Friday, 20 June 2014

Highlights of Hay

On Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th of May 2014 my family went to the Hay Festival in Hay-on-wye. It was a wonderful experience even though it was wet and muddy. It was a lot of fun and I even managed to purchase a few books (I’ll say more about that later). I met up with my friend Abbi and we had a lot of fun.

I spent the morning with my family wandering through Hay looking through the shop like stalls whilst sticking to the path since the awful weather had turned what once had been fields into some sort of mud bath, not that the rain showed any sign of stopping. It was during this time when we passed the sort of covering that they were using as a sort of interview area when my Mom spotted Cassandra Claire herself being interviewed. We pulled to one side and waited for her to finish. Then she stopped and took a photo with another fan before turning to me, having a  quick conversation in which I managed to tell her how she was my favourite author before she smiled for a photo.

Then after that amazing encounter we headed to market style lunch place and got something to eat. I myself got a Margherita pizza, my Dad got a pizza that tasted a little more exotic whilst my Mom and Brother had a burger. The food was good on all accounts so there is no complaints here. After we each had finished, we cleared away our rubbish and headed to the large Hay bookshop where Abbi had agreed to meet over text. We spent a lot of time in that shop, with it shelves piled high with books as it was where the book signings were held. Abby had herself literally just come from Cressida Cowel's (author of the best selling how to train your dragon series) talk and book
signing when she caught up with us at last. 

From there we headed to the stage where the Cassandra Claire talk was being held even though it meant we were an hour early. All that waiting however did pay off when we managed to get front row seats.

The talk itself (not to be biased) was amazing and really interesting to hear from the actual author herself. Not only did she talk about her main characters Jace and Clary she also talked on the lesser characters Simon and Izzy whilst especially focussing on Magnus, Alec and their relationship. The talk itself was relatively spoiler free, though I did need to cover my ears when they begain to discuss The Infernal Devices (I have just finished the second book). Cassandra even talked about The Mortal Instruments Movie and disclosed that she did not feel that the characters in movie matched up with those in her book to everyone’s happiness. I agreed with this as I believed that the film makers made major changes to most of the characters personalities, making them behave differently to how they did within the book. The next topic of discussion what the snippet of the bane chronicles, which are to be published as an actually book later this summer, which she had brought with her. The snippet was read aloud much to the audiences enjoyment. Then she began to answer questions asked by the crowd. We (the crowd) were told that the first person to ask a question would be given a prize as an attempt to bribe the crowd. I am lucky enough to say that I was able to ask the first question. The prize was revealed to be a clockwork angle inspired necklace that I have not really stopped wearing since. My question was: Do you find it complicated writing in such a world where everything is so interwoven and complicated. She replied to me with this answer: At first I used to find such a world a bit of a challenge, until we decided it was a good idea to compile my notes into the Shadowhunter's codex which has now become my bible for when I'm writing. I can agree with this as i too keep a writing journal to keep my ideas in one place.

Once the talk had finished there was a sudden rush of people flooding through the doors leaving the stage as an attempt to be first in line in Cassie's book signing. I, my Mom, Abbi were each worried by this but were fine when we saw that my Dad and Brother had jumped in the line once they themselves had seen how long it was getting. We did not need to wait too long only about 45 minutes which was much shorter than other people in the line. Even the Hay Festival volunteers told us that they had never seen a queue for a signing like it before. The queue itself doubled back on itself and I could not help but feel sorry for Cassie who was obviously going to be sat in her seat for longer than expected. Still once we did get to the front of the queue Cassie was really kind and even  remebered me from earlier on in the day. We had a quick discussion about how I liked the necklace and my favourite characters ( I told her they were Alec, Izzy, Magnus and simon though Jem and  Charlotte have both now been added to the list) before she signed  my copy of City of Bones.

We said goodbye to Abbi again not long after that. Before we went into the actual town of Hay and look around. Going into a few book stores before heading back to the festival and listing to a final talk by the BBC about the art of radio broadcasting, it was not of any particular interest to me but my Parents seemed to enjoy it. The reason for which I did not like it was because the topic of discussion had not sparked my interest. Then the four of us piled back into the car, grabbed some fish and chips and began the long drive home.

