So here I come to you with another More than Books post where I am sharing more things I like outside the bookish community. I don’t know if you know, but I love binge watching TV shows and one I want to binge watch is Stranger Things. Well, I am also a big fan of TriwizardLetter over on etsy. Every other month they have a new letter that has a small print, stickers, and a bookmark with a theme. This month was Stranger Things! I took it as a sign, ordered Octobers letter and decided to watch an episode. Here are my thoughts on the show and what I got in my letter!
My Thoughts on Stranger Things
The first thing I noticed was the cinematic look of the show. I really liked how they played with lighting and the overall way they shot the show. The angles and what they show and don’t show on screen was great. I also noticed that they really nailed the color scheme and overall look of the decade this took place in. They didn’t just place a few objects and the costumes had a few key things. They sets had details, the outfits were great and the hair styles were on point.
The second thing I noticed was the great acting, not just for kids actors, but over all true talent. I can see why many people really enjoy this show because you can have the best plot and script in the world, but if the acting is bad it will ruin it.
I love the storyline they went for, secret government project gone wrong. A great mixture of the horror I love and the science fiction. I have always love watching horror and I think this was a great example of a horror that was not too over the top with gore which is the case with a lot of horror these days.
I will say after watching the first episode I will be continuing with the series and I am very expected that there are 2 seasons for me to binge watch in the near future.
Have you watched Stranger Things? Did you enjoy it or dislike it?
So, I have seen this around the internet for some time and I thought testing some DIYs would be really fun. I have always loved crafting and making stuff with my own hands so I thought to myself, “why not?” I will only be making ones I really an interested in and not just doing DIYs for the sake of doing them though. So I am starting off with one I have been wanting to do for some time.
Since I was young I wanted to have a box made out of a book. I don’t know why, but I always thought it was the coolest thing. Over the years I have seen them in the store, but they always looked so fake and I never really liked what the outside looked like. So, many years later I am finally deciding to make my own.
Here is the DIY video I am following/testing:
Hardback book, at least 1½” thick
Mod Podge Gloss
Overall this video really helped me a lot. It is very straight forward and simple. One thing I think I would change about this DIY is that if you have a larger book I would separate it into sections like I ended up doing. That way if you don’t have a very long or large craft knife you wont run into so many problems in the corner and the opening stays the same size instead of developing an angle.
Monday 8th: Gory Magical Sweet
The objective is to create one or more snacks (sweet or savoury is okay) and a drink (if you want) that must be Halloween themed but created with a mix! Use common food elements and parts of our beloved mythical and magical creatures. Just to be clear: things like rainbow unicorn sparkles aren’t gory.
So one of my favorite things to eat is pizza, I know nothing quite so original nor a snack but I think you will really like my recipe. For the month of October I always add a special ingredient to my pizza, it really is a pain in the butt to get so I have to use it sparingly.
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 (1-pound) pizza crust
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Thinly sliced breaded eggplant
1/4 cup Blood of a unicorn
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine the first the three cheese in a medium bowl. Drizzle blood of a unicorn all over the crust, leaving out a 1/2-inch boarder. Spread cheese over the crust, ensuring to stay within the area where blood is. Sprinkle crushed red pepper, black pepper, oregano and garlic over cheese. Then place your breaded egg plant over pizza, best to not over lap the pieces.
Place pizza on baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Remove pizza to cutting board; cut into 6 slices.
So as of late I have found myself wanting to share more and more of my non-bookish hobbies and interests. All around I have found I have been wanting to share more of myself with everyone. While I have previously shared myself trying to find a new hobby in my Find A Hobby Series I wanted to expand more. I wanted to share more about things I enjoy in my life, how I love to cook and create things, and my love of nature. I figured I would start with an unboxing of a subscription box I really enjoy.
Since I was a young girl I really loved crystals. My uncle used to go away and go to mines for fun and always bring me back a crystal when he found any. I have really find memories attached to them. To this day I enjoy having them with my for their beauty as well as the affect they have on me. I personally find it relaxing to have rocks, crystals, and other gem stones around me. I feel a connection with nature and I find it soothing. While you may say this is just be a bunch of hoopla, well it may be, but it still makes me feel better and it hurts no one.
Anyway, I wanted to share this unboxing. This subscription box sends various crystals every month and explains their significance. I enjoy it not only because I learn about new minerals and crystals, and I get to add to my collection. If you want to know more I will link their website here. I would also like to point out that this is NOT sponsored, I pay for this box with my own money.
Here is the box on the outside, I wish I could write in this font. I always want to learn calligraphy, but I never follow through… why?
Here is what you are greeted with when you open the box. This sheet is the information sheet about the characteristics of stones in the box. I didn’t want to take a picture of the entire sheet and infringe on their stuff. But, I will say that what they write is very detailed and an entire 8 1/2 x 11 page is always filled with information.
