Monday, 21 March 2011

Lounger with a view


This was the glorious view from my lounger where for the last ten days I've done lots of reading. Lots of reading......including:

Human Croquet and Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. If you haven't read any of her books I urge you to try them. I haven't finished the second one yet but very enjoyable so far.

Lustrum by Robert Harris. Not my favourite of his books and certainly not as enjoyable as Pompeii but found in the library on holiday so thought I'd take the opportunity to read it.

The Immortals:Evermore by Alyson Noel. Another found in the library and consumed in a day a bit of a guilty pleasure it being one of those teenage goth/vampire type books (although they're not vampires). Great fun. The little library/bookshelves set up on holiday are a great way to find your next favourite author. The Maldives is where Kathy Reichs and I first got acquainted.

Not forgetting my two book night freebies......

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes. As I've found with all of her books I've read very entertaining. The story features Rachel who is a recovering drug addict which although sounds a bit depressing the book isn't at all.

Unfortunately or fortunately I don't have this book to give away as it plucked from my grasp by one of the staff on holiday. I had just finished reading it and was on my way to get another when I heard a cry of 'Hi sweetie have you finished with that book........oh is it Marian Keyes I've heard of her?' She had such a look of excitement on her face how could I say no? Afterall that is the point of World Book Night and now Rachel's Holiday is doing the rounds in Antigua. I just hope she isn't offended by sex and bad language.

Which brings me on to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I had no idea about this book so came to it with an open mind. It had rave reviews and there were bits of it that I really enjoyed and there were bits of it that I just I could quite easily put the book down and not gone any further. But I am one of those people that once I've started reading a book I have to finish. The book features six stories that all interlock and is quite cleverly written. Spookily I have a birth mark just like the one described in the book (it will make more sense if you read the book, Sarah you'll know what I mean). The bits I liked best were the science fiction of the future in An Orison of Sonmi - 451, a really interesting and quite scary view of what the future could hold. I could have read a whole book of Half-Lives - The First Luisa Rey Mystery and The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish had me laughing. Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After drove me to distraction and  probably only a stiff G&T got me through it.

If you would like to read my slightly used well travelled copy of Cloud Atlas and be a part of the celebration of reading please leave me a comment and I'll make a random draw. All I ask is that you register when you have read it and pass it on to someone  too.

So, to give me time to make my own registration I'll leave this open until Midnight next Monday 28 March and I'll announce the next owner later that week.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Something Found and a Card

Hi. If you are a crafter then you are probably the same as me and can't pass up an opportunity to use something 'found' in your crafting. My enthusiasm has sometimes prompted some strange looks from my nearest and dearest when I've come across something that I know will be perfect for a project. So imagine my other halves suprise when I wrestled these labels out of his hands from his newly bought T-shirt before they ended up in the recycling bin. I would just like to say he wouldn't give me the spare buttons how ever much I begged but I don't think he'll be the one sewing them on should the need arise!
 The labels have a great bit of texture and I can see them appearing in a collage some time soon which leads me on to the Toast 'small book' which was junk mail in a magazine and has already made an appearance in the background of this birthday card I made for a 40th birthday.
To accompany the card I made a present evening bag in black velvet.

I hope she liked it!

Monday, 14 March 2011

A Monthly Make

Hi, can you believe it's March already? Time for another Monthly Make. When Annie first set up the challenge she suggested that March was the month that we would make 'Stanleys' from the pattern she very kindly sent. So meet my Stanley. If you are a Cath Kidston fan you'll already be familiar with Stanley.
I went for a traditional kind of colourway and gave him a tartan collar.

Stanley is popular in our household as you can tell by the cushion I had already made.

...and I don't think he'll be the last Stanley I make.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Are you a reader?

If the answer is 'yes' then you probably know that tonight is world book night. The BBC has been celebrating all things books with their Free Your Imagination campaign. The image that has been used as part of the campaign has inspired a creative project of mine but more of that soon.
World book night will see a million books being given away for free - did you get one or did you apply to be one of the 20,000 people giving away one of the titles chosen?

I have been lucky enough to receive two of the books, what are the chances of that? No I'm not going to work it out but I have to say as a reader it made my day.
I'm going to register my books and once I've read them pass them on because that is what world book night is all about, letting someone else discover a book that you have enjoyed. I'm sorry to say that in the excitement of finding someone giving away one of the books I didn't give the poor man with Cloud Atlas a chance to tell me anything about it.

So I'll check back soon to let you know what I thought of each of them and give someone else a chance to  read them.

If you too like books be sure to visit Sian at High in the Sky and take part in Pass the Book where every month Sian chooses a book and very kindly gives someone else a chance to own the book for a month before they too pass it on. Visit the link to read all about it and how to take part.

Happy reading

Friday, 4 March 2011

More She Art

Hi, time to show you the other two backgrounds with their addition of a She Art girl.
This girl was added to the paper background and has wings. I think she merges with the background a bit too much and her neck is too long but pretty sweet all the same. I had a go at a different hairstyle with her too.

This girl has the painted background with the addition of punched kraft butterflies. Her hairstyle seems pretty similar to my first one maybe that will just be my 'style'. Unfortunately because my mod podge is the lustre type it has a reflection from the flash.

I feel quite proud of what I've achieved this week. I hand cut all the girls and their outfits 'freestyle' no templates involved. It's quite liberating making it up as you go along.

Let's see what next week brings.......

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Getting creatively messy


This week marked the start of the She Art workshop taught by Christy Tomlinson. I signed up  after thinking about it for ..........mmmmmm let me see all of five minutes. Apart from the very reasonable cost it looked like just my kind of thing. If you missed it this time round you can still sign up for the next workshop being launched on 11th April. If you like mixed media or just getting messy this could be for you.

In the class the techniques are taught on canvases but I had some mount board offcuts that I'd had lying around for a while so I thought I'd start on those and if I mucked up well it doesn't matter, it's all a learning experience.

This is my first attempt and I used old book pages as the background and created a bit of texture with a doily. The little trees you may be able to see is in fact printed toilet paper. I used some pearlescent medium on this one which gives a slight shimmer.
The next one was created using only paint. I added some butterflies punched from some kraft paper used as packing in a parcel and I think using bubble wrap could turn out to be one of my favourite techniques. Whenever I use paint I always seem to choose this bright pink/red colour combination.
The last uses scrapbooking paper as the background which is toned down using paint and stamps. I literally just went to my scraps drawer and pulled out what was to hand.
Finally this is my very first attempt at a She Art Girl. 
 As the first week is not yet finished and there are another two weeks to go I may well be boring you with more of my it could get addictive.