Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Planning my next quilting project

There is one thing I have long struggled with in my stitching, finishing one project completely before starting the next.  I have projects that were begun way back (I refuse to identify the year or decade, but it is almost considered ancient) that I still intend to finish.  For now, they sit in various bags stashed around my house. ouch.

I am now in the final stages of the blue quilt, thread ends to be buried, binding to attach and the last step of making and attaching the label.  While I physically working on those steps, I have been planning some future projects.  The top of the list involves these t-shirts.  I need a lot more than this, but it's what I have at the moment.  I also have two metres of bright orange-yellow fleece for the background.  Unfortunately, the bag containing the fleece is buried somewhere in those bags of other unfinished/in-progress projects.

I have a new approach in mind for this quilt and plan to write it up as a mini tutorial.  Hopefully by the end of March I'll have enough progress to share the technique with you.

Even though the weather has been gorgeous, I started a new pair of slippers.  I've been wanting to knit a dozen or so pairs to give to family and friends, but I want them all ready at the same time so the recipients can choose their favourite pair.  This is set #4.   These style of slippers are referred to as pocket slippers and are perfect for taking along when you are out visiting as they are small and fit easily in your pocket.  My daughters re-named them fittens, mittens for the feet.  I wrote and earlier post about them with a link to the pattern.

Yes, the knitting is a distraction from dealing with those thread ends, but what can I say in my own defence, I have a problem with task dedication.  I'll get it done as I am quite excited about getting the finished quilt back to my friend so she can enjoy it on her bed.

I got a little off track with my crafting/needlework planner and to-do list.  One week kind of stretched out to include three weeks. Not really a worry, today I will start the next week and I'll be back on track.  That's the cool thing I am finding about a bullet journal, it's free form and if you get of track, you can easily start again on any given day.  So as of today, I'm back on track. (little happy dance).

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.

Thanks for all your book recommendations last week.  I'll keep them in mind when I'm looking for future reads.

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

Monday, 27 February 2017

Home Sweet Motel - Welcome to Wonderland #1 by Chris Grabenstein

I never imagined that living in a motel could be such fun.  Having lived at the Wonderland Motel since he was born, P.T. Wilkie can list many reasons why he loves living there including an ice cream machine, swimming pool, housekeeping and a frog slide.  The only things missing from the motel are enough paying guests.

Along with his new friend Gloria, he sets out to entice visitors, with cash, to visit and stay at the motel.  Of course, an eleven year old has entirely different ideas on how to encourage these new guests.

The story starts with one of P.T.'s funny tales and it continues to get funnier.  The boy knows no limits to his imagination.  Author Chris Grabenstein's sense of humour is boundless.  He manages to turn everything P.T. does on it's side and make me laugh.  This book is well suited to all middle school students who possess even the slimmest of funny bones.  Parents will like that while P.T. and Gloria are getting up to various antics, they stay within sensible bounds and are acting to help the motel.  Nobody is injured in the commission of these shenanigans  with the exception of a large fibreglass statue.

A second book in the series is planned for release in July 2017.

Also by Chris Grabenstein:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Indigo Books and Music Inc., in exchange for an honest review.

#IndigoEmployee

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Submerged by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

I thought I knew what would happen when I saw the cover of this book, but I soon learned that that was only part of the story.

I was on the edge of my seat for most of the reading.  Once I got going, I didn't want to put it down, but also, I didn't want to be sitting alone in a dark house in the wee hours of the morning reading with  book in hand.  I read to the half way point and then continued in the safe light of dawn.

I loved this book for both the creepiness and for the flowed characters.  We all don't get to be adults and have perfect lives behind us .  That would make for very identical people.   Marcus Taylor feels he has a lot to make up for in his life, and by working as a 911 operator, he can begin to atone for his errors.  Rebecca Kingston really can't be faulted for falling in love with the wrong man, but she does need help escaping him.

On a fateful day, Rebecca and Marcus paths cross and it has impacts on their lives that they couldn't have imagined.

That's it, no more clues to the plot as once this story gets going it's none stop action.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  It was an edgy read that keep me a little off kilter, yet it was also warming to watch their relationship develop.

Also by Cheryl Kaye Tardif:

Children of the Fog

Cover image courtesy Cheryl Kaye Tardif

#IndigoEmployee

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Little Finishes Count Big Time

 When I stitch  a few minutes here and a few minutes there, it doesn't seem like much effort is required.  At the end of the week when I add up all those minutes, wow, I might have spent and unexpected hour on a project.

I was at my quilt bee the other day and took along a ball of ruffle yarn.  I cast on a few stitches and started knitting.  I wasn't really paying attention to the needles, instead I enjoyed conversation with my friends.  When it was time to put my stitching away, this scarf was almost complete.  A few more minutes at home and it was done.  Totally made in found minutes.

