Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I am a stylist, author & online presenter, best known for creating, co-writing & illustrating the bestselling book Everything Alice. I also host a popular craft and cookery blog, www.couturecraft.co.uk
My education was all arts based and started with a BTEC art foundation at Camberwell College of Art. I then decided that I wanted to work on films or the theatre so I took my degree in Theatre Design at Central St Martins. A few years later I studied part time as an actor, at Central School of Speech and Drama.
Coming out of art school, my focus was to get a job in TV, ironically my first placement was on Blue Peter with the BBC. I went on to work within the art department of films such as The Bank Job and Flashbacks of a Fool, as well as TV shows such as Catherine Tate. It was by chance I found my first photographic styling work, a TV commercials set designer I was assisting also worked on fashion shoots, so my glamorous entrance into this world was for Vogue. I immediately loved it. Here I went on to working with my own clients, often on highly creative handmade projects as well as fantastical sets & conceptual still life.
I now work freelance as a stylist for a huge & varied range of clients & projects; from creating an illustration purely out of yoghurt, to rebranding fashion still life for major label, to set design for glossy magazines or presenting craft & cookery projects for online. I like that it's always different, the only similarity is the creativity. See more of my work at hannahreadbaldrey.co.uk.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Girls' Night In is in simple terms your ultimate guide to spending quality time at home with your friends.Whether planning a girly night for 2 or 20, this book includes ideas that will keep every guest entertained even with the minimum amount of effort. Packed full of unique makes including a bunting necklace and make-up brush bag, tasty sweet and savoury treats, irresistible cocktails, hilarious party games and pampering instructions for hair, nails and make-up, there could be no better way to spend time with the girls.
I have also created a new website for the book, here you can share your photos, enter fantastic competitions and not forgetting the fantastic Party Playlist, which you can listen to for free at www.girlsnightinbook.com - come and pay me a visit!
What was the inspiration behind it?
Since I was a little girl I have loved hosting parties, and Girls Night In birthday always used to be a great excuse for a big celebration. We have two main parties every year in our house; one for my birthday and the other at Christmas, I’m so glad I have a dining room and a long table (plus the garden table at the end) where I can squeeze in our guests for a meal, maximum being 23 people, shoulder to shoulder, all on random furniture from the house, garden and next door! It’s a squash, but that’s the fun of it.
The idea for a girls night in came from exactly this, some of the greatest times I have spent with my girlfriends has been at each others houses, gossip and secrets have been shared, cocktails consumed, party games played, movies watched and lots of fun has been had! The great thing about a GNI is that you don’t need to splash too much cash to have a fabulous evening, and with the boys out of the picture you can have some real quality time with your girlfriends.
Which is your favourite project?
This book has so many gorgeous projects, that is a very difficult question! It is a compendium of all the things I love; parties, craft, cookery, games, make-up & beauty, the list is endless. If I had to choose a project from each section it would be this;
PARTY DECORATIONS: The hanging PomPoms, they look gorgeous grouped together.
GROUP CRAFT PROJECTS: The Bunting Necklace, its a really simple one to make with friends & looks fab.
BOUDOIR BEAUTY: I love all the hair and make-up ideas in this book, the Vintage Make-up is something I wear a lot in every day life, oh and I love the Neo-Leopard Nail designs.
SAVVY SAVOURIES, SWEET TREATS & COCKTAILS: Again, too many to choose from they are all delicious! The Rustic Pizza is a fab simple recipe whilst the savoury popcorn flavours are amazing, much more interesting than the classic salted or sweet. I am slightly obsessed with cakes, the Leggy Frill Cake is a bit of a showstopper, where the Cupcake In a Cone is super fun. The cocktails were brilliant to make and I really enjoyed making up my own, the sweetshop was my favourite spread with the Cookies & Cream, Rhubarb and Custard & Popcorn Martini, yum!
GAME: Hands down the PhotoBooth, we had so much fun taking these photos.
What is your craft space like?
I have actually just moved from a flat to a house in South-London. Before I used to work literally on the kitchen table, now I have my own room which looks onto the garden. We are still in the process of decorating the house, but I have put some gorgeous Cole and Son yellow Cowslip wallpaper up, I have an Ercol chair in the corner & a stack of apple boxes containing all my craft materials.
Have you always been creative?
Always, since I was tiny, I was always encouraged to be creative by my parents - I would be a bit useless at anything else!
When did you first start crafting?
Making, as for many began at primary school, if not as an infant. I have an hilarious photo of me in a costume I made with my mum which was for a Star-Wars Party, it was literally a cardboard box painted brown... Im not sure if RTD2 is even brown is he??
Who are your crafty heroes?
Girls Night In actually has a list of some of my favourite female focused books, which are a good guide to hosting your own book club. With regards to fiction, I love/ am slightly obsessed with fairytales, so I would have to say the Brothers Grimm, L.Frank Baum and of course Lewis Carroll. When it comes to cookery and craft, I think you have to take your hat off to Martha Stewart, for her business mind and all that she has achieved and done for craft.
Where do you find inspiration?
Originality is essential for me. I am constantly looking for inspiration, I use the internet every day, sites like Pinterest, Twitter, Blogs - but someone did say to me recently, if it is already online then that means everyone else is looking at it. I am actually going on a road trip to America this May, Im hoping there I will be able to absorb lots of new ideas!
What's next for you?
I am currently working on developing Girls Night In, come and see me at the newly launched website www.girlsnightinbook.com - here there will be lots of free ideas and projects which I have recently presented. There are a few projects in the pipeline, which sadly I have to keep under my hat for now, but watch this space!
Want to create a fabulous girls' night in filled with gorgeous crafts, cakes and cocktails? Then this is the book for you. Whether planning a girly night for 2 or 20, this stunning book includes ideas that will keep every guest entertained even with the minimum amount of effort. Packed full of unique makes including a bunting necklace and make-up brush bag, tasty sweet and savoury treats, irresistible cocktails, hilarious party games and pampering instructions for hair, nails and make-up, there could be no better way to spend time with the girls. And in these cash-strapped times, this book offers ideas for the perfect alternative to costly bars and restaurants. Delight your guests with effortless and delectable food such as the Rustic Pizza, Dips for Chips, Leggy Ruffle Cake and Luxury Black Forest Gateau, and wow them with delicious cocktails from the sophisticated Flora Fizz and Wild Hannah to the fun Cosmo Jellies and Titanic. Distinguish your evening from any other by giving it the personal touch - provide each of your friends with the opportunity to create beautiful and quirky craft makes that they can take home and treasure. Whether you want a quiet and relaxing night with your girls or a party that will rival the best of them, Girls' Night In is a fun and simple guide to making any night with your friends special.