Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Woman In White a book review

A masterpiece!

 This was a book I have had on my “to read” list since seeing it referred to in The Thirteenth Tale. I have been sprinkling in a classic here and there throughout my reading for a few years now. I picked it up as an audio book to listen to while sewing. I am so glad I chose this method as the various narrators gave the story life. Also at over 600 pages I would have put it off, choosing to get more books on my list read first. That would have been a big mistake! As I listened to this book I found myself questioning whether this was really written in the late 1800’s as I had thought. The writing was very contemporary and very easy to listen to. The plot in the beginning was simple enough and after a bit I thought editors today would have suggested cutting a lot out but then a new twist would be introduced and the story would grow more interesting. Mr. Collins did a superb job developing his characters and the story continued to unfold in a suspenseful way that keeps you wanting more. I actually sewed much longer than normal so I could continue to hear the story! This is a must read! A great book for discussion and a wonderful example of classic writing.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My 1st trip on the 127 Worlds Longest Yard Sale. I am tired and broke!

So, I'm not sure what is going on with blogger but I can not figure out how to get my text to be where I want it so my post will be strange.  Sorry about that.

I got home today from my 1st trip to the Rt. 127 Yard Sale. My Sister and I left Thursday Morning and joined the sales in Florence, KY.  Unfortunitaly I was on a budget this trip so I was very picky about what I purchased.  We found some great stuff right off the bat!  I was mainly looking for vintage linens that I could use for the new bags I am making. Also fabrics I could use for my re~purposed pillows. Many of the set ups were large flea market's with 100 or more vendor's set up. These tended to be higher priced because the sellers were regular dealers and paid a fee for their spaces but I was lucky enough to find a few dealers who had some items they were willing to let go at reasonable prices that allows me to not have to charge so much for my products. These stops make it easier because you don't have to get in and out of the car so much. A bit farther down the road we went off 127 to a home that had some great deals and they were very nice to work with. Next was a small town with lots of individuals set up in parking lots of businesses. We stumbled upon a family selling their Grandmother's estate items. This was where I spent what I had left! We had not even gone 30 miles yet. We had made many stops and did not get far our first day. On Friday we started out from Frankfort,KY. We were going to try the smaller personal sales more this day but the pull to try to get as much done in one stop and having stoped at a few small sites that were disappointing we ended up at stops with at least 10 vendors. Again, we found more good buys and I had to start a tab with my sister. She is such a good to me! Anyway, she really wanted to get to Tennessee so we got more selective and stopped going to the large sales. Much of the offerings in the large sales began to be all the same. We crossed the border and the dynamic quickly changed. In the mountain area there were not so many wide spaces for the larger sales, where we got to anyway. By 4:00 we knew we needed to call it a day because we needed to be home that night. So, we were deeper into TN than we thought and we decided to take a small route east to Knoxville so we could catch I75 and get home faster. The small rural road was very curvy and slow but beautiful! It took us 7 hours to drive home from Knoxville. We got to my sisters at midnight so I stayed with her and came on home Sat. around 1:00 after sleeping in! I saw many garage sales on my way home and my 1st thought was do I stop? And my 2nd thought was Oh, No Way!LOL I have added some images of a few of my finds but there is more! I left these at my Sisters for her to soak and wash to work on the stains. I'll post them later this week.

I am so excited to get started on my new creations!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I am headed to the 127 longest yard sale tomorrow!

Tomorrow Morning I am headed South from Dayton, Ohio with my sister to experience the longest yard sale. I have never done it before and I am very excited to see what it will be like. I see us stopping every few minutes and not even making it 100 miles LOL! We plan on coming home sometime Friday night. I am on a strict budget and have a list of what I want so hopefully this will keep me from unnecessary purchases. We are also driving a smallish car so we won't have room for a lot.
These are some items I purchased at a large neighborhood sale. My favorite is the feed sack quilt. I will be making pillows for my glider out of it soon. I tried to add the link for the 127 sale but am not having any luck so you can Google

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Loved this book!

 I know you are not suppose to judge a book by its cover but when I saw this book on my local book store’s counter it jumped right out at me. Then I read this quote on the cover.

