Friday, September 21, 2007

Bluebird of Happiness Earrings...

Now in

Mrs. Dalloway...

"She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very dangerous to live even one day." Virginia Woolf... from Mrs. Dalloway
This is one of the most beautiful novels I have read. It's a classic because Mrs. Woolf is able to express in clear language the agony and the ecstasy of life from suicide and depression caused by the inhumanity of man, little annoyances, slight inconveniences and differences of temperament to the total rapture of music and sunsets and flowers. Reading this book is an experience in the polarities of life and empathy. Empathy because you are able to see into the hearts of Clarissa, Peter, Richard, Elizabeth, Septimus and others. You see the bad and the good and love them as they struggle.
There is a thread throughout woven of lilies and roses. There is a hope that beauty will bring love, healing and peace. I loved this quote from the thoughts of Septimus before his suicide, "He had only to open his eyes; but a weight was on them; a fear. He strained; he pushed; he looked; he saw Regent's Park before him. Long streamers of sunlight fawned at his feet. The trees waved, brandished. We welcome, the world seemed to say; we accept; we create. Beauty, the world seemed to say. And, as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railing, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round yet always in perfect control as if elastics held them... the sun spotting now this leaf, now that... dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper... beauty was the truth now; beauty was everywhere."
There is so much to say about this book. It would be make a great book club discussion. I hope you have the chance to read it some time. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Take This Fun Test...

I sometimes get strange e-mails from my dad's family.... photos of the most ginormous alligator in the world.. stuff like the. But, the other day my uncle sent a link to this American Civics test. So, yesterday I took the test for fun; weird, I know. There are sixty questions and it took me about 10 minutes to take the test. It was really fun just to take a test to see what you know without any real pressure. I don't think I've ever done that before. Anyway, I scored 78.3% keeping my c+ average going strong and teaching me that I have a lot more reading I need to do. C scored 91%! He has one of those brains where you really learn things and never forget them. It's often helpful to have an encyclopedia around. Anyway, take the civics test here and see how you do. If you can beat C's 91% (no cheating :) I'll send you a free bookmark. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Killer Bees Hockey...

Do these Buzzzers look killer to you? I really enjoyed making these boxes for some fans of
Who knew Hockey was big clear down there in Texas?
I hope the Bees have a killer season!


"Empathy is at the heart of the novel." from Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
I love to read a book that opens my mind to a different view point, to another culture and history as this book does. I don't know how people can survive under a government like this one; a government that can call you subversive for a wisp of hair, a smidge of lipstick, pink socks and nail polish. Nafisi wonders how strong can a government/religion be that can be undone by such trivialities... and, yet it persists.
I think that peoples of the world can never be free until they understand the concept "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" means the person who disagrees with you is also entitled to those things. So often in the Middle East we see one blood thirsty regime replace another always making the first one pay an eye for an eye for his crimes. So many places in the world need a Lincoln who will plead for peace and for forgiveness and for charity above all.
Having lived under these regimes, those that want to plan every minutia of how a person lives, breathes, stands, talks, dresses and even thinks a person may come to fear liberty, "the ordeal of freedom" as Nafisi puts it. "It's frightening to be free to have to take responsibility for your decisions." Yes, it is.
And, like Nafisi, "the persistent lack of kindness was what frightens me most." I think that is also what frightens me most here in America as well. And, I really believe that kindness is the remedy. To be kind and to show love for another maybe the greatest form of civil disobedience.
And yet, Nafisi laments, "How can you experience love if its expression is illegal?" I do not have the answer. May Allah bless the people of Iran that they may find love, liberty and peace.
Thanks Sarah! I just loved this book.

Little c's gift...

Little c made this tiny (2inches by 4 inches) stuffie for our new great niece
Bailee Marie. I want one now.

Peace Roses in the Morning..

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Am David...

