Stash Enhancement Saturday: The Bookworm Life Planner

Today’s review combines two of my favorite loves – reading and planning. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life. Some of my earliest memories involve my great grandmother taking me to the library and coming home with armfuls of books to read each week. I am sure getting to feed the ducks that lived in the pond behind the library added to the allure, but books became my happy place at a very young age and it continues today.

Given my love of paper products almost rivals my love of reading, when one of my favorite etsy shops combined the two together, it was a given I’d be forking over my money. I present The Bookworm Life planner by Peanut Butter Taco!

This planner was made for book lovers. If you know anyone that has a to be read list longer than they will ever be able to get through, with piles of books on their nightstand, or in multiple book clubs, then you have found their next birthday gift. You’re welcome.

The first couple of pages allows for list making. How about adding the books you want to read in this bookshelf? Or maybe a list of upcoming releases you don’t want to forget about? The Bookworm Life planner has you covered.

After you have set goals for the year, the planner moves into the monthly pages. Each month gets another listing opportunity along with a quote. The monthly calendar has boxes large enough to easily fit most quarter and half box planner stickers. The monthly version has one 7 box page along with a dot grid page after the monthly calendar, and weekly versions have enough of the 7 box pages to last a month if you wanted to use this planner as your main planner. Each month ends with an opportunity to wrap up your reading progress, as well.

Behind the 12 months of the year, several different summary pages are included. First, revisit those goals you made at the beginning of the year. Did you read any stinkers you just couldn’t finish? Or do you feel like some books were so good they deserved awards? That’s covered, too. Books turned into movies and favorite quotes get dedicated pages, and there are several pages to record reviews.

It is clear that a lot of thought went into designing the functionality of this planner by someone that loves books.

When I ordered this planner, my plan was to actually take it apart and use my favorite pages in my regular planner. I figured I’d just uncoil both planners, pick out the pages I wanted, and then recoil it back up. After receiving this, though, I have reconsidered that as an option. The Bookworm Lufe planner works really well as a self contained reading log. It has a distinctive look that I think would be jarring mixed in with my other planner, so I’ll be using this one intact. It is bright and colorful, which makes for happy pages, but the design aesthetic may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I also worry a little about the coil, as it is a little on the flimsy side, but as long as I don’t throw it into my tote, it should be fine.

Overall, I would recommend this as a gift for the book lover in your life, or for yourself if that book lover is you.

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The Landmark Project: CHL# 859

CHL# 859 VON SCHMIDT STATE BOUNDARY MONUMENT

This boundary monument, a cast iron column erected in 1873, marks the southern terminus of the California-Nevada State boundary established by A. W. Von Schmidt’s 1872-73 survey. Von Schmidt’s line, the first officially recognized oblique state line between California and Nevada, erred slightly, the boundary was later corrected to the present line, 3/4 mile to the north.

Descriptions of each landmark are from the California Office of Historical Preservation website.

Christine’s Note: I have been looking for this one for literally years. The map I was working from had the location just slightly off. On the way to visit my mom this weekend, I randomly noticed an area roped off on the side of the highway about a half of a mile before I normally stop to look. Voila! There it was.

Stash Enhancement Saturday: WWKIPD @ the Purl Soho Warehouse

Today was World Wide Knit in Public Day. On the second Saturday in June every year, knitters across the land come out to prove to doubters everywhere that people besides older grandmas actually enjoy this hobby. I knit in public all the time, so I don’t really plan around this event, but as someone that has an 83 year old grandma living inside of her, I also don’t know that I am helping the case when it comes to proving knitting is for the younger, more hip set. Regardless, WWKIPD brought me something special this year – an opportunity to peek inside the Purl Soho warehouse.

Some people might not be aware that Purl Soho, one of the most well known yarn shops in the country, actually keeps their warehouse all the way across the United States in sunny Southern California. It is housed in a nondescript industrial looking building in Irvine with only a simple sign on the lawn giving any indication of what the warehouse holds. If you aren’t into fiber arts, you’d probably never guess that behind the doors is magic. Apologies for the poor picture taken from my car at the red light.