“My grandmother said she prays for me every day. Which is funny, because I’d only ever heard Mamie pray, “Dear Lord, give me strength.” That sure sounded like a prayer for herself - and Mrs. Knopp in Sunday school always said our prayers should only ask for things for others. Once I made a mistake of saying that out loud to Mamie and got slapped into next Tuesday for my sassy mouth. My mouth always worked a whole lot faster than my good sense.”

It had me. I asked about it but they had just received it and it wasn't being released yet. Bummer! My friend then gave me her advanced copy to read, Yeah!
If you liked The Secret Life of Bee’s or The Help you will love this book. This has got to become a movie!

The story is about Starla, a feisty, nine year old who is being raised by her Grandmother while her Father is working on an oil rig and her Mother, who left when Starla was 3 is in Nashville trying to become a famous singer. Life with Mamie gets hard and Starla decides she is going to go live with her Mom in Nashville and is sure her Daddy will come live with them too and they will be a happy family. The adventures start when Starla runs a way and is picked up by Eula and as another reviewer says “ The inseparable bonds and relationship that develops between Eula and Starla is the stuff compelling novels, that leave a hole in your heart are made of.”

I love the story being told from a 9 year old child’s perspective. The southern slang and phrases she uses makes me laugh. Her innocence about how she sees the world is so real. When the Bible says we should be as the little children, I think this is what it’s talking about!

Miss Crandall has many words of wisdom to share with us throughout the story but the one that sums up most of what this story said to me says. “My daddy always said being brave wasn’t not being scared. Being brave was keeping going when you were.”

I gave this book 5 stars because the messages throughout the book are thought provoking and heartwarming. The relationship between Starla and Eula makes me want to cry and cheer. I loved several of the characters and they will stay with me for a long time.  If you need a good book for discussion this one is it! 
Don't wait, read it this weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yarn bombing and other crafts

I have become a part of several different artist groups over the past few months.  This group is by
far the most fun ;)  I have been asked to participate in a Yarn Bombing in an adjacent town.  Since I am just learning crochet I thought this would be a great way to practice stitches.  I am having lots of fun working with strange combinations I would not usually put together.  It has helped me get out of my safety zone.  This piece when finished will be 15 x 41 inches!  If you are not familiar with what this is I am adding a link to some examples. 

While working on my piece today I sat on my front porch and listened to Major Pettigrews Last Stand.  Since I am doing so much sewing and it doesn't leave me much time to read I have decide to listen to some of the books on my Goodreads list of books to read.  This list is growing ever longer since I keep looking at their suggestions! 

I have been very neglectful of my blog of late because of all the sewing and reading and other art pursuits.  Who knew you could be so busy when unemployed! I have also negelected my Etsy store so I am making a committment here that I will fill it up by the middle of July.  I have items I just need to photograph so I am going to do this this weekend.  Here are some things I have been busy with.

These are the pillows made from vintage tablecloths that I have not put in local shops.  These will be in my Etsy store soon.

 I also joined an ATC (artist trading card) group and these are some I have made but may not trade but put in my shop as Aceo's  I am having a lot of fun making these small pieces of art.

 This is a digital ATC I made to trade. The theme was sun, moon, stars
This one everyone had to use the little girl's image they provided.  I did this one digital and printed it on fabric.
 These are the cards I received in the swap with the little girls image.

This is another version I did for the sun, moon, stars.
I hope you have been inspired to do something crafty this weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I have been busy reading!

I have been spending a lot of time reading lately.  I finished my crafting deadlines for local shows and have enough stock so I am taking a bit of a break.  I am also trying to organize my craft space so I don't want to start any new projects until that is done. 
I am going to post the last 3 books I have read.  I hope you find something here to add to your summer reading list!

