Saturday, 23 July 2011

Soulemama and me

A while back the lovely Sarah asked me in the comments section what projects I had ever done from Amanda Bake Soule's books and how I found them.
I fully intended to let her know there and then but just didn't get around to it and then um, forgot.
So here , right now, is my reply.
And, Sarah, sorry for the delay!
I have two of Amanda's books : Handmade Home and The Creative Family. They are both fantastic and very inspirational. Amanda really does strike a great and sane balance between the desire to be creative and the reality of making things whilst being surrounded by children and having little time and limited resources.
Some of the issues facing parents who want to craft/create is that they have so little time, even to shop for the stuff for projects. Handmade Home addresses this by emphasising using stuff we already have: old sheets, towels, tea towels, children's clothes that they have grown out of.
The Creative Family is jam-packed with ideas for bringing just a little more creativity into the life of a family. Small steps and introducing some ideas slowly have been great for Frank and I. (Andrew loves the idea of it all but it tends to be me that does this kind of stuff).

Scarf from Handmade Home. Made for Sev's birthday. Hidden behind Frank (he wouldn't leave her side for the photo call!) are some vintage buttons, courtesy of my Great Aunt Dolly.
Wall hanging with pockets for Frank's room from Handmade Home. Made from old blankets and bits of fabric I had at home already. It is hanging from an old curtain pole! And just above it the DREAM banner made from an old army blanket and some felt, also from Handmade Home.

Bunting banner. I have made loads of these, as you all know! They are such a great way of using up old fabric and people love receiving them as gifts.
From the birthday banner idea in The Creative Family.

Bath mat from Handmade Home. This was made from an old pale yellow towel I already had (it is around 25 years old as I remember having it when I was a student!). The floral material is an off cut from some curtains I made years ago and never threw away. Many people have commented on this and asked where I bought it.
Pillow Case dress from Handmade Home. Made for my sister's littlest girl, Nancy.

In all honesty, I have made other things too. I just forget to photograph them!
The Family Heart from Handmade Home has been a great hit with Frank, who puts a piece of my jewellery in its little pocket whenever I go out.
And the Silky Eye Pillow has been made many times as gifts for friends and to use the fab lavender I managed to bag from a friend of a friend's garden last summer.

And Amanda has a new book out next month. I am twitching for it already.
Tomorrow we are running a cycling event to raise awareness of Type 1.
Back soon with photos from that.


  1. I love your creativity Jules! I haven't read her books, but will surely search her out. Currently I am working on a cross-stitch that nearly has me blind. And I am way behind on my blog-reading and posting. Such is summer!

  2.'re going to laugh.
    I have those two books...but your work is so bright that definitely shows your individuality, creativity and skills!
    Enjoy your weekend :)

  3. You are so darn crafty and creative Jules.

  4. Oh! I didn't know Amanda was coming out with another book. I loved the creative family and I really like how she incorporates the kids and utlizes items you may already have. Your projects are very cute. Thanks for posting!

  5. What beautiful projects, Jules. I especially love that little yellow dress.

    I was needing a treat for myself today, and was thinking I should pre-order her next book. Signed edition straight from her, or affordable one from Amazon? Still debating...