Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Pinning Inspiration #28

For this week's Pinning Inspiration, I want to encourage reusing rubbish, but also thinking outside the box, with 101 Uses For A Tin Can*

* some uses may not be particularly realistic, but that's what the imagination is for :)

001. Tin can
002. Telephone
003. Kick it

004. Plant pot
005. Pen pot
006. Makeup tidy
007. Wind chime
008. Tie on back of newlyweds’ car
009. Part of shelving
010. Tubular pigeon-hole post system
011. Part of a spaceship
012. Emergency shower when washing in the jungle
013. Prison for worms
014. Dumbells
015. Throw it (at some criminal dude’s head, like in Police Academy)
016. Vase
017. Paint pot
018. Receptacle for melting wax
019. Chamber of a supersonic blaster
020. It’s actually a doodlywotsit, a key part of a TARDIS
021. Musical instrument

022. BBQ for bluetits
023. Brazier for rodents
024. Bin for Barbie (Sindy can use it too)
025. A decoration for a window sill
026. Kerplunk
027. Candle holder
028. Use to make sandcastles
029. A Nefertiti hat for a doll
030. Rattle
031. Wrist cuff
032. Charm on an oversized necklace
033. Money box
034. An unusual name sign for a house
035. A bell
036. Eyes for a robot
037. Pawn in a outsize chess set
038. A place to hide secret things
039. Time capsule
040. Bottle/cup holder on beach
041. Art installation
042. Micro-museum for woodlice
043. Stilts
044. Mini umbrella stand
045. Cup

046. Cruet set
047. Earplugs for giants
048. Golf hole
049. Tin coconut (for shy)
050. Vessel for fortune sticks
051. Button box
052. Build a tower to reach the moon
053. A car
054. Modern monolith. For budgerigars
055. Door stop
056. Lampshade
057. Stretching the imagination
058. Thimble for extremely large hands
059. A purse
060. Tea caddy
061. Jumps for My Little Pony
062. Target practise
063. Rollers for big hair
064. Rollers for tiny steam roller
065. Alternative to bottle in ‘spin the bottle’
066. Tiles for industrial-themed room
067. Legs for elephant sculpture
068. Metal tooth for a giant
069. Jelly mould
070. Gag for annoying person
071. Jug
072. Rapunzel’s tower
073. Earring display thingy
074. Alternative to canvas when painting
075. Littering the countryside (it’s a bad thing to do, so don’t do it really)
076. Christmas tree ornament
077. Magic trick (ball and cups trick)
078. Juggle
079. Play catch
080. Fill with water and balance over a door (a mean trick)
081. Pedestal for important thing

082. Trophy
083. Legs for a foot stall
084. Zoetrope
085. Whirligig for bad beetles
086. Whirligig (the spinning, garden variety)
087. Emergency toilet
088. Outsize cotton reel
089. Recycling (good!)
090. Landfill (no good!)
091. Calendar
092. Cut into curtain rings
093. Columns in model of the Acropolis of Athens
094. Marker for location of buried treasure
095. A weight to stop a helium balloon from flying away~
096. Part of an elaborate contraption to boil a kettle
097. A small cooking pot, for when camping
098. Protecting a little circle of grass from the sun = polkadot grass!
099. Cheap burglar alarm, a la women living alone in the time of the Boston Strangler
100. Flatten into a coaster
101. Draw a face on it, take it with you wherever you go, make it clothes and talk to it, give it a name and make it your new best friend.

Okay, so this week's pinning inspiration was a bit different to usual, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless!
Can you think of other uses for a tin can?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Marvellous Monday #38

Are you having a good Monday?

To be honest, I couldn't think of much for this week's Marvellous Monday, so this one is going to be a short, but important one: feeling stupendous. (Because you should all feel stupendous.)

