From Titans To Trash – I Love Them All!

Morning kitty cats! I expect that very soon there will be thousands of english lit. students cramming facts on this years set books. To me this force feeding of literature is the opposite of what reading should be. We should meander through books, changing subjects according to mood and how much attention we can give to reading in that moment.

Let me illustrate with a wander of the titles on my Kindle:

First and definitely in the titan category………..

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This is a stunningly written, decadent tale of a couple whose fragile marriage is kept afloat by their reckless spending. Rich with the kind of detail that creates the most wonderful images in your head, I can’t wait for it to be turned into a Baz Luhrmann film like the Great Gatsby ( and if you haven’t seen it you are excused to go and watch it).

Next a really modern tale that will make you look at your iPhone differently………

225x225bb This is a subtle, threatening book about a girl that lands her dream job with a tech company that has designs on managing every aspect of your life and I mean every aspect…. Soon to be released as a film with Emma Watson watch out for the shock ending.

I also occasionally feel the need to understand an issue better, this is why I downloaded this…

 

Radical, by Maajid Nawaz, this is a true story, brutally honest account of how an ordinary english boy joined a radical islamist group. He also details how he came out the other side, in these troubled times I felt like I needed to understand the process of radicalisation better and this book really does give you an insight.

Sometimes great literature can be as easy to read as a gossip column……

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L’assommoir by Emile Zola is just such a book, based around the cheap liqour bars that bear this name (it means to stun or knock out in french). The heroine Gervaise struggles her way out of poverty to open a laundry shop, only to see all her efforts gradually wasted by her alcoholic husband. The characters are so vivid you quickly become Team Gervaise and try and will her to succeed.

Finally, a book that I haven’t finished…….

HighRise(1stEd)

High rise by JG Balllard, I downloaded this as I saw a trailer for the film but couldn’t stay up to watch it. So far it has been fascinating, set in a luxury tower block, it chronicles the residents descent into anarchy. I am half way through and can’t imagine how it will end!

And just in case you think I only read serious books I have a number of these…

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Fun and full of desciptions of amazing shopping trips, they are made for me!

I am taking next week off as I have a big craft fair to prepare for, I’m attending the Paper Daisy Events Easter Boutique Market at the Bright helm Centre In Brighton. Please pop along and say hello if you are local.

I will return the week after with Tricky Trends and How To Wear Them!

Kisses

Karen xxxxxx

 

12 Days Of Crafting Fa la la !

Good Morning Darcey’s Angels! These last couple of weeks of November are a funny old time at WDS HQ, what begins as the most joyful of months with serious crafting for Christmas well underway, by the last week things are getting a bit ” if I see another sprig of holly I’m going postal”. 

At this point I have two commissions to finish and by next weekend all Christmas crafting will be done, I will breathe a sigh of relief and turn my attention to what I am going to do in the 2 weeks I’m going to take off, and of course the answer is crafting! Here are the projects I would like to get done:

First the gloves to match the scarf I made a while ago……


This Louisa Harding pattern from Knits From An English Rose is so pretty …and so difficult! It features lace and cables but is totally worth it knitted in Louisa’s Amitola yarn.

New scarf and gloves requires a new hat……


This from an ages old Rowan book all patterns are knitted in their Big Wool, I’ve got a  lovely caramel ball winging its way to me.

I’ve been dying to do this from Mollie Makes…….


I won’t be building my own loom ( the magazine  contains full instructions) I will be using one from my childhood that has hidden away for years!

I hope to get round to using these waterproof fabrics…..


I think I will make some make up bags with them.

Finally I have decided to pick up jewellery making again and I will be polishing my techniques with the aid of this book….


I really want to make these…….


Obviously I will show you what gets made in the New Year!

Have a super week

Kisses

Karen

Practically Imperfect!

Morning loves! those that know me will tell you I am an all or nothing kind of gal, never reads the instructions, still hasn’t read the manual to her car, and if I can’t do it perfectly the first time, chances are there won’t be a second time! But lately I have been gripped by the need to learn something… I really want to be able to draw Manga which is a Japanese form of comic illustration, and more specifically the kawaii form which is the cutest, so my lovely hubby bought me this book…..

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It is a great book that details the actually quite complex rules to making cute drawings, so I had my first go………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Hmmmm, drawing was very close to the tutorial but my usual felt tips were no good for the pastel palette used by manga artists.

