Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Sunday Salon and Snowbound "Reading"... In a Different Way


Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's the one day of the week we make sure we catch up with each other about all the bookish things we've been doing! In South Carolina the weather is COLD! We've gone from 60's to the 20's in a day and from Sunny to Stormy to Windy in another day. But in my hometown in Connecticut, there's that old familiar winter weather I loved and hated... SNOW! We do get snow every once in a while here in the Upstate of South Carolina, but it is a treat and it disappears pretty fast. In Connecticut it usually is the start of 3 or 4 months of shoveling, trudging and bundling up. All this weather reminiscing reminds me of what I usually do on days we are trapped inside... make things... or eat! So why don't we explore books that help us enjoy the indoors...

The Complete Crochet Course by Shannon & Jason Mullet-Bowlsby...
Filled with step-by-step photography throughout for an easy-to-follow and fully visual experience, this unparalleled guide teaches you how to crochet from the very first stitch—and will keep you crocheting as you gain experience! The Complete Crochet Course explains all the tools, materials, and techniques you need, from choosing a hook and yarn to seaming, working in the round, handling specialty stitches, and adding details. Ten patterns are perfectly designed for novices eager to complete their first projects, while intermediates can enjoy mastering even more advanced skills.

Some of you may not know, but I am a crocheter among other fiber arts. I have a home business called Shawl Y'all and take yarn and create beautiful things to wear! My Mother taught me how to crochet a half century ago and I've enjoyed making things for myself and others ever since. Crocheting is a great hobby to immerse yourself with and perfect for cold winter days where you are stuck inside. It's also a great hobby while riding in a car or waiting in a dr's office. I almost completed a whole punch while waiting for my husband at the Eye Dr's. This is a great book to get you started and keep you going. I bought this as a reference, but it would be a great book to learn your basics with. 


Fun With Origami by Harry C. Helfman and published by Dover Origami Papercraft... For centuries, the ancient Japanese folk art of paperfolding — origami — has helped teach patience, accuracy and concentration. It remains a rewarding and fascinating hobby for young and old alike. This easy-to-follow introduction offers origami enthusiasts 17 different projects — all pre-tested and graded according to difficulty.

Simple instructions, over 100 clearly drawn diagrams, and a supply of authentic origami paper (24 sheets, each 7" x 7", in 12 different colors) help beginners master such simple shapes as a sail boat, jet plane, and paper cup. Intermediate-level paperfolders may find the bird, whale, fish, and penguin more appropriate for their skills, while veteran origamists can enjoy the challenge of creating a seal, butterfly, flapping hand, and other figures.

Ideal as party favors, holiday decorations, or intriguing conversation pieces, these colorful three-dimensional objects can be created at home and in classrooms, or used as an activity in camping programs and other social and recreational settings. All projects are carefully explained, with every fold neatly diagrammed in a clearly written instruction booklet by origami expert Harry C. Helfman.

I love Orgami. I must have a zillion books showing all sorts of things to make. This was the first book I ever had. There are fancier ones, but this shows you a few basic designs that you can have fun with and try out. The Crane of course is the highlight of your basic designs, and can be made in many beautiful papers, but it you have some sort of paper at home, you can do origami. A great indoor afternoon activity, for kids and adults alike.

Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten...
In Modern Comfort Food, Ina Garten shares 85 new recipes that will feed your deepest cravings. Many of these dishes are inspired by childhood favorites—but with the volume turned way up, such as Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches (the perfect match for Ina’s Creamy Tomato Bisque), Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions, and the crispiest hash browns that are actually made in a waffle iron!

There are few things more comforting than gathering for a meal with the ones you love, especially when dishes like Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are at the center of the table. Old-fashioned crowd pleasers like Roasted Sausages, Peppers, and Onions are even more delicious and streamlined for quick cleanup. For dessert? You'll find the best Boston Cream Pie, Banana Rum Trifle, and Black and White Cookies you’ll ever make. Home cooks can always count on Ina’s dependable, easy-to-follow instructions, with lots of side notes for cooking and entertaining—it’s like having Ina right there beside you, helping you all the way.

I did mention eat when talking about things I like to do when trapped inside on a wintery day, right? Well, IMHO, you can never go wrong with an Ina Garten recipe or book and this is one of her more recent cookbooks that sits on my shelf... along with quite a few others of hers. Her recipes are so well written and down to earth I just love cooking with them. And what could be more perfect on a cold day then some comfort food...

What do you like to do inside on a blustery cold winter day?

If you are spending the day inside, even if it isn't blustery cold, I hope these books have given you a few ideas to spend some time! These are a couple of the crafts I like to do, what crafts do you do? Until next time...

Happy Reading.... Suzanne

Saturday, January 1, 2022

First Book of the Year... 2022


It's hard to believe that 2021 actually came to an end. And as much as we all have moved along in our lives, life as we have always known it has changed. It's changed me. I don't feel the absolute freedom of going where I want to go and doing what I want. There is this second guessing about just walking into a grocery store. Has all this stifled our creativity? Do we need a reboot? At the start of the new year, I never make resolutions any more. But I have intensions. The Artists Way was a phenomenon way back in the beginning of the 90's, but I think it's message can be relevant today. For people who yearn to be creative, but maybe feel stuck where they are, this could be the answer... and it is my First Book of the Year 2022! There is also a companion workbook available. Way back during some black friday specials, Amazon was offering a great deal on the combo and I took advantage of it. I had intended to start reading this and doing the required journaling when it actually arrived, but that did not happen and gives me the perfect opportunity to start the year off with a path to unleashing some unknown creativity in me. Good luck if you decide to join me!

The Artists Way A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron... Since its first publication, The Artist's Way phenomena has inspired... millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron's novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems areas and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to free up any areas where they might be stuck, opening up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery. 

 The program begins with Cameron’s most vital tools for creative recovery – The Morning Pages, a daily writing ritual of three pages of stream-of-conscious, and The Artist Date, a dedicated block of time to nurture your inner artist. From there, she shares hundreds of exercises, activities, and prompts to help readers thoroughly explore each chapter. She also offers guidance on starting a “Creative Cluster” of fellow artists who will support you in your creative endeavors.

A revolutionary program for personal renewal, The Artist's Way will help get you back on track, rediscover your passions, and take the steps you need to change your life.

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