Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Repurposing a hardcover book - I finally figured it out

Yay, I figured out how to both repurpose a hardcover book and also how to sew multiple signatures to make a thicker book.

The pamphlet stitch is the baby food of bookbinding. It's the basic, one-stitch-does-all. But it's a simple stitch so you can't make a huge book using it, because a thicker book uses multiple signatures, which are bundles of folded pages. The trusty pamphlet stitch can only hold so many pages before it weakens and the thing falls apart. Think, using twine to lift a table.

I had always thought that to make a thicker book I'd need to use a complicated stitch to first sew the signatures together and then sew that bundle to the cover. But this way, I use a pamphlet stitch to sew each signature separately onto the cover!

I'd prepared a hardcover a few weeks ago, ripping out the book and using just the cardboard cover to repurpose for a journal I wanted to make later. I collaged the inside front and back and painted the front and back exterior. There is sat until I could figure out the rest.

Then I watched a tutorial on making a junk journal, and lo and behold at the end, she taught how to sew individual signatures to a hard cover using the pamphlet stitch (with one modification. So here it is!



My repurposed hard cover

three signatures

inside back cover, collaged


I'm excited. I bought a hard cover book for a dollar today, it's a bit thicker so next time I'll make 4 or 5 signatures. The cover is plain red so when I collage and paint it I will not have to compete with an underlying design that is already there.

Anyway, success!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Summer fun plans

I love when summer comes around!!!

I'm a teacher's aide in a public elementary school and that means I have several school breaks during the year ... and ... wait for it ... summers off. Now, I'm not paid for those breaks, I'm paid for working 190 days per 365 days/year and that's it. So I enjoy the time more than the money, obviously! :)

So exciting. I've got plans. Oh yeah. Tuesday at noon the kids leave. When this Friday rolls around and the afternoon dismissal bell rings, I'm done. There are several things I plan to do this summer.

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MUSIC

I discovered that my streaming music station, Pandora, has a new thing called Thumbprint Radio. I had no clue, until I scrolled down my 'stations' list and saw it at the bottom. "What's this?" I asked myself. Oh-ho, this is cool. Pandora is streaming entertainment based on a music genome. You can choose a station, such as "Traditional Hymns" or "Jimmy Buffett Radio" and they'll play songs along those lines. Within the genre you might like this song or not like that one. You have the option to thumbs up or thumbs down a song, and Pandora will adjust your listening to what you like. If a song had more violin and less trumpet, or more harmony and less melody, they will present songs in that station with that selection in mind according to your thumbs up.

Thumbprint Radio is a station where all your liked songs go into one station! Though Pandora is free, I choose to pay $4.99/month for Pandora Pro which has no ads. So what this means is that I have access to music with a huge variety of songs that I already like and never interrupts itself for an ad or a DJ. I love it madly. I will be listening to a lot of music. Some of my stations I love are:

100 Hymns Instrumental Radio
Jimmy Buffett Radio (includes balladeers from the 70s like Paul Simon and James Taylor)
Gaither Vocal Band Radio
Mozart Radio
Hank Williams Radio (classic country)

and many more. Yay.


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BOOKS

I have some books stacked up. I want to read or finish-

12 Ways your iPhone is changing you by Tony Reinke
Son, a literary western by Phillipp Meyer
Hearts of Fire, by Voice of the Martyrs
Veronica Mars- the Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
The Autobiography of Hudson Taylor: Missionary to China (Kindle)
Bright Side by Kim Holden (Kindle)
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes (Kindle)

Plus a lot of "summer easy reading" eBooks I've downloaded from BookBub recommendations. At BookBub, you select which reading genres you enjoy, and thankfully there are a lot to choose from, and BookBub sends you a daily list of digital selections based on your preferences. You can download according to your desire, budget, and amount of space on your reading device! I choose the free ones but they also have eBooks for 99 cents, $1.99 and up. They tie-in to Amazon's Kindle store, Barnes & Noble's Nook store, Apple's iBooks, and others.

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CRAFTS

My friend Kim on Facebook sent me some photos from Gay Halseth-Frayed and Twisted's FB page. They're vintage spine bookmarks. Cool! I won't embroider like Mrs Halseth has, but I'll paint them.





And just where will I be finding vintage books? We have several places in the county where I look forward to shopping this summer. There are three in particular, and two of those I have never been to before. I like my usual haunt of Second Time Around. I have already found antique books of Swedish poetry, an old Methodist Hymnal and an old Baptist Hymnnal at that store, all for $1 each.

The other store is called Neat Pieces Antiques, which I've driven by but never entered. He has three buildings and a large outdoor area. He sells heritage pine, architectural items from old barn stairs to glass doorknobs, and inside, vintage clothing, antiques, and of course the books.



