Thursday, April 28, 2011

Phases Folded Book

Just a few projects I've been working on that will be in the shop soon...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kanzashi Flowers

I love looking at books where they make fiddly things with fabric. It's an enjoyable challenge to take anything that can be made with fabric and then make it with paper. I found this book called Kanzashi in Bloom (at my library) which shows you how to make three simple flower petal shapes from squares of paper. You make up several petals and sew them together to make flowers.

I have been making up dozens of petals and figuring out different ways to make pins from them. Although I don't like hot glue as a major element in art, it has a purpose here in small amounts. After I sew the petals together, I dab a bit of glue on the back to hold the centers together firmly. I then sew the flowers to fabric covered pin-back badges I have made. Although they won't hold up forever if they are treated roughly, paper is remarkably strong. I wore the first one I made to church a couple of weeks ago. Of course, that is the day that Kiff wanted to sit on my lap and bang his fifty-pound head on my chest and shoulders. Most of the blows felt like they landed on the flower. At the end of the hour, the flower was still good. Take that you four-year-old!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Folk Heart Folded Book

I'm folding books again! This is a design based on a folk heart shape - more of an elongated form...

Friday, April 22, 2011


The other day we had a family bring in a sad donation. They had boxes of books and magazines from their mom's house. They were cleaning it out because she was going into a rest home. I am a bit jaded about this after all these years of working in the library. People bring us boxes of books thinking that Every. Single. One. Is. A. Treasure.

They aren't. Libraries are contemporary institutions. We don't warehouse dusty tomes. That's only in the movies, folks. We have standards about what we keep and what we don't. Believe it or not: WE THROW THINGS AWAY. It's called weeding and it's my favorite job at the library.

Anyway, they were sad and so was I, but for a different reason The haul looked like garbage. Then I moved a box and saw magazines. My heart sank a little further. We NEVER add magazines to the library collection. Why people give these to us is just a groaner to me. But then I saw what they were:

 Do you remember Victoria magazine from the 80's and 90's? It was The Most Beautiful Magazine Ever. Every page had pretty decorations and clothes and was sprinkled with quotes and poetry. Yes, sometimes it was a bit stuffy, but still...

I brought home ALL of them (paid $4.00 for this treasure) and put them next to my bed. That night I opened up my first one. As I went through it, all these wonderful feelings ebbed through me. It was so ... pretty. I felt invigorated with beauty. I was reminded of what I find wonderous and pretty and inspiring and comforting. I am so glad to have a dozen more to look through.

In addition to finding things that I love in there, it is also refreshing not to see some things - there was no nudity in ads, no website addresses, no mention of "green" or "climate" or "recycle" or "repurpose" or any of those words that are so overused in my day to day life.

Mental and spiritual refreshment, Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!


It's my birthday today. I decided to ask Brian for a special gift - Time for Me. I've asked that I have a couple of hours to myself on Wednesday evenings where I'm not expected (or asked) to join in activities with him or anyone else. I need time to work on my projects without guilt.

I don't know if I'll ever feel guilt-free about doing my own thing, but it's a start. 

At work today I was treated to a homemade strawberry buttermilk cake with a THICK layer of cream cheese frosting. My patrons were so kind and all wished me Happy Birthday (because when they asked how I was doing I told them IT'S MY BIRTHDAY AND I'M HAVING A GREAT DAY! - shameless self-promotion, I know). Then Brian made fried chicken for dinner and I am looking forward to a visit from my sister April this weekend... 
All in all, an excellent day. Maybe I can talk my hubby into turning in early... :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Golden Empire

Kern County is also known as the Golden Empire. A lot of the stores and local thingies around here use the words 'Kern' or 'Kern County' or 'Golden' or 'Empire' or any combination of "Kern County Golden Empire." (see note at bottom) in the names of their businesses. It gets old after a while... ANYWAY - our family went on a spontaneous trip this past weekend to the river which is just a few miles up the canyon from our house.