The warehouse had a WWKIPD event this morning, so the doors were open, which is quite rare for a weekend. Usually they are only open some weekdays, and only for a few hours. I believe there might be a secret code or handshake involved. This makes it impossible for anyone with a 9-5 type job to stop in. I know, I’ve tried. I have even contemplated taking a personal day so that I could stop in. Today was my chance!

Don’t be discouraged by the very warehouse feel once you enter the doors. If it’s on the website, you’ll find it amongst the tracks. Today you also had to navigate around tables and chairs set up for the event, but I was still able to walk up and down the aisles and look at everything up close.

While the warehouse will never replace my LYS, it was still very worth the visit. A non-knitting friend went with me, and discovered she wanted to try weaving on a loom. Other items on the shelves included embroidery, needle felting, fabric and some jewelry making supplies. Where the Purl Soho experience hits me is in their color combinations they pull together in their kits. I may or may not make the baby blanket pattern that the kit I purchased was made for, but the colors included will make any project I knit beautiful.

Here’s my loot for the day.

I picked up a Purl Sohi zippered bag, the latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, and the Four Points Baby Blanket in the Soap color combo on a Linen Quill base.

The sweater on the cover of Pom Pom is the Tesserae Tee by Marjorie Martin, and it is 100% why I picked up this magazine. Inside are several other cute patterns and it is well worth the cost of the edition.

The yarn is Purl Soho’s own Linen Quill, which is a fingering weight blend of wool, alpaca and linen. The Soap bundle includes a skein each of Honey Pink, Wheat Flower, Peony Pink and Rose Granite. My pictures do not do the colors justice.

If you are ever in Irvine on a random weekday, just when the timing is right, I highly recommend a stop in. It won’t replace going to the New York store, but it will hold you over until your next trip east.

FO Friday: California Love (With a Bonus Knitter in the Wild at Pinners)

I actually had time to craft and finished a long overdue project! Thanks to a kit by Details2Enjoy, it is super easy to make, too.

Back in March I went to Pinners with some friends, and I had intended to write a recap for the blog shortly thereafter. It was right in the middle of my busy couple of months at the end of grad school, and then too much time went by before I had a chance to do the recap justice. As a result, I abandoned it.

A couple weekends ago I had time to have a craft day with friends, and whipped up this piece of art in a matter of minutes. Since I was going to post the finished project, I figured I’d go ahead and do the recap now since Pinners played a pivotal role in my ability to actually achieve a finished object. Maybe someone on the fence about going to a Pinners near them will find the details helpful.

First, some deets on the project. Details2Enjoy has an ingenious concept that I came across at their marketplace booth. They sell box pocket frames with magnetic tops. Remove the top, slide in a new project, and voila! New art to enjoy whenever you want a change. In addition to the frames, which come in two sizes, they sell kits to make various different mixed media 3D signs. You add paint, put the piece together to your liking, insert your creation into the frame and you are done!

My kit came with the back board, the wood cut piece in the shape of California, the wood cut piece of the heart, and the flowers. I painted the back board white, the state outline black, and the heart red. One or two coats of basic acrylic paint from Michael’s and a foam brush was all that was needed. I thought I was going to have to adhere the wood with E6000 or some other adhesive, but the wood came with adhesive backing already! I just had to peel and stick. I love the end of result and will definitely be buying more kits. I already have two picked out that will look great in my kitchen.

As for the rest of Pinners, this was my first time attending, so I didn’t know what to expect. We signed up for four classes, and if I go again next year I will cut that down by one. More time to explore the marketplace would have been better. The classes were mostly good quality and well worth the price I paid.

First up was a hand stamped charm bracelet taught by Rita Pannulla. The class kit included an alpha set, hammer and various other accessories by ImpressArts. It was an excellent value, the kit surely would have cost twice as much had I bought it elsewhere on my own. I had never hand stamped before, and Rita was an excellent instructor. To practice, she had us choose a four letter word to practice before stamping on the actual charm. Since I apparently still have the humor of a juvenile, I chose the first four letter word that came to my mind.

