I am behind in continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Two library stacks (and a mini stack) have been browsed and returned to the library since my last post (luckily I remembered to take photos) and I have a current stack I will post about after I finish my reading/browsing.
Here is the oldest of the stacks that have been enjoyed and returned:
The book that really stood out in this pile was Faux Appliqué (2008) by Helen Stubbings:
I loved the idea of the Colourqué® technique: using colored pencils to re-create the look of intricate appliqué.
After returning this stack to the library, I accidentally discovered a new section to browse while looking for a cookbook – the Sewing Section!
I did not realize there a separate sewing section in the library’s Non-Fiction collection. I usually browse in the quilting, needle arts (knitting, crochet), general craft, and home decorating sections. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new treasure trove of sewing/crafting books!
Trying to be reasonable in my selections, here was the resulting library stack after my new discovery:
The book that really stood out for me in this stack was 50 Little Gifts: Easy Patchwork Projects to Give or SwapPaperback (2018), Compiled by Susanne Woods:
There were so many projects I wanted to make in this book that I just broke down and bought it.
Another book that intrigued me was DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community (2016) Paperback by Gabriela Pereira:
8 years ago I finished my MBA (Masters in Business Administration) because it was an appropriate graduate program for the work I am employed. However my dream would have been to get my Masters in Fine Arts (MFA). If money were no option and I did not have to work for a living, I would love to get my MFA!
Then I discovered this book which teaches the concepts of the MFA condensed into one book. I started the book, reading about a 1/4th of the book but then had to return it because another library patron had it on hold. I am going to borrow the book from the library again when I have more time to read/work through it.
Stack 3 (Mini Stack)
I picked up a miniature stack (one book) when I stopped by the library to return the above stack (are you impressed with my self-control?):
The title of this book cracked me up and the cat themed crafts were over the top (there is a cat head skirt pattern that only someone truly obsessed with cats would make much less wear).
Okay so those are the stacks that I forgot to post and stay tuned for a future post on my current library stack.
It’s time to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
I’ve finished most of the stack and enjoyed flipping through the books with a couple pots of tea. I’m still finishing up one book that I wanted to spend extra time on: How to be a Craftivist: The art of gentle protest by Sarah Corbett.
As the author asks in the book: “If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair?”
This book is by the founder of the Craftivist Collective and provides an alternative to responding to injustice with apathy or aggression – responding instead with gentle, effective protest.
The back cover summary provides as excellent overview of the book so I am going to just quote it: “Quiet action can sometimes speak as powerfully as the loudest voice. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.”
If you are interested in Craftivism (using craft as a form of activism according to the author), I highly recommend you borrow this book from your library or pick up a copy at a local bookstore (or online).
The author shares a Craftivist’s Manifesto and I’ve listed her ten (10) actions below but I refer you to the book for more details and explanations:
Be the tortoise
Craft is our tool
Solidarity not sympathy
Find comfort in contemplation
Empathy never points fingers
Small and beautiful
Humility holds the key
Provoke don’t preach
Make the change you wish to see
The book is peppered with powerful quotes by great thinkers and activists and below are several examples, which are explored deeply in the book:
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out-of-the-river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. – Desmond Tutu
Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart. – Rumi
An unexamined life is not worth living .- Socrates
We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove. A tough mind and tender heart. – Martin Luther King
If you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world,. Today and I am wise so I am changing myself. – Rumi
Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up. – Mahatma Gandhi
Handle them carefully for words have more power than atom bombs. – Pearl Stracha Hurd
Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. – Edmund Burke
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.. – Winston Churchill
There are several TED Talks by the author, here is one of her awesome TED Talks:
NOTE: Being sensitive to the fact that my American blog readers may have differing political views in regards to the current U.S. President and protest events such as the Women’s March, please be thoughtful in any comments you make in the “Thoughts” section of this post about these topics.
My Craftivist Future
A couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with my sister who challenged me on what direction I want to take my art.
I already plan to continue by series Stories My Father Told Me (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me ) which is focused on sharing positive stories through textile art of how my father overcame the challenges of discrimination, segregation, and racism. However after talking to my sister, I am starting to explore other series that will have a “Craftivist” flavor.
Ultimately I would love to make art that inspires dialogue. I am still early in my artistic journey and finding my voice.
Of course I also want to make pretty/visually pleasing traditional and art quilts in the future too as well as many other types of textile crafts. Now to just plan to win the lottery so I can devote all my time to my art! (Oh wait, do you have to play the lottery to win?)
Speaking of “winning the lottery”, I had one of those awesome early morning walk experiences last Friday (or maybe it was Saturday) that felt like a mini-lottery win.
I’ve been trying start each morning with a 2 miles walk around 6:00 am before it gets hot.
The Balloons Over Bend Hot Air Ballon Festival was in progress (July 27 – 29) and much to my surprise during my morning walk I noticed hot air balloons floating over my neighborhood at a fairly low altitude. One of them dipped so low for a moment that I thought it was going to land in my neighborhood park!
It did not land however and took back off up into the sky.
It was 60 degree Fahrenheit with a slight breeze and absolutely crystal clear blue skies. Seeing the hot air balloons float by was an exquisite experience and the moment made me pause and realize that life is filled with many wonderful little sweet surprising moments!
Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library. This is not my most recent stack but a stack from last week. I’ve returned a couple of these books and added a couple more but I’ll just use this stack as an example of a latest stack (smile).
In this pile is a book that was in the previous stack – Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Lifeby Diana Raab – in my 05/13/18 post.
The book is so good I borrowed it again to finish reading it. A couple of days ago I decided to just buy the book as it is one of those books you want to work through slowly, underline passages and take notes!
The author Diane Raab encourages people to read and write poetry and states that “poetry is the voice of the soul”; and “writing and reading poetry can be a springboard to growth, healing, and transformation.”
She defines and discusses different types of poems; and introduces a type of poem I’ve never heard about before – the “Acrostic” poem – a poem in which the first letters of each line form a word or a phrase if written vertically.
So I thought for fun I would take a stab at writing an Acrostic poem for you:
It Will Never Be Done, and That’s Okay
Quite wonderful is our hobby, even if it fills our lives with
Unfinished projects, gadgets and tools, stashes of precious fabrics and
Impulses to buy even more fabric.
Look at your completed creations and
The smiles they brought to the recipients who are
Intrigued by all the work and love that went into your textile art.
Now step back and realize thank
Goodness you will never be done.
I know, I know, you are thinking: “don’t quit your day job”! Thanks for reading my first Acrostic poem tand I think I experienced a moment of bliss by completing it!
I mentioned the previous Library Stack earlier in this post from 05/13/18.
Well here is a little update on the cookbooks I borrowed:
I decided not to buy an Instant Pot or and Air Fryer at this time. Actually I did buy an Instant Pot and then I returned it. I got overwhelmed with bringing new kitchen gadgets into my life at this time and decided to focus on reacquainting myself with neglected appliances such as my slow cooker.
I ended up using one of the Slow Cooker Cookbooks in the stack above to make a couple delicious dinners including slow cooked shredded barbecue chicken that made wonderful sandwiches.
I will revisit the Instant Pot and Air Fryer in the future as I enjoyed looking through the recipe books and all the great (and seemingly) easy dishes you can make with these appliances.
You can’t use up creativity; the more you use, the more you have – Maya Angelou
Continuing my ongoing series,TheLibrary Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
This current stack is laden with cookbooks as that was the kind of mood I was in during my recent library browsing. I realize this should have been a “Winter” thing, but I am in the mood to use my slow cooker more and wanted some new recipe ideas.
