Home Sewn Home: 12 Gorgeous Projects to Sew for the Home Sally Walton

61ZybUxuVYL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_ Pub: GMC Publications Ltd

There is something extra special about the things that we have taken the time to make by hand, carefully stitching them with patience and originality. And with modern life having taken a nostalgic twist, many of us have been left wishing we had paid more attention when our grannies offered to teach us how to knit, crochet, embroider and sew. But take heart, it is never too late to learn. Home Sewn Home teaches you how to make a variety of practical handmade items to really make your house a home. This booklet includes 12 simple sewing projects suitable for beginners, along with a tools and techniques section, carefully outlining the fundamental skills and equipment required, as well as offering advice on how to source the right materials to achieve an authentic vintage feel. The projects reflect the key areas of the home the living room, kitchen and utility, bedroom, bathroom and together they provide a delightful mix of items that the whole family can enjoy. Projects include: Cushion, Doorstop, Laundry bag, Travel shoe bag, Pretty apron, Padded coat hanger and Storage box

This is a wonderful book filled with beautiful projects for your home.

If you need to make a quick and useful gift for that special someone then this is the book for you.

The easy and inspiring designs are just adorable, and every level of sewist will create something stylish and amazing.

A Padded Coat-hanger, an Ironing Board cover and a really cute Storage Box and other things, are stunningly photographed. The easy to follow instructions with a list of tools needed are shown in bright colour.

At he back of the book the author shows you how to read a pattern, what you need in your sewing kit and along with stitches, gathering and trimmings this section will teach yo the know how or just refresh your memory.

For such a simple book, it is rather lovely, I would love to receive this as a gift and I will certainly be making more than one of the projects inside.


I made the Padded Coat-hanger.


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As you can see the pages of this book are beautifully presented.


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I always think the best part of a project is choosing the fabric. I am using some fabric my friend gave me. She loves bunnies and I think this project is perfect as a gift for her.



Using a glue gun, I stuck wadding/batting to my hanger. I cut the wadding/ batting into strips and wound them around the hanger gluing into place as I went.


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I traced around the hanger and cut my fabric to size.

(Ensure you cut each side ‘right way up’ if you are using directional fabric.)

I used pinking shears to cut out the fabric, this stops any fraying. I stitched the top of the fabric.. leaving a small gap for the hanger to go through.


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Place the hanger inside your fabric and pin along the bottom This will need to be hand stitched.


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Finish by adding a bow…simple.


Happy sewing x

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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

Create modern and traditional mehndi designs and incorporate them into DIY art projects with Mehndi for the Inspired Artist.

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 jars, jewelry 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.


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If You Can Cut You Can Collage Hillie Chastain

51cBxtR279L._AC_US218_Pub: Quarry Books


If You Can Cut, You Can Collage is specially designed for people who feel like they can’t make art. Want to know a secret? You can! You just need a little inspiration, instruction, and confidence.

Collage is a wonderful creative outlet, particularly for people who want to make art, but don’t feel they have the skills or confidence for other endeavors. You can still explore and experiment with colorcomposition, and various themes and end up with exciting and often unexpected results.

If you Can Cut, You Can Collage takes some of the mystery out of collage through easy illustrated pages that show you the basic techniques of collecting and cutting imagery, composing and adheringcompositions, and then provides a wealth of exercises that get readers going on their own creative projects.

We’ll get you started with simplefocusedprojects like making a collage with only circles, where you’ll learn important concepts like how to create a focal pointhow to use repetition successfully, how to achieve contrastbalancesymmetry, and more. You’ll be incorporating vintage ephemera, typography and lettering, and even urban and found materials in no time!

This books proves you can collage with almost anything..

If like me you love paper and other textiles, then If You Can Cut You Can Collage is a must have book.

In clear, concise an simple steps the projects in this book are beautiful and inspiring. Every step is covered, from choosing your paper, techniques, balance and depth. The author has given us a masterclass in collage.

The detail and presentation are perfect, and all artists will benefit from this beautiful book. It would be an ideal gift and what i loved was that all kinds of techniques are given a two page spread.

Drawing, stenciling and monoprinting to name a few, but there is so much more. It is really like having a private tutor at your fingertips.

The book has some fabulous paper at the back to start your craft, and this paper is of good quality, The designs are fun, plain and pretty and are ideal  for getting started.


