Books! They are my Glimpse into Other Worlds.

I love books! I really enjoy reading (or listening to the audio books) because it gives me a chance to escape reality. So today, I am rambling on about Books. Leave a comment with your favorite book or series so I can add it to my reading list.

I’ll admit it, I have an addiction to old books. I collect them and put them on display in my house. Why? Because I love their smell, the feel of them, the pages feel, and the hard cover with cloth on it. It feels authentic when I look at them. It’s like a nostalgia but, not really.

A real quick thank you to The Collector’s Addition – www.collectorsaddition.com for sponsoring this post! I searched for books and found a lot of cute collectibles AND a children’s book. There are so many different creative collections on there to browse. Thank you for the support!
I really appreciate that this sponsor allows me to write how I feel and doesn’t tell me what to write. The only request was that I keep it family friendly (which means no cussing). I can do that! I can edit!

Back to the blog post…

My favorite books are poetry type books. Dr Seuss and Shel Silverstein are my favorite children’s authors. I had One fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish memorized through about 1/4 of the book.

When my kids were little, I would tell them I could read with my eyes closed, hold the book over my head, and then recite the story on the page. They were blown away… until they learned to read. Then the gig was up.

And now…

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My books from Redditgifts Book Exchange.

 

My Favorite Series

My friend, Leslie, got my into The Earth’s Children series. After reading Clan of the cave Bear (affiliate link), I was hooked. This is an excellent series about a girl I got all the books on a Redditgifts book exchange. Here is the story description from Amazon:

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

The story is well written and really draws you in. I read that the author put a lot of research into writing the books too. They are amazing!

And now I pass it onto you… What is your favorite book or book series? Tell us in the comments below.

What I Am Up To…

Well, this year hasn’t been the best. But it hasn’t been the worst either. I can honestly say I am looking forward to therapy on the 7th though. February was just my shit month which is why I haven’t posted.

The biggest thing was that my cat, Gizmosis, died. I was devastated. I am dealing with it okay, I think. I am not sobbing daily anymore. I just get a bit teary eyed now. Here is the last picture I have of him.

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Tattoos!

To start out the month, it was going okay. I have my new tattoo gun (actually two of them – one for lining and one for shading), needles, ink, transfer paper, and everything I need to start learning how to tattoo. I did my first tattoo just above my knee. for a first, it wasn’t horrible. I do have a long way to go though. I tattooed one person for practice. As soon as I have more needles, I will be able to practice more. 

Therapy and hurting myself (not like that!)

Then I went to therapy where I discussed a lot of my plans and I talked about stuff that bugged me. I showed off my stupidly long scarf. Then I mentioned walking home. I was thinking of calling my son to come get me because it rained and the ground was freezing. As I left, I changed my mind because I needed exercise.

I walked home because I thought maybe I would feel more invigorated and then I could blog! I needed to do that. I hadn’t posted anything. As I walked, the ground became less “a little icy” and more “a solid sheet of ice”. I walked slowly across the roads and then walked on the snow because it was crunchy and had texture and the ice would give way so I had a little bit of traction. This was going well until I was about half way home.

I was crossing the road and decided to walk in some truck tracks for more traction. That was kind of okay for about two steps, next thing I know, I am face down on the road. Oh. My. God. The pain didn’t quite hit right away. In fact, I didn’t really feel anything wrong until I tried to get up. That is when I knew I done fucked up. I had to slide myself over to a snow berm to crawl up so I could get up. Walking the rest of the way home was more like limping very slowly.

Since then, my shoulder is still really messed up. My knee healed but my shoulder is really messed up. I had an MRI yesterday and I’ll find out Monday how that is. But I am able to use it a very little. At least now I can type again without crying. That’s a plus!

Still Looking for Work

I am still looking for work but now I am thinking work at home is my only option. I have talked with a few people about moving but I want that to be my last resort. If I can make $800 a month, I can pay all my bills and survive. So right now, that is my goal… no matter how small it is.

I’m making myself available as a virtual assistant, working on illustrations for a children’s book (which I learned how to do!), and hopefully will have one done and ready to publish soon.

At first I was saying by the end of March but I don’t think that will happen. My plan for now is to have the draft ready by the end of March and to have a book ready to publish by mid-April. This is my very first illustration I attempted. I just grabbed the first picture I found and did it. I created two styles and I kind of like them both. Here are the samples. But first, the original picture.