I am curious about Air Frying and might buy an Air Fryer someday so I borrowed a book with recipes for an Air Fryer.
I did just purchase an Instant Pot and I have reserved a huge list of books with Instant Pot recipes. So the next library stack is likely to be filled with Instant Pot cookbooks!
Also I was lured into the New Nonfiction Releases section (okay I am am always lured into that section when I visit the downtown library) and several new crafting and home decorating books just had to come home with me!
Here are some comments and thoughts on the books I’ve dived into so far in my latest library stack:
The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking
“Lykke” according to the author is the Danish word for “happiness” and is pronounced “loo-ka”. Meik Wiking is also the author of the book The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living which I discussed in my 04/15/17 post The Library Stack and Hygge.
I read the first couple of chapters and then remembered how much I enjoyed listening to the audiobookThe Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living after I read the book and the author’s delightful Danish accent; and I decided to reserve The Little Book of Lykke on audiobook as it looks like it will be another delightful listen during my daily walks.
Denmark is one of the coolest places I have ever visited and definitely had a happy vibe!
The Joy of Hygge: How to Bring Everyday Pleasure and Danish Coziness into Your Life by Jonny Jackson & Elias Larsen
There appeared to be a “Danish Hygge theme” going on in the New Nonfiction Releases section of my library so I added this one to my stack also. This book is more of a lifestyle book with images of decor, activities and crafts to bring “hygge” into your life.
I came across a quote in the book that gave me a huge smile as this is exactly how I want to live my life:
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours. – Scandinavian proverb
Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diane Raab
This is an amazing book! I am tempted to purchase it as there is so much in the book I do not think I can digest it all during my library loan period. I am going to share verbatim the overview on the back cover of the book to give you a tiny feel of all the good stuff in this book:
Writing for Bliss is most fundamentally about reflection, truth, and freedom. With techniques and prompts for both the seasoned and the novice writer, it will lead you to
– tap into your creativity through storytelling and poetry,
– examine how life-changing experiences can inspire writing,
– pursue self-examination and self-discovery through the written word, and,
– understand how published writers have been transformed by writing.
The is amazing guidance on meditating and become centered so you can reflect and writing, and many other tips. The book is like a course and there are assignments. I think I am going to go ahead and buy the book so I can write notes and work through it at a pace that works for me.
The Dutch Oven Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pot in Your Kitchen by Sharon Kramis & Julie Kramis Hearne
This book inspired me to drag out my Dutch Oven:
Today I am going to make Lentil Sausage Soup on page 11 of this wonderful cookbook.
Hopefully the rest of the books will be as wonderful as the first four I am working through. While taking photos of my latest library stack, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer wondered what I was up to and ended up “photo-bombing” one of my shots:
He likely felt that I should return to my chair in the front window and continue cuddling with him instead of whatever strange thing I was doing posing books and taking images with my smartphone!
The reason why I stopped at the library for a browse and ended up with this stack was I received an e-mail notification from my library that a whole bunch of movies I put on hold were available.
It always seems to be “feast or famine” when it comes to library movies that I put on hold being available. No movies for a couple of weeks and then BAM – 6 movies available at once! You only have a short window to pick the movies up before they put them back into circulation for the next library patron on the hold list and since I did not want to wait a long time to get these movies again, I checked them all out.
The loan period for DVDs is 7 days so Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I are having an ongoing movie marathon – 1 – 2 films each day. So far we’ve watched Molly’s Game, Star Wars The Last Jedi, and The Greatest Showman. We enjoyed all three films.
The Greatest Showman was spectacularly entertaining and TTQH were glued to the screen the whole time. I will close this post with a quote from this movie, that really resonated with me. It was one of those life lessons that I have worked on learning for many years (but finally I think I am getting it):
That’s a lot of topics for one post, well let’s get started!
The Toe Saga
I’ve been delinquent in blogging lately due to a very silly injury: a broken toe.
My sofa and I had an argument and I lost. I was rushing around, not paying attention and jammed my right foot/toes into the metal leg of my sofa at what felt like 80 miles an hour. It hurt, like really hurt but I thought it was just a sprain or an irritation to my toes and tried to care for itself (after all I am a RN).
A couple days later one of the toes was looking more purple and bruised so it was time to head over the Urgent Care, and yes, per the x-ray, the toe was fractured…in two places. They are hairline fractures and will take up to 6 weeks to heal; but my toe did not require surgery or fracture reduction/setting (so that is a good thing!).
(I know, I know, you all are so disappointed that I did not include a photo of my purplish bruised toe in this post, ha!)
I am mainly irritated with myself for such careless stupidity and that my daily walks are on hold for a week. The Physician Assistant I saw in Urgent Care said in a week my toe will be better to walk on, but I suspect I will have to take a hiatus from my hiking adventures.
I am trying to use this experience as a lesson that I need to slow down and be more mindful of my environment. I also rearranged my end tables to guard me against a future “sofa attack”.
Library Stack Catch Up
Before I decided to share “The Toe Saga”, the original purpose of this post was to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Well I am two stacks behind! So let’s catch you up.
The Prior Stack
A couple of the books were books I’ve borrowed before such as Quilt Inspirations from Africa and Red & White Quilting. I like to think of my public library as “my other bookcase” and many of the older quilting/crafting books are always on the shelves whenever I want to read them again.
Two books that I’ve never borrowed before and really enjoyed in this stack were Fairy Tale Sewing: Whimsical Toys, Dolls and Softies by Heidi Boyd and Stitch Draw by Rosie James.
Of course I’ve been heavily influenced by the work of Helen@Crawcraftbeasties and Shirley @Handmade Habit – there are doing awesome things with “Softies” and I want to be part of this scene somedays too (along with the 10,000 other crafts I want to make).
I have commissioned Helen to make the tierneycreates Beastie and Shirley is doing some amazing new things with new stuffed animal creations! Be sure to check out their wonderful blogs if you have not already (I’ve linked their blogs in the text above and you should also check out their awesome Instagram pages).
I’ve also been influenced by Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas who retired from teaching and it now trying to become the “Renaissance Women of All Things Crafting”.
She started posting her stitching doodles and drawings on her blog and now I want to try that out someday also (yeah, yeah, future craft projects/techniques, get in line behind all the others). I thought the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James had many great ideas to get started.
A Single Stack
In between the library stack above, and my current stack, I had one solitary book: Living the Airstream Life by Karen Flett.
Lots of daydreaming went on while reading this book (but where would I put my sewing studio in the Airstream…and where would I store all my fabric scraps?!?!).
The physical book itself is pretty cool – the outside is framed in silver paper with simulated rivets like on an Airstream trailer!
Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) had to tease me while I was reading the book. He kept asking: “So do we get a trailer to attach behind the Airstream for your fabric?”.
I’ve posted in the past about embracing Minimalism in my series of posts on MyMinimalism Journey but my craft hobbies are interfering with a full “embracement”!
My Current Stack: Your Sacred Nest
My current stack of library books is, in my opinion, quite yummy! This stack is about quality over quantity.
I am currently reading Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock, and so far this book is fantastic!
I’d like to share snippets from a passage from the book on “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:
A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use.
Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love… – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space (2017)
I love thinking of my creative endeavors as my “baby birds”!
(But wait a minute, I could continue with this analogy and realize that the reason I get into trouble sometimes is I am trying to feed too many “baby birds” at one time!)
I love my neighborhood and I have some awesome neighbors who I just really like as people (they are good humans!). Here is a recent sweet public library story from one of my neighbors.
