Monday, 28 March 2011

Book Review: Made In France

Hello, my daffydowndillies.

Yup, that's what the market-man called me last week. I am officially a daffydowndillly. It's a country English word for daffodil. Completely and utterly in my top ten list of words.

Now, I've been promising you a book review
for a wee while and today's the day.
I feel it in my bones.
I pronounce Mondays, Book Days.

{It might last a week, it might last two, who knows? Only time will tell how I succumb to the whims of my blog-thoughts.}

Today's book is
 Made In France:
Cross Stitch and Embroidery
in Red, White and Blue
by Murdoch books.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, are you in for a treat!!  
Look how lovely and thick it is.
176 pages of unadulterated scrumptiousness.

This book is perfectly, and I use the word carefully, styled. Flicking through it is like looking through the pages of your favourite magazine (although not if your favourite is Computer Pro, or Scientific American, I should add...).

I don't know about you but all the books I've tried to find on cross-stitch and embroidery have generally been dated and fuddy-duddy. Bleeeurgh.

I want my craft-books to be enticing and seductive.
I want them to inspire me increase my skills.
 I want them to call me on to a better place.

This is one such book. Oh, it's sooooooo deliciously lovely.

This is the blurb on the back:

A little thread, some linen, a needle, a few easy stitches, and more than 50 pretty projects worked in cross-stitch, stem-stitch or French knots - let yourself be seduced by the simple art of embroidery. Elegant and timeless in red, white and blue, these exquisite needlecraft motifs can be used in a multitude of ways to create unique gifts and home accessories.

Oooooooh, you little temptress you.
Of course, I bought it immediately,
sucked into a whole new world of delightfulness.

And now for the science bit.
Because you're worth it. Ha.

At the start of the book, is the teaching. Clear instructions show you all the stitches and techniques you need to complete the projects. Then the rest of the book is split into three parts: red, white and blue.

The red section has a Scandinavian feel.

The white section is all natural linen with delicate white thread. Pure Modern Country.

And the blue section has a definite beachy vibe.

Each of thesechapters has the pictures of the beautiful projects at the front, styled to the nines, and then the patterns at the back.

The patterns are presented pretty basically, with literally only the odd guiding word but because of the great instructions at the start, this isn't a problem.

In fact, I think it's led me onto wanting to create my own patterns, as I don't feel rigidly bound by following strict instructions.

All in all, this book is a little slice of craft heaven. 

Buy it right now
if you know what's good for you....
see over on my sidebar?
I have a li'l Amazon shop that
you can click straight through to
if you so desire to buy this or
any of the other books I've reviewed

If you're missing your dose of Belgian Style,
Part 3 begins on Wednesday.
See you there, my daffydowndilly.

{Overkill, I know. I can't resist it.}

Oh, and thank you so much to the lovely Le, at Third On The Right for inviting me to chatter on at her blog last week.

All photos: Modern Country Style

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Shelly Wildman said...

Oh my goodness! Beautiful! I sent the link to this post to my sister because she is an amazing cross stitch artist.

Pamma said...

Very pretty! I haven't cross stitched, etc., for years--burnt myself out I think. However, this inspires...
thanks and look forward to Wednesday since I am now subscribing.

Luciane at said...


What a beautiful book. Now, can you review a book about babies? ;-) LOL

I never knew you ha twins! So, you have 4 kids? I didn't know. How do you do it? I'm sooo happy but at same time I'm a bit scared. I thought we were totally done and we even gave everything away. But, I'm pretty sure everything will be okay, right? :-) I'm just so happy.. It's just amazing and I want to enjoy every minute of it. :-)

Thank you so much for your super sweet comment. It made me feel really happy!


Luciane at

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Looks like a gorgeous book Sarah! :)

Val said...

Gorgeous, I'm off to the bookstore = ))

T said...

dear sarah, what a wonderful book! i thought i'd point out that coincidentally, my post today is on a few french things. :)

Unknown said...

I don't cross stitch ... but this book looks very nice!
I wish you a beautiful afternoon ... maybe do some gardening ...

Boho Farm and Home said...

This book is so cute it makes me want to do some cross stitching...maybe after spring planting...I can sit back a sew a bit!

Brandi said...

