The Raven Cafe


A wonderful Sketch of Edgar Allan Poe, hung right by our table.

Have you ever stumbled upon something or someplace unique, that you probably would have never seen or done, because you were never expecting to go there.  But it made such an impression on you, that you had to immediately take to social media to spread the word? No? Just me then… anyway perhaps you enjoyed it to the extent that you both want and don’t want to share it with the masses or even your friends (perhaps you are a secret spot hoarder) or maybe you want it both ways, after all if no one were to ever go there the establishment may go out of business or that sweet spot disappear.

I was faced with this conundrum, just the other day, after driving some equipment my husband had forgotten, that he needed for his job site in Port Huron, Michigan, (roughly 2 hours from my house).. Since I did him a favor he was kind enough to take me out to lunch.  Driving around the few main streets of Port Huron, we found the atmospheric Raven Cafe



Located in a 2 story brick building, with 2 levels that you can eat on, including a sweet little (very little) balcony with a semi-nice view of the river.  Tiffany lighting, an aged oak bar, exposed brick, poster art and bookshelves filled with real actual books that you can touch and read, fill the interior.  Seriously, could you ask for more in a restaurant.  But wait it gets better ( I know right how could it possibly), the menu is themed, what’s that you say? that’s lame, no, no it’s not friends, not when the theme is Edgar Allan Poe, now your on board right, right? The Menu had some neat illustrations as well as snippets from Poe’s poems, plus most of the dishes has cool names like the Ruben my husband ordered call the Pit and Pendulum, I ordered the french onion soup with the Eldorado salad (no cool names for me).  The food was yummy and they serve lot’s of cool coffees and craft beers, neither of which I tried. Our server, Patrick had just the right balance of making sure we had everything we needed, without being annoying by coming over too much.  That’s a fine art in the serving world believe me.  Overall it was a cozy atmosphere where you could have drinks and read or enjoy a leisurely lunch.  I’m already plotting a return trip.  Check out some more photo’s below, they are not the greatest has I only had my phone.




Books, they also had some more contemporary titles.


each table top was different, either featuring artwork or old photographs.





the balcony


The Pit and Pendulum grilled ruben


Even all the graffiti in the bathroom was meant to be inspirational.


the womans restroom, add cool old school advertisements on the walls.

The view from the top of the stairs.

The view from the top of the stairs.


Altered Books: Spell Books

If your like me, you love to see all the cool things people do with old books, but at the same time your sad, because the books are then ruined and can’t be read anymore.  However, in thinking it through, I feel it’s ok if the book is damaged beyond repair.  Actually for the ones that just use book pages, you could in fact make copies of them, to use in the craft project.  In the case of the book I’m going to show you, it was an extremely out of date text-book with a stain on the cover.  So I decided to make it into a Halloween decoration. I know, I know Halloween is still a couple of months off, garage sales and flea markets, however are going on now, and those are perfect places to get yourself some out of date or damaged books.  Or you could in fact use card board and blank pages to make it a little better and be able to be opened.  Let’s get started.

20131025_134621 To make this version you will need the following supplies

1. an old book

2. tissue paper (white or any color you may have on hand)

3. mod podge

4. craft paints black and gold or copper

5. push pins with the flat tops

6. small plastic skeleton and bat toys ( I got mine at Wall Mart last Halloween)

7. brushes or sponge brushes to apply mod podge and paint

8.letter stickers in color of your choice; I used gold

9. hot glue


Before getting started, make sure to brush any dust or dirt off the book, crumple up the tissue paper and then smooth back out. (Pictures Below)


Step 1: cut the wings off the bat, hot glue them either to the skeleton or directly on the book

Step 2: place the skeleton carefully within the wings and hot glue it to the book

Step 3: spread the crumpled tissue paper over the book and skeleton, making sure it wraps around the spine

Step 4:  spread the mod podge over the tissue paper, make sure you get into the dents around the spine and into all the nooks of the skeleton (allow to dry for a bit)

Step 5: mod podge more tissue paper to the back of the book

Step 6: hammer a push-pin into each of the corners of the book

Step 7: paint both sides and the spine black (allow to dry)

Step 8: using the gold paint and a dry bristle brush start lightly brushing over the skeleton, push pins and a crinkled pieces of the paper

Step 9: apply the letter stickers to the spine of the book ( mine just says Spells but you can put whatever you want)

20131025_150141 20131025_130304 20131025_111352




















20131025_145534 To make this one you will need the following supplies

1. an old book

2. tacky or Elmers glue

3. a plastic spider

4. paints black and copper

5. brushes to paint with

6. letter stickers in your choice of color (again I used gold)



Before getting started make sure to brush of any dust or dirt from the book.

