Monday, August 31, 2009


One of many wonderful quotes by Senator Edward M. Kennedy:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Calligra-Fun

I love quotes as well as lettering, so I added a quote of the day to my blog (over in the right-hand column), and I'm going to try to put a quote into my journal most days (I won't say every day because I know that's unrealistic).

Anyway, here is the one I did yesterday:

And here is the one I did today:

I had painted the background back when I took Visual Journalism from Pam Carriker. I have a few more pages painted, but now it looks like I need to get busy and paint up some more.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

This is the story of Katherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII of England. Prior to reading this book, about all I know of Katherine was that Anne Boleyn took her place. But she was a fascinating woman - very strong through many hardships and trials throughout her life. It was a very enjoyable read. I enjoyed it as much or more than The Other Boleyn Girl, by the same author, which I read first. I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quote from Ahab's Wife

My son is a writer, and I am a quilter. So this quote from Ahab's Wife is really meaningful to me (the book is a fictional memoir - my review of it is in my previous post):

"While my quill was poised in the air, not writing, I formed my first principle as a storyteller. I will not be governed by time. Time does not march; it swirls and leaps. Time is a dancer, not a soldier. And the second: Adherence to fact is slavery. Think how Shakespeare distorted, compressed, rearranged historical events in his history plays. Such license would be mine, if I wrote. When I pieced a quilt, I did not place the pieces in chronological order, the oldest in the upper-left-hand corner! A pleasing design, color, beauty -- could those be my business?"

Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

I really liked this book. On the front cover is a quote from the LA Times: "Beautifully written. Lyrical . . ." and I agree. I can't ever put my finger on what makes the writing "lyrical," but this qualifies. It is the story of Una, the wife of the famous whaler, Ahab, from Moby Dick. I have never read Moby Dick and had only the most basic outline of that story in my head, but you don't need even that to enjoy this book. Una (the narrator of the story) lead a very interesting life, first in Kentucky, then on an island with her aunt and uncle, who are the lighthouse keepers, then dressing as a boy and going to sea. Some of the characters of Moby Dick are here (which I learned by reading a synopsis on Wikipedia after I finished this book). I rate this book 5 out of 5.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Land of Lost Luggage

I have been taking a class from Julie Prichard of The Land of Lost Luggage, called Layer Love. It's a great class. She is offering a couple of new classes that sound really interesting. Supernova Part 1 is three new bookbinding methods, and Supernova Part 2 is an Art Journaling class. You can read about the classes here. I'm quite sure that both classes will be great!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I have a new obsession - Zentangles. Basically, it is like doodling, but with intention. It looks much harder than it is. I made myself a little book, just for my zentangles. It is 6 inches square, made from Strathmore Bristol smooth paper, bound with my bind-it-all. I made it this size so that I could put a CD envelope in the back with an old CD to trace around to make circles. Also in that envelope is a piece of chipboard that I cut into a 4 inch square and rounded the corners. So those are what I use to start my zentangles. I use a pencil to divide my circle or square into sections, and then I put a pattern into each section. I'm using a size 01 Micron pigma pen. It's very relaxing. You can read more about these at the zentangle official website, or do a google search for them. One of my favorite sites is Sandy Bartholomew's blog, Beez in the Belfry. She posts patterns once a week with instructions on how to draw them. And the Zentangle site has a newsletter where they give new patterns. You can subscribe to the newsletters, and all of their old newsletters are archived.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Card to a Friend

I sent this card to a friend last week - I'm hoping that she's received it by now. The flower is watercolor paper that I painted, cut, and stitched to the card. I also did the lettering - I'm really loving this lettering style! Much freer than formal calligraphy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

I finished this book while we were in Colorado, but I've just now figured out what I want to say about it. I found it to be an interesting, but somewhat disappointing, book. A British woman goes to India to decide whether to marry a governmental official. She journeys with the official's mother. Her desire is to get to know the real India. She meets an Indian man who takes her and her party to the Marabar Caves, where she is accosted in one of the caves. She believes her guide is guilty of the offense and has him arrested. The parts dealing with the British attitudes towards the Indian people were excellent, and the middle section about the incident at the caves and the aftermath were very interesting, but the first section (setting the scene) I found to be very slow, and I was disappointed in the final section, set a few years later. Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 5.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I was inspired by Martha Lever's wonderful artwork to make this. I stamped the flower, using watercolor markers on the stamp, spritzing it with water, and then stamping on watercolor paper. I lettered the saying with a Pitt Brush pen. The background and the green strip are both watercolor paper that I sprayed with watercolor sprays. And I stitched the flower and the green strip to the background with my sewing machine. FUN!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I have really been enjoying my newest online class - Calligra-Fun with Martha Lever. It is being taught through Creative Workshops. I used to enjoy doing lettering on my paper scrapbook pages, but I'd forgotten just how much I loved it until now. I'm enjoying it almost as much as sewing, and that's saying a lot for me! Anyway, here are some examples of what I've been doing.

First are 2 bookmarks I made. I collaged papers onto the one on the left. The butterfly on the one on the right is my own design (we learned how to do flowers and hearts and suns in the class).

I gave this bookmark to my DH.

This is the anniversary card I gave to my DH; we celebrated 32 years last Wednesday. First is the front of the card.

And here is the inside:

And here is another card I made for a friend.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Agent Zigzag by Ben Mcintyre

I finished this book while on vacation last week in Colorado (without internet access):

Eddie Chapman was a small time criminal serving time in a Jersey prison when the Germans occupied the Channel Islands in 1940. In an effort to get out of prison, Chapman offered to become a spy for the Germans. Surprisingly, the Germans took him up on his offer and trained him to be a spy. He parachuted into England in 1942, with the mission to blow up an aircraft factory. As soon as he was on the ground, he turned himself over to the British, who then used him as a double agent. It was an interesting story, especially because it's true. I rate this book 3 out of 5.

This was my final book for the WWII Reading Challenge.

"To participate in the WWII Reading Challenge, you must commit to reading at least five books throughout the year. . . . The books can be fiction or non-fiction, and they can be about any aspect of WWII. WWII should be the primary or secondary theme, and it doesn’t matter whether the book takes place during the war or after the war."

The first 4 books I read for this challenge were fiction:
  • A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell - finished 2/1/09 - review here
  • Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson - finished 3/17/09 - review here
  • The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan - finished 4/5/09 - review here
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink - finished 4/15/09 - review here
This was the only non-fiction book I read for the challenge. It is also the first reading challenge that I have participated in - and it feels great to have successfully completed it.