It really was amazing to meet Cassie she was really kind, taking the time to actually talk to me. Not to mention some of the difficulties they she faces when she herself is writing. It was interesting for me to hear from the experiences of an actually published writer and she encouraged both me and Abby to keep on writing.

The last thing I had planned on that Sunday was to be back at hay. To be perfectly honest I would have been content to have curled up under the covers with some tea and my new book. But that fantasy did not happen, instead we all piled back into the car and began the drive to Hay for a second time.

When we arrived I could tell straight away that it was going to be a even better day. The first thing that I noticed was the weather. Where the day before there had been rain, there was now sun. Of course this too had consequences, for instance the sun had most defiantly brought out the crowds and the mud from the day before was still there but nevertheless Sunday was a much brighter day.

The first talk we sat in was called Everyday Sexism with Lauren Bates. Lauren ran the blog called Everday Sexism where women could post stories of their harassment or issues without the fear of so called retribution. The response she had off women was astounding whether it was being heckeled in the street or much worst, stories came in form around the world. What worst perhaps was the amount of hate she received form internet 'trolls'. Everyday Lauren would and still does receive horrid messages about rape and murder. They were not stopping even though she had done nothing wrong. She told the audience how in fact sexism is still around no matter how people just dismiss it. She also told us that such actions from men or women was not just 'normal' and how we could go to the police. Lauren will often go into universities and was appalled by how the majority of girls were unaware of the fact that consent existed never mind what it was. She told us horrid stories of sexism and wonderful stories of both men and women standing up saying sexism is wrong. The talk itself was empowering and informative. I learned that a lot of things in the world do need to change but slowly things are beginning to change and that is good because if I took anything away from that talk it was that being a feminist means that you want both sexes to be equal not anything else.

We did not even have time to think over the things that Lauren had told us, since we then had to rush to another stage on the opposite side of the festival to get to our next talk. This carried on through two more talks until we finally had enough time to head back to the car and eat the small picnic that my Parents had brought from Tescos earlier on that morning.

After lunch we headed to another talk. This one however was just one for my Brother and I. It was called Ghouls and Ghosts Horror for Teenagers. Hosted by two horror writers Matt Whyman and James Dawson. James Dawson talked about his new book surrounding the famous urban legend bloody Mary. This then led the talk to a discussion about Urban legends themselves and how everyone in that room would each have at least a slightly different version of an urban legend to tell. That was my favourite thing about this talk was the sheer amount of audience participation whether it was asking us questions or asking us to tell stories the audience was fully involved. Then the two began to talk about Matt Whyman's new book: The savages. This particular story was about what happened to a family of cannibals when their daughter announced  that her boyfriend just so happened to be a vegetarian (I picked up this book at the end of the talk- it was truly chilling). Then they discussed the elements they believed should be in horror books for teens and their personal experiences with horror. If there was one thing I learned during this talk was how lucky we are now to have specified teenage horror books as for people the same age as my parents went straight to reading Stephen King books which was rather inappropriate.

For the rest of the day we attended a few more talks and tried to stay dry through the sporadic spouts of rain. We had a wonderful day until we climbed back into the car and headed home, stopping off at MacDonald's for tea

Our experience at hay was a good one. We each had a lot of fun, the only issue was especially on the second day was the crowds. For a girl in a wheelchair who is claustrophobic it was especially an issue. My mom did tell them this and hopefully with a bit more planning it will be an issue they will be able to fix for next year as we already have plans on going. Despite the fact it poured through most of our weekend not to mention I think we still haven't washed all of the mud off of our boots We had the most marvelous time and I would strongly recommend it to anyone.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014



Wow i haven't updated in ages.

