"Through the Looking Glass" Blog-Birthday Party - Day 1

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Hello, ellow! I have been a bit silent the last few days, but I know you'll forgive me, as it was for a very good cause. Last Thursday the 12th, Fullness of Joy blog turned 3 years old.

3 jolly blessed years of sharing!

 . . . and I have been busy celebrating by eating cakes and jam biscuits and crying miserable little tears late into the night over Little Dorrit episodes  planning a rather special surprise. It is wonderfully thrilling, but also extraordinarily strange to look back over those years and see how this wee little blog has grown; how it aided me, its faltering authoress, to discover new things about life, faith, writing and stories, and cross paths with lovely new people that I otherwise might never have come to know. I am amazed, and so very, very grateful to the Lord for this special provision and encouragement in my life! Through blogging, the Lord has blessed me with  getting acquainted with many special and dear friends, kindred spirits who have encouraged me, built me up and helped me learn so much about myself and my calling as a young Christian reader and writer. . .
You all mean so much to me!

In turn, I have enjoyed the wonderful experience of sharpening my pen on the pages of this blog, giving me an outlet to share the things that are important to me about my life with God, my faith, my family, my personal interests, and of course writing and reading which take up a huge chunk of this blogging-business and my own personal life. I admit it! I have not  been the best of blog-writers - half the time I am as unprofessional as can be; my posts are full of glitches, grammatical typos, and digressions about how busy my life seems to be. . . I am not that faithful with posting, and when I do, my posts are. . . well, not really that deep, thought-provoking or entertaining as I should wish them to be.

But they are a little bit of me, of the life God has given me, and the thoughts and platitude of words that pass in a jumble through my head. And you, dear friends, have faithfully stuck by this blog, and endured my pathetic rambley posts, encouraged me to reach further up and further in - and have been great friends. You don't know how much this makes me feel blessed! Strange as it may seem, I don't think I would be the person (or writer or bibliophile) I am today, were it not for being able to have this blog and be a part of others' blogs as well. Now, as I look ahead, I don't know where and what Fullness of Joy blog will be like in future years, with much schoolwork and the busy-bustle of life cramming around; and I wonder, sometimes, if I can in anyway ever be a better blogger and writer (I hope to be, with God's help!). But I pray that I may be able to continue blogging for as long as I possibly can and, if I can in any, any way be a blessing to others, as many have been to me. . . than it is definitely worth it!

So, as you can see I owe so much to the blessing God has given me of blogging, and having blogging friends. And the passing of 3 years is a tiny weeny bit of a milestone for this blog, don't you think? So, in honour of the auspicious day (ahem, the birthday of this blog), I am hosting a special, week-long Blog-Birthday Bash (Party) here on Fullness of Joy. It so happens to be titled "Through the Looking Glass Literary Blog-Birthday Bash", because it will be a party all about books, and stories and all that wonderful stuff. . . (P.S. There might be a nice berry-and-cream cake hidden away with tea and biscuits at the end of things, if you care for that kind of thing!)

The order of things with this party is as follows. From today till next Wednesday, I will attempt posting daily a Literary-themed Tag which you can all join in and be a part of. Each tag will be focused on a particular theme or genre of Literature and should be an interesting and hopefully really fun thing to participate in (I will be joining in with you too, to add to the fun!) The special icing to the cake is this: for three years of blogging, and just to say "thank you, dear friends, so much for sticking around Fullness of Joy blog and making it special", I am hosting a fun Literary-themed giveaway with three prizes for three happy winners! The sponsors of the giveaway are Masha Laurence from Antique Fashionista, Casey from Tea and Tentacles, and Dru from theNestinSLT on etsy, who own lovely shops and are offering wonderful, charming literary items in this giveaway. Do head over and check out their lovely etsy stores :).
Here is the Party Week's Schedule:
Day 1 - "Historical Classics"
Day 2 - "Faith and Fantasy"
Day 3 - "Mystery and the Detectives"
Day 4 - "Children's Fiction"
Day 5 - "The Modern Novel And Ink-Stains"
Day 6 - "Non-Fiction Books"
Day 7 - "Books of Faith"
End of Birthday Party

