Monday, 28 December 2009

The Child Thief by Brom

This is essentially a modern day telling of the tale of 'Peter Pan'. In some ways it is similar to J.M. Barrie's original in that Peter lives on a mysterious, hidden island with 'lost' children and he is fighting the 'pirates' though in this case they are early settlers destined for the New World who happen upon the island. In other ways it is quite different: there are both boys and girls, no mother, and other legends and mythical characters are included (standing stones, Arthurian legend).

The story starts on the mean streets of New York where young Nick has stolen the drugs from the thug that lives in his house. He has been caught by friends of the thug and they are about to beat him to death when Peter shows up and 'removes' the threats to Nick. He manages to gain Nick's trust, which is essential, and offers to take him to a better place to live. What child living in such horrid circumstances would say no? So off they go to Avalon (not NeverNever Land).

This starts a new and very dark version of Peter Pan. Peter himself is over 1400 years old and has been stealing children for much of that time. In the beginning he did take them to a better home, but as time progresses the scourge grows and Avalon decays. I found this New World scourge fascinating. It made me think of 'Lord of the Flies' where the society of the boys on the island deteriorated very quickly with no adults to keep them in order. In this case, the scourge has had several centuries to decay and pervert their original nature and intent.
I am still torn by the character of Peter. He does remove the children from lives that have become a terror, but he isn't totally honest with them about where they are going. He doesn't lie to them, but he tells them only the smallest amount of the truth. Sort of an 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' kind of existence. He even admits that its been getting harder to find children who can survive and reach the hideaway on the island and that he has started to forget some of the kids. He should at least remember the children who's lives have been lost at his behest. At the point we met Peter, all that matters to him is his precious Queen and he is willing to risk any number of children to save her. Pretty cold hearted.
Even with my love/hate feelings for Peter, I really enjoyed this story. I like when there were similarities with the original, Peter crowing in the morning in the hide out, and I also liked the differences such as the Elven blade Maldiriel that Peter gives to Nick.
I would not recommend reading this to your young children, rather keep it for yourself after they have gone to bed, but maybe put on an extra light in the hallway when you turn in for the night.
ps, This is the first adult novel I have read in a long time to have such wonderful illustrations at the beginnings of chapters. I highly recommend that you read the author's notes at the end of the book. I found them rather illuminating; they removed my Disney blinders from the character of Peter Pan.
If you want to read my reviews of other 'Peter Pan' inspired books, click the Peter Pan label below this post. I have several more such books queued up to read.
Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me this review copy.

True Blue by David Baldacci

It was great to take a bit of a break for the holidays. Lots of baking, some frantic knitting to finish up a gift and of course trying to keep the dog from opening presents that had found their way under the tree a few days early. I did a bit of reading and will have a few reviews for you in the next days.

Thanks to Miriam at Grand Central Publishing for sending me this review copy. As far as I can recall, its my first novel by David Baldacci and it won't be my last. Once I had read the first few chapters and met some of the main characters, I wanted to forget the Christmas guests and keep reading. Unfortunately life doesn't work out that way and I had to be kept in suspense a bit longer.
Mace Perry has been stewing in jail for two years after being set up by unknown persons. She has spent that time planning on how to clear her name and regain her position on the D.C. Police force, of which her sister Beth is the Chief.
On her first day out of jail, Mace is with her sister, when Beth is called out to a murder and Mace decides to tag along. It isn't long before she finds herself drawn into the case and seeking to solve it before the Police.
It didn't take me long to realize that Mace is a cop through and through. She wasn't doing it just for the money or the glory, but that she really believed in what the Police do and what they stand for. Just because they took away her badge, they couldn't take the 'cop' out of her.
It was interesting to watch how her relationship with attorney Roy Kingman went quickly from antagonist to co-investigator. Without knowing each other, they were able to draw out the strengths of the other and work well together. One of those situations where you meet someone and you know almost immediately that you are supposed to know each other.
Now as for that bitch Mona Danforth, Interim US Attorney for D.C., she is one piece of work. She is so slick and self confident that I could only find myself rooting against her. I have to wonder if Mr. Baldacci has come across someone like that and had to develop the person as a character to the fullest. Every time she put in an appearance I read eagerly to see if she would finally get her comeuppance. You will have to read the book to find out.
I enjoyed this book, though I do admit that I got a bit lost in the political intrigue with the illegal movement of funds but it didn't diminish my enjoyment one bit.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Magazine: shameless: for girls who get it

This is one of the coolest, most pertinent magazines I have read. It is directed at teens and young women, though also has appeal to older readers.
When I was a teen, magazine fodder was aimed at which actor we should idolize and which fashions we should slave at our minimum wage jobs to purchase. This one encourages us to use our brains, to think and to act on our decisions. It aims to include all women/girls/trans sexuals. It doesn't exclude.
I visited their website, and though it says the pictured issue is the current one, when I read further, there have been subsequent ones. They are also working toward and online version (?).
thanks to my online friend Kathleen Molloy, author of 'Dining with Death' for sending this along to me and my daughter.

First Nations/Aboriginal Fridays - Crazy Dave by Basil Johnston

None of us live in isolation. We live with our families and our communities. We also live in our wider country. At each level we need trust and respect, when we don't have that we end up with troubles. When we are different from our neighbours that can either present trouble or opportunities.

Basil Johnston's Uncle David was born around 1920 with Down's Syndrome. According to the book, he might have been the first member living at the Cape Croker reserve with this condition. No one knew for sure what David understood and what his capacity for learning was. His brothers taught him certain life skills including wood chopping. While his family had limited understanding of what he would try to convey to them, others on the reserve didn't.

His mother Rosa spent her life caring for her youngest son. she was always worried with how he would cope, how others on the reserve would treat him, and what would happen to him when she passed away.

Because he was different, David wasn't always treated well. The Priest and the Indian Agent wanted him sent away, yet they didn't attempt to meet and understand David. He was condemned on the basis of assumption and ignorance.

It's unfortunate that peoples and populations around the world are still treated in this same manner. If they are different, then they must be bad/sick/criminal/contagious/etc.

I hadn't intended to read this whole book. I thought I would skim it and include a brief review, but once I started reading and got past the first 50 or so pages I found that I couldn't put it down. I had to read more and learn about David and his family. I laughed when David was trying to lead the mother skunk and her kits to his house and I cried when he was mistaken for a Japanese soldier. I didn't want the story to end, I want to learn more about David and his too short life. Thank-you to Basil Johnston for sharing the story not only of his Uncle but of his family and his reserve.

