Monday, February 28, 2011

Paperback Swap!

Have any of you seen  It's super!  I only just joined, but I am so looking forward to trading books.  They also have two sister sites: and

Basically, when you join, you list your books - I have to tell you this is the easiest thing in the world. . . requiring only that you put in the ISBN number of the book and then verify that the information is correct. So fast!

Then, when one of your books is requested, you mail it out.  You pay for shipping, but when you request a book - the shipping is payed by the sender!  There are so many books on this site that I hardly know where to begin. :D

Thank you Atlanta for letting me know about this!

I'm on as 'chipmunkscorner'.

If any of you join, I would consider it an honor if you mentioned that you were referred by 'chipmunkscorner'.

Enjoying life and books,
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Frosty Friday -- Brrrr!

Hi All!  
I wouldn't say that I have anything smashing to say this morning. . . except maybe "Where's Spring?"
This sure isn't it:

Picture of the lake along my morning commute.
Though I do praise the Lord that it's a beautiful day. :D

In other news -- do you remember my post on Pin Curls last Monday?

Well . . . I tried them. :D  It took me forever last night to put them in -- though it probably wouldn't have taken so long if I hadn't been in such an easy going, get-things-done-whenever kinda mood.  One side turned out better than the other -- because I was finally starting to get the hang of them on that side.

The results:

I'm pretty happy with the outcome.  . . and it definitely makes me want to try them again.  I have this theory, that if I do them often enough and get to where I actually understand how they are supposed to be curled, I will eventually be able to put the pin curls in fairly fast.  Practice makes perfect, ya know. :)

Oh. . . Don't forget the Literary Heroine's Blog Party over at A Maiden's Musings.

She's giving away these lovely items:

Be sure and check it out -- it's great fun and it ends this Monday - Feb 28!

Dreaming of warm weather,
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Literary Heroine Blog Party -- Questions Answered

This post is a part of the Literary Heroine Blog Party -- Sponsored by Kellie of A Maiden's Musings!

To learn more and enter for a chance to win some items from her LOVELY shop, check it out here.

Now for the questions Kellie asked:

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?

What a great question!  I would have to say that a true heroine is a woman who is wholly devoted to God and willing to lay down self so that His love and grace shine through in her life.  Some qualities I believe a heroine needs are: compassion, strength through trials, perseverance, patience, and devotion to doing her tasks well no matter how mundane they may be. 

Share (up to four) heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 

It's so hard to choose favorites!  Especially since it has truly been a while since I've done a lot of reading.

Esther - Ben-Hur

 (I may be getting the book character mixed up with the movie -- forgive me if so -- as I said, it has been a LONG time since I've done any reading 'for fun'.)

I really admire Esther's steady, calm character in Ben-Hur. (no, she wasn't always calm . .  but that's normal for women. :D)  Her unwavering faith in Christ and her lack of fear when it comes to helping out Judah's mother and sister (Lepers) is huge to me.  What an example of reaching out to those in need -- yes, she knew them before they became lepers . . .but leprosy was not something that people hung around and lent a helping hand to -- no, usually they'd run the other way.  Seriously, who want to be struck with a disease that literally rots the flesh from you?
I call Esther's actions nothing short of courageous and consider her compassion something to be emulated.

Elizabeth Bennet - Pride & Prejudice

I admire dear Lizzie because of her adventuresome spirit and enjoyment of life.  She and I are nothing alike -- my sister say's I'm just like Jane Bennet -- but I admire Lizzie's spunk and energy.  One thing we do share -- The sentiment that nothing shall induce us into matrimony but the very deepest love. 

Jo March - Little Women

I must say that Jo falls in the same category as Lizzie.  I have always enjoyed her outgoing personality, her creativity, her passion for writing.  I always fancied that I was like her -- until my dear sister emphatically dispelled that notion and said I was more a Meg than anything.  Alas . . that's the hard truth.  I confess that I didn't believe it for a long time, and went on dreaming of playing Jo in a play or drama.  However, I can see it now.  I will always admire her spunk and fun-loving ways. 

