Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Repeating Patterns With Fancy Folding

My Fancy Fonts and Shapes tutorial teaches you how to fold nearly any type of script or pattern into a folded book by making your own templates. I got the idea to combine the concepts in FF&S with my Basic Folded Books tutorial where I show how to make repeating patterns to then make a hybrid type of pattern using a fancy font design and repeats.

This hybrid pattern involves breaking up a fancy fonts design into three parts: Start, Repeat and End. You'd make up three sets of cards - one for each part of the pattern. You'd then fold one set of the Start pattern, repeat as many of the Repeat patterns as you had pages for, and leave enough pages to fold one set of the End pattern.

If you click on the image below, you can print it out and create your own template(s) to fold a REALLY fancy book - one that looks like a huge long pattern which is adaptable to ANY size book that has enough room for at least one set of each part of the original pattern.

This Reader's Digest book had 287 fold-able pages. I had enough pages to 1) make the Start 2) repeat the middle pattern (Repeat) four times and then 3) had enough pages for the end until I messed up (had to tear out 10 pages) and ended up being three pages short. Still, the idea is sound, even if my  folding wasn't.If you had a book with fewer pages, you'd do fewer linked hearts. More pages? Yay! A huge LOOOOOOOONG line of hearts! Woot!

What other repeating patterns can you come up with for repeating fancy patterns?

Monday, February 17, 2014

When It Doesn't Work

Sometimes a pattern looks great on paper. He♥rts! It'll work.

And then it just DOESN'T.

So, it sits on the shelf and mocks you with its betrayal...

Still, the ♥ itself looks good.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lies The World Tells About Love

A couple weeks ago a co-worker stopped by my desk and opened conversation with this:

"Your husband needs to die."

I disagreed with her - mostly because we don't have enough insurance on him yet.

This friend had been through a pretty bad breakup in the very recent past, so I knew her comment wasn't a literal wish, but a desire to have some misery to keep her company. And also because (in her words) "He keeps saying exactly the right thing at the right time." It never occurred to me that other people noticed the back and forth Brian and I have on my Facebook posts.

Another incident at work was just yesterday when a bunch of women were talking about how much they wished they had a guy in their lives. They were musing about what he should look like (tall, dark, tattooed, The Rock) and asked me my opinion. I said, "Oh, I'm fine. I'm happy with my husband." They laughed amongst themselves and said, "Your husband *is* perfect."

I went back to my desk, pondering their comment. I knew my husband didn't meet their standard of looks and no one is very impressed by him when they first meet because he's so soft-spoken. In fact, the first time I spoke to him on the phone I couldn't believe it was the same guy I'd met in person who was so animated.

And he doesn't walk so much as glide like a cat, or an ice-skater, or a ballerina dancer. I worried a bit about that, too. Fortunately, it turns out his kung fu training is responsible for him walking like that. After seeing him fight in kung fu classes, I knew that glide to be a very deadly asset.

These two conversations played over and over in my head because 1) Other people think I have a great husband and 2) I have been wondering a lot about Brian's and my differences and what that means in a marriage. I will come right out and say it: We are not compatible in a lot of ways. Most of these are things that the world or Hollywood deems important. I don't think we will ever meet in the middle on some issues or desires or goals. Sometimes this causes problems, real roadblocks, in our relationship. Sometimes I wonder why God felt that Brian was such a good match for me when it is obvious (to me) we are not two peas in a pod. We can't compare to the love relationship of The Pioneer Woman and her Marlboro Man nor of other blogs I read where the wives speak of their husbands as though the hearts o' love float about their heads constantly. I couldn't keep a straight face if I tried to describe my relationship with Brian as lovey-dovey or hand-holdy or mooning eyes crazy for each other.

So, what is my marriage? Do I love him? Are we soul mates? Are we MEANT for each other?

I am guessing that is the wrong question to ask.

Brian and I were married on July 9, 2005 in the Los Angeles Mormon temple. I was 37 and he was 35. I had never been married and he had been married once before to a very bad choice. I had a master's degree, had traveled the world and several accomplishments under my belt. Brian had no post high school education, still lived within one mile of his parents' house and a long history of failures. We didn't match and some questioned my motive to marry someone so unequal. They supposed I was simply doing it to change my status from spinster to wife. It didn't help our case that we'd only met five months previous.

