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Friday, July 22, 2011


Currently at the top of the pile, both the one I can't put down and the one that I must bc I can't bear for it to end yet, is Tana French's newest book Faithful Place. I am glad to get a few recommendations to sustain me when this one ends, as all stories must. I love how you do summer!

Mary Ann,
I LEEEERRRRVVVV your blog! I am currently reading "The Mosaic Artist" by Jane Ward (my friend's sister wrote this book, self published it and won an award for it!). Everyone in my knitting group is enjoying it as we pass it around. She is an excellent author and touches on life experiences with a keen sense of introspection.

Also reading "The Painted Page" by Sarah Ahearn which has gotten me going on a sketch/collage/doodle journal to provide inspiration. My 11 year old daughter is enjoying the same!

Keep up the colorful life-enhancing work!
Thanks for sharing your world,

Love the succulents; mine all burned up in the 106F heat of the Mojave desert UGH!


Sister by A. Manette Ansay (author of Vinegar Hill)
At Home: Bill Bryson, so packed with history, quirky facts.
Skeletons At the Feast: Chris Bohjalian (if you haven't read anything by him, you're in for a treat!

I highly recommend: The Steig Larrsen trilogy: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Girl who Played with Fire, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Joan, out where the west gets wild and blasting hot.

I've been reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull - really short read but a powerful message. Love love love it.

Hey Mary Ann:
Love the lid and the book looks good too.
I am currently reading Every Time We Say Goodbye written by Jamie Zeppa (who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie which is an hour from my town and since I'm part of a literary festival committee who puts on various writer and author events thought I should read it) and it's really very good. I can't stop thinking about the characters.
I also have Water for Elephants on the go if I'm in the other room.
Your blog posts are so interesting, relaxing, thoughtful...I'm always excited to see when you've updated! Thank you!

The box is gorgeous, and does look great for washi tape or scraps or anything! I am reading a great book by Tana French called Faithful Place. She writes thrillerish-mysteries that have interesting characters and great writing. They are more literary page turners to me--my favorite "beach reads".

I'm reading "Life" by Keith Richards. Very entertaining book.

love: box
love: succulent
reading: 'the help'

Hi, Mary Ann! First of all, the succulents are beautiful. I have some "chicks and hens" too but around a tree in my yard; they are lovely! Your box is to die for and perfect for adding even more tape!!! I am reading On Writing by Stephen King (your recommendation) and just ordered House by the Sea to help with my journaling issues (what to write). I just finished The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte, a fascinating murder mystery about an art restorer working on a 15th century Flemish painting that has a hidden message -- lots of art references here. I'm also listening to Janet Evanovich's Smokin' Seventeen - so funny; her books make me laugh all the way home from work. Thanks for asking about some book recommendations; now I'm set for the rest of the year!

Box Missing? Look no farther. I have my own fleet of magpies who fly nightly anywhere in the world picking the best and bringing it to Mexico. Beware! Beside my bed at the moment: The Second Half of Life, Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by Angeles Arrien. And my constant companion, Prayers to the Great Creator, by Julia Cameron.

Finished JUST KIDS by Patti Smith. I was skeptical, remembering an intense and slightly wack-o musician from the 70's, but OMG was I off base. I-LOVE-THIS-BOOK and now I love Patti.
AS far as that box goes: I think that you should use it for something besides tape and send all that nasty tape overflow to me. Right now.

"Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie. I've read countless mysteries,but missed this one. :P

Hi Mary Ann,
I LOVE the old handmade wooden box you freshened up and made even more beautiful!!
I LOVE your gorgeous succulent "jewel box" -- and how you explained that the geranium moved out to the garden, and the succulents moved in!! HA!! I LOVE IT!! :-)
I am reading the Bible.
I read your AMAZING and WONDERFUL and GREAT GREAT GREAT blog daily!!
And I read the news online.
Actually, as much as I LOVE type and print and lettering, I am not that much of a reader -- my mind kind of thinks in pictures and learns more from observation, and my eyes have a seemingly unquenchable desire to SEE things.
Keep smiling, Mary Ann, you make us all sooo happy!! You are such a joy!!

