Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bookish - Books for Giving

Kia ora Readers,

So these reviews are all of books that I think would go very nicely under the tree. I love giving books - the gift that can be enjoyed again and again. :-)

Here's some I think would make good gifts this Christmas - all from Penguin Random House. (Guys you have no idea just how much I love reviewing books! I get so excited when a parcel of books I have especially requested arrives, joyful!)

The Line: An adventure into the unknown by Keri Smith.

We have Smith's Wreck This Journal which is very popular in our house and this one happened to arrive on a day when Mr 8 was unwell.... it even came with it's own pencil. What I love about this book is the invitation to get free with mark making. I'm one of those people who tends to save things and not use them up but here is a book that pushes you to scribble on pages and cut them!! It was amazing to watch my son just go at the instructions with joy and abandon. If you have a friend who needs some creative freedom or licence or a younger person who loves a challenge/doodle/ sketching this would make a great gift. We have a long plane flight coming up and I can see this would be a perfect way to while away time. Fun rating = high!

Details - Penguin Random House, October 2017 RRP$21.00

The New Zealand Cycle Trails, Nga Haerenga by Jonathan Kennett.

I was planning to squirrel this one away immediately for The Atlas as a Christmas Present. I know he will absolutely love it! However, before Christmas he is biking the Old Ghost Road and it has excellent information about the ride so I'll have to share it with him now. The book is incredibly comprehensive. It grades the rides, talks about the kind of bike + supplies you will need. For each of the 22 rides it also includes information about the area, accommodation, side trips, short cuts and the likes. There are maps (The Atlas, clearly a map lover!). The photos are lovely both historical and current and some great history as well. If you have an adventurer who likes biking in your life this is the gift you've been looking for. The downside? I know he'll be planning more cycle adventures with his cycle buddies. (I actually love that he's an adventurer, and I can see us enjoying using this to plan adventures as a family).

Details - Penguin Random House, October 2017 RRP $50.00

5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver

As you can imagine this is a not your average 5 ingredients book (you know: butter, sugar, flour, chocolate chips and vanilla essence - which is my usual five ingredients on a Sunday night when I realise there is no baking in the house!) All the ingredients are beautiful and you sometimes add the odd pantry staple like olive oil or salt. The book is organised into chapters like salads, beef, veg, rice& noodles and sweet treats - I may have read that chapter first! Each recipe includes photos of the finished item and photos of the 5 ingredients as well as straight forward instructions and nutritional info at the bottom.  This is helpful when you want to make the frozen banoffe cheesecake (yes, thankyou!) but you don't know what hobnobs are. (Total prep time 18 minutes + overnight freezing...) A beautiful book for the person who loves quality ingredients, good food but doesn't have the time for overcomplicated 95 ingredient recipes. Also, give the gift and invite yourself over for a meal about 2 weeks later. It's just the right thing to do! You can peek inside on the link too.

Details - Penguin Random House, August 2017 RRP $65.00 HB

Summer Days by various authors is one of those books you see on display at your favourite bookshop, actually happened at Scorpio Books the other day.

It's a hardcover, large, yellow edged pages, includes a ribbon to mark your place, book to treasure and wish for. Including books by legends like Joy Cowley and Pamela Allen the book is a treasure trove of stories to share again and again. I love that they have included the original illustrations with each one so there is visually heaps of variety as well as in the voice of the story-tellers. There is also poetry included in the story and the whole selection all has a wonderful summery vibe as well. I can't wait to snuggle up and share these treasures with my boys, little visitors and children I teach. There really is something for everything. A perfect New Zealandy but universally appealing collection. It would also be a lovely gift for friends and family who live overseas as well. Definitely a book for special occasions like long lazy reads in the summer and quiet spots to appreciate all the amazing talent packed into one place. There's also nice little bios about the authors and illustrators at the back.

Details - Penguin Random House, November 2017 RRP $45.00 HB

love you more than the whole Christmas list sorted in one easy shop xxx

Monday, November 13, 2017

Makey - McCalls 7286 the Unicorn Version


You may remember the whale top I made a while ago using the McCalls pattern 7286. I really liked the raglan sleeves and the general fit.

Then I came across some adorable unicorn fabric in spotlight one day and it somehow came home with me!

I decided to make a dress version, because really a stretch t-shirt style dress is just a nighty in disguise that's appropriate for day wear!

I adore this dress, it makes me all kinds of happy... I think there will be more!

love you more than a stretchy unicorn xxx

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bookish - How Maui Slowed the Sun

Mauri Ora!

