Thursday, 27 February 2014

Things I Loved this Month, February 2014.

This month I've loved...

* exciting post - Sarra Manning book, Eddi Reader CD (signed, yey!), dresses off Ebay, Doctor Who DVDs * putting my crochet bunting up * lie ins * skyping * watching Revenge of the Nerds, Call the Midwife, Doctor Who (we've just finished series 2), My Mad Fat Diary  * bed + hot water bottle * Looking after my little niece, she is soo cute and smiley, and this last month she has learned to crawl, pull herself up to standing and had grown two teeth, we had a bit of a wobble when she became terrified of my boy's beard, but now she's discovered she can pull it she's all good * real fire place in the pub * haircut * lentil burgers * hugs * crochet * watercolour paints * lush bath * I would have been one of those smug people on Valentines Day, but I had a horrible sickness bug, it was bad, I didn't eat or drink for about 2 days.  I had a nice card and presents though and we managed to go out for about an hour (we had tickets for a thing called The Electro Swing Ball, which would have been amazing if I hadn't been ill, everyone was in vintage dresses, there was a swing dance lesson, burlesque and a great band) before wobbling home and going back to sleep!  It was nice to spend the evening with my boy, but it would have been nicer if I hadn't have been sick on my first Valentines Day with a boyfriend for at least a decade! * broccoli pasta * daffodils, snowdrops and pink polyanthus * vegan millionares shortbread * buying a 70's tray and a glass bowl shaped like an apple in the charity shop * Wetherspoon's chips * 

I hope you have had a lovely month too!?

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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Library Love. The Midnight Dress, Prep, Stitches, It Felt Like a Kiss. #readwomen2014

This month I've been reading....

The Midnight Dress - Karen Foxlee
This is a YA book, but reads more like adult fiction somehow.  I really loved this, set in Australia around the lives of two teen girls, adventures in the rainforest, sewing a dress with a 'witch' lady and a murder.  Two parallel stories run through the book.  One tells the story from the end, you find out one of the girls is dead and it runs backwards, the other plot line runs forwards.  The sub-plot line of the witchy lady's life is interesting too.  

Prep - Curtis Sittenfeld
This is a book for adults about teenagers at a private school in America.  Sittenfeld perfectly captured the excruciating awkwardness of being a teenager.  The main character is sooo self conscious and awkward, I was an extremely awkward teenager, so I really related to her.  Really good.

Stitches - David Small
This graphic novel is the story of the authors childhood.  His family is on the dysfunctional side and he awakes from an operation to find his vocal chords damaged so he cannot speak.  It has excellent illustrations and has a hopeful ending despite dark beginnings. 

It Felt Like a Kiss - Sarra Manning
I buy and read every Sarra Manning book as soon as it comes out, it started when she used to write in J17 magazine, I'm hooked.  I didn't like this book as much as some of her others.  It was a really slow start, but about half way through I got really into it, and stayed up late reading till the end.  I loved the quirky mix of characters, I found the subject matter a bit hard to deal with for personal reasons (Dad-issues are a bit close to home for me, and resulted in a sobathon at one point, I suppose that's a sign that it was well written though!), but overall I enjoyed it.  I can't wait for her next book to be out in May!

This year is the year of reading women, there's something going on on Twitter called #readwomen2014.  I think I read books written by women most of the time anyway, but it's fun to support this campaign and literature written by ladies.

What have you been reading? 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Going Low 'poo, Weeks 3 to 4.

Here's an update on my low 'poo adventures.  You can see the start of my no hair washing experiment here.

Week 3 - I upped the amount I brushed my hair and it seemed a bit happier.  It was actually quite shiny.  It looked most unhappy when I just wake up, I move about quite a lot in bed and I wake up with it matted and in crazy shapes every morning which take a bit of brushing out.  I seem to have less dandruff, which I used to have quite often before.

Week 4 - It's greasy again this week, which I think was caused by my using a bit of my lush solid conditioner bar on my hair.  It was a bit dry and fly-away so I thought the conditioner would help, apparently my hair disagrees.  I have only washed it one other time this week, with the solid shampoo and vinegar.  As the week went on, with lots of brushing, it felt less greasy.  It was really straight after not getting wet and bring brushed a lot, so I started dipping my brush in water while I was brushing it, which seems to have brought some curliness and bounciness back to my hair.  Yey!

