7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #73: Featuring Rima Staines

h1 July 27th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Yes, that’s a clock. A beautiful clock. But I’ll get to that in a minute. First of all…

Happy Sunday to all! It’s a new week, and—as usual here at 7-Imp—we’re taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week—whether book-related or not— that happened to you.

This week we’re celebrating with Rima Staines, U.K.-based illustrator, painter, maker of things, and teller of tales, “inspired most of all by stories and by the edge of things, strange and odd and dark yet familiar.” Rima told me, “I grew up in an artistic household and now scrape a happy living making {my} art.” Rima has always loved to combine words with her images and likes to play with language and rhyme. Her fledgling stories are aimed at child-adults and adult-children, and her paintings are reminiscent of an old medieval-coloured folktale world where things are not quite as they seem. She is living for the moment in the hills of Scotland, building a home on wheels with her boyfriend to live and travel and write stories in. At Rima’s site, The Hermitage, you can see many of her sketches, drawings, paintings (watercolors and oils on wood and paper), and prints (She’s also started experimenting with stop-motion animation and, for the near future, has plans for making a puppet show and at long last writing and illustrating the tales that have been stored in her head, as she put it.) And you can see clearly that, as her site’s bio puts it, she’s always “had one foot in Early Medieval Europe.” The rest of her bio sums up well what you get when your eyes take in one of her paintings or drawings:

“Rima’s curiosity leads her through the many worlds of words, languages and lettering, books and stories, puppetry, nature and interesting people, music, superstitions, folklore and fairy tales, and most of all the otherness that can be found on the periphery of our lives, the strange and grotesque, the absurd and unnerving…that topsy turvy in between place…”

As for that lovely clock pictured above…Rima has recently announced that her newest creative venture is clock-making—or making “unique original oil paintings on rustic chunks of wood” and making them tick, as her new site, Once Upon O’Clock, explains—since she has “a delight in Heath Robinson-like contraptions, automata and all things that clink and clonk, I love to paint folk tales in medieval hues, and make things from wood.” I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how much I want to start saving my pennies for a Rima-clock and how very much in love I am with the web site, because not only do I love the sound of a good, hearty clock ticking, but when you launch the site, there’s this wonderfully bizarre and discordant clock song of sorts that plays, which I’ve been listening to repeatedly as I type this. If you like a good clock like I do (which is an affinity that’s difficult to explain), you’ll enjoy it as well.

The clock featured at the opening of this post is “The Perfumier’s Clock,” which Rima posted about here at her blog, also titled The Hermitage. Rima was asked by a perfumier to paint “a wise woman, a brewer of magic, a young witch rather than an old crone…I am very pleased,” Rima wrote, “with this second clock, I like the warm colours that put me in mind of distilling petals and sunlight through bottles of who-knows-what along a windowsill. This perfumier is stirring her brew as time turns around her cauldron… she is stirring time.”

The first clock Rima made is pictured below. This is Old Mother Time. As Rima explained at her blog:

“…{T}hese new once upon o’clocks are made from slices of wood from a tree down the way that has been logs for some time, logs that are a perfect round clock size.

The wood, once cut, was sanded and the bark left on. Then the hole for the spindle was drilled, off centre to match the rings of the tree. The Old Mother Time painting is inspired by the many world myths of the fates spinning the threads of our lives and of time and the familiar old woman of fairytale who spins.”

Aren’t they beautiful? Below are some of Rima’s drawings and paintings as well, and we thank her kindly for letting us feature her work today. Here is The Hermitage’s home at Etsy, should anyone be interested in any prints, by chance.

Once Upon a Time (pencil)

Old Woman Tossed up in a Basket (colored pencil)

The Pigeon’s Bride (colored pencil)

Penny Farthing Tea (pencil)

Telling Stories to the Trees (watercolor)

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Ooh, I am digging the earthy, creepy goodness of Ms. Staines’s art. It’s kind of like if Maurice Sendak and Brian Froud had a lovechild who grew up to illustrate The Hobbit.

1* First off, my bit of bravery for the week. It’s pretty lame, but here goes: I have a wretched singing voice and I’m really shy about using it in public. But at work the other day I belted out the chorus to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” (there was a context, but I forget what it was). And it was in the company of someone who is actually a trained opera singer, no less. Guess what? No one threw any produce at me.

