Saturday, 31 August 2013

August Review

So comes the end of the eighth month of 2013, and I nearly managed to provide a blog post for every day of this month. And it was difficult.
 
I am usually a sporadic blogger, if that, and attempting to find and fill that many posts in a short amount of time with sufficient content was, well, hard.
 
But you are the reader, you are the one who this impacts the most. I doubt I'll ever post as much as I did this month ever again without at least six months preparation for it, but if I were to keep a regular feature, what of the past months posts would you like to keep?
 
'My Favourite' Mondays?
 
Writing Wednesdays?
 
To-do Lists?
 
I don't know whether this has been a successful venture, so please tell me in the comments, and wish me luck with returning to school.
Thanks for sticking with me.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Camera Experiments: Caves






 
The problem came when trying to balance that flash with the low level light, and getting a decent picture: These ones turned out ok!
From my holiday to Crete.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hat Time!

It is once again time to think about the Big Knit, by Innocent Smoothies....



Knitting gorgeous, little hats! And all in aid of raising funds for Age UK!

I have already surpassed my total of *cough*four*cough* last year, and already have ten! And with about a month to go, I'm sure I can get a few more out as I cosy up in front of NCIS for the night! Perfect relaxation from school.

I am, however, in dire need for advice on what to put on my hats apart from pompoms - I hate them! and I can never make them small enough!
Do you have any ideas?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cheesy

When I was 13, I was a part of a school creative writing class. For Christmas, we had to write each other a story, like a Secret Santa, and it was allowed to be as cheesy as possible. I found it hilarious to write, as it just made no sense, it was clich├ęd and ridiculous.
 
Oh, and it had to begin with 'Once upon a time'...
 
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She had long, dark brown hair and twinkling brown eyes set into a round, olive toned face.  This girl could not feel the cold like others. She would run around her little village garden, in the snow with not a care in the world.
She played the violin too. She was so very talented with the small instrument; she could play for hours and hours. And it made such a wonderful sound.
One day, that little girl left her home country. It was late at night and she had already said her goodbyes. She packed away her violin and its bow and lifted the case. She walked slowly down the path and away. Away from the little green house that had been her home. She sailed across seas and past continents, searching. Searching for a place to belong.
It was a long, long time before anyone saw that girl again, several years, in fact. It was a group of explorers who had journeyed to the far south, to the Antarctic, that found her. They had never expected to find what they saw.
A huddle of penguins began to gather into a ring around a spot marked in the ice. They stood waiting, but all completely wild. The young explorers watched. And waited.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, the girl padded across the snow, so silent with her bare feet. Her eyes were glazed, but there was a smile on her face. The young explorers watched fascinated by the girl who took her place among the penguins, who accepted her almost as brethren.
Slowly, softly, she took her violin and propped it on her shoulder. She began to play.
And the sky lit up with such an array of beautiful colours, pinks, blues, greens and yellows. The Aurora Australis.  The shimmering light patterns reflected in her hazel eyes and shone on her long brown hair. The adventurers watched the girl in awe. Secluded and lonely, silent but beautiful.  Here, was a girl who was at home. Here with the cold, the penguins, her violin and the light.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Camera Experiments: Knitting as a subject




 
I never quite realised how intriguing knitting was as a subject: texture, lines, colour....
 
And yes, I nearly forgot again, but didn't , so there we go.


Monday, 26 August 2013

My Favourite 10: TV shows

Friends
How can you not love Friends?! The story lines are funny, light-hearted, and there's a character everyone can relate to - I think I must be something like the third Geller child in my subconscious, as I am freaky about History like Ross, and like everything in its place like Monica!

 
NCIS
 Ah... McGee.... I'd never really watched a crime television programme before, so it surprised me that I liked this one. It may have something to do with the relation to the Navy, or the complexities of the characters - it's not just crime, their investigators are so cool! Abby is BRILLIANT.

 
JAG
Navy Again! I find this interesting as I was considering Law as a future option. Rabb and Mac does frustrate me, and I was annoyed when Chegwidden left, but they're funny, they're fluffy, and there are plot twists and good story lines.

