All the Summer Vibes // hiking, writing, reading, and that glorious sunburn

I’m a very crafty person.

No, no. Not that kind of crafty.

Despite what gossip my character have been spreading, I am not a crafty villain scheming up plans of horror and pain. Maybe.

I mean ‘crafty’ as in, I like to take little string and sit for a couple hours looping it on sticks to try to make hats and scarves.

However, during the school year with school. And school. And more school. I only have time for sitting and translating Latin sentences and learning that the Romans defeated the Gauls.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Oh and that the sailors refuse to pray.

So when I finally finished that last math test and ‘summer’ was here, I pulled out my supplies and dove into the world of waking earlier, living at my desk in the basement, and having my family point out the paint stains on my hands I had missed or the bits of thread I had forgotten to brush off my shirt.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

cause I am obsessed with bullet points

#1. Quilting

I’ve always been interested in quilting, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago I made my first quilt.

Okay, actually it was about five years ago and it was so tiny my doll would even have trouble using it.

Not that she got the chance becauseย I didn’t finish that quilt until two months ago when I pulled it out again.

In the meantime, somewhere in the past five years I did patriciate in a crazy quilt day workshop and came out with a finished mini quilt, but, while I learned a lot, in the end, it was still mini.

Well after pulling the first quilt out and finishing the binding at the beginning of this summer, I took in the stack of scrap fabric in our craft closest and the bundle of batting and, remembering a book I had once read at the library, decided to try my hand at making a bigger quilt.

I picked the Log Cabin pattern, because I really loved the examples in the book and it seemed perfect for left-over fabric, since really all I needed was two-inch wide strips.

Originally I sorted out these little stacks of fabric: one blue themed, one pink themed, brown, green, yellow, etc., thinking I might be able to squeeze out three or four squares out of each.

Out of the blue stack of fabric, I was able to make twenty 11 inch(ish) squares: perfect for a baby blanket size.

Shows you how much I know about estimating.

I’m that person who always scoops left-over food in a container that is way too big.

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setting out the squares

I sewed the squares over three days, trimmed them and pieced them together another, and then, after a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some backing and edging, began the actual quilting process (which I should hopefully finish today.)

It was a lot of fun piecing together, and I’m starting to now eye the stack of pink fabric in the closet. (:

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When the back of your stitching creates a perfect treble clef! O.o

#2. Jewelry Making

I began making earrings about a year ago when my sister and a friend organized a craft day at our house.

They’re really fun and fairly easy to make. The hardest part is looping the wire. Especially since I was trying to use the wrong kind of pliers to do it.

Imagine my joy when my grandmother gave me the right type (and more beads!)

To illustrate the immediate affect:

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They’re amazing, thank you GranAnnie! โค

So I’ve been making tons of earrings lately.

My homeschool co-op community has a craft fair each December so I’ll probably bring my growing stash of earrings.

Or I might decide to keep them all muahahaha

If only I had more ears. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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owls! and everyone goes “awww”

It’s really cool being able to make things that I know will be used. Gone are the days of braiding hundreds of random strands of rainbow colored craft yarn I found.

It’s doubly neat to be able to make those things I’ve always wanted. Whatever style of earrings such as ones with beads partially wrapped in wire.

Then last week my mother was out running errands when she noticed a small artisan shop in our downtown that is opened only a couple times a month.

She stopped and looked around and decided to take me that afternoon for inspiration and ideas.

Such as quilled paper earrings:

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setting them out to dry

 

#3. Writing

Yes!

Despite what this post has so far implied I have been writing this summer. I’ve been continuing my attempts to capture everyday, little things in a fresh new way, and have been plowing away at 51 usually late in the evening or early in the morning. I’ve found over the past year that those are the most productive times for me.

When people ask whether I’m a night owl or morning bird, me: “Um…both?”

Who said owls aren’t birds… ๐Ÿ˜‰

51 has been going well though.

A week or so a writing friend mentioned during a conversation about names how they once read somewhere about a writer using elephant in all caps as a place holder in the rough draft stage.

So of course I had to steal borrow the idea.

