April 30

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a collection of essays by Joan Didion.  Published in 1968, it captures America (particularly California) in the 1960’s.   Although Didion was young (early 30’s) when she wrote the book, she had the sense that the world as she knew it was falling apart.  As a writer, she had to come to terms with those feelings and in doing so, she created a haunting portrait of America during this turbulent period.  This book became a favorite of mine because of Didion’s beautiful writing and her ability to convey through a diverse set of essays, a “feeling” for a period in our history and our culture.  If you have an interest in 1960’s America, I consider this an essential.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | No Comments

April 29

The Piano

Set in the mid-19th century, this is the story of a mute pianist who travels with her daughter and her beloved piano to New Zealand  for an arranged marriage to a New Zealand frontiersman.  When her husband won’t move the piano from the coast, a neighbor agrees to buy the piano and move it if Ada will give him piano lessons.  This is a love story.  It is haunting and erotic.  The cinematography and soundtrack are dreamlike and extraordinarily beautiful. It is an exceptional period piece, but the stories it tells are timeless.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 1 Comment

April 28

PJ Top = Shoe Bag

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Inspiration:

Simplicity Pattern 2667 – You don’t need the pattern to do this project.

Supplies:

Flannel Top

Pattern (or craft paper to make your own pattern)

Scissors

Pins

Thread

Sewing Machine

Ribbon, cord or rattail

1. Cut two rectangles 13″ x 18″.  I laid out my pattern to take advantage of a pocket and decorative piping for my top piece.

2.  Measure down 4-1/4″ from the top of the bag and mark or pin each side.  We will use this to form the casing for the drawstring cord.

3.  With right sides together and using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch around the sides and bottom of the bag.  Remember, leave side edges above your marks unstitched.

4.  Narrow hem the unstitched side edges of the bag above your marks.  Do this for both the front and the back of your bag.

5.  To form the casing on the front and back of the bag, measure down 2-1/2″ from the top and fold each upper edge at this mark.  Fold under 1/4″ along the raw edge.  Stitch close to the inner folded edge and again 5/8″ above that stitching.

6.  Turn bag right side out.  Cut ribbon, cord or rattail for drawstring.  I cut my piece 36″ long.  Insert the ends of the drawstring through the casing.

7.  You’re all ready for your next trip, and you won’t have to worry about your shoes smudging your clothes.


Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 4 Comments

April 27

Aristocratic & Common

The internet can be a dangerous thing.  Recently, Casper came across some information that he’s been “lording” over Freedom.  What do you think?

Greyhounds come in 18 official colors.  The great diversity in dog coat colors is almost entirely human-influenced.

One of the reasons for diversity in the greyhound coats may have come about through the Forest Laws.  The Forest Laws were a general term for old English restriction laws that were the prerogative of the king of England and allowed him to convert any portion of the country into a “forest,” designed as a hunting area for the monarch or the aristocracy (by invitation). The concept was introduced in the 11th century, and at the height of its practice in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, fully one-third of the land area of southern England was designated as royal forest. Forest law prescribed harsh punishment for anyone who committed any of a range of offenses within the forests.  Number 31 of the original Canute Laws, for example, states that:

“No meane person may keepe any greihounds, but freemen may keepe greihounds, so that their knees may be cut before the verderons of the forest, and without cutting of their knees also, if he does not abide 10 miles from the bounds of the forest. But if they doe come any nearer to the forest, they shall pay 12 pence for every mile; but if the greihound be found within the forest, the master or owner of the dog shall forfeit the dog and 10 shillings to the king.”

It is known that in England during the medieval period, lords and royalty keen to own greyhounds for sport, requested they be bred to color variants that made them easier to view and identify in pursuit of their quarry.  The lighter colors, patch-like markings and white appeared in the breed.  Commoners who could not own greyhounds, preferred hounds with coat colors that were not easily seen and that would help them subvert the laws.

I have spoken with Casper and let him know in no uncertain terms that those distinctions no longer exist, particularly in this house.  Casper gives me a sorrowful, princely look that seems to says, “If you want to be seen cavorting with that common, brindly hound and risk the wrath of the monarch, I tried to warn you.”

No more internet for Casper.

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 7 Comments

April 26

4 Faves – Version 17.0

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

The month of May will be “4 Faves – Friends Version.”  What are your favorite things?  Tell me about them during the month of April and one (or more) of your picks may be chosen as a “favorite” in May.  You can let me know what you like in one of three ways…post a comment, email me (whatremainsnow@gmail.com), or let me know on the What Remains Now Facebook page (either by commenting or writing on my wall).  Tell me what the item is and why you like it.  I can’t wait to hear from you!


Dog Drying Towel

Once upon a time there was a mommy of two houndies.  The houndies went outside in the rain and when they came inside, the mommy lovingly dried them off.  Later, while drying the dishes, the mommy thought, “I think this is the towel I used to dry off the houndies!”  Moral of the story:  A separate towel with a embroidered paw print saves repeating household tasks or worse.

