Monday, October 12, 2015

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel is not to Mimi"s liking but it is to NaiEva

The Southern Festival of Books is in its 27th year, Nashville Tennessee.  It's my favorite time of year, the weather is perfectly orange and yellow and there's always a colorful moment that happens like sipping lemonade and chatting with Garrison Keillor.
This year, Mimi insisted on seeing Kenneth Oppel and hearing about the Nest. I already have a stack of his dragon books, plus, we're always looking for our next Pen Pal author for the Linebaugh library, so I was affirmatory!  Oppel is our age group - 4,5 and 6th graders.
You never know what you'll learn at these sessions that are held in state room around the and underneath the plaza.
This is what we learned:
Issshh, that's a bit creepy.
Someone asked Oppel how much creepiness do you put in a novel?
The Creepometer, if you will.
Well, he didn't see this as particularly creepy. And besides kids think on a whole different level than adults. But, he did put in some of the anxieties that he had as a child.
Someone asked about the importance of writing "an issues" book.
He said, "I didn't set out to write this book as an issues book, I wrote it as a
baby being born in a wasp-nest book." 
ha ha. Okay, that's funny.
Mimi was no longer amused.
Where's the nest? Where's the baby-bird lunch? Hmmm.
She wanted to go to another session.
Yet, I was intriqued! Plus, Oppel is cute. Not Mimi's type.

He read a few passages from the book., and saying it is really a story about temptation and a strive for perfection that may not be a good thing. I felt it could also be a story of dealing with the experience and fears of another baby in the house that may replace you in the family.

The human baby brother is sick. The kid telling the story has anxieties, so Oppel coined a new genre: Sick Lit, which is also apparent in a lot of new fiction. Plus, this may be aliens instead.

So, of course, I got the book, got all my dragon books signed and can't wait to find out what happens to that kid and the baby and the sick baby and the aliens or maybe not aliens. And wasps are really creepy, we have those giant nests in Cheboygan that looked like they will collectively eat you. The creepometer is at an 8.6.

Mimi not really interested, so she went and saw Lauren Groff and appreciated the Delicate Edible Birds instead.
The beauty of the festival is that this is something for everyone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Laguna Teal Somerset Studios Challenge

Brother graduated from high school and there has been all kind of commotion to do with that, but we've still been busy making art and reading and re-reading Somerset Studios magazines.
When we saw the Laguna Teal color challenge in the back of the magazine, we thought well why not do a piece in that color since we've been channeling Monet's paintings for the Paris challenge. For that one, we used Monet's most famous Water Lily series. Monet was born in Paris. Monet also used a lot of Laguna Teal. We sorted through copies to find the one that uses the most, and we chose: Rough Sea at Etretat.
We love scouring yard sales, the Goodwill and second-hand shops for Mixed-Media treasures, and that's where we found a bunch of inexpensive prints to decoupage, copy or use in journals.
We glued it on a journal from Michael's craft store (We also wait for a sale or use a 40-percent off coupon to save on costs). Glues are important and we prefer The Ultimate. The Ultimate makes sure that it's stuck forever without being stuck on your skin.
 We buy up old leather coats and skirts and cut them into usable pieces and store them in the studio like you would fabric scraps. These painting journals takes lots of tiny strips of leather, so save all the bits in large plastic Ziplocs.
Now for the challenge! You know I'm up for it.
This piece of leather from an old coat looks like a great match. The cork of the journal mimics the sand in the painting,  so we'll let some of it peak through.
Who knew we could find leather to match - this makes the whole thing just right.
I cut and then glue down each strip of leather with corresponding colors needed on the painting. Not tough at all, just tedious. It's essentially painting with glue. I use a paintbrush for the glue, put it on the leather and then pat it down. Leather is easy to work with in this format and will stretch or shorten as you wish. Cut, strip, glue, cut strip, clue for at least an entire day, and Oui, we have our own masterpiece.

So does Mimi like it?
She thinks it's okay.
Ah, what does she know she's a genuine Grumpy Cat.

It turned out kind of nice with lots of textures and plenty of Laguna Teal, probably because these folks are at a lagoon.

Anyone out there?




Friday, January 30, 2015

Friends Luncheon Book Art Decorations


The Friends of the Linebaugh held their Annual Membership Luncheon in January at the Women's Club in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
 Susan Gregg Gilmore spoke about her latest book Funeral Dress, which is becoming a best-seller. Set in Dunlop Tennessee, she examines the lives of the courageous women in the seamstress factory. Gilmore also discussed how she got to this publishing point with funny and poignant stories. For example, when she lived near Ann Patchett, she tried hard not to stalk her, but it was always so tempting to peak in the window and see what the creative author was doing. Some of Gilmore's other works are Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove.

Gilmore answers questions.

For fun, the Friends board created book-art decorations, filling the tables with book flowers,
leather-bound novels, and decoupaged board books.
There were even a few decoupaged cats and vases.

Some have asked how we made the book flowers.
Well, here it is.

Make a cardboard template in this shape.

Take discarded books and rip out the pages (or significant words and books that hold special meaning to you and your event) and trace the design on the pages and cut. To speed up the process, you can also can hold the template up to the paper and cut out the shape (avoid cutting into the template).

Roll the page and then dab a spot of liquid-cement  to the end section (you can put a dab in the beginning section too to hold the flower together). Let dry, and it's done.

Now, do that one-thousand more times.

"I'm guessing he expects me to do the other 999!"


Thanks to Board members: Shelly Graham, Buffy Oneal, Kris Delene, Sandra Pineault, Melanie Howell for their work on this project.