Dang. I didn’t think this through, but in relating that anecdote I probably just lost all my street cred. My parents had the record, okay? Don’t judge.

2* I found, in the pocket of a suitcase, my long-lost jewelry bag containing my favorite bracelet (a San Francisco souvenir), a really too-nice-for-me ring my sister gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago, and my all-time favorite barrette – black enamel with mother-of-pearl stars, moon and planets – which I’ve had some version of since college and replaced twice from the same little boutique in Nashville whenever it gets broken. These things had been missing since I moved last summer, and I’d given up on seeing them again.

3* My neighbors got a produce windfall – they got to pick up a friend’s farm subscription plan stuff when she was out of town in payment for feeding her cats – and they shared with me. Kale, carrots, and green onions. Yum.

4* Oh. My. God. Did you guys see the Joss Whedon internet-only 3-episode supervillain musical, Dr. Horrible? It was so perfect. And it is the best thing I’ve ever seen Neal Patrick Harris do – seriously, his performance is flawless. And it’s so great to see my boyfriend, Nathan, again – I just miss him so bad. And I can’t stop telling people “These are not The Hammer.” Thanks to Robin Brande for the heads-up.

5* Despite not having taken the prerequisites, my sister got through her very rigorous Trigonometry class, one that induced twice-weekly phone calls in which she would weep and moan to me that she was going to fail, there’s no way she passed that test, the teacher is impossible, she should just drop it, etc. etc. She didn’t just pass, she got an A – proving once and for all that one of us must be adopted.

6* The same sister is all the time trying to get me to watch So You Think You Can Dance?, because she doesn’t understand how my appreciation of a good dance performance can be overruled by my deep and profound loathing of all things Reality TV. She keeps sending me YouTube links to some of the better dance numbers to bolster her argument. This one finally got my attention:

Dude, I’ve already mentioned how much I love that song. And how great is that part where he opens the door and she’s hanging on it? And is it just a weird camera angle, or at about 0:31 does he actually shove her face back through the door with his crotch? Whatever, I LOVE IT.

7* Thanks to Jules’s suggestion after our Jenna Fox co-review, Adrienne is coming to Ithaca today! We’re gonna go check out the X-Files movie. *sigh* I’m a little scared – that last season was just wack and I barely remember it. I hope Mulder is still hot, at least. This doesn’t give me a lot of hope, though.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

I had a lovely week, but I’m going to forego seven, separate kicks. It might have been lovely, but it was rather quiet and full of—as corny as it may sound—simple joys. I have to say: My girls are both at particularly adorable ages (sure, there are still sibling squabbles and fussing and time-outs and such), and so I spent a lot of time this week finding myself rather in-the-moment with them, drinking them in, marvelling at how fun and clever and beautiful they are. (Of course I’m gonna say all that — I’m the mama.) Kicks for me this week would be like: My two-year-old’s eyes are slowly changing, we suspect, from blue to the grey-green of my eyes, and I can hardly believe how beautiful they are, while my four-and-a-half-year old’s are still blue like the ocean on a bright sunny day. See? You’d all be gagging at my maternal gushy-ness. Oh, and the biggest kick is probably that we’re reading James and the Giant Peach this week, which is one reason I put that second image of Rima’s up there — that’s a Roald Dahl quote.

I also have no be-brave moments to report. As I told Eisha, I promise I wasn’t particularly cowardly this week. Again, just a quiet week. I didn’t notice a single chance to be brave in the way I had challenged myself. And, shoot, I wasn’t gonna force it.

And I’ll also skip seven kicks, since I went on and on about talented Rima. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a coin jar here. Gonna save up my loose change for a one-of-a-kind fairy tale clock.

What are your kicks this week?

32 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #73: Featuring Rima Staines”

  1. Been a busy week, so I’ll keep this really short — I’m ever astounded what amazing things can be found in Scotland! I love Ms. Staines’ prints, and I hope to see more of her illustrations. Wow.

  2. Oh, wow. I came to leave kicks, but I got sucked into browsing around Rima’s site. She obviously does believe in magic…and has found it. I want to see more clocks! An Alice clock for 7-Imps, perhaps???

