Mar 30

First quarter 2015

I’ve been busy so far this year working on my One Little Word, EMBRACE. I spent all of February focusing on re-lighting my love of scrapbooking by participating in an annual event I’ve wanted to do for several years called LOAD. The purpose is to create a layout a day for each day of February. The overarching theme was Once Upon a Time and our connection with books, and each day the host, Lain Ehmann, gave a different prompt that we could use for our layout. These included design principles, color combinations, or a topic sentence, all from beloved children’s books. I managed to do a layout all 28 days of the month and I had so much fun. My output has slowed down in March, but I’m still working.

I did a layout showing the entire month’s work, which included a few extra layouts on some days for a total of 34. I count two-page layouts as one layout. Because I mostly stayed with the daily prompts, I had to do some layouts about me, which is a first, and also not chronological, which was fun and very freeing.LOAD28Here are my two favs from the month, both of which were color prompts:

LOAD5LOAD12This year I also signed up for Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class which gives monthly activities to help keep our word visible and in use in our lives. I did the prompt for January which involved a lot of reflecting and making goals and got those all in my album but haven’t finished some of the daily life pictures from January and none from February or March. Need to add those pages to the album in the second quarter. February’s prompt was to make a vision board and I had so much fun cutting up magazines and gluing that all together. It’s now hanging in my sewing room.


I’ve been doing some sewing, too. My new threesome quilt group is doing a 1930’s quilt this year and have several blocks done and I’ve posted about those already. My regular twosome quilt group made a Schoolhouse table topper that needs to be hand-quilted as soon as I finish the Candy Shop quilt, which is almost done. We are now working on an Arrowhead quilt, but it’s a secret project so I’m not posting much for now. But it’s looking mighty awesome so far. Other projects in the works include the following:

2015-03-28 18.10.56 2015-03-28 17.02.08 2015-03-28 17.03.10


I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting some pillowcases sewn up for the Festival of Trees gift boutique in December. Some of this fabric has been waiting around for two years for me to get it done, so I thought this was the year to get them all sewed up and off my plate. They turned into thirteen lovely pillowcases.

2015-03-28 17.25.05


I’ve only been out in the garden once so far this spring and it looks like it needs some major cleaning up. But Scott and I were asked to be in charge of a youth play at church and since I wrote it and am directing it, it’s taken up a ton of time this quarter. I have to spend a lot of time planning and organizing in order to utilize the limited rehearsal time and make it all seem effortless. The performances are this week and I will get some time and energy back.

We’ve also spent a lot of time discussing, planning, and researching the possible addition to our home and it’s amazing how time-consuming that’s been with very little actual progress to show for it. But lots of knowledge in our heads.

As part of my One Little Word this year, I made a list of things to get done. I’m working away on the list and crossing stuff off which is making me happy. Organizing my quilt patterns, cleaning up my scrapping studio, reading some magazines then moving them out, and reading books for my reading challenges. I’ve kept up with the two that have monthly goals and made progress on the others, and I’m eleven books ahead of schedule on my goodreads annual challenge of 104 books/year. Plus my dishwasher has been broken for most of the quarter and I’m washing dishes by hand, which takes time but lets me listen to audio books. Trade-off.

Here’s to the second quarter of 2015: may it be productive. EMBRACE the future!

Mar 26

Ode to the 1930’s-blocks #4 & 5

Remember how I said we were considering skipping around on the blocks in order to leave all the applique blocks to the end but decided to just be brave and go in order? Well, that brought us to block #4 and the first of the applique blocks. I had never done machine applique in my life and certainly not with my new machine. Terry and ShaRee had limited experience and honestly, we were all shaking in our boots. It was ShaRee’s turn to be the team lead and she took care of us splendidly. We had previously chosen the fabric for this block so she traced all the patterns and even provided us with a sample tulip on scrap fabric so we could test out our blanket stitch. Those samples all turned out great and all our machines did a beautiful blanket stitch. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 26

Ode to the 1930’s-blocks #2 & 3

After our first block, we were a teensy bit aggravated at the pattern. It’s awesome, but the designer mostly cuts squares into triangles and sews them together. This causes stretching on the bias and wonky squares, and doesn’t utilize all the quick half-square triangle and flying geese methods available. So Terry decided to work through block #2 in scrap fabric in preparation for our sewing day and see if she could identify some easy piecing techniques. It requires some figuring but she did a great job and the block went together much faster and straighter.