Once we had the basics down, we stamped on a charm to add to a bracelet. I created joy, because that’s what I bring to everyone that knows me. I am also very modest.

The second class I was actually disappointed in. While I very much liked my end product, I didn’t actually learn anything in the class. We were given pre cut wood pieces, some paint and some glue. The instructor talked the entire time, but not about the actual project. I now know way too much about her relationship with her family, though. I guess she had to fill the time, since we literally just had to paint and glue which took all of 5 or 10 minutes.

The next class instantly scared me. When your class kit comes with gloves and an apron, things are about to go down, am I right?!

It actually was my favorite class of the day! Beth Mitchell from PBCreates taught us how to turn a slab of wood into a chalkboard charcuterie board. Look how amazing this turned out!

If you are in the San Diego area, definitely sign up for one of the classes at their workshop.

The last class of the day was a farmhouse card making class taught by Nicole Wiley. I thought Nicole was the most prepared of all of the instructors. Our class kits were assembled in a logical order, her steps were easy to follow, and she really engaged participants in a dialogue. I wouldn’t say I learned a lot, but I have been paper crafting for decades so I didn’t really expect to. It was fun to just zone out and make cards. Look how cute they turned out!

I mentioned earlier in the post that I wish I had more time in the marketplace. Seeing small business make amazing things is half the fun, so here are two of my other favorites from the limited time I had to explore.

Chalkboard and lettering were popular at the show. More than one of us bought chalkboard markers from a local Riverside company called Loddie Doddie. They had cute chalkboards and accessories like magnets for your board, but the pens were the hot ticket.

I also think we all went home with a Pasadena company’s caramels. Bee-kissed Caramels makes her candy with honey instead of corn syrup, and they are delicious. You’ll want to buy more than one package if you plan to share. My package didn’t even make it home.

So, that’s my long-winded recap of Pinners. It was definitely a fun day, and going with crafty girlfriends really enhanced the experience. If a show happens to come to your area, I highly recommend attending and signing up for at least a couple of classes.

Knitter in the Wild: Go Wild in Las Vegas

My recap of my Go Wild experience is a little behind because I had to take a quick time out upon my return to finish grad school. That’s right, peeps, I am officially done! Mini wave in celebration of me! Now that I am back to only having the day job to work around, I am hoping I will have more time for adventures, and as a result, more things to post about.

So let’s start the Vegas recap with the touristy things first. As required when in Vegas, I first made my obligatory stop at White Castle. Because that’s just what you do. After filling my belly with mini burgers and onion chips, I took my onion breath to my favorite stop for this entire trip – the Neon Museum!

Part roadside oddity, part walk through Vegas history, the Neon Museum has old neon signs from around town. I had to stop in during the day, but my preference would be to go at dusk when the lights can be turned on and you get to see the neon glow in it’s full effect. They have a strict camera policy, so make sure you check the fine print before you stop in, but photos taken with your phone for personal use are totally allowed. These were some of my favorite pieces.

Later that day, I stopped in for registration at Go Wild. If you are a reader of mine that doesn’t know what Go Wild is, it’s a planner conference put on by Wild for Planners, the admin team behind the Facebook group Planners Gone Wild. Decorative planners have been wildly popular for a while – I like to think of it as a cross between scrapbooking and planning. Anyway, at registration we were given our first round of swag.

The little selfie light is the coolest thing I didn’t even know I needed. I also checked into the hotel – this year it was at the Hard Rock Hotel, and I got this spectacular view from my room.

And check out the view at night!

Thursday night was the welcome party, hosted by Krissyanne Designs, complete with karaoke. I stopped in for a while, but the party scene isn’t really my jam, so I called it a night after a drink or two and watching some hilarious singing and dancing.

Friday was the first day of the conference and while many people get up early to stand in line in hopes of getting their preferred table, I take a much more laid back approach, preferring to roll in at the end of the line so that I get to sleep in. All of the tables are great tables, you really can’t choose wrong. I lucked out and got to sit at a Cocoa Daisy sponsored table, which seemed to have been fate, as I just recently subscribed to some of their kits. (A review of their sub will come soon.) Look at how beautiful the table was and how generous they were.

