Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Found: Lovers, by Jarek Puczel

This oil painting by Jarek Puczel has stayed with me since I first found it on Pinterest.  I love everything about it--the tones, the way the lines and faces blur into each other, and the slightly mysterious aura it seems to exude.

The artist's caption reads thus: "When we love, we think constantly about each other."

That is the true difficulty and treasure of love, to think constantly about someone else (and not always consciously, either).  You are somehow fully (or even more fully) yourself and yet it becomes impossible to tell where you end and your beloved begins.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


fabric manipulation

Earlier this month, Kathrin of Annekata invited her readers to join in a fabric manipulation challenge.  My craft/sewing/making skills have been largely unused since August, so I happily joined in--I needed a challenge that was doable but still challenged my creativity.

fabric manipulation

I took a half-bleached tank top that is completely unwearable but still made of pretty good fabric and cut a long looped strip from the hem.  I stitched along one side, then pulled the stitches to gather the edge into a circle.  I then stitched along the outside and gathered it on the reverse and stitched it down.  It was simple and not hugely time-consuming, but process-oriented enough that I felt that same mix of calm and hopeful anxiety that draws me to make in the first place.  Plus, I end up with something to use that I made with my own to hands (and a needle and thread), so once I find some felt and stitch on a backing, it can serve as a hair piece or a pin on my coat or a scarf.

A few other bloggers have joined in, too.  Kathrin's lovely blue scarf, good words on process, and links to other entries in the challenge here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Made: a photobook

The idea was simple enough: make something for Valentine's Day unlike the things I've made before.  That idea then stretched a little--make something that isn't just for Valentine's Day, but something that can be special every day.  That's a nice tall task.  Still, the idea took on a form.  I would document my day, those little mundane things of my Monday to Friday life, print them, and put them in a book I would make myself.  Then my husband, when he's at work all day for the long hours of busy season, can find a picture of what I'm probably doing at that moment, and in a little way, I am with him.

decorative paper (for the cover), heavy paper (for the pages), masking tape (mine was 1/2 inch wide), printed pictures (mine were printed on regular paper so they wouldn't be too thick)scissors, glue, cardboard or chipboard (for the cover), ribbon, stamps, and embellishments, calligraphy pen

Print the pictures.  Glue them to the heavy paper in chronological order.  Use the masking tape to bind the pages to each other.  Cover the chipboard or cardboard with the decorative paper, then use the masking tape to bind it to the pages.  If you want to attach a ribbon to tie the book closed, glue the ends of the ribbon under the decorative paper on the inside of the cover.  Once the book is put together, you can stamp and embellish to your heart's content.  You might want to label the pictures, too.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Sniff Books...

Source: tumblr.com via Katie on Pinterest

...do you?

Finding this made me laugh out loud.  This page might be its origin.  I have one reservation, though: why are there flowers and no books in the background?

Friday, February 17, 2012



Congratulations, Holly, you won the My Memories Suite giveaway!  Check your email for the download code!

*Apparently, "winner winner chicken dinner" was once the catchphrase of the Ohio Poultry Lottery Commission.  

Happy Friday

Aren't you glad it's Friday?  What are your weekend plans?  I want some mellow time at home and I'm going to try my very best to clean.  I'll probably read and watch movies with my husband instead, but hey--at least I had good housekeeping intentions, right?

It's not too late to enter the My Memories giveaway--I'll select a winner at noon today and be back to post around three.  

Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Love

"To love--that is to say, to love someone 'for what he is'--always means to find oneself with a 'ridiculous object'...But it also means to continue to see in this object the 'something more'...To love is to perceive this gap or discrepancy, and not so much be able to laugh at it as to have an irresistible urge to laugh at it.  The miracle of love is a funny miracle."  

Alenka Zupancic, "On Love as Comedy"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Friday (and my first giveaway)!

A week or so ago, I got an email from Picnik that said they're closing in April.  Picnik has been my go-to site for playing with photos and attempting to edit my images since I found the site in high school, so I was fairly disappointed.  How would I then play with my photos, make collages, and add text or effects?