Anyway here's an update on how my silver award is going

I have  finished two dolls:

Harley quinn;

Harley Quinn the jokers mad love. Harley is a favorite character of mine so i was excited to be able to make her first. Harley is now finished. She was the first doll i made


Nightwing. Batman's first sidekick is a favorite comic character of mine. He was the second doll I made and he too is now finished (though i may redo his face)

 Non finished dolls:

 Barbara Gordon (both Batgirl and Oracle)

 (photo credit to owner

 Barbara Gordon my all time favorite DC's dazzling lady, she was the first character I thought about when I decided I was going to make dolls out of comic book characters. Unfortunately Babs is yet to be finished as she needs fingers on her existing hand and another hand. Her hair also needs to be completed before i can sew her together. Babs will be both Batgirl and Oracle (I could not chose between the two) meaning she will have both her crime fighting batgirl outfit and an outfit for her to wear when she is being the equally amazing Oracle. I will also be crocheting her a wheelchair and laptop bag, before making her a pair of glasses and a laptop. I excited to see how it will all come together.

The pattern I used for all my dolls can be found on this blog (she has a lot of pretty patterns):


Kitty Pryde's  pet dragon Lockheed is one of my favourite X-Men related characters, most likly due to his  'firey' personality. I have crocheted lockheed's head and neck and am now working on his body. Since i am working with no pattern it is needless to say he is a little while from completion.

I am having a lot of fun with my silver award and hope in continues this way.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ali pali

The Alexandra Palace Knit And Stitch Show

On Thursday 10th October 2013 my Mother and I went to the Alexandra Palace knit and stitch show. We both had a wonderful time and I can not wait to go again.

We awoke at around 6:30am and got ready, then my Father dropped us off at the train station so that we could catch the 8:15am train. Our travel time was an estimated hour and a half. We then arrived at Euston train station in London, before catching a taxi and arriving at the show for 10:30am.

The first thing when we arrived outside was a taxi, in a completely knitted cover. When I talked to some of the people who did the cover they revealed that they were a knitting group called materialistic's who had undertaken the challenge on behalf of a new author who's book comes out November 2013. The project had taken the group approximately six weeks of which they had the taxi for a period of two days. The taxi itself was covered with brightly knitted panels and decorated with little knitted creatures like ladybirds or caterpillars with French knitted words along the back of the sides. The knitting was very well done and you could see that they had put a lot of time into it.

Materialistics website:

We then went inside. There was a large queue of people when entering the exhibit due to the fact that they had not brought their tickets before hand, luckily my Mom had so we did not need to wait as long. We then began to look around the few exhibits that had been included in the corridor outside of the hall. Including one from a group called FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) when a lovely lady who was one of the exhibitors approached us and asked whether I would like to join a sustainable fashion workshop. Of course we agreed and she pointed us in the right direction towards the stall where the workshop was taking place

F.A.D website:

When we arrived at the workshop we saw that it was being ran by a group of about five different university students who all worked with FAD. The first thing they did was ask my Mom to sign a piece of paper whilst one of the other girls asked me whether or not I could knit. When I replied that I could they were all very surprised.
I wheeled up to the table and they gave me a selection of different patterns from which I could chose one to try. I chose the bow tie necklace that I would then make whilst my Mom went and had a look around.
The first step was to make a plat long enough to fit around my neck, before moving on to the next step that was to knit a rectangle. Finally make a second plat and tie it around the rectangle to form a bow and pining it to the longer plat. This is your finished necklace.
The girls were all very impressed with my skills . Then we signed the last of the papers before carrying on with our day.

The next thing we did was have lunch which was a sausage roll for myself and a Cornish pasty for my Mom.

Once we had finished our meal we continued to look at the stalls set up around the hall. There was a great variety of things either on sale or at least on show. I brought several balls of wool in different colours like red, purple and even multi coloured for Harley Quinn, Lockheed the dragon and my Mermaid respectively

Then I went to a workshop that my Mom had signed me up for earlier in the day. It was learning how to make a mouse with Vanessa Mooncie a new author who has recently published her new book on crocheting animals. She was a really kind person and I even got to ask her a few questions like: How long have you been crocheting for? She replied: I learnt to crochet back when I was a young girl but never really got into it until about ten years back. I also asked her what is your favourite thing about crochet? She replied: My favourite thing about crochet is probably how portable it is as you can take it practically anywhere with you. I really enjoyed the workshop and had a lot of fun whilst making my mouse (named Marshmallow).At the end of the workshop if you had not already completed your mouse you were allowed to take the pattern away with so you could complete it at home.

