Wednesday, 31 July 2013

AND exhale.

Well, followers o' mine, this is it. I've done it. I've completed Camp NaNo.

At precisely three fifteen ish (get this reference, I'll love you), I clicked on the little 'wordcount' button on Word ... and saw that my total had come to 20 335. After lunch, excitably phoning my friend and walking the dogs I came back ... and went on to the Camp NaNo website. And then


Now to binge on healthily enjoy the internet. More from me on Friday. VERY MUCH LOVE,

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Art Tuesday: For a Fast Food Lover.

Hey guys! This week for Art Tuesday I am putting up a card tutorial, for a card I made recently for a male friend of mine. It is almost impossible to think of good ideas for cards for boys, but as it so often does, fast food came to the rescue! :D

You will need
A brightly coloured piece of card - mine was A4, because this card has quite a lot of stuff on it and so is pretty big
Some brightly coloured paper
Some patterned/textured papers
Paint - I used mainly acryllics, I think, but anything would work fine
Cartridge/watercolour/art/THICK white paper
Coloured pencils
Red pen
Silver foil

1. Cut rectangles from your brightly coloured paper and one piece of patterned paper and stick them to the card like so.

2. Add some checked paper rectangles at the top. I used one piece of patterned paper and one piece I drew on myself in black pen.
3. Mix a colour of this sort - I used a bit of yellow, red, brown and ochre - roughly, so that it isn't evenly blended.

4. Paint a patch on your thick paper...

5. ...and use scissors to give a textured effect.

6. Do the same with dark brown, red, and green paint, giving each one a different texture.

7. Cut out two buns, a burger and two tomatoes...

8. ...and some lettuce. Use coloured pencils to draw some lines on it.

9.  Paint black marks on the top bun. 

10. Roughly mix some streaky blue paint...

11. ...and paint a patch.
12. While it's drying, draw some onions in blue pencil and fill them in with watery blue paint.

13. Then, draw a spirally oval on your patch of blue paint with the red pen and cut it out.

14. Cut a beaker from red paper/a patch of red paint and paint on a sketchy white logo.

15. Add an oval of white paper, your blue oval (see! It's an energy drink!) and a stripy straw.

16. Cut a circle from coloured paper (I used textured, which works nicely) and paint a lighter circle in the middle. If you accidentally dot some dark blue-green paint on the rim,  cover your mistake by painting a pattern. That, by the way, is totally NOT what I did. ~cough~

17. Paint a patch of golden paint! Note: this is far too much. Everyone loves chips, but not that many!
18. Cut out some chips.

OK, so, you know have all this STUFF!

19. Stick down your burger!

20. Stick down your drink!

21. Stick down your plate of chips! These are what you might call the Big Three.

22. From a piece of white paper, cut out a little carton and stick it down.

23. Add some red paint ketchup, half a chip and a tin foil lid.

24. Add some patterned paper napkins in the corner and a fork and salt cellar cut from white paper.

25. Draw a coffee cup and cut it out.

26. Paint some coffee inside it. Give it a coaster and stick them both down; add a spoon.

26. Paint a rough patch of bluey-pinky-purply paint.

27. Draw a cake case in it with coloured pencil.

28. Cut a cake from your chip paper and paint on some sprinkles. Cut out a cherry and stick it all down.

TA-DAAA!!! The perfect card for a fast food lover!
Hope you like this card tutorial - if you make it, do send me a picture! :D

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Half-a-day reads.

Hey there! Hope you're all fine and dandy. Today I shall be reviewing two books, one old favourite and one new. They each took only half a day to read, and I literally CANNOT RECOMMEND THEM ENOUGH. (But I can try.) 

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
My name is Elizabeth but no one's ever called me that. My father took one look at me when I was born and must have thought I had the face of someone dignified and sad like an old-fashioned queen or a dead person, but what I turned out like is plain, not much there to notice. Even my life so far has been plain. More Daisy than Elizabeth from the word go. 
      But the summer I went to England to stay with my cousins everything changed. Part of that was because of the war, which supposedly changed lots of things, but I can't remember much about life before the war anyway so it doesn't count in my book, which this is
      Mostly everything changed because of Edmond.
      And so here's what happened.

Daisy always been Difficult, Difficult with a capital D. Her mother died when she was very young and her father has now remarried a woman nicknamed 'Davina the Diabolical' by Daisy and her friend Leah. Davina is pregnant and Daisy's father wants to start a new life with her and their baby - and his Difficult teenage daughter, who refuses to eat or make friends, is not part of the plan. So he sends her to England to stay with the aunt and cousins she has never met, and there she meets Osbert, Edmond, Isaac and Piper, with whom she spends the perfect summer - on their idyllic farm in the countryside, the looming threat of WWIII cannot touch them. But no one can stay out of the war's reach forever...

