Sunday, 28 September 2014

Southern Belle

"Oh hello.
Let's share our thoughts and hopes and dreams as well as our awkward faces and our silly moments and our tragically funny failures. In other words, let's be friends." The Blue Threshold.

With an invitation like that who can blame me for falling in love with the charming Sofia and her world of insightful content, stunning photography and majestic aura, sprinkled throughout each post on her blog The Blue Threshold?

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It was the dreamy yet concise imagery that led me to discovering this delightful blog, as I borrowed one of Sofia's original photographs for a book review here. Not only had I stumbled across one of my now most frequented blogs, I also made an acquaintance in the lovely lady herself. Friendly, honest and down right sassy, trust me when I say you'll want to add this to your Bloglovin feed!

Sofia writes about all that fuels her mind. This blog has a little of everything and I don't know about you but besides having quality as a constant, I love diversity in subject. This could be because of how down right nosey I am or my will to learn as much as possible, but The Blue Threshold keeps me coming back for more, just to see what new adventure is in store.

Covering topics such as style;

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Get Styled By Me On Keaton Row
Worn: Chanel Mary Jane Pumps


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Haul: Books (Summer 2014)
Booktube-a-thon TBR (and what I've read so far)

To everything in between such as moving back to her roots in Texas and even mentions of the most desirable lip shades.

Gone To Texas
Borrowed: Taking Stock
Blog Crush

Join the journey and breathe in that warm southern air! You can find Sofia on her blog and also hanging out over on twitter and even facebook.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

So Much To Say!

Hey there friends, what's going down? I feel somewhat out of the loop since getting back from my vacation of ultimate laziness (ahh twas heaven!), but am well and truly ready to jump back into the blogging pool, with both woolly sock clad feet (welcome back Autumn)!

I have posts a plenty lined up, more lists that I know what to do with and not enough hours in the day to complete the most basic of daily tasks, sorry wardrobe in need of reorganising and unfinished knitting project, you'll just have to wait!

For now I thought I would share with you a small update of things I've been enjoying lately:

- Penny Dreadful on Netflix; I can not get enough of this beautifully gothic drama, such clever entangled story lines full of classic characters and my oh my the costumes!

- Caramel cappuccino; need I say anymore?

- Thick ass socks;  Burrrrrr my tippie toes are shell shocked after returning from Spain!

- Hema!! This is my favourite shop here in the Netherlands (hitting the shores of Britain very soon I hear). Jammed full of stationary, home wear, cosmetics, baked goods, craft supplies. Yep, I could quite happily live inside the store itself!

- Getting my knit on; I have a ton of projects up my sleeve and I can't wait to crack on. If only I could step away from Pinterest for five minutes...

- Reading; whilst away I devoured some great literature and since catching up on my favourite book tubers, I am excited to get stuck into some autumnal fiction!

Do you guys have any 'new season' plans? Any tips on how to get started? Or any exciting news?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The man who never reads lives only once

Upon reading and watching some super fascinating versions, I decided to go ahead and do the...

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... Because, why not!

If you are unfamiliar with this particular tag then here is a great example to check out (ps. If you don't already subscribe to Ariel's youtube channel, then go forth and do so, you'll thank me later!), it's basically a Q&A linking literature to our most used social media platforms. Let's jump on in!

What is your favourite short book?

This absolutely has to be The Twits by Roald Dahl. I'm well aware it's a child's book my friends, but this is 96 pages of sheer imagination and hilarity. I'm sure / hope most of you have read this treasure of a book, but if it escaped your childhood then treat yourself to this petite pleasure of a read!

What was a book that everyone pressured you to read?

So, being the most stubborn and pig headed human around, I resisted the PHENOMENAL tidal wave of love following release after release of the Harry Potter books, for some bizarre reason. Just hearing poor old Harry's name had me rolling my eyes, purlease! Now, if there's one thing I'm loyal to, it's my stubbornness; this abstinence from Hogwarts lasted right up until last year. That's right 2013! Of course I loved every page of the first magical instalment and felt a total moron for being so anti 'cool' that I missed out on reading these bad boys sooner! Fun times... On the flip side of the coin however, I gave into the hype behind John Green's the Fault In Our Stars, read it as soon as it came out and thought it was pretty good. I then tried my hand at Chasing Alaska, since everyone and their next door neighbours dog loved it, and what can I say? Boring as. Apologies to those that enjoyed it...

What was a book you read before it was cool?

As teen I devoured the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar, way before it became a fashion packed hit TV show. Also, worthy of a mention is the most gorgeous book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, which was a beloved possession of mine as a wee pipsqueak and is now referenced often amongst the idie hipster cool kids.

