2015 in numbers 

6 books in ‘currently reading’ list
2 books in handbag (not on ‘currently reading’ list
7 books on bed side table (some are ‘currently reading’)
37 Books read.
 

15 levels on Fallout 4 completed
32 levels on Skyrim The Elder Scrolls completed
3 consoles I can play Dragon Age Inquisition on
5 Dragon Age Inquisition playthroughs created but not finished
1 playthrough of the Trespasser DLC completed
1 extra Dragon Age Inquisition playthrough created because I made bad Thedas-life choices
number redacted shreiks resulting from Uncharted 2 having two Dragon Age voice actors in it.
number redacted tears shed at the end of Mass Effect 3.
1 pair of N7 tights purchased
8 gold PS trophies, 47 silver and 277 bronze (all time – not just this year)
2020 xbox gamerscore
10 video games completed to credits (not including finishing dragon age inquisition on two different platforms because apparently that doesn’t count)
  

9 levels of German on Duolingo learnt 

15 hours watching new Doctor Who
20 hours watching Peaky Blinders (twice)
2 days 21 hours watching 3rd Rock from the Sun (thanks netflix viewing history – i guess…..)
5 days 10 hours and 34 minutes spent watching Supernatural (with cats)
 
30 years on earth achieved  

2 kittens became cats (look at how much Tina’s grown!)
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~17 finished objects knitted or crocheted
2 months of not writing in my daily ‘good things’ journal which kept track of finished items
1 resolution to keep better track of projects next year.
1 Frankie diary to help keep that resolution
  
1 amazing awesome care package received
16 Christmas Cards sent along with various other care packages and letters throughout the year.

  
28 cuffs stamped (plus 1 wallet and 3 necklaces)
19 etsy sales
5 patterns published on Ravelry
1451 unique pattern downloads!!! (seriously that is awesome! Thanks so much guys!!)
actual amount redacted skeins of yarn added to stash
9 skeins of yarn dyed 
  

6014 spotify tracks listened to
104 songs added to my 2015 playlist

9 of my favourite selfies all with slightly different hair!!

  

Thanks for sticking around with me during 2015! See you all in 2016!

2015

Stamping my troubles away

I was bored. All interesting crafty stories seem to start that way. 

I was bored and so I decided to experiment with my metal stamps. A while ago the lovely Lisa (from teaandcraft and co-founder of the green hair crafty ladies of Perth) borrowed my stamping set to make some leather key chain charms. 

It worked pretty well and so after impulse buying a cheap but mostly boring white wallet ($2 – cotton on) I wanted to experiment. 

  
I probably should have researched good ways to ink the letters before I jumped in and used permanent marker. But it’s a rustic sort of look (well as rustic as you get with fake vinyl and a Mass Effect inspired quote about dating a fictional race of space aliens). 

I’m definitely now on the look out for other stamping opportunities that are already in my closet. 

Things I’ve learnt recently 

Dont start to dye yarn when there’s a strong chance you’ll nod off and leave it on the stove. 

  

But do dye some more once you’ve finished your nap. 

   
 
Cats like photobombing yarn pictures. 

  
Cats snuggling while playing Mass Effect is the best way to spend a Saturday morning. 

(Jane Shepherd is amazing and I love her and want to be her!)

   

Although it’s difficult when they’re climbing all over you and being adorable.

   
Bright pink hair makes me happy. As do polkadot shirts and dark lippy. 

  
  

Happy days. 

I want to put something witty here but it’s too much effort. 

So I have been knitting and doing stuff other than working long hours, curating the @we_love_aural Twitter account, working more, and posting cat pictures to the Internet! 

For starters I finished Mass Effect. (Wooo!) I’ve now started Mass Effect 2 and my aim is to have finished all 3 before 4 comes out. I am nothing if not a high achiever. 

Also I’ve taken the leap and opened a new shop. 

So far it’s been friendlier than etsy, but with higher overheads. Plus I can make more listings. 

Tell all your friends to visit shop.polkadotsandsparkles.com !!! 

On the knitting front I just finished a pair of arm warmers/fingerless gloves. 

The yarn I dyed myself and I made up a pattern. But they’re warm and I love them. I even braved the cold to take some pictures outside. 

   
   
There has also been some stamping and new listings for the shop. Plus I’ve ordered some new stamping blanks which I’m excited about. 

It feels like I’ve been very busy with not a lot to show for it. The only other news /life update is I got (what I thought was a normal-ish) haircut. But I’ve been getting compliments from my local chemist, pubs, bottle shops as well as coworkers! 

I’m feeling pretty hot right now!  

