A few months ago, the iPad stand I made got involved in an autism incident consisting of a lot of eggs being smashed in the kitchen. I chucked it out. My life is too short to hand wash raw eggs off small textile items!
I have missed it though. It was really useful for cooking, watching TV on iplayer etc and even hands free reading.
So, I finally got around to making a new one. I have seen quite a few different online tutorials for these stands since I made my first one and this is a bit if a combination of all of them. I am hopelessly slapdash with sewing, working it out as I go, no pins and measuring by eye. All bad habits I know!
I think it turned out ok anyway and I'm using it all the time.
When I chose my books back at the beginning of the year, I had just seen 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' by Laini Taylor whilst browsing the young adult section in Waterstones. I don't know why it caught my eye but it did and I added it to my list. I actually ended up listening to the audiobook version for this months book.
'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' begins in Prague where we are introduced to the main character, Karou. Karou is an art student with an unusual life. She is able to perform some small acts of magic or 'wishes' and has been raised by the, actually real, fantasy characters whom she is always drawing in her sketchbook. She performs tasks for one of these characters, Brimstone, although she does not fully understand what the purpose of the tasks, the collecting of teeth, is.
'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' is the first book in a trilogy and as it progresses Karou learns more and more about her life and where she is from. I found it totally enthralling and could not stop listening. (In fact, I downloaded book 2, 'Days of Blood and Starlight' straight after finishing it). The characters are fascinating and the storyline is really different and engaging. You can probably tell that I really loved it and would definitely recommend it!
My artwork is inspired by Karou's hamsa's, which is not something she understands at the beginning of the book, her blue hair and various other aspects of the mystery of Karou's life.
I'n feeling like I am ready to hibernate and wanting to finish a lot if things I've started or committed to this year. One of those things is finishing the section of crochet I've been doing for http://www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk/
and get all 3 bits off in the post.
I finally finished last night, so ta-dah!
Here they are, ready to go :)
I will probably do some more (lots of pink wool left), but I have couple of other projects to finish right now and then I'm planning to make a blanket for the cold winter afternoons sat in my car for the school run. It won't be pink!
I have had a little potter today, picking the last few veggies from my garden and troughs. I think this year has turned out pretty well considering my late start and I'm feeling much more enthusiastic again. I'm making some plans for what to grow next year in my secret garden and the troughs I have at my mum's. My experimenting over the past few years has paid off and I know what will grow and what not to bother with. I also know that the most important thing is to get the longest growing season possible, not throw some seeds in at the last minute! I think there will be a lot of seeds on top of the kitchen cupboards and in Gaby's bedroom next year - if she lets me!
I still have cucumbers and butternut squash in the garden...
...I've never grown butternut squash before so I'm hoping they will ripen but this may be wishful thinking.
I am still getting plenty of chard and I think these are probably the last courgettes. They are teeny!
We are going to eat these with our roast dinner tonight :)
Right now I'm tucked up on the sofa under my crochet making a point of sitting in one place whilst I have the chance. (When our boys are home I'm up and down the stairs A LOT)!
Last night though, we had a night away in Exeter. We had tickets booked to see The Cult. It's so exciting when bands play on the nights which coincide with the boys respite, and we are now constantly checking listings looking out for this. Exeter is ideal for us, not being too far away and having friends to catch up with there too.
When booking this weekend, I spent quite a while trying to find a hotel with a bath....
...maybe not top priority for most people but a relaxing bath is something I miss out on a lot as a carer. It's all about quick morning showers usually.
It was a nice hotel and we chilled out in the bar for a bit before going out for some food - really comfy armchairs...
The gig was not spectacular but it was enjoyable...
This morning we did a bit of clothes shopping (do boys ever stop growing?) before coming home.
Ok, I may have bought some yoga trousers for myself too :)
When we got to the station there was a fantastic storm while we waited for our (late) train...
We managed to get home without getting too soaked which was lucky because I didn't take a coat!
And here I am now :)
These breaks are really making a difference to all of us. It's hard and a bit strange but worthwhile. Our stress levels have definitely reduced as a result and we are immensely grateful for them.