How I Live Now is one of my favourite books ever. I first fell in love with it a few years ago and then about a month ago I was off school "ill". I should have used my day's grace to get done the things that I needed to do, but instead I spent the morning rereading How I Live Now (which I got from the Oxfam bookshop a few months ago), and let me tell you I have no regrets. It is just as I remembered it - absolutely stunning, with a beautiful, winding plot and prose that actually makes me cry. From almost the first page you adore Rosoff's characters and setting, and her writing style is gorgeous. She doesn't use speech marks, but after pretty much the first chapter you stop noticing and it just adds to the book's charm. The funny think about How I Live Now is that it is about, well, incest. But strangely it doesn't seem to matter - Daisy and Edmond are just two teenagers who fall in love and who happen to be cousins. If someone had said to me a few years back, "Hey, Emily, your future favourite book is going to involve incest!" I would've been liked "Whoa no way!" but really that is not the case. As Mark Haddon is quoted on the front cover as saying, How I Live Now is utterly faultless. Now I suggest you go and get a box of tissues because I'm about to share some quotes with you.

I was dying, of course, but then we all are. Every day, in perfect increments, I was dying of loss.

Every war has turning points and every person too.

If you haven't been in a war and are wondering how long it takes to get used to losing everything you think you need or love, I can tell you the answer is no time at all.

[talking about her mother] I sometimes wished someone would just fill me in on the simple boring things like did she have big feet or wear make-up and what was her favourite song and did she like dogs or have a nice voice and what books did she read etc. I made up my mind to ask Aunt Penn some of these questions when she came back from Oslo but I guess what you really want to know are the things you can't ask like Did she have eyes like yours and When you pushed my hair back was that what it feels like to have your mother do it and Did her hands look serious and quiet like yours and Did she ever have a chance to look at me with a complicated expression like the one on your face, and by the way Was she scared to die.

Eventually everyone came out of the water and for hours and hours and hours we lay under the tree and talked and read and occasionally someone got up to throw a stick for the dogs and Piper played with Ding and made tiny woven wreaths of poppies and daisies to decorate his baby horns and Isaac whistled back and forth to a robin and Edmond just lay there smoking and telling me he loved me without saying anything out loud and if there ever was a more perfect day in the history of time it isn't one I've heard about.

(There are a couple of others, beautiful ones, but spoilers. :( )

Rating: 9.8/10 (yes really.) 

Down With Skool by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle

As you will understand if (or should I say WHEN ~hits palm of hand with truncheon~) you read this book, I can't really do the customary extact-from-beginning, so instead, here are some pictures. To give you an idea....
[NOTE: I do not own this image or any of the subsequent ones]

Likewise a summary is preeetty much impossible, so this one will suffice:


That is all.

Rating: 109.8/10

Now then you people, get your bums of those sofas/computer chairs/beds/rocks/mantlepieces/thrones/llamas and go and get your hands on both these books! I don't care HOW you do it! (Not killing anyone in the process is advisable, but if that's what you have to do I support you.)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Art Tuesday: Hermione the Hairy Crab

Hey everyone! How are we all? Here in Scotland the heatwave has finally broken - there was a thunderstorm this morning, with torrential rain and lightning and the whole shebang - but now it is dry again, and brightening. It's still very grey, but I am in a good mood for several reasons:

1. I crested 15 000 on the NaNo novel front yesterday! My plot is veering out of control - to quote Georgia Nicolson, I'm going to have to put my foot down with a firm hand - but, uh, I'm sure I can fix it...':)

2. I'm finally seeing my friend Rose today after what feels like about a million years....yay! There is so much TALKING to be done!

3. And, Art Tuesday is finally starting today! :D

If you're feeling like Mr Waternoose - "hmm, I must've missed the memo!" - then click here for the full rundown on what Art Tuesday actually is.
Now then! PREEESENTING.....

Hermione the Hairy Hermit Crab!

It is almost a year since I drew this but I'm still pretty proud of it so I thought I'd share it with you guys today! In Art last year, when we were doing pattern design, my theme was to do with fishes etc and this was one of my investigation pieces. I don't have any other photos of my stuff but hopefully when I go back to school after the summer (woeful day that will be) I will get it back and be able to show you other pictures such as Nigel Novak the mackerel and Jeremy Howard Stone the pollock. And, uh, maybe some of my actual design stuff too!

Love you,

Sunday, 21 July 2013

If hipsters are hip...

...does that make Liebsters lieb? I like to think so. I like to link I'm pretty lieb. So, I currently have three of this award - one from Abbie, one from Molly and one from Marian. Thanks girls! Now, I'd best get to it. 

