Finished Bookmark (SAL)

finishedbookmark

So it’s time to show you all my first finished cross stitch of the year.

TA DA!

Okay, so obviously the stitching at the top is VERY messy but I’m quite happy with the rest of it. I did the other three sides wrong sides together then turned it right way out so the stitching is on the inside and looks nice and neat. Unfortunately, because the felt I used was too thick, it was just impossible to hold both the felt folded over and the cross stitching fabric folded over and still keep any semblance of neatness. Hand stitching through four layers of fabric is not a great idea.

I’m hoping that the next project I will do is one I have designed myself. It will be the first time I make my own pattern so I’m excited about doing that. Fingers crossed it all goes well.

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

These are the others taking part in the three-weekly Stitch-A-Long and you should check out their links to see what awesome projects they’ve been up to.

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Memo Pad

I’ve been umming and ahing about my Memo Pad posts lately. I ‘m not sure whether I should make my book reviews into their own post or not. The original idea was for the memo pad to be a summing up of all the things I have done in the month, including what books I have read and what crafts I have done. Recently though, the book reviews have taken up quite a lot of space and now I’m wondering if it might be better for them to have their own post? What do you think? For now I’ll keep them here.

Books read: 3

Artemis Fowl (Book 1) By Eoin Colfer *****

This book is about a Artemis, a young, Irish, criminal mastermind who finds out about the existence of faeries and magical folk so naturally tries to find a way to exploit them. I never read these books as a kid and I’m honestly not sure why. It’s the exact kind of story I was into at the time and two of my best friends in primary school loved these books so I really don’t know how they passed me by. I decided to give them a try recently and have all 8 (?) books in the series waiting for me to read now. I thought the first book was good, it’s obviously a children’s book and I am expecting the world to get more complicated and interesting as the series goes on as children’s series tend to. But I thought it was a solid start to the series.

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini *****

This book is a pretty typical fantasy story. A young boy finds something magical (in this case a dragons egg that hatches), goes on a quest, meets a beautiful girl that he falls in love with at first sight and becomes a hero. Throw an evil king, dwarfs and elves into the mix and bam! story. I normally don’t care too much when it comes to originality in a story, so long as the story is interesting and exciting you can rip off other authors ideas all you like and I will still enjoy it (I mean, there’s a reason those books were so popular). I won’t give you 5 stars for it but you’ll still get a decent grade. So when I give this 2 stars know that it didn’t have anything to do with the unoriginality (is that a word?). I wanted to like this book but the dialog is just SO bad. It’s wooden and abrupt, the main characters all sound exactly the same. I’m sorry but a farm boy with no education is not going to sound the same and use the same words as a well educated story teller. The book did get better. I think I would give the first third of this story a 1 star but the tail end (say the last third) was better. Maybe it was because there was more action so the bad dialog wasn’t so obvious?

The Shepherd’s Crown (A Disc World Novel) by Sir Terry Pratchett *****

Tiffany Aching is a witch living on the Chalk and yet again she’s called on to do some difficult things. I’ve loved this mini series of books on Tiffany Aching set within the Disc World, they’re aimed at younger readers and don’t have as much of the confusing stuff as the other Disc World books but are still wonderfully Pratchett. I’m really glad his last book was a Tiffany Aching one.

 

I’ve also been reading a lot of fanfic this month. Mainly because I watched the new Star Wars film recently. But I ended up going back and re-reading one of my favourite series of fanfics this month too. It’s a Star Trek based fic set in the reboot universe (I love the first reboot film, I thought all the characters were amazing) and they’re prequels to that first film. Now, I don’t normally mention fanfics here but the series truly is fantastic. There are 4 stories in the series and they basically show all the events that happened during Kirk’s time at the academy that made Captain Pike trust him with being First Officer in the film. If you like Star Trek at all, I definitely think you should check them out. The first one is called Convergence

My Month:

I got my hair cut this month, it was getting too long for me to handle (and by this i mean it was a whole 4 inches long!) and I finally went to a local hairdressers. It has been ages since I went to one. Before we moved we had a hairdresser that would come to us and do it in my bedroom for me to use the least amount of energy possible. But since we’ve moved I was able to get a little easier. I’ll still only be getting it cut every 4 or 5 months but its great knowing I can get there.

Craftwise, I’ve started doing a bit more of a crochet shawl that I started years ago then put in a draw and forgot. The pattern is called I promise you pineapples. I love the yarn I’m using, it’s by far the thinnest yarn I’ve ever used (sock weight) but it’s a lovely colour. I still love it even though I got it into a tangled mess that took me hours and hours to untangle giving me quite severe back pain for a few days. But hey, that’s love. This is my Ravelry page for the project if you want any more info/a link to the pattern.

