September 29, 2010

Enter to win a $100 gift certificate

While I generally like to keep the topics that I post about on this blog relevant to the subject of Girl Guiding and Scouting, occasionally when I feel that something is too interesting not to discuss it pops up here :-)

As I know many of my fellow patch collecting enthusiasts also have a broad range of other interests (including reading – which has always been a lifelong passion of mine), I thought that now would be a great time to tell you about a fantastic new book notification service that my husband (Tony) recently came up with.

Called, the straightforward website that my husband and I proceeded to produce works like this: you visit the site, select one or more categories from a list of (currently) 42 different genres of books (there truly is something for everyone!), enter your email address, and presto, once a week we’ll send you an email newsletter with a selection of newly released books in the categories of your choice (one email per category).

While, unfortunately, there are few books released that are specifically all about Guiding and Scouting, there are tons of books that can be applied to these areas. For example, cookbooks about outdoor cooking work great for those who love to camp and spend time outdoors, whereas craft books can provide tons of interesting ideas to help keep Guiding members of all ages occupied during meetings, sleepovers, and camps. Books about everything from being a team leader to history, sports to ecology and green living can be useful to those involved with Girl Guiding and Scouting - which is all the more reason why it’s super handy to stay abreast of new books that come out on such topics. Luckily, can help you do just that.

{From the youngest Spark to the most venerable of Trefoil Guild members, no matter your age or areas of interest, there are always terrific new books coming out that are worth knowing about. allows you to just that, thanks to its weekly email updates for the categories that you selected upon sign up. Brownie clipart image via Girl Guides of Canada.}

Any New Books? Is an entirely free email notification service that’s here to ensure that you never miss a great new book (on the subjects that are nearest to your heart) again. To celebrate its recent launch and to share this great site with my lovely blogging visitors and friends, Any New Books? and my vintage themed blog, Chronically Vintage, have teamed up to give away a $100.00 (US) gift certificate to one lucky reader!

For more details about, and to enter, the $100.00 gift certificate giveaway (which will run until Monday October 4, 2010), please be sure to swing by Chronically Vintage.

Thank you very much for checking out Please feel free to let anyone you wish (from fellow Guiders to your children’s teachers and librarians) know about this useful new way to stay up-to-date on terrific book release.

Many thanks again and happy reading, my fellow booklovers! :-)

September 14, 2010

Checking in with my fellow patch traders

Hi everyone, this quick little post is to say that, no, contrary to popular belief, I have not fallen off the face of the earth! :)

As those who follow this blog and/or know me from elsewhere may be aware, I’ve been going through a very challenging time with my health this year (well, for much longer than that, but 2010 has been fraught with new issues on the medical front).

About three weeks ago I surgery to (hopefully!) aid one of my (more recent) health problems, and remain steadfastly optimistic that I’ll eventually be able to get help for some of the other pressing medical issues that are dominating my life at the moment.

But enough of all that drearily serious talk! With the hours of sunlight already getting shorter each day and that familiar zesty nip of fall swirling through the air, there’s no skirting around the fact that (for those in the Northern Hemisphere) summer is gingerly meandering its way to a close.

As we slip into the familiar rituals of fall, I am, year after year, struck by the pleasantness of memories filled with childhood Septembers when new Guiding years commenced and once again weekly meetings brought evenings spent intently focusing on such things as badge work, challenges of all sorts, volunteer activity planning, cookie selling, campfires, rousing songs, lessons learned, and friendships formed.

I’ve always felt there was an undeniable buzz to September, rich as it is with new beginnings and anticipated events. From school years to the once-again wearing of cozy sweaters, the launch of the end-of-the-year holiday season (which, depending on who you ask here in Canada, kicks off with either Labour Day or Thanksgiving in October) to the autumn harvest teaming with toothsome apples, pears, and early season root vegetables.

With the fun-filled frenzy of another summer quickly falling behind us, the upbeat tempo of September gives way to a sort of magical autumnal tranquility. Lingering between the excitement of summer and the whirlwind weeks of December, this time of the year is one of the best in which to rekindle favourite pastimes – and what better hobby to once again dive headfirst into than Girl Guide and Girl Scout patch trading?

For those of us still diligently trading patches, the past few years have seen a sharp, ongoing decline in our ranks, but I know that there are still many of us, scattered as we may be around the globe, who are still passionate about this hobby (and/or who are looking to get back into it again).

Now, as the cooler days slip into our midst and evenings spent at nestled at home seem inviting once more, why not take some time to reconnect with past swapping partners or to make new ones? Sort through your patch collection (who hasn’t gone to organize their patches before, only to find you had more dupes than you thought?), spend time sharing your zeal for patch collecting with the younger Guiding members in your life (it’s never too early to get children interested in this rewarding hobby), shot an email to a dear Guiding friend, and enjoy the simple joys that come with being a patch, badge, pin or any other sort of Girl Guide memorabilia collector.

{Autumn, as the new Guiding year takes off, is amongst the beast seasons during which to divulge in your love of patch collecting and trading. This photo, which I shot last fall, shows a small selection of the GGC fun/camp related patches in my collection.}

Though I know that until my health improves further I won’t be able to spend quite as much time online as I’d ideally like to, my email inbox is always open (and checked frequently). If you’d like to swap patches with me (or simply shot the Guiding breeze), be sure to swing by my Dupes and Traders list, than zip an email my way.

Gather together, fellow badge swappers, and lets all start autumn off on a stellar patch trading note! :)