Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scene of the Blog Featuring Valerie of Life Is a Patchwork Quilt!

As anyone who has a weekly blog feature can tell you: it ain't easy. That's why I was so relieved and happy at the response to my shout-out for help on Twitter. Through my original cry for help and its countless retweets, several people came to my aid.

Valerie was one of the cavalry. I'd never visited her blog, Life Is a Patchwork Quilt before, but I love quilts, so it was only a matter of seconds before I was there.

I was impressed, and Valerie's blog has been added to my Google Reader. Her blog is an expression of herself: she reads and talks about a wide variety of books as well as art and quilts. The badge for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative caught my eye as did the selection of her books on a LibraryThing widget. (I love those things!) The title that has stayed in my mind the longest is The Australian Heritage Cookbook. (No, she lives in Colorado, folks.) If you haven't met Valerie, please take the time to visit her blog, Life Is a Patchwork Quilt, and say hi. You'll be glad you did!

Let's get to Valerie's creative space, shall we? Don't forget that you can click on each photo to view it full size.

We moved to Colorado two years ago. With the move into a new home, I was able to gain my own office/library. We actually have books and bookcases all through the house, not just in my office, but the office is where the majority of my books are. My computer is in this room, so this is where I blog.

Here is what you see of the office from the doorway. My office is in the basement, next to my studio, so I go back and forth between the two rooms a lot. My kids often need to use my computer, so during the school year there are usually papers and homework scattered about. These pictures were taken during summertime, so there is temporarily a semblance of order! The books stacked on the desk right next to the monitor are those waiting for review. The number of book generally range from one to about five. On top of the file cabinet next to the desk are a variety of poetry books and magazines -- I like to grab one to look at while my computer is booting up or re-starting (it's slow!).

Here you can view the two bookcases against the wall across from my desk. My dad built both of them (not at the same time) years ago. They are made out of oak. On the monitor's wallpaper, you can see my three kids :-). This picture was taken this May when my oldest son, standing in the middle, was having his 8th grade graduation ceremony. And, yes, I usually have a cup of coffee with me at my desk.

The third bookcase in my office was also built by my dad. It was actually built to hold a fish tank on the top, but I designed it to act double-duty as a bookcase also. I gave up keeping fish years ago. The books inside this bookcase are mainly quilting and craft related books. I'd prefer to have this bookcase in my studio, but there isn't any room there. Stacked on and around this bookcase are mostly poetry books. I have a hard time putting them on shelves, because I rarely read through an entire poetry book at a time. But, when I consider one done, I'll find room for it on one of my shelves.

I have a rocking chair here, but I use it to take quick look through a books or books, rather than cozying down to read for a length of time. It's not sturdy enough for that.

I'm a little embarrassed to share this last picture with you all, because it shows how out of control my TBR is. But I will show it to you anyway. This is my office closet. The TBR has exploded over the last few months, mainly because I just keep finding really good deals at my local library's book sale shelves. Usually, hardcovers are fifty cents and paperback (including trade) are twenty-five cents. I recently went through all these books, and more or less organized them by genres. I have one section which is set aside for review copies and books I've won from give-aways. I try to keep those books to the forefront when I'm choosing what to read next.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed taking a glimpse of where I blog, and thanks to Cathy for allowing me this opportunity to share my blogging space with you!

Isn't Valerie's office wonderful? I love the light streaming in through the windows even though it can make photography more difficult. I love the summertime calm of the room, although it's very easy to visualize it when three children need to get homework done.

Valerie's father did a fabulous job building those bookcases. I am having a major fit of envy right now. Of course I had to see if we have any books in common on those shelves, and we do-- Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper mystery series is just one example.

You may think your TBR closet is shameful, but do you realize how many bookaholics are going to see this photo and start drooling? (Not that I'd ever do such a thing. Not me. I'm wearing a drool-proof bib.)

Even though my mouth's a bit dry over the closet and the bookcases, I also have to admit that I'd love to take a peek into Valerie's studio-- especially if there's a quilt in progress. Thank you so very much for answering my distress call, Valerie. It has been wonderful to take a look at your creative space. We really appreciate it!

