Bloggy Book Tour: Day Four

April 4th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

IMG_5484Oooo! Day FOUR of the Bloggy Book Tour! Today my book has ventured from Georgia to Upstate New York where Maya Donenfeld of Maya Made has cracked it wide open—check out what’s inside right HERE! And look what I just discovered HERE on Eco News Network! And, I’ll stop writing now, since I don’t want to hold you up from entering THIS FREE GIVEAWAY of mine where you can win AMAZING stuff including a copy of MY BOOK! Here’s the booky link again just in case you missed it: RIGHT HERE!

Bloggy Book Tour: Day Three and a GIVEAWAY

April 3rd, 2014 § 18 comments § permalink

Book CoverWell, well. Here we are! Bloggy Tour Day Three! The book has made its way down to Georgia where Ellen Luckett Baker’s blog The Long Thread is chock full of sewing tutorials and crafty ideas. I’m especially excited about this since one of her amazing BOOKS is my go-to guide to funky sewing projects. You can find her review of my book right HERE. And, look what I found on NY Metro Parents today: THIS! Very exciting. And on Inhabitots, lookee HERE! And I know for certain YOU are out there spreading the word, since Amazon book sales have skyrocketed this week to the top 1% of Amazon book listings. Holy moly! But, why so quiet? Don’t you want me to know you’re here? I’m not so scary, really.

And so, I invite you to join me. You may secretly think you don’t have much to offer, but you do. Write to me. I want to hear from you. And I will make you a deal. You see, we had this smallish party the other night at THIS PLACE to celebrate the book’s BIRTHDAY, and at that party each guest walked away with one of my BOOKS and a PLANTABLE BOOKMARK made by my friend Jamie—upcycled paper embedded with a mix of organic wildflower seeds. And guess what? I have five extra bookmarks and ONE BOOK looking for good homes—just itching to be put to good use in warm weather. But here’s the catch—you need to write a simple comment below this post about how you cannot contain your excitement about doing a dirty project in my BOOK. That’s all. By the way, if you are already convinced that you won’t win this GIVEAWAY, you can go directly HERE right now to purchase one. Still, it would be nice to hear from you.

You have just TWO WEEKS to enter. And on Friday, April 18th I’ll randomly select SIX lucky winners from the bunch. Good luck! And, from now on, don’t be so quiet. I know you’re out there rooting for me.

Congratulations to Mossy reader Mary Yockey for winning the big giveaway–a free signed copy of “This Book Was a Tree”–And congrats to 5 other readers for winning handmade plantable bookmarks: Sarah, Meg, Vasia, Shannon, and Leigh! I will contact you ASAP and send them off right away!

Bloggy Book Tour: Day Two

April 2nd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

This-Book-Was-A-Tree-springHello there! Welcome to the second day of the tour! Today Micaela of Mindful Momma has cracked the book open and jumped right into the middle of Chapter 4, Spend Time Wisely—in this chapter you practice being present. Chapter 4 reminds you that, in today’s fast-paced world, we’re not letting things sink in. We’re disconnected from nature and its careful pace, and are out of sync with our selves. Chapter 4 helps you rest your brain and slow down enough to feel the moment of NOW. Check out Micaela’s incredibly resourceful site–on living thoughtfully, with the Earth in mind–and her take on my book right HERE.

Today is HERE.

April 1st, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

DSC_8839Today is the BIG DAY. Today is my book’s birthday! What does that mean, really? It means that now you can order the book and it will be shipped directly to your mailbox RIGHT AWAY! That’s right! No waiting around or anything! Just click right HERE. And, if you don’t have a book of mine in your hands quite yet, head on over to House Wren Studio where Charlotte Lyons takes a peek inside. Her blog is full of handmade goodness and fresh crafty ideas, plus she has a fantastic GIVEAWAY of a felted wool flower kit of mine!

