Welcome to the blog formerly known as The Life Of Writing

Friday, 30 August 2013

Bits & Bobs

I had a bit of a panic when it came to what to post about this week... especially seen as I have made not one but two birthday cards in the last two weeks and it didn't occur to me to post about that at the time.

But I thought I'd share a bit of advice for any budding card makers out there.

Save stuff.

I save all bits of birthday cards, ribbon and pretty patterned packaging - even tissue boxes - and use them to make cards. I even split them up in to different types (ever the geek).

This is my 'girly' box. Well actually it is one of them. Being female I wind up with more female orientated cards than I do male or neutral cards.

But I do have a 'male/neutral' box.

I do have a Christmas box which is at least twice the size of the boxes above. And being a big box it make a good base to stack things on which is why I haven't taken a  photo of it - it would require moving stuff.

And sometimes if I am making a card for a guy (or sometimes a gal) and I'm struggling for things to stick on the card I go out and buy wrapping paper that I like.

I know there might be some people out there reading this who might take offence to the fact that I make girly cards for girls and more manly cards for guys... sorry but they are my cards and I can put what I like on them.

Plus I seem to make a lot more cards for women than men and I have an abundance of girl orientated card bits like I said before.

Anyway all this talk of making things and 'bits' has reminded me of the theme tune of a TV show I used to watch as a kid - Bitsa!

(Don't worry you don't have to watch all of it - just the first 30 seconds will do if you just want to hear the theme tune)

Friday, 23 August 2013

So Enough About Me

I forget how long ago I discovered YouTube but I have learnt a lot of things since I started watching videos on there - some things that are useful, some not so much.

If you Google how to do something a lot of the time there will be a YouTube video of some kind that relates to it.

Just making a YouTube video is creative, but I thought I'd share some of my favourite creative YouTubers recent 'creativeness'. (Some are how-to videos, others are jaw-dropping-OMG-I-wish-I-could-do-that videos)



Marcello Barenghi



WARNING! This next video is not for the faint-hearted. Goldiestarling's FX Makeup tutorials are gross but awesomely realistic.

I could have posted more but I decided to stop at five videos otherwise you'd be here forever and I'm sure you all have lives to lead.

Who are some of your favourite creative YouTubers?

Monday, 19 August 2013

Weekly Writing - I'm Not Going To Pretend...

...like I've written anything other than lists and blog posts over the last week.

I'm still tweaking my newly found desk area - writing out and quotes and stuff to stick on the wall... that kind of thing.

One of the things I'm going to stick on the wall is the lyrics to a song that I've been listening to a lot recently that I find inspiring.

So I thought I'd share my inspiring song with you today - may it inspire you too...

Friday, 16 August 2013

Creative Projects To Come

I was going to post a few YouTube videos this week featuring some of my favourite DIYers but then either my internet connection wasn't great or YouTube was being awkward (or a mixture of the two) and it wasn't bringing up the codes to let me embed the videos.

(That was a long sentence)

But I got frustrated and fed up with it. So I'll save that post for another time when I have more patience.

So instead I thought I'd let you know about some of the 'projects' I will be working on soon/am working on now that I will probably share with you on this blog.

Keep in mind though that I have been known to be still 'thinking' about starting a project a year or so after the initial idea.

But here are possibles posts of the future:

  • This one I'm in the process of. I shortened the sleeves of a dress (I hated the original sleeves). I've just got to change the buttons (I hate the original buttons as well) and then that projetc is complete.
  • I bought a size 6 dress (I think that's a 2 in US) in a sale and after trying it on I think I might have needed a 10 (US 6). I kind of knew I was pushing it getting a 6 giving that my other dresses from the same shop were an 8, but as this one had a zip I thought it would be easier to get in to (the other dresses don't have any fastenings). I was wrong, I can't even begin to get it fastened up. But I intend to put panels of fabric in the sides to make it bigger. The dress is a cream and sort of teal stripe so I think it will be easier to just go for plain cream panels. I'm even thinking about using this opportunity to turn the skirt portion in to a full circle skirt.
  • I want to make a jewellery tree. I have a small jewellery box (shaped like a handbag) but most of my necklaces are hanging off my mirror. And a cuddly Winnie The Pooh wears some of my bracelets/bangles like crowns/arm bands. I've seen jewellery stands in the shops but they are usually a little small or have a lack of hanging... things. So I decided that I'm going to make my own... using pipe cleaners and papier mache (you can have a lot of fun with papier mache).
  • I've got a couple of petticoats to give some of my dresses some oomph. They are a little on the short side compared to my dresses so I currently have a white petticoat tacked on to a black one - not really ideal. So I'm going to lengthen them. Whilst looking at material for this sort of thing I found that where I usually get fabric from also have this netting material in sky blue and purple... so now I want to make a purple and blue petticoat... just because. 
So now you have something to look forward to!

