Monday, 22 December 2014

Colouring Book Craze

Colouring Book Craze

If you thought colouring books were for pre-schoolers or primary students at best, think again. We have been putting a wide range of colouring books into recent catalogues and customers cannot seem to get enough.

Publishers of course are on to the craze and delivering classy, intricate designs aimed at adults. We are not quite sure if this is a doodle-doing situation or are these designs being used for other projects from embroidery to paper crafts.

The Celtic Colouring Book is one of my favourites and is just one in a new series from Search Press. 

The samples of finished items are truly beautiful and there are 100 designs to choose from.


Others titles in the series are The Angel & Fairy Colouring BookThe Art Nouveau Colouring Book, The Chinese Colouring Book and The Flower Colouring Book. My husband can spend hours pondering a Sudoku puzzle – I wonder if he would find these books of interest as mental therapy?


Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Peek at Our January Catalogues

We are closed from Christmas Eve until 5 January, but I do plan to come into Can Do Books mainly to use our excellent space for cutting fabric and sewing, sewing, sewing! If the phone rings, well maybe, but I intend to have some time for myself and my passion.

Which leads me to some gems in our next month’s catalogues which will be mailed in early January and are already online as PDF files. 

The Sewing Bible of Clothes Alterations is a step-by-step guide on how to alter clothes by Judith Turner and is a beauty.

Cover for The Sewing Bible for Clothes Alterations

This no-nonsense book has excellent line drawings on all the basics which are ideal for beginners and a great refresher for more accomplished sewers. My challenge will be to get my op-shop addicted daughter to slow down long enough to sit in front of the machine and the endless stream of treasures that need minor adjustments.


There is also a lovely book, Wardrobe 101 for Mums, which is more an inspiration for us all than a practical sewing guide. 

Wardrobe 101 for Mums

It has lots of celebrities and some hugely interesting wardrobe ideas. This is a really positive book about the joys of dressing well and enjoying life.

In the last few months we have been regularly been asked for books on makeup and are really pleased to offer Makeup by Australia’s own Liz Kelsh. The book blurb says “you’ll find everything you need” and this looks to be an apt description.


January is of course sale month and there two great catalogues full of the most amazing items in all craft areas and plenty of general interest titles as well. The break to sew will need to be good since it will be a busy month when we are officially back to work on 5 January.

Happy Christmas to one and all!


Thursday, 27 November 2014

*%^&#^@* Technology

After the highs of thinking good things about our technology (a craft show in Adelaide run remotely and fully integrated to our inventory database server plus adding exciting new books with enhanced features to the database and online), there comes the ugly reality. 

Never think technology is actually on your side! In the last week, we have been invaded by a very nasty virus that has crippled our server and made life extremely stressful. Thanks to excellent support from our good friends at LIV IT, we managed a work-around to put together the December catalogues over the weekend and will be mailing on schedule this Friday – an early thank you to Highway Press and their mailing houseso please, please, please…!
Hopefully we will be back to some semblance of normality on the technology front by Monday as well and should have the December PDF catalogues online soon after that. 

Thankfully, the web site order function is working brilliantly, but a few minor gremlins are appearing mainly related to images. Again, these should be cleaned up shortly.
Amazingly, we are processing and dispatching orders with the usual same day service, but will be relieved when the makeshift process needed to achieve this has reverted to our excellent systems.
By the way, the virus is rumoured to have come from the “Russian Mafia” which is a bit of an oxymoron, I would have thought. Getting the problem fixed is the first priority then we need to find out how it happened. The lesson is to be even more vigilant with protection measures – you might think about your own situation!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Wonders of Technology

Ah, the wonders of technology! Book publishers are becoming increasingly inventive in the products they are creating and how these are being promoted. Books published by Quiltmania have a handy “look inside” feature highlighting content that has been specifically selected with quilters in mind. Michelle Yeo’s Of Needle, Thimble and Thread is just one example.
Search Press, using a different technology, also offers enhanced “look inside” features to give crafters more information about the content and look-and-feel of books. 
The Textile Artist: Appliqué Art is just one good example of what is available.

