Knitting for Christmas

Posted by on December 7, 2011 4:06 pm in My work, other | 12 comments

To be honest, I never thought I’d be one of those people. You know, that extremely crafty crowd of people who love to make things, and who make all of their Christmas gifts?

I’m way too lazy for that.

But here we are, December 2011, and it turns out that I’m actually using all the craftiness I have to make my Christmas gifts. In the recent months I’ve been faced with both a problem and its solution : I had very little money for Christmas gifts this year, and I have an immense stash of yarn. So I decided, I’ll be knitting for Christmas! I still have lots to do, but I’m confident I can make it (especially once the extra yarn I ordered finally arrives home!)

I really wanted to share with you all what I’ve been working on, but since I have some friends and family members (whom these gifts are for) who sometimes stop by the blog, I have to be careful!

So think of it like a game : what am I making, and for whom?

There’s this one, that’s finished and ready to be wrapped :

And this colorful buddy, which is close to completion but is still missing some crucial parts :

This one, I have yet to start (there’s a clue in this post) :

This is going to be super colorful, and I am actually putting the last touch to it this very afternoon :

And there are more! I am currently waiting on Christmas colors to make my mom some cute, tiny, Christmas ornaments, and on some pink to make my friend a toy for her new baby :) And then, I promised something for the Man of the House, but that will depend on how much time I have left!

I’ve knit something for my mom almost every year since I started knitting about 4, 5 years ago, but it’s the first time that I actually decided to make this many gifts for Christmas. It’s been keeping me busy but it also feels really good at the same time! I hope the recipients will enjoy them at least half as much as I enjoyed making them. :)

Anyone else crafting some of their Christmas gifts?

Review : 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Posted by on December 4, 2011 4:04 am in 4 stars reads | 8 comments

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Pages : 317
Genre : YA, Fiction
Series : 13 Little Blue Envelopes, book 1
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Before she passed away, Ginny’s aunt took care of leaving behind a very special gift for her niece : 13 blue envelopes with very specific instructions for a trip around Europe. Equipped with a single backpack and no guidebook (as instructed), Ginny is ready for a life changing experience.

My Thoughts :

This was my second experience with Maureen Johnson and certainly a more positive one than Suite Scarlett, which was fine but not outstanding. And while 13 Little Blue Envelopes didn’t blew me away, it was certainly more fun, and sweet, and likable!

I was quickly hooked to the story, which had many of my favorite things : letters, the small mystery they contained, travel around Europe, a touch of humor, a touch of feel-good story. I have to say, I admired Ginny’s will to follow her aunt’s instructions, because I don’t know that I would be brave enough to hop on a plane to Greece without a guidebook. Scary! Or not to open the letters before time. I like to think that I would be more patient and less curious, but I’m not so sure! It certainly made for an interesting story, though.

One question that troubled me while reading was : what about Ginny’s parents? We only hear of her one best friend back home, with whom she seems to be really close. And maybe that’s the only friend she has, and that’s understandable. But she barely has a thought for her parents in all the book, and I don’t even think she tries to communicate with them once. (I might be wrong there, but the point still stands; she barely mentions them). It was hardly believable, especially when at the start of Ginny’s story, she described her mom as more strict, more reasonable than her aunt.

I also wish Ginny had more of a personality, so that I could relate more to her; but I still knew enough to like her. I think my favorite part was back in London, early in the story, when she has to find an artist to help, as per her aunt’s instructions. She was so sweet, and awkward, I really liked her there. It wasn’t enough to make me really invested in the romance she has, or in the new friends she makes; what can I say, I was far more interested in her traveling!

13 Little Blue Envelopes really was a sweet, quick read. It’s the perfect book to spend an afternoon traveling around the world without moving from your seat. I’ll definitely be reading its sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope!

On My Wishlist – 25

Posted by on December 3, 2011 12:40 pm in Book talk | 7 comments

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It’s where we list all the books we desperately want but haven’t actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Click on the link to Book Chick City, sign the Mr. Linky and join the fun!

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I’ve enjoyed both of Sarah Ockler’s previous novels, so I am really looking forward to her new one. I can connect with her characters, something I’m always looking for when reading a novel, whatever the genre or the age group.

Also, the cover is sweet! Not that it should matter, but we all know, it really does!

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Summary from Goodreads :

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances… a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life…and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last….

What is at the top of your wishlist right now?

Here we are, December!

Posted by on December 2, 2011 12:51 pm in Book talk, other | 9 comments

It comes every year too fast, it’s true. We’re celebrating New Year, making resolutions and promises and, before we know it, BAM!

We’re starting a new year again.

2011 has been eventful to say the least, though you’d probably never guess it by going through this year’s blog posts. I took something like a break from blogging at the end of my winter semester, when tests and papers didn’t allow me time for reading or blogging (or anything fun, for that matter). Then this fall, we had to deal with some unfortunate situation in our building and it just took so much out of me, that I almost disappeared from the blogging world in November. I didn’t get much reading done then, either, but that’s okay; I’ve learned that forcing reading when I don’t feel like it only makes me hate whatever I’m reading.

And now it’s December, and it seems that the coming holidays woke up that “reading and blogging” spark in me again! I’m glad for it, because it means I can maybe reach some of my goals before then.

For one, I want to catch up with my review pile. It’s HUGE, to say the least. I believe there are still books from 2010 in there. I’m a horrible reviewer, I know; but at least, I take notes while I read, so all I need to do is mostly add a small introduction, a summary, a few “and”, “but”, “while” in between my thoughts and these reviews will be ready to go. What I need to figure out is : how relevant are theses reviews for The Infinite Shelf? I don’t want to crowd the blog with a pile of senseless reviews, so I’ll have to skip those that I don’t really want to talk about.

I also want to put some more thoughts on changing – again – the blog’s look. Maybe. I’m not sure about that yet. I know exactly what I want, but I haven’t been able to find a template that suits all my demands at once. And the thought of starting from scratch? Scary. So I might keep this look for a while. Although I am seriously considering tweaking it for the holidays season. We’ll see :)

Anyone else excited for the holidays? Making some plans for reading and blogging in December?