a cracking story teller and I really cannot wait for her next novel. I’m sure she will be have something just as amazing up her sleeve.



Open Your Eyes Paula Daly

36478635._SY180_ Pub: Corgi


Haven’t we all wanted to pretend everything is fine?

Jane doesn’t like confrontation. Given the choice, she’d prefer to focus on what’s going well, the good things in life.

But when her husband, Leon, is brutally attacked in the driveway of their home, in front of their two young children, Jane has to face reality. As he lies in a coma, Jane must open her eyes to the problems in her life, and the secrets that have been kept from her, if she’s to find out who hurt her husband – and why.

Maybe it’s time to face up to it all. Who knows what you might find . . 


Paula Daly has written yet another sizzling tale.

From the start this is a corker of a read and OMG utterly utterly full of intrigue.

When Jane and her husband leon, have an altercation with the moany neighbour Lawrence, it sets in motion an trail of events that results in tragedy.

It also gets Jane questioning her marriage and her husband who she obviously adores.

This book is a marvel. As usual it is a story that is superbly told, and with every page I was completely at a loss as to what would happen next.  I just could not guess.

Paula Daly is a terrific writer and I always always get excited with news of her next book. She is one of my favourite authors.

A cross between Misery and Secret Window, this is a novel that had me thinking about writing books and their written reviews.  It is a brilliant look at the dark side of the world of writing, it is both entertaining and thought provoking.

I absolutely loved it.




460 Iris Folded Cards to Make: The Complete Iris Folding Compendium Maruscha Gaasenbeek,Tine Beauveser,

61SzQfCGJdL._AC_US160_Pub: Search Press Ltd

Iris folding is a simple technique that involves folding papers to create beautiful, spiralling patterns that are similar in shape to the iris aperture of a camera. In this book, Maruscha Gaasenbeek and Tine Beauveser share with you their love of iris folding, providing templates and clear instructions for over 460 beautiful greetings cards based on iris-folded designs.


Iris Folding is a beautiful way to create and design cards.

The effect is stunning, just like looking into the center of a camera and with a few neat folds and colourful paper, you can achieve almost any picture.

From starting your project, the design, paper choice and size, triangle circles and squares, and other shapes are formed into a spectacular showpiece.

Instructions that are easy to follow are given in visual and written format and the templates are full sized but can be adapted to each card specification.

You can use scrap pieces of paper, such as newspaper, junk mail etc so no special tools are really required. Even the smallest member of your family can do this craft, I imagine a rainy afternoon of fun and creativity will make everyone happy.

This colourful glossy book is beautifully presented. Complete with techniques, hints and tips it is a good teaching guide and absolutely perfect for any papercrafter.



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The Winter Ghosts Kate Mosse

51u7JqfhlDL._AC_US218_Pub: Orion

The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, it took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. Unable to cope with his grief, Freddie has spent much of the time since in a sanatorium.

In the winter of 1928, still seeking resolution, Freddie is travelling through the French Pyrenees – another region that has seen too much bloodshed over the years. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Shaken, he stumbles into the woods, emerging by a tiny village. There he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful local woman, also mourning a lost generation. Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories of remembrance and loss. By the time dawn breaks, he will have stumbled across a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries.


This is truly an amazing and heartfelt ghost story.

Freddie’s story is superbly told, and oh so haunting.

Along with the story of Fabrissa, a beautiful lady he meets while travelling in France, he discovers that her life is just as tragic and as sad as his own. he falls in love.

This short novel, is such a joy to read and Is one that I have had on my bookshelf for such a long time. I honestly do not know why I haven’t read it before and why it has not been recommended to me.

It is a story that I expected to go a different way than it did, and the reveal of the story was quite shocking. To think that it might have actually happened is both horrifying and shameful.

The Winter Ghosts is a novel that I will be keeping on my bookshelf, and is one to be re read time and time again.


SEW … The Garment-Making Book of Knowledge Barbara Emodi

51vLKctTxUL._AC_US218_Pub; Stash Books

Experienced sewing instructor and blogger Barbara Emodi shares her sewing wisdom to help readers get started or simply hone their existing garment-sewing skills. Not a sewing reference book as much as a book of experience, this book offers Barbara’s thoughts, tips, and tricks on the benefits of sewing, the importance of fit, basic techniques, available tools, patterns, and materials, and so much more.


It doesn’t matter how good we (think) are at sewing garments books such as this are always good to have at hand.

This is a book that is quite different from many others I have in my sewing room, as it focuses on Fit, Pattern shaping and Alterations. It includes many ‘sewing frustrations’ such as bobbin issues, fabric jamming and gives problem solving techniques to ensure what we sew is both wearable and professionally finished.

I loved the ‘Mini Lessons’ each giving detailed information for a variety of sewing ‘difficulties’.

Sew… The Garment Making Book of Knowledge is superb. It is a invaluable teaching guide and with the colourful illustrations it is easy to understand and with the Sew speak section, it demystifies many sewing terms that many of us have trouble understanding.

Perfect for every sewist, it is like having your very own in house teacher at hand.

Highly recommended and beautifully presented  Sew …The Garment Making Book of Knowledge is a must have.



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