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4.5 out of 5 stars150
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2011
There are plenty of craft books out there which can give more (and possibly better) projects on sewing, cross stitch, flower arranging, baking papercrafts etc, but there are very few that draw such a wide spread of crafts together and present them in one book. Designed to tie in with Kirstie's new show on craft, this book presents a really diverse range of projects. It is true to say that those who already have their chosen craft may not find it to their taste, but, for those who would like to dip their toes into other crafts, I think this book is a really good place to start.

The book is divided into the following chapters: Needlcrafts, Textile Crafts, Paper Crafts, Food Crafts, Garden Crats, Flower Crafts and Gift Crafts. In each chapter Kirstie (or her researcher I suspect) gives a brief background to the sections within that craft section - for example: Needlecraft - sewing, embroidery, knitting and quilting. This is then followed by a number of projects. There are some projects that I have really liked and will certainly be trying (one in fact I will start later today), and some that I suspect I will never even attempt, simply because they don't inspire me. On balance there are more projects that inspire than don't.

Projects:

Vintage Bunting, Applique Cushion (really lovely with a hare on it), Embroidered Handkerchief (very pretty but simple design), Table Runner (machine embroidered), Bubble Coasters (knitted in stocking stitch), Stack and Whack Quilt (layer and cut a 'stack' of fabric and then whack it together by hand or machine), Cross Stitch Cushion (Very Emily Peacockish (might be by her as she is mentioned) really lovely sardines in a tin design - this is the one I'll be trying tonight), Devore Silk Scarf, Needlefelt Robin (this little robin has inspired me to try needlefelting - he will be lovely for Christmas), Felt Heart, Natural Dyes, Paper Sculpture Bird (I'll be trying this one for sure - really sweet), Paperbead necklace (paper folding with an old book), Paper Dolly Chain, Snowman Pinata (I'll be making one for Christmas!), Paper Bauble (paper cutting), Greeting Card (rubber stamping), Handmade Paper, Family Scrapbook, Fruit Cake, Ice-cream Balls, Party Jelly, Marzipan Penguins, Banana Cake, Sugar Flowers, Scones, Damson Jam, Pickled Summer Cucumbers, Spiced Pickled Plums, Blackberry Vodka, Carved Window Box, Elderflower Cordial, Mosaic Chair, Birdseed Cakes, Scarecrow, Willow Nesting Box, Petite Floral Exhibit (flower arranging), Table Centre (flower arranging), Garden Wreath, Corsage, Floral Line Design, Seedhead Mirror, Ribbon Rose, Making Perfume (how to make Kirstie's favourite blend of oils - and then yours), Lavendar Bath Creamers, Lavendar Bath Bombes, Silver Button Medallion (lovely simple idea using silver metal clay - requires special items, but a lovely result), Silver Leaf Pendant (silver metal clay again), Decorated Candles.

The projects are really thoroughly explained, step by step, and seem achievable to anyone from beginner upwards. Admittedly there will be considerable outlay if you decide to make everything in the book, buy all the specialist items, and then don't pursue the craft. All in all highly recommended - might not have enough for the committed specialist crafter, but a really good, thorough overview of a wide range of crafts. Well done Kirstie and your team.
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on 20 October 2011
I am a massive fan of Kirstie Allsopp and although I loved 'Homemade Home' for it's quirky 'Kirstie-ness' even I had to admit that it probably wasn't as good as I had anticipated.
'Craft' is a different matter altogether. Gone are the pages and pages of opinion and in their place are masses and masses of projects!

The best part about this book is it's diversity. there are crafts that I scarcely knew existed outside of school. For example, I would never dream of buying a book on paper-craft, but looking at the projects within the book, I might give it an afternoon of my time!

Featured are a few simple but beautiful projects from all parts of the crafting world from sewing to paper-crafts: it is almost like an introduction, a taster session! I'm sure that if you were to discover that you had a particular liking for one of the crafts, you could buy a book which was substantially more comprehensive; but if Kirstie had intended to provide an overview for 'craft' in general then she certainly has succeeded.

