Archive for the ‘little luxuries’ category

The Saturday Book Shop – 100 Unknown Women

March 6, 2021

I love this book any time, but especially on International Women’s Day.

She Caused a Riot: 100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed It by Hannah Jewell.

This book is witty, wise, WONDERFUL. Can’t recommend it enough. Amazing stories about women doing all sorts of things we didn’t know about because they were too often left out of the history books. Hannah Jewell is a terrific writer. Funny. Empowering. Memorable.  She’s created a totally bad ass tribute to forgotten women throughout history. Mega-inspiring. And laugh out loud funny.

The hot pink and electric chartreuse green drew me to the cover when I found this right after it was published 3 years ago. The stories and bold perspective kept me coming back to this book again and again for reminders about women who fearlessly and fully lived life. Colorful. Bold. Satirical and insightful. In the best possible ways. A little shocking. A whole lot enlightening.

Shake up your bookshelf.

Hope to see you back next week at The Saturday Book Shop, which is published pretty much every Saturday talking about books I like. Love to hear from you in the comments about books you like and/or any page-turners you’re reading these days.

The Saturday Book Shop – Small Wonder

February 27, 2021

Small Wonder is a collection of essays by one of my all-time favorite authors: Barbara Kingsolver. This collection of essays was originally published in 2002 and written in response to the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Still, it feels quite timely in trying to wrap our hearts and minds around the unique challenges facing all of us today … holding fast to the little moments of life and love that make up the big picture—and making our natural inclination to hold hope and light more bearable, more together, even when we’re apart and it sometimes feels as if so much has shifted.

is

I’ve only just discovered this book. I thought I knew all the books this author had written, yet finding it now just underscores the notion that we all get a glimpse of when being led to a book or re-reading a book: that it finds its way to us at just the right time and in just the right way to fully receive the precious stories it holds. Barbara Kingsolver’s unique way of capturing moments of loss as well as laughter—amidst the dailiness of myriad mundane miracles that often lead to the grandest ongoing hopes and resolve—makes her essays, novels, and non-fiction a complete joy to read. They’re inspiring like a glimpse of an early-rising wide full moon on a clear bright night. Thank you, Barbara Kingsolver, for writing, and for continuing to write.

The royalties from this book support the work of Physician’s for Social Responsibility, Habitat for Humanity, Environmental Defense, and the humanitarian aid project called Heifer International. The copy of the book I’m showing above is a hardcover copy. Paperback is also available (with a different cover).

From my bookshelf to yours … Happy Reading!

 

Would love to hear in the comments if you’re finding time to read these days and any titles that have caught your attention or favorites you’re re-reading.

Look forward to seeing you back next week at The Saturday Book Shop

!

 

The Saturday Book Shop – The Snail with the Right Heart

February 13, 2021

Most book stores do not have a section labelled “Simply Enchanting”, but they ought to, and this book definitely falls into that category of undefinable magic (mixed with true science) that will no doubt make it a contemporary classic for young readers—and everyone young at heart too.

The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story by Maria Popova with illustrations by Ping Zhu is a children’s book that holds a fascinating story with down-to-earth wisdom alongside soaring wonder of the ages within its covers. (And if you’re a book printing/design geek like me, you’ll notice that not only the stunning pages, but even the end papers of the covers are delicately and brilliantly illustrated. The tiny details of book production, along with the inner workings of tiny gliding snails zing me.) Three years in the making, the book is quite timely, especially in these times:

“A love story, a time story, an invitation not to mistake difference for defect and to welcome, across the accordion scales of time and space, diversity as nature’s wellspring of resilience and beauty.” – Maria Popova

Maria Popova’s name is familiar if you’re a reader of her fabulous BrainPickings site where she mesmerizes us all with her passionate and poetic writings about all things books, art, design, poetry, music, marvels, philosophy: LIFE.

Popova is after my own heart here when she describes so wonderfully what I have long felt about the best of children’s books:

“Great children’s books move young hearts, yes, but they also move the great common heart that beats in the chest of humanity by articulating in the language of children, which is the language of simplicity and absolute sincerity, the elemental truths of being: what it means to love, what it means to be mortal, what it means to live with our fragilities and our frissons. As such, children’s books are miniature works of philosophy, works of wonder and wonderment that bypass our ordinary resistances and our cerebral modes of understanding, entering the backdoor of consciousness with their soft, surefooted gait to remind us who and what we are.” – Maria Popova

There’s more to Popova’s behind-the-scenes about writing this gem, as well as more photos of the gorgeous inside pages of the book here.

