Serial Update

The other week I actually left the house. It was a very important, specific trip….To the Cereal Aisle of my local supermarket.WP_20170525_13_24_35_Pro

I’ve been here nearly two years but I have finally visited my local supermarket! Round of applause please.

I needed a new cereal seeing as one of the ones I normally have has suddenly lowered in quality. (It’s just not chocolate enough anymore). So Benny (my wheelchair) got loaded into my dad’s car and off we went. It was a lovely sunny day and luckily, I found a suitable replacement which is yummy. I also bought a variety pack even though I only wanted to try two of them. One if which was not nice so that didn’t go so well.

Speaking of food shopping, I’m going to fill you in on The Great Ice Cream Mishap

My parents came back from shopping the other week and said that they’d seen Hagen Daz Ice Cream at the store and asked me which one I wanted so that they could get it next time. I admit, I squealed a bit (I love me some hagen daz, it’s such a treat) I told them the Cookies and Cream flavour (Is there any other one, really?).

So off they went the next week and bought it. I planned my evening very carefully, looking forward to my ice cream for dessert and went out to eat it.

My mum took it out of the freezer ready to start scooping and from my perch on the sofa I saw the tub was blue. Blue? I though. Why would a Hagen Daz tub be blue. So I asked, dread filling me: “Why is it blue? Is it Hagen Daz?”

Mum, paused, looking at the tub in her hands “…. No.”

“It’s Ben and Jerry’s, isn’t it?” The answer to that was a yes. I really don’t like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and you’re all probably thinking, ice cream is ice cream but Ben and Jerry’s has a weird taste. I’ve been to the Ben and Jerry’s music festival in London where they give you as much free Ice cream as you want and I only managed one cone and one taster spoon because ICK. Needless to say I didn’t get any ice cream.


In other news, I posted the other day on twitter about just how many books are piling up on my kindle:


The answer to that tweet is very simple: Not long at all! I think it was two days in the end. Ooops.

I’ve bought seven books this month (and a free ARC) and to be fair most of them were on deal for less than £1 but still that’s a lot and I already have too many books to read and not enough time to read them.

Books bought this month:

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart

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

Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper by Jackson Lear

The Foxhole Court (All For The Game #1) by Nora Sakavic

The Raven King (All For The Game #2) by Nora Sakavic

The King’s Men (All For The Game #3) by Nora Sakavic

I’ve also added quite a few books to my to read shelf on Goodreads this month too….18 to be precise.  I won’t add them here because that’s a rather long list but if you want to check it out you can click here and feel free to add me on Goodreads.

I’ll post the reviews for books I’ve actually read in May next week. But for now, have you read any of these? Do you have a book addiction, want to join me in bookworms anonymous? Anyone else hate Ben & Jerry’s? That one is probably just me. But I’m going to leave you all now and read some more books.

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Crochet Trouble

A few posts ago I told you all about a scarf that I had started to crochet my dad. I’d decided to do it in basket weave and had gotten about a foot of it done but I really didn’t like how it was turning out. I hadn’t used a large enough hook and it was dense and not drapey at all. I put it to the side for a while thinking it probably wasn’t as bad as I thought but every time I went back to it, I hated it more so in the end I ripped it all out.

Here it was:


The problem I have is when I frog things I just do not have the motivation to re-do them so simply switching to a larger hook and hoping that would fix the problem just wasn’t going to happen. That meant that I had to find a new stitch that I liked enough.

Here in lies the biggest problem that I have with crochet. There really aren’t that many stitches I like. I mean they look great but they don’t feel great especially when you compare the same yarn to how it would feel if you knit it. Knitting is just so much softer than crochet. Which is obvious when you think about how each technique forms material. When you knit, what you are doing is weaving the yarn in and out whereas for crochet you are making a series of knots. Which one sounds softer? Yeah, not crochet.

