Category Archives: Creative Kids

Book Review: Playful

I came across this beautiful book in the V&A museum in London last week, and just had to have it.  I’m a sucker for beautiful crafting books.  Rather than keep it all to myself I thought I might share some of the loveliness contained within with you, too, in the form a review.

PlayfulIt’s called Playful and is written by Merrilee Liddiard with wonderful photography by Nicole Hill Gerulat. Published by Stewart Tabori & Chang in 2014, it retails at £15.99, US $24.95, CAN $27.95.

This is a collection of projects to make for or with your children and includes sewn toys, some basic woodworked toys and painting / crafting projects, all with a feel of Scandi-chic about them and beautifully photographed in soft, natural lighting.

In the idyllic-sounding story of her formative years, Liddiard tells us how her parents were always making and creating for her and her eight siblings, and how she developed a love for creating.

“When you set the stage for the art of play in your home and learning environment, you are opening up a very special world for your little ones.” she says.  Bravo, well said, say I.

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Thoughts on teaching my girls to sew

The fantasy goes something like this:

My darling daughters, inspired by my love of sewing, ask me to teach them.  I show them how to sew by hand, and they fully engage with the process, enjoy the contemplative and soothing nature of the repetitive stitching motion, and produce divine hand sewn clothes for their dolls and gifts for their grandparents.  They ask me to show them how to embroider, so I sit them down with a children’s cross stitch set and they work diligently and patiently, to produce gorgeous little samplers for their rooms and to personalise gifts for their grandparents.

Sewing the Dream

Sewing the Dream

They ask me if they can please use the sewing machine, and they sit quietly and attentively while I explain the safety aspects and show them how to thread the machine, and they confidently yet carefully produce row after row of neat, parallel stitching, smooth curves and sharp corners, and ask to make clothes for themselves.  So I show them how to read a pattern …. And so it goes on, through to adulthood, by which time they have learnt a valuable life skill, learnt patience and perseverance, and have a satisfying and gratifying hobby.


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