Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Today I am doing a post about a fun book.
And gratitude.
I  love checking out fun ideas on pinterest 
and doing simple things to decorate my home.

"DIY type" by Dana Tanamachi is a fun book!
Instead of giving step by step how to directions
She has only 14 pages that tell about how she started her business 
Plus double page tutorials that list some supplies and a few ideas.

I took her idea and brainstormed a fun Fall banner for my home.
I love watercolor so I grabbed some extra inexpensive watercolor paper and played in some fun fall colors. I drew out two leaves to add to the banner as well.

It's hard to see the opalescent paints but let me tell you it's really pretty.
( you can also visit jones design company blog to see something similar hanging in her hallway!) 
The rest if this book is two font sizes of stencils in heavy card stock.

This is a brilliant idea!
I can keep the book on my shelf and stay organized. 
No small pieces to try and keep track of!!

This book is easily a five star read for me!
Thank you to Blogging for Books and Potter Style publishing for the opportunity to review this book.
This is my personal opinion and I was in no way compensated for my review!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Yarn along and a book review!

I'm joining Ginny over at Small things for Yarn along this week, a few days late but thankful i can still join in.

It's always fun when a new yarn falls into your lap. 
I love to go shopping at a little store that gets close outs and have picked up some amazing deals.
I bought two skeins and wound it this afternoon.

I usually won't review a book so quickly after it arrives but with this new yarn begging to be knit up and a little person playing happily in her room I was able to digest the entire book in a few hours.
Let me start by saying I smiled when I saw her dedication. She dedicated the book to her Ravelry friends- Ive met so many amazing women and learned so much on Ravelry.

So let me tell you how great this book is, the author is sharing tricks to take knitting to the next level. I love how each chapter focuses on a specific technique, wrapped stitches, twisted stitches, lace work tricks, and beads. The author starts off each chapter with a small pattern for a wristlet or necklace and moves on to hats, fingerless gloves, scarves, and ending with shawls. She provides a great description of the technique and the patterns use various weights of yarns. All of the patterns were something I would knit for myself or someone I love, it's not often that a I find a book that has so many patterns that are fun and practical. The  twenty three patterns cover a large range of skill levels, so plenty of things for a beginner all the way to difficult.

Some other things I really enjoyed were the yarn weight system and in the back a list of knitting techniques. This comes in handy if you are someone like me that likes to knit on the go, if I can't remember a stitch I can find what I need with a flip of the page. An added bonus is a little icon throughout the book. The author actually has a video on her webpage for that specific technique! Handy for a visual learner like me when learning something new. 

I've been knitting seriously for several years and I am so excited to explore new techniques and add this book to my shelves.
This book will easily get five out of five stars.
Thank you to blogging for books for the opportunity to review this book. 
This review is my own opinion and I was in no way compensated for this review.

The next book I've read is " loves Fortune" by Laura Frantz.
I have found a new favorite author! What a great historical romance. I enjoyed the well developed characters and felt emotionally attached to their struggles and joys. The plot was well thought out and attention to detail really kept my interest.The authors attention to detail really drew me in from page one and kept me up way past my bedtime many a night. I will admit I had to write this review before reading the last few chapters because I have been savoring every word. This book would get more than five stars if that was possible! Thank you Laura Franz for such a beautiful story. ( sorry no spoilers! Please go pick up a copy for yourself- you won't be disappointed!) a thank you to Revell books for the opportunity to review this book. This review is my personal opinion and I was in no way comoensated for a positive review. 

I want to close with sharing the cute little capelet I knit for Lil G.
I have the directions written down and will share on Ravelry.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yarn along and a book review, or two!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading (though not at the same time!), and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Ginny Sheller @ simple things 

If you have been following my blog for long you will know that I have a heart for adoption.
I was so excited when I was given the chance to review this book. 