Who will be featured next Wednesday on Scene of the Blog? Stop by to find out. See you then!


  1. Thanks for the link.I am going to visit.

  2. Yay, Val! You have an exquisite set-up! I love all those books in the closet.

    Great weekly feature, Cathy. And a very nice-looking blog!

  3. I'm certainly drooling at the piles of books! Great pictures :)

  4. Oh my gosh, I love her space! Now, I'm trying to figure out a way to move my desk so that it doesn't face the wall.

  5. Here I sit amidst my clutter,
    Wishing there was something great I could utter.

    Envious, yes, but neat just isn't me,
    I'm doomed to step over piles and shovel the scree.

    Oops, forgot she loves GOOD poetry.

  6. Cathy -- thank you for featuring me! I enjoyed doing this. Yes, I'm lucky that my dad has built these bookcases and other lovely furniture throughout my house.

    I did a blog post with pictures of my studio, but that was nearly two years ago. I need to do an update of what I've been doing lately in there, anyway.

    I don't usually keep the mysteries I read, but love the Benni Harper series!

  7. Mystica -- thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Caite -- thank you! My dad did a good job :-).

    Jody -- thanks for visiting Cath's blog. "Scene of the Blog" is so much fun.

    Amy -- I think we book lovers have a hard time resisting drooling over others' piles or shelves of books :-).

    Kathy -- setting my desk up like this was necessary because of the layout of room, and the window placement. I also don't like my back to the door!

    Rural View -- love it! Because it's original poetry and relevant :-) .

  8. uh-oh..if Valerie is ashamed of her TBR stack..that means I should be ashamed of mine. I'm pretty sure I have a lot more in my stack. Hear that Valerie? You have nothing to be ashamed of! Lol!

    I would be interested in seeing a picture of the craft room too. I'm sure it looks better than mine.

    Those bookcases look so nice. I'm in envy over them. Hey Valerie, think your Dad would like to come to STL and build some bookcases? I have a bedroom and bathroom in the basement he can use. The husband cooks! I bake!

  9. I could spend HOURS perusing Valerie's bookshelves!

  10. I love it! Especially the view of all the lovely shelves full of books!

  11. Dorte -- the TBRs are in the closet, only because I don't have any more available book shelves. but at least the closet has shelving to help keep them organized!

    Kris -- ok, I'm trying not to be ashamed; I just wish I could read faster :-). I'll pass along the compliment to my dad -- he's a busy guy, for sure!

    Lola -- that's one thing I like to do, too -- look at other people's books when I'm at their houses.

    Jill (softdrink) -- yes, all I have to do is look up from my desk to see these books! Better than wallpaper on the walls :-).

  12. I too love all the shelves. My room in my previous house looked like that. It may have looked cramped to others, but to me it was heaven!

  13. Wow I am so jealous of all of those awesome bookcases! What a great peak into your home!

  14. I love this room, it's heaven. I need such huge bookshelves too. Someday. Thank you for sharing your space with us Valerie

  15. Mystica-- Wonderful! :)

    Jody-- Thank you so much for stopping by!

    Kathy-- The only reason my desk faces this wall is because it allows me to look out of the adjacent window. If there weren't a window here, no way I'd be facing the wall! LOL

    Barbara-- That IS good! LOL

    Valerie-- There are more and more quilting mystery series, but you probably know more about them than I do.

    Dorte-- I have to admit that the TBR closet should be a must in any book blogger's space!

  16. I'm so glad I found your blog...I've gotten a ton of new titles for my TBR pile. One of my favorite features is Scene of the Blog. Keep 'em coming.

    Take care

  17. Jill (rhapsody) -- yes, my shelves are always packed with books. I'm baffled by those who use shelves for knicknacks instead of books :-).

    Amused -- thank you! glad you enjoyed this sneak peek.

    Violet -- I'm sure you'll have your dream bookshelves someday soon....will wish that for you!

    Jennifer --Scene of the Blog is one of my favorite features, too!

  18. Jennifer-- Thank you so much for the kind words. You do know that I'll be able to run at least 200 more blog posts off your praise, don't you?? :)


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