Bloggy Book Tour

March 31st, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

1BookStackxWell, hello there. TOMORROW is the big BOOK LAUNCH DAY! My to-do list is quite long, and so I will not spend too much time talking right now, but I want to keep you securely in the loop.

Most importantly, I want to prepare you for the much anticipated Bloggy Book Tour. Tomorrow, April 1st, my book will be released into the wilderness. It will blaze a fresh trail through a top-notch collection of brilliant inspiring folks, making its way from its home in New York out to Minnesota and the to Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, then out to California, up to Ontario, and then back through Minnesota and back home. There will be special offers, surprise giveaways, and insightful personal commentary at each resting spot along the way as my clever bloggy friends share their take on my book. Here is the book’s itinerary:

“THIS BOOK WAS A TREE” BLOGGY TOUR SCHEDULE:

Week One:

4/1

4/2

4/3

4/4

 

House Wren Studio

Mindful Momma

The Long Thread

Maya Made

Week Two:

4/7

4/8

4/9

4/10

4/11

 

Rebecca Sower

Sara Bakes Cakes

Donuts Dresses and Dirt

Tinkerlab

Resurrection Fern

Week Three:

4/14

4/15

4/16

 

Small Measure

Lil Fish Studios

Mossy

Follow each post on the book tour as my friends share their thoughts over the next few weeks! At the end of the tour, I’ll be announcing a GIGANTO-GIVEAWAY on Mossy. But, to be eligible to win one of TEN really excellent gifts, you’ll need a COPY OF MY BOOK. Grab one right HERE.

 

Here we GO!

Once Upon a Time…..

March 28th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

CreateBorderOnce upon a time, in a land maybe not so far away, there lived a perfectly programmed little kid. And it was you. You were an accomplished creative scientist with just about any convenient medium—crayons, finger paints, mud puddles, noodles—buzzing with ideas and willing to take wondrous risks with your actions and your thoughts. You dazzled the world with your vivid imagination. Discarded cardboard boxes metamorphosed into mailboxes and rocket ships, sofa cushions became modified superhero headquarters, and dirt piles were mountains inhabited by creepy villainous monsters. You broadcast your scientific findings throughout your world. And then, most likely, somewhere along the way, you had to deal with everyday stuff, and your natural creative and experimental tendencies were somehow gobbled up along the way. It is sad but true that an innately inquisitive child such as you could potentially develop into an incurious adult.

Creativity is slippery and difficult to define. It’s not a talent. It’s not just something you think about doing, it’s something you do. It’s a skill—like performing a magic trick—that’s developed and applied. To be creative, you must wander freely, explore without limits, and be open to brand new ideas. Creativity is not confined to the arts—it’s possible to be creative whenever you’re using your brain to tinker with original ideas—whether baking pinwheel cookies or teaching quantitative analysis. You gather information, mess around with productive thoughts, make critical judgments along the way, and craft concepts into their best forms. Creativity is insight—just a clever merging of everyday things. And it’s magical. First, standing before you is nothing. Then voila! There’s something brand new and super sparkly.

Are you still creative? Yes, indeed you are. Your highly developed human brain is a savvy creativity machine. Your brain was built for creative problem solving and can withstand years of innovation squashing. If your brain has gotten a little flabby on its right side, a course of systematic conditioning and stretching can help it “remember” its former creative achievements. Your brain will spring right back to prizewinning shape. It’s easy, even for a rusty grownup.

Let me remind you that you’re a natural problem solver. An earmark on a book page, a paperweight on a stack of notes—you instinctively take opportunities to build simple solutions to problems. Look around and see the cleverness of everyday things—buttons, zippers, pencils, scissors, clips, snaps. Each of these began as an ingenious solution to a problem, and each is ever evolving. There are always problems to be solved. There are always improvements to be made.

Look around and find inspiration in unlikely places—your kitchen, your front porch, your backyard—and jump-start your creative engine. Be a scientist and explorer of things. Look at everything around you as an opportunity for ingenuity. Tinker with odds and ends. Take things apart, study them and test them. Learn what you can. Look at things from all angles to get different perspectives. See the world with fresh eyes. Treat each day as a treasure to unearth, each moment as a secret to discover. Spring back to your previous prizewinning creative self.

