Tag Archives: Reviews

My Knitted Doll Blog Hop – Book Review

My Knitted Doll BookA little while ago I was asked by Sew and So if I would like to join in with a Blog Hop and review the new book, My Knitted Doll.

Now I have to admit I wasn’t immediately sure because from past experience I found knitted dolls to be, well, a bit twee.  However, I was sent some pictures and I have to admit, I fell in love!  Louise Crowther‘s take on the knitted doll is just so darn cute!Martha - My Knitted Doll

There are patterns for twelve different dolls, including a boy, and every one has their own individual wardrobe.  I really like the way the book is presented too; each doll has their own story and name.  I think my only criticism is that I would like more boys and boys clothes, but there is lots of scope to adapt the patterns and to make a special person their own Mini Me.

The patterns in My Knitted Doll are very clear and all the techniques are covered in the back of the book with lots of photos and explanations.

The book is published in November but I was sent a PDF copy to review and couldn’t wait to get the needles out and start knitting.  I chose Jane.  This is Louise Crowther’s version…Jane - My Knitted Doll…and this is mine…My Knited Doll - Planet Penny yarnAnd the added bonus?  Planet Penny yarn is perfect for all the patterns!  So I have a hard copy of the book on pre-order and I shall be knitting my way through it for birthdays and Christmas pressies, if I can bear to part with them!

Find Out More…

There’s a sneak peek below, and HERE you can pre-order My Knitted Doll and get the e-book free!

Find out more on the links below …
Tuesday 11th October – Interview with Louise Crowther on SewandSo
Wednesday 12th October – Eskimimi Makes
Thursday 13th October – The Creations of Crazy Dazy
Friday 14th October – Planet Penny

You can follow the blog hop on the Sew and Sew Facebook page and on Instagram using #MyKnittedDoll.  I’m really looking forward to see everybody’s different versions.  Do tag me if you join in!

Have a lovely weekend, I’ll be back soon…x

Guest Post: Higgins and the Pawsome Box

Higgins miniature dachshund reviews his Pawsome BoxHello!  Higgins here.  It’s been sooo long since mum let me loose on the keyboard but I really wanted to tell you about my Pawsome Box, cos I love it when I get my very own post.

(Mum gets soo grumpy when I open hers.)

Pawsome BoxI had to give it a bit of a chew and a thump about to get in, but when I did it was PAWSOME! Pawsome box contentsThere were TREATS!  treats for Higgins the miniature dachshund from the Pawsome BoxThere were TWO bones! And some more treats, a lead, and some wiping things to make me smell cleaner (Hmmph!  I smell lovely already!)Higgins and Pawsome BoxI LOVE the stripy bone…it squeaks!Stripy bone(Well it did, until I had a little accident) but I STILL love it…Toy from the Pawsome boxAnd the other bone I can just chew…and chew… and chew…Higgins jumpingI thought this was just for me because I’m special, but mum says ALL the dogs in the WORLD can have this treat too because there is a special code from the lovely Pawsome people to get a discount.  So I thought I’d better tell you all so that my doggy chums can have some post too.

You just have click here to find out all about the Pawsome Box and use this discount code ukbtswem when you buy.  

It’s my birthday next month… I’m not hinting or anything, mum…..MUM?

Landlust – A New Magazine

Landlust CoverIf you love the countryside, then the magazine, Landlust, which dropped through my letterbox a week or so ago will be right up your street.

It’s full of  all the things which just click with me, living a creative life close to nature; and with the sun shine and the birds song of the past few days has been the perfect antidote after the grey winter months.

