It’s been a while since I shared my latest “Library Stack” in my series of ongoing posts by the same name – The Library Stack. I noticed I have 39 posts so far under the blog post category “The Library Stack” so over the past 8 years I’ve been blogging I’ve shared a lot of stacks!
A couple weeks ago I had “an incident“. I borrowed a stack of books from two different public library systems which resulted in a DOUBLE STACK!
I have to keep the stacks separate so I don’t mess up and return the wrong stack to the wrong library!
Here is a close up of each stack:
Stack I (Library 1):
Stack II (Library 2):
I’ve recently finished up Stack II and returned it to its correct library (yay!). The books I most enjoyed in this stack were: Styling for Instagram and Dollhouse Style.
For the past couple of month’s I’ve been obsessed with tiny room vignettes and dollhouse size furniture on Instagram (I think it is just a phase) and I follow Instagram pages such as @simplylivingminidesigns.
I was obsessed with tiny houses (the kind you can live in) for quite a while, but now I seem to have gone tinier!
The human sized livable tiny house still remain an obsession for me as you can see that in Stack I I have a book titled The Giant Book of Tiny Homes!
Well I have a lot of page browsing ahead with pots of tea to finish Stack 1 and get it back to its library! Then I will take a “Library Stack” break and work on reading the books I already have in queue in my home library!
Before I get into this post, which is a continuation of my ongoing series, The Library Stack (in which I share my stacks of borrowed books from my local public library), I would like to say thank you to the very talented Mariss @ Fabricationsfor also nominating me for an Outstanding Blogger Award. In the Postscript section of this post I will answer the questions she posed to her nominees.
It’s been a while (November 2020) since I shared my latest “Library Stack” and I thought I would just catch you up on several stacks over the past several months.
And here are the previous library stacks that I have not shared before:
As you can see there appears to be a limited number of general themes of the types books I borrow from the local library – home decor and crafting. These are my fabric subjects for a book browsing over a pot of tea!
You might have noticed that I have The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland in two different stacks – if I really enjoy a home decor or crafting book I just borrow it again and again!
I’ve been reading a lot (well “a lot” for me) of fiction books but those I am reading from my home library (see post Curating a Home Library) or library borrowed audiobooks; and I might share some reviews in a future post. You can follow me on Goodreads@tierneycreates if you’d like to see what I’ve been reading fiction wise and read my reviews.
I love public libraries and as my series of posts The Library Stack shows, I am always browsing them and borrowing books when I can. A couple of years of ago I studied and embraced Minimalism trying to live a simpler lifestyle and letting go of things that I thought cluttered my life. I decided to stop buying books and just borrow them from the library.
Then in December 2018 my husband suddenly died and things shifted in my life on a large scale. And in early 2020 the pandemic hit and more shifting occurred to include examining how I could redefine a “simpler lifestyle” and have the physical things I enjoy in my life.
Our local libraries closed for what seemed like endless months during the early days of the pandemic and when they reopened it was only for curbside pickup. Currently they have fully reopened but have many strict protocols (beyond mandatory masks) and there are not that many patrons in the library anymore. It feels like something is lost from whole public library experience (and it is strange to see the librarians behind glass).
Pre-pandemic I was really in to audiobooks. Something shifted in me during the pandemic and I began to crave reading physical books rather than listening to them. I also remembered my secret dream of having an extensive home library like the ones I see in the home decorating books I borrow from the public library.
Like this one below:
With all the above things in the background of my mind, a couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to proceed with curating my own home library. Nothing as extensive as the image above but a nice collection with books that I’ve read and loved (and want to read again) and books I want to read (and might read again).
So how to do this and not “break the bank”? Well I used the following sources to find books for my home library:
Independent bookstores selling used books
I was able to buy books from 50 cents to $5.00 from these four sources. Most books I paid between $1.49 and $4.99.
In addition to amassing a collection of second hand books over the past couple of months, my partner John also added an additional bookcase to the front room beyond the two he already built for me.
So here is the current version of my home library which used to be the front room/sitting room in my house:
I had so much fun hunting for books at thrift shops (one local thrift shop has 1/2 priced Saturdays).