 

ELEPHANT in the Room

 

Who knew Zeb had such big pockets?

Or that he was that strong. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As a technical update: 51 is at 21,651 words and maybe through one fourth of the story written.

The good news is, I have the ending planned! and written shh don’t tell anyone.

Now I just have to fill in the rest of the middle… ๐Ÿ˜›

 

#4. Reading

I’ve been reading a nice amount of books too. A lot of revisiting for old favorites, but also some new ones.

Current book I’m reading?

The Mollhill, Vol 3!

It’s my first one to read and I’m really enjoying it.

Basically, for those who don’t know, it’s a collection of poetry, art, essays, stories, and recipes from The Rabbit Room, a community of Christian artists.

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Also! I was forced to join joined a local book club started by a writer-friend.

The first get-together that I have been able to attend yet will be tomorrow. Book for that meeting?

The Book Thief!

I’m excited. (:

#5. Hiking & Swimming

 

Summer did not feel truly feel like summer until last week when we finally went swimming.

It had been a full year for me because of the craziness of moving and settling in and life.

But after spending a day splashing in the sun, and I came home and collapsed on my floor, limbs aching and with raisins for fingers, and my shoulder burning with the most glorious sunburn, it was suddenly summer.

I had never realized how nostalgic that feeling is…

I’ve also gone on a couple hiking trips. The most notable one was with my Dad a couple Saturdays ago. We packed some water, books, and hammocks and hiked up to a private little overlook. There we spent a couple hours swinging lazily in a mossy clearing, swatting flies, and (for me) reading Canterbury Tales.

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When I said it was mossy, I meant it was mossy.

This gorgeous clearing gave an entirely new meaning to the common phrase “the forest was carpeted with moss.”

 

#6. Sketching and Painting

And one of the other things I’ve been doing quite a lot is experimenting with is mixing ink sketching with watercolor.

As you can see, I’ve only been doing little simple projects of things I’m familiar with. (i.e. plants, elephants, and my school drawers)

And finally…

#7. Prepping for school

And here we are at the end.

My first day of class with my weekly homeschool co-op is three weeks away, so I’ve pulled out the brick of biology flashcards, put tabs in my math book, and sped up in my reading of the literature books I will be writing papers on through the year. (Right now it’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And I thought the first part of the book was weird…)

I’m surprising excited for the school year as a whole. This year focuses on British literature, I’ll be studying paintings, music, and art in general, more Team Policy debates, and more Algebra and Trigonometry.

 

Which finally brings me to a quick note about one last thing that’s been going on around here: my brother’s wedding!

I am suuuper excited about my (soon-to-be) new sister! She is just soooo amazing and fun! And just… well I probably could write another five paragraphs about it but I better not. (:

I must say it’s weird growing up though. (Any one else agree out there? *raises hand* Anyone?)

Well, because of this joyous occasion of amazingness but also the busyness that comes with it (did I mention it will be held in our backyard?), I am not going to promise a post next Friday.

Maybe I’ll throw out a poem or something, but we’ll see. (:

What time of day is best for writing for you? How has your summer been? Are you prepping for school yet? What will you be studying?

~ evelyn ~

 

The Liebster Award 2.0

And the saga CONTINUES!

Thank you Mary for tagging me!

For a refresher, here are the rules again:

  • Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.
  • Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you.
  • Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nominations.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.

And here I am already trying to brainstorm 11 people I can tag when Mary managed to tag 22 people. O.o

Anyways, on to Mary’s Questions!


 

#1. Who is your favorite Marvel superhero and why?

Loki!

What? He’s not a superhero? Hmm.

Bucky then!

He isn’t either?

Okay, okay. Captain America or Spiderman. ๐Ÿ˜›

 

#2. What Hogwarts house are you in, and why?

I have not read Harry Potter (…and the crowd gasps…) but! I do have some friends who have.

