Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A New Site for Everyone to Check Out

Hey I just found this site and just had to pass it around to all tose who love vinatge stitchery. I came upon while I was at this blog which will now be added to my list of great crafty blogs that I visit everyday. Check it out.......

Friday, April 21, 2006

I want to spread the word around about Pandora.....

Pandora is this very cool thing on the net and it's free.. Yes another free thing, can you believe there's such things..? Anyway it music.. So what you do (after signing up) you put in an artist or a song and it will search it's databases for that song and all other songs it thinks fits with what you asked for... So for instance I put in my favorite band - Hem, I get them and all other music their search engine thinks fits with Hem. Then it just starts playing in random order sometimes I get Hem sometimes it's Nora Jones and so on. The nice thing about this is you listen to things that you've never heard before and things you may have been interested in but certainly weren't about to risk buying a CD of it to find out. Definitely check it out, sign up (put in some fake name if you don't want your info everywhere), and put in you favorite band/ song and see what you get.


Monday, April 17, 2006

The Book List

I'm going to refer to this reveiw by Brendan Foreman.. When searching around for a picture of the book I found this review and it does a great job of explaining the book, definitely better than I could do... I consider this book to be a quintisentail fantasy book, one of the few fantasy books that doesn't follow the typical Tolkin format. Not an easy read though, it's a bit like a maze widing in and out and around, good for reading aloud. I've read it twice and about to read it again. It's a long review but this kind of book you have to have a long review..

Practically by definition, fantasy has often been the most retrograde of all of the current popular genres of literature. It is the one style of writing that is most intent on not only looking backward in time but also thinking backwards in time. The very elements of fantasy -- magic, wizardry, sword-play -- are absent from most modern sensibilities which is, of course, what makes it so appealing to many of us.

Unfortunately, this often means that the writing style of a lot of Fantasy takes on the feel of 19th century adventure novels: fun but insubstantial. A few writers have tried to drag Fantasy as a genre into the 20th century; even fewer have succeeded as John Crowley has in Little, Big. He has masterfully reworked many stock fantasy themes -- the wise-fool wizard, the knight-errant, the enchanted forest, even fairies -- into a complex, very 20th century style that can only be described as "Postmodern Fantasy."

Little, Big is a family saga, chronicling the lives of the Drinkwater/Bramble/Mouse clan, a family with a long history of involvement with a mysterious group of beings, alternatively called "Them," "elementals," or "fairies." Although the novel focuses on the family from the late 1960s to sometime in the late 20th century, Crowley moves back and forth in time to detail their early history. So, while we read of Alice Drinkwater, a member of the fourth generation of Drinkwaters, and her courtship by Smoky Barnable in the 1960s, we also read of the founding of the family some time in the 1890s by John Drinkwater, an avant-garde American architect, and Violet Bramble, the mysterious daughter of a defrocked Anglican priest, a man who is convinced that Violet is the "doorway" to the Otherworld.

The novel eventually settles on the adventures of Auberon, Smoky and Alice's son, but, along the way, we encounter a myriad of complex, very real yet archetypal characters, all of whom have awkward dealings with Them. The first Auberon, Violet's son of unknown fathering and a veteran of World War I, who tries in his Edwardian fashion to prove the existence of the fairies through photography.

The patriarch, John Drinkwater, tries to bring the Otherworld into ours by building a gargantuan, patchwork mansion in upstate New York. There's the wizard, Ariel Hawksquill, whose attempts at manipulating the fairies results in some very harsh lessons. Through it all, these fairies have a plan, what the Drinkwater family calls "The Tale," a mysterious Destiny, through which the various Drinkwaters, Brambles, and Mouses stumble their way.

Almost from the beginning, Crowley plays the kind of mischeivious games for which fairies are known. He curdles our literary milk by first focusing on Smoky and then making it clear that Smoky is just a minor character in the whole saga and that Smoky knows it. Actually, most of the characters are aware that they are players in a vast story, giving the whole novel a postmodern self-referential feel.

Crowley also keeps switching the mood of the novel from section to section, almost as if each section were replaced by a changeling of the previous section. Starting with the casual, mellow feeling of the first part "Edgewood," we then encounter the rather forboding mood of the second section "Brother North-Wind's Secret," and then the dark, urban fantasy of "Old Law Farm." Eventually, we end with "The Fairies' Parliament," which has the air of quests and high adventure. Each of these mood swings are believable, yet somewhat jarring. Crowley is making complacent reading an impossibility.

