Sunday, 19 April 2015

3 language learning tips!

Hi everyone!
So today I wanted to share 3 language learning tips and tricks that are great for helping you progress in your languages!
1) Flashcards
For me, one of the best ways to learn vocab is by using Flashcards. I use a set by the company 'krammers' which I love as they are kept together by a ring, but paper rectangles will do just fine! :) Basically just write each word in your native tongue in the front side, and the matching word in your target language in the back (along with gender depending on the language). You can also make some of the cards the other way around. This is great as you can take them about with you so you can constantly be testing yourself on new vocab.
2) Immersion
Visiting a country that speaks your target language is not always possible, I know. However there are many other ways to immerse yourself in the language. Watch youtube videos about your interests in the language. For example I love art, so I watch lots of German and French art videos. This really helps with accent reduction and intonation as you'll be hearing it more often.
3) Practise every day!
If you don't look over what you've learnt every day, you will forget it within no time, I promise you! I find the site Duolingo is great, as it records how many days you've gone on it in a row, and if you don't practise one day then you 'lose' your streak. You could always use a post-it note and make a tally of how many days you've practised without a gap in between, and this should work just as well!

So I hope you have fun learning, and never forget your goal. For me, my motivation is knowing how cool it will be when I can talk to a native speaker of my target languages fluently in front of my friends! Shallow? Perhaps, but it does definitely spur me on!
Anyway, I hope you have a really lovely day,

-Clara x

Friday, 27 February 2015

My artwork!

Hi everyone!
I thought I'd share some of my artwork with you all today! I am by no stretch amazing at art, however it's something I absolutely, completely, incredibly love doing, so I thought it'd be fun to share :)
Do let me know if you want more posts on my artwork, or videos on my youtube! I have plenty more to show! Or you can head over to my Instagram where I have a lot of photos of my work <3
So let's begin with the piece I'm proudest of :)
It's a tiger, if you couldn't tell already haha. I did this using prismacolors and staedtler coloured pencils, and I am so pleased with the vibrancy of the colours! I wasn't sure how to go about drawing the silver whiskers of a tiger, so I just drew them in brown, so a little inaccuracy but you know- not the end of the world ;)
This was the first drawing I did after purchasing my set of prismacolors. I wanted to practise blending colours, and I thought what better way to do that than with a rainbow lolly? I really do love how well the pencils blended though- the pencils were definitely a good investment for me!

I have also been working on improving my watercolours so I gave this dreamcatcher a go with an 'ombre' (I use the term loosely; at least I gave it a go eh?) background, then used black fineliner and metallic crafting markers to draw the dreamcatcher. I'm actually really proud of this one, even if the background is a bit mucky!
Here's another one mixing watercolour with materials I'm more comfortable with. This was done with ink pen, coloured pencils and watercolour. I'm really pleased with the effect of the scales on the tail of this one, and I worked long and hard on it... Particularly on the background as I hope you can tell!
And oh, what's that? Another piece mixing watercolour and ink :P This time I did a really easy 'dabbled' (excuse my lack of knowledge on art terms haha) green background, and then did my best to letter the lyrics to one of my favourite songs over the top with black felt tip. Who knows what song these lyrics are from? ;)

I also gave shrink plastic a go the other day (video coming soon), where I drew on it and then shrunk them in the oven. I'm amazed at the results- they were so much fun!!
But here's one of my favourite ones I made of winnie the pooh- drawn completely free hand with prismacolors!
Do you like it? :)
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed looking at some of my artwork!
Love you all,
Clara xx