According to their judgement, I would be in the Ravenclaw house, which apparently is the best one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For those who are as clueless as I was:

There are four houses of Hogwarts that the students are sorted into. Here is an overview:

  1. Slytherin. This is for very cunning, โ€œwhatever it takesโ€ kind of people.
  2. Griffindor is all the brave/hero sorts, the confident ones.
  3. Hufflepuff has all the sweet laid back types: small and innocent.
  4. And Ravenclaw is for the more focused and studious types. 

Shout out to aforementioned friend (you know who you are!) who gave me a quick crash course on this. (:

 

#3. If you could spend one day hanging out with one character in a book youโ€™re writing or wrote, who would it be and why?

Arthur from my WIP, 51.

I started on version 2.0 (or 1.5? since I didn’t finish the first one…) and was realizing how much I want to better understand his character. Perhaps hanging out with him for a day would explain a lot.

 

#4. Out of all the superpowers out there, which one would you want to have? And why?

Is having an unending store of wisdom considered a super power? xD

Cause honestly that’s what would be the extremely helpful. If not, then the ability to fluently speak every language on Earth. That would be pretty helpful too.

 

#5. What inspired you to start your blog? 

My longing to write consistently, to own a place to scrawl thoughts, and to see my words live in the daylight.

 

#6. What is a book or book series that you would recommend to anyone?

I thought long and hard on this one and then it hit me, and now I feel bad I did not think of it earlier.

The Bible!

(duh… ๐Ÿ˜› )

 

#7. If you could go into your own world that you wrote or are writing, where would you go to first and why? 

I would go to the Urlynwagh of the Anielian Dwarves. It is the very heart of their deep underground world: a large cone room with walls slanting to the base, covered in paintings, history, and old inscriptions etched from centuries of ancestors. It is there one may find the Dwarf counsel gathered in their battle armor, or the ancient Elders in their solemn garb. I’d love to listen to their arguments and cases, and the wisdom of their luvoren.

Then I would travel through the city to the castle and sit and hear the songs of the largest and most famous verhona played by the most skilled and aged musicians.

Maybe after that go visit a ynwalu trainer above the caves in the fresh mountain air, or try to discover what the trifelines actually do in their spare time…

 

#8. What food do you absolutely LOVE the most, and what food do you loathe to the ends of the earth?

This is a hard question to answer. Thanks to those ole green bean wars of my young childhood, I am not a picky eater, and on the other side there are so many tasty things in the world, and the majority of them reside happily in my mother’s kitchen via her amazing talent of creating delicious meals.

I’d say my mother’s homemade bread and white chicken chili are high on my list along with the grits casserole she makes. (I always request it for my birthday breakfast…)

Speaking of breakfast foods, her pancakes and waffles are the best I have ever had.

Red peppers, bagels, and grape tomatoes are also great.

Did I mention that my mom’s homemade salsa is from heaven?

I could keep going. xD

Just the other day my family was discussing how we love being in the “I Love Mom’s Cooking Club.” It’s amazing guys.

Anyways, as for something I dislike… Hmm. Ranch dressing comes to mind. It has a weird after-taste for me. And I’ve never really been fond of Ketchup either.

I hope condiments apply for this question…

(And I told you guys I don’t rant about food. Ha.)

 

#9. Which of the four seasons (summer, spring, fall, winter) is your favorite and why?

Oooh. Um. Hmm.

Did you just ask that? Really?

Summer is so beautifully, toasty hot. Days spent in the sun and bare feet squishing fresh green grass between toes. And the satisfaction of surviving another year of school and tying it up in a bow.

Fall is spectacular with all the trees turning red, brown, and orange, then carpeting the roads in their hair. It’s cool again and perfect for quiet, peaceful walks of awe.

And then winter is beautiful because they are the days curled up inside in a thick sweater by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate, listening to Christmas carols, and watching the snow cover the backyard in yards of brilliant white icing.

And the beauty of spring comes from the end of winter, as you wake up one morning to the sound of birds and open your windows to the sun and realize there’s a batch of flowers waiting beside your door step.

Sooo

Does that answer your question? xD

 

#10. What is the biggest goal you have in life right now

That I can think of off the top of my head?

Well, it would probably be the goal to start over and write an entire first draft for 51 by August.

