Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 27

1) Gif text wars with far away friends in Utah....here is my favorite exchange to date


2) This delightful study mix


(Please...I know it's not fall...but I can't help it....I'm already dreaming of pumpkins)

3) Horseback riding with my little. A bit complicated with a sprained ankle but we figured it out. 



5) And just one more good study mix, because my online class over Ulysses started today and I really wish I was reading Harry Potter instead.



What's your ultimate study music?


Sunday, May 31, 2015

DIY: Flower Power Maxi Dress

I have been so tempted the last few days to blog about absolutely nothing. I composed numerous blog posts about job hunting, bordem killers, etc, but nothing felt right. And so I decided I needed something worth blogging about. So I dug through my fabric scraps and found something to blog about. 

It started with this tutorial from pinterest. Katy from Sweet Verbena suggested a jersey knit for a maxi dress but all I had was this retro sheet. The print was way too fun to pass up.
So I changed a few things up from Katy's tutorial that I'll let you in on. First, let me say using a sheet made a few things much simpler. First, it was already the exact right size to double over. Secondly, the bottom was already hemmed (although I ended up shortening it so the pre-hem didn't make much of a difference). It's really a fairly simply design. Here is what this baby looks like without a belt. Zero shape.
As you see a belt is absolutely necessary to make this outfit work. But as you can also see this is about the size of a twin sheet folded over. For the first half of the tutorial I followed along with Katy's tutorial perfectly. However, the neckline caused some issues. Because Katy worked with jersey she was able to cut a slit and have the neckline fall fairly naturally. However, when I did this it looked funny, so I improvised. First I cut a deep "V" for the neckline down the front and the back. 
Didn't stop there though. When I cut this deep "V" the dress kept slipping off my shoulders. So I took a dart in the back and added a bit more fabric to bring up the back more. The Results looks like this.

The full dress only took me about 1 hour. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. And bonus, Walter likes my dress too!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What I've learned from...my dogs


When you see the chicken, you eat the chicken. 

Sitting still is hard to do when you are excited. Embrace the wiggle.

Nap often. 

Hugs are necessary when you haven't seen someone for a long time. A long time can be defined as anything over 2 hours. 

Magic is way more fun if you play along. If the ball looks gone then the ball really is gone. Don't spend too much time worrying about the logic behind it all.

Sometimes complaining enough can get you exactly what you want from someone else. If they really love you they'll forgive you.

Flies are the spawn of the devil.

Mistakes happen. Move forward. Don't keep blaming yourself when everyone else around you has already forgiven. 

Looking guilty can seriously deplete anger. 

Love. With everything. Don't hold back. 



Monday, May 11, 2015

Finding the Color in The Book Thief


Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Six word summary: Death meets girl, girl meets death.

If you love historical fiction about World War II you'll love this book.

If you dislike unusual narration styles you might want to steer clear (although really you shouldn't because this book is amazing).

A favorite quote:
"Steadily, the room shrank, till the book thief could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands. She raced them. One shelf against the other. And she laughed. Her voice was sprawled out, high in her throat, and when she eventually stopped and stood in the middle of the room, she spent many minutes looking from the shelves to her fingers and back again."

Review:

As the title of my new series was inspired by this book I felt it was absolutely necessary to start here. I first met Liesel Meminger when my roommate from college, another avid reader, thrust her worn copy of The Book Thief into my hands and exclaimed "You have to read this."

The second time I met Liesel was in an academic course. Our professor asked us to read The Book Thief as a way to access how powerful literacy can be in a life. For Liesel, words become everything.

I was swept away by Zusak's artful storytelling surrounding the young protagonist and her experiences living in Germany during World War II. Liesel is sent to live with the Hubermann's, a poor family living in rural Germany, by her mother in the beginnings of the war. However, Zusak has written her story with a twist. Death is the narrator. Death meets Liesel, the book thief, three times. Each marks another death surrounding Liesel's life.

Death is able to tell Liesel's story when she, in her grief, drops a handwritten life story and he scoops it up. The book tells of her life, her friend Rudy, and the mysterious Jewish man the Hubermann's take in, Max. Books become her source of power, legitimacy, and connection and it is through books she is able to communicate, respond, and grow.

A powerful read and artfully crafted, Zusak has created a story which not only reveals the horrors of life in Germany during World War II, but also the connection which can be formed through words and community. Well worth the read.



Friday, May 1, 2015

Memory 23




Of all the fictional men I've loved, Gilbert Blythe will always be the first and longest running.


For those of you that weren't homeschooled in the 1980s and 90s Gilbert Blythe was Anne Shirley's best chum in the 1980s Canadian adaptation of L.M Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series.

I cannot tell you how many sleep overs were had to binge watch both Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. With a combined running time of just over 7 hours these movies made the perfect marathon sleep over movie (along with the BBC Pride and Prejudice, a running time just under 6 hours, with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy...swoon) 

I was not prepared to be so heartbroken when I heard the news of Jonathan Crombie's death. And yet it really did feel as if an old friend had passed. I immedietly dug up copies and recreated my old binge watching. 

One article, "Why We Loved Gilbert Blythe" by Sarah Larson perfectly describes my ache. She says, "The “Anne” series let us dream about adolescence while holding on to childhood. The world of Avonlea—Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, the apple blossoms and the knickers and caps, dance cards, hay rides, Gilbert’s patient and steadfast heart—was gentler than what we might have imagined about adolescence. It wasn’t “The Breakfast Club,” and that was, on some secret level, very exciting—a last moment of being able to enjoy gentler childhood ideals. “Anne of Green Gables” appealed to those impulses without condescending to us. It wasn’t exactly cool. It had no edge. You didn’t want to race into school and announce that you were obsessed with “Anne of Green Gables.” But, to your bosom friend, you could discuss its many joys to your heart’s content."

What is one movie from your childhood you still watch today?