February 2019 Wrap Up

NEEDLEWORK PROJECTS:

Dimensions Felt Applique Kit “Friendly Llama” — This kit was so much fun and I think Miss Llama is cute as can be.

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She’s residing on the door of our book cabinet, where I can easily see her while watching tv/stitching/reading.

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WIP: 2019 Calendar Panel by September House — I’ve made some progress since last month, but I didn’t get the panel finished. It’s a busy time for me right now, at work and at home, and will continue to be through March, so I’ve been doing very little stitching…and when I do stitch, I’ve gravitated towards projects which lean more towards being no-brainers. Not that this is a hard project to stitch, but I’m being thoughtful about my stitch choices and I may opt to add beads or buttons, so it’s not really a “no-brainer” project.

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WIP: Dimensions Love Snow Globe Ornament Kit — I’m enjoying the heck out of stitching this. The 14-ct plastic canvas is super easy for my eyes and is comfortable to hold while stitching, and the way the kitmaker carded the floss is one of the best I’ve seen from a kit. I’ll probably look for more kits like this.

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NEEDLEWORK PURCHASES: Namaste Embroidery recently had a 3-for-the-price-of-2 sale on her mini kits, which include a pattern plus the design preprinted on fabric. I’ve had her animal patterns on my “one of these days” wishlist for a while, so pulled the trigger on purchasing the hedgehog, the giraffe, and the red panda during the sale. I’ve never done thread painting before and am excited about having a go at stitching these cute critters. Jessica’s YouTube channel includes a video tutorial showing how she stitched the hedgehog.

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RE-HOMED NEEDLEWORK/PATTERNS: One of my goals this year is to be realistic about which of the cross-stitch patterns I’ll probably stitch, and to re-home the patterns I don’t think I’ll stitch. I’m surprised by how much I like the plastic canvas in one of my current WIPs and have decided I will, going forward, use plastic canvas, perforated paper, and larger-holed cross-stitch fabric, all of which are easier on my eyes, and if I think a design will be done a disservice by being stitched on one of these options then I will re-home the design.

I decided to re-home Strawberry Fields Forever by Blackbird Designs. It’s a beautiful design, but it’s one that, to me, would lose some of its beauty on one of my fabric options. The pattern was a gift from a friend who had two copies of it, so I sent this pattern along to another of her friends who had expressed an interest in it.

I also re-homed the Mirabilia “Fairy Moon” UFO I’d won in Michelle BendyStitch’s fundraising auction last fall. The fabric was just too difficult for my vision, so I sent the UFO, pattern, and beads back to Michelle to re-auction in a future fundraiser.

 

BOOKS READ:

Look Alive Twenty-Five (Janet Evanovich) — The newest book in the Stephanie Plum series. Not my favorite of this series, but nevertheless there were laugh-outloud moments.

“A” is for Alibi (Sue Grafton) — The first book in the Kinsey Millhone series. I initially read the first several books in this series years and years ago, but it’s been plenty long enough that I didn’t remember any of the story. I’m getting a kick out of these stories being set back in the 1980’s…lots of neat flashbacks to my teens and early 20’s, and I very much like the absence of cellphones, computers, and the internet.

“B” is for Burglar (Sue Grafton) — see above

The Wondering Years (Knox McCoy) — The Popcast is one of my must-listen podcasts each week, and when this ebook came up for sale on Kindle I snatched it up. It was a delightful read. If I were an audiobook person, I think this is a book which would be best read in audiobook format.

My Oxford Year (Julia Whelan) — I enjoyed this but it did take a bit of a serious turn which wasn’t quite what I was looking for when I started reading the book, but it didn’t bother me enough to quit reading ;-). I think this story would translate well to the screen.

 

BOOKS PURCHASED: This year I’m choosing to purchase more books and use the library less. I’ll primarily purchase in e-format since physical storage is a bit trickier for me, and also because I prefer to read on my Kindle than hardback/paperback; however, there are certain types of books I prefer to read in hardback/softcover, and I’ll let go of other books to make room for them.

I used my Christmas-gift money to purchase in hardback/softcover a handful of needlework books and non-fiction books. Of course I immediately flipped through all the needlework books and I love them all!

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I’m also making use of the Kindle Daily Deals and Kindle eBook Credits to build up my unread ebook library. I only keep unread books and my current read on my Kindle, to help keep my Kindle manageable; once read, a book gets removed immediately. (Have I mentioned I don’t like clutter?!!)  These are my Kindle purchases for February. The Sarah Maas books are a series for which I’ve already read the first three books, but I’m now rereading those so I can then read the newest book in the series. I went ahead and bought the series since it’s one I enjoy rereading. I also opted to buy Michelle Obama’s book; I’d listened to the first third of it on audio during a trip in January, but I didn’t travel in February and won’t in March and I didn’t want to wait until April or May to finish the book, so I used my Kindle eBook Credits to purchase it on Kindle.

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OTHER PURCHASES OF INTEREST:

Elise Cripe is one of my favorite Instagrammers. I like how she approaches setting goals and trying new things, and I enjoy her 100 Days projects each year. She recently had a 40% off sale on her 100 Pep Talks book, so I purchased it, along with the perpetual calendar notepad (for personal use) and the project breakdown notepad (for work use). I have so many projects going on at work right now that I think the project breakdown notepad will be helpful in getting the mass of To-Do’s out of my head and onto paper so I won’t feel quite so like I’m barely treading water at work. I’ve tried various apps and online project management systems in the past, but when it comes down to it I’m just a pen-and-paper kind of gal and I need to be able to SEE what all is outstanding and needs to be worked on.

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TV SERIES & MOVIES:

A Quiet Place — This was SO. GOOD.!!! I’m not typically one for scary movies, but I’d heard such good things about this one, and Emily Blunt is one of my favorite actresses, so I bought this and made sure to watch it during the daytime :P.  I enjoyed having a movie capture my attention enough that I gave it 100% of my attention…no stitching, no dusting, no otherwise puttering around while the movie was on.

Reign — I’m still working my way through this series on Netflix. I’m continuously amazed by the costuming and would love to see the needlework and details up close.

 

FAVORITE PICTURES THIS MONTH:

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