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February Free Desktop Calendar

Welcome to the short, short month of February. This photo is for wolves and red cloaks and little girls on their way to grandma's house.

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.


Books Read in 2010

Starting with the first books I read this year and plowing through to the end. I won't bore you with the whole list at once. I rate on a scale of 1-5.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore - 3
Good but I don't quite remember it, so either it was a really fast read and I breezed through, or it was not significant enough for me to remember. I would reread it though.

Fire by Kristin Cashore - 3
I liked this one better. Now I can't wait for the third.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman - 2
Strange. Good, but strange. Seemed to mix fantasy with literature...strange.

Zoe by Dirk Wittenborn - 2
About a model. Not my thing.

Dune by Frank Herbert - 4
My first experience of this. Wow.

Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley - 2
Long, long, interesting, but long.

Culture Smart Germany by Barry Tomalin - 4
Wonderful short snippet on how German culture works and why. Really helped me understand better.

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave - 3
Took a while to get interesting, but man is the end surprising.

Marie Antoinette The Journey by Antonia Fraser - 4
I love a history book that doesn't bore me.

Teach Yourself German
Can't really rate this. It probably shouldn't be included in my book count, but it is a book, and I read all the way through it!


Floating Bookshelves Tutorial

Floating bookshelves are the new rage. You can make them at home for as cheap as you wish. This is about the same as my floating DVDs tutorial, only with books, and I actually made these when we first moved in because it was so simple and I needed to get started on decorating. I just haven't gotten around to posting here.


You'll need some hefty, hardback books that you don't mind cutting into and gluing, scissors, short self-tapping screws, and two L brackets per book.


Measure and place the L brackets at equal distances.


Trace the L brackets and cut away just enough pages to have them sit flush when the book is closed.


You might have to cut into the cover itself to let the book sit flat against the wall when hung.


Screw the L brackets to the pages and then glue around the edges and glue the covers shut.


Let it all dry.


Then hang! Now you have homemade floating bookshelves.


Reread Books in 2010

I read two more books the last week of 2010. So my total for the year is now 59. I'd say that's pretty good considering I didn't have access to a lot of books. I'm trucking through this year already with 5. (Loving the Kindle.) With last year's list I read 60 in 2009 and read 5 books by January 28.

So I'll start with the books I reread in 2010. I rate on a scale of 1-5.

La Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - 5
I read this in both German and English. My mother used to read it to me in the original French. Wonderful children's classic with a depth unfathomable by children. Definitely something to read as an adult.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein - 5
Read this one with Albert. He liked it and wants to read the Lord of the Rings. I can't say much about the Hobbit except that it's awesome.

Harry Potter 4 by J.K. Rowling - 4
This is my absolute favorite Harry Potter. I bought a fancy signed version in London.

Harry Potter 7 by J.K. Rowling - 2
I don't like this one as much. The movie was awesome. (I hate you Hollywood for splitting it into two, grrr.) It's too psychological and philosophical instead of constant action for me.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon - 3
Love love love this series. Especially the first one, Outlander. Anyone who can keep me hooked for 1,000 pages and never let up on the humor, love, and action is amazing.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer - 2
I don't like these books very much. The Host is so much better. But the movies are fun so I reread before the movies. They are quick easy reads when I just want to relax.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - 4

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - 3
Good book. I struggle with her writing. It doesn't quite hook me. But the story is wonderful.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer - 4
This book grabs from the beginning and doesn't let go. The world is well developed and interesting. The characters are heart-wrenchers.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - 3
Had to reread before Mockingjay came out!

And those are my rereads for 2010. I will keep listing what else I read this year in small chunks. Also, I'll have a Kindle review at some point.


Photo Transfers to Canvas Tutorial

I found this tutorial on A la Mode Stuff a while back and planned to use it on some products. But then it just became a home project for my dining room wall. Here's how I did it with photos of the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and Big Ben.

Print out the photos you want. If they have words or something recognizable (like the Statue of Liberty's right hand) make sure and flip them. (I didn't, but we're a left-handed family so a left-handed Statue of Liberty is fine with me.)


You'll need canvas, the print-outs, mod podge, and a sponge brush. Glue the print-outs to the canvas ink down with the mod podge.


Smooth the wrinkles out and cover the pictures with something heavy. Let them dry.


Then slightly dampen the paper and pull it off.


You'll need to rub most of the paper off with your finger. I left some of the paper, and even scraped some of the ink off, to make them look old.


The three with the paper scraped off. It makes quite a mess.


I rubbed a wet black teabag around the edges and in the holes. It made them look like old oil paintings. It doesn't really match my other decor, and I wish I had left them white. Maybe I'll do them again at some point.




Three Things Thursday - Favorite Season

What is your favorite season? There are aspects of each that I like: late nights in the summer, green and flowers in spring, crisp weather in fall, but I love winter.
Three things about...
your favorite season.
1.    I am in love with winter. I get to bundle up. In the summer you can only take so many clothes off, but in the winter you can always put more on! Plus the hot drinks and the fires. It’s all so cozy when it’s snowing outside. And the way my face looks with rosy cheeks and nose is just ten times better than covered in sweat and flushed.
2.    How many sports do I dare name here…ice skating, snowboarding, crunching the snow with boots (ok, not a sport), snow shoeing, skiing, sledding…I love it all.
3.    The snow, oh the snow. In Colorado it’s beautiful because we get snow and sunshine, not so much in Germany. We get the snow. And gray clouds. It’s still beautiful when I look out my window and see fat flakes drifting their way to the ground and covering the branches of the trees. Like my own personal wonderland sitting just outside while I sit inside with a blanket and good book.

Tell me your favorite season in the comments or link your own blog post in the linky.


I Love Living in Europe

Things are not so mass-produced here. One still has the feel of a mom and pop store when walking into a bakery or gift shop. And I find feathers on my eggs, as it should be.


Happy New Year January Calendar

Hello and welcome to the new year. Here's a calendar for your computer desktop. I did this every month last year and liked it a lot so I'll keep doing it this year. It didn't seem to be extremely popular, but I like using them for myself and since I'm doing it anyways I'll share with you.

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.