The Mormon wedding ceremony is actually very short - maybe 10 minutes and that with the officiator taking his time and giving us advice (he told Brian to make sure to give me flowers often). We joined hands over the altar and then Brian was asked if he would be my husband. I was then asked if I would give myself to Brian to be his wife (I love the Gospel and how everything is a choice). We were next given promises that if we were faithful, we would inherit all that God has to give. As I was looking at Brian over the altar, I kept thinking "Am I doing the right thing? Did I make the right choice? All these people are watching. Holy cow, it's too late now." We had entered into a covenant with each other and the Lord to make a marriage. But my heart wasn't worried a bit. Only my head.

So, what question should I ask? Did I make the right choice? Does compatibility in the romantic worldly sense form a required foundation for a relationship? Should I have chosen someone else more like myself or been happy to be alone?

As I sit here, I'm not sure of the perfect question, but I know the answer to this one: Could I live more happily without him?

The answer is a quiet, fervent NO. I can't imagine life without Brian. I don't get heart-swelling waves of love when I look at him, but I am unsettled when he's not home or asleep next to me. I roll my eyes when he starts talking about some subjects (*cough* politics), but I am really proud of how well-spoken and intelligently he frames his case. Sometimes his child-rearing techniques are a bit worrisome ("Has Kiff had dinner?" "Oh, I guess he hasn't. I wasn't hungry."), but he is one of the most thoughtful and present dads I have ever met. He gets the kids and understands their motives for so many things. And he tries ardently to TEACH them. He would rather spend time with them than anything else. Even over spending time with me. Hmph.

Here's what I have that I never hear about with other people. Or at least, I never hear of as a pillar of a powerful relationship. I am completely at peace when he is near. Even if we are disagreeing (or downright arguing), I only feel peace in my heart. Isn't that strange? Perhaps peace is a stronger emotion for me than romantic folderol.

I'm not sure whether or not this post has a satisfying conclusion. I thought I could answer 'what is love', but I think I've found the answer for myself that I am with someone who makes me feel perfectly peaceful and still in my soul. And I love that about Brian because I've spent most of my life in soul-jangling chaos.

Maybe God did know what he was giving me...

Edit: I posted the link to this blog entry on my Facebook page last night. This morning I woke up to a barrage of comments and a poem from my husband: 

I met a girl who didn't agree with everything I said
So I had to think better thoughts
I met a girl who didn't cater to my every whim
So I had to be more careful about my desires
I met a girl who didn't laugh at all my jokes
So I had to improve my sense of humor
I met a girl who needed things I couldn't give
So I had to learn new skills
I met a girl who didn't think I was perfect
So I had to be a better man
I met a girl I couldn't live without
So I married her for all eternity

I love you

February 14, 2014

(I'm the luckiest girl alive right this second)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Reading With Scissors - a Great Folded Books Website!

Love by Stephanie Pounds

Stephanie Pounds of Reading With Scissors and I go way back. I'd figured out how to make fancy fonts and she was right behind me with figuring it out, too. We did a lot of emailing back and forth while she perfected her technique. And LOOK at what she's done with it! I still want to know how she makes her curves so perfect... They are like a curvy dream... Curvy lurve...

I ♥ you by Stephanie Pounds

Don't you love what she does with changing the backing paper? Check out these and more of her books at her website and Etsy shop. I only teach you how to make folded books, but she sells the finished product. Lots of custom stuff to be had!

In case any of you are interested in learning how I make fancy folded books, feel free to check out my shop. You, too, can develop your technique and create wonderful things with How to Fold Fancy Fonts and Shapes. Show the love this Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sassy Heart

 Here's a sassy heart for a cloudy day. Keep your fingers crossed that it keeps raining here in California. We're 1/10th the way back from a drought (we've had 1 really good storm - only 9 more to go to be good again!).

