Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's not even September yet, so what the heck??

Less than three weeks until I'm at the Shop Til You Drop craft show in Cypress, TX. So you know what that means...

It's time to pull out the Halloween merch.

Less than three weeks and I'm pretty sure I'm way behind the getting ready curve. That's...

 Wait. Did you say Scary and Creepy? I think I dated that guy in college!

This is one of my favorites. C'mon, it's Halloween. It's funny, and...

...it's made out of a Twilight book. Get it?

Speaking of getting it, click any of these pictures to buy a book. Oh, and one last chance to get on my email list to get the inaugural issue. It'll be worth your while. Promise. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Things that make you go unhhhhh

You know how I get addicted to things? Right now I'm kinda addicted to markers. I bought a big box of them.

And then I bought another big box of them.

I even downloaded a color chart so I could track all the markers that I have...and now I can buy the ones I'm missing. Because that's what addicts do. Or people with OCD. Or maybe it's just me.

Anyway, here's one of the things I've been using them for.

I call them Booktangles, which is a mashup between books and Zentangle. I've been having fun finding pages with just the right words on them. 

Like this one. 

Doesn't this little three line novel just make you want to go unhhhhh? (Is that how do you spell unhhhhh? That sound you make when you just barely moan because it hurts too much to really moan?)

Unrequited love. It'll do that to you.

Here's a brighter one. 

In spirit and in color.

You could put this one on your desk to remind you that your mother was right. You are a genius. 

Booklovers love Booktangles. They make them go unhhhhh. Promise.

Click one and see.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Did You See My New Stuff?

Notice anything different around here? Like maybe everything?

Yep, I decided it was time for a little spruce up at Reading with Scissors so check out that fancy-dancy new banner up there.

Or check out the new design on my Etsy shop...or ask me for a new business card...or have you seen my new packing slips? 

I'd like to take credit for how ultra cool it all looks, but that honor goes to my friend, Paula. That's her below in the blue shirt. The one without the mustache.

Paula and I work together in Cube City with Chris (the one with the mustache) and Jasmine. Twice a day we get out of our chairs, circle the campus, and try to get some steps in. On one of those trips, I told Paula that I was thinking about rebranding Reading with Scissors, and Paula told me rebranding stuff was one of her best things. Match made in heaven!

I wanted to make her a special book for all the work that she had done for me. When I asked her what word she would like, she said...

Good choice! One of my favorite words, too.

I really like the way it turned out. Not only because it's one of those "round letter words" that looks so pretty in script, but also because I like the impressionist painting that covers the end papers.

It's a roiling sea--just like most of life these days--but in the midst of it: Grace.

If you would like to give the gift of Grace to a friend, you can order one by clicking here. And BONUS! You'll get to see Paula's work on the packing slip, too!

But wait, there's more! Click here to sign up for the Reading with Scissors newsletter. It'll be lots of fun including behind the scenes looks at what's going on in the studio and what's happening in my car--which is where most of my good ideas are born.  AND more Paula banners! Don't be left out. Sign up now. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bo Does Mountains

You know the way I love books? Well, that's the way Captain America likes airplanes. He can't get enough of them.

And that's how we got the newest addition to our family.

Meet Bo. Short for Bonanza F33a.

Isn't he a beauty? And the plane ain't half bad either!

Captain America traded in our first plane and brought Bo home a couple of months ago. We've already taken him a few places, but this weekend we decided to go on our longest trip yet--to the mountains of Colorado.

Those of you who regularly fly the friendly skies in one of those big jet airliners at 35,000 feet don't know what you're missing at 13,000 feet.

That scenery right below your toes!

Another thing you're missing in an airliner is wearing an oxygen mask. It's a necessity when you're flying high in an unpressurized plane like Bo. Here I am modeling the latest in tube technology and looking remarkably like someone's grandma. Oh wait, I am someone's grandma!

Our first full day was spent in the quaint old mining town of Creede, known primarily as the place where the Coward Robert Ford was gunned down, which I'm pretty sure puts me at one degree of separation from Brad Pitt. So there's that.

The next day we went to Williams Creek Reservoir in the San Juan National Forest. 

In Houston the temperature that day was 96 degrees and 94% humidity. (That is not a typo.)
At Williams Creek Reservoir that day it was about 78 degrees and 11% humidity. 

That's why we are smiling in this picture.

It was such a pretty Colorado weekend, one morning I sat out on the porch and before I knew it, I had made this! After I decorate the endpapers, it will be ready for your Christmas decor. 

Wait, what? Christmas already?

Yes! I'm pleased to announce that on September 10th, Reading With Scissors will be at the Shop 'til You Drop Marketplace, so I'm already making holiday products. I'll be featuring some of them here over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Speaking of staying tuned, one of the easiest ways to find out what's going on is to sign up for my new email list. The first email will be coming out shortly. There's a sign-up form on this page, so go ahead and don't miss out! There will be goodies. Just saying.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Funniest Thing I've Done Lately

The first thing I told Captain America the night he proposed was that as soon as we got married, I was going back to school.

