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Friday Fun! (February: DC Trip and Winter Activities)

February 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Walking in just one of the many lovely snow-covered parks in Boston.

Walking in just one of the many lovely snow-covered parks in Boston.

Hello my lovely readers!

It was quite the busy month for me.  Early in the month, I went on a business trip to Washington, D.C.  I was sent with a friend and co-worker to go to a training at the National Library of Medicine.  We just barely managed to take off in the middle of one of the many storms that hit Boston this month.  We flew right out of the storm and into a chilly, but snow-free DC.  In the limited free time we had, we saw the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum and the Botanical Garden.  I had never been to DC before.  My impressions were that everyone is quite friendly and talkative.  The city is surprisingly empty with things spread further out than I was anticipating.  The architecture was interesting, and I enjoyed the museums (and the fact that they’re free!).  I’d like to go back to visit in warmer weather when the plants are in bloom.  Perhaps more as a stop-over on my way someplace else, though.  I can’t imagine spending an entire vacation there!

In the middle of the month, I of course opened my new Etsy shop.  I’m so excited to have another creative venue!  I’m still doing some stitching and art just for fun and for friends and family too, though.

Baking a loaf of bread every weekend is now a thing.  I also made an apple pie to try to beat back the winter doldrums.  I started doing more yoga as a home practice, since it gets me moving but I don’t have to brave the cold to do it.  I also did my taxes, and I’m pleased to say I’m getting a refund!  I finally completed the first step toward getting my driver’s license in Massachusetts as well.  I went to the Social Security office and filed for a replacement card.  Bafflingly, in MA, you have to have your social security card in addition to a photo id to get your learner’s permit.  You aren’t allowed to even just give them your social security number.  So, although I know my number, I still had to file for a replacement card.  But that step is done!

I’m pleased to say my reading pace has been going well.  I’m actually ahead of the one book a week goal I set for myself.  I’ve also so far read 2 books for the Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge, as well as 2 of the 12 review copies I accepted for review here this year.  There is a giveaway still running for the second one, the horror book The House of Azareal, if you are interested in entering.

I must admit, February can be a bit of a depressing month for me.  I’ve noticed that pattern over the last couple of years.  But my partner has been very supportive, for which I am truly grateful, and that along with yoga, books, and snuggling our cat has helped make the month pass.

Happy reading!

Announcement: My Cross-Stitches and Patterns are Now Available to Purchase on Etsy!!

February 12, 2014 2 comments

Bi pride emoticon heartHello my lovely readers!

I am beyond excited to announce that my cross-stitching and patterns are now available on my new Etsy shop: Stitch-A-Stitch!!

For right now, the items available for sale are completed items, hooped into 3 inch hoops.  They are either regular emoticons in black or bi pride emoticons in the bi pride colors.  There is also one bi pride item that is simply the word “BI” in the bi pride colors. The pattern available for sale is one I designed to gift to a friend for Christmas.  It is of the Sriracha rooster bottle.  I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I designed one myself, and I thought it made sense to make it available for look of epic concern emoticon faceothers!  As time goes on, I plan to broaden the items I have available.  The next category I am working on at the moment is the Avengers as pixel people.

The positive feedback I received here on this blog from you all encouraged me to pursue opening this shop.  Thank you all so much for your support, and I do hope you will take a moment to check it out.

Cross-Stitch #1: Pixel People Wedding Present

December 22, 2012 4 comments

I took up cross-stitching again this summer after giving up on knitting (or crocheting for that matter).  I’m pleased to say that in just a few short months, I’ve finished my first project!  Because this was a wedding present, I needed to put aside my other project for a bit to work on it, so this stitch actually only took me about two weeks to complete.  Impressive, yes?

My good friends, Lynn Marie and Josh, were getting married, and I spotted a custom pattern on Etsy at the shop, Wee Little Stitches, that will turn the happy couple (and their pets if you like) into pixel people.  It seemed like the perfect gift for the happy, geeky couple, so I went for it!

It was a very exciting project because it was my first time assembling the pieces myself instead of buying a kit.  It was so much fun to go gather everything at Michael’s!  It was also the first stitch project I’ve ever actually completed. As a child I learned a lot of stitches on a challenging pattern, but never actually finished it.  So lots of firsts here!

Lynn Marie and Josh as pixel people, cross-stitch

 

Up next, I plan on finishing up my wolves in the snow kit, then on to a pattern designed for me by my bf (for Christmas).  Yay!

Shopping Love: Excessively Diverting on Etsy

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

One of my fairly long-term online friends, Lisa, aka @pnkrcklibrarian, recently announced that she was opening her own store on one of my favorite handmade/vintage websites: Etsy.  Her shop is Excessively Diverting, and I must say, when I went to check it out, I was quite blown away at my friend’s artistic ability!

Now, I know a bunch of my readers are Jane Austen fans.  So is Lisa, and that is reflected everywhere in her items that are available so far.

Jane Austen pin

From pins featuring Austen quotes

Jane Austen ornament.

