• Books and TV

    Jan Constantine: GIVE AWAY

    by  • Monday, August 1, 2011 • Books and TV, Craft • 31 Comments

    Jan Constantine, Queen of Embroidered Cushions, has only gone and published another book. I know. And the good news is, in between scratching my mosquito bites, I’ve got hold of a copy to give to one lucky HomeShoppingSpy reader…

    Love Stitching is full of decorative appliqué and hand-embroidery projects from Jan, featuring some of her best-selling designs for cushions, throws, wall hangings, aprons and bags.

    While her first book (Heirloom Embroidery) focussed on traditional embroidery, Love Stitching takes a more modern approach, with bright colours and strong shapes in a series of graphic, bold designs. I like the anchor cushion project best:

    To win Love Stitchingsimply leave a comment on this post including your email address and we’ll pick a name out of the (hand-embroidered) hat at 6pm on Thursday 4th August. There are some helpful Terms and Conditions, here. (In case you’re not feeling lucky, it’s published by Jacqui Small and costs £20. You can buy it here.) - Ellie 

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    NEW BOOK: The Art of Instruction

    by  • Monday, June 6, 2011 • Books and TV, Lovely websites, News, Stylish shopping • 1 Comment

    Do you like vintage educational charts from the 19th and 20th centuries? Oh, you do? So does author Katrien Van der Schueren. So much so, in fact, that she’s collected over 100 for her beautiful new book called The Art of Instruction, due out this October in the UK, published by Chronicle Books.

    From the anatomy of a tulip to a French poster about ‘Les Fruits’, every page features beautiful vintage zoological or botanical diagrams. As the proud owner of a creepy bat poster and a university lab bacteria wall hanging, this is right up my rue, innit. I might accidentally lean on my mouse – squeak – and order two copies – one for the coffee table, and one to cut up so I can frame my favourite pages. HOW EXCITING. – Ellie

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    NEW BOOK: My Cool Campervan

    by  • Wednesday, June 1, 2011 • Books and TV, Decorating and interiors, News, Stylish shopping • 7 Comments

    Today, I’ve got campervan envy, BIG TIME…

    Just out in the UK, My Cool Campervan (published by Pavilion) is the new book from the My Cool Caravan duo, Jane Field-Lewis and Chris Haddon. Tina Hillier’s photography is top notch, and the team has managed to find an amazing array of quirky campervans and campervan owners…think patchwork quilts, fold-out formica tables and fish and chips beside the seaside…

    Oh, how I would LOVE a campervan. (And a bell tent, actually, but that’s a separate ongoing eBay search.) My favourite van in the book has got to be this fully-carpeted 1960s super-sleek pad:

    Avocado green upholstery, walnut tables and rotating chairs? Yeah, baby, yeah!

    As well as exploring the retro interiors and campervanning characters, there are some beautiful shots that show the real attraction of life in a van. Yes, apparently there’s more to it than sewing little curtains out of vintage fabrics and playing house with thermos flasks. It’s about the call of the wild – the open road – freedom – and being at one with nature, maan. Sigh.

    Retro interiors fodder combined with escapist adventures – what more do you want from a book? – Ellie

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