Thursday, April 30, 2015

Semi-Charmed Summer Reading Challenge

I participated in her Winter Challenge and discovered one of the best books for this year from the list.  I'm looking forward to this challenge - there are some interesting categories.

Click the link above to see the list and sign up!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Carry Her Heart by Holly Jacobs, A Review

Carry Her Heart

Amazon           Goodreads          Barnes and Noble

Book Description

“Maybe we live our lives constantly becoming and rebecoming. Maybe we’re always in the process of metamorphosing into something new.”

In her journal, writer Piper George notes the change of seasons. Each entry marks the passage of time since she became a teen mother and put her baby up for adoption. Her words flow together, painting a picture of loss, hope, and enduring love for the daughter she’s never forgotten. But one autumn, a new presence appears in its pages and in her life: her neighbor, Edward “Ned” Chesterfield.

As winter thaws to spring, Piper and Ned develop a friendship that could be something more…if only Piper would open her heart. But the loss of her daughter has irrevocably shaped her life. And having given so much of herself away, she’s not sure if she can give Ned all that he deserves. But with him at her side, Piper just might learn that a heart’s love is never truly lost.


I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher. Here is my honest review.

This book is on my short list of best book I've read this year.  What struck me from the opening chapter was the beautiful language that Jacobs uses.  This book is full of lovely writing - words that just capture your very inner essence.  Piper is likable even though she seems to have it all together.  She has such a wonderfully positive outlook on life, it is refreshing in a female character.

At one point, I thought the book was going to disappoint me horribly; Piper's visit to her father to discuss whether it was possible to just be friends left me convinced that she and Ned would not have a happy ever after.  But oh, what sweetness waited down the line.  Sweet romance, completely realistic and it is a friends to lovers story which is one of my favorites.

This book is so much more than a romance story however.  It is a story of relationships ultimately - 

I started this really late Friday night and read a chapter, maybe two.  Picked it up in the wee hours of Saturday waiting for the sunrise and finished it.  I was in tears as the book drew to a close. It's full of emotion and wonderful characters.  

I gave this book: 

★ = I did not like it     ★ = It was okay     ★ = I liked it    
★ = I really liked it     ★ = I loved it

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pocket Letter #3 - Favorite Color

I recently sent out another Pocket Letter for a Color Swap over at Pocket Letter Pals.  

My partner chose red and I really had fun working on this for her.  I like the color red and have had it as my main bedroom color for years.  I went with a deeper red, so I hope she is happy with that.

I am going to include a prayer in each of my pocket letters that I send.  I believe there is such power in prayer!  I tried to collage that insert and I like it but I'm not in love with it, KWIM?  The left pocket says "My Favs" in the thought bubble.  On my desk, it showed up much better than it is in the picture.  I didn't take a picture of the back of this card but I love how it turned out. I just handwrote some favorites on scrap cardstock and arranged them hodge-podge on the back.

The center insert features the frame stamp I am going to incorporate on each pocket letter and some layered, glittered tulle.  The left insert was taken almost directly from the pocket letter Tmika recently sent me - I loved how the stacked banner/flags looked!

I stamped the days that I worked on this letter on the left insert, another element I am working into each pocket letter.  The center insert has a Vanilla Caramel tea bag behind that is so tasty!  Are you singing yet with the scrap of hymn?  I am, every time I sat down and worked on this pocket letter.

Here is a peek at all the little goodies I included behind the inserts: napkin, glitter, gems, punched shapes, washi, tea and a letter with a key paper clip.

Are you swapping pocket letters?  If you are interested, check out the Pocket Letter Pals forum.  Leave a comment if you are interested in swapping!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pocket Letter # 2 - Coffee is Always a Good Idea

Coffee is Always a Good Idea

Sharing the pocket letter I created for a swap with one of my favorite youTube crafters - Scrapdaworld.  I photographed them outside of the page protector to avoid glare.

I know she loves shabby chic so I tried to use soft colors and lots of lace and pearls.  With the browns, this is probably more vintage than shabby (needs more white) but I am still really happy with how it turned out.

My signature frame on the left block and the cup on the lace background is my favorite I think.

I tried making a little shaker on the center block but the sequins do not show up very well.  The right block is embossed with some "vintage" embossing powder that kinda puffed up when I heated it. Really loved the way it looked!

I failed to take a picture of the back with the goodies.  I included some embossing powder, glitter, sequins and lace for her as well as a letter and a prayer.  I wrapped it in a graphic I printed off and wrapped that with a vintage handkerchief I picked up at an estate sale recently, finished off with a little flower closure.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pocket Letter #1 - Better Get Better

I came across a new "thing" that uses my craft supplies and feeds my creative side.  They are called Pocket Letters, created by Janette Lane.  If you click on the link (in that last sentence), you'll pull up all her posts on Pocket Letters. Basically, they are ATCs (which the more I create and work with them, the more I enjoy it), decorated and slipped into a page protector.  Also integrated is a letter so there is the pen pal concept as well.  You can also view quite a bit about them on youTube and link over to the community at Janette's blog.

I have been creating ATCs for many years now with my local stamp club.  We make 12 every month which involves quite a bit of assembly line work, not unpleasant but after the initial design, not entirely creative.  What I really enjoy with the pocket letters is creating a set of coordinated cards and the letter component.

Better Get Better

The first PL I created was sent as a cheer me up for a lady that has a hurt wrist and as such, limited creating time.  I am out of practice in taking photos so I apologize for the glare.

I pulled out the floral print paper first as I wanted something bright and cheery - yellow and red seem to fit the bill!  The center pocket is stamped and painted; the third pocket is stamped and then flocked.

I wanted to have something to incorporate on every pocket letter I create.  The frame stamp on the center block fits perfectly and I will use it for each one as well as dating when I work on the project.  I know that many people create the entire letter at one time; I enjoy crafting as a form of relaxation and so tend to linger over my projects. 

My favorite bit in this letter is the far right block.

The fun comes in adding little bits to the pockets as well.  I've included some of the items I used: tags, stamped labels, twine, washi tape as well as a prayer, and a list of books I enjoyed last year.

I'll share another Pocket Letter later this week.