Thursday, 29 May 2014

May Reads & Reviews

may reads

This month's book selection was, well... varied. With titles covering topics from time travel to selling crafts and trading a simple paperclip into a house! Here's a little more about a couple of the books...

One Red Paperclip, Kyle Macdonald (2008)
Taking place over the course of a year this non-fiction title tells the story of how Kyle managed to trade his way up from a simple red paperclip to a house. Here Kyle writes not just about his own journey but also the shares the stories of those he meets and trades with along the way.
This interesting and enjoyable read was a welcome addition to this month's TBR. Think along the lines of books such as Danny Wallace's Yes Man... but not quite as good! ✯✯✯ 

Legend, Marie Lu (2011)
Dystopian tale Legend follows two fifteen year olds Day and June; one is a prodigy training with the military, the other a wanted criminal. When June's older brother is murdered Day is quickly named the number one suspect and she sets out to find him seeking revenge. Things take a different turn and together they discover some surprising and sinister truths about the country they live in.
This title is the first in a popular series I had been looking forward to catching up with. Although I did quite enjoy it I was a little disappointed and definitely haven't found it to be very memorable. I am however planning to persevere and pick up sequels Prodigy & Champion at some point. ✯✯✯


This month I also read...
  • Handmade Marketplace (2nd Edition)*, Kari Chapin (2014) ✯✯✯✯ - review to follow here next month
  • Unremembered, Jessica Brody (2013) ✯✯
  • We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (2014) ✯✯✯
  • Trapped, Michael Northrop (2011) ✯✯

Reviews posted this month...
Books marked with a * c/o Netgalley | Images via goodreads.com

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Watching In May...

watching in may

A little while ago I tried out a new post style sharing Netflix recommendations however with the catalogue always changing and the fact that I recently bought a Now TV box I decided it wasn't going to work out. Instead I'm going to try and write a monthly roundup in a similar format to my 'Reads & Reviews' posts. In these new monthly installments I'll be sharing thoughts on some of the TV/film I've watched over the month, so to kick off the series here's a little bit more on the three TV shows I caught up with in May...

Castle (Seasons 3, 4 & 5, 2011-13)
ABC drama Castle follows famous author Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) as he joins the NYPD to research for a new series of crime-based books. There he meets Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and with the combination of his 'crazy author theories' and her police background together they solve crimes.
I first started watching Castle only last month when I saw that 2 seasons were available on Netflix. I instantly took to what seemed to me at first to be a very Bones-esque format and fell in love with the characters and concept. I love the crime solving element of the show too. Several binge-watched seasons in I still love the format and characters - Castle is definitely another one to add to the favourites list! ✯✯✯✯✯

Once Upon A Time (Season 1, 2011)
Thanks to a curse a whole host of well known fairy tale and classic story characters are stuck in the modern day world not knowing who they really are. Emma's (Jennifer Morrison) life is turned upside down when the son she gave up for adoption ten years ago turns up on her doorstep and takes her to Storybrooke, the town where the characters now all live. Emma soon finds out she is the daughter of Snow White and the only person who can break the curse and help the characters to remember who they really are.
Despite briefly trying to watch Once Upon A Time when it first aired in UK I wasn't instantly taken by it and quickly gave up but when I saw it was available on Now TV catchup I decided to give it another chance. Although this time I did make my way through a whole season I'm still not completely won over by it. The basic concept is a really interesting one and I did enjoy some parts but I found that it was a bit hit and miss depending on which character's backstory was being told in the episode (some were definitely more interesting than others). I'll probably marathon season two sometime, but as yet I'm not sure I'd tune in weekly for the new episodes. ✯✯✯

No Ordinary Family (Season 1, 2010)
This short-lived TV series (available to watch on Netflix UK) follows the Powell family who get super powers after a plane crash. Dad Jim (Michael Chiklis) gains super strength, mum Stephanie (Julie Benz) becomes super fast, daughter Daphne (Kay Panabaker) can read minds and son JJ (Jimmy Bennett) is now a super genius. The family soon find out that they aren't the only 'supers' in town however they are the only ones who weren't given powers on purpose and don't have to use an injectable serum to keep them.
Although No Ordinary Family, which was cancelled after just one season, and isn't the best show in the world it did offer something a little bit different which I actually really enjoyed. Unfortunately due to being cancelled the ending wasn't particularly satisfying as we don't get to find out what happens to the family next. I can't deny it was pretty over the top at times but I'd recommend giving it a watch if you've already done to death the more well-known titles on Netflix! ✯✯✯

What did you watch in May?
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Sunday, 25 May 2014

A DIY Catch Up...

jelly roll quilt
terrarium necklace
patchwork skull
monopoly bunting flags
hobbit purse
scrap cards

Today I thought I would share a few snippets of some of the projects I've been working on recently. Although I've really been throwing myself into the whole sewing thing (I even purchased a backpack sewing pattern this week!) I've also found the time to add a few new jewellery pieces to my Etsy store alogside thinking up new textile product ideas for an upcoming sawyerandscout.com relaunch. Here's a few details on the projects shown above...

1. Jelly Roll Quilt Top - although I haven't made a huge amount of progress on my first quilt I did use my Windsor Lane junior jelly roll to have a go at this popular quilt top technique which is both quick and easy to do - perfect for quilting or patchwork beginners!

