The Memo Pad

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My Month:

It’s Christmas! A lot of christmassy things have taken over this month. From wrapping presents and sending cards, to making some jam tarts with Dad. The tree went up and was decorated. Presents were upwrapped, cards were received, and jam tarts (among a LOT of other things) were eaten. There hasn’t been much time for anything else this month. I haven’t really done any crafting apart from finishing off a little of the christmas gifts. But I am looking forward to settling down and getting back into some cross stitch projects. I also received a small needle felting kit so will giving that a go at some point soon. I did managed to write a little bit more of a Harry Potter fanfic but I do mean a little bit.

 

Books: 6

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington *****

This was very nearly a four star for me. Books like this make me think I should be rating them out of ten rather than 5 as it gives me a little more lee way. Overall I thought this was a very good book. But towards the end (say about the last third) it starts jumping a bit too much. Really obvious things that we have no idea about what they mean start showing up and for me it ruins the book. It shoves some things in our faces and says look this is going to be explained in the next book. I get that it creates suspense and mystery but I really don’t like it. It reminds me of Magician by Raymond E Feist. I never did get round to reading the sequels to that either.

Independent Study (The Testing #2)by Joelle Charbonneau *****

I didn’t have as many problems with this plot as I did with the first book in the series apart from one glaringly obvious thing near the end. I definitely enjoyed reading this, it was interesting, fast paced and kept me hooked all the way through. It is a pretty formulaic dystopian story but I read it in one sitting and thought it was good for what it was. I will be reading the next book soon too. I’d recommend this series to anyone who likes dystopian fiction like The Hunger Games or Divergent.

Graduation Day (The Testing #3) by Joelle Charbonneau *****

See above. A good finale for the trilogy.

Foundation (Vlademar: Collegium Chronicles #1) by Mercedes Lackey *****

A good solid book, nothing particularly special but a good start to the new series. I haven’t read any of Mercedes Lackey’s other books set in Vlademar and this was a great introduction. You don’t need to have read any of the others to enjoy this one. The reason I haven’t given this a fourth star is that I thought the connection between Mags and Dallen made everything a little bit too easy.

The Spirit War (The legend of Eli Monpress #4) by Rachel Aaron*****

Spirit’s End (The Legend of Eli Monpress #5) by Rachel Aaron *****

What can I say about these books? I love them so much and I’m so sad that I’ve finally finished the series. I’ll never get to go on an adventure with them again. Eli Monpress is one of my favourite characters of all time, he’s a clever, cocky, little thief akin to Locke Lamora or Eugenidies. The books themselves are rip roaring adventures, full of magic, fights and great characters and friendships. I miss them already.

I hope you have all had a nice holiday and that you all have a happy new year.

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Crochet Christmas Gifts

So Christmas was yesterday and everyone will have opened their presents which means I can finally show you a couple or things I crocheted as gifts this year. First up is this amazingly thick and warm slip-stitch crocheted hat. crochet hat

The pattern I used is on Ravelry for free HERE, It calls for two colours of chunky weight yarn. I used these two balls of Stylecraft that I had (I’m still on this stash busting run, GO ME!). They were 100g balls and as you can see I had loads left, definitely enough to make another hat when I get around to it. And I will, because it is a really easy pattern and wonderfully comfy when done.

Next up are an assortment of different crocheted flowers that I made into brooches for my Mum. I made a daisy last year just as something to do and she took it and started using it. She asked me for more, to brighten up her work wardrobe. So I, like the lovely daughter I am, obliged.

flowers

These are all various patterns that I mostly got from ravelry or pinterest, and some that I adapted .

The pink and purple flower is using this pattern from Ravelry.

The three middle flowers are from this YouTube tutorial. Although I start by using a magic ring and prefer to do four double crochets in each cluster rather than the three the video shows.

The bottom yellow flower is from this pattern HERE. The links on the project page don’t work but someone has very helpfully posted it in the comments.

I don’t actually remember where I got the patterns for the other two. I should have made a note of them.

Hopefully the recipients liked them.

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Merry Christmas Everyone

This will be my last post before Christmas and I just wanted to wish all my followers (and anyone else who happens to read this) a very merry Christmas. I hope you all have a lovely holiday.

