Foxley Wood provided something for everyone yesterday – my first (second and third) butterfly spot of the year, some sunshine for Mark and many muddy puddles (and the odd stick) for Freya.
I was so excited to see butterflies again. As well as the comma we also saw a peacock and lots of very vibrant brimstones, which looked like they were glowing they were so bright (not a single one would stop for a photo).
Luckily this beetle was happy to pose.
Best afternoon ever!
I hope you’ve all had a fun week. To see what other people have submitted to the fantastic My Sunday Photo link up please click on the camera below.
Also, please pop back tomorrow when the award winning author Jane Davis takes part in my Behind The Book series.
Short, snappy chapters keep A Year Of Taking Chances moving along like the Eurostar whizzing its way into France, where some of this book is set.
This is Jennifer Bohnet’s 12th novel (yes, 12th!) but, surprisingly, it’s the first time I’ve read any of her work.
It’s a warm and uplifting story about two friends, Tina and Jodie, who discover that dreams can come true – although you still have to work at them.
Here’s the blurb:
Life is about to change forever…
When best friends, Tina and Jodie, make a drunken New Year’s Eve vow to change their lives before they hit the big 3 – 0, neither expected to end the year with much more than another hangover…
Twelve months later, Jodie is married and living in Provence – and Tina is exactly where she was a year ago (although now her rent is double). Tina can’t help but feel a little bit left behind, but as Jodie reminds her, she’s not thirty yet, there’s still time to quit her job, start her own literary agency and sign the man of her dreams!
I generally really like books where the main characters are in the panic stage of the count down to 30 – I vaguely remember it myself – but this one didn’t quite gel for me.
While I enjoyed the story and the way it was written I didn’t connect with Tina or Jodie on more than a surface level. Having said that, there were elements of it that I really liked, such as finding out more about life in France (and, as the author lives there, she clearly knows her stuff). There’s also a third character, Maisie, who I would have liked to have seen more of.
I know it’s proving popular with other reviewers, so I’d say give it a go and make your own mind up. In fact, I’d be pleased to hear what you think.
Price: £1.99 via Amazon.
My rating: Three and a half stars.
Thank you to HQ Digital (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.
While April showers are supposed to bring May flowers – and we’ve certainly had a wet start to the month in Norfolk – we couldn’t wait that long so we’ve made our own.
It was actually a very happy coincidence that ‘flowers’ was the theme of this month’s Bostik Blogger craft box because Mark’s hay fever has flared already so I’ve had to re-home my beautiful Mother’s Day hyacinth, which was adding to his misery.
A quick Pinterest search revealed lots of different paper flowers to make of varying difficulties so we did some test runs and picked the best three.
Card (white, yellow and patterned).
Bostik Blu Stick.
Bostik Glu Dots.
Chopsticks or flower wire.
We cut the card into thin strips.
Freya popped some glue at one end of a strip and then attached the other end to it to make a petal. While the glue is blue to help you see where you’ve pasted, it magically dries white (this blew our minds).
We cut out a circle (and also used a flower shape for another of the daisies) to stick the petals to. We tried this with the glue stick but found glu dots held better.
I attached it to a chopstick with a glu dot (as it was a bit fiddly) while Freya decorated a jam jar to keep them in.
Simple rose bud.
Bostik Tape Discs.
We cut a small square (about 10cm by 10cm) out of a piece of card.
Freya really enjoyed this bit. I drew a swirly pattern on the card (she had a go too) and then she cut it out. The joy of it is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to the lines because it makes it look more petal-like.
I then rolled the card into a fairly tight ball.
I used a tape disc to hold it together and then attached some wire for the stem (the bud was tight enough that it stayed on the wire without anything to stick it).
Slightly more complicated roses.
I loved making the daisies and the simple rose buds with Freya but, while she was at school, I had a go at making some slightly more complicated roses – and fell in love.
Card (pink, patterned and cream).
Bostik Tape Discs.
Bostik Glu Dots.
Green tape (I had some florists tape so used that).
Bostik Blu Tack.
Chopsticks (painted green)
Using a scrap piece of card, I roughly drew a flower shape like this. This is about 11cms wide.
I stacked four pieces of card and cut around the shape. It doesn’t have to be exact.
I poked a small hole in the middle of each card. I then folded each petal, as above, and bent the odd petal at the top too.
What I should have done here was get the stick and wrap the paper around it. However, I didn’t think of that until afterwards. Instead, I got one card and folded the first petal in half, I stuck it with a disc and then folded the next petal over it. I kept doing this until all five petals were together. I then taped around the bottom half of the bud to hold them in place.
I attached a glu dot to either side of the rose and then stuck the next layer on using the same method as above. I added the next two layers in this way, adding glue dots as needed, until my rose was formed.
As I said, this is better done at the start but at this point I poked the chopstick through the hole in the bottom so about 2cms was inside. I then wraped blu tack around the base to keep it in place and covered it with green tape.
I’m really pleased with the result. I sprayed an old jam jar white and then had a play with ribbon to see which looked best. I’m going to get some different card and have a go at making my favourite yellow roses too.
Freya was thrilled with them when she came home from school (and insisted on pretending to be a bride, complete with her favourite dress).
Mark was also happy not to be constantly sneezing and itching his eyes while indoors (I can’t do much to help him outside).
What are your favourite flowers? Have you ever made them from paper?
* Please note: We receive a craft box from Craft Merrily free of charge, as part of our role as Tots 100 Bostik Bloggers, in return for this post.