Saturday, January 14, 2012

Never Stop Learning - My New Year Tradition

For many years now, I have celebrated New Years Day by adding books to my family's library. When the children were younger, I would take them to Barnes and Noble or Borders and have them pick out a book on a subject they would like to learn more about. I would do the same for Bob and myself.  Alina often chose travel books or books on photography. Joe preferred books on origami or Star Wars. One year he chose a book on backyard blacksmithing. While we haven't done that together as a family in a long time, I do continue to buy books for myself each New Year.  My favorite sources these days are Edward R. Hamilton, Booksellers and Amazon. While I love books, I am faced with the reality that they are expensive, so choose these sellers for their selection, great discounts, and fast delivery.

This year I bought from Edward R. Hamilton the following:

Backyard Bird Secrets for Every Season by Sally Roth (Rodale) (c) 2009
The Magic of Digital Close Up Photography by Joseph Meehan  (Lark) (c) 2006
Paisley Designs - 44 Original Plates by Gregory Mirow (Dover) (c)1989
The Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehn (Lark) (c) 2005

They arrived yesterday.

It is my hope to learn more about the birds that are regular visitors to my feeders so that I can make their home here more appealing to them. Already I have learned from Backyard Birds Secrets that birds need extra crude protein and fat in their winter diets to stay warm. Today I bought specialty peanut seed mix as well as two types of suet and feeders to hold them. I discovered recipes for making my own suet when these run out. I learned that if I build and install roosting boxes and provide conifers for shelter, the birds can stay warm.  With this information, I asked Bob to prop up the Christmas tree we bought in the garden near the feeders so that the birds have another cozy place to sleep at night. (We were saving the tree to use the branches as protective covering for the perennials.)

I love close up photography! Many of the photos I take are close ups, but they often turn out blurry, or the camera refuses to take the shot at the range I want to take it. The Magic of Digital Close Up Photography looks like a textbook and I am hoping to learn the tricks of the trade from it!

Paisley Designs will help me when I create the other decorative fruits to add to Punica ornamentum. It is my plan to add a paisley apple and pear and thus create a series of this type of print.

Lastly, I have known about the book, The Decorated Journal, for years. Having other books on book and journal making, I didn't buy it until now, although it is a classic on the subject.  The price was right so I decided to add it to my collection.  Already I have learned new things from it!

It is great to learn something new every day, but there is the trap of being always learning and never doing, which will be the topic of my next post.

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