Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year’s Resolutions…..

1. Revise one of my novels and send to agents.

2. Blog more.

3. Cook more interesting/healthy dinners.

4. Start a visual diary (because it sounds cool.)

5. Find ways to make more money.

6. Find ways to save money.

7. Stop using treadmill as drying rack and use as an actual treadmill.

8. Be more assertive at work.

9. Rip up the ugly old carpets in the bed room & front hall, redo floors

10. Print & frame wedding pictures.

Happy New Year!

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Picturebook Friday ~ Birdie’s Big-Girl Shoes

OK, so I am going to attempt to review at least one  picturebook every Friday….we’ll see how that goes.

First up is…….

Little Brown, 2009

My library page, Ali, has incredibly good taste in all things, especially picturebooks. She gives me a list of books to order every once in awhile that she’s found online and this was one of them. It’s a cute story and I am in love with Sujean Rim’s gorgeous illustrations. Watercolor and collage combine to make wonderfully whimsical and colorful images, and work well to juxtapose a little girl’s fantasy with her mother’s drool-worthy and very pointy high heels.

Birdie “helps” her mother get dressed in the morning and dreams of how much more fun everything would be if she could only wear high heels. Her mother tells her she’ll “have years and years to wear high heels,” but eventually relents after much big-eyed pleading. Birdie rushes to choose a pair, and instantly feels “glamorous.” However, her mother’s shoes are not quite as fun to dance in, or play hide and seek, or do cartwheels in as she thought they would be. In the end, Birdie realizes her own bare feet are  much more fun and she decides she isn’t ready for big-girl shoes – not yet, anyways.

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Sasha in All Her Shredded Wrapping Paper Glory

After a tough morning of shredding every single piece of wrapping paper, every box and every bow, Sasha took a long, well deserved nap and dreamed of Christmases to come…..

 

 

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Book Review

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG. I have a girl-crush on Mindy Kaling. No. I have an actual crush on Mindy Kaling. Honestly, this book is hilarious. I saw Mindy speak at BEA in New York this past spring. She introduced Jeffrey Eugenides, Charlaine Harris and Diane Keaton at an author breakfast, and (though I secretly went specifically to see Charlaine Harris because I am a huge fan of Sookie Stackhouse) I thought Mindy was so funny and eloquent, and she really was the best part of the whole thing. (I felt so sad when Diane got choked up!)

I read the excerpt of this book, which I received at the breakfast, and I was so excited to read the rest. I kept reading passages to my husband and laughing in the middle of them so that he eventually had to hide out from me until I finished. The pictures are priceless. And no, it’s not Tina Fey’s book, but it might just be a super close second…..just kidding, Mindy. You Rock! Not that you will read this and even if you did, you’d be like “gee, another awesome review of my book, *Yawn*.)

But I hope you don’t.  ❤

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Apple Tree Christmas

(Reposted from Guinea Pig Writers)

When I decorate my house for any holdiday, I love to display my holiday-themed picture books. Most of these are books I had when I was younger and simply could not part with when I moved into my own house. One of my favorites is Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble.

Katrina, her younger sister Josie, and their mother and father live in the end of a cozy old barn, with their animals living underneath. Near the barn is an old apple tree, where the family picks apples to make pies, cider and apple fritters, and they choose the most beautiful apples to decorate their Christmas tree. The girls spend many hours playing in the old tree, Josie on her swing made from the grape vines that grow around the tree, and Katrina in her “studio” – a branch where she draws her pictures. A fierce winter blizzard rages for three days, while the family and animals are snug in the warm barn. They make it through the storm, but the old apple tree does not and to Katrina, it just does not feel like Christmas anymore. But Christmas Day brings surprises for both Josie and Katrina, as they realize their beloved tree is not gone after all. And it finally feels like Christmas to Katrina.

I love this book because it makes me feel all warm and cozy. The watercolor illustrations are lovely. The story takes place in the year 1881 and has that simple, old-fashioned feel, but not so much that children can’t relate to it. I was an artist growing up, so I could relate to Katrina’s sadness at losing her art studio. I was also a big fan of Little House in the Big Woods – it was the only book I had from the Little House series and so far I have still not read the rest! But Apple Tree Christmas has that same “Laura Ingalls” quality that I love to this day.

Happy Holidays!!!

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Sunday Quiz – Famous Female Heroines

I haven’t posted a quiz in awhile, so here is a short one that I thought was pretty good from Funtrivia.com. I got 9 out of 10 right. I’m not familiar with the last book, but I’ve read all the others, so it was pretty easy for me.

 

Famous Female Heroines in Children’s Literature

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Harry Potter Club

Here are some crafts we’ve done in Harry Potter Club in the past few months!

For one meeting we did a “Dragon Study.” I grabbed all the books we had with illustrations and “facts” about dragons and put them out. Then I read descriptions of the different dragon breeds from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The kids looked at the books and tried to find pictures that looked like the descriptions I read. They drew some of their favorites. We also talked about where these dragons appeared in the different HP books.

I believe this is a Welsh Green...or possibly a mixed breed 🙂

Quill Pens

These are super easy to make. All you need is a pen that you can take apart, a feather and some glue. Cut the end of the feather – this will leave the plastic part hollow. Remove the ink “part” (I don’t know what it’s called) and push it inside the hollow feather. You probably want to use a glue gun or super glue to make it stay. The book I borrowed the idea from did not mention putting the outer plastic pen-shell back on, but it seemed like it would make the pen easier to hold/use. Plus you could put the cap back on. You can also do this with a mechanical pencil.

Golden Snitch Ornaments: A variation on the Golden Snitch magnets we made a while ago, except we used foam balls and ornament wire-hanger things. Also gold glitter. This one took a little while to dry. Some kids just glued on some gold tissue paper that we had. Very easy to make – just stick white pipe cleaners into the foam ball and decorate. You can even decorate and then put in the pipe cleaners. It seemed to work OK both ways.

Remembralls

This is what Neville’s Gran sends him in the first book. It is a glass ball that turns red when its owner has forgotten something. Malfoy steals it during their first flying lesson, and Harry takes off after him to get it back, and does so well that he ends up as one of the youngest Seekers on a Hogwarts Quidditch team in years. Yes, this little Remembrall is very important!

I found the glitter balls in a Wal-Mart clearance bin for $1.50. We used Sculpy to make a ring around the ball – this one I actually glued down with a glue gun before it hardened so it would stay on once it dried. Then I glued some rhinestones on it for a bit of “flair.” The kids did some really cool things with them – making stands for them and different patterns, etc. Of course, I forgot my camera so I only have pictures of my samples. They were fun to create and they make interesting conversation pieces. (Sadly, this is not the weirdest thing on my desk in my office.)

I got most of these ideas from this book:

It has some really great ideas that are easy and don’t cost too much. The kids want to make the “Monster Book of Monsters” next month…..wish me luck!

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