Friday, 25 July 2014

Free Audiobooks - SYNC Week 11

SYNC for Young Adult Listening: Free Weekly Summer Classics & NovelsAvailable from July 24 – July 30, 2014





HEADSTRONG by Patrick Link, Performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf (L.A. Theatre Works)

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson, Narrated by Scott Brick (Tantor Audio)

Thanks to SYNC for use of all images.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tangled Thursday - Bring on Zeta

 You're getting a twofer today.  My mom broke her leg last week and I am at her house offering care.  Yesterday we sat together on the sofa and worked on Zeta.  This is a new tangle to both of us.  We included purple since that is the colour of her new cast.  You can see a good picture of it in my Tuesday Needlework post.   isn't she a beauty and she gets to keep it for at least 4 weeks.

This first tiles is Elaine's.  A much more open feel than mine.
This second tile is mine.  i used the following tangles: zeta, swirls, knightsbridge, kings crown, growth, and port holes.  I found zeta not the easiest.  It was difficult to keep the proportions the same from zed to zed.  And as I said earlier, it's a more open and free tangle which I'm not as comfortable with.

I also brought with me my tin of zendalas, so they are next on our list of things to attack in her convalescence.

Welcome to Tangled Thursday.  A few of my local and online friends have joined me in an occasional Zentangle challenge.  We'll take turns choosing a theme  and them post our drawings in about 2 weeks time.  All are welcome to join in the fun.  If you are new to Zentangles, then visit the website for a complete explanation and all sorts of online resources.  I'm also a big fan of TanglePatterns.com.

Did you get a chance to work with Zeta?  Mister Linky is waiting below for your link.  Please leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Needlework Tuesday - I'm In London visiting the Queen


 I'm away this week in London visiting with the Queen.  Well, London, Ontario and my mother.  She fell last week and broke her leg and needs some TLC.  Today sh is modelling a stylish purple cast. Perfectly fitting as it is the team colour at the University of Western Ontario, which is down the street from her.

In my rush to get here to help, I carefully packed everything I might need during my stay, including the scarf that I had started for daughter.  I had completed 3 pattern repeats and was quite pleased about the results.  I was so looking forward to stitching more.  I made a comment to daughter that I had better not forget my knitting or I'd have to call my sister for an emergency replacement kit.

I'm sure you can guess what happened.  When we unpacked the car at moms, my knitting got missed and daughter took it back home.  So, yes, I, did have to call my sister for a replacement project.  Son brought it by today in this lovely bag.
Three balls of a pretty grey, knitting needles, and a pattern.
"Reversible Herringbone Scarf" by Sammie Carraher.   The free pattern is from the blog Neverendingyarn.  Look at the upper right area of the page for the scarf image.


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

 Are you stitching this week, or perhaps you are vacationing and visiting distant shops.  Anyone participating in the Row by Row Experience.  Over 1200 quilt shops across the US and Ontario, Canada are offering a free block pattern to all in person visitors.  Visit the website to see if there are participating shops near you. 

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


Friday, 18 July 2014

Free Audiobooks - SYNC Week 10

SYNC for Young Adult Listening: Free Weekly Summer Classics & NovelsAvailable from July 17 – July 23, 2014



THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

Thanks to SYNC for use of all the images.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Bitter Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland and Contest

This is one of those stories that makes you want to wrap yourself in a cuddly blanket,  grab a cafe mocha and then sink down on your sofa for a good read.  The Alcott family is a warm and inviting clan .

The patriarch, 92 year old Bernie, is the founder of Alcott Chocolates.  His young, former caregiver, Bambi, is expecting their child.  His other daughters Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, also pregnant, have welcomed Bambi into their family and cherish her like a younger sister.  In fact, Bernie and his daughters treat all their staff as family.  When a murder happens in the home of Lila Mae's cook/friend, the family circles around her with support.


You might think that a family as wealthy as the Alcotts would be snobby and look down on others, but they aren't like that at all.  Each year they organize the Chocolate Ball as a huge fundraiser for the local animal shelter.  Oh how I wish I could attend and sample some of those Alcott Chocolates.  Along with the good, they also have a few skeletons in the closet so to speak.  It isn't long before these are brought out to air.