    Jules, if you can’t freeze time with your girls, the very least you can do is slow it down with moments like noticing their eyes changing. How beautiful.

    My kicks:
    Revisions were sent off to Wise Editor (at least the first round.) I feel slightly weird now when I wake up and there’s not a needy manuscript to tend to…

    Golf with friends. Followed by lunch with friends. Followed by promises friends would come back soon for more of the same.

    New running shoes. Yay! But I’m still looking for cute, flat sandals. Where are they this summer? I’m not talking flip-flops; I want slightly dressy, fun ones.

    Bacon, apple and cheese sandwich. Mmmm.

    Eisha belting out Dancing Queen. As a fellow non-singer, I stand in awe of such bravery. May I offer up my shield in your service, O Spartan Queen?

  3. Ooo! I really like “Once Upon a Time.” Nice.

    Eisha, You were, indeed, very brave. I am impressed.

    Jules, I think those little things are some of the best kicks.

    My kicks:
    1. I’m going to visit Eisha! Yay! (I share your trepidation about the movie, Eisha, but we’ll get through it together, man.)
    2. My brave thing. I got an invitation to represent our library system for a grant project thing which is really pretty cool and would involve a trip to Seattle the first week of September (where I hope to see Alkelda! WOO!). There were a few things that made this scary for me: 1. I’m already a little overextended, 2. No, really, I’m already way overextended, and 3. I have no more vacation or conference days to use to take the time off to go on the trip. I decided a trip to Seattle and the opportunity to participate in the project were too good to pass up, though, so I talked to our AD about it, and she was totally supportive and said I could have the time to go on the trip and not to worry. See how nicely that turned out?
    3. My BFF had a safe trip to Atlanta for work this past week. I was extra-happy when she got home.
    4. Some of my happiness in #3 was because the night she got home we hung out for a couple hours and went and got our favorite blueberry cheesecake ice cream.
    5. I got out to the gym more this week than I have over the last few weeks, which felt good, esp. given the ice cream consumption.
    6. Yesterday, I went out hiking at Mendon Ponds park. It was kind of buggy there because of all the rain we’ve had, but it was fun even so.
    7. One of my friends got a new car yesterday, and to celebrate she drove clear across the city to show it to me and take me out for coffee. My friends are so ridiculously good to me.

  4. Wow. I’m totally blown away by Rima’s work. I’ve always loved the blending of lettering with images. And those clocks! Thanks for introducing me to yet another amazing artist (where do you find these people)?!

    Jules, I love your mommy gushyness. Hope you make a peach pie to go with the Dahl readings.

    Eisha, congratulations on your brave thing for the week! I can’t sing and always wished I could just burst into song someplace like in the movies. You’ve done it! Glad you found your jewelry. Once I lost my favorite bracelet in the pocket of a bookbag for 5 years.

    My kicks:

    1. & 2. Received two blog awards: Brilliante Weblog Premio from Tarie at Into the Wardrobe, and the Arte y Pico from writer2b at Findings. What an honor to be recognized by fellow bloggers!

    3. Finally got our piano tuned.

    4. We have a juvenile hawk living in our back yard (he hasn’t told us his name yet). He’s been practicing his flying and I’m sad to say he’s not that good at it. He’s crashed into our house a couple of times. We have a lot of big windows and he doesn’t understand them yet. I’m worried about bird concussions.

    5. Saw “Becoming Jane,” and am going to watch it again with the annotations.

    6. Watermelon and bing cherries.

    7. Japanese food last night: tempura, salmon, negamaki, sushi and seaweed salad.

    Am still working on the be brave thing. Maybe I’ll have something to report next week.

    Have a good week, everyone.

  5. What gorgeous illustrations! I am a sucker for good fairy tale like drawings.
    Eisha, love your be brave moment! I have the song running in my head this moment.
    Jules, isn’t it great to be in the moment with your kids. Sounds wonderful.
    Congrats Adrienne on the Seattle conference! You will enjoy Seattle.
    My kicks:
    1. Having envelopes with registrations show up in the mailbox this week.
    2. My “be brave” moment was riding the chair lift at Mt. Batchelor this week, posted on Deowriter.
    3. Somewhat a bit sad but my youngest granddaughter wanted to call grandma after she fell this week and chipped her tooth. She was crying, I was crying, and her momwas crying.
    4. Hanging with college friends this weekend and laughing so hard that I could barely talk to Chuck when he called.
    5. A lot of posting on my blogs this week.
    6. Reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I can barely put it down.
    7. Bing cherries as well!
    Have a good week.