It was the summer after I graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and my plan had been to return there in the fall to start my masters,..and then well, you know what that they about a man in a uniform. Suffice it say that plans changed. At least for the year it was going to take him to finish pilot training.

As soon as the Air Force sent us to Tacoma, Washington, for Captain America's first assignment, though, I enrolled at the University of Washington. I was halfway through my master's degree when baby #1 arrived. So I put my plans on hold again...and then the Air Force moved us back to Oklahoma.

So I thought about getting my master's from Oklahoma State, which was the closest university, but it was going to be so hard for this Sooner to put that on my resume, that I decided to get my teaching certificate from them instead. Then baby #2 came. And then we moved to Houston.

Finally 16 years after I became Mrs Captain America, I picked up my master's degree from Texas A&M. I decided to become an Aggie, because I knew we weren't ever going back to Oklahoma. Plus, A&M was close to home. And most of all Sooners and Aggies have the same general opinion of Longhorns!

One of the things that I like about the folks from A&M is they know how to take a joke. And trust me, there are plenty of Aggie jokes. And a lot them are probably true. I know from personal experience.

I mean, I'm still a Sooner through and through and all, but occasionally my inner Aggie shows up. For instance, that diploma I'm handling in the picture above? I have no idea where it is. I lost it. Every time we move--and we've been in 3 houses and a trailer since then--I think it'll show up, but it never does.

Another thing I like about Aggies is that they are good customers. I've sold more books that say "Gig 'em" than any other pattern.

So...the other day I made another "Gig 'em" for my Etsy shop. When I was done, I decided I needed to take a new picture of it, so I set up my whole photography stage, perched my camera on top of my tripod, and took my first picture.

So far, so good.

Then I turned the book around to take a picture of the back...

Look closely.

Yep. I folded the book upside down.

Mind you, I touched 288 pages during the creation of that book without even noticing! Who needs a lost diploma with Aggie credentials like that?!?


I mean...Whoops!

But now that it's done, I kinda think it's great. I mean, c'mon, isn't it the best Aggie joke in folded book form ever?

So if you're looking for the perfect something for that new Aggie grad, purchase it on my Etsy shop, and I'll send it your way. First come, first served.

And if Aggies aren't your thing, order something for your favorite school. I promise to make it right-side up.

Hey, I'm starting a Reading With Scissors newsletter. It's gonna be full of fun stuff. More stories about Captain America and me. Pictures of things I've been making, Recommendations on good books and other stuff. All around goodness. See that sign-up form over there? Well, sign up already.

UPDATE: The first to come was served. The upside-down book is sold. Whoo-hoo! Right-side ups are still looking for a good home. Apply here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Title: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
Author: Sarah Vowell
Format: Kindle
Reading Dates: 1 Jan 2016 - 1 Feb 2016
Rating: ***1/2

I think it's fair to say that to this frustrated history major now working in corporate America, Sarah Vowell is a heroine. To be able to drive around the U.S. with your best friends and favorite family and visit historic sites, both famous and obscure and then write about them... ACK! Why did I give up so early?!?

Not only do I love her life, I love Sarah's style--observant, sarcastic, and insightful--all delivered with a healthy dose of humor. This is the third Sarah Vowell book that I've read and each of them has presented a story that I thought I knew--or should have known--in way that proved I only knew the bullet points or, in some cases, the myth.

In the case of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States Vowell takes on the part of the French in the American Revolution through the life of its most famous Frenchman, General Lafayette. It's hard for me to even write that term "General" because the dude was only 19-years-old when he received that rank. Apparently, all that fighting the French and English had been doing for centuries and the personal toll it took on Lafayette (his father was killed in battle early in Lafayette's life) made Frenchmen in general and Lafayette in particular much better at the art of war than the typical American. So the young commission.

He proved himself a loyal and able leader and endeared himself to the Americans so much so that when he returned to the United States nearly 30 years after the end of the war (and after having endured a harrowing time back home during the French Revolution), he was met with hugs by the Founding Fathers. Literally.

So I knew that the French backed us during the Revolution and I knew that Lafayette was one of them, but I really didn't understand how decisive the French help was. Without them there wouldn't have been us. Vowell does a really good job of showing me that as she took me from walks through the mansions of pre-revolutionary France to tours of US battlefields to an interview with George Washington in Colonial Williamsburg. I learned a lot.

All that being said, as much as I liked unlearning all that stuff I thought I knew before, I missed the funny Sarah. There were a few places in this book where I guffawed, but mostly she seemed more ticked off than in her other books. I'm not sure if that's a sign of the times, the subject matter at hand, or maybe she was being funny and I was just too much of a stick in the mud to recognize it. It's hard to hear jokes about heroes, right? I mean they ARE the Founding Fathers, don't you know?

Anyway, the more serious tone is not enough to keep me from recommending this book - it's good! - but if you've never read Sarah Vowell before, start with something else, like Unfamiliar Fishes or Assassination Vacation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Point

This one sorta reminds me of the 70s. Of Goldie Hawn dancing on Laugh-In.

And seriously what was the point of that?

What's the point?

Oh, I can see a point or two somewhere near the end of that arrow.

Sock it to me.