Lanys Library: What I read March 2013

by Lany

Heya!

Sorry I haven’t posted in aaaages, I’ve been quite sick so have been basically been doing nothing but sleeping and taking medicine the past while!

Anyways here’s my round up of the books I read in March.

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Lets start at the beginning of March and work our way through!
(I am not going to do a review in the proper sense of the word, just give you my opinion on the book and whether I think it’s worth having a read or not)

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
A Victorian crime revisited and revaluated with some third person narrative thrown in for good measure. This book was a quick read, only taking four hours, it bustled along in its odd manner that totally captured my attention and remained enjoyable to the end. Obviously with the subject matter being murder it’s not exactly everyones cup of tea, but if you like true crime dramas and historically accurate (it’s a very well researched novel) stories then this book is for you.

The Hundred Year old Man Who Walked Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Now this book isn’t exactly historically accurate but it really is enjoyable. Ploughed through this book in about six hours as the plot is very quick moving, and very very fun! This book has a great pace, it makes you really want to know what happens/happened next, with chapters moving between the current adventure and adventures past (I found these scenes really funny at any rate, but I have an odd sense of humour so who knows!) I thoroughly recommend this book to everyone!

The Vatican Pimpernel by Brian Fleming
The sub title of this book is “The wartime exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty”, and that is what this book is about, an account of an Irish priest who was stationed as a Monsignor in the Vatican during World War II. He (and his amazingly varied team) helped thousands of people escape with little to no regard for his/their own personal safety. Monsignor O’Flatherty was watched by the Gestapo and wore many disguises to help him freely walk about the city, earning him the nickname, and title of this book, the Vatican Pimpernel.
I  really liked this  study, an amazing story that was done justice by Mr. Fleming would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in history and Irish historical figures.

HHhH by Laurent Binet
A study into both the authors world and how he became interested in the Czech and Slovak men that tried to murder Heydrich in that famed assassination attempt in Prague in 1942. The book has an odd rhythm, the author interspaces historical fictional narrative with his own greek chorus like paragraphs about his struggles to write the book you’re reading. These interruptions make both compelling reading and also made me hate the author just a bit. Even though I didn’t really like his self-congratulatory attitude, I did find his asides interesting and appreciate how much work went into the creation of the book. That minor complaint aside, I really did like the novel/historical study/historical fiction (I’m not sure what to classify it as!) it was a highly entertaining read at any rate!

The Emperor Of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
This was a book I was was both looking forward to and yet was dreading reading. The book deals with the “biography of cancer”, the author is a doctor who wrote this book as a kind of answer to a patients question “what exactly am I fighting?”. I thought it would be very depressing and full of technical jargon,but i was wrong; this book was surprisingly easy to read. It was very compelling, very interesting and above all uplifting. He covers the definition of cancer, the historical evidence of cancer, treatments, cures, preventions, group studies, individual patients stories and many many many other parts of cancers “story”. It’s hard to look back at this book without just wanting to shove a copy into your hands and telling you to read it for yourself, it’s just a brilliant eye opening, super fascinating and poignant read. Just do yourself a favour and go get this book, it’s well worth it.

Not a dud amongst them, all in all great entertainment value from March!
Have you read these books, what did you think of them? Have you any recommendations?

Hope you all stay well, and have a great April!
Lany
xx

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Mint Green Jumper and some Tardis’

by Sophie

Hi guys,

So when I finished knitting all of my Christmas presents I embarked on a wonderful journey of actually knitting something for myself again. I bought a book in Easons in Dublin called “Learn to Knit, Love to Knit” and it’s brilliant. It has lots of really nice patterns in it and I’ll be making as many of them as I can. Some are quite difficult but it teaches you how to do everything step by step so you will eventually have the skills to do even the most complicated patterns.

The sweater I picked was the simple sweater pattern they have in the book. The pattern is really easy and the only tricky bit is the decreases on the sleeves as you shape them. I would highly recommend this pattern for anyone who’s done a few small knitting projects before and would like to try their first jumper.