When you remove the bubble wrap and information sheet this is what you are greeted with.
Once you rip open the wrapping you are met with a jam packed box. This month I saw 3 pouches with a different item in each and bunch of sage.
I never burn sage, but I have a friend who does. I am not sure if it is the proper kind or not so I will run it by her if this is the type she uses. If it is not I will keep it because it does smell nice without it being burned.
This month each subscriber got a different necklace. I ended up getting sodalite. I will be doing some research into this stone as well as replace the chain. I don’t tend to mix well with fabric based chains. I do very much like the metal that is holding the stone.
In this box I was sent two pieces of Carnelian. These two stones are is very nice shape. They are tumbled well, with no edges. I liked that they added a little history to the fact sheet by sharing that in Egypt it used to be referred to The Setting Sun. The picture does not do the color justice, but I can say I can see why they called the stone this.
The last item in my box with month was a large and beautiful piece of Amethyst. I love the color of this stone and the angles. When the light hits this one it reminds me of the purple version of the Philosophers Stone in harry potter, the light just dances on its surface.
Welcome to the next installment of my journey into finding a new hobby. This time I tried my hand at jewelry making. I want to take the time to thank Ashley for giving me the idea. I also had no idea what I wanted to make so I put a poll on twitter and you guys voted fro necklaces.
So I went to my local craft supply store and got a few supplies. I really did not have a lot to go on because I have no idea what I would have actually needed. I decided since this was my first time making jewelry I would take the “easy” way.
I ended up picking up pliers, some gold colored wire, 3 pendants , some fasteners and some chain. I also ended up getting some fake leather cord to make a bracelet. This actually was a lot cheaper than I thought it would be since I picked up a lot of things that were on sale. I know when I am trying something new I don’t like investing a lot of money in it.
Once I had an afternoon that I could take time to create me new jewelry. I first decided it would be easier to play with the idea of making a bracelet and a necklace. I learned that making a bracelet is a lot more difficult than a necklace. You can see in the following picture the bracelet I made, you can see that the stone was way to heavy and would not play flat. I even took off extra length, but it continued to turn and move around so I ended up trying to make it into a necklace instead.
I ended up making a total of 3 necklaces. I ended up tossing the idea of making a bracelet, I was getting a bit too frustrated. But, below you can see the three necklaces I made. They are all different lengths. The one on the left it s along necklace, I think I will get a lot of use out of, the middle is a short, almost choker length necklace and the one of the right sits right above the collar of most of my shirts.
Overall I liked the outcome of this little experiment, I walked away with 3 new necklaces that I adore. Might I add I LOVE the color of the pink stones? It is also very satisfying to make something with your own hands that you can wear out and about. The process itself had a few hiccups. The first obvious one was the bracelet, the stone would not cooperate at all. The second was the jump rings, I had so many of them bend funny and had to get new ones. It may be due to my inexperience though, I noticed after a bit of time it happened less and less.
I don’t think I will be needing to make jewelry in the near future, but when I need a new piece I think I will go to the craft-store or etsy and see if I can find a pendant or stone I really like and make something I love. I will also repair one of my favorites if they happen to break. I am not sure if I would just sit and make jewelry if that makes sense. I had a blast with this installment and I love what came out of it. I can’t wait to continue my journey. Thank you again Ashley for the idea, I had a ton of fun. Keep the recommendations coming!
Welcome to the third installment of Operation Find a Hobby. This round I tried scrapbooking. Now, I shall admit I have some limited exposure to scrapbooking. A few of my family members used to do it constantly. So I was able to get some first hand guidance. But, before I get any further if you have not see my previous posts in this series, you can find them here; Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction, Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery, and Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle. Now lets get into my experience trying scrapbooking!
So first things first, I needed to figure out the actual purpose of a scrapbook. Now, this may just sound silly, but I felt like there was more to it than just taping pictures together. So, a quick google search gave me this definition thanks to Merriam-Webster.
Definition of scrapbook : a blank book in which various items (such as newspaper clippings or pictures) are collected and preserved
For me this still did not seem right. So I decided to actually go to some family members who used to/still scrapbook. I liked their definition a bit better.
Without rambling to much they pretty much told it is a way to celebrate and remember memories, milestones, and events. Creating a scrapbook was a celebration, anyone can just put their photos and such in an album. But, creating a scrapbook and taking the time to create a page from nothing is giving value to the memory and honoring it. That seemed a bit more appropriate to me. Mainly because of the effort that people put into scrapbooks. When I was searching for some ideas/inspiration and from previous layout there were some detailed layouts. It seemed more than just “preserving items”.