Do you stitch during those extra few minutes that happen  in your day?
 I completed my daughter's pussy hat and having more yarn on hand, I started and then completed one for my friend's daughter.  The pale pink one is knit with 34 stitches of chunky yarn on 7 mm needles.  I can't believe how fast it went together.  It is actual fits an adult head and will suit the young recipient as well.  I have enough for both yarns for at least another hat each. 
Daughter is modelling her hat.  Yippee, she is home for reading week, and yes, she has been reading.  It's interesting the range of materials the sociology students cover. The two books she was reading yesterday; Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi and  The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse by Heloise d'Argenteuil.  Not surprisingly, she is using the same approach to reading these books as I often use in my projects.  Neither book is the type that you can easily read from cover to cover non-stop.  She has been reading them a chapter at time while working on other assignments in between.  By the end of the week, she should have most of both books complete.  Now I wonder where she learned that technique?

I hope that you have had a great stitching week and that you have made use of those small blocks of time that tend to occur throughout the day/week.

  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 hope that you are having fun and making progress on whatever project is dear to your heart at this moment. 

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


Saturday, 18 February 2017

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka

After being bullied at school and feeling scared for years, Lumikki decided it was up to her to fight back.  She thought running away would be enough, but she also had to learn to hide in plain sight and escape her persecutors notice.  When a classmate found herself in trouble and turned to Lumikki for help, she wanted to walk away and would have except for the fear she saw in the other girl's eyes.

As Red as Blood is set during the winter in a small Finnish town.  Early one morning, when Lumikki entered the school dark room and found thousands of Euro notes dripping dry and reeking of blood, she knew she needed to back out and pretend she saw nothing.  Unfortunately life rarely co-operates in such circumstances.

I liked the character of Lumikki, she didn't cower and wait for someone else to solve her problems.  She decided on a course of action that would work for her and embarked on it.  In spite of how others have treated her, she is still an honourable ethical person and can't abandon another who is begging for help.

The winter setting in Finland could have been almost anywhere, though the cold climate was needed for certain plot developments.  The idea of teens moving on their own to a distance city for school may seem odd to many, though I have heard of similar arrangements in many cities and countries and it is essential to this plot.

I felt that the teens reacted to their situation in a realistic manner.  Young people don't want to be running to adults to solve their issues, they tend to feel they can do it on their own or with the help from their friends.  Good start to a new series.  The story continues in White As Snow.

#IndigoEmployee

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This was a good vacation read.  I sat on a tropical beach looking out upon an empty ocean and could imagine Lo on the cruise ship Aurora as it travelled to the North Sea.  She was there to write a travel piece on the newly launched ship, but events happened that kept her mind off the job.  After reporting the disappearance of the unknown woman in cabin 10, she found herself more alienated by the staff and crew and totally isolated from the outer world.  She might as well have been adrift on the ocean I was gazing out at.

I enjoyed the set up for the mystery with the introduction of the guests and staff followed by the tour through the ship. I could easily imagine the crowding in the staff quarters and the claustrophobia that Lo felt.

The plot was well constructed and kept me guessing.  I didn't feel an affection for any of the characters but I did want Lo to get a grip and start being a better journalist.  She missed too many opportunities to do her job well.  She should have been much better as socializing and asking leading questions.

Overall, a good, easy to read story.

#IndigoEmployee

Cover image courtesy Simon And Schuster Canada.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Like a Breath of Fresh Air


 It's amazing what even a week long vacation can do for the body and sole.   I am much refreshed after my visit to Cuba.  The sun was hot, the people friendly and the company terrific.

Hubby and I spent the week at Varadaro relaxing.  As my regular readers know, I returned to work in August after being at home for twenty years. Wow, what a change of pace.  Retail is hectic during the holidays.  A week spent being pampered, ie: no cooking, no cleaning, was heaven.  Even the 3 1/2 hour delay of our departure from Hamilton didn't bother me much.  I did learn, that those $15. meal vouchers they give you when your flight is so so delayed, don't go work well when there is not enough food available  in the entire airport for that many people to purchase.  When the Tim Horton's ran out of food and I had lots of money left on my voucher, I purchased a coffee and donut for the fellow in line behind me.

The food was so so at the resort, but the pastry chef was great.  There was an assortment of delights at the end of each meal, my favourite being the pink confections.  Can't go wrong with pink.  ( I shared these desserts with hubby, well some of them anyway)


 It did feel like I was at my friend Janet's with the chickens wandering around.
 Cuba is also the home of the vintage car.  #ClassicCars
They are very popular as taxis.  The weather was too perfect for us to want a taxi, but I wish my brother could have been there, he would have been wanting a close up.

Not to be left out, I felt very at home with the horse and buggies, in some ways reminiscent of the Mennonite buggies seen in my neighbourhood.

The grounds of our hotel were most beautifully kept. Lots of trees and shrubs growing in profusion.


This is how we spent much of the week, on the beach reading.  Actually, our pasty skin was kept to the shade for the most part even with the heavy sunscreen.  I didn't take any stitching as it didn't seem right to be knitting in the sand.\

I did take some little bags and scarves that I stitched as gifts for the lady that cleaned and tidied our room.  Needless to say, our room was spotless and well stocked with towels and such.  I'm glad she appreciated my work.

Next week I'll be back with updates on my current needlework projects.


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 hope that you are having fun and making progress on whatever project is dear to your heart at this moment. 

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your needlework