Art, Photography, Tourism, Travel

Sunday Steps: Life’s a Beach

Welcome to Sunday Steps. Here I will share pictures and stories from the places that I’ve traveled. Sometimes one or the other, sometimes both. I will try to include the location of any images that I share. Leave a comment if you’ve also been to the place in my post, or if you’d like to visit there someday!

Continue reading “Sunday Steps: Life’s a Beach”

Art, Books, Children's Literature, Harry Potter Moment of the Week, YA

Harry Potter Moment of the Week #5


This is a meme started by Uncorked Thoughts which aims to share with fellow bloggers a weekly slice of HP awesomeness. It is an awesomeness that only increases with time and number of reads. Once a week we will share a character, spell, chapter, object, quote etc. from the books/films/J. K. Rowling (or anything Potter related)! Each topic will be posted on Uncorked Thoughts HERE. There will also be  free weeks where everyone can share whatever topic they want! Be sure to share your link on the main site for all other HP MOTW fans to enjoy!

This Week’s Theme: Favorite Editions of the Books

So this week is all about looks. Which version of books is your favorite? Well, I’m torn between 2 editions. The first editions are of course, the original US Scholastic editions:

Original Scholastic edition

How can you not love these? They are the first versions, and for me have a special place in my heart because these are the editions that I read over and over again. Also, the wrap-around artwork on each book is really fantastic. I remember with each of the final 3 covers, looking at them and trying to discover clues as to what was going to happen before getting my hands on them. Especially Deathly Hallows.

My other favorite editions are the new 15th Anniversary Editions of the books (also from Scholastic):

Harry Potter Series Anniversary Covers

The reason why I would like the re-makes of my favorite covers?? Um, look at the artwork and tell me it’s not stunning, I dare you! lol  But seriously folks, I cannot even begin to talk about how much I love the art now that the publishers aren’t worried about spoiling major parts of the stories. The first cover with Diagon Alley is beautiful and so awesome, and then there are books 4 and 5. Wow. Just gorgeous with the detail and the choice of each particular moment. Plus the new edition of the box set comes with bonus art:


Who could ask for anything more?

Well, that’s really all I’ve got for ya! Just a small moment of sweet HP goodness! I hope you enjoyed it, and please, feel free to share your own favorite editions in the comments below!

Art, Books, Do It Yourself Projects, Libraries, Society, Travel

23 of the most creatively designed Little Free Libraries

23 of the most creatively designed Little Free Libraries | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

Have you seen one of these around?


These “little free libraries” are popping up all over the country, and I have to say, I just love them.

Not only do I love the creativity, and ingenuity of design with which most of them are made, but I love what they stand for. Taking books, sharing them with each other. Especially in communities that might not have a library available to them readily, or where budget cuts might make it hard for locals to get access to one. I also just like the idea that people want to share what they have read and enjoyed with the world. Take a book, pass it on. Take a book, leave a book. Take a book, share a book. These slogans that occasionally accompany these libraries say so much with so little.


I will be on the lookout for these when I travel, hopefully I will find a few to take a snapshot of and share here on my blog!

Art, Crafts, Librarianship, Libraries

Literary Elements Book Display

thisisasentence: the literary elements

I love book displays and bulletin boards! It’s totally nerdy of me, I know. But I find that librarians (and teachers) who create these displays to be so creative and resourceful. If you’d like to see more displays and bulletin boards, check out my Pinterest boards linked below!


Library Book Display Ideas

Library Bulletin Boards


A Night with a Sarcophagus


“Spend five minutes with this sarcophagus and you’ll witness a whole night—and a passionate one at that. Zeus, somewhat put out because Selene (goddess of the moon) had fallen in love with the mortal Endymion, cast the beautiful young man into an eternal sleep. But that didn’t stop Selene from visiting her beloved every night. You can see her at the center of this sarcophagus as darkness falls, stepping off from her chariot. But as you look to the right, beyond the slumbering Endymion, the next day begins to dawn (too soon!), and the horses must rush the goddess of the moon away, until the next evening’s amorous encounter.”

