Hello and welcome to one of the first posts where I go through some of the goals I have for myself in 2021. One challenge I have for myself is reading a shortlist. This past year I did the Man Booker Prize, which is not just the Booker Prize. I will be posting a wrap up to that tomorrow, so keep an eye out! This year I decided I am going to read the International Booker Prize 2020 Shortlist.
I decided to do the international edition of this literary award so I read more from around the world and read some more translated works. I realized in 2020 I do like translated books quite a bit and I thought this would be a great way to learn about new authors.
After reading the description of each of these books I can honestly say I think this year is the most I have been excited to complete this reading challenge. These stories sound wonderfully written, unique, and they all sound like something I would be interested in if I was not doing this challenge. I already picked up Hurricane Season to get started on this in January and I will continue from there.
Do you have any book awards that you follow or keep tabs on?
Hello everyone and welcome to my first post reflecting on my 2020 reading goals! I am excited to take a bit of a dive into my goals and see where I need to focus and where I am doing well. At this point of the year it is so early I am not too worried about anything just yet, but I feel like if I don’t keep an eye on it they will fall to the way side. So, here are my 2020 reading goals and where I currently stand on them.
Currently, I am feeling pretty good about my goals. I have at least made some little progress on every single one. The one I am currently the most concerned about is reading a book from each continent. A lot of the time when I pick up a book I have no idea where it is going to take place so this is the one that is more of a guess for me. I should search for a few books that I know for sure take place in the continents that remain, Antartica is always a fun one to try and do.
If you have any suggestion for books set around the world and Shakespeare places I would love to hear them. I have a bit of a list on Shakespeare from a few people. So, don’t worry if you have made a recommendation, I have written it down!
Hello and welcome to another Bujo setup post! I am very excited to show you this months spreads for two reasons. I have cut a lot of the spreads I normally had and I added a few for the new year. Some of the cuts include my blog planning. I totally removed those pages and I now use a different planner/travelers notebook. As for the other spreads, expect to see a little consolidation and a few new layouts to mark the new year! On to a look into my bullet journal!
Since I am using the same notebook as I transition into the new year I decided to add this artwork from Shayda Campbell. I feel like this really separates and marks the new year and I thought it was important to celebrate it.
This year I wanted to add a little layout that would highlight my favorite book of the month. I thought it would be helpful and fun to reflect upon it at the end of the year. On the other page I have a Read 5, Buy 1 layout for the new year. I am excited to get back to this. But, this time I am making sure I only count books from my own shelves as thee reads, not library books this time around. So, because of this the spread is a little smaller.
This page I added a little doodle and then I also added a page with 12 books to showcase my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, if you don’t know about it here is the post, Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I wanted to mark the play that is picked each month because it is a year long journey and I would love to see it grow. I also want to add a doodle for each play as I read them. I thought it would be fun.
I have been working on a temperature blanket since the summer and I wanted to track my progress in my bullet journal. So, I added the month on the top and the day on the side and I am adding a dot for the days I have crocheted. I did not fill it out before taking the picture, but I will admit I am a little behind. On the right I decided to have a meal prep idea bank for when I am stumped on what to make for my meals. These are all ones I love so I will always be happy with any of them.
I picked this up from craftyenginerd, this year I wanted a pysical way to track when bills are paid. I will say I have never paid anything late, but sometimes I pay so early I freaekout and think I didn’t pay. So this will help me not freak out and rush and sign into my accounts. I also want to do a monthly one, I was thinking of adding one inspired by thatbujokid. But, I have not done it yet. I am still up in the air about it.
Here we are getting into the monthly spreads. On the left I have my January dashboard and mini calendar. On the right I added a place to add an affirmation that I can look back on. At the time I did not add one because I wanted to take the time and add a meaningful one. These are both from Shayda Campbell. The one on the right I took her other artwork and used it to complete the spread. I will say this month I didn’t use a ruler and I am kinda feeling the messy lines.
This month I really wanted to continue with the messy lines and the brown paper so I brought it through to me book tracker and to be read. These are spreads I have every month so I won’t go to much into it, but if you want to check out my TBR you can see that here: To Be Read | January 2020.
My weekly layouts are very similar to what they have been the last few months, but I added a tracker into my weekly spreads instead of just its own page. I really wanted to downsize my monthly spreads and get rid of stuff that was fluff and condense everything if I could. This layout has really been working for me and I have loved using it.
QOTD: How to do keep your schedule organized? Do you use a planner, bullet journal, or a monthly calendar?
