Monday, February 28, 2011

February's Book Reports

Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke
In the 3rd installment of the Dave Robicheaux series, he heads to Montana with his adopted daughter. Dave tries to clear his name for an arrest in New Orleans. In 1990, this book received two very distinguished awards -- I'm not sure why. The first 20 pages and the last 20 pages pertain to the story (first the history behind the problem - then the problem solved) everything in between was filler.  The narrative just sat there, never moving forward, not much of a mystery, and actually not much of a story.

Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
This is Kate Shugak's 18th Alaskan adventure.  Kate's great uncle, Old Sam, has died and left Kate everything he owned including a life long mystery to figure out. Another great Kate Shugak story although I found numerous typos throughout the book. Kate Shugak mysteries are good books about Alaska's native community, the history and it's people without the shadow of political overtones.

The Watchman by Robert Crais
With the 3rd Joe Pike book hitting the bookshelves soon, I decided to reread the first two books in this series again. Crais' Elvis Cole books brought Joe Pike into the limelight and now he has a storyline all his own, reversing the roles with his partner, Elvis Cole.  In the interesting, page-turner writing style of Crais, this series is very, very good.  The Watchamn has Joe paying back a big favor and becomes the body guard of a young women being hunted by the people trying to keep her from cooperating with the authorities. Of course, Joe doesn't stop there - but searches for the true story and all the people behind it. Good writing - Good story.

The First Rule by Robert Crais
Joe Pike's 2nd story is about friendships that never die and if Joe's your friend, he's got your back dead or alive. His close friend and family are murdered and Joe leaves no stone unturned to find out who, what, and why. He may be a quiet, soft spoken man but speaks volumes when his friends come in harm's way.  Great addition to the Joe Pike stories.

The Sentry by Robert Crais
These stories only get better and better -- and this 3rd Joe Pike story is great.  Joe can't leave well enough alone when someone is in trouble - he steps in to lend a hand and this time really steps in it. Joe and Elvis try to protect a Los Angles transplant from New Orleans and all the troubles she brought with her that won't go away.  There are twists and turns in the story that are a fun ride leading to a thrilling  book.

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva
A first novel by a career journalist now teaching.  If you want to read how difficult it is to be a reporter than this book is for you.  Reviewed to be a good mystery that is witty.  It was witty - on the very first and last sentence of each chapter. The story was over before it had a chance to get off the ground. It lacked story facts, character building and towards the end there is a large segment that seemed out in left field without any way to bring it home. This author should not quit his day job. 

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
"Only those who dislike precocious young heroines with extra ordinary vocabulary and audacious courage can fail to like this amazingly entertaining book." -- Booklist (starred review)
Flavia de Luce is in the thick of things once more in her 3rd outing. Gypsies and thieves - Oh My! Besides living in Flavia's world again (what fun!) we join her in sleuthing out the current evil villains plus mysteries of long ago. Another sensational book by Canadian author, Alan Bradley.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Are you tired of looking at scrapbook pages, yet?

With about 4" of snow on the ground and living on the side of a mountain, we're snowbound housebound. What better time to keep scrapbooking when I can't get out and about. Kinda fun!

and then some photos when I was just starting to learn how to use the object above.

Friday, February 25, 2011

and yet, another page

I played with this layout for hours --- just having some scrapbooking fun using one photo to create 3 layers and let the subject PoP.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stop and smell the flowrs

I had just finished this scrapbooking page when I read Style Pie (her 2-23-2011 post) and realized that our mother/daughter connection was right on!
Even with snow on the ground (we got about an inch this morning) I feel Spring slowly approaching. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Coming to the finish line.....

I've been scrapbooking a lot lately.
I'm just about finished with the 2009 photos to get into the albums.
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

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The family in San Francisco will "get" this title,
it's one of our classic lines.

and that ends my scrapbooking the 2009 photos.

Now on to 2010 - stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scrapbooking - again

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I'm on a roll ...... to be continued

Monday, February 21, 2011


 (from a great Mt. Baker photo shoot with my son)
The wonder of the area needed a very simple layout.

 (our favorite coffee place - 1 of about 100 we have in our small town)

(my first booth in 2009)

When I saw this photo of my darling daughter on her blog (Style Pie)
I knew I had to scrap it --- It's just that cute!!!
(I practiced and practiced and figured out how to make my own sticker alphabet, too)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

and still more scrapbooking .....