Amid all of this trickery, Crowley treats us to some of the most lyrical and beautiful prose that Fantasy has ever offered. He seems to be using his characters as conduits for poetry and musings of life. Sometimes, the language is lofty. Here Alice is comtemplating her role in the Tale while gazing up into the night sky: "... Alice couldn't tell if she felt huge or small. She wondered whether her head were so big as to be able to contain all this starry universe, or whether the universe were so little that it would fit within the compass of her human head. She alternated between these feelings, expanding and diminishing. The stars wandered in and out the vast portals of her eyes, under the immense dome of her brow; and then Smoky took her hand and she vanished to a speck, still holding the stars as in a tiny jewel box within her." At other points, the language is hallucinatory and bizarre. Still, it can often be somewhat "down to earth," as if speaking from a more skeptical frame of mind.

What really makes this an extraordinary book, though, is that Crowley grounds the whole novel to a 20th century aesthetic. The characters are honestly confused with their attitudes towards the fairies. In fact, many of the characters don't even believe in fairies or are, at least, skeptical of Their intentions. Much of the magic of Ariel Hawksquill turns out to be a sort of highly useful mental discipline. Even the knight-errant of the novel, the second Auberon, spends his adventures as a homeless person in New York City, a perfect modern metaphor for the questing knight. Although no one saves any damsel in distress from an evil dragon, there are plenty of fantastical quests for love. And, although there is no hidden treasure trove of gold, there is a hidden treasure trove of hashish. Through it all, Crowley seems to be trying to write a fairy tale that is true to the 20th century without pandering to sentimentality or nostalgia.

The novel comes to a brilliant yet melancholy end. As is the way with fairies, absolutely nothing turns out to be what it seemed; and thus Crowley has played one final trick on us which makes this whole mystifying tale worthwhile. In fact, maybe that's the point of this novel: that during the time it took for me to read it, I was as enchanted and manipulated by it as any character in the novel was enchanted and manipulated by the fairies.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Here's Something to Think About...

"Thinking is the hardest form of work. That is why so few engage in it."
- Henry Ford

Come on people Think...! Don't let other's do it for you. Don't be controlled by what is up in front of you, be aware!!

I read this article this morning and it got me thinking... This is a good thing what these people are doing.. A really good thing. But what it does for me is make me realize how much people don't think for themselves. You see, I always feel so disconnected from the world like I just don't fit. Not talking trendy here, it's like I'm walking around in someone else's story or I'm on the outside looking in saying "hummm these people are interesting?" This article shows me why... I don't feel the need to have a new something every week or day.. Last two pairs of shoes I bought were used, yes used.. No new cell phones and shiney new cars (just 'cause I was tired of the old one) for me... I hope that many of you reading this agree with me 'cause that means there are more people out there Thinking... Thinking their own thoughts not listening to what is fed to them in media, telling them what they need to have just to justify their existence. Now, I'm not here to preach but I certainly cannot keep my mouth shut, I just want you to think, about everything... Is it want you really want, do you really need it?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Who is the Bee of Sqrl & Bee??

Well this is the Bee of Sqrl & Bee.... He's the other pea in my pod, my bestest friend.. He's also known as Bunsen which is actually where "Bee" originally came from. My evolution of nicknames - Bunsen because he's Dr. (or professor) Bunsen, then Bee and there's also Bunsony with an accent on the 'o', which then turns into Sony and then that brings us to Sony the Wonder Pony, but I only say that to make him mad.. And then he calls Mean Old Missa.

Monday, April 10, 2006


The North American Tin Can Turtle!! Bet you didn't know there was such a thing. Well.. This little guy (sorry about the fuzzy picture) was born this weekend, he doesn't have a name yet, I'm leaving that up to his future owner Miss Courtney Geetter who a very good girfriend/sister of mine who is currently nursing a broken heart. This little turtle though you can't see it in the picture has a very big heart and told me she needed him.

Bunsen says that I'm an Open Source Graphic Design Diva!

I like being called a diva! You ask what is this Open Source that I am referrring to. Well... The graphic programs I work with, doing web design and other things like the brithday card below are made with programs that are similar to the horribly expensive programs like Photoshop and Illustrator that are produced by companies who try to own the world... Anyway I use programs like Gimp and Inkscape that are made by regular people who volunteer their time and brains to make software that we can all use for free... Can you believe it...Free!
Incase your interested....
The Gimp - is the equivalant to Photoshop
Inkscape - like Illustrator
Open Office - MS Office

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Meet Robin

No, not Robin the gnome..This is Robin the teapot, also known as Round Robin and Robin Roundbelly... Now, we don't go around naming all of our possessions, but this guy's so special that he got a name. This is the best tea maker/teapot ever. Now Robin had one thing we would change about him.. His little tea basket is plastic, I would perfer stainless steel...'cause why would you want to steep your tea in a plastic blasket - that is his one flaw, but we love him and use him everyday so much so that his little arm is about to break off and send burning hot water all down the front of one of us and give us second degree burns. So.. I wanted to show him off before he retires, and also share a recipe of my favorite tea - Moon Tea. I originally called this Moom tea because it's all femine herbs - good for your Moon time, but these herbs also do much, much more - calms the tummy, cleans the blood and liver, Nettles are full of minerals and it goes on and on. Not to mention the favor of this tea so soothing. So.. Enjoy!