This is a card I bought ages ago (to send to a friend who was feeling a bit rubbish) but of course I had to scan it before I sent it on.
It's by Harold's Planet and comes from a line of many appropriate and uplifting cards :)

...and that's it for today's Marvellous Monday. May you spend your Monday feeling stupendous.
(Remember: milk, coconut oil, lavender...)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pinning Inspiration #27

As it's a little cold for playing outside so much now, it's time to play inside with a fun indoor fort.
(Yes, even if you're a fully grown adult. Indulge your inner child!)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Marvellous Monday #37

From being grateful for even the tiny things last week, the theme for this week's Marvellous Monday is something huge: nebulae.


Wikipedia defines a nebula as:
[...]an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases.

To put it in layman's terms: pretty space clouds.

Landscape Carina Nebula

When you consider how huge these beautiful sights are - that one little speck of light is akin to our sun - it really puts our existence and a lot of our perceived problems into perspective, doesn't it!

Messier 20

Though vast and far away, modern technology has allowed us to see these sights, become space tourists from our desks and marvel at the universe that surrounds us.


Allow yourself to stare in wonder and daydream about what might be occuring somewhere out there, within these pretty space clouds.

Daydream, and be inspired. 

This post is dedicated to YOU. Have a Marvellous Monday.

(For more amazing space pictures, check out HubbleSite!)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

DIY Spoon Decorations

As long-time readers will know, I volunteer in a charity shop and utterly love putting together window displays! The manager had decided for the Christmas window to be done this week, so I made these unique spoon decorations from some donated spoons, to go on our Christmas tree!

Thought I’d take pictures along the way, so I can share this DIY.

This is a DIY that will require the use of power tools. Such things are scary and I am clumsy lately, so I enlisted the help of my Dad :)

Wardrobe Revolution: Mark II!

After posting about my Wardrobe Revolution the other day, I got thinking.

Some of you might wish you took more time to dress up more...

Some of you might wish to dress more casually...

Some might want to work more accessories into outfits...

Or you might want to experiment with a new style...

Or even challenge yourself to wear only skirts/trousers/neon bloomers!

So already, I've decided that #wardroberevolution needs an upgrade.

Therefore, I introduce #wardroberevolution Mark II!

I really want YOU to join in.

I know there are plenty of you who take outfit shots, who maybe want to try out new looks, style up an old once-loved item in different ways, gain confidence through what you wear, or like me, simply want to wear more of the items that you don't usually wear.

So, please come and join me.

Instagram your outfit shots daily, weekly, whenever you want, using the tag 

Check out what other people are doing, ask questions when you post if you're not sure about what you're wearing/want more ideas (I did that today and got a really good suggestion!) and find inspiration amongst fellow wardrobe revolutionaries!'s currently pretty lonely on that tag, so what are you waiting for? ;)

Friday, 15 November 2013

Stockless Soup

I promised a post about soup, didn't I?
Unlike when I last posted about soup, this one was successful!

Have you ever been looking for soup recipes, found something that sounds delicious, only to read something like this in the ingredients?
 "2pts vegetable stock"
Do you then groan because you know you used the last one and haven't bought any more yet?

Yeah, me too.

So one day, I thought 'screw the vegetable stock!'
And I made Stockless Soup. Handy if you have no premade stock, but plenty of herbs and spices.

Here's how:

Gather your desired vegetables (seen here: pumpkin, onion and carrot).
Also gather various condiments, herbs, spices, etc--whatever floats your boat. (pictured: pepper, himalayan salt, garlic, horseradish, ginger)

Heap your prepared vegetables into a big saucepan and add your herbs/spices/whatever else. I always put in far too much horseradish, therefore my soup could also be known as 'Sinus Clearing Soup'!

Add water and cook until the vegetables are cooked through. Taste occasionally during cooking to see if you need to add more salt/pepper/other flavourings you might have knocking around.

