Literary Origami – Bookworm and Snowflake

I did a DNA test and found out I’m 100% bookworm.
– Author Unknown –

This folded bookworm was a big disappointment. Too much big eyes and book, not enough worm. I’ll have to find a different pattern.
Would you know this was supposed to be a snowflake if I didn’t tell you it was supposed to be a snowflake?

Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes. No two are exactly alike.
– Graham Parke –


An Untrue Story that will Offend Everyone or No One.

Am I Preoccupied by Snow?

Glad you asked that. Yes, it is Winter here in Alberta and I have successfully completed sidewalk clearing duties during and after three snowstorms. If you don’t have snow, but wish to train in case you do get a snowstorm, be sure to watch the following:

Literary Origami – Book Fold Trees

Some people won’t dog-ear the pages… Favorite books should be naked, faded, torn, their pages spilling out. Love them like a friend, or at least a favorite toy. Let them wrinkle and age along with you.
– Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin –

Book Folding – ‘dog-earing’ taken to the extreme…

This folded book tree is a full circle. To prepare this book for folding, the two covers and spine cover are torn off.  Break the spine (ouch!) in numerous places to make it easier to form the folded book into a circle. Use a glue gun to join the spine edges together when the folding is complete. Glue on a ‘trunk’ – or not. It will stand by itself either way.
This book tree is a half circle. Leave the covers on. Break the spine in lots of places to make folding easier. If you want this book to stand on its own, then don’t glue on a ‘trunk’. I glued on a trunk and some buttons – I’ve hung it on a wall using a plate hanger.

Step by Step Instructions: (these show a book without a cover.)

Step 1 – Fold 1: Top right corner of the page folded to the middle of the book. Use a bone folder or back of a spoon to make the folds crisp.
Step 2 – Fold 2: Right side of the page folded to the middle.
Step 3 – Crease 1: this is a crease at the bottom of the page to mark where the folded page hangs down below the bottom edge of the book.
Step 4 – Fold 3: Unfold Fold 2 and fold the crease up that you made in Step 3
Step 5 – Refold Fold 2 with Fold 3 tucked under. Use clothes pegs or some other large clip to hold the folded pages out of the way.
This is what your tree looks like after the first few pages are folded. As you fold more pages, keep pressing the book open along the spine so that all folds align the same with the spine.

Decorating

Go Wild! The Full Circle Tree: I glued a bow onto the top and a ‘trunk’ cut from a small branch of a tree to the bottom. The Half Circle Tree – I glued a heavy Christmas paper to the inside of the covers. I added a bow to the top and a trunk to the bottom. I tied some crochet cotton onto buttons to make the bows, then glued them onto the tree.

All my other Literary Origami Posts are at Book Fold.

My other Book Fold Projects

Peg Bracken Quotations

I found a copy of the book ‘A Window Over the Sink’ by Peg Bracken at our local book barn this summer. I had read and enjoyed it many years ago – it didn’t disappoint the second time around. The part I liked best was the story about her aunt, Liz Noah, who had been deposited in an ‘old folks’ home when she could no longer meet the standards of nourishment and housekeeping that her concerned relatives thought adequate. The last time Peg visited Liz in the seniors home, Peg prayed, “Get her out of there – though I knew there was only one way she’d ever leave… it was no place for Aunt Liz Noah, no place at all.”

Three months later, Liz Noah chose the other way to leave that place. She packed a small bag, walked out of the seniors home, strolled down the street to the local Hotel, and checked herself in.

Having had three close relatives in Senior’s Homes, I think, now and then, about when and where I will be ‘deposited’ some day. I hope I will be able to follow in the footsteps of one of our neighbours up the road who was still living in the country, on her own, when she was 85…

Short Bio: Ruth Eleanor “Peg” Bracken (1918-2007) was an American author of humorous books on cooking, housekeeping, etiquette, travel and aging. Here are some quotes from her various books:

Still, it is a happy thing that a window over the sink can serve as a window on a world now gone. For truly, the loved and long-ago people and places in your memory can be visited only in your imagination; and perhaps the things that you ate and loved then can be tasted again only in your imagination too.
– From “A Window Over the Sink” –

Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink.