I’ve loved the books by the authors Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child and I’ve read at least 85% of their entire catalogue of books. So I put together a collection of their books of my very own (previously I had borrowed them from the library):
I do not have their latest books as those are not at thrift stores yet or reasonably priced on Thriftbooks.com but it was so fun finding each book one at a time while hunting at thrift shops.
At the beginning of my home library book curation process I thought about filling part of my home library with classic novels and books that might impress a book collector. But that thought lasted only a couple seconds. I have no need to impress anyone with my home library except myself. It is only filled with the kind of books I will read (and my partner too).
Like lots of Science Fiction and Fantasy (especially Young Adult Fantasy, I love it):
You might wonder what I did with my craft book collection. Well it is on the opposite wall organized by craft or topic (like art quilting):
All those books – got to have a cozy place to read, right? Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer sitting in my favorite reading spot:
And here is Mike and I snuggled cozy under a warm blanket on a cold Saturday reading (it was quite a delicious morning with my pot of tea next to me). I rediscovered the joy of reading a while, napping, waking up and reading some more!
Note these images were taken before my partner put up the third bookcase last week.
In case you are curious, I am still occasionally getting a “Library Stack” from my local public library, though not as big as the ones I was getting (the ridiculously large stacks like in the post The Library Stack Is Back!) when the library first reopened. Here is my current linrary stack:
Speaking of libraries, some of the second hand books I’ve purchased over the past several months are former library books! I’ve gotten pretty good at removing the library’s plastic dust cover with all their library specific stickers so the books sitting on my home library shelves does not look like I stole them from a library – ha!
As I mentioned earlier in this post I used to listen to a lot of audiobooks. Current I am only listening to podcasts now, taking a break from audiobooks. I am currently enjoying holding a book in my hand and reading it. Quite a different experience. I am taking a break from multitasking in life and just enjoying a solitary task of reading a book!
Over the past several months of going to thrift stores to find books for my home library, I’ve come across many curious items for sale at thrift shops.
Here are my top 5 favorite finds that gave me the chuckle (and I promise you I did not buy any of them):
Number 5: If you need a lamp and a place to store your leftover yarn, would this not be the perfect solution?
Yes it’s – YARN LAMP!
Number 4: Patriotic pants – they defy any further comment (but my apologies to you if you happen own these…)
Number 3: Donated photo frames with family photos still in them.
I could not believe how many donated photo frames I came across with family pictures still in them at various thrift stores, like the example below. Wouldn’t you perhaps remove your family photos before donating?!?!?
Number 2: An outfit for a very adventurous and crafty person.
Though it was on display way before Halloween, I think this was supposed to be a suggested Halloween outfit (hopefully as you would get a lot of stares should you select it for a cocktail party…)
And Number 1 is…
Something that you absolutely cannot imagine living without…
A cattle leg (yes real cattle leg) with hoof attached Barometer!
Yes, now you can remember the favorite steer you raised on your farm and know the current barometric pressure!
My regret is I did not buy it and put it away as the ultimate future “White Elephant” Christmas gift! (Could you imagine the look on someone’s face when they opened their gift!)
First let me wish you all a “Good Morning”, even if your time zone is greatly different from mine (perhaps you are reading this post before you go to bed!).
Just like in the August 6, 2020 post Good Morning, I would like to give you a “Good Morning” greeting by sharing some photos from my partner John’s morning bike ride, this time from a couple days ago along a reservoir near our house.
Now for the second part of this post, I am going to continue my series of posts about the latest stack of my local library books I’ve borrowed (The Library Stack), and show you the sort of crazy huge stack of books I just got from the library:
I actually took a break from “library stacks” for a while as I was trying to catch up on my backlog of crafting magazines I have to read in my home library. But then my blogging buddy, author and podcaster* (and fellow Beastie owner) Tammie Painter shared her latest “library stack” in her post It’s Time for An Action-Packed Library Stack and it made me want to go to my library and get my “stacking” on! (I am easily influenced).
(*If you enjoying listening to podcasts check out Tammie’s wonderful The Book Owl Podcast available on the podcast platforms).
In addition to my standard home decorating books (so enjoyable to browse with a pot of tea), I have a couple books in the stack related to my latest obsession – making granny squares (see post Granny Square Madness).
