Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to Make a Quiver for a Katniss Everdeen Costume (Or For Everyday Use)

Alright, so this is a little off topic beings that this is a book review blog, but I really wanted to share this!

It's now October, and Halloween is quickly approaching and people are starting to think about their costumes.

With the popularity of the Hunger Games, (and just archery in general--ex. the new NBC show Revolution) I can see a lot of people dressing up as Katniss Everdeen. And what Katniss costume would be complete without a quiver??

The quiver I made is actually for everyday use, not for a costume. I was tired on setting my arrows on the ground, and I wanted a quiver! (I'm going to be Red Riding Hood for Halloween, in case you were wondering ;] )

Problem is, quivers are expensive--$70-$100 or more. I'm a poor college student and don't have money to spend on that right now haha. So, I made my own! And for around $8 which was totally in my price range ;]

Luckily for you, I had the presence of mind to take pictures of the processes and I put together this tutorial so you can make one yourself, either for personal use or a Halloween costume. Let's get started!

Difficulty level: 7/10 (some sewing skills required)
Time: Approx. 7hrs (this is a really time-consuming process! But since you have a tutorial and I had to figure everything out myself as I went, you could probably make it more quickly.)
  • a cardboard box
  • 2/3 yd of leather-like material or suede (I got mine on sale from Joann's in the suede section)
  • brown thread
  • contrasting embroidery thread
  • a hot glue gun 

STEP 1: Think about your design

There are different styles you could make for your quiver, you don't have to make yours look exactly like mine. This was the photo I used for inspiration while making my quiver.

You can look at different quiver designs here.

STEP 2: Make a tube

First off, take your cardboard box and cut off a piece as long as you want your quiver to be. I cut off a side and a flap of my box to get the length I wanted. I made my quiver about 26in long, but you can do whatever length you like.

Once you have your piece of cardboard, you are going to make a giant tube. Notice how stiff the cardboard is. If you try to make a tube now, you will get more of a hexagonal shape.

So, you need to make the cardboard flexible. Do this by curving/bending the piece of cardboard bit by bit. This takes a while :P When you're finished, you should be able to roll up your cardboard into a nice round tube. Get it as round as possible, getting rid of any straight edges.

STEP 3: Choose your diameter and secure

Now that you have your tube you can decide how big you want it. I put my arrows in my tube for scale, and played around with size until I got it where I wanted. I chose a 3.5in diameter, but you can do any size you like.

Once you have chosen your diameter, cut off the excess cardboard. Bring the two edges together, but don't overlap them! You want a flat surface, overlapping will cause a bump. Secure the edges together with a sturdy tape. (I used clear packing tape).

STEP 4: Make a bottom

Place your tube onto another piece of cardboard and trace a circle around it. Cut out the circle, and trim it until you can get it to fit inside the bottom of your tube. Once it fits, secure it with tape.

STEP 5: Measure out your fabric

Lay your tube on your fabric, and wrap the fabric around it. Mark where it wraps all the way around, but leave yourself an extra inch or two to overlap the pieces. I also left myself lots of extra material on the top and bottom--probably around 3-5in on each end.

Once you have everything measured out, go ahead and cut your material. You can also go ahead and cut out a circle for the bottom piece. Make sure you cut the circle a little bigger than the actual bottom. (If its too big you can always trim it later).

STEP 6:  Sew your end pieces

You can do this part on a sewing machine, but I did mine by hand. A sewing machine would be easier and quicker, though. (I just like to make my life complicated :P) First, decide how big you want your end pieces to be. I did my bottom piece 2.5in long and my top piece 6in.

Start with the bottom piece. Give yourself a little more (1/2in-1in) than the length you want (so in my case that would make 3.5 in). You are going to fold over the excess and make a hem so you have a neat, clean edge.

Cut your bottom piece off of the material you have just measured for your tube. (This is why I said to leave yourself extra length).

I was using the underside of my material to measure. Now, you want to flip over your material to the front side. Fold over a little bit of your new bottom piece to make the hem, and lay the part where it is now folded over on the edge of your larger, original piece of material. Secure with pins. Like so:

Now, sew the material just below the fold of your hem. If you do this by hand make sure you have a sharp, larger needle because it will be hard to pierce the layers of fabric.

When it's done it should look like this (I apologize for the crappy pictures, my camera hates me):

Meh. You probably can't see the stitching. But I promise it's there!

Anyways, you're going to basically the same thing for the top piece. Move to the other end of your material and measure how long you want the top piece (giving yourself extra for a hem). Cut your material, fold the hem, secure with pins, and sew. Hopefully (if you measured right!) you have several inches of extra material left that you will be able to tuck inside the top of your tube.

