Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mara Shawl for Mom

When I thought about my mom’s upcoming surgery of course I wanted to do something to try and make it better.  As a knitter, the first thing that came to mind was to knit a shawl, something to put around her shoulders to provide warmth and comfort.

009 copy


This shawl was an absolute joy to knit.  I used Brooks Farm Mas Acero yarn, which is a dreamy wool/silk blend. 



My wonderful sister-in-law volunteered to stand in as the model, and I’ll admit we had quite a bit of fun with it.  Actually, we have quite a bit of fun no matter what we’re doing.  Smile

002 copy


The Mara Shawl would more technically be called a shawlette as it’s a bit smaller than most shawls.  But mom loved the size as it was perfect for that little something to throw over your shoulders.

And yes, my mother loved it!


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Todays Creative Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wax Color Love

My sister-in-law and I got to talking the other night about crayons. For many this might be a boring conversation, but we enjoyed it!  And it’s funny how all of us remember so distinctly the wonderful smell of the colored wax wonders.



This is how most of us started out – a box with a mere 24 crayons.  Good enough for most things, but no real inspiration.



Do you remember stepping up to the box of 48?  Enough color variation to really step out of the box and explore the world of color. 



But this bad boy, this was seriously the goal of all crayon lovers - the 64 count box.  Not only did it contain new colors, it also had the “Built-In Sharpener” for the first time!


Do you remember what your favorite color was?  And does anybody else have a sudden urge to go buy a fresh box of crayons and a coloring book???  Smile

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mom’s Home!


Today we brought mom home from the hospital and as you can probably imagine, she is thrilled.  There is just something about being in your own home – and your own bed! -  that makes everything better.

So far this afternoon she’s done a lot of sleeping and to my way of thinking this is a very good thing!  The more she sleeps now the less she will know that it hurts!


“I learned a long time ago that minor surgery is when they do the operation on someone else, not you.”  ~ Bill Walton



* Thank you to Little Dragon on Flickr for the cute photo!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Card #5–Just When I Need You

Isn’t it wonderful how we have people in our lives that are always there when we need them? I am so blessed with a beautiful person/mentor that never seems to mind when I just need somebody to listen.

So during a recent crop with friends, while all I managed to finish was one card, it was a card from the heart.  I’m looking forward to getting this in the mail and hopefully brightening her day!

The quote – since it’s hard to read – says “You always pop up just when I need you!”


Supplies used: Stamps – Furnished With Love (Stampin’ Up); Ribbon – Soft Suede 1/2” Polka Dot Grosgrain (Stampin’ Up); and Stickles!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mom’s Shoulder


Right now I’m staying at my mom’s house.  She had surgery earlier this week for a shoulder replacement.

Fortunately I have my knitting to while away the hours at the hospital.  And getting to spend more time with my brother and sister-in-law is nice.

Do you see how above I’m looking for the silver lining?  Because really nobody wants to see their mother in pain or in the hospital.  Smile

Review–Fade To Blue by Julie Carobini




Fade To Blue
by Julie Carobini
B&H Publishing Group
384 pages

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Suz Mitchell is the determined dreamer we should all be and won't allow her ex-husband Len's jail sentence to ruin their young son Jeremiah's life. An accomplished artist, she moves with her child across the country to California's central coast and lands a sweet job restoring priceless paintings at the historic Hearst Castle overlooking the ocean.

To her utter surprise, a serious old flame, Seth, is also now working at Hearst and jumbles the dreams inside Suz's heart. While sorting out the awkwardness of their past split and current spiritual differences, a repentant Len shows up eager to restore his family.

Suz must learn to let God be the true restorer of all that once seemed lost.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fade to Blue, go HERE.

MY REVIEW:  I will admit up front that I had to suspend my disbelief a bit on one of the main plot points of this book – the fact that after moving across the country she just happens to run into an old flame.  Once I got past that though, I sat back to enjoy the book.

Fade to Blue was an easy read, especially with summer coming up.  But while I did enjoy the book, it was not my favorite by this author.  Enjoyable, but not one I felt I had to read every spare moment I had.

A 3 out of 5 star rating.