If you want to learn more about this book, visit 'Rambles: a cultural arts magazine'

I have also reviewed The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway by Basil Johnston

By Canoe & Moccasin: Some Native Place Names of the Great Lakes by Basil H. Johnston

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Recipe Thursday - Rhubarb Apple Crisp

There are days when comfort food is required, and I had one of those days recently. Fortunately I had some rhubarb in my freezer and a bag of slightly old apples in the fridge.

Anne Lindsay's 'Lighthearted Everyday Cooking' has been one of my favourite cookbooks for years. I can't recall if I bought it or if my mother gave it to me after my dad had his heart attack and she had to change her cooking style. Either way, its been a great addition to my kitchen.

You can play with the choice of fruits in this dessert. I think it tasted even better the next day when I had it for breakfast. The tartness of the rhubarb had mingled better with the sweetness of the apples.

Rhubarb Apple Crisp
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups sliced apples
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons soft margarine or butter melted
Filling: In bowl, combine sugar, flour and lemon rind; mix well.
Add rhubarb and apple; stir to mix. Spoon into an 8 cup/2L baking dish.
Topping: In bowl, combine sugar, rolled oats, flour and cinnamon. Add melted margarine/butter and stir to mix; sprinkle over filling.
Bake in 375F over for 40 to 50 minutes, until filling is bubbly and topping is brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I found out something interesting this week. Oatmeal is being touted as a wonder food for all sorts of ailments. I had been eating it all last week for breakfast. My feet had been hurting and I was very concerned that I might be getting another gout attack. Reading on the Yahoo Gout group I belong to, I found that oats are bad for gout prone people. oh dart, will have to limit it to the occasional treat and not have it every morning. I stopped eating it and within a few days my feet were improving.
Do you like fruitcake? I have always loved it in all its wonderful variations. Karen over at 'Quilts ect...' has posted about her cake baking experience this week.
For an easy Rice and Lentil Dish, visit Darilyn over at 'Tropical Screamer' where its much warmer than the -10C we are experiencing today.
Finally, instead of cooking, Anya at 'Hills Creek Quilter' recommends the movie 'Julie and Julia'

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Needlework Tuesday - Finishings

Yes, it was a productive week. Last week I told you about 2 projects that I was determined to finish. Each only had an hour or two of work required to finish up. I put my hands to the task and they are done.
The first was a wall hanging. Its 29 3/4 inches square. I attended a year long series of applique classes and made a heart of each technique. They range from fused and stitched, to hand applique. Around each heart I inked in the technique employed. You can just notice it on the second picture of the ruched heart. It is hand quilted.
I have attached a label and completed the documentation sheet and even photographed it. Now its waiting to February to move to hubby's office.

The second project I finished last evening. I needed to darn in some yarn ends and sew on the 31 tassels to the pictured shawl. I am so thrilled with how it turned out. It will be put to go use this winter that's for sure.
I suspect that there are few other almost finished projects lingering around the house. I vow to finish them as I find them. I'll continue to post my results.
The challenge to you is still open till next Monday. I wrote about it last Tuesday and few readers have commented that they are working on much larger projects that will take ages to finish. Post a comment if you have a project that has been sitting and it only requires and hour or two to finish.
I am almost finished that green scarf that I showed you last week. Will have the pic for you next Tuesday.
Over at 'Tropical Screamer' Darilyn has posted a pic of block C-4 from her version of 'Dear Jane' Quilt. She hand pieced this one.

Friday, 11 December 2009

By Canoe & Moccasin: Some Native Place Names of the Great Lakes by Basil H. Johnston

Basil H. Johnston is an Ojibway member of Cape Croker Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada.

I borrowed this 1986 book from my local library and I am surprised to find that it appears to be in pristine condition. It is such an interesting book. Through a number of stories about the Manitou Nanabush, we learn the history of many names for locations near the Great Lakes.

Chicago - from Zhigaug - meaning either 'place of the skunk' or 'the wild leek'

Winnipeg - from Weenipeegosheeng - meaning the murky watered lake

Manitoba - meaning the abode of the manitou between two lakes

I have previously review 'The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway'

For a list of books by Mr. Johnston visit the Native American Authors Project

McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has an interesting article in their Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing

If you are interested in purchasing one of Basil Johnston's book, visit the 'Whetung Ojibwa Crafts and Art Gallery'. After browsing Mr. Johnston's works, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the link to the main gallery page. Well worth browsing the other featured artists.

I am currently reading 'Uncle Dave', which is a story of Basil's Uncle Dave who was born with Down's Syndrome. In this book he has compared the way his uncle was treated with how the white population treated the Indians. I have only read the first two chapters, though they have left me wanting to read more. I hope to have it finished by next Friday.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan has long ago gone through the 'Disneyfication' process and few people I know have read the original version of this story. I have been trying to find a version that has not been rework and don't know if I have yet succeeded.

I found both the copies shown at my local library. The first is a 1950 version from Charles Scribner's Sons. This is the one that my husband and I both chose to read. He also compared a number of pages between both books and found they were the same.

You could read this book very quickly and lightly and decide that its an enchanting story of a flying boy who is in need of a mother. He finds a girl sitting at her open nursery window and convinces her and her brothers to return to Neverland with him. Oh how sweet.

You could read a little deeper and find that all is not so bright an cheery. Peter can be very ruthless. When the children are first flying to Neverland, its a very long flight and occasionally John, Michael and Wendy would fall asleep and then they would drop toward the ocean. Peter would wait till the very last moment to save them.

Peter seems to like to have others around so he can boast to them, but I question whether he cares about them. This quote from page 68 says 'no'.

"The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out;"

By saying 'thins them out' I suspect that means 'kills them'. There is more killing. In the final battle, in order to keep secret that he has boarded Hook's ship, Peter kills the quarter master Ed Teynte and then refers to the body as carrion. Teynte hadn't attacked him. Peter doesn't exhibit 'good form' when he sneakily kills Hook by kicking him overboard when he is standing on the bulwark instead of engaging him in a fair sword battle.

