Wednesday 29 March 2017

Dinosaur Coat From an Upcycled Blanket

Nearing the beginning of the month my nephew turned two. What! That means that in less than 6 weeks (more like 3 now) Addison will be three. What!
Anyway the weekend before I had inherited a couple of beautiful woolen blankets from Addison's Great-Granny and I finally went and purchased the Twig and Tale Wild Things Coat 

I don't think I have actually bought a PDF pattern before, I usually hunt down a free pattern and adapt it, or occasionally use paper patterns. So I figured I would make an investment - its about $17.50NZD and you get child sizes 1-14 and the add-ons for making 14 different animals! I have plans for making coats for plenty of birthday presents. The other awesome thing about Twig + Tale (apart from the fact that Lisa is a NZ local) is that she designs her patterns to be made from upcycled materials. I have seen old woolen coats being cut down and made into mini coats, or old blankets, sweaters and even leather jackets being used!

It is a nice simple pattern that an advanced beginner can tackle. Not sponsored by the way, just a happy customer.

So I decided to make a dinosaur coat for Master 2. It has felt spikes down the hood and back, and has a little spiky tail too. I added claws on the pockets as well.

Dave made me the toggles (AMAZING right?!) and they work so well with the coat.

Master 2 loves being a dinosaur and can roar on command. It will fit him through this winter and then I'll have to make him a new one next year. Maybe a Fox? Or a Bear? Or a Dog?

I have made Addison a Pony coat out of a different blanket which I will attempt to photograph later. It has a mane! I seriously love the versatility. I am looking forward to making a few more coats in the near future too. I just need to go blanket hunting!

I have been sewing a fair bit recently, my crochet orders have slowed down and study and general life has kept me busy but I am always itching to create. I love switching between sewing and crochet because crochet is quite relaxing and I can do it while watching TV and sewing is a lot faster and I see results in an hour or three. Crochet usually takes me at least a couple of nights to finish something.

But I ramble. Here, check out the cool photos of the Dinosaur Coat!

Ignore the fact that it needs a good iron - I was too scared of ruining it! That last photo is Addison modelling the coat - Master 2 is too speedy to capture and Addison isn't much better.

Thanks for stopping by - and stay tuned for coat #2 soon!


Tuesday 14 March 2017

Book Review - Love You Hoo by Rachel Bright

This cute little book is about a parent-child relationship, about learning and teaching each other as life happens. From the first few days of life until they leave the nest, knowing that even though life has ups and downs, "I'll always love you-hoo." No matter what.

This is a lovely bedtime book that is all about love and feeling safe and accepted. I like that the parent owl is never identified with as either gender so it could be a Mummy Owl or a Daddy Owl, depending on who reads the book.

This book is the format twin of Amazing Daddy, also by Bright. The rhyming, illustration, font and even layout are super similar but obviously very different in content. Addison (nearly 3), picked that up straight away, even after not reading Amazing Daddy for a while. I'm not saying it is a bad thing, Bright has landed on a style that works for her.

Once again the page with 100+ tiny illustrations features, this time with potential occupations that Baby Owl could end up doing. Addison loves asking us which one we like best and she picks her favourite too.

This is a very cute book, the rhyming structure isn't always straightforward which gets you out of rhythm sometimes but the sacrifice for the content makes it worth it. The addition of "Hoo" to a bunch of words is fun to say, you can be as silly as you want! The overall message is great and I like that Bright adds in that we may hit bumps along the way but that we get through those together.

Paperback and Hardcover versions available now

Thanks to Hachette for my review copy!

Friday 10 March 2017

Book Review: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

He Said/She Said is a gripping, twisty, psychological thriller that just begs for you to keep reading.

Laura and Kit are solar eclipse enthusiasts and are at a festival in Cornwall to witness the eclipse in 1999 and after the light returns, Laura is the sole eye-witness of the end of an attack on Beth, by a rich young man named Jamie. Laura helps a shocked Beth out, and calls the police and herself and Kit end up as witnesses in a rape trial. The case is basically he said/she said, and as Jamie is from a wealthy family, the chances are looking slim for the consent case to go Beth's way. After the trial Beth befriends Laura and she is very intense, putting pressure on her relationship with Kit. The friendship hits a crazy turn and ends up with a house on fire and Laura and Kit on the run with new names to try and escape the aftermath of the festival events. There always seems to be a piece or two missing, or something someone isn't saying.

15 years later, Laura is pregnant and Kit is off to the North Sea to view another eclipse. Since the eclipses are predicted years in advance, they worry Beth may show her face again and find their new identities as they still live in fear and crippling anxiety. The rest is a crazy mix of twists and turns and Kelly goes into depth with both Laura and Kit's emotional states. There is a psychotic climax and an ending you wont see coming. It kept me on the edge of my seat for sure. It has also stayed with me a couple of days after finishing it, a little haunting, but mostly leaving me thinking about how little white lies can cause so much turmoil.

The book is written by both Kit and Laura's perspectives, and flicks between both a 'then' timeline which is the series of events in 1999, and a 'now' timeline in 2015. This is handled pretty well but a few times I had to flick to the start of the chapter to see who the focus was on and when. I think Kelly did well dealing with the brutal subject of rape, the act itself was not discussed in depth or dwelled upon which I was glad of. There are a lot of facts about solar eclipses and they sound so magical that I spent some time on YouTube watching a couple of different videos and I can see why they make a good backdrop for the story.

I could keep going but really, if you like psychological thrillers then this is a great example of one and you should read it. Any book that stays with me this long after finishing is a good one in my opinion.

Thanks to Hachette for the review copy of this book