The Holiday After Groundhog Day

I think we all know what’s coming up, that holiday all about love. It seems like every year there is always some controversy and about Valentine’s Day. I’ve heard people who are single saying they feel left out and people in relationships say things like, “We should celebrate love every day!”

While I don’t disagree with celebrating love every day, I also think we should be thankful every day, but no one seems to have an issue with Thanksgiving. We should probably be doing a lot more things every day. And while I’m not against Valentine’s Day I don’t do anything huge to celebrate either. Last year David make a special breakfast before work, and in the evening I made a nicer-ish dinner. I used my pink and red fiesta-ware plates and we called it a day. Before David and I were dating my mom took pretty good care of me with care packages in college and a little gift in the morning growing up. So, my Valentine’s experiences haven’t been rough.

I’ve enjoyed looking through some of the funny Valentine’s Cards that Etsy has and I’m sure you’ll find them funny no matter which side you fall on the debate.

Funny Valentine Card - Valentine's Day Card - I Still Love You

From Roo and Bear

Discount Chocolate Day Anti Valentines Day Card with Envelope blank inside

From Buck and Libby

If you are into gifting for Valentine’s Day or you just want to treat yourself to something special, check out this wristlet from Bobbin and Co. 

Red Wristlet with Music and Swirls- Clutch/Wallet/Zipper Closure

The red swirls make a bright, pretty outside

And there is a music-note inside. And a bonus- if you give this to a music lover, they can play the music inside. Ha!

I first made a set of these wristlets for my friend Gina’s wedding (take a look at her brand new blog Mrs. Dessert Monster). I had a little leftover fabric when I was finished with her order, and was happy to put a few extra together for the shop.

Happy Friday, Happy Valentine’s Day next week, or Happy Anti-Valentine’s. What are your thoughts? Love the holiday or love? Hate it? No real opinion? Let me know in the comments.

Not the happiest books

It’s book review time again with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature Linkup.

Lately I’ve been reading more avidly than before. Hence the slower rate of blog posts, less clean home, etc. I’m going through some long ones, so I feel like I should have more to “show” for my reading time, but alas, I’ll just have to look at word counts to feel like an adequate reader.

I finally made it through A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. The depth and level of detail is pretty amazing and I’m hooked into the story. Only semi-complaint, these books are LONG. I was reading the book on my nook and wondering why I was being such a slow reader, then I saw a hard copy of A Clash of Kings at the bookstore and understood that it was much lengthier than my nook would have led me to believe. There were more differences between the book and show for this volume and it was fun to make comparisons as I read. Since I read two books in this series in a row I’m now going on a bit of a break to squeeze a few short novels in between.

Next on the list is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I had heard good things about this book, and it’s petty new so I was excited to be on the front end of reading it. I had heard that, yes it’s another post-apocalyptic story but you won’t want to miss this one. I did enjoy that this was a story in the post-apocalyptic genre that was for adults, it’s filled with Shakespeare, and Star Trek references, and it did a good job going back and forth between time before the deadly virus hit and the years following. While I appreciated the different points in time and eventually seeing the stories connect, there was a little too much back and forth that I didn’t quite feel like I spent enough time with any of the characters to fully appreciate them.

In progress: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Stand, and The Secret Keeper.

I’ve also got a huge library stack that I’ll never get through. Has anyone read The Queen of the Tearling? The library copy had a beautiful spine and a ribbon bookmark that pulled me in. I’m trying to decide if I should make that one a priority in my tall stack of books.

Etsy Favorites: Harry Potter Style

Over the last year I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books on audio. I’ve read all of the books multiple times, but this is my first time listening my way through the series.

To say that I love this series is an understatement.

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Throwback to the midnight release at Barnes and Noble when I got the 7th book.

Anyway, I’m currently listening to the last book in the series and I’m on a bit of a Harry Potter kick. Here are a few of my favorite Harry Potter items I’ve found on Etsy:

 

Flying Snitch Locket, Shiny Gold with Silver Wings

There are a lot of Golden Snitch jewelry options out there, but I like this locket option from Pretty Little Charms UK the best. You’ll find other items for your favorite fiction series at this shop too.

 

 

I’m loving the creative take of the Harry Potter vintage travel poster from 716 designs. Now, to convince my husband that we need to have a Harry Potter themed home.

 

 

Harry Potter Bracelet - When in Doubt Go To the Library - Hermione Bracelet - Hand Stamped Cuff Bracelet

This “When in doubt, go to the library” bracelet from Spiffing Jewelry says it all.

