Monthly Archives: November 2015

How many books?

Several years ago The Guardian created a list of the 1000 books you must read. Here is the link:

I have read 84 which isn’t bad!

Although there would be more as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Discworld Series were listed as just that and not individual books…

I own about another 10 on that list and they are on my to-read list!

How many have you read?



I just thought I would share a few thoughts on Pinterest here today to give you some inspiration.

I joined Pinterest about 6 months ago and at first I wasn’t sure about it. What was the point? All you did was like and pin pictures you like. Wow, big deal. But, after seeing what is actually out there, I have changed my mind about it.

I still don’t get the social element of it if I’m totally honest. But. I do see the creativity part of it now.


So, what are the benefits of signing up to Pinterest?


It allows you to show off your creations, your blog posts, your links, your pictures.

Searching for inspiration? Follow your friends and people you admire to see what is on their boards. The amount of ideas I have got for things like Halloween, Christmas etc. from Pinterest is vast. OK, maybe I haven’t actually DONE many of them…but you know where to go if you’re stuck for ideas.

It is especially good for people with children. Need to know how to keep them occupied on a shoestring? There are hundreds of ideas here. Need to know where to go for free educational / fun printables? Pinterest has lots of links.

There are free crochet and knitting patterns on there.

You can find deals / bargains / coupons to help you save money.

Keep up to date with latest trends – not that that is me, but still.

I have been looking lately at ideas for writing, blogging and earning a living online. Loads of ideas here. Some do get repeated, or there is a crossover in some lists, but the general advice and the amount of it is quite good. Often you click on one link, follow it through and read more articles on that website, then see something that catches your eye and before you know it you have found something really good about 3 websites away from the original link on Pinterest (some people would call that getting distracted – I would call it research!).

Another thing you can do with Pinterest is document your life in a visual way. Holidays you been on, activities you have done…all on a virtual scrapbook.

And on the flip side you can document your dreams and goals. What do you want to own / achieve / have in your life? You can create an inspiring dream board here and keep looking at it when times get tough.

I came across this website which has an interesting article about Pinterest.

Pinterest Jobs: How I Turned Pinterest into a Full-Time Job


Another way of looking at Pinterest is as an organisational tool. There are pins about budgeting, lists, making money, saving money, getting ready for things (like Christmas), to-do lists…and the best part? You can make a board and keep all of your favourite links in one place.

I think the important thing to take away from this is you can use the other social networking sites to actually network, where Pinterest is more be inspired, look at a pin and see where it takes you!

I still don’t go on it too often but I am definitely warming to it more than I was!

Ellen x


Selling on Etsy

Just a quick post now.

I came across this website and this post about selling on Etsy and thought I would share it with you. I think it is the first in a series about selling on Etsy and looks quite good. Check it out!

Can I really make money on Etsy? — Earning on Etsy Series, Part 1


Also…Black Friday and I have bought….NOTHING! YAYYY!


Simple Christmas Wreath

Today I have been experimenting and fiddling around with wool. Which is odd in itself as I’m not the sort of person who does that. Usually I am following a pattern or making something off the top of my head without actually pausing to discover new stitches for myself.

But today I have been making Christmas wreaths. Some are better than others. They have all been crocheted.

Here is my pin board with the wreaths. I will definitely be changing this closer to Christmas! This is just a first draft!

all together wreathe

I was playing around with the green wool and this is how I did it (sorry for my crappy pics).

tutorial 1

I wrapped the wool around my fingers 7 or 8 times.

tutorial 2

Then made a slip stitch.

tutorial 3

Then double (single in US) crocheted all the way around it.

green wreath

I added gold beads to the green wool wreath. And left a long piece of wool to hang it with.

I also got creative and made…

A ribbon wreath.

ribbon wreath

A metallic embroidery thread wreath – it’s very small!

metallic wreath

A naff ribbon / wool / thread mix…

Not sure about this one!

red wreath

And a thick red and white ‘candy cane’ wreath which is my favourite.

candy wreath

I like the metallic thread one and I think it would be great if I made another one and made a pair or earrings.

You could also make a loop and hang these on the tree or as a garland.

They are very easy and quick to make.

I think they need something extra though…like crocheted holly leaves, or a needle-felted robin!.

Also, you could make HUUUUUGE ones and use them as hoop-la games!

Have a go…

Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner.

Whether you agree with it or not (and I do not) it means that Christmas is almost here.

I think it is really funny seeing grown adults scrapping it out for a TV or DVD player or even a WASHING MACHINE because it is a little bit cheaper. The scrambles, the fights, the insults, the pushing people over and trampling them…people you are ridiculous!