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The Original Picture
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I like this style.
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My first illustration!

First lesson learned? I need to really brighten the pictures so they look better as the illustrations. But I do like the styles.

I also found a company that I can back that I will be selling products from. It’s a health and wellness business. And I am trying to find my Mark make-up seller information. I know I have it I just can’t find it.

Between all those, something has to give! 

And back to Blogging

Now that I can type again, I will be blogging more. Probably not daily but my goal is to write a little something every day and then post when it’s long enough. I’ll have a post about twice a week if I can keep it up and still be able to work on my other projects. 

YouTube?

I was asked if I am still going to do YouTube videos. I really want to! But that may just have to remain a hobby for now. Let me get the promising stuff done first, then I’ll think about YouTube.

Okay, now I need to get back to focusing on work. 

New Year Resolutions? No thank you.

I have been thinking about this a lot this month. I want to do resolutions but I usually never stick to them because they are unrealistic. INSTEAD, I have decided on picking 12 goals (one for each month).

I won’t be doing the goals in that specific month though. Each month will have a theme and I am making a goal for that theme. Then my goal will be to get everything done by the end of the year.

If that makes sense… Here is what I have come up with so far.

  • January is something new. So learning Russian. I will be start the course over and doing it! 
  • February is something I love. Get all of my poems together and publish them. That’s the first thing I thought of. The second thing I thought of was to make a blanket for my children. But I am not sure I will be able to do that in a year. 
  • March is Spring and I usually do spring cleaning then. But this year, I want to get rid of a lot of stuff so I can work towards my plan of being homeless… or Home FREE. Now that I can drive again, it’s getting more real! I am super excited about that!
  • April – eh… What is there besides April Fools? Flowers? Rain? I am working on it. Sing in the rain? Make flowers? Grow a plant without killing it? I don’t know.
  • May – hmmm… What happens in May? Oh It’s National Bike Month! I will bike more? I need to find a way to carry my service dog while I bike. Any ideas?
  • June gloom – for this, I want to get a better hold of my depression and actually work on it and not pretend it doesn’t exist. Basically, focus on making myself healthier mentally.
  • July is independence! My goal for this is to get employed (working on it still… 4 years. Eventually someone will hire me), work on my writing seriously, and hopefully one of those will let me be closer to financial independence. Also, I am working on getting the van ready to live in and maybe figure out where I am going to park my RV.
  • August is my birthday month. Focusing on my health, I need to be more active. I know I can’t during summer but my goal will be to set goals in Google Fit and work towards them seriously instead of glancing at it, going “Welp, failed today too. Meh.” This time, I am going to actively work on it!
  • September is back to school. I am going to take the photography course here on reddit. I am stoked about this!
  • October is Leslie. She got me into the Earth’s Children Series which I got as my Reddit gift this year. I will read through all the books this year.
  • November is Thanksgiving. I want to try writing down things I am thankful for/ grateful for every day/ week. I did this years ago and really liked it. I drew a picture to represent every day and then I wrote what I was appreciated.
  • December, to my family, is about gifts. Every month, I want to find something I can give/ give back. A charity. Donations. A give away on my blog. Thanksgiving box for a needy family. Donate to Christmas is for Kids (a local charity). Donate to the food bank. Things like that. And just give back to my community.

Now to work on the missing month. Any thoughts on April?

Free or Cheap Hobbies. We Need Them.

Remember how I sometimes say, “Get a hobby!” in my posts? Like this post where I talk about rumors about me. Java reminded me about the hobbies list I am supposed to be making. Did I ever mention how forgetful I am?

Here are four hobbies for you to explore. I picked free or cheap hobbies ($20 or less) since most of my friends have limited resources. I will make more hobby posts later and add them to this post. The prices I am listing are the cheapest I can find here.

Feel free to add to the list by sending me a message. I’ll add it to the post. I’ll add your name if you want too.

I’ll assume that you have limited access to stores and no Wal-Mart nearby. So I will be using the stores in my small town or Amazon.com as pricing guides.

Hobby #1: Making paper beads

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A bowl of paper beads. All made by me!

