What’s the Bean reading?

My daughter is doing Ambleside Online Yr5 and one book that I’m thrilled she is getting to do this year is King Arthur by Roger Lancelyn Green. She’s only just begun. She can read most of her books on her own by now, but this book has been nice because she still prefers that I read it to her.

My oldest just finished Once and Future King, and while I didn’t read along, I did hear all of his narrations.

On the Nightstand- December 2020

This is what I’m reading and I’d love to hear what you are reading, too.

For December 2020, one of my current books is Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. The first time I read it was right out of high school. I remember thinking it was good that I was reading it just out of high school because if I had read it before I wouldn’t have liked it as much. I didn’t intend to read it again. But then…

An online book club that I love, Close Reads, read Catcher early in 2020. After 2020 blew up, I got behind and I’m just now starting/finishing the book.

This time around, as a mom of a teen, I just want to hug Holden Caulfield and tell him it’s all going to be alright. He could come over to our house and have a nice dinner with the family and hopefully he wouldn’t think we were a bunch of phonies.


My 1991 edition of Catcher in the Rye

The Wild Rumpus

The Etsy shop has been up for about two months. I have learned a great many things.

1. Use Pirate Ship for international shipping.

2. Lots of people like Where the Wild Things Are.

3. Butane torches really do take care of resin bubbles, but not 100%.

4. Sometimes it’s faster to drive a package across country rather than ship it. (But, for the record, the lady at our post office is super nice.)

Holden Caulfield thinks you’re a phony.

I’ve also found more efficient methods for making pendants. Check in often because lots of designs (that I can’t recreate) are selling out and I’m adding new ones all the time. Lots of Hymn inspiration coming this week, so watch for that.


Etsy Shop is Live

I do not normally do New Year’s Resolutions. For some reason, in January 2020, I decided it was important to run a couple of races and to finally set up a shop on Etsy.

Then – we all know how 2020 went. For our family, the pandemic meant that things were usually incredibly busier than normal. But there were a few periods of forced rest in the mix. The result has been that I ran a half marathon in September and today I opened my Etsy Shop.

Right now I’m focusing on pendants and will have some painted lockets coming along soon.

Come by anytime: Wonder Tales Studio

If you have a custom design you’d like to see, send me a PM!


In keeping with the circles, etc. I went with a circle of wild mountain thyme. Plus, that was my favorite folk song we learned last year. It’s been in my head all month.

The hand lettering here is not my favorite and thought about redoing it with a pen I like better. But then I remembered “finished, not perfect.” And it seemed okay for a fun drawing prompt. So here it sits.


Six years ago, I lived in Narberth, PA for a short time. I would walk a few times per week to the train station, and I would pass this building:

Look carefully. There’s a window in there.

But I didn’t know it was a building. I literally thought it was a bush with ivy. Turns out, it was a church.

When I saw the prompt “overgrown,” I thought of this pretty place near Narberth station.

A few years later, I went back and found this:

Looking better.

And in getting ready to write this blog post, I found out the whole church has now been converted to a house. You can see the inside here: Anyone have a million and a half dollars to spare?


Here’s another example of my expanding education. I was at a baseball clinic, hanging out with a bored little girl who was recovering from a bee sting. We found an oak tree plus another type of tree I had not run into before. Turns out, it was an ash tree. A few days later, up comes this prompt.

Leaf shapes work really well for these mandala type patterns. I plan on working more nature into my art.