  6. Wow, what an honour to be featured on this fabulous blog.. thanks Ladies very much… and thanks to other folks for kind words 🙂
    I have just written a little few words about 7-imp on my blog with a caterpillar-y Alice-y theme 🙂
    All bests

  7. TadMack, thanks for stopping by, even in a rush to go see more Scotland.

    Sara, Urban Outfitters has some cute sandals (I think, anyway). But you’re right, this summer it seems like it’s mostly flip-flops or big gladiator things. Which actually could work for us Spartans.

    adrienne, congrats on getting to go to Seattle! And you’re going to Portland, too, right? So you’ll just be all Pacific Northwest, all the time this fall.

    jama, oh, that hawk! How awesome you get such a close-up view of him, but yikes! Maybe some masking tape on the windows?

    jone, yay for laughing with old friends. And congrats on your bravery – that would be hard for me too. I get a little chicken about heights.

    Rima – thank YOU! And everybody, go read her post! I WANT THAT BOOK! MY BIRTHDAY IS AUGUST 17! Plenty of time to surprise me.

  8. Oh, my goodness, I adore these illustrations! I didn’t mean to post–I’ve got a pie to bake–but I have to tell you how much i love them. I’m off to Rima’s site next to see more…

    My kicks: the pie I’m about to bake is from peaches we picked yesterday. Yum. And all the rest of my kicks will be taken up by the fact that we just spent an amazing week in France–the food, the wine, the chocolate, the sights, the family–there, that’s 7 kicks, isn’t it? (2 for the chocolate…)

  9. The featured art today is lovely, I got lost in Rima’s sites too. I would love a clock! I am sure there is some way I could justify buying one.

    Eisha, we’ve been excess produce sharing in our office too, glad you have such nice neighbours! I am hanging my head in shame here but I forgot to finish watching Dr Horrible. (would put that in small font if possible).

    Jules, your kicks made me smile. Your daughters are lucky to have a mum who gushes over them.

    Jone and Jama I’ve had to go and look up Bing Cherries but have to say they look like normal (yummy) cherries. Are they really so much better?

    I’ve had a lovely week and didn’t have to be brave very much. I will keep an eye out this week though!

    1. My nan recently had pneumonia, but fortunately she was treated quickly and is now resting in turns with my mum and aunts. We had a long conversation this morning, which was very reassuring.
    2. We have had a run of warm, sunny days. It is amazing how much more cheerful I feel when it’s warm, I’m definitely cut out for living in warm climates.
    3. I had a great birthday this week, with breakfast in bed, lovely phone calls from family (my sisters and mum took the opportunity to make a cake and drink champagne on my behalf in Brisbane) and a dinner in a local restaurant
    4. Birthday presents included books and vouchers for more books!
    5. My birthday carrot cake turned out well and everyone gobbled it down at work
    6. My team at work went camping for the night before a planning day and had a fantastic time.
    7. Not only did we see lots of birds, I saw hedgehogs for the first time! Two adults cutely snuffling around our campsite!

  10. Hi, everyone. Wanted to quickly say thanks for coming to kick with us. I haven’t read kicks yet, ’cause I just got this awful news. I’m rather frantically trying to reach some friends I know who attend that church, as one person is reportedly dead and many injured. What a tragedy it is. Please, whatever you believe in — prayer, sending positive vibes someone’s way, whatever — engage in that now for the folks at that church in Knoxville. Speculation now is that this shooting was a response to a sign out by the church that says “gays and lesbians welcome,” but — again — just speculation (a friend of mine who attends that church mentioned this, so I don’t know if it’s speculation or fact-based or what). How can one person, no matter his motivation, be filled with that much hate?

    The person who tackled and held the gunman ’til the police arrived is the ex-husband of my former grad school prof and friend, who taught me all about children’s lit. Their granddaughter was up on stage with other children, performing, when this man opened fire. Reportedly, he had a gun in his guitar case. There are going to be lots of traumatized children here.

    I’ll read kicks later and look forward to it. Right now, I’m trying to reach a friend who was, likely, there.