Do you NEED that new TV? What will do with your old one? Re-use and recycle I hope…

Think about the amount of STUFF you have, stuff you want, stuff you see on TV or in other adverts, stuff other people have that you think you need to keep up with the Jones’s.


Over the past year, I have been slowly getting rid of those possessions which I haven’t used in ages, or which take up too much space, or that don’t fit…

And it’s much better. Roomier. Better energy.

So, this Friday will not be a mad scramble for me. Nope. I will buy NOTHING.


(Or that’s the plan anyways!)

I realise that is not for everyone, so here is a little link with some Black Friday advice for those of you who feel they have to get in there with their boxing gloves on…

Not long to go now people….

Books, Lists, Good Times…

Anyone who knows me will know this one thing about me.


I really do.

Oh, and books too.

So, in the spirit of writing random lists, I thought I would write one about the different genres of books on my bookshelves!

Weird, I know! But I like to think I am well read. In fact, I know I am. Although in many ways I am not well-read at all! I mean, I have only discovered Dickens in the last 5 years, and have never read any Agatha Christie, can you believe it?! But, I have read all of Sherlock Holmes, and Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I have read all the ‘scary’ classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera etc. and I have read a lot of modern classics, most of which are dystopian future books (1984, Handmaid’s Tale, The Year of The Flood, Hunger Games, Clockwork Orange…).

Yet, there is always room for a new book or ten.

So here is what I like to read about:

The planets and the Solar System

Physics and complicated science-y stuff in general (written in a simple way for stupid lay people like me)

The English Language – especially the history of it – Did you know that the Old English word for ‘body’ was ‘ban-hus’? Literally…bone-house!

German grammar, as well as introductions to French, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Japanese (but to be fair, these are more reference than light bedtime reading)

Survival and bush-craft, living off the land

Ancient Egypt

How to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Astrology (I don’t believe in it…I just like the idea of making a birth chart)

Paranormal debunking – e.g. Derren Brown, paranormality…

Environment books / saving the earth

Writing and proofreading

Shopping – the evilness of supermarkets kind of shopping

Crochet, Knitting, Sewing / Quilting and other crafts

Paper-cutting, Cross Stitch

Self-Sufficiency and grow your own

Cook books

‘New Age’ – just a couple have slipped in…nuff said!

Fiction: horror, lots of old classics, modern classics, humour, science-fiction and fantasy, lots of dystopian future novels!


One thing you will never find on my shelves are either biographies or auto-biographies. Don’t see the point and they are all ghost-written / exaggerated / full of lies anyway.

No romance of any kind. No historical romance – yuk!

Very few self-help kinds of books.


I’m sure a psychologist could work out all sorts of things about me from this list. Would a list like this help to make an accurate profile of me though, I wonder?

And my favourite book of them all? My big, massive hardcopy of The Dark Tower by Stephen King. It is the 7th and final book of the series and it has a fantastic ending which creates more questions than it answers. And in this book there are 2 sentences (in separate parts of the book) which if you blink you will miss some of the ‘answers’ or ‘clues’ as to what it is all about. I only really caught them on my second reading. The first is when it is mentioned that the guns Roland carries are made from the iron of Excalibur, (King Arthur’s sword) which to me explains how the guns open the gates of the Dark Tower itself (if not the why).

The second sentence regards the Horn that Roland has to leave on a battlefield in his youth because he didn’t have those few precious seconds to stop and pick it up. Not to spoil the ending, but by the end of the book, he DID have those seconds which raises sooooooo many questions, like I said. Does that mean the next Jake is the same Jake or a different Jake? Or no Jake at all?! What about Eddie, Susannah and Oy? Would they appear too or have they earned their rest in another world which may or may not be Heaven…or a parallel universe. In which case, what is the Tower, or rather, what is its purpose? And the biggest question of all. Who is Roland and why is it HIM that has to reach the Tower? (And what happens if he doesn’t?!).

*sighs in confused happiness*


But, as with all favourite books, don’t read them too often, because as the old man in the book shop from Never Ending Story II says: “Books change when you read them again.”

I should note that ‘Catch-22’ by Joseph Heller and ‘Gone With the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell are also my favourite books. Along with ‘Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold!’ By Terry Brooks and ‘The Solitaire Mystery’ by Jostein Gaarder.

And I have lots more favourites…but no room here for more details. 😦

But now I have sort of deviated from the point. Was there a point? No, just a list.

And just as a parting shot. A book I would love to see adapted for a film?

The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay. It is a grown up Narnia where 5 people from Earth find themselves in another world, only they arrive in Lord of The Rings instead, not Narnia!

Set in the year I was born, I do believe!