My neighbor and friend Jenny just returned from a three week trip to Australia to visit her in-laws. Her in-laws live suburb of Melbourne and after a week or so of just reading downloaded e-books, she and her young son were missing their regular trips to their our local public library (she is a Deschutes Public Library Cult-Member like I am, ha!). Jenny heard that the Melbourne area library system allows visitor passes and for visitors with ID to borrow up to two books.
So she and her son walked 10 minutes from where they were staying to the St. Kilda library. The librarian was so welcoming and after a chat she not only let them borrow more than 2 books (which is awesome as Jenny and her son did not have to go with one book each), she helped identify some great books (and loaded them up) in the children’s section and gave them a nice tote bag to get their huge stack of book back to where they were staying 10 minutes away!
So libraries are good places all over the world and librarians are some of the best people on earth (smile).
I also stated in this post: “I have another skein of the same yarn for my hat and I am thinking of making a coordinating ribbed scarf.”
I did start knitting a coordinating scarf. I was feeling lazy and decided to do a mindless knit a row/purl a row pattern (even though it tends to curl on the ends) instead of a ribbed pattern which required more thought. My plan was to finish up the scarf while watching television in the evening.
However as we moved from December into January in Central Oregon the weather was not too bad. No snow and on and off in January we had that “Sprinter” (Spring-like in Winter) weather I’ve mentioned in previous posts (see recent post ABeautiful Mondaywhere were are on a hike in 60 degree weather).
So I procrastinated.
I did get nearly 13.5″ of scarf knitted but it is not enough to wrap around the neck of Mike the Miniature Schnauzer much less a human:
Then…Bam – Snowmageddon is back in Central Oregon! Sprinter is OVER! Winter is here, for real (heavy snow and frigid temperatures)!
And because I procrastinated, I had no scarf to match my hat! I had to face the elements “less coordinated” as I could have been (smile):
I am now trying to finish the scarf, no more procrastination, I have learned my lesson!
In my series of posts, TheLibrary Stack, it is apparent that I love to borrow a huge stack of library books at one time.
In case you ever wonder how I manage the borrowed library books I have finished that are ready for return to the library (okay you likely have never wondered this but I will share anyway), I wanted to share my system.
We have an old IKEA shoe rack that we keep under the coat rack by the front door. On top of that shoe rack I have a wire basket that holds all library books ready for return:
We also keep a tray with a box of tissues (for runny noses during winter walks), earphones for audiobook listening, and keys for easy access. Yes I guess I could have tidied the area up before taking the photo but I decided to “keep it real”!
I started this library wire basket system years ago after hearing a cautionary tale from a friend:
Her husband was trying to be helpful and returned a stack of books for her to the library. Turns out these books were expensive new art books she just purchased, not library books!
Her husband went back to the library to plead his case and ask for the books back but the library had already given them to the Friends of the Library Group for the next fund raising sale. They were integrated with the other donations stored off site and not retrievable (they don’t give back donations or have the staff to search for “oops” donations). So my friend never saw her lovely stack of new art books again! (I think she tried to find them at the annual fundraiser book sale but they were gone).
So I can safely ask my husband to return my library books for me as they are only kept in one place!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted my latest library stack like in my series of posts TheLibrary Stack . Why? Because I took a break from “library stacks” and limited myself to one book at a time or actually reading books/periodical from my own stash!
But I could not stay away from my beloved library stack from my beloved public library, and yesterday I picked up a new stack:
The first book I am working through is Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage by Jera Brandwig – a Pacific NW Authors (she lives in Seattle where I used to live!)
I discovered this book in the Non-Fiction New Releases section (first place I check out when headed upstairs at the library). Borrowing this is perfect timing, as my friend and quilting mentor Wendy H. has been advising me on how Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I can do “quilt-as-you-go” on the king-size quilt TTQH is currently working on. This book lays out three methods for quilt as-you-go in a very easy format.
I am tempted to buy the book but I am trying to take a break from adding any more books to my obscene craft book collection (I have an old post about my craft book collection, Craft Book Hoarder?!?!?, but maybe someday I will do an updated post of the current levels of craft book obsession..).
TTQH continues to work on his quilt on my sewing machine and Mike continues to keep him company in the chair in my sewing room!
Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest* stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
*To be completely honest, this is not my current library stack, this is my previous library stack but I am behind in this ongoing series!
If you’ve followed my blog for more any period of time, you’ve likely figured out my bordering pathology public library obsession. Visiting my public library makes me very happy.
Here is where the magic starts – in the Holds Pick Up section that spans a large part of the library entry lobby:
I might be “over sharing” but it is so exciting to make my way over to the “H” section of the Holds and see what is waiting for me! (I reserve books and movies online.)
As much as I love the library’s Holds Pick Up section, upstairs there is a seriously magical section of the library – the “books available now section” (I am unsure of the official name of this section):
This section contains recent novels that cannot be put on hold – they are only available if you come into the library and pick them up from this section. This section usually contains a couple copies of the NY Times Bestseller books and other recently published books.
My fantasy someday is to take a hiatus from work and just bring home stacks (and stacks) of these books and leisurely read novel after novel! (Usually the people browsing these sections appears to be retired individuals.)
There never seems to be time to just sit and read a novel. This is why my library stacks mainly contain the kind of books I can just browse/flip through for information or to enjoy with a pot of tea (like the home decor and crafting books).
This is also why I enjoy audiobooks so much – they allow me to enjoy a novel while getting other stuff done. (I am currently listening to a science fiction novel, The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin).
Or maybe I need to learn more “stillness” and less “multi-tasking” and try and sit still and read novels again.
I remember as a pre-teen, during summer break, bringing home stacks and stacks of novels to read – and reading them all. There is something completely delicious about being completely lost in a physical book.
Funny, my sister and I were just discussing multi-tasking and its pitfalls the other day. I think this will be my “New Year’s Resolution” for 2018: Less multitasking!
“NATURE DOES NOT HURRY, YET EVERYTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED.” ~LAO TZU
In my November 8th post AGood Mess, I shared an image of a crumpled sari a friend picked up for me at a thrift shop.
I’d just laundered it and the floor was the safest place in my messy sewing room at time time.
Now it is pressed (it took forever as saris are very long!) and hangs as a valance in my front living room window (where I read my Library Stack):
It is a lovely shade of “umber” – a color that to me is a mixture of clay, burnt orange and coppery brown. It coordinates very well with my Cozy Cobblestones quilt on the adjoining wall:
And coordinates with the quilt and tablecloth next to the opposite wall (which I plan to repaint someday in a more neutral palette as my “strong-color-on-walls” period is over!):
And yes my decorating still could be labeled: Random or “Very Random”.
Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Here is the latest stack:
Everybody Writes (Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley is my favorite book in the stack and I am reading it cover to cover.
There are so many gems of wisdom on writing in this book, such as this one on sentence structure from page 25:
This is the first sentence of an introductory paragraph of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention style guide: “According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), released in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Education, 30 million adults struggle with basic reading tasks.”
The primary idea in that sentence is that millions of people are not fully literate; everything else in it is secondary. The primary idea – the important words – should be placed at the beginning. So:
“Thirty million adults struggle with reading, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy….”
– Ann Hadley, Everybody Writes
What a difference between the original version of the sentence and the rewritten version of the same information by Ann Hadley! Ms. Hadley clearly demonstrates how improved and concise a sentence can be with all the fluff removed at the beginning.
This was a powerful example for me on thinking about sentence structure. I am fascinated by sentence structure and would like to spend more time in the future thoughtfully crafting sentences. Becoming a better writer is important to me. My goal is less cringe worthy moments when people read my blog (smile).
