Bloggers are lovely – it’s official

I started reading blogs about seven years ago. When I joined an online writing forum and met lots of nice, helpful people, I began to read their blogs. I read the blogs they recommended and followed links and soon, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I found myself in a magical new world. Anything at all that I was interested in – craft, recycling, parenting, thrift, writing, reading, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I could find someone who was writing about it.

I’ve made friends, been entertained and informed, learned new skills, and even gotten freelance work via blogs and blogging, but I’m still constantly amazed and thrilled by the sheer number of lovely people doing interesting, creative things, championing issues and trying to make the world a better place, or just supporting each other on t’internet.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying ‘thank you’ to one of my more recent blog discoveries. Lulastic and the Hippyshake is run by Lucy. She covers activism, parenting, recycling and re-using, and craft, and is very funny to boot. Do go and say ‘hi’.

I recently entered (and won!) a giveaway that she ran and look what arrived this morning in the post.  A beautifully wrapped parcel of goodies from a new blog friend. Thank you so much, Lucy. I can’t wait to get crafting with my new fabric, book, and glue gun, and I *love* the china. What a fabulous way to start the week!

Giddy with fabric love

Well, would you look at these intriguing parcels that arrived for me this morning. Mysterious, huh?

What could be inside?








Only the most perfect, giddy-making fabric I have *ever* seen.

My lovely brother and sister-in-law spotted this fabric in The Makery and surmised (quite correctly) that it would make me so happy I would very nearly throw up. Meep!
They also sent the makings for a lampshade and a soft feathery cushion pad so I know exactly what to do with the material… Once I stop stroking it in a stalkerish loving way.

I mean, look:



Friday Five: Happy days

Happy Friday y’all! In defiance of the dreich weather outside I’m spewing sunshine on this here blog. Enjoy…

1. A day that begins with a parcel of books is always going to be good. The very lovely YA author Karen Mahoney sent me both The Iron Witch and its sequel The Wood Queen as a prize for taking part in her writing challenge and their arrival has totally made my day. The writing community is joyful and supportive and something I am proud and honoured to be a part of. Thanks Kaz! (Now I just have to resist cracking those beautiful spines until AFTER I’ve got my word count for the day…)

2. You know how – usually after a few hits of firewater – people say things like ‘wouldn’t it be cool to make a film’? Well, my brilliant brother has done exactly that. He (and two talented friends) formed Hugawookie Films and they just completed a five minute film in two days for the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Challenge. I’m in awe of what they’ve achieved in such a short time.

3. The Oatmeal’s cartoon on how to get likes on Facebook (top tip – create something awesome) and Hank Green’s video response.  A grown man making a sing-a-long song about how to load a dishwasher is just the kind of endeavour that gives me hope for the future of mankind.

4. Write books? Check out Patrick Samphire’s helpful advice on creating an author website.

5. I’ve mentioned craftacular magazine Mollie Makes before but if you subscribe now (for six months or a year), you get a free fabric, button and ribbon pack courtesy of The Makery.

Craft: Screenprinted textiles by Solitaire

This is one of those times that unpromising phrases such as ‘fox bag’ and ‘snail cushion’ turn out to be rather lovely.

Husband and wife team, Em and Matt Bruty, screenprint their illustrations onto cotton and linen to create home textiles inspired by the British countryside.

I like their placemats, too. They’re available in a range of colours and are priced £6.50 each. Visit Solitaire for tea towels, lavender bags, cushions and more.

[Thanks to Fay for the recommendation! *waves*]

Penguin procrastination

We’re all pretty keen on penguins in the this house, but my son is especially enamoured. If I were a first-rate mother I would whip up one of these adorable stuffed-toy penguins.

Purl Bee not only offers comprehensive instructions, but also sells the perfect fabric pack for the project, so there’s really very little excuse not to…

Except for the rewrite. Oh yes. That.