Why? Creativity is the heart of a productive world. It is central to understanding how the world works. Fundamentally, science and the creative arts are the same—both interpret and reinterpret the environment—with the particle physicist, the professional pianist, and the preschool painter each expressing a real need to discover and create something brand new—a story about the surrounding world that is whole and beautiful. At the heart of all great science lies creativity. In a quest to make sense of the natural world, the ideal scientists are in constant search of new ideas, innovative solutions to problems and possible explanations for everyday things. And they realize there’s no right or wrong. No coloring within the lines. There is no “perfect”—so, now is the time to roll up your sleeves and create something. Anything will do!

This post of mine can also be found today on the Penguin Blog as a contribution to National Craft Month.

Where You Can Find Me

March 25th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Book CoverI thought I would keep you posted on risky and exciting upcoming events in my life. Following a vast desert of time alone, I am about to be thrust awkwardly out into the wild world. Starting a week from TODAY, I’ll be wandering around freely peddling my BOOKS. Look for me. I will need all the high-fives I can get. You can find a calendar listing the details of all of my upcoming thingies right HERE. But, here is a list of critical APRIL EVENTS. Mark your calendar!

 

 UPCOMING APRIL HAPPENINGS:

DATE

TIME

VENUE

DETAILS

April 1

All Day

Everywhere…. BOOK LAUNCH DAY!

Race to your local bookstore and grab your very own copy—fresh off the press! Preordered it? Good for you! It will be in your hands any minute now!

April 4

7:30 to 9:30

Curious-on-Hudson

145 Palisades St., Ste 412B

Dobbs Ferry, NY

Toast the BOOK LAUNCH!

Get messy making SEEDBOMBS! Snacks, drinks, and live jazz. Pre-registration required via C-O-H website. Do that right HERE.

April 6

3:00

Art Academy of Westchester

145 Palisades St., Ste 404

Dobbs Ferry, NY

Ask me ANYTHING!

Join me and other locals for an exciting Rivertowns AUTHOR PANEL discussion including Jenny Rosenstrach, Karen Engleman, Veera Hiranandi, and Patty Chang Anker. Mediated by Christina Ha. Sponsored by RiverArts.

April 13

1:00 to 3:00

Artisans Gallery

35 Peddlers Village

Lahaska, PA

See the magic!

Come check out this spellbinding American craft shop and watch me magically transform an old sweater into a funky FELTED FLOWER! Voila!

April 22

6:00 to 9:00

Pretty Funny Vintage

80 South Broadway

Tarrytown, NY

Celebrate EARTH DAY!

This cozy place carries a healthy stash of my books as well as two grand floors of freshly-picked funky finds. Let’s toast Mother Earth together!

April 27

2:00 to 3:00

Greenburgh Nature Center

99 Dromore Road

Scarsdale, NY

GNC Arbor and Earth Day!

Roll up your sleeves and make a difference! Build a rain barrel, learn about composting, work on trails and gardens, and make some SEEDBOMBS with me!

 

 

 

Aww, Geez. Thanks!

March 22nd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

DSC_5068In just a mere TEN days, my book will be here! A few busy bees have peeked at it already. And this is what they’ve said…..

