What I’m Reading

This blog post is a sort of follow-on from one of my previous blog posts,  Click here if you want to see it , but that was a list on what I had already read and recommend, this is my reading list on what I hope to read over the summer. I have several books I want to read, that I will either buy or already have. I want to share these with you to serif you agree, and if I like them, or even I guess if I don’t, I shall write a book review on them, which should appear on my blog sometime in and after the summer holidays. 

go set a watchmanGo Set a Watchman- Harper Lee: I chose this because it is a follow-on from To kill a Mockingbird, which I have read and loved already, and so I hope this proves to be as good as the first. 

 

 

 

extraordinary meansExtraordinary Means- Robyn Shneider: This was a book I saw at the book fair in March, and I have wanted it ever since. My friend was lent it and thoroughly enjoyed it, and therefore I want it recommendation of others.

 

 

 

 catcher in the ryeThe Catcher in the Rye- J. D. Salinger: This book I have read many great reviews on, and I thought it was time to read it. There wasn’t really much else reason for wanting this, so I hope I made the right decision! 

 

 

 

hidden oracleThe Hidden Oracle- Rick Riordan: I don’t think I have mentioned it properly in any posts before, but I LOVE the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, also by Rick Riordan. When I heard that he had a new series coming out, I wasn’t just going to stay put and not get it. So I think this might be the highlight of my Summer Reading, and I really hope I’m not disappointed! 

 

These are my four books for reading over the summer!

SparrowHorse x

My Idea Jar

I had nothing to do today, and I was also looking for something crafty to post on my blog. I wanted some ideas so I looked up on the internet something like, ‘interesting crafts for teenagers’ It came up with a lot of interesting ideas, and one that caught my eye was a sort of scrapbook, with pictures, memories and clippings in, reminding me of one similar I had done when I was younger. In the end I didn’t do anything much like it, or copy this idea from anything else, but this Idea jar is based on a scrapbook, although in a completely different way. 

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The Idea of this, is that when I am bored, I can pick out a card form my jar and that is what I can do. I collected 55 ideas of things that I often do, or even things that I haven’t in a while and should, e.g. rollerblading, cooking, reading magazines, going a walk, etc. It was a quite easy thing to do, all you need is..:

  • Patterned or coloured card
  • A smallish jar 
  • Colourful pens or fine-liners
  • Ideas!
  1. First I cut up small square/rectangle shapes on the patterned card
  2. Beforehand I had written a long list of things to do, I would make them things that you are likely to want to do, rather than things you would just swap out for something else.
  3. I then used the pens to write out all of the activities on the card, and afterwards slotting them each into the jar, making sure they all fit.

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Thats it! The idea is easy and quick to make, but you feel satisfied afterwards, and you can keep using this for ages, it will certainly help you figure out what to do… 

I enjoyed making this and I hope you do too, I hope to post soon, and hopefully as it is the summer holidays I will have more time to do, a. more interesting things, which b. means I can blog about them! So you’ll be hearing from me soon, 

SparrowHorse x

 

Revision Ideas…

Usually I don’t worry or do nearly as much revision as I should but for my end of year exams this year I though I would make a little more effort than I usually do. Some of these ideas can be creative, fun, or just down-right boring but they all help me and I hope they help you too. Here are some of my favourite and most effective ideas and instructions:

  1. Flash Cards: I usually make these as I find they improve my memory and also doing things in different orders. You just need some A4 card, which I usually cut into 16 small rectangles, and colourful pens to make them stand out and not be as boring…Write a question on one side, then the answer on the other being as detailed or vague as you think necessary. I get my friends and family to test me on these facts until I know most of them off by heart ready for the exam. The subjects I have made them for already I have gone a bit overboard with, for my geography i’ve done 76 and my history 64…!
  2. Mind Maps: I find these most effective stuck on my door or wall or in a place that I go past and look at every day. This means that facts usually stick in my head as I go past, and I can think, e.g. “okay, what are the 5 air masses that effect the uk?” You can make them by finding an A4 or A3 piece of paper and writing a subject in the middle. You can then go on to drawing lines of it for different topics, facts, or info that you want to revise and know. You can make it as colourful as you want and include diagrams, pictures, or highlights for extra.
  3. Folder: I sometimes go through each of the books I want to revise for and photocopy all of the pages that include the info I need to revise for different topics. I find it helps if you keep all this in a folder in separate plastic files for each topic inside a subject. This is neat and organised, and is helpful if you need to carry it round on trains or uses, or if you want to pack revision for holidays…

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Those are some of my instructions, but I also have some tips to make it easier and healthier:

  1. Take breaks from revision: It won’t be as good for you if you spend 5 hours of straight revising, as it will be if you do 2 hours with a few 10 minute breaks. This can help your brain have time to recharge and also relax
  2. Don’t spend loads of time revising the night before: If you start revising earlier, and you do small periods of revising every day or every few days your results will be much better

I hope you take my advice, and I will post soon!

