Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday #8

This week I'm working on the Mediterranean Cruise scrapbook-for-hire project I was organizing last week. This album will have a combination of traditional layouts and pocket page layouts.

On my craft table . . . I'm currently working on the 2nd side of a 12x12 pocket page.

On the big table in the front room . . . supplies, album, page protectors, printed photos, memorabilia, notes, etc. I really like having this table where I can spread everything out and still have my entire craft table for the actual scrapbooking.

I'll have six pages completed by the end of the day today and will meet with my client again this week to be sure the pages have the look and feel she wants for this project. Here's a peek at the first two pages. It's hard to tell from these photos, but each page has items popped up (various photos on the first layout and some of the airplane squares on the second).

Joining in today with Julia at Stamping Ground for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. What's on your workdesk this week?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 5 in 5

After demonstrating how to make doily dresses and greeting cards and gift tags in the library DIY class last week, I took a few minutes to walk around and snap photos of the 21 ladies as they worked. As I scrolled through the photos to find five to share for this month's 5 in 5 (hosted by Sandi at itchifingers), I was drawn to these photos of hands at work.

I really like how these photos reveal so much about the class: there were women of various ages in attendance, some like to scatter everything out while others keep their supplies all tidy, some needed coffee close at hand while others kept their phone in easy reach, and it was lots of FUN!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday's Mail Memo - Book Swap (Cell 25 & Haven)

After a wonderful start to our monthly book swap, I was looking forward to receiving my February package from Brenda. It arrived in late January and was filled with much more than I expected!!

February Book from Brenda - Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

When I opened the box, I had to laugh because she had packed the book and other contents in all that confetti I sent in her box last month! Inside the book was a handmade bookmark, and the envelope held a card and another blog prompt (which I'll be sharing more about very soon).

Underneath the book, the box held more treasures! I had expected to see the book I sent her in January (which she enjoyed), however I was delighted to find a ziploc bag . . .

that contained several items she'd stitched just for me: two new pillowcases (because I might have mentioned a few of ours were getting threadbare) and a banner (see below) and little scraps of the fabrics she used adhered to cardstock (for when I'm ready to scrap about them)!! :)

I love this banner for my ACTIVE year! It matches my craft room with the yellows and reds and certainly makes it easy to keep my word visible. (Check out the purple BALANCE banner Brenda created for her word HERE.)

Oh, wait, this post was supposed to be about the book swap . . . so, back to the book.
I had not heard of the Michael Vey young adult books, but Brenda had read the first one (Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25) several years ago. She discovered there are now six books in the series, and she and the twins will all be reading book two soon. (These are obviously very popular books as most of the ones our library has are currently checked out!)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Michael Vey and his electrical powers. This fourteen-year-old discovers a cheerleader in his school also has special powers and, together with Michael's best friend Ostin, they form a club and begin investigating where these powers originated. When a powerful group of scientists finds them, they learn how they obtained their powers and discover the unsettling truth that the group wants to use these "electric kids" to control the world. Michael's imprisonment in Cell 25 is terrifying, yet it is there that he finds new friends and the will to fight against evil.

This is a well-paced book with a satisfying ending that left me wondering what will happen next as these teens fight against those who want to use them. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi action packed young adult novel.

February Book to Brenda - Bridge to Haven

Once again, I had FUN packing up a book to send to Brenda. Bridge to Haven has a lovely book-jacket, so I chose a pretty patterned paper and ribbon from my stash (which I'm ACTIVELY using this year) and wrapped it up. I included a plain cardstock bookmark in the book, and finished off the gift wrap with a stamped tag. I also included a little envelope of goodies for Brenda to use in her One Little Word album.

I'm happy to report that this time my package arrived a few days after it was posted!
I first read this book in 2014, the year it was published. Francine Rivers is a wonderful Christian fiction author, so when Brenda mentioned that Redeeming Love was one of her favorite books, I knew I had to share this novel with her during our book swap.

The story begins when a baby is delivered and left to die under the bridge that leads to the town of Haven. The local pastor finds her and he and his wife (& their young son) name her Abra and raise her until she's 5-years-old. When the pastor's wife dies, another local couple adopts Abra. However, she never truly allows herself to feel their love and, in her late teens, she eventually runs away with a boy to California. The boy uses her and basically throws her away. She finds herself with an agent who promises to turn her into a movie star, however he controls her every move and changes her name to Lena Scott.

