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  • Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

    Thursday, May 19, Leisure Arts treated our employees to a trip to a Traveler’s Game. The Arkansas Travelers are our minor league baseball team, and we got to go see them play at the new Dickey Stephens Park in North Little Rock.

    Here we are at the entrance…

    Play ball…

    Our Leisure Arts folks got engrossed in the game…

    Check out the scoreboard. Yes, the Travelers did win: 4-2!

  • Our Big, Beautiful Building

    Have you ever seen the Leisure Arts building? When I first came to work here, I decided it looked like a place where some super secret government organization should live—all black and grey and silver.

    I ran across these photos of our building the other day and thought all of you might appreciate them.

    Leisure Arts at sunrise…

    Leisure Arts in the evening…

    Cool, huh?

  • A Little Bird Told Me…

    If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that I’m currently obsessed by ATCs (artist trading cards). As part of that obsession, I’ve become a quote collector. I like to add quotes to my ATCs to enhance the envisioned theme, and now I’ve discovered a new source for my words of wisdom—Twitter!

    I was thrilled to discover that Twitter people often tweet their favorite quotes, the funny things that they’ve overheard during the course of the day, or even the thoughtful things their kids have said. Check it out:

    “People without vices usually have very few qualities I admire.”

    “Wondering why/if planes/with paper wings/can fly/why can’t I?”

    “Muffins are just ugly cupcakes.”

    “When people love you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouths.”

    “Don’t feel like playing well with others today.”

    “Passion is far more important than skill.”

    “Mom, you mean princesses are real? I thought they were all fake.”

    “Little girls and butterflies need no excuse…”

    “No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

    “The voices in my head may not be real, but sometimes they have good ideas.”

    “Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

    “Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.” – Henry Van Dyke

    “Refuse to live backwards!”

    Thank you to all my Twitter friends for sharing and for inspiring my paper crafts! Do you have any favorite quotes you’d like to share? (And I’d still love to trade ATCs if anyone’s interested!)

  • A Vicarious Trip to London Continued

    Here’s Susan 4th Travel Report — Décor8 Blogger Holly Becker’s Book Signing at Liberty, Wednesday April 13

    Last year, Katherine, our photography manager, sent me a link to Holly Becker’s blog, Holly is an American who lives in Germany with her husband. She shares what is happening in the world of decorating outside of the US (primarily). Some months ago, she announced that she would be publishing a decorating book, and wonders of wonders, the book was being released, and there was a book signing in the iconic Liberty store while I was in London. I applied for one of the limited seats and was one of the lucky ones chosen.

    First, Holly spent half an hour talking about the book, the process of selecting the homes to be featured, the actual photo sessions, and answered questions from the group. Many of the 50 or so women in the audience were bloggers as well. Then we moved to the house wares department for the actual book signing where an additional crowd was waiting for her. I took photos, but the photos at Holly’s blog are so much better – take a look!

    (And so ends Susan’s London adventures. Now, we can make believe we’ve been to London to take in all the sights ourselves, all the while, of course, practicing our British accents...oh, well, I’m still pretty jealous. How ’bout you?)

  • A Vicarious Trip to London Continued

    Here’s Susan 3rd Travel Report—Book Fair – April 11-13

    Leisure Arts has exhibited at BEA (Book Expo America) in New York for the past few years, but this was my first time to attend the London Book Fair. It was held at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre.

    While it was similar to the New York show, there didn’t seem to be the emphasis on book signings. I might have blinked and missed it as we were all over the show floor meeting with lots of folks. The show was busy all three days.

    Here is our booth space – we had a lot of positive response. Even folks from Lithuania!

    The Dummy series is celebrating 20 years – here, you’ll see their ambassador.

    And this lady was promoting a new book coming out this fall entitled The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’m ordering early – how about you?

    (Check back at the end of the day for another chapter in A Vicarious Trip to London!)

  • A Vicarious Trip to London

    My boss, Leisure Arts Editor-in-Chief, Susan Sullivan, just returned from the London Book Fair (and she’s already back on the road again!). While she’s gone, I thought I’d share some of her London adventures with you in four separate vignettes (4 blog entries) over the course of today, so we can all travel vicariously together.

