Update 1 of perfume project

Last month I began a little project toward using up some of the perfumes in my collection. My collection has grown considerably and I am really dialing in the types of fragrances I truly enjoy, so I want to get some of the samples and doubles finished up. While it’s a bit early for an update yet, I’ve made some significant progress and the flooring in my craft room is being changed this week, causing me to need to move my vanity. I don’t want to move and hang on to what amounts to garbage.

This is the original group of fragrances I intended to work on, and I did not take an updated photo because it’s a bit pointless. But I can easily do an overview of what I finished.

I finished all 3 replica samples on the bottom right. I knew that I would as there was not a large amount in any of them. I also finished the Ariana Grande Moonlight perfume that’s been in my collection since early 2019.

Out of the remainder I have used the Ellis Brooklyn Apres the most. It’s light, woody, approachable, and unoffensive even if I am just lounging around the house. In fact, it has paired beautifully with a pine scented candle and christmas decor. This seems a very nice time of year to be wearing this one.

I wore the Tom Ford black orchid once or twice. But, the most fun part of this one was when I wore it to work. I worried it would be too heavy for the office. Folks would come in my office, sniff, and say “What are you wearing, it smells amazing in here!” Which means I picked a winner for myself.

I wore the Ellis Brooklyn Bee a few times and I don’t think I wore the Thierry Mugler Alien at all. I’ll rectify that tomorrow.

I basically used up a large amount of the variety in this small selection, leaving me only with 4 scents to concentrate on over the next month and a half in this project. I am sure I’ll supplement with the rest of my collection. I think I’ll set the goal of using up Apres fully by Mid-January and I’ll also set a goal of using Alien once a week. As for the rest, I just hope to make some progress.

In the next update I’ll see what I want to roll in from my collection to have a bit more variety, but for this upcoming month I am sticking with the original group minus what I’ve already completed.

This Year’s Mystery Knit Along

As I have done in past years, I enjoyed participating in this year’s westknits mystery knit along. From the beginning I figured the shawl would be different than other years as it really did seem to use less yarn, or at least fewer colors. That was indeed the case.

I went with a fall theme really, I had been choosing colors that looked autumnal to me at the time. I think maybe I may have veered pretty far into the Halloween direction. But I do appreciate the color scheme.

I enjoyed the different various elements to this shawl and I am glad I knit it!

My absolute favorite part are these icord embellishments woven into the antler cables.

The braided pieces were my other favorite new technique, it really gives the shawl a unique texture.

I’ve knit tons of twisted stitches before but I wanted to get a close up of that element to the shawl as well.

This was a really enjoyable knit, titled Twists and Turns. The westknits mystery shawls are always so well thought out and planned. There’s never a technique that feels unapproachable since there’s entire youtube videos to go with every new technique and transition.

Now that this shawl is complete I am back to working my way through the westknits shawl book titled Painting Shawls. I have two in progress, Painting Waves and Painting Diamonds. I am about midway through both, and it’s entirely possible that they’ll wrap up around the same time.

A Little Project

Over the past year or two I’ve gotten far more interested in perfumes than I was at any other point in my life. I genuinely believe that this has a bit to do with aging. I remember my mother mentioning that her ability to smell seemed to be diminishing somewhat as she got older. I was a young adult at the time, so likely she was about the age I am now. In my own younger years smells could be extremely overwhelming and perfumes in particular were overwhelming and often overstimulating. It is not fun to put on a perfume and then be completely unable to concentrate on anything at all other than the way I smell. And that was often the case for me.

However, with age, I am finding that many of the perfumes I wouldn’t have even bothered to try in the past actually smell quite pleasant to me now. So over the past year or so I’ve taken the opportunity to explore that further. I’ve enjoyed trying various samples, purchasing some perfumes, and trying to hone in on the scents that I tend to love and those that tend to give me a headache or be distracting.

Since I am over a year into this process now, I have purchased a number of perfumes that I do like and am less likely to be adding little sample curations to my collection. As such, I’d like to start getting a better handle on my collection of samples and my perfume collection in general.

So, I am beginning a little project use it up for myself.

These are the items I am starting with.

Top row are the two oldest perfumes in my collection. The Ariana Grande Moonlight perfume is super close to being used up. It’s also circa 2018 now and really has little to no staying power left. I tend to wear this on days off when I just want a simple perfume, not too strong, with a scent I find enjoyable. The other is Thierry Mugler Alien. This is a far stronger perfume and a little goes a long way. I purchased this probably in 2019 and I’d like to get it finished as well. While I do enjoy the white floral combined with woodsy notes, I don’t think I would purchase a full size bottle of this. I tend to like to purchase travel sizes when I can as I do find myself “over” perfumes after a time of wearing them consistently. I like variety! So, I am looking to use up the two oldest perfumes in my collection.

