A Peek at My Doodles

     I am a master doodler. Sure, I don't necessarily "draw" like DaVinci, but I can doodle something fierce. I pride myself in my ability to eat away the time by creating random little drawings on whatever paper is available. Often times, my planner ends up on the receiving end of the pencil.

     Sometimes, I doodle birds;

     Or goofy little koala bears.
     Sometimes, I doodle places I wish I could be;

     Or the place that I live now;

     Or my future home.

     Sometimes, I doodle people--a single lonely soul;

     Or, a group of little friends gathered to read a scrumptious book;
 Or boot wearing pals, caught in the rain.

Series Sunday: Of The Fantastic Variety

     I have decided to start my first series on my blog: Series Sunday (alliteration is cheesy, I know... but I couldn't resist). To stay true to my love for reading and literature, I figured why not have a series about my favorite books series?

     Personally, I am always on the hunt for new book series to read. While single books are great, series give more opportunity to establish characters, plot, and far more time for me to get attached to the characters. Also, after finishing a series, I always feel a little regretful about it. Granted, the characters are all fictional--but still.

     Anyway, every Sunday (for the next six weeks), I'll be sharing some of my favorite book series with you--generally loosely grouped by genre, just because I like things to retain some sense of order. Now, let's begin, shall we?

1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

via Amazon

     This was the first "real" book series I ever read. My dad bought me the 50th anniversary boxed set for my seventh birthday and we read the first three together, and then I basically took off and read the rest on my own. The story telling is not the most complex; however, the imagination of the land of Narnia, and the unique qualities of its inhabitants make it, by far, one of my favorite series to date. In fact, I still read these books at least once a year--eleven years later. Oh, and my favorite character--by far--is Reepicheep, the gallant mouse.

2. Time Travel Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle

via Amazon
     The Quartet includes A Wrinkle In Time, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I love them all, but my favorite two are probably A Wind in the Door and Many Waters. This was my mom's favorite series as a kid, and I got these for my birthday some time ago as well. As far as synopsis goes, each of these books tells a wonderfully cosmic story about the time (and space) travelling of the Murry family's four children. They really opened the door to L'Engle's other works which have supplied me years of entertainment, and frankly durable readability.

3. Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

via Amazon
     I'll admit, I haven't read these in a few years; however, I own all of them, and haven't sold them to the second hand bookstore over the years, and that shows something. What I do remember is enjoying Barry and Pearson's swashbuckling story telling, which was whimsical, yet simultaneously dark. Frankly, seeing a "Peter Pan" character that didn't wear tights was rather nice. These books, which follow the escapades of a young orphan boy named Peter, are definitely a series for youngsters and the young at heart alike. The trilogy includes Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. 
     Note: Upon further research, I found there are at least two more of these books now. I haven't read    them, but the first three were quite good--especially considering it was a book published by Disney (which really isn't a surprise, now is it?).

    Most of them (okay, all of them) are YA books; however, I have found I do still enjoy those thoroughly--so, really, why stop reading them? I hope you found this helpful, as well. I hate it when I can't find a good set of books to read. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a library or book store--a literal treasure trove of type and text--and not being able to find something worth reading. Well, there are things more frustrating. Like losing car keys, or leaving homework at home, or getting locked out of the house on a cold winter's day; but for the sake of dramatic effect, let's pretend standing flabbergasted in a library is, indeed, the most frustrating thing imaginable.

     Now, enough of my rambling. I'm curious to know, what is your favorite series? I would love suggestions (even though the quantity of books on my "to read" queue is already outrageous). And don't forget to check in next week for some more of my favorite series.

Jeremiah 29:11

     I just wanted to share my new favorite scripture with a graphic I designed myself (with one of my favorite color combos). This verse reminds me never to forget the promises the Lord has made--even in the midst of the chaos (also known as life)--because, he has a plan for each of us. In other words, things WILL work out in the end. Whether we think they will or not.

     This verse was brought to my attention multiple times in the past two weeks. First, my honorary aunt gave me this sweet leather wrap bracelet, with the verse embossed in silver. I get compliments on it all the time, and it has been a chance to share my faith with people who ask. Sure, it's a small thing to explain the verse--but it's the small things that add up to something great.

