July 29, 2010

Recent Movies

1. Alice in Wonderland
I know this did not get great reviews, but I loved it. Ah Johnny Depp. The movie is a wonderful adaptation of the book - which I have tried to read twice and yet to make it past the first couple of chapters.

2. New Moon
I might look into reading the Twilight series - it cannot be as bad as the movies can it? This was pretty bad - and I love both vampires and werewolves. Sigh.

3. The Lightning Thief
Enjoyed the book and unfortunately, the movie was really bad. Ah well.

4. The Stoning of Soraya M
Wow. This is a powerful movie. Do not watch it if you are having a bad day. Tough subject matter. Excellent movie.

July 26, 2010

Reading with kids

1. The Island of Skog
I loved this book. Read it to the boys on one of their overnights, and we talked about the mystery and the magic of the story.

2. The Biggest Bear
The graphics are wonderful. The story builds up to what you think will be a bad ending, but then there is hope. Sort of.

3. The Mysterious Tadpole
A gift that turns out to be not quite as expected. Funny.

4. Amos & Boris
Lovely story about a mouse who heads out for an adventure and is helped by a whale. And one day is able to return the favor. Quite fun.

5. The Elves and the Shoemaker
This is the only book on this list that I had read as a kid - though do not recall that the elves were naked!

6. Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve
Luke continues to read his way through the Magic Tree House series. In MTH # 30, Jack and Annie are on a Merlin Mission to a very spooky castle. Where are all the people?

7. Summer of the Sea Serpent
In MTH #31 Jack and Annie have another adventure filled with danger, magic and mystery. This is one of the best books yet.

Visual Journal

An example of a page using acrylic paint, collage and ink.

July 25, 2010


If I'm not driving, I like to do something with my hands while I listen to podcasts or audio books. I knit. I vacuum. I walk. I do dishes. I doodle. This page is an example of how my hands stay occupied while my mind is stimulated.

The Politics of Fiction

Elif Shafak gives a TED talk that has to be one of the top 5 talks I have heard.
You can hear it here.

July 24, 2010


Lots of outdoor playing going on this summer. Love being on the water. Created this page in the cockpit, ice drink in hand. Life is good.

July 19, 2010


There is something soothing about doodling - no expectations. Just move the pen around on the page.

Global Voices

Listened to this fascinating talk today. Lots to marinate on.

July 17, 2010


A page created using kids markers. They are quite fun to play with.
The fortune cookie text: There is no such thing as an ordinary cat.
Ain't that the truth?

Visual Journal

A double page spread using acrylic paints and collage materials. I'm finding that I like a handwritten background to my pages. A personal style seems to be developing.

July 16, 2010

Book Light

It is getting harder and harder to find a good book light. I bought one several years ago from Levenger and love it. As is usually the case with things you love it is no longer in stock. Babes has gone through several brands and all of them are useless, so was determined to find a good one for her birthday. Found this one at Barnes and Noble. Took the first one back - the light flickered - but the second one works just fine. Light. Nice design. Rechargeable.

Do you use a book light? Which one?

Visual Journal

Some magazine had an article about how people dress their dogs. Incredible really. Inspired this page.

July 12, 2010

Recent Reads

1. Small Island
This is quite a stunning read. Set in Jamaica and post-war Britain, the novel explores racism, family, war and the ties that bind us. The story is told in 4 voices - a style that I quite enjoy.

2. A Favorite of the Queen
I love the Tudor period, so was looking forward to this read. The first time I've read this author, and will not be going back. I actually stopped about 60 pages in - the writing seems juvenile and has no depth. Not worth the time.

3. Playing with Books
Interesting, but not quite what I was expecting. Sometimes I wonder how books like this get published.

4. Two Lives
My book club selection for the month, and while there are parts I quite enjoyed, I could not wait for the book to end. As fascinated I am by Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, this book does not make me want to go out and read their work - the author seems to have culled the best parts for a tasty nibble. I enjoyed this fictional account much more.

5. The Indigo Notebook
This YA book is an okay read. I particularly enjoyed the travel bits of the story.

July 11, 2010


We are having such a great summer in these parts. My parents are in town for several weeks, and we took the boys out to the local park to look for frogs. A fun afternoon was had by all. You can see more pics from the afternoon here.

July 10, 2010


I've got a new toy! After lusting after the Amazon Kindle for what seems like years, I weighed my options, read the reviews and finally decided to get the Barnes & Noble Nook. And I love it!

My tipping point list:
  • Prices have finally come down to a reasonable number. The wireless Nook sells for $149.
  • The Nook allows access to the battery (for replacements) and has a memory expansion slot - the Kindle has neither.
  • The Nook supports standards - the Adobe epub format. The Kindle uses a proprietary format. I'm all for standards.
  • Because the Nook supports standards, I can load ebooks from my library and download tons of free books - huge savings over buying every ebook I read.
  • The Nook has rudimentary web browsing - in Beta - nothing great - but a nice feature.
  • I dislike the hard key pad of the Kindle - pefer the Nook's soft navigation.
  • Love the e-ink technology.
I've been using my Nook for about 2 weeks now and love it. What I notice missing are the tactile pleasures I get from holding a book in my hands - the smell, the feel of the paper, the heft. But not having to carry stacks of books with me every time I leave the house is really wonderful. I currently have about 40 books loaded and am in dual reading mode at the moment - reading both ebooks and hard copy, and expect to continue in that manner. There are some books you just want to hold close to you no?

July 7, 2010

Viva Espana!

Not a great game today, but love that Spain beat Germany. Only 2 more games - the one for 3rd place and the finals. What the heck will I do after that?

Finals on Sunday. Spain versus Holland. Plan is to make food from each country for the game. So far we have sangria, paella, Heineken and Gouda cheese on the menu.

Go Spain Go!

July 6, 2010

World Cup

Back from several days on the boat. Love the summer.

Ooh, we are down to the last 4 teams - looking forward to some great football the next several days.

We watched the Argentina/Germany game in the North End with lots of fans. I was rooting for Argentina; they lost 0-4. Emotions ran high - fans almost started a fight. Germany was by far the better team - no doubt about that. I actually prefer games that are won in regular time. The shootout is painful to watch. I was crying by the end of the Ghana/Uruguay game. Such a horrible way to loose.

But onward - will we have a Germany/Netherlands final?