We selected a focal print for the centers and fussy cut them so that the flower really showed up and then used the suggested color scheme of yellow, pink and green. This block is kind of a star in a star as the green center pieces form a star and then the whole thing is a star. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 25

Ode to the 1930’s: A Sampler Quilt

You may recall that my quilting partner, ShaRee, and I spent 2014 making barn blocks into quilt tops. We have embarked on some new adventures that I will write about later. We meet every other week to sew so we decided we could invite a friend to join us and do a project with all three of us on the other week. I mean, YOLO, right? So in January 2015 we embarked on our grand adventure. We decided on “Ode to the 1930’s: A Sampler Quilt” by Lori Smith, It’s a challenging quilt with lots of piecing and (gasp) applique. But the purpose of working together is that two, or in this case, three heads are better than one and we all learn from each other. We each have different tricks to teach other and we can learn! Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 04

Gentle Spectrums 2015

Gentle Spectrums 2015

February is here and it’s time to sign up for Carolyn’s challenge! I did half of this challenge last year and this year I am signing up for it all, both A and B. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 01

Sue’s Reading Stats for 2014

istock-booksBooks read: 139
Pages read: 43,972

Of the books read:

  • Non-fiction: 7
  • New-to-me authors: 36
  • Continuing series books: 26
  • Re-reads: 20
  • Audio-books: 37
  • Various book club reads: 17
  • Challenges completed: 10 of 10
  • Ongoing tally of Newbery winners: 70 of 93
  • Books set in states: 25 of 50
  • 5 star ratings by me: 27

150 books; 47,936 pages; 7 non-fiction; 29 new-to-me authors; 25 series; 32 re-reads; 49 audio-books; 6 of 6 challenges completed; 64 of 92 Newbery; books set in 25 of 50 states
196 books; 56,851 pages; 11 non-fiction; 55 new-to-me novelists; 95 series; 25 re-reads; 25 audio-books; 6 of 6 challenges completed; 64 of 91 Newbery
132 books; 39,641 pages; 15 non-fiction; 42 new-to-me novelists; 54 series; 12 re-reads; 33 audio-books; 0 of 0 challenges completed; 59 of 90 Newbery
152 books; 46,899 pages; 3 non-fiction; 37 new-to-me novelists; 25 series; 19 re-reads; 28 audio-books; 5 of 5 challenges completed; 50 of 89 Newbery
73 books; 23,576 pages; 3 non-fiction; 31 new-to-me novelists; 36 series; 5 re-reads; 48 of 88 Newbery
79 books; 32,031 pages; 8 non-fiction; 15 new-to-me novelists; 31 series; 19 re-reads; 42 of 87 Newbery
44 books; 17,069 pages; 3 non-fiction; 8 new-to-me novelists; 15 series; 13 re-reads; 38 of 86 Newbery

Dec 30

One Little Word 2015

It’s time again to choose my word for the year.  It’s an attempt to choose a word that influences my state of mind throughout the year and creates a structure and framework for my life.  Here are my past choices: 2009-SERENE, 2010-CREATE, 2011-BALANCE, 2012-VARIETY, 2013-MEMORY, 2014-MEMORY

This year I want to embrace all the facets of my life. One definition of embrace is to “include in one’s beliefs; take into account”. I have begun some lifestyle changes that may result in being healthier and losing some weight and plan to continue those. These changes may help with some new medical conditions that have developed. Instead of railing about what I can’t do and what I’m missing, I want to take into account the reality and enjoy what I can do. And also give myself permission to do more of what I can do. This will help me live more in the present. I also want to embrace whatever new adventures comes along and ride the wave. One of my favorite sayings is ” Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”. I am going to take into account what comes my way and do lots of intentional things to make me happy.

