Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
I am eternally grateful for :
What about you? What brightens your day? What are you thankful for?
Enjoy it all.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
And to celebrate this momentous occasion (okay - so the movie is still a year away ...) I am going to host a Toy Story giveaway. The prize will be kept secret (for now) and here is how you enter : Tell us one of your favorite lines from Toy Story 1 or 2. Leave it in the comment section of this post via the blog (not Facebook or Twitter). And be sure to include your current e-mail address so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner!
Share the Toy Story love my friends.
P.S. Entries will be accepted till midnight Sept. 6th. Winner announced Sept. 7th.
P.P.S. If you cannot remember a particular line, please share something you love about the Toy Story movies, or some other related tidbit :) All comments will be welcome and entered into the drawing!
UPDATE: Here is the picture of what is being given away ... a handmade Toy Story journal made from an upcycled Golden Book. For details see here.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Slowly but surely, (with the replacement of the former CEO), Borders has become nothing more than a "big-box-store". I haven't worked there for years now, but have always been a loyal customer ... and I have finally settled on the fact that the book shop I loved so well will never be the same again. All the dedicated book-loving employees are gone. The music department is almost no more. The coffee shop is now owned by another company. The registers are inundated with candy, cheap magazines and dime-store souveniers. The various fun nights of music and social gatherings are totally gone. And our once beloved children's department now looks like a toy store:
One day, Isaac and I walked into Borders, after just having been there two evenings prior, to find that what we used to call the "book cave" was now filled with all manner of "Made in China" toys. I was absolutely appalled. I asked to speak to a manager - who turned out to be one of the shift managers I had worked with before. I asked him what in the world was going on. He assured me that there were just as many books as there had been prior to their "toy store makeover" ... but truth be told - I don't believe him. There simply is no possible way. Everywhere I looked, there were toys - not books. I then asked him "Why?". He told me that the company had to sell what people want ... and they don't want books. SERIOUSLY??? What happened to America when people no longer want to buy BOOKS from a BOOKSTORE??? Am I that unique in wanting my son to grow up surrounded by books, music and social gatherings? In Bangor? I mean - Bangor was/is all about kids, community, social experiences, small-town gatherings, education, etc. What happened? And where was I when the change took place?
Needless to say perhaps ... but I am flustered by this. It has rattled me in ways I didn't know were possible. I want my old Borders back. I want some skirt-wearing man with a ring in his nose to help me find the perfect book for my Isaac. I want to drink my latte on a Friday night to the sounds of a local jazz band. I want to meet the latest local authors and have them sign my books. I want Isaac to be able to attend some fun kid-oriented gatherings --- like the old science club we used to run, etc. And I definitely want to buy BOOKS at my local BOOKSTORE!
Can you feel me people? What do you think? What is going on in your neighborhoods for better or for worse? And more importantly --- where do you find your books?
P.S. I am lovin' that my man is growing out his gorgeous curly locks (see top photo). Yummy.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I read to Isaac every day. We have loads of books and I am always scouting for more (usually at thrift stores). I love to read him classic stuff of the fairy tale variety --- his favorite being Jack and the Beanstalk. I tend to be pretty particular about the books that enter our home --- they have to have some "meat" to them --- some depth --- some inspiration, etc --- or they don't get bought or borrowed.
But what could I do when Isaac won "The Backyardigans Hide and Go Boo" from his local library for completing his summer reading list? He loves it. Its what Mama calls "crap"... but he thinks it is marvelous. I tell you what you do ... you give in to it ... because he is reading (or trying to) ... and you just have to let go and allow him to explore what he loves. That's what you do. Hard as it may be --- and as much as I may want to eventually see "The Wind in the Willows" between his fingers --- I may have to settle for "Junie B. Jones". And I know for sure that if I suggest that "The Wind in the Willows" is a better book --- it will never get read. So, The Backyardigans it is --- for now --- until it mysteriously disappears :)
Enjoy your reading!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
... and some that I haven't yet taken photos of, including the following themes:
* Star Wars
* Charlie Brown & Snoopy
* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
* Winnie the Pooh
* Frog & Toad
* Little Bear
* Vintage Fairy Tales
* Disney's Peter Pan
* Beatrix Potter
I can customize a lot of them for you ... mixing & matching themes ... selling bigger or smaller lots. You decide. And if you have a theme in mind that I have not mentioned ... I am 99% sure I can make it for you! I am constantly sifting through old books in order to find art to recycle into pinback buttons.
All pins are one-of-a-kind, as they are created from previously loved books. And even if I have duplicate copies of a book, the chances that I cut them the exact same way are slim.
