Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bow Wreath

Last week I found this bow wreath on Real Simple and wanted to try it out. Here’s how I made it:




I went to the store to get the things to make it, but found they were all out of foam wreaths. So I bought a wire wreath instead.






I got several bags of multi-color bows. I wanted something bright for my living room, so I got bags with bright red, green, blue, teal, and purple. I opened and sorted 3 bags of bows through the process to get the colors and sizes that I wanted. I ended up with about a bag an a half left over.





Instead of gluing the bows to the wreath, I found that the wires were close enough together that I could work the tab through the wires and they stayed put.






  I put the bows close together for a full look.







I hung it with one of those easy release hooks and found some sparkly ribbon to tie to the top. I used some tape to stick the top of the ribbon to the wall.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Do You Know Will?


Last week, I finished reading Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson. I love Bill Bryson. I've read many of his travel books that take me to the Appalachian Trail, across the USA in a car, and travelling through England. Even though several were read many years ago, I still remember details like him leaving his walking stick against a tree, his description of the Cliffs of Dover, and the multitude of neon signs across America. I always laugh out loud and am entertained throughout the book.

His book about Shakespeare is a biography, part of a series on eminent lives written by noteworthy authors. It's brief at 196 pages and full of humor and descriptions and great analysis. He takes a lot of information about what people have said and written about Shakespeare over the years and tells you what can be backed up by evidence and what is speculation. Mostly everything is speculation since there are few know/surviving facts about Shakespeare and his life. 

Bryson does a fantastic job of setting you in the context of Shakespeare's life: who his parents and family were; what Stratford-Upon-Avon and London looked like when he lived there; what the economic, political, and religious issues were; what people ate, how they lived, what laws and taxes citizens had to pay; and what the cultural scene was, especially that of the theater. I felt like I knew more about Shakespeare just by understanding a little bit more about these things.

The last chapter is called "Claimants" and Bryson takes all the conspiracy theories, speculations, and other claims of who authored Shakespeare's work (because how could one man possibly written all these fantastic works by himself) and carefully shows why none of them can be proved and why they are unlikely. The following was one of my favorite paragraphs in the whole book:

"So it needs to be said that nearly all of the anti-Shakespeare sentiment - actually all of it, every bit - involves manipulative scholarship or sweeping misstatements of fact. Shakespeare "never owned a book," a writer for the New York Times gravely informed readers in one doubting article in 2002. The statement cannot actually be refuted, for we know nothing about his incidental possessions. But the writer might just as well have suggested that Shakespeare never owned a pair of shoes or pants. For all the evidence tells us, he spent his life naked from the waist down, as well as bookless, but it is probable that what is lacking is the evidence, not the apparel or the books."

Bryson also points out that no one questioned Shakespeare’s authorship during the first 200 years after his death, even as his plays remained popular during that time.

This book is worth the read; entertaining and educational. It didn’t take long to get through it.

Next up: I’ve started The Hunger Games. I’m only about 3 chapters in, but I was hooked by the beginning of chapter 2. (And seeing the trailer didn’t hurt either.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Time!

I know it’s not quite Thanksgiving and I usually have a rule about Christmas decorations not going up until the day after. This year, for the first time ever, I have to work the day after Thanksgiving. I’ve been listening to this CD in my car and just wanted the decorations to come out. So after talking to my sweet husband, we put the decorations out. I was so giddy!

This time of year is one of my favorites. The lights and the decorations and the music and the outpouring of kindness that seems to happen. All this for the birth a little baby that would change the world!

There are many things that contribute to my excitement this year: my sweet husband who is so kind to me, Christmas/holiday plans with LOTS of family (yay!), just enjoying life. 

Here is a sampling of our decorations. I LOVE Christmas trees.

And I’ve been going a little nuts with Snowflakes (I am a Flake, ya know.)
I found the pillow in the picture above and the glasses below at Target.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude and 27

I’m grateful to all those who prayed for my brother-in-law’s family. His wife and youngest daughter returned to the States a few weeks ago. My brother-in-law and Taylee will be home tomorrow! I’m so grateful to the Lord and for this wonderful miracle.

I’ve been working on several projects lately. I’m finishing up a Blurb book project about the 27 things I did when I was 27. I wasn’t sure what to do with the cover. A while back I found this blog post on how to make printables and have been wanting to try it. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out and I’m excited to do more.

Many 27s