Thursday, 31 December 2015

My Year In Books

star jar 2015

Having decided against taking part in the annual Goodreads challenge this year and with no set goal in mind when it came to total number of books I've been happily making my way through as many titles as I could find the time for, keeping track of them using my star jar. This week finally saw the time for me to count up all of the stars and find out just how many books I read over the last twelve months, and the jar revealed that I have read a grand total of sixty-four!

I finished series such as the Unwind Dystology (Neal Shusterman) and the Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer) and discovered new authors like Morgan Matson and Abigail Haas, whose future works I'm already looking forward to. Thanks to picking up a few more graphic novels I also got to see some of my favourite TV/film characters such as Edward Scissorhands and the Saved By The Bell gang in a new format.

I also managed to find some new favourites, giving out five star ratings to three titles; Dangerous Girls (Abigail Haas, 2013), The Bookshop Book (Jen Campbell, 2015) and Armada (Ernest Cline, 2015). Of course, these three all made their way onto my top five of 2015 but if you'd like to see which other two books made the list you can head on over to Blogger's Bookshelf and take a peek at our latest group collaboration.

In addition I completed my small reading goal for the year (albeit just a few days ago, when I finished my second read of The Lying Game) meaning that five of the sixty-four titles were re-reads, all of which I really enjoyed revisiting. Five re-reads is five more than I'd manged to find time for over the last couple of years so I'm pretty pleased with the result.

What were your favourite reads of the year?

Thursday, 24 December 2015

2015 Re-Read Challenge #4 - Dangerous Girls, Abigail Haas (2013)

"Wouldn't we all look guilty if someone searched hard enough?"

Despite getting off to a good start on this challenge I managed to go six months in between my third and fourth re-reads! Book number four was Abigail Haas' YA thriller Dangerous Girls which tells the story of a holiday gone wrong when Elise's body is found and best friend Anna is accused of the murder. You can find my original review over on Blogger's Bookshelf if you missed it!

I only read this book for the first time back in May this year but it quickly made it's way onto my list of favourites and having originally picked up the Kindle version I was keen to add a paperback copy to my collection. As the book includes not just straightforward chapters, but also transcripts, text messages etc, I was keen to see how it would read in the original format. I enjoyed the book just as much the second time around, and knowing how the story ends, was on the lookout for any sneaky clues I had missed on the first read. I'm glad I found time to revisit Dangerous Girls as part of this challenge and if I had to pick just one favourite read of 2015, this would be it.

Don't forget to catch up on my previous re-read of the challenge; The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy & Other Stories!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

#paperhaul: featured - Eleanor Carter

paperhaul eleanor carter2
paperhaul eleanor carter1
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount 

Once again the team behind #paperhaul have delivered something a little different with this month's box designed by Eleanor Carter. As usual its full of beautiful goodies, this time adorned with foxes, caravans, bicycles and more!

Although it's another colourful one, the illustration style contrasts greatly from that of November's box. As I've said before I loved the variety found in the original #paperhaul boxes and think its great that even though each box is now featuring the work of one artist they still vary so much from month to month, making the surprise even more exciting!

The selection for December includes three notecards, two postcards, a roll of washi tape, a notebook, one large card and a sticker sheet. My favourite items from the box would have to be the 'Lazy Sunday' postcard and 'Sssh' mini notecard, both of which feature cute curled up fox illustrations.

This month's exclusive washi tape is also particularly eye-catching. So far each of the tapes in the featured series have showcased illustrations on a white background but December's roll of tape is a pretty mint green shade with tiny white polka dots and features a range of different illustrations, all of which are super cute!

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

Don't forget to catch up on my review of last month's box which showcased the work of Helz Illustrates!


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Character Style Inspiration - Grace Gardner (Scream Queens)

Images of Skyler Samuels via

As promised, today I'm revisiting Scream Queens and taking a closer look at the wardrobe of Grace Gardner played by Skyler Samuels. In contrast to fellow Kappa girl Chanel, Grace isn't about extravagance, instead opting for a more classic colour palette with preppy vibes. Navys, reds and camels all appear frequently, alongside monochrome pieces to create a sleek and polished yet comfortable look.

Jewellery-wise, Grace tends to keep things simple with delicate bracelets, simple rings and layered necklaces rather than bold statement pieces. She does however love a good hat and can be found sporting a whole host of them, from preppy flat caps to cosy beanies.

Shop the look: Coat, House Of Fraser £210 | Crepe Miniskirt, My Theresa £444 | Monochrome Jumper, Topshop £40 | Jeans, My Theresa £113 | Tweed Flat Cap, Austin Reed £36 | Cashmere Beanie, Hush £40 | Glasses, Boots £130 | Wool Blazer, Jaeger £225 | Striped Tee, John Lewis £29 | Sleeveless Blazer, Yoox (sold out) | Leather A-Line Skirt, John Lewis £119 | Bow Pendant Necklace, House Of Fraser (no longer available) | Polka Dot Sweater, Mango £34.99 | Pineapple Blouse, Debenhams £8.40 | Layered Necklace, Forever 21 £3.50 | Tartan Scarf, Selfridges (sold out) | Suede Cabbie Hat, Goorin Bros $105 (approx. £70) | Tassel Brogues, House Of Fraser £55

Love Scream Queens? Check out my other Character Style posts: Chanel Oberlin

Monday, 14 December 2015

December #beadhaul Box!

december beadhaul fairytale
* #beadhaul box c/o Crafty Creatives

The theme for December's #beadhaul box is fairytale, and since I spent most of November re-watching the first four seasons of Once Upon A Time I was definitely feeling inspired when it came to creating the tutorials!

Included in the box is a great variety of beads and charms including all of those pictured above as well as some crimps and simple black waxed cord that's perfect for bracelets. My favourite items from this month's selection would have to be the toadstool and little story book charms, along with the pretty turquoise/gold beads I ended up using for a princess-inspired design.

This month I've come up with five simple project ideas and have also shared two new #beadhaul Basics tutorials for waxed cord including how to create adjustable knots. Head on over the the Crafty Creatives tutorial page to see all of the jewellery pieces I created this month and find out how you can make your own versions.

If you have the box, please tag me in your Instagram photos - @sawyerandscout - I'd love to see your creations! If you missed out on signing up for this month's box but like what you see, you can still get your hands on it over in the Crafty Creatives online shop.
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