One of my favorite characters is Mitzi, who teaches Abra how to play the piano. She agrees to teach Abra to play ragtime . . . as long as Abra plays the piano for church services. She is relentless in making Abra learn the words to the hymns she plays.

[Warning - spoilers in this paragraph!] Back in Haven, Pastor Zeke and his son Joshua, and Abra's adopted parents and sister never give up hope that she will return home. Joshua goes in search of her, but it is many years later when a series of circumstances lead Abra to a little town in the middle of nowhere . . . the same place Joshua is working on a construction job. They reconnect and she returns home, surrenders her life to the Lord and finds love and healing. She marries Joshua and meets her birth mother (who had been working in the town for many years). The story ends with the birth mother leaving town and Pastor Zeke once again praying for someone he loves to return to Haven.

Obviously, I highly recommend this book!

Brenda mentioned the other day that she would be mailing my March package out this week, so I'm watching for more happy mail as I wave to all the Mondayers joining in with Sian this year as we share memos and mail on Monday!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Journaling Bible Review

I recently received a NKJV Notetaking Bible free from B&H Publishers (in exchange for an honest review). This Bible is the same as the NKJV Journaling Bible I've been using for over a year now for much of my illustrated Bible journaling. The only change I can see is that it's now called a notetaking instead of a journaling Bible. If you've been reading my blog for some time, you will know that I really like this Bible!

This Bible has a nice cover and good binding. The 1 3/4 inch margins are perfect for adding journaling & prayers, illustrations, stickers and die cuts.

The print in this Bible is easy to read. I can even read it when I cover it with various products. (Some Bible journalers cover the text so that it is not readable. This is perfectly acceptable since typically the journaling Bible is not the only Bible the individual owns. However, my personal preference is to retain the ability to read the text.)

The page below was first coated with the Dylusions Pure Sunshine paint. I used a dauber with a Gelato to add the circles using a Crafter's Workshop template. The border is stamped using Powder Puff inks and an Inky Antics stamp. I then used watercolors to paint the Elizabeth Craft Designs gold sticker, along with letter stickers and a marker to add my journaling. [None of these items bleed through the page - another factor that I consider when choosing products for my Bible journaling.]

There are blank pages before the beginning of some of the books, which are perfect for full-page illustrations. On the blank page before the Gospel of Luke in my Bible, I adhered the free printable I created for my email list this past December. The tab and Jesus label were also part of the free printable. As I often do, I used a Micron pen for journaling and added the date with PowderPuff ink and a date stamp.

I'm often asked what Bible I recommend for illustrated Bible journaling. While I enjoy this particular Bible, I believe that choosing a Bible is very personal. There are a myriad of journaling Bibles available these days. My recommendation is to find a Bible:
(1) in a version you enjoy reading,
(2) in a format you like,
(3) in a price range that fits your budget.

Do you journal and/or illustrated in your Bible? Which Bible do you use?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday #7

This week I actually have scrapbooking projects on two tables! First, I need to add journaling to an almost completed layout on my craft table. This page will be the first layout in our 2017 chronological album. The pile of page protectors and photos above it on the table are the other photos and memorabilia I plan to scrap from January. This evening I'd like to finish that title page and maybe the front & back of a divided pocket page, and hopefully I'll find time over the weekend to complete three more 12x12 layouts.

I'm also just getting started on a custom scrapbook-for-hire project - a European cruise vacation album. I've gathered the items to start this project on our big front room table. On the left is the notebook and tons of memorabilia from my client, sorted into dividers by day. In the middle of the table are the supplies I've purchased for the album - Authentique's Seafarer collection, page protectors, cardstock, twine and washi tape. To the right are the photos I had printed from my client's digital files. This is going to be a FUN project! Tomorrow I'll make several sample pages in preparation for a meeting with my client on Friday.

Joining in today with Julia at Stamping Ground for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. What's on your workdesk this week?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday's Mail Memo - Advertisements, Amazon Prime & Doily Cards

There wasn't much exciting in the mail around here last week, although I did save these two advertisements (a Cabela's catalogue and a cruise line brochure) as they have potential for the vision board activity Ali is planning in the One Little Word class next month.

