Catching up on the reading: My Bookshelf, My Kindle

I have actually vowed NOT to buy any books until I can jumpstart my reading again, and while I have been cradling my Apple iPad and my Kindle  and keeping them handy in my tote, I haven’t really done much reading in the last couple of months.  Not good, I know.

Right now I have around 5 hard bound books waiting to be read, and I’ve gotten nowhere with Betty White’s “If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)(Note to self: Hoping to finish THIS weekend!) and I’ve practically given up on Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods: A Novel(One more try?).  What I’m raring to start reading (which is going against what I just said I had vowed) is George R. R. Martin’s third installment of  “A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) which I just downloaded.

So maybe — just maybe — I’ll finish American Gods.. and get on with reading Agassi’s “Open (which was actually Ofie, my sister’s pick), and get on with catching up with the Grisham books I have yet to read.  (Soooo way behind with that one, too!)  I know I want to read more than I actually manage to.  I can certainly do better.  With theKindle just a touch away, I really have no excuse.  And there are the other books I downloaded which I hope to eventually get to.. if I can get a 48-hour day.  LOL

My books have always been a source of solace and pride for me.  Solace because they have provided me with a place where I can enrich myself without actually going anywhere and spending for more than what the book would’ve cost.  Pride because I count them as a personal accomplishment when I think about the books I HAVE managed to read.  It makes me feel as though I am actually doing something proactive to keep my brain cells alive and kicking. =) Let’s see how many books I will manage to finish reading this 2012. 12? That’s a modest and reasonable goal. Let’s hope I meet it.

Back to Art Journal Every Day

As if my days were not packed tight enough with work, motherhood, house chores and squeezing in what’s left to do “something for me”, here I go again (after vacillating over the first few weeks of January,) signing up for Art Journal Every Day as inspired by the great Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  I used to stop by her blog at least once a day but I’ve been too busy of late.  (Plus I needed to make a determination as to whether or not I would attempt another try at art journaling.)  Well today she started sign ups again, and of course, I couldn’t resist.  Plus, her post “Art Journal Every Day: Letting Go of Expectations” seemed to push me towards giving it another try.

With my not necessarily every day attempt at doing an entry for my own Art Journal, I’m trying to see how much more profilic I can be this time around.  (Spoken without fear and with the knowledge that I am not even anywhere near starting a new piece!)  My art journal for 2011 is barely halfway done, so I think I’ll pick up from there.

I’ve learned a lot about art journaling this past year, but more importantly, I think I discovered more about myself in doing the limited number of entries I came up with in 2011.  For example, I never thought I’d enjoy doing watercolors so much.  I tried “gessoing” but it didn’t quite work for me.  I am continuing to develop my zentangling skills, and I have a project or two on standby.  There is just so much one can do and not do, or say and not say in an art journal entry.  I am so excited by the millions of possibilities.

Inspiration, I don’t lack.  There is much to write about, draw about and just create for.

So here goes another try at Art Journal(ing) Every Day.  Thanks, Julie, for the inspiration as always.

Pretty little heart

What do you know…  We just finished with the Christmas and New Year holidays and here comes Valentine’s Day.  Hard not to be reminded when my favorite meeting caterer, Mangia, brought me these scrumptuous heart shaped chocolate sugar cookies in their dessert tray.  They are so pretty I don’t even want to eat them!

In the midst of the crazy rush of the day which saw me calling for catering two hours before I needed it (and thank God Mangia always delivers), I see something so sweet and beautiful that makes my heart smile.

It’s all about taking the time to stop and smell the flowers or take note of the nicer things in life and pay attention.

Often, we fail to pay heed and take things like this into account.  We don’t take the time to quietly admire the beauty around us.  We gloss over the artistry in this sugar cookie which was meticulously put together by some pastry chef behind the scenes.  It’s so much easier to take things as is and just take it as something that’s strictly run-of-the-mill.

One thing I’ve realized recently is that things become routine or “run-of-the-mill” because we let them.  We stop seeing the colors in the landscape.  All we see is a carpet of green instead of the interplay of the colors of nature.  We go about our day to get it over and done with instead of savoring yet another day we get to live..  We live thinking about tomorrow instead of thinking in the ‘now’.  We see just another cookie or a work of art put together by someone particularly good at it.  And it’s just too pretty to eat. =)

I’ve been rather shallow of late.. little things make me smile and seemingly inconsequential things make me think.  And pretty little cookie hearts make me stop and look — and I actually enjoy these little things.