Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What I'm reading.

I love to read and often have two or more books going at the same time. I tend to forget where I put one down so it helps to have another one nearby to pick up and read.

1. Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy by Richard Davis and associate professor of philosophy at Tyndale University College and William Irwin a professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

For some of us we simply can't get enough of Alice in Wonderland. Who knew when I received my first hard bound copy that I would fall so deeply in love with it. To have a movie coming out in March of this year is just over the top.

This books takes a look at why Lewis Carroll introduces a blue caterpillar who smokes a hookah, to why a cat whose grin remains after its head has faded away. Is it all nonsense? Are there life lessons in the book?

I'll let you know. :)

2. Barnes and Knoble has wonderful three packs of Moleskine journals for sale. There is a 5 "x 8 1/4" and a 7" x 10" one. I have both the black bound set and today I picked up the brown wrapping paper colored ones. I mean can you ever have enough Moleskines?

3. I want to learn how to cook more Indian food. I absolutely love the spices and many are healthy for our body systems. I found one called The Everything Indian Cookbook by Monica Bhide. Three hundred recipes for any occasion and lots of favorites are in the book, like Malabari coconut rice and Tandoori chicken.

4. For inspiration I picked up a copy of Patchwork Quiltmania, The quilt magazine. I sometimes fall in love with a cover design only to find the inside of a magazine is all fluff. This one isn't. Lots and lots of gorgeous quilts. Something to get your creative juices going. There is a good healthy mix of traditional and art quilts in this magazine.

5. Quilters Newsletter - hmmm well I have to admit I stopped buying this a while ago. I probably would have passed on this issue if it hadn't had been left out by somebody, on the bench, and I wanted to sit down. I opened it to the last page and there was an amazing piece by Nancy DiDonato. She said that in February 2008 she set out to make one circular piece each day. No plan. She attached them with fasteners so the circles are all linked together but can be rearranged and are even reversible. Just amazing! The fasteners are like the kind in Riley's car seat that snap her arm belts together.

6. My Library Murder Mystery group meets on the first Monday of the month. I'm going to be missing February but Liz, the Librarian that leads the group gave me the book anyway to read.
She suggested I do a book report. Isn't she cute?
So, I'll be reading Winter and Night by S.J. Rozan, a woman writer. The story features the private investigator Bill Smith and his partner, Lydis Chin.
In March we will be meeting to talk about A Corpse in the Koryo by James Church.

7. I am also reading Fire Light, The life of Angel De Cora, Winnebago Artist, written by Linda Waggoner

8. For reading on the plane I've got The Riddle of the River by Catherine Shaw. A 19th century mystery concerning a woman found drowned in the river. "Have notions of respectability really changed so much? Or are the new found female freedoms merely a thin veneer, masking social expectations that, for women at least, are no less restrictive than they were in the past?"
I'll also be taking The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas, another woman writer. Blue chalk circles begin to appear on the pavement in neighborhoods around Paris. Detective Commissaire Adamsberg does not think they are amusing. Each circle contains bizarre objects.
Can't wait to read this one.

9. My new free bookmark from my local library features Masterpiece Classic EMMA, All new Jane Austen Miniseries.

10. Lost starts on February 2nd. John asked me if we were watching it again this year and since it's the last season, OF COURSE. SIGH I've stuck it out this long by golly I'm going to finish watching it.

11. The regular book club at the library is reading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner for February 9th. I need to pick that one up for my trip, to read.

12. And the First Thursday Book Club, for the March 4th meeting, is reading The Invisible Wall: a Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein.

That's it for now. Got lots of books on my nightstand.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Collage Journeys by Jane Davies, A Practical guide to Creating Personal Artwork is wonderful eye candy and packed full of information.
From using found materials and everyday ephemera in your artwork to doodle collage, ATCs, the written journal, project ideas it just goes on and on.
142 pages of small print packed with things even an experienced art journal person might find interesting.
It's a find for my art library.