So this is how the sweater turned out.

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Sorry for the HORRIFIC mirror picture but I got my boyfriend to try and take a better photo of it and it just didn’t want to come out right.

What I really like about this sweater is that the colour came out amazing. I used Debbie Bliss Aran Cashmerino for the wool and I think it came out lovely. The sweater is very soft and it hasn’t started to ball yet.

The only problem I had with this jumper was that it ended up being much larger then it was supposed to be. This was even after I made a size 10 instead of a size 12 to compensate for how loose I knit. I don’t think this would be a big problem for anyone else but I am a very, very loose knitter so this was a problem for me.

I also tried my hand at sewing properly for the first time a month or so ago. The first thing I made was a pillow cover. It was pretty simple but I really liked how it came out.

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After I made the pillow case I decided that I would make a tablet cover for my boyfriend. He loves doctor who so I got fabric from etsy with Tardis’ on it! =D I got a soft material for the inside and the I put quilt batting in between the two so it it would protect the tablet better.

I’m really happy with how it came out and my SO really liked it as well.

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I’ve done some more sewing since but I’ll show you that some other day!

Lots of love,

Sophie

xx

Sewing Inspiration

by Sophie

Hi everyone,

I know I completely dropped off the face of the planet! I completely apologise! I have actually been doing quite a lot of crafting since I last posted. I have plenty of knitting christmas presents to share with you! I have also been dripping my toes into the wonderful world of sewing, which my friend over at Mabel Makes got me into. I started off with pretty simple things and I did a class teaching me how to use my sewing machine. I’ll post up a lot of my stuff over the next little while so I can show you what I’ve been up to.

I’m going to be trying my hand at my first dress in the next coming weeks. The lovely people over at Colette Patterns released their new pattern, a shift dress called the Laurel dress. When I saw this dress I kind of fell in love with it. It’s so simple but there’s so much you can do with it. They even have an extra booklet with the dress that you can download. It gives you ideas of ways you can make the Laurel dress unique.

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Over at their blog, the Coletterie, they’re doing a competition of the most interesting ways people make their Laurel dresses so I’ve been looking at ideas on what I want to do with mine. I’ve decided after lots of ideas came to mind that I might do a few of them. I’m going to do a really bold one with a bright pattern (maybe polkadots? =O) and bright colours, a pastel one with softer and more girly colours and then a wintery one which I think I might make out of woven fabric or knitted fabic. Anyway here are some of the dresses that I’ll be taking inspiration from.

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I love the idea of the lace over a plain slip, especially in bright colours. I worry that it might be too difficult for a beginner to sew though.

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I love this shift dress. It looks almost like a large jumper and looks both stylish and super comfortable.

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I love love love this dress! It’s so beautiful and I love the use of the ribbon to break up the dress as well as the scalloped neckline.

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I really like the sleeves on this dress. The plain colour of the dress and how simple it is makes the sleeves really pop out.

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I really like how this one is using the pattern at the bottom as a gradient and it breaks up the dress and makes it really interesting.

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I really love this dress. I have a thing for yellow and I love how the bow hangs on the front of the dress. It turns a simple dress into something really interesting.

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I think this is really cute and a nice way to add some pretty detail into a dress without a huge amount of difficulty.

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Peter Pan collars! I love them and I’m adamant that one of my shift dresses will have one on it!

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I like how this dresses pattern is complicated and how the sleeves are flowing. I think it would be lovely in a floral pattern as a summer dress.

So those are some of my inspirations. I’m also looking at maybe doing some colour pallets to make sure the colours will work together before I buy the fabric. I’ll update you on my progress as I attempt to make my first dress!

So where do you guys find your inspiration for your projects? Do you do colour samples before you start? Please tell me your wonderful ideas!

Sophie

xxx

Lanys Linkage: Mothers Day Ideas 2013

by Lany

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Mothers day is around the corner (10th March 2013 FYI) I decided I’d do a round up of some great gift ideas!

