November 29, 2010


You know how we tend to have certain colours that we favour wearing?  Until recently, mine was always brown.  I wore it all the time and have lots of it in my wardrobe.  But now, I am starting to veer towards blue.  Blue has generally been a colour I avoided, except for denim (as in dark jeans, not 80's style pale denim jackets), but now I am embracing it in a vast array of shades and hues.
Given that over the past 2 weeks, the UK has been plunged into a bit of a cold snap, the one thing my wardrobe was lacking was a blue (or blueish) scarf.  One thing my craft room is not lacking, is tons of felted woolens...

so, here you go.  A pile of squares and rectangles stitched together, with a few buttons to jazz it up,

and we have a scarf.  A very snug scarf which I even wear indoors.  Both Lucy and Luke have asked for one.  I might even be tempted to stick a few up on Etsy.  Could do with clearing some space amongst my woolens stash!

November 26, 2010

Countryside Softies,

Thank you for all the book well wishes.  I don't quite know where to start with it all, there's so much to tell!  

There are 28 patterns in the book, lots of ways of personalising them by making family groups and adding embroidered wording.  A couple of sneaky peeks,

 the Otter,

ⓒ Stash Books

and the Duck, which comes with patterns for a chick finger puppet and egg.

ⓒ Stash Books

I loved designing and making every single pattern in there, and am so happy I've been able to share this news with you.  Now you know why there have been periods when I temporarily disappeared from the blogging world!

ps, I've changed the blog layout and colours so I match my book cover, it was clashing slightly!

November 22, 2010

Blog tour interview with 'Scandinavian Stitches' author, Kajsa Wikman...

To celebrate the release of 'Scandinavian Stitches', here is a little Q&A interview with the author,  Kajsa...

Has it sunk in yet that you have written a book?, a whole book?!

"I think I really got it the day my copy of the book arrived in the mail, before that I had a hard time picturing it.  When I had it in my hands I could see that it was really my book, it looked just like me (well maybe a little more rectangular!).  The amount of e-mails I get today proves it even more and makes me feel a bit overwhelmed to be honest!  So if I didn't respond to your e-mail it's not that I didn't read it or do not care, I just have limited time and secretary skills!"

Fabric or felt?

"Fabric!, especially linen. And quilt cottons.  And felt... I love felt and am planning a collection made from Finnish wool felt.  I want to use more local materials in my work so I can't wait for January, which will bring me some longed for creative time!"

You've already been asked which is your favourite project from the book, but which do you think will be popular amongst crafters who buy the book, are there any forerunners appearing amongst the Flickr group?

"The tomte softies!  When I asked my blog readers a couple of years back which projects they would like to see published they were the winners.  The soft house ornaments seem pretty popular too, they are easy to make and vary"

Hand sewing or machine sewing?

"Machine sewing at work and hand sewing when/if I have some spare time"

Any projects you had planned to do, but that didn't make it into the book? (maybe for the next book, right?!)

"Just a couple, it was challenging enough to gather enough projects for one book...!  Now when I made it I do have ideas for the next book"

Buttons or beads?


Are there any projects which you feel kids could tackle on their own or with a little support?

"The bird ornaments, the houses or the tomte, which is also a nice toy and lovely gift for a little sister or brother"

 Wool or polyester stuffing?

"I use polyester, but would much prefer wool, that would make my products quite expensive though and I want them to be available for 'everyone'.  Especially the tomte softies 'eat' a lot! In my quilts I use cotton batting"

How prepared are you for the amazon reviews?

"Eeek!  Can you be prepared for that?  I get so much positive feedback, which I am so grateful for and I find it very strange that whenever I get a negative or just a little critical remark I get totally shaken.  I'm not good at taking negative feedback, never have been.  But I must say that now when I know I have so many people backing me up it is easier to get over it than it was before"

And finally, chocolate or cake?

"Hmmm, Chocolate cake?  Or cheesecake with lime and white chocolate.... Coffee anyone?!"

:: :: :: :: ::

A big thank you to Kajsa for visiting my blog.  And now for the giveaway part, the lovely people at C&T Publishing are offering a free copy of the book, and Kajsa herself is also offering a set of gorgeous holiday cards (see below), just leave a comment on this post answering one of the questions I asked Kajsa, ...buttons or beads?, to be included in this 'two chances to win' prize draw.  The draw will close on Friday 26th November at midnight GMT.

Don't forget to visit the 'Scandinavian Stitches' Facebook page and Flickr group, and keep following Kajsa for the rest of the blog tour...
Tuesday 23rd : Whip Up
Wednesday 24th : Peikon Poika 
Thursday 25th : Patchwork Pottery
and finishing on Friday 26th : Allsorts

November 19, 2010

Book review, Pip Lincolne's 'Sew La Tea Do'...