Much Afraid - Hind's Feet on High Places

If you have never seen the children's illustrated version -- you're missing out.
It's absolutely wonderful!
I admire Much Afraid a tremendously.  She was disfigured, she was crippled, but she dreamed of going to the High Places and serving the Shepherd.  Though the trip wasn't easy - she made the choice to take it instead of remaining in the valley.  I admire her for that choice and for her journey.  She made it.  That first step, deciding to take the harder path instead of remaining in an area that is familliar to you is a very hard one to make.  I also really admire her in the second book, 'Mountains of Spices'.  

Elinor Dashwood - Sense & Sensibility

I would add Elinor. . . but then it occurred to me that I have never read the book. . . and since this is a Literary Heroine  Blog Party -- a movie character doesn't count. :D Therefore, I have added Sense & Sensibility to my list of books that I simply must read sooner than later!

Five of your favorite historical novels?

Ahh! I hate choosing favorites! :D

Okay, here goes:
  • The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson 
  • Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
  • Anything by G.A. Henty (Don't even ask me to name one!)
  • The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke (And the rest of the series -- at least, all that's come out thus far.)
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Out of those five books, who is your favorite character, and why?

That is a very difficult question!  I would have to again say Esther from Ben-Hur.  As for why, my reasons are listed above. 

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?

I have to confess that I'm currently thinking of something like this:

What would I be doing?  See the hammock?  Yep . . . curled up with a good book, taking a nap, or writing a story. As long as it was perfectly warm, I would be happy!  Especially since the only ocean I have ever seen is in pictures.  I would love to remedy that.   Other activities would include snorkeling, playing in the water, and spending quality time with my family. 

Some other places I've wanted to go include; Scotland, Ireland, & Italy (for the Coffee & Accordions. :D)

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?

That's a seriously hard question to answer - as I tend to bounce between favorites.  

Early AD -- the growth of the Church and the spreading of the Word of God. 
The Medieval Era - knights, castles, fair maidens, and all that. 
The Western Expansion of the United States - cowboys, Indians, covered wagons. 
Currently?  I'm on a 40's - 50's - early 60's kick.  Yep -- Music by Ricky Nelson, the Beach Boys. Circle Skirts, vintage hair, and cute dresses. :D

You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?

I would have to say that I would do a mix of singing and comedy - perhaps a drama skit as well.  

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 

I would have to say that out of the heroines I listed, I would (at the moment) want to go as Esther from Ben-Hur. Because out of those I listed, I am most like her in personality (I think). Also, personally, I liked her costumes in the movie and wouldn't mind having an excuse to make one!

What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? 

Only dark. . . love that Dark Chocolate!

Favorite author(s)? 

I have always enjoyed everything I've read by G.A. Henty.  I appreciate the writings of Eric & Leslie Ludy as well. 

As a small, imaginative, red-haired damsel might query; would you rather be divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good? Why? 

My word, that is a hard question.  That is -- it's a hard choice between dazzlingly clever and angelically good.  Why?  Because being angelically good would be such an amazing thing -- not having trouble with sin in your life etc.  Being dazzlingly clever could come in mighty handy -- because you'd be so smart!   However, being angelically good without the smarts from being dazzlingly clever doesn't sound that enticing . . . and being dazzlingly clever without any goodness could just be plain bad. . .  How about just a nice mix of all three? :D

In which century were most of the books you read written? 

 I would probably say the 20th century - due to the fact that I'm not reading much fiction at the moment.  Most of what I'm currently reading is non-fiction, how-to, etc. 

In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… 

There are so many!  How can you even ask for the ultimate one? 

I really admire Sir Percy Blakney -- the Scarlet Pimpernel.  I admire Mr. Knightly in 'Emma'.  But, for the sake of something different, I will highlight a Western hero. 


In a little western book by Paul Evan Lehman and published in the year 1950, is a man named Idaho.  The book bears the same name as he.  I first met him in an old movie by the same name and starring Rex Bell.  That storyline stayed with me for years until I finally looked the book up on Ebay and bought it.

I admire Idaho greatly for his personality. He takes a young would-be theif under his wing, drawing him back into an honest life and cleaning up his language.  He consistantly tries to reach out to his father - a bitter old man who does not recognize the boy who had run away from home but grew into a man and returned.  When challenged to a duel by his own father, he struggles, but decides that he would rather be branded a coward by the townspeople than be killed, or kill his dad. Then, when he learns that the man who had been like a father to him is taking his place in the duel, Idaho rushes back to town, and comes near to sacrificing his own life to save his adopted dad -- and in this, he acts without hesitation. 