Her website: www,

When we finished at the workshop we continued to look around the stalls that shelved everything from wool and embroidery floss to buttons and bejeweled crochet hooks and knitting needles. It took quite a while for us to get around simply due to how many stalls there were and how busy the show was. There were quite few people crowded with in that room.

Then eventually when we had manage to look at, at least most of the stalls when went into the hall opposite and began to look at the exhibit. Though it was mostly knitting it was still very impressive to see all the different styles and stitches on show. The exhibition was made up of several different exhibitors including the
London School of Fashion. Fashion was most defiantly the item that was on show the most but it was interesting looking at the different jumpers and other items on show.

The last thing we did was look around the last few stalls before we caught a taxi to the train station, had dinner and headed home.

As I have previously stated I very much enjoyed the show though the only problem was that the hall was far to crowded and to a wheelchair user like me this could become very distressing. Another problem that the two of us encountered was that the only way that the Alexandria Palace was in any way accessible was via taxi though I understand that this is not the organiser's fault. There were many workshops going on throughout the day and with more awareness we would have been able to attend more. The stalls themselves were all lavishly decorated with different items and I believe that there was something there for people of all skill levels.

Overall I can honestly say (as previously mentioned) I very much enjoyed the show and hope to go again.

pattern 1


This is the pattern I have used for my first doll, it is a revised version of this pattern:

So all the original credit goes them.


A Basic Female Doll.

This is how to crochet a basic female doll it takes practice but make a great doll in time.

You will need:
some yarn
something to make the face of the doll.
A small crochet hook
some toy stuffing.

Stitch (st)
Increase (inc) = Two stitches in one,
sl st= slip stich
*....* = repeat until you have the number of stiches in the brackes

Doll pattern:

  1. Magic ring of 5 st (5)
  2. inc in each st (10)
  3. *inc st* (15)
  4. *inc st* (20)
  5. *inc st* (25)
  6. - 12. (25)
13.*3st, dec* (20)
14. *2st, dec* (15)
  • begin to make face and stuff shape.
15. *st, dec* (10)
Fasten off with sl st, put to one side

Arms and Legs
  1. Magic ring (5)
  2. inc (10)
  3. - 4. (10)
5. dec st in next 7 st (8)
    1. - 14 (8)
if making legs do an extra 5 rows.
Fasten off with sl st, make two arms and two legs

hold together legs, insert through one loop in each and yarn over.
Continue corocheting on stiches of both legs until you have sixteen stiches- this is how the body starts

1-7. (16)
8. dec, 6sc, dec 6sc (14)
9-10. (14)
11. inc 4 (18)
12 – 13. inc 1 (19)
14.dec 1 (18)
15.Attach arms the same way as legs
16. dec, 5 st, dec, 5st dec (12)
Atach head

add hair and clothes and enjoy your new doll.

Enjoy. :)

Arts Award



I am about to start my third of four arts awards my arts award silver.
Arts Challenge: My arts challenge is to improve my crochet and amigurumi skills by creating several crochet plushes (dolls and a dragon).

goal for completion: 6 months – september 2013to April 2014.

Dolls i will make:
A Mermaid  
Harley Quinn
Lockheed the dragon
 Black Widow
 Shadowcat (with mini lockheed)

I will be posting my progress onto my blog and i shall be keeping a scrapbook throughout my journey.

I am excited about this challenge and hope that it will be as much fun as my previous award.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

My Influences

Michael Lee Lunsford:

My first of two influences for my costume design is Michael lee lunsford he is a male free lance artist aged twenty seven who is currently based in the USA. His main drawing interest goes to making his web comic Supernormal-Step, he too does commission however he does not do as much as Elizabeth as he does not have as much time.
Michael Lee Lunsford who had recently given himself a challenge. He has completely redesigned some of Dc's (the comic company behind heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) most famous heroines.

His aim was to design the characters outfits in a more realistic and appropriate manner. As many super heroines are known for wearing really quite revealing clothing. A problem which I personally believe he has solved.

I found Michael’s artwork really inspiring as I also feel that he has brought new ideas to their many costumes, which I must do agree can sometimes be far too skin tight.

