WIP Wednesday

I thought it was about time I did an update for the random different craft projects in doing. So here is all the WIP’s (Work-In-Progress) that I currently have going. There’s a mix here of crochet and sewing and quilting and card making. If you want to see what I’ve been cross stitching then you can check out my cross stitch update post here.

But to start off with, a disappointment. I really haven’t done much more of dads camel stitch crochet scarf. I think I’ve only done one row since I last spoke about it. I just haven’t really been in a crochet mood, I think this is mainly because its been pretty hot on and off lately. We had a heatwave the other week and I just didn’t want to work on something that had such thick yarn! Even just thinking about it made me hot.

But other things have been getting done. I’ve done more sewing. I did a (very rough) practice run for something I might make for a Christmas present.
WP_20170713_15_28_08_Pro

I kind of read through the instructions quickly first then sat down and did it all from memory so one of the seams ended up on the wrong side but, most of it worked and it gave me a good idea of what it would be like/size for when/if I do make them properly. I quite like it, this won’t be the fabric I use for the final ones, it’s just scraps I had but whether or not I do it will be down to whether I have the time because most of my sewing time is being used up for my quilt.

At the moment my sewing machine is set up with a walking foot which, suffice to say, isn’t the foot I’d be using for the stocking. Which means I’d have to change things every time I sat down. So the stockings are on hold for now.

As for my quilt, I’m onto my second lot of blocks. And this is what they all look like laid out. This won’t be the final lay out and the edges aren’t squared off but it gives you an idea of how it’ll look.

WP_20170713_14_27_07_Pro

I’ve definitely taken better photos in my life but laid out like this it is just over 5 feet wide so it isn’t the easiest thing for a shorty like me to take a picture of! I did have it laid out on my bed first but it’s wider than my bed so it had to go on the floor.

I’m running out of quilting thread so I’ll need to go to the craft shop soon and I might turn that into an excuse to get lunch at the cafe next door so i can get a chocolate milkshake. Mmmmmm. Although, I really need a haircut….

And finally for the WIP’s I’m working on, cards…

WP_20170713_14_22_40_Pro

I think I’m finally getting the hang of my new cutting machine and I’ve started putting my paper cut cards back up in my shop as well as some ‘new’ designs that I actually designed ages ago but after my old cutter died so never managed to make them. Once everything has settled down again I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can do.


So that’s what I’ve been writing on craft wise. I should really get back into crocheting that scarf. How about you? What projects are you working on right now? Have you started your Christmas projects yet?

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads

Cross Stitch Update

First off I want to say thanks for all of the advice I got on my last cross stitch update. I’ve given a few of the ideas a go since then but I have to say it hasn’t gone well.

I tried back stitching in brown like a couple of you suggested, then green as well and neither looked right to me. Finally I tried back stitching in one thread of black again and it looks the best out of the options I’ve tried but looking at it now (The whole of the left side has been backstitched, about a third of the piece)

WP_20170712_15_34_28_Pro

I honestly think it looks better without. So I’m going to leave it without any back stitching. The only thing I hate more than back stitching is unpicking back stitching so I have that to look forward to before I can finally take pictures of it in a frame.

Between the attempts of back stitching, to keep me sane, I have started another project. It’s another pin cushion. And this is how far I’ve gotten on it.

WP_20170712_15_38_53_Pro

It’ll be the Gryffindor version of my house pin cushions. I have to say I really enjoy making these, they’re simple and quick to stitch and actually making them 3d is very easy and enjoyable too.

I decided to wait until my Peter pan cross stitch is fully finished before starting my next big cross stitch project but I may start that for the next update. We’ll see how it goes.

This update is part of a stitchalong group that posts every third Sunday. We’re always open to new people joining and we all stitch whatever projects we choose rather than sticking to a set thing.

Here are the links of everyone taking part:

Avis / Claire / Gun / Carole / Kate / Lucyanne / Sue / Constanze / Debbie / Christina / Kathy / Margaret / Cindy / Helen / Steph / Linda / Catherine / Wendy / Mary Margaret and Timothy

Time differences mean some may post later than others but there’s loads of cool projects to check out.

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads

Mid Year Freakout Book Tag

Following on from the mid year theme of my last post I thought I’d do a bookish version. Normally I don’t really read enough books to take part in things like this after a full year but reading is going really well and, having 40 books to pick from already, I thought I’d give the mid year freak out book tag that’s been floating around my feed lately a go.

freakout

 

  1. Best book you’ve read so far?

    1

I’m going to go for the All For The Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic (I realise that’s three books but shhhh!) it was amazing! Honourable mentions to: Starship’s Mage, We Were Liars, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare and Crooked Kingdom, which were all five star reads for me.

