What Color Means to Me

More Crafts, More Miscellaneous

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?  Can one really explain this? No.” ~Pablo Picasso

I am proud to have a short essay and photograph published in the latest issue of Uppercase Magazine.  Issue 22 was entirely devoted to COLOR, and what a beautiful publication it turned out to be!  The Uppercase website  has a beautiful feature of the issue along with a video that you can enjoy.  The prompt:  What Color Means to Me… inspired me to write about learning to crochet as a young girl.  Crochet continues to be one of my favorite artistic mediums and choosing yarn for a project is such a happy, colorful process.

issue22-heldIf you haven’t had the pleasure of savoring an issue of Uppercase, you absolutely must treat yourself to a copy of this creative, and visually stimulating, publication.  Seriously, head over to the website and start your subscription.  It’s a gift to yourself.  Really. (You can even take advantage of the discount code “roygbiv” for $15.00 off the subscription price.)

U22-colourmeans-spread3That’s my piece in the lower left-hand corner.  (I never get tired of seeing my work in print!)

Best wishes for a colorful day!

The Art of Reading with Jennifer Rodriguez

More Books, The Art of Reading


Art + Books = Bliss

Welcome to the “Art of Reading.” I’m so glad you could stop by to see a talented artist and hear about her love of reading and the books she adores.  I’ve said it before, but artistic, creative women are very often avid readers!  Hopefully, you will be able to add a few books to your “List of Books to Read,”  as well as visit her beautiful blog and see some  inspiring designs!

Stop by soon for another reader profile, and in the meantime, “Happy crafting and happy reading!”

Let me introduce: Jennifer Rodriguez

Blog or website:  All Things Belle (blog)  and Etsy Shop

What creativity do you share with the world?  I am passionate about art and creating. In the quiet wee hours of the night, when my precious daughters and husband are sleeping, I design quilt and crochet patterns as well as create mixed media art. I love playing with color in just about every media form: fabric, paint, fiber, and more. It is my dream to inspire people to take the time to create. Art and creating have an amazing way to free our spirits as well as brighten our worlds.

  • Book OR e-reader? Book
  • Buy OR lend from the library? Library
  •  Hardcover OR paperback? Hardcover
  • One book at a time OR several? Several
  • Skip ahead and read the last page OR be patient and wait? Skip
  • Abandon a bad book OR stick with it no matter what? Abandon
  • Laugh OR cry? Laugh…always
  • Cover Love: I love this cover of Wicked by Gregory Maguire

How do you acquire the books you read?  As a librarian, it is important to me to support my local library. A majority of the books I read come from my local library. In addition, I’ve recently joined an online site, paperbackswap.com, and love it! It is an amazing way to swap books with other readers across the nation.

Do you have a childhood favorite?   My childhood favorite books were the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I remember my father reading them to us at bedtime. I didn’t always listen attentively, and my mother and I tended to tease my father while he read, but it sparked my interest in books and history.

I actually DO have a favorite book!  My all time favorite book is Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I’ve had an obsession with the Wicked Witch of the West since I was a toddler. I am fascinated by the general perception that beauty equals good and unusual equals evil. I simply love that Mr. Maguire has changed the way we see Elphaba. I don’t think I could read this book too many times. And yes, I adore the musical as well.

One of my favorite quotes from a book is:                            “Don’t ever tell anyone anything. If you do, you start missing everybody”   The Catcher in Rye by J.D. Salinger

A book that changed my life is…  The book that has played the most significance in my life so far is The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. I recommend it to each and every person who is considering going into business for themselves. I’ll never forget reading it in an airport and spontaneously crying. It is extremely hard to start your own business, and this book pinpoints every reason why. I can not recommend this book highly enough.

If I could sit down for dinner with a fictional character it would be…. I would love to have a martini with Scarlett from    Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I have to know what happened after the story ended! I am not a huge fan of the modern sequel and didn’t think it ran true to her character. She has always been one of my favorite heroines; she was resilient, independent, and didn’t give a hoot about what anyone thought of her.

The last book that made me cry….  I bawled for most of  A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kahled Hosseini. As a mother, this book touched and broke my heart so many times. It is extremely well written and I highly recommend it. Just get the Kleenex ready..

 One of my favorite art/craft/how-to books is…. Sew Wild by Alisa Burke because I love the idea of using your sewing machine as an art tool. As an art quilter, I see my sewing machine as more of a creative companion rather than a utilitarian tool. Alisa gives amazing inspiration and techniques with free motion sewing.

Brilliantly Brilliant Dottie Angel!

More Books, More Crafts

“Never doubt your instincts in a thrift store.”  -Dottie Angel

Yes, I’m still talking about the Creative Connection Event.  (It may never end, so hopefully you’re okay with it!) While I was there,  I had the amazing opportunity to meet with the publisher of Uppercase Magazine Janine Vangool for my Pitch Slam.  Her company published the book I want to tell you about….. Dottie Angel: the Peachy Crafty World of Tif Fussell.

I absolutely must borrow from Tif’s super-fun vocabulary to tell you that this book is, “peach, fabby, and brilliantly brilliant!”  I had been saving this treasure since I got home from TCC.  It was perched on top of a pile waiting for a really quiet, special moment when I could settle in for an extended amount of uninterrupted time.  When you hold this book in your hands, you will understand that trying to read it while commuting, or perhaps cramming in a few pages at the doctor’s office, just won’t do this sweet little volume justice.  This book has so many special touches, it feels as if it were handmade just for me.  It wasn’t just rolled off the presses and put in a box.  No,  I’m not going to give away the surprises.  You’ll just have to order one for yourself from Uppercase.  I could go on and on about why I love this book, but most of all, I love that when I read it, I feel like I’m sitting in the Airstream with “Dottie” (Tif)  on a lovingly weathered chair, covered with hand crocheted doilies, drinking a cup of tea,  in a beautifully chipped cup from the thrift store, and gazing at some of her handmade treasures.  When I read the description of the book, I must say, she had me at “thrift store.”  I confess — I’m a complete thrift store junkie!  Tif and I have exactly the same passions:  crocheted covered vintage hangers, ceramic animal figurines and granny squares!  We both have “crafting epiphanies” and an appreciation for anything with “granny chic!” She is “utmost kind” in sharing ideas for fun little treasures to make, and she tells you about her special little world where tools have names and bunnies wear capes.  “Thank you kindly,” Tif, for the crafty ideas, the walks down memory lane, and for letting me into the perfectly blissful world of my new best friend, Dottie Angel!