Monthly Archives: March 2017

Literary Wonderlands Book Review

Whether your heart belongs in The Shire, Hogwarts, Winterfell, Wonderland, Neverland, or Narnia, it’s clear that books have a way of transporting us to worlds unknown.  Since the Greek and Roman myths and the fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm, authors and poets have created magical places that oftentimes exist only in our imaginations.

Filled with new vocabulary, or sometimes new languages entirely, these literary worlds are often as much of a character to a book as the hero himself.  They give us a setting, a feeling, a grounding in our story and provide the framework to help us assemble these towns, cities, buildings, and universes in our heads.

But before we could dream up our own Hogwarts or create our own version of Camelot, someone had to give us the pieces.  What inspired these authors to create these magical places?  What was the basis for the school in Never Let Me Go, the characters of Narnia, or the language of the Dothraki?

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In Literary Wonderlands: A Journey to 100 of the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created, a team of editors and writers attempt to transport themselves into some of our favorite literary worlds and explore it as only the best travelers can.  Filled with beautiful illustrations and photos, each chapter in Literary Wonderlands is like a journey into another story and makes it oh so easy to be swept up in the magic of these otherworldly places.

Starting with ancient myths and legends like Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and Beowulf, and moving all the way into the computer age with favorites like The Hunger Games, Cloud Atlas, and A Game of Thrones, Literary Wonderlands features essays on 100 magical books that all feature, for lack of a better term, a literary wonderland.  Writers attempt to figure out the inspiration for these worlds, try to find the basis for the language and the make-up, and even sometimes try to pinpoint them geographically based on written descriptions and maps.

Though it’s jam-packed with fun tidbits and information, this book could easily be categorized as a coffee table book, just for the shear amount of illustrations and photography included here.  If the words don’t do enough to transport you, the photos surely will…and don’t be surprised if you end up adding a few books to your “To Read” list on Goodreads after reading this!

A beautiful book that’s just as eye-catching as it is informative, Literary Wonderlands is sure to add a few more stops to the literary road trip you dream up in your head.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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11 Dr. Seuss Quotes That Are Everything Right Now

Today is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to children of all ages as Dr. Seuss.

Author of such classics as The Cat in the Hat, Oh the Places You’ll Go!, The Lorax, and so many more, Dr. Seuss gave us an entire collection of classic stories that continues to inspire and encourage children and adults the world over to dream, imagine, and have fun reading!

As is the case with most children’s books, Dr. Seuss’s stories are jam-packed with meaningful quotes and inspirational messages…many of which remain relevant, especially in today’s changing world.

So if you need a little pick-me-up today, or just some assurance that we’re all on the same boat in this crazy, turbulent ocean of a situation, here are 11 inspiring and relevant quotes from Dr. Seuss that will hopefully help bring a smile to your beautiful face!

11 Dr. Seuss Quotes That Are Everything Right Now

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Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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How to Make Watercolor Bookmarks

My dad used to live inside his books.  He would write notes in the margins and dog ear pages with his favorite quotes.  Pages would be wrinkled from spilled water or coffee and the spines of his books might hold crumbs or notes with quotes or drawings on them.  His books were alive with his essence and he immersed himself fully in the stories he read.

For me, my reading experiences are completely different.  I hate even cracking the spine of a new book.  When a book smells new, freshly pressed with ink and glue…it’s magical.  I almost never read or drink when I’m reading, for fear of damaging the pages and I never dog ear anything…rather just fill my book with little Post-Its or bookmarks to remind myself of favorite passages or quotes.

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As a reader, you really can’t have too many bookmarks…especially if you’re one to read more than one book at a time.  For me, anything can act as a bookmark.  Junk mail, ripped up magazines, paperclips…but why use trash to dirty your books when you can make your very own beautifully painted watercolor bookmarks?

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Painting with watercolors is so fun and easy…and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to painting if you’ve never painted before.

These lovely watercolor bookmarks are so easy peesy lemon squeezy…and you can add your favorite quotes to them and give them out as gifts or keep them for yourself!

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How to Make Watercolor Bookmarks

Materials:

  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolor Paint
  • Brushes (any variety will do, up to you!)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Mod Podge or Glue
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Letter Stickers

Directions:
If you want to add a quote to your bookmark, you can either do it before or after you paint.  You can print it on your watercolor paper before painting anything or, if you have a snazzy printer, you can paint your bookmark and print your quote on later.  For me, I have a crappy printer…so I’m going to paint my bookmarks first, then add lettering with stickers.

  1. Using a ruler and a pencil, lightly trace the outline of your bookmark, making it as tall and as wide as you’d like it to be.
  2. Have fun painting!  Combine like colors for an ombre effect or mix and match to create amazing and unique designs.  If you’re struggling for inspiration, YouTube and Pinterest are great places to start!
  3. Once you’re done and your paper has dried, cut out your bookmarks.  I let mine sit under a heavy book for a few hours just to help it dry flat.
  4. For a sturdier bookmark, I glued mine to cardstock, then cut those out as well.  Place them under a heavy book to dry flat.
  5. If desired, you can punch a hole at the top and add a tassel for that traditional bookmark look.
  6. For my quote, I placed my stickers carefully with tweezers, then covered the whole bookmark with a very light coat of spray adhesive.  You can also use Mod Podge, but I like how spray adhesive doesn’t weigh the paper down or cause bubbles.

And there ya go!  A whole assortment of colorful and unique bookmarks that are just begging to be used!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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