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107 posts categorized "Books • Films • TV"

August 14, 2014


Memories and History :: Haruki Murakami


As I write this post, I am enjoying a homemade ice-blended banana-cocoa smoothie, and halves and pieces of cashews (much cheaper than whole cashews but just as delicious). Delectable, after having fasted all day to do blood work, in a hot house that'll cool down in a few hours.

Once the post is done, I'll start reading more of my new book that I got at Barnes & Noble today. I was there wanting to pick up another piece of fiction to read after just having finished Karuki Murakami's masterful novel as recommended to me by my daugher: Norweigian Wood.

The fact that I did this (that is, reading a complete novel) is a pretty big deal for me because I haven't read a novel in like 2 or 3 years. Novels are all I used to read ... and then things shifted a few years ago when all that I read became non-fiction (primarily copy for art and crafting books).

I knew that Murakami had just released his newest work: Coloress Tsukuru Tazaki ... and I loved the idea of continuing with a second Murakami book ... but I wasn't sure if now was the time to move forward with his latest or to move backward with his earlier works.

So I sat down in the bookstore and started reading.

Photo 3There's something about his translated words. Each one so crisp and lucid and engaging. No confusion. No complicated tangles, yet with great depth.

I was pretty sure with each page that I read that I was going to buy this book—with gratitude for having found myself back in the delicious world of fiction. But it's when I got to page 44 and read the 10th line from the bottom that I stood up and went to the cashier to buy it.

"You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them."

IMG_5395I noticed the receipt listed other books that I may also like, based on my purchase. Not sure how long that's been going on but I noticed it for the first time today. Just five titles fished out as recommendations, out of the thousands out there. I know I can't ever read them all, even if I spent the rest of my waking hours reading fiction. This truth sort of bums me out. But I guess that's how it goes. I read what I read. I don't read what I don't read.

How I choose to read what I read is related to who I meet and don't meet, what I do and don't do, who I love and don't love, and ultimately how I allow myself to get influenced and live.

May 06, 2014


Evolution of Stitch Along Book Cover


How the cover of a book comes together is different from book to book. For my latest book, how the cover came together is especially interesting and so I thought I'd share the story with you. At one point, we were all thinking about white back stitches with sans serif lettering on red fabric. But then somewhere during the process, we decided to change it to white satin stitches with slightly different lettering on coral fabric.

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Even before that, my first attempt was making red back stitches on white fabric.

IMG_6221We all knew that the other cover images would fall in place like this ... and we were going back and forth as I tried all of these different stitches and fabrics. It took a lot of time but it was really fun and exciting.

IMG_6238Once it was decided that it would be white satin stitches on coral fabric, they asked me to not stitch the letter O in the word ALONG so that the designer could place a piece of embroidered work right there at the O. SUCH a cute idea!

IMG_6407I worked during daylight and well into the night for several days to get all these variations stitched.

IMG_6353And Scout watched me stitching for those days.

IMG_6361And once the cover came together, we all knew we had a winner.

And that's the story of how the cover of Stitch Along came to be. :)

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May 05, 2014


Announcing My New Book :: Stitch Along!


I am honored and excited to announce my brand new book: Stitch Along!

Photo 110 Master stitchers offer 30 amazing projects in this truly adorable book. The designers are:
Jackie Bowcutt, Liesi Cross, Megan Eckman, Carina Envoldsen-Harris,
Pam Garrison, Mollie Johanson, Charlotte Lyons, Rebecca Sower,
Sami Teasdale,
and Nicole Vos van Avezathe.

This book is available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon!

Photo 2

March 19, 2014


Announcing My New Book :: Washi Wonderful!


 

I'm super excited to announce my new book: Washi Wonderful!

Photo 1It's filled with projects that you can make using the truly wonderful craft item that we've all come to love over the years: washi tape! The designers who contributed the truly outstanding projects for this book are Ishtar Olivera Belart, Carolyn Garris, Avital Gertner-Samet, Cynthia Shaffer, Anne Stills, and ... yours truly. :)

Below is just a peek at the few projects of mine that are in the book ... gift packages adorned with a fringe flower, hanging tassels, and arrow.

