To My Valentine

Those Batman: The Animated Series (Riddle me this! Will you be mine?) valentines are great for homeroom, but what about the REALLY special people in your life?

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  1. There are few things I love more than a vintage space pun, like this one from Picklelady Papers.
  2. Okay. Cat puns are up there too. This card from My Zoetrope is prime cat pun.
  3. If you want pure romance, look to the Edwardian era and this postcard from Loras Vintage Shop.
  4. I love all of 1canoe2’s designs, but this anatomical valentine is a standout.
  5. Can’t decide between vintage elegance and weirdness? Then don’t! Alternate Histories has you covered.
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Check-In: February 5

Is it already February? Yeesh…

What I’m working on: Man, I’ve gotten way off track with designs for the shop. But, I still feel accomplished this week! I finally finished the scarf I’ve been knitting for my husband. It’s been entirely too long. I’ve got a bad habit of starting a project and then putting it aside and forgetting about it. I started this scarf when we first planned a vacation to Chicago. That got postponed by a year, but we’ve got plane tickets and a hotel paid for for this March. So the scarf had to be finished.

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The Scarf ™ as modeled by my handsome husband. (You can see just a trace of handsome beard.)

It’s a very big, very thick scarf… which will be worn very rarely. The average high here this January was probably 70 degrees, so we don’t get much use for big, fluffy woolies. Oh well.

Where I’ve been: We went to the zoo yesterday! We checked out the Hattiesburg Zoo with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew. We had a good time. Mostly from watching my 2 year-old nephew have a good time. The kid loves to feed him some goats.

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Clockwise from top left: 1) Servals have big kitty beds. 2) This tortoise’s name is CRAIG. 3) This pigs have cute short snoots. 4) It takes a while to figure out what an anteater is when it’s all curled up like this.

What I’m reading: I always start the year off strong when it comes to reading. This year is no different. Currently on my nightstand is March: Book 3, Dietland (our current book club book), and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. I’m about halfway through that last one. It was loaned to me a year or more ago, but I haven’t dug into it until now. As with the last two Neopolitan Novels it took a little while to get into it, but once I got hooked, it really dragged me in. I think I really get invested when the narrator (Elena) checks in with Lila’s story. Because I think even the narrator finds Lila’s story more compelling. Elena’s life is definitely interesting, but Lila naturally attracts (creates? both?) more drama. Lila almost seems supernatural compared to Elena. But.. Elena’s the one telling us the story. so maybe she just seems supernatural to her.

Check-In: January 28

What I’m working on: St. Patrick’s Day! I’m trying to keep my momentum up so I can be well ahead of seasonal and holiday stuff by this summer. We’ll see if that actually happens. I also need to start working on all that blog stuff I was going to work on in the new year.

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I’ve also got to get some crafting projects done. I’m putting my great-grandma quilt back together slowly, but surely. It requires big chunks of time, though. I have trouble making myself sit down and work on it for a couple hours at a time. Plus, I’m nearly finished with a scarf for my husband to wear on our trip to Chicago. (It’s big and fluffy and we might have to check it separately in its own bag.)

What I’m playing: I’m finally getting moving on Final Fantasy XV. It’s pretty fun, so far. It has all the cute boys. Plus, I like the open-worldness of it. I don’t know that I would have the attention span for an old fashioned liner RPG these days.

What I’m reading: I just finished book 2 of March and I’m waiting on book 3. I very much recommend it. I have to admit, it included a lot of people and events that I didn’t know about. And a whole lot of stuff that we’d do well to remember.

What I’m eating: The husband person and I took a little excursion this morning to the Greenhouse on Porter — a little coffee shop (in a greenhouse) nearby. We’ve been meaning to visit forever.

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Yep. It’s a greenhouse.

It’s menu is limited, but they have good pour-0ver coffee and the specialize in biscuits. We got a savory broccoli and cheese biscuit with spinach filling and a sweet sprinkles and chocolate one. I think we both preferred the savory. I generally prefer my biscuits to be buttery and salty rather than sweet anyway.

