Books: May Wrap-Up

Confession time! I’ve been a terrible reader over the last few months and have read very little in the way of published work. I’m trying to get back in to the routine of reading during my commute, so hopefully that will change. I’m currently 13 books behind schedule for my 2017 reading goal, so I really do need to step up my game!

Here are the books I read, and the ones I added to my bookshelf in May.

Pick of the Month

 “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

Have you ever have a book that has been on your TBR for a while, that all your friends rave about, but for some reason you’ve been reluctant to pick it up? For me, that was this book, and having now read it, I’ve no idea why. I loved it!

Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, a series retelling the fairytales we all grew up with and transporting them to a futuristic world. I admit, I can be a little wary of retellings. Often they are almost an exact copy of the story with the setting and names changed, or so different that the names are the only things that are similar between the new and old works.

Cinder doesn’t have that problem. The basics of the original story are there, but the is setting so different, and the characters changed enough that it still feels fresh, and leaves you unsure of how the story is going to turn out. It’s a great opening to the series, giving us a fun read that sucks you in and makes you root for the main characters, as well as giving us teasing glimpses of those characters who will be the stars of their own books later on in the series.

May Reads

These are the books I read in May and the star rating I awarded them.  Click on the covers to be taken to their Goodreads page.




Added to My Bookshelves

Whilst I’m trying my best not to purchase any new books until I’ve made more of a dent in my TBR list, I couldn’t resist picking up up a few new books that I’m excited to read.

Replica” by Lauren Oliver (Replica #1)
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway, which I was made me really happy. I never win anything, and what could be better than winning a book you already had on your ‘to read’ list? I love the ‘double-sided/flip’ aspect of this book, and the duel storytelling. I look forward to reading both girls stories.

A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Everyone I know raves about this series so I finally caved and thought I’d give it a go! Hopefully I’ll be able to start reading it this summer.


City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #1)
I’ve recently started watching the Shadowhunters TV series and find it to be a fun show to watch. It’s peeked my interest in the book series, as I’d like to know more about the characters and world than the television series shows. I’m hoping The Mortal Instruments will be the next series I start, after I finish The Lunar Chronicles.

Concealed” by R.J. Crayton (Virus #1)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I haven’t heard much about this book, but I do love to read dystopian fiction, so will give this series a try and see what I think.


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New Kit Club: The Fairytale Club

Over the last few months, several kit clubs have sadly had to close their doors, which is why I’m so happy any time I see a new one start up!

The latest is called The Fairytale Club and is a monthly scrapbooking/planner club. Each monthly collection is full of exclusive items and inspired by fairytales.

I immediately fell in love with some of the papers that were part of the scrapbooking kit, and after trying to talk myself out of buying something I didn’t really need for a few weeks, I finally caved and purchased the inaugural collection, plus an additional paper pack (to stop me from hoarding my favourite papers).

I love this kit! While not everything is 100% to my tastes (a few of the papers are a little too bold for me), the papers are gorgeous, and I love the hints of watercolour throughout the papers and embellishments, as well as all the hand lettering scattered throughout!

I confess I broke my own rule about not buying supplies without a project already in mind for them, but sometimes paper is just too pretty to resist! My current plan is to make a few layouts with my favourite papers and then use the rest in a travellers notebook of some kind. Now I just need to brainstorm what topic I want to scrap!

If you’d like to watch my process, you can check out my video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.

Where’s a Patronus When You Need One?

Do you ever have a really random conversation where you say something that sparks a layout idea?

Recently at work I was talking to a co-worker about the never-ending saga of how cold my house was during the winter and made the comment “It’s almost like there’s a dementor* floating outside my window sucking all the heat out of the room”.

As soon as I said it, a layout idea was born!

I knew right away what I wanted the layout to look like the comment I had made – A dementor hovering outside my window, looking in.

I started off by taking a photo of me in my room from my window, which was actually harder than it looked due to the space and trying to get enough of the room in frame without actually having be be outside standing on a ladder!

I traced the dementor from an image found online, and then cut out two layers – black cardstock and a vellum overlay for added visual interest. I added sewing as this is a look I’m loving at the moment for added detail, including sewing some bricks to reinforce the image that this page was actually the outside of my house.

To finish off I fussy cut some flowers out as the layout was looking a little empty. I made the choice not to colour the flowers, so that the focus of the layout was the window and the pop of colour it produced compared to the starkness of the rest of the page.

If you’d like to watch my process, you can check out my video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.

* Dementors for those who don’t know, are creatures from the Harry Potter universe that suck all the joy and happiness out of you when you’re around them. They also turn the area surrounding them cold and frosty, which is the aspect of them that I was focusing on for this layout.

Project Life: January 2017

January is always a strange month for me as far as Project Life goes. I’m always eager to get stuck in to the project for a new year, but nothing much ever seems to get done during this first month of the year – at least for me. The important thing though is I do put my pages together, even if it takes me a little longer to do so than it should!

January started off with the New Year, and the focus on getting back in to the swing of working after two weeks off – a hardship for sure!

My next page was mostly about the weather – a typical British talking point! It’d had got really cold, and we even got a little snow!

One of the thing I like to do each month is record some of my favourite things of the moment, so I often record the books I’ve read, the new TV shows I’ve discovered, as well as my favourite song I purchased that month. I find it really interesting to look back and see what I was in to during any given month.

I also love to document specific events that happen in my life. This final double page spread for the month documents the final days of our nightmare housemate, otherwise known as ‘Mr Messy’. He was a character all right, but one I’m glad I no longer have to share a house with!

If you’d like to watch the process videos for these spreads, you can find them all in my Project Life Playlist.

Project Life: Reconnect

One Little Word is not a project I’d ever really given too much thought to until recently. I knew of it, and found it to be fantastic and interesting idea, but I knew it’d never be a class I’d participate in myself. Much like when I was at school, I find following classes, even ones you can change up to be frustrating. It’s nothing to do with the classes themselves, which are always excellent, but rather my inability to learn in this way. It’s something I should probably work on!

In these first few weeks of the new year, I thought a lot about the changes I wanted to make in my life. Since moving house this past summer I’ve become a bit of a hermit, and hidden away from social interaction. The reasons behind that aren’t important, but what is important is that I don’t want that to be the case in 2017.

I decided to focus on one word this year that would help me change that – ‘Reconnect’. I want to focus on building my social connections up again, and ‘reintegrate myself in to society’ as it were.

Working with the Felicity Jane “Sophie” Kit, I picked a globe as my layout focal point, to visualise the connections I want to focus on, both close to home, as well as those who live farther away from me.

I kept the embellishments light, as is my style, and focused on nature, using flowers as well as birds from Pinkfresh Studio and Freckled Fawn.

If you’d like to watch my process, you can check out my video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.

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