Thursday, April 14, 2016

No Literary Friday Tomorrow!

Happy Thursday, My Lovelies!  Just a reminder there won't be a Literary Friday post tomorrow because we're taking our sweet daughters on a special field trip.

Here's a hint:






I'll be back next week.  I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!  


Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Random Garden Ramblings

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  Are you enjoying spring so far?  We are although we are very busy finishing-up Shelley's senior year.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to plant.  I don't plant until after April 15th because I've lost so many plants in the past.  But this year we'll have to put off planting for a week or two due to school activities.

One of our patio roses is blooming.  It is really looking good with tons of foliage:



You can see our garden gate in the background




Our fairy roses are also popping out in our front yard



I am so thrilled with our patio roses that I'm tempted to plant more in pots for our deck and patio:



This lovely is from Star Roses and Plants


Here are two videos showing how to plant roses in pots:




How to plant a rose garden in a pot






How to plant a double knock-out rose in a pot




I love floral design, and while I was out shopping I saw these beauties:



Sorry for the dark photo...this display is in a chop window.



This might be my next craft.  These are galvanized buckets decoupaged with vintage wallpaper scraps.  I would love to blend wallpaper and pretty 7 Gypsies craft paper for a one of a kind floral container.  French flower buckets would work well, too.


Speaking of gardens, Shelley and I will be attending the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and one of this year's productions is my favorite play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Shelley is almost finished with her King Lear unit, and once she completes a few sonnet reading and writing assignments, she will have finished with her Shakespeare Tragedies and Sonnets curriculum.  So proud of her hard work and dedication to complete an entire unit in only one semester!  (We're reading A Midsummer Night's Dream just for fun....it's a comedy and not part of her curriculum.)



Shakespeare wrote A Midsummer Night's Dream as a response to Romeo and Juliet's lukewarm reception.  Shakespeare certainly had a sense of humor!



This performance also looks like fun!


Shelley has worked so hard this year, and she has written so many papers.  She's facing a super-massive art history exam, so I think her final grade for Shakespeare will be to memorize Puck's epilogue in A Midsummer Night's Dream:


” If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”




I doubt the groundlings gave Shakespeare's Puck "the serpent's tongue."  He knew how good this play was when he wrote it.  It's a call for well-deserved applause and accolades.  



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Friday, April 8, 2016

Literary Friday: Everyday Matters: A Memoir



Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  It has been quite the literary week here at Art @ Home. We've been reading King Lear for school, and this is the first time I've ever taught the play (I was a high school English teacher in a former life).  This semester has been full of Shakespeare as Shelley is completing an entire unit in one semester.  (She completed the Medieval British Literature class in the fall).  Only one more play to experience after King Lear, and then a couple of sonnets, and she will be finished with high school English forever!

King Lear has been time consuming: Shakespeare is meant to be heard, so I didn't have a lot of time to read this week.  I chose a memoir written by Danny Gregory after discovering his BLOG. We've been reading many art journaling books for Shelley's school curricula, and we've been enjoying art journaling (although I'm having a difficult time "finding my mark" probably because of my preference to oil paints).  

Everyday Matters chronicles Danny Gregory's art journal beginnings after his wife's tragic accident which left her paralyzed.  I enjoyed reading about Gregory's inspirations, motivations, and techniques for art journaling.  I like how he combines prose with his drawings; there's a little story on most pages.  One of my favorite pages is New York City booths and the people who work in them.  I also like his style and use of watercolors and ink.  His art journaling is not only entertaining and instructive, it's inspiring.  I also appreciate Gregory's wit and his ability to find beauty in the mundane.  I wish I'd discovered Gregory's blog and books when Shelley and I began this process her junior year, but better late than never!

Next I plan to read Art Before Breakfast.  





What have you been reading?  This is a link party!  

NOTE:  There will be no Literary Friday next week.  We'll be on a field trip!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



Friday, April 1, 2016

Literary Friday: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend



Good Evening, My Lovelies!  Happy Literary Friday, and I want to apologize for posting so late!
This week I read The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.  She is a Swedish writer, and the English translation is wonderful!

According to Goodreads:

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. 

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.


I adore this book.  Maybe one reason I like it so much is that Broken Wheel reminds me of Cicely, Alaska from my favorite 90's TV show, Northern Exposure.  The characters in both towns are colorful, enthusiastic, and willing to work together for progress.  However, Broken Wheel's citizens lack the sophistication and education of Cicely's tiny populace, but that's okay.

Sara is an interesting character.  She tends to rely on books as security blankets (in our family we would say that the book she's currently reading is her "woobie") especially in social situations.  She prefers the company of books over people, but once she becomes involved in the people's lives in Broken Wheel, she begins to connect with them and wonder about what she should do once her visa expires.  There's really nothing left for her in Sweden: no close friends, her family is distant, and the bookstore where she formerly worked is now closed.  When she discovers the bedroom/library in Amy's home, she decides to honor her pen pal by sharing the love of reading with the town.  The process of opening the bookstore is fun to read and so very humorous.

Although Amy is resting in peace, the reader gets Amy's point of view throughout the book at the end of each chapter: Selections from Amy's letters to Sara are found there, and they are so helpful because each tells a little about Broken Wheel's citizens especially those folks close to Amy.  Sara has an unfair advantage because she's read so many letters about the people for three years.  Another thing I enjoyed about the novel is the discussion of Amy and Sara's favorite books.  There's even a handy list at the back of the book of all the books, series, and authors mentioned in the story. Fannie Flagg is represented well in the novel: that makes me smile!

America does have a culture (for now), and Bivald does an excellent job depicting American small town life.  She has excellent taste in literature, and she even writes romance well.  What's not to like about this book?  Nothing, I tell ya!  Read it!  The readers of Art @ Home highly recommend it!

I have another appointment at the genius bar tomorrow (Apple Store).  I don't have time to host a link party this week.  I'm so sorry!  Please come back next week and link-up!


Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud!!!




I'm having some technical difficulties with my Apple products, especially the cloud, so I have an appointment at the Genius Bar for help.  Our clouds are all mixed up, and I really need to get my own Apple ID.

Literary Friday will be posted late this afternoon.  Sorry for the wait!  ;P

Until later this afternoon…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill