Posts Tagged ‘books’

I finally – finally! – finished the May page in my calendar journal. I’m overall pleased with it…

mixed media calendar page

mixed media calendar page

mixed media calendar page

mixed media calendar page

I started the June page – so far I painted it pink. And it’s going to have black designs. Other than that I have no idea what I’m doing. I chose green for May because my son was born in May, and the birthstone is emerald. My daughter was born in June, but the birthstone is pearl. I’m not doing a pearl page. So I chose pink instead. Funny how I never cared much for pink before Lily was born. Now I love it!

In non-arts & crafts related things, I finished reading Emma, by Jane Austen. I adore Emma! I loved this book – I hated to put it down. One thing that I particularly loved about Emma was her honesty in looking at herself and the mistakes she made. She was quick to acknowledge when she was at fault, and determined to change her ways.

I started reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. I haven’t read any George Eliot for a few years, and I’ve never read Daniel Deronda. I like it very much so far. I like Gwendolen a lot – I admire her ambition to be something more than the status quo, even if she doesn’t necessarily have the means to do so. Or even know what it is that she wants to be, other than fabulous!

And Project Runway…I was disappointed that Wendy and Andre left so early. I remember loving Wendy’s designs from the first season, and Andre is such a character. oh well. I’ve still got my Kayne and Josh!

Thanks for stopping by!


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a holiday for all occasions
Look what I got…the new issue of Somerset Holidays & Celebrations. Looking through this magazine makes me want to decorate for holidays more often.

holidays & celebrations

And here is my Mom’s crown. Looks great, doesn’t it? The photograph is beautiful.

birthday crown

And lucky for me they didn’t mention it was for her 60th birthday!

glamour girl
I finished reading Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, by Michelle Morgan. I thought it was a bit lacking in detail and too speculative at times. However the personal remembrances of Marilyn were great, particularly those of Bill Pursel, who knew Marilyn when she was still Norma Jean. There are a lot of great pictures too.

When it comes to Marilyn, it seems impossible to get the whole story. One books says this, another says that, this person says one thing, another says something different.

I’d like to read another Marilyn biography. I’m still deciding which book though. There are so many! (I wonder what she would think of all this obsession and fascination with her?) In the meantime I’m reading The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath, edited by Ted Hughes. I don’t like her early poems so much; they are rather formulaic and stilted and archaic-sounding (I can’t imagine where she got some of her words!). But starting in the late 1950s I like them much better – they sound more natural, and you can hear her voice coming through. And of course the Ariel poems are totally amazing.

simple pleasures
So I’m still working on my tags to submit to Somerset Studio. I wanted to have them finished last weekend. So much for that. I really really need to finish them this weekend, since they need to be in California by next Friday. I’m not sure if I will have time to make the other project. I’ve felt rather unmotivated lately to work on the tags. I want to, but I have this fear that I’m going to mess them up. Plus I feel tired, and frustrated at my lack of time. And the fact that I have to work this weekend does not help. Complain, complain, complain. Anyway, here is one tag. I like how it’s coming along. There are freshwater pearls sewn along one edge, and emboidery floss wrapped around the other edges.

she loved her sewing maching


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bright red feeling
The year is more than half over, and what have I accomplished? Pretty much nothing. I feel stuck in a world that consists of being a “mom” – going to work, taking care of Lily, doing housework. I feel dull.

I started off this year feeling so bright, so optimistic – well that wore off months ago. I feel like I’m not doing what I should be doing, just drifting, with no purpose. I feel frustrated a lot. I feel strangely unmotivated lately in my arts & crafts. I’m just tired of everything in general I think; a change is needed, but I’m still not sure exactly what to change.

strawberry blonde
Well over a year ago I mentioned that I wanted to write about the girls & women who have been a part of my life, whether fictional females or factual. I’ve always been drawn to women in one way or another, whether through books, music, history, movies, or literature. So here we go. I decided to write about a young woman who dates back to my childhood, with whom I spent many many wonderful hours….that enduring girl detective, Nancy Drew.

oh, How many summers did I spend entwined in the adventures of Nancy and her friends George and Bess? How many times did I read and reread those books? How many times did I long for similar adventures of my own?

How I wish I still had my beloved Nancy Drew books. I would give anything to get those back. I even had one book that was from the 1930’s!

Nancy was athletic, intelligent, adventurous, brave, bold, compassionate, and determined. And beautiful, of course. Books were my refuge, and Nancy was someone that I looked up to and felt that by reading her books, I took part in her adventures. Driving around in her convertible, traveling the world, and solving mysteries – all with her two best friends. What’s not to love?

I’ve always enjoyed mysteries too – they appeal to my analytical side. And I also loved the slightly old-fashionedness of the books – they were quaint and charming. At one point I did buy a couple of the “modern” books, but I never liked them as much. I guess even back then I was drawn to old stuff!

I found this great website about all things Nancy Drew – I really want to get a Nancy Drew tshirt!

