Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Reading Updates

Hi everyone!
Here's a little update video that I thought I'd share with you all. In the video I talk about some good videos that I've seen recently and I also update you on what I'm currently reading which is No Country by Kalyan Ray. I have actually since finished it and I absolutely loved it, a review will be coming. Speaking of reviews, I have quite a few to do. 10 to be exact. If you would like to see me review any book in particular just let me know and I'll get round to it as soon as I can. I have so many to do at this point that I don't know where to start so it'll be good to know what you guys want to see. Let me know if there are any other types of videos/posts that you would like to see and I will definitely try my best to get it done for you!



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Monday, 14 July 2014

How to make a kimono from a scarf

Hi everyone!
If you know anything about fashion, you'll know that this season's big trend is the kimono. Everyone seems to be wearing some variation of this traditional Japanese dress and I completely understand why. They are extremely light and versatile. You can wear them with denim shorts or jeans and they instantly jazz up the outfit. With summer well on its way they are also perfect for a trendy beach cover-up. Both River Island and Topshop are offering gorgeous kimonos but at very expensive prices. With that in mind I decided to see if I could try my hand at making my own using a scarf that I found in a charity shop.
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What you need:

  • A large scarf/fabric, I got mine in a charity shop for €1!
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle and thread


1. Fold you scarf in half and lay it out on the floor with the folded edge at the top as shown below. 



2. Using your measuring tape, measure about 67cm up one of the open sides and place a pin there.


3. Sew either by hand or by machine, whichever you prefer, up to the pin. I decided to sew by hand because my fabric was quite delicate and I used quite large stitches. Double/triple stitch to secure your thread.


4. From the bottom of the fabric (the folded edge should be the top), measure the half way point and make a mark or place a pin.


5. Cut up the middle from the half way point that you measured but only cut through one layer!


6. Hem the raw edges or if you're lazy like me, use Bondaweb! I forgot to take a picture of me hemming so you'll have to take my word for it!

7. Style your new kimono how you please!






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Monday, 23 June 2014

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My copy


 Publisher: Black Swan movie tie-in edition (2013)
Page count: 554
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meagre existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbours during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

My thoughts: I actually started reading this book in January and only finished it in March. I found the start of this book to really drag on. It didn't capture my attention in any way and just didn't make me want to read it. I usually like historical fiction so I was quite surprised at how much I didn't like it at the start and I was considering abandoning it all together. I did take a break from it and when I eventually picked it back up again in March, I was much more interested in the book and actually ended up liking it in the end. I found Markus Zusak's writing to be extremely eloquent. It was almost eloquent to the point of excess and sometimes I found myself drowning in all of the beautiful metaphors and allegories. It came across that Zusak was trying too hard and in some parts the message was lost because of it.

The characters were very well rounded and believable. I loved Hans, Leisel's father, in particular and the relationship that formed between the two. It was very heartwarming and probably my favourite part of the book was seeing their relationship blossom. For me that was what the book was about. It was the relationships that formed and flourished in this difficult period. It was families that despite the struggles of the war, got through it together and were stronger than ever. Markus Zusak captured the heartbreak  of living in war torn Germany extremely well and taught me so much about the second world war that I didn't know before and also from a whole different perspective.  

Death as a narrator was interesting to say the least. I found it strange at the start but I quickly got used to it and it was just like any normal narrator with a few little interjections along the way. That was until Death started spoiling the ending. He gave it away half way through and I was seriously annoyed. As if Death's job isn't bad enough that he has to take people's souls he also has to go and ruin The Book Thief! It brought my opinion of the book down A LOT! 

Here are a few pictures from the book. Don't worry there's no spoilers!


Buy The Book Thief from the Book Depository

Here's this review in video format:




The post Book Review: The Book Thief, appeared first on Freckles and Curls blog.

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

May Wrap-up

Hi everyone!
Thanks to the Bout of Books read-a-thon, I had a great reading month with a total of 6 books that I really enjoyed. I read 3 eBooks and 3 physical books which is new for me. I usually only read 3-4 books and they're usually all physical books. It was nice to have a bit of variety in my reading and I found that reading eBooks is really convenient when on the go since I have a Kindle app on my phone. I'm not going to do a TBR for this month because I'm just going to see what I feel like! I will be reviewing all of these books at some stage on this blog.

Books I read in May:

The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
Paper Aeroplanes- Dawn O'Porter
The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe- Charles Yu
Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
The Great Gatsby- F.Scott Fitzgerald

Currently reading:
The Da Vinci Code- Dan Brown
Chocolat- Joanne Harris

I've been "reading" Chocolat for the past two months. I'm just not that into it but I still really want to finish it. Hopefully June will be the month I finally do! I'm really enjoying The Da Vinci Code. I started it during the week and I think it is a fantastic book so it won't be long before I'm finished it!

How many books did you read this month?
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Friday, 23 May 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Hi everyone!
This review has been a long time coming! I think I read this book in February or was it March? I'm not actually sure. I'm certain that you are all familiar with this book, if not, where have you been? The Fault in Our Stars has been cooking up quite a storm in the book community since it was published in 2012. It is the story of two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who meet at a cancer support group and it follows their blossoming relationship while they both struggle with their illness.




Whenever I heard anyone talking about it they said three things:
1. "It's AH-MAZE-ING
2. "It's SOOOOO sad!!!!" 
3. "You should definitely read it!!!"


Based on these recommendations I should have been excited to read it but that was not the case. I avoided reading it for ages because everyone seems to end up in a teary, snotty mess after reading it and I wanted to avoid that outcome at all costs. I eventually gave in after feeling that I was missing out on something major.
Turns out that I didn't end up in a snotty mess and I wasn't left with an empty hole in my life like so many 
others. Instead I was left underwhelmed and unaffected. My expectations had been raised so high by everyone who had told me about the book that it inevitably fell short and left me feeling like there was something wrong with me for not feeling the same as everyone else.


Having high expectations was just one of the reasons I wasn't too mad about this book. The other reason was that I didn't connect with the characters. Yes their banter was cute and they were oh so quirky but they were also extremely annoying and pretentious. Now I know that they were deliberately written that way especially Augustus but it didn't make me like them in any way. I kept rolling my eyes at them and wanting them to be normal. Of course they were never going to be normal, having cancer at such a young age would inevitably make them grow up more. I understood this but I was still annoyed by them.
It wasn't all bad though, I did like some parts of the book. It really made me think about mortality and what I would do if I was in their situation. How would I react? What would my friends and family do? It made me appreciate my life more and want to start doing more things because I realised that there are people who have it a lot worse than I do. For that reason alone, I liked the book a lot more.


I felt that The Fault in Our Stars was over-hyped and so I was disappointed by it. Now maybe I missed the message of it completely or I was too critical but for whatever reason, The Fault in Our Stars was not the book that I expected it to be.


What did you think of The Fault in Our Stars?
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