Getting Crafty: Finally Finishing

I have a tendency to flit around between different crafts and never quite seem to finish any of my works-in-progress. At the beginning of this year I decided I would finally finish all those craft projects I had started but hadn’t gotten around to finishing and wouldn’t be able to start any new projects until they’re all finished. I thought I’d show you two of my finished projects and one of my in-progress projects.

Cross Stitch

This cross stitch I actually started early this year for a friend’s birthday.  It didn’t take too long to do, but it turned out beautifully. I got this pattern from ThuHaDesign on Etsy.

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Knitting

This is actually the first knitting project I’ve ever finished. There was quite a learning curve to this project considering I had no idea what I was doing. However, I think the scarf turned out very nicely. I still need to block the scarf to stop it from rolling over itself so much, but all-in-all I think it was a great first project. Though it took me a month an a half longer to finish than I originally planned, I learned some lessons about proper yarn weight and needle size that I will carry forward onto my next projects.

 

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Work-In-Progress

My current work-in-progress is actually quite a fun project, but it got a little out of hand. I’ve been working on a Dragon’s Egg. It takes a bit of time to paint all the scales and properly place them, but it looks super awesome. This project got a little out of hand because the example I looked at didn’t specify a size for the egg, so I went to the craft store and got what I thought was the correct size. Boy was I wrong. The egg I got was basically twice the size of the sample project in the picture, so technically I would have been already finished this project if I had gotten the correct size. Alas, I am still prepping more scales for the project, but it shouldn’t be too long before this project is completed as well.

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Apple Watch: Review

Everyone probably knows that wearable technology has been popping up everywhere over the past year. Whether it’s a smart watch or a fitness tracker, I’m sure the majority of people have at least seen one before. I’ve had my Apple Watch for about 6 months and while my first thought was to give a review about it right away, I decided to wait and really get to know the watch and its little bugs and quirks. Now I can give you my honest review after using the watch daily for about half a year.

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Pros:

For me the pros were noticeable right away. I am the kind of person who does not have my phone with me most of the time. I don’t have pockets and I just don’t feel the need to carry my phone around with me when I’m around my house or in my home. This means I usually missed phone calls and wouldn’t see messages until much later. The watch is really helpful to check messages as they come in and take calls without having to run around and find my phone. I also don’t have to pull my phone out of my pocket to see why it buzzed.

I also enjoyed the “ping phone” feature on my watch. Like I said I don’t carry my phone with me. I also will just absentmindedly put my phone down and just walk away. This makes the rush out the door oh-so-much-fun when you can’t find your phone in the house. At least now I can ping my phone even if it’s on silent (which it usually is) and I can find it in a matter of seconds. Now if only I could have that feature on all my things…

Finally I really enjoyed using Siri and some of the apps on my watch. Siri on my watch works great when I want to change songs in the car or if I need to start a timer for dinner. The alarm and timer app on the watch are constantly used as well as my weather app. I even customized my watch face so I always know what the temperature is outside when I’m heading out the door. I also enjoyed the ability to draw little pictures and send them to other users (aka my husband). Not only is it fun, but if you’re babysitting it keeps some kids entertained for quite some time.

Cons:

Now for the downsides. To start, this watch has been marketed as a way to use apps on your phone without getting out your phone. However, I’ve found a lot of the apps that developers make for the watch to be quite useless. Things like the twitter and instagram app seem good in theory, but in actual practice they are tedious and have no functionality. Many of the third party apps for the watch are, at most, very stripped down versions of their phone app. It’s just more effective to use your phone rather than the watch.

Another issue I had with the watch was with the Activities app. Apple really hyped this feature because it has rings that will fill up as you are active, standing, and exercising. However, I’ve had problems with the watch not always recognizing when I’m standing or moving around. I’ve had my watch tell me I should stand up and walk around for a minute when I had been up and about for the past hour. While it’s not a major bug, it is a slight annoyance to be chastised by your watch when it isn’t reading your movements correctly.

My final issue I ran into was with using Siri. Now I usually use my watch as a hands-free way to change my music or set a timer when my hands are full. This becomes more challenging when Siri decides not to respond to you. I’ve found that sometimes Siri will just be unresponsive and not pick up on my talking even when I’m yelling at it. While I’ve found just quickly pressing the dial on the side will sort of re-set this and get Siri to start working again, it is still a bit aggravating when your technology won’t listen to you in your moment of need.

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Final Opinions:

Overall I’ve really been enjoying my Apple Watch. While it isn’t without its flaws, and no technology is flawless, a few little bugs here and there have not tarnished my feelings about this watch. It is functional for my needs and has made my life just a little bit easier. While it may not be for everyone, I’ve really grown attached to my watch and I know I’ll be using it for the foreseeable future.

 

Gaming: Star Wars Battlefront

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To me nothing says love like Star Wars and battling people. I know, I’m a classy one. I thought why not talk to you guys about a game I’ve been playing (and loving) since end of November!

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For those of you who haven’t heard of Star Wars: Battlefront it is a first person shooter game where you can complete missions on different planets. Some times you play a part of the rebel alliance, and sometimes you’re part of the empire. You even get to play as Darth Vader!! Gives you the chance to do a bit of everything. From shooting guns and wielding lightsabers to driving AT-ATs and flying x-wings and shooting down TIE fighters. It is a game that immerses you in the battlefields of Star Wars.

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I’ve been absolutely loving this game and it’s local multiplayer gameplay. I haven’t played this game much on my own, but it’s so much fun to battle against friends or work together as a part of the rebel alliance. There is the option to play by yourself or use online multiplayer, but I just love the interaction that comes with local multiplayer. There are even options to increase the difficulty if you’re a seasoned gamer. This game has provided hours of entertainment and is definitely worth checking out.

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Gaming: Mario & Luigi Paper Jam

Around the beginning of December Nintendo released a new Mario game called Mario & Luigi Paper Jam. This weekend I found myself bored and at a loss for what to do, so I decided to download the game and give it a try. The idea of the game is pretty simple. The book containing the Paper Mario world was opened and all the characters from that world were released into the “real” world. Now there are two Bowsers and they’ve captured both the paper and real Peach in Bowser’s castle. Mario and Luigi now need to save both the princesses before they take over the mushroom kingdom.

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I found this game to be very different from any Mario game I’ve ever played before. It honestly reminded me of the Pokemon games. You go through the world by following your route on the map to save the princesses. Along the way you battle Bowser’s troops while levelling up Mario and Luigi. The whole battle style is very much like Pokemon battles where you take turns attacking, and you get Exp. for every battle you win. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this at first, but it really works for this game and I found myself enjoying levelling up my characters. There is also an easy mode that you can turn on for battles if you’re new to this type of game or if you’re a younger player. I left this feature off, but I liked how it was there if you need help but it wasn’t forced on you if you didn’t want to use it.

One of the downsides to playing this game on an older 3DS instead of the New 3DS is I can’t really use the amiibo functions they have built into the game. The game allows you to create custom amiibo characters to battle with in the game. I haven’t really looked into the different options and specifics of this feature at this point. I don’t have any amiibo right now anyways so they would be of no use to me at this point, but I’m honestly not going to buy an amiibo reader just so I can use them on my older 3DS.

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All in all I think Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is a really good game even if it isn’t what you’d traditionally expect a Mario game to be like. The one thing I really liked about this game is it does not baby you like I found previous Mario games did (looking at you Super Mario 3D Land). The game is a bit of a challenge which makes it way more enjoyable. Besides, there’s always the option to make the game easier if you don’t enjoy the struggle.