~dreaming about hidden staircases and old clocks~

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a lifetime supply of crepe paper

I ordered some items from Blumchen. I just couldn’t resist! Plus I needed some stuff for my current & upcoming projects.

And I needed Lametta tinsel trim! ok?

I got some crepe paper. I’ve never used crepe paper in my work, but I thought it would be fun to try. When I looked at the packages (I got about five colors), I realized that each package contains a 7&1/2 foot length of crepe paper! um, that will last me the rest of my life I think. Maybe I’ll give some to Lily.

carbon made

I mentioned before (back in December) that I bought this book as a Christmas gift for myself:


Then for Hanukah my mother-in-law bought me this one:


So I decided this will be my year of Marilyn.

I’ve been a fan of hers since I was about 16, and I have several pictures of her hanging in my studio. I don’t remember at all how I became interested in her. She just had that inexplicable “something” about her – a combination of beauty, vulnerability, innocence, triumph, and trajedy – that simply draws people to her. I’ve read many books about her but none in a very long time, probably about 18 years.

I started reading The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe and it is utterly fascinating and compelling. I’m up to the point where Norma Jean is seven and her mother has just been (finally) diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and committed to an institution. What a sad and tragic life Norma Jean had, even by the age of seven.

This book is extremely detailed, so much so that I wonder how the author managed to get all this information! I can’t remember any other Marilyn book I’ve read with this level of detail, or one that examined so well the people in Marilyn’s early life.

It’s unfortunate that my reading time is right before my sleep time – I find it very difficult to put this book down!

40 is on the horizon
I have now entered the last year of my thirties, as my 39th birthday was on Saturday. I have reached the point in my life where I’ve started measuring it in decades. I have enough now that I can do that. I find myself looking forward to my forties but a bit apprehensive at the same time about growing older. I don’t think of myself as old, and I certainly don’t think 40 is old. But after 40 comes 50….and that’s really weird to think of myself as 50. I wonder what I’ll be like?

Anyway, I really do think my forties will be my best and happiest decade yet.

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merry christmas to me!
So I decided to buy myself a few Christmas gifts. I’ve been good, right? Well, kind of anyway. But these are necessities! And I’ve always felt that a Christmas gift should be something useful.

Anyway, I needed a new book to read. And books are a necessity in my life. I read a little before I go to bed – I wish I had more time but that’s how it is these days. I especailly enjoy biographies of women. I was looking around on Amazon and on a whim decided to look at books about Marilyn Monroe. I’m a big fan of hers, since I was about 16, and I’ve already read tons of books about her. But it’s a been a while, and I found this book:

Marilyn Monroe – Private and Undisclosed, by Michelle Morgan.

I read some of the reviews and it sounded good, so I bought it. It’s a beautful book, heavy (I’m going to develop some arm muscle reading that in bed!), with a lovely layout and cool photos. I couldn’t resist skimming through it, and many passages are remembrances of her by the people that knew her. I’m so glad I bought this, and can’t wait to read it (gotta finish my current book first though).

And my other gift to myself….

my darling tori

Tori’s new album, Midwinter Graces. And anything Tori is a necessity.

Lest you think this is a holiday album, this is Tori. So it’s a winter solstice album. I have to say it’s a bit strange to hear Tori singing some of these songs, but it’s really growing on me. Her albums either I love immediately upon the first listen, or they have to grow on me. This one is growing. I particularly like Star of Wonder, Harps of Gold, Winter’s Carol, Our New Year, and of course, Pink and Glitter.

~shower the world with pink~

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down down the rabbit hole

We're all mad here.

I recently finished reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, and have written a tiny little review. You can check it out in the Library – just scroll down to the bottom.

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cousins. rivals. queens.

Elizabeth & Mary by Jane Dunn

I posted a review of Elizabeth & Mary – Cousins, Rivals, Queens by Jane Dunn in the Library. I’ve been trying to complete this review for um, about eight months now. I don’t know why it’s taken so long – it’s just hard I guess to condense such a book into a few paragraphs. But I finally finished it. This is a great book and I highly recommend it if you are interested in such things. Scroll down to the bottom of the Library to check it out.

while we’re on the topic
I’m thinking about writing about some of the women in my life – women that inspire me, whose works I enjoy, that I find to be strong and outspoken and funny. Real women and fictional women. I am not ashamed or afraid to call myself a feminist – I know that word has taken on negative connotations these days. But I believe this world still needs feminists. I have found myself for a couple decades now purposely searching out women to look up to, to read about, to listen to. So stay tuned for more on that.

and still
Speaking of strong, outspoken women, I’m enjoying Tori’s new album. I’ll be writing about that here and there too over the summer as I get to know the new songs. Maybe California, Lady in Blue, and That Guy are some of my favorites so far. And I am very much looking forward to seeing her perform in August at the Tower Theater. She is fabulous live.

small moments
A foggy morning. Colorful ribbons. Yummy salad for lunch.


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