" The Desire" was written byDan Walsh and Gary Smalley.
 I really enjoyed the main characters in this book,  Allen and Michelle, and Christina. I felt like the characters were well developed and enjoyed reading the emotional struggles as well as how they processed the events as they unfolded and in return grew in their faith walk. Having been a mother both through giving birth and adoption I really appreciated this story. The focus on missions, character growth and humility within a community of other believers was also touched upon and I loved how it was woven into all aspects of this book. Not just going to church but being the church.

I found out that this book is part of a series and appreciate that it can be read as a stand alone. I am sure I will end up purchasing the other books because I enjoyed the characters and plot. 

Thank you to Revell books for allowing me the opportunity to review this book.
This review is my humble opinion and I was in no way compensated for my review.

I have decided to knit a " capelet" for our little princess. Little G has gone out shopping for yarn with me recently and picked out this yarn. Of course it's her favorite color, purple. I wasn't able to find exactly what I wanted and decided I would invent a pattern that could be knit until I ran out of yarn. It's really sweet and I am pleased with the results. 

I guess a capelet could be described as a long collar or a shortened cape. Very sweet. I might end up posting the pattern on my ravelry page when life settles down a tad. I just can begin to tell you how crazy it has been. Lil G has been having " startle spells" which result from having silent seizures in the night. She was hospitalized the last weekend in July, on  my birthday. Then a month later her oldest brother was hospitalized. He was very very sick and I am ever so thankful he didn't have a stroke. Tests have been run and we don't have a diagnosis or good idea of what happened or how to prevent it. 

The second book I have to review is " Simple Thai Food" written by Leela Punyaratabandhu. She actually has a blog called the Thai home Kitchen. I loved this cookbook! We enjoy Thai food and have been trying our hand at cooking it with the limited ingredients we've been able to find at the big box grocery. This cookbook is just amazing, the author filled it with a beautifully written history of the dishes and how they are traditionally prepared, she then adapts them for cooks like you and I. She offers suggestions for ingredient descriptions, substitutes, and resources on where to purchase hard to find ingredients. The photography and writing was just beautiful. sadly with all the chaos going on lately I haven't been able to try any of the recipes. I simply cannot wait!
 Thank you to blogging for books for the opportunity to review this beautiful book. This review is completely my humble opinion and I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Well Hello July!!

May and June were just a blur! 
How can it possibly be July already?!

        ( my drafting table back in its place. The power tools need to find their home so I can create!)

Our flood repairs are complete and all I have left is
Painting trim work and doors.
I'm loving the flooring we chose for my sons room.
It's actually linoleum.
It's sold in " planks" and has an adhesive.
Cuts with a razor blade for easy installation.
( water resistant and flexible. Both are must have )

My oldest daughter is now engaged!
She and her fiancé spent last week with us.
The best thing we did was sit down that first evening
Make a " to do list".
The only thing that didn't get done was a girls day with friends.
They had company visiting so it just wasn't good timing.
I call that a huge success!

I created my first word art using a photo from our day at the beach.
If you knew how much Lil G dislikes the beach,
This word art speaks volumes.
We have decided we HAVE to get her out to the beach at the very least once a week
This trip she actually asked to go back into the water.
I cannot express what a huge step this is for her. 

I've been so so busy
I hope your summer has been productive and 
Most importantly

Happy Fourth of July!

Taking a few minutes to pause,
Thankful for beautiful weather,
The humidity was so low this afternoon,
Lil G was able to play in her wading pool all afternoon.
It was such a great day for both of us.

                        ( a watercolor painting I did in 2011-  Proud to be an American) 

Last night we went to our local triple A teams ball game and their Fourth of July fireworks,
So tonight we are laying low and enjoying each other.

I have two excellent books to tell you about!
The first book is a topic dear to my heart, watercolor painting.
This book is called " Urban Watercolor sketching" by Felix Scheinberger.