Oprah

I LOVE Oprah…the show, the magazine, the website, the OWN network.  One of my favorite features in the magazine and on the website is “Books That Made a Difference to…Add Celebrity Name.”  Here’s a sample.

We Three Doxies

We Three Doxies is a blog about three dachshunds (Whitney, Albert & Puddles)…well kind of.  It’s really about Puddles.  Puddles is a sweet little girl with a razor wit.  Honestly, I think this picture says it all.  Her adventures and take on life will make you laugh out loud and put a smile on your face.

philosophy Bath & Shower Gel

This is a lovely bath & shower gel, but what I really love about it is ALL the smells it comes in.  Something for everyone.

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 8 Comments

April 25

The Artist’s Way…Final Thoughts

The Epilogue to The Artist’s Way contains this quote that speaks eloquently of how I want to embrace my journey…

“What I conjure now is a mountain of Himalayan proportions with a path winding upward to its height.  That path, a spiral path, is how I think of the Artist’s Way.  As we pursue climbing it, we circle back on the same views, over and over, at slightly different altitudes.  ‘I’ve been here before,’ we think, hitting a spell of drought.  And, in a sense, we have been.  The road is never straight.  Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping.  As artists, our progress is often dogged by rough terrain or storms.  A fog may obscure the distance we have covered or the progress we have made toward our goal.  While the occasional dazzling vista may grace us, it is really best to proceed a step at a time, focusing on the path beneath our feet as much as the heights still before us.”

Here’s what I have learned…

The Basic Tools (Morning Pages and Artist’s Date) are essential.  I love them because they are private and there is no “right” way to do them.  These are two tools that I will continue indefinitely.

I am creative and an artist.  I have something unique, that only I can offer.  This is true for everyone.

Creativity is a spiritual journey that requires trust, release, relinquishing control and faith.

Affirmations do work!  For me, I have to keep them short and relevant to where I’m at…and not have too many of them.

Identifying my enemies and monsters goes a long way towards ending their power over me.

Creativity needs space and time.

Possibilities, opportunities and synchronicity are abundant.  It’s important to prepare for them, watch for them and acknowledge them.

It’s important to establish what I need for stability and flow.  The “mix” is different for everyone.

I have to know how to deal with gains and losses, successes and failures.

Gratitude must be present…always.

Creativity lies in the doing, not in the done.

The purpose of the work is the work.

My inner artist is a child.  I need to be protective of her, treasure her, pamper her and let her play.

Art and its expression is as diverse as the people who create it.

My artistic credibility is between me, God and my work.

The journey up to this point has been amazing.  Now, it continues.  Next week, I’ll tell you about the new adventure.  It is completely different!

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 5 Comments

April 24

The Truth

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I wish you all a Happy Easter.  On this holy day, I’d like to share a favorite video written and produced by my church, Granger Community Church.  I hope it inspires you and makes you think of the possibility of a world turned upside-down.

 

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 4 Comments

April 23

30 Days to Understanding the Bible

30 Days to Understanding the Bible is a great way to get a very simple, thorough overview of the Bible.  It covers key eras, characters, places, events and ideas.  There are a lot of graphs and charts that are helpful if you’re a visual learner.  Whether you want to learn more about the Bible for historical, literary or spiritual reasons, this is a great place to start.

An interesting fact that I learned…The poetical book of Job occurs during the time period cover by the historical book of Genesis although chronologically, the book of Job comes after the book of Esther in the Bible.  I did not know that!

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 2 Comments

April 22

The Bank Job

This film is based on the 1971 Baker Street robbery (one of the most lucrative bank robberies in British history).  This semi-fictional version of the robbery puts forth the theory that the robbery was set up to secure sexually compromising photographs of Princess Margaret.  The subject is fascinating as are the characters.  Some of the bad guys turn out to be good guys and some of the good guys turn out to be bad guys and some of the bad guys are actually bad guys.  The primary interest is the story and an interesting story it is.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 4 Comments

April 21

Plastic Egg = Place Card

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Inspiration:

When I was making the yarn egg, this idea popped into my head.

Supplies:

Plastic Easter Egg

Fine Grit Sandpaper

Glue

Chalkboard Paint (I used Krylon)

Chalk

1.  Lightly sand the plastic egg surface.

2.  Glue the two halves together.

3.  Spray the egg according to the manufacturer’s directions.  With the Krylon Chalkboard spray paint, at least two coats must be applied to create a chalkboard finish.  Allow 24 hours to dry.

4.  Break-in the chalkboard surface by rubbing the full area with the side of the chalk.  Then, erase entire surface.

5.  Write your guest’s name on the egg and you have a unique place card for your Easter table.

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 4 Comments