Then I got an email from My Memories, which I'd heard about from a couple of blog and real-life friends, inviting me to try the software myself and host a giveaway.  The software lets me play with layouts, add effects to my photos, and create entire scrapbook pages.  Plenty of extra backgrounds and embellishments are available for free or at little cost online, and it's quite easy to use.  I even put together a new blog header, which I've wanted to do for ages, and made this stand-alone page.

Now someone else gets to try it free!  Here's how to enter:

1. Visit My Memories and look at their products.
2. Leave a comment here about what you would make.  I'm working on a little photo book for a Valentine's Day gift that I'll share next week.  Would you put together a gift, or something different?
3. Share this post on Twitter or Facebook for an extra entry.  Just be sure to leave a link in an additional comment.

The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, February 15, at noon.  If you'd like to try the software before then, you can use the code STMMMS97988 (just copy and paste it) for $10 off the software and a $10 coupon for items in the store.

Good luck!

*UPDATE: I didn't have time to finish the photo book or pick a winner, so I'm keeping it open until Friday at noon!*

Disclaimer, which I failed to post originally: My Memories emailed me and offered a free copy of their software for a contest winner and me.  The opinions in the review are all mine.  Is that all you generally need to know?  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Things


My aunt gave me the most beautiful journal for Christmas, and I've only filled one page.  I feel as if most of the words that come to me aren't worthy of its pages, then end up not writing at all.  Then I came across this pin today, and decided the beautiful journal will be filled with daily gratitudes and maybe a few collages.  


English doesn't actually have a future tense, but this still made me laugh.


These are some good words.

I have a fun surprise for tomorrow!  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


These words get to me every time I read them.  In my sophomore year of high school, To Kill a Mockingbird was our summer reading for English.  I loved the book from the start, but the way my teacher talked about it transformed the story even further, and I fell head over heels with every moment bound in the text.  My teacher quoted the last few lines from the book with regularity: "Courage is when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."

These words became exponentially more precious to me at the end of that school year.  I just wrote the story of what happened and then erased every word.  The sentences I put together to capture that story and that teacher in writing weren't right.  I'll have to try again.

I found this image and quote on my friend's Pinterest.  Does anyone know where it's from?  I did a google image search and haven't find an original source yet.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Until Then

Source: ffffound.com via Katie on Pinterest

My husband is in the middle of busy season and has long days at work for at least another month or two, and rarely knows when he'll get done until early afternoon.  These words seem right for any parting from a loved one, whether it lasts for hours, days, weeks, longer, or even an indeterminate amount of time.

Saying "see you later" or "see you then" makes later and then seem a tiny bit closer, I think, and to imagine you might see them before makes it a little bit more tangible.  But what I really like about these few words, "until then if not before," is that they don't say "until then if not later" or "until then unless it's later."  These are really hopeful words.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Friday!

Source: 9gag.com via Katie on Pinterest

I have a new book to read, some work to do, and surprisingly nice weather this weekend.

What are you up to?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just Read: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

{image from the book trailer, which you should definitely watch here}

I promise, this is the last you'll hear my gush about this book...for today, at least.

If I said that it's rare for a book to entrance me like this, I'd be lying.  Yet at the same time, The Night Circus caught my imagination in a different way than usual.  The book was equal parts thrilling and emotionally intriguing, which is a rare find, I think.  You turn pages curious, excited, and a little bit in love, wondering what could possibly happen, and you are continuously surprised by what comes next.

After reading these pages, I want to write and imagine so much.  It's one of those stories that makes you want to tell a few of your own, and to live adventurously, even in the smallest ways.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reading The Night Circus

Source: etsy.com via Katie on Pinterest


...which actually takes me longer to type because I hit the spacebar and shift key so very naturally that I don't even notice.

But seriously, this book is brilliant.  I'm even ignoring the comma splices everywhere and the one mistaken homonym I encountered awhile ago.

Also, I originally put "it's" after "ohmygosh" up there, then realized I spelled a swear word.  Oops.

If you're stopping by, you've caught me on a perky kind of cheerful day.  Usually I'm just cheerful, so this post is a rare find.