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Proper Blog Post to Follow Soon

peony, the artyologist

Well that turned into an unexpectedly long absence from the blogosphere! Traveling, visiting with friends, work and feeling under the weather all combined to keep me away from here for longer than I expected I would be. So this is just a quick note to say that I will have a blog post up soon and I haven’t vanished forever ūüôā And now that I have been delayed in publishing my posts, I have quite a backlog of posts I’m excited to share! And I am looking forward to a chance to sit down and look at all that has been going on in everyone else’s blogs too while I’ve been gone.¬†Talk to you all soon!

Taking Part in a Book Lover’s Tag

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, featureMy current book stack. 

I saw a while ago that Victoria from Ruffles and Grace¬†took¬†part in a “Book Lover’s Tag”, and though I wasn’t personally tagged in it, it sounded like a lot of¬†fun, so I decided to join in¬†as well. So read on, to find out some of my favourite books, reading habits, and what’s on my reading list.

1. Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.

Little Dorrit¬†by Charles Dickens. This one is a hefty piece of literature, at 826 pages and 2.5″ thick. I bought it two years ago, and had originally planned to read it aloud, (we started last summer, but then stopped only a few chapters in). I really do need to just start reading it again. I don’t¬†particularly¬†enjoy reading Dickens, as it’s so wordy, but I do always enjoy his stories. (And I really want to watch the movie, but I have to read the book first! I don’t know why, I just do.)

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, book-page-open
2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

I often don’t use bookmarks- as I never seem to have one around when I need it, and sometimes I don’t even have a scrap of paper or other item that will serve as one. I never commit the¬†grievous¬†crime¬†of¬†dog-earing¬†pages (never!!!) but I do often commit the less terrible¬†crime¬†of placing books upside down- though I promise it is only temporarily! I don’t leave books like that for days on end- only until I find something to mark my page. Often I simply take a mental note of which page or chapter I’m in. This sometimes has dubious results, because I can’t remember what page I was on, and I end up flipping pages to find my spot.

3. Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?

A biography of Jane Austen by David Cecil, called A Portrait of Jane Austen.

4. If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?

Jane Austen’s unfinished novel¬†Sanditon. I have read the few chapters that she wrote of it, and I really wish that she had been able to finish it, as her works are always so witty and entertaining.

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, top-of-book-stack
5. Name an author who deserves more readership.

Lynn Austin. I just reread her book Hidden Places and I loved it all over again. Her stories have such great depth, and are woven with themes such as secrets and misunderstandings, and haunted pasts, which her characters are confronted with and brought forward into forgiveness and reconciliation.

6. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

As outlined in #2- a piece of random anything. . . . or not ūüôā

7. Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?

I¬†can¬†stop anywhere, though I prefer to not stop at all and just read the entire book through. This doesn’t¬†usually work though, because you know, life. . .

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, two-books-pics
8. One book at a time or several?

I often dedicate myself to reading one novel at a time, as I don’t like interrupting the storyline, but I will have several non-fiction books going on at the¬†same time. For example, right now I am reading¬†The Greco-Roman World but, as¬†it is a bit dry, I am breaking it up with other books. Since it is a history textbook, it¬†doesn’t¬†really matter if I read it through without¬†interruption¬†or not.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I’ve never understood why people skip ahead, because it wouldn’t make any sense- you would have isolated scenes with no context, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t know what had built up to that moment, and it would be confusing, I think. So definitely reading as I go along.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I don’t¬†purposely¬†break the spine, but I don’t try to perfectly preserve the book either. My main concern is in reading it!

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, open-book
11. What books do you regret reading?

There are a couple of books I do regret reading, because I¬†didn’t¬†realize there would be¬†inappropriate¬†content, until¬†suddenly¬†I was right in the middle of those scenes. As it stands now, I read very few secular fiction books, because I don’t want to have to worry about what I might come across. Or I try to find reviews on the books before I read them.

12. On average, how many books do you read per year?

When I was in my teens. I used to read 50-70¬†books each year and I kept track of each book, but in the last few years I have slowed down a lot. Things get in the way- hobbies, the internet, being a grown up. . . ¬†So I would say that I probably read somewhere around 20-30 books a year now? Probably¬†somewhere¬†around¬†two books each month- although this month I have already read or re-read five books, so maybe I’m picking up the pace again!

13. What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

The Bible, because you can¬†actually read it hundreds of times and never get tired of it. But, for books written by man, and not the Scriptures, which is what I’m sure this question is¬†actually¬†referring¬†to, well there are just too many to¬†choose from.

I have read Jane Eyre several times now, and there is just so much depth to that story. It is one of my all time favourite books; I admire the character of Jane, and I love the sections where she and Rochester have their discussions. I will definitely read it again.