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350 Knitting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets Betty Barnden

61yiQPtSCbL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press Ltd

Give a stylish finish to your knitted garments and accessories with this must-have compendium of knitting know-how. This updated edition of the hugely successful ‘Compendium of Knitting Techniques’ now contains over 350 tips, techniques and trade secrets, all clearly explained with step-by-step instructions, photographs and diagrams. Discover how to read patterns and charts; choose colours and yarns; mix and match stitch patterns and deal with tension variations; and adapt designs for the perfect fit. All stitches are clearly demonstrated, from stocking and ribbing to lace, Fair Isle, cables and intarsia work. All the techniques you need are explained, in the order you need them, from casting on and joining in yarns to adding buttonholes, pockets and embellishments. ‘Try it’ and ‘fix it’ panels suggest ways of practising and developing new skills and avoiding or correcting common knitting errors.

This is the essential go-to knitting guide that you will turn to again and again.


Just when you think you know it all..

along comes a book to teach you more.

This is a fantastic book that shows all you need to know and more about the craft of knitting.

Beautifully presented, it shows you everything, from casting on to graft a seam. With button holes and embroidery to embellish your knits this comprehensive guide will enthrall everyone, from a beginner to an advanced knitter there really is a lot to know and learn.

It is perfect to brush up your skills and what I loved about this is the author has covered everything. From choosing your yarn, even how to dye it, equipment needed,  to loops cables, fastenings and even the aftercare of your garment to make it stay as gorgeous as the day you finished it.

I learned quite a bit from reading this book, who knew that knitting pictures is called Intarsia, I didn’t but I do now.

This invaluable book is amazing, I am sure I could just spend all day talking about it.

It is a must have to all knitters no matter what your skill level..

Highly recommended.


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Anywhere, Anytime Art: Crayon Monika Forsberg


31934677 Pub: Walter Foster Publishing

You’ll never outgrow the joy of drawing with crayons! Anywhere, Anytime Art: Crayon is here to remind you how.

The simple pleasure of drawing and coloring with crayons doesn’t have to leave your life just because you finish 5th grade. Anywhere, Anytime Art: Crayon is a new kind of art book designed to get you back to the basics, and drawing confidently.

Create beautiful, spontaneous artwork inspired by your surroundings, no matter where you are! Discover how to work with crayon, master basic strokes and techniques, and choose the right colors for your subjects. Anywhere, Anytime Art: Crayon is filled with step-by-step lessons on drawing dozens of objects, like bicyclesgardenspetsfurniture, just about anything!

Fun and simple techniques make creating impromptu art wherever you are possible, and even easy! Whether you like to draw at home or while out and about, Anywhere, Anytime Art: Crayon is sure to inspire you to create vibrant, colorful artwork and expand your artistic horizons in new and adventurous ways!


When I first saw this book, I thought it was an actual coloring in book.

I was very wrong, but I was not disappointed,

Crayon, is full of expert tips and hints, of how to work with crayon. The drawing step by step, for birds, flowers and other things is simply beautiful. The author is very creative and she shares her love of colour and art in the most beautiful and artistic ways.

Each page is filled with, sometimes quirky, but always fun, things to draw, paint and colour.

Techniques,tools and materials are covered and I really do think this is an amazing and original art book.


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First Chapter First Paragraph

Zenka  By Alison Brodie.

unnamed Pub: Indie

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?



This is the first paragraph of the first chapter of Alison Brodie’s new novel Zenka..


‘My dearest Alina,

Olga Savchukis is lying bitch. She say I vill be taken care of. I vill get good job in London. Good job?! She sells me to Romanians. I kick man in balls. I bite. But I cannot get out. Even vindows locked. I know if I am injected I can never escape, NEVER.’


Want to read more?

Buy The Book….


Q & A with the author…

Author photo


Hi Alison thank you for being my honoured guest  on Postcard Reviews today..


Tell me about yourself.

I am Scottish and live near Biarritz in France. I am a dog lover and an animal rights activist. I destroy hunters’ hide-outs up in the mountains to prevent them shooting migrating birds. I can’t believe they are legally entitled to do it.

Zenka sounds very dark. Tell me what was the inspiration for it?

Initially she was a minor character but she kept coming into my head wanting a bigger part. The novel was originally called Flesh and Blood but, again, she wanted her name on the cover. I also wanted the cover to be sepia tinted with Zenka walking away down a London alley on a foggy night. But no! She wanted orange and black! She wanted her face to be seen. She is strong-willed and bossy and has the typical Slav personality: melancholic one moment, deliriously happy the next.

