'Get Crafty' by Ali Coghlan

There’s some people that come into your life and make a magical impact.. A friend, and the author of ‘Get Crafty is one of them. Irish mum, CrafteaParties entrepreneur & blogger Ali Coghlan is simply inspiring.

Get Crafty is a stunning book - its abundantly colourful and interesting - such that if it only ever perched prettily on a coffee table it would visually wow.,,, But to do so would mean missing out on something a little bit wonderful.

For example, Ali writes to her readers like you are sitting down having tea chatting with her. She's so natural, creative and an absolute hoot, whether she is hosting a craft party or talking to 'Get Crafty' readers, Turning the pages makes you feel like you are in good company, she writes clearly and as if she is talking to a friend - Moreover, you'll come away buzzing with ideas.

Next, Alan Rowland's photography captures this sentiment throughout the book. Alan has so subtly shots each playful craft session as if he and his camera were a silent fly on the wall. In doing so, his photographs bring the reader right into Ali's kitchen to show how simple it is to be part of the privilege of making memories over crafts with the kids.

And that's exactly why this book really is so so lovely. 'Get Crafty' is all about simple, easy, wholesome wonderful fun.

Over a long Easter weekend, I spent time reading this book and reviewing each colourful chapter with my own children. They cant read, but loved the imagery in the book. They giggled at the antics of the kids in the photographs and spent ages gazing at the pages as the crafts develop in each shot. It has the magic of a real life story book, but the practicality of simple DIY instructions. We were all hooked.

We wondered what craft to make next (they wanted to do them all at once of course), so I encouraged them to make a choice We then teased out what supplies we'd need from the kitchen cupboard and went about collecting the bits and pieces. Everything in the book to make the crafts is literally either in your home already or no further away than a trip to the grocery store or local Euro shop.

My kids are 4 and 2 so the book and all its creative ideas was a really cool way to cultivate some curiosity and cognitive skills like organising & planning. Though we were making a pencil snake topper from page 138, I imagined them as older girls and one day women, using those same skills to schedule a slumber party, board meeting or backpacking adventure. As the bitter-sweet thought of the kids growing up ebbed the heartstrings, I hugged them a little bit tighter as we cuddled on the couch with our copy of 'Get Crafty'.

The TV was off all that while and they didn't even notice, and it stayed off as they made their decision and we moved to the kitchen table to shape some mad little pipe-cleaner pencil toppers. I watched their little but dexterous and fingers play with the fuzzy pipe-cleaner and angle some glue onto a pom-pom. Between concentration and good craic, we thoroughly enjoyed the easy process Ali laid out for us to follow. The kids enjoyed themselves, were imaginative and really proud of their odd looking achievement and I was privileged to be part of that. We made the pencil snake toppers, but more importantly made some memories in doing so.

There will always be a meal to cook, text to send, news app to check, and Peppa Pig episode to watch. Any craft in Ali's book can be done quickly, without expense or experience. Ali's a mum of 3 so her laundry list is probably longer than mine, but she so effortlessly inspires the reader in Get Crafty, I know the washing can wait.

So.... I'm sorry I cant take your call right now, I'm currently bubbling up paint through a straw with my 2 year old to make art. (That wonderful idea is found on page 49 of Get Crafty in case you think Ive lost my mind!!)

Thank you to Ali Coghlan for being so generous with her ideas. You can buy 'Get Crafty' at Easons and on amazon here.

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