So - if you are interested, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or via this post and/or Facebook/Twitter) and I will be glad to create a custom order for you. Or if you prefer, you can just go to my shop and purchase some there.
Thank you for your continued patronage ... and for buying local, handmade goods!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
As an incentive for your participation, I am offering one of my handmade journals to the first, tenth and twentieth donors (maybe more as we go along). I have already contacted the first generous donor. She will be receiving The Tortoise and The Hare upcyled Golden Book journal.
How about you? Please consider sending a check for as little as $1. A little bit goes a long way in Haiti. And you may win a prize for doing so :)
Interested? Please read this post to find out more.
P.S. I have posted some of my Belfast, Maine photos here. More to come.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Yet, just a stones throw away ... in our neighboring country of Haiti ... there are children who want desperately to go to school ... but their parents have no means of paying for it ... let alone paying for school outfits and supplies.
But the thing is ... though it costs nearly an average years salary for Haitian parents to send their children to school (there is no public education there) ... it costs US just $250 a year to send one of their children to school. Imagine that! It is so easy for us to help them so that they may grow to help themselves. Haiti is in dire straits right now - there is no doubt of that - but if we give these kids a fighting chance - they can turn things around.
AND HERE IS WHAT I PROPOSE:
If every person who reads this blog ... and who is on my Facebook and Twitter friend lists ... just sends me a check for $1-$5 (written out to Haitian Roots and fully tax-deductible) ... we can send the following kids to school for the 2009/2010 school year:
Wouldn't that be wonderful?! We could give these 9 kids (not-yet-sponsored kids that I found on the Haitian Roots website - an organization run by a very dear friend of mine) an opportunity at life.
Last year, our family sponsored two young girls (we plan to do so again this year) ... and we received updates on their schooling, including a letter and hand drawn picture by one of the girls. What an amazing feeling it has been to know that a simple donation of $500 - paid directly to the school - has helped to change their lives and the lives of their families.
I encourage you - actually I beg you - to experience that same joy along with us .... and help us to send these kids to school ... where they not only will get the education that every child deserves, but they will also be guaranteed a hot meal each day (something they may not receive otherwise).
Please send a check for $1-$5 (made out to HAITIAN ROOTS) to the following address:
1746 Stillwater Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401
We will send the whole lot of checks to Haitian Roots & will make updates here on our blog as to how many children could be sponsored with your generosity. We will also be sure to update you about the children via Twitter, Facebook and this blog.
As many of you know, our son is from Haiti - and this cause is very dear to us. Thank you for your love and generosity.
P.S. If you prefer to donate via Paypal ... please use this button:
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As the three of us got into line for the Haunted House ride, the woman in front of us asked me if I was the author of the This Handmade Life blog. I was shocked to be asked, but answered with an excited "Yes! Are you a reader?". She replied that she had found me while googling for something and has followed me a bit ever since. Turns out she is from the Boston area and was visiting the Bangor area with members of her extended family, including her gorgeous nephew who is shown in the above photo. When asked how she recognized us, she said that she saw me with the camera, then saw Isaac and put it all together. I was thrilled.
I know that I have readers out there - as my stats tell em so - but to meet a *real* person who reads some of what I put out into the universe was such a special validation of what I am doing with this blog. I would love to expand on it --- and continue to share nuggets of goodness for encouraging others to create their own unique "handmade life".
So - a big shout out to all my "peeps". Thanks for reading & sharing. Please let me know what you would like to see more of here.
Monday, August 17, 2009
More Belfast photos to come.
And stay tuned for a shop giveaway this week!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Enjoy the video (its a hoot - be sure to watch it all the way through) ... then check out their shop. You may want to order one of the Kale Guys favorites!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
One-Eyed Jack crowed to the morning sunshine.
I greeted my sweet goat "Me" --- and when I went to feed her --- I noticed ---
--- that the newest batch of chicks has taken up residence in the goat barn ---
and --- a mouse has taken up residence in the feed bin.
I took a little walk and enjoyed seeing the morning dew sprinkled along all the wildflowers.
And I spied a spider grabbing its first meal of the day.
As I ended my morning exploration of our small farm --- making my way to the front door --- this creature (my Mom's cat) came underfoot --- trying to get friendly with me. (Keep dreaming kitty.)
Aside from the unwanted kitty (though she did make for a great photo op) --- it was a pleasure to explore a simple morning on our simple farm.
I will try to do it again --- at least for the photo opportunites that such a venture provides.
Enjoy your day!