Friday, 28 September 2012

Cutting Down on the Costs of Reading

This is a sponsored post.

One of my favourite things to do is read. It’s an easy way to relax and unwind and there is so much out there to learn. Fiction, non-fiction, adventure, romance, crime thrillers — there’s nothing better than finding something that interests you and getting lost in a good book or article on the subject. Recently, though, I’ve realised that I’ve been spending more on reading than I used to thanks to a Kindle I received as a gift. It’s just so easy to tap a few buttons and have a new book in front of me within seconds. Since I noticed the uptick in this expense, I’ve taken a few steps to try to minimise the cost of my favourite hobby:

Trade books. My Kindle and iPad are great for travailing but when I went to the beach this summer, I didn’t want to worry about getting sand or water near my electronics so a good old-fashioned paperback was definitely the way to go. Sites like let you get rid of books that you’ve already read by trading them for ones that you are interested in. This also worked well when I wanted more room in my suitcase on the way back because I was able to leave a paperback in the hotel lobby for someone else to enjoy.

Lend books electronically. My sister also has a Kindle and recently purchased a book that she loved and recommended to me. When she was finished, she was able to lend me the book for two weeks which meant I was able to read it without having to pay!

Explore free digital options. Amazon offers many books for free digitally. This is a great excuse to catch up on the classics!

Don’t forget the library! Libraries do still exist and they are great resources for both free electronic and paper borrowing.
Happy reading!

QuickQuid is the United Kingdom's premier ethical online payday loan lender since 2007. QuickQuid aims to help consumers in an ethical and responsible way with its quick loans and savings tips.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cross-Stitch, Crochet and Tea Shops

Blimey I've been busy since I last wrote!  It wasn't until I uploaded the photos from my phone that I realised just how much I've done in the last few weeks. 

I've been very busy stitching and hooking.  Last week I completed the floral wall hanging that I have been working on through the summer and I am delighted with it. 

Pattern from Cross Stitcher Home Style book
Progress via Instagram
I will frame it and hang it on the wall in my living room with my collection of vintage floral paintings - I think it will look good there.  I just need to find exactly the right frame, which so far is eluding me.  I am going to have to recycle an old one and keep my eyes peeled in the charity shops.  

I've started working on another piece of cross stitch - this one is from a Made in France embroidery book.   (A gorgeous series of books; I have three and love them all.)

A Scandi-style heart made of snowflakes, I chose this pattern because it is simple, delicate and pretty.  I have only worked on it a few nights now and it is nearing completion.  Its destiny is to be stuffed and dangle prettily somewhere in my home.  I plan to make a few and fill them with lavender to keep my yarn stash fresh and moth-free.

In between working on my rose cross-stitch I made this little wall-hanging for a lovely new friend.  

Erin is one of life's rays of sunshine and I'm so glad I met her.  She is always making beautiful things for people (and has made a couple of surprise gifts for me) so I wanted to make something in return to say thank you.  I was pleased with how it turned out and I'm going to make a few mis-matched ones for myself to decorate the landing when I get around to it.

Work on the cream and pink popcorn flower blanket is still underway.  

I have decided to intersperse the flower squares with plain cream grannies.  The flowers take quite a while to work up and use a lot of yarn.  Plain grannies can be knocked up in minutes and without any thought so the blanket is growing much more quickly than originally anticipated.  

As much as I'm loving the flowers, I think I also need something wintery to work on now that the days are getting cooler.  I've got a huge stash of gorgeous Rowan wool and some beautiful Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino so I'm going to start another blanket soon.  Nothing wrong with having a couple of projects on the go as long as they get finished, I reckon.

I am pleased to say that I haven't been a complete crafting hermit.  I've been out and about lots too.  I've visited London on a weekly basis - to meet friends, have dinner, drink tea/cocktails/champagne, eat cake, poke around haberdasheries, browse a craft fair, shop at Liberty and raid Anthropologie.  Exhausting but lush! 

Loch Fyne
We live just an hour's train journey from the centre of London.  Buying a railcard and booking tickets in advance means we can travel there very cheaply so we have vowed to make the most of it and really explore our capital.   I've always travelled regularly into London and could probably tell you in my sleep where all of my favourite shops are, and quite a few fancy restaurants too.  But now [I'm older] I'm more interested in tea shops, haberdasheries, markets, architecture and city parks so I've bought a few books to help me make the most of every single trip into town.  If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear. 

Love and stuff.



PS - Yay! I've reached the 300 follower mark! So chuffed and thank you for clicking the follow button, particularly during such a writing drought.  I will be hosting a giveaway soon to thank you for supporting me.  Please say hi if you're new, I'd love to hear from you. 

PPS - I do try to respond to everyone directly but sometimes it's difficult if you're a 'no reply' blogger.  So, I'm going to respond to all comments here, on my blog, now.  So if you ask a question, pop back in a day or two and I'll have replied.  Well, that's the plan and I'll do my very best.  :) x