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2016 Book Challenge Update

I’m happy with my progress so far, in January I read (or listened to) eight books. You’ll notice that these are not actual book reviews, only comments on my feelings about the book. 🙂

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I have really enjoyed the Royal Spyness series until this one. It was very slow going, and for the first time ever I turned up the speed on an audio book. I had given up on it ages ago, but decided I’d see if I could finish it. From now on I’m sticking hard and fast to the 50 page rule – if I don’t like it at page 50 I’m done.

 

 

 

 

 

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I adored Liane Moriarty’s book Big Little Lies and The Last Anniversary did not disappoint. I love Moriarty’s writing style. She paints a beautiful, complex picture without being overly wordy. This is a rich and compelling story. I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

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I love YA novels. I’m mentally stuck at about age 15 so they’re perfect. 🙂 The first in this series, Deep Fried and Pickled, was adventurous, funny, and very entertaining. Summer Flambé continued in that vein and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the character development satisfying, and the story line kept me turning pages.

 

 

 

 

 

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Book three of the series slowed down a bit, and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. The plot was just not that interesting. I was disappointed, and am not in a rush to get the next one, although you’ve noticed I did read the whole book. I am a little curious, so perhaps when I get through my giant mountain of TBRs I’ll give book 4 a go.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mystery and Art in one book? I love it! This is a great book. I fell in love with the characters right away, their little quirks are entertaining. I found the story compelling and hard to put down. Loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

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More YA. 🙂  I really enjoyed these two books. I’m not all that into the fantasy genre, but these were recommended by Amy over at Bookzilla.

Check out her review:        http://www.amypeveto.com/2014/08/21/the-castle-behind-thorns

I’m so glad I read these – wonderful!

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I’ve had this book for ages and ages, and finally decided to pick it up. I have mixed feelings about it. I like the main character – I’ve seen many of the TV episodes on PBS – but I found the book to be too wordy for my taste. James does paint an elaborate picture, I felt like I was there. But it was slow reading for me. If I were a faster reader I would have enjoyed it more. It is a good story though, and worth reading.

 

 

 

 

Have a great week!

30 Paintings in 30 Days

I signed up for Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. Lots and lots of artists are participating – it’s not too late to join us!

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I’ve gotten off to a bit of a slow start, no real surprise with all the holiday aftermath. We went to Austin for 6 days for a family get together with our son and daughter-in-law. We stayed in our camper which makes for an inexpensive trip, but there’s lots of work to do when we get home – unloading and putting everything away. And oh the laundry!

 

I did finish one painting so far, Moonlight, 8 x 8 inch, acrylic on panel.

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Have a great week!

Cowtown Indie Bazaar

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Phew! We made it through another vendor bazaar. This one was indoors – much better. And it was juried – all the vendors were great.

 

It was sponsored by North Texas M.A.D.E., check them out!

North Texas M.A.D.E.

We have a new booth set up and I just love it, so clean and modern. The pieces are very lightweight and easy to handle so set up is a breeze. It took about 90 minutes and we were not rushing at all.

Here’s everything we took, I was amazed at how little space it takes.

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Unloading at the Amon G. Carter building in the Fort Worth Will Rogers Memorial Complex.

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Coming into the vendor space…

 

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Bruce attaching the top pieces of the panels, my arms are too dang short!

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Now to get the art out…

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And here’s the finished booth!

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We had much better sales than at our first show so I was pleased with the day. And I learned a lot once again. I really enjoy these shows. I meet other vendors and they are the nicest people! It’s kind of like a club that’s hosting a party. 😀  A lot of people come by the booth and look at my work and I hand out a lot of business cards, so there’s opportunity for future commissions and sales.

I’m beginning to tweak my inventory for the shows based on what is selling. My small framed tiles are popular – I’ll be making more of these…

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Have a great week!

 

A Quilt Finish!

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I am excited to have a quilt finish to share. I made this one for my son-in-law’s twin sister and her new husband as a wedding gift. The wedding was October 24th and I gifted it on time, I’ve just been lazy about posting!