Step 1: using the glue make a spider web pattern (covering the entire cover of the book)

Step 2: put a fairly good size dollop of glue in the center

Step 3: push the spider into the dollop of glue

Step 4: allow the glue to dry (it needs to be hardened for the next step)

Step 5: paint the entire book black, using care to make sure all the glue and spider is covered (allow to dry)

Step 6: apply the letter stickers to the spine (mine says potions)

Step 7: (optional) using a dry brush slightly brush some of the raised areas to highlight the spider or web.



There you have to easy altered book craft projects, that look cool stacked up on a table or bookcase for a creepy haunted Halloween display.  I made several so I could have a good-sized stack.  What about you, have you ever altered a book? Would you?


Thanks for Stopping by, as always comments, suggestions and thoughts are always welcomed.



Book Blogger Test/Questionnaire

Books = happiness

I  have had this saved in my drafts folder, for a while now.  It’s not really a test, more like a questionnaire.  I originally got the post idea from a blog I follow, thethousandlives.  Since then, I have seen it on several other book blogs, so,  I finally decided that I would go ahead and post it, as a fun post that will perhaps, help you to know more about my reading style and what I like to read.  Well, I like to read everything but anyways on to the question and answers.

What are your top three book pet peeves?

1. Overly descriptive passages; I’m not talking normal descriptive, I’m talking where ever other paragraph is a description of what someone is wearing or what is going on, on the street.  It is alright if it enhances the book and is not done repetitively through out the book.  I once read a book that described the heroine getting dressed every other chapter, what all was involved, the colors of each garment if it had lace or what material it was made out of.  It was suppose to be a book about hookers in the 19th century.  To this day it is one of the few books I have started and never finished, and as far as I’m concerned it was not about hookers it was about clothing.

2. The ultra slow moving plot; there is a point where so much of the story needs to be explained too much and the plot stalls, falters or moves in another direction, without the twist.  Where you feel it becomes boring and you feel if the book is never going to end.  Sometimes authors pull it out of it’s rut and the story finishes wonderfully, other times they leave you feeling, blah, about the story.

3.Love triangles; this seems to happen most in YA and Romance novels, however, it’s way overdone and is usually the same three styles of characters.  Sometimes it seems plausible, but mostly it just seems stupid.  Surly there is some other plot line that authors could think of.


Describe your perfect reading spot

Well, I would really like to say on a big comfy porch swing, where I could enjoy the outdoors while reading.  But I don’t have a porch or rather one that is big enough for a swing or even a chair.  In reality, I mostly read on our big comfy couch.

A screened-porch with a bed porch swing. Backyard porch design ideas and home decor

my kind of porch swing



Tell us three book confessions.

1. I buy a lot of bookmarks, I mean A LOT, but then I never use them. Hangs head in Shame, I mostly use scraps of paper or gum wrappers.  If I read on my Nook then I don’t need one at all.

2. I never finished the Hunger Games trilogy, in fact I think I read the first book and half of the second book.  Dystopian is not really my thing.

3. If I had not met and married my husband, I would have ended up on an episode of Hoarders.  Crushed beneath a sea of books.  He keeps my book buying in check.

Bonus: I get upset when a book lures me in with awesome cover art, but doesn’t deliver with the story.  I feel like I was tricked.  Because let’s face it, the cover is why you pick up the book in the first place.


When was the last time you cried during a book?

Just last weekend, I laughed so hard I cried, while listening to the audio book Life of the Party.  Honestly though I cry all the time while reading sometimes because I am happy for the characters or sometimes because I am sad for them.  I like books that take me on an emotional rollercoster.  Sick, I know.


How many books are on your bedside table?

There is only 1, because it’s my Nook, which in turn holds hundreds of books. It depends on how you want to count that.


What is your favorite snack to eat while reading?

I read while I eat lunch either at work or at home, sometimes dinner too depending on what my husband and son are doing during dinner.  But if I am spending the afternoon reading I tend to munch on popcorn and then get irritated with myself if there is grease spots on the pages.


Name three books you’d recommend to everyone.

1. The Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig; these are fabulous, being both chick lit and historical fiction.  They have a fun upbeat tone to them and they move along well. Something for everyone.

2. The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder; simply because they are my favorite books from when I was a child, and let’s not kid, from right now.  My copies are falling apart, because I read them all of the time, and now that I talked about it, I want to read them again.

3.  I can’t think of another that I would recommend for everyone, I tell people all the time what books I just finished and they too should read them.  Basically find something that interests you and read it. My taste in books is fairly eclectic and a lot of main stream books I end up not liking.


Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.

All of my book cases are my favorites.  But I guess this one is my ultimate favorite because it holds my first editions of “antique” books plus decorations from my wedding.






What is your biggest reading secret?