Price range to start: Free to about $15

You will need

  • Scissors $1
  • Elmer’s glue $1
  • Round toothpicks (not flat or square) $1.59 or a paper bead roller (I don’t have one because they are about $10)
  • A small piece of cardboard or Styrofoam to stick the toothpicks in while the beads dry (I am going to guess you can find this for $1 – I use what I have)
  • Colorful paper, newspaper, magazine pages, or any piece of paper you have lying around the house
  • Optional: Sharpies or other markers to color white paper so you can make patterns – Sharpies can be pricey but I suggest those to off brand markers since they don’t run when use you run glue over them. I have found Sharpies for about $5 for a basic pack
  • Optional: Judikins Diamond Glaze ($5) to make them shiny. Modge Podge is horrible on the beads as far as long-term goes. While this is optional, I highly suggest it. I’ve also used shellac before. It lasts a lot longer, not that it matters! A bottle of Judikins lasted me a year.

The hobby

Cut strips of paper into triangles (or other shapes), then wrap it around a toothpick and glue the end down, then coat with Elmer’s glue to create beads. You can finish them off with Judikins Diamond Glaze. I suggest this product over Modge Podge as it works in any climate or humidity. I found Modge Podge remains sticky forever when I lived in Tennessee. 

Resources

This YouTube tutorial shows you how to make basic and fancy beads. The thing I like about this video is she shows you all the neat things you can buy to make paper beads and also explains some of the issues you could run into (like not enough glue). The only thing I do differently is that I leave my bead on the stick for a minute for it to dry while I am making another bead. I leave them on the stick until I glaze them. 

In the video above, the basic bead tutorial starts here. If you already know how to make basic beads, shaped paper beads tutorial starts here where she shows tube beads, pointy end beads, ball beads, saucer beads, triangle (or cone) bead, and a double bead.

Section 3 of the video has ideas for decorating your beads and shows all the optional things you can do to your beads. The only thing I disagree with is putting water in your glaze. I don’t like the way it looks or how it lasts. I put on the glaze like I do the glue. This is the section that makes the paper bead hobby get expensive!

I will try to get my shit together long enough this week to make a video on how I make my beads. Or a post. But jennibellie does a much better job than I ever could.

Variation? Plastic Bottle Beads! I am going to try this but it’ll cost a little more if you don’t have nail polish (can get it at the Dollar Store). I am sure you can get creative though!

Hobby #2: Coloring or Drawing

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“Scaredy Cat” By Dotchi Latham

Price range: $1 to $10 to start. 

You will need

  • Crayons, color pencils, or markers ($1)
  • Coloring book or Paper ($1)

Adult coloring books are a lot of fun and run from cheap to OMG! If you have a printer, you can print out pictures to color instead of buying a book.

For drawing, you can use any piece of paper you can find lying around the house. I use printer paper (which was about $3 for the whole pack). You can find drawing tutorials with a quick Google search. You may not be Picasso when you start but keep going! It’s fun to try and it takes my mind off of stress.

Coloring is good for stress and quite therapeutic. Thought I would throw that out there.

Hobby #3: Crochet or Knitting

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A scarf I made!

Price range to start: Starts at $8 but probably closer to $20

This one can get pricey. But it’s a fun hobby and you can use what you make.

You will need

  • A crochet hook or knitting needles (about $5)
  • Yarn ($3 a skein)
  • A pattern. (I would start with something easy like a scarf or a dishcloth)

A lot of the pattern websites will ask you to join the site to see the pattern. I tend to stick with Ravelry as some of the other sites spam the crap out of my email.

While this hobby can be expensive, I can find yarn and crochet hooks at the thrift store for almost nothing. So, while it CAN be expensive, you can definitely make it a lot cheaper by looking for deals and not hoarding yarn. This is the part that actually takes more practice than actually crocheting.

The best part of this hobby is that you can crochet hats, scarfs, and slippers for charities to help out others. Don’t think you can? There was an 86-year-old man who learned to knit so he could make hats for preemies.

Hobby #4: Hiking or Walking

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Price range: FREE! But you can buy things for it if you want.

This is another hobby that can be expensive if you let it. But really, all you need is someplace to walk to, a drink (stay hydrated!), and some time to enjoy it. 

You can drive to a rural area to hike and explore or try out some urban hiking.

You can combine this with photography (use your phone or a cheap camera) or keep a journal or blog about your hiking adventures.

What is your Hobby?