It has been a couple of weeks since the last newsy letter and so I thought I better catch you up on what I have been up to.

We have been busy with birthday celebrations, and cooking and school break. The kids and I are working on a recipe book for families (more about that later – it is very exciting – sneak peak below) and I have also been spending a bit of time in the sewing room too.

Because of silly too-tight self-imposed deadlines and lots of sewing as well as the recipe book, I have asked some lovely fellow bloggers to join me here at Whipup over the next couple of months to post about their creative process and already I have been blown away by the essays and and images that have been flowing in to my inbox. I know that these creative essays will encourage and inspire you too. I’ll introduce these more fully next week – but just for starters – we have essays on the topics of creativity and … blogging, business, parenting, health and process – it is going to be a fabulous series.

This past couple of weeks at whipup have been about online communities – instagram and Flickr and Pinterest – go and check them out and join in too. I also posted a few fun links and did you see the guest post by Megan Reilly on music and motherhood?

Books on my review pile: Some treasures…

Make Hey While the Sun Shines: 25 Crafty Projects and Recipes by Pip Lincolne is published by Hardie Grant Books (Australia) and will be out in the USA later in the year. Another eclectic jumble of fabulousness from one of Australia’s much loved crafty gals. This collection of projects comes on the heels of Sew La Tea Do, which is packed with cute sewing projects perfect for beginners. Make Hey has a bunch of different summer crafts that are a little bit retro, a little bit eclectic, and a lot of fun. There seems to be a triangle theme running through the book (which I enjoyed very much), and a definite homage to nana crafts too. Once again the photography is sweet and artistic and Hardie Grant have done a great job with the styling too. The projects themselves range from papery crafts like the paper wall quilt, sewing crafts like the wall organiser and crochet crafts like the tortoise – as well as stamping, embroidery and beading too – a bunch of stuff perfect for dabbling.

Hat Shop: 25 Projects to Sew, from Practical to Fascinating Compiled by Susanne Woods and published by C&T Publishing (Stash books May 2012). A compilation of hat designs that range from milliner confections worthy of the races, to everyday basics for the whole family. Patterns and templates are included and the illustrations are clear enough – although many of the designs are better suited to those with sewing experience. There are some glorious hats in here – my faves would have to be the quirkier everyday hats – like the Rain bonnet made from clear vinyl and the Winter flap – aviator style hat – made from woolly tartan. Lots more fun though – fascinators and felt riding hats for stylish ladies, chicken and monster hats for kiddos and retro caps for retro guys and gals. This book is a keeper.

Stitch London: 20 kooky ways to knit the city and more By Lauren O’Farrell of Stitch London and published by David & Charles (August 2011). I was in London once, years ago, a lifetime ago, before kiddos and mortgage and career. I have fond memories of London – it is a beautiful city, full of history, tradition and architecture, but it is also where punk started and still has that exciting underground music and art scene. This book pays a knitted (cheeky) homage to all things London-y. From knitted Bobbies (police) and the Queen’s guard, to those iconic red phone boxes and the Tower bridge. There are some punkish laptop covers and book cosies to keep you snug while riding the tube (the underground), and there are pidgeons and rats to remind you that London is a big old city. My fave might be the knitted plastic bag picnic blanket, perfect for the Londoners who like to lie on the grass, in their lunch break, in the many city parks no matter what the weather.

[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending me books to review, I don’t get paid to post reviews but I am an amazon affiliate] (Australians can purchase craft books online through can do books or booktopia or else browse booko for the best prices.)

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