I hope you’ve all had a great weekend. We finally got a chance to go to Barnes & Noble for our date night and I thoroughly enjoyed my cafe mocha, catching up on Bust Magazine, and jotting down the title of lots of new books for my wishlist. I’ll tell you about those in another post because this post is about art, color and finding time to create.

I’ve read a couple of articles lately which have inspired me but I am always finding it hard to carve out sufficient time for crafting. I want a full day to sit at my table and craft. But what if you just don’t have the time? So while watching some Youtube videos on crafting (maybe I should cut down my Youtube time but that’s for another discussion) I found Maremi SmallArt and thought her 1 minute challenge was fantastic. This is just what I needed.

How many of us complain about not having enough time? I know I’m always saying that but if you just put aside a couple of minutes you can actually get a lot done.

Her challenge was to set your timer to one minute and make some backgrounds for your art journal, cards or whatever mixed media projects you are working on. I set aside some paints, a couple of stencils, my journal and baby wipes.

I had some false starts. One because it was hard to squeeze out paint from some of my paint bottles so I moved to squeeze-y tubes. Then because I squeezed too much paint. Isn’t it funny when you haven’t done something in a while, you get flustered more easily?

Finally, I got my backgrounds done in exactly one minute. Are these beautiful or perfect? No, I was aiming for fun and a learning experience. Now I don’t have a blank page staring at me. I can go back whenever I want and add text, stamps, whatever. This showed me though that even with a bit of time I can create something.

So hope this helps you think about your art/craft projects. Maybe you’ve already been doing something like this or this might be something you want to try as well. I would love to hear if you have some advice or tips on making time for all of your hobbies.

Book Hoarding

I couldn’t pass up reading an article on Lithub of 10 Famous Book Hoarders. Have you read it? While I was surprised to read that Karl Lagerfeld has a collection of more than 300,000 books, I think what was more surprising was to see Oprah’s collection is only 1,500. I always imagined that Oprah’s collection would be huge.

In the article some celebrities had collections of 400 books while the largest were in the thousands and it just made me think about some of the collections. Some people seem to collect books on subjects that are near and dear to them but some I wonder if it’s just for the aesthetics. And, while books are beautiful, I hoard them because I love to read.

I think most of us collect books because we are bookworms. When I was in my 20s I couldn’t imagine getting rid of any books and started amassing quite a lot. Over the years, I’ve written about how that has significantly changed for me. I trade books with friends, give away books to the library and sometimes I take books to Half Price Books to sell only to use the money to purchase more new books.

When I buy books, I buy them because I fully intend to read them. Granted, a lot of these have become shelf-sitters but that’s why I do cull the stacks every once in a while because I know my reading tastes change. Still I’m always hopeful that I will eventually get to all of those books on my shelves.

My house has a lot of books. My husband’s office has a full wall of shelves and most of the shelves are filled with his books. And, of course my studio/library also has a full wall of shelves. My shelves are double-stacked and have now spilled over onto the floor. I don’t know how many books I have but last time I counted my collection was at a little over 1,000 books.

Do you consider yourself a collector? How many books do you have and/or do you keep books?

Have a wonderful weekend! I think I will spend some time with my books and maybe try not to add more books to the shelves this weekend. Haha.

Mystery Talk

We had a fun time at our mystery book group this week because not only did we discuss a good book, it was also a book exchange meeting. Twice a year we all bring books we want to trade and somehow we all end up leaving with bags full. I always think I’m not going to take more than I bring but that never happens. I ended up with five books of various types of mysteries – cozies, spy and thriller.

Our discussion focused on Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye which was an overall favorite read. I think most of us could appreciate that this was not a typical mystery. It was more of a novel with some crimes but it gave us lots of good fodder for discussion. Is killing someone in self-defense ok? Would it be easier to kill another person who put you or a loved one in peril? And was the main character really a serial killer? Oh boy, we only had five questions to go over but we easily spent more than an hour discussing these.

Over the few months we have some great reads but I may have to miss two meetings due to vacation and work commitments but we’ll see. Our next book is Lost Boy by Camilla Läckberg. I’m really excited about this one.

I would start that already but here we are past the mid-month point and I have only finished one book! So rather than adding one more to my already stack of 7 or so books I am going to focus on clearing my stack a bit.

In case you are thinking, what about your mystery book for book group. Didn’t you finish that in June? Well friends, I was the annoying person at book group who shows up without having finished the book. I rarely let that happen but it did this time. I’m very close to the end of Jane Steele but still can’t cross it off. How about you, do you show up at book group without finishing the book?