Name a book you can't remember if you liked it or not.

My memory in general is bloody awful as it goes, but usually books tend to sit longer in my musty old mind. That said, Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch is long gone. Perhaps that is a sign that I didn't enjoy it as much as other literature? Maybe I'm just getting old.

Choose a book with a beautiful cover.

I knew my answer to this question immediately. Although there are some gorgeous covers and spines that deserve pride of place on a book shelf, for me The Fountain written by Darren Aronofsky and beautifully illustrated by Kent Williams wins hands down. The cover is a dreamy wonder and throughout this entire graphic novel, page after page is elaborately drawn, intricate with detail and packs such an emotional punch with each image.

Which book do you wish was made into a movie?

I never actually noticed before preparing my answers for this tag, that so many of the novels I've read of are also films. But I would choose Sister by Rosamund Lupton, The Handmaid's Tale a novel by Margaret Atwood, and rather hesitantly considering the damage done by the under budgeted TV verison, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. While we're on the subject of book to movie, I am SO excited to see Wild based on the book by Cheryl Strayed following her adventures into the unknown, Gone Girl from the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn, The Maze Runner despite struggling through the first few pages of the book by James Dashner and perhaps most of all the adaption of Oorlogsgeheimen written by Jacques Vriens, a captivating Dutch story set during the second world war.

And lastly, which book would you recommend to everyone?

My apologies for repetition here, but the books I would whole heartedly recommend are Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed- for adventure packed, sincerity and soul searching galore; The Handmaid's Tale by my latest author crush Margaret Atwood- for a delightful mixture of past, present and future rolled into one incredibly detailed alternate world; and the A Song Of Ice And Fire collection, all hail George R.R. Martin- for a weighty commitment to a mesmerising flourish of characters, sword fights and dragons... Whats not to love?!

Well that's that chaps, I hope to leave you with the taste of words and reaching for your favourite escape vehicles, perhaps with a warm drink and slice of sweetness in tow! If that wasn't enough to get you diving into your next book, then here are a handful of visual prompts to make it happen ; )

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If you happen to complete this book tag, then PLEASE leave your link below, as I'd love to have a nose!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Facebook Follies

Bringing the joy to a computer screen near you! I have a mini post today, squashed to the max with edible images I have found floating around my Faded Windmills facebook page. Most of which are dug up from my overly worked and ever evolving Pinterest boards, but you my lovelies, need look no further- soft hues, whispering textures and words of wisdom are the gift I bestow upon you this evening!

For more snippets of inspiring visuals, feel free to head over to said page of faces, for a delightful feast for your pretty little eyeballs, where I also share fab posts from creative and intriguing sources a far, such as these insanely awesome items:

// Mollie Makes //

// Penguin Books //

// Bullett //

// Sew Magazine //

So there we have it chaps, a dose of pictorial pretties, on a relatively regular Thursday night, mine involving catching up on season 2 of Hannibal and knitting up a storm for an exciting project! I hope you're having a productive/ lazy/ food or craft filled evening. Be sure to stop by the fb page if you have any colourful and inspiring snaps and links you'd like to share!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Nostalgic Honesty // A Book Review- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides //

There is nothing that transports you better, to another time, another place, another world, than the compelling pull of a good book. Literature can whisk you away with the turn of a page, and for me, I've really got my reading game face on lately, devouring one novel after another. As I make my way through the depths of my 'to read' list, which is a weighty pile, may I say, I hope to share my thoughts with you on a regular basis, typing up a review or two and maybe even getting you chaps involved and share the book love all round!

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One of the latest books I decided to pick up was The Virgin Suicides written by Jeffery Eugenides. This is the debut novel from American author Eugenides, released in 1993, gaining such attention and accolade that a few years later the book was adapted to big screen by Sofia Coppola, (many of you will have seen this moody yet transcendent cinematic hit).

I don't think the scattering of lines on the back of my particular edition, really sell the story that well, and certainly give no indication to the nostalgic feeling when reading this or the particular writing style that lends itself so well but I'll go forth and share it for you, regardless;

The mysterious Lisbon sisters obsessed the entire neighbourhood long before the first suicide, of Celia, the youngest. Looking back over the strange and hazy year that followed, men recall the boys they once were, and try to impose order on a tragedy that defies explanation. For still, the question remains- why did all five of the Lisbon girls have to die?

I went into this story already well accustomed to the plot, having seen the film several times in my teenage years, but still held an anticipation of discovery and revelation, not having read anything by this particular writer before. I'm really glad to tell you that I was not disappointed. Yes, throughout the pages as I read, I couldn't help but envision the dreamy haze of Coppola's out look and the youthful air of Kirsten Dunst, but man is this one worth reading. I fell for Jeffery Eugenides fluid style of writing and felt he evoked wonderfully, that feeling of recalling an adolescent memory and the emotions that flood back with it. He captures the innocence of that unknowing age, the inexperience and naivety yet speaks with unashamed honesty for the voices of our narrators.

