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YA Fiction: my guilt pleasure

Looking back at my Goodreads I've read lots and lots of Young Adult (YA) dystopian and fantasy novels this year - often the writing isn't the best but they are easy reads often well paced.

Yesterday I went to see the new Hunger Games movie, the first one is one of the few examples I can think of where the film is better than the book. The new one is also much better and a great set up. It helps that I, along with most of the world, love Jennifer Lawrence. Enders Game was good but most of the others have been a bit lack lustre. I'm looking forward to Divergent (which I'm reading at the moment) the casting again looks good. The films do seem to be attracting better casts - I'm hoping this is because the plots, books & scripts, are getting better rather than the money...

I like that while these books might have a little romance that's not normally the driving force of the plot - although they seem to up this in the films. I don't remember there being that…

Tassels

I've been making tassels to tie back the curtains in my room using this tutorial here
- Note I used a book to make them bigger!

Starting with some in blue and white I've since made some Christmas ones in red and white!




The blue and white I funked up slightly with some pink :)


I will be making these again they are great fun and pretty easy to embellish and customise. Check back later as I have a couple of other crafty Christmas posts planned soon!

Brazil!

Last week I was in Rio for a work conference - luckily we had a couple of days to look around. it was a bit rainy the first few days but even then it's a beautiful city. I'd love to go back and explore properly!

You can see my photos on flickr here




Bellowhead

I went with my parents to see Bellowhead when I was back home last month. Seeing them live is a must - they are superb and have won best live act at the BBC folk awards many times.

There are about 11 members playing a variety of instruments as they play their take on old English folk tunes, ballads and sea shanties. Oh and they have a Christmas single!

http://www.bellowhead.co.uk/










- Sam Sweeny is pretty amazing, playing with the support act he was singing, playing fiddle and the drums all AT THE SAME TIME.

Wimbledon common

I love country walks in the Autumn - the colours and the crisp air. This weekend I went for a short walk through Wimbledon Common up to the windmill and back. 









San Cisco

I blogged about these guys a while back here and finally there album is out! not just that but I went to see them play a couple of weeks ago. They do great pop songs and if this doesn't make you want to dance, well, I'm not sure what will.



They also do a great cover ...

Now on Etsy!

My etsy shop is now online! I have some hair slides and more cushions to be added but so far there's bunting and cushion covers all made by me! If there's anything you'd like to see added please let me know!

5 Youtube shows

I've fallen into a bit of a YouTube pit lately. Do you subscribe to any? Let me know what you think I'd like!

AskMyMomShow

Maria Bamford is amazing - you might know her from Arrested Development S4, you should also check out her stand up (the recording is on Spotify)

Save the Supers! (from My Damn Channel)

I want them to do another series dagnabit!

Schomoho

These aren't that regular sadly

ZeFrank1

Weirdly brilliant/brilliantly weird (sorry the end of this video is so gross - nature sometimes you make me feel ill)

Plus various Vlog brother related shows including Hank and Bernies new Emma adaptation...
PemberlyDigital

JK Rowling, tax and The Casual Vacancy

"I chose to remain a domiciled taxpayer for a couple of reasons. The main one was that I wanted my children to grow up where I grew up, to have proper roots in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain’s; to be citizens, with everything that implies, of a real country, not free-floating ex-pats, living in the limbo of some tax haven and associating only with the children of similarly greedy tax exiles.

A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism. On the available evidence, I suspect that it is Lord Ashcroft’s idea of being a mug."

-…

Crochet flower headband

I went through a phase a couple of weeks ago of making a lot of crochet roses with left over wool. it started when I made some to decorate a gift (they are perfect for this btw and stick easy enough with double sided tape (it will just soak up glue). Now I have a pile and haven't used them for much.

I like the trend for flower crowns but am not confident enough to wear one, plus with the weather changing they don't work as well... here's my Autumn friendly version.

I made two different size roses (one using a 4mm hook and one with a 5mm) using the pattern here.


