Birthday

My Birthday Haul 2013

April 23, 2013

Hey Everyone,
So on the 16th of April it was my birthday! 
I had a really fantastic day, even though I had to go to school. I had the okay-ish lessons though, and I am still eating leftovers of my birthday cake! I also had a small party with my closest friends, and they were really kind and got me some amazing gifts. I thought that today I would share with you what I received this year.



What I got: 

-Money
-A House of Crafts Soap making craft kit;
-a Make and Create Candle making kit;
-Make and create knitting yarn;
 Knitted Mug Hugs by Val Pierce;
-Assorted Stationery (too much to individually name but pens, pencils, colouring pencils etc.);
-A Boots gift card;
-A knitted wristwarmer kit;
-A pottery painting voucher;

Yeah, I have a large family! That is what I got for my birthday, I had LOADS of fun and hopefully if your birthday is coming up you have one as good as mine. I want to say thank you to everyone who got me a gift, it wasn't necessary but was very kind, I will be using these in the near future (hopefully)




The Teens Birthday Wishlist!

April 13, 2013

Hey guys, I'm very VERY sorry about having to wait a month for this post. I really wanted to make my brand new blog special, hence the absence of me from this blog. But here I am, back and busting!

Soooo, My birthday soon, as well as some other peoples :) and I have been sent a special request by Emma, in Nottinghamshire, to do a Birthday post for her 12th bday in late April (An early happy birthday from me!)


She emailed a few days ago saying the blog's amazing *blush* and she's a big fan *double blush!* and she wanted some clothing ideas and accessories for presents! Of course I happily replied, saying I would and here it is! Dedicated it Em, here's a Teen's Birthday Wishlist!


  1. Mustache Ring, New Look
  2.  Fragrance Crayons, Claire's
  3. Nail Art pens, Claire's
  4. 3 side nail art pen, Poundland
  5. Mustache Necklace, ASOS
  6. Makeup Bag, Poundland
  7. Strawberry Milkshake, Sports Direct
  8. French Manicure Set, Poundland
  9. Nail Art Stamp, Poundland
Rachel xoxoxo

Birthday

My Birthday Wishlist!

April 11, 2013

Hey people, 

Not only is April the start of the blog month, it's also my birthday month! Whoop, Whoop! This year this knitting chick is turning something-teen again, ;D. There are usually SO many things I want and I thought to give you an idea of the type of person I am, I'd tell you my top 10 things on my something-teen birthday wishlist!


1. Cake pop maker, brownie maker, cupcake maker, cookie press, doughnut maker. etc; 


Basically any machinery that is included as 'cheating' when baking. Call me lazy, but I don't mind because my darling mother has already got a pie maker. Plus, I'm a very impatient person when it comes to food and cooking, so these alternatives to cooking are quicker and better for moi. It's okay to occasionally cheat though, half the time I'll do it from scratch. Only if I have that sort of time though.

2. Knitting Loom set; 

I've had a knitting loom before, but it was quite small and I'd love some more choice size wise.


3. Gardening, baking, D.I.Y. kits; 

Once again, I am a cheat. I like cheap, quick things although the slow things you do from scratch usually taste that bit better, but if it's not edible than I don't care that much.


4. Notebooks; 


As anyone who knows me will know, I LOVE writing. I've been keeping a diary for the past 2 years. I'm gonna need a new notebook soon as I've nearly finished my diary. This time (instead of a Winnie The Pooh one,) I'm really want to get a pretty, floral summery one.


5.Badminton set;


 Maybe one of the only sports I actually like, really enjoyable for me, need to get one of these!


6. Collectables; 

I don't buy those strange ornament things or rubbers or whatever, I collect like my sister, nail varnish. Personally, I think it's good to have a variety, and nails aren't very exciting when not painted, right? Anyways, I also collect claire's fragrance crayons. They are just solid perfumes in different flavours/scents. I like those as well.



7. Crayola Catwalk Creations; 


Yep, I know, seems childish of me, but to tell you the truth, *gasp* I may not have got into knitting if I hadn't wanted to start my own fashion business.


