Sunday, October 19, 2014

Inspiration Sunday

 Sunday Morning in November, 2010 by Henri Senders, found on tumblr.

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The View From a Writer's Notebook(s)

After all the food and craftiness around here, I thought a writing-related post was appropriate.

Recently, fellow writer and suspected twin in a former life, Lisen Minetti, wrote that the mark of a writer is not just sitting down and writing every day – it’s the ability to see a story in everything.  I will attest to the fact that when you use your writing muscles regularly, stories just come to you - all the time - from everywhere.  Like a lightning rod in a storm.

When the ideas come, does a writer keep track of them?

The most important tool in the writer's box is the notebook.  Some use physical notebooks, while others use electronic versions in the form of apps for your tablets, word processors; even voice recorders.  We use everything - anything, to keep those ideas from getting lost.

Through the years, I've found it most useful to maintain about three notebooks at a time:

A catch-all type notebook app on my tablet.
My app of choice is Evernote, but there are many other note-taking apps out there, with comparable features. I particularly like the ability to create multiple notebooks to store ideas.  I like to  "containerize" things, so this works very well for me.  I also like the "web clipping" feature, so whenever I find a story or research material on the internet, I can just "clip" the article and save it to the appropriate notebook.  The most important feature to me is the active sync across all my devices, so I can access my notebooks from my iPad, office desktop, or MacBook.

A project notebook.
Whenever I start work on a project in earnest, I open up a project notebook.  In this notebook I write outlines, notes on scenes, characters, and dialogue.  When I am feeling particularly vulnerable to the doubtful voices in my head,  I can even write whole chapters in there.  I usually choose inexpensive, spiral-bound, college ruled notebooks, or composition notebooks for this purpose.  I usually stock up on these as I shop the clearance racks the week after school starts.   Recently though, I've been buying 8 x 5 1/2 sized spiral-bound sketch pads at craft stores. I like the freedom an unlined page allows.

A journal.
I keep a journal with me at all times.  In it, I write my daily thoughts, lists, story ideas, prayers, rants; anything really.  Because of the content, and the fact that it lives in my purse, I tend to splurge on this notebook. A Moleskine in a stand-out color like red, is my preference. That way, it's easy to find in the depths of my bag, which is a sea of black everything. I'm currently using a limited edition Rajo! journal from the Philippines in disco gold.  Rajo Laurel is a famous Filipino fashion designer, who collaborated with a Philippine book store chain last year.   I was hoping to stock-up on these on my Christmas trip last year, but could not find any more in this color. Bummer. I get compliments about the journal each time I bring it out in public. 

Care to show us your writing notebook? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


The urge to create things was strong these past few weeks.  Here are a couple things I made last week:

Baby Boat Shoes
This is made from a pattern created by Bethany Dearden of Whistle and Ivy.  A friend of mine commissioned me to make these as a gift for a baby shower.

175 yards of Plarn (Plastic Yarn) to make into a market bag.

Eyeglass chains, to keep me from losing my reading glasses.  *gasp*

I really enjoy crocheting and knitting wee little things for newborns.  I am accepting custom orders for the Baby Boat Shoes (for ages 0-3 months only) on my Handmade Love and Joy stores on Etsy and Shop Handmade.

Monday, October 6, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Extra Days 3 and 4

And we're done with the #30MealsAtHome challenge!

On Extra Day 3, we had a homemade meat-less lasagna, which took a little too long to make.  As a result, I forgot to take a photo of the finished product because we were ravenous by the time it came out of the oven.

On Extra Day 4, we had our version of a Mongolian Barbeque.  Another tabletop cook-your-own meal. All I had to do was prep the meats and vegetables and cook the rice.

This is one of my favorite spreads for parties at home.  It's a low-stress prep, and everyone always has fun preparing their own bowls and cooking on the electric griddle.  Last night, we used the electric skillet since it was just the four of us.

Thank you all for supporting us during this month of meals at home. We appreciate your encouragement and well-wishes while we did this challenge.  If there are any meals that you wished I posted the recipe for, please let me know.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Inspiration Sunday

Pina Bauch's Blaubert (1977), artist unknown. Found on tumblr.

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Extra Day 2 - Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

Tonight we had a full spread of Roasted Chicken Thighs, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and a garden salad. 

My sister-in-law is visiting us this week, so I'm putting on some full, hearty meals.

#30MealsFromHome - Extra Day 1 - Tacos

Last night, we had one of our family's favorite meals, Tacos! 

Our typical taco spread is rather simple: Chili Con Carne with Red Beans, corn taco shells, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, shredded romaine lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

We enjoy food that allow each of us to mix things up as we prefer.  My husband does all the fixings, plus a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce.  I mix all the fixings on my plate first, and then stuff my shell and add little more sour cream and cheese.  Our daughter likes to stuff her tacos with the meat, cheese, sour cream and some tomato.  Our son likes an all-meat taco, with just a little cheese.

How do you guys like your tacos?