Book Arts by Mary Kaye Seckler is a book worth having in your collection.
I've been taking a journal construction class and find it fascinating. For those of you unable to take a class with Julie:
You might find this book by Mary Seckler extremely helpful.
I found the soft cover book at Michael's and used one of my 40% off coupons. The original price goes for $16.99 which really isn't bad when you consider how much information she packs into this book.
Learning how to make covers, different kinds of spines are all easy to do because she includes templates and clear directions.
Think about some of those beautiful collage pages you have been doing and then think about using them for covers of journals. What a wonderful gift that would make.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inspired to Quilt by Melanie Testa

If you are a reader of my daily blog,
you have heard me mention the DVD I purchased called, Print,
Collage, Quilt with Melanie Testa.
If you are unable, for what ever reason, to attend classes on subjects you are interested I strongly urge you to look into purchasing videos on those subjects. The DVDs that I have from Quilting Arts Workshop run about an hour.
Depending on how you process information one time through might be all you need to get started. Having the DVD in your possession means that you can watch it as many times as you need to, stop, start, pause it and if you are totally confused you can even google the artist and email them a question. I have no doubt that they would be happy to be of help.

While watching Melanie's DVD she mentioned her new book, Inspired to Quilt, Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery. If you are new to dyes, thickener or print paste, synthrapol and monoprinting this is the book for you. Melanie walks you through the process with clear instructions, photos and samples.

As always, I suggest you take a look at the book at your local bookstore. It's the usual price for most quilt books these days, around $25.00. I think it's worth it for the amount of information that she had included in the book.

I have to say I find her DVD challenging and I'm ready for a challenge and having the book as a reference and information source book, on hand, is great.

To view more DVDs offered: Quiltingartsworkshop.com
For Inspired to Quilt: Interweavestore.com

I receive nothing for these book reviews. They are my gift to you. :)Bea

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Creative License by Danny Gregory

Oh Danny, Danny..........a hand printed book...........sigh. It looks like a wonderful book, full of wonderful ideas but small hand printing is hard, hard, hard on old eyes. What? Did you think that somebody old wasn't going to read your book? I have the same reaction when I pick up a cookbook and it's hand written..........aggggggghhhhhhhh
I will work my way through this book because I love the drawings, the enthusiasm, and the idea of "giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are".
He has chapters on kick starting your creativity and learning to see. Always a good exercise for all of us to do every once in a while.
I recently read a novel where the main character, an artist said that after years of drawing and painting he noticed that his hand got tighter and tighter on the brush or pen. He had a major life threatening illness and after he finally went back to painting his grip was loose and his work flowed.
Sometimes we all need something to jog us out of our routine.
He has a chapter on journaling and making creativity into a habit, something that is hard for us in our busy daily lives.
The chapter on Shock looks interesting....."blasting your butt out of a rut".....hmmmm
Sensitization, Resistance, Judgment, Identity, Expanding and what's next. All great subjects.
I bought my used/NEW book from Amazon. It's worth it even if I need to go out and buy a magnifying glass.

Somerset Apprentice magazine

It's Vol. 1 and it's expensive $15.00 here in the USA. That said, it's a worthwhile buy for someone interested in learning some new techniques. It's a lot cheaper than taking a workshop.
If you are serious about using the book I would suggest taking it to Kinko's and having them bind it with a coil binding. Much easier to open the magazine and have it lay flat while you are doing the techniques.
This issue features Angela Cartwright, Pam Carriker, Michelle Ward, Claudine Hellmuth, Lynne Perella, Traci Bautista, Lori Oles, Lisa Bebi and the list goes on and on.
Detailed how to do it with photographs, beautiful pictures, 144 pages so it's quite thick.
The instructions are easy to understand and like I said they have a lot of close-up photos.
I suggest you check it out at your local bookstore. See if you already know how to do the techniques or if it is something you have been thinking you would like to learn. If so, it's worth buying for your library. When you grow beyond it, pass it on to your local library.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stitch, Cloth, Paper & Paint by Angie Hughes

I'm in love with this book. From the gorgeous pictures to the challenging projects. Her bookwraps, frames for artifacts and sundials are amazing. I suggest you take a look at it while having a cuppa at Barnes & Noble. It's a hefty investment of around $30.00. It is either going to be a little more advanced or something that you have already done. It's worth looking at. Again, I'm treating this as a course of study.