Chalk Art

Happy Wednesday! How was everybody’s Independence Day? I used to say “4th of July” until I stopped to think about it…it’s more to me than just a date, so I always try and say Independence Day instead. Just a random ramble! Any who, I wanted to take a break from book reviews for a bit and post about a favorite hobby of mine. About 5 years ago I discovered chalkboard art through Pinterest and blogs, and although I’ve never been super artsy, I realized that I LOVE doing chalk art! I’ve never been able to paint or draw like the rest of my extremely artistic family, but I realized that I’m pretty decent at hand lettering. It’s almost therapeutic for me to sit and create a board for an event or for one of my friends.

I’m someone who needs a creative outlet so I started out just playing around with different mediums and styles, and eventually ended on what comes the most naturally and enjoyably for me. I tend to stick to chalk markers since they’re easier for me to control and I can make a cleaner board. That comes in handy when I’m going milestone boards like the ones above because the board can get way too cluttered if you’re not careful. If you follow me on Instagram, (@laceyellehill) or Pinterest (@laceyellehill) then you may have seen me post photos of some of these over the years.

I get asked all the time about my boards so I figured I’d leave a bunch here for you to look at if you’re wanting to make your own chalk art and need some inspiration! 2017 has turned into a total time warp for me and I haven’t been as productive with my boards as I used to. I have a lot of improving to do, obviously none of my boards are perfect, but I have noticed that year after year they’re improving. I just picked up this hand lettering book and I can’t wait to learn more fonts and techniques to hand lettering!

Do you ever get lost in bliss when browsing up and down the aisles in a book store? It’s my favorite place to lose track of time! Whether it’s Barnes and Nobles, used book stores (my favorite), or even just the book section at Target, I live for finding new books. I gave the kindle a go a while back, but there is just something about the look, feel, and smell of a book. I may need to start building that bookshelf wall that I’ve been dreaming of in my mind for the past decade. Just for fun, here are a few of my favorite Pinterest inspirations. You can follow me on Pinterest HERE. Photo sources here and here.

Anywho, unless my husband wakes up and decides there is nothing he’d rather do than break his back for a few weeks to get me the bookshelf of my dreams, it’s not gonna happen. So I’ll continue overflowing my humble bookshelf until it can’t hold anymore. I was lurking around Target this weekend and loaded up my cart with all new reads for this month. I’ve really been tending towards thrillers and mysteries, they’re so good! I’m not sure why we as human beings love being held in a state of suspense for days while reading, but I love it. I’ve included all of the excerpts from Good Reads that I read before buying each of these. If you’re on Good Reads, add me! I would love to see what you’re reading.

  1. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins: When I read The Girl on the Train I literally couldn’t put it down. I’m pretty sure that I read it in about 6 hours of non-stop page turning. I have high hopes that this book will be the same, twists, suspense, and mystery! Synopsis – A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
  1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: When I see that a book has won the Pulitzer Prize, it is an instant “well obviously I need to read that as soon as possible”. Once I read that it’s set in Paris and centers around World War II, I had to get it! Synopsis – Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.  In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
  1. Paper Towns by John Green: Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? I cried like a baby when I read it…like ugly cried. It was so good and I can’t wait to read Paper Towns, especially since it’s set in my city! I’m guessing Lake Eola will come up a few times. Synopsis – Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.
  1. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: This is another book that I grabbed based on my love for an earlier book by an author. I read In a Dark, Dark Wood a few years ago while traveling for work and I really enjoyed it. I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a relatively quick read and a suspenseful tale! Synopsis – In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…
  1. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda: Little known fact; I wanted to be an FBI Profiler when I was in high school. I read every true crime novel I could get my hands on. Ann Rule and John Douglas were my heroes, and I devoured their books every week. This novel seems to be along those lines and I can’t wait to dig in. Synopsis – It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing. Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

 

 

Occasionally I’ll take on book recommendations…who am I kidding. Gimme allllll of the book recs, I love to read new books! If you’re following on Instagram (@laceyellehill) you may have seen my post about my new favorite candle company Frostbeard Studios. Well, a reader commented on that post that she loved this book by Emily Carpenter and I hop-skip-jumped over to Amazon to get it! The rest is history.

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls is about 29-year-old Althea Bell, who is fresh out of rehab and still heartbroken over the years-ago death of her mother. She returns to Alabama to reconnect with her estranged father, but is met with family hostility. Her history with drugs and lying have made her unwelcome, even to her brother and his wife. In the midst of this all, her father fills her in on a grim family secret: her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother all died mysteriously at the age of 30, and he is worried that she is next.

Before her mother died, she whispered to Althea “Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her”.

Since the death of her mother, Althea has dealt with her own mental issues, which were fueled by her use of her mother’s leftover bottle of prescription medication that she used to help curb what was deemed to be “schizophrenic tendencies”. Althea set out with her childhood flame to uncover the secret of the Honeysuckle Girl, and the deaths of her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was met with opposition, intrigue, obstacles, secrets and family angst; all of the hallmarks of a great page turning mystery! When the secret of the Honeysuckle Girl was uncovered in the end, I was floored.

The book switches throughout between Althea’s point of view and that of her great-grandmother in the 1930’s and I loved that! To understand our future, we must look to the past; it was a beautifully done dynamic characterization. There is something in this book that just about anyone can relate to, whether it’s mental illness, family secrets, or feeling alienated and different. This was a very satisfying mystery to read!