Today's literary theme for the tag is: "Historical Classics". Please join in! Here is how you can join in and have fun with this party: copy the tag questions and respond to the questions on your own blog, making it all uniquely your own! Then, to add to the life of things, via the linky pool in each tag post, have fun mingling, visiting each other's blogs and getting to know one another better! The first few questions are a bit introductory, and then we will dig right in into the topic of historical/period drama classics. It will be a lot of stimulating, literary fun. . .
"Historical Classics" Tag
1. Tell us  a little bit about yourself, your tastes, and the little hobbies and things that your readers probably don't know about you!
2. Books! We really do love them. . . but we all have preferences of what kind of books we love best. What is your favourite genre to read from (and to write in, if you happen to be a writer too)? Could you tell us why?
3. Are you fond of classic literature or do you generally find them too "dry" and hard-going for your tastes? Alternately, how much of your reading diet consists of books written by authors of the 21st century? Are you more fond of the old books or the new. . . or maybe a little bit of both?
4. What is your favourite historical time period and setting? How did you come to be especially interested in it? Would you be happy to live in that time-period or era? 
5.. List three of your favourite classic authors (authors from the 1500s and up to the very early 1900s such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain etc. . . )? What makes you love them so much?
6. What type of "Historical classic" is your favourite: Adventure and exploration, romance, mystery, social, memoir, or political?
7. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from historical novels in literature, and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to attain yourself? 
8. Who are your favourite heroes from historical literature? (You may share up to five). What makes them stand out among the rest as special?
9.  List your favourite "classic" novels. . . (as this is a painful question, you may list more than one!)
10. Which period-drama movies, (adaptions from historical classic works of fiction), fall under your favourite pile? Do you prefer the more modern adaptions or the old ones? Faithful renditions, or the more exciting ones?
11. Which historical classic has inspired and influenced you the most?
12. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite period drama costumes (hats, hoops, gloves, parasols, etc) and from which movie/character they come from.
13. How accurate do you think classic authors were about depicting history and accuracy of different cultures? Were they sometimes prejudiced or melodramatic in their descriptions, or do you think they often had a point to make?  
14. Think of the funniest "scene" in either a book or movie from classic literature, and share the quote/picture below (Gifs and animations allowed!)
15. Which villain of historical literature strikes the most dread and loathing in you?
16.  How many Charles Dickens novels have you read? Do you enthusiastically love his stories, or sob in misery over them, or worse get bored by them?
17. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, or Elizabeth Gaskall?
18. Favourite French Revolution novel?
19. North and South or Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton? 
20. Which historical classic struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
21. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in literature of this genre? 
22. List five "Historical Classics" you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
23. What was the first historical classic novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
24. What would inspire you to pick up a historical piece of literature - namely a "classic"? Do you believe it is important for our generation to get back to reading the classics? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of treasuring historical stories written by authors of the past?

Thanks so much for joining up in this tag! If you enjoyed this topic, check back tomorrow for the next "theme tag" which will be about faith and fantasy ^_^. 
(I will also be posting my tag-responses later on the 1st day)

And now, we come to the grand giveaway! What are the special prizes? How can you all enter? Three fabulous shops are sponsoring beautiful prizes, and at the end of the blog-party, I will be drawing three winners to win the prizes from the three shops. To enter the giveaway, enter in the Rafflecopter below - and remember, every time you join in the week-long tags, you will win extra points in your chances of being a winner of one of these lovely literary products. . . 
No. 1 "Austen Artwork" Prize

*Sense and Sensibility art print. Jane Austen
Handmade art print item.
Dimensions: 5x7 inches
Materials: watercolour paper, watercolours
"This art print depicts Marianne Dashwood, on her fateful walk through the pleasure grounds and shrubberies of Cleveland, as she indulged in sad dreams of Willoughby, who is now lost to her forever. 
The print measures 5x7 inches and is done on archival quality photo paper. It will come to you in a protective plastic sleeve. 
All . . . items come gift wrapped in a brown paper package, sealed with Antique Fashionista wax seal."

