Sunday, March 15, 2009

Creative Nourishment

I have found there are two things that rarely coexist happily here – a neat and tidy house and bear artistry. Usually it’s one or the other. Guess which one wins most of the time.

Lately, I have been immersed in my sewing and I have let the tidying slide. I decided today was the day that I would restore some order to my surroundings. I think it was the idea of starting out the week with new projects amid a recently cleaned environment that spurred me to action.

In my pursuit of dust-free surfaces, I came across a book I purchased when we were in Oregon last summer. When we travel, we often stop at bookstores. It’s just something we like to do. Independent bookstores are our favorite and we had already visited Powell’s in Portland before so we knew we wanted to return.

Powell’s is huge and we don’t even try to stick together because everyone fancies something different. I start out with the bestsellers and then wander into fiction. I make a point of going through the crafts, sewing, and how-to sections. As an aside, this is a store that will sell a used copy of a book next to a new one which is a pretty nice option to have. Some of the books are no longer in print and that’s also a bonus.

Anyway, I usually end up in my favorite section – children’s books. I long ago gave up needing an excuse to buy them. I enjoy the stories, the illustrations and the lessons. I often get inspiration from them. Let’s say it is creative nourishment.

The book I purchased last year is one you may have seen or read yourself. It’s called Varmints and is different from other picture books I have. I read through it twice in the store. I was trying very hard to be careful with my cash, so I thought, “I’ll just walk around with it.” It wasn’t that I was making a commitment, but I wanted to have the option. In the end, I decided to buy it for many reasons. First of all, I loved the picture on the front! That is what made me pick it up to begin with. Check it out:

The book also has a really nice feel to it. The size is unusual and it has special touches throughout, like the occasional translucent page. The font they chose for this book fits the book’s character so well. Some of the illustrations are dark while others are light; just right for the story.

That brings me to the story. It begins “Once, the only sounds to be heard were the bees, the whispering wind in the wiry grass . . . and the song of birds in the high blue sky.” How’s that for a beginning that draws you in? It’s a book that is leaves you hopeful about the return of tranquility to a noisy world. As I read somewhere in my wanderings, “a little piece of quiet”.

If you find yourself roaming in a bookstore sometime, you might want to take a moment or two and browse through this book. If nothing else, have a look at the illustrations. This endearing critter might just make you feel a little bit better about the world.


  1. It looks like a wonderful book of inspiration and just plain cute too! I have a passion for books, I also buy them sometimes just because of the way they feel. It is beautifully done. I hope you enjoy it for years to come!!!! I bought the book," The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane". It is by Kate DiCamillo If you haven't read it, you should, it is a great book!! Take care!
    Margaret B

  2. Thanks for the reminder about Edward Tulane, Margaret! I'm going to put it on my must read list. It'll be something to look forward to - a bit of a reward. As the weather gets more temperate, I can envision being back on my porch swing with Edward for company.

  3. The look of the book speaks of peace and harmony. A wonderful book for a porch swing!

  4. My house is really neat...honest...I swear, I always put cleaning before well maybe not quite so much! *grins from embarrasment*

    I will definitely have to look for that book! It looks so cute.

    Hugs, Kelly

  5. Oh Ginger...I would love to just sit and create and never look at "Pledge" again! Unfortunately, the dust does get ugly and I can't stand it!!

    I will have to look for that book...I quite often look at childrens' books for inspiration.

    Have a great day!
    Hugs, Nancy


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