Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New books!

Are you a little book worm, like me?

I love, love, love books!  In all shapes and sizes… and recently… I love electronic books!  I get a little thrill of rebellion as I sneak under the covers in bed at night to read my latest adventure on the IPod!  And all without disturbing Mr SUDs while he sleeps! 

While I love to read Science Fiction and Fantasy novels every night, during the day it’s a different story.  It’s craft and sewing literature all the way!  Over the past few months I’ve scored three new books that I’d like to share with you.

The first is Cute and Easy Quilting and Stitching by Charlotte Liddle:

Xmas books 1

If you like the cover project then you’ll like this book!  There’s a plethora of shabby little projects adorned with beads and pretty buttons, with a ‘wonky’ kind of look that is perfectly quaint.  I particularly like the patchwork dog coat, accessorised with a flower brooch.  There’s also a gorgeous coffee pot cozy, and for the smaller projects there are the sweetest bird brooches and babushka maiden dolls.  The design style is consistent, but the projects are eclectic - and I therefore think that for variety and value - this book is a really good purchase.

Next up is Everything Alice by Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech:

Xmas books 2

This book is a work of art in itself!  Co-written by two very talented UK artisans who met at work and discovered that they were both avid Alice in Wonderland fans.  The duo both work for Hobbycraft in the UK and have an abundance of experience between them including having worked in television (setting up scenes and making props) and art-directing magazines.  These girls are true artists with a love of craft and the book really reflects their quirky natures, experience and raw talent.  Can you tell I’m a little bit in love with this one?  The photographic styling is awesome, and the projects are compelling.  There are sewing projects and baking ideas & recipes among the 50 projects published; but I’m most taken with the intricate paper cut-outs – you get an idea from the front cover of the book – they’re just stunning!  And of course all the projects are based on Alice in Wonderland.  Even if you never make a project, this book is inspiring and great for leaving out on the coffee table to share with like-minded friends.

Third and finally we have Christmas Crafting in No Time by Clare Youngs:

Xmas books 3

This gorgeous book is by the same author of Scandinavian Needlecraft (2010), so if you enjoyed that book then you’re sure to love this.  It’s in true Scandinavian style – which I know so many of you love as much as I do!  There are sewing projects together with recipes for such delicacies as crystallised ginger and Quince jelly.  Fur-lined baby boots and hot-water bottle covers are included as patterns in the gift ideas section together with embroidered dala horses and woollen Christmas stockings.  Again, there are useful paper cut-out patterns in this book, for decorating the outside of festive cakes and for creating indoor decor for the home.  My favourite project is the sewn advent calendar which is a very simplified house-shape with 24 pockets for treats.  A lovely book. 

These are just my personal opinions!  If you have any of these books – what do you think of them?  Do you have any others to recommend?  I’d love for you to share your opinions with us if you do!!! 

If you’re wondering what I’m currently reading while I’m hiding under the sheets at night, it’s this:


The Rendezvous with Rama (trilogy) by Arthur C Clarke.  Written in 1972, it absolutely blows me away at not only how this story hasn’t dated, but how absolutely mind-blowing it is.  It’s a futuristic story set in space.  I’ve read the trilogy already and it was so good that I’m already half way through the series for a second time.  If you’d like to learn more about it, click here.  I used to watch “Arthur C Clarke’s mysterious world” on TV when I was a little girl and was fascinated by all the unexplained phenomena he debated.  Thirty years later I’m rediscovering this narrator/author’s marvellous mind through novels that were published during the year of my birth!  I love that!

Talking of bedtime reading… it’s 1am here in Melbourne and I’d best sneak off up to bed!  My mind has been really active today and being the night owl that I am… I just kept going!

Till next time – Happy reading!

Vikki xo

Friday, January 13, 2012

New year Pips and miniature sewing!

Hello peeps, and Happy new Year!  How’s it going? 

I’ve been popping in and out of blog land when I can but for the most part I’ve been spending time off the computer and with my family.  The kids are off school for another three weeks and so far we’ve had a few days out, a couple of sleepovers and playdates, and Mr SUDs and I have either been full-on with household maintenance OR… just chillin’!!  Smile  It’s been a wonderful mix of busy and relaxing.

Although I’ve not spent much time in the sewing room, I have managed to finish one cute project!

Ballerina kitty 1

Isn’t this Kitty Ballerina the sweetest?!  I made her from a pattern by Kerryanne English of the shabby Art Boutique.   My little Rosie wanted her version of Kitty to be ‘exactly’ the same as Kerryanne’s, but we left off the whiskers at Rosie’s request.

Ballerina kitty 2

This Kitty doll is my first PIP of the year!  Are you wondering what a PIP is??

Loft Creations pips

The lovely Stephanie over at Loft Creations is getting us all motivated to finish our Projects In Progress!  I’ve got a few in the drawer so it’s good to know I’m not alone and there are lots of other ladies working towards the same goal!  It keeps you going!  Or it does me, anyway!  Just click on the above button to take you over to Stephanie’s site.

Did you guys have a nice Christmas?  We had a very quiet Christmas at home, Mr SUDs parents came to stay for the day and I enjoyed cooking a full Roast dinner with all the trimmings.  The weather in Melbourne was really strange – very hot and sticky – but overcast and stormy.  I can’t remember a time before when I’ve seen lightning storms on Christmas day, but it all added to the charm.

Mr SUDs and I chose our own gifts this year, and mine was this stunning vintage toy sewing machine – the ‘Sew Master’ by Kay-EE…

New toy machine 2

Isn’t it adorable?  I also picked up this little stunner on eBay…

Toy machine 3

This machine is a Casige, manufactured in Germany during the 1920’s.  It has a glorious  art nouveau design painted over it.  Here’s a group shot of my small collection:

Toy machine collection

I had a little giggle to myself… remembering the times when I used to get excited over a night out dancing or the latest new album by my favourite artist… but in this time of my life I get excited about little vintage toy sewing machines!!

Well, I’m off out again now… the family and I are going out to watch our fave football (soccer) team – Melbourne Victory – vs Adelaide - in the City.  Can’t wait!  Whatever you are up to – I hope you’re having a wonderful time!

Hugs! Vikki xo


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