There is one passage near the end of the book where Peter has returned to Wendy after she has been home with her family for a year. She is looking forward to talking about old times, including Captain Hook.

" 'Who is Captian Hook?' he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.

'Don't you remember,' she asked, amazed, 'how you killed him and saved all our lives?'

'I forget them after I kill them,' he replied carelessly. "

Having been raised on Walt Disney versions of this story I didn't know about this blood thirsty side of Peter Pan. Interesting. I will be looking for an even earlier edition of this book to read and check for changes in the text.

One question did come to mind regarding Princess Tiger Lily. I had to wonder whether she was fashioned after Mohawk author/poet Pauline Johnson? She had toured England a number of times before Mr. Barrie penned this book. I wonder if perhaps he had viewed one of her orations where she was garbed in her 'Indian' dress and he was inspired to include her as a character?

I will be continuing with my quest to read and review other Peter Pan inspired stories.

Recipe Thursday

Shortly after finishing University I bought myself a copy of 'The Cake Bible' by Rose Levy Beranbaum, still available at major book sellers. This 1988 book has been used frequently over the years, though it's most useful recipe is that for 'Marion Cummingham's Raised Waffles'. These are a special occasion standard, usually being reserved for Christmas morning.

I have lately been amused by the reports of people hoarding boxes of 'Eggo' waffles due to the shortage that is expected to last into mid 2010. After eating the waffles from this recipe, you'll never want to eat freezer type waffles again.

Marion Cunningham's Raised Waffles
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups warm milk , not hot or you kill the yeast
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

The Night Before

In a large mixing bowl (at least 3 quarts in capacity) combine the warm water (110F), sugar, and yeast. Stir and let stand 10 to 20 minutes to proof. If the yeast is active, it will produce many bubbles.
Add the milk, butter, salt, and flour and beat until smooth and blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature. The batter will rise from 4 cups to 12 cups and then collapse.

The Next Morning

Preheat the waffle iron until it is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.

Beat in the eggs. Add the baking soda and stir until well mixed. The batter will be very thin.

Pour the batter onto the center of the waffle iron, using a light hand because the batter will spread when the lid id lowered.

Enjoy immensely.

We like to serve ours with fresh fruit, whipped cream and real maple syrup. This time I didn't have enough butter, so used 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. They took longer to brown but still tasted wonderful.

Darilyn over at 'Tropical Screamer' has posted a recipe for quick Chicken Quesadillas.

Karen over at 'Quilts... etc' has posted a wonderful Oatmeal Pancake recipe.
I was clicking the 'next blog' button and came across a recipe for 'Instant Chai' at Mik Knits, Crochets...' and wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Finish it Challenge

I know I can't be the only one. Go ahead, admit it. You also have a project that has sat unfinished for way too long. The worst part of it is that it would only take an hour or two to finish, yet for some reason, it still isn't done.
I'll go first and tell you about 2 such projects of mine.
First, a wonderful applique heart sampler that I made several years ago in a year long series of Saturday morning classes.

In the photo you might be able to see where most of the binding has been stitched down, with the exception of about 17 inches. Why did I stop at this point? I haven't the slightest idea. It has sat for at least 2 years with this tiny bit of stitching to be done.
Project 2, I knit a wonderful cabled shawl from a pattern in the East + West, Mission Falls book that I talked about in my blog entry earlier today. The knitting was finished a few years ago and I blocked it and sewed it together. I even made all the funny little twisted tassels. For some reason I never darned in the ends of the wool and I didn't attach these thingies.
My challenge to me is to finish both projects by next Tuesday so I can show you pictures of both.
My challenge to you is to leave me a comment about a needlework project of your own that needs only 1-2 hours to finish, yet has sat languishing for what seems like a million years. Then you have till Monday December 21 to completely finish it, leave me another comment. From those who complete their project I will draw a winner and send a prize (can I send you one of my other un-finished projects???). I want to see photos before and after.

Needlework Tuesday

Last week the 4th step of the Bernat Knit Along was posted. I started knitting the posted pattern and after 20 or so rows I decided I really, really didn't like that stitch and that it would bother me forever if that block was in my afghan, so I ripped it out.

I found another pattern in a book I bought a million years ago, 'Knitting Encyclopedia 1500 Patterns by Pingouin'. It's a terrific little book that I use every so often. I made 9 repeats of the pattern across the block and 8 repeats in the length. I am much happier with my choice. Two more colours to stitch up.

It has taken a bit of conscious effort to keep up to date with this project, but definitely worth it. I want to get it finished in a timely fashion and this process is really helping.

I started a new project this week. Its a scarf (how many of those have I stitched this year?). It's from the 'East + West' pattern book by Mission Falls.
Don't you just love that luscious green wool. It's for a friend in Australia. She lives in the Melbourne area where they had those destructive fires last year. Everything was blackened and she seemed so sad. This will be her own little patch of grass.

I have to stitch 12 repeats of the diamonds. This wool feels so nice in my hands that I want to make the sweater that also uses these motifs. But that one I would have to keep.

I have made one other project from this book and find their instructions very good. I had a problem with the graph and sent them an email and later that night I had a response that answered my questions. Good company to deal with.

Back to that other project from this book. I never finished it. arg. Later today I am going to post a stitching challenge that you are invited to join. You'll like this one. I'll tell you about the project and maybe add a photo. Yes, I am going to embarrass myself. Please come back and read all about it.

Darilyn over at Tropical Screamer has posted a new block for her Sampler Quilt.

Anya over at Hills Creek Quilter has finished 9 additional blocks for her version of the Dear Jane Quilt.

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Bride Thief by Jacquie D'Alessandro

I needed a change of pace the other day and while searching through my mound of book yet to be read I came across this interesting looking Romance. I caught this at a Bookcrossing meeting at some point and had stashed it away.

The book is set in 1820's England. The main character, Samantha Briggeham is being forced into a marriage that she doesn't want. During a walk home from her fiance's, she is abducted by a man claiming to be 'The Bride Thief' who offers to save her from having to marry a man not of her choosing.

This was a new plot to me and it sounded interesting so I read on. I enjoyed the story, it had enough twists and turns to keep my interest and I was curious how the author would manage to bring these two together.

What I mainly get from reading a romance in lessons in how not to communicate. Most issues in this type of book result from the characters not being open with each other and this novel was no different.

