Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Review: Homemaker - Issue 16

Soooo, this has been in the shops since Friday, but as you probably all know by now, this is not a quick flick-through magazine, this is a magazine you have to sit down and read properly, which is what I have been doing over the weekend.

This issue is, what I consider to be, a proper Spring issue.  It really made me feel that Spring could be on the way, which I have been hoping and praying for since about 1st October.  Winter's OK with the cosiness etc. and I don't object to a bit of snow and Chrismassy feel but this winter has been wet and horrible and miserable for many people.  I consider myself lucky to have escaped the flood, living in Yorkshire and on top of a hill for that matter, but I am still very ready for some warmer, slightly less damp weather.

Anyway, enough of my moaning . . .

This issue comes with a free paper pom pom kit, and as always, the instructions on how to make up your pom pom are in the magazine.  I haven't made mine - mine has gone into the nieces' craft drawer, as I think this is something they can make without really any supervision, and it also means they can take it home and clutter my sister's house that little bit more.  I'm trying to declutter as much as possible so I have less to move in April.

The first project feature in this issue, as you can probably guess, is all about Mother's Day, and this issue suggests setting the scene for an afternoon tea party.  I love this idea, but I'm not sure my mother would.  She is not the elegant lady afternoon tea type.  However, I think my step-mother (non-wicked) would like this idea, so I may do it for her.  I may even attempt the fondant fancies, the recipe for which is in this feature.  I struggle to say this but I will have to buy the sponge, as I do not for one moment trust my oven to cook it.  It is the two extremes with my oven - either it doesn't get hot enough to cook anything or it burns it (a la my roasties yesterday).  Not to worry, I will have a new one soon.  Anyway, this feature also has a decorated tea tray, bunting, cotton napkins, invote, tea bags and a gorgeous floral arrangement in a teapot (although this doesn't have instructions).  I really like this idea, so that may be a present idea for one of the mothers.  I think my mother-in-law would like this too.

Wayne Hemingway discusses whether the creatives moving away from London and staying local is a good thing or not.  Personally, I am undecided on this.  Wayne states that rents are cheaper outside London for a little shop, but my experience of exploring this avenue have taught me that they still aren't cheap.  Also, it can be hard to find your customer base.  His mention of the house for a pound scheme has, however, piqued my interest, and I may have to wait for this to come to Leeds.  This seems like a really good idea, but it is not well-known (probably just as well).

I liked the Crackle Paint a Dining Suite project.  I love the crackle paint effect, and although my current dining suite is metal and glass, I could do this to other items in my house.  I am particularly looking at my bedside tables and bedroom drawers, as I would like a parisian shabby chic look in my new bedroom.  Of course, being my plans, these may never actually come to fruition, but the plan is there, and if I am happy in my house, I may be more inclined to make it a home and do things.

I liked the print fabric with your own stamp feature, because although I do not intend to make my own stamp or stamp some pillow cases, it has given me an idea for a dress for the nieces (if I can get the eldest to wear a dress that it - it might have to be tops).

I read Sew A Sturdy Canvas Storage Holdall with interest, as I like the way the zip for the front pocket is done, and I may have to use this on some of my bags in future.

I enjoyed reading about Sophia Palmer, founder of Jessalli.  She looks about 12, but I'm guessing she is in her 20s, and I admire her for having such entrepreneurial skills and confidence so young.  I also like some of her projects and I can't wait to see her chick cushion in the next issue, although she does have a cute pin cushion in this issue.

Other projects and features this issue include:
  • five ways with vintage photos - photo box; printed pillows; picture frame; wall plates (I am aware that this is only 4, but the feature says 5)
  • Interview with the ladies behind Hayford & Rhodes, the Rhodes sisters, Joanne, Amy and Laura
  • Interview with Anne Hopkins of Beckford Silk on how to repurpose and draw inspiration from vintage silk scarves.  I now want to raid charity shops for silk scarves (and teapots - see above)
  • Upcycle a stool with a silk scarf
  • Spring cleaning feature on why we love spring cleaning (I don't!), decoupaging your dusters
  • Julie Dodsworth has some gorgeous packaged soaps
  • Patchwork a chair from scraps
  • Stitch a roman blind (I'm sure this is the third time I have seen this in Homemaker)
  • Knitted bed throw (I wish I could knit, even if it does take 40 balls of wool!)
  • Crochet folk-style cushion
  • Eric Lanlard (yum yum) has some chocolate and cinammon buns
  • Mary Berry has a delicious looking cheesecake, but it looks way more complicated that the Gwilliams-family recipe cheesecake that I usually use (I may share it with you one day, but I think I would need permission from the rest of the family)
  • Biscuits with sewing motifs piped on them.
  • Apple and Toffee Crumble and Lemon Posset With Fennel Biscotti
  • Linda Barker refreshes your kitchen for you
  • Interview with Nic Guymer about her company Seventy Seven Society and recycling candles
  • Turn teacups into candles
  • Floral beauty with rannunculus, possibly my new favourite flower, which I may have to have in my new garden.
  • Screen printing
Gosh, I didn't realise how much I've been reading through the mag and taking pictures of pages to send to my sister for inspiration for the house.  She seems to be ignoring me lol.

The next issue is out on 21st March.

Happy Crafting!

Holly

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