Monthly Intent · To Be Read

Monthly Intent | August 2021

Books I plan on reading this month!

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for August! I hope everyone has a lovely July, and August will even better! This month I have quite a few things I would like to see or give a try. I am really hoping the weather ends up cooperating because a lot of them are outdoorsy or a DIY I would need good ventilation.

Reading Plans

This upcoming month I have three books I really would love to get to. The first one being Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, I have wanted to read this for months and for some reason I just have not picked it up. I was in a bit of a slump after the first few months of the year, so I am going to blame it on that. Thankfully, I think it is starting to go away since my reading has gone up a bit the last few months. Next, I really would love to read Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin. I read Fever Dream by the same author and I really loved it so I have very high hopes. Her last one had a bit of a horror twist that I was not expecting. I want to slowly read all of her stuff. Last, but not least is Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis. I recently picked this up, but I just want to get to it right away! It’s a nonfiction about a small island community in Maine.

Crochet Plans

This month I want to finally finish my Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am loving how it is coming out and I just cannot wait to get to wear it in the fall. Another thing I want to attempt to do is knit a pair of socks. I signed up for a class of sorts to try and learn, we shall see how it goes! I do not have the highest of hopes, BUT I am excited to give it a try and also have the support if I need it. Even if they come out wonky I will love them. I might just hang them on the wall as an art piece instead of functioning socks though. lol. If I happen to have time I have a few smaller projects I want to work on to try to get ahead on gifts during the holiday season.

Random Goals

This month I have it in my head to dye my own yarn. I found a method using blackbeans and I was thinking of giving it a go. The post I found is called Natural Dyeing with Black Beans by fiberartsy. I just need to find the right kind of yarn to dye, I feel like that is going to be the most difficult. I want to use a cotton, but we shall see! Next, I really want to go to an art museum of some sort. I have a few that are within my state so I am trying to decide which one I would feel the most comfortable going to.

What are you planning on doing this month?

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly digest post where I talk about how the past month has gone in terms of reading, crafting, and random life events. This month was a really fun one. I did some reading I didn’t think I would get to and created quite a few things as well. I went on a few adventures, which was a great change of scenery since I have not really gone far from home over the last 15 months or so. Anyway, here is what happened over the past month!

Book stack of read books, current crochet project, and my D.I.Y. room spray.

Reading

  • Hauled The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil by Bill Sprouse
  • Hauled Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu
  • Read Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
  • Read Later by Stephen King LOVED
  • Hauled The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • Hauled The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Hauled Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • Hauled A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Hauled Wild! Weird! Wonderful Maine! by Earl D. Brechlin
  • Read Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker
  • Read How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson LOVED
  • Read The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Read Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle LOVED
  • Hauled and Read a story I cannot share, but know that it was great!

Total TBR Count: 35, Last Month: 33

Crochet & Crafting

Over this month I crocheted quite a bit, I made at least 4 market bags and gifted them to family members. I really need to make myself one in the future. Now that we can start using our own bags again I think it would be great to use for produce instead of the plastic bags. I did also made a ton of progress on the  Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am about 1/3 of the way done with it, but sadly I did not have the time to dedicate to it like I thought I would this month. I am planning on continuing this pattern in the upcoming month. Another crafting this I did this month was restore an antique picnic basket to use for my larger crochet projects because I have a few blankets I need to be making in the near future. I resealed it and even sewed a liner, a first for me! It even had button holes! As for the goal of making a room spray I ended up making the Mood-Boosting Blend room spray by Hello Glow. It included mixing up orange, lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils with a little bit of vodka and filtered water. If you want to make some for yourself, I suggest checking out their post. I really loved how mine ended up smelling. I keep using it and I plan on making it again!

Life

Yard when staying with family.

This month was filled with a ton of really memorable things. As I mentioned in the start of this post, I went on a few adventures. The first being an almost 2 hour trip (one way) with a friend to a indie yarn store called Yarnia. I went a little over the top with picking up yarn because there were so many beautiful options I don’t see normally. Also, can I just say the name of this place is just perfect! A pun involving reading and yarn, not easily topped. I also decided while I was here I would attempt to maybe learn how to knit…it isn’t going so well. I am a crocheter and to be honest, I think it is going to be hard to break away from that.

