Monday, 8 July 2013

Review: Homemaker - Issue 8

Sooooo, I seem to have had a magazine drought recently.  They all seem to be arriving at the same time these days.  I think I have three all due out this week.  I would much prefer them to spread out a little so I always have something to read, so thank god for Homemaker, which seems to always arrive a week before the rest, giving me something to read for that week.  And it really is a magazine that can keep me going for a few days, as it is full of interesting articles and not just lots of pictures, and this issue has not disappointed.

It hit the shops on Friday, and although I got my copy a couple of days before (my first subscription copy - woo!), I have taken my time reading it all from cover to cover and then re-reading some bits.

I like the freebie that comes with this issue, but I feel that I may have lost it to my hubby - he spent ages looking at it.  He even took it out of it's packet without asking me!!!!!  It was nearly divorce then - I like to keep my  things pristine until I'm ready to make them.  You may want to know what it is actually . . . it is a little owl doorstop kit, which is perfect for me, as I keep thinking I should make myself a doorstop or three as the doors in my house either refuse point blank to stay closed or to stay open.  I've never made a door stop before so this one will be a good beginner's project, unless Phil beats me to making it, which is highly likely.  Instructions are in the magazine, so if my magazine disappears, I know that Phil has it and is making up the doorstop.  It does look as though it can be handstitched though, so I might sneak it to work and make it up as a lunchtime project when the weather turns and I don't want to go outside.

One of the first things in the magazine is a gorgeous table decoration made from flowers and floating candles in a mirrored bowl.  I think this is absolutely gorgeous, and once I am posh and sophisticated enough  to have a large garden in which to hold summer dinner parties, I now that these will be adorning my table.  I also think that these would make great centrepieces for a summer wedding.  Leave the candles unlit during the day and change the ambience by lighting them at dusk.

This issue encourages you to 'Make Your Hallway A Destination'.  If only I had a house big enough to have a hallway.  i do agree though, hallways are often neglected.  I love my gran's hallway as photos and pictures adorn the walls and she has some storage cupboards at the end which are always decorated.  We often congregate in her hallway, spending hours saying hello or goodbye in there.  This issue has some ideas for decorating your hallway, including an embroidery hoop picture, a notice board and some vase cosies (knitted).

I enjoyed reading Wayne Hemingway's column this time round.  He talks about resident-led development, and in particular how it has worked in Middlesbrough.  I think I took interest as I don't live that far from Middlesbrough and have friends from there, so I could relate a bit to it.

I am inspired by Decorator's Diary, which features Crown Vintage paints.  I keep thinking about painting various rooms in my house.  I think I have my ideas for my bedroom pretty much sorted, so I am now thinking about my kitchen, and some of these paints would be amazing.  I live in a very old house (built in the 1700s we believe) so I am thinking that the vintage look is going to work very well.

Sticking with decorating, Linda Barker shares her knowhow on cornicing.  I think this would look gorgeous in my house, but as it is rented, as much as I can decorate, I think putting up cornicing may be a step too far for my landlord.  I've yet to ask if I can paint the fitted wardrobes - they are a horrible brown colour at the moment and will look so much better a nice crisp white as far as I am concerned. 

I adore the little felt rabbit toy in Bunny Boo.  I'm not usually one for making toys (they might encourage children to like me and I am quite happy with my reputation - according to one of my niece's friends - as the child catcher) but this is so sweet that I am tempted to try it out should I ever find time.  It does look a bit complicated for a total beginner like myself though, so I should either try something simpler first, or maybe seek supervision.

I like the curtain with pockets and flowers, which is so very pretty.  I worry however, that should I make something like this, I would make use of the pockets and forget that I have put stuff in there.  I am one of those people who is forever losing things after putting them in a safe place, so this could be very dangerous for me.  For example, I lost my driving licence for two years after putting it in a safe place.  About a month after applying (and paying) for a new one, it re-appeared - in my jewellery box!  I am also currently looking for my sunglasses and have turned the house upside down.  It is important I find these, as they are my last pair after losing another two pairs over the last year.  See, I'm hopeless!

Eric Lanlard has a scrummy looking dark chocolate moelleux, which unfortunately I can't eat, due to the dark chocolate content.  Not even for something so delicious looking am I willing to risk a migraine.  Luckily, my hero, Mary Berry, leaps to the rescue with her Victoria Sponge recipe, which is very similar to my great-grandma's recipe, which has been lodged in my head for as long as I can remember.  I might try Mary Berry's version though, which just has one small added ingredient.  Somehow, I think I might always have to be loyal to my grandma's recipe though.

Staying on the food theme, I am going to have to try Pete Evans' (apparently) no-stress blood orange sorbet with champagne.  Now, I have loads of champagne left over from my wedding, so me and my friend have decided that we should have a champagne cocktail party in order to drink this champagne, and this would be a perfect little addition I think, plus something a little bit different.  Also, I just love sorbet!

Other projects and features in this issue include:
  • revamp a vintage wardrobe with antique book pages
  • feature on Magpie founder, Nicky Sloan
  • The Great Glitz shows you how to add some Gatsby to your home
  • Break the Mould has some ideas for vintage jelly moulds - if you can get your hands on them
  • napkin decoupage
  • Helen Mulley asks why knitters and knitting are yet to get their fair share of the limelight
  • feature on self-taught knitting extraordinaire, Joy Bates
  • patchwork bed cover
  • advice on re-stuffing an old chair
  • linen coasters
  • DIY serving tray
  • paint some zesty bowls
  • hints and tips on vintage cameras
  • Jo Wheatley, winner of The Great British Bake-Off shares her heart-warming success story and shares her triple chocolate cookie recipe
  • 5 paper projects
  • papier mache serving bowl
  • paper cut plates
  • Calson & Co owner, Andy Rouse, us how it all started and where it is going
  • printed cushion cover
  • Kiane Mellor also tells how it all started and how she got to design for Liberty
  • DIY bird roost

The next issue is out on 2nd August, and I can't wait, as I am very interested to find out what this 'floweretti' is.

Happy Crafting!


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