Here's the drawing I used to make that sassy heart. If you want, click on the picture to save it to your computer and print it out on graph paper to make your own sassy heart. Happy Valentine's Week!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Double Hearts

I'm trying some new heart designs. This one is a double heart with the overlapping area "filled in". You know, because being with a true love completes you. Then you have kids and they deplete you. *grin*

I love Valentine's Day. I've never really like the romantic love aspect of it because that divides people too much into the Haves vs. the Have Nots. Blech. I think what I love are the hearts and the chocolate. Chocolate fills me. Out.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Perfect Pretzel Rolls

Pinterest is my enemy and my friend. It's like shopping in that if you keep seeing the same thing again and again, you're eventually going to buy it because you can't get it out of your head. I couldn't get these pretzel rolls out of my head. There are several different recipes out there. I tried one from Mel's Kitchen Cafe randomly and it worked well enough. Here is the basic recipe with my own directions.

Pretzel Rolls

1 cup milk, warm
3/4 cup water, warm
1 tsp salt
1 T oil
4 cups bread flour

make in bread machine on dough setting

Boiling Solution (pretend you're doing potions!)
3 quarts water
1/4 cup baking soda
1 T. sugar

**prepare 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper  to bake 8 rolls on each
** preheat oven to 400°


Make your bread dough with a bread machine. Otherwise, use a nice cookbook to find instructions.

Divide dough into 16 sections and make into balls. I like to pinch the dough on the bottom to create a slight mushroom shape which I then keep pinching on the bottom, creating a nice tight ball shape. I tuck the ends under and it looks fancy.

Bring the boiling solution to ... uh, a boil.

It looks supernatural to me. (I pretend I'm at Hogwarts.) Put in a few balls of dough and boil for 1 minute. Turn them over and boil another 30 seconds or so.

Take them out with a slotted spoon and put them on the cookie sheets nicely.

I put 8 on each sheet.

Score the top of each roll with a razor. Don't deflate the dough by using any old knife. Razoring breaks the top of the cooked dough without squishing it and allows the roll to expand as it bakes. It also makes a beautiful color patterns on the dough.

Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are lovely and brown.

We ate these plain, but I think they would be great made into sliders or little sandwiches for a party. They really tasted like pretzels. My teenaged son put it on our list of "Foods to Keep Making". That's a win for the Eddys!

p.s. The original instructions called for baking the rolls at 425° for 22 minutes, but my parchment paper nearly caught fire, so I have modified the instructions to save you from possibly burning down your house in the pursuit of pretzel rolls. You're welcome.

{edit 2/9/14:  I made more of these with polish sausage in the middle and they baked up GREAT! Think bagel dogs, only homemade!!!}

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Goodbye Gift

One of my most favorite people at the library got a new job and left us today. In honor of Berta's going, I made her a book. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it because, in my tiny brain, if I took a picture, SHE'D KNOW WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE BEFORE I GAVE IT TO HER.Therefore, Berta took a picture for me and posted it that evening. It says "Berta" and has a heart on either side of her name.

I'm sure people look at me when I do stuff like that and cluck their tongues, shake their heads and murmur "All that education and not a drop of sense."

Luckily, Berta took a picture FOR me and I'm posting it here. See? My favorite part is the 'e' shaped like a heart.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What Would You Like Me to Blog About?

Dear Readers - I've been giving a lot of thought as to what I want to share and do in my blog this year. I know that in the past I've tried just talking to myself and making the blog for me.

Guess what? I'm not interested in me quite that much. I know I've shared several things with you over the years I've had the blog - mostly folded books, watercolor, paper art, some cooking, some family and many thoughts and musings.

I've loved it when you've given me feedback and comments. It's wonderful to see flickers of light and love out there.

So, my question to you is --

What do you want me to share with you?

I have a few ideas, but I in no way want you to feel like this is all I'll do:

1. Folded books - ideas for embellishing, designs, ups and downs, failures and triumphs
2. Watercolors
3. Paper art
4. Cooking - candy, chicken, (candied chicken?), family menus for families who are VERY PICKY, etc.
5. Goals
6. Spiritual views
7. Family
8. Dream house ideas - I want to turn my house into a fantasyland for art. My husband is actually okay with that. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Anyway, maybe I can get brave and go ahead and trim my doorways with rocks and cut branches, paper my walls with book boards, hang my curtains on tree branches... whaddaya think?

And I'm open to other ideas.

I'd like to post at least once, maybe twice a week for a whole year. I want to experience and share and LIVE.

Please let me know your opinions. If you prefer, you can email me directly (princessheah{at}yahoo{dot}com)!

Thanks to all in advance,