I didn't find myself particularly moved by the face of the suicides, it was more in the way the story unfolds for the girls, their yearning for something unknown to the simple creatures telling their account of the story, and it was those young men that caught most of my affection. Also, the almost indefinability of it all, leaving you with twisted emotions and not really a conclusion, lends itself to the more realistic nature of this subject. In reality, it is something unexplainable from one person to another, perhaps that is what is so intriguing about the sisters bond, even into death.

Over all, I would put this book in my 'favourites' list, as it struck a chord with me, and left a lasting impression once I'd returned it to it's shelf. I will certainly be hunting down more work from this author, and look forward to comparing the books and noting any progression or pattern.

This is one of those novels that splits the crowd into love it or hate, have you read this and if so, in which tribe do you reside? Do you remember watching the film when it came out, or have you recently discovered it? Let me know any thoughts you might have! Also, for another review of this book head over to the gorgeous blog The Blue Threshold (origin of above image), and for more bookish goodness check out my Goodreads lists and reviews!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

DIY: Shake Your Pom Pom!

There's nothing more satisfying than creating something from scratch. I say this often, I know, but I stand by it and aim to fill my days with as much crafty shenanigans as I can muster!! This little treat of a post is aimed at fellow makers and craft newbies alike!! All hail, the mighty pom pom!

These little fluffy balls of wonder can be made in no time at all, using barely any resources and can decorate and brighten up just about anything! Trust me, once you get started it's hard to put down your woolly bobbles!

Here are a few tips on how to create the perfect mini pom pom!

Grab a small fork, known to some as a Dinglehopper... And arm yourself with any colour, thickness or texture wool, oh and a pair of scissors too.

Cut a small length of wool and place it between the middle prongs. (This might very well be my new favourite word; prong!) Hold this to one side as you now begin to wind the ball of wool, horizontally, around the fork. I made the epic mistake of wrapping the yarn way too tightly. This must be my unconscious anxieties creeping through, as I tend to be a tight knitter too!!

There aren't any rules, when it comes to how thick you make this // I like projects with little rules, just call me the craft maverick ; ) // So have a go experimenting!! Once you have your little bundle, take the original, loose piece of yarn and use this to tie tightly around the whole thing. Tie this securely, maybe wrapping round a second time for good measure.

Your next step is to slide your almost pom pom off the fork and carefully snip around all edges, to set free your fluffy ends! Make sure you try and get all of the loops and don't worry about making this neat or even, as you're about to get scissor happy! Working your way around the little pom pom, trim all of your ends, aiming for a similar length the whole way around. Take your time with this and again, experiment with desired lengths. Don't be afraid to get in there with the scissors!!

Once you're given your newly made ball of fluff a healthy trim, get rolling. The key to a luscious ball (spoken as Nicole Scherzinger), is to massage your pom pom! Trust me on this friends.

// TOP TIP: Be sure to tie your pom pom up tightly, to avoid any nasty accidents... //

// TOP TIP: To save time and washing up, use your finger instead of cutlery! Works a treat! //

The only hard part of this gorgeous and fun project, is knowing when enough is enough!! Let me know if you have a go at making some of these cute decorations, and if you have any great advice for defining the process or fab ideas of how to use your puffy creation!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

New Music To Live To

Every now and then music gold comes along. A lyrical force to be reckoned with that makes you really take note of the world around you. For me this happened recently, and since then I can't seem to get enough of the folk / country influenced sounds of Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the duo known as First Aid Kit.

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The haunting harmonies pull you in as their voices blend together within an entanglement of folk instrumentals and beautifully enchanting words. Just one listen will have you wishing yourself away, wandering barefoot through a sunlit forest, riding along a dessert road windows down wind in your hair, laying out on warm summer grass watching clouds stretch across an evening sky.

Having recently discovered and instantly fallen in love with their sound, I was beyond excited to explore their records and videos, finding a treasure trove of information, photographs, interviews and live acoustic sets, all solidly confirming their status as my new crush.

Just for you, my friends and music lovers alike, I present to you, your summer sounds and maybe even style inspirations!

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If you're like me, and have this record firmly on repeat, then you can check out First Aid Kit's tour dates, you can purchase their records and even a band tee or follow their adventures on twitter and instagram, all via their official site.

I'm escaping to my favourite day dream, acoustic voices, swishing around imagining myself at Woodstock with flowers in my hair...