Washi Wonderful will be officially on bookstands April 1st everywhere books are sold, including here on amazon.

Photo 3

Photo 2

February 26, 2014


Save the Date :: Cerritos Library Book Signing


Untitled-15I'm looking forward to talking about trends in handcrafted weddings and signing copies of my book, Stylish Weddings.

If you're in the Cerritos area, hope you'll come by and say hello. :)

January 28, 2014


Seeing and Speaking Out Loud


The post I made today generated lots of people chiming in ... here, on FB, texts, and email. In particular what seemed to hit a nerve was #9: my point about the comment "I love the colors." Turns out there are artists who also feel the way I feel and artists who don't feel the way I feel.

One of my closest artist friends is one who does not feel what I feel and we had a series of robust, honest and respectful back-and-forths today about the topic. As robust as it was, I feel we just scratched the surface of how much I really want to delve into the topic and talk about it some more. I think it's challenging to really talk and consider topics such as these and easier to silence challenging topics.

Jerry SaltzI've been reading a book titled Seeing Out Loud—the collected columns written by Art Critic Jerry Saltz. Every single column is filled with the courage not to silence difficult topics as they relate to art but to actually talk deeply about them ... clearly and out loud. I actually fell in love with Jerry Saltz when I saw him on Work of Art and listened to the criticisms he'd offer the contestants. I still re-watch the episodes just because I learn so much from his masterful criticisms.

I think it's interesting that many critics of Saltz try to dismiss him as "an art snob" who cares more about fancy art school stuff than "real people" stuff from the real world.

What is it about the very act of discussing art or being an art school graduate that agitates some people? Why is the act of pondering concepts within art considered by some as elitist?

Based on that logic, then would it be correct to view the pursuit of math and science by mathemeticians and scientests as elitist? When we are in need of accounting services, do we say "Let's go to the one who didn't go to accounting school ... the one who just rounds up or down when the numbers don't add up"? Or when we are really sick, do we say "Let's not go to the one who went to medical school because that means he's a snob"?

This post is not about how art people should go to art school. There's a part of me that wishes I did but I didn't. And Jerry Saltz didn't either. (By the way, the juxtaposition of the last two sentences in no way means that I compare myself to him. Hardly.)

So what is this post about?

It's about how I really enjoy the Out Loud part of what a free society affords us ... which is to think, discuss, and have robust back-and-forths ... and how we can champion rather than silence topics ... no matter how challenging.

December 30, 2013


Announcing My New Book :: Stylish Weddings


I'm thrilled and excited to announce my new book titled
Stylish Weddings
50 Simple Ideas to Make from Top Designers

Stylish Weddings

Six top desingers provide projects and ideas that can help you prepare weddings and receptions in their signature styles. They are (in order of appearance):

  • Serena Thompson: The Farm Chicks Wedding
  • Minna Mercke Schmidt: Natural and Organic Wedding
  • Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon: Vintage Glam Wedding
  • Heather Bullard: Romantic and Pretty Wedding
  • Corey Amaro: French Inspired Wedding
  • Tracy Schultz: Rustic and Elegant Wedding

Stylish Weddings 2

Stylish Weddings 3

Stylish Weddings 4

Stylish Weddings 5

Stylish Weddings6

Stylish Weddings 6

It is a dream come true and a deep honor to have worked with these designers to bring you a book that will inspire and empower you to create DIY touches for the wedding of your dreams.

Order your copy of Stylish Weddings here.

October 30, 2013


Announcing :: Craft-a-Doodle Book Club!


Announcing :: Craft-a-Doodle Book Club!!!!!!

STEP 1: Enroll in one, two, or all three of the Craft-a-Doodle Book clubs here.
STEP 2: Get a copyof Craft-a-Doodle (also available at Studio CRESCENDOh if you want to buy it at the studio.)
STEP 3: Doodle, doodle, doodle!

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Easy peasy.
A time to have fun, learn to doodle, and make friends.
Hope to see you in Studio CRESCENDOh! :)

Enrollment is open here.