8.Pencil case;

Same as notebooks, I love them, and I enjoy summery, floral, bright colours; or sparkly, dark things.


9.Gift cards and vouchers;


I feel it's better for me to go and buy the things myself than have someone go to the hassle of buying me a present I might not like.


10. A camera;

In desperate need of one!

Anyways, I hope you liked me Top 10 Birthday Wishlist!


Books

Between Shades of Gray and Shrinking Violet | Book Review

April 09, 2013

Today I thought I'd talk about my favourite books this month which are "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys and "Shrinking Violet" by Jean Ure! Leave me a comment please with your opinion, if they're all or mostly positive I'll do another post like this! I hope you like the April Book post!


1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

    

"It's difficult to understand what freedom is, because there are so many things we take for granted, and until somebody takes them away, we just assume they're part of life,"
George Sepetys, Author Father and Refugee.

Blurb:
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honour her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

This is my definitely my favourite book at the moment, I was actually supposed to return to the library last month, but I have been constantly renewing it! The quote picked is actually from the video, but on the blurb, it says, "That morning, my brother's life was worth a pocket watch". This book makes me cry, each time I read it. It is one of those books which you can never get enough of, it will never, ever be boring, but always heart-wrenching and tear-jerking. 
Everything about this book is unforgettable. It is so vivid, it really puts you in the place of Lina, making you feel her suffering and pain. There are many moods that she goes through, fear, hunger, sadness, anger. This book also shows you the other side to the World War II, the side that was never told, when the The Baltics were annexed into the Russia with the Soviets, how every trace of every person was hidden, how completely vanished their whole lives were, it was like they didn't exist. Sepetys made the book, but History wrote it.

I know that I am gushing, but the main point is that I seriously recommend this book, it is completely A-MAZ-ING! I haven't read anything like it, yet. Anyone who loves books like the diary of Anne Frank or just diaries, or things about the Second World War in general, please, try out this book, you'll enjoy reading it as much as I do.


2. Shrinking Violet By Jean Ure


"I am a twin. Unfortunately! It's not always easy being a twin, especially when one of you is lily loudmouth and the other a shrinking violet."
Violet

"Sometimes i feel like telling lily that she is ruining my life. if she wasn't so shrieky, I might not be so shrinky."
Lily and Violet are twins- physically identical but quite opposite in character. Lily is brash, up-front and in your face. Lily Loudmouth, her dad calls her. Violet is timid and shy. She lives very much in Lily's shadow, a shrinking violet. Finding it difficult to make friends, Violet finds the perfect solution in Katie, her new pen pal. Soon the two are writing at a fast and furious pace and become very attached to each other. That is, until Katie suggests that they meet.

This book is a middle grade/young adult fiction novel about polar opposite twin sisters Lily and Violet (and I didn't pick up the book because my older sister is also called Lily haha) I have read other Jean Ure books in the past and I really enjoy them, I would say she is a more mature Jacqueline Wilson if anyone read her books. I read this book a long while ago but I still remember the plot now because I enjoyed it so much and plan on rereading it soon, it is a thrilling, high energy book about a bright but shy, quiet girl. The plot is excellent, I enjoyed the book a lot but it is not written for my age group, it is more for preteens. I read this when I was about 10 or so. If I felt like it I would read through it again (because I have a mind of a 9 year old) but apart from that, I loved the book! If I said anything about the plot it would kind of ruin great parts of the book but, yeah. Jean Ure is a great writer, I've read loads of her books and this is probably in my top 3 of her books. It is awesome! The book really made me smile, and still makes me smile when I think about it now!

I recommend this book to all the preteens reading this blog post and to anyone who likes diaries. It's an awesome novel, and it's very enjoyable!



This was originally posted on the 9th of April 2013 but was edited on the 6th of June 2017

Knitting

How I Started Out Knitting | Storytime

April 04, 2013

I thought that because I want to share knitting and the things that I make more on my blog, I should share how I initially became a knitter. So this is the story of how I became a knitter (to tell you the truth it's pretty random) actually. 