Tunisian crochet is a middle ground here which is why I love it so much. It can be just as soft as knitting, as you are weaving a row at a time, but you still get to use one hook rather than two needles. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it fitted for this particular project. So I was left with trying to find a crochet stitch that was soft enough but that would work for a mans crochet scarf using quite thick Aran yarn.

I had already made my dad a scarf last year in moss/linen/granite stitch. Whichever name you want to use for it, he liked it which is why he asked me to make him another scarf but I didn’t want to go the same thing again. So i went on pinterest, I googled, I went on ravelry. I made swatches (I MADE SWATCHES PEOPLE!!! I never do that). I don’t even know what half of the stitches I tried out were called.

In the end I decided on a half double crochet through the extra loop. Also known as the camel stitch. I made a swatch and decided I wanted all of the extra loops that form the “chain effect” on the same side because I think it looks better than it being every second row. To do that I would have to cut my yarn and turn my work around after each row which is, like, really extra if your doing it width ways so I’m doing the scarf length ways.

It’s really difficult to show you the stitch pattern on dark yarn in a photograph but I tried. The first one is the ‘front’ with the chain stitches from the camel stitch pushed forward. It is also a lot closer to the actual green colour of the yarn but the yarn is darker. The second photograph has the ‘back’ of the scarf compared to the ‘front’. I;ve only done a handful or rows so far.

I started with a half double crochet foundation row rather than chaining and I have absolutely no idea how many stitches long i made it and i am not going back to count. It’s about six foot. So however many stitches that takes!

I went up to a 6mm hook and it’s just about right (I reckon I probably could have gone up another one but this is okay), and so far I’m liking it much better than my previous attempt of basket weave. I’m hoping that my one ball of 200g Aran yarn will be enough to get the whole scarf done. If not he’s just going to have a rather narrow scarf.


Do you knit and/or crochet? What do you think of the differences? Are there things you will only use one for? I think crochet is great for structural things or really loose lace like stitches or puff stitch (which I love) but I don’t like using it for other things. And if you crochet, what are your favourite soft go to stitches for scarves? Evidently I need more so feel free to tell me your favourite stitches!

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A Look Inside My Notebooks

I have three notebooks and a calendar in a pile next to my bed and I thought I would do a post about them. And by that, what I actually mean is: I finally got the nerve up to do a post about them because they are a mess and everyone else’s notebooks are always pretty and neat and perfect.

All three notebooks I use are pukka pads because I love the quality of the paper. It’s thick and smooth and your pen just glides across it. I prefer writing in spiral bound notebooks because the pages lie flat. I have had lots of notebooks down the years, including moleskines, and I still prefer these. My A6 and my A5 notebooks are both lined but my A4 one is squared for reasons I’ll go into.

But first here is my calendar. I use it to mark down when I’ve done things for health reasons because my memory is rubbish and if you ask me when my sheets were changed last then I have no idea. But my calendar does. I also use it to write down when posts go up on my blog, I used to have a separate planner for that but there’s enough space in here for both. My blog posts are marginally colour coded; red for books, blue for crafts, navy for personal and green if I have any guest posts. I say marginally because sometimes they overlap and I’m not very strict about it. But having a planner to write down the blog posts helps me to know what needs to get done by when. I’ve had this one the longest out of all of my notebooks (Or some variation on this, the actual calendar is only a couple of months old but I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now).

The pens I use for this are a pack of coloured 0.5 tipped ones that my dad bought for me in a Japanese shop in London once upon a time. I wasn’t there and the label is in Japanese so that is all I can tell you about them!

Next up is my….. Okay, so its literally anything that doesn’t fit in the others. Random notes, lots of notes about stories I’m writing, sketches for cross stitch patterns, sewing ideas, just anything that needs writing down on paper (but mainly story stuff). This is a mess. Seriously. This notebook is the exact reason I never share anything like this because I see how neat and organised other peoples notes are and I’m like…??? Some examples of pages that I’ve written in, then over, then through…

Sidenote: I’ve just found out how difficult it is to photograph writing so you probably can’t read anything but hopefully you can get the gist of the mess so you can get the idea. It’s almost as messy as my brain. But I’m sharing it because there are probably other people who have messy notebooks somewhere…

Next is on to my cross stitch design book. Now, I do most of my designing straight on the computer. I might do an initial sketch in my other notebook but generally it’ll just be in my head and then on the computer. But every now and then there will be something that needs to be worked out on squared paper. For example my pin cushion designs have all been worked out in this notebook. It’s just easier to be able to play with certain elements on paper sometimes. Things like borders or repeated motifs are good to draw out.


