Saturday, March 30, 2013

Be Still My Soul Book Review..

This is the second book I will be reviewing for blogging for books through Waterbrook Multnomah publishing. I received a free e-book for my review and am not obligated to give a positive one.
The book I chose to read was Be Still My Soul by Joanne Biscof, which is a Christian fiction romance book. I have never read anything by her and this book is the first one in a series. The main character is Lonnie who lives in the Blue Ridge mountains in the 1800's with her family. I loved the setting in the book, it reminded me sometimes, although not all of the time, of being in the rural Midwest.  The good and the bad that go with it, that is not to say that there are only issues with rural areas, as I don't think any certain place is perfect, whether it be a major city or very small rural area.
She has hopes for her future but they are changed, and instead she finds herself having to marry Gideon. They barely know each other at all, even though Lonnie did find Gideon handsome, which Gideon was well aware that most females found him so. He seemed to take advantage of this. I found Gideon wasn't very likeable to say the least; highly selfish, immature, and only cared about getting girls or more moonshine.
Lonnie and Gideon end up moving to another area outside of their community, this was done more so at the urging of Gideon. They eventually meet a nice couple, and face heartache and sorrow along the way.
I never thought I would end up liking Gideon's character, but by the end I had warmed up too him. They both did not have the best of families to show them love, so perhaps in some cases they went about showing it the wrong way (although Gideon at the beginning of the book didn't care about anyone else). It makes you think about how we should express our love, but that not everyone knows how or does it the same way.
Besides making you think about love, the book throughout brought up more subjects that still make me reflect on a few things. If someone has changed how do we know to trust them? Even if they make some changes and fall along the way, does that mean we no longer are they for them or forgive them? Even in our own lives it is hard to come to these answers, and I felt the book did a good job in describing all of the different type of emotions that will come up in trying to figure those answers out.
There was a few things that I didn't care for or at least wanted more of. At the beginning of the book I kept on having to remind myself that Lonnie was a girl, because of the name, I have only known men to have it.  Even though we learn Lonnie gets a few letters from her family after she leaves, we are never informed of how they are doing or what she writes to them. I thought this was disappointing, especially since she was so close to her aunt. Gideon did seem to change somewhat fast I thought in maturing and finding faith, but perhaps that was all due to the recent things he can been facing.
Rate: 4 out of 5

The sequel to this book will be out in a few days, and I can't wait to read it.

Product Details

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review of Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

Product Details This will be my, I believe fifth, book to review for the outdo yourself challenge. I read this for the book club I belong too. Even though this book has autobiography in the title, it is actually a novel, written in "first" person. It is about the life of Mrs. Tom Thumb (otherwise known as Vinnie Warren) in the mid to late 1800's. She was born like any other child, but at some point stopped growing very early so she was very petite in stature. She ended up meeting President's, Queens and performed for P.T. Barnum. According to the author Melanie Benjamin, Mrs. Tom Thumb own journal didn't go into too much detail about her experiences, I think this adds to the reason for sometimes the lack of detail on certain events.  I wanted more information about her meeting the famous people during her lifetime and sadly it wasn't there. I just felt in the middle of the book she wasn't fair to others, came off as being uncaring, and more into her own ego. She definitely comes off as having complicated relationships, perhaps not knowing how to interact with others, at least with her husband (another famous person). There is no doubt that Mrs. Tom Thumb changed throughout the book, but at the end I didn't know how to feel about her. As the author said at the end of her book, that Mrs. Tom Thumb didn't go into detail of her own feelings, it is hard for us to really know for sure what she really thought or felt. 
I enjoyed this story more in the beginning, but overall it was a good book.
Rank: 3 out of 5

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dear Jane Cross Stitch Pattern

Ever since I saw the Dear Jane (Jane A. Stickley) quilt over a year ago I have been a fan. I have known one person in my guild to make the quilt by hand, and watched them working on it. Some of the pieces were extremely tiny. Even though I loved the quilt, I knew right then and there I would never attempt to make one. However, I happened to see a sampler version of it in cross stitch. I was so happy! The designer is Linda Myers. There are several other patterns of her's that I want to make. I don't think I have ever seen anything by her before or if I have, I was unaware of it at the time. I can't wait to start this pattern, but know I have to complete several others first.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recipe Cards and Note cards

I ended up purchasing several recipe cards and note cards from etsy (from the same seller). I couldn't pass them up, as I thought they were cute. I ended up having them personalized. I can't wait to start sending some of them out. I might try using the quill and ink I purchased from another etsy store. I have never used a quill though, but excited to start, just don't want to leave a lot of blotted ink when I write or worse spill it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pride and Prejudice Review...