  • Get together with some siblings, friends etc, and create a craft gift basket for you mum(/aunt/grandmum etc!) you could get her more supplies (a stash boost is ALWAYS appreciated!). Or increase her library of patterns? You could get together some patterns you’d think she’d love on Ravelry (you have to join to view, but a lot of patterns are free, and those that are there to be bought are at very reasonable prices!) and print them off and present them in a pretty folder! 🙂
  • Charitable donation to a cause close to your mothers heart, some great suggestions include Cancer Research Society, Bernardos, ISCPA, Trocaire, Irish guide Dog Association…the list is as endless as the causes these charities help.
  • You could get the book loving lady in your life a set of new books, an ereader or even a voucher (for when you’re unsure of what books she has bought recently!) to further her bookophile ways! Historical, biographies, fiction, thriller, crime, travel books, craft books, the list is endless!
  • Tickets to a play or concert! Always a nice gift idea, just make sure to subtly hint before hand to see if she’s busy that date!
  • A playlist! Making her a playlist of your/her favourite songs or even just a mix of music that reminds you of her is a great idea and would make a lovely thoughtful present!
  • Doing something for her, if its something small like doing the chore she hates doing the most, or helping with the weekly shopping, just doing something to show that you know how much she does and how much you appreciate it will mean a lot.
  • Make a card! Store bought cards are all well and good, but the effort of making a card will not go unnoticed 🙂 (this applies for all occasions!)

Besides all the presents you can buy or make, I really think the most important thing you can do on Mothers Day is spend some time with your mum, it could be a video call if you’re living abroad (and many are in these days of emigration), a long phone conversation if you’re unable to take time off work, or just calling round for a cup of tea and a chat!

I hope you all have a good mothers day, if that’s visiting or remembering your mum/aunt/grandmother/whomever you want to honour, til the next post, stay safe and take care.
Lany
xx

Simple, Easy, Healthy Vegetarian/Vegan Bean Burgers

by Lany

Hi there!

Before getting into the nitty gritty of this chickpea, butter bean and kidney bean burger I want to explain my background!

I’ve been a vegetarian for the past nine year and a bit years, and recently tried a stint as a vegan (as I’ve always been allergic to dairy). I went back to being a vegetarian for simplicity when eating out with family and friends, but I enjoyed the vegan diet, and didn’t really have to change much, just cutting out eggs really…I digress!

Anyways, I never really had burgers when I wasn’t vegetarian (I didn’t really like meat and the main meat I would have consumed would have been chicken), but since I made this a few years ago  I have them at least once a month! These were made one day when I was hungry and I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted! I really love these bean burgers, and especially how flexible and adaptable the recipe is to what you have available in the press.

You can bake them or fry them or even eat the mix raw, it’s up to you! It freezes well when I wrap them in baking parchment and then in a zip lock freezer bag. They can be cooked straight from frozen, which is super handy!

I don’t always have all the vegetables mentioned on hand when I want to make these burgers  so I just use what I have and use less binding agents (the tomatoe puree), sometimes I add about 100g breadcrumbs to stiffen the mix, sometimes if I feel like it I could add maybe 50g cheese to mix things up a bit! Anything goes! Add different veg! Squash might be amazing in this mix! Sunflower seeds! This is just a basic recipe that’s so adaptable, the possibilities are endless!!
Whatever spices you use completely change the flavour also, sometimes I add cumin and some tumeric for a really spicy burger!

Basic Veggie Bean Burger Recipe

Ingredients:
210g (a drained tin of) chickpeas
210g butter beans
210g kidney beans
1 large onion/2 smaller onions*
2 cloves garlic*
2 carrots*
1 or 2 pepper(s)*
few drops tabasco sauce
1tbsp tomato puree (prehaps less, judge while mixing)
squirt tomato ketchup
squirt sweet chili sauce
spices and herbs to flavour (options:  basil, oregano, black pepper, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, paprika, corriander, white pepper, the choices are endless!!)

* cut into whatever size you prefer, my mum prefers finely diced veg, whereas I prefer really chunky burgers!