 

All the FF7 Feelings

It was Christmas 1998*. My parents bought me and my two younger brothers a PlayStation and a game each. 

My youngest brother got A Bugs Life. My middle brother got Need for Speed game. 

I got Final Fantasy 7. It’s likely that my parents didn’t know anything about the game except that it won lots of awards and was a high seller. 

So I played it. And formed an emotional attachment to Cloud, and Barret, and Tifa, and Aeris. Oh Aeris. You are still my username on many different websites and I will always refuse to call you Aerith. I’m stubborn like that. 

I joined the Internet and found walkthroughs and discussions and other people who also played FF7. 

But I was at high school. I had homework to do, plus the PlayStation was a shared present. 

Eventually I clocked up about 140 hours, finished the story and started to play again. And then again. Exploring the world and exploring the characters. 

It didn’t matter about the graphics or some of the odd translations. It was still the game that I first loved.

I was at a new job, hardly knew anyone and I heard Cloud’s victory theme as someone’s ringtone. Instant friendship formed right there and then. 

Aeris’ theme is still one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I’m tearing up a bit listening to it now. 

I wrote a Uni essay on the music of Nobuo Uematsu and how video game scores is the current standard outlet for classical composers. I still stand by my claim that this could be played on ABC Classic Radio and no listener would automatically assume it was from a video game soundtrack.  

I still have that PlayStation. And until a few years back I was playing FF7 on that console until the memory card broke and I realised I could play it on PS3. 

Then I bought some other games and still kept going back to FF7 (hint it looks almost playable on VITA – and terrible on a 48″ TV). I played Dragon Age and Mass Effect and Assasins Creed and found new characters and worlds to absorb myself into.

Yesterday Twitter exploded on me. I’m not a huge game nerd who pays attention to the goings on and game releases. I figure if it’s good enough Meg or Marnie or another one of my Twitter lovelies will tell me what I need to play. 

But yesterday E3 announced Final Fantasy 7 is getting a remake and it is taking all of my strength to not post this in all caps right now. All of my feelings, my childhood game…..

  
The characters I escaped into are now being remade into high definition. 

This makes me unbelievably excited and scared at the same time. 

I love this story, I love these characters and part of me loves them just the way they are. But there’s another part that is so excited. 

I want to see this remake. I want to see how these characters are taken and remade and updated. 

I am excited. The most exited I’ve ever been about a trailer in my life. 

As soon as I saw South Edge on the train map I had suspicions and then as soon as I saw the slide just outside of Sector 7 I just knew. 

I don’t know when it’s due for release, but be prewarned that I’ll be hibernating for a little while. 


*dates may not be 100% correct. It was 1998 and I didn’t historically document what Christmas presents I got at 13. 

Where did my mojo go…

Well I know quite a bit of it went to a really heavy and stressful work week which went really well and I got a stack of compliments and work cried for it but it was still a lot of hard work and energy. 

Then there was the 100+ hours I put into dragon age inquisition on PS4 (I got it for my birthday!!!! Second best birthday present after the gorgeous scrapbook my mum made me with photos of all the important moments of my life. Seriously an amazing mum!)

Even though I’ve just finished dragon age inquisition (for the second time!) I feel the need to immediately play as a different character. And then I’ve also got The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne to play, as well as finishing Mass Effect and Dragon Age Origins plus the free PS+ games I got last month. 

And then!!!! I get a Netflix email saying there’s new Orange is the New Black, Scandal and Greys Anatomy. Everything is conspiring to make me hibernate for the winter. 

Nothing I’m knitting can compete. 

I just finished Snakeld. Which was fun. It needs blocking but I haven’t got around to it. 

 

I’m working on another one of my lovely ruffly shawl. It’s now up to rev 1.1 because I realised I couldn’t count and had the row counts all wrong. 

   
 

So far it’s had over 500 unique downloads!!!!!! Which is just amazing. 

And I finished a pair of socks. But then realised a picot cast off didn’t work. So I un-finished them and they’re back on the needles. 

   

I literally jumped for joy at a piece of timber that’s going to become a piece for my spinning wheel.  

 But still no knitting mojo. 

Hopefully reading my new purchase  will bring a little bit back. It came highly recommended by the lovely enabling Megan!

So I guess I should stop complaining and just find something I want to knit or make. 

Or maybe I could just watch some more Orange is the New Black and have a little nap. 

finished object 5 with 100% more ratbags

Well it’s actually finished object 6 but as finished object 5 is currently winging its way overseas and I stupidly don’t have any proper photos of it, I’m calling this finished object 5.

 

It will need a good blocking but my blocking mats are currently play toys for the two (yes two) kitten shaped ratbags that have decided they now own our house.

