The coming of spring has been celebrated since ancient times. Nature is at her most exuberant, and the glories of the reawakening natural world are there to be enjoyed. This beautiful little book draws inspiration from all this abundance to provide decorative ideas and traditional recipes in celebration of Easter and the new season. Easter captures the spirit of spring, with practical ideas and inspirational projects for the home. Abundant blossoms and the first flowers of the year can be arranged in simple posies or displays, and lush foliage and soft feathers collected on country walks make charming decorative effects. Eggs have for centuries been dyed and decorated as part of the Easter tradition, and there are creative projects in this book for treatments using natural dyes, decoupage, stencilling and gilding. The end of Lent means that convivial feasting plays a large part in the celebrations, and the final section of the book features an irresistible collection of traditional treats, including Truffle-filled Chocolate Eggs, Simnel Cake, Easter Bread and Pashka. Step-by-step sequences illustrate the projects and recipes, and exquisite colour photographs evoke the freshness of the emerging year. This wonderful celebration of Easter and spring will help you to capture the essence of the season and festival with glorious natural decorations and time-honoured foods.
What a brilliant but busy summer/autumn I had in 2013!
As well as writing the latest Great British Sewing Bee Book ( which reached #4 Amazon Bestseller) to companion the BBC2 TV programme, I spent sunny days down at Mapledurham, the film location for BBC2's new programme, The Big Allotment Challenge, researching and styling that companion book.
A professional journalist and author of more than 30 books, I've been writing about all things home, garden and making for about 30 years. I've always believed everyone is creative and love to inspire anyone who wants to flex those creative muscles to have a go! I do this by showing-them-how through photographs, illustrations and words. I see myself as a kind of translator - taking what seems to be complicated and making it simple to understand and easy to do for the reader.
I'm loving the current resurgence of interest - passion, even - to acquire lost traditional skills and use them in new ways. I also think, once you have those tools, one form of creativity can inform and enrich another. I live in a particularly vibrant and creative neighbourhood in South East London, which provides me with a constant source of inspiration. I personally believe simplicity in design is often the most beautiful, and this is what I aim for in any projects I produce. I hope that gives people the confidence to develop their own sense of style and creativity.
For me, I've been sewing since I was five years old and my interest in gardening started not long afterwards as I trailed behind my horticulturally-trained grandmother around her vegetable garden and flower garden. I've been writing about crafts and sewing and gardening for more than 20 years in newspapers, magazines and books, and for about five years, I had a regular column in Practical Gardening magazine.