As part of my new year’s resolution to read more this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself a little. I love reading and get really engrossed in a good book. I plan to share reviews of the books I’m reading here. I’m teaming up with My Tiny Mind on this one so pop over there to check out reviews too. I’m not the fastest reader going so we’ve set ourselves 2 years to read 20 books. I’d love for other people to get involved. If you’re thinking of taking part, let me know in the comments and keep me posted on your progress or where you might be sharing it. You chose the books based on the list below and you can take them on in any order.

 Anyone up for a challenge?

The Big Book Challenge list

cork board 2 cork board 1

Whose idea was it to start Create 52 right before silly season? Obviously I was ridiculously busy in the lead up to Christmas like everyone else and I’m back in work now & have things on 4 weekends out of 5 this month so I’m waaaay behind. There goes New Year’s Resolution number 1 – be better at organising blog posts and Project Life in advance. Must try harder.

So I’m kind of back on track with Create 52 as of week 2 of January and I’ve started off with something simple. I’d love to say I bought a blank pin board & went from there but that would be a complete lie. I bought the board, from Forever 21, with the black map already printed on it. I bought it last September so I’m not sure if it’s still available but I’ve seen some other options online. I’d also love to see some creative people adding their own maps to pin boards. I just picked up some pins (I couldn’t find a size I wanted so I had to buy dress making pins and cut them). I added a white pin to where I live (Ireland) and red pins to all of the places I’ve been up until now. I’m toying with the idea of adding another colour to places I plan to go but I’m not sure yet.

Finally I chose a quote I like that was short and simple and added it to the board using Amy Tangerine Thickers.


  

Adding nail varnish to water Adding white card on top of nail varnish removing card from nail varnish Finished prducted Using my cards for Project Life

Saying I was going to post my weekly Create 52 projects on Sunday was a ridiculous idea. Sometimes I won’t get a free bit of time to make things until Sunday and then it puts pressure on me to edit the pictures and write the post the same day. So I’ve decided it’s more realistic to post them the following Wednesday. Let’s see how this goes.

Last week I had a lot on so I didn’t get around to any crafting until Sunday. I’ve wanted to try this marbling effect on paper for ages so I decided to try it on 6×4 and 3×4 white card so I can use them in my Project Life album. I really wanted to use Christmas colours like red and gold but unfortunately I didn’t have those colours. I’ll definitely pick up some cheap red and gold nail varnishes soon and try it again.

All you need is:

  • A container (preferably a disposable one because it may get some nail varnish on it)
  • Water
  • Nail varnish (whatever colours you like but glitter in a clear varnish doesn’t really work too well)
  • Card (or what ever you want to add the marble effect to)
  • A wooden skewer or something to mix your nail varnish
  • A tweezers

It’s a really simple process:

  1. Add the water to the container until its 3/4 full.
  2. have your card ready as the nail varnish sets quickly.
  3. pour a couple of small drops of nail varnish onto the water. It should sit on the water rather than sinking (if it sinks, you may have added too much).
  4. Swirl the nail varnish around with the skewer immediately to mix colours or change the design.
  5. Using the tweezers, gently place the card onto the nail varnish, which should be sitting on the water.
  6. Leave it for a few seconds.
  7. Again. using your tweezers, lift the card from the container and leave it somewhere to dry. It should be dry and ready to use within a few minutes.

I hope you try this technique. It’s quick, easy and fun. Next I’m going to try marbling a plate to use as a ring plate and I’m also hoping to make some marbled Christmas cards to use in my Project Life album.

Have you tried this marbling technique before?

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I’m excited to share my first project from my new Create 52 project. I bought this plain canvas really cheap in a chain shop (Euro Giant) and used a gold sharpie for the quote.

The quote is from the song Swinging on a Star by Bing Crosby. My grandad sang this song constantly and you would often hear him saying “or would you rather be a fish?” to himself.

It’s up on my wall now & I will think of him every time I see it.

