Embroidoodles Craft Yourself Silly

I have been lucky enough to be chosen to make a sample Embroidoodle for a brilliant company called Craft Yourself Silly.

Craft Yourself Silly are based in the North East of England, not far from where I live.

I came to know about them from the Craft  channel Hochanda, where I buy a lot of my crafting supplies.

Craft Yourself Silly are fabulous craft fabric specialists, that create and design many different fabrics, patterns and have some unique and enterprising sewing ideas.

My sample will be taken to the USA  for the Craft Yourself Silly stand at the International Quilt Market in Texas.

I am very excited that I have been able to have this opportunity and those of you who follow my blog will know I am an avid crafter and adore sewing in particular.

I am not a professional Embroiderer but I love the quiet mindfulness and peace that I get from just sitting and hand stitching.


I thought I would chart my progress just to show you all how this craft can be both imaginative and beautiful.


2018-10-01 11.07.15 I was given a stamped piece of fabric and six threads for my project. The threads are lovely, they have a lush feel and are very bright, despite their muted tones. One thing I noticed, was that they didn’t tangle when I split them.

The fabric is 100% Cotton Half Panama. The fabric has a beautiful feel to it and is of a high quality. The pattern is the Llama Embroidoodle which is one of 4 new designs. There are 8 Embroidoodle designs in total.


2018-10-01 13.04.59 The Embroidoodle is perfect to practice your embroidery stitches and to advance your sewing skills. Here I have used Satin stitch, French knots and Buttonhole flowers.


2018-10-01 17.26.02 Adding a few more stitches and thread colours, my work soon finds it’s own style and personality.

2018-10-02 09.46.38 I do love a furry Llama!!


2018-10-03 14.35.23  This is turning out to be quite a work of ‘art’…… almost done.

2018-10-03 15.52.29 My completed design. I am very happy with project which took 3 days to complete.


These small pieces of crafting art, are a wonderful way to just enjoy sewing and be creative. Of course if you are not a stitcher, you can use fabric pens to colour the pattern in, and embellishments such as beads ribbon, or whatever you decide to use will just as gorgeous and provide endless fun and imagination.







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The Pocket Detective: 100+ Puzzles Kate Jackson

419vBZFB6TL._AC_US218_Pub:  British Library Publishing

Polish off your magnifying glass and step into the shoes of your favourite detectives as you unlock tantalising clues and solve intricate puzzles. There are over 100 criminally teasing challenges to be scrutinised, including word searches, anagrams, snapshot covers, and crosswords a favourite puzzle of crime fictions golden age. Suitable for all ages and levels, this is the ultimate test for fans of the British Library Crime Classics series. For six years, the British Library have brought neglected crime fiction writers into the spotlight in a series of republished novels and anthologies. There are now more than 50 British Library Crime Classics titles to collect.


My review..

This little book is filled with over 100 crime related puzzles that every lover of crime fiction and, of course, puzzles.will love.

Small enough to put in a bag or your pocket, the puzzles include Spot the Difference, Crosswords, Add a Letter and so much more.

I love the Spot the Difference, they are of British Library Crime Fiction Classic book covers and are presented in full colour.

There are 141 pages of puzzles and the answers are included at the back.

Never again would you be stuck for something for do while waiting at the Doctors or bored on a train. It is beautifully put together and it has a tough hard back cover.

Not just a puzzle book, I actually learned quite a lot of crime facts, just by not knowing all the answers.

I really do hope this is the first of many








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Hack Your Journal: Stay Organized & Record Everything That Matters with One Notebook Lark Crafts

61fF39d10pL._AC_US218_Pub: Lark


If you’re looking for clever ways to spruce up your diary or build a planner from scratch, Hack Your Journal teaches you how to design fun and functional pages that meet your needs. Every section showcases a set of layout concepts for weekly planning, habit trackers, daily reflections, and more but with unique variations and distinct artistic styles. Some require only a pen and paper; others feature elaborate ideas with ample opportunities to add colour and embellishments. You ll find step-by-step instructions to recreate these pages on your own, while sidebars provide quick tutorials on useful techniques to decorate and personalise each one. If you keep a planner, organizer, or diary, or want to begin, you ll refer to this inspirational book again and again!


My review

The one thing I love about Christmas..is that I get to start a new diary.

Being a list maker I love the process of having a dedicated plan to my days months and year.

Hack your Journal, is brilliant for a girl like me. It is filled with ideas, set ups and plans for cool useful planner.

You do not need a special expensive book to get started, just a simple notebook and a desire to get creative.

Habit trackers, Room makeovers and a Food Diary spread are just some of the suggested plans for you to start with.

Hack your Journal is a colourful and realistic guide to organising your life and becoming more imaginative and practical. It is both inspiring and inventive.

I would have loved it to be spiral bound, this would have made it easier to use, but that said it is the perfect guide to journaling and there is even some Practice Pages at the back to plan your layouts before you insert them into your book of choice.

I loved it.