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To Make Burgers

  1.  Add the beans to the mixing bowl, and mash them roughly together with a fork, if preferred place them in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds, depending on your choice. (I prefer to leave the beans slightly roughened as I dislike the “baby food” texture of completely blitzed bean burgers!)
  2. Add the cut up veg! Use whatever veg you have on hand (except starchy veg like potatoes, if you reaaaaally want to add potatoes first cook them through in a wok and allow to cool before adding to the mix, but I really don’t recommend it). It should look something like below! If you’re adding the breadcrumbs and/or cheese you can add these now.DSCN0677
  3. Now add several drops of tabasco sauce (varies with your taste in spiciness), and as little or as much seasoning as you like. Taste test!! I cannot emphasise taste testing enough, if you don’t think its flavourful enough now, you won’t like them when they’re done!DSCN0678
  4. Now combine your “dry” ingredients first with a squirt of sweet chili sauce and tomato ketchup and then add the tomato puree,  be judicious you may not need all of it just until the ingredients are combined and sticking together nicely, like below.DSCN0679
  5. Now it’s time to get messy! Stick your (clean!!) hand in there and make some patties. It’s easier if you have a light coating of plain flour on your hand before each burger. If you cannot stand to plunge your hand into the sticky mess you can use a small plastic bag over you hand/plastic glove to help shape the burgers! (I forgot to take a photo of the patties, but its up to you what size you want to make these, you could make them small for kids, or larger for adults or depending on your appetite/what meal you have these for!)
  6. Cooking! I usually fry these in a very small amount of oil that I let heat up before placing them into the frying pan! They can just as easily be baked in an oven (just keep an eye on them, they should take about 10-15 mins at 200deg C).DSCN0684
  7. When they are cooked they should look and smell delicious! 😀DSCN0688

Serve them however you want! I like them in tortillas with rocket and spinach! My sister likes them in burger buns with sweet chili sauce and a small sprinkle of salt!

I hope you try these, they are so easy to make and taste really good (in my opinion anyway!).
If you DO try these PLEASE let me know in a comment! It’d be great to know if you find/make similar ones 😀

Happy cooking!
Love and carrots!
Lany
xx

Inspiring Blogger Award!

by Lany

Hello! Apologies for the prolonged absence, we’ve all been super busy at work with hardly any time to ourselves!

We do have some posts planned though for the coming weeks anyways! 🙂 Stay tuned for those; recipes, sewing projects and viewpoints are promised!

Wanted to start blogging again with a mention of a blog to blog award called “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” that we were nominated for by the lovely and awe-inspiring blogger Avis over on her blog Oh Sew Tempting! You should definitely check out two of my favourites (of her most recent posts) here and here!

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Since the award is blog-along I’ll copy the rules here:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Add The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Pass the award on to 10 nominees.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blog.
Hmm well 1, 2, 5 and 6 are already done! 😀

Seven Things About Us

(i) Well Sophie and myself are both science graduates who have a passion for arts and crafts.
(ii) I like to talk… A LOT. I mean a serious amount beyond what most people consider chatty.
(iii) We love food, it’s the best thing ever, in particular baked goods….and delicious meals….actually any food
at all ever, except avacados, Dana loves avacados though!
(iv) Prints are my biggest weakness when it comes to fabric choices, cannot resist a cute print, which means I
always have problems when I go lookng for a matching block colour…
(v) I didn’t like dark chocolate until Sophie and myself tried out “vegan January” now I love the stuff!
(vi) I can’t knit very well (like not at all really), but I plan on rectifying this situation in the coming months!
(vii) We both eat icing from the bowl when decorating cakes….. ;-; it’s just too tempting!!
Extra Special bonus number (viii) Sophie has two adorable cats, Gin and Tonic whom I looove!! 😀

Our nominees for this award in no particular order!!

KandraYoung
I love her quilt here in particular, although her blog covers many topics! I may not be religious but I do enjoy seeing how spiritual she is in her everyday life, and the amazing art (and food) she creates!

