Daring Girls Reading List

Just found a link to that reading list I wrote about the other day; thought some of you might be interested to see what’s on it.  Scroll down to pages three-five. 


Speaking of mother-daughter book clubs (the first two pages of the link, for those of you non-link-clickers), I always push books into my mom’s hands.  She’s just finished reading four books by Liz Curtis Higgs set in Scotland in the 1700s.  The other day I came home from school and she said, “There’s my wee bonny lass.”  No more Scottish Highlands literature for her for a while!


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Happy Halloween


I made a Halloween costume for one of my best friends this year.

It was my first sewn garment.


I will not be appearing on Project Runway anytime soon.


What was it?

I’ll give you a clue.

She wasn’t Dorothy.

Actually, that’s two clues, because now you know it was for a girl, too.

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Can I just read for a living?


One of my favorite things is to walk through my house and see every single member of my family reading a book.  It makes me think twice about having a t.v. in my future home (although I am rather attached to Glee, and Project Runway, and The Hills/The City<-don’t mock) (and speaking of, there’s this girl in one of my classes who looks just like a heavier-set, brunette Whitney Port.  Sometimes I think about this when I should be taking notes on Russian politics.)

So.  Where were we?  oh yeah..Books.

So I realized not to long ago that I have missed out on a lot of ‘the classics’ over the course of my life.  My dad just finished reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  (Just for the fun of it–wtc?! )  He’s taking a break with a John Grisham, then he’s going to read To Kill a Mockingbird.  When he told me this, I remembered that I have never read TKAM, but have always planned to, someday, maybe.  You know.  When the urge hits me.  So we went to Barnes and Noble, bought the cheapest edition of the book, and he told me that if I wanted to read it while he was reading his other book, I could.  So I figured, what the heck, and read it.


Oh. My. Gosh.  How have I made it through 21 years of my life without reading this book?!  It was so great; and it completely reaffirmed my resolution to go back and make up for some of the (well-known) classics I’ve missed out on or not fully appreciated the first time around.  I started making a list, and figured I’d try to read at least one classic a month.  Then, I was flipping through my copy of The Daring Book for Girls (no. 1 book I wish had been around when I was nine or ten), and they have three pages of “Books That Will Change Your Life”.  This includes everything from Ramona to Wuthering Heights (incidentally, the classic I had made a mental note to reread in November).  So I’ve pretty much decided to just work my way through this list.  I’ve read probably half of them or so, but many not since I was a kid, so I think I’m going to reread them.  And then, because this list, although it’s excellent, doesn’t include several of my childhood favorites, I think I’m going to make my own list.  Of course I will tell you all about it.  You know I love to talk about books.  If you want to read along, maybe we can have our own virtual bookclub..

What would be on your list of girl classics and other books that will change your life?


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Fall is here and I love it!

A little while back I was wearing this outfit:


And I got the following comment from a random guy I passed: “That’s a serious look.  I like it.”

I chose to believe he was referring to my outfit, which was a serious look for a rainy Wednesday on a college campus, and not the look on my face (which was probably very serious, too, as I had a test in an hour and it was just all-around a stressful day).  Here’s the ‘serious look’ without my ‘His Girl Friday’ trench:


That belt is what I imagine a corset would feel like.  It reminds me of a passage from Eight Cousins: ‘ “…The idea of cramping a tender little waist in a stiff band of steel and leather just when it ought to be growing,” said Dr. Alec, surveying the belt with great distaste…’  Oh, what we do for fashion..

The dress and the belt and the boots came from a fall break getaway to Chattanooga with a couple of friends from school, but before that was a family reunion in Knoxville.  Some pictures from a Tennessee weekend:


We stopped at Mayfield on the way for ice cream.


Of course there was frisbee, and cards,


and all manner of silliness.


We slept in a pop-out camper–super fun, once the little third cousins stopped terrorizing us.  (It was also super fun to laugh at the antics of the little third cousins–a whole bunch of little boys who looked alike, full of that little boy bravado.)

The next day the family dropped me off in Chattanooga on the way home.  There was lots of eating, talking, Facebook stalking, walking, and shopping.  Highly anticipated was the fabulous used bookstore, McKay’s (and you know I have a phobia for used books, so for me to say it was fabulous means that it really is).  I’d never been before, but oh-my-gosh, I’m going back, and with a sack or two of books to trade in.  The haul:


Jill’s books (about 50 books total, most of those chapter books are stacks of multiple copies)


Beth’s books (again, just over 50)


And..my books..haha..I thought Jill and Beth were going to push me off the top of Lookout Mountain to get my hardcover copy of Hate that Cat.  We love Sharon Creech.  Who doesn’t love Sharon Creech, right?