The pattern is Trajectory by Megan at Monkey Beans blog. The link is to the first blog post of the tutorial series and you can link to the other segments easily from there. The tutorial is quite good, easy to understand and follow. I made the 6 inch (finished) blocks as in the pattern, and the finished quilt is 54 x 72 inches.

I have not been such a big fan of paper piecing, but I think it was mostly because I kept choosing really complex blocks to learn with. Doh! This block is super easy and FAST. I had so much fun putting the blocks together.

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The fabric I selected are: a cream solid, a light khaki with tiny dots, and a dark khaki with tiny dots, all from Moda (I’m pretty sure, I didn’t write it down, oops). The feature fabric is Ruby Star by Melody Miller. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and knew it was perfect for my hipster friends Meghan and Kevin. Naturally it had to be the back of the quilt, and the binding which has a fun scrappy feel.

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Many thanks to Megan for taking the time to make the tutorial. Y’all should give it a try!

2016 Book Challenge!

This year I pretend signed up for a LOT of book challenges, and I read like crazy from January 1 to April 23, when I went on a trip to Europe. I did actually finish 3 books on that 2 week trip, but then when I got home I took a break and never really got back on track. Luckily, I don’t berate myself for such behavior. I mean, I read for fun, right? I wasn’t sure I would sign up for any book challenges in 2016 until I found this one…

charityreadingchallengeA reading challenge for charity? Crazy good! I’m not making a plan or a list, I’m just going to read books and then write them down. There are different ways to donate – I’m pledging $.50 per book read to the Lake Dallas Animal Shelter, and $.50 per book read to the Lake Dallas Library. I changed my mind! I’m pledging $2.00 per book read to the Lake Dallas Animal Shelter, and $2.00 per book read to the Lake Dallas Library.

Click the icon and check out Becky’s Book Reviews with all the details!

If you’re looking for a book challenge this one is a fantastic idea. Won’t you join me?

Teal Mini Swap 2015

Teal Mini Swap 2015 Blog Hop

I love making quilts. And I love helping raise money for cancer research. I got to combine these two in September for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with a quilt swap. For non-quilters – I make one little quilt, and the person I’m paired up with makes one, and we swap through the mail. The organizer of the swap, Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs , was able to send over $2,000 to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund! For this swap we could choose to make a mini quilt, up to 24 inches square, or make a Mug Rug, which is a small placemat for a mug and a treat, about 8 x 10 inches. I chose Mug Rug. 😀

I have never participated in a quilt swap before so I was a little nervous. As part of the swap we received a square of teal fabric. It took me quite a while to choose other fabrics to go along with it. My swap partner emailed me and we chatted back and forth about what we like – that helped a lot. I finally chose Handcrafted 2 by  fabric designer Allison Glass.

I love these hand made batik fabrics, so fresh, and rich in color.

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I also selected a kitty fabric, Retro Atomic Tabby Cat from Michael Miller fabrics

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Next I had to choose a design. Aaaccckkkk! I finally decided on a modified Log Cabin block, with two of the kitty images “fussy cut” to be featured in the center. Here’s my final product…

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For the machine quilting I chose white thread, and used a wavy line stitch on my sewing machine.

 

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. And I learned that I like making small quilts!

 

 

 

Here’s the Mug Rug I received from my swap partner…

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I love love love it!

I’m so happy I participated in this swap. I made a new friend, I received a super cute Mug Rug (plus a fat quarter of that adorable tiger kitty fabric), and I helped raise money for cancer research. Win. Win. Win.

 

 

 

Check out these other bloggers posting about Teal Mini Swap 2015:

October 12 – Twelo Quilting and One Quilting Circle
October 13 – Susan Brehm and Books Hooks Sticks Etc
October 14 – Teachpany and Bobbin’s Lullaby
October 15 – Splitting Stitches and Purple Leaf Quilts
October 16 – Blue Ribbon Sewing and Quilt Art by Megan

Teal Mini Swap Blog Hop Starts Today!

I’m very excited to participate in a blog hop for the first time, and we’re starting today! My blog hop post will be up tomorrow, please join us and check them all out. Nearly 200 people made mini quilts/mug rugs to swap and they are gorgeous.

Here’s a link to Quilting Hottie Haven with full info about the swap.

Teal Mini Swap 2015 Blog Hop