Monday, November 02, 2015

Book :: Lungdon

I am so excited to tell you about this book! I should tell you, I received a copy (electronic) in exchange for reviewing it - but I had already read and loved the first two books, pre-ordered this AND intend to buy hard copies as soon as I can be sure I get a matching set. So believe me, it didn't influence my review =)

Lungdon is the final book in Edward Carey's Iremongers trilogy. I don't want to give any spoilers for the first two books, so I'm going to kind of do a review of the series and keep the details vagueish, ok?

As you can probably tell from the above, I am kind of nuts about this series - it is just so fun and weird and unique! The story is set in Victorian times, and follows various characters from the Iremonger family from their home in the great rubbish heaps outside of London (Lungdon), through a town called Foulsham, and finally to London itself. The tone in Lungdon feels a bit darker than the first two as the characters are changed by their experiences along the way, and by the end of the book the story has come to an unexpected and perfect conclusion.

Each book is told from the perspectives of two main characters, as well as an extra person here or there. One of my favourite things about these books is the how unusual and distinct from each other the voices of the characters are - I don't think I have ever read anything where this has been done so well and in such an easy to read way.

The series is marketed at the 12+ age group, but has that quirky grotesque gothic kind of style that makes it a great read for adults too - think Neil Gaiman or Tim Burton - and it didn't even occur to me that it was a "kids' book" until I saw it in that section of the catalogue.

Another fantastic thing about these books is the illustrations - Carey prefaces each chapter with portraits of characters or scenes from that chapter - they are so cool! You can get a good feel for Carey's work on his (really cool) website.

Lungdon is out this week from Five Mile Press / Hot Key Books, and is 400ish pages of perfection - I give it (and the other two in the series) five stars and recommend you get on it now =) Meanwhile, I'm off to check out Carey's backlist =)

Happy reading!

Xo Bron


Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Makers' Collective :: 30 day creative challenge

All of a sudden it's November, and the first day of the Makers' Collective 30 day creative challenge! I'm skipping over today's project - I won't be doing all 30 but instead choosing my favourite 2 or 3 each week, and hopefully sharing them here too.

In the meantime, it's not too late to sign up if you're interested too - check out all the info here. You can also check out #makers30days on Instagram to see what everyone is making, and follow along with a new diy tutorial on the Makers' Collective blog each day all month =)

Xo Bron



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Desert rose dress

And all of a sudden it's the weekend and another kids clothes week is over - and again I feel like there's so much more I wanted to do! But I think that's one of the cool things about KCW - it gets you sewing and inspired to sew even more. This time around I managed to finish the Avengers geranium dress from my last post, get some pj pants nearly done, and finish one more dress - my first go of the gorgeous desert rose pattern.

I used some cotton-ish fabric I found in the remnant bin last time I was fabric shopping - I'm pretty sure it has some poly in it. It was actually kind of not that nice to work with. I made the 18 month size and it is a pretty good fit, with a bit of room to grow into. Like the Avengers dress I have about 2 inches extra in the hem. It's hard to see in these pics with the busy fabric, but the dress closes with two buttons on the bodice front - so cute!

I have been in love with this pattern for quite a while (check out #desertrosedress in instagram - so many beautiful dresses!) and was certainly not disappointed with the result! I have fabric washed and waited to be cut out for the next already. I actually think it's a good one for special stash fabrics since the square skirt means it is easy to be flexible with length and fullness =)

Xo Bron



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Avengers geranium dress

Kids clothes week got off to a good start here yesterday - I managed to sew a whole little geranium dress! I think I mentioned Miss A is really interested in Marvel and DC super heroes at the moment, so the theme 'disguise' was a perfect excuse to make her an Avengers dress.
Obviously this sewed up quickly - it is just such a fantastic pattern, and the finishes are lovely, with the bodice lining hiding lots of seams and a clever treatment of the back seam to keep the back opening so neat and tidy.
I made the 18-24 month size, which is perfect in the chest and maybe a tiny bit long in the skirt (this has an extra 2 inches in the hem). I love the faux cap sleeves, and finished with snaps (I love my snaps!)
Don't be surprised if there's another geranium around here before too long =)
Xo Bron

Monday, October 19, 2015

Garden update

The garden and greenhouse have been loving this weather! It has been a warmer October than usual, and I'm tempted to plant my tomatoes out already even though we sometimes still get frosts through to the end of the month. The main thing holding me back is I just can't decide how to support my tomatoes - stakes or trellis?

The most action is in the greenhouse we have lots of new seedlings popping up from seeds I planted last week - from top left there's the first dwarf bean, basil (Thai basil and oregano are up too), golden nugget pumpkins and patio zukes just popping through and corn (which I'm sure wasn't there at all yesterday!).
We're picking a couple of snow/sugar snap peas each day and yesterday our first ripe strawberry (which didn't last as long as being photographed but A assures me was delicious!)

Xo Bron


Saturday, October 17, 2015

KCW warm up =)

The next round of kids clothes week starts on Monday! This theme for this round is disguise, which should work out pretty well here since A is currently fairly obsessed with Spider-Man, Superman, Batman and a whole load of other DC and Marvel characters (as well as Star Wars!). I have a couple of dresses cut out already, and a few new things planned, but mostly this time I'm just focussing on the actual goal of KCW - to sew for an hour each day.

It has been warmish here the past week or so, and the summer clothes have been pulled out. I've been super pleased to see that A still fits into some of the things I made last summer, so I made sure to take pics when she has been wearing them and thought it might be a good warm up for KCW to share them today.

First is this little Lulu dress (the pattern is by Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional). This one got hardly any wear last summer because the fit was a bit weird - I was so happy to see the fit is so much better now than A is less tiny round baby and more toddler with actual limbs. I think it is probably just a better shape on an older kid, and having seen it on her yesterday I'm pretty sure I'll make more of these (the pattern goes up to 8 yrs - yay!). I do love the combination of knit top and woven skirt!

And today's outfit - a geranium dress in tunic length. I think I made this before Christmas (I think I might have even blogged it). I found the length was perfect for her when she was crawling and she did wear it quite a bit. I will for sure make more geranium dresses - it is my favourite kids' dress pattern so far, and I love that she'll get more than one summer's wear out of it.

Xo Bron


Monday, October 12, 2015

More gardeny goodness

Sorry for two gardeny posts in a row, but there is so much happening out there at the moment and I am pretty much obsessing over it haha.

I have been raising a mega batch of tomatoes from seed to sell as a fundraiser for our playgroup - this weekend they finally looked ready to pot out from the seed tray to something a bit bigger. Fingers crossed they survive the move (and the help from A!)

And here's the current greenhouse spread. I also moved the Lebanese zukes into bigger pots - I have about a dozen seedlings that are all looking really good, some of which I'll take along for our fundraiser too. New seedlings up this week are the mixed squash, and I've planted pumpkins, patio zucchini, corn, dwarf beans and more nasturtiums.

This week I'm planning to put in climbing beans and more sugar snap peas - we have been picking them and eating fresh in the garden.

Xo Bron