Speaking of granny squares, the other day we stopped at a thrift store when wandering about and I found another cool granny square afghan that needed “rescuing”. Yes – it looked at me with big eyes that said “bring me home Tierney…please…”. (It is okay if you are now rolling your eyes…)
Here is Mike (my rescue dog) with my latest “rescued” afghan:
It’s quite cozy and I had a nice nap under it this weekend.
I can relate to all the work that goes into making granny squares (I’ve made 15 more this weekend of the 43 left to make to complete my first granny square afghan) and I sort of wince to think this ended up in a thrift shop but I guess it was time for me to be its guardian!
Oh and since this post seems filled with rather random things (sunrise photos from a morning bike ride, a library stack, “rescued” granny square afghan, etc.) I will add to the randomness by closing out this post with my new tablecloth and placemats I also picked up from a thrift shop.
The napkins are from World Market and my beloved sunflower center piece is from my friend Michele, but the table cloth and placemats were a couple of dollars investment for a nice new look to our kitchen table!
Okay that’s the end of this random item post, hope you all have a great day!
It was as if the gates of Heaven opened and I could hear the angels singing: Last week a neighboring library system (the one I’ve started getting books via curbside pick up from a couple weeks ago, see post The Library Stack Is Back!), OPENED ITS DOOR TO THE PUBLIC!!!
So the tierneycreates Beastie and I headed to the library to frolic among the stacks! (We did not bring tierneycreates Beastie’s dog Mikelet since only Service Dogs are allowed in libraries…even though he is very small and I likely could have hid him in my pocket…)
After chatting with the library front desk staff and introducing them to the tierneycreates Beastie and showing them her library card* (see post Beastie Outing to the Library), we headed upstairs to browse our favorite Dewey Decimal System section 700 (Arts & Recreation)!
Once again, like the other time I took my Beastie to the library, she insisted on trying to navigate the library stairs herself:
But she was not getting anywhere very fast so she agreed I could just carry her upstairs to the magical 700 section of the library.
Once we got upstairs, I let her do her own browsing and she eventually found her way to the knitting book section as she is always trying to learn more about how she was made in Dublin by her maker Helen@Crawcraftbeasties.
Beasties are sort of vain and she kept asking me to take her photo among various stacks of craft books. Here is a photo she did not want you to see but I told her I was going to share it anyway so you can see sometimes even Beasties take bad photos:
While I was browsing (note – this was the first time I’ve been inside this library as I joined this neighboring library system when they started curbside pick up a couple weeks ago since my local library is still completely closed) in section 700, I noticed this sign:
I was like “whaaaaaaaaaaaat?” I love Interior Decorating/Design books and this library has their own “Interior Design Nooks?!??! (insert sounds of more angels singing). So I wandered over there while the tierneycreates Beastie continued to browse through the knitting section.
The nook is both sides of this freestanding section and a built in bookshelf!
Unfortunately my arms were overloading with browsings from the other 700 sections and I could only select a couple books from this section to borrow (but I will be back!!!)
Here is the resulting Library Stack from our visit (or frolic among the library stacks):
tierneycreates Beastie just mentioned to me that since I was “keeping it real” by showing a photo of her earlier in this post with disheveled hair, I need to show you all what the Library Stack really looks like when I first get it home before I put it in a nice order:
One of the things I’ve greatly missed during the “COVID-times” is visiting my local public library to browse the shelves and/or pick up my latest stack of holds.
My local public library, which is within walking distance of where I live, is still closed BUT last week I discovered the public library in the neighboring country opened for “curbside pick up”. Library patrons could reserve books online and when notified that the library that they are available, could park in designated spots at the library and HAVE THEIR LIBRARY HOLDS DELIVERED DIRECTLY INTO THE TRUNK OF THEIR CAR!
Giddy with the excitement of this news, I contacted the neighboring county’s library to see if they would allow me to sign up for a library card/account with them. I discovered from the friendly library staff that any Colorado resident could sign up!
I could not get online fast enough to sign up for a library patron account with this neighboring county’s library!!!
I went a little crazy putting books on hold online. Like super crazy. Like completely and utterly insane.