Another thing I did was finally visit with family I have not seen in nearly 2 years. We got to spend a week together in the middle of the woods. It was so peaceful and calming. It was just great to spend quality time with them once again and also not have to deal with all of the people and congestion that goes on in my daily life. I ended up doing a lot of reading, relaxing, and just spending time outside. Spending time outside and in nature really is something I treasure because it also grounds me no matter what is going on in my life. I really wish I made it more of a priority because it makes such a difference. I will for sure need to work on that going forward.

I hope you had a wonderful July and have a few great memories to dwell upon in the future. I would love it if you shared something you tried or did over the past month. I also hope you have a wonderful month ahead!

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Hauls & Unboxings

Books I Bought at an Indie Bookshop While Visiting Family

Hello and welcome to a very specifically themed book haul. I have not done a standalone book haul in a while, but I recently traveled a bit to spend time safely with family in the middle of the woods. Side note, being in the middle of the woods and away from huge crowds of people did wonders for my reading. You can see this in my post called, Books I Took On Vacation and Did I finish Them?. Anyway, when I was there I decided to stop at an independent bookstore to support them, but also buy some books that take place in the general vicinity or state I was in. That way when I miss my family or want to trick my brain into thinking I am somewhere else relaxing I can pick of one of these books/souvenirs.

The Books

Wild! Weird! Wonderful! Maine. by Earl Brechlin, is a nonfiction book that accounts the “out there” history of Maine from ghost stories to aliens, Inventors to interesting people. It just sounded like a fun look at the legends, myths, and the not so known facts and stories about Maine.

The House at Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich, this historical fiction novel follows a wealthy man named George Nixon Black who wasn’t very social, but liked in a house known by many. It seems like while it is know by many, the house was not visited often by others. This story seems to lift the veil of this mans private life in this beautiful house.

The Field House: A Writer’s Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine by Robin Clifford Wood, is a nonfiction novel following the life of an author by the name of Rachel Field. She was a very prolific author who won tons of awards, but her name has been lost to history. The author of this book takes a look at her life and her home to get to know Field’s.

Writing on Stone: Scenes from a Maine Island Life by Peter Ralston, his nonficiton novel takes a look at Gott’s Island and its history, but also the story of a family. At least to the best of my knowledge from the description.

A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn, is a fictional novel that follows Madelyn Davis during a tough time in her life. It is affecting her in every where to the point her boss tells her to take a break. During this break Madelyn becomes a caregiver of an older women who has secrets of her own and mystery begins to unfold.

I am really looking forward to all of these books for different reasons, but each one just sounds like a story I can easily fall into depending on my mood. Darn being a mood reader! I really do like how I picked up a wide range of books, fiction and nonfiction so I can explore Maine in various ways while I remember the memories I shared with my family while in that state. Also, helping support indie bookstores is another huge bonus!

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Reading Taste Test · Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Cousin Edition | Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Hello and welcome to the July edition of Someone Picks My Books! This month I reached out to my cousin to pick a book for me. She ended up picking Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, but you probably figured that out from the title. I have read a few of Murakami’s books so I was thrilled when she brought this one up so I get to read it. I was able to get it right from the library on my ereader so I got right to reading!

Description

A dazzling new collection of short stories—the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

I really enjoyed the bite sized looks into the lives of those within the stories. I felt like the stories were well paced and the length of each one was perfect. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything, but I also never felt like a story went on too long. A very difficult balance to maintain as a writer. I felt that while we got a snippet of each of these men, each was unique and I didn’t feel like a plot was recycled in any way.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the fact that these short stories has the same feel that I have previously loved in works I have read by the author. This is personally a worry for me when I am used to reading novels by an author, changing the type of fiction an author writes can at times ruin an author for me because they can loose a sense of what I enjoy about them. Happily that was not the case at all here.

