The Library Stack and Hygge

So…

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:

2017-04-07_07-47-25_871

This stack currently contains the book – The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

51vo9LUNcAL._SX349_BO1,204,203,200_

and How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen.

51xHRijyEkL._SX370_BO1,204,203,200_

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.

Hygge 101

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):

  1. Atmosphere (candles!)
  2. Presence
  3. Pleasure
  4. Equality
  5. Gratitude
  6. Harmony
  7. Comfort
  8. Truce
  9. Togetherness
  10. Shelter

No wonder, based on international surveys, Denmark is one of the happiest countries on earth! (Norway is #1 and Denmark is #2 – Where are the world’s happiest countries? CNN.com)

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”:

IMG_6546.JPG


Postscript

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!

torbenjansail

My Danish brothers getting ready for us to sail

tierneysail071

Tierney sailing in Denmark!

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:

  1. Hot drinks
  2. Candles
  3. Fireplaces
  4. Christmas
  5. Board Games
  6. Music
  7. Holiday (vacation)
  8. Sweets and cake
  9. Cooking
  10. Books

I think the fact that Torben’s family had Christmas for me in August while I visited confirms just how much Danes enjoy Christmas!

The Library Stack

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:

2017-03-27_15-55-01_935.jpeg

I just finished The Living Clearly Method by 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!).

51zIBigwiWL._SX409_BO1,204,203,200_

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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.

– Rumi


Postscript

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.

The Library Stack

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.

2017-02-26_16-31-07_603.jpeg

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:

“To please herself only, the cat purrs.”

– Irish Proverb

Diving into a quilt (and other stuff)

It is time to get back to some quilt making, since allegedly I am a quilter, and this a blog about a Quilter’s Life (which would imply there would eventually be some quilt-making involved).

I tried to start the quilt (Tango Stripe) I mentioned in the post Quilt Seating! but as I mentioned in the post Not working on what I’m supposed to be working on, I abandoned it for knitting a hat.

Never started…

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 Fabrics by 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).

2017-01-10_17-39-37_089.jpeg

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).

2017-01-09_11-08-51_143.jpeg

(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…


Postscript

So what else have I been doing during “Snowmageddon” – reading and cooking.

I am reading Girl on the Train by 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..)

2017-01-09_19-40-38_616

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:

2017-01-10_08-57-15_000


Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer now has her own blog schnauzersnips.wordpress.com.

You can sign up to follow her blog at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

The Library Stack

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“!

2016-12-29_14-11-01_613

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:

2016-12-31_10-33-43_560.jpeg

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!


Postscript

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 🙂

2016-12-28_07-20-37_961.jpeg

Sassy is getting impatient

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).

The Library (Mega) Stack

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:

img_2931

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 Stack for the other posts.)

 

The Library Stack (and a little EPP)

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.

IMG_4799.jpg

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 Stack posting) 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:

IMG_2790.jpg

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”!)


POSTSCRIPT

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).


Feature Photo Credit: Gary Tamin, free images.com

The Library Stack: The Nesting Place

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:

2016-08-28_170423029_297AB_iOS.jpg

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.

519dIBQX6QL._SX370_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

photo credit: Amazon.com

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!)


POSTSCRIPT

I loved the Ann Voskamp quote so much I made a picture quote thingie:

2016-05-10_200937218_4126A_iOS-2.jpg


Featured photo credit: “Blackbird Nest (abandoned)” by Rainer SXC Schmidt, freeimages.com

The Library Stack

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:

IMG_2614

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.


POSTSCRIPT

I finished quilting the recycled silk art quilt, Ohio Shifted, I discussed in the post Creative Quilt Challenges: Shape Shifting.

A photo of the completed piece is on my tierneycreates Instagram feed and here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJY-SCaB7HW/?taken-by=tierneycreates

The Library Stack

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.

IMG_2326.jpg

This is a staged photo to make you think I have decorating skills…

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!


Postscript

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!

Listening and Reading

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).


AUDIOBOOKS

  • 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.

BOOKS (These books are from my 05/26/16 post The Library Stack)

  • 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.

Postscript

Sassy of Schnauzer Snips asked me to post this “public service announcement” for my human readers:

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.58.52 AM

The Library Stack

This morning I continue my ongoing series of posts on books I have borrowed from my local public library.

Here is the latest stack:

IMG_1978.jpg

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.

The Library Stack

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? 

IMG_3364.jpg

Finally, Tierney takes a clear photo (considerable clearer than last time).

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 down any 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.)


Postscript

I finished the wonderful audiobook Become Who You Were Born to Be by 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!

The Library Stack

Continuing my series on the stack of books I am currently borrowing from the library…

If you have been following my blog, you know I am completely in love with the magical place known as the public library!

IMG_1788.jpg

Yes it is not the best photo (or even a remotely decent photo), but if you have been following my blog, you know about my less than stellar photography skills (smile).

Hopefully you are willing to look beyond the bad lighting and poorly centered photo and see some of the cool titles I am currently reading.

I consider my library card, one of my most prized possessions!