If you grew up in my era in New Zealand the book How Maui Slowed the Sun by Peter Gossage will probably be instantly familiar to you.

Maui's slowing of the sun is probably one of the best known legend's of Maui's exploits and the illustrations have a distinctive style. The story follows Maui's scheme to lengthen the days to help his people have longer for the things that needed to be done each day.

This new version is a board book - larger than a usual small square book it is more like a novel in height and length which makes it a good size for holding.

The text is all in English so it is a great start for those who want to introduce the legends of Aotearoa. There is some use of Te Reo Māori in the book as well but where the words might be new the English partner is offered in brackets or incorporated into the sentence.

A beautiful book for your little person that still needs board books but with more text and narrative than many others.

Details - Penguin Random House, November 2017 RRP $15.99 Board Book

love you more than a plaited rope xxx

Monday, November 6, 2017

Family Making

Kia ora koutou,

In the school holidays the boys reminded me they wanted bean bags. We found this lovely simple tutorial online and I let them have a rummage in my stash.

The boys helped with all the steps but I did the zips and overlocking.

It was great fun to make something together and only took an afternoon. Sometimes its only a matter of saying yes and we all felt great about ourselves.

love you more than a relaxing afternoon in a bean bag xxx

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Bookish - Christmas Picture Books

Heya Christmas Lovers,

I always try to buy my boys a new book for Christmas so we have a nice big stash that has grown over the years.

This year I'll be adding two new kiwi-Christmas books. These should already be on the shelves of your favourite book store. Make sure you show your book shop some love this Christmas. A bookshop adds so much to its community.

The Christmas Looky Book by Donovan Bixley is a fun and festive book with all sorts of puzzles to solve.

Each page is essentially a poster with a problem to solve  - can you match the people with their gifts? find the 20 reindeer hidden on the pages? or post the difference before and after Santa's visit? It's a fun book to look at together or just to entertain those who need a little distraction while the gingerbread house bakes. Bixley's illustrative style is playful and the scenery is particularly kiwi - no wintery Christmas here.

Details - Hachette NZ, October 2017 RRP $19.99 PB

The Christmas Tree Tangle by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Sarah Davis is another new-to-us title.

The book is a delightful Christmas adventure that starts with a kitten stuck at the top of a Christmas tree. One by one animals come to give a hand and they all end up tangled up and stuck. The rhyme scheme is excellent the the illustrations perfectly complement the story. Will the kitten ever be rescued or will he fall? What about the rest - who could rescue them?

A fun and funny addition to your Christmas reading pile.

Details - Penguin Random House, November 2017 RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than a Christmas carol playlist on repeat xxx

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bookish - The Adventures of EggBox Dragon

Nga mihi,

I'm sure I've said it hundreds of times but I am a lover of picture books. The Adventures of Egg Box Dragon by Richard Adams (of Watership Down fame) and illustrated by Alex T Smith was very well received at our place.

Bounce read it before I'd even had a chance to flick through it and urged me to read it on a few occasions. I adore that the start of the book is the creation of Egg Box Dragon, which really appeals to the crafter in me.

The illustration style is one I really like, it has a vintagey aesthetic. I also really like that the queen in the story is not caucasian. It's something I'm becoming more and more aware of when I read, and I think it is special for all children to see themselves frequently represented in books. Of course there needs to be a lot of swing in order to make it a more even playing field but I really notice and appreciate seeing these changes.

The story is sweet and I like that the hero is imperfect, again there is a relate-ability in this that appeals.

This is a lovely hard back book perfect for dragon lovers, crafters and those who enjoy a good tale.

Details - Hachette NZ, 31 October 2017 RRP $21.99HB

love you more than a good craft project xxx

Monday, October 30, 2017

The cape!

Kia ora folks,

It would be easy to look at this blog and think I've entirely stopped being creative and I'm only reading books! Surprisingly I think this year has been one of my most creative so far. One of the reasons you haven't seen much is that a lot of it has been creative writing and I'm not sure how to share that aspect.

I've also lost our camera so I'm relying on someone else to take pics and that doesn't always coincide  with when I'm wearing something.

I shall endeavour to do a better job by y'all on this! :-)

A work colleague gave me a large fabric piece that was no longer needed at her place. Bounce has been wanting a cape/cloak for a while.

Things came together.

I adapted an adult cloak pattern, made the XS size and cut the best I could with the fabric I had.

He chose the disco button and he is wearing it all.the.time.

I'd call that a win for very little work. These are the days I feel like I'm mumming right.

(don't ask me that at dinner making and trying to do homework o'clock!)

love you more than fabric used before it even made it onto the shelves of the sewing room xxx