2017 Books I Read

Reading is my favorite hobby and always has been. However, 2017 was my first year to track everything I read, and I’m so glad I did!! I loosely used Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge to help me choose several of the books I read that I might not have otherwise steered towards.

The volume of books I’m able to read is in direct proportion to if my free time is spent crafting or if I’m hooked into an interesting tv series. For example, I watched Game of Thrones S1 thru S7 over a several month period in 2017, and my book-reading was noticeably lessened during those particular months. Overall, I finished a lot of books in 2017, and I ended up with a handful I loved and which stuck with me long after I finished them.

I tried several methods of tracking what I read: Excel, Trello, and pen & paper. By far my favorite method, and the method which I actually used the entire year, was pen and paper. Earlier this month I picked up a beautiful coptic-bound journal by Studio Oh and transferred my 2017 and 1st quarter 2018 books-read lists into it.

Here’s the journal cover — wouldn’t it convert beautifully to embroidery?!! The page edges and binding are a lovely deep green, and the pages themselves have a distressed look.

Books-Read Journal (4-2018)

Below are the lists of the books I read in 2017. I only kept track of the books I finished, and for non-fiction I don’t keep track of things like cookbooks, crafting books, or coffee table books. Books with a heart next to them landed on my favorites list for 2017. I enjoyed many of the books I read, but the ones that landed on my favorites list especially appealed to me in one way or another.

2017 Books Read - pg 1

2017 Books Read - pg 2

2017 Books Read - pg 3

2017 Books Read - pg 4

2017 Books Read - pg 5

2017 Books Read - pg 6

I wish I’d started tracking my reading in a consistent manner sooner than 2017! It would be so interesting to go back each year and skim prior years’ lists. I’m diligently tracking my reading for 2018 and look forward to seeing how this year’s lists round out…..I’m crafting more this year, and I’ve been working my way through several tv series, so I anticipate my book totals for this year will be less than 2017, but we shall see!!

 

2017 & 1st Quarter 2018 Projects

I did a lot of reading and FlossTube watching during 2017, but very little crafting. However, the crafting itch kicked in towards the end of 2017 and carried over into 2018.

OCT. 2017 — FINGER-KNITTING:  I have tried knitting (and crocheting) several different times, and disliked it every single time. Finger-knitting, however, I can do!! I followed a Finger-Flux YouTube tutorial and used an inexpensive yarn from Hobby Lobby for my trial run. This whipped up quickly, with no choice words flying around at all during the process ;-). Doubled-up, it made a cute scarf. However, the yarn was too scratchy for me to be able to wear, so instead I laid this in a figure-8 style on top of our mantle during the holidays and nestled glass ball ornaments in the circles of the figure-8’s.

10-2017 finger-knot scarf 001

10-2017 finger-knit scarf 002

DEC. 2017 — EMBROIDERED ORNAMENTS:  The State ornaments were inspired by a variety of similar embroidered projects on Instagram. The mini-Santa ornaments were from a freebie design by CozyBlue Handmade, which I inserted into tiny little wooden hoops I found at Hobby Lobby.

12-2017 State hoops.jpg

12-2017 cozyblue pattern mini-santa.jpg

JAN. & FEB. 2018 — COZY BLUE STITCH CLUB:  I signed up for the CozyBlue (embroidery) Stitch Club, beginning with the January 2018 kit. I love that the design is pre-printed on the fabric and the floss is included, so that I can just pop the fabric into a hoop and start stitching…no muss, no fuss. It’s also been neat to get inspiration from following the “cozybluestitchclub” hashtag on Instagram and seeing how other stitchers complete their design.

Thus far, I’ve completed the Jan. 2018 kit (which I completed using the provided floss) & the Feb. 2018 kit (which I opted to crayon-tint & then swap in my own floss color choices).

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 001

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 002

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 003

02-2018 cozybluestitchclub Feb 2018 kit - 001

02-2018 cozybluestitchclub Feb 2018 - 002

FEB. 2018 — EVERGREEN SLEIGH:  I have a handful of small Mill Hill beaded cross-stitch kits I’ve been working on here and there last year and this year. (In addition to the sleigh below, I completed the honey pot and the sea turtle designs, but deleted their photos from my phone before saving copies to my PC :::pfft:::.) The below design is finished with felt on the back and an eye-pin so it can hang from our Christmas tree. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the red section of the sleigh contains lots of red beads, which create great dimension.

02-2018 Mill Hill Sleigh Ride 001

02-2018 Mill Hill Sleigh Ride 002

MAR. 2018 — SWEET TOOTH:  This adorable little design is from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Since I was stitching on light-colored fabric, I opted to use a tooth charm I found at Hobby Lobby, in place of white floss. This cutie lives on a metal stand I found at Michael’s. The stand turns, so I can put projects and/or needleminders on the other side, as well. I used an idea I’ve seen Priscilla Blain frequently do, which is to attach magnets to the back of the project so it’s easy to swap projects on and off the item to which they’re mounted.

Fabric used:  14-ct “Silver Dusted” Aida (Charles Craft)

DMC used:  601, 603, 666, 3845, 310, 801, 434, B5200 (2 strands of all, except 4 strands for backstitch)

02-2018 Sweet Tooth (FPS) 001.jpg

02-2018 Sweet Tooth (FPS) 002.jpg

02-2018 Sweet Tooth (FPS) 003

FEB. 2018 — WITH YOU I AM HOME:  This was a freebie design offered by Hands On Design. It’s clipped on to a frame from Michael’s.

Fabric used:  14-ct “Silver Dusted” Aida (Charles Craft)

DMC used:  820, 972, 321 (3 strands of all)

02-2018 With You (HandsOnDesign) 001

02-2018 With You (HandsOnDesign) 002

 

I find I prefer the plumper look of using 3 strands of floss on the 14-ct Aida as on the “With You…” piece, as compared to 2 strands as was used on the Sweet Tooth piece.)

And with this post, my blog is now current when it comes to needlework and crafting projects! 😀