"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Big Surprise!

I know you've all been waiting in breathless anticipation of my big announcement (there's no sense in lying, I know you have), so I won't make you wait a moment longer.

Two days ago my husband and I got in the car and drove out to a farm about a half hour outside the city. Why did we do this? To pick up the two newest members of our family. Yes, you heard that right. TWO. I am the very proud mommy of two adorable baby bunnies!! I wish I could tell you their names, but to be honest I haven't decided them yet.

I wanted to take pictures and tell you all about it that same night, but the babies were still pretty terrified of me and their new surroundings and I wanted to give them the chance to come out of their shell a bit before assaulting them with the camera. Two days later they're adjusting beautifully and starting to get really curious. I'd taken over Maddie's old dog crate and re-purposed it into a giant rabbit cage with cardboard box castle for them to play and hide in, but unfortunately they're still small enough to fit through the bars. (Surprised the hell out of my husband and the bunnies when he came in and they were loose in the office). So, Georgie's old cage has been hauled out of storage until they get a little bigger.

I know you must be wondering how Maddie is getting on with our new additions, and so far so good. I'm keeping them apart for now until the bunnies are more adjusted, but Maddie is being very good in the few encounters they've had so far. I brought out the towel they rode home on to let her smell and I'm confident we'll have them used to each other in no time.

And as a special reward for sitting through all my ramblings please enjoy these adorable pics of my cute new babies! And if you have any name suggestions, let me know!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teaser Post

Hello All!

I have fun news to share, but I'm afraid I'm not going to today. I want to properly convey today in its entirety, but it's late and other obstacles prohibit me from telling you all about it. So, think of this as a teaser post. An exciting, albeit slightly mean, announcement of what is to come.

Naturally, I don't want you to get your expectations too high. It's nothing Earth-shattering. I'm not being published in the New York Times or have a book that just sky-rocketed to the top of the best-seller's lists, but its fun news all the same and I can't wait to share it with you. So, if you'll please be patient, I'll be back on Saturday, when I'll have the time and resources to properly present to you my news.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Despair and The Hope of Another Culinary Endeavour

Lately I've been going through one of my culinary phases, usually brought on by one of the mouth-wateringly detailed stories my sister brings me from her own kitchen. It also might have had something to do with my recent voyage into Pinterest and the eye-catching recipes it holds. Either way, the other night I was captivated by the desire to pull out a particularly tempting recipe and give it a try.

The weather has been particularly grey and drizzly, so I was in the mood for soup. The recipe in question was for a Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Apple, the recipe for which can be found here. In the picture you'll notice the pretty, inviting orange colour of the thick, delicious looking soup.

Seems good, right? Unfortunately, mine did not turn out that way. Instead it was a sickly greenish brown sludge, too watery and lumpy. If I'd known I'd be bloggging about it, I would have taken a picture, but trust me when I say it did not look very appetizing. As for the taste, it wasn't horrible but it sure wasn't good. My husband, sweetheart that he is, ate the whole thing and tried to tell me it was good. But I'm just not that good at lying to myself. It was bad and the whole pot went in the trash.

Normally, a failure such as this would put an end to my culinary endeavours for a while, but this time I would not be dissuaded. The very next night, after hearing about a great homemade gnocchi recipe from a coworker (recipe can be found here), I decided to give it another try. I went home and made it, as well as some Acorn Squash to go on the side. (I don't know why I've been so into squash lately, perhaps all the cold and drizzle?) This time: success!! I did as the recipe suggested and pan fried the gnocchi with butter and garlic. Delicious. And my acorn squash? Equally successful.

The best part? After lamenting my failed soup on twitter (follow me @MelanieKCole), my friend Amy Jo Ehman sent me a link to one of her blog posts with her favourite Squash soup recipe. (Find it here). It seems there may be hope for me after all! I can't wait to try her soup recipe, not to mention trying to make the sweet potato gnocchi. If I can make regular gnocchi, sweet potato can't be that hard right? (Famous last words).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Getting Older

I'm not old. I know that. And even if I didn't, if I ever dared say it out loud everyone older than me would collectively punch me in the face and be right to do so. But lately, I've been noticing some changes. The other day, as I flipped through old pictures, I came across an album from my honeymoon and saw a snapshot of me in a bikini. It was taken almost four years ago and the difference in my body was astounding. The younger body in the picture had great abs, was lithe and graceful, while my current body is softer and rounder. It's still pleasing to look at and I'm happy with it, but the change was undeniable.