I will generally sketch things out using biro but then go over them with my favourite black pens that I will mention later. Anything that needs colour to see how it works (Like the second picture) will either be done in sharpie or Copic markers depending on what colour I want (I have a black piece of card that I put behind the page anytime I use them to stop them from bleeding through to the other pages).

And finally but not least, my Spanish diary. It was one of my new year goals to keep a Spanish diary this year. So that’s what this baby notebook is.


Headers for each month change, which are fun to do. And my terrible attempts at Spanish follow. I’m actually up to date and still going which I have to be honest I was not expecting. And I think, for the first time ever, I might actually finish a whole notebook because of this. I’m irrationally excited about that achievement. I haven’t done it yet but I will!

Onto pens, these are my favourite pens…..


I used to use these types of pens when I was in school doing my a levels. I wouldn’t use anything else but rollerball pens even though they had a tendencies to bleed through paper, hence my love for the thick pages of my pukka pads. I have very expensive pens that never get used because these babies are perfect. They glide so nicely. I have them in 0.7 and 1.0 but only use the 0.7 for writing in my Spanish diary otherwise it tends to bleed a little even though the pages are thick.


Are you a messy notebook person? Or are you one of those perfectly neat people? And if so, tell me your secrets, please! I always find it so interesting to know what kind of pens people use. Or are you a pencil person? I can’t stand the scratchiness of pencils anymore but used to use those heavy full graphite ones at school. And I always manage to snap those mechanical pencils, they just never work for me.

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Cross Stitch SAL update

Hello everyone, it’s time for another update on my cross stitching. Last time around I showed you another pin cushion finish but this time it’s back to my Peter pan quote. Most of this stitching actually got done before I left for holiday as I’ve been feeling quite ill since being back.
But there is lots of progress to share!

Here’s where I was last time and then where I am now:



I’m really exited about it. I’m at that point where you start to see it all coming together. There’s still loads to do: two bluish oak leaves either side then LOADS of small red/purple/pink/orange leaves at the top. So I’ll still be doing this for a while yet but I’m really enjoying it. I think it’s looking really pretty.

I’m also designing a couple of other projects. Another pin cushion (this time in Gryfindor colours) and also a very (and I mean very) large Christmas project that I’m hoping to have ready to start for when I finish this one.

Here’s the links to everyone else participating in the stitchalong:

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

We post whatever progress we’ve made on our individual projects every three weeks and are always open to new members. I always love looking at all of our different projects.

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Memo Pad: Holiday Books Edition

I read a lot on holiday. Which was awesome! Until I got back and realised I had to write five reviews in a week. Technically, and if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know this, I started reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue before I left. In fact I read half of it. So I read four and a half books not five but considering I thought I’d read at most four that’s still pretty he

So here’s my Memo Pad: Holiday Edition or the one where I tell you how much of a sucker I am for good characters.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater *****

This series really confuses me. Barely anything happens but I love it? There’s absolutely no doubt that this is a character led series which is fine by me when the characters are all brilliant. They all get their chance at the front and none of them are there just as side characters. The relationships are all developing but I just kind of wished it moved a little faster. I didn’t love it as much as the first two books.


The Captive Prince by CS Pacat *****

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave. Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country. For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

This is a bit of a weird book. I wasn’t really expecting much of a nuanced story but the relationships between the characters are all really complicated and subtle and I actually really liked that. It makes me want to read the next one because I want to learn more about them and that’s always a good thing.