*Persuasion 5x7 art print from original watercolour "Waiting"
Handmade art print item
Material: ultra brite matte paper
This is a print of one of my first Jane Austen watercolors titled Waiting inspired by Persuasion, my favorite J.A. work. It depicts Anne looking out at the sea at Lyme and thinking of Captain Wentworth. This listing is for an 5x7 digital print. Not framed. Printed on archival quality matte finish photo paper . Colors may vary slightly due to monitor differences. It will come to you in a protective plastic sleeve. All my pieces come beautifully wrapped in my signature brown paper package, tied with string and sealed with unique Antique Fashionista wax seal.
Please visit my blog at antiquefashionista.blogspot.com if you are interested to see some of my other pieces and how I paint my watercolors.
* These charming paintings of Jane Austen's characters, handmade by the lovely Masha Laurence, from Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion can work beautifully as charming, feminine bookmarks, or lovely posters to frame and place among one's favourite classics on a bookcase. One winner will win both art prints :)
No 2. "Les Miserables Literary-Necklace" Prize
Tea and Tentacles

*Les Miserables Necklace, Victor Hugo, Musicals, Classic Literature, Books, Library T1161
- "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise"
Handmade item
Materials: antique bronze chain, antique bronze pendant, antique bronze, print, digital art, digital collage, art, pendant, glass, glass dome, dome, 1 inch digital collage, 1 inch circle.
This high quality image is enhanced with a glass dome to add depth and set in a 1" antique finished pendant bezel. Each pendant comes with a matching 24" chain. 
This gorgeous glass pendant with the "Les Miserables" quote from the musical "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise" is not only a beautiful piece of literary artwork for any Les-Miserables fan, but also a lovely inspirational quote from an inspiring tale that can personally inspire you. Casey does some beautiful literary pendants in her shop; this particular pendant can be a beautiful, vintage necklace "statement piece" and also work as an excellent, handy bookmarker to keep you on track as you plow through a 500 page tome by Dickens or Alexandre Dumas! 
No. 3 "Set of Handmade Scripture Gift Tags" Prize
- The NestinSLT

Set of "Scripture" Gift Tags - "The Lord will give strength unto His people"
Handmade item
Materials: card stock, ribbon
These handmade tags feature a scripture from the book of Psalms "The Lord will give strength unto his people" ~ such an encouragement for persons of faith. Tags measure approx. 2 1/4/x 3 1/4", are blank on the back for your message, and tied with double lengths of violet seam binding. You will receive a set of 6. Color of ribbon can be changed upon request.
This set of Scripture tags are beautiful - and with such a wonderful, uplifting verse! While wonderful for using in gifts with friends, this set of 6 tags can work wonderfully as a bookmark in a devotional read, or even in your daily Bible reading.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



27 sweet note(s):

  1. Yay! This is exciting!! :D I've entered the giveaway... and I shall try and keep up with the tags on my blog too... What a truly lovely idea!

    Oh, and happy blogging birthday to you, dear Joy! :) <3 <3

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Emily! I am so happy you're joining in the party and I look forward to reading your coming book-tag posts :) *so happy!!*

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  2. Ok! I've finished my first tag! :D http://amityinchrist.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. I just checked it out and enjoyed your responses immensely, Emily. Thank you so much for joining in =)

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  3. Thanks so much for the personal invitation, Joy! It is too late for me to start a blog project tonight, but I will try to join in tomorrow morning, okay? What can be more fun than talking about great books. :-)

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    1. You may join in blog party tags any time you like, Mrs. Stengl! (This party is a week long one :)). But I am so excited you're joining; that will be simply lovely!

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  4. Congratulations on three years of blogging, Joy! It's always fun to meet another blogger who loves writing, loves good books, and most of all, loves the Lord. :) I still remember stumbling upon your blog and commenting on your Crown of Life characters, and lo and behold YOU COMMENTED BACK! :)

    This giveaway looks lovely. Quick question--since I already follow your blog and follow you on Pinterest, can I enter those categories as well?

    Looking forward to the other tags you'll do!

    Much Love,
    Schuyler

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    1. Dearest Schuyler, thank you so much for your sweet words - I feel just as blessed about having met someone like you with the same loves and interests and also living the godly Christian life <3. You have been one of my closest and most active encouragers of this blog, and a dear friend too. Your encouragement and "sharpening me" in the works of the classics and how we can apply our faith to them really uplifted and challenged me a lot (STILL DOES!!). Your blog has equelly been a great source of blessing and fun for me - I am so glad you found my blog all this time ago, and that you commented so sweetly and that I got to know you. A special blessing from the Lord! I remember that time when I first read your comment. . . do you remember our subsequent comment chat about our writing? :)

      Oh by the way, you sure can enter the categories you mentioned above in the giveaway!! Please do, you are a wonderful follower :)

      P. S. I am really slow with this blog party, but Lord willing I plan on posting my response to this tag tomorrow as well as a new set of tag-questions. Thanks for particapting, Schuyler. Blessings <3

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  5. Okay, here is my first post joining in: http://commandedwriter.blogspot.com/2014/06/joys-q-day-1.html Thank you for hosting this event! Happy Birthday, Fullness of Joy blog!