I treasure my copy of "Idaho" -- but if any of you look it up, you should probably be warned that it does have some mild language skattered through it.  My copy doesn't anymore . . . ballpoint pens are wonderful at cleaning up a literary character's language. :D

Describe your ideal dwelling place.

Currently, my ideal dwelling place is a vintage Airstream trailer- refurbished and customized into a cozy home for myself and two cats.  I would call it  . . . . The Silver Twinkie

I'm not sure how practical the idea is -- I need to do a lot more research into it.  But you can do some really neat things with the interior. . . check it out: (click on the photo to find out more)

Now, neither of those is what I'd want to do with mine. . . but it just shows what you can do!  

Oh. . . and there's a hotel in Cape Town, Africa that has seven refurbished Airstream trailers on it's roof. . . check out the Grand Daddy Hotel.

A really great Airstream diner!

So, other than an Airstream, I think I would very much like a little farmhouse style home in the country.  I really don't know exactly what it would look like, but I'm thinking someplace with plenty of room for a passel of kids -- should I ever get married. 

Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?

I don't think I have.  

In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...

Funny. . . I went totally blank at this question -- but after thinking it over for a moment I would have to say that some of the most dastardly villains I've met in any book would be Sir Daniel in 'The Black Arrow'.  

Why would this man earn that title?  Because he murdered young Richard Shelton's father when Richard was a wee lad - then he took the small boy under his wing and raised him as his ward . . . all for his own gain.   I get my dander up when I hear of a child being used this way -- in real life or a book.

Three favorite Non-fiction books?

Okay, that's a hard one too.  (The Bible is always first on my list. I just thought I'd give you my three favorites after that!)

  • Joy of Cooking -- a book every woman should have in her kitchen.  It is invaluable!
  • Fascinating Womanhood by Helen B. Andelin  -  Though I'm not sure I agree with everything in this book - I find it consistantly intriquing and worth reading. 
  • The Encyclopedia of Rawhide & Leather Braiding -  Though I haven't used it as much lately, I have seriously enjoyed the help it has offered in doing braided appliques, especially. 

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer 

What about that hammock? :D

Or maybe a sewing project, a book, a walk with my sister, writing a story.  They all sound good!

Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.

That's a hard one because I'm not really a hat person. . .  I really prefer flowers in my hair!   I have always admired hats on other ladies, but have never really found any that suit me. 

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.

So much happened in the past year, not all of it good or easy.  There were times last year when I was down to working four hours a day, three days a week because of the economy.  Funny, I almost didn't remember that.  I've been told I'm easygoing, and I'm consitantly finding that true in that I just can't help but happily trust God to take care of me, even if I may not have a job. 

One significant event was being pulled into the youth branch of the Spokane Accordion Ensemble after almost a year of not playing my accordion.  I really appreciate being back and playing with a group.  It's so much fun!

Tied in with that is beginning teacher training.  Teaching accordion is something I truly never thought I would do -- but after learning more about Simply Music, I can't help but be excited -- and I know I will learn so much through it!

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

The Bible passage that has most been on my heart for the past month is found in Psalms. 

"I will extol the Lord at all times;  His praise will always be on my lips."  - Psalms 34:1

This is a verse I have been trying to put into practice.  . . I will extol the Lord at all times -- even when those times are bad.  His praise will always be on my lips, no matter what I'm going through. 

And lastly, as I am a rather businesslike hostess, may I ask you your views regarding those adorable little items - namely pin back and mirror back buttons? 1). Where would you choose to display a button badge to best showcase your unique style? 2). What image and/or sentiment would most make you smile were it inscribed on your very own compact mirror?

Love them!  You did a great job, Kellie.  They have class.  I think my favorites are the mirror back buttons. 
I think I would put a button badge on my laptop bag or maybe my library tote. 

Hmm. . . I think a good sentiment would be 'Persevere', or 'Adventure'.  . .  You've done a great job on your shops, Kellie!

And to anyone reading this, definitely check out Kellie's blog, her Etsy shop, and her online store

Dreaming of summer and tropical places,
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Vintage Magazine Extract - Pin Curls

I have a stack of old magazines hidden away in my bedroom -- and I wanted to share a piece of one with you all today!