The speakers for day one is quite the list. First up was a Boss panel featuring Irene Kwong, Mica May, Tesia Royer, Belinda Seline, Keshia Glam, Michelle Askin and Kaylyn Minix. I find panels to be too short, there is never enough time to get to know each panelist. There were a couple of points made that really stuck with me, however, mostly related to perfectionism holding you back, getting out of your comfort zone, and saving early work. Almost every group of speakers brought swag for the group, so here was the first drop.

I probably need to apologize for the poor quality of the swag photos. There’s only so much you can do in a conference room or in your hotel room.

Next up was Teresa Collins. I didn’t know very much about Teresa before her chat, so it was interesting to hear about how she has overcome so many challenges in her life, including a stroke(!), as she has built her brand. The swag included a notebook and supplies to create what I think was supposed to be a goal oriented planner, but we mostly just listened to her story. I’d like to point out my swag was accurate, though. I am magic!

Next up was a fireside chat with Erin Condren. I always enjoy listening to Erin, and I liked that this year it was a more informal Q&A than a talk. The upcoming opening of her local store (go Irvine!) came up, as well as plans for other stores, new products, and a future option to customize the Life Planner. This last bit has me most excited, as I actually Frankenplanned my ECLP this year to add in extra note pages. EC is always generous with the swag, and this year’s included a sleep mask, too.

After the fireside chat, Erin got to turn the tables and moderate another panel discussion, called the All In panel. The lack of time to get to know each panelist again reminded me how much I would prefer fewer panels, as I really wanted to hear more from this group. In particular, I could listen to Amy Tangerine for days and never get bored. Joining Amy was Jen Dufore, Jen Ross, Jen Robin, Joy Cho and Jaaack Jack.

This was the last panel before lunch, and this is when the PGW swag bag was dropped. This bag is made possible by all of the shop owners that participate in PGW, who generously donate items for the bag. This is a ton of work that should not go unnoticed. I can’t wait until I have a little more time to visit each shop that donated and find some new places to spend some cash.

During lunch, I had a little bit of time to wander around the sponsor area and look at the displays set up. I was happy to see See Jane Work enter into the planner market, the Russell + Hazel/Kikki K booth had some cute products, Filofax had a clever photo OP, and of course, Erin Condren had the pop up shop. There was also a balloon wall for pictures and even the elevators got some decoration.

After lunch we got to listen to a live taping of Cindy Guentert-Baldo’s podcast, The Uncurated Life. You get to listen to it, too, because it will be released on Monday, May 13th, in her podcast feeds everywhere. I was surprised that the podcast was more interactive than anticipated and we did some exercises that required us to get vulnerable with our tablemates. One more swag drop to conclude the day, and it was a set of Powersheets for all of us.

Friday night we were on our own, and I’d like to tell you I spent it resting up for a jam packed day two, but I was in Vegas! My sister drove up for the night and instead we went to dinner and Magic Mike Live. I’m not even a little bit embarrassed about it, either. 🤣🤣🤣 I did take pics, and in particular I took strategically timed Boomerangs, but that’s for another blog on another day. A private one. You know what I’m sayin’? We also gambled a bit, and I walked away with the huge winnings of $0.60. Huge, I say!

After too little sleep, day two came with the first speaker of Kristin Damian, founder and Chief Sticker Scientist at Krissyanne Designs. Her workshop focused on setting goals and chasing your dreams, so I mapped out the steps of a long time dream I have been harboring – buying a house. We’ll see if the workshop helps me get there. Of course, there was related swag.

After mapping out our dreams, we got to my most anticipated workshop, a workshop led by Amber Kemp-Gerstel, otherwise known as Damask Love on the internet. You might recognize her from when she was on NBC’s show Making It! If you don’t follow Amber on IG, I highly recommend it. She is very entertaining and I laugh out loud on the regular following her stories. We made cards and envelopes using her new product line available in Jo-Ann stores called Wild Card. Go check it out! We also all got Xyron sticker makers. I still have my old school X shaped Xyron, and I have to say I like the old set up better.

