Summer Reading

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Books I'm Reading

So…as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m starting to read again this summer.  Not that I forgot HOW to read, mind you – I just haven’t had time to dedicate myself to long reading endeavors.  Small magazine articles – yes.  Five hundred page novels – not quite.

But spending so much time at the lake this summer has given me more time to just relax and read.

So far…I’ve read:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  A great book about relationships between women in China in the 1800’s.  I do have to say that the foot-binding passages did make me quite nauseous – I guess that’s the sign of a great writer.  I had to put the book down for a few days before I could get through that section.  I really enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the customs of the time – and I realized that we still go through painful customs for beauty even today.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  Another good read that follows the story of Dinah in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament.  It imagines what would have happened if Dinah had not, in fact, been cpatured and raped by the son of the king, but instead had been madly in love with him.  It really got me thinking about other Bible passages and the possible stories behind them.

She’s All That by Kristin Billerbeck.  This book was a gift from my friend Linda (Hi, Linda!!!!) and I FINALLY got a chance to read it.  Fun, fun, fun – a nice, light beach read about three friends in their early 30s.  This is also a Christian chick-lit book, so it was nice to see faith worked into the story.  I think I’m going to get the next book in the Spa Girls series – I want to see what’s going to happen next with Lilly and her friends.

And I’m currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.  This is a BIG book – over 500 pages – and I’m only on page 384.  But I’ve read those 384 pages in just three days – it’s a book that really keeps your attention.  This is much different than the books I’ve read so far – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it.  It focuses on three generations of a Greek family living in this century.  The modern-day family member happens to be a hermaphrodite that lived as a girl for the first 14 years of his life.  But that’s not really the focus of most of the story – it’s about family life, immigration, living in Detroit during the race riots…it really covers a lot of ground in those 500 pages!

And next on my reading list…The Reluctant Fundamentalist by  Mohsin Hamid.  This book was chosen by my new book club – The Ladies of Lake Avenue.  Looks like a political thriller – again – not what I would normally read on my own.  I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve finished it…


Wedding Cigar Box

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Crafts, Other items

While I was away, I missed my neighbor’s son’s fiance’s bridal shower – can you follow all that? ;)  So I’m making a gift for the couple.  They are young and modern, but also like a little bit of vintage thrown in, so I thought I’d make them a custom box to hold small wedding mementos.

I started with a black, vintage cigar box and covered it with some paper by Basic Grey (that’s the modern).  Then I took a bride image from a 1940’s Ladies Home Journal and decoupaged it over the paper (that’s the vintage).  I added some glass glitter to her veil and cut out some letters using my Cricut.  I also added some felt flowers, some buttons and a rhinestone brad for a little bling.

I think I’m going to fill the box with a journal, pen and thank you cards made using the same Basic Grey paper.




Swim Party Invite

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Cards

Inspired by Meredith Burnsed’s brilliant use of punches, I made this invitation for my son Matt’s 8th birthday party to be held later this week at our local lake/pool:


I used the Lively Little Ones stamp set and colored in the images with Prisma colored pencils.  I used the circle and word window punches for the sun and circle punches for the waves.  The sand is kraft cardstock stamped with the sand image from Shore Thing.  The presents and cake are from Crab & Co. and the sentiment is from Eat Cake.   I used green glitter on some of the waves and added little cardstock confetti too.  Can you tell I had fun with these?


Feeling Punchy

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Crafts, Other items

I saw these FANTASTIC punch ideas on SplitCoastStampers by Meredith Burnsed – here’s a link to some of her original work. I just had to give them a try (and add just a few of my own ideas too).

 Tab punches:

Punch shapes





Circle and oval punches:

 Punch shapes







 I still have some more shapes to do using the Word Window punch when I get a chance.

I thought this would make a great class for kids and adults to do together, but I didn’t get much of a response.  Maybe I’ll try again next month…


Gift Frame

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Crafts, Other items

While we were away, my neighbor watched our cat and collected our newspaper and mail for us.  So I wanted to make something sweet for her – she has a new baby granddaughter and I thought a cute little frame would be something nice…


I bought a $3 MDF frame at Michaels and ModPodged some really pretty vintage-y paper from K&Co. with a nursery rhyme theme.  Then I added grosgrain ribbon around the outside edge and some pretty paper flowers with some buttons.  This looks so much cuter in person than it does in the photo – the colors are much more subtle than they appear in the picture.