In recent years I've noticed the slow of my metabolism, the small, almost imperceptible changes that signal the advance of time, but I'd managed to deny it to myself until I saw that picture. And then, today came the last piece of evidence. The undeniable truth that I'm no longer as young as I used to be. Today I was at the grocery store when a teenager called me ma'am. Not an especially youthful teenager either (although to me he appeared to be fourteen). Judging from his conversation with another cashier of the same age, he was apparently eighteen or nineteen. And yet, to him I was a ma'am. How utterly tragic. I gathered my things and headed home, chin held high. I would not let the offhand remark of prepubescent child get me down. The fact that I seemed mature to him was a good thing. It meant I looked like I had things together. Besides, when he looked in the mirror he probably still believed he was twelve.

And yet, the advance of time is a frightening thing. When we're confronted by its evidence it's hard not to think about our own mortality. I'm still very young, but time slips by so swiftly, like grains of sand through our fingers. In the blink of an eye I'll be an old woman. It's a scary thought. I realize I'll have to come to terms with this reality, time stops for no one, and I have to remember to enjoy each day as it passes.  But I still don't think I'll ever be okay with being called ma'am.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Call to Arms for My Brain

It's quiet here at work. Most people have gone home for the weekend and I have just a half hour left to go. With all my work done for the day I can think of no better way to spend my remaining time than by writing.

But what fresh stories are waiting to be put down on paper? I must admit, the blank page frightens as much as it excites me. I feel the pressures of untold stories bearing down on me with relentless energy. They remain at the ends of my imagination, hovering on the edges, veiled in fog. I long for them to come into view and present themselves clearly, but it's a useless wish. I must fish for them, dragging my net through the foggy waters, fighting and pulling stories into the light. Some are thin and small, not worth the effort, but they're good practice for those big, meaty, gleaming ones I know lie just beneath the surface, wating to be found.

I get frustrated a lot, tired of fighting and pulling at my own imagination. Why must it be so willful? So tired and preoccupied? Doesn't it know that within its folds lies my liberation? But I am so easily distracted, so quick to shut down and give in to outside temptations. Why is it so hard to realize that the depths of my imagination hold far greater treasures than TV or the internet could possibly provide? The delicacies of the imagination are far superior to the junkfood diet of one-sided entertainment. The glowing box on the wall will not fulfill me the way writing can.

Is it no wonder then, that my imagination is fat and lazy and refusing to cooperate? Silly, lazy brain. You're supposed to hum with electricity and ideas, and instead you soak in a stew of bland, shallow thoughts. I will put you on a diet! Strip you of your fatty, unnourishing, unstimulating enterprises and exercise you! My imagination shall be as fit as a marathon runner, as flexible and artistic as an acrobat. I shall put down the remote and take up the pen!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Broken Birds

Yesterday evening I didn't go to the gym. I stayed home to write. At least that's what I told myself. But as I went into the office to work, I was arrested by the unfinished state of the room. It was almost there, very nearly the perfect writing retreat, but remained unpolished. It was missing all the special little details that would make it sublime.

I'd bought four ceramic birds from a home decor store, 3 white and 1 blue, to hang on the wall. They were still sitting in a box on the floor, waiting. Before I could sit down and start writing I decided that I must hang those birds. If they were no longer sitting on the floor bothering me then I could concentrate on writing. I grabbed a hammer and nails and set to work. But the birds were finicky, slippery, refusing to hang on the nails, and before long two had fallen and broken into pieces on the floor.

With a string of obscenities I crumpled to the floor, gathering the broken pieces in my hands. I felt like the shattered birds I was holding. Broken. My incompetence with such a simple task seemed like the perfect metaphor for the rest of my life. I could start things but not finish them. I'd painted and wall papered the entire room, but I couldn't finish the bits and pieces. It was the story of my life. I got the broad strokes right, but not the details.

And yet, there I was, writing the first draft of this post. I'd stayed home from the gym to write and instead I'd fixated on hanging the birds, positive that inspiration would come in a good working environment. But it was the broken birds that had inspired me, not the room. Breaking them had broken my resistance. I wanted to write.