After Amber, Stephanie Fleming, the creative mind behind MAMBI and the Happy Planner shared her fitness journey and how she used her Happy Planner to help with her journey to a healthier life. Stephanie is just so real and likable – I love listening to her speak. She shared a little swag, too.

Once Stephanie was done, it was time for the keynote address from none other than Terry Ellis of En Vogue. You guys! She’s one of us. Not just ‘yeah, I craft a little’ but full on, has a craft room and a planner stack to prove it. I present to you Terry’s craft room!

Not only that, she sang for us. It was truly delightful to get to know her a little and I very much appreciated how she let her guard down with us. One last swag drop included a tub from Michael’s with notebooks, pens, stickers and washi. As it was very similar to the tub we received last year, I didn’t bother with a picture. And by very similar, I mean some items were identical.

My last event was getting to watch the pitches in the Michaels Make Room, as I was lucky enough to get to snag one of the limited tickets. When I explain to people not in attendance what this was, I describe it as a nice version of Shark Tank, just with pitching items that might show up on the shelves of Michael’s in the future. We were asked to keep things mostly confidential, so I’ll just say this – I am so very proud of the small business owners that made their pitch. I wish that Michael’s had room to choose them all for the development of product lines, even if that isn’t realistic.

Go Wild ends with Planjama, a big party on the final night, but due to my final grad school residency I had to leave early and missed it. This makes the second year in a row where I missed Planjama, but there is always next year!

Knitter in the Wild: Seattle

True confession time. I wrote the blog post below back in December. I was so overwhelmed with finishing grad school that apparently I didn’t actually publish the post. (A 4 day capstone residency in a couple of weeks and I am done!) Imagine my surprise when I opened up the blog to write a new post about Pinners to find a long dusty draft staring back at me. Now, this might embarrass some people enough that they would just scrap the post all together and delete it, hiding their shame from the world. But nope, not me. I am going to go ahead and publish it as is, 4 months later, without even editing it to reflect a more current intro. This is real life, my readers. My real exhausted and sleep deprived life. Hopefully everyone will still enjoy the photos anyway. And with that shame now exposed, here we go…

Earlier this month I took a quick trip up to Seattle to visit friends and to check out the city as I had never been. I was only there for 48 hours, but I managed to fit in a lot in those hours!

I feel like I went to Pike Market multiple times – mostly for food. Of course I walked through it for the flying fish, the gum wall, and to check out all the vendors, but I feel like I the food is what kept bringing me back. Mac and cheese at Beechers and breakfast at The Crumpet Shop were highlights, and I even stopped in the first Starbucks despite my aversion to coffee.

Two museum stops included MoPop and the Chuhily Garden and Glass. MoPop was a highlight for me because it included Pearl Jam and Nirvana exhibits, which made my early 90s grunge girl heart sing. I was also pleasantly surprised by how interested I was in the SciFi and Fantasy exhibits. SciFi really isn’t my jam for TV or movie watching, but I can still appreciate the memorabilia. They had a light saber, for heavens sakes! When you visit, make sure to high five Chris Cornell on the way out!

The Chuhily museum was breathtaking. I had admired Chuhily’s work on the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas for years, so getting to see so much of his work up close was really inspiring. I’ll let you decide which picture below I dubbed “The Flying Penis.”

A trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without an adventurous Uber ride in the rain to see the troll and, of course, the Space Needle.

The only purpose of my trip was to visit friends and see the city a little, so I feel like both were big successes. I would definitely go back to Seattle again. Maybe next time I’ll even be able to visit Mt. Rainier and get a better pic than the one I captured from my seat on the plane.

FO Friday: More Hats Upon Hats Upon Hats

Over the winter holidays I finished two more hats as a gift for a friend’s granddaughter.  Because they were smaller in size, they both knit up quickly.  This was a good thing, because boy am I tired of knitting hats.  😁

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Both hats were made in the same colorways so that they could be paired with the owl topper from the DMC Top This! kits.  Cascade 220 Superwash was used in the Mint, Aran and Brambleberry colorways.  The Brambleberry is just a tad darker than the owl, so I made sure that each hat ended with Mint closest to the topper.  Both patterns have been used before, so if you are a regular reader of the blog, you’ll recognize the Golden Pear and Bubble Up Beanie patterns.  US6 and US7 needles were used.