 

  1. Best sequel of 2017 so far?

    22299763

I haven’t read that many sequels this year but I started the year by reading Crooked Kingdom and loved it. Not quite as much as Six  of Crows but it was still brilliant.

 

  1. New release you haven’t read yet but want to read?

    3

Six Wakes by Mur Laffety, Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts and Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Micheal Miller, are 3 books that I was mega excited to read this year but none of them are available on kindle (at least in the UK) so I haven’t been able to read them. I’m mad!! I should email the publishers or something but I never get around to it. Also Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor which is available but its £9.99 for the ebook and I mean really? I’m not paying that much for an ebook considering most of the books I buy are on deal for less than £2. I stretch to £5 if I REALLY want to read it RIGHT THIS MINUTE. But not that high.

 

  1. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

    4

The Wicker King by Kayla Ancrum, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, Winds of Winter (ASOIAF) by George R.R Martins (hey man, I’m eternally optimistic that this book will be released at some point…)

 

  1. Biggest disappointment?

    5

The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare or Illuminae. This is a difficult one because I didn’t hate either of these (they were both 3 star for me) but I’d loved the previous Alex Wayfare book and Illuminae came with a massive amount of hype and just, neither lived up to my expectations.

 

  1. Biggest surprise?

    6

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1) or We Were Liars

I picked up both of these because they were on deal and I’d heard decent things about them and I was not expecting to love them as much as I did, (I’m only putting the first book in the All For The Game trilogy here because once I’d read the first it was NOT a surprise how much I loved the others) and hell if they didn’t give me the most ridiculous and long lasting of book hangovers.

 

  1. Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?

I don’t really follow authors, like, even if I really absolutely love a book I won’t go and check what other books that author had written. If I come across a book that sounds good and then realise that it’s by an author I’ve previously liked then I might be slightly more inclined to read it or rather boost it up the list a little but I never seek books by certain authors out.

 

  1. Newest fictional crush?

…i don’t…? I have loads of favourite characters that I just can’t get out of my head but not in this way.

 

  1. Newest favourite character?

Andrew Minyard from All For The Game, my little five foot ball of anger with a racket.

 

  1. Book that made you cry?

We Were Liars by E Lockhart. Just. Daymn. That book. I’m not someone who cries reading  (or watching) but this book physically hurt me.

 

  1. Book that made you happy?

    11

This is a bit of a weird question to me, any book that I enjoyed reading made me happy but I’m assuming it means more…. Story wise? And I don’t know, fantasy books aren’t normally necessarily…happy. I really enjoyed reading Sea by Sarah Driver which was a very magical children’s story and also the 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by MG Buehrlen was also quite feel good? In a weird way? I mean it wasn’t happy… But… I don’t know man.

 

  1. Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

I really don’t watch that many movies. There’s loads that I’ve been like, oh I should watch that but….

Does Handmaid’s Tale count? That’s not a movie and I haven’t even finished watching it yet but that’s the closest I can come, which gives you an idea of just how little tv/films I watch.

 

  1. Favourite review you’ve written this year?

I really don’t think I’m very good at reviews (I’m trying, okay?) but I’d say maybe We Were Liars for the complete lack of coherent thoughts I had about the book (….it hurts!) or perhaps my slightly scathing review of Matilda (where the best thing I could say about it was that I liked the musical).

 

  1. Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year?

    23299512

This Savage Song? I’m looking through my goodreads shelves looking at covers (because I don’t buy real books anymore) and I honestly am not coming up with many pretty ones. Sea? Crooked kingdom maybe?

 

  1. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

    15

All of the books I mentioned in questions 3 & 4. I’d also really like to read Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova and A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab. I  have both of these already but I’m a massive mood reader and I’m waiting till the right time because I want to love them.

 


 

I tried not to repeat the same books so many times but a lot of the questions line up. It was interesting to look back over them and it’ll be interesting to compare my answers at the end if the year too to see if my favourites survive and if I ever do manage to get around to reading those books I want to.

What about you? Do you read by author? I’ve seen a lot of people blogging about their favourite authors and am starting to feel like the odd one out for not having any! I’m not going to tag anyone directly but if you think this would be fun for you to do then I would love to read your answers.

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads

Mid Year Goals – How am I doing?