There are two birds left. With a hot glue gun the other two are probably salvageable. I'd be lying if I said I didn't still equate myself with the birds. Because I can't help but think maybe I'm salvageable too.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ugly, Dreary Day

It's cold, drizzly and grey outside. Despite the fact that Spring is technically supposed to start tomorrow, it still feels like a long way off. I really shouldn't be complaining, we've had one of the mildest winters I can ever remember, but I can't wait for summer. I'm one of those people who'd prefer to be sweating bullets over a little chilly any day of the week. I make for a ridiculous Canadian.

This is the time of year when we're all getting a little impatient, even if we don't realize it. On nicer days when the kids are out playing in the streets they're rude and rambunctious. People are tailgating each other in their cars, impatient for no particular reason. We're all sick of waiting, sick of being cooped up inside and nearing our breaking points. And this drizzly weather feels more like fall than spring, which is just depressing.

The weather forecast only goes five days into the future, and the next five days are a mix of rain and snow, grey and dreary. I realize it won't last forever, but when it's all that's in the forecast it's enough to make you want to hide under the covers. Which is where I'm hanging out for the time being. I have the fireplace on, a movie playing on the TV, and a hot chocolate nestled in my hand. And I'm not coming out until spring. (Except to go to work. A girl needs to eat).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Truth About Me and Dresses

Everyone in the world has at least one lie that they tell themselves. Maybe it's that they can cook, that they're intellectual when they're really not or that they're much more physically fit than they actually are. We all have that one blind side, those truths about ourselves that we realize and we just refuse to accept. For me, among many others, it's dresses and skirts. I just can't accept that I hate wearing them.

Every year, as spring approaches I go through my girly phase. All I want to do is wear pretty, feminine things and channel Audrey Hepburn and the 1950's. I go out and buy new clothes, twirling in front of the mirror as I picture Maddie and myself strolling through the sunshine of summer, looking like we belong on the streets of Paris. Do I ever wear these clothes? No. I don't. By the time summer arrives I'm over it, and even if I think of wearing the cute skirts and dresses, I take one look outside and change my mind. It's too windy, they're uncomfortable, bla bla bla. And I end up going out in jeans and a t-shirt, looking like a slob. Okay, maybe not a slob, but definitely not like I belong in Paris.

I like to pretend that my hatred for wearing skirts shows that I'm a more evolved woman, that I won't sacrifice something as crucial as comfort for style and beauty. But the truth is, I think taking the time to dress in something nice and take pride in your appearance shows a lot more dignity and respect for yourself than throwing on jeans and a t-shirt and calling it feminism. After all, a feminist is above all proud to be a woman. Why would a feminist look down their nose at something feminine? And you know what else? I love skirts! I love the way they look on me, they way they make me feel when I stare at myself in the mirror. So, I buy them. And they sit in my closet unworn, because I hate how careful I have to be when I sit down, how I have to be nervous every time there's a breeze. And yet, despite my knowledge of their fate, I can't stop buying them.

Maybe the reason we tell ourselves these lies, is because we refuse to give up. If we admit that we can't cook, or we're not intellectual, what reason would there be to pull out the frying pans and works of Shakespeare? We tell these lies because it's who we hope to be. It's the ideal version of ourselves. If we give up the lie do we give up our hope? Or would being honest with ourselves give us the kick in the pants to actually make it a reality? I don't know. But I bought a dress today, and I'm going to try to wear it. Just as soon as I find a cute pair of comfortable shoes to go with it. (What? At least some part of me has to be comfortable).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Birthday Fun

Wow, I cannot believe how busy I've been for the last two days. I can't believe how busy I was today. Wednesday was my birthday, so I took the day off work to have fun and treat myself right. In the morning I went out for smoked salmon eggs benedict with my sister, followed by a 90 minute massage, then she and I went shopping and had sushi for lunch, followed by even more shopping. After which I was tired and went home for a nap before going out for dinner and dessert with my husband. It was a fabulous day, just what I wanted for my birthday.

Yesterday, I went back to work and had a full two days worth of business to catch up on. It kept me running all day, leaving no time for my scheduled blog posting and I didn't get a chance to do it afterward either. After work I went straight home to feed the dog and let her out before jumping in the car with my husband to go pick up my mother in law, who wanted to take us out for supper. Supper ended up taking several hours and by the time I got home I could only get ready for bed and crawl beneath the sheets for some much needed shut eye.

