Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Last Lecture

I am in the midst of reading Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture. In many ways it is a quick read, written in a conversational style. However, this book should not be a quick read. It should be eaten slowly so one might savor every bite. It contains the life stories and life lessons of an incredibly inspiring man.

The author, Randy Pausch, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer; he was given three to six months of health in late August 2007. Pausch was a well-known professor at Carnegie Mellon prior to his diagnosis. After much consideration, Pausch decided to give a last lecture at Carnegie Mellon which was the inspiration for the book. The Last Lecture is full of inspiring wisdom and strength. I can't say enough about the book; suffice it to say that I heartily recommend The Last Lecture.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer."
"Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
"Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think."
"Everyone of us must decide: Am I a fun-loving Tigger or am I a sad-sack Eeyore?"

Pausch was invited to give the charge to graduates at Carnegie Mellon this year. Here is his speech, courtesy of Youtube and Carnegie Mellon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Collage Kit: Sample 2

This is another sample of a collage made with the "Fire" collage kit. Soon to be posted on my Etsy store -- watch for more details!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Book Review: Offbeat Bride

I just finished reading the book Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides by Ariel Meadow Stalling. I was excited to read the book as I enjoy the Offbeat Bride website. However, I found the book rather disappointing. I was hoping that this book would provide ideas for brides who don't want a McWedding. However, most of the book is simply Stalling's sharing about her own wedding experiences. Having recently become engaged and started the search for various wedding paraphernalia, I understand Stalling's distaste for the Wedding Industry and the cookie cutter wedding/reception. However, I do not agree with the author's approach to the independent wedding. Perhaps it is simply a personality clash. Unlike Stallings, I do not intend my wedding to be a symbol of my declaration of independence from the self-proclaimed sovereign Wedding Industry (or society). In my opinion, weddings should be a communal, joyful celebration which binds the community together. The author does not promote good communication skills among brides and their families; she encourages brides to hide details that their families might find offensive until the day of the wedding. While I believe that couples should plan weddings and reception that reflect their personal interests and beliefs, they should not at the cost of distancing their loved ones. The "F--- you" approach to weddings (and life in general) can only get you so far. (That being said, the level of cursing in this book is distracting and irritating.) Basically, I think Stallings encourages a Bridezilla approach to alternative weddings.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Perfect Summer Day...

Today my sister Mandy and I spent some time outside simply enjoying the beauty and splendor of our natural habitat. It was a gorgeous day! We brought a bowl of cherries with us and entertained ourselves seeing who could spit cherries the farthest. Mandy read her book while entertained myself writing away. We throughly ourselves sunbathing in our own backyard.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A New Etsy Product

Recently, I started musing on how I could share the joy and wonder I experience through the creation of art. I thought I'd make some "collage kits" so the public can make their own beautiful creations. I will be selling these kits at some point in my Etsy store. My idea is to have a kit representing the elements of Earth, Wind, and Fire. I have not completed putting together these kits, but here is a sample of the Fire kit.

A beautiful sampling of papers.

Bobbles and various notions.

A sample collaged card.