SparrowHorse x

 

Chickens

Today we brought 3 chickens! My family set up a run for them yesterday, and today we put up their house. Its the second time we’ve had them, when I was about 3 or 4 but the last time foxes were a problem and killed them, but now, 9 years later, we’ve got them again. 

IMG_0969Their run is a metal frame with chicken wire secured onto it, with a wooden door so we can feed them easily

 

 

 

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Inside their run is an eglu, a plastic house for them to sleep and lay eggs in

 

 

 

 

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We went to a local farm and brought three chickens, and brought them home in a massive cardboard box. We’ve named them Avvy- the lightest, Maggie- the middle brown one, and Chestnut- the darkest.

 

 

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We’re now leaving them to get used to their run and home so hopefully we’ll be getting a lot of eggs…

 

 

 

I’ll be posting again soon,

SparrowHorse x

Round-ish ornaments

I found some instructions to make a sort of ornament, made out of long, thin pieces of card, and curved into a circle. I used short, fat pieces which came together and made a sort of squashed circle. Despite it not being exactly what it looked like in the book, I liked it and hung it up in my room. Here are the instructions, if you want to make what i’ve made below; i’ve adjusted the way to do it to make my version.

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What you’ll need:

  • Glue- Pritt Stick or PVA
  • 2 sheets of patterned/decorated card
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife, guillotine or scissors
  • Hole punch
  • 2 small split pins

Method:

  1. I used double sided card for this, but if you have got two separate pieces of patterned card, stick them back to back using glue and leave it to dry, (you can slip it inside a book to keep it flat while it dries)
  2. Cut out 12 separate pieces of card about 12cm by 2 and a half cm
  3. Hole punch both ends of all the strips of card using the hole punch
  4. Stack up all the twelve strips, if you can alternating the colours
  5. Push the split pins through the card so they come out the end, separating them so that they aren’t loose, then repeat on the other end
  6. Carefully separate each strip at the centre arranging them in a circle-ish shape.

If you hold the pin up, you can slip a length of thread underneath to hang it up…I think this method in the book was called around the globe ornament, but seeing mine it’s more an around the squished globe ornament than the former!

My mum wanted me to make one for her and so she gave me some card she waned it to be made out of. I made it but after I gave it to her she cut the card a bit thinner to create holes in the ball. Here is hers:

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Enjoy making,

SparrowHorse x

 

Star Cards

Today it was my sisters-friends birthday, and as I know her quite well, I thought I would make her a card…I looked in a few craft books and I found some instructions for a card that looked okay. I adapted it a bit, because I either didn’t have the required stuff or I didn’t like the element…Here is my adapted version:

You will need:

A star template

White scrap paper

Several sheets of coloured card

Scraps of decorated card

Scissors

A pencil

Pritt Stick 

Method:

  1. Find a star template that is about 8cm wide and trace it onto the white scrap paper
  2. Put that sheet to one side and get your coloured card -any colour will do, I used black- and cut it so it is measuring 12 x 24 cm
  3. Measure 6 cm from each side and score gently with the point of the scissors. Fold along the score lines so that the two sides fold into the centre
  4. Find another sheet of a different coloured card and measure a 10 x 10 cm square of the card. Cut it out and stick it into the inside of the main card using Pritt Stick
  5. Get the white sheet of scrap paper with the star on it and turn it over, so that you can only faintly see the lines of the star through the paper
  6. Stick down all of the scraps of decorated card down over the lines of the star, overlapping the card making sure it is all covered
  7. Cut out the star outline from the other side, ending up with a star, with lots of different patterned card on it
  8. Find the 10 x 10 cm square of coloured card, that is stuck in the middle of the card, and stick the star down into the middle of it
  9. Write your message on one or both of the flaps at the sides, fold the sides into the middle, and if you want you can seal it with a sticker or tape

Here is a roughly what you should end up with:

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I hope you enjoy making this,

SparrowHorse x

 

 

Paper Flowers

Hi, today i’m going to talk about an interesting paper flower thingy I’ve learnt to make. I found it in a craft book called Paper Made, which has loads of great ideas in it. I was flicking through it the other day and saw these instructions:

What you need:

10 ish cupcake or muffin cases (I use muffin ones as I think they work better because they are deeper than cupcake ones) 

a sewing needle

pva glue

About six inches of thin wire ( I use silver or grey ) 

Method:

  1. Make a stack of the 10 cupcake cases and flatten them. Use the sewing needle to create two holes about half an inch apart through the bottom center of the layers of cases.
  2. thread the wire through the holes, going up through one, then down through the second. Tie a knot or twist the wire right underneath the cases so the wire doesn’t come out.  
  3. Seperate the muffin cases one at a time, twisting each one to make the flower nice and full, making it look more like a flower than a bunch of muffin cases
  4. I made my first one, then realised that you could see the wire through the gap in the middle and it made it look quite ugly. I used pva glue to just glue the middle together…
  5. if you want to stick it onto a present or something, I would recommend using a little glue or double sided tape to stick it on, cutting the wire so it is short and you can’t see it
  6. finished!

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i hope you get a chance to make it,

SparrowHorse x

Painting sheets

This weekend my brother and sister and I went to our grandparents while our parents have been away for the weekend. My grandad is an artist, sows knew we would probably be doing something arty/painty. We got there and he took us down to his studio, where he had cut up sheets to the exact size of some paintings hanging up in his hallway. He told us that his plan was for us to paint whatever we liked on our sheets, and then he would pin then to the frames of the real pictures in his hallway. 

We had to plan our paintings on paper before we got started on our sheets, and I decided to do lots of windows, different shapes and sizes each time, with patterns inside. We used Gouache paint, a sort of thick paint with a glue-like substance.

I drew my plan on the sheet first with faint charcoal, then after moved onto the paint. 

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I wanted to use summery colours, to brighten up their hall a bit for the autumn and winter; Yellows, reds, greens, oranges, blues; not blacks, browns, greys and so on. 

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It took a while to finish up; maybe 2 or 3 hours? It was worth it when I had finished though: Lots of windows, with different coloured frames, with unusual patterns inside. 

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I hope that one day you will get to do something like this,

SparrowHorse x

Wire stars

Recently my mum has been thinking about Christmas decorations… Last year it was woollen pompoms, and she was wondering what to do this year. She found on Pinterest a photo of a wire star, and decided she would adapt her own like it. This is what she came up with:

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I think that the purple one is my favourite, and I also think that it is a really good idea. We are going to string them across the lounge with grey string, hanging them from grey velvet ribbon. We are going to intersperse them with copper bells,  mixing up the copper coloured, purple and silver. 

Here are the instructions I have made up:

1. Hammer 5 nails into a piece of wood in a five point star shape, slightly angling the nails so that that they lean in a bit; hopefully you end up with something like this;          

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2. Wrap the wire round the nails, (we used 0.5mm thin florists wire,) missing out one nail each time, you will see it will begin to create a  five point star shape.

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3. Go round until the wire until 6 or 8 layers deep, pushing the wire down as you go along; this uses up about 2 metres. 

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4. Cut off the wire leaving yourself a 50cm tail to secure the star. 

5. Tuck the tail under two of the points and wrap it round twice; then tuck the tail under two different points and carry on until you get a mini star in the middle of the big one.

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6. Take the star of the block, and tuck the tail of wire into it to secure it.

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Hope you can get round to doing it,

SparrowHorse x

Decopatch

Hi, earlier today my sister and I did some decopatch models, and had really great fun! If you want to make one, follow my instructions below. 

First you need a plain brown model, which you can probably get from any good craft store near you, secondly you need special decopatch paper, which you can get from 90p-£1.50 ish per sheet. What is recommended but not absolutely necessary, is decopatch glue, which insures a smooth, glossy top on your model. If you don’t buy this, PVA glue works, just not as well.

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It is better to use a flat-topped paintbrush instead of a round tipped paintbrush; example below…

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If your decopatch paper is a light colour, you might want to paint your original model with white acrylic paint first so the brown doesn’t show through.

Instructions:

  • Make sure your surface is covered up with old newspaper, etc, so that the surface doesn’t get gluey.
  • Rip up your decopatch paper quite small (ripped up paper is better than cut up paper because ripped edges tend to glue together better), and put it in a bowl/small pile
  • Paint some glue onto your model, then place a piece of your ripped up paper on top, pressing it down slightly. After that, paint over the top with a thin layer of the same glue.
  • Overlap the pieces, so none of the original colour shows through.
  • Repeat the process until you have covered the model as much as you would like.
  • Leave to dry for a day/a few days, then you can put it on display!

Below is a picture of my box, and below that, the animals that my mum and sister did…

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I hope you enjoy making/decorating!

SparrowHorse x