This is one of those films that makes me feel so out of the loop. I hadn't even heard of it, my dad just had it at at the house. This is such a beautiful film, really beautiful and it has such an important message. I don't want to spoil the story, so if you haven't just watch it. I am going to get a copy of the book because I would just love to read it after seeing this. Also, this film has many of the same ideas as James Michener's book Bridge At Andau, which is a must read in my opinion.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Little c and I stayed up late last night and watched Lili, which aired on PBS Charity was really enchanted with the story and amazing costuming and color. Leslie Caron plays Lili, an orphaned sixteen year old girl who falls in love with a carnival magician. She joins the carnival and helps the puppeteer create a successful act. The puppeteer is in love with Lili, but is a tortured war veteran and former dancer who is no longer able to dance because of his war injuries.
With the beautiful color and gaiety of the carnival on the outside, the film is quite dark at its heart where it looks into suicide, depression, homelessness, alcoholism and other things. I don't know how much of that little c understood.. we're going to talk today.
Leslie Caron is simply brilliant and the film is worth seeing just for her performance.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I bought these cute clips yesterday at Macy's. They are part of the new Martha Stewart Collection, which is fabulous.. mostly fabulous. I don't love the stainless, which is what I went to see, but I loved so many other things so that's fun. See some of it here.
Love the colors!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Autumn Gift...

Look at this pretty gift that I recieved from a new friend. It's zucchini bread in it's prettiest form.. all wrapped up in a gift. Don't you love the sparkly ribbon?


THis is fun..

A Favorite Autumn Poem...

Time to get out the pretty Autumn things...

The morns are meeker than they were,The nuts are getting brown; The berry's cheek is plumper,The rose is out of town.The maple wears a gayer scarf, The field a scarlet gown. Lest I should be old-fashioned,I'll put a trinket on.- Emily Dickinson, Nature 27 - Autumn

The Age of Innocence...

There were a lot of pretty things in this film, but I just didn't like it. And, I didn't understand the actions of the characters. They didn't make sense to me. Maybe the book explains things better. I just thought this Newland guy was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. When he has second thoughts and his affections seem to be lessening for his fiance.. he shortens his engagement? And, then he loves the Countess so much that when he is free, he decides not to see her?
I did not admire his physical fidelity to his wife, because he did not intend to be faithful. And, he is never emotionally faithful. Poor May gave him an out even and he didn't take it. I would have liked her character maybe, but she was a snob and sort of naive.
I was never really invested in these characters because I didn't really like them and so I found myself not caring really what they did.
So... the book is better right? Has anyone read it?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ribbon & Wrap...

I've been having a little trouble finding the perfect shred and ribbon to go with this year's Christmas box. The shade of pink is a bit odd, but I sort of liked how this turned out. :)

Boneston Elementary Class of 2007-2008

Little c runs a dog school in the play room. :) The dogs all lined up on Saturday to have their picture taken.

Sugar Bagels...

This is a simple breakfast treat. When I was little, my grandmother used to feed me what she called, "Sugar Sandwiches". They were white bread, butter and a sprinkling of sugar (not nearly as much as there is in jam.. if you think about it) Anyway, this is the version Little c likes... sugar bagels.

My Favorite Dragon...

If your kids haven't seen this, it's just a classic. I love it. It's available in a limited way on DVD and there are a few old VHS tapes out there. Really fun! Does anyone know if this made it onto any of the Disney Rarities or any other collections available now?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Kite Runner...

