Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Break Madness (Book Review)


Yesterday was a snow day and the kids were home from school...fighting. Well, that's not entirely true. There was some complaining too and a bit of TV watching mixed in. Demands for food. You know, the usual.

It got me thinking about March Break and how we are going to occupy them for an entire week. If you are facing the same scenario or you have little ones at home every day, I have a suggestion for you. That is, unless you are headed off to sunnier climes this March Break. This post is for those who are "staycationing" like my family. 


Recently, I received three amazing, colourful, beautiful craft books to review. Enough adjectives ya think? I just really like these books. A lot.

DK Canada sent me three wonderful craft books, all by Jane Bull, a British author and crafter extraordinaire. 



"Stitch-by-Stitch: A Beginner's Guide to Needlecraft"  has more than 50 inspiring and easy-to-make projects to get you stitching, making and designing. The projects are simple enough for my 8- and 10-year-old kids and yet challenging enough for me (not that I require much of a challenge).


Right away my daughter and I were drawn to a fun felt doughnut project. The doughnuts are just so cute! I went out and bought felt, embroidery thread and embroidery needles. We already had some stuffing, and the templates for the doughnut shapes are right on the page. This simple project really was a lot of fun. 

I made one by myself at first just so I could get used to the steps before working with the kids. Once I showed them my doughnut, they were hooked. My son pronounced it "very cool." We each made our own doughnuts soon after. 


Yesterday, my daughter used the doughnuts to serve tea to her dolly friends. I admit I enjoyed setting up for the tea party too.


I am looking forward to making some other crafts from "Stitch-by-Stitch," like this cupcake tote bag.


And these embroidered bags, perfect for giving small gifts in.


And these felt flowers, which can be made into brooches.


The kids are enthusiastic about learning to knit, so I thought I would get my son started on one of these "Dude dolls."


I would like to make a bunch of these knitted roses.


"Made by Me" is another lovely book, containing more than 30 homespun craft projects for young crafters. The book is divided into three sections: knitting, sewing and embroidery. Each one begins with a primer on basic techniques and stitches. The simple, sweet projects help children master needle skills while making bags, dolls, bracelets, hats and more. Here are some of the projects we're hoping to make:








"Make It!" has many suggestions for a very different type of crafts. It really gets you thinking about all the stuff you throw out every day. The book has crafty step-by-step projects that even a toddler can help with. Turn your household rubbish into fun treasures by creating jewellery from paper, flower pots from plastic bottles and purses from old jeans.



My daughter is looking forward to making this frog bowl from paper scraps.


I wouldn't mind using some of the old kids' clothes in our basement to make a pretty rag mat.


Finally, I want to make these attractive but simple picture weave cards to give to family and friends.

Basically, any of these books would really help a desperate mom to fill up her March Break agenda! I'm going to give it a shot. How about you? How will you occupy the kids...or yourself?


Time to Play

For the month of March, these books and a whole selection of other wonderful books for kids are 30% off on DK's website. I'd like to try the "Mom and Me Cookbook." I'm not getting a commission, I just think they are great books for families!




*I was provided with books for review purposes. I received no other compensation and the opinions are my own.


Linked up to:

Free Pretty Things and No Time for Flash Cards

33 comments:

  1. Oh you guys are going to have a good time with those lovely books! So many interesting looking projects.

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    1. I hope so! I really want to try a couple more soon! :)

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  2. I love the books and the knitted roses are calling to me. This is a great idea for children AND adults.

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    1. I was drawn to the knitted roses too, because they are so simple. I attempted a knitting project that was too advanced for me and it kind of turned me off. I'm going back to real simple! I agree, the stitching books are great for adults too. I think I actually love them MORE than my kids do! :)

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  3. How I miss those days!! Doing craft projects with the kinder-- and such adorable results!

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    1. I fear I don't have a lot longer, so I have to make the best of it. :)

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    1. True. My daughter just used one of their books for a book report at school too (on Ancient Egypt). :)

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  5. Such cute books! My daughter would love those too. Glad you had a good time making some new projects - so fun!

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    1. Thanks Julee. We did indeed have a good time. I am surprised how satisfying it can be to make a little something fun. :)

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  6. You've sold me! My daughter would be into all of these ideas. Btw, your doughnuts turned out great, the tea party set up is super cute. :)

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    1. Wendy, I am sure you are right (your daughter would love these crafts). They are great for girls. And boys too of course. My son actually worked until his doughnut was finished whereas the girl took a couple of days off in the middle. ;) Thanks for your kind words. The tea party was fun. :)

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  7. I love those doughnuts and thank you for following my blog, I will return the favor!

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    1. Oh, thanks Kym! Very kind of you! Jo :)

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  8. What fun! I love all these little projects, and your doughnuts are adorable.

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    1. Thanks! You probably do NOT need the books, judging by all of your great projects Ruthie! I am looking forward to building my craft skills!

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  9. Love this project Jo! Those books look fabulous! We would have been a donut-making factory when my daughter was younger! Love the colours that you used! Wishing you a fabulous weekend! Angie xo

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    1. Thanks Angie! You are so kind! Have a wonderful weekend too! Jo

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  10. Very fun craftiness- those doughnuts could not be any cuter!

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    1. Thanks! They are basically useless, but they are just so cute we couldn't resist. ;)

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  11. Your daughter looks so cute at tea time! Still snowing??? Quick the sun in our lives... Here in Belgium next week's gonna be sunny:-)

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    1. Thanks so much! She had fun. Enjoy the sun! I'm jealous. :)

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  12. Those doughnuts look magical Jo amd the Dude Dolls are just adorable! How funny, I was thinking about you yesterday! So glad you left that comment, it reminded me once moreto come over again and browse through your posts!

    Vicky x

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    1. Hi Vicky, I'm glad you came! I look forward to getting more of your recipes too! :) Jo

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  13. When I first glanced at this post, I thought, "Oooh, Joann posted a recipe for vegan donuts!!!" LOL. Seriously, though, they turned out to be adorable. Makes me want to craft something... :)

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    1. Heather, I really want to learn to make vegan doughnuts but I haven't tried yet. When I told my mom about the doughnuts on the phone she asked if I had let them rise. I said, "They're felt." She said, "I know." She thought I said "spelt" though because I always use spelt flour. :) Jo

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    2. I love it! And if you ever find a good vegan donut recipe (or really, any slightly-less-horrifically-unhealthy donut recipe), please post it!

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    3. I will post it for sure. Might take me two years to make them, but it will be posted! ;)

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    4. I made some carrot and ginger donuts that were pretty good and not hard at all to make : http://mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com/2012/02/carrots-and-ginger-improv-challenge.html

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    5. Yum Rachel. Thanks. I had trouble finding a doughnut pan and I gave up. I will have to try again.

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  14. Those are awesome books. I have seen the felt donuts before but yours look fantastic (love the tea party).

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    1. They really are great books. Thanks Rachel! :)

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  15. Super-cool books! I just love those sweet donuts. My 8 year old would love making these, too.

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