So now I am ready to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my local public library. Because, the LIBRARY STACK IS BACK
Initially I received an e-mail that several of the books I reserved were available and immediately drove to the library to pick them up. !
And a couple days later I received a notice that like 15+ more books were available for me to pick up.
Here is the resulting MEGA STACK of library books:
And I am in library book heaven!
This morning (the first day of my “staycation”, see Postscript), I had a simple breakfast in the front room with a pile of library books. It was a lovely way to spend a morning!
Oh and yes, a couple more books have come in and I returned to the library a third time to have them load more books into my trunk! I did return a couple books using their drive through book return so my stack is still the same size (sort of…but I am not showing you any more of my pathological addiction to library books in this post – ha!)
Today I began my first day of a 10 day “staycation” (a holiday at home). I plan to spend it reading my giant library stack, catching up on reading the blogs I follow, and even writing some more blog posts. My partner John and I are also planning some day trip adventures and working on some home remodeling projects.
Oh in addition to the library stack, I am also reading a book on Kindle – Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace; and listening to a fantastic audiobook book – The Library Book by Susan Orleans which is a love letter to public libraries. I will of course be discussing this book a bit in a future post when I finish it.
I don’t know about you but I keep fighting getting blue during these COVID-times. I know some of the stay at home orders/restrictions are loosening but if your part of the world is like mine you are still dealing with “social distancing”, limited access to things and needing to wear masks when you venture out.
I am so grateful for my health and the health of those I love and I hate to sound whiny at all but I miss what life used to be pre-COVID so much.
Somedays I sort of want to just run around and hug everyone I come across! It hurts my heart to always have to intentionally and constantly stay away from people. When walking my dog and passing another person, we each move an extra bit to the opposite side. I guess dogs just figure that people all hate strangers now or something!
I came across this quote the other day and it was a good reminder for me to “snap out of it” and send out positive vibes to my fellow humans struggling with this new reality:
I might have overdone it this time with my public library stack:
Last time I had an entry my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my local public library was May 2019, 6 months ago.
As I shared in my August 19th post, Morning Walk in Black and White, this summer I moved from my apartment to a house sharing situation – 35 miles away but still in the greater Denver metropolitan area.
When I moved, I had to change libraries as I moved to a new county. I really liked my public library in the first area of Denver, Colorado in which I lived (see post New Library in My Life!) and I was bummed to leave the sweet little library I could walk to.
My current library at my new housing situation is not too bad (and I can walk to it), the only thing is they do not have a good selection of crafting or home decor books (two of my favorite genres to borrow from the library).
However I discovered their online interlibrary loan system across the entire Denver metro area (numerous counties) and BAM – I now have access to lots of great titles.
Unfortunately I went a little “online-borrowing-request-crazy” and put too many books on hold at the same time through the online interlibrary loan system.
And they all came in at once…
Here is the new stack of the interlibrary loan books (they were quite the cumbersome stack to carry out of the library after check out):
And here is the existing stack I already had at the house of library books:
So when you combine them together you get this: The Ridiculously Large Library Stack!
I was not even sure when to store all 18 books I have out on library loan.
Storing them in the sitting/reading room seemed like the best idea:
This morning I attacked the stack over breakfast…
Lesson learned – I will not be so enthusiastic in reserving a large number online interlibrary book loans at once!
(Or I could just quit my job and read library books for a living…)
I am ready to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my local public library. This is my first stack from my NEW local library in the Denver greater metro area!
I live within walking distance of a public library branch and last week I wandered over and selected my first stack! It was so fun to walk back home with my stack:
So far I’ve finished browsing through the books The Quilting Arts Idea Book by Vivika Hansen Denegre and Global Bohemian by Fifi O’Neill. I enjoyed both of these books immensely! Lots of art quilt and decorating inspiration!
As my library is so close, I will probably keep my library stacks small instead of the mega library stacks I used to borrow from previous Central Oregon public library (which I transported home by car). I love the idea of being able to quickly walk to the library!
It’s been a while since I shared a recent audiobook listen and I am currently listening to a fantastic audiobook (borrowed from the library of course) – Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resistance, and Finding Joyby Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.