Once done, give it a whizz through a blender if you prefer your soups thick and smooth :)

Extra tips from Kei's Gung-Ho School of Cookery:

How to tell if something will taste good in your soup: Wait until the veggies and a few basic additions are cooking. Smell it, smell what you're unsure about, and smell the soup again. If the two smells 'match', it will be a good addition. If not, don't do it!

Amounts to add: For things like ginger, garlic and horseradish, I go for about 1 tsp per litre. For everything else I use to the old fashioned measure, 'shake a bit in and see how it tastes'

What to add: See what you have in the cupboard! In the past I've used various combinations of five elements salt, pepper, curry powder, garlic, ginger, horseradish,black pepper, himalayan salt, regular salt, a lemon pepper mill thingy from Marks & Spencer, ditto chilli mill thingy, basil, marjoram, rosemary and parsley. Our cupboard for these kind of things is right next to the cooker, so I tend to open the cupboard and add things as I'm going :)

I prefer cooking soup this way to using readymade stock. The first soup I made this way tasted like the homemade soup my Mum sometimes buys from the deli, so I knew I was on to a good thing! Also, from a nutritional standpoint, by cooking in this way you know exactly what has gone into your soup! :)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Pinning Inspiration #26

This week's Pinning Inspiration is a little look at the marvellous creations of Kobi Levi.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Wardrobe Revolution!

I have a lot of clothes.

And I don't wear half of them.

Recently, I read Gala Darling's series on Wardrobe Taming and felt inspired. I went through my wardrobe and separated what I wear often to what I hardly ever wear. I was pretty horrified at how much I don't wear!

And now? Now I'm going to wear that stuff.

To help myself out, I'm going instagram daily selfies and post under the tag #wardroberevolution
I'm also keeping note of what I find wrong with the clothes I'm wearing (and what I like about them!) as Gala suggests in her series.

Here's my first outfit, from today:

The plaid top is one I made on Friday as part of Design 101. I spent just under an hour making it and I love it!
As for the things I rarely wear: the striped shirt (from H&M) and the jeans (from M&S) and the skull print scarf (I don't remember where it was from).
I found the jeans fit amazingly, after ages of not wearing them because I thought they were too small!
The sleeves and body of the shirt are a little short for my liking, but I have plans for that :)
I wore knee-high boots with this when I went out, but took this picture in the morning before heading into the drizzly British weather.

I would love if you joined me with #wardroberevolution.
If you feel your closet is full of things you never wear, check out the wardrobe taming series I linked above and be inspired, then join me with posting your styled-up selfies on instagram, using the tag #wardroberevolution
It would be so great to do this with some other people and see what treasures we all have lurking in our wardrobes, waiting to be worn! :)

Let's have a revolution. Let's wear all of our clothes!*

*not at the same time. It will look strange and probably won't all fit. ;)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Marvellous Monday #36

Are you having a good Monday?

Today is Remembrance Day (or Veterans Day, or Armistice Day, depending where you live). The day commemorates the signing of an armistice which brought forth a formal end to the hostilities of World War I on the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" in 1918. (The war's official end being brought about by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.)

Remembrance Day in the UK was dedicated by George V in 1919 to remember the members of the armed forces who had lost their lives during World War I.

This week's Marvellous Monday, therefore, has a theme of gratitude.

Though war and peace will come and go, though life can be challenging and appear to be nothing but a dark tunnel, somewhere in our lives there is something to be grateful for.

Whether it's a wonderful family, a roof over our head, the adoration of a pet, the satisfying conversation we had with a stranger, or the fact we have clothes upon our back, there is something.

Even the things that don't immediately effect us are there to be thankful for: the scientists working to find cures for disease, the authors working on the future best-sellers that will captivate our hearts and inflame our imaginations, or the farmers toiling in the fields to grow the crops that will end up on our dinner table.

We have the trees that provide shade on a hot day and wood on a cold one, and take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, allowing us to breathe better air. We have flowers to bring colour to our world and produce pollen for the bees that are such a vital part of our ecosystem (and make delicious honey).