Magatha May
Amazing taste in shoes, clothes, quotes and images, cannot get enough of this blog! In total agrement with this post and am lusting over many of the items mentioned in this one!

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She has a beautiful family and a pretty home which she posts the most envy inspiring pictures of! I like this “tutorial” she posted on how to make a giant chalkboard at an affordable price!

Random Descent
An up and coming Irish journalist/editor and a great writer to boot! I am looking forward to amazing things from this blogger, whom is penning her first book at the moment! Here is a review she wrote recently that makes me desperate to get stuck into that particular tome! Oh and did I mention she also has her own radio show called Reverb? She uploads the playlists onto MixCloud too for your listening pleasure!

can be bitter
While I sometimes think the intelligent lady behind this blog can over read into some situations I do enjoy this feminist blog, I also like her taste in music!

The Misfortune of Knowing
I like this womans reviews of books, her take on life and her stance on childrens literature! Almost all of her good reviews make me want to go out and buy the book immediately, and one of the more recent posts like that is this one about Richard III.

Scientific Femanomaly
This blog is by a fellow scientist (I’m a physicist! >.<), she’s got an amazing blog, and she tackles what I think are interesting issues with a strong voice and solid opinions she also posts interesting posts about recent scientific studies etc, I like her anyways!

Aurora La Petite
A truly inspiring blog, with to-die-for photos and great book reviews, recipes and interesting content! I am loving these photos and this recipe at the moment 🙂

Doodle Mum
Sophie showed me this blog about a year ago, and now the author has just released a book! So excited! Her relatable stories and engaging artwork make this blog just so endearing to me, it really brightens up my day when I see it in my reader!

Irish Election Literature
Various election literature spanning many different years, political viewpoints and topics, truly fascinating slices of Irish history (past and present!)! I may like it because I have a very strong interest in politics and in Irish history, just look at this post, it even casts a light on socio-economic conditions at the time!

I hope you find a new blog to follow, if not two or three!
Let me know of other blogs you think are worthy of an inspirational blogging award! 😀

Have fun and take care,
Lany
xx

Lany Watches: New Girl – Cooler (Season 2, Episode 15)

by Lany

new girl shock
YES!!! YES!!!

I loved this episode!!! Totally worth it!!!
Kinda worried about what will happen for the rest of the season, I hope this doesn’t change the whole dynamic of the show in a bad way……

OPINIONS PLEASE (comment below)
Also fair warning there will be spoilers.

Yours,
Newly New Girl obsessed (mainly because I want to be Zooey),
Lany
xx

Christmas Craft Bonanza (Part I)

by Lany

It’s finally safe to post pictures of most of the gifts I made this year!
Some still haven’t been given to my friends, the few I haven’t managed to meet up with during the holidays so I won’t post those just yet, I’ll put them in a part II (at some point)!

I crocheted most of my handmade presents this year, as it’s probably my favourite craft- so fast and the results are usually passable 🙂

This cowl was a present for a very good friend, Lisa, and I hope I picked colours she will wear!
The cowl was worked using two balls of Sirdar Softspun in the Smokey Green and the grey “Frostie” colours that are kinda shimmery, with a strand of each colour held together to form the working yarn. The pattern is a catherine wheel one found via ravelry on People Webs (the comments on this pattern are invaluable).
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The pattern calls for 131 stitches in the foundation chain to form a 60inch cowl, I crochet quite tightly but not overly so and used about 161 to get a roughly 45 inch cowl. I suppose it depends on what yarn you’re using and how tight/loose you crochet. In the comments however a lot of people only achieved a 40inch cowl from 131 stitches, the author suggested adding on ten extra stitches until desired length is achieved, hence my extra thirty stitches.

The pattern has been reproduced by other blogs claiming it as their own but as best as I can determine Peoples Web is the blog it originated from!

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I hope Lisa liked and enjoys the cowl!

Roisin is another very good friend of mine and I decided that sparkly arm warmers were in order!