I began the One Little Word journey with Ali Edwards and this year I am going to take her workshop so I can be more focused on my word.

So my word for 2015 is….EMBRACE.  Happy New Year!


Dec 28

2015 Reading Challenge Sign-Ups

Mount TBR 2015

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2015

Bev at My Reader’s Block is once again hosting this challenge and I need to do it again and not get so enticed by new, shiny things. This will be my fifth year for this challenge and I’m working out for the climbing. I made Mt. Ararat last year so that’s my goal for this year. Climb on!

Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s


Color Coded 2015

2015 The Color Coded Reading Challenge

This is my third year for this fun-filled and colorful challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. Thankfully, she’s altered the rules a little this year by allowing the cover to count if it is mostly the color. I had a tough time finding Brown books in my TBR pile last year, so maybe I will do better with a cover.

*Read nine books in the following categories.

1. A book with “Blue” or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title/on the cover.
2. A book with “Red” or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover.
3. A book with “Yellow” or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) in the title/on the cover.
4. A book with “Green” or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover.
5. A book with “Brown” or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc) in the title/on the cover.
6. A book with “Black” or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover.
7. A book with “White” or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc) in the title/on the cover.
8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magenta, etc.).
9. A book with a word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.).

Play it Sam

Read It Again, Sam 2015

I usually reread some books during the year just for fun and often the rereading comes as listening to the audio of a book I’ve already read and enjoyed. So I decided to just go ahead and not feel guilty about my rereads by joining the challenge this year hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. I’m going to sign up for “Feeling Nostalgic: 8 books“.

Déjà vu: Reread 4 books
Feeling Nostalgic: Reread 8 books
A Trip Down Memory Lane: Reread 12 books
Living in the Past: Reread 16+ books


CruisinCruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2015

This will be my third year to participate in this challenge hosted by Yvonne at Socrates’ Book Reviews and I have finished it in the first half of the year at the highest level because I love me some cozy mysteries and am working through several series. So I am going for Level 4-Sleuth Extraordinaire.

Choose the level you wish to participate:
Level 1 – Snoop – Read at least 6 books
Level 2 – Investigator – Read 7-12 books
Level 3 – Super Sleuth – Read 13 or more books
Level 4 – Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more


preqseqbutton2015-297x3002015 Sequel & Prequel Challenge

I’m trying this challenge instead of one about finishing series because I have many ongoing series that I would like to work on without necessarily finishing any of them. I am going to sign up for 25-50 points: Amateur and hope that’s not too ambitious.

The 2015 Sequel & Prequel Challenge is hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads! The goal: To read as many prequels and sequels as you can. All books in a series count for points.
In order to get 10 points for a completed series, there must be at least 3 full-length books in the series. You can still get sequel points for a duology, you just can’t get the 10 bonus points for finishing it.

For each prequel and sequel read this year, points will be awarded as follows:
1 point for each prequel or sequel novella read and reviewed
2 points for each full-length sequel read and reviewed
10 points for completing and reviewing a full series (doesn’t require novellas)*†
You do not get points for the first book in a series.
*The 10 bonus points is for finishing a full series. That means that all books must be published. If you are completely caught up on a series, and the next book is not releasing until 2016, that does not count toward the 10 bonus points.
†If you started the series before 2015, you can still get the bonus points for finishing it if you reviewed the other books in the series at some point. For example: You read The Hunger Games in 2014, but read Catching Fire and Mockingjay in 2015 – you would get 2 points for both sequels and 10 bonus points for finishing the series (14 points total). You don’t have to start the series in 2015 to get the bonus points.
10-25 points: Newbie
25-50 points: Amateur
51-75 points: Advanced
76-100 points: Professional
101+ points: Veteran



What’s In a Name? 2015

I’ve been a part of this challenge since 2009, so it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t join this fun challenge. It has changed hosts over the years and is being hosted again by The Worm Hole.

