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Monday, 28 April 2014

"Start Writing Fiction" with FutureLearn and The Open University

Dear Scribblers

At the end of my last post I mentioned that I was about to start a new online course with FutureLearn. 

This is it! It's the 'Start writing fiction' by The Open University.

It's an eight week practical course which aims to help the student get started in own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters. It's directed at beginners, but also those wanting to improve their writing. What's more, you can work at your own time and pace, and it's free!

One interesting note for readers of this blog. Journal keeping is considered to be very important aspect in becoming a writer. 

As part of the course, there's videos by established writers talking about how they started writing, discussion on the rituals of writing, developing ideas, research, the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and developing reading skills as a writer. 

We will also be reviewing others and receiving peer feedback on our work. Fun times!

I'll post reviews in the course and give you updates on my own writing as the weeks progress. 

Take a look. Why don't you delve in and become part of the group too?

Happy Scribing!

Friday, 25 April 2014

I've got a New Pencil Case! Now, What do I Fill it with?

Dear Scribblers

My hubby surprised me yesterday, after he paid a sneaky visit to Bicester Village! 

He bought me a new pencil case to match the great typewriter iPad sleeve I found in TK Maxx last week. 

It's perfect! Now, what to put in it? Just pen and pencils? It would make a great make up bag too. Even an useful bag for those electrical bits and pieces you might need, such as: earphones, iPhone, iPad, computer plugs, sd cards and USB sticks. It's a decent size at 14x22x5cm (5.5x9x2in) approx. Made of durable black cotton on the outside and vibrant red inside. 

I've decided I'm going to use it for all the essentials I want with me at all times. It'll probably be a mix of the items above, along with stationery stuff I need for my scrapbooking, journalling and Filofax, like favourite washi tapes, date stamps and post-it pads. Once I've filled it I'll post a picture with details. 

What uses do you use pencil cases for? Do you have a favourite? I'll love to hear from you. 

You'll notice in the photo, he also bought me a gorgeous necklace with a cool lipstick (quite Estée Lauder shaped) and silver lips. It's gorgeous on, very comfortable and lies just below the collar bone. They were get well presents, I feel very loved and blessed. 

Happy Scribing!

By the way, I start a new course on Monday. I'll tell you about it in my next post!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Ever Thought I Want An Eyeshadow The Same Colour As Tim Holtz Distress Stain? Brushed Corduroy, anyone?

Dear Scribblers

Have you ever looked at your photos as you've scrapped, and thought you loved an eyeshadow, blush or lipstick someone is wearing?

Want an eyeshadow to match the colour of this year's Pantone Colour of Radiant Orchid 18-3224? 

Are you a bride-to-be who want to wear the exact same shade of lipstick your mum wore at her wedding? 

Love my wacky idea of creating make-up in the same colour as your favourite ink pad, paint or stain?

You can do all that with this company:

Wow! it's probably already a beauty bloggers' secret, but I've only just found out about Three Custom Colours personalised cosmetic service, which seems very affordable and trés chic too! They have a ready-to-wear line with international shipping, as well. If you've ever used them, I'd love to hear your review in the comments.  

Happy Scribing!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

New iPad Accessory, and what? Beauty... On this blog!

Dear Scribblers 

A different post for me today, as it's a beauty & fashion haul! Bare with me...

I thought you might be interested because of my first item from TK Maxx. It's a Lulu Guinness iPad sleeve, with a great typewriter design on the front. I thought it would appeal to 'Scribblers' especially those with 'tech geek' urges. It's a neoprene material in black, with a 'Lulu Guinness' label on the back, inside and in the pull tag. I've seen it in magazines in the past, and wanted it for ages. It was a great find, at a knock down price, too! 

I also bought Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Eyes Time Complex Capsules from TK Maxx. I love this classic, couldn't pass them by at half the cost of their retail value. 

The rest of my purchases were, all beauty, from Boots the Chemist. (I still prefer calling them chemists, rather than the American term of 'drugstore' which seems to be used more and more.)

My main buy was Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair - another adored classic. I've been using this on and off for 20 years! It's been re-formulated recently, I can't wait to try it out. 

Also in my basket, this journey, was Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator - I've never tried this before, but I needed a new scrub so I thought I'd try a basic one. 

Soap and Glory Its About Prime Eyeshadow Underbase - there comes a time when your eye lids need extra support. This is that time! It's also a first try, but recommended to me.

Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in 725 Tantalizing Taupe - I wanted a nude lippy, and liked the look of this one. 

L'Oreal Paris La Manicure 7in1 Saviour nail treatment - I can not write more highly about this product! It saved my nails after problems due to ill health. This is my second bottle. I recommend this favourite!

Lastly, Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover - also a repeat purchase, that I can't do without. It's the easiest and quickest way to take off your nail polish. They have bought out a pot for hands and feet, which I wanted to try, but unfortunately, it was out of stock at my local store. 

I hoped you like my first haul post. I hope to do more of products in my life. Mainly, craft, writing/stationery, organisational, technology related, but I drop some fashion/beauty and lifestyle ones like this in too.  

Happy Scribing!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Being Social - On a bike... with a tiny violin!

Hi Scribblers

Anyone got a tiny violin? 

I've been poorly. 

This kind of poorly...
Ouch! Key hole surgery on the knee. Presently getting around on crutches, and I'm happy to report I'm on the right side of the healing mountain. Not coasting yet, but the uphill struggle is past. Ring that bell! Ding-a-ling! 

Obviously, I needed to put the brakes on, which put me out of action, but I'm trying to pedal it all back into line, to keep the cycle metaphor going - and no, a bike accident is not why I needed surgery! ;-)

I'm going to do a complete revamp on this blog soon. New look! New subjects, along with old favourites. 

If you want to join me on other platforms, please find me on Twitter, and as a newbie on Instagram. Find me - @TheCraftyScribe

What else? What else? 

Oh, I thought I'd let you know, I completed the 'Hamlet' course with FutureLearn as I discussed in a couple of previous blogs. I'm presenting studying a couple of new courses - 'Moons' and 'Shakespeare's World.' Diverse, huh? Loving them! If you are interested into taster courses dipping into subjects for 6 to 10 weeks - check out for more information. 

Happy Scribing!

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Crafty Scribe Communiqué - Scrap Time Videos and How to View Them

News Flash... Communiqué... News Flash

Dear Scribblers

So sad to hear that due to circumstances beyond their control, the fabulous instructional craft videos - Scrap Time will no longer be available to download via iTunes. (Here is Scrap Time's official statement - However, do not despair! Here's how you can carry on watching:

1: Go directly to to read the blog, and watch the videos. It's a well designed site with regular updates. 

2: Go to YouTube and search for "ScrapTimeVideos", or follow this click - (for the latest video as per uploading of this post.) If you have a google/YouTube account, you can subscribe to the channel to receive the latest videos on your 'what to watch' page. 

3: Follow @ChristineUrias on Twitter and Scrap Time on Facebook - to keep in touch and find out when the latest videos are uploaded.

4: If you mainly use the podcasts app to download your content, how about using a different app? Install a content provider, such as 'Flipboard' - and add which will automatically show you the latest post when you open the app. You can either read it there, or redirect back to Safari to read/watch the content, depending on your preference. 

(Note: I am not affiliated or linked to Scrap Time in any way. I'm offering this information because I really like the craft videos. I've been watching for over six years, and I do not want them to lose their audience. Please support Christine and continue to watch her videos, and let others know how they can, too!)

Happy Scribing!

Communiqué Ends... Communiqué Ends

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