STEP 7: Add some details

Take your fabric and wrap it around your tube. Try to get the edges of your hems where they meet as even as possible. You can secure the fabric in place with pins.

Now, in a couple steps you are actually going to glue the material to the tube. But you want to make it look like it's sewn on ;] Let's start with the end pieces.

The left edge of your fabric should be the one on top that overlaps. You are going to sew all your details onto the edge of the left side. I left mine wrapped around the tube while I did this but you don't have to.

Once again, I did this by hand but you could use a sewing machine. You could probably even skip this part, but I wanted more detail on mine. On the top and bottom pieces, I sewed small x stitches:

STEP 8: Sew on the bottom

Take the circle you cut out earlier and place it on the bottom of your tube. If it overlaps a little bit that's okay, you can trim it if you need to. Take a larger needle that can pierce the fabric easily and leave a big enough hole for your embroidery thread to fit. Sew around the edge of the circle.

STEP 9: Secure fabric with glue

Take your hot glue gun, and glue down the right edge of your fabric to the tube (remember you want the left side to overlap!).

STEP 10: Add final details and finish gluing

Almost there! Okay, so now you want to fold over your flap and sew some larger x's along the middle length of your quiver with the embroidery thread. How many and what size is up to you. To help you decide, you can cut pieces of thread and lay them on the quiver to see what it would look like.

 Once you've finished, it's time to glue it down! Get the edges where your hems meet lined up as closely as possible. Also, try to pull the fabric around the tube as tight as you can.

Now, take your glue gun and glue under the places on the ends where you added stitching, and add dots of glue on the underside of the x's in the middle. This will help it look like it's been sewn rather than gluing the edge down flat. Tuck the extra fabric at the top down into the tube and glue it down as well.

Your quiver should now look something like this:

STEP 11: Make a strap

You should still have some extra material left over. Cut a length of the material, and fold it in half depending on how wide you want your strap to be. (I think I made mine around 2in).

You can sew it by hand or on a sewing machine. I did this part on the machine because it would've taken forever to do my hand. (And when I say I, I mean my dad because he knows how to use my grandma's old sewing machine and I don't :P)

Sew along the edge opposite the fold, and then turn inside-out.

Now, figure out how long you need your strap to be by having someone hold your quiver behind you against your back and holding the strap to either end of the quiver. Cut off any extra length.

My dad insisted I sew the strap onto either end before I glued it, but since the material was already glued down onto the cardboard tube this was a big pain! And it was hard to get the needle through all those layers of fabric! I think that hot-gluing it would be enough, but you're welcome to try sewing it too haha.

You are going to lay the strap onto the bottom of the quiver and create a little hem. If you do sew, sew along the part where it will crease when folded over. You will also hot-glue this part down, and a tad higher just above the hem so that the hem will be hidden. (You'll see what I mean as you do this). Repeat for the top and bottom.

You can also add an x with the embroidery thread like I did to make it look sewn on. But do this BEFORE you glue it down!! 


If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below! Also, if you make this I would love it if you would let me know and send me a picture, link, whatever :D It would seriously make my day!

Good luck, and Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor ;]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beautiful Creatures Movie Trailer!

So to make up for my lack of a writing tip this week, I have a quick post about the Beautiful Creatures trailer! Yay!
"There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave."
-Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


Alright, so after watching the trailer I have to say that I am really excited to see this movie! The Florence & the Machine song, Seven Devils, was PERFECT for the trailer and mood of the book, and it made it feel so epic! You can view the trailer here.

I'm not too crazy about the cast, honestly--the characters don't look anything like I pictured them. I'm fine with the girl who is playing Lena (Alice Englert), but I really don't like the guy who's cast as Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich).

He doesn't look like how I pictured Ethan AT ALL and I don't know if I'll be able to get used to him. Hopefully he will do a good portrayal of the character, though. (And that was one epic kiss in the trailer!)

You can view the full cast here.

Even though I have mixed feelings about the books, I will definitely go see this movie. I really did like the first Beautiful Creatures book--the setting, the story, the characters. But sadly, for me I liked each book less and less as the series went along. But maybe I would enjoy them more as movies? Hmm.

What do you think? Do you like the cast? Will you see the movie?

Dark secrets will come to light.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Of Poseidon #1
Released: May 22, 2012


The Story

"Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen--literally, ouch!--both teens sense a connection.
But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she houlds the key to his kingdom..."

Our Heroine: Emma

"I smack into him as if shoved from behind...The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic...I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest." (p. 1-2)
I absolutely loved Emma! She was funny, spunky, and stubborn. The book alternates between her and Galen's POV, and her's is written in first person while his is written in third. Emma has a very well-developed "voice" and I loved her sense of humor.