Pretty Tea Card

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Cards

Just a pretty little card I made a few months ago.  My daughter’s preschool asked us to make an RSVP card for their Mother’s Day Tea.  I made this and sent it in, but forgot to take a photo of it.  But it’s one of my favorite cards I’ve made so I thought I’d share it with you now that I have it back:

Tea card

The card is made with Basic Grey paper (how can you go wrong with that?!?) and SU! cardstock (Old Olive and So Saffron).  I also used a stamp from Stampington & Co. and colored in the teacups with Regal Rose and Rose Red markers and the words with Old Olive.  I also included some Basic Grey ribbons and of course, the GORGEOUS Prima flower.


Where have I been?!?!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 16, 2007 in Family Stuff, Our Goldendoodle Puppies

Okay – I know that it’s been a while since I’ve posted…a LONG while, I just realized!

So…where have I been? Out in the sun, enjoying the beautiful warm weather – it’s summer, for goodness sakes! 😉

My family and I have a membership to Lake Kandle – a nice, old fashioned lake and swim club. My kids took swim lessons every day for two weeks, and since we were already there, we just stayed for the day. Every day. For two weeks. THAT’S why I haven’t posted. But I am getting very tan, if I do say so myself.

We had an odd July 4th – the weather was not the best, so we decided to just stick around home for the day. Mike and the kids went to the Pitman parade and I volunteered for our church’s Open House in the afternoon. We just completed a new church building and opened it up so that the community could come and see what we’ve done. We had a great turnout – several hundred people came through. You can see our new building at the Pitman United Methodist Church website. Then we watched the 4th of July fireworks right from our front yard. Every year, our little town (Pitman, NJ) has a fireworks display at Alcyon Lake – which happens to be at the end of our street. So we set up chairs out front and watch them in comfort – we don’t have to deal with traffic, finding a parking spot or whining kids (well…the kids still whine, but we can just send them inside) – it’s a nice tradition that we enjoy every year.

We also were away all last week on a camping trip at Big Timber Lake Camping Resort in Cape May Court House, NJ. We reserved our site last year so that we would be right next to the swimming lake – here’s the view from our campsite:

View from our campsite

Btl - view from our campsite

It was WONDERFUL to be so close to the lake!!! At night, after it closed, it was like we had our own private beach. And the kids took advantage of that to play in the sand and look up at the stars.

Unfortunately, Mike had to work all week, so it wasn’t much of a vacation for him. But the kids and I had a great time.

So did Daisy Doodle. She was QUITE the center of attention! In addition to being close to the lake, we were also right on a path where people walked by all day long. Here’s a shot of her and Emily watching the people go by….

Emily and Daisy

So…Daisy’s MO was to sit there looking all cute and everything until people stopped to pet her. How could you resist this face?


Well…let me tell you – no one could resist her charms! By the time we left, Daisy practically had her own fan club. Other campers were coming up and having their pictures taken with OUR DOG! One man took a photo on his cell phone and mailed it to his fiance. When she saw it, she drove all the way out to the campground to see Daisy in person. And there was one French-Canadian family that came by every single day and spoke to her in French. They said that they never saw a dog that made them so happy (let me just say that if Daisy went missing, the first place I was going to look would be Quebec – she had several French admirers during the week!).

As for me, I managed to finish several books – I started reading novels again this summer. Why did I stop reading them in the first place? Well…the problem is that I love reading SO much (and always have) that I tend to become so involved with the book – reading every minute I get – that I let everything else fall apart around me. But now that the kids are older, I find that I have more time to dedicate to reading – they don’t need all of my attention. As a matter of fact…I think I’ll start a new blog category about the books I’m reading this summer and my thoughts on them…

Anyway…I do have several craft projects to share with you, too…I’ll post them under the appropriate category…

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