    Here’s Susan 1st Travel Report—I Knit London Saturday, April 9

    Before I left for London, I connected via email with one of the owners of I Knit London, a great yarn shop just south of the Waterloo tube station. Gerard was not familiar with Leisure Arts (how could that be?). I made my way there with a heavy tote bag of knit and crochet books. I found my way to the shop and had a good meeting with Gerard. The next weekend they were having a fundraiser at the shop, so I donated the books. The shop was filled with great yarns and a very healthy library of pattern books. I asked Gerard if he thought his customers picked out a pattern and then their yarn or were inspired by a beautiful yarn and looked for a pattern. He shared that he thought both situations were equally common.

    Here is Gerard with Pan.

    And a couple of the shop.

    What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon in London!

    (Check back before lunch for another chapter in A Vicarious Trip to London!)

  • World Penguin Day

    Today’s World Penguin Day! This special day coincides with the annual northward migration of penguins which happens each year sometime around April 25th. I like penguins, so in recognition of their day, let’s indulge our creativity while celebrating these elegant, tuxedoed creatures.

    Here’s my favorite penguin. He’s ceramic and about 2-1/4" tall with a lovely (smooth and nice to touch) turquoisy glaze. Wish I knew what pottery made him. I think he’s pretty vintage…(Any pottery authorities out there?)

    Have you hugged a penguin today? You can, you know…Just crochet one up for yourself or your favorite someone with Vanna’s Choice Easy Crochet Critters or the Ultimate Guide to Thread Crochet.

    Along with a cute little amigurumi penguin crocheted with yarn, Vanna’s Choice Easy Crochet Critters includes 9 other absolutely darling animals: elephant, hippo, monkey, giraffe, alligator, lion, seal, walrus, and a snowy owl.

    Expand your crochet horizons! If you can crochet with yarn but haven’t tried thread crochet yet, you need the Ultimate Guide to Thread Crochet. Besides having a pattern for a tiny stuffed penguin named Little Birdie (designed by Amy Gaines), this book has everything you need to know to learn to crochet with thread like a pro.

    And, of course, we’ve got pics from the Earth Day visit to the Little Rock Zoo’s new penguin exhibit:

    Happy World Penguin Day!

  • The Missing Mug

    I just had to share…

    Yesterday, Rob, our Leisure Arts computer guru, wandered the halls, searching for his often-misplaced Star Trek coffee mug.

    It turned up this morning—encased in a jello mold.

  • Tour of Ireland Blog Hop

    Attention Quilters!

    Join us on March 17, as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a one day Blog Hop featuring Pat Sloan’s Tour Ireland book.

    In the meantime, order your copy today! It’s on sale!

    See you Thursday!
  • Unnatural Nature Update…What’s Next?

    I’ve learned how to react to ice and snow…I simply don’t leave the house…

    I’ve dealt with flooding. My family lives out in the middle of nowhere beyond the realms of civilization (my children’s description), and sometimes after torrential rains, the roads flood and driving to work becomes sort of a navigating-the-maze-like challenge.

    I’m used to the idea of tornadoes. I grew up very much aware that we lived right in the middle of Arkansas’ tornado alley, so tornadoes are nothing new. I’ve seen tornadoes drop down out of the clouds. The Love-Of-My-Life and I stood in a restaurant parking lot a couple of years ago and watched a tornado jump Interstate 30, hit a car dealership, and keep on going.

    But earthquakes!!! Really??? I experienced my first one just last Sunday night. I’m sitting at the dining table, waiting for the dryer to stop, all by myself at 11:00 at night, minding my own business, while the rest of the world slept, when I realized the dining table was vibrating. My chair was vibrating. The mason jars on the table were clinking together…and, first, I questioned my sanity. Then, I thought—unbalanced washing machine, but the washer wasn’t running, and, besides, we don’t have that evil washing machine or even the house it lived in anymore. While all this was going on, it also sounded as if a helicopter was about to land on the roof, and, at that point, all in a matter of seconds, it finally dawned on me—this is an earthquake.

    It was a 4.7 earthquake—the largest to hit Arkansas in 35 years.

    Here I am at the dining table again. What’s next?

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