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The historical references are well worth a read, it is very interesting.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.




The French Girl Lexie Elliott

51ALn99byyL._AC_US218_Pub: Berkley Books

We all have our secrets…

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway…until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive. And there are some people you can’t forget…like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free…


This was an interesting debut.

It is also a book that I have mixed feelings about,

Six friends holiday in France, and when the sexy next door neighbor disappears and several years later turns up dead, there is a feeling that all of them have something they do not want to be discovered.

Their ‘friendships’ seem based on the secrets they each share and Severine is a girl that is forever present.

This is not a pacy read and quite unlike other books of this genre.  It was a book I picked up and put down, I think because it was a little slow.

I really wanted to love The French Girl but to be honest I didn’t care about it. The characters were dull and the constant ‘appearance’ of Severine, was annoying. It could have been so much better with a bit more imagination and more pace.

I  hope this authors next  book is more gritty.



Japonisme: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-sabi and more Niimi Longhurst

51+zelYWsmL._AC_US218_Pub: Harper Thorsons

A Japanese-inspired guide to living a happier, more fulfilled life.

Japonisme explores the Japanese art of finding
contentment and includes practical tips and tricks
to live a happier, healthier, more thoughtful life.
What is your ikigai (purpose)? How do you practice mindfulness in the unpredictability and chaos of everyday life?
From shinrinyoku (forest bathing), calligraphy, ikebana
(fl ower arranging) to tea ceremonies and their approach to
food, the Japanese have found contentment through traditions,philosophies, and the practice of art. This book shows how we can all incorporate aspects of Japonisme into our daily lives.
Enhance your lifestyle and enrich your mind by looking at life
through the lens of wabi-sabi (the transient nature of life),
kintsugi (repairing broken ceramics with gold) or kaizen
(habit-forming techniques), in an accessible, practical way


The Danish have ‘Hygge’, Italians have ‘Dolce far Niente and the Japanese..

well they just seem to have everything covered in the art of living a calm, peaceful and productive life.

Japonisme, is a wonderful book. I have always been interested in their traditions and ceremonies and devoured the wisdom within it’s pages. It will be a well thumbed guide for me, if only just to remind myself to sometimes ‘stop’.

Every thing in the Japanese way of life has a meaning, everything is done with mindfulness and ritual.

In three parts, this book covers life, food, crafts self improvement and generally helps us find peace and contentment. Our lives are a continuous rush to get things done and rarely do we enjoy the process, we do not take time to ‘please ourselves’, and find time to relax.

With the tips and information provided, there are recipes also included, we can at least find small steps to enrich and improve our daily habits.

It is a must have for those of us who need more personal time and cannot find a way to have more of it.


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Mehndi for the Inspired Artist Heather Caunt-Nulton (Author),‎ Alex Morgan (Author),‎ Iqra Qureshi (Author),‎ Sonia Sumaira(Author)

61xeIQT2O2L._AC_US218_Pub:  Walter Foster Publishing

Mehndi for the Inspired Artist is your one stop resource for creating mehndi designs. Whether you’re familiar with the art form, or are coming to it with fresh eyes and eager anticipation, our four expert artists will give you the most rewarding experience possible.

You’ll be creating artwork on day one with this guide book’s step-by-step approach of creating a variety of traditional and modern mehndi designs. You will then learn to incorporate these elegant mehndi designs into DIY art projects you can place around the house, and have the pride of knowing each one has a unique, personal flair.

Customize candles and mason jarsjewelry and stationery, and anything else you can get your hands on. Mehndi for the Inspired Artist is sure to inspire endless DIY craft projects with contemporary mehndi patterns that will delight henna enthusiasts of all ages.


This is a great beginner’s book..

It is also very beautiful. showcasing the art of ‘Mehndi’.

Mehndi is traditionally Indian, and I have always admired the beautiful painted hands of the girls on their wedding day.

This is a book that not only tells you the history of this art form, but it shows you how you can learn and create your own painted items using the technique.

Using pens, pencils, paint and henna paste, there are many templates to copy and inspire.

Each technique is perfectly explained and each of the book contributors add their own, ancient and contemporary patterns to items such as candles, jewellery boxes and even a tambourine, which is truly amazing.

I am sure with a little practice this art will a beautiful skill to master.


#WIN this book

Leave an inspiring comment and I will choose  winner on Sunday


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