I received The Butterfly Sister as an Early Review book.  I glanced at the other reviews before I started and saw the 1st review was not so positive so I didn’t finish reading any of the reviews so I would not be biased.  As I started reading I did keep looking for something to not like.  The story is about a young woman who dropped out of college her senior year because of a disastrous relationship with her professor, a failed suicide and then a friend goes missing.  The author Miss Hansen includes love, betrayal, mental illness and literature to create this mystery story.  At one point I felt like I was watching Criminal Minds!  I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed this book and wanted to read it whenever I had some free time.  I ended up reading it in 3 days which is not usual for me. I average 1 to 2 weeks on a book because I like to enjoy my reading time and not hurry through.  This is not a deep read or anything that really makes you think but it did make me want to read about the authors mentioned and possibly read their books, which is always a plus for me.  In the beginning I do feel like the relationship is cliché and predictable but as the story unfolds there are several twist and turns to keep you going as the story unfolds. It definitely does not end up where I thought it would.  She ends this book in a great way! All in all I gave it a 4 because I really did enjoy this book.
This is a novel written by a local author I just met a few months ago. I would have to say this book put me in mind of the Mitford Series type genre with some mystery added. It is about a Quaker Campus Minister Ruthalice Michels, the people she encounters on her campus in a small Ohio town and the ways she seems to get involved in some interesting situations. It kept my interest and I did enjoy it very much. Patricia touched on several subjects that give you pause for thought which is always important to me when I am reading a book. I wish she had a different cover, it really doesn't have anything to do with the story but this was her first published book. She has a 2nd in the series in the process. I am looking forward to it!

I picked this book up 2nd hand. I have read Kaye's books before and I thought it sounded like an interesting story. After reading some of the reviews I was worried but I really did enjoy this book. I always enjoy reading about people who lived through difficulties but come out better for them and I think this is one of those type books. If you want everything to be sunshine and roses then do not read this book. The graphic descriptions of the civil war experience could also bother some but I felt it gave a good feeling of what life was like for those living near the fighting. If I learn something new or come to a better understanding of something then I feel the book was worth at least a 3. If I kept wanting to find time to read it gets a 4. I reserve 5's for books that I will never forget and this wasn't quite that inspiring but still worth my time.
I found this lovely book in a 2nd hand book store.  I am reading this at a leisurely pace as I enjoy my gardening this summer.  Katharine is a hoot and I know I would have liked her very much!

I have always wanted to read Thomas Merton but just could not squeeze him in.  I am reading No Man is an Island in my devotional time and enjoying it.  He is a deep thinker and this is not a book to rush through.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Daughter the Chef!

 I'm a little late in posting this wonderful news about my daughter but the trip to Miami, Fl was so traumatic for me it has taken a week for me to recover! 
That will be another post ;)

Thursday we all arrived at the airport at 3 different times from 3 different places. Us, coming from Ohio, Liz, our oldest daughter coming from Chicago and Miranda flying in from her internship in Jamaica. 
Yeah, what a hardship!

She has spent the last 3 months at the Couples Resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica
This was a wonderful experience for her. One of her other instructors recommend her for this internship and it was truly a great learning experience. She made several friends there and would have stayed if they had offered her a job. She really enjoyed the island lifestyle of the people there.

 Sat. Miranda graduated Magna Cume Laude  from Johnson & Wales University with her asassociates degree as a chef.  She has made us so proud with her dedication to all her classes, projects and cross country endeavors.  She tends to be a perfectionist so her accomplishments do not surprise us.
On Friday we attended an awards ceremony.  Miranda received the award for high achievement in Garde Manger from one of her chef instructors.
This award is for one of the hardest courses and one of the hardest instructors at the university. 
I am adding a link for those of you who are not familiar with what Garde Manger is, like myself, LOL

 I remember when she started this course, she was very nervious about being able to do a good job. 
I think she pulled it off very well!
Here we are with the proud graduate!
Things just seem to happen in great ways for Miranda.  God has truly blessed her and one thing she has learned from all of our difficulties over the last few years is to just sit back and wait for God to act.
(Don't worry, be happy!)

We were leaving Fl. on Monday to fly home. At this point Miranda did not have a place to live or a job but she has a car and it is warm in Fl so we weren't worried.

Tuesday she took her stuff and crashed in on her old friends and roommates from last summer, did her laundry and just bummed around.  Wed. a guy from the school called to see if she wanted to try out for a job at a new resturant in downtown Miami? 
She went in to do the 2 hour trial and was asked to stay till 5:00 at which time she was asked if she would like a job!
This new resturant ended up being Cipriani
a highly successful Itialian family owned line of resturants all over the world!

I think she has a bright future ahead of her and I can't wait to see what God has instore for her now!

My 2 beautiful daughters.  They make me so proud!
Congratulations Miranda!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prayers for Moore, OK

My heart goes out to the people of Moore, OK.  I have experienced 4 tornado's in our town here in Xenia, Ohio.  Same story, they just keep following the same paths.  I am so glad there were not more deaths with such a powerful storm. It will take years for some to get over the emotional damage storms like this cause but people are strong and the town will come back stronger! I hope you all will keep this community in your prayers for the long hard months to come.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My latest book review for Library Thing

The Lost Husband: A Novel
Perfect for fans of romantic women’s fiction, this tender and heartwarming novel explores the trials of losing what matters most—and how there’s always more than we can imagine left to find.