Second attempt…………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Ok, now we are talking, these were done with my Inktense pencils, and it was a much better result, although my daughter says the sushi looks like Hitler!

Now carried away with my success, I decided to apply the Kawaii technique to Milo and Darcey……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

This is a mixed result, I love the Darcey but the placement of ears and eyes have made poor Milo look like a cat/dog hybrid!

I shall keep practicing as I can see that this might be a business oppurtunity for me, as my hands are so bad at the moment, big pictures are proving very tricky but these little folk only take a few minutes.

I would also like to try out Moe, the more detailed, very feminine pictures that most people associate with manga.

In other news I have started my Dolce and Gabbana inspired bag plans, remember this?….

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I have decide to not make a top handled one like this but a backpack which will be more useful for me and I have ordered this yarn……..

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I will then make some flowers and hopefully source some sparkles for it!

Is there anything that you feel the need to learn? have you acquired a new skill recently? id love to hear of your successes, have a super week whatever you are up to.

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

 

To Hack Or Not To Hack ?

Hello my darlings! well I’m off the steroids and will be starting my medication this Friday so we are nearly returned to normal service! In the past when I have been this ill I would be in front of the telly and not moving, but thats not how we roll anymore, so I’ve spent this week doing some up cycling with clever little hacks (all gathered from my VAST collection of crafting magazines).

I have had a total thing for these parkas for some time….

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Believe it or not the originals retail for £3,500! I knew I didn’t want fur lining, trust me that this body needs no more padding 😉 but I did really like the coloured fur on the hood, so I dug out an issue of Simply Crochet and unpicked the original fur, which was handily on a zip…..

I then followed that pattern using King Cole Luxe Fur………

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And reinserted the folded over fur into the zip, read to the end of this post for the big reveal!

Of course you then start looking through other back issues and there was a lovely quick fix for a denim jacket, I first dyed my acid wash jacket a powder pink…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

This turned it a lovely mix of pink and pale blue, then for the little bit of glitz……

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Then it got sewn to the back and….you have to wait until the end!

I was really ready to upcycle anything that didn’t move by this point! I started to think that my plain black satin bomber jacket could do with something glittery, I popped online to http://www.josyrose.com and bought these……….

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But I didn’t… they were a little too sparkly and actually too small.

So who’s ready for the big reveal? how this for arty styling….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

So a week on steroids certainly saw me get some stuff done including these…….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Possibly the worlds most impractical baby socks ever but damn! they are cute.

These last few months have been a little tricky in terms of getting stuff done and it prompted some thought of what we can achieve at WDS HQ, let me just give you something to think about- I’ve bought a book on handbag design……….

Have a luscious week

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

This Week I’ve Mainly Been….

Hiya kitty cats! who here remembers the Fast Show? there was that character that used to emerge from his shed all scruffy and say something daft like “this week I have mainly been modelling in Milan”. Well, heres my “this week I have mainly been” …..

I have been wearing Autograph by Marks and Spencer all in one nail varnish……….

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It has been an absolute miracle, formulated with argan oil and vitamin E, it is base coat colour and top coat all in one! perfect for straight from work glamour or when the perfect mum invites you for coffee after school run! heres a picture of my nails 3 days in…..

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Try and ignore the Arthritic fingers, the nails are just losing a little colour on the edge, but for a dark colour I think its great!

I have also been reading this……..

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I was transfixed by the television series and thought I would give it another go after failing to finish it the first time. I’m pleased to say that I’m finding it great the second time around.

I have been enjoying Hyacinths……

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The smell that fills the house , their delicate blue colour and its just happy coincidence that these plus my lump of rose quartz are the Pantone colours of the year- Serenity and Rose Quartz.

On the subject of quartz, I’ve also been reading this……….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

As conventional medicine is not exactly my friend at the moment, I thought this would be a harmless bit of research. Besides crystals are nice to have around the house!

I have been also deliriously happy with this foundation…….

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This is Tarte foundation (no sniggering), not routinely available in the UK I picked this up at QVC, it is marvellous, non drying for my sahara like skin and not aggravating to its Methotrexate sensitivity. Its not cheap, the set above-foundation,concealer and dual brush cost around £30 but you use such a little amount I’m hoping its going to prove economic.

Its my avowed intention to get the sewing machine out this week so wish me luck!

Have a great week

Kisses

Karen