Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 Goals Update: February


This month was just blah. Basically dreadful. I now understand why I saw so many knitters choosing to use bright colors like yellow and purple for projects. I should have done the same, I guess. I definitely went into a knitting slump, which quickly turned into a reading binge. Now I'm sort of in between, though, because I don't feel like doing either. Oh, joy. Anyhow, let's see how I did on my goals for this year...

1: one self portrait (per week)
Success! I have forgotten until all the daylight was gone for most of the time, but I still got one!
week five | week six | week seven | week eight

2: compose photos (every day)
Success! I guess you could say I thought I would get more photos that weren't in my room at night, but I'm good with whatever I can get.
037 | 046 | 047 | 052 | 053 | 055 | 056 | 057 | 059 - which is at the top of this post

3: read the Bible (every day)
Fail. I'm still intimidated by how I want to document this. Part of me says "don't worry about documenting! Just do!" but then part of me wants every bit of it documented in some way, so there's that.

4: journal (daily)
Fail. I'm still very behind on this. It's just so boring to think about sitting down for hours with twitter and foursquare open to get it all documented how I like. Crazy, I know, but still!

5: blog (daily)
Success! This makes me happy, because this blog really is a photo journal for me. I'm so glad I've stuck with this so far.

6: walk

7: bike
Fail. I don't even know how to get to it. It's just buried right now.

8: 52 projects 
Succes! Not the past two weeks, but the first couple weeks of this month I did so many that I'm only one week behind now! It's just getting tricky now to be doing new projects. I'm going to do some in March. I'm getting a little antsy to get back into it.
project 03 | project 04 | project 05 | project 06 | project 07

9: 52 books
Success! Yesterday's post showed that I have added eight books to the count for this year! Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. That makes me right on track, but I'm sure I'll fall behind again because I have no clue what to read next.

10: experiment with photography
Success, I suppose. Still no big long exposures or time lapses, but a few small things.
01 | 02

11: make six new meals for the family

12: learn to play the keyboard

13: at least one photo book

14: travel

- rl

Previous 2014 Goals Posts:
Original List
January Update

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What I Read This Month

So, I did a lot of reading this month. I hit a bit of a knitting slump, so instead I dived into reading.

I've decided to count the number of books on here instead of goodreads, because of technical reasons that are probably a bit boring to most, but can be basically summed up into the fact that they count books you read in a weird way.

So, here are the books I completed this month:
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Like I mentioned last month, I just don't like this book. Everyone else seems to, but it's just too much for me. I know it's a fiction and a dystopian, but it's still unrealistic. I'm so glad to be done with it. (Also, I'm not considering this the first book read in 2014 because I technically started it in 2013. I'm a detail-oriented person, obviously.)
1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The first book I started and finished in 2014! I think it was slightly better than Insurgent. A bit more interesting, for sure.
2. Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 1 by Robin Jones Gunn
I never know how to count these books, because each volume has three books that were originally published separately, but republished together. These are my favorite books, for sure. This was probably my third or fourth time to read them, and I love it more every time.
3. Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 2 by Robin Jones Gunn
This volume contains one of my favorite of the series, and also my least favorite.
4. Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 3 by Robin Jones Gunn
The second book of this volume has one of the best endings. Also, Philippians 1:7 (:
5. Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 4 by Robin Jones Gunn
This volume also rocks. Just some pretty cool God-things!
6. Christy and Todd: The College Years by Robin Jones Gunn
When you read this volume of the college year books and compare it to the first few books, it's amazing how much Christy has grown up. Also, it makes me determined that if/when I travel Europe someday, I'm going to take it slow and have somewhat of a plan.
7. Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
This book ended up much better than I expected. It was seeming a bit cheesy at first, but it surprised me. I was expecting it to be a bit more focused on God, but it actually lacked a bit in that area. Maybe I'm not remembering correctly, but her final conclusion didn't really involve some big epiphany.
8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Obviously, this is a book I've heard tons about for years now. I try to shy away from hugely popular books, just because they end up being too cheesy for my liking, but I liked this one. I already knew the ending, so that took away a bit of the fun of guessing. I started this on my day off, so it's not like I had much to do, so I ended up finishing it in about eight hours. And now I'm kinda stuck on what I want to read next, so I'm rereading it until I go to Half Price Books/my best friend's vast collection this weekend.