    Peace out…please keep these people in your thoughts, prayers, whatever you believe…

  11. Jules, what horrible news. I’m praying for all involved.

  12. thanks, libby.

    p.s. i don’t mean to put a damper on everyone else’s kicks! please kick away….more later…

  13. Sending good thoughts/prayers for all involved.

  14. Rima’s work immediately brings to mind classic fairy tales, as well as the illustrations on a puzzle-type game I had when I was little.

    eisha: I am so proud of you for belting out Dancing Queen!
    Hurrah for finding your beloved jewelry.
    I’m now envisioning a sign: Will feed cats for produce.
    It was good of your boyfriend to take time out of his busy schedule to make the musical. (Did I tell you about the time we were in the same room? The boy is tall. I am short, yes, but he was TALL.) I’m very glad that Felicia Day got a leading role, and that now even more people know that Neil Patrick Harris can SING.
    Trust me – If I can watch So You Think You Can Dance, so can you.
    I want to go see the X-Files movies with you two!

    Jules: Lots of good thoughts being sent on the express train to your friends and their friends and children.
    James and the Giant Peach this week was on Jeopardy! earlier this week.
    I dare you to do seven high (or medium) kicks in your kitchen (or parlor – have you a parlor?) with your girls.

    *waves to TadMack*

    Sara: I like apples, I like cheese, and I like bread, but I’ve never had an apple and cheese sandwich. Hmm. (I’m vegetarian, so no bacon for me.)

    Adrienne: Hurrah! Best of luck with the trip.

    Jama: Congrats on your awards!
    Please play on your piano for me.
    Silly bird. I love “he hasn’t told us his name yet” – I say such things.

    Jone: I have yet to read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but have heard only good things about it since its publication years ago.

    Libby: Read High Dive by Tammar Stein. The food descriptions alone – yum.

    Emmaco: Happy (belated) birthday! Good thoughts for your nan.

    My week in kicks:
    1) A week’s worth of random quotes (“Mmm, diminishing.”)
    2) Reading while tap dancing
    3) Reading a REALLY, TRULY good book after a string of mediocre books
    4) A playlist that made me get up and dance
    5) Dancing in doorways and (literally) off of the walls
    6) Plays (interviews, preparations, hope!)
    7) Opportunities knocking (and answering, and waiting and hoping some more!)

  15. Hi, all. I really and truly hope I didn’t ruin your kicks by posting sad, dramatic news, but…well, I had just heard the news and was wanting to round-up good thoughts and vibes for Knoxville people from the good folks that usually gather here.

    Oh and I finally just talked to my other good friend who goes to that Unitarian church. They’re all okay. Whew.


    TadMack: I thought of you as I worked up the bit about Rima, seeing as how you’re where she is right now.

    Sara, CONGRATS on the revisions getting sent off! I bet that feels good.

    Adrienne, I hope you and Eisha are enjoying the movie as I type. And congrats on the Seattle-in-September news.

    Jama, your backyard always sounds like delightful fun, what with all the wildlife. And congrats on the well-deserved awards. Also, please play for your piano for me as well as Little Willow. I really, REALLY want to learn to play one day, but I kinda sort don’t have one. That poses a problem, and no one understands when I say I want to practice on a REAL piano, not a keyboard. Just not the same.

    Jone, congrats on the be-brave moment. I’ll have to go read about it. Oh and I read Snow Flower, too, and posted about it on this here blawg, way back when we were brand-new. Good book!

    Rima, I second Eisha’s sudden devotion to that illustrated Alice you posted about. I went and looked at his web site. Wow. Thanks for the tip.

    Libby, France? I’m jealous. Peach pie? Still jealous.

    Emma, very glad your nan recovered from the pneumonia and ….


    PERFECT reason to use the marquee tag.

    Little Willow, who said “Mmm, diminishing”? Do tell.

    RM, thanks!

  16. eisha, p.s.: if you’re going to bolt out any song, that’s a good one.

    i remember an old VH1 special i saw many moons ago about the top 100 guilty-pleasure songs, and guess what was number one? yes, i believe it was “dancing queen.” and number two, i think, was “mandy” by my man, barry. could it get any better than those two songs? they embrace their pop-ness and kitsch-ness unashamedly.