Now with scrapbooking you need supplies and some of these can get expensive. Let’s just say I used quite a bit of coupons and waited for the supplies to go on sale. I also raided the closets of loved ones. While I was confident I would like this hobby, I was not comfortable with investing a lot of money in a maybe.
I also felt that this hobby needed a but more planning than the previous ones I have tried. Completing a puzzle, all I needed to do was buy one. With Embroidery I was able to buy just one kit and complete it. These were more or less already set up for me where scrapbooking is something I would have to come up with from nothing. So I decided I needed a focus before I went and bought everything.
I ended up deciding that I would use my book to highlight a year and each layout would focus on a month. I then expanded on this and came up with a color pallet; yellow, green, pink, gray, and off white. With this I was able to get the creative supplies and the practical ones. Once I collected them from either the store or from others I got to work making my March pages for my scrapbook.
On this page I wanted to highlight the books I read this past month. So I printed out each of the covers and then decided to highlight my top three, which you can see at the center. I also wanted to remember that I got a new netgalley badge so I added those images to this page as well. I thought the pattern change at the center and the leaf stamps made the page pop a bit more. I will be keeping this method in mind for the future.
On this page I made it a bit more personal. I highlighted a conversation with an author I adore, even though it was totally not substancial in the eyes of some. For me I never thought I would have the guts to talk and ask one of my fav. authors a questions and actually hear back from them. I also added the description of my new netgalley badge on this page. Another things I added that I love is the buddy reads I did this month and who I was reading them with. Just a heads up if you ever want to buddy read a book you can always tweet or message me. If I can chances are I will buddy read a book with you. I find them so much fun!
Okay, I have to say that I really enjoyed this. It was a lot of fun to just take the time and make this. While it did take time. It took a lot less than putting a puzzle together, thats for sure. I enjoyed picking through my memories and deciding which bookish ones I wanted to remember and honor. I really just enjoyed the entire process, for me this was almost therapeutic. It is very rare that I truly take “me time”, so doing this was almost like meditating and made me more mindful and reflective on the things I have done over the past month.
I also loved that this was create and I was able to make something with my own hands. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to talk to my family members about something I had never talked to them about before. It was nice having a new topic to discuss. Overall, I have to say that this hobby is a winner and I am going to be doing it again in the future.
Well, I am going to continue on my quest to find a new hobby!
Welcome to my second experiment with finding a new hobby. This month I decided to take a shot at putting together a puzzle. I also want to take this time to thank all of you who have suggested hobbies for me to try. I have them all written down and I plan on trying quite a few of them. Also, if this is your first time seeing my Operation Find a Hobby series you can find the other two posts here: Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction , Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery. Without anymore delayed here is my experiment with putting together a puzzle.
Now, I have always hated doing puzzles. So you may ask, “Luna, why are you trying to put together a puzzle if you hate it?” That is a very normal question that I can only answer with, I don’t know. I always found them to be annoying and time consuming. I never thought the payoff was really worth it. So I thought, why not try it? It has been YEARS, maybe my view has changed.
With this experiment I decided to try and give puzzles the best shot. I chose a 500 piece puzzle, 1000 was just to much for an amateur like it. I also decided to get a puzzle I thought was very beautiful and tied to something I already liked. So I happened to be in a local hobby shop and I happened to find a book inspired puzzle. Honestly, what are the chances of that?
The puzzle I picked up was a Nancy Draw one, it consisted of 27 book covers and 5 illustrations pulled from the stories and quotes. They style of the illustrations were varies and I found that to beautiful. It was like seeing an evolution of the character. Below you will see a picture of the puzzle box. If you really like it here is an amazon link to the product, it is not an affiliate link. COBBLE HILL Nancy Drew Mysteries Jigsaw Puzzle.
So a night when I had nothing planned I decided to break out my crafting mat and get to work. I decided to work on the floor so the mat was necessary for the puzzle to lie flat. From a young age everyone always told me to put together the edges of a puzzle first so that is what I did. Now this is just me being curious, does everyone put puzzles together this way or do some of you just find pieces and start putting them together? Anyway here is a picture of when I got the edge of the puzzle put together and the second photo is of the finished product.
First off I will say, NEVER do a puzzle on the floor. My back, which never really hurt me, was so sore and it hurt. For the next few days I had to continuously stretch it until it got better. Complete a puzzle at a table where you can sit at a chair and you wont be bent over for so long.
Anyway, the puzzle took me about 4-5 hours to complete. The pieces were approximately 3/4 of an inch roughly 2 cm, in diameter so they weren’t horribly small so I was able to see a great deal of detail in a lot of the pieces. Others were pretty difficult like the illustrations that were not on the book covers.
