12 Days of Blogmas: Holiday Quotes

Just for Fun

When you just can’t think of the right thing to say or write inside a card, it never hurts to fall back on some tried and true wisdom from others. (Incidentally, this goes well with Art 33.)


I’m sure this one will find its way on a lot of lists in today’s blog theme.

It came without ribbons!… it came without tags!… it came without packages, boxes, or bags!…Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

–How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss

I mean, really, if that doesn’t sum up the best parts of Christmas I don’t know what does.

My next favorite holiday quote is actually a song lyric, but still counts!

I pray my wish will come true
For my child and your child too
He’ll see the day of glory
See the day when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

–Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy, David Bowie et al.

It’s my favorite version of my least favorite song, all because of the counterpoint. But, really, with all the stress and strife and violence in the world right now, these lyrics really go deep into the core issue: men of good will, that’s what we need now more than ever. Men and women who want more than anything peace and good will to reign instead of terror and fear.

…if you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you?

–Natalie’s Christmas Card, Love, Actually

This one is just so sweet and earnest, it stands out among some truly incredible lines from one of my favorite movies. But it also makes me think a bit, what is actually being said here. Is Christmas a more honest time? Or is it that, with everyone all full of warm holiday thoughts and fuzzy on Christmas cheer, it makes spilling secrets from your heart easier? Is it that the twinkle of Christmas lights gives us hope that our feelings won’t be summarily crushed and that we can trust the person on the other end to at least receive it nicely, even if they can’t or don’t want to reciprocate?

Now, I’d normally stop there because I’m a fan of trios, but it’s the 4th day of Blogmas so four quotes there shall be!

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.

–Edna Ferber

Obviously I’ve got a theme running, here. Christmas, to me, isn’t about religion.* It isn’t about the commercialization of sales and presents or one-upping the neighbors light display. And it’s not even about family gathering together (we just did that, after all, for Thanksgiving). It’s the spirit of Christmas, the kindness, the smiles, the peace and joy, the hope for better tomorrows, that means the most to me.

The 12 Days of Blogmas is a link-up hosted by The Coastie Couple and The Petite Mrs. Check out either of their blogs to see what everyone else has to say on today’s topic!

The 12 Days of Blogmas is a link-up hosted by The Coastie Couple and The Petite Mrs. Check out either of their blogs to see what everyone else has to say on today’s topic!

*Just a note: many Christmas traditions pre-date Christianity and were co-opted by the Church to make conversion more appealing to the reluctant converts. So when I say Christmas isn’t about religion, I’m not trying to negate the religious aspects of it that so many prize, I’m just taking a more historic view of the various winter celebrations across several cultures that have all mixed in to create our modern Christmas. 

Star Trek and Sewing: March 2015

In The Studio

My binge watch for March ended up being Star Trek, the Original Series. I’ve tried watching it in the past but just couldn’t get into it, finally chalking it up to the very heavy “space Western” vibe of the first season. Strangely enough, I really enjoyed Firefly, though, so it’s not like space-Westerns are all bad.. But something about TOS just wasn’t doing it for me.

But! With the passing of Leonard Nemoy, it seemed fitting to give the series another go. I’d made it through a big part of season 1, so this binge was mostly seasons 2 and 3. Season 2 was pretty awesome, so now I’m really glad to have watched it. Season 3? Todd kept asking ‘did you get to the space hippies?’ every time he’d pass my office door. So much that I wondered if it was one of those episodes I just listened too and never looked up during.

Nope. He assured me I wouldn’t be able to miss it, and he was right.

Direct link for the feed readers: Star Trek: The Way to Eden, Main Jam in Lounge

Dude, that’s trippy.

And the series finale? Seeing Kirk have an absolute hissy fit on the bridge was a bit of a treat. Though, in my head, I keep hearing him scream ‘respect my authority’ a la Cartman, which just makes it even more funny.

I’m still a Next Gen fan, but at least I can make that statement fully informed.

What was I doing while Kirk, Spock, and McCoy duked their way through the galaxies? Mostly Sewing.

Since this was the first month we had fabric in hand, I had two Love My Fabrics projects go live:


jvanderbeek_lovemyfabrics_botanicgarden_fabricbasket_fabriceggs_easterdecorFull write-ups and links to their patterns are available on the Love My Fabrics blog: Eggs, Basket I also have a pair of doll outfits going up on Tuesday, using the same fabric set (Botanic Garden, available in a fat quarter pack on etsy)

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

For Helmar, this month’s assignment fell due just before Todd’s birthday, so I used it as a kick in the pants to actually make his birthday card instead of buy it. That we’re both in accounting makes the card make more sense.

jvanderbeek_helmar_numbersbirthday_cardI also have a cute little decoupaged bunny hanging going up today!


Finally, over on Gauche Alchemy, the March challenge was to use a quote in our work, and I used the “keep moving forward” quote from the end of Meet the Robinsons for mine. I also learned how to make animated gifs so I could show a (somewhat rapid-fire) time-lapse progress of the canvas I made for the challenge. I think I’ll slow the frame rate down a bit next time.


I also have a secret knitting project in the works and, of course, have been busily “crafting” the business plan for The Crafty Branch. It’s not done yet (bother!) but it’s really coming along and I feel really good about what I do have put together so far. April’s gonna be a big month!



Nibble on This: Nora Ephron on Carbs


I’ve had this one in my tickle file for a couple months, now, ever since NPR re-ran an interview with Nora Ephron after her death in June from pneumonia, a complication of her leukemia.

Screenwriter, Producer and Director, she’s had a hand in many of the movies that shaped my teens and twenties and, of course, served all three roles with the lovely Julie and Julia.