A word including ‘ing’ in it
A colour
A familial relation
A body of water
A city
An animal

2015 Monthly Motif Image12015 Monthly Key Word Image

2015 Monthly Motif Challenge and Monthly Key Word Challenge

I did the Monthly Key Words in 2013 and the Monthly Motif in 2014 and have found it fun, so this year I’m going wild & crazy and doing both. Thanks to Bookmark to Blog for hosting.

JAN- Book to Movie or Audio
Read a book that has a movie based off of it. For an extra challenge, see the movie or listen to the audio book as well.

JAN- Bird, Girl, Ever, Silence, Bad, Truth, End  

FEB- Award Winner
Read a book that has won recognition or a literary award.

FEB- Key, Water, Lie, Chase, And, Once    

MAR- Genre Jumble
Read a book in a genre that you’ve never tried or that you’re least familiar with. For example, if you typically reach for romance novels, try a mystery this time.

MAR- KInd, Face, Power, City, Blue, Night, To

APR- Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem
Read a murder/mystery book, a book in which someone dies of mysterious causes, or a book in which the truth must come out.

APR- Dream, Prince, Long, Wind, Rose, The, Rock

MAY- Library Love
Show your library some love and visit your local branch. Choose a book to read that they have on display.

MAY- Ash, Road, Thief, Bend, In, Far

JUN- Take A Trip
Choose a book to read that takes place in a country different than the one you live in or choose a book written by an author that is from a country different than your own.

JUN- My, Together, Whisper, Win, Soul, Sleep

JUL- Standing Up
Read a book in which the main character stands up for themselves, stands against an enemy, or stands up for something they believe in.

JUL- Sun, Unto, Energy, Fate, High, Look

AUG- Alternate Reality
Read a book that’s set in the future, on another planet, in another dimension, or in an unknown world. A Dystopian book will count this month as well.

AUG- Fall, Boy, Glass, Heart, Lost, Now

SEP- Furry Friends
Read a book that includes an animal either as a main character or supporting character. Horses, cats, dogs, insects, bird, etc. The book doesn’t have to be about the animal but the animal needs to play some sort of role in the story or be mentioned several times throughout the book.

SEP- Color, Touch, Life, Day, How, Sweet

OCT- Goblins, and Ghost, and Ghouls, Oh My!
Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, funky fantasy creatures- it’s up to you!

OCT- Ghost, Home, Beach, Away, Test, Number

NOV- An Oldie but a Goodie
Pick a book published before 2000 that you’ve always wanted to read, but just never got to. Or pick a book set in the past (before 2000).

NOV- Rise, Holiday, And, Little, Call, Dark

DEC- That’s a Wrap
Finish a series you’ve been meaning to finish or read the next book in a series you started but never finished.

DEC- Space, Mirror, Over, Flower, Trap, Cold


2015 Newbery Reading Challenge

Newbery Reading Challenge 2015

I decided to join this challenge last year to jumpstart my perpetual challenge of reading all the winners. It really worked because I got 29 points and several Medal and Honor books finished. So when I saw that Julie of Smiling Shelves was repeating it this year, I decided to join in again and reapeat the L’Engle level: 15-29 points.

Each book you read is worth points. You get:
3 points for a Newbery Medal Winner
2 points for a Newbery Honor Book
1 point for a Caldecott Medal Winner

In addition to that, you pick a level to aim for:
L’Engle: 15 – 29 points
Spinelli: 30 – 44 points
Avi: 45 – 59 points
Lowry: 60 – 74 points
Konigsburg: 75+ points

reading road trip 2015 challenge

Reading Road Trip Challenge 2015

I did a challenge similar to this in 2012 and managed to get all the states with some work. Since then, I’ve kept track of my states each year in my regular reading and usually get more than half without trying. Because I read a lot of series that are set in the same locale and many books set in England, I don’t have a ton of diversity, so I’m going to try the Wayfarer: 21-30 goal for this year and see how it goes. Thanks to She’s Got Books on Her Mind for hosting.

Read at least one book set in all 50 states in the U.S.A. or set a lower goal.

Reading Levels:
Hitchhiker: 10-20
Wayfarer: 21-30
Voyager: 31-40
Adventurer: 41-50

Older posts «