I finally finished my wreath last week and its hanging up on the door now. I’m really glad I managed to finish it in time. I did start it in early November but time flies and things got in the way. I’m happy with how the felt flowers came out. I think I maybe should have done more of them but ran out of time.

wreath

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Christmas Favourites

Christmas is coming and I’m getting very excited. The fairy lights are on, the tree is up and decorated, and the advent calendars are being eaten. I thought I would take the chance to share with you a few of my favourite things from this time of year.

Music:

Fairytale of New York by the Pouges (YouTube Link) because who doesn’t love pretending to br drunk and singing?

Christmas Lights by Coldplay (YouTube Link) Treads the line between sad christmas song and uplifting, has all the… christmas lights and snow you could want out of a song.

Happy that you’re here by Rizzle Kicks (YouTube Link) A much more modern song but my dad likes it too!

Films/tv:

Love actually. 

I know loads of people don’t like this film, but for me, it’s just the quintessential British christmas film.

The Hogfather.

I love this adaptation of Sir Terry Pratchetts book, I’m planning on watching this again on christmas day when I’m recovering from unwrapping presents.

BBC Specials (doctor who/Merlin/Sherlock)

And of course Christmas day wouldn’t feel right without settling down on the sofa with family to watch a christmas special. I believe this year it’s a doctor who special. I haven’t actually watched any of this season of Doctor who. But it’s part of christmas (I’m still heartbroken by the Merlin Finale a few years ago!)

Food:

Jam tarts. My dad makes homemade jam tarts and mince pies every year for christmas and, while I’ve never liked mince pies, I hoard the jam tarts.

Chocolate coins and Terrys chocolate orange. There’s just something so christmassy about these chocolates. I don’t have them at any other time of year but they are a must to munch on over the holidays.

Cooked breakfast. I don’y normally have anything other than cereal for breakfast all year but on christmas day (and okay maybe my birthday or new years day too) i get yummy scrambled eggs, fat sausages and oven baked bread. Mmmmmm.

(Christmas dinner also gets an honourable mention I guess.)

Smells:

Jam tarts a baking, Christmas tree a smelling and (normally) fire a roaring. We don’t actually have a fireplace in our new flat so for the first time we will be without a fire over the holidays. My mum is already missing it!

I would love to hear what your favourites are? Is there something you associate with christmas I haven’t mentioned?

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Christmas Decorations

We went out a couple of weeks ago to get Christmas decorations for our new flat (we left everything we had behind). And last weekend, we finally got around to decorating the tree. The close ups are of some of my favourite decorations, although there are so many lovely ones that I could have taken a dozen photos.

The place we went to get them was basically a massive garden centre that had other thing as well. It had clothes, shoes, and a pets sections but about half of it was converted into a winter wonderland selling (very expensive) Christmas decorations. It also had a very nice cafe/restaurant part that sold yummy chocolate milkshakes (I just couldn’t resist!) They had the cutest little, black bunnies in the pet section, I wish I took some photos for you to share as they were adorable but I felt weird enough sitting there in my wheelchair watching them for ten minutes without taking my phone out to take pictures while everyone watched.

We spent a lot longer than we anticipated there and I definitely paid for it for the next week or so but it was worth it to get out of the flat. And our flat looks so christmassy now. Every time I go into the living room the Christmas tree is there to great me.

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SAL: Back of Work

I don’t have anything to show for SAL this time around as I’ve been trying to get Christmas presents done and wrapped but I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you what the back of my Hogwarts cross stitch looked like. I find looking at the back really interesting.

sal back

I reckon that’s pretty neat but I don’t have much to go on as it’s only my second cross stitch. I read it was suppose to look quite similar to the front and you should be able to tell what it is from the back and it ticks those boxes for me.

But on to some important questions.

I want to move on and do some quick projects. I’m lining up a load of bookmarks to do using different cross stitch materials to test them out. But I have no idea what to do with the edges?

How do I stop the fraying/make the edges look nice? Do I have to sew material round it? Should I be adding a backing?

So many questions but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and want to get it right. I don’t want to spend all that energy cross stitching only to find I haven’t finished them properly so any tips and tricks or suggestions will be very welcome!

I probably won’t have anything to show for the next SAL over Christmas but I’m sure I’ll be back stitching with photographs for January.

Avis / Claire / Gun / Carole / KateJule / Wendy / Lucyanne / Cathy / Jacqui

Those are the links of everyone else taking part in the SAL. We post every three weeks and you should check out their posts to see what they have been up to.

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