Check-In: April 13

What I’m working on: I’ve been distracted by video games in a bad way, but I have forced myself to sit down the past few days and work on some new designs. They’re in very early stages, so nothing worth previewing yet.

I also bought (with a birthday gift card from Lazy Lady) a “Wreck this Journal.” I figure it’ll be a good way to practice non-perfectionism. I have a bullet journal for organization and idea lists and this year I started keeping a standard daily(ish) journal. But I get a little too precious about those sometimes and worrying over things “looking right” probably holds me back from really getting creative.

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I haven’t done much with it so far, but I did flip to the page that says “Make a sudden, destructive, unpredictable movement with the journal.” So I turned in my desk chair and really whanged it at the wall. It plopped neatly into the trash can. It felt kinda cathartic. You can see the resulting ding at the bottom of the spine in the photo.

What I’m playing: I also bought, with the same gift card, Just Dance 2017. I… really can’t tell you why. I thought it would be a good way to get some more exercise. And it kind of is. My heart rate certainly goes up. But this isn’t DDR. This is actual dancing. And if you’re one of the few people unfortunate enough to see my dance… you know I can’t. But, it’s got “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Single Ladies,” so I’mma tear it up anyway.

Check-In: April 6

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What I’m working on: So my birthday was Saturday! I’ve been playing with birthday presents all week. Because I’m kind of a weirdo, I guess — one of the things I asked for and got from my parents was a Victorian-era penmanship course. I’ve been wanting to improve my handwriting for a while, so I’m going old-school with it. Maybe this will lead to some hand-lettered design stuff.

What I’m reading: I’ve finished from Hell and I’m still working on Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. My brother and  sister-in-law gave me volumes 2-3 of Chi’s Sweet Home, so I’ve got those locked and loaded for when I’m done with true crime and desperately need a palate cleanser.

What I’m watching: My birthday gift to myself was an iTunes season pass to RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9. So far, I think my favorite is Nina Bo’Nina Brown. I was intrigued by her promo look, but it turns out I love her personality. I’m also looking forward to seeing more from Sasha Velour.

What I’m playing: Man, it’s been a video game kinda week for sure. My husband bought me Rimworld, which I’m a little addicted to. It’s a space colony sim type game that scratches that resource management itch in a big way. There’s a lot of fun weirdness, too.

Persona 5 came out, too! Finally! We’ve been waiting for this one for… years? I’ve only gotten to play a couple hours so far, but I can say its really stylish and has enough depth that I got confused in Tokyo’s subway system. I’m not as immediately drawn in like I was with Persona 4, but that was my first Persona game AND it had a murder mystery. Judging from reviews, however, I’m going to be much happier with 5’s gameplay. I have high hopes for the story, too.

I also got some Steam money that might go to Crusader Kings II expansion packs and an Amazon gift card that might be used on Let’s Dance 2017… because I need something to counteract all this unproductive sitting I’ll be doing.

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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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.

Check-In: November 21

Once again, I’ve let almost a whole month go by without an entry. I’m great at blogging. Once again, it’s real life that gets in the way. November is probably the busiest month at work. So all of my downtime has been spent recharging. Anyway, here’s a quick update:

What I’m working on: Keeping it together, man. Just keeping it together.

What I’m listening to: I’ve been catching up on a lot of podcasts lately: No Such Thing as a Fish, Schmanners, Adventure Zone and How Did This Get Made.

What I’m reading: I FINALLY finished “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” I enjoyed it. It only took me a couple months. If there were more than three people in my book club, I woulda been kicked out long ago.

What I’ve been playing: Okay. Here’s where we find how I’ve really been spending my time. Stardew Valley has seriously become my main method of de-stressing. It’s a nice, zen, low stakes building game so it hits all the right marks for me. And there’s Civ 6, which I’ve been achievement farming because it provides a temporary sense of accomplishment.

And most importantly, Pokemon Sun and Moon came out. I got Sun and the husband person got Moon. I think I’ve mentioned before how we’re extremely late getting on this Pokemon train. We were both in our early teens and were way too cool for it when it first came out, so we didn’t get in on the ground floor. But now that I’m a mellow, old thirty-something, I find it a pleasant game to play. There’s the collecting aspect and the strategy aspect. It’s fun to put your teams together and all that.

Plus, it really helps that most of them are super cute. I don’t think so much about stats and strategy when picking my favorites. I got for the cute ones.

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I mean, you’ll never see me messin’ with no Machamp. Skitty 4 Life.

Anyway. Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully things will get closer to normal next week.

Check-In: November 3

What I’ve been working on: Not this blog, obviously. It’s been a little while since I did a check-in. Here’s a couple things I’ve gotten done — a new invitation design:

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And some sweet little hearts:

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That invitation almost wasn’t done this week. I fussed over it for a while before becoming completely frustrated and decided to give up for the night and go to bed early. But, before shutting down, I decided to take a look at Pinterest and some other sites I go to for inspiration. I happened to see something that (oddly) looks nothing like my final product, but provided just enough of a hint of something that I went right back to my design and got it done within an hour.

I dunno what the moral of that story is. Perseverance? The power of Pinterest? Maybe just take a break and look at something else for a second? Maybe all of them.

What I’m listening to: I’ve been listening to a little bit of The Dollop. (A dollop of The Dollop? Wait.. no… come back…) It’s a history podcast presented by some funny guys. I’ve been skipping around listening to the ones with titles that pique my interest. I learned (by way of Huey Long) that Louisiana had a governor named Ruffin Pleasant. So good.

What I’m reading: Remember that book I got over a month ago? Well, I’ve renewed it at the library twice and now I’m finally actually reading it. Many apologize to my book group, for I am truly the worst of all people.

What I’m playing: Y’all. Civilization VI came out and of course all my time has been devoted to that because Civ is well and truly my jam. ❤

Check-In: September 22

What I’m working on: Well. It’s the first day of fall. So, of course I’m working on Christmas stuff that I should have actually started a month ago. Also, it’s still 90+ degrees outside. I’m not anywhere near feeling holly-jolly yet. But, I’m giving it the old college try!

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What I’m playing: The husband person and I had our first Pokemon battles. I was soundly beaten. But, I caught a super-awesome Skitty and I named her Pancakes and we’re going to be best friends and then he’ll be in trouble.

What I’m listening to: On the heels of that podcast series about Charles Manson, I’ve started listening to My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and I DON’T KNOW WHY. I don’t really watch any true crime TV. But It’s always a subject I’ve tended to fall into a Wiki-spiral with. I like the podcast because they actual do the Wiki-spiral for me and there’s no chance of me accidentally seeing a crime scene photo. I do not do not do not do not like crime scene photos. But audio descriptions are fine.

True crime is one of those weird subjects. I know so many people (most, if not all, are women) who are super-fascinated by it. And they’re all really compassionate, smart, friendly, non-psychopaths. Karen and Georgia hypothesize that people who find true crime fascinating are the people who have the most anxiety about it. Which probably explains why so many of those people are women. I absolutely have anxiety about gettin’ got. (Among other things.) Maybe subconsciously, knowing all the stories is a way of preparing. If I know how SHE died, then I can avoid it.

(Hey, there’s a fun note to abruptly end this blog post on.)