If Sheryl Sandberg’s name sounds familiar, she is the former Google executive and Facebook Chief Operations Officer who wrote the wildly popular book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Several years following her success from that book and becoming an internationally known speaker, writer and business mogul, her beloved husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed, just like how I lost my husband in December 2018.
This book is about how she faced her grief, rebuilt her life and achieved “post-traumatic growth”. The interesting thing is I tried to read this book over a year ago (before my loss) and lost interest in it after a couple chapters. Now I am devouring it and gaining a lot of insight.
I can relate on so many level to what Sheryl Sandberg shares in her first hand account of experiencing one of the most awful things that can happen to you – losing your life partner. I do not think I was ready to read/listen to this book until now. I like to think that the Universe is helping give me what I need when I am ready for it.
What is Option B? Well Option A would be for your loved one to still be alive. But Option A is not available. So you have to find your Option B.
“Option A is not available. so let’s just kick the sh*t out of Option B.”
“Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B.”
I will close out this post with a couple additional quotes from this powerful book.
“Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. It comes from gratitude for what’s good in our lives and from leaning in to the suck. It comes from analyzing how we process grief and from simply accepting that grief. Sometimes we have less control than we think. Other times we have more. I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.”
“…post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.”
“Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”
Finally, here is one of my favorite quotes from the book so far:
“I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.”
You know because they endure you totally geeking out over your new public library!
If you’ve been a follower of this blog for more than a couple months you know what a Public Library Nut I am. I do have a whole series of posts – The Library Stack – about my current library loans.
While I was visiting the Greater Denver Colorado Metro area March 20 to March 24 to find an apartment to rent, I checked out the local public library in the area where my new selected apartment resided.
My friend Michele endured me chatting with the library staff, getting a tour of the library and totally geeking out over a new 700 section to explore! She was extremely patient!
What I could not believe is the library allowed me to get my new library card before I actually moved there, I just had to give them my new address:
To me a library card is like gold!
Here is a little taste of my new library which is walking distance of my new apartment!
So much crafting book yumminess awaiting me at my new library!
They also had a cool section called “Lucky Day” where the latest releases of books and movies were available first come first serve. They cannot be renewed and these are copies that cannot be put on hold when they are in the “Lucky Day” section. While looking at the “Lucky Day” section I chatted with a library patron who was very excited about her lucky new release find!
So as I am wandering around my new neighborhood I can peek into the library whenever I am nearby and see if it is my “lucky day”!
Now some of you might be thinking: “wow, she has no life”. What can I say, ever since I was a preteen I have been in love with the library, it is a sanctuary!
I continue to spend my evenings packing but I made it through packing my books and magazines and now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Last evening I worked on packing my kitchen and realized I had a pathological amount of spatulas. I did not realize I had some sort of spatula obsession. I did pare it down to just two. If I suddenly need more spatulas, I am sure they have more in Colorado!
Returned to Seattle again for a brief business trip, met with the City of Seattle, toured the and got to tour the gallery space for my first solo show in April;
Continue to prep for my big move to Colorado at the end of April (see series of posts Colorado Bound); and
In the near future I travel to Denver to visit a friend and tour 10 (yes 10) rentals I’ve researched for my future home (looking between Boulder and Denver, CO and in a future post in my Colorado Bound series I will share more about how I got to 10).
Should I also mention need to create a piece for an invitational only juried show that I really want to get into? I was invited in the Fall of 2018, before my husband passed away in December 2018. I will see after my visit to the Denver area to find my housing if I think I can whip out an art quilt before the closing of the show entry date on June 15.
In between all this mixture of fun and crazy schedule, I am still grieving the loss of my partner of more than 1/2 my life, Terry the Quilting Husband.
I was having a rough patch of grief earlier this week and I had a wonderful conversation with one of the physicians I work with, Liz, who is also a friend. She strongly suggested that I take some “self-care” time and slow my life down a bit.
I decided to take her advice and had a “Self-Care Saturday” yesterday which involved a visit to my local library to get a MEGA library stack!
So let’s continue my ongoing (and long-time neglected) series – The Library Stack – in which I share my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library (and in the next couple of months will have to change to the Denver or Boulder area public library system).
