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.

Monday, 2 November 2009

I'm Feeling Better

I feel like a new person this morning. Still not 100% but so much better.
Thanks to everyone for their messages of concern and best wishes. Hope that all of you manage to avoid this flu. Its a very different one. No tummy upset but lots of fever.
Take care and thanks again for your messages to both my daughter and myself.

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Do you keep putting it off saying you'll do it when you have more time/when the kids grow up/when you retire? Well it's time to stop procrastinating and put the pen to paper or your fingertips to the key board and get started.

It's National Novel Writing Month and all are welcome to pen that epic that they've had in mind. Actually, its international in scope even though the official name says National.

I concept is to write every day during November with the goal of finishing the month with a novel of at least 50 000 words. It is a do able goal just don't worry about editing and all that other stuff that your english teacher would have hounded you about. Leave that for later. For now just get the words on the page.

I never really had this burning ambition to write a novel. Its my daughter. She is writing all the time. I found out that there is a junior version to this program and she signed up. She was allowed to set her own goal of 13 000 words. I joined up so I could encourage her along the way. She'll see me writing so she should want to write (at least that's the plan).

We both wrote yesterday and looks like we are on track.

My Story line:
There are 5 quilters and they buy fabric, drink Tim Horton's coffee and they are yet to come across a mystery that they have to solve by investigating some quilts. and then... Oops, I haven't got any further than that thought.

Have I got you interested? Want to join the fun?

I need a better name for my quilter from Russia. Any suggestions please leave a comment.

NaNoWriMo website
NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program website