To Christmas decorations featuring entire chapters of Pride and Prejudice

Best of all, Lisa is offering a special deal available only to my readers.  Just enter the code “OOW20″ in the new coupon code box on Etsy before proceeding to PayPal, and you’ll receive 20% off!  Plus, all shipping is free until December 16th.

So, all you lovely, Jane Austen fans, be sure to check Excessively Diverting out.  It comes with my highest recommendations!

Best Discoveries of 2009–Movies, TV Shows, and Websites

December 30, 2009 1 comment

You guys got to see my favorite reads of 2009, but what about all else entertainment?  I do, surprisingly, do things besides read with my (little) free-time.  So here’s Part One of my best of all-else entertainment list from 2009.  I’m not limiting myself to things that came out in 2009, just things that I encountered for the first time in 2009.  Consider everything listed as accompanied with the highest recommendations.

Movies

  • Coraline (2009)
    The story of a little girl rightfully frustrated with her parents who discovers another world is delightfully creative, but the animation is what makes this a must-see.  It is truly a feast for your eyes.
  • The Hangover (2009)
    Bust a gut, laugh out loud funny. A groom and his buddies go to Vegas a few days before his wedding for his bachelor party, and when they wake up the next morning, the buddies can’t find the groom or remember what they did the night before.  Uproariously awkward situations make you feel way better about that one night you can’t remember.
  • Inglorious Basterds (2009)
    A troop of American Jews led by Brad Pitt go on a Nazi-killing spree in WWII Europe.  Confession.  I fucking love WWII history.  I have ever since I was a kid.  I also absolutely love blood and guts movies.  The more gruesome the better.  I also love Jewish fellas (I blame my undergrad university for that one).  Additionally, I love Brad Pitt. *swoon* German is also my foreign language, so I didn’t even need the damn sub-titles.   Can you say must-see movie?  My only gripe is that not enough time was spent on the awesome group of American soldiers.
  • Kill Bill Volume One (2003)
    The Bride has a score to settle with her old boss Bill and everyone who helped him commit the slaughter of all present for her wedding day (not to mention almost killing her).  So many epic fight scenes.  So many bad-ass women.  Not to mention the whole blood and guts thing previously mentioned.
  • South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
    The boys’ parents get all upset when they sneak in to see the R-rated Terrence and Phillip movie, which clearly leads to a war with Canada.  This basically is South Park The Musical and gave us the gifts that are the songs “Uncle Fucka” and “Blame Canada.”  Top it off with a giant talking vagina, and you have a seriously hilarious movie.
  • The Shining (1980), review
    Jack takes his family with him on a live-in caretaker job in a remote, empty hotel in Colorado.  Did I mention the hotel is sinister?  It takes a lot for a film to scare me, and this did.

TV Shows

  • Lost (2004 to present)
    The tale of the survivors of a flight that crashed on an uncharted island.  I remember when this first came out that I avoided watching it because I knew I didn’t have time to get addicted to another tv show.  Netflix Instant and my boyfriend spurred me into watching it, and holy shit.  This show’s mystery and scifi are so good that I am literally yelling at the tv (yes, I bought the complete set).  Me yelling at the tv is a sign of a good tv show, btw.  I’m on the fourth season and am bound and determined to catch up before the new season starts in February.
  • The Simpsons (1989 to present)
    That sound you hear is the collective shock of everyone reading this, but I seriously had never watched The Simpsons ever before this year. No, not even one episode.  I really can’t explain why.  I just never got around to it.  Well, now I get what the obsession is with it, and I’ve watched a ton of episodes, let me tell you.
  • South Park (1997 to present)
    No big surprise here with the movie listed above, but I also was newly introduced to this show this year.  The pop culture commentary is epic.  All you need to do is see the Kanye West fish sticks episode to understand.
  • True Blood (2008 to present)
    A small Louisiana town deals with daily life and the recent coming out of vampires with the Japanese invention of synthetic human blood.  This show has everything: bayou setting, vampires, sex, drugs, comedy, and mystery.  Watching an episode is like taking a vacation.  It also provided me with the hilarity that is me imitating Bill saying “Sookie is mine!” I can’t wait for the second season to come out on DVD so I can watch it!

Websites

  • Etsy
    Buy and/or sell handmade or vintage items and supplies.  It’s kind of like having a craft fair in your browser, and I love buying one-of-a-kind earrings there.
  • Regretsy
    My friends and I were doing what this blog does for a while–finding the hideous things people offer up as “vintage” or “handmade” on Etsy (not the majority of things found there at all) and mocking them.  This blog is sure to send many giggles your way. (or horror)
  • Sock Dreams
    I love wearing snazzy socks, tights, and legwarmers, and this website has the best selection for the best prices.
  • Tor
    I’m a scifi freak, and their theme months are great.  This month was Cthulu Christmas, for instance.  Also they host a bunch of amazing give-aways.

Coming up in Part Two, Boston places, web clips, and recipes!

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