This book took me by surprise.
I thought I was getting a book about a certain painting method,
You know, a "How to sketch using watercolors" book. 
Boy was I wrong!
This book delves into the history of watercolor painting and how each of the pigments
Are made. Each new color story was a treat to read, and each page I turned was full of great 
Information. Topics covered the whole gamut in watercolor painting, tool sz& paper, color theory, and even some tips on how to price your work.
What a great book! So happy to have this resource and to have some new ideas to explore.
I will rate this five out if five stars.
Thank you to Blogging for books and Watson Guptill for the opportunity to review this book.
This review was completely my own opinion and I was in no way compensated for it. 


The second book was " Child of mine" by David and Beverly Lewis.
I have read several of Beverly Lewis' books and looked forward to reading something written by both her and her husband.
I  was drawn into the storyline right from the beginning. I have enjoyed reading stories with two story lines and that is what you will find in this captivating story. I'm not someone to give away any of the secrets so you don't have to worry about that in my review, and let me just say there were quite a few surprises! This was a very good book, I have found myself feeling sad the past few days because I've finished the last page and closed the cover. This book will recieve five stars.
Thank you to Bethany House publishers for the opportunity to review this book. This review was my own personal opinion of this book and I was in now way compensated for it.


Just in case you are wondering, I am still knitting the sweater for my mother in law.
I have the two front pieces and back done and this is the start of the sleeve.
The yarn is a mercised cotton and really is lovely to work with.
I think I would be starting on the second sleeve 
if I took into account that the pattern has 3/4 length sleeves.
I know my mother in law wouldn't be happy with that so planned on adding to the length.
The thing I didn't take into account is that your forearm is larger than your wrist.
I had completed the whole lacework edging before realizing it just wouldn't work.
Being the perfectionist I am I had to start over.

Oh well.
I hope this weekend is full of beautiful moments!

Under His Wings,

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's dream new dreams!

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." 
                                                                                - Helen Keller

Call me a dreamer,
I have hopes and dreams for each one of my children.
If I'm not mistaken,
Most parents dream of what their children will aspire to.
Just because my youngest daughter has multiple disabilities does not change this fact.
If I think back over the past four years I can see how much my dreams have changed.
Is that a good thing I wonder? 
Should my dreams for Lil G remain the same?
Sometimes I fear I am setting us up for disappointment and other times I shake my fist at others
Don't tell me what is or isn't possible.

A week and a half ago, June 8th marked "gotcha day " as we call it in the adoption world.
Four years ago!!
Since then we've had our ups n downs.
Don't we all??
I have had to re group a few times since our day 1 together.
If you've been following along you will know what I speak of.
New diagnosis's that really shook me to the core.
Epilepsy, legally blind, unable to sweat-
 and fighting the " system"-both educational and medical.
I'm looking forward to a new schedule this upcoming school year.
 A new normal.
Lil G thrives on routine.
Let's dream new dreams together!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A book review- knitting reimagined

I was so excited to receive a copy of Nicky Epstien's new book. 
I own one of her books already and have purchased others as gifts. 
As a seasoned knitter I appreciate the thought that went into this book.
 The patterns are clearly written and have good diagrams 
to explain innovating ideas for construction, 
with both charts and written directions to suit anyone's knitting preference. 
The author also categorized the patterns in chapters based on each construction method.
 I enjoyed the way each pattern had a thorough introduction,
 it not only listed the typical information about needle and yarn requirements,
 but also had skill level and an idea of how much time the garment would take an average knitter to make. 
My absolute favorite part is how the author tells how you can reimagine
 or reinvent the garment to suit your tastes. 
The book includes patterns for small to x Large sizes 
and also has patterns for all skill levels. 
It is frustrating when purchasing a pattern book 
to have patterns that are only for smaller sizes 
or that only have one or two patterns a novice knitter could try knitting.

