Sunday, July 30, 2006
Well, it is Sunday morning and I am still procrastinating....I have until 11 a.m. to get up from this computer and go get busy in a productive manner.........
Before that, I wanted to continue with my best books list.....Today's genre is NON-FICTION! It's true! These are books that you truly cannot put down! I guarantee it!!
1. Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
2. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
3. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman
4. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
5. Into Thin Air by Jon Krackauer
6. The Second Mark by Joy Goodwin
7. Two Lives by Virkam Seth
AND ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE......I added some more blogs to my links section and they are REALLY great....so please go check out...
Art Dog's Life
Prairie Paper and Ink
A Little Imagination and a Pile of Junk
These are great additions to the daily read!!!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
It is too hot around here to go anywhere! My friend Karen came over to check out my stamp room today. It was great fun to show her the wonder of watercolor crayons and chalks as coloring tools. I rediscovered their joys myself! It is so much fun to see someone else become nuts about stamping!
Spent the rest of the day and evening with Mike just lounging about. I am still reading The Liar's Club by Mary Karr and it is very good. She is an amazing writer.
Lastly, my current mission in life is having some friends over next Saturday for a stamping open house!! It will be lots of fun. My only problem is getting off the computer right now so that I could go clean the house in anticipation of all this fun. I am a major proctrastinator....... anyway, we are going to have music, stamping, lunch, challenges, and prizes!! Woohoo! If anyone reading this is going to be in the Chicago area next Saturday and wants to come, please do let me know!!
Friday, July 28, 2006
Mike and I just got back from Jewel (the grocery store). I wanted to lay in supplies for the weekend as it will be hot and I do not want to sally forth anywhere this weekend. I managed to squeeze in a trip to two bookstores also! Tricky me! I did not see the new Stamper's Sampler magazine though! Booo! I so wanted to peruse that before falling asleep! We have two movies to watch this weekend, "The Quiet American" and "The White Countess." I think I am going to start a new book (well new to me, it is several years old).... The Liar's Club by Mary Karr. I got a copy of the book Sweet and Low by Rich Cohen at the used book store tonight and that looks really good too. So many books, so little time!
Have to clean the house this weekend cause I am going to have some stamping buddies over next Saturday for a stampathon! I am even going to have prizes! Won't that be fun?
Lastly, I forgot to mention a book that should have made the memoir list, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers is an amazing book!!!!! It should definitely be on the list. My friend and archivist, Pat, brought all my former lists to me today. I was missing some, so more book recommendations to come this weekend!!! Don't forget I am living to hear your book comments! Don't make me beg!
Stay cool people!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Alexander McCall Smith
Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni
Esme Raj Codell
Each of these authors is totally passionate about their work, and besides that they are so extremely nice and friendly!!!
AND NOW FOR MY BEST FICTION LIST! Mike said my memoir list was too long, but I could not leave out any of those books......same here.......and as always, I would love to hear what you think.
1. Plainsong by Kent Haruf
2. Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahri
3. Every book by Elizabeth Berg (start with Talk Before Sleep)
4. The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
5. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
6. Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison
7. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
8. The Posoinwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
9. The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
10. The #1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
11. Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray
12. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
13. Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
14. My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozecki
15. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
16. Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
17. A Mother and Two Daughters by Gail Godwin
18. The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
19. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
20. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
21. The Rich Part of Life by Jim Kokoris
22. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
23. Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
24. Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
25. Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
26. Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
27. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
and, the BEST BOOK I EVER READ......................
A FINE BALANCE by ROHINTON MISTRY!!!!!
I know there are tons more great novels I have read, so when I come across another one I will let you know. Also, at the end of December, as I do every year, I will compile the best books I have read this year.
Hope you find something on this list that you really come to love!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Above and below are the pictures that my friend Jane got when she was in Sandwich and one from an antique shop in Volo, Illinois. Out of the tons of people at the Sandwich antique market my Mom and I ran into Jane and her husband, Mike! That was fun. We got to ooh and ahh over each other purchases. I love this picture of these two gals in their formals and below, the picture of this little girl with the birdie is so sweet!
