Monthly Archives: June 2010

I ♥ kids books.

There was a book fair at my kids’ school this week, and I couldn’t resist getting some stuff. There are some things I have problems saying no to in my life. Books are one of them.
I have read three books aimed at pre-teen/YA readers this week and enjoyed them all.

The first I read I bought simply because the title called me. I mean, how can you resist a book called Whales on Stilts?And the cover artwork totally reminded me of old Tom Swift books I read as a kid in middle school. Which was the point. It’s a laugh-out-loud take on the breathless storytelling of kids’ books from the 50s and 60s. I had so much fun reading it, Ethan kept asking me why I was laughing.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the 39 clues series:
It’s written by the same gentleman who wrote the Percy Jackson series, and if you haven’t read that yet, what are you waiting for? Each book in the series is by a different author, so I’m curious as to how they hold together. We’ll be reading the rest of these over the summer. They are fun, action packed, and smart, although Ethan was having a little trouble getting into the story, since it begins with a funeral. It picks up quickly after that.

And today, I just finished a book by Marie Rutkoski called the Cabinet of Wonders. Also very good. I think this was my favorite of the three, although there are some positively lyrical passages in Whales on Stilts. (I know! Who’d have thunk?) This is set in an alternative Europe, where magic works, and the main character has a pet mechanical spider. Which if you knew me, you would say, “How can you like a story with a spider character in it? You freak if you think you see one!” To which I reply, “Spiders are fascinating creatures, as long as I know there’s no way they can crawl on me.” Shiver. Any hoo, simply well done story.

I think I need to read more kid’s books.

Starting a project

I have been meaning to create a scrapbook specifically for the beginning scrapbook class I teach for a while. A LONG while. But the idea of putting pages in a book that my family wouldn’t think to look at bugged me.
I use Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories approach to photo and page storage, and while I love sharing my albums with my students, I didn’t always have what I wanted to show when I wanted to show it.

Enter this past May’s Layout A Day challenge. The theme was scrap your style, and Lain Ehmann created prompts designed to help you figure out what you liked and didn’t like to do and look at on your scrapbook pages. One of her prompts was “Why do you scrapbook?”
LOAD May 2010 Day 26 While I created a simple digital page about the subject, I really didn’t feel like I had completely answered the question. There are so many reasons I scrapbook. A simple list just doesn’t cut it for me.
So I’ve got these two thoughts brewing in the back of my mind when I decide to start making a list about the things I want to have in a sample album.  And then I get it:

I can make an album that showcases all sorts of techniques with the theme being why I scrapbook. And then it gets better (I think) I can make a page about a reason, and then on the other side of the two page spread I can have a sample page that shows how I document that reason in my everyday albums. This excites me so much!

So here’s my first page:
reasons why 1 There are some things I could have done to tighten up the page from a design stand point. But I’ve demonstrated a monochromatic scheme, used a quote as a title, hand made my own embellishment (yes I made the flower! Thank you Cheryl!), mixed patterns, cropped and matted. Well, there are a lot of things I can use this as a sample for during the class, including what not to do as well. Next time, I’ve got to remember to stand up while moving things around, so I can SEE what’s working, and what’s not. Mythbusters, while a blast to watch can be distracting while completing a page.

I’ll post more pages from the album as I go. This is going to be FUN.

Wednesday Ramblings

Just a few random thoughts for the day:
1. Man my cats are shedding like mad. Petting them creates a hair cloud. No wonder I have dust bunnies that look like they could walk and talk all by themselves.
2. Tomorrow is the International Festival at TOAST. I’m bringing supplies for kids to make a scrapbook page about themselves. Scrapbooking is international, right?
3. Watched Australia last night. Hugh Jackman is hot. What makes him even hotter is that he reminds me of my hubby. Not that my husband is drop dead gorgeous, but there are certain things he does in all his films that just call to mind things Jonathan does. Have I mentioned I like my husband? (Love is important, but like is just as important to a marriage.)
4. I wish my mother-in-law’s house would just clean itself. Oh, and mine too, while I’m at it.
5. I’m still working on losing weight. January and February were good months. I stuck pretty closely to the medifast diet and lost around 20 pounds. March was good for a few more pounds, but the dieting will was, shall we say, lacking? April and May I just didn’t bother, but I’m back on track now, and am working on introducing some exercise as well. First goal, and this is a very simple one, is to get 10,000 steps in a day. Once I’m doing that EVERY day, I’ll start adding some strength training exercises as well.
6. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I wonder if I’ll have that answered before I die. And yes, I am morbid.