There are two things that come to mind as I close up this book. Let me see if I can express them in some comprehensible way. First, there are (thankfully, in my opinion) books written that explore some of the real horror and pain that can happen in the human condition; books like Les Miserables and books like The Tale of Two Cities. This is a book in that vein.
It is important that we have these books especially now when every James Bond film and so very many others glorify violence. What I mean by "glorify" is that we make a hero out of the person who gets the biggest body count. What we don’t see is the reality of violence. Les Miserables, while it is a work of fiction, still is a book of many truths one being that it gives us the reality of violence. We see the consequences of unkindness, of selfishness, of pride, and of ignorance. The Kite Runner shows the reality of violence especially that violence committed against children.
There are some people who can’t read these kinds of books. They are a downer. But, this is what I think. Once, in the mall, I saw a teenager whose face had been burned away in some horrible accident. The intuitive thing to do was look away. As I drove home, I thought I’d made a mistake. The kind thing to do would have been to look him right in the eye and to smile in order to say, "I have seen that this horrible thing has happened to you, but you are noticed, you are still a part, you are a person, I see you, I know that you have suffered and I respect that you have come through a survivor. You are valuable."
I was taught that I am everyone’s neighbor. I was taught that I must strengthen the weak, lift the arms that hang down, to morn with those that morn and comfort the comfortless. How can I do that if I cannot bear to even glance, not go through it, but even to glance at pain another person may have lived through.
I once visited Dachau; not an experience I wish to repeat, but I want my daughter to see it. I glimpsed the reality of violence. I glimpsed pure evil.
If I and we can’t even glance at it, how can we keep our society from repeating the mistakes and the sins that cause so much of the horror and the pain in the world.
The following versus are sacred scripture to me:
"Teach ye diligently.. Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms– that ye may be prepared in all things." Doctrine and Covenants 88:78-80
There probably is not a topic that I would rather look away from more than the one in this book, but I am glad that I read on. I hope that the world will read this book and others like it and that these books will convince the world that we do not value our children enough. We simply don’t. If we did, we would never allow these kinds of things to happen.
Allowing it to happen brings me to my last point. For me, this is why I believe our troops should be in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I know that our military is stretched too thin. I know that we can’t be everywhere there is suffering, but we are already in these two countries. Lets stay. Lets stay until there is some form of stable government that can make children a priority again.
I also loved this book for its humanity and for its depth of feeling in human terms. I can’t imagine that this book would not resonate with most everyone. Who has not needed to forgive or to be forgiven or to forgive themselves?
I liked this line so very much. "...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."

Chekhov Boxes...

..We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds... Anton Chekhov
I finished a couple of these. Two are in

Turkey Samich...

I keep trying to think of ways to eat the tomatos from my C's garden everyday. This dinner was very simple and turned out yummy. Deli turkey and provolone are broiled on French bread and then I added thick slices of garden tomato and sea salt. The chips are Baked Ruffles my favorite next to Cape Cods. Dinner took about 5 min. to make and everyone liked it.

New Witchy-Poo in

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thermal Snack Jar...

Thanks Jenni! Little c is taking spaghetti from home today in her new Thermal Snack Jar (dishwasher safe people!). She is so excited. This thing opens up all new lunch possibilities especially for kids who actually like leftovers.

Happiness For Two...

Alexandra's new book is scheduled to be out December 26th. Don't you love the new cover? Also, the September Newsletter has posted.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens..

Here is an illustration of Sydney Carton going peacefully to his death as he remembers some versus from the New Testament, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:26). Then he says, "It is a far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
I favor books about love and redemtion and this is one of the best. I've learned something more every time I've read it. I think it is a perfect novel. I have made it a newish tradition to read it just before school starts. It makes me feel like I am still a student (which I hope that I am, self taught, but still learning) and sharpens up the old brain a bit for the coming year.
This book, like all of his books that I've read.. but especially this one, is truly a gift to the human race.

Colonial Dames Vitamin E Cream...

The best thing that has happened to my face ever. I love this stuff. How did I not know about this stuff? They've been making it since 1886. I have really dry skin and live in Utah on top of that, so this might not be for everyone. And get this... check the price on this miracle in a jar... Not too bad... The only thing I don't like is that I wish it was unscented, but the perfumey smell fades quickly.

Granny Chic Present...

I have always wanted one of these colanders and my mom brought me back one as a gift from her last little trip. I think this shade of pink is so pretty. I just painted a box this color last week. Thanks Mom, I just love it. (C grew all of this stuff in his garden except the orange... it's really good too. I love garden tomatos!)

Becoming Jane...

I loved this movie. It was perfect.

Monday, September 03, 2007

New Monogram Custom Boxes...

I'm going to make these custom monogram boxes available for awhile and see how it goes. Thanks to Lindsey for a great idea..

Fat Cat In Turquoise...

I think I like my skinnier version better... hmmm...
Chubby Kitty will be joining the other Love BoXes
this morning...