As August is a busy month for me and I wasn't sure how it was going to go, I took some precautions against getting behind by starting both an audiobook and a paperback from my ARC list. I've finished the audiobook and the other will be September's review!
So this month's review is for 'Lady of the Shades' by Darren Shan.
I chose this book way back at the beginning of the year because my daughter and I had recently gone to hear the author talk about his new Zom-B series. Gaby loves his books which are mainly for children/young adults. I noticed that there were several adults at the talk and when it came to the time for asking questions, 'Lady of the Shades' was brought up and complimented by them so I decided I would give it a go.
I don't normally read things quite so dark because, well, I scare easily!
The book is a supernatural thriller. The main character is an author with a tricky past who writes supernatural thrillers and investigates aspects of the themes he writes about. He is being 'haunted' and is trying to work that out. The book develops first into a love story and then into a mystery. There are many twists and turns and I kept thinking I had it figured out, only for something more to happen. I can't really say too much more without giving away the plot!
I thought 'Lady of the Shades' was excellent. It was dark and intriguing without spooking me too much!
Here's my art. As with my review, I didn't want to add things that gave away the plot so I decided to do the image of the ghosts circling which is referred to throughout the book...
I've really enjoyed taking part in the Effy's Blogalong despite the lack of posts this week. My week got all sleep deprived and stressy and to be perfectly honest, I am impressed that I managed to keep up as long as I did, given it's school holidays!
Today is the last day and I had some time to do a bit of art so it seemed like a good day to do Effy's Lifebook lesson, 'Heart Sight, Heart Light'.
This was a fantastic lesson, I learnt a lot and enjoyed the process. I decided to add the word 'unfurl' because it's something I'm working on in my yoga practice with my heart chakra area.
So, I've managed 23 days out if 30 :)
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts and left comments, it's very much appreciated, and thank you Effy! It's been fun :)
I had a lot of hair cut off a while back and now I am growing it again. I always do this! Anyway it's at an inbetweeny length and not nice. I will see a hairdresser at some point in the future but we are still on school holidays so I am just tying it up. I have a rainbow felt hair tie which I use a lot but I need a bit of variety so today I made some more.
The beads are recycled from an old pair of flip flops :)
I could not think of a single thing to blog about yesterday. I did a lot of boring jobs. The plus side of that is that I've been able to get my paints out on my day off today.
I recently joined a FB book group reading 'Women Who Run With The Wolves'.
I've read it before (most of it!) but I'm excited to be reading it again as it's a fantastic book.
As well as discussion, the idea of the group is to do something creative inspired by the book.
I've decided to do an art journal although I may do some other bits if I feel like it.
Here's what I did after reading the introduction. These are pictures of me at times when I feel closest to my 'wild woman' nature :) There are many other references in the photos and layers besides being out in nature although that is important too. Creating this page has made me realise that that is something I do need to do more of. I do it less and less as my children get older.
I've had to order another copy of the book as I decided to rip out some pages for one of my layers :)
I was intending to find some time for painting today. It didn't happen, but I did get to go and see some art. A local artist who's work I really enjoy, Nancy Farmer, had an exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre.
It's well worth a visit if you are nearby.
The arts centre was quite busy and a nice place to be. My mum has an embroidered banner on display there too!
We had coffee and cake,
bought some of Nancy's cards
and I even bought a Christmas present in the craft shop!
I haven't had much to blog about this weekend. We've been stayed in most of it. Yesterday was particularly rainy which was kind of ok because I was not at Beautiful Days Festival trampling around in wellies and sleeping in the car. We've been for the past 3 years and last year was pretty awful weather wise so I'm feeling like we made the right decision!
This is me and the children the first year we went, we all look a lot younger!
So today has been quite boring in comparison!
I went to yoga, cleaned stuff, finished my Artful Readers Club book and tonight started tinkering with some patchwork I started ages ago because I don't have any knitting on the go...unusual!
Another day off tomorrow so hopefully I'll have time to get my paints out which is what I really want to be doing!