Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Quick Update and A Book Review

When I wrote my last post on March 3, I didn't think it would be April 18 before posting anything else. Life has been very, very busy!! I started college in March. I'm working to get my CNA. The course is 6 1/2 weeks total which means a lot of work to do in a short time! Studying took up quite a lot of my time. When I wasn't in school or studying, I was either working at Chick-fil-A or spending time with family and friends. 


School will be over next week! I've also had fewer hours at work so hopefully I'll be posting a little bit more often again. 

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In all the busyness, I did have time to do a little bit of reading. Bethany House Publishers sent me a copy of Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan's newest book Where Trust Lies in exchange for an honest review on my blog.

Cover Art
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This book is the continuation to the story told in their previous book, Where Courage Calls. Beth Thatcher returns to her home in Toronto after teaching for a year in Coal Valley. After living out west with not a lot of luxuries, Beth has a hard time adjusting to city life again. Soon after her arrival, her mother and sisters announce plans for a family holiday on a steamship. Beth would rather stay at home but feels like she should spend time with her family since she hasn't been able to spend time with them for the past year.

Because this book starts where the first one ended, it felt like I was already involved in the story when I started. It was really easy to read and the story was engaging. As with all books by the Okes, everything was clean and there were no uncomfortable scenes in the book. It probably wasn't my favorite of her books. I think I liked the first book in this series better. It could be because the setting of Coal Valley was more intriguing than a cruise ship?  Either way it was still well written and worth taking the time to read. 

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Hopefully, the time between posts will be shorter this time!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sisters Book Challenge: The Witch of Blackbird Pond



Book 1
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare


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Several years ago, I read a couple of books by Elizabeth George Speare: Calico Captive and The Bronze Bow. Both were excellent books and I really enjoyed reading them. I was interested in reading more from the author but I was a little leery of the title of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I thought it might delve into witchcraft and I didn't want to read about that. When Kristin put that book on the challenge list this year, I decided to give it a try. The book turned out to be wonderful! Even though the title suggests otherwise, this book has nothing to do with witchcraft. 

The story is about a girl who arrives in colonial Connecticut to live with family. Kit struggles to fit in to the rugged lifestyle after moving from Barbados. The people of the town are suspicious of Kit because of her past and the different customs she's brought with her. The only place she feels at ease is in the meadows where she befriends a Quaker woman named Hannah. Hannah is an outcast herself and is known by the town as the Witch of Blackbird Pond because her faith differs from the rest of the townspeople who are Puritans.

Elizabeth George Speare is an excellent author and really engages the reader in the story. Her books are well worth taking the time to read!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Finished Project

A week or so ago I hinted at a project I was working on. The goal was to have more storage for books.

My sister was getting rid of a hutch she no longer wanted and I took it. I decided not to use the top of the hutch for now and just use the bottom part. It was a little worn in spots but the wood finish didn't go with my other pieces of furniture so I went ahead and painted it. 

Before:


I wanted this piece to look like my desk so I used the same process I used on that. I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

After:


The cabinet part of the hutch has shelves inside. I'm storing my biographies, cookbooks, poetry books and coffee table books in there. The drawers have nature guides, my stamp collection, my chargers and electronic cords, and a few odds and ends. It really holds a lot and I'm so happy to have more storage space. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Craft-A-Day

Remember this?



How about these?



Or this one?




All of these patterns and more I found in the book Craft-A-Day by Sarah Goldschadt.

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The idea is to make one simple craft each day for 365 days. Each week has a different theme. Themes include animals like dogs, cats, bears, foxes, fish, ladybugs, and rabbits, as well as items such as hearts, hexies, snowmen, mustaches, umbrellas, rain clouds, etc. Crafts include stuffed objects, finger puppets, cupcake toppers, cards, tags, ornaments, phone cases, and more.

I don't use this book to create a craft each day, but I do use it to get inspiration when making crafts. It's a good jumping off point. With all the patterns available in the book, I can start with the basic shapes and work to create my own project.

Take the bird keychain I made. (Picture above.) The book didn't have directions on how to make a keychain but it did have directions and the pattern to make a felt ornament. All I did was add a loop of felt to attach a keyring to while I was stitching.

I've made a lot of gifts from this book.

My friend Kate loves foxes so for her birthday I made her a whole collection of foxy items. A stuffed fox, a fox ornament, a fox necklace, a fox card, and a fox gift tag all came the "fox week" section of the book. 



Children love these woodland stuffed animals. A trio makes a perfect birthday or Christmas gift. 



Finger puppets are also a great gift for kids. 



A little house magnet looks so cute on the refrigerator. 



This is a great book for crafters to own and get inspiration from.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Photo Friday: Books, Books, Books!

My bookshelves needed straightening up so I piled all the books in the floor to sort through. It should have been done a long time ago since my books were really overflowing my shelves. I discovered books I forgot I had (which is always fun) and now I know that all the books on my shelf are ones I really do want. 

Side note: even after weeding some books out and straightening up everything, I still had too many books. One thing led to another and now I'm working on a project which will involve more storage space for books and other things. I'll share pictures of it when I'm finished...



Kati's Little Corner of the World

Friday, January 30, 2015

Photo Friday: Stink Bug

This stink bug was found in our dining room. Before removing him, I had to take a few pictures of him. Isn't the detail fascinating?



Kati's Little Corner of the World

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sisters Book Challenge 2015

Kristin and I have decided to do the Sisters Book Challenge again this year. We've had so much fun reading the books on our lists in 2013 and 2014. It's a good way to read books we might not have picked up on our own.

The challenge is to read at least five of the ten books on the list. Both years Kristin and I have read more than the required five. 




My list of books for Kristin to read:


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
An Unlikely Friendship by Ann Rinaldi
Twice Freed by Patricia St. John
The Night Shift by Dr. Brian Goldman
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
A Coal Miner's Bride by Susan Bartoletti
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Tea and Trouble Brewing by Dorcas Smucker
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss



Kristin's list of books for me to read:


A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay
The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Eight Twenty Eight by Ian and Larissa Murphy
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg


I'm looking forward to a reading a lot of these books. It's looking like a good reading year!