July 6, 2014

Virtual Card Making Party, part 2

Virtual Card Party Master List

Things with Wings - ODBD challenge for July

A bunch of these are perfect to send TO heroes.  Or from heroes.  These chicks are from an old Stampin' Up set.  The cards are already "tucked" in envelopes and ready to go to OWH.

Notice the patriotic chick!  She isn't part of Stampin' Up, but she fits right in!
The back of the card has chicken feet and the back of the envelope gives a hint of what is inside.

Virtual Card Making Party, part 1

Virtual Card Party Master List

Reflections:  card making parties are fun!  A week ago, a teacher friend posted on Facebook that she was bored and needed a hobby.  She had just recovered from surgery and couldn't do much.   Four of us got together at Pat's home TWO days straight and made cards.   

Operation Write Home has a series of challenges for the Fourth of July weekend.   I confess, a virtual card party isn't quite as much fun.   Who'll bring the snacks?  But it is still enjoyable to make cards.
Here are three themes I worked on:

What you can't see is how the plane wiggles and moves.  It has an action wobble spring behind the plane.   One of the clouds has liquid appliqué.

Elizabeth Craft shimmer sheetz were dry embossed, colored with Staz-On inks,  and made into quilted cards.  I adore Elizabeth Craft!
Sentiment is from Papertrey Ink.

Reflections:  There's an old farmhouse in Sweetwater called Whistlestop Quilt Retreat.  It is designed for quilters to retreat at and work on their quilts.  I go with my quilting friends for the weekend and work on cards and scrapbooking.   Have a good collection of quilt cards.

Incidentally, quilts and quilt cards also fit the  COLORFUL BACKGROUND challenge.

April 13, 2014


by Amanda Maciel
publisher Harper Collins
source  publisher
to be published late April 2014

Reflections:   In my few decades of teaching,   I have reported students for bullying;  eventually I see how they turned out after graduation.  I have come across students who show no remorse for their actions.  I simply couldn't understand how their minds worked until I read Tease.   We all know Gossip and Peer Pressure are top influences in high school ---  Tease tells us how the influences collide.

Tease was not an easy book to read.  We tend to want to like the characters we read about.   Sara is accused of bullying Emma until Emma committed suicide.  Sara justifies her actions.   She is forced to talk to a lawyer and therapist about her past actions.

Even though Sara is despicable because we, the readers, can see into her mind and hear her words,  her BFF Brielle is even worse.    I kept thinking, be careful of the company you keep!

The letters at the end make the book.

March 5, 2014

The Moon Sisters

The Moon Sisters 
by Therese Walsh
published by Crown
source:  publisher

reflections:   I have no sisters.  Is this why I enjoy reading books about sisters.  There is a love-hate relationship between them that doesn't seem to exist elsewhere. 

At the beginning of The Moon Sisters, we meet sisters Jazz and Olivia.  Olivia finds her mother dead in the kitchen, with the gas stove on.   A letter is on the table;  Olivia hides the letter in her pocket.

The book is divided into five parts:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. Sound familiar?   Anyone in Psych 201 learns about these five stages from Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

The two sisters move on with their lives after their mother's death; they go through the five stages.   There is tension.  We learn about Jazz's birth, the reason for her name and about Olivia from the letters written by their mother.   

The end shows how much of what is assumed to be reality is simply that -- an assumption, a misconception.   What is reality?   

February 28, 2014

The Husband's Secret

The Husband's Secret  

Liane Moriarty
Publisher:  Putnam's, Penguin Group
source: publisher

What would you do if you run across an envelope that says, "Do not open until the event of my death"?   What if the person who wrote the envelope is still living?  Would you open the envelope, despite the warnings from the story of Pandora's Box?

This is the very beginning of The Husband's Secret.  Cecilia tells her husband that she found the envelope.  He is another continent away.  He asks her not to open it.

Temptation strikes.  She succumbs to it.  Envelope opened.

Fortunately we do not have to read the whole book before we find out what the husband's secret was. The rest of the book then tells how Cecilia, her husband, and other people cope with the event that surround the secret.

The novel is set in Australia, so at times I would do a double-take at reading about Easter during a beautiful autumn day.

Do you ever wonder "what if....?"    The epilogue was the best part of the book -- it brought the book from a regular chick-lit novel up to an "ohhhhhhh my word!"  

February 26, 2014

Inherit the Dead

Inherit the Dead
authors:  Lee Child, CJ Box, Charlaine Harris and others
publisher:  Touchstone Hardback from Simon and Schuster
source:  Publisher

Inherit the Dead is a serial novel with twenty  best-selling crime authors contributing a chapter.  Different writing styles and voices tell the story of one murder.