  17. Dang! I was hoping to convince Adrienne to see X-Files with me!

    Hello all! I’m on vacay and having a fabulous time. I checked in on the old blog reader today for the first time since I left and found I had 466 posts to read! I just couldn’t do it, so I came here instead.

    1. and 2. I’m having a wonderful time with family, despite the daily rain we’ve had. Today I went with all the boys (brother, nephews, son) to the Air Show. What, loud testosterone-filled, patriotic fun that was.

    3. I get to see Adrienne on Tuesday night (since I’m in Rochester) and am looking forward to it.

    4. I’m laughing out loud as I read my way through the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett book Good Omens.

    5., 6. and 7. Time with family, time with family, time with family. We are missing hubby, however.

    Have a great week all.

  18. Tricia, thanks for stopping in on your vacation! Have fun, and be safe….

    I really need to read Good Omens already.

  19. Jules, I’m so glad the people you know are okay.

    Libby, whoa, France? I’m jealous too.

    emmaco, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I’ll forego the marquee, since Jules has that covered.

    Little Willow, you can read and tapdance at the same time? Seriously, you’re a cyborg or something, right? And there is just nothing like a really, truly good, knock-your-socks-off book, is there? Also, next time you see my boyfriend, tell him to call me, ‘kay?

    Tricia (and Little Willow) – sadly, the X-Files movie didn’t even live up to my diminuitive expectations. But hanging with adrienne all afternoon = awesome. Have fun in Rochester.

  20. Rima’s illustrations and artwork and etsy shop were so easy to get lost in. I am bookmarking some things for friends with birthdays coming up. (And hoping they will return the favor later.)

    Eisha – I am so impressed you sang Dancing Queen – if you’re gonna sing, ABBA is a good way to go. Also, So You Think You Can Dance is ADDICTING, and I hate hate hate reality tv.(Did you see the Bollywood Number?)

    Jules -your kids sound like great fun – lucky them to have a mom who reads to them and appreciates them.

    Little Willow – how do you read AND tap dance at the same time???? I am in awe.

    Sara – congrats on getting your revisions off – and I am intrigued by the sandwich, especially since I love bacon.

    Jama – congrats on the blog awards!

    emmaco – I am so jealous you got to see hedgehogs! I have been intrigued by them ever since having Miss Jaster’s Garden by N. M. Bodecker when I was little. http://www.amazon.com/Miss-Jasters-Garden-N-Bodecker/dp/0307411818/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217210677&sr=1-5

    Ok, my kicks:
    1,2, and 3. My dog Chey does not have something awful and will be totally fine in 2 weeks (she is 10.5 and has been with me through living in 3 different cities in 3 different states: Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Pdx), and has seen me through many big things – truly my very best friend.)

    4. My one brave thing was running a half marathon by myself today in Washington (well, there were lots of other people running too, so not really, but I didn’t know any of them, which was hard for me.) There were a TON of hills (ok, 4 or 5) and it rained on us, and it was HARD, but I finished in the timeframe I wanted to finish, and my boyfriend surprised me by waiting for me at the finish line.

    5. Waitress, finally saw it Friday night and loved it! Between that and Libby’s pie, I think I need pie for dessert.

    6. Once again, my hammock. Just exhausted today, and it sure came in handy.

    7. Getting to come here and see another really cool artist and get lost in the links and read everyone else’s very different and wonderful kicks!

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  21. Prayes and positive thoughts your way, Jules. How horrid. But glad to hear your friends are okay.

  22. RM, keep mentioning that hammock every week. It’s a good reminder that I should get one, too. …..Congrats on the marathon, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying Rima’s art work.

    Oh and glad Chey’s okay!

    Jone, thanks, but don’t send the prayers and thoughts my way. Send ’em on over to KnoxVegas, Tennessee. You’re right — “horrid” is a good word for it all. That’s got to be so hard on everyone, but those poor, poor children. Egads.

  23. Jules: Glad that those you know are okay. Sorry that not everyone escaped unharmed. My thoughts are with those who were lost and those who were injured – and everyone there, especially the kids.
    Pianos and keyboards _are_ different, I agree.
    It soon became a silly joke and a “you had to be there” moment.

    eisha: I will continue to avoid spoilers and hope that I get the chance to see the film in the coming weeks.
    Is he avoiding your calls?

    rm and eisha: I multi-task at all times.

