Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday Musings_Website Woes, Stamp Carving & Delightful Reading

Good afternoon!

First Monday of the month, clean slate. So much potential! I've always looked at the beginning of a new month as a new chance for all those plans and goals you had last month but just didn't seem to get around to.

Hey, we all understand, right? Life happens and it should! Not that we should let those goals and plans get tossed aside easily. But we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves to keep to a rigid schedule when the Muse comes along and wants to play. We write, we create, we run dry. Schedules keep us on track, let our Muse know where we'll be and when. They are under no obligation to show up but at least, if we're consistent, they'll know where to find us when they flap their fickle wings and wander by.

And when they arrive, we've got to be ready. Sure, sometimes they'll say, "Grab that pen! Pick up those sewing needles!" Many times, however, they'll grab you by the wrist and drag you someplace you don't want to go. You didn't plan to go anywhere today. You planned on WORKING. It's OK. Go with it. Run away with your Muse every now and then. That's where all the good stories are found!

So far today I've wrestled with some website work that looks as if it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Design errors and I'm by no means a designer. I'm just taking over the updates. Kind of hard to update a website when it acts like your computer screen is too small and, "Sorry! You can't scroll to get to that one icon that you really need in order to make that update!" Ugh.

My art has taken a fun turn. That stack of fabric you see there was the one that had all the knots in it from last week. It's now nicely pressed and slowly getting cut into squares to, hopefully, become a quilt.

I've always been fascinated with textiles and their design. I've had Lotta Prints by Lotta Jansdotter for YEARS and I've taken it out, skimmed it, put it back on the shelf. Last night I grabbed a little piece of lino cut rubber and started carving a little stamp. I forgot how much fun it is! The plan is to use that little stamp on some scrap fabric and get a feel for printing my own. Stay tuned for how that turns out :)

As for the writing, well...that's still hanging out in some other forest and I've yet to find the path. I'm OK with that, really. I'm just hovering about the porch of the cottage, waiting for the sunlight to tilt just so and show me the little trail I need to follow. Or perhaps it's the moon I need to watch for, a wavering silver serpent winding it's way through nettles and Solomon's Seal. Hmmm...Perhaps I'll wander a bit this evening, down the lane, turn to the left, see what lies in store.

Yesterday was deliciously grey and rainy, the perfect Sunday for reading. I finished off The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson and started The Boggart by Susan Cooper.

Platform 13 is a charming fairy tale, a very straight-forward fantasy in that impossibly dry wit that all Brits possess. It moves very fast and packs a lot of action and information in not a lot of pages. It's a Middle Grade fantasy so expect some obvious predictability, especially in regards to things you'll see long before our characters do. But that's part of the fun! That's what I enjoyed about it. I figured it out a few chapters in and the growing frustration made me hurry to the end. The characters are charming if a bit old fashioned but I'm a fan of old-fashioned tales. Very clever and lots of fun from start to finish. I particularly liked Ibbotson's handling of the fantasy creatures, especially the ones I'd never heard of! I now want to go on a Google-quest to see if she's unearthed some ancient beings long bereft of folkloric chronicles or if she's into creature creation of her own.

As for The Boggart, I'm only four chapters in and have just arrived in Scotland (via the train the characters took) and I'm eating lunch with them while they wait for their father to fetch their rental car from the train car. I had no idea you could load a car onto a train! That makes my UK traveling dreams far more accessible! Now I just need to learn how to drive a stick...on the OTHER side of the road!

I hope you have a fantastic Monday! How is your February shaping up so far? Got any plans rolling over from January or are you one of those folks who checks 'em off and starts all fresh and shiny-new come the new month? Read any good books lately? Does your Muse have to hunt for you or are you usually an easy target?

Stay where the Muse can find you,


  1. Very true - I forgot how much fun it is! I used to do it a lot when in school - carving out stamps.

    1. It's alot of fun. I need to do it more often than I do. Of course, once I carve them I need to USE them rather than just put them in a box and carve another :D


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