Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reading Down the House

A reading challenge has been issued at "An Exacting Life" and I am taking it on. It really does mesh well with the reading challenges I began at the beginning of the year.
The goal is to whittle down those many books we have on our shelves that we haven't read. I have soooo many of those! Read Down the House
My problem (but also my obsession!) is that when I see a book I have to read (especially at Costco), I end up buying it.
I have decided that for the rest of the year I will not buy any more books, but focus on the books on my many shelves that are calling out to be read.
There are 10 weeks left of this year (!) and 52 weeks next year which adds up to 62 books (my age next year - I like the symmetry there). So minimum of 1 book a week (although I may read more.)

Here are the first 26 I plan to read (not in any particular order):

Three Day Road  by Joseph Boyden
U is for Understanding  by Sue Grafton
The Hobbit  by JRR Tolkien
The Time Keeper  by Mitch Albom
Unless  by Carol Shields
Lives of Mothers and Daughters  by Alice Munro
And the  Mountains Echoed  by Khaled Hosseini
Suite Francaise  by Irene Nemirov
Alice I Have Been  by Melanie Benjamin
The Year of the Flood  by Margaret Atwood
The Casual Vacancy  by J.K. Rowling

Wheat Belly  by William Davis
Undiet  by Meghan Telpner
Salt Sugar Fat  by Michael Moss
Forks over Knives  by Gene Stone
On Writing  by Stephen King
If You Want to Write  by Brenda Ueland
Lucky Man  by Michael J. Fox
The Bread Winner Trilogy  by Deborah Ellis
Into the Abyss  by Carol Shaben
12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women  by Gail McMeeken
Inner Excavation  by Liz Lamoreaux
The Outliers  by Malcolm Gladwell
Life is a Verb  by Patti Digh
A Woman's Worth  by Marianne Willaimson
Living Me to We  by Craig and Marc Kielberger
Julie and Julia  by Julie Powell

 Why not join in the challenge - a great way to "Read Down the House"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ABC Wednesday - O

This week at ABC Wednesday, we are all focusing on O.

O is for Oprah

This quote by Oprah is one that resonates:

"I know for sure that only by owning who and what you are can you step into the fullness of life."

Be sure to check here for how others around the world face the ABC challenge

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

This past week  my creative output was more writing than art. I had entered a writing contest through Harlequin and had to have the novel finished by the 18th. I worked on it throughout the week, but by the end of the week I knew I was not one of the 50 (of 650+ who entered) chosen for the second round. I am glad I entered - I learned a bit, wrote a lot and am inspired to write more. In fact, I have entered a second opportunity through Historical Harlequin, which will have an editor give me feedback on an historical novel I am working on. That  will definitely be a valuable experience.

The 18th was the Full Harvest Moon and as usual, I created a dreamboard. The question to focus on was:   What would I love an abundance of?

As I thought of what it was I was seeking, the phrase treasure my time, love and joy appeared and that is what emerged as I created the dreamboard.
The backgrounds were gelli papers. (Treasure was crated by joining individual letter stencils together - a wonderful technique from Carolyn Dube' free letter stencil course!)

I really do want an abundance of:  love, joy, faith, friendship, good health. and art, with lots of time for reading writing and creating.

This week at Collage Obsession the theme was Patterns and I had fun finding patterns in magazines.

I created a number of ATCs this week for swaps:

Postage Stamp People

Butterflies on Queens

As well, Linking up with
Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Glue It Tuesday

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadows in fall - a lovely mix.  We went in search of some fall colour and I found some shadows as well. (of course!)

Be sure to check shadows from around the world here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ABC Wednesday - N

This week at ABC Wednesday, N is the letter to focus on.

There were so many actors, writers, and politicians with last names  with N. Unfortunately, I only had one stamp- of Nixon.

So, the APC for this week is of Richard M. Nixon, former U.S. president, infamous for Watergate.

Just to name a few more:

Nehru, Napoleon
Ralph Nader,
Anais Nin, Vladimir Nabokov
Patricia Neal, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Leonard Nimoy
Willie Nelson, Ricky Nelson, Olivia Newton-John

Be sure to check here for how others around the world face the N challenge.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

This past week I was able to work on a few challenges. Here are a few:

I created a quick  collage of vintage faces for Inspiration Avenue (Faces) and Collage Obsession (Vintage).

I created a 5 x 7 autumn scene for a swap, finishing it by stamping leaves with acrylic paint.

Zen Card


I have started reading "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden. It is quite a fascinating read, but one that you do not rush.
I plan to read a book by Alice Munro who just won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

As well, Linking up with

Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Glue It Tuesday

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadows can be found everywhere, especially on bright sunny days, which we had had here this week. Here are a few:

Be sure to check here to see shadows from around the world.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ABC Wednesday - M

This week at ABC Wednesday M  is the focus.