Tonight is also a busy evening, as is tomorrow night, but I don't mind. That's four days in a row I don't have to cook supper. Can you think of a better birthday present than that? Yep, it's been a really great week. Sorry I'm a day late with the blog posting. But I think when it comes to birthdays, we all deserve a little slack. I'll post again tomorrow and get our schedule back on track. Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Quest for a Lamp

Yes, I know. You all raced to your computers today, delirious with the expectation of stunning Before and After photos, and here I am disappointing you again. Unfortunately, the office just isn't quite there yet. But it's very close. There are just a few small details left to be finished. But those will come with time. Every day I get a little closer, and yesterday I took a big step in the right direction.

Yesterday, I spent most of my free time in search of a lamp. A floor lamp. With no overhead lighting, the office relies solely on the power of assorted lamps for proper illumination. And I was currently not in possession of anything suitable, both in brightness and style.

I should tell you, my husband was away this past weekend on a ski trip and due to arrive yesterday evening. The office had gone through its weekend transformation entirely without his knowledge, and I was desperate to have it completely finished for his return. So, I only had until 6:00PM to find a lamp and assorted artwork to finish the room and surprise and delight my husband. The most important object being the lamp. If I could just find a lamp, I'd be satisfied.

I don't know if you've ever been on the hunt for a reasonably priced and stylish floor lamp, but it's not easy. I spent most of the day on the internet, perusing the websites of various local stores trying to find the perfect floor lamp. It was not to be found. Finally, I discovered a possibility ot Rona, but I couldn't be sure due to the poor quality of the photo.

After work I hopped in the car and raced to Rona. It wasn't there. When I found an associate and had her look it up on the computer, she immediately cried, "Oh! THAT lamp. Yes, we don't have it anymore because it was always getting returned due to problems with the wiring and the stand. But if you like, I could order you one."

I looked at her for a moment, silently contemplating why she thought I'd still want one, before politely declining and leaving the store. Undetered, I went to Pier 1, Home Outfitters, Canadian Tire and Home Sense before I finally ended up at Urban Barn. I didn't have high hopes. Although they have beautiful lamps, they're always way too expensive. ($350 for a floor lamp? No thanks. Knock off $200 and then we'll talk). But low and behold, I found it. Sylish and a modest $140. And to top it off, they had it in stock.

So, I returned home with a new floor lamp and a few decorative accessories I'd found along the way, with just enough time to set it up and surprise my husband. But it is done? Not quite yet. Stay tuned, faithful viewers. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Office Reno Update

As you may recall, I've been working at cleaning up and redecorating the shameful mess that is my office. This weekend I made a huge leap forward, thanks to the help of my very good friend and design genius, Chelsea. All this past week I'd been cleaning out the clutter and reorganizing all my receipts, files and so on, until at last the office was clean. On Friday night, Chelsea met me at home depot, helped me pick out a paint color and wall paper and we got to work. In that single evening we painted the entire room (two coats) and wall papered the focal wall. It was amazing. Not many people have a friend so willing to drop everything and spend their entire Friday evening painting and working with wallpaper. Which let me tell you, is a frustrating endeavor. I chalk it up to the strength of our friendship that we weren't at each others throats by the end of the evening. We'd made it through without a single fight.

The next day (Saturday) I repainted the trim around the window and the closet door, fixed up a few oops on the ceiling, cleaned and put away all the paint stuff and moved the furniture back in. Not only that, but I cleaned the entire house from top to bottom, walked the dog and did a few loads of laundry. (Yes, I am the champion of productivity).

Today was all about accessories. I went shopping for cute knick knacks and things to put in the room, a new floor lamp and some wall decor. I only found a few knick knacks, so the search continues for a new floor lamp and wall art. I did however, manage to make it to the fabric store and picked out some nice material to re-cover the office chair. I don't think I'm going to do the whole thing, probably just the arms, which are getting a bit worn. I might make a matching throw pillow to go with the chair as well. To top it off I walked the dog and had coffee with my mother in law. There's still more I want to get done tonight, but I'll have to wait and see if I can pick up the tools I need.

So, to sum up, it's coming along nicely. I was really hoping to have it all done and be able to put up 'before' and 'after' pictures, but it's not quite there yet. Instead I'll try for Tuesday. I decided not to put up midway pictures, I'd rather give you the shocking 'before' with the jaw dropping 'after'. That way you're duly and properly stunned. Not to mention, I don't want to show you how bad it was before without a truly awesome after to redeem myself. So stay tuned, there's more to come!

