After a week of nothing better than bills and advertisements in the mail, I came home to not one but two excellent surprises. I did a favor for a good friend, so she was kind enough to send me a little parcel of goodies. I have some funky new postcards to add to my collection--all American, though three were sent to "Danmark" (with mere 1 cent postage stamps). They are dated between 1909-1914. She also sent a cool fabric/embroidered bookmark. I have a tin filled with different bookmarks, and I continually buy/collect more. And finally, and best of all, she sent some vintage buttons! I am not sure if you can see them very well in the picture. They are porcelain "calico" buttons. According to the card they are dated ca. 1840-1900. To think these were sewn on to some lady's dress possibly at the time of the Civil War. They have survived this long, and maybe they will survive long after I am gone. I may use them in my collage/altered art projects. I also have a needlework kit designed by Drawn Thread called Souvenir Sampler, which calls for adding your own buttons, pieces of fabric, charms, etc. As these are a gift from a good friend, they would be great to use on this sampler!
My other surprise really wasn't a surprise as I was expecting them--I just didn't know when. I ordered two French needlework books from Amazon.fr, and they appeared on my doorstep today. I will post about them on my needlework blog later, if you are interested in seeing them. I love french needlework books. They seem to produce more of them in France than we do here, though maybe it is just the type of needlework that I prefer that they seem to publish--more traditional needlework and samplers.
In my blog surfing today, I came across a couple of interesting links. Over at So Many Books I found an interesting link to a website called StoryCode.com. After you finish a book, you fill in a form (questions about character, plot, etc), and it will give you a list of recommendations of what to read next. I had to register for it, and I tried it out. As I just finished "Eve Green", I entered the information, and here are some of the recommendations it gave me: "Cider House Rules" by John Irving, "Light on Snow" by Anita Shreve, "The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx, "Disgrace" by J.M. Coetzee, and "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult. The list was actually quite long. I have read a few in the list, but none of the top matches. I don't think these are meant to be read-alikes, but they must be similar in themes or plotlines. I have bookmarked the site and I am sure I will give it another whirl. As for the list, I really should read a John Irving (I never have, though I am sure I would like him), and I have the Annie Proulx on my bookshelves somewhere.
I am currently reading Kate Atkinson's "Case Histories", and the author's American editor answered questions on the litblog co-op site today. It was interesting to read about the book from a publishing perspective. Personally I am enjoying the book immensely. For being a sort of murder mystery there are some really amusing lines in it. I think Atkinson is an excellent author, her use of language is wonderful. I may have to pull out "Human Croquet" from wherever it lurks on my shelves for a read (sooner rather than later).