 
M*A*S*H
You have already been on the receiving end of my M*A*S*H love if you are a long term reader here. They are quite possibly the funniest shows I have ever seen, admittedly from the 70s, but there is nothing wrong with that. Oh and guess what, it's the military again!

 
Doctor Who
How can you not love Doctor Who? It's a shame that Matt Smith is leaving, I don't feel the writers were good enough to give the same chance to shine as David Tennant did. Mind you, it must have been hard for him, trying to follow that up. Doctor Who is at its best when it scares you - I prescribe anything with Weeping angels.

 
Sherlock
Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic, and the effects are amazing, when you see the calculations that run through his head scroll across the screen. Sherlock Holmes is one of those classic characters, and Benedict brings him perfectly to life in a contemporary setting.

 
Downton Abbey
The love affair continues despite the cruelty of Julian Fellowes. Gorgeous costumes, characters and stories, it was unfortunate that my favourite (Sybil) died. I was rooting for her and Branson right from the start. It's one of those series where you get so enthralled, you want to live and be a part of it, if only as an observer into that world.

 
QI
General Knowledge, Stephen Fry, and occasionally something about a Blue Whale, Alan? Marvellous.

 
Kirstie Allsopp's assorted craft programmes
I could hardly write a craft blog if I didn't enjoy these. She's got a bit more into the Vintage area now, but I especially adored her Handmade Christmas series. They're all brimming with ideas and beautiful images.
 
The White Queen
Oh Wow. I love it. The history, the costumes, the strength of all of the female characters, Aneurin Barnard... I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Next up, the books! (Yes, I know, I've done it in the wrong order but I didn't think that I would love it this much!)

 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

25th: Christmas Card 8

This is the last of my last year's Christmas Cards, I hope to get this year's done before this time next year!
 
Equipment:
White Card
Candy Cane embellishment
Corresponding Striped Paper
Foam Pads
Outline stickers
 
1) Fold the White card to an A5 Card Blank.
2) Trim another piece of white Card to fit the candy cane. Attach the candy cane with foam pads.
3) Trip a piece of the striped paper to matt the candy cane panel. I usually trim so that there is a 0.5 cm border around. Attach the panel with foam pads.
4) Arrange the stack of paper in the top right corner of the card and attach with foam pads.
5) Below, add a sticker with the words 'Christmas'

This one is simple but effective, I think. I like how the stripes match.

Apologies for yesterday...

I failed my challenge.
 
I got back from my holiday late on Thursday, and spent Friday running around, speaking to my form tutor about my As Results (put it this way, I'm not going to Cambridge. But they're not horrendous),and then my first driving lesson. And yesterday I got caught up in writing my History Coursework and it completely slipped my mind.
 
I'm sorry.
Not much lost, really, but I'm sorry.
I hope to finish the rest of this challenge blip-free.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Camera Experiments: Pylons




 
The large, imposing structures of telegraph pylons on our landscape..... Strangely beautiful... Eerily cold and unfeeling.
 
The fear of walking under one as thunder rolls behind you.
Oh what we do for art.


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Guest Post by Katie at Running With A Glue Gun

Hey! Today I have something very special for this little blog: it's very first guest post! I'm so very excited, but for now, I'm just going to pass over to Katie.
 
 
Hello Everyone,
I'm so excited to be guesting blogging at Crafts From A Ravenclaw. My name is Katie and I write little blog call Running With A Glue Gun. Today I will be showing you guys how to make your own mini moon banner.

So Lets Get Crafty!

Supplies
9 Round Wooden Circles
Black Paint
Grey Paint
Paint Brush
Drill
Embroidery Thread
Scissors (not pictured)


Step 1: Drill two small holes on each side of your wooden circles.


Step 2: Then paint all of your wooden circles black.


Step 3: Once your circles are dry, go and google ''phases of the moon''. When you find a picture/chart that shows each moon phase, print it out. This will help you keep track of what each phase looks like.