  24. I wandered over from Rima’s blog and just had to stay and look around…which ofcourse leaves me to wanting to add my own ‘kicks’…because I’ve reached a stop in the ‘work’ I am doing and need to wait for my friend to find a fineliner…

    1) the idea of drawing up my own coat of arms…the reason I am waiting for a fineliner. I don’t think I’ve done it before and my goodness is it fun.

    2) Herbal teas. It’s winter here in Australia and a warm herbal tea is quite the most perfect non-alcoholic warm-me-up. Add cushions and cosy knits and a good book for perfection.

    3) Knowing the surprises I am planning for friends. I believe I am more excited than they are. I spend my days planning trivial nonsense and nothing makes me happier.

    4) Being stopped in the market and told I look beautiful.

    5) Being asked to collaborate on a writing project…wether or not the other people do it or not – it is nice to be asked on to a creative team.

    6) The number six. It’s my favorite…and ravens and crows are my favorite creatures. On that second fact alone is why I’m reading “Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell”…a friend mentioned ‘The raven king’…so now I’m reading just out of curiousity and enjoying the book most intently.

    7) Hybiscus flowers…quite simply yum. Drop them in a glass of bubbly and toast something wonderful….or nothing at all…

  25. Hello to Meg, the slightly offbeat soul (I went and peeked at your blog)….

    Thanks for visiting. Those are some pretty kickin’ kicks…all quite lovely. You know what, too? I’ve so totally got my eye on Jonathan Strange. It’s one of those books both Eisha and my husband liked, and I always trust their tastes. And it’s sitting in my home. I oughta read it, for crying out loud.

    Or how about: I oughta read it, dung beetles! (My four-year-old has decided this would be a fun new exclamation, though she says it when she’s angry)…

    And I think “I spend my days planning trivial nonsense and nothing makes me happier” makes you sound like a true imp, indeed (as in, a seven-imper, one of us — not an imp imp). Please do return and kick again with us. (It’s particularly helpful when you’ve had what you thought was a crappy week. Looking for the hidden kicks is always a mood-lifter.)

    Happy coat-of-arms-making, too!

  26. Wow, a marquee tag! Thanks for all the birthday wishes guys.

    I’m glad your friends are OK Jules. What a horrible situation for everyone involved.

  27. rm preston, I am so very glad about your dog (who is BEAUTIFUL, btw – I peeked at your blog). And nope, I didn’t see the Bollywood number, but I guess now I’ll just have to find it.

    Waitress = pie porn.

    Meg, YES, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is excellent! Jules, read it already! Thanks for visiting.

  28. Thanks, Emma and everyone. I think I’ve tracked down any and all friends who were in that church or normally attend that church. Everyone’s okay. My aforementioned former grad school prof and friend was THERE, but she’s okay, thank goodness. I just found out a friend from college’s father was shot in the face and may lose the use of his right eye. But he’s alive. And for that, his son (my friend) is grateful. What craziness….

    Eisha, Jonathan Strange: Consider it read. You know I’m in a book funk anyway and need to read something amazing.

  29. […] Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a blog about books, rhapsodized over Rima’s clocks.  On Once Upon O’Clock,  Rima displays the “unique original oil paintings on rustic chunks of wood” which she turns into clocks by making them tick. She recounts, with great amusement, that one of her early school reports  declared “Rima has no sense of urgency.”  I warn you, do not take even a glimpse of these clocks if you do not want to be put under their spell. I will have to collect the tears I am shedding at the moment, because her Etsy Shop has been swept clean of all clocks (someone took this one,  this, this, and this–my absolute favorite). Tears have magical healing properties, so I shall keep them safe in my rainbow colored glass vial, and inquire if that meets the price when another clock becomes available. If not, I shall have to self administer them, as an anodyne for my disappointment. Where is the grant for three wishes when you need it? […]

  30. […] elves over at 7-Imp would fall over in delight when I shared the link. Not surprisingly, they had already fallen over. It’s so hard to surprise elves, of any stripe, with news from their own […]

  31. Somehow I missed this post last summer, but this week I followed a link to her blog from John’s blog. Unreal amazing stuff.

  32. wonderful blog….

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