And this one below, the little girl with the phone, is priceless!
I was online e-mailing with Lainie today. She is a fellow Alphabetica girl. We were talking about books because she recently finished a journal entry that prominently featured the names of authors, go to http://knitandpurlgrrl.blogs.com/my_weblog/ to see this really cool piece of work. It is the one with the number 26 on it (as in 26 letters of the alphabet!). Anyway, Lainie reads even more books a year than I do. I told her I was going to send her some of my best books lists....Of course, right now I can't find last year's list, but I did find a list I made of Four Star Books.......the books that I can highly recommend, wait, the books that I can beg you to read because they are PERFECT!!! I have them listed in categories: Memoirs, Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Kid's books......just so I have fodder to write about all week, let's take each category a day at a time.............
Today's category is MEMOIRS:
1. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
2. All Over but the Shoutin by Rick Bragg *
3. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl *
4. 84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff
5. The Lunch Box Chronicles by Marion Winik
6. Looking Back by Lois Lowry
7. The Cliff Walk by Don Snyder
8. Dear Exile by Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery
9. Safekeeping by Abigal Thomas
10. My Own Country by Abraham Verghese
11. Expecting Adam by Martha Beck
12. Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck *
13. Needles by Andie Dominick
14. Being Brett by Douglas Hobbie *
15. Motherland by Fern Schumer Chapman *
16. Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
17. I Closed My Eyes by Michele Weldon
18. 50 Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas *
19. Lummox by Mike Magnuson *
20. God Said Ha by Julia Sweeney
21. It Takes a Worried Man by Brandan Halpin *
22. Lucky by Alice Seebold
23. When Katie Wakes by Connie May Fowler
24. An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser *
25. Raising Blaze by Debra Ginsberg
26. Tumbling After by Susan Parker *
27. Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach *
28. A Slant of Sun by Beth Kephart
29. Waiting for My Cats to Die by Stacy Horn
30. Bald in the Land of Big Hair by Joni Rodgers
31. Change Me into Zeus' Daughter by Barbara Robinette Moss
32. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Okay, that is a long list, but memoirs are my favorite genre. Love em!!! Anyway, copy the list, and then go to Amazon and look up each title to see what they are about. There is not a bad one in the bunch......I have put a * sign by the ones that are must reads! I would call them total 5 star, total perfect, can't put it down books.
Please leave feedback if you have read any of these.....please!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Aren't these roses gorgeous? Wouldn't it be nice to have fresh flowers in your home at all times? My favorite flowers are tulips, roses, peonies, gladiolas, and pansies. FYI.
I love, love, love the above outfit. I would totally wear it right now if I had it! I think I would like to wear as I strolled through the streets of London or Paris!
Isn't the woman in this couple just completely beautiful????
I like the photo on this card alot, but I mainly bought it cause it says Cabinet Portrait! You know, cause it is a cabinet card! and this shows how they got their name!
This is a postcard of three generations! Isn't it totally unique??? I have never seen anything like it.
Not much is happening in this neck of the woods. I am having one of those "tired" weeks where I don't have much energy. Booooo!!! I am trying to finish up Audrey Hernandez' Alphabetica journal. I have the idea and the "ingredients," I just have to put everything together.
I just started reading the latest novel by Elizabeth Berg. She is such an amazing writer! If you have not read any of her books, you must!!! She really cuts to the heart of a matter!
After I finish reading that (which won't take long because her books are so readable!), I am thinking of re-reading one of my favorite books.....which one??? Hmmmmm...so many to choose from, but I think it will be A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving........
Hey, whoever is reading this....could you please entertain me and tell me which book you would choose to re-read???? Thanks!! I would really be interested to hear what books you all would pick!
Oh yeah, about that frozen yogurt, Mike agreed to bring home some frozen yogurt for me!!! I am really craving strawberry ice cream with hot fudge sauce, but frozen yogurt will be good too won't it?????