Ann Hadley references one of my other favorite books on writing, Stephen King’s On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft (2001). If you are an aspiring writer I highly recommend Stephen King’s book on writing.
Perhaps after I finish this book the quality of my blog posts will improve. What the heck, I might even begin doing a better job proofreading my posts before publishing them. Maybe. But, don’t get your hopes up…
“Writing is easy, all you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain
Speaking of writing, on Wednesday evening my friend and I got to see writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon speak at our library’s Author! Author! series.
Now he is a true wordsmith and his sentences are beautifully and masterfully crafted. I recently finished his book Moonglow (2017) and it is one of my favorite memoir type of books (it is the story of his maternal grandfather as told to him by his grandfather as he was in his last stages of his battle with a terminal illness).
Mr. Chabon read a couple chapters from his book still in progress and those chapters were amazing. My friend and I sat in the front row and got to be “Literary Fan Girls”!
No worries, we were well-behaved and did not throw our lace bookmarks at the stage or anything like that…
Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, and sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Before I left for my trip to NYC for Quilters Take Manhattan (see my recent posts), a HUGE stack of library books from my library holds all became available at once:
Okay, they didn’t all become available at once from my books on hold, there were a couple I happened to pick off the New Releases Non Fiction shelves while I was at the library…I can’t help it if they deliberately tempt me when I visit my local public library!
I am nearly done with this stack and several were a good “flip-the-pages-look-book” while working on a pot of tea. The interiors in The Kinfolk Home (which I borrowed a second time from the library) and Hidden Pariswere just dreamy!
There were so many cute quilts to make in the book Charm Schooland I have many sets of 5″ charm squares just begging to become a quilt, but I have so many projects on the burner I couldn’t be tempted to make any quilts from the book. But it will be waiting for me at the library when I am ready!
The Crafters Marketand How to Make It are great resource books for people trying to start or running a craft business. The Fussy Cut Samplerhad adorable ideas for fussy cut pieced blocks.
Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Irelandwas visual colorful candy; but I own a bunch of Kaffe Fassett books and I have yet to make a quilt from one of them. I did meet Kaffe Fassett a couple of years ago when he came to speak at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters Oregon. So I had him autograph one of my ‘Kaffe’ books, but I did not confess that I have never made a quilt from one of his books! His fabrics are so beautiful and I actually have a huge collection of Kaffe Fassett fabric scraps that quilting friends have given me.
I still have a couple books to finish looking through (those I have not mentioned) and then back to the library for everyone!
No work on my next art quilt yet, but I did have a colleague inquire about purchasing one of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I had one more left and sold it to her.
This prompted me to play with the idea in my mind of re-opening my tierneycreates Etsy shop for the holiday season, but I have not decided yet. I did though decide to work on a couple new table runners, beginning with one I had started but never finished – now it is finished.
I have a stash of tierneycreates sew on labels from when I had my Etsy shop, so it was great to use them again:
My employer is having a holiday craft fair in Portland in November and I am also sort of toying with the idea of participating in that. It would be my first time to sell at a craft fair.
(In addition to worrying about those in Texas and Florida) Today my thoughts are focused on just how much I love my local public library. This is not just a fleeting infatuation, I am talking about a deep bibliophilic obsessed kind of love!
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you have likely figured this out, especially with ongoing series such as TheLibrary Stackfeaturing my latest stack of tomes on loan from my beloved library. However in addition to realizing how deeply in love I am with my local public library, I realize just how much money and space accessing my library has saved me.
Tierney the “Collector”
As my friend Michele has told me, “You are a Collector”. I am actually a reformed “collector”.
Years ago I became interested in Special Edition Barbie dolls. I did not just buy a couple, I bought a ridiculous amount. The same thing happened with collectible stuffed rabbits. I could not just have a couple, I appeared to need them all.
When I tapered down my need to collect Barbies or Bunnies, I transferred my need to collect to craft books and crafting magazines (and occasionally home decorating books and magazines).
As I incorporated Minimalism into my life (see series of posts under MyMinimalism Journey) I began to honestly evaluate the clutter in my life, including whether I needed to own and continue to bring into my home that many crafting books and magazines.
I still love looking at new craft books (I get a little “makers-high” from leafing through a craft book for the first time) and I did not want to give up the pleasure of a new craft book and a pot of tea in my cozy reading spot.
The public library was the solution! I realized I did not need to own every craft book I am attracted to – I could just borrow it, enjoy it and return it. I can even take it out again to look at a couple months later if I like – it will be there waiting for me…AND it will not take up space in my bookshelf or cost money out of my wallet!
More Than Just Books
It began with borrowing books and then I discovered many other wonderful benefits as a library card holder:
Borrowing audiobooks that I can listen to on my smartphone
Magazines for my iPad for free (to include American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and many popular home decorating magazines)
Free music downloads (I can download 5 songs a week…well 10 using my husband’s library card too from a huge selection of music)
Movies for my DVD player – we do not go out to movies very often – we just borrow them from the library (and I have learned secret tricks to be first in line on new releases at the library!)
Online movies – although I do have Netflix so I do not use this feature very often, our library has its own version on Netflix with older movies and TV shows.
Novel Idea – the whole town reads the same book once a year (a community wide book group) and then there are special programs in the Spring with the author coming to town to speak about their book!
In addition to all this there is so much more like the Author! Author! Literary Series where big name authors come to town and speak!
Okay, soon I will stop running on and on about my beloved library. But would you mind, I share some recent reads and listens? (or you can skip to the Postscriptsection if you have grown tired my library related ramblings and you are now ready for some crafting project related news…)
Last week I posted on my current library stack but I have since moved on to a new (and smaller stack). As you can see I was enjoying feeding the flames of my small and tiny house obsession. These three books are a delightful pot-of-tea-drinking, book-flipping, daydreaming experience.
My obsession is not as bad as it used to be (I used to incessantly watch tiny house related TV shows and tiny house tour videos on YouTube) but I am still fascinated by them. I also enjoy “RV porn” and love to watch videos of RV walkthrough tours. I like the idea of small compact and cozy space. It is also a space which is more difficult to clutter with stuff, and I like that idea of space imposed curation!
I recently finished several excellent library borrowed fiction audiobooks:
Michael Chabon’s novel Moonglow. I read a great interview with him in Poets&Writers magazine last year. When I saw he is coming to Central Oregon this fall on the Author!Author! literary tour, I thought it was time to actually read one of his books and see what all the hype was about!
I now understand what all the hype is about this author – his sentences are so beautifully and richly crafted and his ability to tell a story is impressive. Here is my review of the book I posted on Goodreads and on Amazon.com:
I was fortunate to listen to the audiobook version of this novel which was flawlessly and excellently narrated.
The book is a memoir masterpiece, telling the fascinating story of his maternal grandfather’s life as told by his grandfather to the author as he was terminally ill. The author also weaves in poignant moment from his own life and his mother’s life with his grandfather’s (and grandmother’s story). The first hand accounts of his grandfather’s experiences in Europe during WWII are amazing and powerful. They are not battle scenes but focus on the lives of a small village experiencing WWII. The book covers a span of time from around the 1920s to 1980s.
Mr. Chabon’s writing is spectacular and I see what all the hype is about surrounding this author. I read/listened to the book because he is coming to our town to speak on a literary tour and before hearing him speak I wanted to read one of his book. He is a very gifted writer, his use of language and the crafting of a sentence are amazing. I think he might be one of the great writers of our current generation.