And so far I am managing to keep my new found desk tidy.

And one last creative thing before I go (or rather the only creative thing) - it was my birthday recently and my sister made me a cake... which she blogged about - so go and check it out.

Til next week...

Monday, 12 August 2013

Weekly Writing - Scribbles

This week has mainly been a week of ideas.

And the scribbling down of ideas.

One such idea came to me late last night but I couldn't be bothered to write it down then. So I ran the risk of completely forgetting about the whole thing by waiting until this morning to write it down.

Luckily I didn't forget although whether I'll be able to decipher my scrawl when the time comes to expand the idea remains to be seen.

And here's a flow chart to determine if you are a 'real writer' that I came across on Terrible Minds.

And the sheep are back over at Blood-Red Pencil (if you are a regular visitor there you will understand what I mean when I reference sheep).

Til next week

Friday, 9 August 2013

I Found A Desk!

I say found... it wasn't really lost. It's been in my bedroom all along buried under books and... well all kinds of crap.

And last weekend I finally got it cleared and turned it in to a space I can actually work in.

Now I am going to show you a horrific before photo.

Yes there is a desk under there somewhere
The shame! Oh the shame!

I think what makes it even worse is the fact that I mentioned getting the desk sorted out in this post which was posted on 12th October 2012... oops.

I got around to it in the end - better late than never!

Whilst sorting through all of the crap in the above photo and shifting things around I kept coming across more and more things that really needed to be in the vicinity of the desk - bags full of papers and research for whatever story I had been working on at that time.

And mugs full of pens - I now have 3 mugs and an actual pen holder full of pens and markers and pencils. The drawers are all full of art and craft supplies and all my writing associated things are stacked underneath.

But at least it is now done...

I told you there was a desk under there
I promise this is the same area of the room - the desk has not moved, just the ten tonnes of crap that were on top of it.

And all I've really done since I sorted the desk out is blog... but it is a lot easier to type sat at a desk than having the laptop balanced on my knee.

So this year when I declare that I can sit at a desk during NaNoWriMo it will actually be true (although I'm unofficially taking part this year as I will be editing my NaNo 2010 - so technically it would be NaNoEdMo).

Monday, 5 August 2013

Weekly Writing - Rediscovery

This week's 'Weekly Writing' post is less about writing and more about having the space to write.

I spent the last weekend discovering that the piece of furniture under all the books and crap was in fact a desk.

I'd almost forgotten that I had a desk...

There will be more on the rediscovery of the desk on Friday where I will show you (shameful) 'before' and 'after' shots.

Although while we are on about writing as I moved things around I cam across a folder full of research for my historical mystery - just in time for me to edit the first draft in November (when I unofficially take part in NaNoWriMo... or NaNoEdMo as I suppose I should be calling it).

So tune in on Friday to hear more about my new creative space and to stare in disbelief at the disgraceful 'before' photo.

See you soon.

P.S. I have just typed this blog post whilst sat at my desk... and it is a damn sight easier to type sat at a desk than with the laptop balanced on your knee.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Shortening Skinny Jeans

The thing with skinny jeans is they really have to be the perfect length for your legs otherwise they scrunch up round your ankles. And being short of stature (I'm about 5'1" - 5'2") I can have problems.

Most of my regular jeans are all ratty round the hems because I end up walking on them. And when it rains I have been known to end up with water soaked up to my knees (no exaggeration).
The only skinny jeans I have found that are already the right length me for me are the 28" jeans in New Look (see 28" read short a*se!).

But I'd heard rumours of an easy way to shorten skinny jeans without the bottom hems looking odd... because you'd have to be really good with a sewing machine (and have really strong machine needles) to replicate that kind of hem.

I came across the following video that helped me shorten my jeans (although I find it is easier to keep the seams lined up if I sew them by hand. The first pair I adjusted are a little wonky... but practice makes perfect).

Here are some photos of the last pair of jeans I adjusted (pair number 3 that I've adjusted in total). Although I don't know how much use they will be to you as they don't show the whole process - but that's what the video is for.

This is when I've sewed them in place but not flipped the hem down in to it's new position.

This is after I've flipped the hem down - my hand being there just to show you how the excess fabric sits - on the first two pairs of jeans I adjusted like this I cut the excess fabric off... but on these I just couldn't be bothered... and you never know I might have a belated growth spurt (highly doubtful at almost 28 years of age) and need to lengthen them again.

And this was when I'd only done one leg to compare the two - not only how much length has gone but also how 'neat' the new hem is.

I have another pair of jeans I have to shorten... ones that claim to be 'ankle grazers'. Except on me they are more like toe grazers.

Do you have problems finding jeans that are short enough for you?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

NaNoWriMo Countdown

August is here! Aargh!!! And now there are only


to go until the start of NaNoWriMo 2013.