Saturday, January 28, 2012

sugar & spice

This week at Scrapping the Music the challenge is to use James Brown's "I Feel Good" as your inspiration. I recently came across the damaged picture of my sister and I from the 70s (top) and scanned and reprinted it. It was sitting on my desk waiting to be sent to my sister but when I thought about the lyrics, "I feel nice, like sugar and spice," I decided what my scrapbook needed was a montage!

Sugar and spice, that's what me and my sister are made of!

I used the flowers to cover some of the water damage(?) to the photo. Notice the Squirt bottle lid I used as the center of a flower after smashing it flat with a hammer. Squirt is my sister's nickname for me, even after she began wearing my hand-me-downs.

Gotta love the hair and clothes.

P.S. If you want to play along go here:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Big Miracle by Tom Rose

I bet you didn't know that the Industrial Revolution actually helped the environment. It honestly says in this book, "The benefits of industrialization far outweighed its costs and not just to humans but also to the environment." To the environment! After reading that, how could I take anything else Tom Rose said in this book seriously?

I thought this would be the story of people trying to help three trapped whales, but in the 45 pages I read before throwing this book down for good I read instead about the author's political biases. For instance, he complains about a government run t.v. station not loaning out their cameras to taxpayers. I happen to know of a privately owned t.v. station that won't loan their $30,000 t.v. cameras to people off the street either, and in fact, they won't even loan them to their photographers. Corey equated it to pulling in to our local air force base and demanding they loan us one of their fighter jets. We're taxpayers!

The constant and random digs against the government were an annoying distraction. Big Miracle was more like a Big Waste of My Time.

And now the dilemma I go see the movie? I love Drew Barrymore and I even remember this story in the news when I was a kid. But I also don't want any of my money going to a man who believes whales being hunted almost to extinction was good for them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Google Android Building

This month at Scrapjacked the challenge is to use this layout by Kelly Purkey as inspiration:

The colorful strips of paper inspired me to scrap some more of my Google pictures:

I often only use 1 piece of paper in the background. I liked how Kelly layered 2 pieces instead. I had a piece of Android Green paper which would have overwhelmed the page on its own, but with just a little peeking out behind the white I liked it.

P.S. If you want to play along the challenge is here:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

we are the 99%

This week at Scrapping the Music the challenge was to use the song Care by Kid Rock, Angeleena Presley and T.I. as inspiration.

I can't change the world and make things fair
The least that I can do,
The least that I can do
The least that I can do is Care

Those lyrics made me think about when we went to our local Occupy protest. The Occupy movement receives a lot of criticism because people don't know what outcome is expected from it. I feel like even if nothing changes it's important that people exercise their freedom of speech. We might not be able to change the banks or what happens on Wall Street, but the least we can do is show we care!

I cut out red strips of paper using my wavy rulers for help. I punched out white stars for journaling blocks.

Journaling: Corey and I headed downtown on the motorcycle Saturday afternoon to show our support in the Occupy movement. Most people were upset with the banks and Wall Street, but anyone with a message was there too which is why I love Arizona and the U.S.A. Activism is patriotic!

At one point a bagpiper started playing and some people walking by dressed up as cows started dancing. Most Random Moment 2011 (bottom left)

There were a bunch of stupid Arizonans hanging out with their guns (bottom right). Luckily the police stayed closest to them. I was so thankful Phoenix P.D. was there to keep the peace!

P.S. Here's the link to Scrapping the Music if you want to play along:

P.P.S. If you are the 99% check out Occupy Wall Street's library here:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Follow Your Muse

This month the challenge at ARTastic is to use the painting, Ecstasy of Saint Cecelia by Raphael, as your inspiration. As an additional challenge you can include clouds, an angel, and 2-3 musical instruments.

The instruments reminded me that I needed to scrapbook the pictures Gramy sent me of my nephew playing his various instruments through the years.

I found an overlay with angel wings and of course there are many instruments within the photos.

The photo from his final violin concert had a big ugly stack of orange chairs in the background, so I cut around the violin bow and slid in the cool quote I found in my stash. Since he plays guitar now I used guitar paper.

I couldn't find a way to incorporate clouds.

I made sure to cut out the sparrow and heart from the clear overlay to save for another project since they were going to be covered up anyway.

P.S. Here is the link to the challenge in case you want to play too:

Monday, January 16, 2012

revolution wines

Over my winter break I searched my favorite challenge sights for challenges I had missed and found this one from ARTastic in November. Their challenge was to use this painting, Bacchus by Caravaggio, as inspiration. For an additional challenge you could include fruit or grapes, a wine glass or bottle, and a bow.

This challenge reminded me of the wine tasting I did with my family in Sacramento.

I took a sticker with a glass of rainbow drink and cut a piece of paper to make it look like white wine instead. I made sure to mention Bacchus the god (not Bacchus the painting) in my journaling.

I put a wine charm on the photo with my sister.

I didn't want to add any fruit or bows but there are lots of glasses and wine bottles in the pictures!

P.S. Here's the link to the challenge:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 End Of Year Book Survey

I found this survey at The Avid Reader's Musings and had to participate!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint: A Novel by Brady Udall - It's hard to really say this is my favoritest but if I have to pick...This story just sucked me in and was unpredictable sometimes from chapter to chapter.

2. Most Disappointing Book?
The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman - People are singing this book's praises all over LibraryThing which is usually a good sign, but I felt like it was a complete rip-off of Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings. I chose it for my book club to read and they hated it too. How humiliating. Not really. We had a fun bitch session.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane - I did not see the end coming, although when Corey and I watched the movie together he figured it out about 25% of the way in. Very engrossing story.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett - probably the book everyone recommended the most in 2011

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Spurred on by Corey's desire to see the movie in the theater, I finally started this series and it is awesome. I can't wait to read The Girl Who Played With Fire this year.