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I just used a chevron stripe, and I was going to use it around the wrist, but I hated starting/ending on a non-straight edge, I didn’t think it looked right and  I knew that if I had them they would drive me crazy if the edges weren’t straight. So instead I just turned my chevron on its side and sewed the beginning stripe to my final stripe, leaving a gap where the thumb can go.

The wool I used is King Cole Galaxy in Saturn and Red, the sequins are already dispersed throughout the wool and its super soft!

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They ended up looking a lot more Christmassy than I had anticipated!

I hope Roisin (of Random Descent) gets some use out of them.

Paula is another unfortunate victim, I mean friend that got a homemade present this year!
I made her a hat using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in cream and dark grey.

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The wool is so soft and a delight to work with as it drapes wonderfully.

I just did a normal treble hat with double crochet edging to make it fit tighter around the brim. It was finished off with four rows of double crochet (single in US terms) alternating belwteen the cream and grey.

I carried the cream around the inside as you would for fair isle crochet/knitting and it seemed to work well. The picture below is what the side looked like! A bit messy but you get the idea!

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I hope Paula liked it and that she gets some use out of the hat!

Last for this post is Sophies homemade present!
I wanted to make her socks, but since I decided too late about the sock making I didn’t have time to practise knitting and get the hang of double pointed needles, I attempted crocheting socks instead! They turned out a bit big but they will do as comfy around the house socks I hope! 😀
I cannot remember what wool I used (if anyone can recognise it form the striping pattern please don’t hesitate to let me know!)  but it was a self striping sock yarn.

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Apologies the photo isn’t the best, the lighting situation was far from ideal, it’s a blue/green/white combo!

I used this pattern that I found on ravelry, it’s from South Bay Crochet and is a toe up pattern. The heels were a bit tough to figure out until I got the first one finished, the second was much simpler to approach.

I finished the socks off with a simple scalloped edge, because I didn’t think they looked completed without it!

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I know they’re too big to wear as everyday socks but maybe she will be able to get some use of them as “round the house too lazy to put on shoes” socks!! xD

Anyways I hope you all had peaceful holidays and that getting back to the grind isn’t too taxing.
Did you receive any home made gifts? Any baked goods? Any handmade cards?
Oh and if you have any pattern suggestions drop me a line in the comments!

All the best, and hopefully once I have delivered the other gifts there will be a part II up soon!
Until the next post,
Keep well,
Lany
xx

Lanys Linkage: Three of the Best Nonfiction Books

by Lany

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I am an avid reader and I enjoy books from most genres. My main love used to be fiction, in particular fantasy novels, but I have really gotten into non-fiction the past few years.

Three in particular stand out in my mind as my top nonfiction reads of 2012.
This may be because they were more in the style of “narrative nonfiction”, they were a joy to read and I recommend these with a heart and a half.

The Man Who Invented The Computer – The Biography of John Atanasoff Digital Pioneer
Jane Smiley is a wonderful author, her gift of weaving a compelling narrative while being factual makes this story so fascinating. This book focuses on John Astansoff a man who was a professor of physics at Iowa State University and who developed a computer, along with a Phd student Clifford Berry, to calculate time consuming mathematical problems. This book gives a formidable background to the history of computing and includes accounts of computing efforts by Turing, Flowers and Zuse to name but a few major players in the field.
I thoroughly recommend this for any lover of technology and/or computing and indeed fans of modern history.

Dublin Nazi No.1 – The Life of Adolf Maher
Gerry Mullins spent seven years putting together this book, and it was worth it. He writes in a prose-like style and includes references throughout. Adolf Maher was appointed the Keeper of National Antiquities at the Nation Museum of Ireland in 1927 and was a hugely successful archaeologist who transformed the national museum of Ireland. He also became a Nazi and was head of the Nazi party in Ireland for several years, he was also a man whom tried to help several Jewish friends escape Europe during the build up to WWII. A really fascinating read for any person interested in Irish history, Nazi history and even just the history of an intriguing individual.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot has created an absorbing and utterly engrossing read. The main figure of this book is Henreitta Lacks the poor cancer-suffering African-American woman from whom the cell line HeLa was created without her consent or knowledge. This tale not only explains complicated biological technologies and the evolution of the law surrounding human tissue and medical trials it also explores the effect of this womans death and subsequent “immortality” upon her family. Completely “unputdownable”, a must read for everyone, no exceptions.

