Friday, January 25, 2013

"...for the winter days are long and many"




Is everyone making it through the Arctic blast? Or maybe you are lucky enough to be in a place that has been spared or never sees these below zero highs. I saw the forecast last week and I braced myself. I reminded myself that this is, after all, January in Minnesota so of course it will be cold. And that worked on day one and even day two. But now, now folks, I'm done. *sigh*

So, I'm sharing a little bit of mid winter loveliness with this little story from Leo Lionni. I have such affection for this one and it seems to be especially endearing this time of year. If you have 6 minutes to spare take a peek at this gem about the power of imagination, the magic of poetry and last but not least, how to survive Winter!

Hang in there everyone!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

there will be a quiz

Okay I realize my blackboard skills could use a little work and the sad part is that I had to make about 5 attempts just to get to that point. You'll forgive me though, right?

Anyway, I am happy to share that I have the privilege of teaching a wee little mini-course in embroidery at Peter's school! Session one was on Friday and in spite of my extreme nervousness it went really well (I think). I have 8 girls in my class and they have been just delightful. They are so patient with me even though I somehow manage to forget to share key pieces of information along the way. You just take so much for granted when you have done embroidery for so long. Those tiny steps you take along the way without even thinking are actually pretty important when you are doing it for the first time.

So, I will try to remind myself of that as I gear up for session two this coming Friday. There are only three sessions in all and already I wish there were more. There just isn't enough time to do everything I want to do. I think that is my crafty theme song and I know I sing it all the time so it shouldn't surprise you that I am once again complaining about a shortage of time. So far we have started a very simple and small sampler and I am going to try to squeeze in a bookmark project as well.

Way back in my pre-husband and children days I worked with kids and taught some art classes/workshops as part of my job. I remember liking it but I think I had forgotten all the reasons why. Some of those reasons are popping back in my mind now as I take on this project and let me tell you, it is fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 - some favorites from the last 12 months

The year has just begun and I'm late already! I meant to close last year with this post - not start the new year with it! Oh well, I still want to share some favorites from the past year and I hope you will share some of yours as well, I would LOVE to hear about them! There was a lot to love in 2012 but I will just share a few that really stood out for me..

BOOKS:

It was a pretty good year for reading for me which makes me look forward to all the upcoming pages I'll be turning in 2013. You can connect with me over at Goodreads to share you favorite reads as well.
In fiction my favorite was Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance. WOW this one jumped way up to the top of my best books list. It's not often (or ever) that I take a book along with me in the car just for short trips around town (when Vince drives of course!) but this one I did because I could not put down. This story, which takes place in India in the 70's and 80's, is fascinating, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once.

In non-fiction I have to give a shout out to Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works. I know there is some controversy and bad feelings about this book since the author admitted fabricating some of the quotes. BUT I still enjoyed reading about how creative minds think and solve problems. It is a book that I found myself thinking about long after I finished reading it and I still think about when I am stumped on a creative problem.  

MOVIES:

Yes, 2012 went by without my visiting a single movie theater but at least those red envelopes still made their way to my mailbox so I wasn't completely out of the loop. Looking over the list of what we watched over those 12 months there is really only one that stands out (that's kind of sad, isn't it?)
Anyway, this documentary called Marwencol, was my favorite movie I saw in 2012. It touches on so many things: art, mental heath, identity all wrapped up in the amazing story of Mark Hogencamp that you have to see to believe. You can read more about it in this Psychology Today article or catch it on your local PBS channel or Netflix if you can.

TELEVISION AND RADIO:

I don't have much in the way of visuals for this section but I will say that 2012 was the year that Vince and I became big fans of Nova Science Now with David Pogue. I like a good PBS nature show but I wouldn't consider myself a science geek by any means. This show, however, is really for anyone and when you watch it you can't help but catch David Pogue's unbridled enthusiasm for every one of the topics he covers in the series. You kind of just have to love this guy.

In radio one show became the heart of some of my best Summer memories. That show is Jet Set Planet. You know all those dusty records at the thrift store with the goofy covers and performers you have never heard of? Haven't you wondered what kind of songs were on those records? Well, Glen Leslie of Jet Set Planet shares his favorite finds every Friday night. Last Summer Vince and I would put the kids to bed, pour some drinks and sit on the deck with a tiny portable radio and listen every Friday. There is some really funny stuff out there that you will not hear anywhere else and it never failed to be entertaining. And yes, you can listen online!

So there are some of my favorite entertainment picks from the previous year. So, now it's your turn - what movies, books and tv made your year special?