Saturday, October 25, 2014

Long time no see! Despite my best intentions - having a "design" only blog, where I really only share design stuff, just doesn't work for me. I'm like all of you, I have many facets and having a blog with just one side doesn't work. I tried really hard to find a "group" blog or two that I could join to get some of the blogging itch out of my system, and I couldn't find one that was compatible. I wasn't looking for much; people in my decade, that's all folks. I didn't want to work with teenage bloggers on this very first blog. So, I think I'm switching it up again. You'll be seeing a variety of posts from me, whenever I feel like it. My current obsession is trying to find, learn how to use, and decorate a planner, so you may even see planner pages. I'm spending most of my online time now at instagram: I'm anastaciaknits, the cat is wedgethecat, and hubby's jonzittel (I think)

Friday, October 24, 2014


I'm still working on setting up my little planner. I'm making do - diy iny it all myself. My inserts for 2015 are taken out from a cheap spiral bound planner and I hole punched them to fit. What sections do you have? I have my calendar section,  a master list section, intentional list section (new to me but I'll try it), a gratitude and a book section.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

fall into fall kal / cal

Just a reminder - the fall into fall cal / kal is going strong!  Join us!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

mid- readathon survery

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? the Fifth Vertex

2. How many books have you read so far? Let's see... I finished We're Alive Season One & the Borrowers, & I started listening to the second year of We're Alive... 33% done Fifth Vertex. Read some of Grimm's Fairy Tales, which was on my list to read today. 

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I'm running out of time to read... I'm not a night owl, and I'm not staying up for the readathon (kudos to those of you who do!) so I'm looking forward to just finishing the Fifth Vertex

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Many, many :) some my own, some that couldn't be prevented. I'm not worried about it - it's all in good fun, and any reading I get done today is more than I usually get done on a Sat

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Hmm. Nothing, really... sorry

finished during the readathon: book reviews

Finished during the Readathon: The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1)The Borrowers by Mary Norton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

one of my favorites as a kid

We're Alive: A Story of Survival, the First SeasonWe're Alive: A Story of Survival, the First Season by K.C. Wayland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LOVED it! Got through the first season in about ten days. I was trying not to rush it too much. Can't wait to start season two - in about ten minutes from now.

View all my reviews

mini challenges

Hour three mini challenges are done! And the first book has been finished - the Borrowers, by Mary Norton. weird reading position - I was trying to take a pic of me reading under the bed (I used to do that as a kid) but there wasn't enough height under the bed to take the photo - and for the shelfie challenge, my knit/crochet books - Now off to read - Fifth Vertex, a book I got from netgalley

read a thon

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? a little town in MA 

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? TGI Friday's chips

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a 30something professional knit & crochet designer

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
Getting some books read & hopefully meeting new bloggy friends!

First mini challenge completed - I prefer coffee: (follow me on instagram: I'm anastaciaknits)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dewey's 24 hour readathon / run from reality / trick or treat / chills and thrills readathons!

Anyone who knows me, knows that my two big passions & joys in life are yarn & books. I try, for the most part, to stick with yarn for this blog, though in the past I've blogged about both & had a just craft blog & a just book blog in my blogging life.

Well sometimes a gal can't resist the temptation to write about books anyway - the temptation has been so bad, I've been chatting with a nice gal online named Ana about us maybe starting a book blog together, 'cause I just miss it so much.

Anyway... I digress. I'm participating in Dewey's 24 hour readathon this year, which starts... tomorrow. I'm signing up way late to the game, but I'm so behind on my behind on my personal & review books, that I need a readathon to get caught up!

I am currently in the middle of reading about 6 different books - so I'll work on finishing Through the Looking Glass (struggled with this one, as I did with Alice in Wonderland), though I'd really love to just finish it today... if I don't finish it today, it's first on the list for tomorrow. finished! I also want to finish the Romanov Sisters.

I also joined Ana's Run from Reality (love that name) readathon, which starts right after Dewey's - and runs through the end of the month, and a couple Trick or Treat Halloween / chills and thrills readathon that run from Oct 24th through Halloween. I'm going to be away for our anniversary for some of that time, so I probably won't get much reading done, but it's fun to dream about anyway. My only definite plans right now for the "horror" themed readathons is Frankenstein & Dracula & Six Women of Salem (non-fiction, not really "horror" but I figure it fits the theme!) Does anyone think Grimm's Fairy Tales fits the theme?

which runs Oct 24th through the end of the month. Yes, I'm really hoping to get some reading done!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stitch It Simple

Stitch It Simple: 25 hand sewn projects to make and shareStitch It Simple: 25 hand sewn projects to make and share by Beth Sheard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A simple little, beginner sewing book, complete with templates and full color photographs. The book has a variety of projects and filled with ideas for items to make for your home. It's designed for beginner sewers (like me), but unfortunately, most of the projects aren't anything I would actually make, as they are a little too cutesy and a little too, well, plain.