& the books I'm still working on going into next month:
- Technically, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I'm rereading it, which always seems like a good idea, then I get 20 pages in & don't actually want to reread so soon after. Alas, I'm going to complete it for a second time because it's still such a quick read.
- One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I can't believe I'm still reading this book. It's just so deep and I'm having the hardest time getting through it. I'm determined to finish it next month, and now I know that the next time I read it (because I DO want to reread it) I will do so with at least one other person, and maybe then I'll be able to understand things a bit more.

- rl

Previous What I Read This Month posts:
January 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday


I'm so disappointed that I didn't get a picture of my work in progress until after it was dark out. I actually started this around 4pm, knowing I needed to take a picture, then totally forgot until about 8pm, so I settled for this. Anyhow, this is a scarf for another one of my mom's coworkers/friends, but his last day is Friday, so I think I'll have mail it to him once I finish. Marcio, you asked in plenty of time, I just procrastinated it. Sorry man!

Anyhow, I'm in one of those in between moods where I don't know if I want to get back into watching tv/knitting, or keep on reading. This mainly depends on if I can find any books I want to read this weekend.

- rl

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Future


This is my favorite quote from The Fault in Our Stars. I've seen a lot of quotes from this book over the last two or so years, but never this one, I don't think. I'll tell more about my feelings about the book as a whole when I do my reading update for this month here in a few days. For now, though, I'm off to other things - like more reading, maybe some more knitting, and definitely a snack.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rocky Mix


Those are not rocks. Or dirt, which is crushed up rock, I guess. No sir, that picture is of brownie mix. Little sister made brownies tonight, so I got up close and personal with the mix. Pretty, right?!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Self Portrait (08/52)

Of all the photos I took for this week's self portrait, this isn't my favorite composition. However, I like the bit of detail in this. I mean, just look at the bags under my eyes and how my eyelids look stretched. Maybe I should try to start sleeping earlier. But at least my freckles are cute, right? My frizzy hair, however, is a beast I feel will never be tamed, or at least not one I'm willing to conquer.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Talk


Today I made some good purchases. Last night I dreamed I went to Half Price Books and found every Robin Jones Gunn book I wanted, so it was a tad disappointing to go after work today and only find these three, but I was still very happy. I've never read the two books on the left, and I think I'll wait until I get the last two volumes + the other Sierra book that's by itself before I start the series. The book on the right, however, I have read, and I'm excited to get the rest of the books in the series because they also ROCK. I think I say that about all the books, but it's because it's true!

I got very close to buying all the books to complete the series on amazon a few hours ago, but then, with shipping and everything, it just ended up being way more expensive than I would have liked, so I'm going to wait a while and hit up every HPB until I get them all. I'll probably also wait until Robin has a sale in her shop again, or something.

And while I'm sure this little rant is extremely boring to some, it's absolutely fascinating to me because these books are truly life changing. Don't believe me? Just look through Robin's blog, she has multiple posts sharing letters from readers, which just makes me want to buy of her books. *sigh* one day, Rachel, one day...

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Knitting Lessons


Today involved: working, reading, & showing the knitting basics to a friend.
Now it's time for a midnight snack & more reading.
My life may seem boring to some, but I love it.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Birthday

These are from when we made cupcakes back in December. I believe I told her then that I would make sure to blog about this, but I never did...until now, however. That still counts, right? the goof. Today is my older sister's birthday. I've always thought of her as the most giving of us three girls, which is inspiring. See you at work tomorrow, sis! (;

- rl

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Yup, that's the same project from last week. I'm in a bit of a knitting slump again. Right now I'm more focused on finishing what I'm currently reading, then I'll probably hop back in the knitting train. I'm just not excited about knitting, which I know is a result from telling myself I'm going to work through all the projects in a book, in order. I just can't do that. It's too painfully boring, so I'm going to go with my gut and just do the projects I want to. My instincts have been right this week, so I'm going to trust them.

For now, though, I'm off to do more reading. I'm currently on the pace of finishing one volume (which is over 400 pages) a day. Crazy? Possibly. I know some people are capable of much more, but that's pretty good progress for me, especially after spending nearly two months trying to get through the Divergent series. But let's save all this book talk for next week's monthly book update. (:

- rl

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Custom Pizza

I'm absolutely in love with this "custom pizza" from a restaurant here in town. It's not on the menu, but a few months ago someone asked if they could make one, and it was love at first bite for me. So when I went again today and made the odd request, the cashier just smiled and assured me they could make, and it was absolutely amazing. I only ate a few bites (I'm a very slow eater), so little sister is going to be so happy there are leftovers for us to snack on.