I already have a copy of Pip's first book, so jumped when the opportunity arose for a review copy of the new one.

Pip's blog, 'Meet me at Mike's' is hugely popular, and I would say Pip is one of those people who never seems to run out of either energy or ideas!

 The new book, has 25 craft projects inside, just look at the patterns...

 ...there is a huge pocket at the front containing all the patterns.  They are actual size, a big plus which means you can get started straight away without taking a trip out to a local copy shop, and for the clothing, there are 3 sizes to work from, small, medium and large.  Clever sewist's will be able to size the patterns up or down further and expand the size range if need be.

Now, knowing a little about the publishing world, I am aware of the costs involved in printing the patterns separate like this, which means this book really is value for money in my view.

The other thing that really jumps out about this book is the styling.  I love it.  It's cute, it's quirky, and it's fun.  It's very much like a craft blog in print, and as things change so rapidly in the online blog world as it's constantly evolving, its nice to have a little snapshot captured in a book like this to remember it by as it is right now.

The projects range from dresses, a pillowcase, and quilt to up-cycling an old shirt into a cushion cover.  There's even a biscuit recipe at the back to munch on while you're sewing.


"Sew, La, Tea, Do' by Pip Lincolne, published by Hardie Grant is out now in Australia (which means if you root around online you may find it through someone who does international delivery), and on wider release February 2011


Don't forget to check back here on Monday for Kajsa's blog tour and big giveaway!

November 15, 2010

Blog tour 'Scandinavian Stitches' by Kajsa Wikman...

I am excited about this, way back in 2007 when I began blogging, Kajsa was one of the first fellow craft bloggers I found, and now she has a book coming out!.

The blog tour for Scandinavian Stitches begins on Monday 15th November and runs until Friday 26th November, the full dates are as follows...

Monday 15th : Fat Quarterly : that's today!!, go check it out...
Tuesday 16th : iheartlinen : with the lovely Rachida
Thursday 18th : The Sometimes Crafter
Friday 19th : Pikaland
Monday 22nd : Lucykate Crafts... (oh yeah, that's me!)
Tuesday 23rd : Whip Up
Wednesday 24th : Peikon Poika 
Thursday 25th : Patchwork Pottery
and finishing on Friday 26th : Allsorts with the very talented Jenny.

So, keep checking out the links above, at each stop along the way there are chances to win a copy of the book, plus Kajsa has some other things to give away too!

November 11, 2010

The Etsy 'Autumn' range... coming!

There are some softies, cotton reel pincushions and this decorative pillow...

You've seen sneak peeks of bit of it before.  It's something new I'm trying out, so for now, there's just the one.  It truly is one-of-a-kind!

With a miniature Fox softie and

some hand embroidered words.

Once the kids are in bed, I'll start uploading the range to the Lucykate Crafts Etsy shop.

edit :: slight delay due to poorly child, we've had a night with the sick bowl!

November 9, 2010

book review, Cath Kidston's 'Stitch!'...

Next on the book review list after Kirstie Allsopp is Cath Kidston's new book, 'Stitch!'.

This is the 3rd book in a series of craft books from the Kidston stable, and sifting through the reviews on Amazon, while it seems that the first, 'Make' had a bit of a mixed reception, those comments have been taken on board and addressed for the proceeding titles.

This book also has some added value as tucked inside there is a free purse kit.

I was very pleased when this book arrived to see it is all about needlepoint and cross stitch (for those who don't know, I used to design cross stitch kits for Coats/Anchor).  These days, so many craft books veer towards the quirky (as do I!), it's a pleasure to see something that returns to the more traditional techniques.

The beginning of the book covers all the basic instructions, and within the cross stitch section, makes use of soluble canvas which allows you to stitch on pretty much any fabric you want.

And while the project instructions include references to DMC threads and yarn, there is a handy colour conversion chart at the back for those who favour Anchor.  There are lots of 'how to' illustrations throughout the book and projects suitable to varying skill levels.  Personally speaking, I find Cath Kidston's style like marmite, you either like it or you don't.  I'm a bit indifferent to it, but still find the book intriguing.  There's enough of Cath in it to please even her biggest fan, but it's also blended into a more universal flavour that it still appeals to someone like me.


'Stitch!' by Cath Kidston, published by Quadrille, November 2010

November 3, 2010

On the desk,

...overdue, behind etc etc, are the words this week.  First day the kids are back in school after being off for the last 2 weeks, my first full day to work, and I came back home, felt really sick, and that was that, 2 days more of less wiped out.  

Onwards and upwards...

...something big and secret.  Secret and big.  And also involving lots of checking.

And something that, if I can just get it finished, I'm really quite pleased with.

Back to work, onwards and upwards!