Friday, 19 August 2011

Book review: Chic on a shoestring, Mary Jane Baxter

I'm still in my craft hibernation mode, more or less. But it seems to be getting better. I am knitting a little something at the moment, and a trip to the shops today gave me some inspiration for a couple of projects (it also emptied my wallet a bit. There are so many things I love in shops right now that I think I will ban myself from them for a couple of months).

I have a wish list on Amazon which mainly consists of Craft books. At Christmas I usually pick one or two and send the link to my parents as a suggestion. What's great is that now I always get recommended new craft books which I might not have noticed before, and this is how I came across "Chic on a shoestring" by Mary Jane Baxter. The name rang a bell, and then I remembered that a while ago I posted a link here where she was going on a £10 wedding dress challenge for the BBC. Intrigued, I had a quick look at the book description- sounded interesting and right up my street. The raving reviews on Amazon (6 reviews all giving 5 stars) and the cover finally convinced me to order the book in one click:

The hat, the shoes, the tights, the collar, the coat, the floor... I love everything in this pic (pinched from

At £8.50 with free postage I thought I had not much too loose, apart £8.50 but somehow I had a feeling I would like this book.

Let's just say it didn't disappoint.

Since I received it yesterday, I've been glued. I haven't managed to make anything yet but my head is full of ideas. The photos are amazingly inspirational, the illustration are very cute and with simple ideas Mary Jane shows us how to unleash our creativity and make simple but highly stylish projects look oh-so-special. There are two many nice projects to mention but the scarves projects, collars and tie purse caught my attention and I can see myself turning to her book whenever I need some inspiration.

All in all, a great book which I highly recommend.

On another completely different subject, I have been on TV yesterday! If you fancy having a laugh check this BBC News page and scroll to the second video, at the beginning behind Colette Hume you see somebody folding envelopes- well that's good old me in my purple cardi and spotted skirt. I didn't realise I was in the frame for so long (I do glance a couple of time at the camera). And yes, I look a bit grumpy. After all this was filmed at 7.10am (when the students are interviewed you can see a clock behind them).

The first video is a heated exchange between the Education minister and a BBC correspondent, it was also filmed where I work but by then we were all busy working (as you can see in the background).

Have a great week-end all!



Noas' Libellule said...

Finally saw the video!! Thanks for the book review - I saw that book and was wondering what it was like!

Tors said...

That's such a fab review I've gone and ordered it off Amazon. Very much looking forward to receiving it ... although if it turns out not to live up to my expectations I'm totally blaming you ;)

Popbabe7 said...

I have been recommending it online and to several people I saw over the week-end so I might ask Mary-Jane for a cut if this goes on :-)

I hope you like it Tors, and I really hope it will live up to your expectations. As well as being full of ideas it is a beautiful book- the photos are superb and have lots of little details which will give me some inspiration.

You can be sure that as soon as I make something from this book I'll blog about it!!!

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

It is so fun to buy something you really like! Glad you got the book and know it will spark your creativity even more (if that is possible).

I looked at the BBC video all the way through, but the only person I thought looked like your picture on your blog was not folding or stuffing envelopes. Oh, well, you had your fame!!! Fun.

Catherine said...

I LOVE that book - I've borrowed it from the library and will definitely be buying it! Have you read Cloth magazine? You'd probably like that, too. I've just found your blog via Mary Jane Baxter's blog as it happens and am now following - I could do with tackling my stash in such an organised fashion too!

Popbabe7 said...

Hi Catherine and welcome! Thanks for following my blog now. I have heard about Cloth magazine but haven't been able to find it in shops yet, but I've only looked in supermarkets. I'll probably have more luck in WH Smiths I guess.

I'm glad to see someone else has enjoyed the book. I think it's definitely a great investment. Funnily enough I'm about to post a project inspired by one of Mary-Jane's ideas!!

Tors said...

The book arrived, and it is just as awesome as you said! Thanks for a great review, it got me buying, got any more to recommend?

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