I am cracking up at daffydowndillies!!! I love the book cover! Thanks for the sneak peek!

LindyLouMac said...

For one second there you had me thinking novel, but then you know I am not a crafty sewing lady. :)

chris said...

How perfectly scrumptious! p.s. is pie really that easy?

WobiSobi said...

I love to cross stitch. I am going to have to check this book out.!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

This book looks fabulous. I love that it's broken up by color. The pictures are lovely. LOVED your interview over on Le's blog, too:)

High Street Cottage said...

I don't know how you did it, but you just made Embroidery look exciting ;)
Little known fact about myself thrown in here, this was perhaps my very first "hobby" as a child. My Mom started me on it, and it was such a quiet habit to sit and watch t.v. and stitch away. We'd look for printed patterns at the "five and dime" as she called it. And come home and fancy up tea towels or blouses, or even the back of my jean pockets. Thank you for the walk down memory lane, I miss her, xxx tami

Robynne's Nest said...

Sarah, I just received this book a week ago, via Amazon! I saw it at a friend's place nearly a year ago and decided (out of the blue)...or was it out of the red or white...that I had to have it. Isn't it gorgeous...if I never stitch a thing in the book I will enjoy just looking at the beautiful pics and styling! Are you going to attempt any projects...there's just so many great ideas!!! Robx

michele said...

oooh girrrrrllll, you can sell.

the book looks killer, and seeing the photo of the notebook and then the ribbed tank, i immediately felt that unfamiliar MUST CROSSSTITCH NOW pang. beautiful photography and writing, Sarah!

Get down wit yer bad self!


Anonymous said...

I like the daffy and the dilly, lets leave the down out.
So... Daffydilly, looks like you are having way too much fun with this book. I can imagine all the fun ideas you are dreaming up. I love Scandinavian design. The book looks in keeping with what's popular. They are hard to find.
Looking forward to more Belgian style! Mmmmm hmmmm!
Off to see what the chatter was all about.
Michelle :)

Susan T said...

OOH I haven't done any cross stitch for years, the book may give me the inspiration to change all that. Gorgeous.

Unknown said...

Love a bit of stitching, might have to get this book!x

Erin S. said...

These are such beautiful ideas. And I've been having fun saying daffydowndilly to myself for the last five minutes. Thanks for the new word :).

Meera @ firstsense said...

That is one enticing review, Sarah! And delicious photography! I've never done much with a thread and needle before, but I want to change that and try fun things like this!

Meera xx

Marie said...

Hi Sarah - The book looks really good, but what I really love are your own photos! Girlie, you take the prettiest photos and they always look so intriguing. Happy MOnday!

Unknown said...

Love the idea of taking an "old" craft like cross stitch and making it modern! And those natural linen colors with the white embroidery....that's what I'm wanting for our living room....just finished the kidlets' room so I'd better wait awhile :) just sticking to ideas for now!

Cindy said...

Hi Sarah,
Ooooh! I love that word, daffydowndilly! What a big, lovely word! Hah!
Your book sounds delightful! I have cross stitched some in my day, haven't done any in a long time though.
Hugs, Cindy

At The Picket Fence said...

Well, first of all Miss daffydowndilly, you were just too sweet in the comment you left on today's post. And secondly, right back at ya! And thirdly, are you sure they didn't take pictures of your own home for that book? It looks soooooo much like the projects you have shared with us! Just goes to show how talented you are that your own creations look like they belong in those pages.
:-) Have a great day my friend,

michelle said...

What a fun and creative book you have found my little daffydowndilly!! Ok that rates up there with wonky!! I love it!! I can really see your style in this book!
I also have to thank you for the beautiful comment you left at Vanessa's today, you are the sweetest and so beautiful inside and out my friend! Thank you and you are so right about Vanessa as well! So many amazing friends here! Hugs to you my dear!!!

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Daffydowndilly? That's a word and a half. I love it! Not as much as scrumdiddlyumptious which I got from you and try to say as often as I possibly can on a daily basis.

Loving the book. Cross stitch and embroidery are not my thing but that book looks tres enticing. Looking forward to more scrumdiddlyumptious book reviews. Or was it yumdiddlyumptious?


On Crooked Creek said...

