Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Characters Sitting at My Lunch Table

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, created due to a fondness for lists. Each week they post a new Top Ten topic. After that, it's bloggers UNITE! Participate with your own Top Ten post, have fun, and get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's list is a back-to-school theme. It's the top ten literary characters who would've shared my lunch space back in school.

I'm picking a smattering of characters from both YA and adult fiction. Just assume that all characters would've been of appropriate age at the time, eh? Oh...and to keep myself from having a crazy character war, I've limited myself to just female characters. We'll also make it simple and avoid a couples table. Why not?

Here we go...

1. Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I was a bit of a nerd in school, so I'm packing my table with the bookish, socially awkward types. Hermione would have been my best friend, without a doubt. Naive, bookworm, and maybe just a smidge of a brown-noser. We also may have shared some very similar hairstyles. Thank goodness Hermione grew into her nerdiness. That gives me hope, right? It also doesn't hurt that she becomes a total badass.

2. Lena from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Ah, the smart creative girl who gets her heart stomped on by a guy. Yup. I get that. I loved Lena. Such a sweet girl and so much potential.

3. Tibby from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

I'm putting half of the Sisterhood at my table, so Tibby is in. It's that weird factor. That's me. She's quirky and nonconformist. She's brutally honest to a fault. That's a friend I would want to have. I also wasn't much of a girly girl, so the tomboy quota needs a little more padding.

4. Clare from The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

She's the dreamer living in her own little world, but this girl is full of angst. She's miles ahead of everyone else in her views of the world. Yup. She could hang.

5. Mia from If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Let's avoid the sad stuff on this one and stay on the surface. I need a little musical talent around the table. It doesn't hurt that her family seems awesome and that boyfriend of hers...ooh.

...Sadly...this is where the gifs run out. Believe it or not, only half of my list has been made into movie form. You'll have to use your imagination from here out...

6. Amy from Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

All of the good ones are damaged, aren't they? Amy is certainly no exception. She's kind of a loner, but I think the girls and I could give her a niche to be comfortable in.

7. Ruby from The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Oh, Ruby. You beautiful disaster, you. This girl...if there's anything to step in, she'll find it. She is a magnet for trouble and awkwardness. Pair that with my tendency to be a klutz, match made in heaven.

8. Julia from The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

This one. I just want to hug her. Bury yourself in baking and make them love you with food. That's always a totally solid way to go. But she's just as sweet as the food she makes. Pieces of her remind me of Sookie from Gilmore Girls. Who wouldn't want Julia for a friend?

9. Cassia from Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia is my tough girl. Sort of. She's not the physical type, but like Hermione, she's going to use her brains all the way. Cassia's not going to let anyone pull the wool over her eyes. She'll figure it all out soon enough. And she'll make sure to protect her friends along the way.

10. Penn from Fallen by Lauren Kate

Sweet, smart, awkward Penn. She just wants a friend, and I'm the girl who wants her sitting next to me. Another girl with some serious brains, but a nice touch of awkward. Penn is loyal and she won't give up if you have something important to you. Penn's the friend to see you through.

This almost makes me nostalgic for school. Almost. If I'd had these girls at my side, maybe my high school years would've been ones that produced memories other than those that make you shake your head at what a complete moron you were. Ya...I don't think I'd want to risk the relive on that one.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I've Lost My Mojo

Yup. I've lost my mojo. My crafting mojo that is. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but crafting and I are not getting along. Want some examples? Here we go...

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a craft project that I hoped to have finished by the end of the weekend. Oh...I finished it all right...right into the trash can. I hate it when that happens.

Yesterday, I sat down to scrapbook. I was totally ready to work on some of these great ideas I have for mini-albums. I walked upstairs and started to pick out a few albums, sat down to work on drawing out my ideas, and...it was gone. That quick. I suddenly had no desire to put anything on paper.

The things I have actually felt like doing all require a sewing machine...which is in the shop. So, that's been a no go.

Today, I decided to sit down (finally) and learn how to crochet. I managed to learn the first two steps and now I'm stuck. I cannot figure out the right way to hold the yarn in my left hand without feeling totally awkward or in pain. That will now wait until next week when I can beg Annie to show me the right way to do things. On the upside with this one, I did manage to get my yarn stash a little more organized by winding up some partially used skeins into proper yarn balls.

It's an odd place I find myself in. Most of the time, I can move easily from one hobby to another when I find myself stuck like this. But for right now it seems as if the fates are just not having it. For the time being, crafting and I should not cross each other's paths it seems.

