Tuesday, 15 November 2011


I find it hard to try and promote books I have projects in - it seems pretty immodest. But I also really like to see craft books succeed so I wanted to let people know about the newest crafternoons in the series - beading and felting. I was collecting my thoughts on these lovely project books when it struck me that really, these books aren't for me.

Luckily I have someone right here for whom these books are perfect - my nine year old daughter Amy. She loves making stuff, and as much as I love making stuff with her I was really excited about getting her a book that meant she could pretty much do something on her own. Nothing like a bit of independence to discover your creativity and as a crafty mum that can be a hard to be a good crating companion to your own kids. I'm ashamed to say I can be in turns impatient and demanding and I am sure, quite unhelpful, despite really wanting to be encouraging.

So I asked Amy to choose a project from one of the two crafternoon books, make the project and then write about. I did not tell her she had to be positive or promote the book - I left it totally up to her, except to say she should tell someone who didn't have the book what it was like.

She chose the beading book and here's what she had to say:

I decided to make a beachy wind chime. I didn’t have all the things on the shopping list so that made it a bit different.

I used mums beads the problem was mum did not have a big range of big beads. Or any glass and china only pebbles. Luckily the pebbles had holes, which made it a lot easier.

I used the wire cutters to cut a piece of wire about 70 cm long and threaded a big bead on then small and I did that again and again and again.

Then you tie [or in my case thread] a piece of china, glass, pebbles etc..

And you keep on doing it again ad again and again after you have done that about 4 times you stop.

And you get another piece of wire and do it again, after you have done that between 2 and 8 times you tie all of them onto 2 sticks, and there you have it.

It takes about 1 to 2 hours but its fun, and that is what counts.

I think I could improve [put them closer together].

Mum helped with the knots and putting it together.

I think this book is EXCELLENT!!! And really easy to understand.

There are so many different things it is really hard to choose which one to make.

I would recommend this book for 8-20 years.

And give it 8.5/10.

And since I know Amy to be quite discerning in her artistic endeavours, I take her praise seriously. She certainly persisted where she might otherwise have lost interest, had a clear sense of her overall design where she might have otherwise launched into something without really thinking things through, and was really happy with the end result. She asked for minimal help from me and was dead impressed with herself for it (as was I ;-).

To celebrate the release of these lovely, perfect for summer holiday lazy days books, Hardie Grant are supplying me with a copy of each book to give away to an Australian resident! How awesome is that?!

If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment with a valid email address and let me know whether beading or felting grabs you the most. I'll be drawing a winner on MONDAY 28th November - good luck!

And you can follow the blog tour of the crafternoons as they visit the following people.

Larissa holland 16-Nov
Pascale Mestdagh 17-Nov
Christine Chitnis
Holly Keller 19-Nov
Monica Solorio-Snow 20-Nov
Cate Holst 21-Nov
Shannon Cook 22-Nov
Jennifer Casa 23-Nov
Kate 24-Nov
Tricia Hogbin 25-Nov
Steph Morgan 26-Nov
Maddie Ezzy 27-Nov
Jackie Boucher 28-Nov

**Edited to add - Thanks to those who have left comments to go in the draw so far but can I reiterate that this giveaway is for Australian residents only, and if you don't leave an email address with your comment, I can't contact you! I can't contact froginthepond, jennifer p, jakdeeandkids, cath or maureen and I either can't tell if you are Australian or know you aren't Australian nickuk, froginthepond, jenniferp, Cath, jakdeeandthekids, maureen, heather and terri. Unless I hear from you, I'll have to take you out of the running :-(


Nick UK said...

These books look just the thing for my craft mad 13 yr old, so much seems to be aimed at small children or people who already have experience.
Amy's review is great as is her windchime.
My girl would love the beading book.

froginthepond said...

Amy's review has convinced me - my crafty daughter is precisely the same age and I reckon she'd get a lot of fun out of a book that lets her do it her way.

Di said...

Love Amy's review and her pretty wind chimes! Although A and C are too young I think I'm going to have to buy a set and put it aside, ready to pull out when they are old enough.

michelle said...

It's fantastic to see a review from a child's perspective. Go Amy! And, I do think - despite the cleaning up, that there will be the need for some books to occupy my girl. I wonder if she's old enough to tackle a project like that... it could be an awesome thing for the summer hols.

Jennifer P said...

I have a nine year old who would adore the felt book

I loved reading your daughter's perspective!

Sheep Rustler said...

I looked at that book this morning! And thought how much my daughter would have loved it ten years ago.

Mhairi said...

I love both felting and beading so I would be happy with either, although after seeing the bead chime your daughter made I am leaning towards getting that one. These books are so wonderful I can't wait to have them all in my shelf.
Thanks for hosting the giveaway and many thanks to Amy for her thoughtful and well written review. It certainly made my decision to buy these books soon an easy one.

JakDeeandKids said...

Thanks for the review and the chance to win! the Felting book would be perfect for my kids who are really into sewing right now.

Dee said...

Thanks for the great review Amy. I got me a couple of girls who would love either of these books.

MadCraftyMama said...

Great review Amy! I think I have a couple of girls here who would love to have a go at a windchime too. My girls would love either beading or felting.

Maureen said...

My three grandchildren would love this book. I'd love to be able to give them a copy when I visit them in Melbourne at Christmas.
As for Amy, she's a natural!

Julie said...

cool as. Amy's review was ace. Her instructions/description was spot on. I reckon these books would be right up my girls' alley. (girls' alleys? - whatever)

~Heather said...

Both books look so inspirational - likely the felt as both my lads like to handsew little felt shapes. I'll bet they'd like to make something with eyes!

Terri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri said...

Actually the felting one would be more up our alley. : ) thanks for the chance to win. My children would to craft with me. espmax(at)gmail(dot)com

Cath said...

Great review Amy! My 5yo and I craft a lot together...she is currently by my side cutting out Christmas magnets just coloured in! We can never get enough craft in a day. More felting than beading is created here due to the 2yo who loves to chew on stuff who also lives here!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sooz, its beads for my kids, thanks. Jacky ,,, jarm at iprimus dot com dot au

nikkishell said...

I love Amy's review! Very honest and her wind chime is fantastic.

My big girls would love to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the beading book :)

I'd add my email address but i think you know it already.

Jo said...

I've been eyeing these books off... the felting one would be just our kind of thing! Fingers crossed.

veronicaoscar said...

Great review! My 9 year old thinks the beading book would be 'awesome' and your daughter's chime looks 'cool'. We would love to win thanks

Veronica said...

Great review! My 9 year old thinks the beading book would be 'awesome' and your daughter's chime looks 'cool'. We would love to win thanks

Veronica said...

Great review! My 9 year old thinks the beading book would be 'awesome' and your daughter's chime looks 'cool'. We would love to win thanks L.forde@cornwalls.com.au

marybelle said...

The book does look excellent. I would love some more projects.



thornberry said...

Hi there Soozs. Love Amy's review. My big girl would adore either book! Please include us in the draw too. thornberrylara at optusnet dot com dot au. Thanks!