With all the snow this past winter, the river was running fast and furious. We found a few places along the river that didn't look like we'd all be swept away in an instant so that we could shoot slingshots and collect rocks for our back patio fireplace. I kept Kiff on a leash the whole time because he's so much of a daredevil he'd go out in the water in no time and I'd be less one son. (And one heart)

Look! Gold(en Empire- get it?)! At $1500/oz, maybe I should learn to pan for it... The sand along the edge of the river is black like lava sand. It glitters with something. Gold? Iron pyrite? Prolly.

Rushing rivers! Thumbs up! It captures the sense of awe and wonder nicely.  I'm learning the girl in my ways, too...

My son's name is Kenneth Calvin George Eddy. After we named him, we noticed that his initials are the same as Kern County Golden Empire. Hmm... was it the drugs?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The New Me

People who have worked for the library like to stay in touch even after they go elsewhere (as long as they weren't fired). One particular woman, Elaine, came in every week. She had the most beautiful long blond hair. One day she came in with a cute shorter cut. Her daughter was in beauty school and had shorn her locks...

I began to notice other women and their hair. Women actually spent money on their hair. I am really against high-maintenance lifestyles (hair, nails, waxing, etc.), but thought: Hmm... maybe I should do something real with mine. The gray has started to grow in. Although I *love* the color of my hair, the gray is going to age me right into the librarian stereotype.

Therefore, goal number 73 was "get my hair done professionally."

I began asking around to all of my fellow library workers. The prices of hair-doing made me blanch. Still, I wanted to see if getting my hair done by someone other than myself would make a difference. But I was going to have to save up for it... or take a second out on my house.

The answer to the problem came when I went to the bagel shop next to my library for the first time. The sweet young thing behind the counter and I started talking (I never shut up) and she mentioned that her mom used to work at the library.Then it clicked. She was Elaine's daughter... I liked this kid. I wanted *her* to cut my hair.

Tawny (isn't that just the type of name a hairdresser has?) offered to do a cut and color for only $30. And she said she WOULD COME TO MY HOUSE.

We made a date. Her mom drove her. She did my hair. I felt wonderfully pampered. She washed my hair. She colored it. She cut it. She STYLED it (into a style I will *never* do again as it made me look very "Oildale"). All the time, I talked to her and her mom. All that time, my 4-year old talked to both of them. And they didn't mind. Even when he came into the kitchen buck naked. Oh yeah.

Here's me:

I like this picture. I don't look like how I feel most of the time...

I made Brian take a picture with me. He's REALLY cute here, too!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


One of the best things about working in libraries is the relationships you can cultivate with your patrons. In one of my libraries is a frequent patron who raises chickens as a way of dealing with empty-nest issues (chickens? empty nest? hahahahahaha!). I mentioned I'd like to try organic eggs because I'd heard they were fuller tasting. She brought me in an 18-count pack the next time she picked up books.

This week I've interviewed for a job I do not want. I've gotten a tooth pulled. I've not slept well. I've had a weekend that was spent waiting and waiting and waiting for people and not getting enough accomplished.

I'm going into this next week hoping to feel more settled mentally. And then I want to use my fancy new eggs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

BREAD 3: Chocolate Buttermilk Bread

This is a strange bread - only slightly chocolate, but kinda sour-tasting (the buttermilk). I used it to make french toast. Yummity yum yum.

Chocolate Buttermilk Bread

1 1/4 C water
3 T butter
1/4 C buttermilk powder
3 C bread flour
1 1/2 T cocoa powder
1 t salt
2 T sugar
1/2 T yeast
3 oz chopped dark chocolate

Put all ingredients (minus chocolate) in bread machine on sweet bread setting. At the beep, add the chocolate. Make french toast with the end product:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Team Eddy at the Scottish Games

We ate meat pies.

We bought toy swords.

We watched a giant do freaky things

Please notice that the giant has money stapled to his body. Eew!
We watched caber-tosses.

I saw kilts galore.

Brian wore a kilt.

And I knew what was under my husband's kilt.

Brian's probably only one percent Scottish, but oh that one percent...