Always be sure it’s coarse-ground, because a lot of people feel that anything that’s peppered should look as though it had been fished out of a gravel pit.

Everything takes longer than you think it should, except for some things that don’t take as long.

In the past few years I have unintentionally made some culinary discoveries, mainly involving prepared foods and easier ways to do things … I am well aware that to skilled and ardent cooks my innocent pride in these findings will resemble that of the little man who showed up at the Patent Office last year with his new invention, designed for talking across distances, which he had named “the telephone.”

It’s easier to find a traveling companion than to get rid of one.

Facts must be faced. Vegetables simply don’t taste as good as most other things do.

Life is so very simple when you have no facts to confuse you.

Many people choose, early on, their own truths from the large smorgasbord available. And once they’ve chosen them, for good reason or no reason, they then proceed rather selectively, wisely gathering whatever will bolster them or at least carry out the color scheme.

(Newton’s Law of the Ever-level Suitcase) At the same time an object is lost, used up, given away, thrown out, or otherwise disposed of, another object of equal size and weight rushes in to fill the vacuum.

One of the loveliest things about being grown up is the knowledge that never again will I have to go through the miserable business of performing in Mrs. Smedley’s Annual Piano Recital at McKinleyville’s First Presbyterian Church.

Travel never made a bore interesting; it only makes for a well-traveled bore, in the same way coffee makes for a wide-awake drunk. In fact, the more a bore travels, the worse he gets. The only advantage in it for his friends and family is that he isn’t home as much.

What most of us are after, when we have a picture taken, is a good natural-looking picture that doesn’t resemble us.

This is the Week That Was: Speak Up!

LEST WE FORGET
My Memorial stories about family who gave the ultimate: In Flanders FieldsCalgary’s Field of Crosses

Thoughts about Accurate and Honest Communication – something we need more than ever these days:

Chinese Whispers – Have you ever played it? It is when a person whispers a sentence to another person and so forth down a line of people; then they compare the original sentence to what the last person in the line heard. Invariably there is  cumulative error. It is a good demonstration of the inaccuracies of rumours or gossip… or news, for that matter…

I don’t call it gossip, I call it ’emotional speculation’.
– Laurie Colwin –

Taken a step further, how might a sentence change if it has to be translated to another language before it is passed along?

You can test this idea by using a translation program on the internet. Start with your language, then translate it to another language and so on before translating it back to your language. Here is one that I tried.

English: It is unusual for it to snow here in the fall.
The English translated to French: Il est inhabituel de neiger ici à l’automne.
The French translated to German: Es ist hier ungewöhnlich im Herbst.
The German translated to Thai: ฤดูใบไม้ร่วงนี้เป็นเรื่องผิดปกติ
The Thai translated to Welsh: Mae’r gostyngiad hwn yn anarferol.
The Welsh translated back to English: This reduction is unusual.

Timing is Everything – maybe don’t try to talk to your spouse first thing in the morning…

Types of Conversation:

Another one of those Clever Misinterpretations

“We built this city on rock and roll” – song by Starship

And Then There are Lies


This is what happens when your mouth starts working before your brain is fully in gear:

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
– Robert McCloskey, State Department spokesman, attributed –

For more Quotations of this ilk: Speaking Quotations

13th Anniversary of Blogging

I started blogging with WordPress 13 years ago! My stats page tells me I’ve published 365,803 words, uploaded 3168 images and posted, on average, 80 times a year.

Sometimes I run out of blogging ideas. That’s when I go to the fabric store and find new material.
– Author Unknown –

Okay, not just the fabric store… a trip to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and I’m good to go for a few more craft posts.

If I wasn’t a blogger, I’d probably still be a craftsman because crafts are an interest. It is hard to say, though, whether I would have become interested in photography and digital image processing.

A composite of some of the full moons that I  have photographed.