I am quite smitten with the white on the linen! All are lovely! My poor 'ol eyes just won't let me stay at it very long anymore! You'll understand, one day! HA!
Thanks for sharing!

Courtenay@Signal Hill Interiors said...

I'm so tempted to pick up embroidery as my umpteenth new skill I'm learning that I actually have no time for and therefore get nowhere with. I love book Mondays!

Anonymous said...

Hi sweet yellow Daffydowndilly! Can't wait to try that one out on my daughter. Love love love these pictures. So rustic and pretty all at the same time. Can't wait for Wednesday.


Kirsty Girl said...

Gorgeous looks great! Love the car.

Sarah said...

Daffydowndilly. That is the most scrumptious word ever!

This book is currently on my bedside table. I'm not an embroiderer (yet) but saw this at my bookshop a couple of weeks ago and what do you know? It decided to come home with me. I felt so guilty (on a strict no impulse buying diet here) I popped it away in my present drawer, for a sister-in-law's birthday later in the year. But I just can't give it away. Sooo, I've bought myself an embroidery hoop, a scrap of linen and some thread!

I think I love the red section best of all!

Leah - The Inside Story said...

I have this book and I love it. I am not a good cross stitcher or crafter, but I couldn't resist this book and I have done some of the projects and they are surprisingly easy. You have just inspired me to get it back out and have a look. Thanks for the inspiration. Leahxx

Tricia said...

That book looks mighty yummy, doesn't it? Lots of pretty pictures...that's what always draws me in.

How was the Country Living fair? I can't wait for you to fill us in on all the wonderful details :)


Holly Lefevre said...

I don;t think I could put that book down...full of gorgeousness and inspiration. So lovely. I must see if I can get it on amazon. The notebook/journal cover...NEED it!

Travel With Lulu said...

What a creative book! Are you going to show us your handiwork soon? ;)

Doda said...

Looks like the kind of book I would love to own, but I just don't have the time to make use of it right now, so can't justify it. I'll bookmark it in my brain though should I ever have the time again one day :-)

Melissa said...

oh i just loooove an excuse for another book!!

i can't thank you enough sarah!!!!

melissa xx

P K Glitz said...

What a lovely book! Very inspiring indeed. I love your English word for Daffodils :)

Carla @ Hammers and High Heels said...

Oh dear! I don't know if I could do those stitches! I love the book review idea, I rarely come across books that I use for inspiration or fun ideas, usually just on blogs, but books would be refreshing! Can't wait to see next week's!

Unknown said...

Ya know I never would have considered cross stitching but these images are absolutely lovely! Definitely giving me something to consider taking up once the dust has settled xxx said...

I sooo want this book. I love to cross stich but I can never find anything to make...looks like this book has lots of ideas. Yippee!

Casa Très Chic said...

Oh, so pretty!
Love those hearts, so Scandinavian.

Unknown said...

Daffydowndillys thats a new one on me lol but its a word i may have to use from now on in! I havnt done any cross stictch in a long long time, ive been thinking about it but what with a chair in the plans to upholster & some furniture to paint & destress both sitting in the garage i think maybe i need more hours in the day HELP

Anne said...

Oh, that's a gorgeous book! I love the idea of a Monday book review; I've been pondering about a specific schedule for my posts as well so I do understand your blog-thinking, Sarah! Its nice to have a thing you enjoy be regularly presented, something to look forward to!

American in Bath said...

It is all rather edible. I gave up cross stitch when my eyes stopped seeing up close. This makes me think that it might be time to get a magnifying glass and have a go.

Arabella said...

How divine ~ looks like a fabulous book!

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

I'm always in awe of people who can sew - especially beautiful things like this. I especially like the Scandinavian style red and white. I just haven't got the patience - arty, not crafty!

Jenn Erickson said...

What a gorgeous and inspiring book!

At The Picket Fence said...

Hello friend! Just coming back by to say a big thank you for linking up your posts this week to Inspiration Friday. I always love having you there! :-)
P.S. I heard a rumor about there being a blogging sash? I'm wondering where mine is. Have you been holding out on me? :-)

Consultoria RH said...

Este blog é uma representação exata de competências. Eu gosto da sua recomendação. Um grande conceito que reflete os pensamentos do escritor. Consultoria RH

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