This review is part of my Spin challenge from the Classics Club. I have never read anything by Jane Austen before, although I have seen the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice, along with the 2009 version of Emma. I can see why this is a classic, it had so much going on, and learning about the different rules of society (which I greatly enjoyed, although I did already know some of it). I often found myself seeing the scenes from the movie while reading the book. I enjoyed most of the characters, but of course not all. I do think that Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy, and Mary were all in some way misunderstood. There were all unsure of themselves in society, for a variety of reasons it seemed. Unfortunately, it made them seem aloof, uncaring, etc., but I often wondered if sometimes they hated being unable to show their true feelings and thoughts? Was Austen trying to show that even though they were at the top or somewhat top of society, compared to the normal person, that they in fact were just as human? No matter the type of person, that sometimes we just don't enjoy social situations with lots of people. I was glad in the book it gave more insight into Mr. Darcy's thoughts, as I was previously unaware of them from the movie. I did like Jane's and Elizabeth characters, although thought Elizabeth was sometime's too judgemental. I was not a fan of Miss Bingley, Lydia, Mr. Wickham or Kitty. I thought it was too bad that Mary didn't have a bigger role, and at points throughout the book I would forget she even existed. I wanted to know more about her, and often wondered why Austen put her in, or if perhaps Austen was showing that not everyone fits into the "role" society thinks we should have.
Rank: 5 out of 5.
 rewatch the movie!
6th book for Classics Cub. Next book: A Little Princess
1st book for Pride and Prejudice bicentenary challenge. Next: rewatch movie
The Pride Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge (2013)

My finds at the Quilt Show...

I forgot to show a few of the items I got at the quilt show. I didn't really spend that much money at all. There was a small boutique where quilters from my guild that had either made or donated items to be sold. I picked up this cute tote bag for only $2.

I also picked up this cute mason jar filled with 2 and a half inch squares for $4.

The last item I got was from a quilting shope vendor, I thought it was pricey but worth it. Normally not too big a fan of batiks but couldn't resist. Besides getting some thread free for volunteering, that was all that I got.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Christmas In Apple Ridge Review...

This is a three in one book by called Christmas In Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall. I will do a review of the three stories individually and then as a whole. I believe the first two books have previously been released, but the third is brand new by the author. I was given a e-book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for an honest review, I am not obligated to give a positive one. The first book is called The Sound of Sleigh Bells, that introduces us to Beth who is hiding a few secrets and is in mourning. She mets Jonah who is knows a few things about suffering and pain. Overall I thought this book was good, and it also shows us that we maybe hiding things even from ourselves in order to deal with life. My few complaints was that there wasn't enough of a sense of community. However, this maybe also due to the book being short, which happens with three books in one. The ending did seem rushed. The next book is The Christmas Singing which introduces Mattie and Gideon, who used to be together years ago, after their breaking up Mattie leaves the area. They run into each other later, and they still have things to settle. I really enjoyed this story and could see Gideon's side, and wasn't pleased all the time with Mattie's character after she found out more information about Gideon. The last book was The Dawn of Christmas and tells the story of Sadie and Levi. Their story is a meeting by chance and more about past loves with the affect they have on us and those around us. This book also includes previous characters from the other stories from the author. I thought this was really good to see as I really enjoy sequels, and always think just one novel tends to be rushed. I do hope that another sequel with all of the characters from the three books will be made later.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quilt Show....

The quilt guild in which I belong to, is having their annual quilt show this weekend. I thought you would all enjoy seeing a few pictures of the quilts.