Willful Machines by Tim Floreen *****

In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public. Charlotte’s attacks have everyone on high alert—everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all his secrets. But when the attacks start happening at his school, Lee realizes he’s Charlotte’s next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte’s plan too.
As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte’s plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive … and what makes life worth living.

I really liked this, at the same time a lot of it was very predictable and I almost felt like I’d read it before because it wasn’t very original. Whenever an AI is involved in a book there always seems to be a love story attached to ask the question of if they deserve to be alive. But I did really love the characters. I honestly don’t care about originality if your characters are amazing and both Lee and Nico are really likable. So I really liked this book. (Also does anyone else have certain names that make them predisposed to like a character? or am I just weird? Nico is one of mine.)


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab *****

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

So I saw a description of this that said:

Sin City + Romeo and Juliet – Romance + Monsters

And that is actually a really good description. Also a really enticing one, I mean I would have wanted to pick up this book if I had seen only that.

August spends pretty much this whole book making me want to give him a hug. And Kate is a badass with a soft core and I’m realising that this whole post is just me telling you how much I like the characters in the books. It’s probably starting to sound repetitive.

I also want to say that I absolutely love when a book has some kind of rhyme /song in it. Even if I haven’t read the book (I’m looking at you mortal instruments) I love when they are there. I’m not sure why. It’s irrational the amount that I love them. This review is a mess but its a brilliant YA book and you should read it.


The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare by M.G Buehrlen *****

So. This is a good book. I wanted to start by saying that before I explain my very biased rating. Because I am aware enough to know it’s kind of unfair but I’m not changing it. There is a betrayal in this book. And I feel betrayed. Its as simple as that. The end of the first book promised me something and I never got it. I don’t like when that happens. I was expecting a certain kind of sequel and this wasn’t it. It was good but it wasn’t the book I was expecting.


DNF at 25%

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. So I’m really not sure what happened here. I don’t think this is a bad book but I found myself skimming so I stopped. Maybe it starts slowly. I’m hopeful that I will eventually give this another shot.


So some of these reviews weren’t exactly great but writing five reviews in a week is hard, okay?

What have you been reading? Have you read any of these? Do you blast through books on holiday or do you not read at all? I normally end up in a reading slump when I come back from blitzing books on holiday which ends up evening out my reading anyway. And yes, I am in a slump right now, as expected.

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A Return

I’m back!! Okay so I got back from holiday last week but this is the first time I’ve gotten on the computer since so hello everyone! I’ve been catching up with all of your blogs and comments (which I admit was a little daunting after not having WiFi for two weeks). I haven’t actually written a blog post for longer than that but thank god for the queue function. Anyway enough intro rambling and onto the main body of rambling.

Before I left we got some DVDs to watch on holiday and I also downloaded some movies off of Amazon prime for the flights. And I just have to ask; do Amazon prime have a deal with Norwegian films? I downloaded four films for the flight and two of them turned out to be Norwegian with English subs. They were both pretty good (shout out to The Shamer’s Daughter which was actually great) and it turns out reading subtitles on a plane really does distract you from the flight. But it would have been nice to be told that they weren’t English before I downloaded them. We also watched John wick while we were there and if you like Die Hard I think you’ll like it. Although, the dog. Maybe don’t watch it if you have a dog.

Photo 26-04-2017, 14 59 27

Speaking of pets; the villa we stayed in had a local hustler. This rather adorable three legged cat that my dad decided to call Tripod. I call him a hustler because he has the loudest meow that I have ever heard. He’d go around the villas in the complex meowing outside doors to get attention and food. But he was so friendly and cute that you couldn’t really blame him.

I took a bit of crochet away with me. A basketweave crochet scarf but I didn’t get very far with it.