 

 

 

 

“Marcie Cuff makes nature even more fun than the way you find it. This is a book about imagination and creativity – and getting dirty. The projects in This Book Was a Tree remind us of the dozens of ways we can all connect with the natural world on a daily basis. And since Marcie writes from the heart, you can just feel the satisfaction and even joy you’ll get from connecting a little bit more with the world around you. She has ideas that everyone can try alone or with friends or family. She’s going to make a lot of lives simpler, happier and more plugged into the world that’s all around us.”  –David Yarnold, President & CEO, National Audubon Society

“It really is good to get dirty, and this is wonderful guidebook to exactly how!” –Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home

“This book still is a tree: to climb, survey and touch the simple wonders of nature. Marcie Chambers Cuff gives us back the physical world: Most of all, she returns it to our children.” –Adrian Higgins, Garden Columnist, Washington Post

“If orangutans, Asian elephants, and crows can improvise creative ways to interact with nature, Marcie Cuff shows us: so can we! You are very lucky that you have picked up this book! Now go get your hands dirty and have fun!” –Melanie Choukas-Bradley, naturalist and author of City of Trees

“Somewhere, in a book of advice on aging, I read a fine adage: Do something real every day. That’s good advice for people of every age. From the title of the book, through all of its pages of ideas and adventures, Marcie Chambers Cuff helps us remember what’s real and what makes kids and their families feel fully alive in a virtual age.” Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle

“Whether you live in a 20-story building in the middle of the city or on a 20-acre preserve, this beautifully illustrated book urges us all to explore the outdoors like never before. Full of fun, simple ideas and endless inspiration, Cuff’s book will help all ages get creative and get connected – to nature, to the process, and to the world in which we live.” –Bernadette Noll, author of Slow Family Living 

“A book that wonderfully captures the wandering and wonderment of my youth – and brings it to life again.  Part project, part prose, what was destined for my niece in New England, has managed to linger on my desk for too long.  I might even keep it for myself!” –M. Sanjayan, Lead Scientist and TV Host, The Nature Conservancy

“Marcie Cuff’s book is a treasure! Even a diehard nature-lover like me found new inspiration and ideas for getting my kid to put down the screens and come outside and explore, ask questions, and get our hands dirty while learning about this magnificent planet we share. Any parent who is frustrated by the draw of today’s relentless gadgets should bring this book home.” –Annie Leonard, author and host, The Story of Stuff

This Book Was a Tree is full of sparks to reignite your curiosity and engagement with the natural world around you.” –Toby A. Adams, Director of the Edible Academy, The New York Botanical Garden

“If we forget where we came from, we are lost.  Marcie’s book offers a path home and endless opportunities to learn.  We love what we know, so we have to begin with the knowing, and this book can help you begin.  This Book Was a Tree can help anyone to begin to love the natural world around them and want to be part of it.” –Ellen D. Ketterson, Distinguished Professor of Biology; Executive Producer, Ordinary Extraordinary Junco

“Marcie Chambers Cuff’s book, This Book Was a Tree, is a strong and creative shout out to all of us who are artists, teachers, naturalists, parents and simply, humans. This book begs us to put down our button pushing gadgets and challenges us to reconnect to the nature through pages of timeless projects, creative acts, and deep thought. From guerilla gardening to pinhole cameras to phenology, Ms. Cuff covers it all with the expertise of a scientist and a mother. This is not another book of “nature crafts” you can do with a paper plate or a corn husk. The introduction alone may bring you to tears with an urgent message speaking of global damage, environmental degradation, and ozone depletion. The author invites us to keep a foot in both worlds knowing that we can come to our senses through purposeful and fun exploration of the natural environment around us, no matter where we live. I applaud This Book Was a Tree for being a tree first and giving the author the pages to share with us the most important message of our time.” –Amy Butler, Director of Education for The North Branch Nature Center and founder of ECO – Educating Children Outdoors

 “It becomes obvious early on that writing This Book Was a Tree was a labor of love for author Marcie Chambers Cuff.  The passion in her words and conviction in her messages are real, and comforting.  Her message is simple: Step away from the A/V technology of the 21st century and go outside to experience the natural world.  Overcome the inertia of home comforts and go out and get dirty, poke things with a stick (dead things; which is how all wildlife biologists get their start), look around, use that acorn between your shoulders and become creative; think on your own.  This book is not just for city folk, nor is it just for kids.  It’s something to be shared between parent and child, teacher and student.  It belongs at home and in schools. It’s projects and adventures to be shared for years and among generations.” –Michael J. Petrula, Research and Management Biologist, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Anchorage, Alaska