What I Didn’t Like

As with short story collections there are some winners and some not great ones. I normally have this experience with collections, but I have to say I felt overall very positive about the collection and I didn’t outright hate or fully dislike one in particular.

Overall

This is a great collection of short stories and I am very glad that my cousin picked this for me to read. I was lucky enough to bring this with my on vacation and it was honestly perfect for that setting. It was bite sized chunks of great works by a very talented writer. The stories didn’t go to fast or drag on in any way. If you love Murakami or have been wanting to give his works a try, but 1Q84 is overwhelming I think you should look into this collection.

Up Next

Next month I am reading a book picked by the lovely Minna, where you can find them on twitter as @bookishminna and on their blog bookishminna. I really love their combination of book content and life where their personality shines through as well as their passions.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Let's Talk

Books I Took On Vacation and Did I finish Them?

Hello and welcome to a short post talking about the books I recently took with me when going out of state for the first time since everything went haywire in 2020. My household and I stayed in the middle of the woods, it was great to see different scenery and be in the middle of nature. Something I have not been able to do for a long time. Anyway, here is a list of the books I bought with me to read in the woods!

What I Took

Later by Stephen King

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

What I Read

Later by Stephen King, finished, paperback, pictured

This is the first book I finished on vacation. I have a tradition of reading a King novel whenever I go away and this short one was perfect and did not disappoint. It was a great of traditional monsters in Kings writing. This book took it a bit further and sadly showed the monsters that humans can be as well. I read it within two days and I could not put it down once it really got going. I also really liked them POV that was used for this novel. I think it really lent itself to what King was going for.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, finished, ebook, not pictured

I don’t want to say too much about this novel because I am going to do a whole separate post about it soon. I will say that I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories and was great to bring with me when I went on a walk or just sat outside for a bit.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald J. Robertson, started , paperback, pictured

As the heading says, I only started to read this book, but I will say I am really enjoying it. I decided that I wanted to take my time with this one and not rush too much because I think I could take a lot from this and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I am about 88 pages into it and looking forward to reading more soon.

What book has been your favorite vacation read?

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More · Lists & Recommendations

My Favorite Crochet and Yarn Arts Channels

Mr Bobvin, Crochet With Kaye, More KopyKali

These three sisters are close knit, but love to crochet! They each have their own style, but I love each and every one of them. They have podcasts, tutorials, original patters, and organizational videos that I can just watch and chill out to while I am working on my WIP. I also really love that they all mainly work with natural fibers, which is something I really want to be exploring more personally so I love watching them trying out new yarns and seeing their thoughts to see. I can seriously say that these three have pushed me outside my comfort zone and I have started to make more wearable items.

Anna Kallajian

I found Anna though her Harry Styles sweater video which was a huge thing in 2020. I really enjoyed her vlogs and just hanging out with her viewers. I think she is the first crochet youtuber I saw that was not just tutorials. Tutorials truly have their place, I use them all the time, but I can’t crochet and watch a tutorial for something else. Also, her humor is just great!

Justine Isabelle

I love her stuff because she is learning and just trying new stuff. On top of that she is not afraid to show her messing up. Her humor and honesty are great. I hate to say this, but I just love her vibe. She is very down to earth and I can just chill with her.

TL Yarn Crafts

If you want to learn tunisian crochet her tutorials are where you go. They are clear, simple, and all around VERY helpful. On top of that, she is just a ball of sunshine with a great sense of humor. Even when I am learning something and really concentrating on her tutorials I still find myself laughing here and there and honestly. If I am learning and having a good time, there is no toping that!

Yarn as a Second Language

This channel is two friends chatting about crochet and knitting. I love that these two friends have such a great dynamic and don’t take themselves seriously and just have a good time. They have fun challenges from time to time and share their viewers work as well in between their podcast. I often laugh while watching them and every video I know I am going to love!

