Mar 8, 2024

A Cloudy Afternoon at the Library

I had an hour or two to spare on a cloudy weekday so I spent a little time at the libary (sic). Like a kid in a candy shop, I ran shelf to shelf grabbing whatever sparked my interest. I then found a table overlooking a very plush lawn, took off my jacket and began flipping through the books. I haven't done a book review in ages, so I decided to review my stack.

My stack: Painting Outdoor Scenes in Watercolor, Watercolor Life, 15-Minute Watercolor Masterpieces, Hot Springs Drive, Sargasso Sea, Above the Salt, Create Your Own Cozy, 5-Minute Sketching Architecture, Making Art From Maps and Junk Gypsy.

Making Art From Maps was supercool. I've always loved tearing up and marking old maps, using them in my junk journals or using them as a cover to a hand-made journal. This book has a lot of great ideas and includes some difficult projects. There were one or two projects I thought I might make someday.

I did not check this book out of the library because I would need to keep it for several years and that's a lot of overdue fees.

Create Your Own Cozy: 100 Practical Ways to Love Your Home and Life was also unique and very cool. It is interactive with several questionnaires to help you find your cozy.

Also there is a home maintenance list for each month of the year which I think would be very helpful so I wrote them down. Things like "Inspect electrical cords for wear and fraying" one month. Other months include "clean out your medicine cabinet," "Check your attic for ventilation issues and mold," "Clean your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fan filters," "Vacuum your dryer lint filter (who knew?!)," "Oil your garage door opener and chain," "Check that indoor and outdoor vents are not blocked," "Insulate outdoor spigots and bring in hoses," and many other things you may not think about. 

I did not check this book out, I left it in the re-shelf pile because I'm already quite cozy with my life.

Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder and Wander by Amie Sikes and Jolie Sikes. I know, right? This is so me. I bet you think I checked this one out. I did not. I love the book though, but it's another one I'd need to keep for a few years.

The book is full of examples to "spark your creative spirit" and DIY projects. It's a beautiful book, I enjoyed just looking at all the pages. 

"..the greatest parts of the road trip are the spontaneous, unplanned pit stops -- the greasy spoon, roadside diners, the endless historical markers, and the waiting-to-be-discovered side roads."

The book involves flea markets, restoring second-hand junk, a strong, curious desire to repurpose and sometimes resell. There's advice for what you need in your Junker's Toolbox, what to keep in your vehicle to aid and abet junking and a section with Pro Tips so you don't have to learn the hard way. At least for a few things. It has tons of DIY hints and projects. There's a Flea Market Field Guide. And there's even a couple recipes.

Watercolor Life: 40 Joy-Filled Lessons to Spark Your Creativity by Emma Block. I left it and you should, too. Actually, it would be good for beginners. It briefly explains color theory and techniques. Sure enough, there are 40 lessons for you to paint through.

15-Minute Watercolor Masterpieces: Creative Frame-Worthy Art in Just a Few Simple Steps by Anna Koliadych. This gives a little better watercolor instruction than the previous book. It's for beginners and intermediates. There is more discussion about techniques and several lessons you can follow.

I probably should have checked this one out, but I didn't. I wish I had. It seemed a little too simplistic though.

Painting Outdoor Scenes in Watercolor, by Richard K. Kaiser. Excellent book. Very, very in-depth with many techniques, tools and supplies. I might need to buy this one. But for now, I have it for four weeks. I might need donations towards my overdue fees, I'll let you know.

Above the Salt, a novel by Katherine Vaz. I normally do book reviews AFTER I read the book. Writing this before I read the book is just a summary, not a review. So here goes... The sleeve reads, "An irresistible and sweeping love story that follows two Portuguese refugees who flee religious violence and reignite their budding romance in civil-war America." Based on a true story. I think I'll like this because of the historical nature. I typically enjoy historical novels. I want to get a sense of what it was like to grow up in Portuguese poverty and religious persecution with a missionary father who was martyred. Errr.... sort of.

Hot Springs Drive, a novel by Lindsay Hunter. "Jackie wants to be many things, but a martyr has never been one of them." So there we are, again with the martyrs. I might need to be psychoanalyzed. She reinvents herself, so that sounds interesting. I often think of doing that, but I lack ambition. We'll see if I make it through the whole book, I'll let you know.

So that's it. Here's my take-home pile:

Happy Reading!

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