Overall, I will admit I was not a huge fan of putting together a puzzle. That is not to say I hated it. While I was very happy when I finished, I just found that it was not a huge pay off for my 4-5 hours. I could have written a bunch of blog posts, read a book, or embroidered something and felt more accomplished. I just don’t think I have the personality for puzzles, I envy those who do. I am going to keep this puzzle and maybe do it with a group of friends one day, but I don’t think I will be buying anymore.
Well, I am going to continue on my quest to find a new hobby!
Welcome to my first experiment with finding a new hobby. This month I decided to take a shot at embroidery. You know, where you somehow take a needle and colored thread and make a very beautiful design. Honestly, some of the pictures I have seen have blown my mind. Now I have tried this one in the past, so I thought it was a perfect place to start. A few months back I even reviewed an embroidery book because I dabbled in it. You can find that here: REVIEW | Coloring with Thread by Tula Pink.
When I finally decided that I would give this a real try I scoured the web for patterns and raided my local craft store. I also raided the homes of one of my friends who had a ton, A TON, of thread to spare. While I want to try a new hobby, I didn’t want to invest a ton of money in it. In my exploration I found an awesome etsy shop called StudioMME. Here she has a ton of kits for projects and she also has a subscription service where you get a kit sent once a month to your house. This included the fabric with stencil, thread, and directions all I needed to buy was a hoop and some needles. I placed my order right away!
The main reason I approached this hobby by getting kits was due to the fact I had no idea how to pick thread, determine how much I needed or how to properly transfer patterns. I felt like the best way to truly test this hobby was to have everything could have messed up on picked by someone who knew what they were doing. This way I could truly see if I enjoyed it without the possibility of me just getting frustrated at my own mistakes.
Here is the progression of me doing some of the embroidery.
So embroidery is not something that is done quickly, it takes a lot of time and concentration. One thing I learned was you need to be very careful where you place your needle, because it will show up uneven if you aren’t super careful. You can kind of see an example of this if you look at the letter C. Over all I am very proud of what I created. I have never finished a project previously and for the first time I don’t think it is that bad.
I also enjoyed the process. Every time I sat down to work on my welcome pineapple I would either catch up on a television show on netflix or listening to an audiobook. Even with all the concentration it was very relaxing. I found myself rushing home a few times so I could work on it. Something I never thought I would do.
Verdict: I will 100% continue doing this. In fact I already started a new project!
Even though I have found something new I enjoy, I still want to explore more hobbies.
So you know how everyone says, “New year, new me” in January? Well, this series is along those lines. In December I decided to take part in the Reddit Secret Santa and Holiday Card Exchange, it was so much fun! Well, if you are unfamiliar with this it is a gift exchange through a website called reddit.com. If you have never looked into, I suggest you do. Anyway, to take part in this Secret Santa you need to fill out a questionnaire and about things you enjoy, organizations you like, and a question that asked about my hobbies.
This question took me such a long time because the only thing I could come up with is reading. I am not saying that reading is not a good hobby, I was just surprised I could not even come up with a second one. I ended up asking my boyfriend and my best friend for help. They too could not name anything other than reading. I’m not sure exactly why, but this really hit me.
I think it really bothered me because I realized I did not have time to try new things. I think it bothered me because I thought I was defined by more than just reading. I think it bothered me because I seemed so one dimensional. Now I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong with just having reading as a hobby, reading is a great hobby! I just realized I want to have more. I want to spend my time doing multiple things I love doing. I want to grow.
So, if you could not tell by the name this series is going to be about me trying a new hobby every month. I think it will be a lot of fun taking a month to learn something new and maybe even learn more about myself.
I know this is not book related, but I hope you will all join me on this little adventure. And, who knows maybe I can do some of these new hobbies while I listen to a good ol’ audiobook.
If you have any suggestions for hobbies, I would love to hear them.
Hello Everyone, I just wanted to share my most recent trip to the bookstore. So for this bookstore adventure I decided to stick a little closer to home and go to The Strand in NYC.
Here is a little show on my walk over to the store. Looking at the traffic makes me happy I am a walker. I have always preferred to walk to places if I can, I feel like I get to see more and I have an opportunity to take a side trip if something catches my eye.
Here is the outside of The Strand, if you have not heard about this bookstore it has the tagline “18 miles of books”. It has new, used, and out of print books so there is something for everyone.
Here is a picture I took in a one of the bookstore nooks. I did not take many pictures because it was very busy that day and I wanted to respect the privacy of others. I did end up spending about an hour and a half in the store. Most of that time I was just scanning the shelves to find something that caught my eye.
This is a book I have read already, but I borrowed it from the library. I enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted a copy of my own as long as it was not so much. I ended up finding this in the standard size for only $10.00, even though the same edition next to it was $20.00. So I added it to my heavy pile of books.