Tiffany Liew

While I am not a knitter, I love watching her stuff. I really enjoy her positive attitude while taking part in challenges, trying new patterns, and hauling some yarn. She honestly makes me want to learn knitting, maybe in the future. Her ability to see a sweater or something she likes and just recreate it is just something I am very envious of.

Knitty Natty

This is another knitting channel I have followed for quite some times. I mainly started to follow her stuff from her declutters and yarn organization videos. She has a podcast, random yarn related videos like yarn shop tours, as well as vlogs and sock challenges! Her attitude and personality keep me coming back even though I don’t knit.

Who are your favorite yarn arts channels or bloggers?

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Reading Challenges

2021 Mid-Year Check-In

Hello lovely people and welcome to my 2021 mid-year check in for my goals. If you would like to see my origional post you can find that here, Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. I went kind of easy on myself this year, but to be honest the 2020 was a bit hectic in quite a few ways. I wanted to really tailor my goals to what I truly wanted and not try to compete with anyone.

Use Library Monthly

So far I have stuck to this goal very well. Even if I owned a book I used my local library to read the book digitally when on the go or used the library as my only copy of a book. I am still not comfortable going to borrow a physical copy of books just yet, so I am using their digital services at this point of the year,

Twelve Non-fiction Books

I am actually ahead on this goal, which thrills me honestly. I have read a total of 9 non-fiction books at this point. The books I have read that meet this goal are; A Promised Land by Barack Obama, Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant, White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer, The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein and Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde.

Read 50 Books

I am excited to say I am also ahead on this goal as well, at the time of writing this I have read a total of 42 books! If you want the most up to date read count for the year you can check out my goodreads challenge page.

This is where my goals kind of take a turn. The past few ones I have been pretty on top of, but from here on out I have made progress in almost each of the goals, but have not quite on track. Ooops.

Read International Booker Prize Shortlist 2020

The good news is I have read two books from this list, you can see a more detailed post talking about Hurricane Season and The Memory Police here: Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 Update. The bad news is I have 4 more to read. I will say, I am glad I have 6 months to read 4 books, that is very doable and I plan on continuing to work towards achieving this goal.

Read The Farseer Trilogy & Liveship Traders Trilogy

Once again, I have read two books towards this goal. I have read the first two books of The Farseer Trilogy, which I really enjoyed so I cannot wait to continue. I do have all the books either physically or digitally to meet this goal and I plan on doing just that.

Reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilology

This is where I start to hang my head in shame. I have not attempted to pick up these books at all so far this year. I love them so much, but the mood has not hit me at all the first half of the year. I am hoping that this changes very soon.

Keep TBR under 10 Books

Last year I got my TBR down to 0 books. I wanted to keep my owned TBR under 10 books going forward, but I am at about 30 books as of writing this. I am not totally happy with it being this high, but I am really happy that it is not as high as it once was. This is what happens when you have some holidays, birthdays, and sales.

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

My Favorite Crochet Tools & Notions

Hooks

Furls Streamline Swirl, I love the Cafe and Cream collection the most. These are quite pricy, they run around $24 dollars each. The good news it they have sales frequently so if you keep your eyes open you can get a great deal. I ended up getting one a month for a while until I had the entire set. For me, these are super smooth to use with all different yarn types, but also feel really comfortable in the hand. Before I got my first one I thought it was all hype, these hooks are really amazing.

Clover Amour Crochet Hook, these hooks are also amazing. They feel great in the hand and glide easily with nearly every type of yarn I have worked with. These are a lot more affordable and come in kits or singular. The prices are generally around $8 if you buy them one at a time, but I never paid more than $4 because I always have a coupon for my local crafting store. These were the hooks I learned on and I still use them regularly. When I give people crochet starter kits, I even add these hooks to them.

Notions

Clover Darning Needle Set (Bent Tip), with every crochet project sadly, you have to weave in some ends. I think this is the worst part of crochet, but I never weave in as I go. Anyway, I found that I LOVE metal bent tip darning needles the best. These allow me to get in between the stitches at a comfortable angle for my hand and wrist.