I do only 8.5" x11" formats for my albums with a mix of single and double pages. I started out doing this size to fit the notebook folders I have housed all my pages. I altered the notebooks to look like old journals with our family name and year on the spine. I have a few......
As scrapbooking has changed over the last 10 years, so has my own style. Now I only do digital scrapbooking and love the graphic design that goes hand in hand with that type of scrapbooking.

and here is a few more pages I just completed.

photos by Scott Mansfield Photography (and copyrighted)
If you've never visited his site -- it worth the trip
His images are spectacular: Scott Mansfield

another photo by Scott Mansfield Photography

again, thanks for looking
(for a more up close and personal look at the layouts, just click on the image)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

and yet more scrapbooking

(photos by Scott and Sara Mansfield)
thanks for looking ....

Friday, February 18, 2011

more scrapbooking

Still finishing my 2008 scrapbook album. Almost done.....
a double page: 11" x 17" that I scraplifted from one of the scrapbook web sites
(thanks for the inspiration)

a matching single page: 11"x 8.5"

to be continued ......

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Next on the list: To finish the 2009 Layouts

Done and Done --- now on to tackle the rest of the 2009 photo stack.

Single page: 11" x 8.5" and another scraplift from a scrapbook web site
(thanks for the inspiration)

A very simple layout -- when the camera came out, I ether got blurry faces, closed eyes or back of heads -- that'll happen -- just gotta work with what you get.

Thanks for looking at my catch-up 2008 layouts.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Hacoa is a pure craftsman (I think - I can't read Japanese, his/her products may be mass produced). The aesthetically pleasing idea of a wooden keyboard would be delightful to the touch, a pleasure to use and would look really cool connecting to the computer.
(family member craftsmen - that's a challenge)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back to SB Layouts

After organizing the photos yet to be scrapbooked, I found some 2008 photos I hadn't finished. So for the next few days I'll go Back to the Future and post the recent layouts I created to finish my 2008 album.
I just found a 2006 Thanksgiving photo stack. And thanks to my darling daughter, I'm actually in the pictures. It's never to late to get it done.

Now, back to 2008 layouts

to be continued.......

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

These are the latest crocheted afghans I finished and sent to some very deserving ladies. It's actually a simple pattern that looks complicated. I used a very soft yarn and it didn't let me down.  They turned out soft, warm and perfect to wrap around yourself and settle in for a movie or two.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Post It Note Holder in 5 Easy Steps

Post it note holders make great gifts and are very easy to make. I sell them at my Allied Arts booth in the fall and sell out every time. (shhh-I wouldn't want my customers to know how simple they are to make.) 

• Supply List •
4"x6" acrylic photo frame
2 - 4"x6" pieces of paper
scrap paper for embellishment
9.5" piece of ribbon
a clear barrel pen
3"x3" Post-It note pad
1 - 3"x3" piece of card stock
Double sided permanent adhesive tape
Glue Dots

First Step - the 4"x6" frame
I'm using a 4"x6" acrylic stand up frame from Walmart (if you use another brand the measurements are the same, but look at the back and make sure it goes to the bottom - not all of them do). These frames are meant to stand vertical - we're going to lay them down.  You can use other sizes or the horizontal frames, too, to fit the 3"x3" Post-It note pad.

Step Two - the paper
Cut 2 pieces of paper 4"x6" -- one for the front and one for the back

With wrong sides together - slip the paper into the frame.

Step Three - the embellishments
This is where you can be creative and do anything in this small space. For the sample I cut a piece of paper 4"x 1.5" and lined it with contrasting paper. Layering circles (2", 1.75", 1.5") I glued the three circles together.  If you want to add a ribbon - it's 9.5" long.  Since the embellishment base is only attached to the front of the frame, it's nice to attach a ribbon all around the frame, holding the frames front and back together -- but it's not a necessity.

Step Four - the pen
I use Z-Grip ball point pens - it has a nice clear barrel. Unscrew the tip, remove the ink cartridge and insert a 1"x3.25" slip of paper that you have first gently rolled around a small pencil to start the creases and then roll around the pens ink cartridge. This takes a little bit of patience and practice.

Step Five - Attaching your embellishment

Using double sided, permanent adhesive tape on the top and bottom of the paper, attach to the top of your frame. If you're using a ribbon wrap around to the back and securely attached (I like Zot Dot  - they're permanent and hold tight).  Using pop-up dots for a bit of dimension, attach the circle embellishment to the center.  I glue a 3"x3" piece of card stock to the back of the Post-It note pad for extra support and attach to the frame with double sided adhesive tape - one strip on the top and one on the bottom.  If this is a gift - everything will fit nicely back into the bag the frame came in.
You're Done!