Sunday, July 23, 2006
So, this weekend started out on Friday night with Mike and I going to dinner at Portillo's again, cause I love that Chicken Pecan salad! Then we made an impromptou decision to go to the movies, Lady in the Water by M. Night Shamalayan. I love his movies!!! It was very entertaining and interesting. Not his best, but still worth seeing for sure. I love Paul Giamatti too!
Saturday morning I drove out to Lorie's to pick up my Stamping Up order....I could not wait to use the new hot off the presses rubber! I got Living Large and the Fontastatic background stamp, along with the new colors of card stock (for those of you in the SU know!). I was also in time for mail delivery at Lorie's....she has been on an Ebay kick for vintage sewing notions and has bid on and won some amazing things.....the best being some Lucky Day buttons and the cards they come on! If you have not seen these, keep an eye out. They have great illustrations on the button cards. We also went through her stash of stuff that has come since I last saw her and I was all agog over vintage rick rack, trims, and ephemera.....who knew I would turn out like this???
In the evening my Mom came over to make cards and stay overnight in anticipation of an early morning take-off for Sandwich, Illinois. There is a monthly antique fair there. We stamped on Saturday night and I made the cards above and below. I decided that my favorite way to make a card is to use pattern paper, vintage photograph, color with Photo Twin markers, layer with cardstock, and stamp a cool saying on card. These cards just make me happy!
This card below was actually a mistake at first. My Mom bought me the new Stamping Up paisley background stamp (!), and on the left side of the card I did not get the whole image down, so I covered it with the ribbon and it totally made the card! I love the picture on this one, especially the black/white border around it! I also love this SU cardstock, Blush Blossom, and have to order some more STAT!
Oh, while I was waiting for my Mom to come on Saturday I made some ATCs. Trish told me about this site, http://www.swap-bot.com, and I signed up for two ATC swaps. It is a cool site that has lots of different types of swaps on it and the rules are really easy. Following are two of the ATCs I made.
Today Mom and I went to the antiques fair. I hade been there once about 15 years ago. It seemed a bit "reduced" from that time, less dealers and less good stuff, but I still managed to find some really great vintage photos and some more cool ephemera...I will post some of that stuff throughout the week for those of you who are into that kind of thing.
So, it was a good weekend! Although I did not hang out enough with the dear husband....hope to make him good and sick of me this week!
Hope you all had lots of good fun this weekend and have a wonderful week!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Mike and I had a fun weekend...it is so hot around here that we mainly remained in the air conditioned house, but we ventured out on Saturday to see a movie. We saw "Wordplay" which is a documentary about people who love to do crossword puzzles. I am not a puzzle person, but I love to see stuff about people who are passionate about their hobbies so I enjoyed it. Friday night I watched two movies on DVD, Melinda and Melinda (a Woody Allen movie which was totally great) and Bride and Prejudice (another great movie, a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice). I recommend all three movies.
I talked to my cousin Bill on the phone this weekend. He regaled me with stories of his dog Pee Wee, and these stories always crack me up. Think crotchety dog with deeply ingrained bathroom habits! Hilarious!
Friday, July 14, 2006
ATC by Kim Buehm!!!!!
In April my Mom, Jane, and I went to a quilting convention in Chicago. They also had a bit of a mixed media exhibit put on by the Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. Several months before the show the magazine had a call for ATCs as they were going to have a "wall of ATCs" so people could have their work displayed and then trade them. If you sent in five ATCs you would receive five ATCs from the wall. Luckily for us, we went to the show on Sunday morning when it was slow and they let us pick which ATCs we wanted instead of randomly giving us five ATCs. This is one of the five that I picked! Isn't it great!!! Jane picked one by the same artist too. We did not know her, we just loved her cards!
Well, fast forward several months to the Dry Eye Friday contest (see entry below) and the winner of that contest was...........Kim Buehm!!!!!!!
Isn't that the coolest story!!!!!! (by the way, Kim, I am planning on catching up with all of my correspondence this weekend so your pix will be in the mail by Monday! Sorry about the delay!)