Unfortunately I can't do the award from Abbie on account of it was on her old blog and so is now gone forever - but you SHOULD go and follow her new blog, Ruby Slippers in Wonderland! - or the one from Molly because I can't find it anywhere on her blog (where has it goooone?!) but I will be doing the one from Marian!

Now then. Liebster awards. Since my very first, over a year ago, I have received nine of these (twelve now) and so I've not given facts or nominated people since that first one - if I had, you'd now know EVERY SINGLE THING about me and you'd all have been tagged about a billion times (which would have resulted in me being tagged more, which would have become a horrible vicious circle). So, I'll just be answering Marian's questions. :D

1.If you were to be deserted on an island with the choice of three things, what would they be?
Ooh....well....probably a phone (makes sense, no?), a charger (you can't catch me out!) and, um, a library (Is that cheating? I don't think that's cheating.). I'm assuming, by the way, that I have food and water and shelter, or else those'd be my three I guess. 

2. Describe your dream house.
Ooh...tough one...I really have no idea. Apologies! (Except for, I'd like it to be made of zero-calorie chocolate that regrows instantly.)

3. What is your favourite movie?
Ahahahahaha not an answerable question. Well, you asked for it....~rolls up figurative sleeves~

In nooo parTICular order....
Monsters Inc.
Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 (favourite you say? WHO COULD MAKE SUCH A CHOICE?!)
Shrek (the first one)
Chicken Run
Ice Age 1, 2 and 3
and that's the animated ones done
Napoleon Dynamite
Mean Girls
LES MIS (capital letters were necessary, yes they were)
Bend It Like Beckham
About A Boy
She's the Man
Brief Encounter
Julia and Julia
The Devil Wears Prada
In Her Shoes
Miss Congeniality
....and many, many more that I've forgotten!

Ah yes, and Finding Nemo!
4. Do you have any weird habits, fears, talents?
Um...well...I have many weird habits, but I can't call to mind a good example...gah this is always the way, when someone asks me a question I can't think of an answer even when there are lots! >.<

5. What language can you speak?
Me hablo Espanol. LOL JK me hablo no languages except for Good Ol' English.

6. On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you right now?
Ooh...well...I'm typing this on my NEW LAPTOP that I JUST GOT TODAY (I know it won't be til Thursday that you guys see this but, y'know, writing posts in advance like a Smart Blogger) so maybe...8? :D

7. Where's is your favourite place to be?
IN BED I'm not a charity shop? A restaurant? Online? (Sad but true.) Lost in a book?

8. How old are you?
14. (Interesting piece of trivia, I just typed 24 by mistake. WRONG.) I will be 15 en octubre. (See, I do speak Spanish!)

9. Do you have a routine for blogging or do you just write whenever something interesting is on your mind?
I'm all sporadic and awesome, I just whatever but then it all blends into this perfect blog and-- gah who am I kidding? Embarrassing to admit, but I have a schedule. There are posts in the pipeline until August, guys...

10. Any siblings?
Ja. I have a sister and two brothers (one of whom is married, so I also have a sister-by-marriage). Oh, and my two dog sisters :)

11. Choose your favourite name.
Ahahahaha......again, you asked for it.

(Apologies about the last two, couldn't not.)

Love you all,

Friday, 19 July 2013

June: The Best And The Rest

Hello there followers mine! Apologies for upping and leaving you for a week (especially when Art Tuesday was meant to be just getting under way) - I was in Portugal, and I thought I'd get wifi, but no such luck. I did do some writing though - 12 151 is the name of the game in terms of the Camp NaNo novel. As for the holiday, it was gooood - tres hot, but it's like that back here in the UK too! :L I did a lot of sea swimming - 30 feet deep, guys ~brushes shoulders~ - and became a proper pro at the Factor 50 suncreaming. And got a tan. :D

Anyway. We're just going to ignore the fact that it is in fact the 19th of the month and press on with this haul post, which should have posted at the beginning of July but didn't due to Various Things. 

This skirt is from H&M. It's very priddy. (Oh, and don't you like my socks? They're very stylish. I have literally had them for about seven years.)
Look at da priddy pattern :)

And now the books! Let me explain: at my school, you get book tokens for being top, second or third in each subject and I won some shizz, as well as a prize for drawing. In total it came to £78. I was priiiitty pleased.
In Waterstones I levitated towards the shelf marked 'beautiful hardback classics'. I was like "THIS IS THE PLACE FOR ME!"

(In case you haven't guessed, I am a big Jane Austen fan.)

The Count of Monte Cristo (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics Series)
They are so gorgeous with their leather and their gold/silver inlays...and patterned paper on the inside cover. And, the pages of this one are gold edged ^_^
Really, pretty books are a thing of heaven.

And that's all the stuff I bought in June! Stay tuned for more posts in the coming weeks as (hopefully) I get slightly more committed. I try, guys. I do try. Love you,