Author Jacquie D'Alessandro has quite a number of titles to her credit so it's possible that I'll come across another of her books and would willing read it.

Friday, 4 December 2009

First Nations/Aboriginal Fridays - Pendleton Blankets

I started out with the very best of intentions to write about an author today, but I was distracted by a comments from last weeks entry about artist/author Marion Tuu'luq . I have now corrected my errors.
I browsed further on the site through out the day and came across some wonderful Pendleton blankets. The first:
The Second:

I didn't recall hearing of this type of blanket previously, so had to research them. This Portland, Oregon Company is privately held by the fifth generation of the same family. The blankets are amazing. Click the following link to browse.
Thanks to both the Spirit Wrestler Gallery and Pendleton's for their logos.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Recipe Thursday

When Darilyn over at 'Tropical Screamer' said she was going to do something with recipes on Thursdays, I thought I would join in. I didn't get any cooking done this week, but I did pull out my usual assortment of holiday cookbooks.
Today's selection I tend to use only at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. My family now expects that I make certain dishes.

'The Canadian Living Christmas Book' has been one of my faves since its publication in 1993. It is filled with wonderful food as well as lovely scenic, snow filled photos.

Recipes cover every aspect of Holiday feeding: fruit cakes, cookies and candies, gifts from the kitchen, casual dining, entertaining and the main feast. My favourite recipes include Sweet Potato and Carrot Crisp and Make-ahead Mashed Potato Casserole. Unfortunately this book is no longer available for purchase, though you might find it at a used book store. You can find new Christmas books by Canadian Living on the website.

I absolutely love the cover of the 'Canadian Living Family Cookbook'. One day when shopping I saw that dress that the little girl is wearing and the price was terrific. I bought it even though I didn't have a girl. I believe it was by Canadian Designer Simon Chang but don't quote me on it. Yes, my daughter did eventually wear the dress but it was in her closet for many years.

Update: December 4 2009 - I think that I was mistaken and the dress was made by Alfred Sung as possibly a Flower Girl Dress.

The book is filled with more gorgeous photos and recipes for family celebrations through out the year as well as decorating hints and such. I don't have a specific recipe I use from this book, but I do get it out every so often to enjoy the cover picture.

My aunt gave me the 'Crisco Cookies for a Year of Celebrations' a few years ago. I have no idea if I have ever used it, but that's not the point. When I was young and my aunt didn't have kids, I used to go to her house and bake cookies with her. She loved to bake and always thought it was more fun with kids around. She now had two kids and six grandchildren and she still loved to make cookies and her family famous cheesecake. If you would like to try some of the luscious looking recipes from Crisco, please visit their website.

In 1996 I purchased this lovely story and recipe book from my local Hallmark store. The first half of the book is the story of two young girls who seek to replicate the Christmas that their mother used to make. Mother is sick in the hospital and Dad isn't up to the traditions. The second half of the book contains all the recipes that are referred to in the story. It is a lovely book.

This is my latest addition to the collection. 'Company's Coming Holiday Entertaining'. This one is from the 17th printing in 2004, so it's a popular one. It is currently not available, though there are several other Christmas Cookbooks available from Company's Coming at this time. There is also a section of their website where you can print recipes to try before buying. I don't have a favourite from this book, but every time I open it, I am surprised by the pink pages. This is not specifically a Christmas Cookbook, rather holidays in general.

It has the full range of ideas from a Breakfast Pizza accompanied by Cafe au Lait, to a full Halloween feast with Witches Brew, Bat Wings, Scarecrows on Sticks, Tiny Cauldrons etc.

I hope that you have enjoyed visiting my Christmas Cookbook Shelf.

Next week I am looking forward to sharing waffles with you, and believe me they are much better than those ones you buy in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Be sure to visit Darilyn over at Tropical Screamer for her Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice recipe.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas has been living at St. Bartholomew's Monastery for 7 uneventful months. He is all set to enjoy his first taste of snow, but as we know with Odd, things just don't seem to turn out the way he wants.
I am not telling you any more or I'll be giving stuff away and I don't want to do that. I will tell you that this book has a terrific set of characters. Monks, nuns, a ghost dog, and even one of the ghosts has followed him from Pico Mundo.
I started this book early one morning and put it down when I was done. I loved every minute of it. I love Odd Thomas. Its not a romantic thought, and its not as though I think he needs mothering. I think it comes down to the way he thinks of and still loves Stormy Llewellyn (an if you need to ask who Stormy is, then read the first book in this series).
I hugged this book, I cried lots of tears and I sat there with it in my lap when I finished the last page, but I didn't want to close the cover. I didn't want it to end. I will have to go to my book store and buy the forth book in the series "Odd Hours".
Read my previous reviews:
Book 1 Odd Thomas
Book 2 Forever Odd
Book 4 Odd Hours

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Needlework Tuesday

I didn't do all that well with my needlework this week. I did sort out some of the fabrics and patterns for the Bird quilt with the best of intentions yesterday, but then I picked up 'Brother Odd' by Dean Koontz and didn't stop till I was finished. oops, so much for sewing. That book review should follow in a few days.

I did better on my knitting. I finished all the blocks from the second 'clue' on the Bernat Knit Along, and two of the three for the third pattern. I really like these diamonds. So far the three patterns have only used knit and purl stitches.

I plan to have more to show you next week.

Be sure to visit Darilyn over at 'Tropical Screamer', she has joined me this week in a Needlework update.

Thanks for coming by to visit.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Pink Ice by Susanna Carr

I spied this book on the clearance rack of my local store a while back. The audacity of a bright pink cover attracted me and had me wondering if it would be a bunch of fluff or would there be a story somewhere between the covers.

I was pleasantly surprised. There were several stories all linked together.

Lindsay, Sabrina and Nicole are sisters and they get carried away at an auction and spend a fortune to purchase a pair of 5 carat each pink diamond earrings that had belonged to musician Lia Dash. They are each hoping that wearing the diamonds will change their luck in life and in love. The next three short stories feature one of the sisters when it's her turn to wear the earrings for a month. In the final story, the sisters step out of the limelight and a forth woman appears, but you'll have to read to find out her involvement.

Yes, this is erotica, a bit more explicit than in a romance, but maybe not as much as you might expect.