There is stitching, and gardening, cooking, baking, wildlife and interiors and I’m feeling very inspired…Montage of photos from Landlust Magazine

The photography is beautiful, and has encouraged me to get back outside with my camera…Forget me not and bee - LandlustWith a spot of sniffing on the way…Hyacinth - Landlust

By the way…Higgins has taken up ornithology!  We have magpies nesting in the garden and they they have been throwing down the sticks which don’t fit their building plan for Higgins to play with…Higgins

He’s even had a friend round to help!Higgins So the gardening features in Landlust have got me back outside making plans… and I also have a hankering to make a few of those little drawstring bags. (Well I can’t simplify my life without finding somewhere to store everything can I?)drawstring bags from Landlust magazineand there is a recipe for Black Forest Gateau…oh dear, that’s the healthy eating out of the window then.

Thank you for joining me back here on Planet Penny, I do love to hear from you.

I’m gradually getting back into the swing of things, and with Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios coming up there is a lot going on.  I’ll be back soon….x

All lit up – with a Daylight Lamp and a giveaway!

Smart Light D20 - Daylight companyIf you’ve been visiting Planet Penny for a while, you’ll know my main gripe about the autumn/winter period is the lack of daylight.  I don’t think I actually suffer from full blown Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I do get rather grumpy, and those gloomy days when you think the sun hasn’t actually risen at all make creating and photography jolly tricky.

So I was very happy to be sent a couple of lamps from the Daylight Company to try out and review, and I know for all you knitters, crocheters and stitchers out there a good daylight lamp is a really necessary bit of crafting kit.

The first one is the Smart Lamp D20 and I love it!  It’s light and portable, but the base is heavy enough for it to be really stable so you can adjust it over your work area without worrying about it toppling over.

I’ve found it particularly useful in the evenings by my chair when I’m multi tasking with some crochet, the television and a cup of tea because the light can be angled.  In fact it does all this!

  •  It changes colors for improved contrast when reading and colour matching
  •  It is dimmable, allowing you to set the light at the brightness level you require
  •  It is portable, light weight and foldable so you can take it anywhere
  • It is USB compatible allowing you to plug into the AC Adapter (included) your computer or phone charger.

And then there is the baby brother, the Yoyo light.  It arrives looking just like the yoyo it is named after…Yoyo magnifying light - Daylight company…but opens up into a handy little magnifying light, perfect for keeping in your workbox when you need to get up close and personal with your work.

And this is what it does:

  • Compact foldable pocket LED magnifier
  • 3 bright LEDs
  • 5,5cm (2.17″) lens – Magnification 8D (3,0X)
  • Ideal to use when out and about
  • Comes with a wrist strap
  • Requires 3 x AAA batteries (not included)

Yoyo light - Daylight companyDaylught Company Yoyo light(This one gave my camera a funny turn trying to focus!)

I really enjoy finding things which I know will make things just that little bit easier for us creative peeps, and it’s even better when I can offer you the chance to win one of your very own – for FREE!

I have a Smart Lamp D20 worth £65.00 and a Yoyo Magnifyer Lamp worth £15.00 as a giveaway on my latest newsletter.  All you have to do is sign up via the PINK BUTTON below and let me know what you love best about Winter VIA THE NEWSLETTER.  The Smart Lamp is only available in the UK I’m afraid, but I’m happy to send the Yoyo lamp to any part of the world where you can buy AAA batteries!

So click on the Pink Button for a chance to win one of these fabulous lamps to keep you bright this Autumn! subscribebuttons - Daylight lamp

Looking forward to hearing from you…x

Breakfast: Heart Shaped Waffles

I can’t help it, I’m going to waffle on about waffles!

We’ve been celebrating this weekend, can you believe it’s actually SIX years since Higgins came into our lives…SIX!  Life hasn’t been the same since! Mini Dachshund 2009-09-23 07.19.48So a celebratory breakfast was called for, and excuse to test the super duper waffle maker kindly sent by Cakemart for me try out.  I’ve never made waffles before, simply because I didn’t think I could manage one of those traditional heavy waffle irons, but this one is really easy.

It’s very Planet Penny don’t you think? Pink AND heart shaped…heart shape waffle makerThe only thing to note is the waffle maker is supplied with a European plug and so will need an adaptor if you are in the UK.