Okay. The succulent idea is genius. The box is wonderful. But the comments! Can you believe so many magnificent women who are all reading something entirely different!??? This is quite amazing. You light up our lives Ms. Moss, you truly do. I'm reading "Paris Wife"...so far I'm loving it...Ernest Hemingway's wife.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Love that box!!!! wonderful!!!!
Great sunday to you

Caatje mentioned "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" which I LOVED. I can also recommend the short story follow up "The Ladies of Grace Adieu." I'm developing quite the thing for alt history. Right now I'm reading "The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man" which is the 2nd Burton & Swinburne novel by Mark Hodder. And I just finished "Heartless" by Gail Carriger.

Have you read "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"? I saw it on a blog and must check it out.

mmmmmmm i am so swimming in a sea of lovely books thanks to all of you. one of my favorite places to be!

Love your blog - always a treat for me to read and gaze at the pics. I teach as well so i the summer I read adult books and save the YA lit for the school year - so it's Bossypants and Swim Back to Me right now (I have to read more than one book at a time).

Just finished Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life - two times, first in paper then in audio. Then The Hunger Games trilogy. Different genres, different experiences. Both fun

I just finished Cutting for Stone, so so good. Now I'm trying to read a Bill Bryson book about houses. Since I got my kimble I have the hardest time remembering the titles of my reads. I think it's because I don't see the cover as I pick it up off my nightstand.
I made a horrible mistake and recommended that my husband read Cutting for Stone and (dumass!) even suggested he could read it on my kimble. Ridic. He is usually a fast reader but something about this heat has him in bed by 9 and snoring by 930 whereupon I snatch it off of his face and take my turn.

Oh - and I forgot to mention - I'm awaiting Ode To Happiness by Keanu Reeves from Amazon! I think I love Keanu even more than Art Garfunkel...............I have unusual taste in men.............

Oh how I love your blog!

Not only do I get to enjoy all the fabulous photography and art - but Susan Crane mentioned Art Garfunkel in her post above. I have always had a deep running passion for Art G. - I've always assumed I'm all alone in that particular obsession and now I have company out here in left field!!

I'm reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Any story set in a gothic castle is intriguing enough to get my attention :-).

LOVE the box!!! I wish I could find me some lovely oldies out here. I'm reading Little Bee right now. Not sure how I'm feeling about it. Always on the lookout for my next great read!

Great box-but aren't all the old ones? I am reading the current Janet Evanovich-Smokin'Seventeen-love that stephanie plum! fun quick read~

I'm on holiday on Nantucket, visiting my best friend. This morning while nosing about in an antique store I came across a vintage book entitled An Island Patchwork by Eleanor Early (Houghton Mifflin, 1941.) It has snippets of stories about the island's history and its denizens but it was the following little poem that got me to shell out my money:

When fretted of this single life
That seems to be my lot,
I list the many men whose wife
I'm glad that I am not.

You gotta love that!

Since it's the anniversary of the Civil War and I don't really know much about the whole event I'm reading "Team of Rivals" while at the same time my older brother is reading "A World On Fire" and then we're going to fill each other in on all that we learn. He lives in Texas and I'm in Illinois so I'm really looking forward to one of our marathon phone conversations when we're both finished reading!

Gorgeous succulents! As soon as it cools off a bit here I'll go outside and see what's growing, but in 100+ degree heat with above 90% humidity I'm not going out there! There's a reason I'm a librarian! :)
I'm reading a book recommended by you. One that takes place in Istanbul with the detective named Sulleyman. Can't remember the title and I'm too lazy to go upstairs and look at my Kindle. Too lazy to even open the Kindle app on my Mac. Actually I'm afraid I might start reading it when I have tons of homework to finish. Next week is last day of summer classes and then I'll be taking another book making class from you! So what am I doing here if I have homework? I'm taking a break! Geesh! :)
Break's over.....

p.s. Lynda Barry's book on drawing is Picture This. (It's on its way from Amazon but has only made it as far as Illinois on its way to me in Southern California!)

Wonderful succulents, wonderful box...
Reading Sister, Rosamund Lupton -- chilling; still working on Autobiography of Mark Twain (may be my life's work!); Swamplandia, which I love almost as much as her first, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves; I loved both of Jim Lynch's novels: The Highest Tide; Border Songs. He's a true find. (I just put your S.J. Watson book on the library list, Mary Ann, and found that I was #79, yeah.)

I love May Sarton, and Edith Holden's Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, and everything of Danny Gregory's, but I hadn't known of these two books by Lynda Barry -- What It Is and the one on drawing (can't remember the title)-- oh my. I'll read those forever.

Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter by Patricia Albers. Love this post!! xo

Eeee..I may need to run around to junk (opportunity!) shops this week and look for a box. Lucky you.

Reading now? "Operation Mincemeat" by Ben MacIntyre true story about deception in WWII that is a wonderful tale; "Paris Was Ours" Penelope Rowlands - I think I'm going to buy this book of essays cause it's a keeper in my mind;finally, "The Lost Girls" Jennifer Baggett. I believe I am too old to feel their angst while giving up their US lives to travel for a year, but I plan to finish it probably.

But more to the point this summer, I am watching the Harry Potter series, and will be getting #6 on Monday!

Reading 3 books....book 4 in the Game of Thrones series and two mysteries :)
Love the wooden box....can't stop myself when I find them while thrifting.....
off to clean up a workspace so I can work in my FTB journals today! Beth

Just finished Frank McCourt's Teacher Man. It's funny/sad. Read it.

Just finished up The Book Thief - a great read. Next up is the Sweet Life in Paris - yum! I'm off to view the videos - just got my vintage album ready for sewing - Single Chain binding here I come!

The Big 5-Oh! by Sandra D. Bricker is the latest book that I just finished. It is really great. Here is the link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/big-five-oh-sandra-d-bricker/1100323957 It is free right now on B&N

First-the box is gorgeous! It definitely needs lots of washi tape to keep it company! Second-I love knowing what other people are reading! At the library I'm always stealithy peeking to see what books people are checking out. I'm reading "Emerson: The Mind on Fire" by Robert D. Richardson. I just finished Richardson's book "First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process" {a book I highly recommend!} and a mystery called "Death of Corinne" by R.T. Raichev. Just started that one and I'm not sure about it yet! Has anyone ever read the Jalna series by Mazo de la Roche? One of my very favorite series of all time! It's out of print but is being released in a new edition in August. It's about a Canadian family called the Whiteoaks,and they are wonderfully quirky and interesting! Ok, I'll stop now. When I get on a roll about books I could go on forever! But I would love to know everyone else's favorite reads!

A minute before I logged on was reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Gowda.

"The Guilty Plea" by Robert Rotenberg. His second book, just out. Set in Toronto - wonderful mystery.
And, like everyone else - love the box and your primo decorating job!
Erin in Morro Bay

Love your box (happen to have a love for old wood boxes myself) and your little garden. I am reading A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - it was one of Oprah's book club a few years ago, really like it a lot. Just finished my smash journal and 4 other journals made out of old book covers. I can't stop, I'm addicted to making your journals and tape.

Reading "Swamplandia" right now. Mildly interesting, hoping it gets better. The title so deserves it. A family of alligator wrestlers go throught the trials and tribulations of life and death.

Oooooooo - box: WANT!!!! Love what you did with it. I've not had much luck with succulents in Oregon - too cold and/or too wet perhaps? I am sad to say that I don't read books as much as I would like for the past few years except craft books and mags - and blogs. All my spare time is used for playing with my artstuffs - I'm obsessed with drawing, painting and gluing stuff into books. And I am busy cutting up books rather than reading them - especially love to make found poetry. I do read my poets pretty regularly however. I must get back to reading novels though - nothing like getting lost in another world. Have a great day MA! I'm off to watch ROD now - loving it!!

Yummy....on the Menu at Moss Cottage:
Feast for the Eyes Appetizers: a salad bowl of succulents served on an aged tray with floral notes. Very nice. Thank you. And for the excellent service, I leave you this prosey tip, written by Emily Dickinson

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

Now, can't wait to see what the main course is and of course, what is going to be served to drink!

As for reading, I am almost done with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It isn't that challenging, just perfect for a summer beach read, and her character Jamie is quite delicious. I do love a brawny scotsman in a kilt.

I am loving the box.........way too many possibilities of what it could hold but I think old scraps would look just great in there. Love pictures of your garden.......it looks so relaxing.

That box is divine I say. Just divine. As it is storming at this exact moment, thunder, lightening, we lost power just long enough to have to reset all the clocks, hate when that happens. I am reading, The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. Enjoyable, relaxing read with lots of twists and turns. It's a one of those books that warms the from the inside out, like a cup of hot tea. Gentle, rolling drama but without the heaviness of a hard hitting novel.