It’s July! Where is the year going? It seems like only a couple weeks ago that I made my new years goals for the year but here we are six months later. I thought it would be good time check in with them (no point making goals if you forget all about them).

 

Writing

Keep writing

I wanted to write two chapters a month. So far I’ve written two chapters every month apart from April where I wrote one. But that was planned because I went on holiday. This is going well, I was a little apprehensive at the start that doing two chapters a month would be too much but I’m managing well without too much anxiety about it.

Keep writing harry potter fan fic: So far – Check

I’m enjoying doing this even if no one is reading it haha. Finally getting it written down after so many years of it being in my head. I’m about half way through writing second year.

Finish my original prequel story: Not yet but I only have one chapter left so, very soon. It’s very exciting, I’m writing the last chapter at the moment. That’s 21 chapters since I started it in November. I can’t wait till I finish it but I’m also dreading having to read it haha.

Do a first edit: Need to finish it first!

 

Blogs and books

Keep blogging: Check. (Hi!)

Read at least 40 books/ maybe even 48:

readingchallenge2

I’ve officially read 40 books already!

I have no idea how that happened, the most I’ve ever read in a year before is 46 so that looks like its going to be beaten. I said it would be really cool to read 52 books. One a week. Which is something I’ve never done before and it’s looking like a very good possibility right now.

 

Business:

Put more energy in

&

Have more listings

So this one is a little difficult as my cutting machine stopped cutting through much. (read: Big fat no) I still have my vinyl cards and cross stitches up. And I’ve gotten a new cutter for my birthday a few weeks ago so hopefully I can get back on track with this. Unfortunately it uses a different software and file type so I have to try to convert/redesign everything. It’ll take a while but I’m getting there and figuring it all out. I’m hoping once everything is ready then I will get this one back on track.

Try to make some small cross stitches as well as big pieces:

This is going well so far. I have two pin cushion up and am just finishing my large Peter pan quote and getting the pattern ready to sell. I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll have the other two pin cushions and a large Christmas design up as well. Which would be double the designs I managed last year.

 

Craft:

Make mum a bag: Check! This went really well, even if I did rush it only a couple weeks before her birthday.

Make dad a scarf:…. Road bump. You can see my post about the difficulties here but I’ve started a new one. I’m about half way through it and liking how it’s turning out.

Make first quilt: I’ve started, I am currently 8 blocks in out of 24 so still a long way to go. I probably won’t be finished the blocks let alone joining it all together by the end of the year but it is happening.

 

Spanish:

Keep a Spanish diary every day:

On track! (okay so there was that one week in June where I was so ill I just couldn’t do it but other than that…) I’m also thinking about stopping at the end of July (once I’ve finished this notebook) because I’m not really learning much more now that I’ve done six months of what I do everyday (I do a lot of the same things!) I have learnt a lot though and I’m going to carry on doing something Spanish everyday. I think I’m going to do a workbook next that should take me a month or two if I do a page a day and then see what else after.

Find someone to check: Nope. Big fat no.

 


 

I think overall I’m doing really well. The cutter breaking wasn’t really my fault and I once I get my new one all figured out I’ll push ahead with that one. The quilt is unfortunate, I could get it done by the end of the year but I’d probably have to do nothing else which isn’t going to happy. We’ll just see how far I get with it anyway. I haven’t given up on any of my goals even if they are changing a little.

How about you? What goals did you set and how are you doing with them? Did you set yourself a reading challenge? What crafts are you up to this year? Can you believe we are halfway through the year already?

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads

The Happiness Tag

A couple of weeks ago I was nominated by Lois @LoisReadsBooks to do the happiness tag. I thought it was a lovely idea and it’s a really simple tag so here it is:

Photo 29-06-2017, 15 40 47

List five things that make me happy:

1. Taking to family and friends.

This is a bit of an obvious one but I love having random conversations with a few close people whether that;s chatting to my parents in person or talking online with my closest friends.

2. Watching sports.

This is pretty much how I tell what day/month it is. I honestly think without sports giving me a schedule I’d have no idea. I love football, formula 1, tennis, Rugby… I’m sure I could like more but I don’t have time to watch anything else! Currently watching Wimbledon, tennis. It always feels like summer to me hearing tennis on the tv.

3. Crafting.

Obviously. Spending time creating things is a brilliant way to pass the time. Imagining what you want to make, and then spending ages making something, getting to see the progress and finally the finish. Every one feels like an accomplishment.