Friday, March 9, 2012

40 Things I Want to Tell You - A Book Review

Last weekend I had the good fortune of sitting down to read Alice Kuipers' new book, 40 THINGS I WANT TO TELL YOU. As you know, I already think Alice Kuipers is a remarkable human being (read my tribute to her here). But I can honestly say (without fear of being biased) that her latest book is a true work of art. Everyone, adults and youngs adults alike, should read her book. It's just that good.

Here is the synopsis from the book jacket:

"Amy (a.k.a. Bird) seems to have the perfect life: loving parents, a hot boyfriend, the best friend ever. She even writes an online advice column, full of Top Tips, to help other teens take control of their lives. But after a new guy shows up at school, Bird can’t seem to follow her own wisdom.

Pete is the consummate bad boy. He’s everything Bird is not: wild, unambitious and more than a little dangerous. Although she knows he’s trouble, Bird can’t stay away. And the more drawn she is to Pete, the more cracks are revealed in her relationship with Griffin, her doting boyfriend. Meanwhile, her parents’ marriage is also fracturing, possibly for good.

Bird is way out of her comfort zone. All it takes is one mistake, one momentary loss of control, for her entire future to be blown away . . ."

The book is amazing. The writing grabbed me right from the start. At one moment I was in my own world, the next I was in Bird's. I couldn't believe how immediately I connected with the character, how I felt watching her entire world fall apart around her. I felt as though I were reading the story of a close friend, not a made up character.

I think the reason Bird is such a compelling character is because she's so human. Who hasn't missed the warning signs? What hasn't had their expectations fall to pieces around them? Who hasn't, at some point or another, felt utterly alone? Bird is a character with such depth, such undeniable hope, it's impossible not to identify with her.

The story progresses beautifully, near impossible to put down the whole way through. (And I should know, despite having a full time job and countless other responsibilities I read it in 48 hours). It's a wonderful story, skillfully told and deeply moving. It's the kind of tale that sits with you, that teaches you something you never knew about yourself. Do yourself and your weekend a favour, go out and buy this book.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Unevolved Man

As you may or may not know, my beloved new office job is with a construction company. On a daily basis any number of truck drivers, carpenters, electricians, and etc will pass through my office to visit with my boss. It's amazing how amongst all these masculine jobs are some of the least manly men I've ever seen in my life.

More often than not, these are the type of men to curl their lip at anything they feel is even the least bit 'unmanly'. Unfortunately, they don't realize that it is exactly this sort of attitude that renders them as unappealing and 'unmanly'. Working with your hands is sexy, but not when it comes with a side of homophobia, sexism, racism or cruelty to animals. This is not manly. These sorts of prejudice are based in fear. How 'manly' is it to be afraid you "might catch gay" from someone? Or work as equals with a woman? It's pathetic.

A real man is secure enough in himself that he doesn't care what other people say. A man who thinks it's "being a pussy to wear a helmet" when riding a bike or skateboard isn't a real man. A real man would protect his brain and not worry about what anyone else thinks.

I understand that to some men, farmers and ranchers mostly, animals are seen more as utilitarian. And that's fine. Generally, there's still a line of respect for what the animals gives them. But a man who thinks it's okay to kick a dog when it's in his way, who takes for granted the automatic and unconditional love a pet has for him, isn't a real man. Because a real man knows that true strength is found in mercy. That it takes courage to love and forgive.

No, the kind of man these certain fellows are is not a masculine one. It's an unevolved one. Weak and pathetic, these unevolved men need to be trimmed from the herd. Because the rest of us have no patience for the unevolved. We want real men, not unevolved ones.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Five Hundred New Fairy Tales

Guardian Books tweeted this link today, and I have to say, I'm very excited. Apparently five hundred new fairy tales, locked away for over one hundred and fifty years, have been discovered in an archive in Regensburg, Germany. The collection was gathered by a local historian named Franz Xaver von Schonwerth. (Awesome name, am I right? Whatever happened to four word names?)

The reason this is so exciting is because I love fairy tales. Old ones. Not the disney versions, but the dark, twisted real versions. I once read the German version of Snow White and do you want to know what happened to her wicked stepmother in that one? They made her dance to death on hot coals. Twisted, just as it should be. And now, there are five hundred new ones. FIVE HUNDRED. That's a lot of fairy tales.

