Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year In Review

This has been quite a year. At 36, despite having my gall bladder removed, I'm thankful the husband and I have been pretty healthy, and ending the year at 37, I managed to whip up a handful of preemie hats from stash yarn frogged up from this scrappy blanket that never gets any love because I don't have many stash yarn and I'm still not digging that granny stitch and the different yarn weights all in one square blanket. I donated my supposed to be travel crochet hooks (these are the Boye aluminum set) because these hooks are not as smooth and comfortable to use as my Clover Soft Touch hooks, the Leisure Arts Knook Value set because I most likely will not be going back to knitting in the next 5 years, the 2 Yarnology Acrylic hooks in the size M & N because I didn't use them at all in the past 2 years, a bunch of plastic stitch markers and plastic yarn needle that I didn't really care for and I donated all of my wool and wool blend skeins that I can't work with because the unknown/unspecified wool triggered an allergic reaction and I also donated some non-wool left over yarns from the Christmas themed socks last month and a bunch of "mini skein" sized scrap yarns of various weights and fiber content. And I took down all of my social media accounts and only have GoodReads, Ravelry, YouTube and this blog. I definitely feel a lot happier and more productive.

This year, I only managed to read 57 books compared to 71 books in 2017 but it's ok. At least I successfully completed another Good Reads Reading Challenge and I'm setting another 35 books to read in 2019. How did you guys do with your reading goals? Did you read some really good books in 2018? What are you most excited to read in 2019? 

Though I didn't play a lot of piano or write a book this year, I feel like I more than made up for it with watercolor paintings to the point where I finally took the plunge and got a set of water brushes to see if I liked it or not because the ferrule on my No. 8 round brush has completely come unglued and the tip on my favorite No. 12 round brush is not quite as pointy as it used to and it's annoying me that the handle is slightly curved; and mainly because I'm always afraid of spilling paint water all over my desk and possibly ruining any and all electronics on my desk or if I'm sitting on the floor of the family room, I'm afraid I'd spill paint water all over the carpet or furniture or worse, my dog drinks from it (thankfully, he's very well trained and knows the leave it command but sometimes, you just never know). The last year I painted watercolors was 2014 and so for 3 years, my Pentel watercolor tubes sat unused. This year, for some reason, I decided to pick up watercolor painting again but I wasn't too excited to use the Pentel paints so I got the Master's Touch 12-color watercolor set, a pack of Master's Touch synthetic round brushes (size 4,6,8 & 12), a pack of Master's Touch synthetic flat brushes (size 7,10 & 16) and one Master's Touch synthetic small fan brush (size 7) and the 5.5"x8" 140lb (300gsm), Cold Press, Strathmore Watercolor Visual Journal and 2 pads of 9"x12" 140lb (300gsm), Cold Press, Canson XL. I didn't use the Master's Touch watercolors that much because while the colors are well pigmented, I honestly did not like how the colors look when they dry on the page. Thankfully, it wasn't chalky like some cheap student/children grade watercolors but the tint is just a little off. So I went back to the first brand of cheap student grade watercolor that I first learned with, really liked and enjoy using: Prang. Funny, I can hear practically everyone saying I should use professional grade paints and natural bristles and 100% cotton watercolor paper to get the best results. But guess what, I don't care about all that because I'm not a professional watercolorist nor do I intend to be one and I want the freedom to have fun with watercolors and not worry about how much expensive paint and paper I'm wasting. After learning that hard lesson, I'm able to paint more this year than probably any other year from 2004 to 2014. So I'm really happy about that. 

Crochet is taking a bit of a break this month but with the Love Your Stash CAL hosted by Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast on YouTube, which started on Christmas day, I am excited to use up the remaining Woolike Superfine 100% Acrylic skeins that I have left in my stash for more crochet socks and to use up that gorgeous Bamboo yarn that I got while visiting NZ this year in March. I still can't decide what to do with the Bamboo yarn (yes, the yarn hasn't spoken to me yet of what it desires to be turned into). Maybe it'll come to me by the time I'm done with the Woolike yarns. Fingers crossed.

Hopefully you all had a wonderful Christmas and may 2019 bring you much love, happiness, good health, creativity, wonderful books to read and prosperity. 


Mountain Night Sky


Little Drummer Boy and Shepherd

Hope Peace Joy and Love

Christmas Tree

2019 Visual Journal Cover

2018 Visual Journal Cover

The Reader


Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post

Currently Reading 

Finished Objects

Charity Hats - yarn used was stash yarn frogged from the Scrappy Blanket project (more details on my Ravelry project page); 100% Acrylic, Sport Weight & Worsted Weight; total amount used was 411 yards; used a Clover Soft Touch hook US size G/4.0mm and H/5.0mm - sorry I forgot to take FO photos! 

Product Reviews


Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!

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