I've learnt over time that it is peculiar and unusual for teens my age to knit. It is usually stereotyped as a hobby that retired grandparents take up to pass the time or an old fashioned, motherly thing to do. I'm not big on stereotypes and I guess because I started knitting at a young age, I never really learned to see it that way. And to be honest, I am so glad, because knitting is peaceful and relaxing and such a rewarding hobby. It encourages my creativity and if you are interested, I would definitely recommend you to try it too! You'll be surprised at how simple and easy it is and what a variety of things that you can make with your hands, a bit of yarn and a pair of needles.


I've always had a creative streak as a child and used to love craft projects and home and at school (I remember making all of the little Easter Baskets and Mothers Day cards back in Primary School so well, haha!) I was always a massive fan of shows like "Art Attack" and making little DIY bracelets and colouring in posters with my friends. I remember sewing clothes for my Build a Bears too. I was infatuated with arts and crafts, to put it lightly, but the things I made never really came out how I imagined them (the story of my life).

It was May half term (a one week break at the end of May for those who don't know), I was 10, and my friend and I were in my garden, and my Aunt and Mum were sewing some things. My parents aren't particularly creative, I think that my mum was just mending some clothes on the sewing machine and stitching some fraying curtains. 


After some time, they ran out of the brown thread that they were using so we all went to our local shopping centre to get more. I had never been to the haberdashery before, and it was almost like a "kid in a candy store" experience for me. There was loads of stuff! Yarns, patterns, needles and thread lines with walls and the counters. My eyes were probably saucers. I had £4, just enough for a pair of 4mm acrylic needles (I think that they are usually about £2.30?) and the amazing acrylic rainbow gradient yarn (which I can now safely say that I never made anything out of. I don't even know where it is, probably in the bin). I begged my mum to let me buy them, luckily she was in a good mood and bought them for me! I was ecstatic! (That was probably the only time I wanted my friend to go home).

I don't know why I suddenly wanted to learn to knit, but the idea got into my stubborn little head and I am happy that it did. So I went home that day with my knitting needles and yarn and had no idea what to do with them. All of the evening after my friend went back home,  I searched Youtube, looking at Youtube videos on how to cast on, bind off, knit, purl etc. It took me a couple of evening but I actually did pick it up pretty fast. The best ones I found were The Teen Knit Cafe (no longer on Youtube) and Brittunia videos, they were really helpful and insightful for a beginner. 



A while ago, I went through a phase where I spent a long time just knitting and ripping apart my knitting projects after they were complete. I am a perfectionist and I always wanted my projects to be perfect. My only longstanding projects are the dolls that I made for my nieces and perhaps an odd baby dress or two, because I was never satisfied with the work that I produced, although I really enjoyed knitting. Nowadays, I have learnt to find patterns that I like and make them, and although I do still rip back and frog my projects, it happens a lot less. 

For a really long time I also exclusively knit with the cheapest acrylic yarn that I could find and acrylic or plastic needles. I remember buying knitting kits from the 99pstore with this dreadful eyelash yarn and rough acrylic needles. Nowadays I am lucky to own a set of interchangeable needles that a friend purchased for me for Christmas as well as a few pairs of double pointed knitting needles.

This allows me to delve into making different things like socks (which I am still yet to try) and jumpers. I also have a couple of balls of different yarns- merinos, silks, cottons. I have learnt to find cotton yarns on Ebay, charity shops and online shops, like Wool Warehouse. Don't get me wrong though, I still have a shedload of acrylic, garish coloured yarn. I'll figure out what to do with it... one day. 

I've also had the opportunity to knit squares for charities and knit gifts for people, which is really enjoyable and rewarding. It is something that I plan to do more often. 


To make and sell yarn and patterns would be a dream for me, maybe not full time but definitely something that I would enjoy a lot. I hope that one day in the future and can get the guts to have a go! Right now though, I am very happy just knitting and stitching away on projects that I find on ravelry and listening to knitting podcasts. (please let me know if you want a post on my favourite knitting podcasts!)




Well, that was my knitting story, I hope you found it interesting. If you want to learn how to knit, I would strongly encourage that you do try it. If you are interested in a post talking about beginners knitting tips, please comment below!






This post was originally written on the 4th of March 2013 and edited on the 6th of June 2017

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