Let's hope it clears up soon. I have projects that need completing! In the meantime, it's back to baking, reading, some playing on the iPad, and a return to playing Rock Band in the basement. I have to find some way to put these idle hands to work.

Have any of you ever faced a complete craft mojo meltdown? What did you do to get out of your funk?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Behind the Scenes

It's easy to forget how much work it takes to really run a blog. I have: books to read and review; projects to make, photograph, and write up; plans for the big projects to make for later in the year; scheduling and blog keeping activities to attend to. That's what's been going on this week. It's been a housekeeping week.

I figured I'd catch you up on what I've been doing and what's coming up, just so you don't all think I've been nothing but lazy this week.

This Week...

Progress has been made on some of the upcoming bigger projects.

Part of 2012's display
The Pumpkin Plan for 2014 has been finalized. We officially have our theme nailed down and I've already drawn up the rough sketches. I know that we'll need twenty-eight regular sized pumpkins. (We will totally take pumpkins off of anyone's hands near the end of October if you have extras you want to get rid of.) I have a short list started of the spray paint colors required and the additional items we need. It's looking good. The plan will be revealed on October 1st.

I've already started putting together the Christmas Project Plan for 2014 as well. I still have a few people to figure out, but I have quite the list of items to get started on. The next step is to start making a list of necessary supplies so that we can start slowly picking them up. I can also now get started on some of the bigger projects, so that I won't feel so overwhelmed come December.

Since I was putting together the project list for Christmas, I also started working on next year's A to Z Challenge schedule. The majority of last year's items were previous gifts from birthdays or Christmas, so that will most likely how it will be again in 2015. As of right now, I have items planned for all letters except for J, U, V, X, Y, & Z. Some letters have multiple options. With those ones, it will just depend on which projects I like best for the fit (and maybe how well I can juggle the extras to fit into the six remaining letters).

But, this week wasn't all planning. It was a lot of planning, but not all planning. I have a project currently in the works that I'm hoping to have finished by the end of the weekend. It may not go up in a post for a week or two, but it's taking up some of my time. Can you believe it? Craftiness is happening. I'm a little shocked myself.

I also braved a short return to Pinterest. I piled on some new pins and went through my boards to get some fresh ideas. That helped to get some ideas for the upcoming weeks.

Speaking of...

Coming Up...

I've gotten permission for my photo session to post on the blog, so that got edited and ready to go and will be posted next week. I'm waiting on permission to post the photo rag quilt I finished last week, then it will go up.

The sewing machine is still in the shop, so my original plans of finishing out a new set of hand puppets have been thwarted. They'll have to wait a couple of weeks, but they will eventually make their way to the blog. In the meantime, I'm working on non-sewing projects. I've decided to finally sit down and learn how to crochet, so that will be a task I work on during the Labor Day holiday. It should be an adventure.

I'm also going to be working on some scrapbooking this weekend...something I haven't done in over a year. It's the only hobby that hasn't been crossed off for August, so I'm putting in that effort before September arrives. I'm planning on working on some mini-albums to share during the upcoming month. I have some ideas that I'm really excited to get started on.

You may or may not hear from me for the remainder of the weekend. I'm going to try and pop a post in on Sunday and I'd like to do a project post on Monday, but we'll see what happens. I'm flying by the seat of my pants this weekend and trying to get some relaxation time in along the way. For those of you in the States, have a relaxing Labor Day holiday. For the rest of you...just have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Wrap Up

Bout of Books

And then it was all over. Just like that.

Seriously. It feels like Bout of Books just started and now it's over. Bummer. I did manage to get some good reading in and the last couple of days have been extremely nice, but now I have to go back to regular life. Drat.

Darian made it home tonight and scraped together a little more reading before he headed to bed. I was right though, not a single page of reading the whole time he was gone. I'm in no way surprised.

I didn't do the number of challenges I had originally planned to do, but it was just too nice being able to ignore everything but books. And so I did. If only life could be like that every day.

I said yesterday that meeting my goals was going to be a squeaker. And a I was totally right on that, too. Ready to see how we did?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Saturday Update

Bout of Books

Today was a productive, yet nonproductive day. It was really quite nice. I woke up via alarm and participated (somewhat groggily) in the Bout of Books Twitter chat. It was quite lively and entertaining and I also managed to glean a handful of book recommendations to add to my TBR pile. Ah, the ever growing pile.

