Monday, January 22, 2018

Other New Year's Resolution Updates

I told you all how my quit is going, I bought the fabric and started cutting the diamonds - here are a few other updates on other resolutions!

- Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge
I learned that two of my younger sisters also decided to do this challenge, which forced me to pick some books towards my resolution, instead of reading the books in the rut! So, for a book of poetry, a play, or a collection of essays, I'm reading "Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give" by Ada Calhoun, as my collection of essays (thought I might use this as creative nonfiction and read a different collection of essays - we'll see!). For a book recommended by someone with great taste, I read John Scalzi's RedShirts, recommended by Wil Wheaton on his podcast.

- Daily Audio Bible
I have listened to 22 days of the DAB, but not always on the day I'm supposed to be listening to it (usually Sunday's DAB slips into Monday). It's been a lot of fun so far to listen to Genesis and hear the details of stories I know from Sunday School, but haven't read in a while, or to remember that in between the Sunday School stories are other weird things, like Lot's daughters giving up on humanity and laying with their own father, or Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law, tricking him into doing as he promised by her. Lots of interesting stories in the Bible!

- Start a Podcast 
Well, I finally used my mic and figured out that if I speak a little lower than I normally do, I won't hate my voice as much. And I have a list of podcast episode topics lined up! So hopefully this will be coming to your ears soon. =)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

You Resolved, Now Commit: Learning to Quilt

One way to make sure you stick to things is to "put your money where your mouth is". As seen in my last post, I resolved to make a quilt this year. I have resolved this before and not followed through, so in an effort to follow through, I decided to buy the materials so that the investment of money would help incentive (read: guilt) me into doing it.

I had a Michael's coupon from buying my little sister a birthday gift, so today I went to their store, I found this book of simple quilt patterns (that specifically states that it is designed to help you use a craft store prepared 12 pack of fabrics) and flipped through it. I wanted a book rather than a Pinterest design because 1) I can't lose it online accidentally and 2) it's been reviewed by an editor (I've had many Pinterest fails over the years and didn't want to invest a lot of money into a Pinterest fail quilt).

I landed on the orange pattern above (called 12 Carrots) with the diamond shaped blocks. I love argyle fabric and this had a vaguely argyle feel. My sister Bethany's favorite color is orange, so I have the goal of finishing this quilt to give to her when she  graduates college next May (technically, I'm supposed to finish by December to meet my New Year's resolution, but I decided that if I just get the top done by December, and do bating next spring, I'll count it).

I am not a quilter now (I just read a lot about it - looking at you, Elm Creek Quilt book series!) so I had to get all the fabrics as well. I'm told that eventually, every quilter gets a huge fabric stash, and I guess I'm starting one, because finding orange squares that I liked was kind of hard! I ultimately bought two 12-packs of fabric, pulled out the ones with orange tones, and then got additional single orange pieces to get the 12 I needed for this project (the photo makes some of them look kind of brown due to my carpet - they're not, I promise!). Then I sorted the rest of the mixed fabrics by color for potential future quilt projects, if this goes OK and I want to try another one from the pattern book. Boxes were 50% off, so I got a trunk-like box with script printed on it to store all of my new stuff.

So, I'm now officially committed to Operation Learn To Quilt. I'll keep you all updated as it progresses throughout the year.

PS - this post was heavily inspired by my friend Natalie over at
She is way more coordinated with her sewing and general crafting than I am, and also a much more regular blogger, so if you liked this post, follow her regularly for more of this - because it's unlikely you'll get it from me. :)

Monday, January 1, 2018

My 2018 Resolutions

It's time for the annual New Year's Resolutions post! And this year, being 2018, marks the TENTH year of my telling you all about my goals to better myself in the upcoming year (see the first resolutions post, made at the end of 2008, right here:

I have always been a list maker and a very goal-oriented person, so new year's resolutions are fun for me, and not the drag they are for everyone else.

1) Make a Twin Bed sized Quilt
Very much inspired by a woman at my church, I have resolved to use the old sewing machine I have in my basement and make a quilt by the end of this year. Just one! Hopefully I can pull it off, I have 12 months to learn and do it!

2) Be a Better Neighbor (specifically by knowing the name of everyone on my street)
This one is inspired by the fact that Ryan and I have joined a group of local Christians to pray for where we live, and I want to actually know the names of the people we're praying for. My neighborhood is actually pretty social, but I am not so this is a stretch for me.

3) Do a sprint distance triathlon (Swim 750 meters, Bike 20 KM, run 5 km)
I can already do the bike and run portions (separately though, not on the same day!) but I'm a terrible swimmer, so I need to practice swimming and get fit enough to do them all in one day.

4) Sheryl Sandberg's journal challenge
Sheryl Sandberg's resolution last year was to write 3 moments of joy every day, and I loved it so I've resolved to do it myself.

5) The Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
I love to read but tend to get stuck in a rut with the kinds of books I read. Challenges like this one pull me out of the rut.

6) Make pasta from scratch
Not a new resolution, but one that I'm hoping to try again this year!

7) Daily Audio Bible
I have time at work to listen to podcasts while programming, and so I'm going to try the daily audio bible app in addition to the podcasts, since my Dad uses it regularly. I'm hoping an app keeps me more accountable.

8) Use my 3D printer to make my own custom designed item
Ryan got me a 3D printer for Christmas, and I'm super excited. I'm resolving to make my own object and print it (not just print designs from the internet)

9) Start a podcast
I've had an idea for a long time to start a podcast and I even have a fancy mic for it, so I just need to get over hating the sound of my own voice recorded and start doing it! By the end of 2018, I want at least the first episode recorded, edited and released.

10) Clean Our Garage/Organize the Storage Areas
Ryan and I have a large house (for two people, at least) that can get messy and disorganized. We just recently started using the basement space. Now I want us to use the garage regularly, and that means I need to keep it neat! So my goal is to organize and clean the garage and other storage spaces so that we can use our house to it's maximum potential.