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Below are three of the ten (!) ATCs I made today! I was on a roll while listening to great music on my IPOD. These are for the swap for Carlene, Smart Gals.
Smart Gals pay attention to fashion.
Smart Girls do well in Math.
Smart Girls ponder.
And below are some of the many, many vintage photos I have accumulated over the past couple of weeks! Great stuff!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Tomorrow we are off to Lorie's to check out the new Stamping Up catalog!!!! More fun will be had!!! Woohoo!!!
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Mike and I want on our annual Fourth of July book toot today. We are absolute indoor nerds and what is even stranger is that is how we both grew up...rather stay inside reading (and also for Mike watching sports on TV) than going outside to play. It continues to this day. Anyway, I got some really cool books..........
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet
Salaam Paris by Kavita Daswani
King Dork by Frank Portman
The Hazel Atlas Glass Guide This is because since I have been antiquing all week I am obsessed with this cute glassware. Now I can stare at it all the time! Nerd alert!
Okay, so I am going to read these books in the above order this month!!!! I already started the Fannie Flagg and it is hilarious and so up to her usual standards!!! Love it!
As of this moment, I have only stamped two cards this weekend and have not even gone through my antique finds a second time. I need to do a bunch of stuff like make more Inky Antics RAKs, start ATCs for two swaps I am in, work on Jane's Alphabetica book, not to mention cleaning, etc. However, maybe the structure of going back to work will be good for me. Given this much free time, I have managed to fritter it away. Which is lots of fun, but boy I wish I had some of that self-discipline I hear talk about!
Now, off to read!!!!!!!
Thank you to Francine who answered a question on Carlene's blog about how to do hyperlinks!!!! This is my first attempt and it looks like it worked. I did it based on your great instructions!!!!! Francine also has a few blogs, and another one is devoted to scrapping and it looks cool....... Scrappy Girl. I will be checking back there again.....looks very cool and interesting! She lives in France!!!
I must recall my most favorite Fourth of July memory, especially with Noreen being here just recently. Years ago we went to Grant Park (in Chicago) for fireworks done to the 1812 overture! Very cool! Anyway, before that part they played a rousing version of Stars and Stripes Forever and we marched around the edge of our blanket waving small American flags!!! Can you say NERDS! I mean we were in our 20's I do believe. Anyway, nowadays things are a little quieter around here......
Below is a card I whipped up last night. It is truely naughty that I have not been stamping all this weekend. I have been on the internet way too much. I think I might have to establish some internet rules for myself......except, self-discipline has never been my strong suit.
Well, I hope everyone is out there is enjoying a barbecue, swimming, lots of pop, and fireworks today!!!!!!
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I am so pooped from all the fun I have had this week!!! The excitement of tonight is looking through my new Stampin Up catalog!! (lots of good stuff in there!) and I also have the new issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Inspirations from Stampington!!! Plus, Mike and I are supposed to watch Syriana on DVD tonight........
I just want to say thank you to my friends Noreen, Lorie, Jane, and Trish and my Mom for making my week such a fun-filled time!!!! Through hanging out, looking at antiques and stamping stuff, to e-mails......you are the best you guys!!!!
I hope I can stay on this "high" when I go back to work next week!!!!
Saturday, July 01, 2006
The above picture was made by Sean and it is amazing!! He picked out all the elements (felt, paper) and then cut out everything free hand to make this picture. I was totally amazed!
This is Sydney's totally cool art work!! We stamped the girls image from Inky Antics and then she colored it with gel pens. I love the colors she choose and the geometric patterns around the girls!!! Great work!
Ian hung out in my stamp room and put this together!! I think it is hilarious and very talented of him to put these stamps together from the pile in my room! I am going to steal this idea using this lady stamp and the crown! They go perfectly together!
I am so lucky that Noreen and I have been friends since 1977. She has seen me through every up and down in my life since then. We have always managed to stay close even though we have not lived in the same town since 1978! We always visited each other whereever we were living and our families always include us in stuff they do. The blessings of friendship are so great!