Drum roll, please! Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere – the five winning names have been plucked from a (bobble) hat and the lucky people who will each be receiving a copy of Angie Lewin’s beautiful Plants and Places book are… in no particular order: Simon Fox, Emma McCann, Ellen Woodfin, Emma Oakes and Viv Jones. Congratulations to you all! I’ll be emailing you for delivery addresses asap.

We’ve got another great giveaway coming up next week with a Christmas theme – so don’t be disappointed if you didn’t win this time. Remember, it could be YOU! – Ellie

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Angie Lewin: GIVEAWAY!

November 23, 2010

Talented artist Angie Lewin has collected 80 of her nature-inspired prints, together with collages, textile designs, drawings and paintings from her sketchbooks, to create a beautiful book: Plants and Places (£25, Amazon) out this month.

If only you could get your hands on a signed copy of this lovely new book. For free. What’s that you say? HomeShoppingSpy is giving away five signed copies of this gorgeous book to five lucky people who leave their name and email address below as a comment? We are? Well, that’s jolly good news.

Angie’s work is inspired by the clifftops and saltmarshes of the North Norfolk coast and the Scottish Highlands. She depicts these contrasting environments and their native flora in wood engraving, linocut, silkscreen, lithograph and collage – and this book shows you her processes in real detail.

So, just leave your name and email address below this post as a comment and on Tuesday 30th November, we’ll put all the names in a hat and pick out five at random to win one of these lovely signed books. (Click here if you like reading Terms and Conditions. – Ellie

Old school RULES

November 16, 2010

Typing like a woman possessed today, frantically trying to finish features. I pause briefly, to bring you news of this stunning recycled ruler lampshade  (designed by Rory Dobner and spotted in Roost Living‘s upcoming spring/summer 2011 range)…

I bought a load of old rulers at a junk shop recently – and now perhaps they’ll have a purpose in life again. I’m sure my PVA attempts wouldn’t be a patch on the one above though! Vintage rulers, if you like ’em, are available at shops such as Present and Correct and on ye olde eBaye of course, as well as at a car boot sale near you…

Boston-based Malcolm Studio upcycles vintage advert rulers into smart storage boxes…

…while the home-owners on the US cover of the new Decorate book (by writer Joanna Copestick and blogger Holly Becker of Decor8 fame) prop vintage metre sticks up in the corner of their lovely living room:

I won’t dwell on this, but I much prefer the US cover to the UK one! Even the fonts are nicer on the US one! Sigh. Right, I’ve gotta dash. Skirting boards to paint – oh, the glamour! – Ellie

Heal’s 200 Years of Design and Inspiration is a romp through history, telling the story of London’s most iconic furniture store from 1810 when it first opened to the present day. Being a complete interiors addict, this is just the kind of coffee table tome I love – full of retro adverts, beautiful furniture and brilliant design splashed across every page.

heals1There are fascinating photographs from the past, showing mattresses being stuffed and delivered in the 1890s, Heal’s wartime Home Guard lining up in the 1940s, and photos of machinists sewing parachutes during the war.

heals2I really enjoyed looking at all the 1950s and 60s images in this book – there are Lucienne Day fabrics to admire and stylish adverts that ooze sophistication.

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The book looks at key people who have contributed to Heal’s over the years, from John Harris Heal, who launched a mattress-making business back in 1810, to Terence Conran and Orla Kiely who have designed for Heal’s in recent years. The design of this book is perfect – there’s enough text to convey a good amount of interesting information, but it’s the images that take the lead so the balance between words and pictures is bang on for a design book. I particularly like the black silhouette illustrations, borrowed from the V&A archive.

Picture 1But I think my favourite thing in the whole book is this little plate about ‘good taste’ from a vintage Heal’s leaflet. It’s such a good motto! Heal’s 200 Years of Design and Inspiration will be launched on Monday. – Ellie

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After last year’s successful ‘MAKE!‘ book, we can reveal that Cath Kidston is publishing another craft book later this year. ‘SEW!’ is due to hit shops in early October, but we can’t wait until then, so here’s a sneaky peek at what to expect…

CATH1The book will come with a length of Cath Kidston fabric, a label and buttons so you’ll have everything you need to sew the pretty bag shown on the front cover. When you consider that Cath Kidston‘s bags start at £16 in her shops for a basic cloth bag, and this book is retailing at £14.99 – plus, you get loads of other sewing patterns and projects too – I think this is an absolute bargain!

CATH2Pia Tryde‘s colourful photography is cheerful and bright in truth Cath spirit and the styling is as gorgeous as ever – how cute is the little red vintage sewing machine on the back cover?! Love it! There are some lovely projects in this book, guaranteed to keep us all stitching and sewing for quite some time – expect hot water bottle covers, kitchen aprons and clothes hangers.

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cath4Even if you’re not a sewing expert, you’ll be OK – there’s a handy step-by-step section at the beginning of the book where all the basic stitches and techniques are explained nice and clearly.

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Craft and sewing has taken the country by storm this year. TV show Kirstie’s Homemade Home has proved so popular that Channel 4 is filming another series, where Kirstie Allsopp will transform real people’s homes (apply online here!), and it has been announced today that a new sewing magazine will launch on 29 May in the UK, called ‘Sew‘ (not to be confused with CK’s book, ‘SEW!’)

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With the strapline: ‘Join the sewing revolution’ splashed across the cover, it’s aimed at a new generation of younger sewing fans. If you’re embracing the craft movement, check out the easy-sew cushion projects in the June issue of Ideal Home, out now. – Ellie

Make do and mend

March 11, 2009

I’ve been writing a feature about thrifty craft for Ideal Home this week, and got sent this fabulous little book called Make Do and Mend. It’s a reproduction of a wartime Ministry of Information leaflet, first published in 1943.

make-do-and-mendIt’s packed full of great advice, a lot of which is still relevant today, particularly the cleaning sections. I love the way it’s written – from an article about banishing the ‘moth menace’ to a classic tip about using the tops of old woollen stockings to make ‘cosy underpants for a small boy’ – it’s wonderful!

Look out for our thrifty craft feature in the July issue of Ideal Home. – Ellie