After that, I'll be honest...I totally goofed around for a while. I showered and sort of put myself together and then messed around on the internet reading blog posts, checking out Bout of Books bloggers, and playing games on my iPad. That lasted through lunch. It was freaking awesome to more or less do nothing of substance.

I then buckled down and started reading this afternoon...and fell asleep in my book. Oops. This bed is much too comfy. After my brief nap, I did actually manage to finish a book and this evening started on another. So there was progress...just slowly.

I was also going to participate in today's challenge, but I just plain got lazy. The books are upstairs, I'm on the main floor. Ugh. Just laziness. So I bailed out on that and read instead. I'm okay with that.

Only one more day left in the read-a-thon. It always goes so fast. I'm getting closer to my goals, but I don't know if I'll quite get there. I have that one last push to make it there tomorrow. We'll see what happens.

Here's where I managed to get today...

Bout of Books 11: Friday Update

Bout of Books

This one is bound to be a short post...for two reasons:

1. I was right and Darian didn't call me with numbers. I'm assuming he didn't read today anyway, so I'm leaving his stats out for tonight. Unless I hear from him tomorrow, I'm going to just leave his stat section out until Sunday. His current stats are posted on my read-a-thon page along with info on all of our upcoming and past read-a-thon's.

2. I'm super sleepy. I keep trying to fall asleep in my book. It's not a bad book, I'm just terribly worn out. It was a long week.

Believe it or not, I did manage to get two challenges completed today. They were both pretty fun. You can find them in a separate post for today.

Now...let's get to the stats before I pass out on my keyboard. I am not guaranteeing any cohesiveness in my thought pattern for this post. I'm even less sure of my ability to construct a legitimate sentence. I apologize in advance.

Elle's Current Stats 

Currently Reading :

Minutes Read Today: 125 minutes 

Total Time Read: 709 minutes

Goal: 1500 minutes

Pages Read Today: 125 pages

Total Pages Read: 664 pages

Goal: 1500 pages

Books Finished Today: 1

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult : 4 out of 5 stars

Total Books Finished: 2

Goal: 6 books

Yay! I finally managed to finish my second book. Only 4 more to go... At least I should be able to meet my minutes and pages goal. (As long as I do some decent reading this weekend, as planned.)

How's your read-a-thon going? Are you as happy as I am that the weekend is finally here? 

I'll be back in tomorrow for an update. I may also be back for a challenge post depending on what it entails. I will be doing my best to be around for the Twitter chat that is scheduled for 10 a.m. CST. It means cutting my sleeping in time somewhat short, but I plan on taking part from the comfort of my bed, so that will make it a little easier.

See you tomorrow...and...happy reading!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Friday Challenges

It's time for another challenge post! (Sometimes, I think it would be more entertaining to do this blog as a vlog. You miss out on all the weirdo sounds I make in my head when I write this stuff. Okay...maybe it's just entertaining to me. Moving on...)

I'm in a quirky mood today, so we'll see what happens. I have a feeling that I might go crafty crazy when I get home. So wish my sewing machine wasn't on the fritz... I did schmooze Collin into taking it back over to the repair shop for me, so I should have a fully functional machine here shortly. Yay!!

I'll most likely be updating this post during the day since I most likely won't have time to do both challenges in one sitting. So...be sure to check back at the end of the day to see if I've made any changes.

The first challenge for today is hosted over at Christian Bookshelf Reviews. It's a Book Chain Challenge. This means stringing together the titles of four books to make one continuous piece. Here's her example :

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin
(A) Time To Love by Barbara Cameron
Love Comes Home by Ann H. Gabhart
Home To You by Cheryl Wolverton

See how that works?

Alright. Now it's my turn.

Let me tell you, this task is not as easy as it may first appear. But it was fun! So...I couldn't help myself. I have two of them for you.




Challenge #2 is to Recreate a Cover. It's hosted by Spines & Covers

This one was also challenging in it's own way. You see...I can do crafts, but I absolutely, positively have no drawing skills. So recreations using drawing? Totally out of the question. 

Instead, I'm using my pile of photos to help me out. Nothing a little photoshop can't fix...

Here's what I started with...

And after a little reimagination...

That's Darian at age 5 with my brother, Tyler. Look how little he is! (Darian, not Tyler. Tyler's still pretty much the same size.) This is one of my favorite pictures from when he was little.

Another fun one!

I'll be back later tonight with my updates. We'll see if Darian remembers to call with his numbers (and if he even manages to read today). He's taking off after school. I still doubt there will be any reading. Especially since he says that he won't be reading in the car.

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