Friday, 2 March 2012

New Books and Linen

There's nothing quite like the thrill and anticipation of a new book. 

Of seeing that brown cardboard packet from Amazon (or elsewhere) sitting there waiting for a quiet moment when you can finally unwrap it and fully savour the latest addition to your library. 

The glossy and enticing cover, the fresh smell of print and, of course, the glorious contents - the wonderful words that transport you far away from your every day life, and the artfully composed photographs that leave you inspired and itching to make or transform, to cook, to plant, to travel or whatever the subject of the book excites you to do.

All those feelings were released over the last few weeks when I rather guiltily treated myself  (  I blame it on the weather)  to a few of those books that are just perfect for dipping into in the evening or at bedtime, propped up against the pillows all warm, cosy and drowsy.

The first book by Deborah Needleman, The Perfectly Imperfect Home, is an interior design book that gives a great sense of the importance and uniqueness of your space, and reminds you that it is far more important to have a comfortable, functional home that reflects you and your family's tastes and character, rather than a  perfect picture book home or one that could have been lifted straight from a high street showroom or interiors magazine.

It is well written, extremely readable and hard to put down as it talks so much practical sense, and each page is sprinkled with ideas and inspirations of how to make a personal and comfortable home.

Without a photograph in sight, it is beautifully illustrated throughout with gorgeous watercolours by Virginia Johnson, and each new section starts with a few words of wisdom.

The next book is for sewers and patchworkers - Natural Patchwork by Suzuko Koseki, and is full of contemporary patchwork projects that can be sewn by hand or machine, and with easy diagrammatic instructions for each project.

There are quick projects that you could run up in an hour or two, or more time consuming ones that you can dip into over a longer period. 

Needless to say, with my butterfly tendencies,  I already had a project from here underway the first weekend I received it. Another work in progress, it is a handsewn project that I showed a glimpse of a week or so ago, and is still being slowly worked on as and when time permits. 

One to savour and not rush

Another comforting sort of interiors book to dip into and always find ideas, inspiration and beautiful photos is The Comforts of Home by Caroline Clifton-Mogg, who has written several other gorgeous interiors books including French Country Living which I mentioned here a while ago.

The beauty of this book, apart from the obvious eye candy photos, is the concept of the book which aims to help you achieve a comfortable home, giving thrifty and chic decorating ideas using what you already have - something that I have always loved doing, making significant changes to my home starting with re-using and re-evaluating what you already have, by thinking outside the box,  giving a new look to the rooms of your home without spending a fortune.

This last week saw me tempted by two books by Selina Lake - Romantic Style and Homespun Style.

With text by Sara Norman, and beautiful photography by Debi Treloar, Romantic Style is the perfect inspiration if you love country style, french style and scandinavian style interiors, and is full of clever ideas to create a romantic style home.

Just out last month is Homespun Style, which embraces a more colourful style and again is full of thrifty, crafty ideas to create an imaginative and characterful home.

The photography is again by Debi Treloar, with text by Joanna Simmons.

Both books are a feast for the eyes, and leave you full of ideas.

As you turn the pages, the wealth of inspiration and ideas within gives you the urge to throw the book down and get cracking, to rush off and grab your paintbrush, your sewing machine and crochet hook all in one go!

I don't know how, but I did manage to restrain myself and instead was content (for the moment!) with merely changing the sitting room curtains (with ones I already had) and playing around with sofa cushions, particularly some new cushion fronts I had made last week with a view to putting in my still bare Etsy shop, but which will now have their backs finished this weekend and grace my sofa instead!

As a result of all the cushion making activity that's been going on here recently, I have successfully used up a little of my fabric stash, but with sewing still going full steam ahead (well, at half steam this last week to be  honest, as I have been feeling a tad under the weather due to a nasty cough that just wont go ) I have run low on plain fabrics.

Being  a lover of natural fabrics, I have been sourcing some new linen fabric these last few weeks

and have found a lovely denim blue and a soft pink linen to add to what is left of the other linens I bought last year.

I have washed them and they now await ironing - but I love them like this, when they are soft and creased as they already look a little aged and time worn.

I also bought some pretty linen braid which came to me all the way from Belarus. The wonders of the World Wide Web and Etsy.

Am hoping to find time for some sewing this weekend, as having spent last weekend in the garden I feel the need to sew - and the forecast is saying rain, so a perfect excuse to get some sewing under way.

What will you be doing this weekend?

