A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

2016 roundup


Working full-time has definitely stopped me from doing as much crafting and reading as I wanted. That and tending an ever-expanding vegetable garden. I did find some spare time though – this is what I achieved.

Cross stitch:

I had four finishes, Douceur de vivre, African sampler, Rose boudoir and Garden cat. I still have several in progress but as crochet seems to have taken over at the moment, they haven’t seen the light of day for a few months. Maybe soon.


I have no finishes this year, Β but I did make some progress on the Ripple blanket before putting that away to work on two Last dance on the beach blankets. Progress on those got stalled when I fell in love with a new CAL – Carousel. The good news is that both of the Last dance blankets, plus Carousel, are very close to being finished. Once they’re done I can hopefully carry on with Ripple and think about starting Log cabin, which I bought the kit for. Then I need to useΒ some of the huge stash of yarn that I’ve bought at Aldi whenever they had some in. I have about a dozen 400g balls of Aran plus some DK. I really mustn’t start any more CALs with kits until I’ve got my stash down a bit.


No finishes this year but I did make good progress on a small quilt for Rosie. I’ve started quilting it so there’s a good chance that I’ll get it finished this year. I’ve got several sewing projects to do so I’m hoping to find the energy to make a start on some of them soon.

Rosie's quilt - 06


My Goodreads challenge for 2016 was to read 100 books and I just beat that with 106. Mostly they were on the Kindle plus 12 audiobooks and apart from two library books, the rest were from my TBR pile. I averaged 339 pages per book so even though there were quite a few shorts in there, the chunkier books balanced that out.

Some of my best finds were on Audible. I listened to the Silo trilogy by Hugh Howey and loved them. I also listened to Ready player one by Ernest Kline. It was narrated by Will Weaton, who did a brilliant job, and I really enjoyed the book. I shall definitely be looking out for more by both authors.

Apart from those and maybe a couple more, I stuck to familiar ground and comfort reading. I’m hoping to challenge myself a little more this year and read some contemporary fiction and maybe a couple more classics.


This year there will be very little in the way of gardening, which will hopefully make time for some more crafting. Although I enjoyed having a vegetable garden, my health isn’t up to the work involved at the moment. As well as needing a knee replacement, possibly two, my back isn’t great and I’ve just been diagnosed with sciatica. People keep telling me how painful that is. Oddly enough, I do know πŸ™‚

I have plans to make the garden a lot less time-consuming and we’re starting by clearing most of it in order to have a new cat enclosure built. (when I say we, I do mean Stephen of course). The new enclosure is being custom-made, will be attached to the house and will be like an adventure playground for the cats. I cannot wait to see their reaction to being able to stroll out the back door and play.

I’m very grateful to the SAL which is run by Avis and Claire as it gave me a nudge to get some crafting done on several occasions lest I have nothing to post. We have lots more SAL members now too, so every three weeks there are lots of lovely projects to look at. It’s a great idea and super fun.

So, the plan for this year is to finish some of my existing projects and hopefully start some new and exciting ones. Yes, cat quilts, I’m looking at you!


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

22 thoughts on “2016 roundup

  1. Wow we totally sound like kindred spirits after reading this post! I work full time too plus manage our veggie and fruit gardens and cross-stitch and read with Good reads too haha! Thanks for posting!


  2. You have had a busy year. I have looked forward to your progress on your projects and I see many finishes in 2017 in store for you πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!


  3. Carole, you have tons done on so many projects…you have 3-4 major finishes on the home stretch, I think! I am intrigued by the eclectic nature of your cross stitches, and I think I will check out a couple of the authors you mentioned. Happy New Year to you!


    • Happy New Year Kathy. Yes, I do have three crochet projects nearing completion so that’ll be a start. I am keen to get stitching again. I love doing different designs. I have a couple of favourite designers but I tend to do whatever catches my eye.
      Let me know if you try any of the books that I mentioned. I’d love to know what you think of them πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. you got a lot done over the year Carole, so a pat on the back for that.
    I hope your sciatica is sciatica, and that it’ll sort itself out. Mine turned out to be due to double discal hernia and I’m still hobbling & in pain.


    • I’m hoping it is sciatica. I self-diagnosed (Google) but did have a very brief consult with the GP who thought the same. It’s worse in the morning once I start moving but eases through the day, but sometimes only with the help of painkillers.
      Hope you get some relief from the pain soon. That sounds horrendous.


  5. You have been busy, the cat enclosure sounds good. I have different levels, rocks & shrubs for Luna to mooch through. She believes she’s hunting! Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really excited about the cat enclosure. We’re planning lots of things in it for them. I’m going to add a small water feature as Rosie loves paddling or playing with the taps. I thought of planting a corner with ferns for them to hide under to watch the birds and squirrels. Can’t decide whether to go with artificial or real grass though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have artificial grass, we’ve have it about three years it works well, you can hose it down if you need to. They do like to hide don’t they, Luna was hiding from May this afternoon, her head was behind the line post, but her body was sticking out, the head just kept bobbing back & forth. LOL . They are so funny. Good luck with your projects


        • They are funny creatures. I don’t think we’ve laughed as much as we do now we have the kitties.
          I think the artificial grass is the better bet, to be honest. I like the idea of being able to hose it down, and not having to mow it. Plus no weeds in it πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great round up, and you have definitely achieved a lot! I hope your health improves – crafting is a great way to help us through these challenges. I’m looking forward to your year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck with 2017! It sounds as though 2016 was wonderfully productive for you, well done! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have done really well Carole and accomplished lots with all you have had to cope with! I wish I was closer and could share the garden with you, though mine will most likely be smaller this year as we are planning a huge camporee for 2500-3000 kids/adults for mid-September this year as well as graduation from high school for DS and applying to college. I will avoid mentioning early 2018 events that will be quite large as I don’t want to feel overwhelmed so have already started working on those plans. It will be a busy 1 1/2 years. Maybe I should just plan on cheering you on lots, which I know I can do and will enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do have a lot on. I guess the key to that is to break it down into manageable tasks. Looking at the whole can be a bit daunting.

      I’ll appreciate any cheering that you have time for though πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Carole, you’ve had such a busy year and still managed to read a lot and do loads of crafting. I love to see all the variety of projects you get up to. Happy New Year to you and yours πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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