6. Favorite new (to me) authors you discovered in 2011?
Helen Simonson, Kathryn Stockett, Brady Udall, Susan Vreeland, Markus Zusak

7. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King - There aren't any chapters and it's all told from Dolores's point of view as she gives her confession to the police. Without any chapters to stop me I just kept going.

8. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman - This had been on my wishlist for a couple of years so I was excited to finally read about The Darwins. Fascinating couple.

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The cover is the cover of Life magazine, March 27, 1924. Cool!

10. Most memorable character in 2011?
Sweetie from Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie - Sweetie is a magical girl who loves nature. I felt like she would be a good friend to have in real life.

11. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac - This was a reread for me, but I just love his descriptions. One quote even inspired a scrapbook page:

12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland - I can never look at Luncheon of the Boating Party the painting the same again, in a good way, because of this book. I even read a non-fiction book about Renoir because of this book.

13. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper - My friend Angi loaned this to me about 2 years ago, but I didn't read it because I couldn't handle reading a true story where the cat dies at the end. You find out at the beginning of the book that the cat is still alive today! Silly me.

14. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
Also difficult to pick just one, but this passage was handy. Without further ado, from The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg:

There is a story about a Navajo grandfather who once told his grandson, "Two wolves live inside me. One is the bad wolf, full of greed and laziness, full of anger and jealousy and regret. The other is the good wolf, full of joy and compassion and willingness and a great love for the world. All the time, these wolves are fighting inside me." "But grandfather," the boy said. "which wolf will win?" The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

15. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor - I probably would never reread a book so soon, but if I have to choose I would say this one. We had a very revealing discussion about this book at our book club meeting, which made me look at many of the stories in a new way. It would be fun to reread them with that knowledge.

16. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson - It's hard to pick out just one scene from the whole year, especially without spoiling anything, so I chose this one because it's one I shared with Corey. The Horse Boy has autism which causes him to have tantrums. Right before he has his most intense tantrums he always shouts out, "Giraffe!" which I found amusing since I love giraffes. I'm sure his parents thought it was cute too. Not.

gratuitous giraffe pic:

P.S. Lessons in Dreamtime is from Art&Ghosts which can be found here:

P.P.S. I don't remember where I found the giraffe photo, but I didn't take it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

how I get crazy on a friday night

I just watched this rerun of Glee while cleaning Strega Nona's cage. I love this episode -- it makes me want to listen to Fleetwood Mac nonstop.

Speaking of which, when I went to the Avett Brothers concert in October, I took a picture of this guy standing in front of my friend Stephanie and I:

How rad is that?

And here is a gratuitous cute picture of us:

P.S. The Rumours/Glee picture came from gothamist.

P.P.S. Next I'm going to watch Project Runway All-Stars! EEK!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012

I found one more challenge I want to join at Book'd Out! I just need to read one book from each of these genres by December 21st:

Literary Fiction
Crime/Mystery Fiction
Romantic Fiction
Historical Fiction
Young Adult
Science Fiction
Non Fiction
Your favourite genre

I'm not sure which books I'll read but it will definitely be fun to pull books off of my to be read pile from all these genres!

P.S. Loving Books Tattoo by Ricardo Cavolo.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

I've been casting about for a new reading challenge this year and I found one that I thought would be fun -- reading books about witches and witchcraft! You can read any number of books to join, but I am choosing "Initiate: Read 1 - 5 Witchy Books."

Here are some books that I already have which I will choose from:

1. No Rest for the Witches by MaryJanice Davidson & other authors - short stories

2. Son of a Witch: Volume Two in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire - I read Wicked in 2006 so I guess it's time to read the sequel

3. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts by Arthur Miller - I did a scene from this in a competition in high school but never read the whole thing

4. The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow - this has been on my shelf for 3 years

5. Witch by Christopher Pike - I have been wanting to reread some of my Christopher Pike books (my favorite in high school) but never find a reason to. Maybe this challenge will get me going.


6. The Truth About Witchcraft by Hans Holzer

7. The Complete Art of Witchcraft by Sybil Leek

8. Witchcraft in the World Today by C.H. Wallace

If you would like to join my reading coven visit Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf.

P.S. Has anyone ever read The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier? When I searched "witch" in my LibraryThing library this book came up. Is it witchy?

P.P.S. The Night Sky is by Maggie Taylor.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Favorite Books of 2011

I read 43 books last year. Here are my 10 fiction and 3 non-fiction favorites, which I recommend you read as well (listed in the order I read them).


Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor - young vs. old, tradition vs. progress, all the old battles fought in a collection of crazy, unique, graphic short stories

Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie
reviewed here on January 10th

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - feminism, racism, and friendship in 1960s Mississippi

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall - maybe my favorite book I read last year...a Navajo boy gets run over by the mailman and struggles from there. Funny, moving, and touching. I cried at the end. Twice.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
reviewed here on June 30th

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King - Dolores Claiborne has a very bad husband who needs to be punished. I read this in 3 days because it was so awesome.

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier - historical fiction story based on Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two fossil hunting women. Not only was their interest in fossils uncommon for a lady in the early 1800s, but it was also frowned upon by upstanding members of society. Feminism, friendship, and bucking religion all rolled into one by one of my favorite authors.

Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
reviewed here on November 18th

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - an old man covets his dead brother's gun...just read it!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - lives up to the hype! Super mystery, very twisted indeed.


Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
wished for here on February 18, 2009

The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
reviewed here on May 18th

Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
reviewed here on November 22nd