Welcome to the blog formerly known as The Life Of Writing

Friday, 29 November 2013

Creatively Speaking - Wipe Clean Week Planner

Recently I decided that I wanted one of those week planners, but the only thing with the note pad variety is that you can only use each sheet once.

So then I thought about getting one of the wipe clean varieties. But they are either boring and/or expensive.

But then I remembered a tutorial I came across a couple of months ago that I adapted for my own purposes.

Now in the video Rubenesquex3 made a monthly planner and used paint swatch cards as the background.

But I made a weekly planner so I used the little tester pots of paint to make my background.

I divided it in to 8 as I had alreay tried to divide it in to 7and no matter which way I tried it didn't quite look right.

I also used a tester pot of silver paint that I've had for ages because my silver marker pen wouldn't work properly.

Writing the days on was where the problems began. You wouldn't believe writing the days of the week down could cause problems but they can. First I wrote them on the glass of the photo frame. But then realised that I'd wipe the days off as I wrote on the events.

So I wrote them actually on the paper background... but then I realised that I'd written the days on the left side too close to the edge and you couldn't read them properly. So I had to paint over them and do it again.

But all's well that ends well.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Weekly Editing - They Tried To Warn Me

For the last few years I've read various blogs and articles on all aspects of writing.

Each writer has their own way of doing things but more or less every single one that I have read said that editing was tough.

But I didn't listen... because surely the hard part is getting the words down, right?

But the other writers, the seasoned writers, insisted - 'editing is tough,' they said. 'Really tough.'

And I said 'yeah whatever. I've ninja plot bunnies bounding around all over the place because I'm trying to get the story down and I'm running out of ideas.'

'The ideas will come but the editing is the hard part.'

'Whatever, I'm off to round up my plot bunnies.'

I should have listened.

Editing is tough - to the newbie writers reading this - the seasoned writers speak the truth.

Editing is tough... I have been there. In fact I'm still there now. And really I haven't the time to hang about and chat.

I must go and slay the absurd plot ninja bunnies and pull out my hair in frustration.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Over the last few weeks my posts around here have become a little... non-existent sporadic, shall we say?

This is not due to life getting in the way... this is just down to sheer laziness (and PS3).

I will be addressing this issue (I will be giving myself a boot up the behind).

We should be back to regular scheduled posting from next week (fingers crossed).


Friday, 15 November 2013

Follow The Tutorial Or Make It Up As You Go Along

So a few weeks ago me and my sister created a bustle for her steampunk outfit that she was going to an event in.

So here how this post is going to go. I will post the video that we based our creation on... and then I will post photos of the bustle as it was being constructed.

We followed the tutorial up until after the bit with the ribbons... then we just kind of pulled it up and folded it and sewed it until it looked right. And we didn't start out with just fabric, we started out with an old fitted bed sheet that we pulled the elastic out of one end (the end that went round her waist).

So you are probably best off just following the tutorial... enjoy!

If you watched the tutorial this is the pleating on the sides of the bustle.

And this is the bit where you create the ruching effect with ribbon (the photo being of the reverse of the bustle).

I have multiple photos of my sister wearing the bustle, that I was using to show her how it looked, so I'm not sure which is the final photo... but I think it's this one (if it's not this one then this is very close to the final one... if that makes sense).

The fabric is actually black but because of the camera flash and it being a different fabric to my sister's skirt it does look grey.

But it's not.

It's black.

Creative challenge complete!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Weekly Editing: Slow But Sure

I haven't gotten much further in to my first draft than last week.

Last week I was on about 27% of the way through, this week I at about 31%.

And you can tell it's been a while since I wrote this, some of it I've no idea why I've put it in there to start with. I think I was just desperate to reach 50,000 words (it was my first NaNoWriMo after all).

And there are the gaping great plot holes chasms that whole characters could fall down and get lost.

So let me strap on my mountaineering gear and start the descent down the rabbit hole and in to madness... wait... that's an entirely different book, right?

Til next week.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Our Man Jack Is King Of The Snow Globes

Last week I said that this week I would be posting about the present I made for my sister's birthday.

Just over a month ago I posted about my top secret project and said that it involved clay, glitter and pipe cleaners. Well it also involved glue (of various kinds, paper, pens, water, glycerin, pumpkin shaped confetti and a rather large peanut butter jar.