2. Bottled Terrarium Necklaces - after recently adorning my workspace's windowsill with two DIY terrariums I was inspired to put together this cute new glass bottle necklace design, pairing dried moss with gemstones and faux coal for a wearable terrarium you don't have to water! As of yesterday these are available to buy in my Etsy shop :)

3. Patchwork Wall Hanging - this was the project I had originally planned to share with you today but it still needs a little tweak before I do. One day this week I wanted to get sewing but had no idea what to actually make, so I dug out a potential quilt design I had drawn up earlier in the year and scaled it down and made a quirky wall hanging - I'll share more of this one in a future post!

4. Monopoly Bunting Necklaces - I found these Monopoly notes in an old ice cream tub full of board game bits and pieces and knew they would be perfect for a bunting necklace design! The first one is finished and available to buy from my Etsy store, but as each one is completely unique I'll definitely be making more soon!

5. Hobbit Coin Purse - I made this upcycled piece a few weeks ago and was really pleased with how it turned out. This cute and geeky coin purse was made using paper from an old and falling apart copy of The Hobbit! I'm considering using this upcycle idea for some new shop products - what do you think?

6. More Scrap Cards - I shared a tutorial for these a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying making a few more since then! I love how easy they are to make and how effective the end result is. Plus, the colour and pattern combinations are endless!

What have you been making recently?
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Sunday, 18 May 2014

DIY Teardrop Earrings (Inspired By Hart Of Dixie!)

diy teardrop earrings 1

Today's jewellery project was inspired by a pair of earrings recently worn on Hart Of Dixie by character Annabeth Nass (Kaitlyn Black). When I saw this pair of earrings I really liked the idea of using a statement bead on a more delicate wire hoop and decided to create my own version. Instead of the oval shape and large gemstone style beads found in the original design I opted for a teardrop shape and some statement beads. Here's the step-by-step...

diy teardrop earrings 2
diy teardrop earrings 3
diy teardrop earrings 4
diy teardrop earrings 5 
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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Rabbit Awareness Week

rabbit awareness week sawyer and squidge

This week (May 10-18th) is Rabbit Awareness Week where veterinary surgeries across the country offer free checkups and important advice on caring for rabbits properly. From vaccinations to a healthy diet, space to run and quality time spent with their owners, free advice is available to make sure your rabbits stay healthy and happy.

If you want to learn more about owning and caring for rabbits visit the official website for Rabbit Awareness Week where you can find lots of useful tips and information.

*Logo image via mypetonline.co.uk
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Sunday, 11 May 2014

DIY - Turn Fabric Scraps Into Pretty Cards!

diy scraps card 1

As I've been sewing a lot more recently my pile of fabric scraps is growing fast. Back in March I posted a tutorial on how to turn scraps into tassel necklaces and today I have another upcycle project to use up those fabric scraps! With just a few supplies and 10 minutes of your time you can turn them into unusual eye-catching cards, here's how it's done...

You will need: fabric scraps, blank cards, a glue stick & a sewing machine

diy scraps card 4

1. Lay out strips of fabric onto your card, trying out different combinations until you are happy with the design

2. Take your glue stick and use it to keep the fabric pieces in place on the front of the card

diy scraps card 5

3. Place your card under the sewing machine foot and use a variety of different zig zag stitches to sew along where the edges of the fabric strips meet. This not only helps to keep the pieces in place but also adds texture and pattern to your design

diy scraps card 9

4. Trim off the ends of the fabric strips and any excess threads on both sides of the card and you're done!

Personally I quite like how the reverse side of the card looks with the different stitches however if you want to create a neater finish you can glue a piece of paper on the inside of the card to cover the back of the stitching

diy scraps card 7

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Photo Diary: 30/4/14

DSC06725
DSC06724

The (un-edited) colours in these photographs just looked too pretty not to share...
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Sunday, 4 May 2014

DIY Bright Beaded Necklace

summer necklace

Today's DIY was one of those 'happy craft accidents' where messing around with a few beads turned into a fun and colourful project! I've had these brightly coloured beads floating around in one of my craft boxes for years now and recently I have been attempting to use up some of my supplies so I thought I'd dig them out. The gold chain is another craft item that doesn't get a whole lot of use as over at Sawyer & Scout I prefer to hang pendants on bronze-tone chain. Put the two unloved items together and they compliment each other well for this bold, summer-inspired necklace! Here's the step-by-step...

To make your own version you will need chain, clasp findings, headpins, beads & jewellery pliers

1. First up if you don't have an already assembled chain you will need to cut a length (mine measures 20") and then add on your clasp. Once your chain is done it's time to create the charms

2. To create the little bead charms thread one large seed bead and one round bead onto a headpin. Bend the wire using your pliers and then roll up using round-nosed pliers to create a hanging loop. Continue this process until you have created as many charms as you would like for your necklace

3. To attach a charm onto the chain simply take your pliers, carefully open up the loop you created earlier and thread on the chain. Use your pliers to close up the loop around the chain and repeat for each charm

summer necklace

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hash tag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Friday, 2 May 2014

DIY Inspiration - Embellished & Statement Collars (As Worn On Hart Of Dixie)

Today's post is all about making a statement and was inspired by some of the looks worn during season three of Hart Of Dixie. Several recent pieces sported on the show by Jamie King have featured embellished collars and necklines from the boldly bejewelled to the more classic crochet, whilst Rachel Bilson's wardrobe has showcased both oversized and contrasting collars. Supporting cast members including Kaitlyn Black and Claudia Lee have also been seen wearing the look in a much sparklier way. Most of the pieces also carry designer labels but there's definitely some more affordable and DIY-able ideas amongst the selection! Here's a few of the featured pieces to perhaps inspire your next project...

style insp hart of dixie collars

 
Font used: Jenna Sue | Original designer pieces found via wornontv.net

Which look is your favourite?
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