Hello and welcome to a little my little chat about one of my goals for 2020. In the past I have been adamant about hating Shakespeare. I never enjoyed any of his plays that I read, I found them dull and just boring honestly. But, the last time I read one of his works, any of this works honestly, I was always told to read them.
Now, I don’t know about you, but even though I am a book lover and avid reader, the fastest way to not get me to read a book is to make it required. I hate being told what to read. In fact, I didn’t read this much until I went to college, high school made me hate reading because they were never anything that interested me. Now, that is an entire other discussion I can get into another time. For now, let’s get back to Shakespeare.
So, I am not sure why, but I want to give Ol’ Shakespeare another go and see if my tastes have either changed or simply not making his work required changed me view.
While going to my local indie bookstore I was looking at the classics, my go to there for some reason and I saw a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays. For some reason the idea for this challenge hit me. Currently, I think this is a wonderful idea. In the future, past me might be a huge jerk. Only time will tell. So, this is my plan, every month I will read 1 Shakespeare and review it. Nice and simple right? Wrong, I honestly have no idea what plays might be interesting. I picked up the ones pictured above because A Midsummers Night Dream was one I was able to tolerate reading all those moons ago and the second, Twelfth Night I have never even heard of and I thought I would give it a go.
So, there is my year long classics challenge for myself. If you have a favorite play or work by him please comment below the name and why you liked it. I could really use the help!
Also, I will be starting off with reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to those who voted for the first month! Also, please feel free to join me in this challenge. It would be a ton of fun to read along with you! In fact, I created a goodreads group so we can all connect and you can see which plays are coming up, you can find that group here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.
Need help with an upcoming project I have going on for next year and I need a place to start. Could you please vote for one?
So every year there are always a few books I am really excited to read. I make it a semi-goal to read them by the end of the year because I have a very good feeling I am going to like them all very much. While a lot of people have been posting the 19 books I want to read, I am going to keep mine at 9 because I don’t want to just throw some books in that I am not nearly positive I will love. So, where are the books I really want to read in 2019!
This is a book I am very much interested in. I have read a few of Shannon’s books in the past and I really enjoy her creativity and her writing. When I found out she was writing a standalone I was very much excited. Between the teasers and cryptic tweets from her as well as the mention of forbidden magic, I was pulled in and I preordered the book.
Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller
So, this is a little sneak peak or a throw back to my Christmas Haul. I am unsure of when I am actually going to post this so it could go either way. Anyway, I received this from someone at work and I have to say they really surprised me by picking a book I love the sound of. This is a nonfiction account of one of the first women to sue someone of power during the gilded age in the USA. I am curious to see how this topic is handled and if it becomes biased.
This is another book I have preordered and I am excited to get it in the new year. I have always liked Holly Black and I read the first book in this series a few months ago. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would and decided I was going to jump into this continuation. I want to know how two characters in particular deal with one another. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan
This is a novel I picked up in my local independent bookstore. I just happened to be roaming and I came across it. This book has a bit of buzz around it and I read the description and I am very much interesting in learning more about the daughter of one of histories more notorious figures. It seems to be pretty straightforward and I am judging on its size is going to be very detailed.
I picked this up from Book of the Month a few months ago and I really want to get to it. It seems like a mix between a historical fiction and a thriller and I am excited about it. I mean, I love history and I have been really enjoying thrillers, how can I not like this book? On top of that I have been hearing quite a few wonderful things about it.
So this book has a very interesting dejcitption. There is mentions of scientists, near death experiences, strangers, and talking trees. While that seems all over the place, it kind of is, but when you read the entire description it sounds a lot better. Anyway, I picked this up on a whim mainly because it sounds like it has to do with nature and protecting the last of the forests on Earth. Plus, how can you not be pulled in when all those things are mentioned in the same description?
This is a kinda historical fiction, at least I think it is. It talks about women throughout history doing this they feel they need to for one reason or another. While this is not nonfiction I have heard that they author has done a very good job of bringing a lot of the feelings and events that plagued women during various time periods. I am keen on reading this very soon and I have heard great things.
This is the next Shirley Jackson I really want to read. Last year I have discovered her works and I have enjoyed all and some I absolutely loved! This book seems to follow a girl who is gaining more and more personalities that are more and more extreme. I am unsure if this will be about mental illness or not since the author writes horror and its could be possessions, but I am very curious to find out how Jackson is going to shape this story.
Murder mystery, Freaky Friday, and thriller all mixed into one has me very interested. The description of the book just says there are 8 days and 8 witnesses and the. main character needs to figure out who the killer is by reliving the day over and over again, but from different bodies. I am think this is very clever and interesting way to write a murder mystery/thriller and I am really excited to see how it was executed.
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.