I might not have become as interested in bugs and snakes and lizards either.

Seven Spot Ladybug

I certainly would not have had the incentive to research things as thoroughly as I do.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
– Wernher von Braun

Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.
– Roger Ebert –

I might not have been following  ‘alt-middle’ thinkers like Zubin Damania, Jordan Peterson, Hans Rosling, Mike Rowe, Thomas Sowell and many others.

This is now the prime challenge. First of all, you cannot villainize or demonize each side. You have to understand there’s going to be extremes that are crazy on both sides, but that the vast majority of people are trying to be good based on their moral matrix. So we have to, first of all, open dialogue between the sides that doesn’t involve, shaming and name calling and ad hominems and logical fallacies… Then we need to have dialogue across these lines respectfully. And that’s what I call Alt-Middle.
-Dr. Zubin Damania –

Last, but not least, without this blog I would not be sharing all the quips, quotes and things I find funny.

When filled with humour the body becomes loose, relaxed, tension dissolves. Thinking becomes clearer, more optimistic, it is easier to focus. Our manner also changes and we become more expressive, more giving…
– David Granierer –

Do tell – if you are a blogger, how long have you been blogging? Why do you blog?
If you are a regular reader, what keeps you coming back for more!?

The Halloween Tree

‘Twas a night after Halloween, and what did we see?
Snow in abundance covering all trees
(heavy, wet snow, brisk wind, drifting…)

The pumpkins were lit and though shining so bright,
They couldn’t dispel the gloom of that night.

And then in a twinkling a thought came to me,
What was needed were lights from a Christmas tree!

I spoke not a word, but went straight to the task
And soon in the light of the tree we did bask.
(Well, the pumpkins basked – we admired while curled up in our comfy chairs.)

And that, dear readers, is why and how I violated the social admonishment (as expressed in social and mass media) that I not decorate for Christmas until after American Thanksgiving! Yes, I know, I’m walking on the wild side!

(Sometimes social media can be a preachy, self-righteous, sanctimonious kind of place…)

Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.
– M*A*S*H –

gHosT the Dog – Boxed In

Update from gHosT the Dog…

there is a simple. explanation. for why I look like my head. is stuck. in a box: my head IS stuck in a box

but there is a simple. explanation for how. that happened, I was checking. to see if it was true that. all the biscuits were gone.

and even if they were all gone. maybe there were crumbs. that had to be eaten before the box got. recycled. it was a very deep box and when I. couldn’t reach the bottom with my tongue I stuck my head in. just a bit farther then I was stuck.

the two leggers didn’t laugh they didn’t even take a picture they. just pulled the box. off. but here’s the thing, the box was talking to me it was saying. there really are some crumbs stuck. in the very bottom of the box so I put my head in. again. and got stuck again.

apparently that is when the picture. was taken and if the two leggers hadn’t taken the box off my head. and put it out of my reach. there is no doubt I would have got stuck. a third time.

never give up is my motto

Somebodies dog, somewhere – has your dog ever got its head stuck?

my other adventures are here: gHost the Dog

Book Pumpkins – Thank You Reader’s Digest

Readers’ Digest Condensed Books –  They were published for 47 years (before being rebranded) and it has been estimated that about 10 million copies were sold per year. That’s a lot of books that are still living in boxes in the attic or displaying a pleasing shelf full of books with similar spines!

The current value of these books, however, seems to be about $0. They are not rare and the fact that the stories are condensed reduces the value to today’s readers.

What should I do with a box of Reader’s Digest Condensed books?
– Make Door Stops…
– Just don’t leave two of them alone in a box in a dark room or you end up with a whole ‘litter’ of them.

I recently inherited a box of these books from a relative who knew I was not adverse to ‘mutilating’ books.   I thought I would try making them into Book Pumpkins. There are quite a few sites on the web that tell you how to do this. Usually they say you cut the pumpkin shape with scissors but I found that quite time consuming and not so kind to arthritic fingers. A better tool, for me, was The Car Guys Scroll Saw!

The finished Book Pumpkins – top view.