Say hello to Snow.

 

He and Tina are sort of playing nicely with each other. Currently they’re both resting at my feet while I’m writing this in between trying to defeat a boss in Dragon Age 2.  (Which hell yes I just beat!! Last quest and I’ve been battling this Blood Mage, a Pride Demon and a fuckton of Shades for what seems like hours but yeh I finally beat them!!!)

Tina just blends in with everything in our house. But trust me she is there.

So there are plenty of kitty hugs to go round at the moment.

I wound my cling wrap dyed yarn into a ball and it looks just as gorgeous as it did in the skein.

 

However both kitten shaped ratbags were utterly captivated by the swift and ball winder. Plus Snow photo bombed my yarn shot.

I think I can expect more of that in the future!!! As a friend said, I’ve just invited two cats into a yarn palace!!! What have I done.

Kitty cats, crafternoons, and alternate universes. 

So many exciting things I am going to split them over two posts!!!

I have one more quest before I’m finished (well getting to the credits) of Dragon Age 2. 

Then I can start Dragon Age Origins. Because the obvious way to play video games is play them in reverse release order. Still I’ve nearly finished 2 video games! I think I’ve only ever finished one other game previously which was Final Fantasy 7. 

I’ve been doing a lot of cool knitting and crochet related stuff which you’ll find about soon enough, but that’s strictly need to know at the moment. (I feel really super cool just being able to say that. It’s the small things.)

I had a lovely crafternoon picnic hosted by the lovely Lisa of teaandcrafts (and recently Frankie magazine fame!!!!) and some other Perth crafty ladies. PLUS PLUS PLUS!!!!! I got some crafty presents including the coolest cup! 

Her drawings are super cute and I love it so much. It’s just purrfect. It’s a cat with glasses, polkadots, purple hair and knitting. Sound like anyone you know ☺️





I already have some ideas up my sleeve for a thank you gift! 

I’m predicting an ongoing exchange of thank you pressies. 

I also got a lovely package of goodies from Megan from crafternoon nap





Look I’m even wearing matching socks! 





Seriously crafty people are the best!!!

How cool is this scarf?! It has a slip in the pattern which makes it into a sort of tie. It’s super awesome. (I had to show off the dragon earrings I made for myself at the same time.)

I’ve absolutely zipped through Lois Lowry’s – The Giver series. I bought them on a whim before a doctors appointment. One of favourite book shops is right near my doctors office. I use book buying as a treat for going to the doctor.

I read all 4 in one weekend! They are aimed at children so the print is large and they are short, but the concepts are pretty big. Definitely thought provoking. 

I definitely have a bad case of the reading bug because Thursday I plucked Night Circus off the bookshelf on a whim and proceeded to read in one whole night. I did not stop. It was one of those books that I made and ate dinner with one hand so I could keep reading. 

I was only planning on a few chapters while HWFishes was watching an episode of Top Gear that I didn’t want to watch. Ended up with the whole evening with a nose in a book. 

Somehow I’ve managed to save the most exciting news for last. 

There is now a new addition to our household. Everyone say hello to Tina! 





Tina after my cartoon hero, Tina Belcher. 



She’s an absolute cutie that we adopted from our local vet. Currently her home is my crafty room which is the cleanest it’s ever looked. We’ll try and gently introduce herself to the rest of the house.

She’s 14 weeks, adorable, and has taken quite a liking to under the spare bed. She’s already exploring and adventurous. And loves reading over my shoulder. Cute as a button.







Well that’s enough for now. Maybe next time I’ll talk about knitting! 

So much yarn so little time

I feel like I’m trying to knit everything all at once!!!

I have my Sunshine Shawl making good progress after watching Australia beat England and India beat Pakistan over the weekend.

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Then I am so close to finishing my crickety cricket scarf it’s just beckoning for me to finish it, even if that means staying up all night (which I am vehemently resisting but a girl is only so strong!)
I’m definitely on the home stretch.

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Then there are my spirally socks. I’ve just turned the heel which means that these are also nearly finished. I’ve already planned the next project for my sock needles.

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Then this shawl has gone missing and I’m systematically turning the house upside down looking for it.

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And then there’s also this yarn that I dyed and just can’t stop petting.

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More about that later…. When I have time!!!!

There’s still Dragon Age 2 that I’m trying to finish, and Mass Effect 3 which I’m really starting to get hooked on, plus the desire to play Dragon Age Inquisition which I have played until the final quest but there is still so much I need to do!
And so many feelings!!!!

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Plus you know a full time job, plotting for birthday presents & surprise mail, and some big ideas for my blog.

I need a nap just thinking about it.

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