Then begin painting each moon phase with your grey paint. I also added a little bit of grey glitter to give my moons some sparkle.


Step 4: When your moons are dry, you can then start connecting them together. To do that, just cut a small piece of embroidery thread and feed each end through the back of two of your wooden circles. Then tie a knot in the front. Keep repeating this step until all your moons are connected.

Once all your moons are connected, go and add some embroidery thread to the ''black''moons on each end of your banner. This will create the loops to hang your banner.

Then Your Done!

I hope you all enjoy the diy and thanks Rachel for letting me guest post!
 
Isn't it gorgeous? As a physics student, I love it, but it's equally as mystical as it is geeky. Thank you so much, Katie!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Heroes

The concept of ‘Heroes’ dates back from the Ancient Greeks, although, over time, its meaning has been warped and disfigured. Now, celebrities may be confused to be heroes, as people aspire to be more like them, or to appreciate what they have achieved. Often the heroes that people choose reflect upon their own personality, as to what they believe is an admirable accomplishment.

The Ancient Greek Heroes often were not admirable, but the extreme opposite. Everyone believes Hercules (or Heracles in the Greek form) to be a pillar of strength and courage, completing his twelve labours. However, modern society overlooks that the reason he was forced to complete these labours was due to the fact that he, in a fit of drunken rage, had murdered his wife and children. The tasks were his punishment, and completing them redeemed his soul.

Heroes today can vary, from sports stars, to political activists, to half witted ‘TV personalities’. In reflection, admiring those such as Ben Ainslie, who last summer became the most Successful Olympic Sailor of all time, or Katherine Grainger, who persevered to reach her goal, valuable life lessons can be learnt. They teach determination and hard work in order to receive success. They teach us never to give up, and demonstrate the capacity of what the human body can withstand. Many will admire people such as Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela, who, although discriminated against, found the strength to fight, but even greater to forgive. Extraordinary people of our time, doing extraordinary things; a hero should be just that, hence my disapproval of footballer’s or plastic, fake-tanned attention seekers. The lesson’s we take from them is to not be like them.

A hero should be someone who you can learn a lesson from, someone who inspires the way you live your life. To fight hardships, to carry on through dire circumstances. My personal hero? My Dad, most definitely. But that’s a story for another day.

This post came under the inspiration of one of my headmaster’s school assemblies. I’ve witnessed many assemblies, but never until this school have I found some so inspiring. His example was over the Lance Armstrong Scandal, whereby another lesson can be learnt: If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

My Harry Potter

I got into Harry Potter quite late, relatively speaking.... I was eleven years old and there were already four films. I was bored one day and went downstairs to see what my parents were watching. They were watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - I came in just as the start of term feast finished. I was intrigued by the school and how real it seemed, so I sat down.


I watched it all and I loved it.

I went back and read all of the first three books, watching the films after completing each of them. I then read the fourth book, but panicked when the age certificate was a 12 ( I still being eleven). I watched it a week before my birthday, on my own, in a darkened room, and having started high school and encountered a large majority of the swear words anyway, I was fine.

I read the other books, hanging on tenterhooks for the sixth and seventh volumes, crying intensely. I went to the cinema for all of the remaining four films, and cried intensely.

I cried when it was over. It still makes me sad.

I want more - spin offs, prequels, the marauders, the founders, what they did as adults, what their children did, spellbooks written and published. There is so much to be explored,and I only hope that when the copyright expires, some bright spark will do it. Or perhaps even JK Rowling will do them herself.

So. Want some quick Trivia?


My Favourite Book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I call it the tipping stone - it's getting darker, but not quite depressing, it relates to the teenage condition,and the imagery and magic is just getting complex enough.

My Favourite Film: In relation to the books, the two Deathly Hallows ones. They're perfect. AND they include Neville/Luna, which JK was stupid not to.

My Favourite Character: Hermione Granger. She's clever, and she's the kind of person I'd like to be ( but less bossy)



My Favourite House: Ravenclaw. Duh.


