Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sheroes: 15 Incredible Stories of the Coolest Women You’ve Never Heard Of

The attached article lists a number of books that sound intriguing. Click the title below to be taken to the article.

If you have always wondered about Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew books, this is your chance to find out the truth.

Sheroes: 15 Incredible Stories of the Coolest Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Discover some incredible, inspiring biographies of women you may not know but should.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Needlewrork Tuesday - Value of a Test Block

 If you're at all like me, when you start a new project, you just want to jump right in and get stitching.  I don't want to spend the time knitting a tension square and piecing a test block to ensure that all is working properly.  Heaven forbid that I have selected the wrong shade of fabric or picked up too small of a pair of needles.

You might feel that this is a huge inconvenience to knit a useless little square.  Hands up, we all have that thought.  However, should you need to make a change to perhaps a different size needle or a different piece of fabric, isn't it better to find out at the start then after you have spent hundreds of hours or dollars on your project.

If I had been making an entire project with Mr. Fox, I would have been sad to find out well into the quilt top that the reddish fabric was the wrong choice.  What if I had cut twenty blocks with that fabric and then realized it was wrong.  What a waste.  Same goes with knitting.  What if you knit the entire body of the sweater only to realize that you should have used a larger needle and now the sweater will be too tight at the hips.

Mr. Fox number one will not go to waste, he'll still be made into a pillow cover. I am going to try adding some black buttons to his 'sweater' to see if that helps.  I much prefer Mr. Fox two with his brown spotted pelt.  He is going to look so cool sitting on the sofa.

Mr. Fox won't be alone for long, I have started on a companion.  At the cutting stage, I realized one fabric was too light and switched to the new fabric used in Mr. Fox two.  Liking how this new fella is looking.
As you know, I can't stick to just one project, also knitting.  This pair of grey and yellow fittens it looking great.  I am so in love with this combination.  I am at the decrease point.  Next week I'll post a photo of them being modelled and a link to the pattern as requested by one of my regular readers Sherrie.  She usually adds a linky to my post with an update on her latest quilt/embroidery project.  Thanks for the reminder Sherrie.

Anyone have photos of test blocks that failed and changed the direction of the project or perhaps you knit tension squares and have found an innovative way of using them.  Please share on your blog and link back, or send me the photo and I'll add it to this post.

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.

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

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

What would you do if it were your last day on earth? I don't mean if you're Chris Hadfield or any other astronaut and were undertaking a space mission, I mean if you knew you were going to die in the next day.  Would you hide away and hope to avoid your fate, or would you live it up like there's no tomorrow.

When eighteen year old Mateo received the call from Death-Cast, he knew he was going to force himself outdoors to enjoy some of the many activities he'd been avoiding.  He's long figured if he stayed inside, he'd be safe, but it hadn't turned out that way.

Rufus received his call and gathered up his pals and headed to his foster home to arrange his funeral.  Circumstance caused him to flee out alone.  Not a situation anyone want to find themselves in, young, healthy and destined to die alone.

I was moved by both boys stories and wanted them to be the exception.  They should live, Mateo needed to start living.  My favourite line from the book comes from him, "I'm at the finish line, but I never ran the race." Not a good point to consider your life from, though it could make readers question what they have done in their lives so far.

Author Adam Silvera has re-worked society to accommodate 'decker', those who know they are to die that day.  He made it feel very real that such activities could occur and reflected both the positive and negative ways that people could respond.

This novel would make an excellent book club read and could be used in the classroom to spark  a variety of discussions.   This is a wonderful book that is sensitive in it's handling of the death of the two boys.  I look forward to reading more by this talented author.

Cover image courtesy HarperCollins Canada.

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

#IndigoEmployee

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Needlework Tuesday - We're our own toughest critics

Meet Mr. Fox. He is from a pattern by Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts.   He's from the Forest Friends pattern.

Daughter and I spend some time last evening selecting fabrics for this block.  We thought we had it perfect.  Now that he's complete, I'm having second thoughts.  The fur fabric is great, but the reddish pelt seems more like a jacket.

He is going to be made into a pillow cover. Next I need to add a one inch border of the background fabric and then a two inch border of a leafy print.

