Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Book Review - Making Winter by Emma Mitchell

'Banish winter blues and embrace the frosty months by cosying up with Emma Mitchell's nature-inspired collection of crafts'

As someone who has followed Emma on Twitter for a few years I know how passionate she is about crafts, making and the life affirming benefits to be gleaned from doing something soothing and productive like crochet or baking. She is a successful crafter, running workshops to promote the joys of making. So I cheered when she said she was writing a book. I knew it would be beautiful and witty, like the lady herself, and I was not disappointed.

This is so much more than just a craft book. There are yummy recipes which are destined to become firm family favourites, there are things to do with twigs and twine so there is an unashamed crafty element to the book. But what Emma does so beautifully is invite you through her words to pull up a chair, sip a warming cuppa and relax into winter. A Fenland hyyge if you like with added cake and doggy cuddles.

The illustrations are beautiful. Emma has photographed the area where she lives and its beauty is breath-taking. Lots of pictures of the crafts being done aid her clear and often witty instructions. However the real joy is the simple, stunning line drawings by Emma, who is truly talented and gifted with a pen or a brush.

The crafts and recipes are really tempting - I am looking forward to making the Chelsea buns and the streusel cake - so there should be something to tempt most folk. My only issue is the lack of knitting projects. As a non crochet person I was longing to knit some of the creations so would have liked similar patterns for the knitter. But I know Emma is all about the hook and yarn so I will forgive her.

So if you fancy popping out for a ramble and picking some leaves and twigs you could do worse than grab a copy of Emma's book and find ways to transform your finds into lovely home decorations. As Emma says, you may even 'replace the feel-good brain chemicals that may falter during these dingier months'. And that must be a good thing.

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