I hope it is possible to say that everyone reading this has a safe, secure home, too.

You might wonder about those who feel their life to be so terrible that they have nothing to be grateful for: that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
That light comes in the form of the people who care. Those who drop by to check in on a sick family member, those doing their best to support a troubled friend on the other side of the internet. The people who set up charities and those that donate to them. Those who give aid.
Those who will not give up on anything--or anyone.

Those who fight - through action or words - for the peace and equality they believe they can achieve.

Take a moment today to dwell on what you are grateful for. It could be one thing, it could be a thousand. Embrace those things, thank the people around you for what they do for you. And have a Marvellous Monday ♥

Friday, 8 November 2013

MOOCing a Mess!

Do you know about MOOCs?
It stands for Massive Open Online Courses, something I only found out about a few weeks about, through my lovely friend Lilia of Horror Shock Lolipop.

She linked me to a couple of places that offer these courses for free: coursera and iversity.

I found lots of interesting courses, but have limited myself to just one for the time being. I picked Design 101 with iversity, which started last week.

Every day, those enrolled receive a video postcard and a letter, set in various parts of the world. On Monday, we are given an idea of what we will do during the week, so we have time to prepare, and there is a quiz (so far, I don't like the quizzes, but that's the only thing I don't like!)
From Tuesday to Friday there is a 'homework' task set, which we should spend no more than 1 hour on.
Saturday is a day for updating our personal notebooks and catching up on homework, whilst on Sunday we get an extra little video to watch.

So far, the homework hasn't been too taxing :)

Homework has involved origami, mask-making, cooking, portraits and paper-cutting!
I particularly had fun with the mask-making one (yes, I made both in an hour! Modelling here with Mum's friend who is awesome and refreshingly silly).

The emails, 'postcards' and letters we receive are fun and interesting. The postcards make use of a lot of cool animation and all reference different aspects of design, music, and things I wouldn't necessarily expect to find in connection to design. There are also some great quotes included along the way.

I decided to enrol for Design 101 (or #design1o1 as it's tagged on all the social media) because design and creativity is something that interests me!
I did a module on design at university, as part of my Computer Studies degree, but struggled with it, along with the majority of my class (a rant best left for another day. Needless to say we passed by the skin of our teeth).

I'm hoping that I'll get more out of this course than the module I did at uni! It's much more hands-on, introduced in bite-sized, interesting chunks, and is visually appealing. The only appealing thing I got from my uni course was the world 'weltanschauung'!

This is distracting me a little from NaNoWriMo, but it's good for my brain to work on something other than writing during November!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pinning Inspiration #25

It's the first Pinning Inspiration of November. To me, November speaks of jumping in leaves, chill air, eating soup and drinking hot chocolate! Therefore it seems natural to make a Pinning Inspiration post on the theme of kitchens.

Somewhere cosy to shelter from the wind (and get some tasty food!)

Monday, 4 November 2013

Marvellous Monday #35

Since it's almost 5th November - Guy Fawke's/Bonfire Night in the UK - this week's Marvellous Monday is all fireworks.

Above is a video I found on YouTube of one of the firework displays in Lewes, Sussex, UK. Lewes is a town steeped in history and pretty well-known for its bonfire night!

Just imagine that all of these fireworks are being let off to celebrate you...

...the awesome coffee you made this morning, the smile you gave a lonely old man you passed on the street...

...the big things and the little things, the things you do without a second thought and the things you do with thought and kindness...

...your uniqueness, talent, and downright awesomeness, all are celebrated here with bright fireworks to light up the sky. 
This post is dedicated to YOU. Have a Marvellous Monday.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

211 Things A Bright Girl Can Do

Not a list, but a book (which contains, by way of the contents, a list).

211 Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Bunty Cutler is an entertaining and informative book for bright girls! (Note: not actual girls, unless you want your nine year old to be mixing cocktails.)
This is a sister book to Tom Cutler’s 211 Things Bright Boy Can Do.

