Thursday, 8 October 2015

Food for your Eyes

Since I am busy packing today, I thought I'd leave a bit of a visual feast for you to enjoy.

Almost every day I go walking.  It usually in my small community but i can still be surprised by the ever changing views.  Here are a few I have caught recently.

This was the most gorgeous sunset. 
I don't know what this grass is, but it is lovely

It was a perfect evening when I caught these two not far overhead.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Needlework Tuesday - When you walk into a quilt shop with a folded quilt...

Did you realise, that when you walk into a quilt shop with a folded quilt or quilt top in your arm, you have to show it to anyone in the shop who asks to see it.  This also applies to knitting and other needlework shops.

This happened to me on the weekend when I was selecting fabric for a border in my scrappy quilt.  I had a drab green in hand when another browser said "oh, is that a quilt? If you bring a quilt into a shop you have to show it."

Needless to say, a quilty conversation ensued.  Instead of buying the green, I selected an awesome deep red and orange for a narrow border, and a cheddar for a wider border.  Thank-you to that unknown quilter who has an excellent eye for colour and the imagination to go with it.  One border added, cheddar up next.

It is still surprising to me how we can bond over our needlework.  Each working our own projects, but still there is a common goal that reaches across our differences.  This is what has happened with my blogging, repeated comments from a stranger  and over time I begin to refer to that person as my online friend, and then friend.  I would never have imagined the power that the wired world would play in my life.  Next time you are in the shop and another person has a project over their arm or in a bag, politely ask to see it, you never know, you might be striking up a conversation with your next new friend.

Mister Linky is waiting below for my friends (new and existing alike) to add links to their current needlework post.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Keeper of Lost Causes: Department Q #1 by Jussi Adler-Olsen trans. Lisa Hartford

Deputy Detective Superintendent Carl Morch has seen a lot in his 25 years on the job. Upon returning to work after a deadly shooting that left one of his partners dead and another paralysed, Carl is promoted to head of the newly created Department Q which has the objective of solving Copenhagen's cold cases.

The first case he examines is that of Merete Lynggaard, a politician who disappeared without a clue five years earlier.  With the help of his assist Assad, Carl dives in to the case and finds more than a few loose ends.

Carl is a top notch detective but he is tired and worn down.  Sitting at his desk with his feet up and newspaper is not a bad way to spend his day at the office.   His assistant Assad has different ideas.  He wants to get to the cases and prods Carl along. 

As the case proceeds, we learn that Carl  is a stickler for following up every single possible lead even when he figures they won't lead anywhere.  This is the type of dogged determination that I want to see in my fictional detectives.

Carl's story follows the day after day investigation while Merete's story runs along side, starting on a path more than five years ago and progressing quickly to converge with  Carl's present day.

I found both Carl and Assad to be very likable characters.  Carl's life is far from perfect.  This makes him human, he is disgruntled with being shuffled to the basement, but once he starts an investigation he has to carry it through to it's conclusion.  He can't skip steps or overlook leads to create an expedient end.  Assad is a willing assistant.  He want to learn and be helpful, at times pulling Carl along with him.  He undoubtedly has many secrets in his past.  I want to see both of these men again in future cases.  Likewise, I grew to care for Merete, and wanted to see justice for her.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Department Q series.  I was enjoying this book so much, that I ordered a paper copy for my husband.  (this book was also published under the title Mercy in some countries)

I listened to thePenguin audio book as read by  Erik Davis.  15 hours 37 minutes unabridged

Erik Davis did an excellent job as reader. He brought these characters to life and his use of accents and Danish pronunciation kept this book in place.

website for author Jussi Adler-Olsen
Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for use of the cover image.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Needlework Tuesday - Stitch by Stitch, I'm getting there

 I'm stitching away and the end is in sight.  I'm on a rust colour section and then one pattern repeat of all three colours left to go. I should be able to get it complete before the wedding. Yippee.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

I have been focusing on this project and not straying too much.  It sure does take discipline.  Well, I did take time away to sew one border row for that quilt I am working on.  I did take another couple of hours to cut pieces for some of the mini churn dash blocks for that other quilt.  Happy to say that I now have  only about 8 more blocks to cut. Another Yippee. Then there is the sashing to cut and sew.  Yes, it will end, at some point, but there will always be another project to start ....

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current Needlework post.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen

After a brief stop at his mom's work, Mason had intended to spend the weekend with his life long best friend.  While waiting for his mom, he plays the video of his father reading a children's story and the audio has a startling effect on one of his mother's charges at the Haven of Peace nursing home.  After awaking from her catatonic state, Laila asks Mason to help her flee.  So much for a peaceful weekend.

What's a young man to do when the most gorgeous girl he's ever laid his eyes on asks for his help.  He helps her of course.  He didn't realise the events he'd set in motion.

This is a coming of age story unlike any other.  Mason has struggled with social issues since at the age of five a neighbour's dog savaged his face. He knows his mother keeps secrets, but he can't imagine what they might be and how big an impact they might have on his life.