Really, there are a lot of books that I read every few years, and the greatest thing about having poor reading comprehension (I’ve got to find the silver lining here) is that I can¬†actually¬†read a book several years later, and it’s all new to me. Seriously. I read¬†Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie and I couldn’t remember if I had read it before or not- until I got the end!

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, book-pics
14. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

I don’t tend to really learn lessons, as in “the moral of the story” from books, so for this I will choose a non-fiction book, which¬†actually¬†taught me something and that would be¬†Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, by Elizabeth Cline. I recommend this book to everyone.

15. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

I just finished re-reading¬†Anna and Her Daughters¬†by D.E Stevenson. I love this book, and have read it a few times now. It is such a lovely old novel from 1958 that we inherited from my Grandma, and it’s not really about Anna and her daughters, so much as it is about one particular daughter Jane, who is narrating the story. . . anyways it’s¬†just a¬†nice story, and it¬†features¬†an¬†attic bedroom wallpapered with a pattern of birds, so really what’s not to love?

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, horizontal
16. What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

‘”There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of the you are- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’

These are the final paragraphs of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis from the Chronicles of Narnia. I read this book when I was a child, and this description of Heaven really just touched me, and I have never forgotten it all these years. (Though, yes, I did have to go look it up, as I am not able to quote it verbatim!)

17. How many books do you own?

Yikes, an estimate would be somewhere probably around 200? If I counted all of my sewing¬†books, novels, fashion books, and my L.M Montgomery and Agatha Christie collections. . . And let’s not start on how many books my entire family owns, or we’ll be here all day. . .

18. In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

I¬†can’t remember all of the books I’ve read in the past year. I did finally, after fours years on my list, get around to reading¬†The Blue Castle¬†by L.M Montgomery for the first time though. What was I waiting for!? This was a very¬†good¬†book. I always enjoy her books, and the soft and romantic world in which they abide.

So there you go. This was a fun post, and, if¬†you want to take part in this book lover’s tag, consider yourself tagged!

What’s on your reading list right now? Have you read any of these books before? What are your favourite books? (if you can narrow it down!)

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, stack-and-front-view

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, book-top-view

Outtakes: Volume Two

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, tea-with-jam-bread

Tea with Jam and Bread

Can you believe that the last outtakes instalment was way¬†back in August? I think it is¬†about time for another, don’t you think?¬†And, believe me,¬†there is no shortage of outtakes! ūüėČ I guess that’s just what happens when your sister is your main photographer= silliness ensues. So, for a glimpse into my¬†non-modeling career, today I present to you Outtakes: Volume Two!

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, when the sun messes with your plans

When you have a plan, and then the sun comes out and wreaks havoc on it. . . 

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, photobombing

This jumping photo didn’t really turn out as I had imagined. . . ¬†And look closely at the picture on the right, that is a chickadee photobombing! That’s OK though, because he is so cute! ūüôā

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, vogue-hat

Don’t you want a hat like this one? Actually yes I do- this one was just a bunch of flowers stuck temporarily on a straw base, but I think I need to make one “for real”.

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, the conqueror

What do I see . . . ?

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, mary-poppins

Always got to do a Mary Poppin’s pose! And what nefarious purpose do I have in that ditch. I look like I was caught red handed. . .¬†

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, big-wrench

Self explanatory, I think ūüôā

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, outtake

After holding the wrench above, I got grease on my hands ūüôĀ And on the right, doing a catwalk strut with dubious results. . .¬†

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, dancing

Twirling spider legs, and doing the twist.

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, pink-crocs

Fashionable footwear choices- bringing in a pop of colour! On the right, I see Prince Charming. . .  or maybe just dessert?

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, jumping

I finally got a good jumping photo- but then I have a hilarious expression on my face! I just can’t do good jumping photos, I guess. . .¬†

Outtakes Volume Two, the artyologist, makeup

Waiting for my sister to take the detail photo of my eye makeup, and instead she’s taking behind the scenes of my ridiculous pose ūüôā And, when the wind comes up unexpectedly and blows your skirt, funny expressions ensue. . .

Well, I hope these photos brought a bit of laugh to your day!

Have a great weekend everyone, and to my fellow Canadians, enjoy the long weekend! I’m signing off for now, to enjoy the weekend (and the sunshine that finally showed up!), and will see you all next week!

