Back to Basics, Your Essential Guide to Make Do and Mend

I realise it is a long time since I have posted anything on my web site, and I can only apologise for ‘life’ getting in the way.

Well I’m back and raring to go….the main  reason for this is that I have been given the opportunity to write a review of a great new digital book that is on general sale,  from 21st April. This inspirational book has been collated and produced by Jen Gale who, in 2012-2013, had a year of Buying Nothing New, and writing a blog about the ups and downs of the year. I was an avid follower of the blog and full of admiration for Jen and her family. The book is called Back to Basics, Your Essential Guide To Make Do and Mend.

The book has contributions from the likes of Lauren Guthrie (my favourite contestant on the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee), Ginny Farquhar, Caoline Hannam, Becky Striepe and many other talented craft and upcycling people.

book cover

This very clever book leads you through many areas of recycling and up-cycling, from making your own cleaning products to mending punctures, re-using yarn from unpicked garments to painting furniture. One of my particular favourites is to save your used teabags to clean your windows with….I’ve tried it and it works! No more expensive window cleaning products for me.

A chapter that really drew my attention was chapter 14; UPCYCLE IT by Lynn Haughton, in which Lynn tells how the Boxing Day Tsunami was the inspiration for her venture into upcycling. It brings a lump to the throat, at the same time, making one realise how important recycling is.


My next project is to re-cover an antique chair that I have been given, so I am reading (and re-reading) notes from chapter 16; RE-COVER IT by Becky Striepe.

recovering chair

If you’ve ever wanted to have a go at recycling, then I would thoroughly recommend this digital book, it is  truly inspirational read, with many projects that are all explained in detail. it is difficult to choose what to do first!

To find out more about this terrific book go to Jen’s web site  The book is excellent value at just £8.

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine and keep on making do and mending.

Jenny xx