Part of the blurb (because it’s long so I won’t write it all out) says:
 “The essential life-skills handbook for bright girls of every age, featuring all the subjects they DIDN’T teach you at school or Girl Guides”.

The tone of the book is, in part, reminiscent of the instructional handbooks of yore, but with a tongue-in-cheek edge and a good dollop of wit served alongside the information, which is in itself pretty interesting.

Content of the book is split into several sections:
The Queen of Cuisine
The Compleat Homemaker (no that’s not a typo)
The Perfect Hostess
How to be Completely Gorgeous
Powder-Puff Mechanics
Jolly Hockeysticks!
How to be Bad

These sections make it pretty easy to pick and choose what to read, according to your mood and desires. So, if you’re feeling like a bad girl you can check out the Belly dancing for the complete novice or if you’re entertaining guests, why not take a gander at How to mix a Harvey Wallbanger?
However, don’t get your hopes up if you’re expecting this book to teach you how to make a macramé bikini. (Anyway, why would you want to?!)

I would have found some of this book very useful as a teenager, such as the part where it explains how to throw overarm (something my school PE teachers omitted to teach us, but expected us to know…)

I suppose I might find some of it useful in future, too!
Thanks to 211 Things A Bright Girl Can Do, I have learnt not only the art of tossing a cricket ball at a poor unsuspecting batswoman, but also handbrake turns (never mind that I don’t drive), how to prune roses, the best way to disembark from a ski lift, but also that it is far better to sit down with a Sidecar cocktail than attempt to look glamorous in the sidecar of a motorcycle.

Thank you, Bunty Cutler, for your pearls of infinite wisdom.

I think I’ll mix that cocktail now.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Pumpkins and some Rambling

So this year, I ended up with two pumpkins to carve, as they were on offer and Mum was feeling generous :)

I agonised over what to carve on them! I nearly carved Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson, then decided that isn't Halloweeny enough (ditto the Doctor and the TARDIS, though I was sorely tempted)

So I opted for these guys. Max Shreck as Orlok in Nosferatu, and Bela Lugosi as Dracula...probably in Dracula, that. ;)

I chose the Lugosi picture because he looks a little unimpressed...

History Lesson! Nosferatu was a rip-off of Dracula, made after permission was denied for adapting Bram Stoker's novel into a film. The Stoker estate took the makers to court and all copies of Nosferatu were supposed to have been destroyed, but some survived and now people go crazy over it.

Personally I like Shadow of the Vampire which is a bit of a black comedy centred around the making of Nosferatu

Well, NaNoWriMo is soon to start. Actually it's just gone midnight, so technically it has started for me. 
Originally I'd planned to write an in depth sci-fi/fantasy/religious/historical novel but my brain can't take it at the moment. I don't have enough background knowledge to write confidently. So I'm copping out and writing a sequel to last year's novel instead, as the characters have been knocking around in my head for about eight years, waiting to be written! 
...then again, I might sit down to start and completely change my mind on what I plan to write...

At the moment I don't have any motivation to participate at all, asides from a vague sense that I'd feel like I have failed if I didn't. Which is silly, because it's something I choose to do--nobody is making me! 

The lack of motivation is probably because the end of October has come really rapidly, I'm participating in a free iversity course, and mostly because I currently have a Project. Said project involves drawing/digitally painting a scene incorporating a bunch of my friend's characters. I'm giving myself a huge project in that I've drawn each character separately on paper, scanned the pictures, and am now in the process of painting over each drawing. Each individual character is taking about 8 hours to paint. Once I'm done, I'll combine them all into a scene, which I also need to paint... So far I've racked up about 23 hours worth of work! It's time-consuming and lots of things have fallen by the wayside as a result, but I'm enjoying it! So I'd rather do that than NaNoWriMo, I think. 

...but I'll probably start writing anyway. lol

Well, this post has ended up pretty rambly! 

Soon I plan to post something about soup...

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