This question sounds so intense.  But really I’m not sure I have any that I would call secrets, perhaps things I don’t like to tell judgmental people.  Anyway I guess It would have to be that I (drum roll) like to read children’s books, and gasp I liked the Twilight books (not the movies though).  Also, I read history books, of the non-fiction variety, big fat ones with lot’s of facts in them.


Write how much books mean to you in three words.

I don’t think three words are enough.  They kept me company during the school years (school was hell for me from elementary to high school it sucked) they are an escape from everyday life, and a glimpse into the past.  I love books not only for the stories within, but for the wonderful art that they themselves are.  Plus they smell good.


What about you? Do you have any reading/book secrets that you’d like to share?


Wordy Wednesday

Trying out, yet another new feature.  I like words, words are required to write books, I like books.  Knowing the definition of a word, helps you to understand the story, ergo, you need words to enjoy a story.  I enjoy making and looking at artwork, therefore I will include a photo, or other artwork to ensure a better understanding of the word.  Already, thinking that I will enjoy this more than the other Wednesday post, that I was participating in.

In honor of spring, todays word is:



Syllabification: pet·ri·chor


—-A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather   (definition brought to you by the Oxford Dictionary)

Photo taken October 2012 by Helois Wegrzyn

Photo taken October 2012 by Helois Wegrzyn




All Around the Web

I’ve seen some roundup type stuff, dome on lot’s of other blogs, and I have been playing around with the idea for a while now and I figured I’d give it ago and see how it does.  Basically, it’s a place where I can share all the items, photo’s,  blog posts and other stuff that I have found fascinating or interesting or sharable from around the great world-wide web (does anyone even call it that anymore? or did I just date myself?).  This week’s round-up is a little small as, I wasn’t sure I was going to post it.  However, I read a lot of blogs, news articles, and spend a fair amount of time just browsing through things on the web. So, I thought that I would share.  It won’t be all about books, I mean sure sometimes it probably will be mostly about books, but I do like other things as well, such as photography and decorating and crafts, and… well you get the idea.  I hope you enjoy these links as much as I did.


Over at 101 books  they talk about their  Bookish Pet Peeve , this is number 5 but contains the links to the other’s as well.  I have to say that this one is exactly how I feel when people ask me to borrow books.  Though I tend to just say I’m sorry I don’t loan my books out since I’ve had several bad experiences, it works for the most part, and is true.


Over at they have listed 16 books to read before the movie comes out this year.  Out of the 16 I have only read 1 of them, ok I listened to the audio book, Anyway it was  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn you can see what I thought here.  Apparently though I need to get on it, if I want to keep my Page to Screen segment going.


A Russian woman has taken photo’s of her two son’s at their farm and it’s Magical. This is currently making the rounds on Facebook but it’s worth another look even if you’ve already seen it.


I found the “Netflix” of books, it’s call Scribd and you can sign up for unlimited rentals of E-books for $8.99 a month


Life Time, has done a remake of Flowers in the Attic, let’s hope it’s better than the 1987 version, not sure I’m going to watch it though, the book creeps me out.

Banned Book Week, September 22 -28, 2013

banned book


What is banned book week?

Banned book week, is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read, by drawing attention to banned or challenged books.  In the United States this means keeping banned and challenged books available for individuals to obtain their own view points or opinions of books that many believe to have unorthodox or unpopular view points.

Usually held during the last week of September, the event encourages readers to examine challenged literature, and also promotes intellectual freedom  in libraries, schools, and stores. The goal is “to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the restraints that are still imposed on the availability of information in a free society.”

For more information regarding Banned Book Week, please visit


What is a Banned Book?

A banned book, is a book that free access is denied.  In other words a group or a person is protesting that the book is not suitable for a certain age group or for the general public.  This challenge is based on several factors but is most often based on political, religious or moral ideas that are unpopular, offensive to that group or unorthodox.


What is the Difference Between a Banned Book and a Challenged Book?

A challenge is an attempt to have the book removed based on the objections of certain groups.

 A banning is the removal of those materials from the mainstream library or schools.


Why Should You Care?

The banning or challenging of a book, is based on one person or a certain group of people’s view-point or moral code.  As with any censorship this is an attempt to stop anyone else from having an opinion or view-point of their own.  As citizens of the United States the First amendment is suppose to help stop censorship, each person should be given the chance to say this is ok or not ok for myself or my children to read, write or anything else.  Censorship of books is saying that you as a normal law-abiding citizen is not capable of making that choice on your own, someone else is choosing for you, and that is not ok.


Some of the Most Popular Banned Books:

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling

The Davinci Code by Dan Brown


The Top 5 Challenged Books of 2012:

Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey

The absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James

and Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


I encourage you all to read a banned or challenge book and choose to make your own opinion.

Thanks for Stopping By