They had their chance when we rode the Incline Railway.  The track is at a 72 degree angle.  I don’t know if you know this, but 72 degrees is practically straight up. 


The view from the top.  Pretty fabulous.

Kind of like this weather.  Which reminds me: this cool weather–it’s doing wonderful things to my hair, which is almost, just almost, back to a length I actually like.  By Thanksgiving, baby, when it’s time to see the other half of the Tennessee family.  I’ll have some more frisbee-card-playing-top-of-a-hill pictures for you then, too.  Ah, fall.  Are you here to stay this time?

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If my life was a Nora Ephron movie, it would have a really great soundtrack.

If you know me at all, you probably know that my very most favorite movie is “You’ve Got Mail”.  I love Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, her hair, the music, her BOOKSHOP, HER APARTMENT!!  Ackk!!   

So I made a quilt inspired by the quilt on her bed in that movie.



It’s a smallish, lap quilt sized throw based on this triangle tutorial from the Purl Bee, made up in sweet pinks and yellows alternating with linen.  I absolutely love it!  I am very haphazard, non-Type-A when it comes to sewing, so not all of those little corners match up, but it’s pretty and warm and I don’t care.

I also finished an UFO:



My beloved yo-yo pillow!  From this Design*Sponge tutorial..For this project I expanded my color selection to include my favorite light turquoise-y blues and sea greens.  I think project is the epitome of the “granny chic” style.  It just makes me so happy!  I love that all the little scrappy yo-yo’s pull together fabrics and colors from my other quilts and projects.  Also, I cannot cry when I am looking at this pillow, so it’s good for my emotional health, as well.  Here’s a picture of the back:


That stripey green on the top there is the backing of my “You’ve Got Mail” quilt.  It’s got little pink dots that pull it together, but still–lots of contrast.

Speaking of Nora Ephron, I managed to make it to “Julie and Julia” the last weekend it was in theaters around here–SO good!  It made me want to cook, which I did, with not a lot of success, later that same weekend.

This weekend, I have been super inspired (and distracted from productivity) by looking at this lady’s lovely quilts.  It makes me want to sew!

Why can’t I watch/read something that makes me want to study?


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Meet the Author


Beverly Lewis, aka one of my top three favorite authors of Christian fiction ever, was in a town 45 minutes from my house last Tuesday afternoon.  So you better believe I loaded myself up in my car and headed up there!  I’ve been reading Beverly Lewis books for the past 6 years or so.  I started with the Abram’s Daughters series, which is still my all-time favorite.  If you’re going to read any of her books, start with those.


She is just as super-sweet in real life as you would expect from reading her books.  You have no idea how much strength I had to summon to ask to have my picture taken with her; I am so incredibly bashful.  I felt very brave for even going by myself and standing in line with all those other ladies, feeling very out-of-place and conspicuous in my hot.pink.cardigan(sidenote: I may have been the first (only?) person in line under the age of 40).  Afterwards, I stopped by Sonic for what may be the perfect snack (tater tots and a Dr. Pepper with crushed ice) and read the first few chapters before I had to head back to class.

All in all–great afternoon!

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For those of you not in the craft-y world, I’m talking about unfinished objects.  And I have lots of them.


1.  Belinda–So yeah, I’ve been working on this wrap for almost a year.  And I’m about 1/4 of the way done..soo..3 years to go??  (Here it is back in November) 


2.  Pleated Wrap–from the Spring/Summer 09 issue of Debbie Bliss knitting magazine; raveled* here.  This is for my former piano teacher; it’s the priority project at the moment.


3.  Yo-yo pillow–from here..I am so incredible close to being done with this, but I stalled out right when school started back..Such a fun project though; those yo-yos were perfect for making while watching the OC block on SoapNet..If you’re thinking even just a little bit ‘Hey, I wanna make that’, I say Go For It! 


4.  Twelve Dancing Princesses–huge (3′ x 1.5′-ish) stitch, stitch, stitching project..Hafta find my transfer paper so I can finish their heads/hair/arms and the trees..I mean, this is pretty much going to be a family heirloom–I’m planning on my granddaughters fighting over who gets it when I die..


5.  Friendly Birds kit from Alicia Paulson (who is pretty much my hero)  It would be pretty great to finish this project before her new ornament kit comes out..

It would also probably be pretty great to finish some of these projects before starting this one (although I don’t know if I can resist!)  Or this one (need to wear some holes in the knees of my jeans)..Or another lovely one from A.Paul..

All these UFOs are hanging out on my one FO for the summer..my “You’ve Got Mail”-inspired pinwheel lap-ish quilt..more details and pics and wrinkly linen-cotton love to come about that.. 

*For those of you, again, not in the know, Ravelry is like Facebook for knitters; “raveled” is the equivalent of saying “facebooked”.


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