It’s the Journey

The creative efforts of others often inspire me. Besides books, one of the creative outlets I turn to for inspiration is My Froggy Stuff, a crafting channel on YouTube. Even if I don’t make the projects featured in the videos, I’m still energized by the act of creating something with my hands. How about you?

My Froggy Stuff

(Commercial break: Yes, I’ll get to the winner of Charlotte Cuts It Out by K. A. Barson—another inspiring creative effort—in a moment. [Click here for that interview.] And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.)

Case in point, I made the doll sofa in the photo below out of felt and cardboard (with yarn trim) after watching a video on My Froggy Stuff. It’s about three-and-one-half inches wide—perfect for a Lalaloopsy mini doll.

Doll Couch Too

In this photo, you can see all of my hand-stitching mistakes. 🙂 But that’s the beauty of crafting. You don’t have to be perfect. (Yeah, I’ll keep telling myself that.)

Anyway, in the comment section of one of Froggy’s videos, in which she explained how she made doll furniture, one of the commenters asked her why she made anything. The commenter then went on to suggest that Froggy buy everything, rather than make it. Perhaps the commenter really thought she was being helpful. Another commenter, however, promptly suggested that the first commenter shut up. (The joys of the internet.)

Yet the first commenter caused me to think about why I prefer to make things if I can, rather than buy them, even if I have to spend hours and hours doing it and make tons of mistakes in the process. Wanna know what I discovered? Come closer, and I’ll whisper it.

Because it’s fun. And relaxing. But you already knew that, right, as well as this old saying:


Some journeys are life-shaping—we experience growth in the process. I burned myself several times wielding that hot glue gun as I glued felt to cardboard. I also pricked my finger with the needle while sewing. Okay, maybe both of those don’t sound like much fun. But they’re part of the process—hazards of the job. They also taught me to slow down and focus—also important whenever I’m writing or editing anything.

The joy of working with their hands is why gardeners take to the soil, and put up with pests like weeds, aphids, and other inconveniences. Like deer and rabbits. Last summer, rabbits and deer applauded my brother’s gardening efforts by eating just about everything he planted. Did that sour him on gardening? Nope. The joy in the accomplishment was greater than the annoyance of unwanted garden guests.

The creative journey is empowering! This is why many people spend months or years restoring vintage cars.


And, as you know, when you continue to make things by hand, you get better at it. The first sofa I made took days to complete. The second (the one above), took maybe two hours. (Well, it was smaller, so that helped.)

Now, as promised, on to the creative efforts of Kelly Barson.

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The winner of Charlotte Cuts It Out, thanks to the Random Number Generator, is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Nancy Hatch of Spirit Lights The Way!

Congratulations, Nancy! Please comment below to confirm.

What was the last thing you made by hand? Why did you make it? How did you feel after you did?

My Froggy Stuff logo from YouTube. Journey sign from Pinterest. Franklin D. Roosevelt quote from BrainyQuote.

State of the Union

Ages ago, May 25, to be precise, Patty over at Petite Magique nominated me for the Most Influential Blogger award.


And on June 13, T. K. Morin over at Bite Size Canada nominated me for the Rose of Kindness Award.


Thank you both for these awards and the tremendous kindness you exhibited by nominating me. Actually, I’m amazed that anyone thinks of my little blog as “influential” (especially when I talk about ice cream) or my commenting as kind. I enjoy connecting with you through my comments. Your trust touches me. I feel like offering each of you a puppy.

When I think of influence, I think of something Franklin D. Roosevelt once wrotein a speech he never delivered: “Great power involves great responsibility.”


So many bloggers use their influence wisely—another reason to click on the blogs listed above (Petite Magique and Bite Size Canada). If you haven’t visited these wonderful blogs, please take a minute to do so. Patty has wonderful poetry and photos, and T. K. Morin’s incredibly informative posts are all about Canada’s colorful history. You can also find videos and great photos too.

Hopefully someday I’ll get around to meeting all of the requirements to accept these awards. (I understand giving up a pint of blood is one of the newest requirements. But I could be wrong about that.) Anyway, I wanted to at least acknowledge them.

This is probably a good time to talk about why I blog. That’s easy: because it’s fun. It never feels like work. Yes, writing posts and interview questions and also choosing photos and such take effort. But this is “fun” work. Anything that seems like “work” work—well, I won’t do it.

Which brings me to book reviews. I follow many, many blogs with excellent book reviews. Perhaps you’re wondering when I’ll finally get around to including one. If so, I’m sorry to disillusion you. Let me explain why you won’t find those here. Most of it has to do with my desire to be lazy. See this cat? That’s me.


I’ve posted before about my manuscript reader years. About 2700—3000 manuscripts were mailed to the publisher every year. Multiply that by almost nine years (I’ll wait for you to do that; don’t forget to show your work) and you’ll see how many manuscripts came my way—manuscripts sent by hundreds of people. My job was to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of these manuscripts, including market research. I also edited books for the publisher.

Wait. There’s more.

I attended a graduate school where everyone was in the midst of writing a book or had written one, including the faculty and the alums. In the program, we were responsible for critically assessing at least ten published books every month. My program was a two-year program, so here’s more multiplication for you to tackle. Add to those the manuscripts I reviewed for another publisher. (I still occasionally review manuscripts freelance.)

So book reviews, at least for me, equal work, especially since practically everyone I know is writing a book. (Well, I know a three-year old who is not writing a book. She’s too busy drinking imaginary tea. But she probably will write a book someday.) To give everyone equal time, that would mean writing hundreds of book reviews. Sorry. I’m too lazy for that.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not against book reviews, nor am I trying to be insulting. I follow over 50 blogs. (You read that right.) Many of these feature excellent book reviews. I admire these bloggers greatly. I’ve bought many books based on their reviews. But I prefer to do book announcement interviews. Those are fun. I love to feature authors on the blog who talk passionately about their books or their writing process.

So, you get the drift. Whatever = work is a no-no post-wise. Whatever = fun gets the thumb’s up. (Note: I am a beta reader, however. That’s the extent of my reviewing. But you won’t see a review of those books on this blog. :-))

By now, you’re probably wondering, Okay, what will I get from this blog? You will get me waxing eloquent about my crushes on fictional characters, scintillating conversation, posts on DVDs I discover through Netflix, thoughts on videogames, occasional book giveaways, aspects of craft, rants about drivers who irk me, discussions about chocolate and daisies. Y’know, the stuff you find in Faulkner or Steinbeck.

Welcome to my blog!

Cat from LOL Cats. FDR photo from Wikipedia.