This book is listed on Susanna Carr's website as a romance. She has also written a number termed 'erotica' under the pen name of Jenesi Ash (from Pokemon fame). You can see her complete catalogue at her website.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Don't Look Down by David Laing Dawson

When I received and email asking if I would like a copy of this book to review I noticed that David Laing Dawson is a relatively local author from the Hamilton, Ontario area. I have been trying to read local authors this year and his book did sound good, so I accepted the offer.
I'm glad I did. It was an eye-opener look at the complexities of the mentally ill. In the book we are introduced to four men who have been detained for the purpose of determining whether they are mentally fit to stand trial for murder.
Henry is 81 and may have killed his second wife who had terminal cancer. Even through his confusion, Henry comes across as a caring man. His youngest room-mate David, 18, is compulsive about maintaining routine and doing things just right. Joseph is mid age and has beaten his wife. Not a happy man in any way. Finally, there is Frank. Everyone is afraid of Frank. He's just plain dangerous.
As each man meets with his Doctor, we slowly start to learn about them. In fact, I am amazed that Mr. Dawson could portray each character and their very different ailments in such a slim volume of 174 pages. I even began to feel compassion for Henry and David.
This is not some glittery, pyscho thriller, rather it cuts to the core of some serious mental health issues, but doesn't make you feel as though you are reading text book or a case study. I would definitely read more by Mr. Dawson.
Click here to learn about David Laing Dawson's previous novels.

First Nations/Aboriginal Fridays artist Marion Tuu'luq

I borrowed this picture from the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre. Link for this site is at the bottom of the page.

I was looking for an author to feature today and instead came up this wonderful textile artist. Marion Tuu'luq, Inuit 1910-2002. She was born at Back River north west of Baker Lake, Nunavut Territory Canada.

I was struck by her choice of images and the wonderful use of colour. She tried a number of medium including beads, drawing and making large scale wool wall hangings.

I have included a number of links to both biographies, articles and images of some of her work.

An information page from an exhibit in 2004 at the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph, Ontario

A brief biography and bibliography of writings about Marion Tuu'luq from the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative, Concordia University

An article from Nunatsiaq Online, Iqaluit Newspaper

Two Serigraph Prints of drawings by Marion Tuu'luq on display at Spirit Wrestler Gallery Vancouver, British Columbia . Thanks to Eric at the Gallery for correcting my impression that these were fabric wall hangings.

To learn about the process of making a Serigraph visit Knottywood Treasures.

A google search of images by Marion Tuu'luq

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month


I did it. It's finished. I submitted and the count came back official. I win.

I did my happy dance and now life can continue.

Thanks to all the wonderful words of support you have sent me. It really did help.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Needlework Tuesday

Does it count as needlework accomplished if it has all been virtual? I am asking if designing a quilt and then describing it in my novel counts. Since my novel for NaNoWriMo involves a quilter, then she has to be designing quilts.

She has been involved in a round robin with four friends. She has just received her quilt top from the previous quilter . I'll paste in the description from my book. Hopefully I have described it clearly and you'll have the correct image in your mind.

My central barn block had been embellished with scattered embroidered flowers and a few birds roosting on the barn roof. There was a spider web across the vent above the main door. Yumika had added the first round. She had fused and then stitched a chicken, rooster, a clutch of colourful eggs, a pig, sheep, a cow and a white rabbit. For fun she also added a fox on the prowl. Unlike the rest of the round, the chicken and the eggs had been made of silk from a kimono from her grandmother. Yumika had added a note explaining that she couldn’t get the story of silk quilt at Castle Kilbride out of her mind and she wanted to commemorate that into my round robin. The background fabric for these blocks were various brown batiks. For corner stones she had pieced ‘Hole in the Barn Door’ blocks, which are essentially the same as the ‘Shoe Fly’ block that had been added to Yumika’s quilt top. She wouldn’t have known at the time she worked on my quilt.
My quilt top then travelled to Mady in Australia. She sent a note saying that she wanted to replicate the fields of crops that surround every farm. For that purpose she had chosen the roman Stripe block. This block is divided into two from corner to corner. One triangle is a plain colour fabric, in this case various shades of green such as you might find in a farmer’s fields, and the other side is stripes that run along the diagonal. These narrow strips were in the colours of the various crops such as red for tomatoes, gold for the various grains, yellow for corn, purple for eggplants etc. These were then oriented in a star pattern surrounding Yumika’s blocks. For the corner stones she had decided to continue with the Hole in the Barn Door blocks, though using the same colours that she had used in her other blocks.

Once my quilt top arrived in Russia it was Anya’s turn to add a round. She diversified the crops on my farm to include fruit. On three sides she fused and then stitched grapes, various coloured apples and pears, oranges, clusters of cherries, and peaches. As a background to the fruits she had used fabrics that looked like wild flowers. Across the top she added hour glass blocks made of different sky blue shades of batik fabrics. Following the lead of both Yumika and Mady, she had continued with the Hole in the Barn Door corner stones. The ones in the top corners were made from blues, while the ones at the bottom corners were the wild flower fabric for the backgrounds and reds for the balance of the blocks.

I was really getting to enjoy those corner stones. They were all structurally the same, yet colours and the styles of fabric were widely varied.

That brought me to Vashene’s round and she had taken her inspiration from Jane Steckle. Since all farms had fences she chose that feature for the final round. Jane’s block H-13 Farm Fields looked like a section of a fence. Jane had pieced a plain diagonal cross on a print background. Vashene re-sized to five and a half inches and made twenty-four of them, eight each for the two sides and the bottom. They were set together with a half inch sashing between. She used white for the cross and all over floral print for the background. Across the top she adapted another Dear Jane block G-6 Papa’s star. She appliqu├ęd the five point stars on sky coloured background setting them at various angles. In the centre of each star she had hand embroidered smaller stars in gold thread. For the four corner stones she had repeated the Hole in the barn door in colours keeping with the fence and the stars.

I did a bit more knitting on the Bernat Knit along. I now have 2 blocks from the second pattern completed. The 3rd block is posted on the Bernat blog.

I did take my son fabric shopping. He is taking a fashion class in high school and he needs to sew a second project that is more difficult than his first. He has chosen a button up shirt with a pocket and collar. He selected the brightest batik in primary colours they had in the store. I told him to remember to save me all the scraps for a future quilt. Never thought I would be asking my son for quilt fabric.

