I’m still here and you’ll never guess what I did

Oh winter, winter, I hate you. I kind of know this but I’m always surprised when I can’t get going at the beginning of the year. I planned to spend this time doing some learning and prepping but to be honest, not a lot has happened in the sewing, drafting or planning department.

I do have some very exciting news though and while not exactly sewing, it’s my sewing that brought this to me.

About a year ago I was contacted by Magic Cat Publishing and invited to contribute to a children’s book that they were planning. I was briefed with producing the indoor section for a book celebrating skills and activities for children that have been, to a certain extent, lost in the digital revolution of the last few decades.

Many of us, myself included, spend a lot of our leisure time immersed in our computers and phones and manual, non-tech activities have fallen by the wayside. This is no different for children. While I don’t like too much of the “Fings ain’t wot they used to be” sweet and sickly nostalgia; the former Brownie, Girl Guide and Venture Scout in me definitely thinks we could do with some things being revived. Introducing the Handbook of Forgotten Skills, a collection of tasks, games and fun activities that you might remember if you are of my vintage.

There are some sewing-related tasks such as darning a sock, sewing a button and making a mini quilted cushion. In addition to that I had to describe activities such as making lemonade, making a paper aeroplane and magic tricks.

Initially, I thought this is too good to be true, these tasks seemed so easy but when you try to put into words the intricacies of rolling a coin over your fingers, there’s actually a lot more to it.

Still, I really enjoyed the process of doing these tasks and then describing them. It brought back a lot of my teaching skills as I used to love creating lesson activities and this was very similar.

I envisage this book being shared by people with their children, grandchildren or young people in their lives.

Outdoor tasks are contributed by Natalie Crowley a fellow educator and beautiful illustrations by artist Chris Duriez.

Like many people, I’ve always wanted to write a book and while this is a collaboration and not solely the fruit of my imagination, I am delighted to be able to call myself a published author.

This has only increased my belief and love of serendipity in life. Someone found me on the internet and gave me this wonderful opportunity.

I send my thanks to the universe.

Thanks for dropping by,

The Handbook of Forgotten Skills by Elaine Batiste, Natalie Crowley and Chris Duriez is published by Magic Cat Publishing ISBN 9781913520847 and is available in all bookshops and book sources in the UK now and launches in US/Canada in September – available for pre-order.

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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