The whole look of the book is so kitsch and seventies, even the layout of the project instructions looks a little old fashioned, but it works and only adds to the charm.
All in all, as a book of crafts as opposed to a specific craft, this is a triumph.
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on 17 October 2011
Preordered this book and was really looking forward to receiving it. Am a fan of the shows but Kirsties Homemade Britain was a big disappointment and I was hoping that this one would be better. Unfortunately I personally would only really do one or two of the crafts. My biggest gripe is that as you go through the book you see lovely pictures of crafts but no instructions on how to make them. There is a picture of a gorgeous paper rose on one page but nothing on how to make it. I appreciate that it is difficult to please everyone and include everything but I find a lot of the things in this book very samey to other books. Nothing really stands out for me. Sorry Kirstie, I think you are great & have done lots for the craft industry but this book doesn't live up to my expectations. Also some of the crafts mean a lot of outlay buying the equipment and some of us just don't have the money. Again, I know you can't please everyone. I am sure that lots of people will be inspired by this book but its just not for me.
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on 7 November 2011
An excellent book,as an experienced crafter of over 44 years I still managed to find something new. Well done Kirstie!
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on 1 December 2011
Having watched the first episode of the television series accompanying the book I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of this book. As with the tv series the book covers a large variety of crafts, so is ideal if, like me, you are keen to try your hand at various crafts without the outlay of specialist books on each. Kirstie's enthusiasm for all things crafty shines through in both the book and the tv series, and her have a go attitude is very encouraging. Some of the projects require specialist equipment or supplies e.g. the silver clay pendants, bath bombs and wicker birdhouse, but there are also several projects that are achievable with a minimal outlay on supplies.

My only gripe about the book and the reason I didn't give it five stars is that not all of the projects shown on the tv series are included in the book, the recipe for a fruit cake given in the book is from an earlier incarnation not the winning fruit cake seen in the tv series, the silver metal clay project is for a button necklace not the key necklace seen in the programme. Whilst these are both nice projects I would have liked instructions for the actual projects instead of having to download these from the website, with perhaps variations also given as extras in the book.
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on 1 November 2012
There can be no doubt in any reader's mind that Ms Allsopp wrote this book herself. Like "Homemade Home", her style of writing mimics her voice so perfectly, that when you read it to yourself it is like she's there with you, talking to you personally. It is a friendly, no-nonsense, useable book that inspires and enthuses readers to pick up their sewing box or apron and get going!
Not only is the style warm and welcoming, but the projects are delightful and the book also includes a guide for sourcing all the equipment and ingredients you need in order to be able to try these crafts for yourself. Admittedly, there are one or two projects that may leave you slightly out of pocket but there is a wide range of options, suitable for all budgets.
The range of crafts "demonstrated" make this a perfect beginner's guide to the various crafts. This is not something for those who are already experts in the fields presented.
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on 13 October 2011
I love this book. So many craft books have been disappointing in the past; projects either too expensive, unrealistic, too technical etc for what I want it for - to pass on home crafts to my daughter and spend quality time together making our home special. This book ticks all the boxes.

It's beautifully photographed and there's a huge range of different projects from needle and paper crafts to garden, food and flower crafts. There are also some lovely touches such as lavendar bath bombes, bird seed cakes, home made jelly and elderflower cordial.

Some lovely projects you'll recognise from past tv programmes too for which I'm particularly grateful. Highest standard and something for all ages. Can't wait for the next one!
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on 22 February 2012
Like the TV series it accompanies (Kirstie's Homemade Home) this book is split into sections, each dedicated to a different craft or craft type ranging from traditional crafts such as flower arranging, needlepoint and quilting to more recently popular crafts such as felting and soap making. Each section has at least one (usually not more than 2) projects which use the craft in question to make something useful, pretty or just fun. Examples of things to make include vintage bunting, a bird sculpture, bird seed balls, jam and my personal favourite smelly bath bombs.

The book itself is a lovely item to own, with lots of lovely photos and nicely formatted text, in clear sections. Each project has a list of items required, often with alternatives suggested if appropriate and a step by step list of steps which I found to be clear and easy to follow on the projects I attempted.

Being someone who is new to most crafts, this was an ideal book for me as it's a great "taster" to a large number of crafts and the projects are all aimed just right in terms of giving you something just challenging enough to be interesting but not so advanced that you give up before you're half way done.

Overall I think this is a great book for someone seeking out a new craft to try or just looking for some inspiration. It's unlikely to have much appeal to a seasoned crafter or someone who has already set their sights on a specific craft (one project won't give you what you need).
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on 3 January 2012
I bought this book for my teenager daughter who has been following the TV programme.

I found it a bit disappointing, very few samples and the explanations given assumed you are not a total beginner.

Many of the crafts require lots of items, some specialised ones,very expensive to buy just to do 1 item.
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on 4 January 2012
I have enjoyed Kirstie's recent TV series so much that I thought I'd treat myself to this book. However, what a disappointment! Thank goodness I didn't pay full price, as although this is a hardback book the quality of printing is not great and the content of the book is completely unoriginal. There is nothing to inspire me whatsoever and although the book includes ideas from the TV series there aren't any new projects to really get your teeth into. Overall a very disappointing buy.
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