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Monthly Archives: July 2013
  • Posted on July 25, 2013

    Guest blog from Laura Howard: A Peek at Super-Cute Felt Animals: Coming this September!

    I got some really nice post today - an advance copy of my new book: Super-Cute Felt Animals.

    It's so exciting to see the finished book, and I'm really pleased that I get to share a few photos of it with you today after months of keeping secrets :)

    Just like my previous book, Super-Cute Felt, my new book contains 35 fun designs to hand stitch from felt. This time round, all the projects are mini - cute little projects that fit in the palm of your hand!

    There's a whole menagerie of tiny animals for you to sew... as you can see from the cover, the projects include a giraffe, a hedgehog, a lion, a baby robin (part of a whole family of robins!), a cat, a snail and a few extras: acorns, a tree & a toadstool.

    If you look closely at the spine, you can see there's also a sparkly fish:


    Fancy a peek at a couple of the other projects in the book? These are a couple of my favourites:

    A fox and cubs...

    ... and a cute little pigeon. 

    I love all these little guys and I hope you will too!

    Super-Cute Felt Animals will be published in September by CICO Books. It's available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon USA.

    For media / blogger enquiries, please contact publicity@cicobooks.co.uk

    This blog post originally appeared on Laura's own blog, Bugs and Fishes.

    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new and was tagged with 2013

  • Posted on July 23, 2013

    It's a boy... How to make your own Royal Baby Wooden Spoon Puppet!

    To celebrate the arrival of the royal baby, the authors of Craft it Up Around the World have created this special Royal Baby Wooden Spoon Puppet for you all, so here's Libby and Cath to show you how to make it...

    1: Paint an oval face shape on the spoon. We mixed up a pale pink but you could experiment and create a different skin colour by mixing small amounts of yellow, red and brown into white paint.

    2: When the paint is dry, add the features of the baby's face in red and black paint using a small paint brush. You could also use marker pens to draw on these details.

    3: Paint the details of your puppet's character. We created our royal baby boy by adding a blue pacifier (dummy) and ribbon, as well as giving him a crown. You might like to add hair as well.

    And here's how it should look:

    Craft it Up Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong is published by CICO Books and is out now. We think that it's the perfect activity book for the summer holidays!

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with 2013, summer holidays, Libby Abadee

  • Posted on July 18, 2013

    Your Sizzling Summer Survival Guide!

    Well, it’s official, the hottest summer for 250 years is upon us and sun drenched days and balmy nights loom large.  Unused to such dazzling daily sunshine we have a reputation for fading in the heat…but no longer! We are fast becoming a sun savvy nation and although we’re not quite roller-blading the boulevards of Venice Beach, we are certainly becoming ardent seekers of the sun.  Here is your definitive guide to making the most of every sun-filled second…

    1.  Go Glamping

    Glamorous camping is all the rage this summer.  Head out to the countryside, pick the perfect spot and settle in for a meal around the campfire, on your very own upcycled vintage plates  - very glam!

    Handmade Glamping by Charlotte Liddle & Lucy Hopping is published by CICO Books and is available here.

    2. Embrace the holiday vibe

    With sunshine like this, close your eyes, and you could be anywhere in the world…preferably on a beach in Hawaii.  Allow this Poke, a traditional Wailea recipe, to transport you there in spirit!


    A Suitcase and a Spatula by Tori Haschka (photography by Isobel Wield) is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available here.

    3.  Get out in the Garden

    The great outdoors beckons and now you can make teeny tiny garden creations to beautify your land!

    Teeny Tiny Gardening by Emma Hardy is published by CICO Books and is available from here.

    4.  Pack a Picnic

    The perfect way to pass the time with the kids this summer holiday, now they can drag their teddy bears out too!

    A Perfect day for a Picnic by Tori Finch (photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith) is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available here.

    A Perfect day for a Picnic by Tori Finch (photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith) is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available here.

    Here's some more summer related publications possibly of interest :-




    5. Fire up the Barbeque

    Far superior to ‘well-done’ sausages, here’s a cider-drenched burger treat for you to tuck into!

    Burgers & Sliders by Miranda Ballard (photography by Clare Winfield is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available here.

    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, Gemma Correll, Miranda Ballard, Emma Hardy, Tori Haschka, glamping, Lucy Hopping

  • Posted on July 10, 2013

    Celebrate the arrival of the Royal baby by making some “One is Amused” Royal Family Wooden Spoon Puppets!

    All eyes are on St Mary's Hospital in west London this week, as the Duchess of Cambridge's expected due date approaches. The Royal baby will have the title of the Prince or Princess of Cambridge, and speculation is mounting as to what first name Prince William and Catherine will give their child.

    Why not celebrate the arrival by making some Royal Family wooden spoon puppets with your children?

    They can be as basic or as elaborate as you like. You could add clothes or wool hair, but the real fun starts when you add the voices!


    Acrylic paint

    Wooden spoons

    Fine paintbrushes

    Black fine-tip pen

    1. Paint an oval face shape on the spoon. If you want to use a skin color, experiment by mixing small amounts of yellow, red, and brown into the white paint.

    2. When the paint is dry, add the features of the face with a black pen.


    3. Paint on the details of your puppet’s character. You could paint on hair, hats, crowns, ears—any features you like to make your character come alive. Here, there is a queen, a corgi, and a guard to give you some ideas.


