Category Archives: Books

Penguin Threads {Jillian Tamaki}

And the Christmas gift list begins! I am absolutely blown away by these beautiful hand-embroidered Penguin Classics book covers by illustrator Jillian Tamki!  I can think of so many people who I would love to give {and who would love to receive} one of these for Christmas!

The books will be available starting this month. Unfortunately, they will not be individually embroidered, as you could imagine how terribly time consuming for the artist and expensive for us, the consumer, that would be!  According to Jillian’s blog, “they will, however, be beautifully produced, printed with a sculptural-embossing technique that will emphasize the stitches.”

Here are a few photos from Jillian’s site

I especially love all the detail… like the quote you see on the back cover of Emma. “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”

The books can be purchased here at the Penguin website. They are also available now for pre-order on Barnes & Noble’s site.

{I do apologize for using the words “Christmas list” in October. It’s ok~ catch your breath! There’s still time Mrs. Claus.}

Gracious Gal


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Filed under Art, Books, handmade, Inspiring Women

Lovely Quotes: J.K. Rowling

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
— J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

(photo via goodreads)

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Filed under Books, Inspiring Women, Quotes, Reflections

The Long Thread: Ellen Luckett Baker

Lately, I have been thinking of a way I can incorporate themes into my blog {think “Tuesday Shoesday”, “Follow Friday”, Etc.}  So many amazing female artists, stylists, bloggers, and entrepreneurs that I love are based out of New York or LA.  But, many are right here in the South!  So I have decided to dedicate Wednesdays to women in the South who inspire me- loosely themed “Southern Women Wednesdays”.

So, Happy Wednesday!  And let me introduce you to Ellen…

I follow The Long Thread on Twitter, but not until recently did I realize, Ellen Luckett Baker, the creator behind the The Long Thread’s website, tutorials, and inspiration lives right here in Atlanta!  Ellen offers great sewing tutorials on her site, and shares those she finds on other crafter’s sites as well.  She has been posting her creations on The Long Thread for four years now, and recently published a new book, 1 2 3 Sew, which includes 33 simple projects to help you build your sewing skills.  I really enjoy her “Long List of Crafty Links” page, where she shares other great DIY blogs.  And I love even more her “Sewing Tutorials” page!  She has her projects categorized into Baby and Kids, Home, Pincushions, and Accessories making it really easy to find a project that fits what I’m in the mood to create.

Watch the trailer for her new book here…



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Filed under Art, Blogs, Books, Crafts, handmade, Inspiring Women, Sewing

Brazenhead Books: A Secret NY Bookstore

I follow @Etsy on Twitter, and a few days ago I came across this tweet: “Sorry folks, the site is down at the moment. Now would be a good time to view this secret bookshop video.”  As any inquisitive person would, I did as instructed.

Andrew Watson, a photography genius out of New York City, directed the short piece for Etsy about Michael, the owner of Brazenhead Books and a lifelong bookseller.  The short “documentary” transplants you immediately with the sounds of The Album Leaf, slowly revealing fantastical images of books one would need a lifetime to accrue.  Immediately, I had chills.

According to Michael, the secret bookstore guy, “It’s a continuation of me being a bookseller the way I want to be… I find ways to survive without making it what you would call a successful business.  If it’s all about money, there’s just better things to sell.”

Andrew does such a beautiful job capturing the essence of the space, Michael’s home, the books… I know I watched the video at least five times.

“Come find me, visit me.  I’m hiding in plain sight.”  Sigh… now if that doesn’t make you want to hop on a plane and scour the streets of New York looking for this treasure, I don’t know what will.  Thank you Etsy, thank you Andrew, and mostly, thank you Michael!

Read the full story at Etsy.

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The Middle Place

When I was 20, I asked her what the worst time in her life was.

“Sixth grade was pretty bad,” she said, thinking out loud.

“Wow, me too.”

“Not my sixth grade, Kelly.  Your sixth grade.”

“Why?” I asked, wondering if I had forgotten something terrible that had happened for her that year.

“You’ll see.  When you’re a mother and your kid’s in pain and you can’t stop it- it’s hell.  Absolute hell.”

– page 67 The Middle Place

This reminds me of my mom.  What would we do without them?

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Filed under Books, Inspiring Women, Reflections