Should I make a second block using a more plain fabric for his 'coat' or is this good.  He is going to be part of a fund raiser and I want to ensure that people will purchase raffle tickets for the pillow he'll be sporting.

This pattern was published with the fox as an 8 inch block.  I used EQ7 software to resize him to 12 inches.  It wasn't as easy as I imagined it would be.  Lorna uses the stitch and flip technique and EQ7 uses half square triangles with seam allowances.  Lorna's technique makes for much simpler cutting.  As I was working along, I cut the pieces just before sewing them as I needed to keep adjusting the sizes to suit Lorna's method.  I did make notes as I went, so it will be easier the next time.

Once I am happy with this little fellow, I am going to do the same with the deer head block from the same pattern.

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.

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

Monday, 4 September 2017

All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Imogene is excited to be starting school.  Until now she has been home schooled while her parents work at the Medieval Faire in Florida.  She is looking forward to making new friends and doing normal things that real kids do.

School doesn't turn out to be as easy as she had hoped.  Juggling balls, wielding a sword to fend off a villain and being squire to a knight are normal, daily life to Imogene, making friends at school doesn't come naturally to her.  When she breaks the knight's code, she finds herself with some serious decisions to make.

Excellent middle school story told in graphic novel form.  It deals with several issues that are pertinent to middle school students.  I particularly like that the adults don't tell Imogene how to solve her problems, but rather guide her along a path such that she can discover her own solutions.

Should appeal to  a wide range of readers.  Suitable for younger children who are reading at an advanced level.

Victoria Jamieson is author of the popular Roller Girl graphic novel.

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

Cover image courtesy Penguin Random House Canada

#IndigoEmployee

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Mosaic by Nina Berkhout

Twyla has her life planned, knows what she wants and the guy she is going to do it all with.  until she meets Gabriel, and injured war veteran.  Her community service stint is supposed to be a one of , no strings attached.  At first she dislikes Gabriel, but over time she starts to meet the real man behind the solitary, don't need any help image he presents. This community service arrangement brings out the worst in her seemingly perfect boyfriend.

Twyla has to confront a lot of truths she is now learning.  She has to determine who she truly wants to be as opposed to who others expect or are pressuring her to be.  While Twyla is learning about becoming an adult, Gabriel begins to confront the ghosts that have haunted him since his earlier deployments.  I was fascinated to read about the ammunition mosaic that he is creating and how it was helping him to cope.

This was a thought provoking read. It wasn't light and fluffy, but more a gritty story that reflects true to life issues that teens have to deal with.   I had me thinking about gossip and heresay as opposed to the underlying truth of situations.  Twyla learned that you can't take everything at surface value especially when people and their emotions are involved.

To learn more about art made with ammunition, visit the website of artist John Ton 
A google search for ammunition art found many more examples. 

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

Cover image courtesy House of Anansi Press

#IndigoEmployee

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Gathering - Shadow House # 1 by Dan Poblocki


Five young people ages 12-13 are invited/lured to Larkspur under various pretexts.  After they arrive they soon notice that something is amiss, actually a whole bunch of somethings.  Why are there no adults and where are the rest of the students/family/movie crew...

The setting of this book is classic Gothic.  It's set in a massive old house with lots of long dark hallways that seem to change when you aren't looking.  Set back from the main road and hidden behind overgrown trees and shrubbery, passersby are sure to miss the house..   To top that off, the kids cell phones can't get service and they have no other means of summoning help.

I loved this book.  It was creepy enough to keep me on the edge of my seat, but I still wanted more.  Just when I thought I had figured out the mysteries, all of a sudden I was hit broad side and found I knew nothing.  Great way to ensure I stayed on edge. At that point, I actually sat there stunned with the revelations.

This is a good choice for middle school readers who are ready to move beyond the Goosebumps series.

The story continues in You Can't Hide.

I listened to the audio book which was very well done, but since have learned that there is additional materials in the book that really add to the tale. If you are a fan of audio books,  I would suggest that you read the paper copy at least once.


To learn more about the series, visit the website of author Dan Poblocki.

Cover image courtesy Scholastic Canada.

#IndigoEmployee