Friday, 29 March 2013

Artful Readers Club - March

My choice for March was Without Fail by Lee Child

As with all the Jack Reacher series of books I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. 

If you aren't familiar with the character he is an ex military policeman who drifts from place to place with very few possessions.  The plot for this particular one is Jack Reacher giving a helping hand to the Secret Service in a murder threat against the vice president elect.  It builds and builds, with a few surprises along the way, to a crescendo which is worth waiting for. 

I've read this series in order and I have to say that you really don't need to have read any of the other books to read this one as it explains the history you need to know as you go along. 

The only thing I don't particularly like about this series of books is that he always has to sleep with the leading cop/agent/whatever and I don't think there is always a need for it, however in this book it is probably more important than the others but in a weird kind of way as the Secret Service agent used to live with his dead brother. 

I've yet to see the Jack Reacher film.  I've mentioned it before but I really don't see Tom Cruise in the role.  The author makes a big point in every book of describing Jack as 6ft 5 and blond which Tom Cruise certainly isn't.

Anyway his description is what inspired me this month.  I have my own Jack who is 17 and rapidly approaching the same size as Jack Reacher and his younger brother who is over 6ft at only 14 so I knew I would be using their annual back to school photo.

I am really struggling with photographing my layouts.  When one part is in focus the rest is a blur. More practice needed I think.

I found a stencil that is supposed to be an ink blotch but looks like a bullet hole and since the stories always involve guns I thought I would use that.  I used glass beads texture gel but it hasn't gone quite to plan so is more of a splodge up in the top left hand corner.  I do like the gel though and will use it again.

Artful Readers Club is here.  Pop on over to see lots more books and artwork

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Spring Sprung Us A Friend

Meet an unseasonal friend who goes by the name of Fat Steve.

He started off life as a little snowball at the allotment (we had a little walkies up there with some kitchen scraps for the compost and some bird food since our original plans were completely scrapped due to cancellations because of the unseasonal weather at the various events we were due to attend today)

I don't believe we have ever made a snowman so big and definitely never at the back end of March (what's that all about - crazy weather!)

Goodness only knows whether these daffs will bloom.

Mother Nature has definitely gotten her knickers in a twist this year. Last March my eldest son was in pot and on crutches wearing shorts out of necessity but it was also warm enough to. Some parts of the country were in drought. This March we have SNOW. Hopefully it means we may actually get a summer during the summer months instead of a heat wave at the beginning of spring and a washout for the rest of the year.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Allotment Update

It's been a while since I've updated anything about the allotment so here is a bit of an overview of the last couple of months. All pics are from my phone so not particularly clear.

We planted a few rosa rugosa

and planted a few fence posts

there was a fair bit of cold weather

I couldn't resist going there for a walk in the virgin snow.

the rosa rugose started to rear their heads.

we almost finished putting up a chicken wire fence. We ran out of wire and then the weather wasn't particularly favourable so there is a section or two still not fenced in. Hopefully this weekend we will get it done.

our next door neighbours got some professionals in to put a proper fence around their plot.  It looks so much better. Puts our higgledy piggledy chicken wire and reclaimed council fencing to shame but hey ho it all does the same job.

I asked the workmen working on the estate the allotment is in for some pallets and also got some from my hubby from work and constructed a compost area. 

A lady I know from school, whose husband has a plot nearby, gave us some strawberry plants that were threatening to take over their plot.  I found a spot that didn't need a huge amount of digging, removed the weeds, dug it over and planted them through some weed control fabric.  We found a few bits and pieces to weigh down the fabric.  I've no idea whether I've done it right but they are in the ground so we will see what happens. 

these daffodils sprouted out of the ground in random places so I'm being very careful not to stand on any until they have given us a nice yellow display.

this spot of the plot is my next project once it dries out a bit.  Weeding all those dandelions (they came from nowhere) and digging over and then maybe we can think of planting some seeds.


Monday, 11 March 2013

March 2013 Glossybox Review

After the quick glance the other day here is my full review.