 

Harry Potter Necklace Harry Potter Quote Necklace Harry Potter Jewelry Hogwarts Necklace Hogwarts Jewelry Book Quote Necklace Quote Jewelry

What I love about this necklace is that at first glance it could pull off as a cute little piece that would stand on it’s own, but upon closer inspection you get the “Wingardium Leviosa” spell and a happy connection with Potter fans everywhere. Find other elegant pieces from Dreams by the Sea.

 

 

Dumbledore 'One can never have enough socks.' Harry Potter Necklace, Harry Potter Jewelry

Socks are my favorite article of clothing (even though I don’t get to wear them as much as I want living in Florida) and I couldn’t agree more with Dumbledore’s statement. Find this necklace and similar others at Beneath Glass.

Beyond Retail Therapy, the Purpose Behind a Purchase

I’m not a huge spender. Most of the books I read are from the library, I’ll usually pick a redbox movie night over a trip out to the theatre, and I’m making an effort to keep a pared down wardrobe.

That being said, sometimes it is fun to splurge on something new, and often something that we are really pleased with has value beyond the item itself.

Example A:

My Running Shoes

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big runner, but during the cooler months in FL I do like to hit the pavement for 20-30 minutes a few times a week. In addition to keeping my back safe with proper shoes, these have also been a motivation for exercise.

I spent money on nice shoes, so I feel like I have to use them. Also, something about putting them on gets me in workout mode and makes me feel like a legitimate runner. Sure, I spent a little more on these that I would on the average pair of shoes, but they have kept me running and make me feel good when I do so.

Example B:

Bolts of Fabric

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Have you every purchased an entire bolt of fabric? Let me tell you, it’s pretty exciting.

In the past I have not needed too much fabric at a time, but with starting up Bobbin and Co. there were a few things I could buy in larger quantities.

The first time I left the fabric store with the whole bolt I walked out with an extra bounce in my step. The bolt of fabric meant that I really did know how to sew, and I was in fact going to open an Etsy shop. After that initial investment I definitely wasn’t going to turn back.

Sometime a piece of fabric is more than just a piece of fabric. Have you gotten anything new recently that meant a little more than what was on the surface?

Keeping all the stuff in check: Organization

Often we (I) get in this trap of thinking, if only I had one more room in my home, one more day to a weekend, one more hour in day, then all my problems would be solved. The unfortunate reality is that once we have that one more thing, we’re left wanting something else.

Would it be great if I had a whole room where I could keep my sewing machine up and  have a Pinterest worthy organizational display? Yeah, sure I would love that, but the fact is that isn’t my current reality, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that I don’t need all that space.

Want to see a picture of my Etsy shop?

 

Here it is:

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No, not every single thing I need fits in here, but most of the day to day tools and materials I use are easily stowed here, right in this chest in the living room.

Insiders view:

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Nope, the sewing machine is not out all the time, but all I have to do is walk it about 7 steps over to my desk to get to work.

My secret weapon for some of this organization is the dollar store. Selections often vary, but usually I can find storage containers for exactly what I need.

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When I get new fabrics I like to first wash them, and then press and cut them to size. My cut fabrics then hang out in these containers so when I’m ready to sew, I can get started quickly.

My favorite organizational feat so far has been this basket:

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I keep whatever current project I’m working on in here. As you can see, I’m making more of the cute bike wristlets, so I’ve got all the pins, scissors, and cut materials in there. When I’m ready to get to work I only need to pull out the sewing machine, this basket and I’m all set.

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There are a few other spots in the apartment where I keep items that are not used on a daily basis. See that green bin towards the left on the shelf? That’s where all the scrap fabric goes. I’ve also got a bolt of interfacing and a bit left of a bolt of tan fabric, those are tall and thin to store on a closet shelf, and I don’t buy too much fabric ahead of time, so that’s not a big concern for storage.

Bonus feature:

I’m guessing that most Etsy shop owners have more than one DIY interest, so aside from the shop there a few other things to keep track of.

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I have a few paper crafting/stamping supplies, and they easily fit on the bottom of my book shelf. It’s starting to get a little crowded, but for now it works.

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And finally, one of my first handmade fascinations was knitting. As any knitter who has made more than two projects knows, it’s pretty easy to accumulate excess yarn. The solution here was to buy a basket. Initially, I had lots of yarn tucked away in plastic bags and I hardly touched it. New rule: I was allowed to get a basket and whatever could fit in the basket could stay. Obviously not everyone has to follow my plan, but this helped keep potential excess in check. Extra yarn was donated.

My favorite way to limit excess is to have a set amount of space for stuff and then decide whatever doesn’t fit in that specific box or on a certain shelf is something I don’t need.

How do you stay organized? Any good tips on deciding what to keep or purge when all the stuff starts getting out of hand?