Thursday, August 28, 2014

The F Word

It's the end of August and you know what that means, right?


Maybe your team hails from the ACC...

Or maybe you cheer for the SWAC...

Maybe your team plays in the SEC...

Or maybe you cheer for a Big 12 team...

Or maybe you can't decide...

Maybe you have so much pride it spills out into two books...

Know what I mean?

No matter which team you root for, it's time for


(And if you need some help decorating your shelf, Reading With Scissors is here to help!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fall Book Covers

One of the reasons I love working with RDCBs is because the covers have the most beautiful colors and patterns. There are some for every season. And the ones for autumn are spectacular! 

There are some beautiful rich brown and orange herringbone (and bright blue and green if you're not over spring yet).

If you're not into herringbone, how about stripes?

Then are the ones in lush ochres and deep greens. The green one is made more special by metallic gold highlights.

These are two of my favorites! Both remind me of home and wheat.

More metallic gold on the one on the left! It's a real show-off on a shelf.

I made this Harvest from a book like the one on the right.

And the books are so very versitile, too. I made this vase of wheat from the same kind of book.

Now's the time to order your books for your fall decorations and gifts. Just click this link and tell me which cover you'd like me to use. If you can decide...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Types of Texas

There are some books you run into more than others. When I'm out hunting books, I run into this one a lot.

Under that book jacket it has a beautiful cover accented in copper... 

...with a lone star on the front.

I can do a lot of things with this book. For instance, I can fill it wildflowers...

Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, yellow roses.

Or sometimes, I spell out Texas, as big and bold as the state itself...

Or sometimes a picture does the trick...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Come On and Fly Me!

The first time I went up in a plane, I was about 11 years old. I was at the Fairview Flying Farmers Fly-In and the pilots were taking anyone up for a spin around the countryside for a penny a pound. Marion Ratzlaff strapped me and my brother and my mom in his plane and we made the jaunt to Canton Lake and back.

I am not sure if the Flying Farmers still offer that treat. If they do I bet it is more than a penny a pound these days. Even if it were still a penny a pound, I don't think I could afford it anymore.

Several years and a college degree later I met a guy in an Air Force flight suit who invited me to go flying with him in a rented plane one afternoon. 2nd Lieutenant America was right out of college, too, where his degree had taught him all kinds of aerobatic moves. I don't remember a lot about that flight except the hammerhead stall. For those who don't know what happens during a hammerhead stall it goes something like this: you go straight up into the sky until the engine stops and then you scream a lot--well, I did, Captain America was just laughing--and then the plane noses over and heads straight for the ground until you get enough airspeed to start flying again.

Somewhere in all the screaming I think I promised to marry him if he let me live--either that or I blacked out. It's all a fuzz now. So began my life as a pilot's wife.


A couple of weeks ago, Captain America made a trip to North Carolina and came home with our own plane!

Here he is at the helm. Hubba hubba!

And here's what the world looks like from the co-pilot's seat...


All of which leads me to this beauty I snagged recently at an estate sale. 

And now it looks like this...

I normally don't keep dust jackets on books, but this one is stellar. It really makes the whole piece pop!

If you're looking for a special gift for the pilot who has everything, click here. I know just the thing. And I promise no hammerhead stalls involved.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Why Do I Know So Many People From Woodward, Oklahoma?

I know a lot of people from Woodward, Oklahoma. I'm not sure why that is. I mean, obviously, it's  near my hometown so there's that. But there are lots of places near my hometown where I don't know anyone.
So I'm stumped. But the nicest people come from Woodward.
There's Patti and Merlene that I met when I was in high school.
Then there's Eleanor and Terri that I met when I was in college.
And then there is Janet who walked into my church in Spring, Texas, one day and announced she was from Woodward. Go figure!
Janet is a big fan of my iris folded maps and she has commissioned several including, the map of Texas which helped decorate her daughter's wedding, and...

...this beauty of Louisiana for her daughter-in-law.

Finally, she broke down and bought one for herself. So here is Woodward, Oklahoma, looking like a chocolate and vanilla swirl cone with a bright red sprinkle in the middle shaped like a heart. Isn't it delish?
Want a map of your hometown? Order one on Etsy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Horsing Around