I enjoyed the developing relationship between Mason and Laila.  From the moment he felt her need, he shifted into the role of protector  and didn't falter.  A worthy quality for a young man.

The scientific research in this book is fascinating.  I haven't the slightest idea whether it has even the remotest possibility of success in the real world, but it is understandable why some might want to see it succeed.  It prompted me to ponder limits for scientific research.  Just because we can do something, it doesn't mean we should.

I listened to the unabridged audio version  from Brilliance Audio as read by Luke Daniels. 6 hours.  Mr. Daniels did an excellent job of portraying the characters and bringing them to life, particularly Mason's father.

This is a well told story and should appeal to a wide range of YA readers.

Ms. Bodeen latest book The Detour is due out in October 2015. 

Cover image courtesy author S. A. Bodeen.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Needlework Tuesday - It's not a UFO if you are still working on it

I have been stitching this little churn dash blocks for several years. I need 128 of them and my original plan was to use all unique fabrics and not repeat any.   Each time I started a new fabric, after I had completed cutting for the pieces required, I used the left overs to cut a churn dash block and stored it in the project baggie.  A great way to assemble the materials for a scrappy project.

A few cutting mistakes and a project dragging out way to long has changed that idea.  I want to finish this sooner than the next decade.  I just don't use that many lights compared to mediums and darks.  I currently have 102 blocks pieced, more cut out and have fabric on the cutting board for the rest of the pieces. Each block is supposed to finish up at 5 1/2 inches.  Now I want to motor through this and get to the top assembly.  Sine the pattern is so traditional, I'd like to send it out to a hand quilter.  I could machine quilt it, but I'd like it done this decade....

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

 At the same time as I was cutting and stitching the churn dash blocks, I was cutting tumblers for the next border on my current scrappy project.  Remember the one I showed last week that started with the little 4 patches.    I now have oodles of 3 1/2 inch tumblers cut and sorted.  To keep the colours balanced, I sorted the fabrics into four stacks, one for each side.  I am in the process of laying out the first side and figuring out how many I actually need.  I have a feeling that I way over cut.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll find a use for the extras.

 During July, a bunch of shops in this area of Ontario held a shop hop.  The theme fabrics were all white and blues.  Very pretty.  I managed to make it to 5 shops so have five kits to jump start my quilt.

This lovely star was made using paper templates.  I was pleased with how accurately it was designed. I only had to unpick one seam. 
 I like the simplicity of this lattice style block.  It went together easily and looks great.  I think the selection of fabrics had a lot to do with that. 

Three more blocks to go and then I'll reveal my plans for the setting.  I wonder how far I can stretch 5 blocks....

It's always a pleasure to spend time chatting with my needlework friends even though you aren't here with me in person.  I'll admit that i have been a bit lax in visiting your blogs this past month, life happens.  

Currently I am getting ready for a trip out of country to visit relatives and it has me distracted.  Yesterday I went to the travel clinic for vaccinations.  I have no intention of getting sick while away or bringing back any nasty tummy bugs.  I'd say that I have so much to do in such little time, but that's not really the case.  Get my shots, pack a bag and go. Well, I do want to make a little thank-you gift for my aunt as I'll be staying with her family.  I am considering another item or two as well.  Ok, maybe I do have a bit more to get ready than I thought, but it's manageable. 

With that in mind, I'd better get back to it.  

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Forgotten Time: Ravenhurst Series #1 - Lorraine Beaumont

It would be a blast to be invited to attend a work event at a Victorian era mansion and be required to dress in period clothing.  Katherine received such an invitation late one Friday evening as her shift at Biddle and Bailey auction house was coming to an end.  Attending the ball was magical, and wearing the gorgeous dress borrowed from the textiles department and the red pendant from the distinguished gentleman made it even better. 

Some one hundred years earlier, Sebastian de Winter, the Earl of Ravenhurst, the very estate where the ball was being held,  was still struggling with the disappearance of his betrothed on the day they were to wed.

 Katherine and Sebastian are intriguing characters. Neither are who and what they seem on the surface.  Katherine is a knowledgeable but naive young lady while Sebastian has much responsibility and a wide variety of experiences.  They are complement by his aunt Isabelle and her young husband Devlin, both of which are playing fast and loose with the other person's affections. 

I love time travel romances.  It is always a feat for the author to introduce the travelling character to the new time stream in a believable manner.   Author Lorraine Beaumont did a good job of transporting Katherine. Just the right amount of confusion and indignation rolled up together. I do think she went a bit far in being cryptic about why Katherine is really there and she lost me for several pages.  Once I got past that part, the plot was really moving along and I was settling in for a late night read and then it ended abruptly.  What, if I had been reading a paper copy I would have been looking for missing pages or perhaps a mis-print that skipped some chapters.  Alas, a most serious cliff hanger.  Nothing to do but move on to the next book, Shadows of Yesterday.

Thanks to author Lorraine Beaumont for use of the cover image.