And while we’re on the subject of snails, and because it’s the day before Valentine’s, I’ll leave you with a little poem I wrote back in 2014 about embracing the spirit of snails and all they can teach us about unexpected blessings of perspective, whether we’re in full tilt hummingbird-heartbeat doings mode or embracing the reminders of slow and steady rhythms of just being that come our way … Happy Heart Day All! ❤️❤️❤️

OF SNAILS AND TRAILS
by Paula Boyd Farrington

 

I read about Totem Animals
whose essence shows The Way
The article said if you don’t know yours,
Be aware: it will somehow speak to you; show up during your day
 
And there you were
when I went out to the car
In plain view—a darling little snail
On the rear view mirror: driver’s side
 
Oh no, I groan …
I don’t want my totem to be a SNAIL!
Sluggish. Slow. Escargot.
No, thank you. No. Just … no.
 
But there you are again
In the evening dusk
climbing outside the kitchen window,
seemingly everywhere I look.
 
Oh my. Not what I wanted to see.
Why couldn’t I have glimpsed a National Geographic Gazelle?
A Lion. A Jaguar. A Hawk. A Flamingo!
Something powerful or exotic. Oh hell.
 
But there you are.
Carrying your likeness of a gratitude symbol
upon your mandala of a spiral shell,
your home right with you, wherever you may dwell.
 
Let me look closer, your antennae sweeping out
Stretching forward, inquisitively sensing the air
I watch you quietly know where you’re going,
on your own glossy path, climbing here and there.
 
Let me rethink this tiny powerhouse of Now
to warm to What Is
seeing anew the natural grace
In everything that lives.
 
This little snail is more than cute,
It fulfills an important role
Recycles organic matter,
Strong and steady it goes and goes.
 
And your giant ocean cousin?
All pink lipped with curvy shell,
known as an aphrodisiac,
her majesty feeds the islands well.
 
Named the Queen Conch.
She sometimes sports a pearl.
A royal snail in aqua seas
Classic beauty, a crown of whorls.
 
So can I embrace this totem tale?
As a celebration of gentler slower trails?
Of gliding along smoothly through time & tide?
The heart’s humble wisdom says: oh, snail—be mine! ❤️
Paula Boyd Farrington ©2014Oh! And one last time-oriented p.s. … I had the pleasure of getting to create the art for the cover of this Exumas: The Kingdom of Blue coffee table book (and wrote a poem inside about my first flight to Exuma!). The book is filled with gorgeous photos by Alessandro Sarno, holding a reverent gaze on life in this beautiful chain of islands surrounded by some of the most stunning clear ocean waters anywhere. It’s perfect for anyone who loves The Bahamas or whose heart wants to visit. The publisher is offering a 20% discount through Valentine’s Weekend. Link to the site is here.

 

Enjoy & see you back next week at The Saturday Book Shop!

 

The Saturday Book Shop – Trees, Glorious Trees

January 24, 2021

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop (which originally started here.).

The ongoing and everyday marvel of trees is on my mind this week. Books and trees. Trees and books. They are intertwined and connected at their very essence. We leaf through stories, ideas, adventures, wisdom, poetry, insights, and shared written human experiences thanks to pages made (mostly) from trees. 

I have long been enchanted by trees. And books. So many. Highly recommend these books for fellow tree lovers:

 This beautiful coffee table book, Wise Trees by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, with gorgeous photography and writing, tells tales of 50 of the most historic and inspiring trees around the world. Wonderful to learn there is a tree that still stands on the site where the Magna Carta was signed, as well as learning where the phrase “knock on wood” originally came from. So many moving, uplifting, and poignant stories told here through the living spirits of wise old trees.

Another favorite story, beautifully written and illustrated is about Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees

Wangari Maathai’s story is an amazing portrait in courage, dedication, and commitment, where the simple act of planting trees sparked resistance and equal determination to reclaim the environment of her beloved Kenya. Her determination led to a movement of peace, reconciliation, and healing that lights the way for all of us going forward into this time of looking for common ground and changing the world one loving, earth-friendly tree-loving act at a time. This inspiring book soars with light and life and spectacular illustrations.

AND HOORAY for the new books soon available by Amanda Gorman, the young poet and self-described bookworm that wow-ed everyone at the Inauguration. Such heart and talent. Brava for her work and books that will be available in 2021


 

“… there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman

 Happy Reading and have an especially lovely tree-appreciating week ahead! Please feel free to share any special favorite book titles about trees in the comments!

The Saturday Book Shop: December 19, 2020

December 19, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop.

I’m sharing three books today that sort of sum up the moment here in the midst of the holidays, the pandemic, and looking forward with hope and faith toward 2021, even though we still have quite a ways to go.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamotte is just the right blend of funny-meets-unflinching faith that I’ve seen described as capturing “life’s imperfect moments perfectly”. She is also the author of so many favorite titles, including the classic Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, which is all the title implies and more. Love it, and have happily followed her writings long time.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a gem of a book by a “writer who draws”. It’s full of creative inspiration and reminder-smiles that do literally help keep you going, come what may. He has an excellent newsletter and eclectic fun blog you can sign up for too.  All of his books rock with  wisdom and wit and big riffs of delight.