I’m just really not feeling it. I think I used a hook that was too small because the fabric is just really dense and not soft or drappey at all. Dad, who the scarf is for, says its fine and it’ll soften more when washed but…. I don’t like it. Which means I’m not really stitching it. But I also HATE frogging something and starting again. As in, I hate it so much I never redo it. So I’m not sure what to do. Keep going and just accept that dad likes it so that’s okay even if I don’t think it is okay. Rip it and start again with a larger hook hoping that that fixes it and that I can find the motivation to redo it or find a different stitch to make him a crochet scarf?

I also want to say that I did good and didn’t buy anything until I got to the airports in the return trips. First up in Lanzarote, I promised myself that I would not buy my friends any more silly little Lanzarote trinkets because I go to the same place every year and they must have shelves overflowing with them by this point. But. I saw some at the airport and they just…. I only bought a couple. Okay. I think that’s an improvement. And then we have the flight from London back to Guernsey (because there are no direct flights) so I ended up in the Hema store at London Stansted like I do EVERYTIME. And it stole my money AGAIN because stationary. I bought some plain notebooks that I’m planning on customising for presents. It wasn’t even my fault, because I wasn’t going in (I’d actually said no when my mum asked me if I wanted to go in) but then my dad wanted to go into another shop and there was no point me just waiting beside the shop and not going in….

So I need to think up some phrases and designs for the covers to cut out of vinyl for them.


I realise this wasn’t really about my time on holiday but there really isn’t much to say there. It was sunny, I ate a lot of yummy food (mainly ice cream and bbqs,….. Biscuits, Popcorn and chocolate too) floated in the pool, read a lot of books, watched some films, still love Lanzarote and generally had a lovely time.

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Birthday Bags Part 3: Mum’s Turn

I made another bag….I’m nothing if not predictable.

When I ordered my quilt fabric at christmas the store had some charm packs on offer, one of them was prefect for my mum so I bought that. I think I mentioned that before but now I’ve finally gotten around to making the bag she requested out of them.

We sat down ages ago and I made her pick which squares she wanted, I took photos then they went away for another couple of months. But her birthday was at the end of April so at the start of the month I realised I should probably get on with it! I bought a black paisley fabric from etsy to match the tone of the other fabrics. My mum doesn’t tend to like dark things (blacks and greys) but I couldn’t think of what else would work with all of the colours. I was going to get a navy blue paisley but this one was on offer for about half the price so this is the one I went with. I think it works out well. I bought two fat quarters worth of it completely blind (I probably should have calculated how much I’d need but I guessed) as it turned out it was just about enough.


This was his much I had left over:

It’s not a lot!

I made sashing for the squares she chose to complete the two front pieces of the bag and also straps out of this fabric. Then I resorted to a bright red poplin fabric I had spare for the lining.

I also had insulated batting spare from when I made my table runner and table mats so I asked if she wanted a normal tote bag or if she wanted an insulated one for shopping and stuff. She said insulated which means I’d need to quilt it a bit. I think that’s why she said that. Anyway here are the two sides of her bag sandwiched and quilted.

I sewed the tops of the front and lining pieces together first with the straps sandwiched in between so there wouldn’t be any visible seams around the top of the bag. I’m not following a pattern of any kind so I was really relieved when I turned it all the right way around and everything was in the right place. I was half expecting to have sewn the handles underneath the lining but it was all good so I then inserted the batting between the top and lining and quilted the three layers together.


I didn’t do much quilting. I only stitched in the ditch around the 9 patch and did a border to hold the edges together while I seamed them. It’s insulated batting so I figured the more holes the less it would work!

Once that was all done I put them back to back and seamed them. I boxed the bottom then neatened the edges and TA DA! An insulated bag for mums birthday.


I’m mega happy with it. I think it’s my favourite bag yet. It was here birthday so she obvisouly also got a card too. I made one with one of her favourite quotes on. Unfotunately my cutter is being a little bit temperamental (I’ve had to take take all my papercut cards down from my shop as it just won’t cut them) which meant that I pretty much cut the whole card by hand with a scalpel (the machine had at least scored the lines so I knew where to cut). That wasn’t fun, but at least it worked and she got a lovely card out of it.


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