Which character developed the quickest?

They all came at the same time, fully rounded.

Did the plot turn out as you thought or did it change during the writing process?

It changed during the writing process. And, again, just after I had uploaded the book to Kindle! That’s the great thing about publishing a digital book, you can improve it all the time, even after publication.

It seems to be the ‘norm’ now to have strong feisty females instead of gentle feminine ladies, was Zenka difficult to create?

No, not really. Although the more I worked on the novel, the more I got to know her. But even so, I feel I still don’t know her fully.

Do you ‘people’ watch for ideas for your characters?

I love to people-watch. I think a lot of what I see goes into my subconscious. Jack, the crime boss, is based on my father-in-law, also called Jack. He was a Cockney and as a boy knew someone who knew the Kray Twins. He would tell me all about the seedy underbelly of north London life. Fascinating! Hearing all those stories and knowing the area well really helped me shape ZENKA.

What do you do to relax?

I love swimming, especially in the sea. I love to read and walk my dog, Bayley. Bayley is a rescue dogs. All my dogs have been rescue dogs. My motto is: never buy from a breeder when there are loveable lonely mutts desperate for a home.

Tell me a secret about yourself that no one would know.

I had a friend, Giles, who was training to be a barrister but who was also a brilliant singer and guitar-player. I talked him into us busking outside the Swiss Centre, London. He didn’t want to do it but I nagged. Anyway, we did it every week. I wore fishnet tights and banged a tambourine but every time I sang, Giles would tell me to stop. (I am tone-deaf). One evening we were arrested and the next day had to appear in Bow Street Court. It was only then I discovered he would not be able to practice law – not with a criminal record. I have felt guilty ever since.

What’s next for Alison?

I have a book of short stories I would like to publish, each story is set in the future. Also a paranormal romance. I write in different genres: crime/suspense, romantic comedy, dramatic romance, paranormal, and futuristic. I like to think of my books as a box of chocolates; sometimes you get a sweet milk chocolate with a gooey centre, sometimes you get bitter chocolate with a tangy flavour.

I can never choose what I write. The characters come into my head (I don’t know where from!) with their story and I go with the flow. I just have to herd them in the right direction, which was bloody difficult with Zenka!

Thank you Alison, I have enjoyed talking to you,    Good luck with Zenka I know it will be a great success. x 

Quilling Art Sena Runa

51KKMLJ7zvL._AC_US218_.jpgPub: GMC Publications Ltd

The popular craft of quilling is given a stylish and contemporary update in this fabulous book by Turkish paper artist, Sena Runa. Inside there are 20 stunning projects to make and then display. Beautifully stylised and with a clever use of colour to create exciting effects, these projects will hang well in the most modern of homes. Designs include a butterfly, sail boat, dancer, confetti, cocktail, cloud, heart, cat, and mermaid, to name just a few. The projects vary in complexity and will appeal to beginners and experienced quillers alike. They are broken down into concise, fully illustrated step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow, and templates are provided. All the tools, materials and techniques you need to get started are fully covered. The projects will appeal to a wide range of ages, and would make lovely gifts for friends and family. Once you have learnt the techniques, you can create your own designs for any number of occasions, such as housewarmings, anniversaries, weddings and graduations. The possibilities are many and varied with this fun and absorbing paper craft.

Quilling Art is a beautiful and colourful book showcasing paper craft at it’s finest.

Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs

Sena Runa demonstrates her craft perfectly, and with step by step easy to follow pictures you to can achieve amazing results.

The projects are simply stunning,  Snowflakes, hearts and even a mermaid are created by the simple technique of paper folding.

Quilling Art can be used as decorations for cards, pictures and even jewellery can be made, the results and possibilities are endless.

Each project gives a list of tools what I loved most about Quilling Art is the colour, these projects just pop.

Every one can do this craft, all it takes is a little patience and a lot of practice.


With just a few simple tools you can roll paper into just about anything..


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All you really need is a quilling tool, some strips of paper and some glue.


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Simply use your quilling tool to roll the paper..

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I use a quilling board which helps to shape the paper to the correct size. This ensures that all your pieces are evenly shaped.


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Each piece is then shaped, using a finger pinch.

These shapes will form a Snowflake.


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Glue the shapes together and build your projects with other quilling shapes

There are many shapes that can create your project and all these are demonstrated in the book

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Some of favourite things to quill are flowers,

Happy crafting x

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