Hope to get to my sewing machine in the next week. I am feeling that need to create.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Home Stretch

I have topped 44000 words and am in the home stretch of my novel. This has been a blast. I could never have imagined that it would be so much fun to create characters and decide what to do with them. I did find that in reality, my characters began to talk to me and tell me what I would be doing with them. They had minds of their own.

I was going to let my main male character die of old age, but he firmly told me that he was going to be murdered in the next chapter. I had no choice as I had been setting him up from the point where he was introduced. Then his wife sprung a twist on me and got pregnant. oh my, I had not planned these things.

When did these people come to life?

I have made a few notes on loose ends that I need to tie up and one zinger that needs to be unleashed and then I'll be done. Wow.

A few more days and then its back to whatever normal is around here. Maybe I'll even read another book.

Stay tuned for my notice of complete and final word count.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Peter Pan: A Step-up Classic by J.M. Barrie adapted by Cathy East Dubowski

This is a really short version of J.M. Barrie's original. It is very easy reading and aimed at reading level grade 2.5.
to achieve this huge amounts of story have been left out. I found that it doesn't flow very well. Tends to jump from point to point and even i was confused as to where I was in the story.
While a child might find this acceptable, it drove me nuts. I can't recommend this book.
If you want a Peter Pan book to read, check my review of 'Peter Pan and the Star Catchers' by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
I have finally found a copy of what appears to be an un-abridged version of 'Peter Pan' and look forward to reviewing that in the near future. In the next few days I plan to post my review of 'The Child Thief'' by Brom, a different Peter type adventure.
Suggestions welcome of any other Peter Pan based stories. I do intend to find of copy of 'Peter Pan's Neverworld' by Peter Von Brown.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Needlework Tuesday

It's been a busy week for me. I am working every day on my novel and am doing more research than I could ever have imagined. Things like: how many Russians lived in Australia in 1914? Stops along the Trans Siberian Railway in 1904? Names of Tsar Nicholas II's children? and Japanese family crests to name just a few.

Yes, I really need to know all these plus I had to start looking up quilt blocks so I could design a virtual quilt to represent the trip on that railway by my characters. I will have to re-install my Electric Quilt and work up that design. I continually amaze myself at how much time I can spend doing odd little things. I should mention that I also spent hours flipping back and forth in my Dear Jane book selecting the perfect blocks to discuss in my novel. Of course my main character has to be a quilter and just like me she is sewing her version of the quilt in orange fabric. This week she pieced the two blocks shown here. Since a number of my characters are immigrating to Australia, I got wondering about the difference blocks Jane Stickle might have pieced had she been been Australian. Read my post titled "Dear Jane and Australia" and leave me a comment.

The first Block shown is H-7 Bennington Star. I got that fabric from my daughter and thought it fit perfectly. I missed on a couple of the star points, but I'm not going to sweat it. I was in need of some blocks with lighter orange fabrics.
The second block is A-4 Courtney's Stethoscope. I can't imagine why that title. I wanted to use another star fabric, but didn't have the luxury of getting to the quilt shop. I did have a bit of this fabric and to me it sort of looks like outer space with an orange twist. I did not paper piece, rather made it as a 9 patch as shown in the second photo and then cut it one point and added the outer borders.

Oops, I did make a slight mistake. The white cross in the middle should have been from the print fabric and the triangles around it should be white. I don't know if I'll redo this one. I rather like it.

Step 2 of the Bernat knit along is now available. I did up the block for my first colour the other evening. It was very straight forward. The tension was much better than the first block. I am looking forward to the next stitch pattern.

I had better get back to my novel as I am in the middle of describing a traditional Russian dinner circa 1904 and I am getting hungry and thirsty for the tea in the silver samovar.
come back next week and see what I have been stitching.
If you decide to join me and feature your Tuesday needlework, send me the link so I can post it here.

The Amanda Project: Book 1 Invisible I by Stella Lennon & Melissa Kantor

This months free Browse Inside full text is 'Invisible I' by Stell Lennon and Melissa Kantor.
I haven't read this one yet, but wanted to let you know that it's available.
I have included the publishers teaser to get you interested:
Amanda Valentino changed everything.

Callie Leary has exactly one thing, and one thing only, in common with Nia Rivera and Hal Bennett: They were each chosen by Amanda to be her guide. When Amanda arrived at Endeavor High, she told Callie she moves around a lot and always picks one person to help her navigate the choppy waters of a new school. Why did Amanda lie?

Following a course that they suspect Amanda deliberately plotted, Callie, Nia, and Hal piece together some cryptic clues. But they find more questions than answers and quickly realize that before they can figure out what happened to Amanda—the girl who changed their lives—they'll need to solve the most important mystery of all: Who is Amanda Valentino?
Be sure to visit the Amanda Project website for the full story
Thanks to HarperCollins for the cover photo and for posting the full text of the book free for the month of November.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Unbound by Kim Harrison, Melissa, Jeaniene, Vicki Pettersson, Jocelynn Drake

This is a collection of 5 short stories by authors known for their exploration of the mythic worlds. Fairies, vampires and superheros abound.

My favourite of the grouping was 'Ley Line Drifter' by Kim Harrison. It is set in Cincinnati at a time when the remaining human population lives in an uneasy peace with numerous 'other' beings. Jenks is a pixy who has the unusual job of a private investigator.

This was a take on pixy's that I had not experienced previously. in fact, I don't think I had even considered pixys as main characters before. I don't know why as this was a totally convincing portrayal. I loved this character and was sad when the story ended. I still want to read more of his exploits.

The creepiest story in the book is 'Reckoning' by Jeaniene Frost.

Bones is a vampire but also a bounty hunter and he is on the prowl for Delphine and Louis LaLauries who have been dismembering and eating people for two hundred in New Orleans. Bones is also a vampire with a conscience and great looks to boot. Yes, I definitely want more of him.

Dark Matters by Vicki Pettersson is the story of 2 superheros, one on the side of light and the other dark. They meet and the hormones fly. Good vs bad, love vs hate, with a illicit romance tangled within.

This story didn't really work for me, I never was much of a superhero fan.

The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten by Jocelynn Drake is the story of Mira, the Keeper of the Domain of Savannah. It's her job to police the behaviour of the 'nightwalkers' living in her territory. All hell erupts one night and Mira has to straighten it out before she is recalled to the 'Coven' to explain. That's one thing she definitely doesn't want to do. I loved the characters of Mira and her assistant/enforcer Knox. They work well together, very well indeed.