Looking at this from a cosplayer or costume lover point of view it makes me have even more respect for these pieces because not only do I feel that he has been able to not only redesign the characters whilst keeping to their original themes but also I feel that if people were to cosplay the characters like this instead of how they do, it would be a lot more respectful.

Drawings are as follows: Zatanna, Supergirl, Wonderwoman, Power girl, Batgirl, and Phsylocke

Elizabeth Beals:

Elizabth Beales is a female artist who is currently a free lance illustrator who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She did go to an Art College though I am unsure which one as she has not disclosed the information of where it was.Elizabeth currently lives off of the money she makes from doing commissions and other pieces of art work.Elizabeth designs characters as if they were real people alive today based around their super costumes.

I enjoyed the concept behind her artwork and find her style of technique useful when wanting to do a subtle character inspired outfit. Where the clothes are concerned I think that she did a good job (some better than others) at portraying the characters concept.

Characters are as follows: Zatanna, Supergirl, Wonderwoman, Power girl, Batgirl, and Starfire. 

 I chose these two artists because I loved their approach to the characters. Michael Lee Lunsford not only makes these famous heroines fully clothed (unlike so many of the offical comic artists) but also makes them take on a more military style all wearing gloves and combat boots for instance, that i wanted to reflect in my costume. Elizabeth Beals take a more real world spin on the characters, as they all wear modern day clothing. This is another aspect of the characters that i wanted to show.

I found out about these two artists through the internet, as they were featured on a website that I The first step I took in my research was to google them and go to their websites/deiveintart accounts, where I then looked futher into their art before continuing to find out some information about the two of them. Once I had done that I built up my research piece  

 These two particular artists influenced my art in the following ways: Micheal's artwork inspired me to take on a more miltary approach to my costume for example:my gloves, utility belt style and combat boots. Elizabeth Beals inspired me to take a more modern twist on the character for example:my t-shirt and leggings making for a more interesting costume.

I Guide The Guides

I guide the guides.

At first I knew I wanted to do something to do with my cosplay, I was unsure how this would work short of making an entire costume, which we obviously could not within an hour and a half period. I then thought it may be easier to focus on one skill. I made a list all the skills I had used before chosing the most important one: Sewing.

The the thing I thought about whilst planning was skill: was the activity i had chosen the correct skill level for the people attending the session. Once I had thought that through I began to think about the equipment I would need to commence my activity. Eventually I fished planning and I could get on with my lesson

I went to my usual Girl Guides meeting, to hold a sewing lesson where we did the activity I had chosen sewed felt designs on to plain t-shirts. 

After we said our promise and had greeted each other, we got the tables out and sat down. First I told the girls what we were going to be doing before getting out the equipment and handing each of them a t-shirt. After that I showed the anyone whom did not know, how to sew the basic running stitch. I then let them draw out their own designs out on to the felt before cutting it out. Then each girl was given a needle and some thread and began to sew their design onto t-shirt. I spent my time helping each of them in turn with their new skill until all the t-shirts were completed. We then went and got changed before having a fashion show

I personally feel that the lesson went rather well and based on this lesson I would defiantly like to do another one.

Before the lesson I felt rather nervous about what the girls may have thought but then once we started I gained more confidence and I had a lot of fun.

Through the feedback forms I gave them I know that the girls enjoyed learning something new and they loved to take home something they had made. We have even inspired the guide leaders to do a craft badge.

The three things that I feel went well are: The first thing that went well was everyone who took part in the lesson finshed their t-shirt, which was an achievement for everyone. The thing i found quite surprising was how focused the girls were, each of them worked really hard on the project. Lastly everyone learned something whether it how to sew, or that felt could by applied to t-shirts everyone left the meeting with a new skill.

 The three things I would change are: Firstly I would tell explain the activity to the girs the week before hand so they more time to think about their disigns. The next thing would be if i had more time time I would have invited the girl's parents to come and see the fashion show. Lastly i would have made the evaluation forms easier to understand, as some of the girls found the questions hard to understand.

There is no particular thing I would like to improve but one thing I will note is that it was quite difficult to give each of the girls one to one help. I did however manage this by working my way around the table and I spent time with each girl in turn.

As I have previously said I very much enjoyed teaching the girls and I can not wait to do another lesson.