Roman Rolland once said, "It's the artist's job to create sunshine when there isn't any."
Welcome to my world.
I'm a student, a wolverine (grrr), an artist, a reader, a fiancee, a daughter and these are my thoughts...

November 23, 2010

Book Review: Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook

I recently received a book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program!  Publishers give out books before their publication date so people can read them and and post reviews online.  I read Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook and it was an absolute pleasure to read.  It didn't take me long to finish the novel because it was interesting and enjoyable.  The story follows three siblings whose parents passed away when they were young.  Their parents get the opportunity to look into their childrens' lives from a place they call "Here."  The now-grown children live out their lives unaware that their parents are lovingly watching out for them and hoping that they eventually find happiness in their earthly lives.  Free-spirited Alice lives in New York, working as an actress in off-Broadway plays, hoping to eventually get her big break.  Her sister Dinah lives with their grandmother and works in Washington DC.  Their brother Griffin lives in Chicago with his partner Theo and works as a chef in a nice restaurant.   Through the course of the book, all three find their lives turned upside down and intertwined with each other.  It is a beautifully written story that moves along with grace and and handles the topic of death with quiet dignity.  I highly recommend picking this up in March when it comes out and making it one of your lazy day summer reading books. 

November 17, 2010

Wednesday List!

Thanksgiving is next week!  Who else cannot believe that its that time of year already!?  Maybe I'm in denial because its oddly warm here in Ann Arbor (its supposed to be 52 degrees today!)  In any case, I'm very excited because B and I are going to my house for the holiday and this happens to be my very favorite holiday (don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July too.)  So, here are my 5 favorite family traditions revolving around Thanksgiving:
1. Dinner not being done until Papa (my grandpa) says "eat every carrot and pea on your plate"  (yea, say it out-loud to yourself...its ok, I'm 22 and still giggle every year :))
2. Listening to my mom and aunt argue with my grandma about helping out with the food (they are only allowed to bring a pie..haha, my grandma is amazing)
3. Watching the annual dog show before the game starts...hilarious Thanksgiving fun
4. The Lions game...I know, we lose.  But its the tradition that counts!
5. And of course, the food coma nap :)
I hope this helps you think of your favorite parts of Thanksgiving!  Please share them in the comments!

November 10, 2010

Wednesday List!

For fun, I decided to do the 5 things I couldn't live without if I was stranded on an island:
1. B-I'm a hopeless romantic...and he generally takes care of me
2. a dozen books-I know this is more than one thing but I read quickly!
3. my camera-I'm sure the island will be pretty ;)
4. my sketchbook-easier to carry than my beads and paints!
5. particular, yogurt and my blender so I can make smoothies with all the tropical food :)

November 8, 2010

The First Step in the Creative Process

I've spent some time recently thinking about my creative process because I'm trying to plan my best holiday strategy.  I've come to realize that I'm a very visual and tactile person.  Especially when it comes to my bead work, sketching out my thoughts isn't a very productive use of my time.  I find myself being more inspired by opening up a few of my bead boxes and looking and touching the various beads.  By touching and playing with various textures and colors, I can begin to visualize the finished product.  Knitting, I have to touch every yarn before I purchase it, color is important but the touch and texture is much more important to me.  I think its interesting how this process can be so different for so many people.  Some find their creative inspiration by sketching, others by letting their mind wander and daydream.  I'm sure that each artist has their own unique view on how they begin to cull their ideas and set on the path to a finished piece.  Feel free to share your own beginning of the creative process in the comments!

November 3, 2010

Wednesday List!

As I get closer to graduating, becoming engaged and hopefully decorating my own place next summer, I've begun to collect ideas and pictures that catch my eye.  So, today's list is 5 things that I want to use in decorating, including some that I already do use. 
1. Seashells-they remind me of the beach, the sea, Lake Michigan (the zebra mussel shells, of course), family, vacations, B (who brought me back a pile of white shells from a spring break trip b/c he know I would appreciate those more than anything he could buy), basically everything I adore
2. Colors-brown, white, red, purple, yellow-its a random mix but I have rooms in mind for combinations of is a new one for me but I'm picturing kitchen accents
3. Crate and Barrel-omg, enough said (especially if you have ever been to the store in Chicago on Michigan Ave..swoon)
4. Wood and Stone-not a fan of metal and glass, feels like living in a spaceship...I want cozy and earthy
5. Michigan Stuff-haha, this one is mostly for B...our office spaces or basement will be completely maize and blue...and it will be awesome :) 

November 1, 2010

Its November! Holiday Season!

I know, it sounds crazy, but I figure with the way the rest of my year is shaping up that I should probably start thinking about my holiday to-do list.  I need to figure out gifts, first of all, many of which I will probably make.  My goal for this task is getting them all done by December 1, which means the clock is ticking!!  My most challenging gift will probably be B again.  Its impossible to shop for the boy who has everything :(  I also am setting a goal of getting 15 more ornaments listed on Etsy before November 15, which means I need to get my butt in gear and start taking the photos I've been putting off!  I'll reevaluate on the 15th to set my new goal for the rest of November.  I also have a few ideas for decorating my room for Thanksgiving :)  Basically, this month is looking busier and busier!