Spring Rising from the Ashes

March 19th

Madison bag

A Spring bag & CAOK gift. Amy Butler’s Downtown Madison pattern.

I finished White Oleander this weekend — having read much of the last 100 pages by the pool Saturday. {Oh, the weather we are having! Let me gloat. We will quickly enter the 110-plus season that threatens to last five months.}

The themes tie so well into Spring — brushing off the cold, craggy darkness for a new, fresh beginning. Janet Fitch drew me into this novel, her writing hypnotic at times. I found myself consistently late last week — trying to fit in just a few more pages at stop lights, lunch breaks, standing in line for my morning coffee.

Favorite excerpts:

“I liked it when my mother tried to teach me things, when she paid attention. So often when I was with her, she was unreachable. Whenever she turned her steep focus to me, I felt the warmth that flowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the first concentrated rays of the sun.”

“Who am I? I am who I say I am and tomorrow someone else entirely. You are too nostalgic, you want memory to secure you, console you. The past is a bore. What matters is only oneself and what one creates from what one has learned. Imagination uses what it needs and discards the rest — where you want to erect a museum. Don’t hoard the past. Don’t cherish anything. Burn it. The artist is the phoenix who burns to emerge.”

“What was a weed, anyway. A plant nobody planted? A seed escaped from a traveler’s coat, something that didn’t belong? Was it something that grew better than what should have been there? Wasn’t it just a word, weed, trailing its judgments. Useless, without value. Unwanted.”

Four out of five bananas, absoloodle.

Madison downtown bag


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CAOK, Domestic Art, Journal, Media
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21 Responses

  1. Love the fabric.

    Looks good!

  2. Cute bag, mama! That fabric is excellent. I rounded up my fabric for the Institches clutch this weekend and I’m excited to get rolling on it.

    I will admit, about White Oleander, that I’ve avoided reading it because it’s an Oprah Book Club book. For some reason, I need the feeling of “discovery” when I choose a book and the book club stamp deters me. However, I *may* have to check it out once I’m done with the Namesake, per your little review here.

    The Namesake, BTW, is SO good so far. I found myself searching for a few minutes here and there to get in a few more pages. LOVE.

  3. the bag came out SUPER cute…

  4. pretty bag. love that fabric.

  5. Perfect spring fabric. I made the Uptown version of the handbag, just so I could stay away from the boning!

  6. The bag is gorgeous.

    I enjoyed that book too – very much. And I was very happy that I read it before seeing the movie (which cut out so much it wasn’t even right.).

    Again – LOVE the bag. That fabric is to die for.

  7. Great colors and beautiful fabric choice! And I really like the excerpts .. makes me want to read this book now. 🙂

  8. super bag, especially great colors… & enjoyed that book too!!

  9. The strap is my favorite part. Very good work, Kelli!!

  10. VERY cute! Love the colors.

  11. I read that book a long while ago, and I remember it being good, but now I want to read it all over again! Your bag is very cute and springy. I’d love to have that warm weather!

  12. Delurking to say…Isn’t Janet Fitch great? White Oleander is my favorite book. I can never put it down when I pick it up to reread. I know the book backwards and forwards and still I can’t ever get enough of it. The movie was so-so but I’m a firm believer that filmmakers can’t ever quite capture the essence of a good book on film.

  13. Cute spring bag! Love the shape. So you think I should add White Oleander to my list of books to read?

  14. I agree with FinnyKnits, I avoid books touted by Oprah (I don’t know what’s wrong with me that I do that). However, you are inspiring me to get a copy and read the book.

    Great bag, Kelli–it is indeed fresh and spring-like. I haven’t made that pattern yet.

  15. Nice bag! I really like the addition of the strap, also the colors in the fabric.

  16. oh my! can i tell you how much i LOVE the fabric choice!? so, so cool!

  17. so glad you enjoyed it so! and look at that gorgeous bag! you’re amazing.

  18. I love it! The style, the colors, TOOO CUTE!

  19. Love the bag!

    Isn’t “absoloodle” from the book The Power of One?

    If it is, you just quoted my all-time favorite book.

  20. Keep the book reviews coming! I read Eat, Pray, Love after reading your review and it was wonderful. I love reading books others recommend because otherwise they probably would never cross my path. =)

  21. thanks for these excerpts + review… the book sounds great (and reading by the pool on a beautiful spring day sounds *really* great!) and that new bag… ahhh… springtime. it’s really here. like you i am trying to just squeeze these moments tight because i can feel the stirrings of summer on its way… months and months of crazy hot humid stickiness!