The waffle maker comes with it’s own recipe leaflet, but I used the Cherry Poppy Seed Waffle recipe from my new favourite cook book, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones and it was completely yummy.  The recipe uses oats ground to a flour, something I’ve not tried before, but it makes for a lovely light consistency and you need about 3 tablespoons of batter at a time to make the perfect size. (I had a few wonky waffles to eat while I worked that out!)

Bestron waffle makerServed with the warm cherries and a drizzle of yoghurt these waffles are an absolute treat, and warm up well in the toaster too if you have any leftovers (there weren’t many!)cherry & poppy seed wafflesThe waffle maker is non stick so just needs a wipe with kitchen paper after you’ve finished, no washing up, hooray!

So if you’ve never made waffles before it’s worth giving this a try, and if you are already a convert, what’s your favourite recipe and topping?  It would be great to share in the comments, don’t you think?

I’ll be back soon…x

p.s. before you ask, Higgins had his waffle naked…he didn’t mind!

Cut Out + Keep – Book Review and Giveaway…

Cut Out + Keep - Cat Morley & Tom Waddington

I’m really excited to share this new book Cut Out + Keep Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects by Cat Morley and Tom Waddington which popped through the letterbox the other day for me to review.

I’m sure you know by now that my crafty interests are pretty broad so it’s always good to come across like minded people who enjoy having a go at everything!  And not only is this a craft book, it’s a travelogue too, so while you are looking through at the crafting inspiration, you could be planning your US road trip at the same time!  Well, we can dream , can’t we?

Washington - Cut Out + Keep

Taking Inspiration from every state, Cat and Tom of the Cut Out + Keep community have translated the food, the landmarks, the culture into simple, fun tutorials for you to make at home. There’s knitting and crochet, painting and printing, sewing and gluing, cooking and..well, eating of course!

This is what caught my eye…

needlefelt cacti from Cut Out _+ KeepNeedlefelt cacti, straight from Arizona.  These would make brilliant pin cushions, add your own spines!

The Jackalope, a mythical creature from Wyoming.  This one is transformed from a plastic rabbit ornament but you could have great fun inventing your own weird and wonderful beasts from whatever you have to hand.

Jackalope - Cut Out + Keep

Being a bit of a cheese monster these recipes made my mouth water…Extreme Grilled Cheeses - Cut Out + Keep …and doesn’t everyone need Ruby Slippers? ruby slippers - Cut Out + KeepThe tutorial I tried was for something I really needed, a Cup Cosy.  My DH bought me a special coffee cup a while ago, especially for taking to the ‘office’, i.e. the Planet Penny studio.  The trouble is, its decorated with a face who’s expression is, well, somewhat troubling…

And even the plastic cover supplied is a bit thin so you can still see it’s evil grin…Cup

So the Seattle project was just perfect.

cup cozy - Cut Out + Keep review

I made the cosy with undyed Blue Faced Leicester Aran weight yarn and it was a perfect fit. Not having a little motif to stitch on I added a lazy daisy flower with a few stitches after sewing it up.

Cut Out + Keep Cup Cosy - reviewA much happier sight in the morning now (and hotter coffee!)  Cheers…

cheersThe book is published today in the UK, and on March 17th in the USA. I would have loved to have had a book like this to hand at half term with older children/young teens.  There’s so much inspiration to try something new, great for those ‘I’m bored’ moments!

You can order a copy here, but I have a copy ready and waiting to give away FREE!

All you have to do is to leave a comment.  Have you been on a road trip?  If not, where would your dream trip take you?  You have until Sunday March 1st to enter and then I will draw the winning entry.

Regretfully the Cut Out + Keep Giveaway giveaway is only open to UK readers… 

I’m really looking forward to reading your comments!

Ed. to add:  And the winner is… Julie, who writes the blog Tales from the Riverbank.  Congratulations Julie, I hope you enjoy the book and daydreaming about your own road trip! 

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