I also recently finished a spectacular science fiction trilogy by Cixin Liu – The Three-Body Problem (winner of the Hugo award), The Dark Forest, and Death’s End. I was fortunate enough to listen to them all on audiobook. And here is the really cool thing – my library did not have an audiobook copy of the second (The Dark Forest) or the third book (Death’s End) in the trilogy. So I suggested them for purchase using the special online form my library has – and THEY ORDERED THEM!
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Cixin Liu is a big name in Chinese science fiction and the cultural differences are evidence in his books but they only add to the story. The science part of the “science fiction” is amazing and detailed yet accessible. So far it is one of my favorite Science Fiction trilogies of all time, rivaling Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game Trilogy and Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama trilogy (previously my two favorites).
Let me close out my ramblings about my awesome public library with this quote:
Sending My Heart Out
First before I share what I have been up to crafting-wise lately, let me just say my hearts go out to the people of Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas. We lived in Houston for 9 years from 1988 – 1997 and many of the flooded areas shown on the news (Terry the Quilting Husband has been watching The Weather Channel non-stop) are quite familiar to us.
My heart also goes out to those in the tropical islands and to states such as Florida in the path of Hurricane Irma. I cannot imagine the stress and fear going on in Florida right now knowing what Hurricane Harvey did to Texas.
Current Crafting – Little Wallet Obsession
I will have a future post with more details and perhaps a “little wallet photoshoot” on all the different combinations, but I have made 40+ little wallets since starting last week.
I am trying to make a dent in my fabric scrap collection:
Here are some in progress (I am having so much fun with color and pattern combinations):
And here is a basket of the first 37 completed (by the time of this photo):
My next post will feature all the little wallets I have completed, so you can see some of the fun color and pattern combinations. I did make a bit of a dent in my fabric scraps and I’ve made many little functional items with those scraps.
I bought way too many business cards and I have a business card tucked away in each little wallet to demonstrate how the little wallet could be used.
Recently gave one of the little wallets as part of a retirement gift (it held a gift card) and I think the little wallet was more popular with the recipient than the gift card!
I might do a future little wallet blog giveaway to celebrate my 4th year of blogging (and that fellow humans actually keep reading my blog, ha!) – stay tuned!
Feature image photo credit: Deschutes Public Library
It has been a long time since I contributed an entry to my ongoing series The LibraryStack.
I took a hiatus from slogging home huge piles of books from my beloved Public Library and cozying up with a pot of tea. Instead I’ve been reading from my collection of craft magazines and books with my pot of tea.
But I could not stay away too long from my library and recently I slogged home a new pile of borrowed tomes:
The 700s is my favorite Dewey Decimal section!
I’ve greatly enjoyed one of the books in the stack so far – Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti (2014).
I thought I would share a couple quotes from the book that made my smile:
“We don’t just read a great story, we inhabit it.” – Lisa Borgnes Giramonti
“Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
“If people do but know how to set about it, every comfort may be enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling.” – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Yes this morning, I am enjoying the comfort of reading with my pot of tea in my cottage (we nicknamed our 1300 square foot abode “The Cottage”)!
After going to the Deschutes County Fair (see post Deschutes County Fair) and finishing 3 of my 4 crafting project laid out in my studio, I thought I might revisit my Farm GirlVintage blocks again. I put them all up on the design wall in the hallway:
But I am just not “feeling them” right now and I am going to take them back down. Watch for a future post to see what I’ve stuck up on the design wall instead!
Speaking of “Farm Girl” my little farm (backyard raised bed garden) had the most curious harvest: ONE zucchini. Yes you read correctly – only ONE zucchini. I might be the first person in history to have just ONE zucchini in their zucchini harvest.
Usually people are trying to give away their zucchini harvest (a friend told me story of “zucchini drive-bys” where you drop bags of zucchini at the front porches of unsuspecting friends and neighbors) and I have only ONE.
So what did I do with my ONE zucchini (yes there are no more zucchinis on the horizon in my garden, I checked 4-5 times) – well, I made two loaves of zucchini bread!
I stretched that ONE precious zucchini!
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings on her blog Schnauzer Snips.
My next post was to be about writing Artist Statements (since I have one I really, really, really need to complete), but if you have followed me for a while you know my mind works like the golden retriever Dug in the Pixar movie, Up – “Squirrel”!
Instead I am going to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library and talk about something dear to my heart: the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”).
Here is the latest stack of library books:
This stack currently contains the book – The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking
and How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen.
The latter book is not in the library stack photo which was taken a couple days ago; I recently picked it up from the library.
You may already be familiar with the concept of “hygge”, however bear with me as I share some of the cool things I learned.
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge) refers to hygge as “coziness of the soul”. It is “about atmosphere and am experience, rather than about things…it is about being with people we love…a feeling of home…a feeling that we are safe…shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down…”
Signe Johansen (How to Hygge) defines hygge as: “a Danish/Norwegian word that translates as a feeling of cosiness…it can also mean kinship and conviviality…hygge is about being sociable and look outward; it’s about taking pleasure in the simple things in life…”
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge) states that the hygge experience has ten components (The Hygge Manifesto):
In his book, Meik Wiking provides wonderful examples and details in achieving these hygge related experiences. His book includes tips, recipes, and suggested activities and experiences to bring a feeling of hygge into your life.
Signe Johansen’s book (How to Hygge) takes a similar approach but presents the material in the different format. She shares many essays about hygge experiences and strategies to incorporate a sense of hygge in your life by creating a feeling of coziness in your home, using candles, board game nights with family and friends, making delicious healthy satisfying foods and spending plenty of time outdoors.
I am still reading through both of these books, there are so many gems of wisdom and wonderful ideas in these two books. There is also a lot of reinforcement and affirmation of the choices I have made on how I live my life. Basically my life has a lot of hygge in it!
One of my new favorite words (I would slaughter the pronunciation if attempted) is “hyggekrog” which Meik Wiking describes as “a nook…a place in the room where you love to snuggle up with a blanket”. For me that would be a quilt and here is my “hyggekrog”:
I love Denmark, it is one of my most favorite places I have ever visited.
I first visited Denmark in the summer of 1998 and stayed with my friend Torben (my “Danish brother”) and his parents in their lovely home outside of Copenhagen. I returned to Denmark for a visit in 2004, this time bringing Terry the Quilting Husband to experience this wonderful country and we stayed with Torben and his future wife.
I definitely had a hygge immersion experience visiting Denmark. Although it was August, during my first trip to Denmark, Torben’s mother made Christmas dinner so I could experience Danish Christmas! The Danish-Christmas-in-August experience included board games after dinner and lots and lots of family fun (even a family “floor show”)!
During my first trip I of course had the required tourist experiences such as seeing The Viking Museum, Tivoli and Nyhavn. I also got to rollerblade for the first time, tour the country on an exceptional road trip, bike ride to a castle (only in Europe would you have a castle outside your suburban neighborhood) and many other wonderful experiences. The Danish people were so friendly and I felt so welcome. I sort of felt like I was “home”.
One of my most memorable Danish experiences was going sailing with Torben and his brother in a handmade wooden sailboat in August 1998!
These photos were before the days of smart phone photos so these images are scans of the original hard copy photos I have scrapbooked (as part of my minimalism journey I got rid of all loose photos – they are either scrapbooked, in a frame on display or discarded – no more boxes of photos!)
A random bit of info to close out this post – Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge) lists the items that Danes associate with hygge, here are the top 10:
Sweets and cake
I think the fact that Torben’s family had Christmas for me in August while I visited confirms just how much Danes enjoy Christmas!
Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
This time it is a mix of crafting, craft business, healthy living and home decorating books:
I just finished The Living Clearly Methodby Hilaria Baldwin and now I am reading How to Make It by Erin Austen Abbott.
This is my second time borrowing The Living Clearly Method. The first time I borrowed it I made a delicious lentil soup with cinnamon recipe from the book. I took the book out again to make the soup again. I realized the first time I only skimmed the book, this time I spent longer with the book and appreciated many insights in the book (though you would never catch me doing yoga poses in NYC in high heels!).
Chapter 7 of this book is about Balance and the chapter opens with a great Rumi quote that resonated with me:
Your hand opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed.Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.
Today I picked up a new stack of library books that I had on reserve and all became available at once! So now I have a super stack. I will save those for a future post.
I took a break from borrowing my normally large stack of library books, spending time instead reading/browsing through books already in my collection and my backlog of crafting magazines.
But, of course, I just had to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, so last weekend I borrowed a HUGE stack of crafting and home decorating books from my beloved local public library.
This stack will take several pots of tea to get through! I am hoping some of the decorating books give me inspiration for the living room remodel we want to work on this Spring/Summer, adding in a wall of bookcases and fireplace.
I am slowly working on more Farm Girl Vintage blocks, I just finished the “Chicken Foot” block. I want to complete a few more blocks before I post again on Farm Girl Vintage. I am working through the book in alphabetical order of the blocks, hoping to make each block in Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book.
I am curious about my recent and ongoing desire to work on blocks from a pattern instead of working on improvisational art quilts. I am wondering when my art quilting muse will return and will there be some improvisational art quilts are in my future (and so I will have something to post on the collaboration art quilting site, Improvisational Textiles…)
Let me close this short post with a quote shared by Gwen Marston in her book A Common Thread: A Collection of Quilts by Gwen Marston, that reminds me to flow with wherever I am on my creative journey:
However sitting around reading and browsing books from my latest library stack (see post The Library Stack) and being the ADHD creative person I am, I found a quilt pattern in the book Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabricsby That Patchwork Place, that I had to make IMMEDIATELY!
It is a fairly simple “half square triangles” (HSTs) quilt pattern called “Happy Ending”, designed by Lesley Chaisson. I have a couple bolts of Peppered Cotton (shot cottons) in various colors and a crazy amount of Moda charm packs. I thought this pattern and quilt would be the perfect marriage between a deep blue (ink) Peppered Cotton and a couple Moda Basic Grey line charm packs. You need like 7 yards of the solid so this is a great way to use up a bolt that I have too much of (originally I was selling it on my tierneycreates Etsy shop).
I have completed most of the cutting and Terry the Quilting Husband has drawn the diagonal lines on the back of the printed charm squares for us to make the HSTs. So the next step is to actually sit in front of my sewing machine and sew! (so that’s how quilts are made…)
And what about the hat I was working on? It is done and I wore it for the first time yesterday on a dog walk in the land of “Snowmageddon” (it is still snowing and snowing and snowing in Central Oregon).
(And yes I did wear the hat around the house for 1/2 hour with the double pointed needles on top mentioned in my prior post – I get so excited when a hat is nearly done – I get a “knitting high”)
I am tempted to start another hat but first I better actually finish a quilt top…
So what else have I been doing during “Snowmageddon” – reading and cooking.
I am reading Girl on the Trainby Paula Hawkins and I am completely sucked into the convoluted tale. I even stayed up too late one night reading. It is one of those books where I think the actual paper book is better than the audiobook. I gave up on the audiobook earlier this year and I am so glad I gave it another try in paper.
I am also listening to an audiobook when I walk the dogs in Snowmageddon – Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. The book is delightful and narrated by the author. I did not know she was a child actor and I am enjoying her stories from her childhood and the less than glamorous world of childhood acting. She is a great narrator and I feel like she is talking to me telling me her story.
As far as cooking, I have been persuing Pinterest for soup recipes and found a delicious vegetable soup recipe on the Cooking Classy blog – Vegetable Soup. It says it serves 7 but I think they left the “0” off after the “7”. It made SO MUCH SOUP.
I froze several large bags of soup and I have a couple containers in the fridge for lunch this week (and next week, and the next week..)
Finally, let me leave you with this image that a friend shared. I do not know the original source, so unfortunately I have no credit for the photo/meme. It does capture how we are feeling right now in Central Oregon with the nonstop snow:
Continuing my ongoing series of posts on my latest stack of books borrowed from my local public library, I realized a couple of stacks have come and gone and I did not post them (they were smaller stacks). This time I went a little crazy the other day at my local library. A couple of the books in the stack below I had reserved but many were “impulse borrowings“!
I had a little wander in my favorite “Dewey Decimal System” sections of 745 – 747 (and a little jaunt into section 700 – 702) and I wanted to take 1/2 the section home (even if I have read them before). My thinking was – it is a holiday weekend (New Years) and it is time to nest with some books!
As you can see below, this morning, I started nesting in my favorite chair with the books and a pot of tea:
So far I am really enjoying the book by Danny Gregory – Art Before Breakfast: A Zillions Ways to Be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are (2015). Gregory discusses the benefits of making art and one benefit that captured my attention is that: “Art stops time”. Making art makes you be in the present moment – “Be here. Now” – it makes you observe the world around you instead of obsessing on all the busy thoughts in your head!
One of the books in the stack, Ted Koppel’s Lights Out was recommended on a blog I follow, Dewey Hop|Feisty Froggy Reads Through The Library. And yes, as the blog’s title implies, the blogger is reading through the library, one section at a time and sharing the interesting finds!
The book Reinventing IKEA by Isabelle Bruno and Christine Baillet, I discovered in the New Releases: Nonfiction section (this is always my first stop when I am browsing the library). We are thinking of re-modeling our living room someday and adding built in bookcases and I am the hunt for inexpensive ideas.
As far as Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I had tried to listen to the audiobook but got lost and grew disinterested. I am going to try and read the actual book and see if that helps as the book has gotten such great reviews. Also I want to watch the movie someday and want to read the book first (as movies rarely capture all the delicious details in a book).
Well back to nesting with the books, perhaps I will also do some sewing later on this cold snowy winter day!
Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer is getting impatient with me. She is waiting for me to help her finish transferring the posts on her tierneycreates blog’s SchnauzerSnips page to her new very own blog – Schnauzer Snips (schnauzer snips.wordpress.com). Do not follow her yet or you will hate me for the endless notifications of “new posts”, which are old posts being added 🙂
I have made it to 2015 in the transfer and I did not realize she had so many “posts”. Once it is done, she and I will share an announcement. Eventually I will remove her Schnauzer Snips page from the tierneycreates blog.
Comment to my fellow WordPress bloggers out there: This will free more space on my tierneycreates blog which is a good thing as I was going to have to eventually upgrade my plan for additional storage (thank goodness I have learned to resize my photos to take up less of my allotted storage space).
I may have gone overboard this time on the number of books I borrowed today from our public library.
I am continuing my series on sharing a photo of the books I borrow from my public library – The Library Stack.
There is something very exciting to me about a new stack of freshly borrowed books awaiting my reading and browsing while I sip my tea and/or have a snack in my favorite cozy reading spot.
Here is the latest stack of 17 books:
I am not sure which book to start with – I have them arranged by size for the photo but that is not necessarily the order in which I will start reading the books. Maybe I am weird but I am filled with bubbling happy anticipation on working through this stack! (Yes, if you have followed my blog of awhile, you have figured out I am weird.)
