Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Outlander by Gil Adamson


It was my turn to lead the discussion at our monthly book club, Books and Brews, and I was given The Outlander by Gil Adamson.  Apparently I didn't fall on my face during the discussion so I take that as a win.

The Outlander has won many awards including Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award 2008, ReLit Award for Fiction, Drummer General's Award and Dashiell Hammett Award.  

Gil (Gillian) Adamson was born 1 Jan 1961 in North York.  She studied philosophy and anthropology at the University of Toronto.  She is the author of two poetry collections, Primitive and Ashland, as well as writing short stories for magazines, journals and collections.

Adamson's original idea was a young woman, dressed in black, running like hell.  She wrote poems on this theme but was never satisfied.  After 10 years, the novel emerged.

I really enjoyed this book for two very simple reasons.  First, it is Canadian, and I find so many Canadian writers are more artistic when it comes to writing.  They seem to spend more time discovering just the right word or description to convey meaning.  Canadian writers are generally brave and new and lyrical.  Second, the characters were so enjoyable and eccentric and easy to connect to.

The main character is Mary Boulton who, at age 19, was "newly widowed by her own hand."  Mary killed her brutish, cruel, and philandering husband, John, after her newborn baby dies.  Despite her pain and probable mental illness as a result of her upbringing and marriage, Mary is never seen as a damsel in distress.  She is a strong character, cunning, resourceful, adaptive and resilient.  These are skills she needs as she runs from her husband's twin brothers, bent on bringing her to justice, frontier justice.

Another interesting character is William Moreland who is known as the Ridgerunner.  The Ridgerunner is a rough mountain man who does not fit into society and has had run ins with the law.  He falls in love with Mary but finds even she is too much civilization for him.

There are many more interesting characters that will pique your interest and draw you in.  Reverend Bonnycastle, whose sermons are more boxing match than religious service and McEchern the dwarf who owns a small business in the mining town who makes most of his money from moonshine and stolen horses are two of my favourites.

Seriously, read this book. 

Wedding #2


Wedding #2

2.5" x 3.5"

$1.50


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Wedding #1


Wedding #1

2" x 2.5"

$1.50


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Winter


Winter

3" x 7"

$4.00


May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Craft Room Organization Challenge #9

Annual Organization Challenge Week #9 

Inspiration for scrapbook pages is everywhere - how best to organize it so that it's actually USEFUL?



First consider cutting up your magazines and idea books, and only saving the ideas that you really plan to use. Magazines and idea books only sit on you shelves, they aren't really useful. It can take hours to go through your books to find the one layout you remember. Having your ideas in a condensed form, arranged in a way that makes sense to you is much more effective.  If you are able to cut up your magazines, here are some ideas for arranging them:
  • theme (holidays, birthday, babies, pets, travel etc)
  • number of photos used in the layout
  • journaling ideas
  • colours
  • quotes
  • techniques

Now that you've decided how to arrange them, where to store them?  A few ideas:
  • a composition book or some other kind of sketchbook: you can sketch in here and adhere page ideas into it It's also portable, so you can take it with you to crops!  
  • an index card box: adhere your ideas to index cards
  • idea file folders. Place your ideas inside file folders and label the index tab.  Store in a portable file box.  Add catagories as needed.
·       binder with page protectors: tuck clippings into the page protectors

Okay,  you have decided you are NOT cutting up your magazines. 

SORT: Make sure that the magazines and books are still relevant to you. If you are holding onto magazines more than a year or two old, REALLY make sure they still interest you. Sort them into piles: KEEP, DONATE, SELL, TOSS

PURGE: Trash the TOSS pile.  Arrange immediate drop-off or pick-up of the DONATE pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile.

ASSIGN: sort your magazines/books by title/date of issue, and consider storing your books and magazines down low due to their weight.

CONTAINERIZE: store in boxes or magazine holders.

EQUALIZE: Consider getting varied colours of post-it flags, and setting up categories for ideas. Each time you get a new book or magazine, flag the pages you like according to your system, s
o that you an easily see from the outside of your books which one might have an idea applicable to the project you are working on.

Only one week left . . . how's your space looking now?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wizard



Wizard

4" x 7.5"

$6.00

BUY

May not be exactly as shown.  Each piecing is individually handmade.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Craft Room Organization Challenge #8

Annual Organization Challenge Week #8 

   

Organizing our "paper cosmetics": paint, inks, embossing powders and other products that add a little something special to our pages.

SORT: first go through each of these items and make sure your colours haven't expired.  Are ink pads still juicy?  Are lids still intact? Do paints still mix together when shaken? Are your chalks still intact enough to use?  Sort all of your paper cosmetics into TOSS, KEEP, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Throw out the toss items.  Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them immediately in your garage sale box.  Arrange for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into categories that make sense to you.

CONTAINERIZE: Inks last longest when stored horizontally, upside down (that's why Stampin' Up ink pads flip that way!) on a shelf, in a drawer, or maybe a cassette tape holder?  Paints could be stacked on a narrow shelf, on a tiered rack, in spice racks, etc.  Embossing powders, chalks and other cosmetics could be stored in well-labeled drawers.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your paper cosmetics away where they belong.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Paper Piecings that begin with P


Paintbrush
1.25" x 6.5"
$1.00


Parrot Mom
5" x 5"
$2.50



Party Dress
$3.00


Patio Lantern
2" x 2.5"
$1.00


Paw Patrol:  Rubble
2 x 3"
$4.50


Pencil #1
1" x 3.5"
$1.00


Pencil #2
1" x 6"
$1.00


Penguin
3" x 5.5"
$2.50



Penguin with Ice Cube #2
$3.00



Pie #1
2" x 5.5"
$1.00


Pie #2
3.5" x 4.5"
$1.50


Pliers
2" x 5.5"
$1.50



Poinsettia
4" x 5"
$3.00


Pom Pom
2" x 2"
$1.50


Pony #1
4" x 6"
$3.00


Pony #2
$3.00


Porpoise
3" x 4"
$1.50


Princess Hat and Wand
3" x 4"
$2.00


Pumpkin #1
3" x 4"
$2.00


Pumpkin #2
2" x 3.5"
$2.50


Purple Fish
2" x 5"
$2.50


Purse
2" x 4"
$2.00