Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A little color is a good thing

My task list needs to get a bit shorter, considering that Hubby and I will be starting on all the outdoor spring projects. So when I'm not catching up on sleep at home, I've been finishing some things up. One is the church hymnal for my aunt. I'm finally nearly complete with the sewing, I just need to choose colors for the endbands (because really, who doesn't want endbands?). The sewing is a little sloppier than I'd like, but it's functional. Now I just need to remember if I round and back it first, or sew endbands first...

I'm also pleased with how my first attempt at guarding signatures turned out. The pages open quite nicely and lie very flat. Especially since it's a hymnal (although I don't think it will be used often), it's nice to see all the musical notes easily.

Finally, I've begun going through some of the photos from our travels (mostly the Philly trip) and I'd forgotten about some of the cool stuff we came across. This is also why I take photos of everything. :) I may share some pictures I took at Longwood Gardens later (I adore flowers so I have a great deal of photos) because the colors came out stunning. I was very worried during the trip because the display on my digital camera didn't seem to reflect the colors I was seeing. I had no idea if my camera was messing up or if it was the display. Luckily, it seemed to be the display because they look gorgeous on my laptop. I also came across a most unusual design for a fake skull. Now that I look at this creativity again, I wish I had bought it! It doesn't exactly fit with the decor of my house, but hey, maybe I could've used it as a prop for jewelry photos. I also wish we had been able to take photos at the Mutter Museum (I know, not preservation-friendly. I of all people should know better). But some of those books bounds in human skin were pretty neat, in an odd way. Especially the one bound with tattooed skin. It would have gone nicely with the Celtic skull!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The (Warm) Holiday Season

Hubby and I have been doing a lot of traveling lately. It seems that we are beginning our year (and nice weather) everywhere except home! Within a month's time, we will have been in Philly, Cleveland, Baltimore/Annapolis, and New York City. I'm going to want to stay home for quite a bit and get started on our spring projects!

Passover began last night at sundown and while at our family seder, I contemplated some of the holiday's messages. Passover commemorates the biblical event of the Hebrews' escape from enslavement in Egypt. Sacrifices are made (such as not eating leavened bread) to ultimately keep in mind the freedom that we now have. Similar to Easter, I think of the freedom we now have because of past suffering and of the rebirth that spring represents for us. Looking ahead through 2010, I'm excited for the changes we'll be making and things we will be sacrificing in order to do what's best for our family (particularly financially).

The exterior of our home will be getting a (partial) overhaul to represent our own taste and style. Since we can't replace the awful-looking brown siding just yet, I'm going to pick out a complimentary shade of blue for some of the trim and stucco pieces. Anything to brighten it up! We will also begin landscaping some of the yard, particularly the front. I already started adding flowers last fall!

A few bird feeders will go up (we only have one so far and I'm waiting for the cats to start fighting over the 2 windows that overlook it) as well as a fence around the back yard! I'm very VERY excited about the latter, considering the number of children constantly in our yard and their tendency to pick flowers. We also finally hung the porch swing we bought last fall at my aunt's church auction. A local craftsman made it and it's just beautiful. It was delivered when the cold weather started so we are finally getting a chance to use it. Three large adults can fit (maybe even 4 small ones!). I'm still debating if I should make a cushion for it. I might just make a couple cute pillows.

Especially after this snowy winter, I think everyone is very appreciative of spring this year and looking forward to a warm, colorful season. What are you looking forward to? Happy holidays everyone!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm coming out of hibernation! You'd think that with all the snow we had, I'd have written quite a bit about whatever artsy endeavors I undertook. But oddly, I slept...a lot. And played with the cats. Watched the Olympics. Etc. Nothing really involving any bookbinding or crafting. I did manage to sew the second window seat cushion. Yay!

But I have been in a baking mood and I want to share another blogger's creative idea that I decided to try. I find quite a number of creative ideas through Twitter and this one is no exception. Heather Baird of Sprinkle Bakes posted the lovely Mehndi-inspired gingerbread cookies she made for a friend. I loved this idea so much that I made a few for some friends that live far away from me, decorated them with some lotus flowers and mandalas, and sent them off! Mine turned out well, but check out Heather's on her blog. Amazing creativity! I don't always look at food that way --maybe I should turn my crafting eye to that media once in a while.

Another great baking idea that's been around for a while is cake in a jar. I haven't had a chance yet to try these out (I'm going to get some small Mason jars soon) but showcases them in a post from last August. I absolutely LOVE cake so never fear, I will attempt these soon. I'll take pictures (of course!) and maybe you'll get one in the mail :) Suggestions for flavors?

Finally, one last blog post that I can't wait to try myself (look away librarians!) is the ruffly book wreath from Living with Lindsay. I'm going to get a beat-up book from Goodwill, one that I would never willingly read because it's not that good (I won't embarrass any authors out there by letting you know which one I choose). As a pseudo-preservation librarian, how can I willingly destroy a book you ask? Well, let me put it this way. I think everything should have a purpose. I don't really like to buy knicknacks and trinkets because I don't really need them. I also don't like the idea of having to put things in storage that I never use because in actuality I don't need them then, do I? For me, a book that has had a good life but is going to sit on a shelf in Goodwill until it either gets tossed or recycled will have a better life as a ruffly book wreath on my wall. By repurposing it, I've given it a new life.

I have to point out the merits of Twitter. If you know how to use it properly, you can discover a wealth of ideas out there that I don't have time to Google, or frankly wouldn't even think of to Google. If you want some ideas on crafters to follow, I'd gladly share. Or check out my Follow Friday (Twitter name is tempermiranda).

Lastly, in other news I will be creating a few more of the Recycled Bookbag that I loved so much (see my earlier post) before I list them on Etsy (a site that is getting a tad too crowded but it's the best site I've got). I should be sewing the hymnal and posting pics as well. Happy Monday!