    Maybe you can think of some other London faces? How about a police officer, a princess or a Beefeater?

    fun fact:

    Do you know how to tell if the Queen is at Buckingham Palace?

    If she is in residence, the Royal Standard flies above the palace. When she is not there, the famous red, white, and blue Union Jack flag flies instead.

     Craft it Up Around the World  by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong is published by CICO Books.

    The book is available to buy NOW either at your local bookshop or from all good online outlets.



    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with 2013, handmade, summer holidays, bored kids, crafts for kids

  • Posted on July 5, 2013

    The Pick Up Game - PUA Basics

    PUA Basics (Men Only)

    Written by Robert King who teaches and runs PUA Method

    “I think that anything that you do, any accomplishment that you make, you have to work for. And I've worked very hard in the last ten years of my life, definitely, and I can tell you that hard work pays off. It's not just a cliché.” – Cameron Diaz

    Key Terms:
    PUA = Pick Up Artist
    Approach Anxiety = A feeling of anxiety you might feel before approaching someone you find attractive.

    Approach Anxiety - Starting your PUA Journey

    Learning how to be better with women is exactly like learning to get better at any other skill or hobby. Whether it is tennis, chess, or pick up, learning each of these things will require the person to follow a set of successful principles.

    Let’s start with the basics!

    How do I get the courage to talk to a woman? I’m going to give you my absolutely basic but essential tips to removing Approach Anxiety and getting started.

    Myself and Jordan teaching on the PUA Method bootcamp in a classroom setting

    Keep things simple

    Don't worry too much about having a conversation, number closing, escalating. It all becomes too complicated. What you want to do is just get talkative! Ways you can do that? Ask a direction. Find out where the train station is. Find out where the local shop is. Do these two or three times and you'll notice how you feel afterwards….You feel a lot more confident and a lot more social.

    Extend the Conversation

    Once you've asked a few directions you want to try and continue on the conversation for a little longer. So for instance, on your fourth direction try and transition to a new topic of conversation. Something easy.
    Say: 'Two part question: Do you know where this shop is?' or 'Two part question: I'm looking for a present for my friend. Can you recommend something?' or 'Two part question: I’d guess that you are from…. Russia?’ Go wherever you want to with the conversation but remember to keep it natural and try to keep it going a bit longer.

    The Pick Up Game book on the shelf in Waterstones, Picadilly Circus, London

    Do something a little crazy
    A great thing to do is to push yourself past the indifference threshold. Everybody has a threshold of what behaviour they feel is acceptable and unacceptable in an environment. So what you want to do is start doing crazy things that you would normally find uncomfortable doing. For instance, approach the girl, ask her a direction and then just after she's given you the directions, say something crazy like, 'I love Nintendo,' or 'I love eating lemons.' Whatever you want to say is great. Just have fun and try doing something new outside of your comfort zone.

    Be LOUD!

    Finally, be loud…….. Be Loud……… Get LOUD!! Being loud is awesome. This is going to impose your reality onto other people. And as soon as you realize that:
    1. Being loud,
    2. Being crazy
    3. Being silly
    is not going to get you in trouble, plus nothing bad is going to happen to you, and girls' rejections are actually not that bad; you're going to get a mental click in your brain and you're going to be able to continue going on for the rest of your night or the rest of your day with no approach anxiety.

    A student on the PUA Method bootcamp practising The Pick Up Game

    Do whatever it takes to get yourself to Approach

    If you are really struggling to approach then this is what you want to do! With everything there are always two parallels. ‘Good vs Evil’, ‘Love vs Hate’ and PUA is no different. To get yourself to approach there are two parallels that you will want to tap into:-

    ‘Forcing yourself to approach’ vs ‘Letting go of having to approach’

    Forcing yourself to approach – Here you want to be strict and tell yourself off for not approaching. “Don’t be such a loser”, “Approaching women is easy”, “You are going to be alone for the rest of your life if you never approach anyone”. These are the kind of things that you can say when trying to motivate yourself to approach. They sound a little harsh but you want to find any reasons you can get to motivate yourself to do it.
    Let go of having to approach – The other parallel is to have a freedom from outcome. So for this parallel you want to say things like “If I approach, I approach”, “I surrender”, “whatever happens, happens.” Accept that you might not approach today and take the pressure of yourself. By doing this it might help you to actually make the approach. If you are struggling you want to go back and forth between these two parallels until you finally make a breakthrough.

    And, if that still doesn’t help me?

    In your current state of mind you might not want to follow that three step process. Because, guess what? You've just been playing on PlayStation, you've just been
    watching TV and you're not ready to be sociable. You might even think that asking directions is silly. “Asking directions sounds silly, I'm much better than that.”
    Just like maths though, when you first start doing equations it's really slow. You have trouble accessing that maths part of your brain. Just like being sociable your best jokes don't always come out, your best personality's not always available during the first few approaches that you do. This is why this warm up process must be implemented.

    How to be a real Natural with Women

    The way to be a real natural with women and the way to never have to do warm up approaches is to live your life socially and meet as many new people as possible all of the time.
    Robert King (Kingy)
    CEO and Lead Instructor at PUAmethod.com

    The Pick Up Game by Robert King is published by CICO Books and available to buy online or at all good bookstores.

    This post was posted in News, UK, US, What's new

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