The journaling designs suit every taste and are creative and inspirational.

2018-10-01 10.15.06  2018-10-01 10.15.19  2018-10-01 10.15.37




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Lettering with Love: The Simple Art of Handwriting with Watercolour Embellishment Yasmin Reddig

51v3iU-MlHL._AC_US218_ Pub: Search Press(UK)


Hand lettering is the art of drawing beautiful letters, and is the latest trend you can dive into with just a few materials and a bit of creativity!

In this book, discover the perfect combination of lettering and watercolour paint to create stunning little messages for giving or keeping. Starting with your basic tools and necessities, go straight into creating impressive hand-lettered pieces by following the clear and simple step-by-step instructions provided – from fabulous homemade art prints to notecards for loved ones. In addition, a gallery of watercolour images along with several drawn alphabets are included at the back of the book, perfect for inspiring experienced illustrators and helping beginner artists continue their watercolour, hand-lettered journey.

You’ll soon find that, with a little preparation, hand lettering is quick and fun to learn, and an invaluable skill that will last you for years to come.


My review 

Not only is this a beautiful book to look at, it is filled with some stunning examples of watercolour artwork and hand lettering, that is both inspiring and easy to achieve with a little practice.

Simple step by step instructions show you how to create a piece of artwork that will be perfect to give as a gift or to decorate your home.

You do not need an expensive array of tools, just a pencil and some watercolour paints to get started will suffice.

I love the idea of decorating journals, my love of papercrafting will really benefit with what I learn from this lesson in paint and ink.

There is a gallery of painted flowers to encourage creativity and also included are lettering in both upper and lower case, as well as practice pages to help you develop your style.

Lettering with Love is exquisite. It is wonderfully presented and would make a delightful gift. It is definitely on list of things to buy for my crafty friends.




The Author

Sue Hiepler is a freelance illustrator, born and based in the beautiful town of Bonn in Germany. After graduating in communication design and completing her studies with a qualification in illustration, Sue was an art director for three years at an international PR agency before deciding to open her own studio in the spring of 2017. Under the name ” May & Berry,” Sue and her business partner Yasmin Reddig produce and sell their stunning artwork here, as well as giving regular workshops on drawing and calligraphy. It is through this studio that Sue can explore and share her passion for hand lettering and illustration.

German-born Yasmin Reddig spent most of her life in South America until 2012 when, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she discovered and fell in love with typography and calligraphy during her university studies. Hand lettering became her greatest passion, and it was this revelation that led Yasmin to return to her native Germany and start her own business. In Bonn, Germany, their passion for hand-drawn words, in connection with watercolour illustrations, drew her and fellow illustrator Sue Hiepler together to start “May & Berry Studios,” and it is here that they both sell their beautiful artwork and host watercolour and illustration workshops




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Our House Louise Candlish

51osr8y0SnL._AC_US218_ Pub: Simon & Schuster UK

On a bright morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought on Trinity Avenue.
Nothing strange about that. Except it’s your house. And you didn’t sell it.
When Fi Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into terror and confusion. She and her husband Bram have owned their home on Trinity Avenue for years and have no intention of selling. How can this other family possibly think the house is theirs? And why has Bram disappeared when she needs him most?FOR RICHER, FOR POORER.
Bram has made a catastrophic mistake and now he is paying. Unable to see his wife, his children or his home, he has nothing left but to settle scores. As the nightmare takes grip, both Bram and Fi try to make sense of the events that led to a devastating crime. What has he hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him? And will either survive the chilling truth – that there are far worse things you can lose than your house?TILL DEATH US DO PART

My Review
I was hooked from the start with this realistic and compelling read.
Fiona returns home one day to find Lucy moving in.. the problem being Fiona hasn’t sold her house and knows nothing about it.
What happens next just shows how little Fi knows about her ‘ex’ husband Bram.
Their story is told as Fi talks to a podcast and Bram is writing a Word document.  I didn’t like this style of writing but the story is … Oh So Gripping.
Fi wants to maintain her ‘perfect’ life  with her ‘perfect’ house and wants her children to be unaffected by what’s going on in her marriage. So she is very obliging to Bram during their separation. Bram comes across as a broken man and you just know something much deeper than the breakdown of his marriage is to blame.
The suspense is thrilling. When ‘it’ starts, my heart thumped and I found it hard to breathe. Quite honestly, this is one heart stopping tale.
Our House is just fabulous to read. As soon as I put it down I found myself picking it up again a minute later, it is absolutely addictive reading. It was a book that I just couldn’t see what would happen next.
Shocks, twists and more shocks make this novel a ‘book to read’, and that ending !!!!!  Genius….
Our House just HAS to be talked about.
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Fat Quarter: One-Piece Projects Tina Barrett

61GFPzwrSXL._AC_US218_Pub: GMC Publications Ltd

Part of a fantastic series of stash-busting sewing books, here are 25 fabulous projects to make, all from fat quarters or fabric scraps. Each project has easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and beautiful accompanying photography, and there is also a handy tools and techniques section. This book is ideal for using up small pieces of fabric to create a range of decorative and useful items for your home. The projects also make great gifts for friends and family. Projects include: oven glove, child s apron, door stop, magazine holder, pencil case, eye mask, bedside lampshade, slippers, cot mobile, and child s comforter.