From that 2006 interview on Fresh Air, this particular portion snagged me enough that I sat at my desk and did the old-fashioned play-pause-type-rewind routine just to get it all down:

This is just a crap shoot. This is a lottery. Who knows? So I feel–I don’t think about the next 20 years, I think about today. So, today, I’ve already been to a bakery. This is the thing that I’m obsessed with is carbohydrates. I feel that I’m now living in an age where there’s the best bread we have ever had in the history of the world, there has never been more bread that is good out there. So it seems to me a shame not to eat some of it. Even if, and this is one of the terrible dilemmas of old age, you know, do you save all your money as if you’re gonna live til you’re 90, or do you spend it all because you might die tomorrow? Do you diet like a fanatic in the hopes that it’s gonna buy you a couple of extra years, or is it going to have nothing to do–are you gonna be hit by a bus and your last thought will be ‘I shoulda had that doughnut.’ And it’s very confusing to know what to do, but I’m coming down on the doughnut side. So I feel that, you know, that’s one of the things–I’m not so into 20 years, I’m kinda into is this meal I’m having something I really want to have? And if someone says to me ‘let’s go somewhere that’s not good’ I say ‘let’s not, let’s not, because I have a finite number of meals ahead of me and they are all gonna be good. They’re just gonna be good. That’s the truth.

I’d have to come down on the side of the doughnut, too. Or, in my case, lately, soft pretzel bread. I made some this weekend that was divine while being absolutely comedic in the making–kind of fitting for this quote in it’s own way. I’ll tell you all about it, I promise (next week), but for now, I’m going to enjoy a bit of wonderful, homemade bread and put on a fun movie to finish out my Sunday evening.

Don’t Put Down the Bartlett’s Just Yet!

64 Arts

And I’m not talking about pears, either.

Two go-to references for me in high school were Roget’s Thesaurus and Bartlett’s Quotations. Add in a copy of Webster’s for the obligatory “The dictionary defines accomplishment as…” essay beginning and you’d have the trifecta of ways to b.s. a paper.

Tell me, have you ever thought of Bartlett or Roget since then? (College excluded.)

But there’s more to quotations that just pithy essay fodder (no, really), which is why we’ve got one more quotation art to handle before moving on:

33 Quoting the classics in answering questions.

Probably the easiest example I can give of this is to paraphrase the infamous star-crossed love story…

Honey, you’ve got to listen to reason, you can’t be into him, he’s a Montague!

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

She could have just said (to herself, because this was all monologue) I don’t care what his name is or he’s not just his daddy’s name or even pfft, we’ll just change his name later, no biggie–you get the point.

Point is, by saying it in a deep and meaningful way–and preferably with deep, meaningful words that someone else immortalized, thus giving them more weight and credibility–you sound, well, deep and meaningful. And maybe a little pretentious, if used too often, but still deep and meaningful for the time being.

Which brings me back to Bartlett’s Quotations. Did you know the entire thing is available online, along with scads of other awesome references all at Bartleby.com? (This is not an advertisement, this is just me passing along a helpful tip.)

Now, I hear you thinking (yes, really) what good are quotes to me: I’m all done with writing essays and my kids think I’m still pretty much a genius so, you know, why bother?

Aside from sounding spiffy when you’re talking with your grown-up friends, here’s a short list and ways quotes can come in handy on the day-to-day:

  • blog post prompts
  • journaling prompts
  • scrapbook elements
  • art prompts
  • pithy sayings to put on your walls
  • your eventual Jeopardy! tryouts
  • things to put on the inside or outside of handmade cards
  • when nothing else you’ve got in your head sounds right

But the most important reason to keep a quotable reference handy is that quotes, by their very nature of being known and often-used, convey understanding between you and someone else. Even if all you’re quoting is Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, you’re still finding a common ground with other’s who know where you’re coming from, based on a shared bit of history.

To Quote, or Not to Quote–IS There a Question?

64 Arts

We move on from conundrums and onto quotations–lots of talkie bits in this section of the Arts–more specifically:

29 The art of completing a quotation (pratimala)

This reminds me of an early episode of Charmed where, to cover a generational gap, one character says to another something that leads into a back-and-forth recitation of a bit of Shakespeare (after some search I found it to be from As You Like It, Act III, Scene 2).

The speech in question starts at 1:39. (Direct link for the feedreaders) I watch too much television.

The point is, two strangers found a common ground through a shared knowledge and appreciation of literature.

These days, unless you spend a lot of time around academia, quoting Shakespeare or other arcane information might not get you very far. But fear not! There are plenty of contemporary sources of quotes in movies, songs, books and, yes, television shows.

And sometimes it doesn’t even take a full quote. I was at a party at a sci-fi convention and mentioned Otter Pops (the mystery drink of the evening was reminding me of it). All of a sudden this big, tall dude that I think they called Ogre bellowed “who said Otter Pops? Otter Pops were awesome” or something like that and high-fived me.

Just yesterday I saw two articles that take the idea of of quotations from our ancient lists of arts into the 21st century, to a blogger-specific level.

Why do quotes work as touchstones? Because we recognize them. We’re not trying to pass if off as our own, just a shared affinity for the material. It comes down to respect.

When we respect the source material, we’re proud to say where it came from. Why should our blogs and websites be any different?

  1. If you want to share something, share it in a way people will know how to find more of it.
  2. If you want to use something of someone else’s, ask permission.
  3. If you don’t want to be bothered, create something yourself.

I think it’s pretty simple, yes?

Do you have a favorite quote? Leave it (and where it’s from!) in the comments.