Here are the my instructions for this project. For more detailed photos, see the photos below.

Trace and Cut: I traced a half pumpkin shape on the book cover, cut the shape out with a scroll saw, then took the cover off.

Prepare the Spine: I removed some of the binding material off the spine to make it more flexible.

Make the Center of the Pumpkin: I cut a piece of dowel that was a few inches longer than the height of the spine and the right diameter such that the spine would wrap around it. The front and back edges of the spine should meet.

Hot Glue – OUCH: I hot glued the spine around the dowel, leaving about an inch of dowel above and below the spine.

Make the Base for the Pumpkin and Spray Paint: The Car Guy cut a circle from some scrap lumber. He drilled a hole in the middle of this base. The hole was slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel. We mounted the bottom piece of the dowel into the circle, leaving a slight gap between the top surface of the circle and the pages of the book. This leaves the pages free to fan out nicely. I spray painted my pumpkins with Rust-oleum Hammered Copper.

Make a Pumpkin Stem and Decorate: I used a piece of tree branch that was a larger diameter than the dowel. I cut the branch into ‘stem’ lengths and drilled a hole in each that was slightly larger than the dowel. Then I glued the stems onto the dowel, making sure the pages were still free to fan out unhindered. I decorated the pumpkins with wood shavings and crinkly paper.

Pumpkin shape. Ready to cut with a scroll saw.
This is where the dowel will be glued when the book has been cut and the covers removed.
This is the base with the dowel inserted.
The twig stem and decorations.

Do tell – how many Reader’s Digest Condensed Books do you have on your book shelves!

Bulwer-Lytton Quotations #5 ( 2004, 2022)

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. It is a literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence for the worst possible novel. The following submissions are the ones I liked best from the years 2004 and 2022.

As the hot air balloon ascended into the calm morning air over his native Bavaria, Stefan’s nerves were on edge as he reached into his jacket pocket and fumbled for the little velvet box containing his grandmother’s wedding ring, cleared his throat, and dropped to one knee in front of his beloved Gwendolyn; meanwhile, our story begins on a cold, rainy day at a pig farm near Belgrade, Nebraska.
– Jeff Green, Celina, TX –

At least it was a creative way to be dumped, Ben mused to himself as he looked at the new location of his name on the updated seating chart for his wedding reception—the singles’ table.
– Izzy Maurer, Lincoln, UK –

Doris learned two things working at the Post Office — the first was that when Jake came in and asked her if she wanted to see a really big johnson, he didn’t mean he wanted her to go through The Special Limited Presidents stamp collection, and the second was that she didn’t need to head outside at the end of each shift with a bag of envelops and a trowel because it turned out the dead letters were not, in fact, actually dead.
– Susanne Antonetta, Bellingham, WA –

Farmer Brown knew the moment he read the ransom note – the tiny, dirty footprints, childish scrawl, and a spray of seed debris among the angry peckmarks marring the paper’s surface – that the chickens had kidnapped his beloved Bichon Friese Fifi, and that the only man who could help him, George “The Chicken Whisperer” Fitzpatrick, was sleeping off a killer hangover in the outdoor privy behind the pigpen.
– Debra Mann, Subbury, ON Canada –

Hans sipped from his bottle of German Bru-hoff beer and idly read the label:
“Bru-hoff, a heady-nosed Rhine beer
has a slightly briny pose,
and if you’ve ever drawn it,
you would like the way it flows,
but all of the other Rhine beers,
Dusen lagers, and thick ales,
they never beat our Bru-hoff
in the yearly Rhine beer games.”
– Roger J. McNichols’ Pearland, TX –

He heard a bang, well not really a bang but more of a crash with metallic overtones of platinum-encrusted steel alloys, hammering against unyielding iron and iridium plates; or maybe it was the clash of huge nickel-zinc rods hitting molybdenum fused sheets of tantalum, then he felt a stab of pain and heard another bang, and wished, instead of using his extensive metallurgy skills to try and analyze the sound, he would have run like hell when he first saw the gun pointed at him.
– Ken Loomes, Winnipeg, Manitoba –