I have chosen:

Marilyn Monroe - an actress, who delighted in such comedies as "Some Like It Hot", but whose insecurities doomed her to an early death


Malcolm X - civil rights leader and human rights activist

Be sure to check here for more M entries.

I have been missing for a number of days. It began with a busy weekend of visiting, but extended when I needed to really evaluate what I wanted to do with my time - especially online. I was not accomplishing what I hoped and felt that I wasn't reaching many people.
 I entered a writing competition and needed time to finish my script. I knew that I could not, and did not want to, finish the31 days of change. I am creating daily but posting everyday was not being realistic. I have decided to limit my time online and will post when I feel moved to.
Thanks for checking in. I do so appreciate all those who stop by, especially when comments are made.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4 - 31 Days of Change

The joy poster for today is a result of a full day of cleaning/sorting/decluttering. I am slowing shedding my house of my massive collection of teacher stuff and books. I am tired, yes but also pleased with what I have accomplished today. Still lots to do, but I see an end in sight.
When I saw this quote, I knew it was the one. We should be happy with where we live. We really don't need a lot. My house is only a thousand sq. feet. So many have even less.

(The stencil I won from Jessica Sporn - finally able to use it. No printer today as there was no ink. And being tired I went for a simple message!

Photo Treasure Hunt - Red

I discovered a new photo challenge while visiting "Daily Bread" for her series "Less is More".
I love photo challenges and since there are not many taking part yet thought I would join in.
The theme this week is "red" - one of my favourite colours.

Here are a few red things around our house:

An apple made by a student to add to my collection

My hubby's favourite hat from our favourite racetrack.


Red feather pen (from our wedding) in a red glasss.

Join in the fun here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3 - 31 Days of Change

Every day is a day to seek beauty and joy. Some days are easier than others. I awoke to a beautiful sky with pink streaks. I had to get my camera and record the beauty. I love skies - so the day started off joyfully.

As well today, some things that brought me joy were:

reading a lovely book

creating a new joy page

laughing with a couple of young kids and their mother today after I bopped him with my bag while I was getting off the bus

Be sure to check here at The Nesting Place, where there are literally hundreds of others taking part in the "31 Days of Change" for October. It's not too late to join!

Photo Challenges - Sky Watch and Messy Details

The sky early  this morning was lovely - soft pink showing through the blue.

Yesterday afternoon's sky was lovely in a different way:

Be sure to check out the wonderful skies from around the world here.

Messy Little Details

Carolyn Jane hosts this fun meme. As she says :
"I want to invite you to join me in sharing photos of those odd little things you just have to photograph, things that inspire you, thrill you, make you laugh or make you wonder."

Here is mine for the week:

This beautiful flower went from this -

to this!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2 - 31 Days of Change

It has been a busy day - from working on ATCs, to going to my watercolour course to creating a holiday book through Shutterfly. All brought a sense of accomplishment.
I am trying as well to really focus on what I am working on - to be in the moment, to be mindful. (a number of bloggers have mentioned this - great advice!)

I created this Joy collage to focus on this:

In the watercolour class, we worked on a landscape. I will need much practice but it was enjoyable.
It was hearing from 2  of my children today, though, that gave me much joy. It is a real treat to talk with them and hear their news and now that they are safe and happy and well.
Be sure to check here at The Nesting Place, where there are literally hundreds of others taking part in the "31 Days of Change" for October. It's not too late to join!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1 - 31 Days of Change

As I think about joy in my life, I know there are many things that give me joy:

my husband and children

my extended family, friends and relatives

teaching, creating art

fall,  Thanksgiving and Christmas and other special holidays

reading, listening to music

Many people define joy in different ways. Throughout  this month, I will be sharing what has given me joy each day through words and photos and also include a joy quote in art to inspire.

Creating ATCs is always a joy. Here's a set of Picasso inspired cards I  made today:


driving to Hamilton today, had some extra time with my husband which was special and I got to see so many trees ablaze in colour.

Here is the joy quote for today - one I really agree with.

Be sure to check here at The Nesting Place, where there are literally hundreds of others taking part in the "31 Days of Change" for October. It's not too late to join!

ABC Wednesday - L

This week at ABC Wednesday, It is time for L.

For my ATCs, I created cards for:

Joe Louis - he was the world heavyweight boxing champ from 1937 to 1949 - holding that title longer than anyone else in history.

Frank Laubach - he was a missionary who taught thousands to read in their own languages, based on a programme he developed
Be sure to check here for how others around the world faced the challenge this week.