Books of 2012

Without setting a goal, I read about twice as many books in 2012 as in 2011. Go figure – 3 months off of work plus a definite lack of sleep equals finishing more books! I read the Hunger Games and finished the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogies. I haven’t included crafting books (because there were probably too many to count), cookbooks (I don’t think I read any start to finish) or devotional books. Here’s the list, in case you don’t follow me closely on goodreads:

  1. The Girl Who Played with Fire, Steig Larsson
  2. The Bird Sisters, Rebecca Rasmussen
  3. The Secret Lives of Dresses, Erin McKean
  4. Then She Found Me, Elinor Lipman: so annoying, and they made a movie of it in the 80’s? weird.
  5. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins: did you know she used to be a writer for Nickelodeon?
  6. Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu, Lee Goldberg: Listened on CD, it was like a super long episode of the show
  7. Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling
  8. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  9. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  10. Let’s Panic About Babies, Alice Bradley & Eden Kennedy
  11. Whose Body?, Dorothy Sayers
  12. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Steig Larsson
  13. Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones
  14. The Memory Palace, Mira Bartok
  15. Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis: So amazing
  16. A Grown-up Kind of Pretty, Joshilyn Jackson
  17. Bloom, Kelle Hampton
  18. Orange Jumpsuit, Letters to the God of Freedom, Tarah Leigh-Cobble: Read this, seriously
  19. Oddfellow’s Orphanage, Emily Martin: definitely for younger audiences (so pass it on to the 3rd graders in your life!)
  20. Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist: I relate to her, makes me want to write more
  21. Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing, Kathy Cano-Murillo: light fiction about crafting. why isn’t there more of this?
  22. Bossypants, Tina Fey: may have been Carl’s first book on CD experience
  23. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls: reading this and The Memory Palace too close together is a lot on mental illness of mothers
  24. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Stout: v good, not much else to say
  25. Sarah’s Key, Tatiana de Rosney: made it to book club! twice this year!
  26. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, Vendela Vida
  27. Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks: Fascinating history of Native Americans at Harvard, made me want to know more about the same time period at W&M
  28. Riversong, Tess Thompson
  29. Love Walked In, Maria de los Santos
  30. A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan: listened on CD and didn’t actually finish it. I liked some characters a whole lot more than others, but those characters didn’t appear enough
  31. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer: nice quick read
  32. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro: not at all what I expected, but a really beautifully written book
  33. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood: a little ironic to read on a digital reader, yes?
  34. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walters: I didn’t need both storylines in this book. It was about twice as long as it needed to be.
  35.  Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese: amazing. I’m afraid to read more of what he’s written, because it may not be as good. Super long, well researched, and well crafted all around.
  36. My Berlin Kitchen, Luisa Weiss: probably best read within the context of her blog, but I enjoyed it
  37. Heart of the Matter, Emily Giffin: ugh. no.
  38. Circle of Quilters, Jennifer Chiaverini: listened on my way to work and wished I could be quilting instead
  39. The Lotus Keeper, K.R. Dial: wannabe Grisham, but an important topic
  40. The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff: good book, but I didn’t really want to be reading about polygamy
What’s on your recommended reading list? I think I’m reading about 6 books right now, and the better the baby sleeps the less I’ll be reading, but I’d still love to hear what you think I should add in 2013!

Christmas Crafting

Christmas cards (bonus craft! we made these in MOPS)

I need to record all of the crafty things I made for Christmas that I couldn’t share on my blog before they were opened! I put most of them on instagram as I went since the recipients don’t check that, but I didn’t usually get better pictures before they were gifted. This year was fun because of all the babies to sew for!
baby blocks
I wanted to make blocks for the babies using these silky & textured Riley Blake fabrics I bought last summer. I have enough left to make some blankets for gifts, too. They were a lot more difficult to make than I thought they’d be and they’re pretty lumpy. I probably should have interfaced the silky sides and made them a little smaller so I could have stuffed them more firmly. I still need to sew closed the set of these for Becca.
baby pants
I also made E some pants from Made by Rae’s big butt baby pant pattern in a trailer print because I knew Shannon would like that. The plaid goes in the back (I guess I should have included a tag!). Bonus – now I have the pattern printed in the 6 mo size so I can make some for Becca, too.
Matching dresses for Becca and her cousin
These dresses (Oliver & S knit hopscotch dresses) were the most time-consuming thing I took on this Christmas. I made them matching for the two girls in the 6 month size, even though they probably won’t get a chance to wear them together. I love how they look finished, even with a few imperfections. The fabric is a modkid interlock stripe. I cut out a shirt for Becca too before I put the pattern away, so hopefully that will get sewn soon.
I also made a few baby headbands – I’ve been making them like crazy from these tutorials and using my Sizzix.
Mom requested a yellow toaster cover
My mom requested a yellow toaster cover – it was a pretty specific request on her list (maybe Meagan can make one!) so I took on the challenge. This is the kind of project that justifies a big stash (in my mind) – step 1: pick a pretty yellow fabric, step 2: realize that fussy cutting means you’re going to need more than a 1/2 yard, step 3: pick another piece of fabric a few years old that’s almost exactly the same shade of yellow. This would have turned out better if I had made piping to go around the corners (and maybe interfaced? I just don’t like to!), but it should do the trick. It was good that I double checked the measurements with my dad before I cut my quilted panels because otherwise it would have been too small for sure.
I'm a super awkward jewelry crafter, but this will have to do for my mom's gift (grandkid's initials)
I had these frame charms for awhile from pickyourplum knowing that they’d make a cute Grandma necklace, but not knowing exactly how to do that. I used diamond glaze on scrapbook paper, but the first batch were ruined because I didn’t coat the paper with gel medium first. I bought the rose charms from this etsy shop and a chain from JoAnns. Jewelry making feels really awkward for me – I buy beads and things and then get a huge mental block about how they should be combined, and never seem to have the right findings to make everything come together. Hopefully it doesn’t fall apart too quickly.
Fabric stack. We'll see how this one works out.
Slowly trimming dog ears
I started cutting fabric for a quilt for my brother, too, but it was taking a long time so I have permission from him to delay! I still may end up simplifying the design – it’s going to be a triangle quilt so maybe I just won’t make the triangles go all the way to the edges of the rows.


Noodlehead Tote

One of last weekend's projects

I made this 241 tote over Thanksgiving weekend when we decided not to travel anywhere. It probably would have been smarter to be working on my Christmas gift list, but this pattern had been on my list forever and it was ready to happen right then! The fabric is from Amy Butler’s Love line, and the squares are Anna Maria Horner. I didn’t include any zippers or magnetic clasps, but I did include the inside pocket.I used home dec fabric instead of interfacing on the inside. I’m planning many more of these in my head because I love the way the fabrics are feature together in this bag. I haven’t started using it yet because I feel a little silly about carrying something handmade to work (I don’t want to out my secret as a crazy crafter, although I’ve worn a few handmade things to the office).