The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who—after the sudden death of her husband, Danny—went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape: a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.

I requested this book from The Library Things early review program because of the very cute cover and the story line of the family moving to a goat farm! I follow several bloggers who have made lifestyle changes like this book and I was just really drawn to it and was so excited when I received it! Because of personal losses we have found ourselves on a farm in the country and with a life style change that has been very positive for us. I knew I would have a lot to relate to in this story and there would be enough to keep me in the story. I was not disappointed. I was able to read this on a recent trip so I read it in 3 days. I enjoyed this book as a light read which is usually not my normal genre. I did find some parts to be predictable but the outcomes do not disappoint and there are several surprises to keep you going. Great summer beach read!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Morning Walk

 Cooper wanted to go for a walk this morning.
I'm taking a break from sewing for a couple of days
I decided to go then rather than wait till later.
 I took my coffee and my I phone for music. 
I kept seeing such beautiful things
so I took some photos to share with you. 

 Why do these have to be hated so much?
I consider them wild mums!
Mixed with the purple they are so pretty!
 Click on this to make it bigger. 
Look at the dew.  This I phone is pretty impressive.
 Teenyy tiny little flowers.  Yup in God's eyes these are flowers not weeds.
 Wild violets beside the wheet field!
Stopped by the creek just to hear the water.
Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Reviews "The Painted Girls" and more

I enjoy historical fiction and art so when a book combines these two elements I am always interested in giving it a try. A book needs to hold my interest and help me learn new things in order for me to give it a 4 or 5 and Cathy did both wonderfully. The artist of that time period always intrigue me and the facts about the ballerinas and the "protectors" was a new bit of information for me. In a day that so many men are being picked up for trying to meet up on the internet with 13 to 15 year old girls, this was interesting to me. I know human trafficking is as old as the hills but this was a new form I was unaware of. As the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. The scientific research on the shape of a person's face and their criminal future was also quite an interesting addition she added to this story. The most important story though is the love of family and the bonds that keep us together. I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it to book clubs. There is a lot of interesting topics to provide an active discussion I am sure.

I  listened to 2 books as I have been sewing lately and they were "The Light Between Oceans " and "The Psysick Book of Deliverance Dane"

Katherine's book, The Psysick Book of Deliverance Dane  is about the witch trials of the 1800's.  This book goes back and forth from present day to the lives of the women who were healers and how they were used as scape goats for religious zeal in those days. I enjoyed the narrator of this book and found it very enjoyable to listen to.  This book was also based on true people and trial facts. Religious persecution is always interesting to me and  the fact that it is usually always based on control and  a masculine domination over the inferior female.  The vulnerability of women is the theme in both of the historical books I am reviewing here and makes me glad my girls have a bit better chances in life today than then but not in all areas still.

The Light Between Oceans really caught me off guard.  Again I  enjoyed the narrator. His Aussie accent was very pleasant to listen to LOL!  But the story caught me right away and kept me listening for hours on end.   I don't like reviews that tell what the story is all about but basically it is a love story about a couple who live in a lighthouse and find a baby after loosing several of their own to miscarriage.  Again a very interesting topic of discussion for a book club.  Miss Stedman does a fantastic job of having you be sympathetic to all characters involved.  It is a gripping tale that had me sobbingin the end.  This book is going on my most favorite books list!

I am finishing up my pillows and bags for my 2 shows over the next 2 Saturdays.  I am planning on starting The Grapes of Wrath that keeps getting interupted by newer books that catch my eye.  I have been trying to start this book for 4 months!  I watched the PBS series on the Dust Bowl and am very curious as to how Steinbeck protrays this time in our history.  I know, I should have already read this in high school but I was a slacker then and did not take the liature classes. I took business english. I was not much of a reader then. I'm kind of glad because many of the classics are wasted on young people who do not have the life experiences to understand and appreciate the stories.  Many of my friends have said they appreciated these books the second time around. 
Well I better get back to Mr. Steinbeck before I find another book to read.
Have a great week and Happy Reading!