This article comes from the August 1950 issue of McCall's Magazine.  Click on the image for a larger version.

Have any of you ever tried pin curls before?  I've tried them a couple times, but never really doing it well.  I suppose it may take a little practice.
If any of you try this, I would love to see pictures and hear about the results!

By the way, the line near the top where it says "For waves, brush dry hair flat, push forward . . . Brush up for curls." took me a bit to figure out -- then I realized that I have heard many times that the way a pin curl style looks after it's finished is directly related to how you brush out the curls.  Interesting, huh?

Ever truly,
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Currently Inspired: Mid-Century Peasant Style

I can't believe it -- I see BLUE sky out there . . . well, a little bit of it at least. :D  Love that blue sky.

Anyway, I hope y'all had a really wonderful Valentines day this year and I wanted to share some vintage fashions that are currently inspiring me (though, personally, I am inspired by WAY to many things and don't have time to do all of them.)

Yvonne DeCarlo
I really like the combination of this style blouse with the skirts.  I think they're lovely. Isn't Yvonne's hair pretty?

I *borrowed* this from Casey's Elegant Musings
The outfit in the top lefthand corner is my favorite. :D

Oh,  I just have to share this lovely blouse that Casey made.

I would love to make something like that!  It's so pretty, summery, and feminine! To see more pictures of this lovely blouse, click on the picture above.

What's inspiring you today?

Overambitious with too little time,
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Wishing you a Vintage Valentines!

Hi All!

So, I have been on a slightly vintage kick -- actually, I think it's something I won't soon recover from as I absolutely love looking at vintage dresses (50's, etc.)

So, I wanted to wish you a Happy Valentines Day with a vintage twist! myspace graphic comments myspace graphic comments

Naturally, I couldn't resist the accordion one. :D 

(If you want to see more like the two above, check here)

Something a little more refined and lovely. 

Wishing you the best, 
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Friday, February 11, 2011

One Night with the King - Reading for Xerxes

 “His arms will hold the bow, his arrows tipped with love.” - Xerxes
“Some archer’s arrows are tipped with poison, my lord.” - Esther
 “Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, the symptoms are the same.” - Xerxes

This is the gown that Esther wears while she is reading for Xerxes.  It has some hidden details that I find fascinating. 

This gown doesn't have a separate bodice/skirt like many of those in the past studies.  It actually has a surprisingly modern style - with the faux wrap front. Take a look at my 'sketch' to see what I mean.

Whee! I keep trying different illustrating methods. I really like the way this one turned out.

I would guess this to be made of a chiffon type fabric, as it's flowy and somewhat sheer.  The dress has several layers of fabric and flows down into a lovely skirt -- I really can't tell much about the skirt portion of the dress, as it's not well shown. I can tell that it is somewhat full - it may be an 'A-line' style, possibly with a little more fullness in the back. The top 'wrap' layer flows free to the floor.  

There is a sort of green/metallic gold trim along the neckline, wrap layer edges, and sleeves.  They don't use it on any of the hems. 

As you can see in the picture below, the neckline in the back scoops quite low. 

The sleeves are just a single layer of fabric - they're open along the top of the arm and are tacked together in two places - see pictures for a better description.  :D Some things are just harder to put into words. The sleeves are also trumpet/bell shaped as most of her other sleeves have been - quite wide and flowy.

The edges are unfinished and frayed - I would guess the hem of the skirt is the same. 

Now, my favorite detail about this dress?  The decorative darts!  If you look at my illustration, you can see that I've got some decorative stitching on the shoulders and at the waist -- now take a look at the photos below:

Isn't that neat!  Those darts definitely play a part in the shaping of the garment, as well as adding a decorative touch.  I love details like that!  The only problem with this outfit is that her lovely, lovely long hair gets in the way of being able to see it . . . but I won't complain about that. :P

I love hearing from you guys! So if y'all have any input or comments about this dress, let me know. 

Greatly inspired,
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Simply Lovely! - Fashion Feature

Hi All!

I just had to share these lovely Regency Gowns -- as they've some gorgeous detailing!

You can check out the details here at the Met Museum

I just love how the gowns are just a simple white fabric with such detailed embellishments.

I have almost completed another "One Night With The King" Costume Study -- keep an eye out for that this week!

Happily yours,
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