Of course, we are putting these links into our product descriptions online and have even tried a little experimenting of our own. We have created two trial catalogues  Gift Ideas for Crafters and For Fibre Artists – using Issu one of the interesting page turning technologies available. Try linking to one of these and let us know what you think. Perhaps we need to move away from the current layout for our catalogues which works well in print and PDF format … something to think about in the quiet time, whenever that is!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

New Projects for Noro Yarns

Knit Noro 1 2 3 Skeins has just arrived and is stunning with all those yummy Noro yarns and 30 great projects. The projects can be made with 1, 2 or 3 skeins, so it is possible to make some beautiful items without investing a fortune.

As a teaser, here are four projects.
The Garter Ridge Shawl requires three skeins and shows the lovely photography and stylish layouts used for the projects – the final result are illustrated in colour, of course, often with the front and back of the garment, and of course there is the pattern details.
 Garter Ridge Shawl

 Garter Ridge Shawl


The Open Back Vest uses two skeins.

 Open back vest

The lovely Flower Broach uses only one skein.

 Flower Brooch

Finally, I just loved the colours in the Twig Lace Shrug and it is a three-skein project. Yet another one for my “to do” list!

 Twig Lace Shrug

Happy knitting

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Going On Bear Hunt!

Dear me, but this new book brings back very fond memories of evening baths for the kids and then a book for them before bed! Wow, that was 25 years ago!
To celebrate the anniversary this classic has been republished with eight realistic press and play sounds to bring the story of the bear hunt to life like never before. You'll love it as much as the children.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt.
We're going on a bear hunt.
I can picture some of the little ones under the cover when the bear arrives but giggles will certainly follow.
Be ready for many readings of this wonderful story and endless playing of the accompanying sounds.

We're Going On a Bear Hunt

 We're Going on a Bear Hunt

I do love the wonderful range of children's books coming across my desk.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Knowledgeable Knitter

When I first heard that Margaret Radcliffe had a new book coming, I was very excited to see what she would deliver after her wonderful Circular Knitting Workshop. I thought that the book with a subtitle of “Understand the Inner Workings of Knitting and Make Every Project a Success” would surely be something special. Margaret’s The Knowledgeable Knitter has not disappointed!
Knowledgeable Knitter
The Knowledgeable Knitter

Her writing is easy to understand and supported by wonderful illustrations and step-by-step photos.
Weaving Live Stitches to Dead Stitches
Weaving Live Stitches to Dead Stitches
I agree with one of the advance reviews: “The ultimate resource for knitters who don’t just want to know how, but are also curious why … the perfect blend of practical and theoretical information …” This book is destined for my own reference shelf which is not a big as some might imagine!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Swing Jacket Number 2

I have now completed the second version of the Swing jacket as I mentioned in my previous blog. The fabric is a rayon and has a nice drape to it, Now for number 3 then it is time for some summer clothes.

Swing Jacket
Back of Swing Jacket CJ519

Swing Jacket CJ519
And the Front

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

My New Favourite Pattern

As I mentioned in my previous blog I have decided that shopping for clothes is not for me after a long and fruitless search for  something that fit, was not black or grey and didn't make me look like " mutton dressed as lamb"
Swing Jacket, Christine Jonson Sewing Pattterns
Swing Jacket
It took me three hours  to make which is the time I spent searching. I was able to fit my narrow shoulders and wider hips. Yes, I am a classic pear shape. I also have short arms and always have to roll up the sleeves of bought clothes. This is lucky for me this time as I only bought 2 metres and the pattern called for two and a half. 
 Swing Jacket

I am now on the lookout for a knit to make my second one.

Monday, 2 June 2014

I Am so Glad I Sew

I need a few new items of clothing to see me through winter.

The core of my wardrobe is black pants and a black top, either a T-shirt or Skivvy (such an old-fashioned word) depending on the season. Over this I  like to wear a bit of colour so off to the wonderful city of Melbourne yesterday to see what I could find. Well the answer is nothing. I was looking for few long line cardigans in almost any colour except grey or black. What I found was either too short, had a hood, would last through 2 washes, only in grey or black etc.

I also discovered that I don't like shopping in department stores now that they are divided into brand name boutiques. I would have had to go through all of them to rather than going to the knitwear department and soon became hot and disillusioned.

It looked like I would go empty handed but as Clegs is on the way to the station I had a look at what they had to offer and came away with a printed knit jersey which I am going to make using the pattern below.

 Swing Jacket
Swing Jacket by Christine Johnson Pattern
It should take me about the same time to make as I spent shopping. I will show you as soon as it is made,