I am also looking to use up sample sizes of anything I have a travel or full size of as well as a few sample sizes I am almost out of.

The first is Tom Ford Black Orchid. I received this sample, sprayed it on me, and almost immediately went back to purchase a larger bottle using a coupon I had. For me, it is just so very good. It hits on a lot of the scent profiles I enjoy-woody, white florals, vanilla, spicy, and adds one of my absolute favorites, patchouli. So, I’d like to use up the sample and be left only with my larger size bottle.

I have two Ellis Brooklyn perfumes, two samples of Bee which I also have a travel size of, and a sample of Apres which I have a travel size of. I like them both very much though there are days where Bee feels a bit too sweet and I get overwhelmed by it. But there are other days, particularly cold days, where I really love it.

And then I have 3 samples from Maison Margiela Replica line. I have samples of By the Fireplace, Whispers in the Library, and Autumn Vibes. There are only a couple uses in each of them. The only one I have a full size of is By the Fireplace. However, that’s one of my all time favorite perfumes at this point. Absolutely no reason to keep a sample size around. I would like to add Whispers in the Library to my collection but it’s harder to get my hands on, I’d need to order directly from their website. It’s on a short list of perfumes I absolutely would want to add to my collection. And then there’s Autumn Vibes. This is one where it seems like I should really like it, but I just…don’t? I mean, it’s ok but it is just not a favorite despite having so much going on I should like. I think I’d like it better with a tiny bit of sweetness added to it.

For this little use it up project of mine, I plan to do a mid-December update with monthly mid-month updates, potentially rolling in other fragrance items until I am at a point I am comfortable with my collection again. (Which sort of just means having used up the bulk of the sample perfumes.) I don’t feel an overwhelming need to go fast on this project, rather I’d like to rotate through my collection while concentrating mainly on the focus items that are in the project. I think my big approach for this upcoming month will be to finish off the replica fragrances since they are almost gone anyhow, and then rotate through the remainder. I’ll be keeping the Moonlight perfume for weekend days and days off, but I do have an entire week off this month so I’ll probably hit that perfume hard during that week in particular. It is so close to being done that I think perhaps I could also finish that one by the next update.

Puppy Finale

In August I wrote about our foster dog and her puppies about 3 days after they were born. I had intended to update with new photos of their progress as they grew in our home. However, it turns out that raising newborn puppies in my home was ridiculously and wildly overwhelming and busy. It took every spare moment we had to raise well adjusted and good puppies, the story of the frog in the pot being slowly boiled was a little like what puppy rearing is like. It’s wildly busy from the start and just gets busier.

I am extremely proud of the work we did. I litter trained them from about 3 weeks old so that they would generally use litter boxes with pine pellet horse bedding in it to potty in their pen, keeping their pen far cleaner than it could have been. From about 5 weeks old I trained them to sit and look at me when they wanted something in order that they would be easier to train in their forever homes. I kennel trained them for the same reason. I used various types of flooring in their pen so that they would not be upset or scared by new flooring as they got older. At 5 weeks old we started taking them outside to play so that they would also learn to potty outside and get used to leaving plants and trees alone, playing with safe things instead. They were well socialized to both people and dogs, I had regular visitors over to handle them.

By the time they went home they could do all these things, could do stairs, and were bold, non fearful, playful, fun, and well adjusted puppies. It about killed me, but we did a great job.

At the age of almost 10 weeks they began going to their forever home. Their mom went to her home first when they were 9.5 weeks old, then I had one adoption on a Thursday, 5 on a Saturday, 1 on that Sunday, and then I ended up with 3 different home visits to find the correct match for the final puppy but he went home on a Wednesday. So, over the course of a week all the puppies were placed in their forever homes before they were 11 weeks old.

I did get photos of them right before they were 9 weeks old, which is what I am posting here. I love each and every one of them. We had the best case scenario of a good mama dog who had 8 healthy puppies. Even with the last puppy who stayed a few extra days, he was easy because he slept through the night in his kennel, rather than waking up every 2-3 hours which can be expected at a young age. I love each and every one of them, but I do not miss them. 🙂 I am over the moon about having my house back to myself.

We regularly ask ourselves if we’d do it again. And the answer is probably yes. But, if we do, it’ll need to be another best case scenario situation and it’ll need to be a few years down the road. What the project ended up being was something which put our entire lives on hold for 3 months. A labor of love that I will not be able to manage regularly. But we are grateful for the experience and very happy about our good puppies.