- rl

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Want to Remember: Sunday Scenes


& an experiment in manual focus.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Self Portrait (07/52)

This weekend has consisted of lots of rereading my all-time favorite book series. The 15 books (divided into five volumes) are 2,596 pages, but so worth every word. The Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn. Not to mention the Katie Weldon books, which are a kind of sequel (only four books there), another fun little book Gunn wrote, and she's writing more. *squeal* Once I finish rereading (which, at this pace, could be the end of this week), my little sister is going to read them, so I'm so. pumped. to hear her thoughts. My friend Shannon introduced them to me two years ago and boy am I glad she did. I will always cherish these books.

Also, this was my first time to experiment with silhouettes on my camera, so that was fun.

AND this is my 100th blog post! Awesome, right?!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Night


A perfect Saturday night to me: rereading my favorite book series, Kevin Costner & Modern West, & the joy of knowing there are funfetti cupcakes & Papa John's pizza a few steps away.

Also, how funny is it that the song on when I took this picture was "Saturday Night"? AND WE WENT TO ON THE BORDER TONIGHT AND OUR WAITRESS IS A KNITTER AND HAS ALPACAS. #highlightofthemonth

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beautiful Dishcloths & Food for Thought

Look at this AWESOME dishcloth my mom crocheted! I don't know how she did it, because crochet is weird to me, but I know it, and the others she's done in the last few weeks, are so beautiful. She's set aside the store bought dishcloths and we've been using these, and it actually makes me want to wipe off the counters!

I walked into the kitchen the other day and just freaked over how beautiful this one looked with an empty sink in afternoon light. So, like any other person, I grabbed my camera, a stool, and leaned over the sink, snapping way too many pictures.

I didn't just want to share this beautiful dishcloth today. Well, I did, but then I decided I would tack on some posts I've seen on in the internet recently relating to love, singleness, etc.. It's one of those topics I just really love discussing, and these are the posts I've seen that bring up new ideas, etc. that I hadn't thought of before:

01 //

02 //

03 // THIS! This is just about the exact idea I've been trying to phrase correctly in my head for months. 

04 // 

05  & 06  //

07 // I love the thought in this one about how your boyfriend/girlfriend isn't your's. Wow!

08 //

09 // 

I think that's all I've got. That's just a fraction of the posts I've read over the last few months. Honestly, I didn't reread some of them before linking them. I'm not saying I agree with everything each of those people say in those articles, but I do for the most part, which is why I'm sharing them. For whatever reason, dating and marriage are one of my favorite things to talk and think about. I don't know if it's because I'm weird, or if it's just a passion of mine, but it's true. So if you are even a little bit the same way, there's a good chunk of things to think about. Happy Valentine's Day?

- rl

Project 07/52: Slouchy Hat #4525

No, that is not a bunch of cat hair - it's alpaca (well, 30%; 70% acrylic)! A couple weeks ago, just as I started listening to the Knit Picks podcast and had my eyes opened to the importance of yarn quality, I picked up a skein of Bernat's Alpaca Natural Blends (in ebony). I bought it without knowing what I wanted to do with it, but the hat pattern on the back of the yarn label looked good enough to me, so I decided I would do that. The only problem was that the pattern was for knitting flat. I didn't want to do that. I do NOT want to get in the habit of sewing seams up. So I scoured Ravelry for solutions, and found a few in the notes of other people's projects.

I got started on Sunday, and was done by Tuesday. It was my first time doing cables, and they were SO easy! I don't know if it's because they're really loose-looking cables, but it was way easier than I thought it would be - a good thing! I regret not doing the six more rows of stockinette stitch like the pattern called for, but one person said they didn't and it was fine, and I was afraid I would run out of yarn. Alas, once I tried it on after all was said and done, it was too short, just barely hitting the tops of my ears. Maybe I have a large head, but I knew I wouldn't ever wear it, so when a lady at work offered to pay me for it, I agreed. It goes to it's new owner tomorrow! I absolutely love how it looks, though, so I'll probably knit one for myself before too long.