Here's a little taste of what I'm talking about: "That Galen found me clear across the country seems more miraculous than a push-up bra." (p. 43) I was grinning/giggling throughout the whole book!

I also adored the romance between her and Galen. At first I was worried because it felt a tad bit like insta-love at first, but as the story went along I felt more that it was instant attraction and she gradually developed deeper feelings for Galen as she got to know him better.

I also appreciated that Emma was a strong character and had a good, sensible head on her shoulders. She doesn't totally lose herself over Galen and melt in a puddle at his feet and throw herself at him. She is attracted to him but she remains sensible and feisty towards him, and she does not give him an easy time of things!

Main Characters

  • Galen
 "It feels wrestling with an electric ray. And then when we touch, it's like swimming over a volcano vent. Hot, all over. But it's more than that. You know how you feel when one of our own is near?...I'm not just aware of Emma. I'm...I'm..."
"Drawn to her?" 
Galen looks at his friend. "Yes, exactly." (p. 53)
Galen was sweet, thoughtful, and gentle, though with a bit of a temper and a jealous streak. I loved him and Emma together!

There were also many funny moments because Galen is a Syrena (what the mermaids are called in the book), and even though he can take human form he doesn't know everything about them and sometimes isn't very good at being human.

  • Rayna & Toraf
"Galen greets his friend with a strong punch to the arm. "Good to see your tracking skills are still intact after the accident and all."
Toraf stares at Rayna's back. "Accident, yes. Next time, I'll keep my eyes open when I kiss her. That way, I won't accidentally bust my nose on a rock again. Foolish me, right?"" (p. 48)
Rayna is Galen's twin sister, and the mate of Toraf, Galen's best friend. I loved these two characters! Rayna was hot-tempered and strong-willed. Toraf was loyal and totally adored Rayna, who turns down all of his affections.

The interactions between the two of them were funny and sweet, I loved the two of them together! It seems like Rayna hates Toraf's pursuit of her, but Toraf's theory is that Rayna acts like she hates him to make him chase her harder to get more attention.

To Read Or Not To Read? 

Ohmysweetgoodness! I totally fell in love with this book!! I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did, but I was totally captivated by the characters. This is the first mermaid book I've ever read, and I found it very interesting!

Of Poseidon was well-written with characters you will fall in love with and that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. I would definitely recommend it! If you are a fan of the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White, I think you would really love Of Poseidon because it is written in a similarly feisty, humorous way.

I seriously need the next book, like right now! Gah. I'm going to go crazy waiting for the sequel, Of Triton. I can't wait to read more about these characters and see what happens to them next :]

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 4/5
Creativity/Originality: 5/5
Kept me interested: 5/5

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Interview and Australian Accents!

Hello, I hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday :]

I just wanted to share a quick post about my Book Blogger Spotlight interview, from Christine at Rainy Day Reads.

I am so excited to be a part of her feature, and this was my first-ever interview which was really fun ^.^

You can read my interview on her awesome blog, here. A big thanks to her for featuring me!

On another (and completely random) note, I wanted to share my excitement for the day :] I got to meet an amazing new Christian band called For King and Country, who played during the worship service at my church today.

Afterwards I got to meet them, and they are from Australia and have awesome accents! Just listening to them talk seriously made my day :D

I am so obsessed with accents. Every time I hear someone talk with an accent, I can't help but grin. So I was grinning like a total idiot in the middle of church listening to them talk. When they said "cheers" I about died. Do accents have this effect on anyone else or am I just weird??

Anyways, they were really great guys and they're music was awesome, I'm glad I got an opportunity to meet them :] If you'd like to check out their music, you can visit their website here.

Happy Sunday, and happy reading!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Follow Friday: What hyped up book was worth all the talk?

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week's question is...

Q: What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?


A: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

This was hands down one of the best books I've read this year! The world was interesting, and Veronica Rossi did a spectacular job developing the characters, I loved them! If you would like to read my full review of Under the Never Sky, click here.

I couldn't put this book down! Would highly recommend it :]

Favorite quote:
“She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she'd ever taken. And never had she loved life more.” 

What was your pick? 

Happy reading!

Review: UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwholly
Author: Neal Shusterman
Pages: 402
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: Unwind trilogy #2
Released: August 28, 2012


The Story

"Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa, and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp, people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens, and in the same stroke, providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question."
Connor, Lev, and Risa are all return book. I love their characters and how they grow and develop. I especially love Risa--she was so strong, brave, and independent, and I admired her for refusing the spine of an unwind after her accident even though it meant being confined to a wheelchair.