Plot from publisher's website and Goodread:  Pericles "Perry" Christo is a PI with a past; a former cop, who lost his badge and his family when a corruption scandal left him broke and disgraced. When wealthy Upper East Side matron Julia Drusilla summons him one cold February night, he grabs what seems to be a straightforward (and lucrative) case.   The socialite is looking for her beautiful, aimless daughter, Angelina, who is about to become a very wealthy young woman.   

I had a difficult time reading this book because of the varied voices.  I really wanted to like this book, however the plot and characters  were not interesting to me.  YMMV - your mileage may vary.  

February 1, 2014

Big Bear Hugs - OWH

reflection:  One of my earliest memories is petting a stuffed black bear when I was three years old while vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains with my parents.  They took a picture of me petting the "bear".  What I never told anyone, but still remember to this day is that there was a wad of chewing gum in the bear's open mouth.   Ewww.

Today's Operation Write Home challenge which goes hand-in-hand with Our Daily Bread February Challenge is to make a brown card.  I adore using brown on my cards -- espresso ink, chocolate paper,  anything and everything java-colored.

What you can't feel while looking at this card is the fuzz on the polar bear's fur and the glossy accents on the koala and panda's noses.

stamp and sentiment: Unitycard stock and woodgrain: Stampin' Up!twine:  Maya Roadbuttons: a cute little quilt shop

January 29, 2014

After I'm Gone

After I'm Gone    
author Laura Lippman
publisher  William Morrow
to be published February 2014
source  Publisher

summary from Lippman's website:  …an addictive story that explores how one man’s disappearance echoes through the lives of the wife, mistress, and daughters he left behind….

Felix Brewer disappears on July 4, 1976, before the law can catch him for his misdeeds.    Twenty-six years later, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez works cold cases and attempts to find out what happened to Felix and his mistress.    
My thoughts after reading  After I'm Gone:
1.  This is Laura Lippman's best book to date.  She gets better and better.
2.   Learn something new every day.  I had no idea Jewish people have baptism ceremonies in this day and age.
3.   Lippman masters her characters and the time frames expertly.   I re-lived the seventies, eighties, nineties.   It was enjoyable to watch the characters grow up, age, deal with their jealousies, and each other throughout the decades.
4.    We, the readers,  think Sandy's nickname is because of his last name (Sanchez) or because of his sandy-colored hair.   That's not the case --- we eventually find out the reason for his nickname.
5.   Tess makes a cameo appearance!

January 25, 2014

Beep-beep OWH

Operation Write Home's Our Daily Bread January challenge is to use
STRIPES on our card.

Here's my card for someone to send home to his kid.

January 15, 2014

1001 Ideas that Changed the Way We Think

1001 Ideas that Changed the Way We Think
general editor:  Robert Arp
Publisher:  Atria Books
on sale October 29, 2013
source:  publisher

When I received this 941-page (not including the index) volume,  I began reading at my birthyear, on up to today.   Some ideas surprised me: "this didn't happen until I finished college!"  Then I went back to the very beginning at pre-500 CE and skimmed through.  I read pages connected with  my ancestors' birthyears more closely.

This volume has over 900 striking illustrations, charts and photography which add much to the enjoyment of this volume.

I recognized several terms from watching The Big Bang Theory (every episode guarantees a laugh), such as Higgs Boson (1964) and String Theory (1969).

This book rates only 4 stars because the type-face is small with faded print.  Eye-strain was a result.  If we could make it 1002 Ideas, I'd recommend a darker print for this book.

January 12, 2014

If You Find Me

If You Find Me
Emily Murdoch
publisher:  St. Martin's Press
source:  publisher

summary from Goodreads:  A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. 

Don't you sometimes wish you could kick yourself for not doing something sooner?  I had a copy of an advance reader's copy of If You Find Me for a year before picking it up to read.   Once I started, I was absorbed!

Carey and Jenessa live an isolated life in Obed Wild and Scenic River National Park in Wartburg, Tennessee, which is less than 70 miles from where I am.   Carey raises her sister from infancy because their mother's addictions.   After they are rescued, they discover life in civilization,  life with new coats,  full meals, and kind people.    We enjoy reading how Carey copes with the teenage social life.   Jenessa has selective mutism;  Carey is so afraid she will be kicked out after others discover the reason for the mutism.

If You Find Me is Murdoch's debut novel.  It has been nominated for the 2014 Carnegie Medal.  I have my fingers crossed that the book will win.