Make it Monday: Greetings! 

I love receiving cards, don’t you? But even more than receiving, I love MAKING cards! Here’s some of my recent makes. 

Make it Monday: Room On The Broom inspired Quiet Book


We’re HUGE fans of Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s books here at Beagle HQ. So much so that the toddler’s last birthday was themed around some of their more famous books, but that’s a post for another day.

A zipper for a mouth

What’s inside? Some other characters!


I wanted to make the toddler something a bit different, so I combined some of her favourite characters with different openers and fasteners to help her improve her dexterity and coordination. The product was ‘Evie’s Quiet Book’.

Bird’s wing has a magnetic which helps it move. There’s also plenty of ribbon to practice tying bows


Quiet books seem to be hugely popular and it’s easy to see why: soft to touch for little hands, they are only limited by your imagination and can keep little people occupied for ages. 

Help Dog count bones


I created a page for each of the main characters: Witch, Cat, Dog, Bird, Frog, Dragon plus all of them on the broom.

What’s in Cat’s cauldron?

All the ingredients fro a witches brew! Each item is sewn onto a popper so can be removed for an endless mix of spells


I tried to use a mix of fabrics and materials to make it interesting to touch as well as various colours. Some worked better than others, with some of the coarser fabric fraying, however I think this adds to the characters. 

The Dragon isn’t too gruff here – he has a squeaker for a voice


There are also different fasteners including zips, poppers, buttons and clips, all of which encourage to toddler to explore and learn how to use them. They’ve helped her improve her manual dexterity while also teaching her some key skills for getting dressed. 

Help the Witch button her cardigan and plait her hair, but be careful not to lose her ribbon!


I think the Witch is my favourite page. Her long ginger hair is a mix of different wools, from very soft, to slightly more coarse and even a few strands from my rag doll I had as a baby! Perfect for learning how to plait, and to tie a ribbon! Her cardigan also needs buttoning. This was the only page where I used my sewing machine (for the cardigan), all the rest was sewn by hand.

And out flew, a magnificent broom!


The last page is the broom with all the characters sat safely in their seats. I made the finger puppets as a fun accompaniment when reading the book, but they can be used for reenactment while out and about, or for creating new adventures!

Endless fun with the finger puppets


Have you made a quiet book? Do you like the characters from the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom? Let me know in the comments below. 

Meet the Maker: Creative Friends

I’ve said before that I know far too many lovely, clever and generally wonderful creative people, however I know that they’re also very shy so I’ll just add links to their assorted wonders and say why I love them!

redfacedmonkey.jpgFirst up: redfacedmonkey Yes, he’s my hubby but he’s also a fantastic designer who contstantly challenges himself to learn new methods, and create unique pieces each time, often with a short deadline and with only a vague brief (and only a few mutters about ‘bloody authors’ haha)

Papercut dragon.jpg

Secondly, my crafty buddy: Handmade by Jo. Whilst she’s a terrible ‘Crafters Anonymous’ supporter (honestly, she was supposed to STOP me buying more fabric at the last Craft 4 Crafter event, not encourage me to get more!) she’s wonderfully imaginative and creative. Check out her papercuts, they are beautiful! (above is one she did for me after I challenged her to design a dragon. Stunning isn’t it?)

Fox-Spirit-Logo-BFS-293x300.jpg

And thirdly someone who would probably claim not to be that creative, but who inspires the creativity in others, Adele Wearing, aka Fox Spirit Books. I met Adele when we first returned to the UK and I was just starting out on this journey to being a professional writer (whatever that means!). She set up the Girls’ Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse. Since then she’s continued to inspire and challenge the boundaries of genre fiction with her ‘skulk’ of writers, including me! There are some fantastic authors who have put their book babies into her care and she’s not disappointed. Sometimes the most important creative friends and those who create themselves, but who inspire creativity in those around them.