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  1. Bella says 'woof'(thankyou)for your kind birthday wishes.
    What a lovely selection of books you have chosen.Thanks for giving us a sneeky peek inside.I adore 'homes' books,drooling over the pictures of gorgeous interiors and dreaming of what I'd do in my home if money were no object.
    Hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend,doing what you love best. :0)

  2. Enjoy your reading :) I have Romantic Style and love it, may have to make another purchase or 2 ;) have a wonderful weeend sweetie

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  3. Those books look like just the thing to cosy up with, looking at the weather forecast! And I did lots of gardening this week, so I'm feeling quite a "phew" feeling now it's more under control. So it's knitting again for me this weekend!
    Have a lovely weekend
    Jane x

  4. Funnily enough, I just wrote about Homespun Style which I got yesterday. So many ideas and inspirations! Have a great weekend.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  5. All of those books look wonderful, but I do like Selina Lake's style very much.
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Lisa x

  6. I was given Homespun Style today - for my birthday - and can't wait to sit down and read it.

    Anyway great book reviews - thanks for that - I will add those others to my Amazon wish list. :)

    I do like your linen - well done on finding a new source - I think it's quite hard to find good linen - unless you order from Korea or something and then the postage is quite high - so whenever I find it I buy it. Like you.

  7. The illustrations in your first book are beautiful.
    I have my eye on the new Selina Lake book too!
    Nothing like pure linen.
    Enjoy your weekend Gill and your sewing!
    Vivienne x

  8. Soo much beauty!!
    I am having a lazy Saturday morning breakfast in bed reading blogs, and these images were a beautiful way to start the day

  9. What beautiful books. I just love books and finally treated myself to some the other day. A couple about running a craft business and one about creating digital fabric designs. I'm looking forward to them :)
    Your blog is looking so pretty by the way x

  10. I have been dying to look through homespun it just fabulous!!

  11. Hi, Gill! Thanks for sharing with us your lovely books :o) Seeing your books I feel myself seating with you and enjoying your nice reads :o) I`ll find them, thanks
    P.S. I have a flu and all kids too, and we all feel so bad :o(
    Take care
    Natasha & Fam.

  12. Oh Wow! I want all those books! If I had them, however, I would be very grumpy about having to go to work, tidy up, shop, etc as real life would get in the way of crafting. Just not on! :) xxx

  13. It's such a treat when a package from Amazon drops through the letterbox. You've chosen some gorgeous books, I'm sure you'll get loads of inspiration looking through those.

  14. Enjoy your books that last one looks lovely i may have to look that one up on amazon ;-) Have a great weekend, dee x

  15. Hi Gill,
    Thought it easy to drop by here to answer your question. The book I ordered is called Fashion Print Design but I cannot remember the author. Angel somebody. It hasn;t arrived yet so I can't tell you much but I had a quick squizz at it in a shop and it looks like it gives you an understanding of how to use Photoshop or similar to create your own designs. Or at least I hope that's what it is. I'll have to do a post on it when it comes :)

  16. Look at those amazing books! They look fabulous. How lovely to be able to sit down and have a good old read through them. I could have done with a stack of books like that this weekend ... we've had the most horrendous storms and I've hardly left the house in two days. Just as well we had our new roof put on a few weeks ago or we may have lost it in the wind! Have a fab week hon.

  17. Such lovely books! I'd love to curl up in a chair with those for an hour or two.
    More sorting, organizing and cleaning for me this weekend. And tomorrow I hope to get outside to do a little garden clean up too. And we did take time to enjoy a nice dinner out tonight.

  18. Hi Gill, I do love it when you post about books! They all look fantastic, but I am particularly struck with the first one with it's beautiful illustrations. I got the 'Comforts of Home' one from the library and it was very good.

    Your linen stash looks so pretty,and I love the braid also. Wishing you a relaxing Sunday. Many thanks for your visit and kind comments, so sorry I am just getting back to you now! Love Linda x

  19. Sorry I forgot to say, your new look blog looks fantastic! Love Linda xx

  20. what a treat to look at all that inspiration :)

    Leah xx

  21. Hi Gill, just wanted to say lovely to meet you and thank you for becoming a follower. I love the books you've got, the pictures are lovely xxx

  22. Oh wow, marvellous books! I love the name 'The Perfectly Imperfect Home'. Exactly my philosophy too. We don't need homes that look like stagnant showrooms lacking spirit. Treating yourself to some gorgeous books is such a wonderful thing to do. I love it when I can pick up a beautiful book and turn the pages myself. Never the same as reading things on a screen. And, you can use books as part of your decor!

    Linda. xx


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x