17.12.14

December Music


I'm one of those people who will listen to the same song or album or artist over and over again until I'm sick of it. I don't actually get sick of it but I do have to take a break and then go back to listening to it. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who does that. It's like a musical addiction.

This month The National has been my drug, after seeing them at the end of November I'm just replaying their albums again and again. Mixing it up with a few other songs that have me singing. Songs that make me sing out loud are my favourites. I'm not much of a dancer (until you get a couple of drinks in me), you might see me swaying my head but I'm a more lyrical person. Some of us are more interested in music that has a good beat to dance to and the rest of us are more interested in the words. And when you find those songs that have everything you want you just want to share it with the world. That's why I like to post a playlist of songs I like because if it wasn't for people sharing their favourite songs we might not have favourites of our own.

So turn up those songs you love. Stand up, dance or sing or both. Take a moment to enjoy them. I hope you like some of mine. I also sneaked in my favourite (and the best) Christmas song.

December Music by Natasha Chan on Grooveshark

14.12.14

Handmade Christmas Cards


Last year I made some decorations for my tree and this year I wanted to make my Christmas cards. Creating something instead of buying I think is a lot more thoughtful, it can also be really fun if you like to be a bit crafty. I wanted to keep it quite simple and make them personalised for each person.

You don't need a lot to make them, if you're like me and have a collection of embellishments, paints, glue and glitter. I did however need to buy some card and envelopes. It is actually cheaper for me to make these than buy which is an added bonus. 
 

The first thing I did was make my stencil/stamp. I made an outline of a gingerbread man and a tree, for the snowman I painted freestyle but there are lots of printable outlines that can be used. Using cardboard I made a little handle to make it easy to take off after printing the design. I brushed on acrylic paint onto the stamp and then pressed on the card then I was left with the shape. After I used the brush to smooth it down and added white glitter.

When that was dry I used sequins, string, pens, thread, glitter and ribbon to decorate the card. You can be so creative with what you want the design to look like. Once the glue had dried I used letter stamps to write 'Merry Christmas' on the cards, alternatively you can print out or hand write what you want. And then leave a message inside. 

It's very simple and took a few hours but I found it enjoyable. Maybe this will give you an idea to hand make something this festive season. And if you have already please share your idea!

10.12.14

Book Review: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver


One of my favourite things to do is to walk around a book store and physically browse books and see if any of them catches my eye. A lot of the time it's an impulse buy after reading the back, other times I remember a title of a book that is on my 'to read' list and I feel that it is a sign that I should read it. Initially when I was attracted to the title and found out what it was about I was immediately interested. I'm trying to branch out when it comes to what I read, I haven't read short stories for a very long time. I still have memories of my Dad reading to me and my little sister before bed from a big book of stories. There was also a lot of praise for Carver's writing style. When I found this, I picked up the last copy on the shelf and went to pay.

I believe that all authors are talented, they create something in their mind, put pen to paper and it's there for anyone to read. To write a series of stories with such different characters, narratives and events, each of them significant in their own way is artistic. Being able to achieve the same in a few pages that others do in a few hundred is quite inspiring. They are about people, all different types of people, young, old, relatable, unimaginable, men and women.

They really do linger in your mind, it as been a month since I read the 17 stories and some of them really got me thinking. In particular the story with the same title What we talk about when we talk about love. A group of people are having a conversation and one of them says 'There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love?'. I couldn't stop thinking about that when I first read those words. It seems like love can grow as easily as it can die. Maybe there is a balance in the universe and there can't be more love or more hate, it must be equal. But who truly knows, and that is what I love in a book. When I think about something I never thought about before. 

As it is a relatively small collection it was really quick to get through, perfect for days when you want to read a few pages at a time. If you want a change from an entire novel I would recommend giving this a read.