And finally, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I am grateful to have many many poetry books. Love them all. Especially this one. Mary Oliver and all of her quietly elegant words—which uplift the everyday well spring of nature and life with such a notice-everything-and-tell-about-it open heart—are all time favorites, to be sure. When I was pulling this book off the shelf to snap this photo, a little postcard I had painted for myself and stuck in the book fluttered out. I’d popped it in opposite this poem … seems especially apropos at the moment:

WHAT GORGEOUS THING

I do not know what gorgeous thing

the bluebird keeps saying,

his voice easing out of his throat,

beak, body into the pink air

of the early morning. I like it

whatever it is. Sometimes

it seems the only thing

in the world that is without

questions that can’t and probably 

never will be answered, the

only thing that is entirely content

with the pink, then clear white

morning, and gratefully, says so.

— by Mary Oliver

Wishing you and yours a Very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy, & Heart-full-of-Love-and-quiet-Joys kinda Holiday season❣️

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”

Art in the Mail: International Postcard Swap

May 17, 2014

Postcard10

Postcard9.Mermaidens

Postcard7

Postcard8.Bahamas

Postcard6

Postcard5.SeaSiren

Postcard4

Postcard.3A

Postcard2

Postcard1Enjoyed creating these mixed media collage postcards for iHanna International Postcard Swap.  These cards are crafted out of recycled pieces of cardboard,  along with some vintage ARTchix Studio images, scraps of old sewing patterns, bits of imprinted paper napkins, acrylic paint, gelli prints, and odd wisps of wrapping paper—a blend of textures and colors and fun celebrating the abundant sea and aqua blue waters that make this archipelago nation of 700 Bahama cays and isles extra delightful—along with a vibrant international community that calls these island home!  These 10 cards are winging their way to various parts of the world, and I’ll soon photograph and post those that land here too!  Handmade art. Snail mail. Adventuring art hearts! Thanks, iHanna.nu for coordinating this lovely exchange!

 

Smitten

February 14, 2014

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

Yes, I’m smitten with mixed media collage—these were created for the ARTchix Studio artist trading card swap and are winging their way to other collage enthusiasts.  Here’s to finding even a tiny bit more time for doing whatever makes your heart feel light—Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Val.CardBack.ATC.SmittenVal.CardBAck.Forevermore

The Greening of Grand Bahama

December 28, 2013

It’s the last Saturday of the month—and that means it’s time for Grand Bahama’s Farmer’s Market, known as “Da Market” at the Bahamas National Trust Rand Nature Centre from 9 am to 1 pm each month (and possibly more often during the warm winter season!). You’ll find a small assortment of organically grown produce, fresh herbs, seedlings, fresh-from-the-henhouse-eggs, plus homemade jams, jellies and sweets.

Herbs.Seeds.Closeup.4.27.2013

Organic.Goodies.A.4.28.13Even exotic fruits can be found, such as these locally-grown Dragon Fruit, which have a marvelous fuchsia color and taste mildly sweet, like a kiwi fruit:

Dragon.Fruit.in.Crate

Dragon.FRt.cut.open

The market also has a small selection of ever-changing locally made arts and crafts …

handpainted stones by artist Shanin Hughes

handpainted stones by artist Shanin Hughes

The Farmer’s Market is just one of the signs that Grand Bahama is becoming greener. I’ll tell you more about local entrepreneurs who are providing fresh green menus, vegan foods, and even a local organic farm in another post …. right now I’m ten minutes late for the opening of “Da Market” … see you there!

DA.Market.4.27.2013P.S. SCHEDULING NOTE OOPS:  If you’re reading this on December 28th before 1 pm and thinking of heading out in your car, hold off until next month! Da Farmer’s Market was moved up a week because of the holidays … still happy to spread the word and hope you’ll check Facebook under “Da Farmer’s Market” for updates and reminders of upcoming markets–and hooray for all the luscious green goodness that swirls through Grand Bahama all through our warm winter!

Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You

December 31, 2012

Yellow Butterfly of JOY

 

Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You

You dance through the wild blue skies

where sunshine floats

asking nothing more than to be noticed

your vivid essence of daffodils, golden butter, and dappled dawns

flits across my radar screen

and the world stills

as I embrace the wonder of you

aflutter, holding you deeply in my heart

a sunlit reminder of the serendipity

and lightness of being that flows freely

as we gather the nectar of flowers

timeless and fleeting all at once

Wings of YES

Wings of Ooh

Wings of Love

Wings of Praise

Gratitude & Grace

Dazzling Days

– Paula Boyd Farrington · 12/31/2012

Happy New Year All!

What A Marvelous Mantra

October 1, 2012


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