Or maybe not dying during Driver’s Ed this summer.

Yeah.

One of those.

#11. What is the one thing you love doing most in life?

How can I narrow it down?

Well…

Experiencing life with people I love.

Creating something beautiful for a fellow human.

Telling a story that touches a soul.

Watching young children.

Watching people grow up.

Geeking out over books with other writers.

And finishing a trigonometry problem and actually getting the answer right.

 

 

Now 11 random facts about me.

 

– I love music and currently I have 34 playlists on Spotify. (Is that too many?)

– Apparently, I am a first alto.

– My earliest nightmare I remember included me being kidnapped by a troll and taken to his treehouse. (Someday I’ll turn it into a story…)

– Ey, guys!! I am officially a professional artist! This week was the first time I was paid for my work.

– Now I am currently brainstorming what to do with three empty canvases.

– My name is a combination of the name “Eve” and “Lynn” so it means “life and light.”

– I have named a villain once after a name my parents were considering for me if I had been a boy.

– This summer is going to be a combination of reading, writing, pulling weeds, learning to drive, and hoping to start a small calligraphy business.

– I have discovered writing a note to a friend with a dip ink pen late in the night is lovely.

– I’ve been to 29 of the 50 states of America.

– I cry at the end of Toy Story 3 because the baby doll in it looks just like the one I’ve had all my life.


 

Well, now time for some tagging.

I tag…

  • all those tag thieves prowling around out there (I promise I won’t look if you steal it…)
  • anyone who has not done this award yet (Does this species even exist anymore?)
  • any fellow Ravenclaws (High-five guys!)
  • any book characters out there who feel up to the challenge of hacking into their writer’s blog and posting (Muhahaha.)

 

And your 11 questions.

– What type of music do you enjoy? How has your music tastes grown over the years? (And how many playlists do you have??)

– What is one of the weirdest/scariest dreams you’ve ever had?

– Where is your favorite place to do homework? What about reading or writing?

– How many draft posts do you currently have for your blog?

– What is the worst experience have had in your writing life? (Or written life for those characters who are answering here. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

– Where is the weirdest place or situation you’ve found inspiration for a story?

– What was the last book/movie that made you cry? (Unless you’re one of those people who never cries…)

– What is a recent piece of insight you found that you really appreciated?

– What is something deeply satisfying that happened this week?

– What are you looking forward to this summer?

If you had to pick one of your characters to haunt you the rest of your life, which would you pick? (Or for characters… which of your acquaintances would you love to go haunt your writer for you?)

 

And ten points for a bonus question! Who started the Liebster Award? Whoever they are, they’re a genius and they’ve taken over the blogging word with their self-multiplying device.

I’ve always wondered who is behind it all…

Well, friends, this is the end, but I’m curious. Does anyone else dislike Ranch Dressing and Ketchup? Or am I the only one?

 

The Mountain |a poem

The mountain grows beyond my reach,

It jags up, scaling high,

It’s nature’s tower built of stone,

And sculptured toward the sky.

 

With moss and trees and fields of green,

Where deer and bears do home,

With caves and trails and such fun things

Through which we long to roam.

 

What secrets lie within its paths?

What joys are there to find?

What quiet beauties wait our search,

To wander through the pines?

 

In silence soak in solitude,

Taste the peacefulness,

Among the mountains I shall go,

To seek my prayers and rest.

Days of Ice and Snow

Another week of February has passed, and with it came more snow and ice. Our house was shrouded in glorious fogs and silver mists; our trees traced with beautiful white crystals.

I commented to my mother how it is on days like these I wish I had a nice camera. So she offered that I borrow her phone. ๐Ÿ™‚


 

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~ our driveway ~
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~ icy pinecones and needles ~
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~ one of our bushes ~
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I just love trees covered in icicles (:
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~ our frosty forest ~
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~ a bush completely covered in thick icicles ~
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and another picture of the same bush because it was just so cool (:

 

How has your week been? I hope you’ve been keeping snug inside your home. Or if you live somewhere warm, enjoying the sun. ๐Ÿ˜‰