Monday, April 30, 2012

What are You Reading?

The past couple of weeks I have read mostly YA and picture books.

I finished "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio. It was amazing and totally lived up to the reviews I read. It really renewed my faith in goodness in people and the necessity of being kind.

I also finished "How I  Came to be a Writer" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor". As I come across books by authors about their writing life, I read them and look at their road to being an author (one I am trying to navigate).

In class, I finished "Stone Fox" by John Reynolds Gardiner, as our novel read aloud. This is the fourth time I have read this book to a class and each time I still get effected by the ending. I have the children write me a letter after most of the read alouds - it was interesting to read their thoughts and feelings about this book. For the first time, I actually had a student say they found it boring! I wrote back to her that it is important she have her own opinions, as long as she backs them up.

Today, I read "Maple Moon" by Connie Brummel Crook. I love this story and had read it numerous times. Connie actually came to a class in Bowmanville about 10 years ago and read her book. What an experience that was.

I finally got to see the movie "The Hunger Games". I loved the series and I actually love the movie. The differences with the book did not detract from enjoying this movie.
I also saw the movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". The young actor who plays Oskar was incredible. Strange movie, strange book - but worth seeing.I did prefer the movie this time,

Right now I am working on a number of books:

I am still reading: "Stolen Child" by Marsha F. Skrypuch

                             "Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh

I have just started: " Desire to Inspire"  by Christine Mason Miller

and plan to start this week: "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden (for our May pick for our social justice book club)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

It's a Mess, sort-of!
Lisa Wright's book group on "Mess" has been a fun exploration.
This weeks mess has been focused on cut and paste for the most part. I steered away from wet messes - just wasn't up to that this week!
Collage has always been my favourite and I enjoyed the few I did in the book.

Blue collage:

 Fold the page and make random cuts
 Decorate the tree - I made a jewellery tree

 Cut apart the photo and create a new look

Daily Collages
I am almost finished the month of daily collages. I have sometimes had to create 2 in a day to catch up, but I have enjoyed the process. I have used different materials and focused on composition.
In May I want to try a sketch a day, using a picture or photo as my model.
Here are a couple of collages:

From scraps pf painted papers:
 From scraps of photos|:

We now have a morning dove nesting on our ladder on the porch. The past few years a robin has made a nest there. The doves make a very minimalist nest but they sure do make a mess on the ground! It will be interesting to see the eggs and babies develop.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

It is time once again to share shadows. It is an addiction I must admit. No matter where I go, it is often shadows I notice first.

Yesterday, it was cool but sunny, with lots of shadows to be found. Here are a few.

Be sure to check at SSS2 for some amazing shadows.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up and Making a "Mess"

Making a mess - what fun - although I am still not able to put my book (Mess by Keri Smith)in the rain or bury it.
This week I only did 2 full pages, although I added some doodles and rubbings to a couple of other pages.
I covered the page with white glue and dropped bits of white paper on the black pages.
I used blue painter's tape to create an abstract.
The "Mess" book club is being hosted by Lisa Wright - check my sidebar for more info. It is a great way to loosen up and get involved with another supportive community.
Collages for April
This week I continued my daily collages. Two I created came from envelopes from a swap I hosted on zentangle mandalas (the cards from this swap were gorgeous!)
This week I finished 3 sets of ATCs - 2 photo challenges and one of collage.

With spring almost here (actually it comes and goes - we may have snow tomorrow!), the flowers are growing . Here are a few from our garden:

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading??

It's time again to share books we've read. I have not read as much as I would have liked the past couple of weeks, but have finished a few books, and started several more!
My favourite was "Zeitoun" by Dave Eggers. It was shocking in parts but so very interesting.I am looking forward to Thursday, when our social justice book club meets to discuss the book. Should be a very challenging discussion!
Two other books I read over the Easter weekend and thoroughly enjoyed, were:
"Comfort Food" by Kate Jacobs (the author of the Friday Night Knitting Club - loved that series of books!)
"The Edge of Winter" by Luanne Rice.
At school I reread "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams. It is one book I don't mine rereading over and over again. My class this year saw immediately the connection to "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" - a book they absolutely loved and were moved by.
We are just starting to read "Stone Fox" by John Reynolds Gardiner. I hope to have them view the movie when we are finished and compare the 2.
I am currently reading:
"Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh (Reading and experiencing it as there are exercises to do)
"Wonder" by R.J. Palacio (A YA novel recommended all over blogland!)
"Stolen Child" by Marsha F. Skrypuch. I just discovered this author is from Brantford and writes a lot of historical fiction, which I love.
Any favourites you have to share?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Mess and Weekly Wrap-up

A Fine Mess!
It has been a busy weekend, so have not done as much with the "Mess" booklet. I started out a bit too tame:
but by the end I really did make a wet mess!
As I was reading a few of the options, many struck as being very brave. I will have to work up to those.
Daily Collages
I am continuing with the daily collages. They have been quick and fun. I am using up scraps and trying to think of composition as I lay the papers down. Here are a few from the past week:
April 4 -using painted papers and handmade paper as well as used stamps
April 6
April 13 - with a day focused on the number 13th, I used numbers for this collage
I completed a few swaps this past week - flowers and sunflowers.
(I did not scan the sunflowers unfortunately)
I have a number of other ones I am working on - should have those finished this week.
From skies to flowers there were a few subjects to photograph this week.
(This is a nest, believe it or not, being built on top of a step ladder on our porch!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday

This week has had very changeable weather but there have been a few sunny days that create lovely shadows.
This week as well, I took my class on a field trip to the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford to learn about the history and culture of the native people in our area. Lots to see and a few great shadows to be found!
This lovely artwork, "The Great Tree", was created by Stan Hill Sr. from a moose antler.
Early lacrosse stick.
Be sure to check out the shadows from around the world at SS2 (see sidebar)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Lisa at Wright Brain Stuff has started a new book group, using a new book by Keri Smith.
invites us to make a mess and have fun. It looks to be another great adventure in fun and comradeship. Please join in the fun!
I just received my book yesterday and had my first intro to the book with a page from the middle - make a collage using a stack of cut-out shapes from a magazine. I enjoyed it.
I am so looking forward to this new art journey of making messes!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shadow |Shot Sunday

A beautiful, sunny day produced lovely shadows! One I couldn't resist was the dandelion right outside the front door!
I also had to include one of Fluffy. (Next month she will be 20!)
As well, here's one from the garden - love the stark shadows.
Be sure to visit SS2 for great shadows around the world.