Into The Wild

March 18th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

2HawkeyexDear Reader,

It’s been so very quiet here. But, not so very quiet in my real life. In fact, things are completely chaotic—not in an untamed neglected sort of way like a mid-winter attic or garage—but in an intense, stormy sort of way like choppy turbulent seas before a storm. In exactly two weeks, my hand-reared book will be released into the wild—an operation that is not without risks. My intention right now is to get it fit enough to be liberated with the best chance of survival.

The key thing to raising a healthy happy book is to understand the skills it needs to survive in the wild, and then try to impart those skills to the book before setting it free. Even getting this right is pointless if its habitat is too small or if there is some kind of book poaching going on. There is no point in releasing a book if someone is going to come and destroy it a few days later. That’s no fun.

It is hard to say, really, how my book will do. I think it has a reasonable chance though. I’ve been told by some that it’s “striking” and “elegant”—and it has gotten good reviews so far (more on those later this week). And the alternative of a life in captivity would be far worse. It’s been said that once a book gets used to captivity it’s very hard to re-release it because it won’t learn to hunt and survive. This is a wild book. There is no point in keeping it locked up.

Behind the work and care of every human involved in hand-rearing a book, there must be public support prior to the release date. And here is where I need your help. Without you, these last ditch efforts to save an entire species or subspecies of books is not possible. Click HERE to help.

The plight of my book is not the only story of its kind. Over and over again the same conclusion is reached: Captive breeding and reintroduction programs cannot succeed without long-term wild habitat preservation and protection. It was not too long ago that books were distributed to libraries and bookstores around the world, and many more roamed the prairies in large numbers. Sadly, they were hunted to near extinction in the wild at the turn of the century. Since then, in the hopes that population numbers will increase, captive breeding programs have sprung up.

After the book is RELEASED on April 1st, don’t hesitate to visit the book up-close in its natural habitat—nestled between other happy book species on the bookshelves of your local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support,

Marcie

P.S. If you opt to pre-order the book on Amazon, please join my campaign to replace the suggestion of purchasing “Hot Huez Hair Chalk” along with my book (which is the funny result of my friend Jenny’s nice mention of both my book and Hot Hues in the same great Friday blog roundup HERE). While purchasing my book, please do this: Spend a tiny bit extra (a mere 22 cents!) and instead purchase THIS along with MY BOOK. Send me a quick email that you’ve done this for me, and I’ll mail you a little handmade gift in return!

 

Official Book Trailer

November 19th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

So, what’s the book all about? For the most part, This Book Was a Tree is a book for grownups (with or without kids) who feel disconnected with the outside world. The book offers the opportunity to become reacquainted with the Earth—to look at the world with fresh eyes. The book issues a call for a new era of pioneers—not leathery, backwoods deerskin-wearing salt pork and hominy pioneers, but strong-minded, clever, crafty, mudpie-making, fort-building individuals committed to examining the natural world and deciphering nature’s perplexing puzzles.

Each chapter introduces a principle for reconnecting with the natural world, from learning to be still to understanding the importance of getting dirty. Engaged in hands-on creative activities, you will discover new ways to reanimate everyday life. With a mix of science and hands-on crafts and activities, the book will encourage you to brainstorm, imagine, and understand the world as an inventive scientist—to touch, collect, document, sketch, decode, analyze, experiment, unravel, interpret, compare, and reflect. This Book Was a Tree will inspire lasting change in your environmental awareness—one step, one action, one word at a time.

It’s coming soon. But not until April 1st. You will just have to preorder it and patiently wait. In anticipation of the book’s arrival, click on the book cover below to see the official book trailer. You can watch it ad nauseam until then. I’ll be working behind the scenes–setting up book events, working on a new author website–and will provide updates along the way.

 

Book Cover

Click here to see the book trailer.