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our antiquities curator, David Saunders.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wander, click here.

Sarcophagus panel (detail), about A.D. 210, Roman. Marble, 84 1/4 in. long x 21 3/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 

Art, Society

Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It



Experts told this artist her dream was impossible. It’s a good thing she didn’t listen.


I love stories like this. When people just have a level of determination, spirit, and sense of self that drives them forward in the face of any opposition. People like this inspire me to not give up, and to keep trying, keep reaching for things that I want, that may at the time seem to be out of my reach. What an amazing example of showing people it’s okay — sometimes better than okay — to be different.

Art, Society

Syrian Artists Make Guinness Book of World Records


Hats off to these six Syrian artists who have made it into the Guinness Book of World Records – and given a Damascus primary school something to be proud of. They’ve fashioned the world’s largest mural made from scrap. Why? “Damascus is wounded and sad… and creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction.” Read the article, via BuzzFeed:

Art, Books, Fairy Tales

A Tale as Old as Time

I really love this concept art of Beauty and the Beast. It’s so wonderfully gothic and brings the art from the Disney movie to mind to me. Cudos to the artists and the wonderfully dark edgy vibe of these images.

I’ve always thought of Belle as one of the smartest young ladies in the fairy tale genre. While her story was never my favorite (I found myself more drawn to other tales, such as Sleeping Beauty) I have always appreciated her as someone too modern for her time. When you see her, she definitely comes off as the outcast book nerd of her social group and to that, I can absolutely relate. Most people don’t know but the story of Beauty and the Beast that we know best today was actually a novel by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, and was written in France back in 1740. Of course the “human falling in love with a ‘beast'” story is quite familiar in the world of fairy tales and fables, with versions showing up in popular collections by people like Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm for centuries before that.

Such stories run rampant in Greek mythology as well. Perhaps one of the most famous from that time-period (and consequentially, one of my personal favorites) is the story of Cupid and Psyche (or Eros and Psyche — Cupid’s Greek incarnation). *le sigh*

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, created by Antonio Canova in 1793 Photo taken by Josie Campbell in 2005
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, created by Antonio Canova in 1793
Photo taken by Josie Campbell in 2005

So as the story goes, Psyche is an incredibly beautiful mortal with 2 really jealous sisters. She’s so pretty she even makes Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology) jealous. Aphrodite calls on her son Eros to punish Psyche but he falls in love with her instead. Using some divine help he takes her away to a beautiful palace, but she is not allowed to look upon him. He only visits her in the dark. *wink, wink!*

When her family wishes for news of her, Eros brings her sisters for a visit. They convince her that since she’s not allowed to see him, he must be a monster and she should sneak a peak at him while he’s sleeping to make sure, and if he is, kill him. So she does, but drips wax on him when she sees how gorgeous he is and he disappears. Psyche is devastated.

Here's another (better lit) look at Canova's sculpture, located at the Louvre.
Here’s another (better lit) look at Canova’s sculpture, located at the Louvre.

She looks to the gods for help but Aphrodite is the only one who will answer her. She devises impossible tasks for Psyche to complete in order to be reunited with her lover. She does so with the aid of all sorts of creatures and pieces of nature and many of the gods take pity on her as well. In her last trial it is Eros himself who aids her and he goes to Zeus (aka Jupiter) and asks him to make Psyche a goddess so that they can be together. Zeus grants the request and Eros and Psyche marry. It’s one of the few ‘happily ever after’ stories in mythology.

There are centuries of artwork depicting this story for the world. The majority of it is usually told through paintings or tapestries. But as you can see above, my favorite is the sculpture done by Antonio Canova in 1793. For a funnier version of this story illustrated with artwork of the myth that has been created throughout history, go here.