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October 07, 2013


Announcing my New Book :: Print Collective


I am thrilled to announce my NEW book titled Print Collective!

If you've ever wanted to dive into the world of screenprinting and printmaking, it's the book that will provide you with a comprehensive Basics section, followed by projects from some of the most exciting  artists in the industry.

print collective
The contributing artists are (in order of appearance)

  • Nick Sambrato, Jesse Adams, and Brooks Chambers of MAMA'S SAUCE
  • April Nemeth of LITTLE KORBOOSE
  • Hilary Williams of HILARY AT THE CIRCUS
  • Yuriko Iga of BLIM
  • Anneke Kleine-Brüggeney of BOMBINA
  • Amy Fierro of BRIGHT BEIGE
  • Patrick Edgeley of ANTI GRAPHIC
  • Kat Jackson of HEART AND CRAFTS
  • Ruth Bleakley of RUTH BLEAKLEY
  • Matt Shapoff of HANDMADE ON PECONIC BAY

I am honored and grateful to have worked with these fine artists.

Print Collective is available everywhere books are sold, including right here on Amazon.

September 25, 2013


Stitched Blooms Blog Tour + Giveaway!


Hello, hello, hello!
I'm very happy to be included in this Blog Tour to let you know about a really fantastic book titled Stitched Blooms, authored by the talented Carina Envoldsen-Harris. The book features 20 fresh and fun sewing projects, each with one of Carina's colorful embroidery designs. The book also contains more than 300 floral motifs that you can use to embroider designs onto practically anything ... a hankie, a napkin, a dress, a tote ... really anything that you want to embellish and elevate with a touch of embroidery.

For this blog tour, I am hosting a giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of Stitched Blooms, along with ... drumroll please ...

Stitchedblooms

This super cute sewing kit that Carina made for the book!
Sewing Kit

Sewing Kit 2

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, September 29th, 5PM PST, with one of your favorite memories that involves stitching of some sort. A random number generator will select the winner and the winner will be announced by way of an edit on this blog post. Please check back to this post after the 29th to see if you are the winner so that we can coordinate shipping of the book and sewing kit.

Happy stitching. :)

Order your copy of Stitched Blooms here on Amazon.

Visit all others on this Stitched Blooms blog tour here:
 Sept. 16th – Amanda Carestio - www.larkcrafts.com  
 
Sept. 16th - Shannon Cook - www.luvinthemommyhood.com  
 
Sept. 17th - Lynne - lilysquilts.blogspot.com  
 
Sept. 17th - Sara Lawson - www.sewsweetness.com  
 
Sept. 18th - Alicia Rosello - www.elblogdedmc.com  
 
Sept. 19th - Jessica Crapo - www.running-w-scissors.com  
 
Sept. 19th - Diane Gilleland - www.craftypod.com  
 
Sept. 20th - Mollie Johanson - wildolive.blogspot.com  
 
Sept. 21st - Aina Crescimbeni - www.casandersen.blogspot.it  
 
Sept. 21st  - Beth Wilson - www.sewmamasew.com  
 
Sept. 22nd  - APL Creations - http://aplcreations.com  
 
Sept. 23rd  - Jo Stafferton & Floresita - www.feelingstitchy.com  
 
Sept. 23rd - Rachel Hobson - averagejanecrafter.blogspot.com/  
 
Sept. 24th - John Adams - www.quiltdad.com  
 
Sept. 24th - Aimee Ray - www.littledeartracks.blogspot.com  
 
Sept. 25th - Jenny Doh - www.crescendoh.com  
 
Sept. 26th - Hanna Andersson - www.ihanna.nu  
 
Sept. 26th - Abby Glassenberg - www.whileshenaps.typepad.com  
 
Sept. 27th – Susie Stubbs - www.flowerpress.blogspot.com


EDIT: The winner of this Giveaway is Commenter #23: "Gill"
Congratulations, Gill. Please email us at mailbox@crescendoh.com with your snail mail address so we can get the book and sewing kit sent to you! Thanks.

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Disclosure:

Some links on this blog are affiliate links for which I receive a small percentage of any sales generated by the link.
 
   


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