May 31, 2017

The Last Of August

The Last Of August, by Brittany Cavallaro

After falling in love with the first book in this series, and sharing the love with more than a handful of my sevies, I knew the minute this book came out I'd need to add it to the classroom shelves. I did, and it didn't stay there for long - student after student checked this one out, so fast I didn't get the chance to read it until today!

For those who love Sherlock Holmes, this book (the second in the series) takes a new look at Holmes and Watson, setting them in the present day, and as descendants of the originals rather than the original pair.

I already can't wait for Ms. Cavallaro to write another book in the series ... I want to know what happens to Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson next!


Flawed, by Cecelia Ahern

First up on my summer reading challenge was to finish Flawed. I started this right before school ended, but then it got set down as I closed out the room for the summer and got my grades posted and such. I got back to it last night, and finished it up this morning.

A dystopian novel, Flawed follows Celestine, a teen girl trying to navigate a world where perfection isn't just a goal. It's a requirement. One false move and you can be branded Flawed. Literally, and for life. Always a rule-follower, events unfold that leave Celestine questioning everything she believes, and making some out-of-character choices.

I give this book 3/5 lightning bolts. It's a good start to a series, and the characters are mostly believable. Some of the plotlines seemed obvious, but for my classroom shelves, this book is perfect!

May 22, 2017

Eliza And Her Monsters

Eliza and her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia
Started: May 20, 2017
Finished: May 21, 2017
Book 19/65 for my Goodreads goal

I received this book as part of my monthly OwlCrate subscription (click here to learn more!), and fell instantly in love. I have actually yet to have a book from this service be something I didn't love, so that's saying a lot!

This month's theme was comic books, and Eliza And Her Monsters follows Eliza as she creates a wildly popular web comic, while keeping her identity anonymous and trying to make it through senior year. Everything appears to be going well until she meets Wallace, and falls for him. Hard.

And then finds out he reads her web comic.

Mixed in with first love, there's several stories of anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Zappia doesn't treat these themes lightly, and while she doesn't devalue the importance of these issues in the lives of the characters, this book is about so much more than these themes, which I appreciate.

Perfect for high school students, or 8th graders about to become high school students!

May 21, 2017

Savante Hats, part one (of many)

Pattern: Savante Hat, by DeBrosse
Yarn: Lion's Pride Wool Spun (almost a full skein for each hat)
Needles: size 11 16" circulars

I've been Insta-friends with Teresa for awhile now, and have been bugging her almost since we met to publish the Savante hat pattern. As she had just begun dipping her toes into pattern writing when we met, she kindly declined my offer, but said  maybe someday.

So, I've been stalking her shop and Instagram almost every day since. I've fallen head over heels in love with her mission to help mamas and babies in Haiti with every shop sale, and have bought several of her crochet patterns just so I could help support the cause.

And then.

One day, I hopped over to her shop. And there it was. The Savante pattern, just waiting for me to snap it up!!

Friends, this pattern is everything I could have hoped it would be, and then some!! Bulky yarn, no double points needed, a fast and easy to memorize pattern? Yes to all. These two hats flew off my needles, and I've got a truckload of bulky yarn that's about to become more Savante hats for sure!

And when I run out of bulky yarn? I'll probably just double up my worsted and keep on making!

The double brim makes this hat super warm, so whether you're an acrylic gal or a woolie lover, this is a pattern you can use for charity knitting and know the recipients will be kept super warm through every cold season they encounter.

My current plan is to make 100 of these over the summer, in both wool and acrylic, so that I'm ready for fall and winter donations!

Love People, Use Things. The Opposite Never Works.

It's been a long time since I've written anything for me. First year teacher-dom has meant lots of writing - student comments, curriculum building, note-taking for next year and the like. But no writing for me.

Spare moments are spent figuring out this new home of ours - where things belong, what can be let go, how to best live and love here.

Not much hat making, not much writing. A bit of book reading, but ....

In general, I think, life has felt rushed, and too busy, and too over-ful these last six months. I am ready for summer. For some slow planning for next year, for lots of time at the pool with my two water babies, days spent on the back deck while the kiddos run around all day. More time for books. More time for hats.

More time for less.

I find I have accumulated a lot this year. Part of it is figuring out what we need in this new space. Part of it is being a new teacher, and all that comes with that. Mostly, though, it's my knee-jerk reaction to change and stress and the unknown being to BUY BUY BUY. I shop to de-stress, which is counter-intuitive, but what I have always done.

So this summer will be my summer of less. Less lists, less to do, less owned at the end of it all.