I've always wanted to create my own fairy tales, but it's surprisingly difficult. Every time I try they just end up as a new version of an old one. This must be why so many of the old story tellers took drugs. It's probably a lot easier to imagine trolls and dragons when you think they're wandering around your living room. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. (Nothing new there). The point I'm trying to make is that a discovery like this is special. The world needs stories, and when we discover ones that were lost, it's pretty amazing. Not to mention, we can never have enough fairy tales. I don't think there's an English translation of the stories yet, but I encourage you all to read the article. It's pretty neat.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Tribute to Alice Kuipers, Writer Extraordinaire

On Thursday night I attended the launch of Alice Kuiper's new book, 40 THINGS I WANT TO TELL YOU at McNally Robinson. It was fabulous! I had SUCH a good time. The place was packed with friends and fans, with the staff having to scramble to bring out more chairs. It's not a surprise though, because not only is Alice an exceptionally talented writer, but she's also an exceptional human being. If you want the truth, here it is: Alice Kuipers is my hero.

In December of 2010, I sent her an email while she was working as the Writer in Residence at the public library. I was nervous about coming in. I'd been thinking about writing for a long time, considering whether or not it was a possible to do it professionally, and I suffered from a supreme lack of confidence. Alice encouraged me to come in and bring some of my work. And with a little convincing, I did. It was one of the best things I've ever done.

Going to meet with her was positively nerve wracking. I remember sitting in the chair outside her office, feeling queasy and embarrassed. I so desperately wanted to hear that there was hope for me, but at the same time I was positive she was going to gently break the news that dreams of professional writing were unrealistic. After all, my entire life I'd wanted to be a writer, but everyone had always told me it was a pipe dream - like wanting to become a movie star. When I was twelve, an auntie once broke out laughing when I told her and reminded me through giggles that writers don't make any money. Defeated, I'd stopped telling people. Instead, I followed other paths, but none of them ever left me feeling fulfilled or happy. I hated every job I tried.

The first thing Alice did when I met her, was sit me down and ask me questions. Why did I want to be writer? What kind of writer did I want to be? What was I working on now? It was amazing. I sat there, flabbergasted, unsure of what to say or how to answer. She was asking me real questions. She was taking me seriously. There wasn't a trace of amusement on her face. She wasn't humoring me. She really wanted to know. And so it began. I saw her every month for her entire residency, each time sending her my work to critique. I took classes she was teaching and grew a lot as a writer. Granted, I still have a long way to go and plenty more to learn (I don't think anyone ever stops learning), but Alice Kuipers was the first person to ever take me seriously. She made me believe it was possible.

And so, as I sit here on a quiet Saturday afternoon, enjoying my signed copy of her latest book (which you should all run out and buy, it's fantastic!) I think about how Alice Kuipers took the time to talk to me, to help me, and most importantly, to take me seriously. It is because of her help that I am working at my dream, and I know I'm not alone. Alice Kuipers, not only are you a fabulous writer, you are an amazing person. THANK YOU.

*If you'd like to learn more about Alice Kuipers and her books, visit www.alicekuipers.com

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feeling Crafty (But Not Evil)

This post could also have been titled "Pinterest, What Have You Done to Me?" because I'm holding them entirely responsible for my recent voyage into the world of crafts.

I can't help it. Lately, I've felt the need to make pretty things, even if those things are slightly useless. The other night I sat down and spent the entire evening making bookmarks. Why? Because they're pretty. And as I was assembling them and realized I was out of glue, I looked up a recipe for glue online and made some. Why? Because I couldn't stand the thought of waiting until the next day to finish them.

The day after that? Homemade envelopes. That's right. I made my own envelopes. And I was so excited about it that I sat down and wrote a letter just to use one. And why did I do this? You guessed it. Because they're pretty.

I don't know if it's an abundance of creative energy or a hatred of this still unending winter, but every time I see a beautiful craft on pinterest I can't resist. Who knows what I'll end up making tomorrow? As long as it's pretty it could be anything.

Although on the bright side, I am watching less television.

*Now, for your amusement I've included a few pictures to show off the fruits of my crafty labours. If you would like to learn how to make your own bookmarks click here, if you'd like to learn how to make your own adorable envelopes click here. Enjoy!