The news from my hometown recently was all about the annual Wranglers Rodeo. When I was a kid, the rodeo was one of those big events we looked forward to every year -- right up there with homecoming, July 4, and the Major County Fair.
When you ask someone from the East or West Coast what they think of when they hear the word Oklahoma, the first thing they usually say is Indians or Cowboys. And if you ask someone what they think of when they hear Indians or Cowboys, one of the first things they'll probably mention is a horse.
So if A = B and B = C it stands to reason that if you are from Oklahoma, you ought to know your way around a horse.
You would think.
The sad truth is that even though I grew up in small town Oklahoma, I didn't really have that many opportunities to ride a horse--until the Wrangler Rodeo each year.
Officially the reason you went to the rodeo was to see barrel racers light across the rodeo grounds and crazy men trying to stay on bucking broncos. But the real reason you went to the rodeo, especially if you were a town kid like me, was to get one of your horse-owning friends to give you a ride around the outside of the arena.
So I was probably in the sixth grade the year I went to the rodeo and saw this girl who lived on my street riding her horse.
"Hey, can I have a ride?"
"Sure, come on up."
Now to get the full import of this story you have to imagine her the same way I remember her--an elfin blond 7-year-old. That's right seven. She was one those people that had grown up riding horses since about the day she was born. And me? I was an Amazon size 12-year-old, as attested by this picture taken the same year (at the school Christmas program--another must-see annual event) where
I am taller than everyone else in my class by at least a head!
So anyway, I get up on the horse behind her and off we go. We're sauntering around the backside of the bleachers as I'm nodding with a knowing grin to all the other people in the "That's right, I'm riding a horse at the rodeo" club, when my friend decides to kick it up a notch and gallop the horse. Actually I don't know if she decided or the horse decided, but before I knew it, the horse is in a trot and BOOM! We ran over a lady walking to the concession stand.
Her husband quickly bent down and picked her up and then with eyes blazing turned his gaze to us. Let me rephrase that. Turned his gaze to the Amazon-sized kid on the back of the horse who was obviously the older, wiser horse rider and started yelling, "You need to  need to watch where you're going! You could have hurt someone! You don't race horses out here. Slow down!"
I was trying to explain that it wasn't me. I didn't know anything about horses. It was her! The elfin blond in the front seat. But it only sounded like I was making excuses.
Thoroughly shamed I climbed off the horse, went and found some friends in the bleachers, and watched calf roping. But something got into me and I decided if I had  been in charge of that horse, I wouldn't have run over anyone.
I went to find another friend , and I convinced this silly soul that I was competent enough to ride her horse all by myself! Minutes later, there I was up on this horse sauntering around the backside of the bleachers, not running over anyone. Then all of a sudden the horse decided that it didn't want to be at the rodeo anymore. It took a sneaky left turn and headed outside the gate of the rodeo grounds and directly into the road that led in.
Suddenly there were bright headlights--then horns blaring--then someone yelled, "Get that horse out of the road!" I tried to lead it back into the gate, but I didn't know what I was doing and the horse was getting spooked. It started to panic and turn circles. Or maybe that was me.
"Move out of the way!"
"I'm trying!" I cried. Then some nice person (actually I think they were probably pretty ticked off, but I couldn't really tell because I was blinded by headlights) jumped out of their pickup, grabbed the reins of the horse, and led it back into the gate.
That was it. My horse riding days were through.
But recently I had a chance to redeem myself with the equine world. I have a good friend and neighbor who is part of the team at the JoyRide Center, a wonderful organization involved in therapeutic horsemanship. My friend contacted me the other day and asked if I could fold their logo into a book.
This is the kind of horse I can handle!
My first stop was at the used bookstore where I found this book to use. How's that for a great cover?
 And here's how the logo turned out. Pretty dang good, I think.

It will be part of their fundraising auction in September, so those of you in the area, be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sunflower Saga

The rudbeckia around Houston right now are spectacular. Every corner seems to have at least one bright yellow sunflower-looking spot.

I joined the fun a few weeks ago and added them along the dry river bed in my front yard. They haven't disappointed.

Yes that is actually a dry river bed heading straight for my front door and when it rains it's a wet river bed that flows under my house and drains into the much lower back yard. A River Runs Through It? Yep, that's my house.

 But, I digress.

Remember these lovelies from Easter time?

Captain America was starting to give me funny looks because they were still on my front door and it's now August.

So I replaced them with rudbeckia!

 I've written about my reluctance to paint book page before, but if it's going to be rudbeckia, it has to be yellow, right? So I went to Michael's and bought some spray paint. After I promised the clerk that I would not spray her name or mine on any nearby overpasses, she opened the locked cabinet and handed me a couple of cans of bright yellow.

Back home, I grabbed about 150 pages and headed for the back yard

I laid out a big piece of orange plastic to protect the grass and then I got pretty good at playing ring-around-the-rosy as I'd lay out a few pages, spray them, swing to the other side of the plastic, lay out a few pages, spray them, come back to the first side which was somewhat dry, stack those pages, lay out a few more, spray them, swing to the other side... and so on.

I was getting pretty dizzy. I'm not sure if it was from doing that aforementioned dance while breathing in the paint fumes or if it was from the mosquitoes who insisted on making me their evening meal. 

What I do for art! And to keep you people entertained! And to replace the outdated-by-five-months wreaths on my door!

After they were dry, I spent an evening in front of the TV watching The Escape Artist on PBS (good flick!) and making cones.

The next night it was Mod-Podging the center circles...

...gluing on the cones...

...and making the centers...

Ta da! My new favorites!

And it looks like Rudy likes them, too!

Monday, August 4, 2014

If Kids Are Going Back To School, It Must Be Halloween!

It's the beginning of August and you know what that means? It's time for Halloween!

Wait, I know that we still haven't made it through the first day of school, Labor Day, the first day of fall, or Columbus Day,

...but hey, I went to Michael's last week and I'm telling you, Halloween is here!

Lucky for you, these Halloween books are available right now in the Etsy shop.

Hurry! Only a few days until Thanksgiving!