The Character I would Date: Fred Weasley. I formed an attachment to him somewhere in the first three books/films. I refuse to acknowledge that he died. Because he didn't. (Fred is the one on the right)


The one thing from the world I wish was real and could own: I'd like to say Hogwarts, but I can't really own it, so I'm going to break the mould and say a life long subscription to the Daily Prophet. If I can't live it,at least I could read about it.

Monday, 19 August 2013

My Favourite 10: Books (15)

Now. I have a slight obsession with books. They are good. Very good.  I'm also going to count this as 'A selection of book reviews', one of the points on my 50. So, in no particular order, Here are my top ten series

Harry Potter JK Rowling
As if I needed to state the obvious. I am head over heels in love with these books and would read them over and over and over again. Lovable characters, the writing is gorgeous and a world that you can truly believe and endorse your soul and heart in, if you haven't read these, how can you understand this blog? I am a Ravenclaw, after all!


Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit JRR Tolkein
Another great classic. Some of the sentences needed reading a couple of times to focus, but it has adventure in epic proportions, loyalty, romance (I'm in love with Faramir), doom and destruction but light-heartedness too. Middle Earth is well built, and it feels like reading a history at some times (which, as a budding historian, is a high compliment)!


Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
One of those series where you just.can't.put.it.down! There are plot twists and evilness and fluffy bits too, and the writing really grabs you. It makes the reader connect with the characters. I will admit that I despise everything from page 100 onwards in Mockingjay, and I felt that the author was killing nice people off for the sake of it, but the previous two books were so horrifying and believable, it still makes my top ten.


Percy Jackson Rick Riordan
I love this writing style. If there is anyway, or any book that I would advise to learn sarcastic writing style, it is this series. I love the ancient Greek influences, the confusion of those teenage years, and the characters, again, are all so lovable. I like how the author advocates being clever, with Annabeth, and with all of the historical references, it keeps me interested.


I am Number Four Pittacus Lore
I could do without the swearing. Just saying. But, otherwise, the plot was good, the idea an interesting one and I love Six. I felt that Sarah was a bit too perfect and just wanted to punch her, but I loved the idea of what Lorien stood for and that is what keeps me interested, despite Four's arrogance.


Eragon Christopher Paolini
Murtagh. His character just kept me clinging to this series. I love him, he's so complicated and broken, he just needs exploring. The writing was very much older than it was, but the imagery was beautiful. Again, Arya was a bit too perfect, but she's an elf so that's to be expected. I felt the ending of Inheritance was a bit of an anti-climax, but I'm glad that it's been left open for a possible spin-off book/series.


Triskellion  Will Peterson
Slightly Sci-fi but I love the hints of history within it, although it does scare me that one of the characters is called Rachel. The first book was good, but the subsequent two were thrilling, and made me cry. Also, unlike some series, the ending left me satisfied.


Dragonskin slippers Jessica Day George
I like this one for its sewing, its dragons, and oddly, its love story. Creel is not the typical person you would expect to fall for a Prince, and while it is simplistic in its nature, the whole series was interesting and made me smile. And it had sewing in it, so I would recommend for crafting fans of children's literature.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky
I fell in love with this book very quickly as I read it at a difficult time in my life and felt that I could connect with the troubled characters. I will say though that I took a different route to sorting out my problems than they did! But the structure of the writing and its simplicity makes it beautiful and heart-wrenching all at the same time, and the ending left tears falling down my face. The character remains broken, less so, but you finally realise why.


Runemarks Joanne Harris
I was beginning to feel that the mythology 'thing' had been overdone, but then I met these two books, based in Norse mythology and fell for it. They took me time to read over my exams, but it was worth it. The plot was complex and the Characters were so colourful and ever-changing that it kept me so interested and focused on the stories. I do think, however, that Loki and Maddy's relationship was left too unexplored.


They're all so gorgeous.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Christmas To -Do List: Films to watch

 
The Polar Express
 
 
The Downton Abbey Christmas Special
 
 
Love Actually (to depress me)
 
 
Harry Potter (to cheer me up again)