Well! I believe I'll be able to find some books here for sure! Befoe you faint from horror, I'll look for water damaged, moldy books that otherwise would not ever find a home and are one step away from a trash can. I don't like the idea of taking apart a perfectly good book just to get at the spine.

The third vintage store I'm planning to visit is called simply The Special Store. This place has lots of glassware among other items like furniture. I need an English porcelain or bone china teapot, and one more cup and saucer. This will be the place to find them.




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PHOTOS

Now that I have an automobile with AC, I can drive around this summer. I like to go out in the Golden Hour, just at and 1 hour after dawn, and 1 hour before sunset, taking photos. I downloaded the manual for my now 1-year-old Nikon and I've been experimenting with some of the fancier settings now that I'm familiar with the camera and its superficial capabilities. It will be a photo extravaganza! I also began using my rechargeable batteries now that I've finally gone through all the high-capacity alkaline ones I'd bought. I can recharge to my heart's content, even in the car, since it comes with an automobile charger too.

In addition to Flickr and Facebook, I also have an account at Unsplash to upload my photos, and also Instagram now that I figured that one out. I want to compose better, and post-process better. Summer is the time to play with pictures and try and get better at photography.

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MOVIES

Of course, movies and shows. On Amazon Prime I watched a nice movie called Mao's Last Dancer, the true story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin. I like movies like that and will seek out some more either on Snagfilms, Crackle, or Amazon Prime, and of course whatever I can absorb for free on Youtube.

I'll finish some classes I'd started, including "Understanding the Tabernacle", and "Principles of Biblical Interpretation". A new class at Ligonier called "Loved by God" has sparked my interest too. So, studying the Bible through classes and reading and studying it directly is on the summer fun menu.

Some friends have asked me to lunch, and in June I'll go to a wedding. That's pretty much it. We get out of school May 26 and begin again July 31. I'll also be taking a class for school sometime in July, so it's really not ALL that much time off as one remembers from childhood. But I'll take it!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Three Scandinavian movies worth watching

If you like foreign films there are a few coming out of the Scandinavian nations that I've enjoyed so much.

The Wave

Topping the list for quality production values is Norway's entry to the Academy Awards for best foreign film, The Wave. Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus reached 8% approval rating, and the comment: "Well-acted and blessed with a refreshingly humanistic focus, The Wave is a disaster film that makes uncommonly smart use of disaster film clichés."

Based on true information about quakes and fjords and tsunamis in the region, we read
Nestled in Norway's Sunnmøre region, Geiranger is one of the most spectacular tourist draws on the planet. With the mountain Åkerneset overlooking the village - and constantly threatening to collapse into the fjord - it is also a place where cataclysm could strike at any moment. After putting in several years at Geiranger's warning center, geologist Kristian is moving on to a prestigious gig with an oil company. But the very day he's about to drive his family to their new life in the city, Kristian senses something isn't right. The substrata are shifting. No one wants to believe that this could be the big one, especially with tourist season at its peak, but when that mountain begins to crumble, every soul in Geiranger has ten minutes to get to high ground before a tsunami hits, consuming everything in its path.
Wikipedia's summary:
A Norwegian geologist (Kristoffer Joner) and his family (Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro) fight for survival when a massive landslide causes a 250-foot tidal wave.
It was gripping and realistic and tense without being over-the-top ridiculously stressful or gory. The LA Times wrote, "Norway's 'The Wave' shows Hollywood how to make a disaster film with real thrills."

Recommended! On Netflix. In Norwegian with subtitles. In watching it thought about the Alaskan tsunami in the 1960s when a part of the mountain collapsed and the displaced water rushed to shore. It's happened before. It will again, Revelation 6:14.



A Man Called Ove

This entry from 2016 is from Sweden-
Rotten Tomatoes' Critics Consensus:
A Man Called Ove's winsome sincerity -- and Rolf Lassgård's affectingly flinty performance in the title role -- keep it from succumbing to excess sentimentality. Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman's international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife's grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove's mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove's past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it's shared.
Though religion or faith is not mentioned, what I took from it is how to love people, even the unlovable, and how much of a difference that committed persevering love makes. In Swedish with English subtitles. On Amazon Prime and maybe elsewhere.




On Youtube is a one-hour documentary called Hugo and Rosa, another Swedish movie, this one is a documentary released in 2002. The director Bengt Jägerskog visited aged siblings Hugo and Rosa for ten years, the last ten years of their extraordinarily long life. When we meet, Hugo is nearly 100 and Rosa is 96.