It seems to be getting a bit better.  Brushing it often seems to be the key.  I shall update you again in a few weeks.

Has anyone else tried this?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Simple Pleasures #2.

Snow!  Yesterday morning the rain turned into snow, settled, then melted away by lunchtime.  So pretty.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Charity Shopping, Hornsea Deer, Pink Poodle, Bunny Egg Cup.

My most recent treasures!

Hornsea deer vase, £2, charity shop.

Pink poodle barometer thingy.  I want to take the barometer out and put a tiny clock in the space instead.  50p, charity shop.

Bunny egg cup.  I don't know why.  I don't even eat eggs. 20p, charity shop.  

Have you found anything good lately?

Linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

How to Make a Studio Ghibli Soot Sprite Pom Pom, for Valentines Day.

My boy and I both like Studio Ghibli, so I decided to make him a funny, cute little Soot Sprite for Valentines Day.

You will need...

Pom pom 
Felt (white, black and whatever colour you want your heart to be)
Embroidery thread
Black pipe cleaner

In case you didn't know, this is what we're making.  Except our Soot Sprite will be holding a love heart instead of stars, to be cute and valentines-y.  Soot Sprites are in the Studio Ghibli films Sprited Away and My Neighbour Totoro.

Start by making a pom pom.  You can do this the traditional way with black yarn and 2 rings of card, use a pom pom maker (I just bought a clover pom pom maker which is super!) or use a pre-made pom pom.

Thread the pipe cleaner through the middle of the pom pom, give it a wiggle, it should go through.  These are the arms.  Give the pipe cleaner a trim if the soot sprite looks like it has really long arms!

Cut out 2 white ovals from the white felt, for eyes and two tiny dots from the black felt for pupils.  Stick them together and then stick onto the front of the pom pom.  It might help to use the end of a pin or something similar to apply the glue, it's a bit fiddly!

Cut out 2 tiny hearts from the coloured felt, sew them together with the embroidery thread.  You can make a star for your soot sprite to hold too, if you want.

Stick your shapes onto the end of the soot sprite's pipe cleaner arms.  You can do this by pushing the pipe cleaner into a gap in between your stitching.  Or by gluing them on.  I just pushed them onto the pipe cleaners, so they're removable.

Out-take photo, just 'cause I think it's cute!

Have you made any presents for Valentines Day this year?

Featured on Tangled Happy.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Granny Triangle Crochet Bunting.

I've been busy making some colourful crochet bunting to brighten up my home.  I used the lovely free pattern from Attic 24.  These granny triangle bunting's work up quickly, I used DK yarn, in all sorts of colours from my stash, a 4mm hook and did 4 rounds in each triangle.  I joined them all together with a quick chain and then my bunting was ready to go.

And the perfect place to put my crochet granny triangle bunting?

Outside my front door, of course!

I love it!

This is what I'm actually supposed to be working on, an Attic 24 granny stripe blanket.  It's a surprise present for a friend, so I won't show you it again, until it's finished and given, just in case she sees it.  I'm enjoying making it, but it seems to be taking a while, so I cheer myself up with some little projects along the way.

What are you making at the moment?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Easy Green Actions, February 2014.

Here's this month's list of simple online actions that have an impact on our world...

Sign this online petition, to ask Brazilian lawmakers to uphold a ban on big seed companies being able to supply Brazilian farmers with 'terminator seeds' - seeds that produce infertile fruits, so farmers are bound to buy these genetically modified seeds each time they want to produce a crop.

Sign Greenpeace's petition, asking big clothing companies to stop using harmful chemicals in dyes and printing inks while making garments. 

Sign this petition to ask pesticide manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta to drop a lawsuit, suing Europe for banning bee-killing pesticides.

Join in with the Plastic Polution Coalition's campaign to Resolve to Refuse single use plastics in 2014.

If you have any causes or actions to add then let me know in the comments and if I like it I'll add it in.  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like - if you sign any of the petitions and use social media then please consider using the share on facebook or twitter options that pop up, it increases the reach of these actions and awareness of these issues even further.