Hello! Happy New Year! OK so I'm a little bit late with the well-wishing, but there's no need to rush these things after all, we've got a whole year to play with.
Today I want to introduce the first in a new regular series on the blog where I get to share with you a few of my favourite things.
Each month I'll be profiling a few of my favourites, why I love them, and links to where you can find them for yourself. Over the year I hope to cover all sorts from books to podcasts, yarn to stationery, but today I thought I'd start with magazines.
I'm a big magazine reader and subscribe to several, as well as buying the occasional extra one or two if they grab my attention, but here are a few that I savour regularly.
This one definitely tops my must-read list, and I've been a subscriber for years, devouring page after page of beautiful writing, inspiring advice, thought-provoking questions, self-care tips and lifestyle recommendations. This is not your typical glossy though, and every article is written to inspire you to live your best life, not follow the crowd or the latest fad. The latest issue for February 2018 (Idris Elba on the cover) introduces a few new columns that I'm looking forward to catching up with over the year, including Martha Roberts on living with colour, plus the regular Dossiers that tackle a big topic each month, and the #360me wellbeing round-up edited by the very lovely Eminé Rushton.
A fairly new magazine on the scene, I subscribed a year ago and haven't regretted a page of this gorgeous bi-monthly which covers subjects including wellbeing, mindfulness, creativity, lifestyle, and escapes (i.e. the most jaw-dropping dream holidays). This mag is always beautifully illustrated, and I find the articles just the perfect length to dip in and out of for a page or two. In the same vein as Psychologies, this is a very gentle magazine, with thoughtful advice, inspiring anecdotes from a range of writers, as well as including things to do like simple craft projects, or containing a cut-out-and-keep quote print or poster. The currently available issue (number 10) contains advice on beginning a home yoga practice, winter wildlife to look out for, delicious nourishing soup recipes, images from the British Wildlife Photography Awards, and the joys of using a real printed paper map. This one is definitely for savouring on a quiet afternoon with a warm blankets and a hot drink nearby.
Another new-ish addition to my regulars, this is a quarterly mag with a focus on 'Mindfulness through Making' and is a beautiful mix of things to read and things to do. Again, there are stunning illustrations and photography, gentle and positive guidance, and plenty of quick and easy things to make to give you a mindful break from the busyness of life. Each issue typically features a selection of tear-out pages including posters/prints, stickers, labels or tags, and other projects such as origami or paper cutting. The current issue (#6) includes pieces on how to unblock your creativity, tips for a good night's sleep,walking for therapy, and how to plant a terrarium or style yourself a sanctuary. Susannah Conway has a regular column, and there are plenty of pages of recommendations for mindful and ethical places to go and brands to buy from.
Find: On Facebook, Instagram, and at www.calmmoment.com. Single back issues can be purchased here, but it isn't yet possible to subscribe. The publishers have recently released sister magazine In The Moment (with a great focus on mindfulness) which you can get by subscription.
A couple of my more specialist favourites now, firstly Knitting. This is my top knitting mag, the one I subscribe to and devour every month, and have had the huge privilege to write for too! You get incredible value for money in terms of patterns, with over 20 full patterns included each month for a variety of garments and accessories that use a range of different yarns and techniques. There are also interviews, articles, technical masterclasses, previews of new yarns from the big brands and independent producers and dyers, and knitting-related book reviews. I can usually add at least a couple more projects to my must-knit list each issue!
Another regular subscription for me, and I think a great magazine for keen or beginner sewists. There's always a free paper dressmaking pattern with every issue, and all the other projects in the mag have either templates or a digital pattern available to download. Full of tips and techniques, interviews with industry insiders, articles of interest and information about nationwide shows and events. I really like that there's a wide range of projects including simple children's toys, patchwork and quilting, as well as garment making. I've made quite a few things from the cover gift patterns, and have more waiting in my to-sew pile.