The final entry is by Melissa Marr titled 'Two Lines'. This story introduced me to a mythical being called a Glaistig, which is a female who has murdered and had sex within the same month. At issue in this story is Eavan, who has done neither and doesn't want to change, she likes being human. But, she is treading a very thin line and her grandmother Nyx is doing what she can to tip the balance. I was surprised that I didn't enjoy this story very much. I loved her earlier book 'Wicked Lovely', I guess I was expecting more faery stories.

If you enjoy mythic characters and strong moral characters, then you'll love this book. If you don't like vampires, well maybe not for you. As for age appropriateness, I am not letting my 13 year old daughter read this yet. She loves Vampire stories, but there is sex and violence, so she will have to wait.

Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me this book to review.

Also reviewed at:

Books & other Thoughts

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Dear Jane and Australia

If Jane Stickle had been Australian, then she would have pieced a block, perhaps one of the corner diamonds, to represent the Southern Cross constellation.

As some of you are aware, I have joined NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I have included the piecing of my version of the Dear Jane quilt in my plot. Well, as it turns out, the search for my missing Russian has led me , or should I say my main character`s search, to Australia. Thus I wanted to write about a block from the quilt that reminded me of those stars.

here`s the passage from my novel:

Then my mind drifted to my quilt and I wondered what different blocks Jane Stickle might have designed had she lived in Australia. Surely she would have pieced one of her corner diamonds to represent the constellation ‘The Southern Cross’. I’ll never forget the moment when I was standing on a roadside on Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand and I looked up and saw the stars. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew the moment I spied that constellation. I knew what I was seeing. Wow, one view I will never forget. Jane could have changed the upper right corner triangle and added two more stars to depict ‘the Southern Cross’. Since I want to maintain the integrity of my quilt by staying faithful to Jane, there are two other blocks that could stand in. Block A-4 Courtney’s Stethoscope has plain triangles to the top, bottom, and left and right sides with a cross in the middle. A second choice could be H-7 Bennington Star with its four quarter triangle blocks in the twelve, three, six and nine o’clock positions. I will definitely have to find orange fabric with tiny stars to use when I piece those blocks.

My question is, what block would you chose from the `Dear Jane`` quilt to represent the Southern Cross constellation

Karen has just finished her version of 'Dear Jane'. Select this link and you can see the corner block that I think could depict the Southern Cross constellation. You need to scroll down a little to the first picture.
Check out Anya's progress on her version of 'Dear Jane'

Friday, 13 November 2009

First Nations/Aboriginal Fridays Tekahionwake E. Pauline Johnson

E. Pauline Johnson was born March 10, 1861 on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. She passed away March 7, 1913 in Vancouver, British Colombia.
She was the daughter of Mohawk Chief George Henry Martin Johnson and Emily Susanna Howells.
The one things that stands out about Pauline is that she was very proud of her Indian Heritage. It was front and centre in her writing and in her many performances. Possibly it was due to the role her Indian grandfather Smoke Johnson played in her upbringing. He spent much time with her as a young child telling her stories of the Mohawk people and their legends.
After the death of her father in 1884, Pauline had to support herself and her mother. Encouraged by friends she started to submit her poetry and writings to various publications. She soon became well known for her dramatic orations.
If you would like to learn more about Pauline, see my earlier review of her biography Flint & Feather: The Life and times of E. Pauline Johnson, Tekahionwake, by Charlotte Gray
The Pauline Johnson Archive at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario contains a large collection of information.
The Brantford Public Library also has an online collection of article about Pauline.
Pauline Johnson: Her Life and work by Marcus Van Steen
This is a short introduction to the life of Pauline Johnson. Her biography covers the first 42 pages. Its the next 200 or so that were of most interest to me. This is a selection of her poetry, prose and articles.
I have included below the text of her most famous poem:
The Song my Paddle Sings
by E. Pauline Johnson
West wind, blow from your prairie nest,
Blow from the mountains, blow from the west.
The sail is idle, the sailor too;
O! wind of the west. we wait for you.
Blow, blow!
I have wooed you so,
But never a favour you bestow.
You rock your cradle the hills between,
But scorn to notice my white lateen.
I stow the sail, unship the mast:
I wooed you long but my wooing's past;
My paddle will lull you into rest.
O! drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
Sleep, sleep.
By your mountain steep,
Or down where the prairie grasses sweep!
Now fold in slumber your laggard wings,
For soft is the song my paddle sings.
August is laughing across the sky,
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I,
Drift, drift,
Where the hills uplift
On either side of the current swift.
The river rolls in its rocky bed;
My paddle is plying its way ahead!
Dip, dip,
While the waters flip
In foam as over their breast we slip.
And oh, the river runs swifter now;
The eddies circle about my bow.
Swirl, Swirl!
How the ripples curl
In many a dangerous pool awhirl!
And forward far the rapids roar,
Fretting their margin for evermore.
Dash, dash,
With a mighty crash,
They seethe, and boil, and bound, and splash.
Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
The reckless waves you must plunge into.
Reel, reel.
On your trembling keel,
But never a fear my craft will feel.
We've raced the rapid, we're far ahead!
The river slips through its silent bed.
Sway, sway,
As the bubbles spray
And fall in tinkling tunes away.
And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby,
Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Cure: The Blood Tapestry by Susan Phelan

Vampire erotica!
I was sent this book by a friend who has also joined the Canadian Book Challenge.
This is the first book by Edmonton author Susan Phelan. She has written two addtional vampire novels.
This is the erotically charger story of good vampire Valian who wants to regain his mortality. There is also Jack, the bad vampire who has been seeking Valian for ages and wants to destroy him. Then there is Dr. Chancella Tremaine who stands between them. She has been researching the vampire myth for several years and thinks she has found a way to bring vampire back from the dead.
She is scared of Valian, yet at the same time very attracted to him.
While I won`t quite call the attraction between them explosive, it did raise my heartbeat and certainly kept me turning the pages.
The only thing that lost me was a sexy vampire who can`t perform completely. As my son would say, you gotta go big or go home. In my image of a vampire, he`s got to go big. My daughter asked to read the book when I was done, but not appropriate in any way for a teen reader, but I won`t hesitate to lend it to a friend or two.
Thanks so much for the `fun` Canadian read.
If romance appeals to you, check out the publisher Cerridwen Press. There are several free short stories that you can download.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