Yes I made her a snow globe (was that not obvious from the list of 'ingredients'?).

My sister had mentioned a while ago that she'd seen a snow globe with the headless horseman in it... however they were difficult to come by, the snow globes being in the US and us being in the UK.

So then I decided to make her one for her birthday... but then I realised that trying to make a headless horseman would be tricky (regardless of whether or not he was on a horse).

So then I had a better idea - I would make a Jack Skellington snow globe.

Hence the clay and pipe cleaners.

Making the actual figure wasn't as hard as I thought... there were problems along the way, but we'll get to that.

So first I had to make him...

I actually dismantled him before I baked the clay... I wasn't sure how pipe cleaners would fare in an oven.

I also made a pumpkin-esque base for him to sit on. Here he is after coming out of the oven...

A quick side note - I made his arms by twisting a couple of pipe cleaners together. Then I made the hands and twisted the ends of those in to the arms.

I also twisted and cut some pipe cleaners to make his bow tie (which I almost completely forgot about - oops!)

I stuck all his pipe cleaners and bits and pieces together with an epoxy resin (which is pretty good stuff - he didn't fall apart, even when I dropped him on the floor!)

This is also after I had varnished/glazed him

Then I stuck him in to the lid of the peanut butter jar and stuck a label (for want of a better word) around the lid that read 'Our man Jack is king of the pumpkin patch' (a line from the song 'This is Halloween' from The Nightmare Before Christmas).

You can see some of the aforementioned pumpkin shaped confetti stuck in the lid.

Once he was dry all I had to do was fill the jar with water, add a smidgen of glycerin (it's supposed to make the glitter fall more slowly), some black glitter, a dash of clear glitter and a smattering of pumpkin shaped confetti.

And voila...

He's all shook up!
Now the little bits of white stuff you can see floating around in there is PVA glue. But that wasn't the biggest problem I had. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the position of the label around the lid has changed.
That's because when I put the lid on the water overflowed - that in itself wasn't the problem, I was expecting some overflow, I was trying to get as few air bubbles in there as possible. No the problem was that the water made the label fall off.

At this point I had less than an hour before my sister was due to arrive, so whilst using my glue gun to glue the lid on I also used it to stick the label back on. Then I spent a good five to ten minutes convinced that it was going to leak, crack or his head was going to drop off.

So far, as far as I know, he's holding up pretty well.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Weekly Writing

I tried to come up with some clever second half to my post title but everything I came up with corny to the cringeworthy degree.

So this post will just be plain 'Weekly Writing'.

So NaNoWriMo is upon us.

And as followers of my blog will know I'm not officially taking part this year - I'm editing my NaNo 2010.

I had started editing before but had only got a little way in.

And for my first check in in NaNoEdMo (see what I did there?) I am now 27% of the way through my first draft.

Now before you get excited this is the first read through/taking notes stage of editing - there's still a long way to go.

Friday, 1 November 2013

NaNoWriMo Countdown - On Your Marks...

Get set...


I usually post my NaNoWriMo countdowns earlier than this so if you are taking part this year you should have already started writing by now.

I have not.

As I mentioned before I am not actually writing this month - I'm editing my 2010 NaNo instead.

So I'll catch up with you on Monday on how I'm doing...

See you then!

A Spooky Birthday & Being MIA

So I haven't been around here much lately.

It started when I had a cold and didn't feel well, and then I had a falling out with the internet.

But anyway I'm back now.

And today is my sister's birthday... and by this time she should have opened her card so I can show you it on here.

I'll show you her present in next week's post but as at this time she hasn't seen it it is still classed as top secret.

So the card - my sister was almost a Halloween baby and so she has a thing about Halloween - hence the theme of this card.

So first I started with some Halloween themed confetti - the picture isn't great but there are black spiders, silver webs, green witches, white ghosts, purple bats and orange pumpkins.

Then I stuck them randomly in a rectangle like you see in the photo - I filled in some of the gaps with glittery nail varnishes.

Then I went over all the confetti and glitter in a layer of PVA glue and then stuck on a greeting.

And voila! One Halloween themed Birthday card.