Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Lurkey wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving. He also wishes he wasn't a cupcake, since cupcakes also get eaten on Thanksgiving Day.

Since dinner for our family is at 5pm, that means I have all morning to sew!! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sneak Peek at the New Baby Quilt

There it is. How cute is that going to be?
If you've been playing around on Pinterest, you may have seen and idea of what this will be by the end of next week. If not, you will just have to wait. I'm planning on using Wednesday and Friday of next week to work on gifts. And boy, do I have gifts to work on.  We just found out last week that another close friend is pregnant. She's 12 weeks along, so I have some time to work, but not much. She has requested that her baby blanket be crocheted, so I have to get to gettin' on it if I want to finish it in time to give at her baby shower.
But I got all that fabric cut last night. I'm so proud of me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Working Again

I have been cutting fabric for the last two nights. I am so excited. First off, I found another I-Spy swap. Since I started collecting I-spies int 2010 the only swaps I have participated in have been of the 4 inch variety like Obsessively Stitching hosts. She has everyone find quarter yards of 10 fabrics that they cut into 4 inch squares. It has been a while since she hosted one though, and I had been collecting every time I was at a fabric store. I had fat quarters all lined up and ready to go. When I searched for swaps on Google, all I could find were other, random sized swaps. I didn't have enough fabric to participate. And then one day, in my Google Reader, with angels singing acapella in the background, one of my regular bloggers was talking about the swap she had just joined on Hammer & Thread.  I literally did a happy dance on the couch while clicking through to all the correct links to comment and join the swap. (And yes, I am using the word "literally" correctly in this instance. I actually wiggled and danced on the couch.)

Now all the fabrics have been cut and I will be going to the post office either today or tomorrow!! Aren't these just the cutest prints?

I'm not sure which is my favorite. I love the ants and the ladybugs, but the monkeys on the far left are adorable, and the pink cats are just funny. I think the dinosaur skeletons are pretty unique, though. I can't wait to see what everyone else contributes, so I can add to my collection.
Tonight I will begin cutting more fabric for another baby blanket. A close friend is 7 months pregnant with her second, a boy. I am making a cuddle rag quilt for him. I'll post sneak peeks at the fabric next time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lazy Blogger Apologizes

So, it seems like it's been a while since I posted last. I knew it had, but I was a bit surprised to see it was over 6 months ago. To be honest, I haven't been very inspired lately, so the crafting has dropped off a little. I still have a pile of WIPs and to-dos, but I haven't done much. The most I've worked on was on Election Night, when I crocheted a baby blanket while watching the returns come in. I actually ran out of yarn for the blanket, so to the store I must go today to get more.

And since the blanket is a gift, I can't post pictures yet (not that the recipient would see it, she doesn't follow here, but it's the principle of the thing.). So in an effort to start up again, I found a book meme I will answer for you today.  If you  noticed in my sidebar, I have a Goodreads goal for the year. I am trying to read 80 books by December 31, and while I'm not exactly on target, I feel pretty good about reaching it. Last year, I read 66 total, so to have already read that many by the beginning of November makes me feel good, anyway. So here goes...

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you? I do not remember learning to read. But reading has always been a part of my life. My mom tells stories of how during naptime as a toddler, I would keep jumping off her lap to grab more books to read instead of taking said nap. And there's another story from when I was about 5 where my mother fell asleep one Sunday afternoon, and when she woke up, she panicked because she didn't know where I was. She was terrified I had gone outside to play, and our driveway led to a busy street. But when she tore through the house, she found me in the corner of the living room with the bag of library books we had checked out the day before. I had read them all. I do remember our weekly trips to the library, but in m mind, I'm about 7.

2. What do you find most challenging to read? Non-fiction, especially war histories. I love history, and always have a list of books I want to read so I can learn more about particular eras, but so many of those books are dull and dry. I do enjoy biographies, though they can be just as dry.

3. What are your library habits? Right now, DH and I are going once a week. He loves to read as well, but the local library has a decent collection of video games he is working through. I have a paper list that I had created from my Goodreads shelf that is color-coded by what format I can get the book in. If a book is available as an audiobook or for my Kindle, then that's how I'll check it out. I have yet to purchase a book for the Kindle. They have all been library loans.

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger? It would be more appropriate to say they have cycled. When I was a child, like previously explained, my mom and I would go to the library once a week,  on Saturday. That lasted until I was about 10-12. For a while, I checked books out at our church library, but once I was able to drive and had a job, I mostly purchased my books. We had a great used book store in my hometown, and that was my main source, although I did collect some series new from the store. It wasn't until I had graduated from college and moved to a new town that I rediscovered the library. I was poor. I had a part-time job, and no cable. The library in my new town had a massive collection of books on CD. I listened to books in the car, then brought them in to listen to while I cross-stitched. It's been that way for 8 years now, with a visit to the library at least once a month, although lately once a week.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life? Not at all. As you know by now, I am not the most dedicated of bloggers, so blogging doesn't affect my life much at all. 

6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other? New book stores: 1%. Used book stores: 10%. Online retailers: 1%. Library: 88%. 

7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it? What are your reasons for not reviewing? (okay, this was borrowed from a guy who's entire blog is based on his reading, so I've adapted this question to fit my usage.)  When I first opened my Goodreads account, I occasionally  reviewed them. When I read the difference between my reviews and others, I began to feel like an idiot. So I stopped. But that's not the whole reason I don't review books anymore. With all the attention to protecting our online identities, I Googled myself one day. Since I have seriously curtailed what is visible on my Facebook page, the only thing that showed up in the results was my book reviews. And to be perfectly honest, I don't want potential employers seeing what I have read. They couldn't pull up my lists, but they could see my reviews. So I deleted all the reviews that were left, and that was the end of my reviewing. I give them star ratings, and that's all I need personally anyway.

8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dog-earing pages? Reading in the bath? Since I both dog-ear pages and read in the bath......My biggest pet peeve about books is the covers. When I shop in the used book stores, I always search for the book whose cover looks the best. I hate bent corners and broken spines. 

9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work? Yes. As a substitute, I usually read during planning period. And sometimes, the group of kids I have is good enough that while they are reading after finishing their work, I can pull my book out as well. Although that's not very often. 

10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them? I usually don't. What I will do is buy that person a gift card to purchase their own. My thought behind this is that I don't want someone buying me a book that I may not like. I'd rather have the gift card and choose for myself. 

11. Other book related thoughts or comments? I know I'm not the only one out there who feels this way, but when I collect a series of books, the cover art all needs to match, and they need to be a similar format (hardcover or paperback, e.g.). My husband both laughs at me for this and gets very frustrated when I want to purchase a book I already own in a different format so that the collection will be complete. Two examples: 1)When I started reading Twilight, I bought the book in paperback. But when I went to purchase the others, none were available in paperback yet, so New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn and Bree Tanner are all hardcover. I want desperately to replace Twilight, but every time I try, I am laughed at.  2)I have collected all of the Sword of Truth series. This one bugs me on both levels. They changed the cover art halfway through the series, so now I have to make them match. But the biggest issue with the series is that the final book was published .25in narrower and .5in taller than the rest of the books. Since then, the publisher has not changed the size of any of the books, so the last book will always stand out from the rest. 

For those of you who don't know, Goodreads is an amazing website where you can track all of the books you have read, want to read, and are currently reading. You can read reviews from other readers, rate and review the books yourself, join reading groups, and find other books that match your tastes. You can find your friends from other social networking sites and see what they are reading. Plus, you can get emails each month with new books that match authors you have read, as well as match your reading preferences. I'm not being paid anything to say these things, I just love the site.