Finlander summarizes the documentary this way-

"Hugo is approaching 100 and his sister Rose is 96. In their little red house in the Swedish countryside they live in the same way as people there lived 100 years ago. "The trick is in staying happy," the always elegant Rosa confides to the filmmakers. In addition to cooking and caring for the household, she also sometimes plays the accordion. And when a sparkling Hugo with his amusing tales is chopping wood and digging in the garden, it appears as if nothing can disturb the idyllic life of the siblings. The march of time, however, is relentless, and after Hugo’s health complications, both find themselves in a retirement home. Even here they do not lose their remarkable optimism about life, their good mood, or their ability to take a humorous and detached view of the ailments associated with their age. A discreet camera follows Rosa and Hugo up to the final climax of their long life’s pilgrimage."

What we discover early in the film is that their unique worldview is due to their faith. From my research, and what I can surmise, they belonged to an evangelical Lutheran church all their lives. Hugo taught Sunday School for many, many years, at one time, his class held 40 students. "It was a lot," he said with a twinkle. Even in their last year of life, an entire service was held by them, with Hugo speaking and Rosa playing the accordion. They sing hymns, look forward to and speak of heaven, and have a placid and rock-solid assurance of reuniting with their Lord, whom they identify as their Lord, and with their 7 other siblings who have passed on before them.

I noticed at the outset, Rosa's face. It was lit from within with calm serenity and joy. As the documentary progresses, the reason for her serene joy is made evident- it's faith. Hugo also. It is a simple documentary, the director allowing the brother and sister speak for themselves, as well as his juxtaposed film shots space to be interpreted by the viewer.

What the documentary made me think of are all the Christians that have lived in obscure corners of the world, planting and marrying and living and dying, and passed on to eternity. I can't wait to meet them. There are so many saved people I will look forward to meeting when we all get there. Hugo and Rosa's life was simple. Hugo was born in 1900 in a simple farmhouse with no running water or electricity, and it stayed that way for almost their entire lives. They got electricity the last months of their lives. For one-hundred years they worked hard, chopped wood, milked cows, shoveled snow, planted fields...and loved it all because they loved the life the Lord gave them.

If you want some sweet movies or a good action movie, these are it. Note: The Wave is rated R for action disaster scenes and some language.


Sunday, May 07, 2017

Hoshino Wedding Chapel, Japan

Well, that's beautiful.



It's the Hoshino Wedding Chapel in Karuizawa prefect, Japan. What a beautiful blend of function and form. Solaripedia gives this description from an energy savings point of view-

[T]he sloping stone base of this wedding chapel unites the ascending concrete arches that project up and out of the natural terrain. For insulation from the cold, the self-supporting concrete arches are separated by double glass. The chapel turns in plan towards the south, affording a more uniform distribution of solar radiation from the sun that rolls westerly across the sky. The chapel is radiant heated by tubes of water in the floor. The thermal mass of rock, concrete, and marble floors make it energy effective. The doors, pulpit and pews were designed and hand-crafted from fine cherry wood on the site in a design-build process. As in Nature, the engineering of this chapel represents an integral expression of form. The number-one wedding chapel in the world, this wedding chapel provides more than 4000 weddings a year.

The New York Times says this:
There is not a single right angle in the Hoshino Wedding Chapel’s cascading concrete arches and soaring interior of inlaid stone. 
Form and function, it's a beautiful and delicate balance, especially when seen in in the animal world. a balance God achieved in just 6 days.

Spirals are beautiful and soothing. American Scientist says this about the logarithmic spiral-

Spira Mirabilis

"Of the numerous mathematical curves we encounter in art, geometry, and nature, perhaps none can match the exquisite elegance of the logarithmic spiral. This famous curve appears, with remarkable precision, in the shape of a nautilus shell, in the horns of an antelope, and in the seed arrangements of a sunflower. It is also the ornamental motif of countless artistic designs, from antiquity to modern times. It was a favorite curve of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher (1898–1972), who used it in some of his most beautiful works, such as Path of Life II."


"The many intriguing aspects of the logarithmic spiral all derive from this single feature. For example, a straight line from the pole O to any point on the spiral intercepts it at a constant angle α. For this reason, the curve is also known as an equiangular spiral. As a consequence, any sector with given angular width Δθ is similar to any other sector with the same angular width, regardless of how large or small it is. This property is manifested beautifully in the nautilus shell ( left ). The snail residing inside the shell gradually relocates from one chamber to the next, slightly larger chamber, yet all chambers are exactly similar to one another: A single blueprint serves them all."

Hrm, evolution didn't cause such perfection, regularity, and beauty. The 'single blueprint' is God. As you go around today praise Him who made the earth and all that is in it. (Psalm 24:1). He didn't have to make it beautiful, but He did. Man copies what is soaring and sublime, he can only copy the beauty that originates from and emanates from God.