Her breath came in short, urgent gasps as beads of sweat slowly coalesced and slipped hesitantly over her lightly-tanned skin, leaving glistening trails down a cleavage that was both feminine and primal while her wide eyes betrayed a mind still struggling to accept that her physical ordeal was over and that she had, in fact, caught the bus.
– Ben Connelly, Canberra, Australia –

It was a Dark ‘n Stormy night: Dark n’ Stormy cocktails were half-off at Tata’s, the breast-themed barbeque chicken restaurant.
– Ross Ozarka, Auckland, New Zealand –

It was a dark and stormy night – actually not all that dark, but more dusky or maybe cloudy, and to say “stormy” may be overstating things a bit, although the sidewalks were still wettish and smelled of ozone, and, truth be told, characterizing the time as night is a stretch as it was more in the late, late afternoon because I think Oprah was still on.
-Gregory Snider, MD, Lexington, KY –

It was hardtack and beans for the crouching cowboys in the lee of the chuck wagon that stormy night when the wind flared the fire and the light caught the trail boss’ leather-bound, barb-wire muscled face which might have said, were he not the quiet sort, “Cookie, we should have had more salads.”
– Barry McAtee, Austin, TX –

Prior to his CNN career, Wolf Blitzer slummed the gossip magazines, once inquiring of Hugh Grant’s then-wife, Liz Hurley, why he had never been in a film with Virginia Madsen, to which she replied, “Hugh’s afraid of Virginia, Wolf.”
– Peter Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA –

The day dawned much like any other day, except that the date was different.
– Geoff Blackwell, Bundaberg , Queensland Australia –

The Director of Child Protective Services was aghast, and needed clarification, “Let me get this straight — You were rocking your baby on the tree top, and when the wind blew, the cradle rocked and the bough broke, the cradle fell, and down came baby, cradle and all?”
– John Tracy, Palm Desert, CA –

To her dismay, Julia found that her right hand seemed to be pulling her into an increasingly horizontal position; first her wrist and forearm, then her upper arm and shoulder, until her cheek lay on her shoulder, leaving her to surmise that the handrail of the airport’s moving sidewalk progressed at a more rapid pace than the sidewalk itself.
– Ann Harper, Phoenix AZ –

While scrolling through the online catalog of the Acme website trying to decide if he should order rocket roller skates, TNT, and an anvil, or—Fool-Me-Twice fake tunnel paint, the Coyote suddenly realized, ‘Hey, I could just order food.’
– Rusty Hamilton, Candby, OR –

For more ‘Best of Bulwer-Lytton Quotations’, click on the Bulwer-Lytton tag in the Posted In box below.

Acrylic Pouring – Why Paints Do Surprising things

A few more of my Acrylic Pour Paintings:

‘A Sinking Feeling’

This pour was a contest between the white  base coat paint and the colours I poured over top. The white paint was not as dense as most of the coloured paints. The result was the coloured paints tended to sink into the white rather than sitting on top where I wanted them to be.

‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’

Chameleon Cells is the fanciful term used to describe what you get when you dot wet water based paint with drops of silicone oil. The silicone pushes some of the paint away, which creates ‘cells’.

‘Stompin’ Grounds’

This is another example of Chameleon Cells. I think it looks like a footprint, which reminds me of the song “You Done Stomped On My Heart”

You done stomped on my heart
And you mashed that sucker flat
You just sorta stomped on my aorta…
– Mason Williams –

The song was recorded by John Denver, but I first heard it at a live performance of Paul Hann. I suppose Paul’s version of the song is particularly memorable because he was performing in our small town and he had lunch at our house (our Performing Arts Council was on a very tight budget…)

Other crowd favourite Paul Hann songs were “Doesn’t Anybody Do it Straight Anymore?”, “Love is Like a Hockey Game” and “I’d Like to Make a Movie with You.” His impish grin delivered more meaning than the words did, which was just as well because it was a family concert.