I saw a lot of people complain about the yarn, but I think I like it! This particular one does look really fuzzy, though, so I'll definitely look better at that next time I get a skein. I'm really excited to learn more about non-acrylic fiber. It's a whole other world I hadn't really thought about, but it's really interesting stuff! There's a lot about how certain types of wool should be used for heavier objects, and other wool for more indoor objects. It's very complex, but very cool. Another cool benefit about knitting!

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday

This is about the most pathetic Work In Progress Wednesday. Which is alright. I completed three projects since last week, and have about five in my queue on ravelry. Today is just one of the in-between days. I had hoped to go to JoAnn's today to get some yarn ("some" being 6+...oi!), but that just didn't happen.

I didn't want to start anything that wasn't on my list, but then I did. A very simple project from this book that I picked up a few weeks ago. I think I've decided to work through each project in the book, while stopping when a request for a hat or scarf or whatever else comes up.

So now I'm knitting a quick headband until I go to JoAnn's. Then I will be busy for quite a while. *happy sigh of contentment*

- rl

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Project 06/52: Easy Loom Knitted Scarf

Loomed scarves are so simple AND they make a nice design. This particular loomed scarf was made for one of the ladies who received a pair of these mitts. I used up the rest of the yarn in the skein I had used for the mitts, then had to go get a second skein because it was only about 60% of the length it needed to be.

There's a little bit of a funny story to this scarf, I think. I finished it up around 11pm yesterday, so of course I couldn't take pictures then (I'm all about natural light). This morning, though, I was woken up to my parents asking if it was good to go to work with my mom, and therefore to its new owner, and I told them yes, but I had to get pictures first, because I didn't want a repeat of this incident. So these pictures were taken within minutes after waking up, and I don't think it's the last time that will happen.

About an hour after my mom left for work, I was informed that another one of her coworkers wants a scarf like this too, so it looks like I've got another trip to JoAnn's in my near future, which means trying to resist some impulse shopping...

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Impulse Shopping

I'm not much of an impulse shopper. I think I've got it down to figure that I only buy impulsively when I think I won't be able to find something again, or at least not at that price. Enter in this yarn. I went into JoAnn's today to get another skein for a project, when I saw that a lot of the yarn was on sale! Now, I'm always very cautious of sales. Especially at Kohl's. Don't even get me started on Kohl's. Anyhow, a lot of yarn was shown as either 25% off or at $2.79, so of course I had to pick up another skein of SOMETHING just for fun. I knew I wanted it to be at least 200 yards, pretty, and not just acrylic. This skein is 197 yards, gorgeous, and 80% acrylic, 20% wool. Awesome. So I got it, and I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but I'm glad I picked it up. I suppose this is the beginning of a fiber life: buy ALL the yarn.

- rl

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Self Portrait (06/52)

I'm even more in Olympics mode than I was the other day. I got the NBC Extras app on my iPad, which allows me to watch all the events in full, which is so beyond awesome. So far I'm watching the men's slopestyle (yes, I know who wins, but I'm nearly done with the semi-finals & I just have to watch it all now) and the team figure skating. I'm also googling how you can purchase DVDs of past Olympic games, also in full. I told you, I'm obsessed.

Today I started my first knitting project with cables! So far, it's super easy, so that's nice. I'm only concerned that the 120 yards I have won't be enough, and I really don't think I'll go buy another skein if it's not. It's supposedly a quick knit, so we'll see. 

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Project 05/52: Graham

First, the color is the most accurate in the first picture. For whatever reason, when I upload pictures to blogger, random ones become overexposed.

Ok, now onto the hat. Little sister requested one, so I had her look through the ones I had saved on my Ravelry library, and she chose this one. It looked easy enough, but as I got into it I began to hate it. The body of the hat is a repeat of the same two rows, and one of those is a k1p1, so it was a pain to have to look at the stitches and figure out which row I was on. Then when you get to the decreases, it had a pattern, but was also a pain. You can see in the second picture how I somehow missed one of the skp stitches, moving half the pattern over. It was just a mess. I really don't think I'll ever do this pattern again. It was weird as well because you work the whole thing on the wrong side. The second picture is it on the wrong side. The hat is technically reversible, which is a nice feature.

