Monday, June 30, 2014

~ Twin Calves and Some More of the Beauties of June ~

Last week, we were most delightfully surprised by the (joint) arrival of these two cute little friends! :-)

And...a few more recent farm additions and early summer beauties...

Day old chicks

One of the pigs -- philosophizing in early morning sunshine

Dyer's Chamomile in bloom



Queen Anne's Lace

Friday, June 27, 2014

Some Sewing Projects

Following are a few of the sewing projects I've been working on over the last few months!

Toddler dress in blue roses

An Easter dress for one sister

And a Leisl Play Dress for another sister

Inspired by...

this one.

Also (back in March), our entire family was privileged to attend a period dress ball! It was English Country dancing (like in the Austen films) and very fun. I made a couple dresses for it beforehand: a Regency dress for myself and this Molly-inspired jumper for my mother. It was the first project I've ever done to have pleats in the front and gathers in the back. :-)

See the pleats and gathers?

 And my dress (which was actually extremely comfortable)!

And finally, last (but not least) my tiered Western Wildflowers skirt...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Including a most fascinating hypothesis on Vermeer…

This week we’re up for a link (or two or three… :-))


Quiet by James Jacques-Joseph Tissot

I’ve added a new post to my page of quotes on the delights of reading here.


Gentleman and Lady Drinking Wine by Jan Vermeer

My dad ran across this fascinating hypothesis about the work of the Dutch painter Vermeer and it was so interesting I thought I’d share it. The idea is that Vermeer’s work might be something like 350 year old photographs! Here’s the link.

And #3:

If you happen to like BBC P&P ’95, the P&P ’95 Forever Club is working up to 100 members—with a special possible bonus for the next few members to join. So, if you’re interested (and not already a member), you might like to check it out! Here’s the link for that:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Guest Post on Frodo

I was recently honored to do another character sketch for Hamlette's Lord of the Rings read-along on her delightfully encouraging and hospitable blog The Edge of the Precipice. It's on Frodo this time and here's the link! Again, do check it out and I would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Review ~ Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

‘The question every young writer at some point asks is: “What should I write?” And the standard answer is, “Write what you know.” This advice always leads to terrible stories in which nothing interesting happens. We make art because we like art. We’re drawn to certain kinds of work because we’re inspired by people doing that work. All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.’ 
~ from Steal Like An Artist

With all the furor about plagiarism these days, a lot of subsequent questions about creativity have surfaced. Should we try not to be influenced by what we’ve read/seen/heard? Is that even possible? Isn’t that why we seek out all these good things in the first place? So that working together, they will help form our thoughts and vision of the world? And how can we ever not have what we love and spend time with come out in our writing—or in any of our other creative endeavors?

Kleon approaches these questions in a delightfully invigorating way. Another quote: ‘You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes…somehow get a glimpse into their minds…to internalize their way of looking at the world.’ (And I was amazed at some of the famous people he quotes who have had positive things to say on the subject.)

His general approach to being/living as an artist is also helpful and settling as he discusses it in a very down-to-earth, pertinent, livable way, pointing out good reasons for why and how it should all tie together with the rest of our life. Very interesting to delve into as I think in reality (and he touches on this), we are all called in particular ways to be living as creative artists.

So, it’s a great, fun read (especially for when a creative fog comes up—or for guarding against one) and, all in all, I can heartily recommend it!

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