Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Amazon Delivery Cometh

Upon arriving home from my crochet course earlier today, an unremarkable brown cardboard package was awaiting me in the porch. Oh, but what delights it concealed within!

Firstly, let me make it clear that I went shopping on Amazon for things for the Munchkin's impending seventh birthday.  As any of you who have shopped with Amazon before shall know, you only get free delivery if you spend over £15 so I just had to add in the odd thing for myself to make up the order and qualify for free delivery.  Yes?

So, the Munchkin has professed quite an interest in sewing, possibly not surprising given how much sewing I do.  Lacking a young girly in the household with whom to share my enthusiasm, I've been quite happy to do a few little sewing projects with him (notably Mr Owl).  When I was on Marylebone High Street a few weeks ago, I popped into the marvellous Daunts Bookshop.  It has a very good children's section and there I spotted a lovely old fashioned-style book for children about sewing.  

I pondered whether this was a suitable gift for a boy...  Anyway, I managed to find the book on Amazon (for a very reasonable £6 something) and thought the Munchkin would like it and that is the important thing, (hey, just look at Kaffe Fassett)!  In particular, it has a section on blanket stitch which he has been wanting me to teach him.

It is beautifully illustrated inside.  Way back when I was little, I used to love books that had a nameplate in the front (heck, I still would love that!)

Now this, I like.  A section about "Pressing".  Yes, it's definitely time the Munchkin took up ironing!

The back cover is equally charming.

Obviously, I need to hone my own sewing skills so that I can help the small person learn.   As such, I popped this into the virtual basket for me.

I had seen this book in Country Living mag and have long been an admirer of Jan Constantine's work (particularly, the tea cosy, seaside themed patches and the Union Jack cushion). Oh my, but the projects in here are beautiful and there's more than twenty-five of them. Even the tea cosy is included. The projects are split into five sections: Hearts, Country Garden, Seaside, Botanicals and Bugs, and Celebrations.  I am really impressed that she has been prepared to share the secrets of her products for many crafters/business people are not. They do look quite complex and of course, not everyone likes sewing (honestly?) so I guess there shall still be a market for her beautifully produced, ready-made goods. I'm going to try to make some... Here are some of the beautiful pictures from inside:

Also whilst in Daunts, I spotted the new Leon cookbook.  As it is quite a tome, I didn't want to lug it home, (already laden as I was with Cath K goodies), so I added that to Mr Amazon's delivery task.  I am a fan of Leon which is a small chain of "fast food" outlets, but with a difference.  Leon's founding principle is that "food can be both lovely and good for you".    Leon was formed by three friends , variously a chef and management consultants, who wanted good, seasonal food to be available to everybody.  They eventually gave up their day jobs and the first Leon store/cafe opened in Carnaby Street in 2004.  As this is just round the corner from Liberty, I can often be found in there recovering from a visit to the haberdashery department.  Whilst the food is undoubtedly healthy, the Leon gang believe in treating yourself too, so you can indulge in a chocolate mousse or a glass of wine with your meal.

This is really a gorgeous book to look at (I haven't cooked anything from it yet so cannot report on the recipes).    It starts with a look at ingredients and then the recipes can be found in the latter half of the book.  Can't decide whether I like the vegetable or fruit frontpage the most...

There is an emphasis on seasonality and this handy chart:

I spy a Union Jack...

There are some great fold-out sections.  This one is on chickens:

Any cookbook which manages to feature Ladybird's Chicken Licken is fine by me!

There's even a cheese map which lives in its own little pocket!

Here is a choccy hedgehog I might try for the Munchkin's birthday party:

All in all, it looks to be a great addition to my groaning cookery book shelves.

Now I'm really loving this page of stickers at the back. No idea what they're for, of course, but I like them just the same.

This little lot should keep me out of mischief for a while!


  1. Some lovely books you've received there, I love my amazon parcels arriving.

    It's funny I always buy people presents and then think well I might as well throw "that" in the basket whilst i'm benefitting from free delivery!

    Victoria x

  2. Wow only a couple of days ago I was looking at that very same sewing book and considering buying it for my DDs seventh birthday too :) We are all looking buying the same things at the moment I am finding :) X

  3. You chose some great books there!

  4. Good Morning Hen,
    the Embroidery book is great. This could be a very good present for the mother of my boyfriend ;)
    Thanks for that idea.


  5. Heehee....definitely on the same wave length....my Jan Constantine book arrived from Amazon yesterday too! Have lots of fun with it.

    I'm a rubbish cook though - but can see the appeal of the lovely book that you chose - thanks for sharing.

    Good luck teaching your little boy his stitches - he'll make a wonderful husband for some lucky girl some day! ;-))


  6. My boys can all sew and knit though they are probably out of practice as they are 26 and 19 and haven't done any for a long time. Good for you.

    I do love your book reviews - keep them coming xx

  7. I love the children's sewing book!
    Specially the vintege illustrations... :)

    Yes, indeed, it's always nice to recieve amazon packages!
    For me, it's always filled with wonderfull things i couldn't find in the stores here in my country.

    Kisses from Brazil!

  8. Such wonderful books you are showing here! Well, now I must buy some, how could I resist?

  9. Hello Hen,
    Oooh, I love Amazon...I could go bankrupt buying from there. Books and music; my two most favourite things! I love those brown boxes coming through the door don't you? I'm just the same as you...I justify spending over £15.00 to get the free delivery!
    You made great choices. What a sweet little book the childrens sewing one is. Can't wait to see what the 'munchkin' makes!
    Deb x

  10. Oh temptress! Now I'll have to go to Amazon and what will that do to the winter logs budget?!
    Love that sewing book! Good for you! My boy gets to use his great granny's manual singer sewing machine - they love a bit of machinery! How may women work on Jermyn Street and Saville Row? Who are the head designers at some of the top fashion houses in Europe? Go girl! t.xx

  11. Oh wow I have to have those books my little munchkin is now a 6foot tall welder!! so I will have it for myself! You have just reminded me that I bought some bookplates last week - now where did I put them ? The Jan Constantine stuff is lovely isn't it - her website is dreamy - all things I want to do but will have to wait until I retire in 13 years time! How's that for forward planning! I am confused when I see your pictures because it looks like you are living in your cottage?? I imagined you lived in an urban house in London? but the garden doesn't seem so?? Gosh I am nosy arent I...................

  12. The See and Sew book is fab, I have a daughter, but I have to be honest, I bought the book for me ;)

    Congrats on passing your driving test too :)


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