Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Resolutions

I don't care what other people say, I love New Year's Resolutions. It's the perfect starting point for me, or starting-over point.

I know that you do better with goals if you write them down and if you have "do-by" (or in librarian-speak "DUE-by" hee hee I kill myself) dates. So, here's my list.

1. Give up Diet Pepsi (and Diet Coke). I need to give up the addictions. It's time for my body to become my own again. Other sodas aren't really a problem, so I'm not counting them in this resolution, but they might be added if they become such. (The husband will be the guide for this)

2. Give up Dove chocolate. Oh the pain. See #1. Addiction. (It's been really good to have been sick with the flu the past three days - makes it not taste good)

3. Write and post my How to Make Folded Books tutorial on my Etsy site by Jan. 31st.

I suppose I could go on, but these three goals are the ones that are topmost in my mind. I need to do them the most. As the year goes on, I'll probably add more...

Monday, December 28, 2009

In the Midst of my Chaos

I found this while scrolling through my blogroll - a featured item on Folding Trees! It's been a nice thing to happen to me in the midst of all this soul-searching I've been doing. You think that there's nothing about yourself good, but then you find someone appreciates some beauty you add to the world.

Thank you Folding Trees!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Contemplation


Those talking-to's my bosses gave me last week have gotten me to thinking about similar incidents I've had over the years. So many of the rough spots I've been in in life have stemmed from times when I've acted in the same way. In other words, I'm seeing myself in a new light and it ain't a pretty sight.

I talk too much. I'm many other things besides this that I'll never share in my blog - it's hard enough to share them with myself. I read a passage in my latest favorite books that sums up a quality I never valued before, but am doing so now:

" You have a grand gift of silence, Watson," said he. " It makes you quite invaluable as a companion."

And there is a scripture from the New Testament about Mary where she took all these things and pondered them in her heart.

I wonder what would happen if I were quieter...

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Couldn't Make This Up

I got a talking-to by the head of the main library about my weeding practices.

I got a verbal warning from my branch supervisor about a mistake I made with time sheets over scheduling hours without permission. (In this library system, you train yourself. There is no manual. I goofed on something I didn't know I was doing wrong, but like the captain of his ship, I am responsible for my actions...)

An email came from the head of our library system that we are being evaluated for outsourcing library services like Riverside County Library.

A retired librarian from Riverside County Library came up to my desk and said, "I used to be a librarian in Riverside County and I'm visiting your library for an hour while I'm waiting for my train." She told me all about when their system was outsourced 10 years ago.

And it's only 2:45. I still have more than three hours to go.

I want my mommy!

Weird how grownups don't feel grownup sometimes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh My...



I'm questioning myself right now with the stuff I put in my shop. Is it okay to make things I would NEVER wear? To sell, I mean. I have people make suggestions for phrases to make into jewelry and some of them are quite clever. Some are slightly sexy. It's not that I don't like them - I think they are funny. But I am not the type of person to wear something that says HEY I'M SEXY LOOK AT ME.

*gulp*

I mean, I make fun of sexy things. That says a lot about me, I guess.

That I think sexy is private?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Art After Books or, Why I Fold Books


Why make art out of books?

I have always been a prolifically creative person. That means I have an obsessive need to make things, but I don't spend a lot of time on any one of these things. During college, one of my personal challenges for my art was to let myself take more than five minutes at a time to do it! Friends of mine would fiddle with one painting for what seemed like forever. I had to do a painting in a day or work on several at once, flitting from one to the next in a constant circuit.

Over the years, I have tried a multitude of crafts - that word meaning "different forms of making." I dislike the word 'craft' in that it brings to mind tole painting or sticking cartoon speech balloons to photographs. Hokey. Ill-made. Dust-catcher. In it's original form, 'craft' actually meant: make by hand and with much skill.

I've learned basket-weaving, paper-making, stained glass, bookbinding, quilting, oil painting, sculpture, welding/casting, baking, sewing and probably many other things that I just can't remember right now. One thing that has always held me back is cost. I simply can't afford to make things at the rate (and skill level I have the patience for) that I, uh, make them.

So, I mulled it over on the backburner of my mind for a long time. I needed a craft that I could make a lot of, get the supplies for readily, was "me" and I could afford.

And then Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion had an article in one of their magazines about folding books. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I usually tear out magazine articles and hold on to them for years, never doing anything with them. Not so with this one! I found an old book and got to work that night, folding away.

It was wonderful. I had a piece of work that I was proud of in just a few hours. I love books (as evidenced by the fact that I own about a billion of them, have worked in bookstores or libraries for my whole life and consider reading to be both good for you and fun, too) and saw the potential for using old, unloved books in new and exciting ways.

So I use old books to make art. After a lot of trial and error, using all different sizes and shapes of books, I decided that Reader's Digest Condensed books give me the most consistent results in what counts: number of pages, quality of paper, and size of finished piece. This is not to mention the fact that RDC Books are in great abundance (for people donate them in quantity to libraries and thrift stores), they are cheap (see previous fact), they are well-made in terms of both binding and paper quality, and, lastly, they are not valuable anymore in terms of the information they hold.

That makes them perfect.