4. Reading.

I do too much of this, but I want to do even more. Escaping into a book is one of my favourite pastimes. Finding a new favourite that completely blows you away is brilliant.

5. Music.

I am always listening to music. Which brings me nicely to the second half of the tag:

 

List five songs that make you happy:

1. Happy by Pharrell Williams 

Obviously right? I couldn’t resist adding this one.

Favourite lyric: I should probably warn you, I’ll be just fine. No offence to you but don’t waste your time.

2. Cake by the Ocean by DNCE

Favourite Lyric: You’re moving so carefully, let’s start living dangerously

3. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson

Favourite Lyric: I’m too hot, hot damn, make a dragon want to retire, man.

Both of those two are just so upbeat and I can’t help but want to get up and dance to them.

4. Biblical by Biffy Clyro.

Favourite Lyric: You gave me magical, I gave you wonderful, Let’s make this Biblical.

I’m always pretty late to things concerning music because I don’t listen to the radio or much tv but I recently came across this song and I love it.

5. Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons

Favourite Lyrics: Whatever it takes, ’cause I love the adrenaline in my veins.

This is off the new album which is actually quite good (if that sounds surprised to you then it’s because the last few months I’ve found most new albums I’ve listened to have been disappointing). I’m in love with this song and have been listening to it on repeat.

 

And I’m tagging five people just to keep in theme:

@ChelasColchasyMas

@TravelinRetrospect

@LostinaStory

@SparkleOn

@StoriesandSpoons

As always, don’t feel like you have to take part, just a bit of fun.

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads

Memo Pad: Book Reviews – June 2017

I only read four new books this month which is the least that I’ve read in a while but this was purely down to the fact that, only a week after reading them for the first time, I decided to reread the All For The Game trilogy to start the month off (and I have to say I only very narrowly avoided reading them for the third time in as many weeks). Even though I’ve read four books since then I am still in a book hangover from them and its very possible that I’ll end up rereading them again before the year is out. Which brings me on to another point. Goodreads has a new feature that means you can add a reread date to books now so I’m now counting rereads towards my reading goal for the year/goodreads challenge. Is anyone else doing this? I’ve never counted them before but….

In other news I’m now just one book away from actually reaching my goodreads challenge of 40 books! We’re only half way through! The most I’ve ever read in a year is 46 so it looks pretty set that I’ll beat that! My ultimate goal was 52 books but I didn’t want to set it that high because I didn’t want to be counting books rather than enjoying them but unless something goes horribly wrong, I’ll manage that too!

mp june17

Read: 4           Reread: 3           DNF: 1

21142051

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz *****

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I liked it. I enjoyed reading it but that was it? I didn’t think it was as amazing as the hype had set it up to be.  I think a lot of the rave reviews are because of the subject matter/characters which is fair enough, there needs to be more books like this.

It was really well written and I definitely FELT how Aristotle was feeling. I do think that it got resolved very easily at the end. After everything we learn about Aristotle, I don’t think a kid like that would just accept it so easily.

35068246

Glamour by Kayla Bain-Vrba *****

Pip is a hopeless romantic living in a small town with his cobbler father and stepmother. His stepmother’s greatest wish is to move to court, but his father insists they find Pip a husband first. Not willing to wait any longer, his evil stepmother spreads a rumor that Pip can turn pebbles into jewels, and make those precious gems into slippers.  When the Aelfin king hear’s of this, he has Pip captured and thrown in the dungeon. Pip has one night to make the king a pair of gemstone slippers, or his life is forfeit. Luckily for Pip, who has never worked with a single gemstone much less an entire slipper’s worth, the king’s son has magical powers that can make bejeweled slippers—and he wants revenge on the king for casting him out. The two strike a bargain, but one pair of jeweled slippers leads to more and more demands, and Pip swiftly runs out of things to trade, until all that remains is his heart…

I enjoyed reading this book but I feel like it was confused about what it was trying to be. It reads like a fairytale but the middle bit has some rather explicit scenes. If this had been aimed at children and had, say, true loves kiss as a part of the bargain rather than what happened then this could have been a really brilliant children’s fairytale with a gay main character. It’s the right length, right tone (apart from the middle bit), lovely main character… If that was what it was then it would have been a four star easy, maybe more. But as it is, it’s a rather confused book.

613268

The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek *****

Imprisoned for ‘inflammatory writings’ by the totalitarian Theocracy, shy intellectual Ashleigh Trine figures his story’s over. But when he meets Kieran Trevarde, a hard-hearted gunslinger with a dark magic lurking in his blood, Ash finds that necessity makes strange heroes… and love can change the world.

