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Small Steps to Less Waste is Launched

We were delighted to launch the new title Small Steps to Less Waste with author Claudi Williams and some of the book contributors discussing how we can all make small but important changes that reduce our impact on the environment.

If you missed the online launch, you can watch it again here.

Claudi and Judit had some great tips for those of us just starting out on reducing our waste. The easiest one is to get rid of the plastic sponges from your sink and use compostable or reusable alternatives. We’re quite taken by the loofah we’re trying out and we’re making our own toothpaste too, which is easier and tastier than you might think.

Small Steps to Less Waste: stories to inspire change is available to buy from the Hawthorn Press website. All royalties go to Stroud District Action on Plastic, part of Transition Stroud. Read more about the contributors’ stories to inspire change.

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Stories to inspire change

We’re delighted to be publishing Small Steps to Less Waste, a community project in association with Action on Plastic. The book contains 12 stories of personal enlightenment and the practical changes people made to live more sustainably.

Our impact on the environment demands behavioural change on a global scale and the power of individual action should not be underestimated as we wait for governing institutions and industry to catch up. 

The book asks: what are the tipping points that lead people to make significant changes to their behaviour? Whether it is seeing plastic on the beach or watching David Attenborough on TV, once moved, we are all able to do small things that together have the power to create a huge impact. 

We hope this book will encourage people to choose simple alternatives to mass-produced, highly packaged goods and be inspired by the Stroud community who are finding the time and courage to make, create and look after what they have, rather than throw away and create waste. 

‘While it is true that the challenges of our time require systems change and large-scale actions, they also demand that we all do what we can in our own lives and our communities. Stroud has long been a kind of hothouse for new ideas, led by people with the courage of their convictions and support of those around them. This practical and inspiring book draws together the stories of ordinary people who decided to “be the change,” and who will be your guides into a more sustainable way of living. The main takeaway from this book? That all of these changes, rather than diminishing us, actually make our lives fuller, richer, better connected and more purposeful. Wave farewell to plastic and discover a world of ingenuity and creativity!’
Rob Hopkins: founder of the Transition movement

Available to preorder on our website now . We’ll be sending out a code to order the book for £15 in the next Hawthorn Press newsletter, so sign up now – if you’re not already a subscriber, of course.

Follow the contributors on social media using the hashtag #stepstoless
Portraits by Amy Harvey

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Learn How to Make Dolls with Author and Crafter Steffi Stern

Throughout February, Steffi Stern is hosting a series of make-along workshops on her YouTube Channel, focusing on making Waldorf dolls.

Join Steffi’s workshops live every Tuesday afternoon throughout the month, to learn how to make small, dolls house dolls and larger soft dolls.

If you missed any of the workshops, you can catch up on the The Makerss YouTube channel.

Dolls house dolls

As well as being an expert crafter and co-founder of The Makerss, Steffi Stern is also the author of several craft books, published by Hawthorn Press.

Her latest book, Making Soft Dolls: Simple Waldorf Designs to Sew and Love, has just received a lovely review in Waldorf Today.

“Everything you need to know about Waldorf doll making. Everything.” David Kennedy

The full review appears in the Waldorf Today newsletter, published on 3 February 2021.

Making Soft Dolls: Simple Waldorf Designs to Sew and Love by Steffi Stern is available now from Hawthorn Press.

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Present and Activity Ideas for a Quiet Christmas

For many of us, Christmas will be quieter than usual this year, with fewer friends and family members around us. But there is still plenty we can do to embrace this atmospheric time of year and plenty of fun to be had.


Short days bring cosy nights, which are perfect for storytelling. For seasonal stories, Advent and Christmas Stories includes a treasury of verses, stories and songs.

Interested in telling nature stories? Then The Natural Storyteller has stories for telling orally. Using the story maps, you can easily tell the stories without reading and become a family storyteller.

You can find world stories in 147 Traditional Storiesfor children aged 7-12 to retell, and storytelling tips. And it wouldn’t be Christmas without Findus and Pettson and their seasonal fun in Findus at Christmas and Findus and the Christmas Tomte.

Seasonal Nature and Craft

Booksuch as The Children’s Forest offer stories and songs, wild food, recipes, crafts and celebrations for all the year round. Families can enjoy these, with seasonal things to look out for while out walking.

If you have ever wanted to try a new craft but never seem to find the time, now is your moment. Crafting is a great way to either spend time with family or to lose yourself in to counter feelings of anxiety or loneliness.

Making with your hands is a great way of giving children the creative life skills for navigating this age of disruption. We have a wide range of craft books, including Making the Children’s Year, Making Simple Needle Felts, Making Soft Dolls and Making Peg Dolls. Materials supply shop, The Makerss, have hosted many online tutorials this year, that can help you get started and are still available to watch on YouTube.

Lastly, we recently came across the wonderful work of Star in the Apple Stories and their beautiful, seasonal musical storytime, now available to watch online.

For more ideas, visit the storytelling and craft pages at

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’tis the season to be crafting

As we spend more time at home again, make the most of chilly days and early evenings by taking up a new craft project.

Hikaru Noguchi-darned jumper

Darn it! As discussed in a recent article by Rosanna Dodds, visible mending is about more than thrift – it is a process by which we can save favourite garments and make them unique to us. It is also a craft that can fit into the time you have available. As Hikaru Noguchi, author of Darning: Repair, Make, Mend says,

“Most projects are finished within a few minutes to an hour. There’s no need to take out a sewing machine; the tools are as simple as a darning mushroom, needle and scissors. You can darn just as quickly as sewing on a button. If you’re set on darning a larger area, you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of sewing and working methodically, giving you a great sense of satisfaction in a job well done.”

Whether you are new to darning, or already an enthusiast, join us for a new season of Meet Make Mend with Katy Bevan and Kath Child from Atelier Stroud. The mending and darning circle meets on the first Wednesday of each month, starting on Wednesday 4th November at 7 p.m. Register here to join us online.

Rainbow peg dolls by Steffi Stern, inspired by Making Peg Dolls by Margaret Bloom

If you prefer to make rather than mend, then one of our many craft titles could inspire you, from needle felts to knitted animals and soft dolls. For online guidance author Steffi Stern runs a number of YouTube tutorials, which you can follow in your own time. These include a soft dolls workshop, with accompanying materials kit that can be bought from Steffi’s shop, The Makerss. You can also find more craft ideas on our YouTube channel.

Steffi is running a brand new workshop on Sunday 8th November at 11 a.m. celebrating winter with a hands-on robin masterclass.

Learn to make needle felted robins in Steffi Stern’s online workshop

Throughout November Steffi will also be running workshops on making nativity figures, from her book Making Simple Needle Felts. Watch live or catch up on YouTube.

For more seasonal crafts, both indoor and outdoor-based, The Children’s Forest, Findus, Food and Fun and Making the Children’s Year all have a variety of activities that are fun and educational.

Many of us may find this winter more challenging than usual. We hope that by immersing ourselves in the fun of crafting, we can make the most of this unusual time.

We’d love to see the results of your projects! Do share pictures of them on our social media – Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. We look forward to it!