Hello and welcome to my little review of 2019. I love these types of posts, being able to reflect and look back on what you have accomplished. This post will be broken down into two parts, the first being reviewing my goals and the second will be my yearly stats, which will be taken from the data given on December 29th. So, with all of that information being packed into this post, lets jump right into it.
✔️Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
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?
I cannot believe this year is coming to a close soon and it is time to reflect on the goals I set for myself back in December 2017. It feels like so long ago, but at the same time this year felt like it flew by. A few times this year I checked in with my goals, but I have not done so since the first half a the year. I honestly kinda lost track of my goals because one large one I realized was not going to happen. I will get more into that later in this post.
I loved designing so I want to introduce a few new headers and give myself that time to be creative.
Read 50 books
Every year I set my reading goal at 50. It is an average of a book in little over a week and I tend to not stress out about it.
Read 30,000 pages
I though this page goal would be fun.
Try new things
This year I want to experiment a little outside of what I normally post, spice things up a little bit.
Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge
I did this as soon as the year started and I am very happy with the graphics I created. I also like the fact that I made them in a way where I can change the background images if I ever feel like it and it would not be too much work.
I am happy to say that I read more than 50 books this year, in fact I read 105 as of 12/9.
Once again I can say that I read more than 30,000 page throughout the year. I ended up reading a grand total of 36,985 pages as of 12/9.
This one is where the problem came in. While I love the idea of the pop sugar challenge, it really is not a good challenge for me. There are a 52 prompts and while I did do a majority of them. I am a book reader and I honestly have no interest in reading nordic noir currently. While my goal was to read 50 books, why would I pick a challenge that would assign me 52 books. On top of that a majority of the books on this challenge I did not own and this year I really wanted to read some of the books I had on my shelf the longest. Which I did and now the longest a book has been on myself has been 19 months, less than two years. So I was happy to give up on this goal because it did not line up with my other goals, which were a priority to me.
Overall, I am very happy with how I did with my 2018 Reading and Blog goals. I achieve the ones that were the most important to me and I am proud of myself for putting aside one that really did not benefit me in reaching my other goals. Goals should be realistic and reachable. While I come up with my 2019 goals, this is going to be in my mind.
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.
This one I know will be a bit difficult for me. I know, I know, how could it be hard to give up something you aren’t enjoying? Well, when I am reading things like this I always think it is going to turn around. In general I am an optimistic person so I always have hope. But, this year I don’t want to waste my precious reading time on books that just aren’t for me.
Be a more critical reader/rater.
I have recently been looking over my goodreads account and I noticed a pattern. I rate book VERY highly. Half of the ones I rated really highly I can’t really tell you what they were about anymore. I mean chances are I did really enjoy it, but I am changing my rating system.
1- I actively did not enjoy this book in anyway.
2-Eh, was not for me but I can see the appeal other see in the book.
3-This was a good book, look into it.
4-I really, really enjoyed this book.
5-This book WILL stay with me.
Get to 0 by 2018.
In the past I have had a very high TBR count, at the height it was nearly 123. My current pile is sitting at a very manageable 26 books. I never thought I would get it under 30 books, but I did it! I really want to get to the point where I can go pick up a book from the store/online/on my ereader and read it right away.
Post a blog post at least twice a month.
I just really want to not abandon this little project.
Organize my goodreads shelves (cough add me :p).
I’m not 100% sure how I want to do this. I currently have set up a fiction and non-fiction shelves. I want to make them a bit more specific, but I’m not sure what genres I want to put there. Any idea please share!
What are some of your book or bookish goals for 2017?