Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review

George Eliot in LoveGeorge Eliot in Love by Brenda Maddox

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In today's culture, a woman author living with a married man would be hardly noticed. In 1850s' England, however, it was scandalous. Mary Ann Evans became the author George Eliot under the encouragement and guidance of her soul mate Henry George Lewes and lived with him for 25 years. Their love and devotion was perfectly matched in one another, although he had a wife and children. His wife, Agnes, bore children with someone else. It is the stuff of a good soap opera.

Most women writers of that time wrote under an assumed name to allow their work to be more widely accepted. Mary Ann Evans wrote a number of books, many of which have become classics. Her lengthy novel, Middlemarch is an almost perfect vision of English small town life. Mill on the Floss and Daniel Deronda are others. She researched extensively, as it shows in the accuracy and detail in her writings.

Although afflicted with ill health throughout her life, she continued to write until the death of her love, Mr. Lewes. She then married a man 20 years her junior, but died less than a year later.

This is a interesting look into a life quite out of the norm for the times.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review

Lark Rise (Essential.penguin)Lark Rise by Flora Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful descriptive book about the small English country village of Lark Rise, in the 1880's. Chapters include the way of living of various inhabitants, school life, home life routines, holiday times, church attendance, harvestime and relationships to one another. Also includes childrens' games with verses. As the first of a trilogy of books, Flora Thompson sets the foundation for the stories to follow as she wrote this based on her own life.

Coming late to the knowledge of this endearing author and also the PBS series "Lark Rise to Candleford", I have only recently viewed the first two years of the series. Both the book and the series are just brilliant. The series covers 4 years and has now been concluded to the dismay of so many. This is a wonderful book to retrieve a sense of what life was really like at the time. As an enduring Anglophile, I heartily recommend it.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

BUTTONY Cigar Box Makeover !

I had fun this week taking this from just a cigar box to SWEET BUTTON BOX with the help of an image I snagged long ago at Just Something I Made
Cathe Holden is so generous in making great images and other stuff available for the taking. THANKS CATHE! I enlarged her Buttons Image, then messed around with it in Paint with the spray can thingie to make it look sorta beat up and smudged with time.
The little blue strips come with the Button logo and I used them to cover other printing on the box.
Inside I used a smaller image but did not re-do it.

The box currently holds a black glass charmstring that I recently started. It has over 300 buttons, mostly 80-100 years old.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review

Dreamers of the DayDreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forty year old schoolteacher Agnes, having recently suffered the loss of her entire immediate family to the influenza epidemic, makes a huge decision to travel to Egypt and the Holy Land in the year 1921. Her sister and husband had been missionaries there and befriended T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) who Agnes plans to meet. Indeed she does meet him, as well as Winston Churchill and Lady Gertrude Bell at the Cairo Peace Conference. She interacts with them all and is especially invited on side trips by Mr. Churchill and his entourage. She finds love along the way and comes to understand both herself more and also the world which seems to constantly be either at war or planning it.

Accurate to history, this book wonderfully fleshes in the characters of that monumental time that set the stage for the Middle East for years to come and, in fact, even today.

Dreamers of the Day invokes the stories of all those men and women who have believed that their way was the way to change their world and others for the better, or at any rate, to their own betterment. Mary Doria Russell is a master at making the written page come alive with both history and the people's lives that make it.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

*****CHRISTMAS ***** Gluebook

For this Christmas themed gluebook, I used a regular book with quite thick white pages and since there was little text on the page, I did not cover the entire background as usual.  Most all the ephemera is vintage. I love doing books with a particular theme and Christmas is one of my favorite times.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day to Day Little Bits and Pieces ~~~

For many years I have kept a day to day gluebook; sorta like a scrapbook of the old days, but more of the little bits and pieces of daily life. As you can see, I include receipts, pics from magazines, bits of mail; address labels, pretty parts of an envelope, the addressed portion with my name. I include bits from places I've been, little bits the grandkids have drawn, pieces of products I like. Nothing is prohibited; I have even glued in swatches of hair from haircuts, cloth labels from a garment, found items from library books and so much more. It is quite fun to do and also to go back through the books from time to time, reliving my days.

I do not glue in this one every day, but leave it out where I can tuck little bits into the back of it and then from time to time, have a gluing session. It is an inexpensive way to sort of make a history of my life. After all, life is really about all the Little Bits and Pieces along the way.


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