Yarn Basket, I use Decorative Coiled Rope Baskets from Threshold™, they have quite a few sizes. I came across these when walking around target one day about a year or so ago. I loved the huge size range of these baskets and I thought the neutral coiled rope look went really well with the yarn. They even have handles so you can use these as a yarn bowl if you were so inclined. I generally just use them to hold my WIPs and a larger one to hold all my yarn…. okay some of my yarn. Yarn has its own version of a TBR pile.

Yarn Bowl from kbkilnart on etsy. I have two yarn bowls created by this shop and I love them both so much. They are heavy enough where they stay still, but not too heavy to move around with.

Stitch makers, I have a huge collection of stitch markers. I have over 100 because I use them for almost every project. I tend to buy the cheaper ones although there really are some beautiful ones I see constantly on etsy. My tried and true ones are Clover Locking Stitch Marker. I have never had one pop open on me out of no where and I have never had one snap as well.

Row counter from TwillandPrint on etsy. I have a row counter from them called Witchy Row Counter Pin. it is beautiful and functional! It is a row counter with a pin back so you can attach it to your project I also like that it is not digital and a physical counter.

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal Jottings July 2021

Items Used

My Bullet Journal

I am keeping this bullet journal quite simple since I am really just starting to get back into it. The main layout is my monthly calendar that goes across two pages. Each square is 6×6 so I have plenty of room to write blog post ideas and other important information. In the picture above I had to cover everything in post-it notes. I used the micro for the actual calendar, but I used the Acrylograph pen for the month title. This is my first time using it and I am not to thrilled. It has great pigmentation and does not bleed at all, which is amazing. Sadly, it kept flicking the ink everywhere, which you might be able to see. It looks like paint splatter, now if that is something you like great, me not so much. I also used this pen to add some lines at the bottom of the page to get rid of of some of the dead space. Lastly, I added washi tape down the left side. This blue washi tape has gold suns and stars, green snakes, and blue leaves.

My next two spreads are pretty simple. On the left side I did a boarder around the page and labeled it Book Digest where I am going to keep a running tab of the book incoming and outgoing from my TBR. On the right side I outlines it all the same with the micron pen and labeled this one with Monthly Intent using the Acrylograph pen to make the two pages more cohesive with the calendar. My monthly intent page has the goals I set for myself in this months post you can find here, Monthly Intent. I created a checklist type setup and wrote the books I want to read, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor and Later. As well as writing the crochet project and a random thing I would like to do, which includes crocheting a poncho and creating a room spray.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | July 2021

Hello and welcome to “new” kind of post here on my blog. In the past I just did monthly TBRs and didn’t really talk about my goals outside of this or share the things I wanted to try to get to during the month. Well, I decided to change that and post a monthly intent post to share what I intend to do over the course of the month book wise and beyond!

Reading Plans

This upcoming month I really want to read a few books, but the two I want to prioritize this month are How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson and Later by Stephen King. When it comes to How to Think Like a Roman Emperor I am curious to continue looking into philosophy. I took a class when I was in school and really enjoyed it, but I have not really explored it more since. I am really hoping to chance that. As for King’s book, I really loved the last two books he wrote for hard case crime, so I am hoping that this is another great mystery penned by King.

Crochet Plans

This month I want to finally tackle a project I have been putting off. I have all the yarn for the project and everything, I just have been so intimidated by it that I keep picking up other projects first. The pattern in question is the Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. It is a beautiful sweater/poncho that I really want to have done for the fall months so I can wear it out and about. I have been dabaling in creating wearables this year outside of scarfs and hats and I already notice an improvement in my abilities. I am hoping I have gotten good enough to create this beautiful pattern. I ended up picking up Brava Bulky Weight Yarn in the color Sienna.

Random Goals

Something different I would love to do this month is create a room spray. I normally just buy some from the store and call it a day, but I think it would be a ton of fun to try and make one myself and really tailor it to my tastes. This is not to say that the store bought ones or bad, I tend to like most of the ones I have picked up. I just think it would be fun to mix my own or follow a guide to create a scent I really adore.

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