        All that being said, when I am looking for a book to have on my bookshelf 
I am very ruthless and probably wouldn't care to own this one, 
reserving it to check out from the library or borrow from a friend. 
I would highly recommend anyone considering purchasing this book 
to find a copy at a local yarn or bookstore first. 
Many of the projects are " uniquely atypical" 
which was exactly what the author was trying to create. 
That being said, there are only four patterns that I would consider knitting out of 25. 

                               ( my two favorite projects)
Thankfully, there are enough suggestions and I have enough imagination 
to see potential in several others. 
I wish all of the patterns were more on the practical side, 
but we have many authors that are creating knitting projects like that right now.
 Kudos to Nicky Epstein for stepping outside the box in a brave fashion forward book. 

     Thank you to blogging for books, and potter craft books for the opportunity to review this book. This review is my personal opinion and I was in no way compensated for this review. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ink stains



                      ( my "studio" in shambles so creating on the couch)

If you were to visit my home today you would find.
In the middle of renovations/ repairs from the recent flood.
The remains of my tenth year old sons room are in the living room,
And homeschool room.
Drywall dust.
Paint swatches litter the desktop
Searching for just the right color.

The sewing machine piled high with brightly colored fabrics
A path through the piles
Piles of art studio misc 
So that sewing can be done.
You would find all the contents of the laundry room in the living area,
Because the washer is not working,
Since the washer and dryer stack and are in a small space,

The ink and calligraphy nibs with knitting projects and a quilt in progress
All piled high within reach.
Call me Someone with ADHD
I call myself an artist
Trying to survive the mayhem 
Floods and little ones seizures returning within days of one another
They may try to break me
But I know what lies within
I was born to create,
I was made to " see" with the eyes of my heart.

        ( quilt is done and someone is grouchy about getting out of bed!)



                                                Seeing beauty in the mess. 
                                 I guess the hydrangeas loved all the rain and water.........

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yarn along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~


Joining the ladies over at Yarn along again,

Still knitting the MIL cardigan.
I've measured and have reached the 13" the pattern calls for-
One more inch to go
I thought the pattern was a little short for her tastes. 

What I am reading,
A yellow paged paperback
"Joni" by Joni Earkeson Tada
Go take a peek over at Joni and friends if you are interested,
A great organization helping those with disabilities and their family.
They've developed resources for Churches as well.
I subscribe to her daily devotional and enjoy it.

Lil Gs weighted blanket is complete!
Last night was the maiden voyage.
When she saw it in her bed she squealed with delight
" Ooooh! me! " 
Followed by a happy dance.
And ASL signing "blanket" 

Getting her out of bed this morning was nearly impossible.
You can see she got out of bed to get her puppy
Is snuggled back in bed listening to music.
She kept signing, " hungry" 
But refused to get out if bed

I carried it to the living room to pile up n watch TV
She wasn't enthused and was allowed to get back in bed.
We will have to work on the morning ritual.
I have high expectations for this heavy quilt.
I'm thinking about sharing how I made it,
Would you be interested??

Monday, June 2, 2014

Welcome June!

We are rolling out the welcome mat for June.
I think of playing in the pool.
Camping and marshmallows and fire pits.
Afternoon thunderstorms.
Ice cream sandwiches.
Weddings and hydrangeas.

Right now a few of my favorite things are:

                                                   My Tim Timmons CD

                                 ( new Coldplay waiting to be unwrapped)

                          Hardworking men. Drywall is hung! Siding is complete!!

                                      Quilting the most beautiful Moda fabric!


                                 My hydrangea bushes and new knock out roses.

                   Progress- lil G taking the lids off by herself and making a mess! Love it!

I hope this finds you and yours enjoying the first days of summer with your loved ones.
What are some of your favorite things???