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka: Recent Thrift Finds)

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist

This year,¬†Fashion Revolution has suggested several ways to get involved, one of which is sharing a fashion “Haulternative” . The purpose behind the fashion haulternative is to encourage people to find ways to refresh¬†their closet, other than buying new clothes. Today I am sharing a combination¬†of their ideas:¬†Broken but beautiful, 2hand, Vintage, Fashion fix (mended), Swapped and Slow fashion.¬†

– – –

I always love a good thrift haul, don’t you? I am always surprised by what people get rid of- and am so happy that they do! One person’s trash really is another persons treasure. So, in honour of Fashion Revolution week, here are some of my recent thrifting finds, or should I say, haulternative, and ways in which I plan to refresh my wardrobe without buying new. ūüôā

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, fur coat

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, fur-detail

First up might be my favourite find of all time: this gorgeous cropped grey persian lamb fur coat. My sister spotted it for me, and I was seriously having a “start the car” moment! I got it in February, but I have still had a few chances to wear it before putting it away for Spring. (Well Spring is an illusion lately- so maybe I will get lots of chances to wear it before Summer arrives!) I don’t have too many grey tones in my wardrobe, but I do have plenty of navy, which this pairs well with, and the grey has a bit of warm tone to it, so I think it might pair OK with browns too. I am working on creating a more cohesive wardrobe, and I think this coat will fit in¬†well.

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, bedjacket

Next is this adorable little bed jacket. Now when I lounge in bed reading magazines and eating breakfast on a fancy tray, I will be all set. Now if I can just get someone to bring me breakfast in bed. . . . ūüėČ

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, velvet skirt

This velvet skirt is an interesting one. I promise you that is a velvet skirt hanging on the wall- not a skirt shaped black¬†abyss¬†(do you know how hard it is to photograph black velvet!!??!!) This box pleated skirt was missing a button, but I thought- no problem to fix that, so I got it. I replaced the button, and then went to wear it on a Sunday morning. As we were headed out the door, I noticed a thread hanging from the hem, so I went to trim it- only to notice that a piece was chopped out of the hem! I have no idea why the previous owner did this- and it is even funnier that I didn’t notice it before. Well, because it is velvet, you can’t tell from the front, but obviously I will mend it. The skirt has room to be hemmed up an inch or so, so it won’t cause any problems. But, it is still so odd; who thinks, “I need a small scrap of velvet. . . ¬†oh I know! I’ll cut it out of my hem!” ??? The joys of thrifting ūüôā I think that this skirt will work well with plenty of items in my current closet, so it was a rather good and versatile purchase.

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, belt

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, belt-detail

Next up is this cute little metal belt with an interesting clasp. I haven’t worn this one yet- but I’m sure I will find a use for it. Accessories are such a great way of changing up your wardrobe without getting all new outfits. You can completely change the look of an ensemble, just by switching out the accessories.¬†I love adding belts to an outfit to add both an interesting detail, as well as helping to create that 1950’s silhouette.

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, skirts-to-upcycle

Now this is a project.¬†I know I said I hate buying¬†thrifting projects, but it is an addiction or something. I do have a plan for these though, so it’s OK right? Both of these skirts are rayon, and they work well together- in a clashing/quirky kind of way. I want to turn them into some kind of sundress or playsuit combination, using the dark fabric for a top, and the light fabric for a skirt. I don’t have a¬†defined plan of action yet, but if it ever stops snowing, it would be nice to have some more summer outfits, so I’d better get cracking on it! Even though I don’t particularly love refashioning, I do love diverting textiles from the landfill, so I am excited about this project. I will try to remember to take photos this time, of my process for making it- and then create a blog post for sometime in the future.

These next few items were from a clothing swap. I do love a good clothing swap, as it’s basically a free¬†way to get some fun new items for your wardrobe.

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, white top

This white eyelet top kind of reminds me of a Victorian/Edwardian style corset cover, when it’s tucked in. I think it will be nice for the hot summer days too.

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, leopard sweater

I love leopard print, but surprisingly I don’t own very much of it. I think that this cotton sweater will be a nice neutral for Fall and Winter. I like the colour combination of this one, and the way it looks tucked into a simple black skirt. I hope¬†to¬†be able to style it with¬†a 40’s/50’s secretary sort of vibe.

Fashion Revolution Haulternative (aka Thrift Finds) the artyologist, scarves

Lastly here are some scarves- I love scarves! Especially since I started tying them as turbans. The one with the beaded piece makes an interesting sort of 20’s style turban (picture of that here). I haven’t tried the coral or green scarves¬†yet.¬†You might be able to¬†see that the bottom of the coral scarf is faded. I think it was factory folded, and never used and unfolded, as it was perfectly faded in a square and around the edges! I got this scarf for free, so it doesn’t bother me, and as I will always be tying it, it will be hardly noticeable.

Well. There are my recent thrifting finds. Some of these are a bit out of season, so they probably won’t be making it into outfit posts until next season, but I wanted to share them now anyways.

Have you had any good thrift finds lately? What ways do you like to refresh your wardrobe, without resorting to buying new clothes all the time? Are you planning on taking part in the Fashion Revolution Haulternative?