A month full of notebooks

And you know how much I like notebooks - it's been a good month!  I've been back to TK Maxx in Orpington, I just popped in one lunchtime to see what they had. And ended up leaving with more than I bargained for, ah well I'm sure they'll come in handy.

It started with a pretty daily planner, which has a tear off strip on the side for the to do list part, a clever idea I thought.

A flowery desk planner

And then I spotted the A5 notebooks, and I knew it was dangerous. And how could I choose?







Yes, clearly I didn't choose, I bought them all - but at £5,99 a pop that wasn't so bad. I like their motivational messages too - and in the right order, there's the starting of a plan too.

But that's not all.  There was one more I couldn't resist.



I love this bold design and at the moment it's in the pigeon shelves in the porch, so every time I walk past it it catches my eye and reminds me what to do.

notebook displayed in my porch - giving me a motivational boost as i walk past

And if that wasn't enough, earlier in the week I was at the TK Maxx and Homesense Christmas in July event - more on that next week - and I left with a lovely personalised notebook.  And yes, my personalisation was 139a - what else?! - I even watched it being done, absolutely fascinating.

personalised 139a notebook

So my July in paper has been all about notebooks. But you can never have too many, right?

The Reading Residence

Making an Anniversary card

This year MOH and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary while we were away cycling in the Loire. As space was at a premium we decided to leave swapping cards until we were home. That way not only were we saving space and weight - not much admittedly, but it meant that the cards wouldn't get damaged either.

So now we're home I wanted to share the card I made with supplies provided by Create and Craft TV, who broadcast on Sky and Freeview as well as online. You can see what's on in their TV schedule.

So back to the card.  The card blanks were fancier than I usually use and that meant I needed to adapt my card making. My bold simple blocks of cards which I usually default too, didn't really fit with these shaped blanks.

Pretty edges on the card blanks

I used the ribbon as my inspiration, the brown and pink colours reminded me of the colour theme at our wedding. I knew though that this significance would be lost on MOH, not because he isn't interested, but because he genuinely hasn't retained that information.

laying out the ribbon

I decided to use the ribbon as decoration and cut a slit in the fold of the card and threaded the ends through and secured them with washi tape. Although I like the ribbons I wanted something more so I cut a piece of scrapbook paper and inserted that behind the ribbon. It's amazing how much difference it makes.

laying out the front of my card, adding scrapbook paper gave it more depth and interest

Next I added some golden "pearls" on the ribbon and a pretty tag in the bottom right.

Adding embellishments to finish the anniversary card

Next to make it an anniversary card!  That was done by adding a pre-printed message, and so it wasn't quite as white I coloured the background card with a pale brown pencil.  

A homemade anniversary card with ribbon, pearls and scrapbook paper

On reflection it's perhaps not the card MOH would want to receive, but it's perfect for him to send to me. See what a great wife I am!! And to me, it has a feel of an Edwardian Country Lady - what do you think?


* This is a collaborative post with Create and Craft TV, but as usual all words, opinions and creative ideas are my own

The Reading Residence
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What I've read lately: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

You'll remember that I had a new book delivered recently, and that it came with a miniature of Southern Comfort - which as first impressions go is a pretty good one.  I hoped that I'd reach the part of the book that needed a stiff drink at an appropriate time, and so far I've not needed to pour myself a drink, well not yet anyway.

The other thing that struck me about this book when it arrived was its size. It's on the larger side of the paperbacks and is quite thick too, and I think initially this put me off.  It does fit into my handbag, but with a driving commute I've found it hard to really get into this book.  What I have read has been good and I want to carry on reading it, but for me this will be a slower read than the books I've read recently.  I'm not sure why, but I know I want to understand the story.

Unusually the front cover doesn't include the book's title, but instead "The hunt for Edith Hind starts here" is given prominence with the title relegated to the spine and the rear cover.  I found this confusing initially too - I've a simple mind, clearly - and while I like the cover image, I think I prefer to have the title there in its more traditional place.

I think one of the reasons I've struggled to really get into this book is that it shares a main character - Edith - with the listening book I have in the car. Both are young adults approaching marriage but their lives couldn't be more different. Edith, in this book is reported missing and once you get to this part the title of the book is obvious.  I think the vast difference between the two Edith's lives have also hindered my ability to become immersed in this story.

It's well written and I think I will enjoy the story, I've heard that others have said they'd read this in a couple of days. Right now this book hasn't grabbed me and got me hooked, but I'm more than willing for that to happen. 

As usual I won't share the ending of the book, usually that's to avoid spoiling the story, but in this case it's because I really don't know what that'll be.  I know this sounds like a negative review of the book, but I don't mean for it to be. I'm going to continue to read this book because already I care about some of the characters - Manon, the detective on the case who it seems is unlucky in love but is clear that the first 72 hours in a case are crucial, and Miriam, Edith's mother who early in the book lifts the Le Creuset onto the draining board and wonders why people rave about them when they are almost un-lift-able - and because I want to know more of what happened.  

And if I'll need that Southern Comfort.

Update:  As I thought, a train ride to and from Birmingham last Saturday was a good opportunity to spend some time with this book.  There was a twist that you expect from thriller books and at one point I considered part of it.  Not the other though.  

I hadn't remembered to take the miniature of Southern Comfort with me, so I've still got that for another day!  It is a good book - and once I'd got into it, I wanted to finish it.  I didn't quite manage that on my journey back, but while MOH cooked dinner that night I put my nose back into the book and finished it.  

Thanks to Mumsnet and Borough Press for providing  a copy of Missing, Presumed in return for an honest review.