Hearts joker cushion cover

Cast on to match width of cushion (mine was 72 stitches)
4 rows double rib

Cast off one stitch at beginning of next row
Knit row, purl row until you can cover one side of your cushion

Knit 6 - pattern - knit 4 - pattern - knit 4 - pattern - knit 6
Purl 6 - pattern - purl  4 - pattern - purl  4 - pattern - purl 6 
Repeat to end of pattern 
Knit row Purl row twice (4 rows)
Knit 6 - pattern - knit 4 - pattern - knit 4 - pattern - knit 6
Purl 6 - pattern - purl  4 - pattern - purl  4 - pattern - purl 6 
Repeat to end of pattern 
Knit row Purl row twice (4 rows)
Knit 6 - pattern - knit 4 - pattern - knit 4 - pattern - knit 6
Purl 6 - pattern - purl  4 - pattern - purl  4 - pattern - purl 6 
Repeat to end of pattern 

Knit row, purl row until your work covers the cushion
Add stitch at beginning of next row6 rows double rib - If you would like button wholes cast off 2 stitches where you would like them on the 3rd row and add 2 back in above them on the 4th row.
Cast off

Pin inside out against cushion (remove c…

Watling Street Band

Have I mentioned I'm doing Sober October for Macmillan (sponsor here) - well that posses some problems for a Saturday night out. Luckily being sober isn't a barrier for me dancing when the music's good. We headed to The Old Frizzle to see what was happening - it turned out to be 'London's Original Hillbilly Mockney Pop Trio' the Watling Street Band. They are great fun and had everyone up dancing to their covers of Price Tag, Fresh Prince and Help. Worth checking them out if they are near you.



Sunday crafting

It's so grey and rainy here today - perfect weather for old movies and crafting! I've finally strung up the stars into bunting - which colour scheme's your favourite? 






I'm on a Marilyn kick today - Gentleman Prefer Blondes this morning and How to Marry a Millionaire this afternoon.

Remember this:

Lorde

I heard about Lorde through Hannah Hart's videos (she of My Drunk Kitchen fame) and gave it a listen on Spotify. At the moment they only have her EP in the UK but it's worth a listen. She reminds me of Lana Del Rey but I think I like her a bit more so far - although she's only 16 apparently. Now that makes me feel old.







Sewing and finishing

This weekend I did a lot of sewing in wool ends and sewing labels and buttons on things! Not looking too bad...








More cushions!

I've been working on a few new projects lately look out for patterns in the next few weeks!




Labels and selling

So you may have noticed the new blog design - I hope you like it. I got it from xoSarah's shop. I have been trying to build up and get more professional ready to start selling some of my creations (pretentious?) and you can now find me on facebook as well as the usual.

The most exciting part of this organising has been ordering labels! I don't have a logo or anything like that, so this is from the basic template on GB Labels and Name Tapes. Next I need to sort out business cards which is making me freak out a bit about this getting real. I've never sold anything I've made. They have all been for either me or for gifts. Sometimes my mum will 'commission me' and by that I mean she'll buy the materials and give me some chocolate (family rates).

Watch out for my Etsy shop - coming soon!


Dan Croll

I'm a little obsessed with this song at the moment




I was listening to live lounge covers on YouTube and this one (below) came on and I liked it a lot so search for some of his other songs. They are pretty good - I'm looking forward to hearing the album when it comes out.


Dan Croll







Side note - going by the YouTube comments his songs are used in some popular video games...


Gone Girl

I've had my new kindle for a couple of weeks now and it's going ok. I'm still not sure about the whole touch screen thing (I'm highlighting much less) but I like the light function. The best thing was that kindle seemed to remember where I was in my books so I got to pick up where I left off from Gone Girl.

This book, I don't want to give anything away because it's mean and even if you have no plans of reading the book you might see the forthcoming film. I didn't like any of the characters in this except maybe Nick's sister, so it shows how good the plot is that I kept reading.

Back to the film quickly...the casting looks really good. As the mass hatred of Ben Affleck* shows he has the all american face people want to punch and Neil Patrick Harris as Desi - inspired!



*People need to get over this - I think he'll be a good Batman. People should watch Hollywoodland.

Cake and Bake Show

On Sunday I went to the cake and bake show at Earls Court. It was insanely busy so I mainly walked around taking pictures of some of the amazing cakes! I saw some people from british bake off walking around. I ate A LOT. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Really large colourful meringues

Icing flowers

From the 'cake walk' celebrating fashion



Wedding cakes of the future

Awesome marshmallows (the pear and elderflower was my favourite)

Extra colourful meringues (they do  a gin and tonic flavour)