Now, have you noticed that the book on top of the stack (if you can see it through the graininess of the photo), is The Photographer’s iPad by Frank Gallagher. I take many of my photos for the blog with my iPad, so keep your fingers crossed that I learn a tip or two from this book!

Postscript

Glorious Spring continues in Central Oregon today:  here is a daffodil that fell over in the garden and made its way into my Studio to be enjoyed!

IMG_1842.jpg

Happy Spring!

 

The Library Stack

Continuing my new ongoing series with a snapshot of what crafting, quilting, cooking, gardening, decorating, self-improvement, etc. books I currently have on loan from my local library.

Here is the stack (soon to be returned though, I have finished with them and it’s time to get a new stack!):

IMG_1506.jpg

I took this photo a week ago and there is one book that was in the stack, but not in the photo, that I have just finished and I highly enjoyed: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed (2015).

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2013), a wonderful book and a wonderful film (even Terry the Quilting Husband enjoyed the film and he dislikes films about “finding yourself”.)  

Her latest book Brave Enough is a collection of quotes from her other writings.A couple quotes really stayed with me after reading them and I wanted to share:

“You can’t ride to the fair unless you get on the pony”

“Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing that I need to do.”

“Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.”

The Library Stack

If you have read my blog in the past, you know I am in love with the public library. I thought it would be fun to start a new occasional series on the tierneycreates blog called “The Library Stack”, where I would share a photo of the stack of books, of my latest borrowings from my local library.

I love to browse the crafting, quilting, cooking, gardening and home decor sections. I will also take a run through the entire non-fiction section just for fun and to see if anything catches my eye.

I recently started following a blog, Dewey Hop, in which the blogger is documenting their journey of reading through their entire local library! I secretly dreamed of doing this someday; and even tried to do it as a kid, attempting to make it through the entire Children’s section! However, I am going to stick my my favorite dewey decimal section of 700 – “Arts & Recreation”!

Every time I think I have borrowed all the books that are worth borrowing – POW – there is a fresh new group of books to borrow! Additionally my local library has a Non-Fiction New Release section, which I love to browse every time I visit it (it is the first place to head when I enter the library!).

So here is my current stack:

IMG_1414.jpg

One of my great pleasures in life is to sit with a pot of tea and my library stack! 

Postscript

More library related stuff – this is a follow up to the post Good Listens (and other stuff). In this post I shared I was currently listening to an audiobook I borrowed from the library – SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal.

This audiobook is fantastic and I had to renew it to finish it up (it is rather long, but packed with great information and inspiration). This audiobook is about using gaming concepts to improve things that challenge you in life, and to achieve goals. The author has a TED talk and it is fantastic – Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life. (Thanks to my friend Torben suggesting the TED Talk!).

Also here is the author’s website: www.superbetter.com

Here book goes WAY beyond the TED Talk. One of my favorite concepts in the book is “Cognitive Reframing”, which is defined in Wikipedia as “…a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives…”.  I have already started applying the concepts I picked up from this audiobook and I am very pleased!

I am enjoying this book so much I might go buy the hardcover version to keep as a reference!

Creative Inspiration: Library Books

(Be sure to check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s Schnauzer Snips page for her latest adventures and musing)

But First, More on “Trees of Winter”

Before I continue my series on sources of creative inspiration, let’s talk about winter trees a little more. I am still musing over the Winter Trees I discussed in yesterday’s blog post by the same name.

This morning, during our daily 2 mile am dog walk, I was struck again by the beauty of winter trees against an impossibly clear blue winter sky. Living in the “High Desert” of Central Oregon our winters have many days of clear blue skies. Compared, say to when we lived in Seattle, WA. (A fun town to live in, but blue skies were not that common; grey skies were considerably more popular there!)

So here is one more winter tree that captured my attention this morning, and then I will stop with the “Winter Trees” for a while (perhaps):

IMG_3107.jpg

Creative Inspiration: Public Library Books

Since I was a child, I have been in love with the public library.

I remember a summer in my 10th or 11th year that I spent many days of my summer vacation at my small town’s public library. Books are magical. To have free access to all those magical books is even more magical.

For a time in my life I wanted to become a librarian, so I could spend a career among the books. I did not pursue a career in library science as an adult, but I kept my intense love of public libraries and of books.

I frequently patronize our local public library and I find their shelves filled with sources of creative inspiration. It would be very expense to buy all the books I would love to have in my personal library, and if you have read my post Craft Book Hoarder?!?!? it appears that I once tried to do that!

Embracing the minimalist, “scale back your life”, “living with less” movement, I borrow from the library, books that inspire me creatively. If the book turns out to be a “must, must, must have” then I will purchase it, but rarely.

Here is a recent stack of public library books filled with inspiration:

IMG_1279.jpg

I have e-mailed our public library’s material purchasing department and thanked them for the wonderful selection of crafting, gardening, and home decorating books. I think it is important to let them know a patron really appreciates their well curated collection!

Postscript

In future posts I will share an update on “craft book hoarding” (yes, I actually let go of a large amount of craft books); and discuss one of the recent crafting books I borrowed from the public library that I absolutely had to own (The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri L. Wood).