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Book review “Upcycling” by Max McMurdo

Book review “Upcycling” by Max McMurdo

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I was delighted to find “upcycling” by Max McMurdo available at my local library. Naturally any book with this title is going to be on my reading list, but is it a coffee table book, a practical book or a mixture of the two??

The book starts with a general introduction into upcycling. The definition “upcycling adds value to the item through clever design to make it more desirable, financially, aesthetically and emotionally” resonates with me.

The book has 20 projects spread between three chapters Furniture, Storage & Display, Lighting & Accessories. Each project is explained step by step with diagrams and photographs to assist.

Furniture – This section include eight projects, some more complex than others. My eye is drawn by projects I would not attempt without instructions, particularly the wheelbarrow chair and the bike stool. But if you like upcycled furniture but on a more day to day basis there are projects for you too.

Storage and Display – This section has five projects. Ranging from a skateboard shelf (how cool would this be in a boys bedroom?) to a salvaged drawer shelving unit.

Lighting and Accessories – This chapter has seven project, five of which are lighting. The step by step instructions with accompanying images are clear, allowing you to transfer the information to your own designs.

Tools and techniques – This section covers a variety of tools and their uses.  For someone like myself with limited DIY skills this section is particularly valuable, explaining tools and their application with lots of helpful tips.

The introduction to chapters encourages  thought and consideration to be given to the materials and design of the project. As someone who has no woodwork skills I found this book to have a coffee table feel but with good instructions. I now feel that I can create a light fitting, how exciting is that?!

I am offer to buy a copy (after all I did borrow it from the library for three months, I suspect I should give it back!). My school was fabulous at teaching me to sew but at a girl’s school I never learnt woodwork skills. I confess until recently I was not able to tell whether a drill piece was for masonry or wood!

Let me finish with another quote from Max “Go crazy and be brave”.


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10 Minute Mug Ebook Review

10 Minute Mug Ebook Review

As a pinterest/craft blog lover you will have seen DIY mugs. Having never made one I leapt at the opportunity to review the ebook “10 Minute Mug” by Elizabeth from the blog Destination Decoration.

10 minute mug

There is always a risk when such an opportunity appears, will the book be well written? Will it be original? Will the crafts appeal? I was not disappointed. The ebook is comprehensive with many fun ideas and comprehensive hints and tips to execute an excellent finish. It covers sharpie pens, nail varnish, metallic spray paint and glitter.

The only dilemma? Where to start – I decided on a sharpie pen technique. There are 17 hints and tips for a professional finish plus downloadable patterns.  I decided on a quote from Julian of Norwich “All shall be well”. This seems fitting as I am studying Julian of Norwich’s book Revelation of Love.

To make my own pattern I opened picmonkey to find a script I liked the look of. Using the free software I created a template which I printed off.

Picmonkey script writing

As suggested I used the rubbing pencil on the back and drawing round to transfer the image to the mug.

Transfer quotation to the mug

Next to build up the sharpie pen dots, one colour at a time.

Building up layers of sharpie pen dots

My sharpie mug did take longer than the suggested 10 minutes – but that really doesn’t matter. The ideas are wide, there will be a mug suitable for a gift for whoever your recipient is. Find the book here.

DIY Sharpie Mug All Shall Be Well

The mug is destined for work so it may spark interesting conversations amongst the agnostics and believers. Hopefully a quote of inspiration will center me when required!!

Amendment – do follow the instructions correctly, unfortunately I did not check whether my sharpies were water or oil based before I started:(




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I was provided the ebook for a review – all opinions are my own

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Book review “Shooting with Soul”

Book review “Shooting with Soul”
I am delighted to share the book “Shooting with Soul” with you today. It’s been on my wish list for some time, so it was a great birthday present to receive.
The book is set out into six chapters, getting started, four chapters with forty four exercises followed by a final chapter on sharing your images.
A brief introduction introduces the premise of this book, to take photographs with soul.
Getting started
This chapter covers choosing a camera, different lenses plus light and exposure.  The discussion on choosing a camera is about finding the right camera for you, with no assumption this is a DSLR.
choosing a CAMERA
“Choosing a camera that is compatible with your lifestyle is the best guarantee that your camera will always be with you”
Four Chapters of Exercises 
The book then moves onto practical exercises, the aim being you complete one per week. This initially starts with taking photographs of yourself “glimpses of you”. Each exercise gives suggestions for styling the suggested subject in a variety of ways, and is beautifully illustrated to inspire you.
exercises book
The exercise also provides suggested photography techniques. I love the beauty of the image of books above, inparticular how they are presented.
exercises window shopping
The exercises cover a wide variety of subjects from objects to emotions. Naturally the images in the book are truly inspiring.

If you are looking to be inspired you could add it to your Christmas list!signature




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I am inspired by our wonderful world, creation is constant and yet changing. I feel it is important to respect the environment and where possible to upcycle/recycle. Blessed with creativity I try to appreciate it and develop it:) Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please do sign up to follow my journey:)

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