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A book review

So I mentioned last week that I had gotten a copy of the book, "gentle barn". 
I was so glad to get something a little different in the mail to review.
I am so sad that this book didn't live up to my expectations.
I read the book in two sittings so it's not a long and over detailed story.
I think the author has a real heart and gift for those that are broken 
and that her refuge is quite possibly a great place.
I am not writing the review to talk about any of those topics.
 ( you could look it up and research it if you are interested)
I am only discussing the book and authors writing.
Since I am quite compassionate I really enjoyed many of the subjects,
I have a daughter with special needs,
I have been teaching art in the juvenile justice system for over ten years,
I've also had many animals as pets from fish to Great Danes and goats and many in between.
I have rescued wild baby bunnies and birds but not with the success the author claims to have.
I think that if the author had a third party 
or very thorough editor
 some of the story could have been tweaked 
to explain some of the authors childhood and past yet not give as much detail.
 Sometimes less is best-
 and I believe this is one of those instances. 
It really left me needing to set the book down for awhile.
Some of the references made to her shunning her parents faith,
 having a psychic reading, 
and interactions with the animals telling her what their names should be
 also made the book less enjoyable for me personally. 
( and I don't think the book would have lost any of its integrity without these, 
possibly quite the opposite)
Of course I am not the author of the book 
and since it was written as a biography 
the author wrote it as she saw fit.
 I will rate this story 3 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank Blogging for books and Harmony books for the review copy and opportunity to review this book. The review was written by me and is my own personal opinion.

On a side note: 
I picked out siding for the backside of the house! 
Husband will be picking it up today. Whoo hoo!
We are waiting for the rains to clear, things to dry out,
So the next step of the flood repairs to be complete!
Then the drywall will be hung, taped and orange peel texture
So this mama can paint!!!

                  ( this gray is too blue!!)

Excited to have my home back in order!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yarn Along and a book review

I just can't believe its Wednesday!
I love linking up with Ginny over at " small things".
We ladies like to get together and share what we've been knitting and reading- 
two of my very favorite pastimes.
I think I mentioned last week that I have been knitting a cardigan for my mother in law.
I think if you counted my rows I would only have knit four or five since last week.

         ( a glimpse of the chaos right now- paint and fabric samples, quilting and knitting!)

I'm going to keep knitting and saying a prayer or two 
Hoping once I get to the section where a I divide for the sleeves 
that my interest will rebound.
 I could even set this part down and just start a sleeve 
since those should work up quickly. 
Let's see how this week of knitting goes!

I also mentioned last week that I had been chosen to review " Undetected" by Dee Henderson.
I am a huge fan of this author. 
I love the mystery, action, and romance.
Sadly this book just didn't seem to hold my attention like Mrs Hendersons previous novels.
I loved reading the details about the Navy, submarines, the sonar used
 as well as all the research done by the main character Gina. 
I think the main reasons this book fell short for me was that we ended up reading about two men vying for the same woman's affection and her dilemma of choosing between the two. 
I just can't see this as a real life scenario.
 Especially for the two men to be diplomatic about it. 
I understand that the author was depicting both men as Christians 
and valiant in their romantic pursuit but it just didn't work for me. 
 Several of the romantic conversations between the main character and the commander of the sub also felt shallow. I kept reading and waiting for the climactic part and found some page turning suspense near the end but even that was not this authors best. I was so surprised that this book didn't keep me up until 2 am night after night reading," just one more chapter" like I usually do with her books. That said, Dee Henderson is a talented author. The research and knowledge in her books is fascinating - I'm not one to pick up a book with this kind of plot so that's saying a lot. I will still give this book four out of five stars because I have read much much worse. 

I would like to thank Bethany House for the review copy and the opportunity to review this book. This review was my honest opinion and I was not compensated for this review.

An update about our flood damage,
We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Over the weekend the demo was done 
and they were able to end Monday with the windows in 
and the protective wrap on the outside.

I am trying to keep my whits about me while we are living in chaos.
My son is now sleeping in the school room,
I'm sure he is enjoying every moment of the pink walls and Dora mural.
This is the corner in my living room.

I hope this finds you and yours doing well in the chaos
That we find in everyday life.
We are making the best of it all and choosing to focus on the positive.