Like any good student would, i took the teacher's advice and purchased a used copy of "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. Love the box and the succulents! My pot of succulents is the only one that looks worth a darn here in the Midwest. Everything else is parched beyond the point of no return! I'm thinking i will just start over once the heat wave breaks!

Gorgeous succulents, I'm truly drooling right now. Love that box/tray too...I can so see a lovely jumble of washi tapes tossed in it... Not neatly lined up, like I TRY to do mine, but just tossed in. When you actually USE tapes they don't like to stay lined up like little soldiers, but they like to mix with all the others.

Alas I have no book to read right now. I'm learning new computer stuff for work and it's wearing my eyes and my brain to a frazzle. I'll keep a list of what you all are reading though for later, because they all sound good.

I love succulents ... just awesome!
I am reading THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS ... as a research scientist, I am very very into this book!

awesome succulents! and that pot is to die for!
love the box your friend gave you...it's just aching for you to fill it with your tapes!
have a lovely day Mary Ann! xo natalea

At this moment I am reading Walking to Gatlinburg by Howard Frank Mosher, one of my favorite authors. If you haven't read any by him, start with Northern Borders. He is so amazing, and creates an amazing world, Northern Vermont. Each book is an embarrassment of riches!

Moss Cottage, GoodMorning, The drawer is wonderful,perfect for papers you go girl. Book Kathy Hogan Trocheck Every crooked nanny, not like the books you are reading but a mystery yes.
Have a great day,

gorgeous box! i'm reading beyond reach by karin slaughter. been working my way through all of her books.

I'm reading Cathy Kelly's Homecoming, heartwarming and Irish. Listening in the car to The Paris Wife, a novelized story in the voice of Hemingway's first wife.

Love the succulent garden. I planted one last summer only to have the squirrels dig up every single plant (I replanted, they re-unplanted, repeat...). Will try again when I have developed a strategy of protection for the plants.
Just finished reading AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY by Steve Martin and liked it. Also recently finished reading THE HELP, which I loved.
Love the new box. :)

I love to see those cacti growing on roofs. We call them house leeks at home - and perhaps you do where you are?

I'm reading the 'Essays' of George Orwell and frightening myself, they are so profound. For light relief (ha!), I've just started Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold'. Also on my bedside table, 'Still Water', Art Garfunkel's prose poems (1989). It's such an old book that when it arrived from Amazon I found it had mould inside the cover boards. Doesn't spoil the contents though or the endearing pic of Artie wearing a beret.

It's so nice that you personalised the drawer while leaving some of the old part showing through. Perfect!

When I'm not acting like an eight year old at the local pool, I'm reading The Solitude of Prime Numbers, by Paolo Giordano.....splendid!!!

I love your blog too Mary Ann, and I love the way you look at life.
I'm reading "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family", but it is a big book and I have a short attention span, so I'm also reading "The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow", "Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D - From Snapshots to Great Shots", and some Mary Oliver poetry.

Love the box...I just scored an old Grumbacher painters box that I will use to travel with my journal. The paint tray is loaded with old globs of paint. I think adding some paper bits to it inside and out is a wonderful idea. I am currently reading The Passage:A Novel by Justin Cronin...slow to start, but getting really hard to put down.

Very cute box and of course washi tape is the ONLY thing that will fit in there, come on!

I'm currently reading "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. It's about two wizards in the beginning of the 19th century in London and it's all portrayed as if wizardry used to be a perfectly normal aspect of British society. It's almost 1000 pages and takes some perseverance because the tempo is quite slow, but I do like it.

The fabulous Jennifer Hoomins amazingly well-researched and written history of Ballet, Apollo's Angels. It's like a global art, music, politics, and cultural context education of the last 400 years! Incredible. I only read non-fiction though. Reading fiction makes me angry. It's too affecting. I strictly prefer biographies and/or educational texts.

Hi, Mary Ann. I SO LOVE YOUR BLOG! I am a teacher also, but our school starts up this Monday...too soon, too soon. I am currently reading Barbara Kingsolver's Lacuna. FABULOUS! I love all of her books.

I am reading your blog, of course...
Love your succulents - and yes, cover the kitten's eyes.
Am smitten with the box - I have an addiction to old boxes, serving trays...

I love your succulent garden! And your book looks interesting. I may have to add that to my Kindle. I'm currently reading Embassytown by China Meiville. Heading off in the morning for an assemblage art class. Should be lots of fun! Have a great weekend-

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