Several of the books – Tiny Homes on the Move, Cabin Porn, and Dresden Carnival are books I have borrowed previously but I want to look at again.
I do not work on Mondays and I met a friend for coffee this morning (I had tea of course!). After a hour chatting over hot beverages, it was time for a leisurely wander of the aisles of our downtown public library!
I will share in a future post if I gain any earth shattering revelations from this stack!
(If you would like to see the previous stacks, check out the Category – The Library Stackfor the other posts.)
The “tierney” in tierneycreates, has not done a lot of creating lately. I wonder if I am stuck. I have been reading about creating and I have been preparing to create (does that count?) but more about that later in this post.
The (Sort of) Current Library Stack
I am continuing my series of posts on the latest stack of books borrowed from my local library. At the time of writing this post, my stack has dwindled and I only have a couple books left – primarily the Vegan cookbooks and the book Why Write by Mark Edmundson.
I have enjoyed all the book except for the interior decorating book, Dreaming Small: Intimate Interiors by Douglas Woods. The book has a five-star rating on Amazon.com but I thought it was a snoozer (and yes I literally fell into a sweet little nap in my chair while reading/browsing through it).
The problem may not be the book, the problem may be that I am just completely burned out on home decorating books. They used to be a wonderful source of daydream but now many of them irritate me (except for the home decorating book The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith, which I discussed in my previous Library Stack post).
Terry the Quilting Husband, does not usually comment on my Library Stack sitting on the table next to my reading chair in the front window. He just accepts that his wife goes kind of wild on borrowing books from the library (there are worse habits to have in life). He did however tease me endlessly about a book called Mason Jar Nation(by JoAnn Moser).
Terry picked up the book and said: “Wow! A WHOLE BOOK about Mason Jars – WOW! Can I read it after you are done – it sounds SO exciting!” Through my laughter I heard him say something like: “No, no don’t tell me how it ends, I don’t want you to ruin it for me. I can’t wait to find out what the Mason Jars have been up to!”
I guess he does not fully appreciate all the options for craft related books and that yes, there are many people who enjoy making crafts with Mason Jars. The book was moderately interesting and did provide a nice history of Mason Jars. It did not inspire me to run out and buy some Mason jars and start crafting with them but it was fun to read while sipping my tea.
You might ask – why all the Vegan cookbooks? Are you Vegan or are you going Vegan? No to both questions. I love the idea of being Vegan, but there is one thing that keeps me from being Vegan, a little thing called B-A-C-O-N. Why live if you can never have bacon again? (Apologies to any Vegetarian or Vegan readers).
I work from home as a telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job and so I eat lunch at home most days. Although I might be having meat and dairy with my dinner, I want to explore eating Vegan for lunch. I like the idea of “eating clean” for my mid-day meal. Terry the Quilting Husband has no interest in Vegan but you never know what I can slip into his diet (I have been very successful with slipping things years ago he said he would never eat like broccoli, spinach and kale! Oh wait, he reads my blog, now he will know what I am up to…)
Getting Ready to Create
Speaking of “library stacks”, I really enjoyed a book from my previous library stack (my August 23rd Library Stackposting) titled All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought it.
This book covers the fundamentals of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as well as options for creating cool pieces using EPP. I have been getting ready to EPP and will have a future post on my Adventures in EPP.
There is a reason why I wanted to pick up EPP and I will discuss that later when I do my post on EPP (it has to do with trying to break an evening addiction to playing iPad games).
In addition to the book from the library, I was also influenced/inspired by one of the blogs I follow – Alice Samuel Quilt Company and a post the blogger did on recycling her old wedding invitations into EPP templates – A Box Full of Junk. I love the idea of using unwanted paper for something creative!
So here is what I have put together so far – a whole lot of hexagon templates using my new punch:
But more in a future post, first i need to make sure I do not completely embarrass myself trying to do EPP (if you never hear me mention those three words/three letters again you’ll know it did not work out…or I could post about “Misadventures in English Paper Piecing”!)
Someday I will follow up on all the other projects I have discussed and shared my start on. Right now I seem to just be building up my stash of “UFOs” (if you are not a quilter, refer to my post Lexicon of Quilters’ Acronyms).
This post I continue my ongoing series on my latest stack of book borrowed from my local public library.
Here is my latest stack of library books:
I realize the photo is not very clear, but many of the books did not turn out to be very memorable or I have borrowed them before, except for The Nesting Place (2014) by Myquillyn Smith.
Myquillyn Smith is a popular blogger – Nesting Place (thenester.com). The tagline of the Nesting Place blog is “It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful. This tagline embraces the whole them of the book!
I am a little jaded about home decorating books after flipping through so many from past library stacks (I do enjoy them, they just all seem the same after a while). This book was a refreshing change – it is filled with photos of a home actually being used and enjoyed. The author focuses on creating a home that meets your real life needs; accepting imperfections and not trying to make your home perfect but cozy and fun.
The book is also peppered with wonderful and inspirational quotes and I wanted to share my favorites:
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. – Epicurus
Where thou art, that is home. – Emily Dickinson
A beautiful thing is never perfect. – Ancient Proverb
Don’t scrub the soul out of your home. – Mary Randolph Carter
Everyone gets to decide how happy they want to be, because everyone gets to decide how grateful they are willing to be. – Ann Voskamp
Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners. – Charles Henry Parkhurst
It’s not about what is is, it’s about what is can become. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Imperfections put people at ease. – Myquillin Smith
One of the best things I got from the the book is the quote by Myquillin Smith that “imperfections put people at ease”. I have been guilty in the past of trying to have everything perfect, perhaps overdoing it, and I think that has impact in my relationships.
I have been learning to “chill out” and just let things be more natural (and not always spotlessly clean my house before someone comes over!)
I loved the Ann Voskamp quote so much I made a picture quote thingie:
Featured photo credit: “Blackbird Nest (abandoned)” by Rainer SXC Schmidt, freeimages.com
Just a short post this morning, after yesterday’s long post about fruit liberation (smile).
I am continuing my ongoing series of sharing the stack of books I am currently borrowing from my public library. As you can see by the photo below, I went a little crazy on quilting books this time:
Normally I will have a self-improvement book, perhaps a home decorating book and maybe even a cookbook mixed in the pile. Not this time! My most recent “power browse” at the public library ended with an arm full (I could barely make it to self check out without dropping any) of quilting books.
My favorite 746 section of the library was full of books clamoring for my attention (“pick me”, “pick me”, “no, pick me”!)
The first one I read/browsed was the Sue Spargo book – Stitches to Savor.Sue Spargo is very popular in Central Oregon and has a “cult-following”. I did not know very much about her work. After reading/browsing this book, all I can say is WOW. She is the queen of stitching and appliqué. I highly recommend this book for a browse (or purchase if you follow the work of Sue Spargo).
As far as the other books, several of them I have borrowed before from the library but want to revisit.
Continuing my ongoing series of my latest stack of books from my beloved public library…
Art Business, Writing, Quilting, and Decorating
My latest stack of books from the library center around making of living from selling your art, decorating your home, writing, and a random new quilting book on scrap quilts.
I have already finished Farrow & Ball’s How to Decorate (2016). Basically I looked at the beautiful photos while I sipped my tea and eating my morning granola and yogurt while a very manipulative and bossy miniature schnauzer stared at me (Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer thinks what I am eating is also hers).
