Friday, January 28, 2011

When the Muse Strikes..."Duck!"

Or, “You can run, but you cannot hide!”

I enjoy making altered books as an art form. I make them and then give them away. They’re for anniversaries, birthdays, whatevers. Some are amusing, some are spiritual, some a mixture. With each one I learn something different to do or a different way to do it. I grow with each one. And each one takes a piece of my soul with it when I give it away.

The usual method is this: there is an upcoming special date or reason for making a book for a specific person. I ponder about that person or reason for the book. I do research for just the right sayings, graphics, art work, stamps etc. Whatever I feel should go into that book. I assemble the elements and then alter the book. From idea to completion takes many, many hours. Assembling the elements may take days. I might have a certain piece of ephemera in mind and will have to hunt through my craft room to find it. Or a specific stamp set that I KNOW used to be RIGHT THERE on the shelf, but was moved and now I have to go through ALL the sets to find that certain one. Once I actually start on the book, I can complete it in 2-3 days if I have the free time to work solely on the book. When it’s finished, I take pictures of the pages for my file.

The last two books I’ve done have been a bit different. For these books, the muse has been the Holy Spirit. I was working on a friendship book, and the whole time I was working on it I was getting the almost overwhelming feeling that I should be doing a book for someone else. Since the book I was working on was for a specific person, I couldn’t just finish it and give it to someone else. I continued with the current book, fighting the Holy Spirit, and felt awful. I usually take a big break after altering a book, because I put so much of myself into it and need to refuel. Not this time. I was so strongly led that I finished the book and sent it off, and immediately started on the next one. It was one of the best I’ve ever done. A HUGE part of me went into that one.

A couple of months went by before I started getting that nudge from the Holy Spirit for another book. This one was completely different. It came, giving me only 3 days to do it. It was like, “Do a book for this person, NOW!” I had one idea for it, and just barely started the process before it was changed for me. I went in an entirely different direction. I have never altered a book so quickly before. And again, I feel it was one of the best I’ve ever done.

I have a list of people I want to do books for, and hope to get another one started soon. I find it an amazing art form. I look at some of the altered book blogs and galleries, and get so inspired. I feel like such an amateur next to some of these artists, but since it’s MY soul that goes into my books, I know it’s the best I have to give. And I’m content with that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gingerbread French Toast

Gingerbread French Toast…OMG!

And yes, the “g” stands for “gosh” so calm down!

We got our new AARP cards the other day, and as I was peeling them off the paper, I noticed some of the places you can use the cards for discounts. One of them was for Denny’s. Your AARP card will get you a 20% discount there. Now, I know a lot of people have “issues” with Denny’s, but I’ve always loved the place. I love getting breakfast food there. I love breakfast any time of day, for that matter. Their prices seem a tad high, though, compared to some of the other restaurants around here. But that 20% discount made it a bit more acceptable. When I mentioned the discount factor to Marv, he suggested we go there for dinner that night.

They were still doing some of the holiday specials at Denny’s, and one of them was their Holiday Slam. It offered Gingerbread French Toast instead of pancakes. So I went for it. I ate the eggs, ham and hash browns first, saving the French toast for dessert. I poured the syrup over the toast and cut off the first bite with my fork.


Yes, no capital, just a stunned, quiet “wow”. It was more like eating gingerbread cake. It was so moist and crumbly that it would’ve been better to have served it in a bowl and eaten it with a spoon. Since I like to think of myself as a lady, I did NOT lick the plate afterward…but I did save a tiny bit of toast to mash up and try to get the last vestiges of syrup. wow.

No more can be said, so I’ll stop. wow.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday's Feast - January

Friday’s Feast - January

Some time back, I discovered a blog where a woman would do a posting on Fridays, calling it Friday’s Feast, and likening it to a meal with appetizer, soup, salad, main course and dessert. I thought it was a neat way to take a topic and divide it up. So here’s my “meal” for your enjoyment. Maybe I’ll do more, maybe not.

*Appetizer – “How do you usually celebrate on New Year’s Eve?”

We usually get together with friends for an evening of fellowship and fun. We eat, drink, play games and wait for midnight. Favorite games are Boggle, Scattergories, Pictionary, Rummikub, Dominoes.

*Soup – “Name one thing unexpected that happened to you in 2010.”

There were actually three things that had great impact on me.

Dealing with the aftermath of my mother-in-law’s stroke made a huge change in the dynamics of the family. It wasn’t necessarily all negative, though, and in fact brought about changes there were beneficial for all concerned.

Paul moving out and the circumstances that led to that were difficult, but as usual, God knows what He’s doing and I just needed to step away and let God take over.

Our pastor left our church to take a call in Kenya. LOTS of changes there, and good bit of chaos, but I think it will be good once the dust settles.

*Salad – “Where was your favorite place that you visited in 2010?”

I never thought that Fresno, CA would become a favorite place, but since that’s where Lia is, there ya go…

I got to spend a week there at the end of summer and had a chance for some REAL 1-on-1 with Lia. Exhausting, but I loved it!

*Main Course – “What resolution is your top priority for 2011?”

The resolution for 2011 is a continuation of the one I made in the middle of 2010: get medical help for the depression, and ONCE AND FOR ALL hand over my concerns to God and let Him take over. I’d handed them over many, many times, but always grabbed them right back. Not a good idea…

*Dessert – “Using just three words, describe 2010.”




Friday, January 7, 2011

3 (count 'em!) blogs in 1

3 blogs in 1!

Yes, I cover 3 topics in this posting, so PAY ATTENTION people!

I’ve made a New Year’s resolution of trying to talk even MORE than I usually do! Weird, I know. I’m going to see if I can post a new blog every Friday. If there’s ANYone still paying attention to this blog, (other than my loyal Gladys—God bless you, dear!) feel free to hold me to this resolution….and for Heaven’s sake, leave a comment! 50 extra ‘brownie’ points to any new subscribers!

My December book report comprises of only one book: “Life Blood” by Caroline Llewellyn.

This was a nice little mystery/romance taking place in the English countryside, set in modern times. One theme was dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide, which was very interesting, considering the author took her own life about 10 years after she wrote this book. I enjoyed the book immensely and will keep this one in my library.

Book wrap-up for 2010:

Since I’m now giving a report for each month’s books, I no longer break things down into categories. The total number of books I read was 28.

That topic was short, I’ll grant you. Hope you’re not too disappointed….I’ll try and make up for it next week.

Stay tuned!