These are rough measurements here. But you really can't go wrong, a little more of one thing won't hurt the recipe. Robin makes 2 cups and I put about 2 heaping tbsp of tea. So.. I guess that means 1:1 tea and water.

Moon Tea
1 part Nettles leaves
1 part Red Raspberry leave
1/2 part Red Clover flowers
1/2 part Oat Straw
Mix everything up together *be careful the nettle will make your skin itchy so try to protect yourself before mixing. The itch goes away eventually but it's annoying. I did the recipe in parts that way you can make as much as you want. I make a ton and store in a big jar 'cause we drink this stuff everyday.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy Birthday to My Big Brother!!

To the bestest brother in the whole world!!!!


I played hooky yesterday...I've never done that before. I mean, I've taken off because of sickness or vacation. But yesterday I woke up and it was still dark (which I'm quite unhappy about) and decided I'm not going to work... That's right..Ha! Andrew decided he too could take off from school and it turned into super spontaneous-ness..I'm a planner and usually not very spontaneous so it's even more fun to be spontaneously spontaneous. I did work all day though, just on stuff I actually like doing and I still get to get paid for it..I obsessively worked on a website that we are currently working on - dealine by May1 which really means finish by the middle of April..So gotta get going on it. It's going to be beautiful when were done, the product and the content is just beautiful..Can't wait to show it off. Speaking of obsessiveness when I work on something like this all day and than go to sleep I dream about it all night long..It's very tiring..I dream in flashes just images and lots of colors..My brain just won't shut off and it's all so subconscious so I can't control it..I try to think of something else like designing my dream house (which always levels me before falling off to sleep) But I wide up falling back into these obsessive flashing dreams..It's very wierd and it's wear's you out...My brain hurts.

Monday, April 03, 2006

To Do List

potential charm square quilt

Andrew's favorite blanket - cordaroy quilt #1

unfinished fannel quilt

Things I want to do before taking off....

1. The charm swap quilt - back in the fall I was part of a swap on MJF forum a group of us traded 6" charm squares of fabric, 5-6 squares each to everyone (or in my case as many as I could afford) on the list. Also, some of us sent a couple of buttons along with the squares, I made ceramic buttons. Well I seem to have gotten all the squares I'm going to get and it's almost a perfect amount for a quilt. I don't have to add any of my own fabric, I just kept out my favorite square (I think it came from Helen in New Zealand) and two other squares and it will make a 9 square by 7 square quilt. See above picture except there were a couple of changes made after the picture was taken.

This one my favorite square

2. A cordaroy quilt - This one will be cordaroy quilt #2. I made one a couple of years ago out of an old friends cordaroy pants in memory of him. It's now Andrew's favorite quilt. Well...I have alot of cordaroys that don't really fit or are old and worn. Too old and worn to be donated and I'm attached... So next best thing - make a quilt.

3. Finish fannel shirt quilt - This is only waiting because I have to save my pennies to buy the fabric for the border and back since money's been a little tight lately. This is a lap size quilt made of a bunch of old fannel shirts from my dad. Andrew wasn't wearing them so I decided to make a quilt out of them that I can always snuggle with my Dad.

4. Lynn's lap quilt - A while ago I saw on a blog someone who was taking their children's drawings and embroidering them on fabric (I'd like to find out who they were and give them credit here). Well when Zuri visited last week she had her little scetchbook and I just love her drawings. So...I thought it would be nice to make some emboibered squares and then I could use up some of my fabric ( less to move later) and make a lap quilt out of them.

Now just so ya know I make very simple quilt, no crazy patterns just squares or strips. It's all about the fabric for me. It's like painting with fabric. So since they're pretty simple it's not impossible to get all this done in about 9 month's. I just have to save my pennies for the backing and batting.

5. I want to make some "stuffies". I want to find a pattern to make a ball, or something round out of fabric..So....If any of you guys out there who have a pattern for something round like a doll head or just a ball..I need help. I have an idea how it works but I think it'd be easier if I had a pattern.

Thats all the big projects that I can think of...For now.