The book, How to Decorate (2016), is a lovely book on ideas for paint colors (Farrow & Ball paints of course) and room arrangements. After flipping through this book I did however realize I am burned out on decorating books. My decorating style is “Random Cozy”. My house look either “cozy enough to take a nap in” or the “stylings of someone with no style” depending how you look at it.
I have an ongoing fantasy that I am going to get an actual “style” and redecorate my house to look like something out of an interior design magazine. Then I realize: “Why?” Who am I trying to impress?
I plan to repaint the interior someday to freshen it up; but I think I need to embrace my tendency towards comfort and what visually pleases me (like seeing quilts everywhere) over having “style”.
I remember someone coming over my house and saying: “Whoa, you have a lot of quilts on the wall” in a tone that meant “I think you overdid it”. However, Terry the “Quilting Husband” always says, when I express my concerns over too many quilts on the wall, “we are insulating our home with quilts – you don’t want the walls to feel cold!”
Best compliment about my house ever came from a visiting 3 year old, who remarked after diving into a pile of pillows on the floor: “Tierney, your house is COZY!”
If a 3 year old thinks your house is cool, then I think you are doing well with your decorating (smile).
I have also started reading the books Crafting the Personal Essay: Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction (Dinty W. Moore, 2010) and Art Inc. (Lisa Condon, 2014). Perhaps when I finish reading Crafting the Personal Essay: Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, you all can look forward to well written tierneycreates posts, but I am not promising anything!
Art Inc. by Lisa Condon, was a book recommended in the latest issue of the SAQA Journal, the publication of the group I belong to Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). Reading it plays into my fantasy of someday becoming a professional artist. (It seems like a lot of nonfiction books I borrow from the library just feed into my “someday fantasies”!
One of the best things I have read so far in this book is that you need to give yourself permission to call yourself an Artist. Accept that you are an artist, do not shy away from this label!
I am going to start borrowing fiction books out of the library and add some fiction to my life. I think also reading fiction will balance me creatively. I already received a magical e-mail from my public library that a couple fiction books I have put on hold are ready for pick-up!
Hope your week has gone well. It is nearly the weekend and time for “power crafting” or just relaxing. Thought I would share an update on audiobooks and physical books that I have mentioned in recent posts (all borrowed from my local library).
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – I first mentioned this audiobook in my post Embracing the “Yes”. Last week, I finished this wonderful audiobook and I highly recommend it. It is read by the author which makes the book even more wonderful. Shonda Rhimes (writer/producer of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) authentically shares her struggles to break from her extreme introversion and embrace life. She shares some exceptional stories, experiences, and life lessons with humor, humility and grace. The audiobook also includes the recording of the incredible commencement speech she gave at her alma mater, Dartmouth College as well as several other highly inspirational speeches. She also delves into some of the autobiographical stories weaved into the plot of her shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Little did the TV viewers realize she was working on her own personal struggles through the storylines of the TV characters. Only problem with listening to this audiobook while on a walk is I had to stop a let out a belly laugh – her excellent television show writing skills are apparent in her book writing skills!
The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne – this is my first time mentioning this audiobook as I started listening to it after finishing Year of Yes. It is not as exciting and engaging as the audiobook I just finished but so far is has wonderful tips on incorporating mindfulness into your life. More thoughts on the book after I finish it.
The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color by Becky Goldsmith – I have read several books that explore color and fabric selection for quilters, but I think this one of the best. Using many photo examples, the author discusses the color wheel, color schemes, value and contrast, clarity, texture and scale and other interesting and engaging topics related to quilt design. This book also includes several patterns to test out your color and design skills.
Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe by The Patchwork Place – This book had one pattern that engaged me – Tree Quilt – which was made from scrappy free form tree shapes. The rest of the patterns did not interest me though I recognize and appreciate the efforts by the different pattern designer/bloggers that contributed to the book. What I did enjoy was reading the bio of each designer and the website addresses for their blogs! If I had my choice I would just read and look at other crafter blogs all day.
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Sassy of Schnauzer Snips asked me to post this “public service announcement” for my human readers:
This morning I continue my ongoing series of posts on books I have borrowed from my local public library.
Here is the latest stack:
I have already begun nesting with a pot of tea in my favorite chair with some of these books! I usually start with the lighter “picture” book first, and I have already finished Cabins: The New Style by James Grayson Trulove. It is a book of obviously very wealthy people living in very beautiful large cabin like homes, in very picturesque settings!
The second book I am delving into, The Art of Good Habits by Nathalie W. Herrman, is rather thought provoking. Here is a passage from early in the book that really captured my attention:
The trouble with not accepting responsibility for ourselves is that we feel helpless, and that makes us grabby and greedy. It empowers the “more” mentality. We don’t realize our ability to be patient and trusting, so we push to the front and demand our share first, or demand more than our share. And the people we meet on this path are doing the same thing. We are all pushing and grabbing and trying to get there first, wherever ‘there’ might be.
I think she is spot on about human behavior.
After this book, I will move to something lighter like Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer for the Design-Obsessed by Victoria Hudgins.
This post continues my series on the “stack of books” I am currently borrowing from the library…
The Latest Stack
My latest stack of books from the library is HUGE. I am not sure where to start. Should I first work on having The Ageless Body, designing my day, or checking out some Scandinavian Stitches while I love the house that I am in?
I will need a HUGE pot of tea to get through this stack!
What happened: I went a little crazy browsing the shelves during my recent trip to the library (we would not have guessed Tierney). Then I discovered I also had books I had reserved waiting in the Patron Holds section of the library in my name.
I could not put downany books from the huge stack in my hand (from browsing the shelves). I did not want any book to get its feelings hurt (books are very sensitive), so I checked both piles of books out from the library !
The Prior Stack
One of the tierneycreates readers had asked to hear more about the books from the previous stack I posted. Maybe I should not just share photos of the stacks but perhaps tell you a little about the books I liked?
Here is the link to the original post: The Library Stack; and here are my thoughts on a couple of the books from my prior stack:
The Photographer’s iPad by Frank Gallaugher: I thought this book would help me take better photos with my iPad for my blog (I bet my readers were hoping the same). Paying closer attention to the title, it reads “The PHOTOGRAPHER’S iPad”. Yes, this was a book for actual, genuine, real photographers who want to use the iPad as a tool to edit their photography taken with their real cameras. I did learn a couple of tips but most of the book was way beyond my understanding of photography (basically because it involved using an actual real camera!).
Eat Well Be Well: Living Your Best Life through the Power of Anti-Inflammatory Food by Jan Tilley: This book had wonderful healthy recipe ideas and was loaded with information support why “food is medicine”.
The Complete Photo Guide to Cardmaking by Judy Wantanabe: This book made me want to return to a previous hobby of handmade card making. It was beautifully illustrated with easy to follow instructions and great design ideas!
Country Living: American Style by Country Living AND The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland:These two books were delightful to browse while tea-sipping. I have no immediate plans to redecorate my home but I enjoy looking at photos of well designed and comfortable interiors. My idea of a perfectly decorated home is one that you want to take a cozy nap in.
(The best compliment I ever received about my randomly decorated home was from a 3 year old who said: “Tierney your home is cozy!” as he dove into a stack of pillows he was making into some kind of fort in my living room.)
I finished the wonderful audiobook Become Who You Were Born to Beby Brian Souza that I mentioned in previous posts.
I am now listening to an equally as wonderful audiobook The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington. Ms. Huffington is the author of Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, one of my favorite “self-help” books of all time. She is of course the creator of the Huffington Post, one of my favorite online publications.
I accept I am fairly addicted to self-help/self-improvement audiobooks but I have no plans to stop listening to them in the near future!