Leisurely Lounging, Library & Lunch
By Thursday of last week I decided that Saturday was only going to be for me. I was going to relax and have fun. A dear friend invited me to have breakfast with her on Saturday and I declined telling her I was “busy”. As much as I would have enjoyed her company, I wanted to keep my commitment to myself (I was “busy” – I was busy taking care of myself).
Saturday morning, Mike the miniature schnauzer and I spent hours leisurely lounging in bed (including breakfast in bed for me) and binge watching documentaries on space and astrophysics – two of my favorite documentary topics.
Here we are binge watching, but I think Mike is just napping – ha!
Of course maybe Mike’s giant schnauzer cushion is blocking his view of the television…
After a couple documentaries, Mike and I headed out for a long walk around the neighborhood.
Then I headed out for a special treat – to return to my local downtown library and spend an hour browsing in my favorite sections – crafting and home decorating.
Here is the crazy MEGA library stack of borrowed books that resulted from my leisurely browsing:
A couple of the books are repeat loans but most of them are new to me. It appears the library acquired more yummy crafting and home decor books while I was away for a couple months!
After my library browsing, I took myself to lunch (yummy tapas) and brought one of my library books along to start reading while I ate my delicious patatas bravas and rockfish taco:
A solitary lunch with a good book can be quite exquisite.
The New Bohemians Handbook
I’ve borrowed Justina Blackeney’s book The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes, several times in the past from my library.
How delightful it was to discover during my library browsing that she has a new book: The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes:
I loved her previous book and this new book is excellent timing for me to discover as soon I will be working on decorating my new apartment (which will be much smaller than my current home).
The “Bohemian” style really appeals to me. I’ve always referred to my style of interior decorating as “cozy and random”. I think “Bohemian” sounds even better!
In this book the author proposes that there is a “deep connection between home decor and well-being”. She recommends five (5) processes to achieve that sense of well-being with your home decor:
It was a wonderful book to read and browse through during my delicious lunch at a local Tapas Eatery.
I look forward to finishing the book and working my way through the rest of the MEGA Library Stack!
I believe creativity and good vibes can save the world.
I am continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library. This will be my last library stack for a while – I will explain later in this post.
One of my favorite books in this stack was A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart: Crafts, Recipes, Letters, and Stories(2016) by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes.
Two friends who met through an online photography site, one living in Portland Oregon and the other in Portland Maine, formed a close bond 3191 miles apart. This book shares their letters, stories, recipes, and crafts. It is a beautiful story of friendship with wonderful photos and stories.
Enjoying the Stack
One of my favorite weekend morning activities is to sit in my quilt and afghan covered old chair in the front window, with tea, and browse a stack of books:
I used to make a pot of tea that I set on a warmer, but I discovered that my tea will keep just as well in a thermos!
Buying a Library Book, Literally
I decided to purchase one of the books from my previous library stack (see post Library Stackings) and found it used online. When it arrived, turns out – it was a library book!
I was laughing when I looked at the receipt and saw it was from the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library.
Our library in Central Oregon, Deschutes Public Library, also has a “Friends of the Library” organization that raises money for the library through used book sales. How cool I bought a used book from another library to support it!
Then to my surprise when I opened the book, it was stamped by yet another library – this time in Las Vegas, Nevada!
So I book I borrowed from my library, that I decided to buy used, came from another library’s book sale fundraising activities that they got from another library! Wild, eh?
Taking a Break from Library Stacks
I’ve decided to take a break indefinitely from borrowing craft and home decorating books from the library. Instead I am going to focus on spending time with my extensive library of craft books (see my old posts Craft Book Hoarder?!?!? and Craft Book Purge).
To give you an idea of how many craft books I’ve collected over the year, here is our guest room with all my books and magazines in piles and baskets as we prepared to replace our 20+ year old bookcases with new IKEA bookcases:
So maybe I will start a series of posts where I talk about the books in my collection, instead of the libraries!
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I were laughing hysterical when we came across this recliner at a local store the other week:
Now no judgement directed towards someone who finds this chair appealing, but what gave me a laugh was that if you really wanted to feel like you were “bathing” in the forest while sitting in your living room, this chair would be the perfect solution!
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.