I used Lion Brand Heartland in black canyon. I didn't like the feel of it at first, but now that it's done I think it's fine. I definitely plan on using it again.

This hat caused me more frustration than I had hoped, so I'm working on something significantly easier for now - a loomed scarf.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Friday, February 07, 2014


This is my cat, Pooh. We've had him forever, basically. He's a bit of a jerk to everyone, except my parents. He's also nice if you have a fleece blanket, which is what I was wrapped up in when he walked over and made himself comfy. I've moved him over now, though, because I can't have a cat in my lap while trying to finish up this hat. I had plans to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics tonight, but I delayed that a little bit to watch an episode of Downton Abbey at the same time as my bestie. Technology is so cool!

- rl

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Snow Day

Yes, I wear this coat because it makes me feel like Sherlock. #totesafangirl
My first knitted hat in action! #wintergear
Bo boy is so cute! But this is him in my spot. Dude! Move it!
Chicken and dumplings. My momma makes some good food.

Today was a snow day! As in: there was snow, but life was pretty much normal. We'll see if the schools are closed tomorrow, AKA if work will be slow like today, or busy, busy, busy!

- rl

(p.s. watching the start of the Olympic Games tonight!! Yes, the Opening Ceremonies are tomorrow, but tonight are some qualifying things for snowboarding, skiing, and figure skating. I. Love. The Olympics!)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Another hat in progress right now. This time it's for my little sister. I had her look through the patterns I had saved on Ravelry, and she chose Graham by Jennifer Adams. It's hard to tell with this dark yarn ("black canyon", to be exact), but I've completed the brim and am onto the body of the hat. It's not the most mindless project, because the body is knit a row, then k1p1 the next row, but it's pretty close. I do like how big the brim is. It's 3", which is the longest I've made so far. I told my little sister I should be able to finish by Friday at the latest, so we shall see.

- rl

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Say hello to my first frogged project. According to Urban Dictionary, "in knitting, a frog says 'rip it rip it' and frogging refers to unraveling rows of knitted work due to an error found". That's basically what happened. I attempted this pattern, and while I read through the pattern a little before casting on, it was a bit more difficult than I thought. I counted the stitches after the first repeat of the hearts and was off by two, so I decided to just frog it for now. I definitely plan on attempting again one day, but for now I'm going to move onto something simpler.

- rl

Monday, February 03, 2014

Project 04/52: Hipster Hat

I love this pattern. This is my second time to knit this (first hat here), and I've already promised to knit a third for a friend. This one, though, was for my big sister. It is this pattern, and it's so simple. I started it last Monday, and binded off Friday night. I probably could have finished sooner, but I paused this to make this scarf, then I was working , yada yada. I finished it, though! Then I teased my sister by saying I planned on blocking it, and I did, except then I didn't feel like it. So. It's done. I gave it to her a couple hours ago, and she loves it. Good thing, too, because it looks SO cute on her. Don't worry, I definitely plan on asking (read: forcing) her to pose for some pictures one of these days.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Self Portrait (05/52)

Today I've had a headache, which I only get every few weeks, so it throws me off when I do. Thankfully it's Sunday, so I don't have to be at work with this, but hopefully I can get to bed ASAP and feel fine when I wake up. Having a headache also made me very unmotivated to knit, but I did get a little bit done. I'm working on a hat that's a bit of a lace pattern, I guess, but it looks like I'm off by two stitches, so if that's the case I'm going to frog it and do some other projects. We'll see. Right now I just want to sleep.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Project 03/52: One-Hour Knit Scarf

First off, this scarf did not take one hour. Given, I did use two balls of the yarn, while the pattern only called for one. So that should mean it would take two hours, but it ended up taking me about four.

I got the yarn from one of the managers at work (a few of us talk daily about our different crafts), and I decided to just use the pattern on the label. It really was a fun knit. It was a lot easier to knit with than I thought, so that was a nice surprise.

I started and finished on my day off, so I took it to work the next day and gave it to the same woman who gave me the yarn. Then I realized I forgot to take pictures of the scarf. I spent my entire shift trying to figure out if it was worth it to ask her for the scarf back just so I could take pictures. But, obviously, I did. I took it home, snapped the pictures, then took it back the next day. I gotta say: I really love working with fellow crafters.

- rl

(p.s. this is part of my 14 goals for 2014. You can view all my goals here.)