Friday, 20 February 2015

25 Cute Plush Ideas!

Hi everyone!
Recently I feel like the 'plushie' community on YouTube and Instagram have been running out of inspiration. With many of the biggest sewing YouTubers no longer making videos, there seems to have been a bit of a creative block from their followers.
So today I thought I'd do a post on 25 cute plushie ideas to get you back into sewing!
So here we go!
1) A strawberry
2) A pineapple (you can get creative with the embroidery on this one)
3) A penguin
4) A heart (super quick and easy!)
5) A social media logo (facebook, twitter... or if you're feeling daring you could even try Instagram!)
5) An Earth (I have a tutorial on this hint hint ;) )
6) The sun
7) A raincloud
8) A cat
9) Rilakkuma!
10) An iPhone (TammyHallam has the most incredible tutorial on an iPhone plush!)
11) A fish
12) An elephant
13) A simple square with your initials embroidered on (gives you an opportunity to work on your backstitch :p)
13) A burger
14) An owl (they always turn out cute!)
15) A rabbit
16) A chick (continuing the spring theme)
17) A hot chocolate (again, tammyhallam has an amazing tutorial on this)
18) An orange
19) A pear
20) Your country's flag
21) A puppy
22) A musical instrument
23) An album cover
24) An iPod (yet again, TammyHallam has a great tutorial)
25) A racoon plush (LouiseLovesCrafts has a fab tutorial!)
So I really hope this has given you the inspiration you need to get back into the wonderful world of plushies. Let me know if you'd like a part two, or if you'd like one on charm ideas, drawing ideas, sewing projects etc :)
Love you all,
Clara xx

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Beginner's guide to plushies! Materials!

Hello everybody!

So as you may or may not know, I have been making plushies for almost 3 years now, and during that time I have made over 100, so today I thought I'd make a guide on how to sew them!

So first in this series I will be talking about materials :)
1) Of course, fabric is a must. For a beginner, I'd definitely recommend a fabric that doesn't fray such as felt or fleece. Felt is super easy to work with, whilst fleece is a little harder (although it does make your plushies super soft!), so felt is probably your safest bet. It is also really, really inexpensive- usually only about 50p a sheet from hobbycraft! And I believe it's even cheaper in the US!
2) You will also need tools. Firstly a needle. You can find sets of needles in supermarkets if you have a look, or you probably have some lying around your house too. Also, pins are great for pinning fabric together or pinning a template onto your fabric. Again, supermarkets always have these.
3) To stuff your plush, you will also need stuffing! You can find this at hobbycraft in huge bags, and I've seen it at Dunelm too. Or you could always purchase old teddies from charity shops and take out the stuffing if you're feeling a bit evil!
4) Threads, again, are very easy to find. I've seen thread at multiple supermarkets sold in sets of the most useful colours, so I'd definitely recommend picking up a set of them.
5) And finally, for extra touches, little bows, ribbons and findings are great! Check eBay or hobbycraft for these :)

So, hopefully this post was helpful! I'll definitely make more beginner's plushie guides soon!

Much love,
-Clara xx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Poundland Finds- Gorgeous 2015 Diary!

Hi everyone!

So I don't know about you, but I love poundland. There are some really great products there if you look hard enough. And yesterday I found a diary that I'm super happy with, so I thought I'd make a post about it.
So, first of all, there were numerous patterns to choose from, but I ended up going with one like this:
As you can see it's a gorgeous blue colour, with orange, red and yellow shapes over it and white detailing. They are fairly thin, which for me is ideal as I need to be able to put it in my schoolbag along with my school planner. And, of course, it is spiral bound. 

As for the inside, yes the paper is fairly thin so no, I wouldn't recommend using felt tip pens or anything on here, but pencils, biros and ink pens are absolutely fine :)

It starts off with a page in which you can write your personal information in case of an emergency or if you loose the diary, however naturally I've chosen not to share that on the internet haha. Then it has a couple of pages with conversions/capital cities etc which I always love because 1) I find them interesting and 2) they are really useful! Here's the first double page of them:

If you can just about see, there are even USA-UK-European clothing conversions, which is great for me living in the UK if I shop online or go abroad. Many sites only show US sizes, so this is perfect!

And for the diary pages themselves, they are pretty simple, typical pages, but I prefer that as it means I've lots of space to write and decorate.

There is a notes section at the bottom too, which is a huge plus for me! However, sadly the diary does not come with any sort of bookmark or ribbon... No problem though; on spotting that I promptly made my own!
I think it adds a nice pop of colour too :)

And nearing the back, there is a section to list telephone numbers, a notes section and a monthly accounts section. Admittedly, the accounts section is particularly necessary for me as a 15 year old, however if you are an adult, I think that's a big advantage!

So that is it for the diary. Perhaps it's pretty standard and plain, but for £1, I love it! I think it is really important to plan each day so you can keep a clear mind and get everything done, so if one of your goals for the new year is to become more organised, then I'd highly recommend this! And if that isn't one of your goals, I highly recommend it to be! 

Thanks so much for popping by, I hope you enjoyed this post!

Much love,
Clara xx