The theme is City Chic and in the box I got:

L'Occitane En Provence Immortelle Precious Cream.  Anti ageing cream with massive claims.  I'm not convinced after using it once or twice but time will tell I suppose.  It does sink in lovely though.  £43 for 50ml and this tub is 15ml

Nails Inc Bruton St.  A beautiful pink shade. Can't go wrong with Nails Inc in a beauty box as far as I'm concerned.  This shade is a dusky pink and perfect for any length of nail. £11 for 10ml and this is a 4ml mini.

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush moisturising lip stain.  I wasn't happy to see this shade in the box on first impressions but it is growing on me and certainly isn't quite as bright and in your face as it looks.  Doesn't last too long.  Full size is £12 for 2.5g and this is the full sized product

Tresemme Salon Finish Extra Hold Hairspray.  Does what it says on the tin - fast drying and long lasting hold.  Smells nice too.  I don't usually buy anything other than asda or boots own hairspray so this made a nice change to try.  £4.69 for 500ml and this is 100ml.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant.  My first impression was WOW when I saw this in the box.  I've heard so much about it and have wanted to try it but couldn't justify the expense.  My hands are a mess at the moment from the crazy temperature changes in the UK and forgetting to put my gloves on so I tried it on them.  I am seriously impressed.  It is very greasy but my hands do look better.  Full size £25 for 50ml and this is 7ml.
Overall I am very happy with this box.  Still not a fan of red lipsticks but hey ho.
Speaking of lipsticks I picked a number using from the comments made on the February glossybox post and the winner of the lipstick I was giving away is comment number 1 who is:
Hi! I've received the same lipstick in the 'Dreamer' shade - it's a shimmery pink, which doesn't completely suit my skin tone. Would you be interested in swapping or are you just giving away your lipstick? I'd be interested!

- Killian x
13 February 2013 14:03

Killian please can you email me at and I'll send you the lipstick.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Punky Scraps March

We had a beautiful photo for inspiration this month - full details of the challenge are here

I used a photo of my youngest son blowing his candles out at his recent 9th birthday party.  I used a Dylusions stencil for the numbers. I did the 9s in a similar colour to his shirt and blurred the other numbers slightly to make the 9s stand out.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

March Glossybox - Quick Glance

I wasn't expecting this for another few days so I am pleasantly surprised it is here today.

Just a quick glance today and I'll do a full review when I've had time to look properly. First impressions are good apart from another bright red lip product but I'll try it before making judgement.

Also I was giving away the lipstick from the last box and I'll sort that out with my full review.

So here it is and I'll be back on Monday with the full review

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Artful Readers Club - February

Running rather late with this one.  I was actually in front of myself with the reading but way behind with the artwork. Better late than never I guess. The link to Darcy's blog where everybody's work is linked is here

My book choice this month was A Secret Love by Stephanie Laurens.

I enjoyed this one. It was a quick light hearted read.

Set in 1820 the plot is based around Alathea and Gabriel who are childhood friends. Alathea's father finds himself in a spot of bother after he made a deal with a fraudulent company. Alathea deals with the family finances and in order to protect her family identity poses as a grieving countess, wearing a black veil, to recruit Gabriel with the aim of proving the company her father dealt with is fraudulent. Gabriel wants payment in kind and things get a little raunchy to say the least. It isn't as explicit as 50 shades (crap book in my opinion) but it is quite spicy.  I won't spoil it any further by saying any more about the plot.

It was evident from the family tree in the front of the book that this is part of a series of books but I found it easy to read as a stand alone.

I did however find another in the series in the 10p sale section in the library along with some others to make my reading list for Artful Readers up to 12.

After a bit of thought I've taken one of my original choices off the list.  It was an allotment book and I've already had to have a good look through so I've added  Without Fail by Lee Child from my kindle to the list and it will be my March choice.  I've read a few Jack Reacher novels already and this was the next one in the series. 

Now onto the artwork for this month.

This book was so easy to be inspired by. The pink lace on the cover was my starting point with a Prima mask sprayed with a pink mist.  The black veil was a huge part of the story so I added a strip of black lace together with some cream and pink lace plus flowers and a doily.  Alathea's hair is mentioned a fair bit in the book so I chose a photo of when I had just been a GHD model for my local hairdressing salon.

The paper seems to have adopted the wavy look too from the misting. Oopsie