     Then, of all places, the verse popped out at me again in the program for NETWorks' Beauty and the Beast (which was loads of fun, by the way). The actress playing Belle had the reference tucked into her bio! (And, she had a voice better than Belle's in the movie, in my humble opinion.)

    The third, and final time (so far) was in my Snoopy calendar from Walmart. My mom bought it for me, because I have always had a thing for the Peanuts gang, and when I opened it, I found writing on the cardboard insert. The calendar was Day Spring, so the insert had a lot of verses on it--and in the middle was Jeremiah 29:11!

     Do you have a favorite Bible verse you'd like to share? Leave it in the comments section!

New (To Me) Books

     There is worse than trudging out to your mail box in sub-zero temperatures (we are talking -15 here) and getting your fingers nearly fused to the freezing metal. On the other hand, there is nothing better than receiving a parcel in the mail. I have to say, that's why I love checking the mail--that off chance that something special will arrive. Of course, I was expecting a package, but it was still a pleasant surprise to find it had arrived safely to my proverbial Arctic doorstep.
     What was this delivery, you ask? A shipment of books, of course! What could be better really?

     I had ordered books with my Christmas money from a used book retailer called Thriftbooks. Let me tell you now, they are a bibliophile's dream come true. I ordered 9 books for around $35, including shipping! Considering I could have only bought two or three books at Barnes and Noble for the same price, I'm a happy camper. Of course, the books I ordered are used, and that being said, they have retained some character from their past lives. This may bother some--in fact, I thought it might bother me--but for the price, I really have little to complain about.

     So, if you are like me, and have an insatiable need to fill your shelves, closets, and every nook and cranny with books, but you are also not willing to spend $15 or more for one book, this may be your answer.

     In case you are curious, here is a list of what I got:

  • In Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
  • I'm A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (noticing a pattern?)
  • A Book of Narnians: The Lion, The Witch and Others by C.S. Lewis, illustrated by Susan Bates
  • The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens (can't start too young, right?)
  • Walking With Frodo by Sarah Arthur (it is autographed, which was a fun bonus!)
  • The Essential C.S. Lewis (includes Perelandra)
  • Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
  • That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

     And, just in case you are a Narnia nerd and don't know this (I didn't), C.S. Lewis wrote a science fiction trilogy, which I now own all of--thanks to this shipment of books. I don't know when I'll have time to read them, but once I do, I'll certainly write a little something about them. However, it is C.S. Lewis, so I have no doubt that the quality will be to par, if not exceed, what I have read of his so far.

Tutorial: Making Menu Buttons

     So, last time, I showed you how to make a header. Today, we'll work on making menu "buttons" to put on the side bar of your blog. This takes a little bit of HTML coding, but considering I didn't know any when I woke up this morning, I think you can handle it.
  Once again, this is a fairly easy thing to figure out, but it would have been much easier to do so if I had a tutorial to guide me. So, for the common good of beginning bloggers everywhere who loath the generic templates and widgets, here is a tutorial to jazz up your blog.

     In the tutorial, I am making a Pinterest button, but keep in mind that you can make your button link to anywhere you like, as you can see below.

     That being said, here is my tutorial for making menu buttons on Photoshop Elements (after the jump).

Tutorial: Making a Blog Header

     So, I'm super new to the whole blogging thing, but that's no excuse for having an ugly/boring/generic/blah header. In fact, that was the first thing I changed when I started this blog in the wee hours of the night.

     I couldn't find anything online for how to make a header; and though it was a very easy thing to do, I have no doubt it would have gone faster if I had a tutorial to help me out. So--because I am such a nice individual--I will show you how to make a header on Adobe Photoshop Elements.

     I have 6.0, but this is so basic, I'm sure it will be easy to replicate on newer (or older) versions.

     Without further ado, here is my first tutorial (after the jump). :0)

Lost For Words (Literally)

     After much debating (with myself), I finally created a blog. Of course, I haven't yet decided what I will actually write about and I haven't quite figured out how to make the best use of the Blogger interface, so bear with me. I'll figure out my intentions yet. Until then, enjoy the vast white space currently occupying my blog (it's super interesting, I know).