Where does it lead you?

What does the word “book” conjure up for you today as we celebrate World Book Day?  

I don’t know about you but I certainly would find it extremely difficult to survive without a book.  What am I saying?  Just one book?  Oh no, that just isn’t me.

I have been taking stock of my craft room having had to remove all my paper/card stock together with the numerous items needed to make a greeting card.  All this stock will find good homes but I can no longer work with the card stock.  However, as a result shelf space is gradually emerging.

I think that at long last I may just, find space for a library of sorts.  I am afraid to actually say the word library just in case it doesn’t happen.  However, space seems to be appearing for those books over the years I have not been able to donate, give away or sell.

These are the books which I have read so many times that they have become part of my life. They are many and varied. Some would have been used on a daily basis at certain times of my life.Some are what I call dippers.  Those books I dip in and out of.

Then there are my poetry books which have meandered into my life.  Craft books which have helped me through those endless sleepless nights.  Cookery books which in turn have led me to travel books.  Sports books where I have been led to take part but from a distance.  Computer books in the hope of my mastering my laptop ( which has never happened!!)  Novels which have allowed me to escape: which have allowed me space to imagine.

Authors have invited me into their make-believe worlds and I have gladly accepted those invitations.

I love this piece of art by  Rae Andrews entitled “Comfy Chair”.  It was the book which caught my eye as I wondered what the title was.  Perhaps a comfy chair is what i need in my “library”…..

 

Books: tactile, warming, questioning, inviting….

                                  A Book

by Adelaide Love

A book, I think, is very like
A little golden door
That takes me into places
Where I’ve never been before.

It leads me into fairyland
Or countries strange and far
And, best of all, the golden door
Always stands ajar.

Today It means something.

 

Isn’t it strange how sometimes one gets absolutely no response from reading a quote, thought or poem? Then a day, a month even years later one reads the same thought or quote and it just blows one away. Now that is exactly what happened to me.

I have developed an allergy to the dust that arises when cutting card and paper. Which has turned out to be a bit of a pain considering that paper and everything related to it has always been part of my life. Over the last  I have been boxing my paper stash.

I was clearing another shelf this morning when a tag label I had made,  floated to the floor. It read“Start where you are and use what you have”. It stopped me in my tracks. I have such a stash of paper and paper related items. Then my phone tinged with some notifications and before 10 minutes had elapsed I had found homes for my paper stash. I love the concept and so my boxes are destined for a number of groups who don’t have the money to use on craft items. So definitely recycle and reuse are to the fore.

Over the years I have accumulated fabric. Well I found if I photocopied some fabric it made brilliant back drops for cards!!! Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways. During the last three years I have gradually become interested in quilting. Now I am gradually able to see what fabric I have.

Now before anyone may suggest that I am just replacing the shelf space, which had previous stored card stock, with fabric I would have to disagree. It may in time but for now poetry books have meandered in, journals duly followed, then the cookery books seemed lonely and just needed to be seen and looked at. I’m sure you know how it is!!! Or at least I am hoping there is someone out there who can empathise.

But to get back to the tag label “Start where you are and use what you have”  So, I am starting where I am at this moment with the fabric and books and I will see where it leads me. Mmmmmm there are just so many avenues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditions

During the last few weeks I have been hearing about Christmas traditions. I have been hearing about how baking is an integral part of the Christmas period. That decorating the tree is a special night. That getting that first Christmas card heralds the start of Christmas for others. The Christmas Movie is a night for chilling. The Christmas music is separate to Christmas carols. The Christmas poems. The Advent calendar and essential part of the Christmas. Visiting the crib in churches. Putting up the family crib.

The thing which has struck me is how diverse the traditions are yet there is a link. Practically each household has a different emphasis for each of the traditions. Each household is unique in this regard.

What I have learnt is that each household whether there is one person or twenty people living there have over the years absorbed traditions which suits that household and those traditions have developed. Some traditions have remained while others have been dropped for whatever reason.

Dropping a tradition can be hard especially if it is out of your control. However, it is amazing how quickly one can adapt to what is in essence a new tradition. Also adding in a new tradition can enhance the traditions of the household. Being open to new traditions and gradually absorbing them can re invigorate the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is a unique experience for each individual. No one tradition is more important than another but the meaning of a tradition can be very personal and last for a long number of years.

 

The Simple Scarf?

The scarf is really not just a simple piece of fabric which can be used as just a cover. It is much more.

81 years ago last month the iconic Hermes 35 inch square scarf was launched. Today there are over 800 designs. It was launched for the newly emerging emancipated woman who still had to keep her hair “in order”.

 

When Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly Grace Kelly, visited Ireland she wore a leopard print scarf  as she climbed Croagh Patrick.  I can remember as a child thinking that she was the most beautiful woman in the world.  She moved the head scarf in Ireland from being the ordinary every day wear to the “Sunday Best”.  The head scarf became as grand as a hat.

Audrey Hepburn was noted for wearing scarves.  She turned the scarf into a style icon. She loved wearing scarves so much, that instead of the traditional lace wedding veil she wore a scarf instead.  She is quoted as saying ” When I wear a silk scarf I never feel so definitely like a woman, a beautiful woman.”

The French fashion designer and children’s author Sonia Rykiel once described a scarf as “to be the most beautiful thing ever invented to wear”.  Wow, that is some claim.  Perhaps you mightn’t agree with the statement but a scarf can add to an outfit, it can make an ordinary jumper into something special. I t can add that needed splash of colour.

I adore scarves.  I have scarves which are over thirty years old.  A scarf can be the colour link in an outfit.  Of course scarves can be quite ordinary but do a great job of keeping one warm.  These are what I call the “essential” scarves.  Then again any scarf I wear is essential for me.

I enjoy making my own scarves but not however in silk.  I leave that to the likes of Niamh Daniels https://niamhdaniels.com absolutely beautiful silk scarves designed by Niamh. However, if the occasion occurs when I don’t have a scarf to tie in with an outfit I will make a scarf. This occurred recently when I realised I had no scarf which matched both my coat and the outfit underneath. Some cotton fabric was turned into the ideal scarf.

I couldn’t imagine not having scarves in my wardrobe. They are as important to me as bags, gloves and of course shoes.

National Author’s Day

Today in some countries national author’s are celebrated. Who would  be the national author I would like to be celebrated?

The first name which immediately comes to mind is Ruth Dudley Edwards as she is a crime fiction writer but she is also a historian and biographer, Then there is Maeve Binchy, who was a fiction writer but it was her column with the Irish Times on a Saturday which had me hooked.

What about Sara Breen and  Emer McLysaght?  Or perhaps A. O’Connor, the author of “The House”  (please see blog post “The Start of a Book Series” for a review)?

Eilís Dillon, John B. Keane, Brendan Behan or Frank O’Connor? these authors bring me right back to my childhood together with Patricia Lynch.

I would find it so difficult to choose just one author to celebrate National Author’s Day if we indeed we did celebrate it in Ireland. However, I know I will not be able to sleep until I have found some books written by these authors and reread them. The difficulty is which one?

So who would you recommend if you were celebrating National Author’s Day?