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And the best part… there’s a kitty!

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So sweet. So soft.

Check-In: January 19

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What I’m working on: Finally! It felt like the project that dragged on forever, but I got a Valentine’s listing up. I’ve got other Valentine’s ideas, but they’re going to have to wait until I get some St. Patrick’s Day and Easter out of the way. Maybe I’ll actually get them up in time for Valentine’s Day 2018.

What I’m playing: I’ve been doing a whole lot of Stardew Valley again. I think it’s because I’ve been mildly stressed and anxious.It’s a mellow little game that lets me relax while also soothing my control freak tendencies. It’s good for my mood, bad for productivity.

What I’m reading: I finished The Dressmaker last night. It was pretty good. I need to find the movie now. There were parts I had a tough time following because I don’t speak Australian. But man, if you want a good revenge story, check it out. Next up, I’ve got March on hold at the library. Seemed like the right time for it.

What I’m eating: Man. It’s been a long time since I had Pocky. I bought some today. It’s still pretty great. And dig that bright pink box. So good.

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Check-In: January 12

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What I’m working on: So, here’s a sneak peek of the project I started this week… that’s taking me much longer than I’d anticipated. I was hoping it would be live in the shop today, but I’ll be doing good to get it up this weekend. I kinda dropped the ball big-time on Valentine’s Day, so I’m thinking I might just skip ahead and see if I can’t get something out for Easter and Spring. I can revisit Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day this summer while I’m working on Halloween and Christmas.

What I’m eating: I don’t think I talk a whole lot about food here, even though I love it. (All of it.) But one of my latest obsessions has been Korean food. The husband person and I went to a tiny local Korean restaurant for our anniversary last week. We’d been meaning to go ever since we found out about this place, but it’s in a part of town we never pass through, so we just kept forgetting. But, it was amazing. I had the beef bulgogi, he had the bibimbap and we shared some kimbap. And it was so good.

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Editing this photo is making me hungry again.

 

I’ve always liked Asian food. I’ve been down with sushi for twenty years now. We’re lucky enough to live with a large enough Vietnamese community that we have more than one place to get excellent Vietnamese food. I’m trying to learn to cook all of it. I’ve made some sad sushi rolls. I’ve gotten okay at making donburi. (I love a big bowl of rice with just piles of stuff on it.) I’m working on upping my kimchi fried rice game. (I made some for dinner tonight.) I haven’t attempted Vietnamese food yet. But I might start off slow, like figuring out how to make those pickles that make bahn mi so good.

All this rambling leads nicely into —

What I’m reading: I recently discovered the webcomic I Think You’re Sauceome by Sarah Becan… which I discovered when I was looking for bibimbap recipes. It’s a webcomic that starts as a food diary and a study in body image but it also includes recipes and restaurant reviews and other good stuff. I’ve never identified with a cartoonist so hard. She puts into comics the exact same thoughts I have about my body all the time. And it’s nice to see her overcome them. Plus, she’s really into tacos and bibimbap and so am I.

I’m only about a third of the way through her archives, and it doesn’t look like she’s posted since May. But, I’m definitely now a Sarah Becan fan.

Check-In 2017: Doin’ real good so far.

So far so great on the getting back on track for the new year. I had every intention of writing a post yesterday to get back in the habit of posting weekly. I didn’t even realized I’d missed my self-imposed deadline until this morning. Whoops.

So let’s give this another shot.

What I’m working on: It took a few hours spread over a couple days, but I finally got my design elements collection mostly sorted out. I have tons of texture images, clip art, brushes and fonts that needed labeling and put somewhere that I could actually find them and use them. It was some extensive digital organization. (And one of the few times I miss having a Mac at home. I feel so much more comfortable with the way OSX’s file trees work. Oh well.) I haven’t started on Valentine’s stuff yet. I’m hoping to do that this weekend (even though we’ve got a lot going on). I’m almost wondering if I should just skip ahead to St. Patrick’s Day, springtime and Easter. But I guarantee I’ll be in the same boat this time next year, Re: Valentine’s Day.