A word from the author:
I grew up as Julie Navarro, in a family of truly right-brained individuals. Among us you’ll find writers, artists, and musicians, all of us willing to talk about the arts at a moment’s notice.
Over the years, I’ve published several hundred articles and stories in magazines and books, including Aspire, Decision, Expecting, Focus on the Family, Key Magazine and God’s Abundance: 365 Days to a Simpler Life. As I wrote, I found a common theme cropping up: my family, the sea, and God’s timely work in the lives of those around me.

Maybe it was time to incorporate those interests into novels, I thought.

And so I did. Not once, but twice. Both times, God shut both doors and windows. So I continued to write and dream and raise my kids with Dan. Eventually I decided to write romantic seaside novels, and that’s where I found my voice.

When I’m not writing, marketing, or editing for others, I’m driving my kids around town, imagining that my mid-sized SUV is actually a sleek sailing yacht.


My thanks to CFBA for furnishing this book for my honest review.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SSMT Week 10


“…and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Ephesians 4:27

The memory verse I’ve chosen for this week is actually part of a series of verses.  This morning during the sermon our pastor was talking about how we need to put aside our old selves and become new as Christians.  He showed a clip from a popular movie, though he didn’t say which one, of a young man rock climbing.  He slid down the rock face and caught the very edge of a rock with his fingertips and was able to hold on.  Pastor said this is all Satan needs in our lives in order to gain a foothold.   Illustrations like these are so powerful and I’m sure this will stay with me a while.  And gave me the perfect verse for memorization.

This is my Verse #10 for Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Team.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Card #4–In My Thoughts

This card has seriously taken its sweet time making it up on the blog.  I made this card some time ago while scrapbooking with friends and was honestly one of those cards that just kind of came together.  I had in mind one certain friend to send it to and then kept thinking of others that could use it right now.  My new plan is to see if this paper is still available and make quite a few of this design and get them all in the mail to friends.



Supplies used – Stampin’ Up Old Olive 5/8” satin ribbon, Stampin’ Up Whimsical Words stamp, an old heart shaped Sizzix die, cannot remember the pattern paper

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review–An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser







An Unlikely Suitor
by Nancy Moser
Bethany House Publisher
376 pages

ABOUT THE BOOK: New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class--but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

As the lives of three young woman--and their unlikely suitors--become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Unlikely Suitor, go HERE.

MY REVIEW:   The Gilded Age is a period in our nation’s history that has always intrigued me. The excess and over-the-top way of life for the “haves” compared to the more squalid conditions of the “have nots” is rather mind boggling. So to find a book that takes some of the characters and moves them into the fringes of upper society was a fun read.

What made this such a good book to me was not so much watching the characters in awe of the surroundings of the wealthy, but how they remained, for the most part, level-headed and just took it all in.  I also appreciated the fact that the author would have all the characters sometimes say things that perhaps were a bit mean spirited, then let us in on what the character was thinking to herself after having said such a thing.

Nancy Moser is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors, both for the way her books are so, well, readable and also because of the tremendous amount of research she obviously does before writing.  This book has a section in the back explaining some of the items of the time period and when they were first popular.  She also has included some fashion illustrations, which were very helpful in a book that has fashion running throughout the pages.

All this to say, this book is one of my favorites of this year so far.


Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery a Christy Award winner, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novels are Masquerade and An Unlikely Suitor. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the
Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at www.nancymoser.com and www.sistercircles.com and her historical blog: http://footnotesfromhistory.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 06, 2011

Happy 5th Anniversary to My Son and Daughter-In-Law!

Well my word I cannot believe that five years have gone by!  I remember the day so clearly and all the happiness and joy we felt.  Here’s one of my favorite pictures from that day:



Tonight they are going to some swanky restaurant to celebrate. We are going to get Brooklyn and she is spending the night with us! Still not entirely sure what we are going to do with her, but really it takes so little to make all three of us happy that there is no stress involved. Right now I’m kind of leaning towards taking dinner to the park for a picnic and then letting her play on the playground, but we’ll see.

*contented sigh for the happiness of these two*

"The miracle of love is like the miracle of a flower, it thrives upon the sunshine of a smile...it entwines itself around the heart. Its roots are secured in the memories of yesterday and its petals breathe the promise of joy-filled tomorrows. To be loved is to know happiness and contentment. To give love is to know the joy of sharing oneself. It is through the miracle of love that we discover the fullness of life."