The Mystery of Mercy Close Marian Keyes

Challenge Post 1: A Book Review (kinda)

I’m sure you’re all familiar with a well-known Irish author called Marian Keyes and if you’re not, you should be. She’s written dozens of books and I’ve read them all. Typically I like to read sci-fi (ish) books and her writing wouldn’t fall into this category at all. Mostly, I like to read fiction  (which her books are) and typically stories about things that couldn’t happen in real life (there’s enough real life in real life, am I right?). Although Marian’s books wouldn’t fall into this category at all, I adore her style of writing. In my opinion, an author who can make you laugh out loud and sob your heart out on the same page, let alone in the same book is an absolute genius at what they do. I’ve yet to come across a Marian Keyes book where this failed to happen. Her comic timing and sense of humour are second to none. In her latest book –  The Mystery of Mercy Close – she coins the phrase ‘The Shovel List’ which simply is a list of people, things, characteristics etc., that make you want to hit them in the face with a shovel. For me, this was comedy gold and I spent weeks after reading the book hastily adding things to my ‘Shovel List’. As anyone who knows me knows, I’m slightly fond, okay maybe obsessed, with making lists. Any kind of lists. So naturally I decided this blog was a perfect place to share my very own ‘Shovel list’. So here goes (in no particular order, as it changes from day to day):

 

  • Men who find it appropriate to ask me what the offside rule is when they learn I like football, even though they would never ask another man the same question. 
  • People who have seen the way I drink tea a million times saying “sure that’s milky water, not tea”.
  • Wagon wheels (the edible kind. I got them going to school everyday for a million years) Everything about the stupid reality TV show ‘The Only Way is Essex’
  • People who say I need to ‘just’ relax when I’m stressing out. Oh I forgot it was so easy, sure why didn’t I think of that.
  • Getting Diet Pepsi when you ask for Diet Coke
  • Pointy toe shoes on men
  • People who don’t indicate on roundabouts
  • Wasps
  • Skinny people who give out about being fat
  • Cryptic Facebook statuses, such as, “just so happy today” and then when people comment asking why, the answer is always “I’ll private message you”Just don’t post this status if it’s some kind of secret.  
  • Bankers
  • All of the deductions from my pay packet – universal service charge, pension related deductions, spouse & children deductions. I don’t even have a husband or a child?
  • Clowns
  • People who tell you every time they see you that you’ve lost LOOOOADS of weight. No I haven’t. Jesus I must have been the size of a house when you first met me.
  • People who don’t keep their dog on a lead. The law states that you have to, so when your dog comes running up to mine at full speed & my dogs snap a warning of ‘go away’, don’t expect to complain to me.
  • Extremely bold children being extremely bold while their parents look on & do NOTHING
  • People who speak really loudly on the phone whilst using public transport.
  • Actually…public transport itself, for many reasons. People touching off you, the waiting and wondering if it will arrive on time, people eating…don’t they know about all the germs? Ahhh!
  • Construction work on your day off…at ridiculous o clock in the morning.
  • People who ask you a question & then reword your answer into another question. For example…”what time is it?” “3 o clock” “it’s not 3 o clock is it?”
  • People who say “you’d love it” about food to people they hardly know.
  • People who say they don’t like something they’ve never tasted.
  • Pat Kenny
  • People working in supermarkets who put your change down instead of putting it into your open, stretched out hand. Just plain rude.
  • The Irish government

 

Feel free to add to it. I’m sure I will.

 

 For more information on Marian Keyes and her books, check outhttp://www.mariankeyes.com/Home

 

The Colosseum, Rome

My Dad has invited me to take part in a blogging challenge over the coming months so I decided it would be a good idea to share it here. That way people will understand if my posts getting extremely competitive. (Okay, we know they won’t. I’m the least competitive person ever…)

It’s not specific to just us, any old blogger can join in. For details, check out his post here

P.S. Choosing a photograph for this post was difficult. I took this photograph in Rome in 2011. Rome was pretty high up on my ‘places to see before I die’ list. That will make sense if you choose to pop over to My Tiny Mind and check out the details of the challenge.