It was a quiet weekend around here as Robbie has been down with a particularly virulent case of the flu! In between checking his temperature, making sure he was getting enough liquids, and providing regular doses of fever reducing medications, I took care of little things that had been piling up in my to-do basket. Several of those items were checked off by taking full advantage of Amazon Prime's free shipping, with all the items I ordered guaranteed to be delivered today or tomorrow.

So far today, I've received two boxes of trading card page protectors (a sick boy should be able to look forward to putting cards in pages, right), a refill and spray bottle of disinfectant Windex (because I have not been able to find a refill locally), and a new blouse (which will hopefully match a few other items that I'm expecting to create a nice outfit for future speaking/teaching engagements). I do truly like free shipping and the convenience of online shopping!

In other news, this week I'll be teaching at the Allen Public Library's DIY class. I had so much FUN creating sample cards and gift tags in preparation!

Here's the class information for those of you who are local and want to join me: DIY @ APL - Create Your Own Greeting Cards, Wednesday, February 15, 2017. (10am) Create greeting cards and gift tags (& doily dresses!) for a variety of occasions using fun paper crafting supplies, including doilies, ribbon, twine, stamps and inks. All supplies will be provided. Free, no registration. Ages 16+ 

Waving to all the Mondayers joining in with Sian this year as we share memos and a favorite pieces of mail from the previous week. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Sleepwalker & The House at Riverton

Back in late November, I received an unexpected email letting me know that I was one of the lucky winners of an advanced copy of The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian, which was released on January 10 of this year. I was selected from the Borrow Read Repeat email that Penguin Random House sends out monthly with information on upcoming books.

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started reading, however I enjoyed the story, which begins with the disappearance of Annalee Ahlberg, a sleepwalker. The story is told from the perspective of Annalee's 21-year-old daughter, Lianna, who tried to figure out what happened to her mother. She tells the story looking back several years later. Her sister, 10-year-old Paige also searches to figure out what happened the night her mother disappeared. A couple of other characters feature prominently in the story - their father who was out of town when the disappearance occurred and a young detective who remains interested in the case when others in the department have moved on.

Interspersed in the story is information about sleepwalking, as well as sleep sex and sleep violence (which I really didn't know anything about but apparently occur in some cases). While those topics were not ones I would have chosen to read about, they were not done in a way that was overly vulgar or that sabotaged the rest of the story. This was definitely an interesting read, and there was a twist at the end of the book that I did not see coming.

Another book containing a twist that I didn't see coming is The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I was glad the library book club chose this as one of our books this year because I've heard great reviews of Kate Morton's books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story! The main story is set in England in the early 1900s (1914-1920s), however it's told from the viewpoint of a 90-year-old woman, Grace, as she looks back and remembers those years when she worked as a servant for the Hartford family at the house at Riverton beginning at the age of 14.

This story is filled with lots of wonderful characters:
*Mr. Hamilton, Ms. Townsend, Alfred, Katie, Nancy - the other servants at Riverton
*Mr. Frederick Hartford - one of the Hartford sons who is grown with three children of his ow when Grace begins working at the Riverton house
*Hannah - Frederick's oldest daughter who longs for adventure and independence
*Teddy - Frederick's son who goes off to fight in World War I
*Emmeline - Frederick's youngest daughter who is beautiful and becomes an actress
*Robbie - a poet who's suicide at the last Hartford party has always been an intriguing mystery

As Grace is looking back to tell the story, all the other characters have passed away and a young director contacts her about a movie she is making about the Hartford family and Robbie's suicide. There are several twists in the story - some I realized early on and a big one at the end that I didn't figure out until right before it was revealed.

I enjoyed Grace's reminiscences as she looked back with the perspective of a lifetime behind her. Here's what she had to say about war:

Wars make history seem deceptively simple. They provide clear turning points, easy distinctions: before and after, winner and loser, right and wrong. True history, the past, is not like that. It isn't flat or linear. It has no outline. It is slippery, like liquid; infinite and unknowable, like space. And it is changeable: just when you think you see a pattern, perspective shifts, an alternative version is proffered, a long-forgotten memory resurfaces.

Have you read either of these books? Please share your thoughts in the comments.