We're introduced to several new characters in UnWholly as well, and it's interesting to see how their paths eventually cross with the original characters from Unwind. I loved all of the characters, and really got pulled into the story emotionally.

The story follows the journeys of all these different characters, which allows the reader to view unwinding from all different perspectives. I really loved how the author did this! Sometimes, through different character's perspectives, I could actually see how they thought unwinding was a good thing. 

I was really shocked to find myself having mixed feelings about unwinding at some points in the story! But Neal Shusterman does a spectacular job of making you really feel for the characters and see things from their perspective.

There are several different sub-plots of the story, but the main plot focuses on Connor and the Graveyard. He is now in charge of the Graveyard and keeping AWOL unwinds safe, but their safety is threatened because the juvie cops know about them.

Connor knows it's only a matter of time before they take out the Graveyard. He has to come up with an escape plan to get all the kids to safety before the juvies decide to take them down, but he soon finds that he is quickly running out of time.

  New Characters

  • Mason Starkey
 "He talks as if Starkey should have known they were coming, but what Unwind ever really knows? Every Unwind believes in their heart of hearts that it won't happen to them....But Starkey's been a potential candidate for unwinding since the moment he arrived on his parent's doorstep." (p. 4)

 Starkey's parents choose to have him unwound because he was an unwanted baby who was 'storked' on their doorstep. He has grown up being teased about being storked and is called "storkey."  When he finds his way to the Graveyard he soon causes problems for Connor that might put all of the AWOL's in jeopardy.

At first, I felt sorry for Starkey. But as I saw more of his character and how it developed, I came to hate him. Oh my goodness I have not hated a character so much in a long time! It's not that he was a bad character--he was a very well-written character. He was just a total jerk.

He was manipulative, cunning, charismatic, deceitful, selfish, and cold. He hates the way storked kids are treated and wants them to be respected and save them from being unwound. His intentions are good, but the way he acts them out are not.

Starkey was a really interesting character and very well-developed--and he had reasons for all the stuff he did. In his mind, he was totally justified. Even though I hated his guts, I understood where he was coming from.

  • Miracolina
"The girl has known since before she can remember that her body has been sanctified to God. She has always been aware that on her thirteenth birthday she would be tithed and would experience the glorious mystery of having a divided body and a networked soul...There are people who say it's death, but she believes it to be something else--something mystical, and she believes it with every ounce of her soul." (p. 30)
Like Lev in the first book, Miracolina is a tithe. However, at the last moment her parents decide that they don't want to tithe her after all, but Miracolina completely believes that unwinding is a good thing and her purpose in life. She leaves to be unwound of her own free will.

It was crazy seeing things from Miracolina's perspective, how totally brainwashed she had been. She ends up being rescued by the Resistance, and is furious. I couldn't believe how determined she was to be unwound!

But as we get to know her character more, we understand her reasons and why she thinks unwinding is a good thing. Sometimes I even almost found myself agreeing with her. Her storyline crosses with Lev's, and it was interesting seeing the two of them interact.

  • Cam
"That face is a nightmare. Strips of flesh, all different shades, like a living quilt stretched across the bone, muscle, and cartilage beneath...His eyes ache from the sight of himself, and tears cloud them... "Monster!" he says." (p. 59)
Cam was a really intriguing character, and raised so many questions! He is 'created' using the parts of nearly one-hundred unwound kids. People don't know what to think of him--is he human? Does he have a soul? Is he his own person?

I didn't know what to make of Cam at first. I was disgusted, but at the same time I felt sorry for him because he couldn't help the way he was created. He was spoiled and childish, but he was also innocent and caring. He was such an interesting character, and I'm still not sure how exactly I feel about him.

To Read Or Not To Read? 

Oh my goodness gracious, this book was all sorts of awesome!! It was full of amazing characters, tension that left me on the edge of my seat, adrenaline-pumped action, and a premise that had me thinking long after I closed the book.

I think that this book was actually better than the first, if that's even possible. It was a long 5 year wait between books but I can assure you the wait is well worth it and you will not be disappointed!

Also, for those of you who are worried about remembering details about the previous book like I was, the author provides a brief guide at the beginning that helps to jog your memory.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more interesting, Neal Shusterman raises even more thought-provoking questions in this book. This book is seriously deep! This is one of those stories that's going to linger in my mind for days.

If you haven't read the Unwind books, I highly recommend them! Especially if you are a fan of dystopians, this is a must-read. I'm eagerly anticipating that final installment of the trilogy, UnSouled, and I hope the wait won't be as long as the last!

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Creativity/Originality: 5/5
Kept me interested: 5/5

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