Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Review: Homemaker - Issue 7

Soooo, this looks as though it will be another 'reviewing' week.  I have so many things to tell you about too.  Sorry, you'll just have to wait.

Anyway, on to today's review, which is Homemaker Magazine, and for once I actually bought it on time AND I've finally sorted out my subscription, which means I will now always have it on time.

It comes with a paper & design book and I was very excited to see that it had an interview with the totty of the sewing world - Patrick Grant.  He discusses how he started in tailoring - a huge leap from working in marketing and business development (there is hope for my husband yet!) and his plans for the future of his brand.  His love of The Great British Sewing Bee and its contribution to Britain is obvious, and it is nice to know that he is 'very happy about the state of our national psyche'.

Roses seem to be big this issue, with a display of them on the opening pages and advice on how to grow and care for them from Micheal Marriott towards the back of the magazine.  There is also a DIY rose bouquet and home-made potpourri.

As a relative newbie to camping (I've been once and didn't hate it), I love the feature on glamping.  Anything that makes camping a more pleasurable experience is good with me.  I don't mind back to basics camping (which is what I did on my one and only outing), but anything to add a touch of luxury is OK by me.  My dad and step-mother (non-wicked) glamp.  Thet won't admit that they do and will claim to do proper camping, but their tent has rooms and they have every gadget available to make their camping experience as comfortable as possible for them.  Anyway, my nieces have just convinced my big sister to go on a family camping trip (me, Phil, dad, step-mother, sister and the nieces), which should be interesting as she has made it to 30-something (she will kill me if I put her real age) without ever having slept under canvas, so I will maybe make some of these glamping accessories to make it a bit easier for her.  There are loads of things - a blanket, decorated flask, a roll-down blind for your camper van, if you have one, sticky ginger cake (also known as parkin where I come from, looking at the recipe), oilcloth cushions (tres handy and easy to make from the millions of oilcloth scraps I have lying around) and a deckshair.  I'd best get making, as this supposed trip is only a couple of months away.

Anyway, as usual I have digressed and gone off on a tangent haven't I?  Back to the task in hand . . .

I simply adore the musical masterpiece table, which is an upcycled pine table with music sheets and motifs, covered finally with a wipe-clean plastic topper.  This would be perfect for my drummer friend, Jo.  Maybe when she buys her own house (which she has been thinking about) I could make something like this for her.  I know from experience how much you can't afford to buy pretty new things when you first move into your own house.

I was very interested to read Pottering About, with an interview with Jemma Basketfield of Burleigh.  There is a brief history on the company and even instructions on how to make your own pottery cup.  I would love to have a go at this, but need to track down a kiln first.  Maybe I should find a pottery class to attend?  The cups in the magazine are just sooooo pretty . . . .

I love the comeback that Elderflower is making in Hedgerow Harvest.  I have always liked elderflower, despite its 'granny' label.  Not inly does it taste lovely, but it is also, for the most part, free to gather and make your own cordial (as per the recipe in the magazine).  I'm thinking elderflower ice-cream would be amazing and now I'm going to have to go find a recipe . . .

My darling husband was admiring the very berry tea cosy in the 3 Ways With Yarn feature, until I reminded him that I couldn't knit for toffee.  This cute cosy could make me have another attempt though.  I also like the jug cover in this feature, which could be a better starting point, although I can't crochet either.

There are lots of baking goodies in this issue.  To start off, Eric Lanlard has a white chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake . . . yummy, and he talks about his love of al fresco dining.  The Clandestine Cake Club has a pistachio and lime three-tier gateau.  Also yummy.  I think they have also provided the battenburg recipe.  Finally, Greg Wallace has a scrumptious-looking blackberry and raspberry tart. . . nom nom nom.  No, wait!  There is more . . . Claire Kelsy has an apricot and almost cake with some accompanying apricot ice-cream.  I think the best thing about all of these recipes is that (apart from the battenburg), they all have some element of fruit, so each slice can be classed as one of your five-a-day!

Other features include:
  • Wayne Hemmingway discusses the use of common sense in design (it does seem to be lacking)
  • Queen of Vintage, Sarah Moore, explains her love of all things past and vintage and how to incorporate them into your life
  • new regular columnist, Linda Barker, gives tips and instructions on how to hang a picture frame perfectly, even if, like me, you have horrendously wonky walls
  • get some nautical inspiration for the home in Seafront Style
  • Nel Whatmore (she's from Yorkshire - she's bound to be amazing) talks about her transition from paint to patchwork and how the two intertwine
  • make a giant squab cushion, perfect for dry sunny outdoors days
  • stitch a handkerchief cafe curtain
  • make a Moroccan-inspired poof, perfect for emergency seating, and something else that can be dragged outside on a warm dry day to soak up those rays of sunshine we have been having lately
  • hints and tips on using felt in your crafting, with an easy start-you-off cushion project
  • the founders of Woop Studios tell all about how the company started and their recipe for success
  • hints and tips on blogging, with an explanation of why it is soooo good (I'm inclined to agree).  I now want to put a link within on this blog, but can't figure out how to do it.  Hopefully the hubby will help
  • Susan Gaston of White Dove and Wonder gushes about her love of shoe lasts and how it all started
  • DIY lampshade.
I can't wait for the next issue (which for me will be a subscription issue).  It is out on 5th July .

Happy Crafting!


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