Exactly one week ago, we experienced an unlikely bout of early-May snow. This last week, in contrast, has been a study in what you’d call a typical Iowa spring. The day lilies are sprouting everywhere at the edge of our back yard, the lawn is sprinkled with dandelions here and there, and the grass is long enough for John to mow it for the first time since last fall. And it has been raining either a lot or a little every other day, saturating the ground with moisture and the creeks with water. Behind our border of day lilies are some woods, and behind the woods there is a steep drop-off where the Walnut Creek flows. Next to the creek is a walking path, where John and I have been strolling every day, with or without an umbrella. As we crossed a footbridge on Thursday evening, we were astounded by how much the rain had increased the water level in the creek. A few years ago, an early summer rainstorm caused trees to pull away from the creek banks and flow downstream, taking out the bridge on which I stood when I shot this 20-second film.

Spring weather inspires spring projects, so during the last few days I have been making good progress on the little books of which I shared a glimpse in a previous post. It took me three days of sanding the edges of chipboard covers before I got through my stack. Yesterday, when I started sneezing in the middle of the task, it occurred to me that perhaps I should be wearing a mask to catch the dust particles. The mask did work, but I think John made a good point when he said I looked like Darth Vader.

Darth Vader 3

My sanding efforts yielded exactly eleven gratitude journals, nine password record books and three blank books. Next comes embellishment of the covers, a process I enjoy immensely. Below is just a portion of the books.


If you have ever browsed through the items in my Mister PenQuin shop, then you know that I like to embellish my books with flowers. In fact, I like to embellish almost anything with flowers! Here is how a few of the books turned out with floral embellishments. I still need to tie some ribbon to the Owire binding to put the final touch on the books, but tomorrow’s another day.


Keep an eye out for my next post, which will be a giveaway related to flower-making.

© 2013 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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4 thoughts on “Darth Vader and a few books later . . .”

  1. Splendid Little Stars

    no. You’re much cuter than Darth Vader!!
    We’ve had a lot of rain lately, too. And our creek has swelled. It is much smaller than yours though.
    Your books look great!

  2. Wow!! What a wonderful batch of books!
    You look a lot less scary than Darth Vader — but I bet you sound a little like him, talking through the mask!


  3. Beautiful! Thanks for reminding me about your ‘other’ shop. I always forget about it, even though I love your paper craft items! I still can’t believe you got snow in May. Unreal.

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