 

FO Friday: Golden Pear Hat

While the blog was busy focusing on the advent calendar palooza, I actually finished a knitting project!  I had been meaning to knit a baby gift for a coworker that was pregnant, but I kept putting it off.  I procrastinated so much I actually had to finish knitting it and weaving in ends while on the train to work the day before she started maternity leave.  Despite all my planning efforts, I just can’t seem to get ahead of the curve on making gifts.

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This hat uses the Golden Pear pattern by Melissa Thomson, but I chose to use only two colors instead of the three the pattern calls for.  I did this because I knew I was going to use the lamb topper from a DMC Top This kit, and the lamb really only has two colors in it.  (Side note, I am finishing up the exact same pattern for an owl topper, and I used three colors in that one.  Don’t be afraid to modify patterns when needed!)  I am not a huge fan of the yarn in the Top This kits, though, so I swapped out Cascade 220 Superwash in Laurel Green and Aran colorways.  I used US6 needles for the ribbing and US7 needles for the body of the hat.

I really enjoyed this pattern and I think this might be my go to baby gift for awhile.  Perhaps I will learn from experience and knit a few to have on hand for baby showers in the future and I won’t have to spend my train ride weaving in ends at the last minute again.  Probably not, though.

Advent Calendar Palooza: Cricketmas Finale

Merry Christmas,  everyone!  Today is my final advent calendar post.  I am looking forward to returning to the regularly scheduled programming of the blog filled with pictures and finished projects, but this month has been fun.  The advent calendar palooza was filled with surprises, even if it was a challenge to post every day around my schedule.

Today, Cricketmas gets the final palooza post because they were the only calendar that included a bonus Christmas gift.  And today, Cricket Paper Co gave to me, a full weekly kit!

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This was a particular delight because I buy Cricket Paper Co kits all the time.  I just like Erica’s design aesthetic and choice of artwork.  The fact that it matches the same color palette as the rest of the Cricketmas stickers means I will be able to stretch this kit out over multiple weeks.

Let’s assess Cricketmas as a whole.  I paid $45 for the calendar and got a sticker album, 2 washi rolls, a luggage tag, pin, magnet, deco clip, washi card, 2 sticky note pads, an adhesive pocket, 2 decals and many, many stickers in that album hiding from view. Was it a good value?  Yes, yes it was.

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I would guess that I’ll use a good 75% of the contents and will rehome the remainder to other planners.  I loved that everything coordinated together in a color palette that wasn’t Christmas specific.   I would definitely buy this again if another one is offered next year, and would also be comfortable giving this as a gift.

And that, my friends, wraps up the Advent Calendar Palooza!

 

 

Advent Calendar Palooza: Simply Gilded 12 Days of Christmas Day 12

It is time to open up the final package of the Simply Gilded advent calendar. From feeling the packaging,  I knew it wasn’t going to be washi, so I wasn’t all that surprised when this super cute and adorable key chain popped out.

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I like the various charms used, the only thing missing is a washi roll charm.

Let’s talk the advent calendar as a whole.  I got everything in the pic below for $54.  Based on pricing for washi from SG normally, I’d guess the washi was at least $40 of the package, plus we got the key chain, magnet, sticky notes, and bow charm and clip.  I think the price is completely reasonable and that I got my money’s worth.

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One of the things I like the most was that the washi was not holiday specific.  I’ll be able to use these items year round.  My favorite rolls were the swans and the constellations,  but there really wasn’t a bad roll in the bunch.

Not only would I buy another SG advent calendar, I would give it as a gift to a paper crafter without hesitation.  Everyone can always use more washi,  and SG washi is excellent quality.  My only suggestion for possible improvement next year would to have coordinated colors, or even options for coordinating color themes if you want to buy more than one.