This is the second book in the Dark is Rising Sequence by author Susan Cooper. The first book is titled 'Over Sea, Under Stone'.
This is the story of Will Stanton age 11. The day before his birthday a number of strange events occur. The family animals seem to be afraid of him, the radio goes static whenever he passes by and the neighbour Mr. Dawson gives his a gift and a cryptic message: "The walker is abroad, and this night will be bad, and tomorrow will be beyond imagining." This is only the start of a very unusual birthday and Christmas.
Will learns that he is one of the 'old ones' and that has been gifted with powers and that he must use them protect the world from the 'Dark' by finding six signs.
I was quite looking forward to reading this book, but it never really clicked with me. Each time Will was faced with a challenge, he seemed to meet it easily. There was more build up to finding the signs than actually getting them. I reminded myself that this book was written for a younger audience. Perhaps for them, that was enough, that it was all about facing the challenge and being brave and keeping your head.
I am not going to recommend this for an adult reader unless you are reading it to your child. For a young reader I think they would love it. It has magic, it has secret rituals and a huge amount of control is given to an 11 year old and he holds the key and the adults need him because they can't do what a child can.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Needlework Tuesday

This is it, the only needlework project that I touched all week.
its block L-5 Chattanooga Charlie. I wonder if it was given its name for the bowties in the two opposite corners? I enjoyed the challenge of making this block and getting the half square triangles the correct size. Mine came out just right. Notice that again I have varied from strictly orange fabric. I figure if I only use orange and nothing else, the quilt will look rather flat when done. Not enough contrast. So this has a bit of green and some burgundy in it. Aside form that, I love this fabric, its one that I could happily have a bolt of and not get tired of using.
I did do some other 'stitching' but not with a needle rather with words. As some of you are aware, I have taken on the challenge of NaNoWriMo and am spending much of November writing a novel. You can check out my progress over at the National Novel Writing Month website. You could also visit my friend Darilyn's blog 'Tropical Screamer Writes' where she is writing daily about this novel writing experience.
I am writing a mystery and of course it has a bunch of quilters as the main characters. They have been left clues to solving the mystery in 3 quilts that have been donated to a museum. My main character is also working on her version of a 'Dear Jane' quilt and she relates what is happening in her mystery to what Jane might have thought while she was piecing her blocks. Could be similar to what Brenda Papadakis wrote to Jane as she wrote her pattern book, but I don't know as I never did read those passages. At one point my main character (who doesn't have a name) was musing about the blocks she was piecing in honour of her 4 quilting friends. She chose A-7, B-1, H-12 and b-12. These are all blocks that have a component of 4 somethings; hearts, leaves, tear drops etc.
Now I am starting a section that talks about a rare silk quilt and the kimono fabrics that were used in the piecing, only I know very little about silk, so I am off to do some research. Thank goodness for the Internet.
I hope that I will get some more real stitching done this week and manage to keep up with the virtual quilt in my novel. I think I pieced 8 virtual blocks last week. oops, I am falling behind. Funny how my character could also afford to buy much more fabric while shopping hopping than I could.
Better get back to my story. Let me know which block from 'Dear Jane' that I should work into my novel next.
Bye for now and happy stitching.

Friday, 6 November 2009

First Nations/Aboriginal Fridays: George Copway, Kahgegagahbowh

A few weeks back I wrote about Ojibway write/story teller Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh/George Copway. While at my library I came across a children's book that is a re-telling of one of his stories. It has the most lovely of pictures.

'Ladder to the Sky' a legend retold by Barbara Juster Esbensen Illustrated by Helen K. Davie

'Ladder to the Sky' is the retelling of 'How the Gift of Healing came to the Ojibway Nation'

It tells the story of how the Ojibway peoples live a healthy and long life with no illness and death. One day jealousy comes into their midst and from that point life is not so idylic. Eventually one person breaks a taboo and the Great Spirit brings illness on the peoples. The Great Spirit also brings the gift of knowledge about the flowers and berries and their healing properties.

The amount of details in these pictures is amazing. Look below the women's feet at the details of the woven mats.

This painting depicts the gift of knowledge of healing with all the fruits and flowers being given to the people.
This is a lovely retelling of the story. It will appeal to both children and adults.
Read my earlier posting about George Copway
See more work by Helen K. Davie

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Needlework Tuesday - oops I forgot this item

One of my dearest friends in the world was planning to visit me a week and a half ago. A few days prior to the visit she sent me and email to say that her beloved cat Kahlua, who had lived with her for around 17 years, had passes away.
I felt sad for her. Kahlua was a lovely cat to look at, though I have to admit I didn't know her as she was very reluctant to come out of hiding when ever I was there.
I wanted to do something to honour her, so what better than to make a wall hanging.
I used a pattern by designer Pam Bono called 'Cat Naps' and made just a single block. I changed the colours to match Kahlua's colouring.
This finished wall hanging is shown here. It measures 14 inches tall by 16 wide.
My friend really likes it and says it looks just like her cat.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Needlework Tuesday

Turned out this was a good week for finishing projects. or at least finishing those ones that really didn't need much more work.

First pictures shows our dog Atreyu modelling the scarf that my daughter started last winter. She was knitting it on one of those round looms. One strand of fake fur and one strand of some glittery stuff from a project from many years ago that never got made. She gave up and I decided to finish it for her. The dog kept trying to run away with it each time I put it down, so a very fitting picture.

You've seen this scarf before. It had been waiting for its fringe. Wanting to tidy away all those leftover balls of yarn I grabbed an empty cracker box and started winding the yarn around, when I had enough, I cut one edge and started knotting them on. The scarf if a tube, so the fringe serves to hold it closed.

This pair of socks has sat far too long waiting for me to graft the toes shut. I finally forced my self to do it the other day. One toe is poorly grafted and the other is knit together and bound off in one step. I'll wear them and see if I have a preference. Doesn't bother me that they are different and at least they are now finished. Yippee.
Didn't get to my sewing machine at all. My head is still fuzzy from being sick, I think I have a bit of fever every now and then, so I am not going near my rotary cutter. I've made that mistake before. No progress to report on either the Bird Quilt nor the Dear Jane.