I really really enjoyed those books, they were all thought provoking and thoroughly unforgettable.
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Any suggestions for future reading? I’d love to get some more books on my “to-read” list!
Lany
xx

Lanys Linkage: DIY Christmas Present Tutorials! (Also totally a last minute present idea list)

by Lany

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Helllooooo!!

WOW I cannot believe Christmas is so so close!!!
Only four more sleeps!

I’ve gotten a lot of my homemade presents done, but if like me you still like to see some cool tutorials for quick but thoughtful gifts I’ve rounded up some of the best that I’ve seen in the past while, and that have been haunting my bookmarks!

  • This pillow with an INGENIOUS way of closing the back, I am literally like “Duuuh why didn’t I think of that”! Thankfully they’ve already thought of this over on Verhext.
  • Papier Mache Teacup for those of you with a day or two spare to let it dry before and after painting! Super cute and one for a friend who loves trinket holder and/or tea will love! Ann Wood, Thank you!
  • If the person loves nice mugs and a nice cup of something warm, I think adding some good hot chocolate mix or some chai spices (if the person is like me, in lust with chai tea/lattes) and some marshmallows (remember to get vegan marshmallows if they’re veggie/vegan!) and possible a mini milk frother wrapped up cutely with a bow would be a great present!
  • Bunny bowling is adorably awesome and a great present! I can imagine pulling this out at parties and having a laugh, credit due to The Long Thread
  • Light Up Letters spelling their name, their home place, their favourite word, their childs name whatever you know they’ll love! I imagine it’d be easier get those battery operated LED lights in bargain shops this time of year rather than any other time, stock up and make birthday or party signs! Oh Happy Day blog is the source of this brilliant tutorial.
  • Sew a cute backpack with the easy to follow instructions over on Hart & Sew in their favourite colours/patterns and you’ll have a super happy giftee! (is giftee a word?)
  • An origami kitten bookmark would be a really cute addition to a book gift to a cat lover,
    YouTube user Jo Nakashima uploaded that amazing tutorial.
  • A tote bag is a really versatile present (and stash buster) especially when stuffed with (not necessarily expensive) treats and/or snacks/presents etc, The Purl Bee created that super tutorial.
  • A calender with tassels/pompoms and personal photos is always a great addition to someones life, great idea by ImBreannaRose
  • THIS marvellous sweater inspired two tutorials on Honestly WTF and Stripes & Sequins which are both amazing, would make amazing presents for friends/siblings/funky relations!
  • Giving someone a pinata never occurred to me before and I don’t know why, TOTALLY AMAZING IDEA, as a decoration or an actual sweet filled pinata (totally easy way to dress up a box of sweets from nice gift level to amazing gift level) Oh Happy Day is again responsible for this gem of an idea!
  • Red Riding Hood stuffie for a fan of fairy tales or for a young friend (you could totally make a stuffed wolf/grandma/house/woodcutter set) the tutorial is from The Long Thread!
  • Reusable shopping bag may seeeem boring until you show that it converts into a STRAWBERRY! How cute! I have an aunt for whom this would be a perfect present, thanks Craft Passion
  • Decorate a Mug with help from Design Sponge, you can create a super personal mug to remind someone of the fun you have together!
  • Hot Air Balloon Mobile I would totally love to receive something this awesome and I can’t be the only one! How Joyful has a tutorial up suggesting it for nursery mobiles, but it’s so cute I can imagine hanging it in my living room no problem!
  • This christmas card will be popping up on several of my friends mantlepieces this holiday after I saw the tutorial on How About Orange
  • The Paper Bow tutorial from Helen Made will pretty up your presents in a cute eco-conscious manner! I’m off to finish up some last minute presents and hopefully have everything done by Christmas day!


Happy holidays, stay safe and have an absolute blast!
Lany
xx