One of my favourite passages is the hiring of Bernie's new driver.  It clearly shows their  care and concern for their father as well as their employees.

The story moves quickly along a several month timeline but it doesn't feel rush in any way.  There is ample attention to details, particularly the wonderful food that is prepared by Amelia and Carmichael.  A cup of that cafe mocha please.  At the end of the book are recipes for some of the tasty dishes described in the novel.

There are a lot of characters in the story and they are all summarized in a helpful family tree found at the beginning.  I referred to it several times as a refresher of who's who.  This book can be read on it's own, though you will want to start with Hot Chocolate and not miss one minute with the warm and inviting family.

My review of Hot Chocolate


For a chance to win an ebook of Bitter Chocolate, enter your information in the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks to author Dawn Greenfield Ireland and Virtual Author Book Tours for my review copy.


For more foodie fun, be sure to visit with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post.  She invites you to add a link to your current food related post.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Needlework Tuesday - Progress is the word


I'm a but late today, but that's because I have been so busy stitching and accomplishing so much.  And yes, I do have lots of progress to share with you today.  I have finished all the blocks for my Red Heart Checkerboard Crochet Along.  Red Heart has assembled an easy to print pattern.  Looking for inspiration for making your own afghan,  there are already photos of over twenty finished projects on the Facebook page.  Some are made in one colour as the pattern suggested, some used two colours to emphasis the checkerboard pattern.  One stitcher used all variegated and it brought out some interesting patterning of the colour bands.


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


Block 10 was interesting to stitch.  On the wrong facing row, I did a slip stitch alternated with a double crochet.  The front facing row was all double crochets.  I was sceptical that this would work, but after a few rows, I could see the pattern and it looked good.  Less texture than popcorn but a lot more interesting that just single or double crochet stitches.

 Yesterday I finished stitched the 72 blocks for my flower garden quilt.  I have most of them on the wall for this photo, but two rows didn't fit.  It's going to take a lot of arranging till I am happy with the layout.  I don't want like fabrics touching or right beside each other.  I am in no rush to get this finished, so I'll take my time.

I finally managed to get some bedding plants in my front garden.  Not much choice left at the garden centres.  Fortunately, one of my friends works in landscape design and she directed me toward some lovely plants.  They are too small for a photo at this point, but I'll be sure to post one when they start to fill out.  In my mind, I'm a much more avid gardener, but in practise, all that green stuff makes me sneeze and itch, too many allergies.  My fabric flower garden will have to do.

I hope that you've been able to work on your stitching this past week.  Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current post.  Do you have a stitching project that you refer to as your flower garden, add the link to that post as I'll love to see your 'garden'.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Overnight Oats with Pumpkin and Blueberries

A few weeks ago I learned about the technique of soaking oats overnight.  The process is easy and results in  chewy though non-sticky oat that seems to be easier on my stomach than traditionally prepared oatmeal. I have Heather from the Soulful Spoon to thank for this method.  She has been a wonderful source of nutritional information and for food ideas while my insides have healed.  Last year I suffered from a bowel infection that left me unable to consume foods with the exception of green grapes and rice. 

I was still having some difficulty with oats, yet wanted to be able to eat them as they are so good for me and I enjoy them.  Hence my willingness to try soaking them.  I have no idea if the soaking removes any good benefits, but it does take away that gooeyness.  It is also recommended for raw buckwheat, which I have done before.

Here are a couple of articles/posts on the subject:
High On Health
Phytic Acid
Pamela Salzman

On to my recipe.

Overnight Oats with Pumpkin and Blueberries

1/2 cup 5 minute oats
1/4 - 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
Ground Cinnamon

Soak oats in water overnight.  You can leave these on the counter, thought a loose cover is a good idea.  In the morning, pour the water and oats into a strainer and rinse well with fresh water.  At this point your oats are ready to eat.  They are a bit chewy still.  If you want you can cook them, but it is not required.  Mix in the pumpkin, blueberries and maple syrup.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  i also like to add a tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds.

Here's another breakfast oat recipe from The Soulful Spoon.


Do you soak your oats or any other grain.

For more food related posts, be sure to visit with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Post.  She invites all readers to add a link to their recent food related post.