I’m considering setting up a Google calendar with my shop email address so I can set alerts for things months in advance. My current bullet journal setup is good for a month at a time, but not for months and months ahead of time. I’m also thinking of switching from bullet journalling to a more traditional planner set up once I fill up my current notebook. Which might be this coming December, so hey. That’s convenient.

What I’m playing: Here’s why I forgot to do anything productive last night — after spending a week watching the husband person play, I finally started my own game of Final Fantasy XV. I haven’t gotten very far, mostly just the tutorials and the opening story stuff. But I’m very much looking forward to it. Hopefully that Florence + The Machine cover of “Stand By Me” makes another appearance. (It probably will. And I’ll cry harder than I did at at the end of FFX.)

What I’m reading: I went to the library and picked up The Dressmaker, our new book club book and the second volume of The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home. Chi is set to become my favorite character in anything ever.

And that’s that. Here’s hoping I’m more on the ball next week.

 

A New Year’s Check-In

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WordPress was kind enough to let me know that I’ve had my blog for a year. It was supposed to be part of my New Year’s resolutions. I kind of dropped the ball these past few months, though. Work, life and the holidays got the better of me. But my Christmas vacation is winding down and I’ll be back to the real world soon. That also means getting back to work on the blog.

What I’m (going to be) working on: My first priority is going to be getting some Valentine’s Day stuff up in the shop. I should already have some up there, but I’m going to try and get started on that this first week of the month. Then I’m going to focus on some more blog stuff. I got so lazy that there’s things I have photos for that I never wrote about. I think I’m finally going to get to my cooking feature and maybe some more day-to-day stuff. You’ll notice my KonMari posts kind of petered out, but I did mostly finish up that project. I think I just wasn’t interested enough to blog about it. (But hey, decluttering is nice and I recommend it. Even if it doesn’t make for riveting reading.)

End of the year reading recommendations: I got a lot of nothing done this past month, but I did do more reading than I have in a while. I finished up Shadow and Bone for book club, and really enjoyed it. I’ll probably read the rest of the series early this year. I also read Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman and also loved it. I really wish I’d had this book about 15 years ago. I love Lindy West and I absolutely recommend this book for women of all ages and shapes. And finally, I got Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1 as a present and I love it so much. It’s the sweetest little manga about a kitten and her adoptive family. They’re short and adorable and excellent feel-good stuff. Heartily recommended for when you’re feeling stressed out by the world. Next up for me will be finishing the last two Neopolitan Novels, finally.

Games of the year: I don’t know that I’ve played that many games this year, so I’m not really going to be able to give a good overview of everything that came out. But, go play Stardew Valley. For real. It’s topped almost every list and it really is great. I’m probably going to play some when I get this entry posted. I’m still working on Pokemon Sun, but I’m enjoying it. I’m just a super slow Pokemon player. The husband person got Final Fantasy XV for Christmas, and I’ve been watching him play a lot of that all week. (Quality couch time.) I’m going to start it myself when he’s back to teaching evening classes and I have the PS4 to myself. But from just watching it, I kind of love it. It’s kind of like one of those Japanese dating sims, but with more swords and you don’t actually get to date one of the boys. (Although I have to admit that Gladiolus is kind of my video game boyfriend. For right now.)

She’s crafty: I’m hoping to get more crafting done this year. I’d like to do more paper crafting, finish up the five embroidery and cross-stitch projects I have going and teach myself to knit socks.

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But first, I have to finish putting this quilt back together. It’s my great-grandma quilt that’s made an appearance before. This time it’s getting a complete overhaul. I took it completely apart, cleaned and patched it up and then my mom showed me how to put it back together. I’m still in the process of sewing the three layers together with little bits of yarn and then I’ve got to redo the binding. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it.

That’s it! A little bit of it, anyway. Big plans for the new year, but we’ll see what happens. A little bit at a time.