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Valentines day cards

There’s lots of complaints about Valentine’s Day being a commercial holiday but, for me, it’s simply an excuse to make and send wonderfully bad punny cards to my friends. Let them know I care and that I’m hilarious. Because I am you know.  Anyway. This year I was able to make them using my silhouette cutting machine. I’m still in the very early stages of playing with my new toy but these were cards 3,4 and 5 that I’ve made with it now. And the first time I’ve used the pen attachment to make it write as well as cut.

ronweasley

I used a black sharpie marker for the outside of these two cards (they’re the same design) and I think it was a bit too thick for what I had in mind but it worked okay. Whereas the inside was a black bic which isn’t really highly pigmented enough. I used a Harry Potter font on the inside for the ‘you’re a keeper’ part and think it looks very nice. lessons are continuing to be learnt and they were fun to make.

deertome

The last card I made was this one which turns out to be my favourite so far. Typical that I’d already made the others and my best was last. The white cut out of the deer is also stuck inside the card but I haven’t got a picture of it unfortunately. Just know that it was very pretty if I do say so myself!

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A week of Yummy Food

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! A couple of days late but I have been busy stuffing my face with Chinese food, sorry. It’s the year of the Monkey this year AKA My Year. And it’s started well. First a lovely Chinese take away then Pancake day!

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love pancakes. I went with vanilla ice cream in the end and of course I had to have a lemon and sugar pancake too. What are your favourite pancake fillings?

The last couple weeks there have been a couple of birthdays and it was the perfect excuse to test out my new Silhouette cutting machine. I made two cards, one for my brother and one for a friend of mine (My brothers girlfriend missed out by a couple days as it was just too soon after I got my machine to make her something).

yoda

They both like star wars and I was getting my brother light up lightsaber chopsticks as a present so I went with a star wars theme. They both got the same design (I forgot to take a picture of both of them before I sent one oops). I’m quite pleased with my first cards but I learnt that no matter how straight you think you can cut with scissors. You can’t. Next time I will be cutting the outline on the machine too!

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Cross Stitch Bookmark (SAL)

Just a little update on my bookmark. I have finished all the stitching needed. I will obviously have to stitch it together with some backing but the actual pattern is finished.

bookmark
I’m not very happy about the colours but then that will teach me to wing it. I knew the pattern called for three yellows and I started with the lightest then realised after I’d done most of that colour that it was suppose to be the darkest and had to try to find two lighter yellows in my stash. It hasn’t worked out great. And I didn’t like the brown colour the backstitching was suppose to be in so turned it to gold but I’m still not sure about it. But it was a learning experience and this was never going to be perfect.

Also I think the pattern must have been on smaller count fabric as this is pretty large for a bookmark and I left the bottom of the pattern off too. There are suppose to be two more stars underneath the moon but I ran out of the medium yellow and like I said it was already starting to get a bit large.

I’m looking forward to turning it into a bookmark  with some felt backing and maybe a bit of card inside. Who knows I might add a shiny white ribbon to the bottom too!

The other bloggers taking part in this SAL are linked below.

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

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Crafts since Christmas

It seems like I’ve been up to my neck in crafts this last month.

At christmas my lovely aunties bought me a yarn winder and a needle felting kit. I’ve never used either before so I was very excited. Unfortunately, recovering from christmas has meant I have had to ration my energy even more than usual.yarn cakesI have used the yarn winder on a few small balls of yarn. It makes lovely soft, neat cakes. But I haven’t gotten around to using the needle felting kit yet. Mainly because my dad mentioned the other week that mum could use a laptop cover and could I crochet her one. Well, I got a bit carried away (what else is new) and decided I was going to venture into the unknown of tapestry crochet and make one that way. Now obviously like everything else, this is going to take me ages but I’m about a third way through at the moment and I think its quite good for a first attempt at colourwork.tapestry1

And then there was the big impulse buy that wasn’t an impulse buy. Huh? I here you say. Well I mentioned in the memo pad last week that I bought a new toy. A Silhouette Portrait Cutting Machine. Now, a cutting machine is something I’ve been thinking about on and off for at least a year, if not two. Pretty much since one of my best friends mentioned they had one. But every time I think about it and look into it I think nah, it’s expensive I don’t need another crafty thing that I’ll never get around to using. In short, I’ve always managed to convince myself not to buy it. Well, I failed at that this time around and the result is a dent in my bank account. It’s a very pretty dent though.wonderfulworld

So the first thing I did when it arrived was make some birthday cards which I won’t show you because they haven’t been received yet. But I also bought a pen adapter for the cutting machine that means instead of cutting it can draw. As soon as I got it I had another play and I can show you that. I used a plain old bic biro and a black sharpie I had lying around for it. They both worked brilliantly and I can’t wait to do more.

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