“I love you,” he said and realised it was a lie.

I think that’s my favourite line that I’ve read this month (at least).

This book is set around the idea of native American like Gods and tribes being squashed by a new religion and culture set in a quasi wild-west that has magic. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a book set in a world anything like that before. It was interesting and I’d definitely recommend it just for the setting. The characters were flawed and broken and they evolved brilliantly as they started to let each other in and build up trust and there was enough action to keep you turning the pages. It has a pretty awful cover but the story is definitely worth checking out, especially because it is available online for free.

32927246

Scourge by Gail Z. Martin *****

The city-state of Ravenwood is wealthy, powerful, and corrupt. Merchant Princes and Guild Masters wager fortunes to outmaneuver League rivals for the king’s favor and advantageous trading terms. Lord Mayor Ellor Machison wields assassins, blood witches, and forbidden magic to assure that his powerful patrons get what they want, no matter the cost. Corran, Rigan, and Kell Valmonde are Guild Undertakers, left to run their family’s business when guards murdered their father and monsters killed their mother. Their grave magic enables them to help souls pass to the After and banish vengeful spirits. Rigan’s magic is unusually strong and enables him to hear the confessions of the dead, the secrets that would otherwise be taken to the grave. When the toll exacted by monsters and brutal guards hits close to home and ghosts expose the hidden sins of powerful men, Corran, Rigan and Kell become targets in a deadly game and face a choice: obey the Guild, or fight back and risk everything.

This story is absolutely packed full of Magic and monsters. It’s an epic fantasy following three brothers who are all likeable and face their own problems. I liked all three brothers, and enjoyed reading about them. There was plenty of action but I felt like some of the monster attacks and and the guard showdowns started to feel quite repetitive in the middle. On top of that one of the POV’s is very slow. I actually ended up skimming pretty much all his chapters and I honestly don’t think I missed much. I do expect a certain amount of politics in an epic fantasy but it was just stretched too far. Half of the things we’re told, we just simply don’t need to know let alone in the amount of detail we’re given it (repeatedly). If those chapters had been more succinct I think this would have been a four star for me. I did really enjoy the brothers and a lot of the side characters were great too, I think it should have stuck to those characters a little more.

 


DNF:

17453187

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Neilsen

I picked this book up because I absolutely loved The False Prince by Neilsen, (as in one of my FAVOURITE books) and this book is about thieves which is, um, my favourite thing? So I thought this would be amazing but for some reason I just didn’t get into it? I’m not sure why. But I’m very disappointed, possibly with myself for not enjoying it more.


 

So that was my reading month. I’m really excited about nearly reaching my goal. I wonder how many books I will read by the end of the year. Have you read any of these? What is the best book that you have read this month? And do you count rereads towards your reading goal?

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads

Cross Stitch SAL

I have – kind of – a finish to show you!

I’ve done all the cross stitching that I’d planned to do. So without further ado here it is: WP_20170616_18_28_27_Pro

I have two questions now. 1) shall I fill in the words with white stitching to cover up the rather holey looking fabric or leave it as is? It makes everything else look raised a bit not having it but not sure if it would look better with. I’m leaning towards not stitching it.

2) shall I do back stitching around the individual leaves? I think some of them kind of blend into each other so it might be good? I’ve given it a little go and I’m not sure I like it. Some bits look good and others look bad. But maybe if it was the whole thing it might look better? Or should I just leave it without any back stitching?!? Ahhh.

Photo 21-06-2017, 15 15 25

In other news, the fabric for the next project arrived. It’s this lovely Christmas red 18 count aida. It will mainly be stitched in white but with either gold or a variegated thread of a similar colour. I’ve never used a variegated thread before so that might be interesting.

WP_20170622_15_50_50_Pro

I haven’t actually finished the design yet though so we’ll see when I get around to it. I might end up stitching my next Hogwarts house pin cushion first. It’s Gryffindor’s turn next (although I haven’t finished designing that yet either….)

The other people taking part in the stitch along are below:

Avis / Claire / Gun / Carole / Kate / Lucyanne / Sue / Constanze / Debbie / Christina / Kathy / Margaret / Cindy / Helen / Steph / Linda / Catherine / Wendy / Mary Margaret and Timothy

We post progress on whatever cross stitch protects we’ve been working on every three weeks. So its a lovely selection of different things to look at.

Bloglovin / Twitter / Etsy Goodreads