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    1. Thanks so much for participating, Esther! I was so happy to see you join and I really enjoyed your responses to the tag :). I shall try to comment soon and start the next tag as well :). God bless!

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  6. Okay, I joined the party! Here is the link to my answers. Are you going to answer your own questions, Joy?

    http://jillstengl.blogspot.com/2014/06/literary-blog-party-time.html

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    1. Thank you so very much for joining in the party tag, Mrs. Stengl! I was so thrilled to see you participate in this party and really enjoyed reading your answers on your blog. I hope to comment on it soon :).

      Oh yes, I do plan on doing so in answering my own questions, (in fact that is what is delaying my next tag post. Hopefully it will be up tomorrow along with the new tag about fantasy novels :).

      Many blessings!!

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  7. Congrats on your blog turning 3!!! Our blogs are like...what? A month apart in age?! (lol, I sound like a mother there, but whatever. You know what I mean. xD) HUZZAH for epic years of blogging! I know I'm still learning so so much, so I think that never ends. It's really exciting to meet lots of people, though with blogging. Lurve it. x)

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    1. Thanks, dear Cait, so much! :)

      I know. . . it is sweet how close our blog birthdays are, and saying that sounds like we are speaking of our babies or something ;)!

      Yes, I have been learning so much about blogging too, but there is so much more I wish I did better. . . it sure takes time; but is a load of fun and special because I got to meet wonderful people like you!

      Blessings :).

      P. S. Do you plan on entering into any of the tags? I hope you do!

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  8. This looks awesome. Thanks, Joy for inviting me to be part of celebrating your blog's 3rd birthday. I'm very honored. I will do my best in participating. This should be fun!

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Grabrielle, for your sweet words! I really enjoyed your responses to this tag, and I am so glad you are participating in the party too :)!!

      Blessings :)

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  9. 3 years seem to fly don't they ? I have been blogging for about that much time and its been, refreshing and also hard.
    What about you ? I will definitely be joining in, hopefully each day, If I have the time. I love the topics of the tags already. Congrats on this auspicious occasion.
    Blessings Rachel Hope

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    1. They sure do, Rachel!! I also love your blog and what you share has so often been really inspirational. Like you, blogging has been mostly a great refreshment for me, a hobby and a way to express myself and share with other like-minded friends :) - it hasn't been always easy, no, but it has been fun!

      Thank you so much, Rachel! I do look forward to seeing your responses to the tags :). God bless!

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  10. Happy Birthday to your blog! I am very excited about your party and I look forward to the questions. You are a lovely person and I am so glad to have found your blog. :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, dear Elizabeth! You are one of my blog-readers who have been with me from back early on and seen my blog develop, falter and mess up and all, but you have been a sweet encourager and blog friend. Aw, you are a beautiful person too and I am glad that you did :D

      I enjoyed your answers to my tag and look forward to your participation in the rest of them too!

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  11. What fun! I look forward to your other tags!

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    1. Thanks for joining the party! I loved your first tag response. . . Lord willing I will have the next tag up today!
      God bless :)

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  12. I love this idea so much -
    when will the Faith & Fantasy questions be out??

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    1. Thanks, Mirriam! The tag questions for Faith and Fantasy will be about today, hopefully. Sorry about the delay but I hope you can still join in :)).

      Blessings!!

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  13. This is lovely! And i am so pleased to be celebrating this with my 50th blog post:)}

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    1. Thank you much, Lilly! I am so glad you joined in the tag and are participating in the party. I have also loved discoveting you and your blog!
      God bless :)

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"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body..." ~Proverbs 16:24

It is a great delight to hear from viewers of this blog! Comments always make blogging a lot more fun, rewarding, engaging as well as being a blessing. So please type away! I try, busy schedule not hindering, to respond to each comment. And while you're at it, it will be lovely if you could sign the Guestbook page. Just please remember to keep your comments gracious and God-honouring at all times. Thank you!