My review

This is such a fabulous project book, where each gorgeous creation is made using just fat quarters and fabric scraps.

25 projects, for Home, Work and the children are beautifully showcased with easy to follow instructions and full sized templates.

There are some handy hints and tips and ideas for embellishing and personalising your finished item are also listed.

I loved this book. It is in full colour and each project is quite simple and easy to achieve. They can be stitched in just a few hours.

Beginners and advanced sewist will enjoy this book. The projects are useful and stunning and many of them can be adapted to your own specific needs.



My make

I decided to make the Slippers to accompany my review.


The full sized patterns just need to traced and cut out. Each piece is placed onto the fabric..with the slippers I cut out 2, if you cut one remember to flip the pattern for a right and left foot!!

2018-09-28 13.21.12       2018-09-28 13.31.12  2018-09-28 13.44.38

Following the instruction I layered the pieces and started to sew.

2018-09-28 13.48.36                   2018-09-28 13.55.15

I embellished the top front of my slippers, and then stitched the tops to the base of the slippers. The edges are neatly trimmed.

2018-09-28 14.11.03   2018-09-28 14.25.30

Bias binding is used to finish the slippers. I prefer to make my own with a strip of co- ordinating fabric folded in half. You can buy some if you prefer.

2018-09-28 14.28.11

I machine stitched the bias binding around the edge of each slipper.. I trimmed the raw edges and stitched the bias binding to the base of the slippers bu hand.


Ta Da!!

One pair of pretty and functional piece of footwear.

2018-09-28 15.16.53    2018-09-28 15.16.13


Happy Sewing x


The Author

Tina Barrett was taught to knit by her grandmother and has been passionate about creating her own gorgeous yarn and fabric-based designs ever since. She is a regular contributor to many knitting and sewing magazines and is the author of several books for GMC Publications including Home Sewn Nursery and How to Knit.




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50 Little Gifts: Easy Patchwork Projects to Give or Swap Susanne Woods

51vbpE5FprL._AC_US218_Pub:  Lucky Spool Media

With the power of this book and your fabric stash, you can whip up any of these 50 last-minute patchwork gifts with most taking under an hour to complete. All projects are sourced from some of your favourite designers like Anna Graham, Amanda Jean Nyberg and Jeni Baker. Don’t waste your time scrolling through endless tutorials online looking for those instructions on how to make a zippy pouch, when you need to make that last-minute gift right now. This is a collection of all of those projects including: napkins, pincushions, gift card holder, keyrings, electronic cases, bibs & fabric baskets. Get inspiration for some unique gifts like a Christmas pickle ornament, geode coasters or a teabag wallet too. These quick and easy gifts involve no fussy paper piecing or complicated techniques and are suitable for quilters of all levels.


My review

Filled with 50 gorgeous stitchy projects this book will give endless ideas for gifts for friends and family.

There are useful items that just about cover every occasion, from Bags to Bottle carriers.

Each project comes with easy to follow instructions and a list of what you need.

Measurements are given in inches, and there are a few pictures to guide you through the sewing process.

Many handy hints and tips are littered throughout the book and the Actual size templates are fabulous.

All the projects can be used with fat quarters, so this is a perfect craft book for those needing a ‘stash buster‘.

For beginner and advanced sewists, the projects are fun, they are also good for upgrading your sewing skills as the need for zips, embellishments and binding, to name a few, are key. As the projects are small they do not take long to complete, so a few hours of sewing will teach and remind you of the techniques involved.

I adored the Tooth Fairy pillow and the Undercover Maker Mat is something that every sewing room needs.

There is even a Butterfly Charm block for the quilters.

A beautiful project in full colour that is amazing and clever.



My make.


My husband needed a new tablet case so I was pleased that this book had one as a project.

2018-09-28 08.10.47 (1)

I used two fat quarters for this project.  The instructions are for a specific sized e reader, so I needed to measure my tablet for this project.

2018-09-28 08.43.48     2018-09-28 08.58.03

The step by step instructions are simple to follow and give clear advice on the best techniques. However, if you are an advanced sewist, you can of course use your own know how to achieve a good result.


2018-09-28 09.10.14      2018-09-28 09.10.30

This e reader cover took about one and half hours to complete. I think it looks great.


Happy sewing x


The Author

Susanne Woods oversaw several successful compilation books in her former position as the Acquisitions Editor at C&T Publishing. She has been in the publishing industry for over 16 years, and she is an avid quilter and a long-time crafter and Publisher at Lucky Spool Media. She is the Secretary of The Modern Quilt Guild and founder of the Tri-Valley Modern Quilt Guild chapter. Susanne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.





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