Saturday, June 26, 2010

Banewreaker

This is the name of the book I'm currently reading. It's by Jacqueline Carey and is a fantasy novel. I was reading it last year but I can't remember if I finished it (I think I did not, but almost) so I found a place where I felt I remembered basically all that had happened up to that point and began reading it again. It's a fun story and very well written and I'm very interested and even attached to several characters and their storylines. So I'm sad that there's only one other book after this one.

It's interesting what keeps us intrigued in a book and I wonder what that is. Because another fantasy book I started about a year and a half ago I have never gotten very into, and there happen to be quite a few books after this one and they've made a tv series on it and each of those books are a lot bigger than this one (they are the books that Terry Goodkind wrote, the first is Wizard's First Rule, but I have never gotten very far in it).

And then there are the books that are so powerful and moving and completely capture you. Not just your fanciful imagination, but your very soul. Like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Now there is a book worth risking running into a burning building for. It is my all-time favorite book, I think. I think it helps that when I was a kid, maybe 9 or so, they had The Hunchback of Notre Dame on t.v. Maybe it was a mini-series or something, but it impacted me quite a bit (never mind all the 7-up commercials with Quasimodo being lashed and mocked in the town on the little revolving platform with Esmeralda giving him a soda when he begs for water). The t.v. show had a quite an impact, but then reading the actual book, wow! Such a great expose, so to speak, on hypocrisy, sin, and redemption, and of course, beauty and love.

I'd love to hear about books that fit into each of these categories for you (the book you started but didn't finish but it has called to you, the one you just keep ignoring because it doesn't call to you, and the one that lives and breathes inside you).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beautiful Watercolors

I came across some incredibly beautiful watercolors online. Follow this link. They are flowers and frogs. My favorites are Plumeria Series VI and Red Eyed Show Frog, though I was drawn to the site by Violet Iris.

You'll notice her site is a couple of years old, so I wonder if she sold all the paintings she had to take to the art fair? She had a place to contact her but no guestbook or way to leave comments, which is too bad.

I encourage you to visit her site. I think the internet is a great way for us to support people's talents and endeavors to make our world and life more beautiful.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Feeling Empowered

So, I might not have said this a few days ago, or even last night. However, today this is how I feel. And it might seem quite opposite to go about it this way, but part of feeling this has been to list all the problems I want to fix in my life. Instead of just listing the problem (which I had no trouble coming up with 5 pages worth), I am also writing down the solutions I think exist, the obstacles I believe are keeping me from getting the solution or would keep me from it, AND (this is the empowered part) how to overcome those obstacles. Of course, I have done step 1. That took a while. And I am going to do the other three steps, no fears about that. I want to share this process with you, so I will start by posting one problem I put on my list and then once I have the other three steps done for it, I'll post those.

It's interesting, I attribute this feeling to a) the fact that I have exercised for 4 days straight (today I did not, but I felt this was more important today) and b) to feeling that a lot of the world is illusion and identifying it as such. For this ability to see much of the world as illusion (and it is increasing exponentially from day to day) I credit the disappointing eye-opener that was the series finale of Lost. Nothing in my life (and that's saying a lot) has done more to help me see how much of the modern world is one big shell game than that ending. And, as a prayer for the rest of humanity, may you have such blessed results from such undeserving sources also. May all dried-up riverbeds provide you with the spring of life that is escaping whatever shackles you.

Oh, so one of my problems I wrote down is my diet. I'll post the solutions, obstacles, and ways to overcome those in my next post. Feel free to post something you feel empowered to change.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Craft Fanatic

I'll have to take some pictures of the different craft projects I'm working on as well as the ones I want to start. It's rather like a kid in a toy store. No sooner do I start one project then another catches my eye and then I think of something else, etc. I'll never do all the things I want, or probably even all the things I've started. But I LOVE thinking I will (I'm more of a dreamer than a doer). So although I have been known to be a great collector of cross stitch patterns, books, and magazines, I have lately been acquiring more books on various crafts. I've starting looking for them in secondhand stores and yard sales where I can get them much more cheaply than I used to (I still cave and buy brand new ones, though not being able to locate my debit card tonight prevented such a purchase). Although I am lately completely disgusted with consumer society (and actually, a lot of things in modern society that go with the whole "let's control how you think and feel about stuff, but make it seem benign, like what you consider a funny joke or the right brand of paint to buy", such as believing that you need to stay abreast of national, regional, and international politics and trends or that the best music is not what's being played on your neighbor's piano), I am still completely, hopelessly, heartsick for and devoted to all things craft. Though you could sway me away from thinking I need to go to the mall scrapbooking store or chain craft store to get ideas or supplies, as I am liking the idea of libraries, thrift stores and yard sales, internet and people you know as my sources. For instance, in one old craft book, there are instructions on how to make things out of pewter. Seriously. That seemed really cool (though somewhat dangerous as you need one of the most powerful acids out there for this). Or constructing a small wooden cradle. Or making your own stuffed toys Well, there were all kinds of crafts and lots of great ideas, so I think I may start posting stuff from my finds as well current loves and passions and projects here.

For now, a Lust List:

a sewing machine (yep, I do not own one)
my own quilt frames
a stand for cross stitch frames
a nice big strong quilting hoop
more binders for storing the magazines I buy
a strong wooden bookcase for housing all those heavy binders
the clever and cute little embroidery scissors in some fanciful shape
a leather thimble
Gingher scissors
a workspace (like the modular wooden pieces you can buy at Roberts)
a Cricut or Sizzix or something on those lines
a nice large pan for baking cakes
a book on decorating cakes
simple patterns for sewing things for babies and toddlers (since I could donate these to needy people in the program at my work) or for making some simple household things (like blinds or curtains, or those things that block the cold out at the bottom of the door)

That should do for now. Feel free to post anything this inspires you to think of, wonder about, etc. Pictures of your current craft projects or any cool things you have acquired are welcome (and of course, you retain the right to your pictures, I don't try to usurp that the way other websites would - well, you know, large corporate types).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

People of the World, Unite!





I would just like to make a call to all of the good people of the world to unite to outwit, outplay, and outlast all of the scumbags out there. I think that essentially, if you want a good world you have to look out for each other. I'd love it if people posted some ways they feel we can look out for each other. I will post one and hopefully that will get the ball rolling.

When you know that certain activities or things you do make someone overjoyed and they really look forward to doing that, invite them to do this with you. For instance, after a long hiatus, I took the dog with me on my walk tonight. I think she really enjoyed it and it sparked up her life a little and it was good for me too. I felt better about who I had been for that time that I had her walk with me.

What is something you think we can do to look out for each other?