That being said, it's a great book for beginners who want to learn to sew for the home (which to me is easier because you don't have to worry about fit issues like you would in making, say, a dress).

received a review copy for free from netgalley

View all my reviews

Friday, October 10, 2014

review: Christmas Ornaments to Crochet by Barbara Christopher

Christmas Ornaments to CrochetChristmas Ornaments to Crochet by Barbara Christopher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

An extremely disappointing crochet book.

The designs are extremely simple - most are 4 or 5 rounds, use only a few basic stitches, and most of the ornaments are variants of one another, with only one or two rounds different from each other. The photographs are very simple (each ornament photographed on a plain background) but what got me about the photography is that clearly the ornaments were not properly blocked & / or stiffened, like all thread ornaments should be. I got the impression that perhaps the designer is not as experienced as one would like, to make such a rookie mistake (the only other book I can find by the author is another crochet ornament book, with equally badly photographed & unblocked ornaments).

Another thing I found really unaccepted for a thread crochet book are that none of the ornaments are charted.

View all my reviews


Thursday, October 9, 2014

review: Fermented Vegetables: From Arugula Kimchi to Zucchini Curry, a Complete Guide to Fermenting More Than 80 Herbs and Vegetables by Kirsten Shockey

Fermented Vegetables: From Arugula Kimchi to Zucchini Curry, a Complete Guide to Fermenting More Than 80 Herbs and VegetablesFermented Vegetables: From Arugula Kimchi to Zucchini Curry, a Complete Guide to Fermenting More Than 80 Herbs and Vegetables by Kirsten Shockey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a vegetable gardener, and started canning as an alternative to freezing my harvest. I've been obsessed with fermenting vegetables - love the idea of preserving food, adding healthy probiotics to my food, and all without heating up my kitchen - but like I was with canning as first, I was so intimidated by the process.

I'm not, any longer. This is a great how-to guide, filled with amazing recipes that think outside the box. Everything is explained so this fraidy-cat isn't quite so afraid anymore. I also appreciate the small batch size, for my small sized family.

received a free copy in exchange for my honest review

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

review: Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands, and More by Edie Eckman

Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands, and MoreChristmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree: Stockings, Ornaments, Garlands, and More by Edie Eckman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Edie does it again in this modern collection of crochet projects designed for the holidays. They are all designed in Edie's characteristic style of easy, modern, simple enough for a beginner (for most designs) but not boring in any way. Most Christmas craft books are filled with things that are only OK - but not anything you'd ever actually MAKE - but this one is different.

All designs are well photographed, special stitches are explained within the pattern itself, and some of the patterns include charts - a must in today's pattern books.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 5, 2014

review: The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online by Kari Chapin

The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And OnlineThe Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online by Kari Chapin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's no shortable of books like this on the market nowadays - everyone wants to capitalize on their hobbies & make a buck or two - I don't blame anyone for that, because I started doing that myself four years ago!

Having a "hobby" business - aka a business that a lot of people do for "fun" or as a "hobby" has its own unique challenges not seen with other business models - like a restaurant, for example. If you own a restaurant, you don't have to worry about competing with the restaurant down the street who's doing it for "fun" and isn't really interested in making a profit, just to have fun. Crafters are different - we have to fight sterotypes and crafters who are selling their products for "fun", undermining those of us who do this for a living - like me.

I'm a full time professional knit and crochet designer - I don't do this for fun (though I love it), I do it to pay the bills. I always read books like this hoping to learn a thing or two, but unfortunately this is another book that's marketed more towards someone selling physical goods, i.e. the finished hat, not the hat pattern. There are some good ideas here, making it worth reading, but if you are established like I am, then don't expect to learn a lot as this book is geared towards beginners.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 3, 2014

review: Year-Round Slow Cooker by Dina Cheney

Year-Round Slow CookerYear-Round Slow Cooker by Dina Cheney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love my slow cooker - I love my slow cooker so much, I have four of them, from a tiny, personal sized one to a huge one big enough to fit a turkey in. I have a lot of cook books from the 50's on to current, so I have a lot of recipes for it (though I tend to always make the same sorts of thing in my slow cooker, despite my recipes).

The book has lots of great, beautiful, well photographed recipes, divided up by the season so you can use local produce - more and more important these days, and something I'm good at only in the summer & fall, when my own garden is in full swing. There's an interesting, eclectic range of recipes here - unfortunately a lot of them I can't eat because of food allergies/issues, and a lot more include ingredients I've never heard of before. I live on a tight, tight budget - I can't afford to buy ingredients I've never heard of before, that I may or may not like, on a recipe I may or may not like. There's a few recipes that are left, however, that I will probably try to make.

Cheney also includes great how-tos and hints and tricks for those new to using their slow cooker. Unfortunately nothing new for me here, but like I said, I use my slow cooker all the time.

The other major draw back for me is rather short cooking times - I'm gone for a good 9.5 hours a day, I need to leave my slow cooker unattended for ten hours at a stretch. Her times are really short, and she does explain her reasoning, but that doesn't help me any.

View all my reviews
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...