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So, I Read This Book Today

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So THAT Is How They Do It!

I have to laugh. I keep seeing these absolutely stunning yarn cakes.

No, not This kind of cake . . . yummylayers(though it IS breathtaking, isn’t it?)

 

 

 

 

And not This kind . . . (Though, you have to admit, that is darn cute!)

 

And then there is this one, which is even CUTER!

 

 

 

Nope. We are talking This kind . . .

sockyarnPretty, huh? So, I was wondering how it was done. Droppers pouring? Nah…. So, I was cruising around youtube, taking a break and giving myself a reason to remember that when my work is done, I can go down to my studio and play . . .  and look what I Found!!

Of course, I wanted to show you photos of a bunch of these multicoloured yarn cakes at a shop I found and fell in love with, but of course I can’t find it now…. Found it!

rainbowsockcake

So, next time I indulge myself with a dye job, you know what I am going to be doing!

And then, I happened to see something else that made me do a happy dance . . . I have a metric ton of acrylic yarn that I don’t like . . . bad colours, no colours, etc. So, I was thinking about giving it away, but there is some that I really like the texture of, just not the colour. Ta Daaa!!! Check this!

So, now I have great reasons to get my work done, so I can have some fun in the morning. Woooo Hooooo!!! So, yippee, skippee, time to work!

Hummm… and I have some gnarly acrylic based fabrics too –  great test subjects for doggy beds! Well, someone else’s doggy beds, cause my guys sleep in my bed . . . well, I guess it is really their bed, cause I wind up curled up in a tiny ball with them all spread out like rugs, hogging all the room!

Oh, and I found the cake photos on goodsearch.com/images!

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Review: Quilting Arts Workshop: Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork

art quilt design
Check out the Video here.

I spent today in an “Artistic Haze” watching Sara Ann Smith’s “Quilting Arts Workshop: Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork”. I purchased the download from The Interweave Store, a rather guilty pleasure of mine. They are one of the best online arts and crafts stores on the Interwebs. They have so much: quilting, crochet, knitting, beading, jewelry making, needlework, sewing and spinning and weaving, even mixed media is represented.

hoffman fabric
2014 Hoffman Challenge

For a few years I entered the Hoffman Challenge every year, and am very proud to say that my quilt actually got to travel with the International Show two years running! When I got cancer, I had a quilt nearly finished, and had a friend help me finish so I could enter the quilt. It wasn’t up to my regular skill level, of course, so it got sent back to me, but I was happy to be strong enough to at least enter.

2013 Hoffman Challenge
Click here to see the 2013 Winners

Last year, I liked the fabric quite a bit, but I just couldn’t’ get into the quilting part. {My workroom was a mess, to tell you the truth, but I was too lazy and too busy to go down there and clean it up . . . sigh.} Anyway . . .

This year’s fabric looks like it is going to be really cool. So, I decided to pull myself out of my “quilting slump” and get more interested again.

This is a great video. First, Sara Ann is a wonderful teacher. She is smart, well trained in colour theory and design. The pattern she chose (the one on the cover) is beautiful, and requires just enough work to keep it interesting without freaking you out. The colours are, of course, awesome. She takes the video step-by-step, from choosing the right fabrics, the right tools, and the extra little items that make the process fun instead of work. She does a quick discussion of using paints and pens for darkening or lightening fabrics, which I found quite useful. I have done that before, but her skill taught me quite a bit.

sarah ann smith tomato
This is the quilt that you learn to make in the class.

She gives you different methods of patterning, and a choice of being meticulous or “blobby” in your cutting of pattern pieces. Once she has the fabrics cut and ‘tacked down’ with a hot iron on the ironing sheet, she helps you decide on the background fabrics.

Once you have your fabrics fused down, she then gets into threads, both colours and types, as well as how to choose the correct bobbin threads.

threadwork unraveled
Check out the book here. It’s on Sale!

She spent a good amount of time on blending threads, which I have always had a problem with and was really thrilled that she took the time to both show and describe the quilting. I intend to purchase her book, “Thread Work Unraveled” to learn more. As a note, it is on sale for $20.16, originally $28.95, on the Interweavestore.com site.

If you are at all interested in art quilting and thread painting, I highly recommend this beautiful DVD. I purchased it for watching online, in standard format, but there is also HD format, or you can buy an actual DVD.

Highly Recommended!

Review Maggie Get Your Gun: Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 2-Kate Danley

Maggie Get Your Gun: Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 2

maggiegetyourgun
Click to get your copy. You will want to, because her new one is now out!

First, if you are looking for “serious” UF, before you pick up either of these volumes, let me warn you. Ilona Andrews or Mark Henwick, this is not. What this series is, though, is lighthearted fun with an interesting twist that keeps you reading. Sometimes, that is all you really need from a book, and Kate Danley delivers in spades.

One of the best things about this book is why Danley wrote it. Proceeds from the write-a-thon where this book was mostly written benefited the Young Writers Program, which funds free creative writing programs in hundred of schools and communities around the world. With the state of public education and the lack of support for the arts, I give Ms. Danley full kudos for her work.

The story itself picks up after the action in Maggie for Hire (Maggie MacKay – Magical Tracker). Maggie has her dad back and he and her mom have gone off for a nice weekend away to celebrate his return from two years stuck in limbo. Now, a new client walks in her door, with what seems a ridiculously simple job. To retrieve a simple ladies hair comb, ‘dropped in the desert’ outside of Calico Ghost Town on the far outskirts of Las Vegas. What happens next is a rather slap-stick (read ‘vintage Danley’) chase through deserts and down mine shafts to an old fashioned “Standoff At The OK Corral” ghost and monster style, in the streets of a real “Ghost Town” on the Other Side. As always, the good guys win, but only by a ‘ghost’ of a chance and with enough snark and ‘F’ bombs to float the Marie Celeste. (I will admit that I would appreciate some different and more creative expletives – the bomb is getting rather old . . .)

All in all, this series is funny and charming and is quite a pleasant way to wile away an afternoon. It doesn’t put a strain on the brain, the characters are to my mind quite likeable and you learn a bit more about Maggie’s mom in this one. I like her more even than I did before. I am really looking forward to the next one. I haven’t read The Woodcutter yet, that is on my list of must reads. Thanks, Ms. Danley, for a fun read and I look forward to more soon.

Funny throughout, good world building, likeable characters, lots of “F”bombs if you are offended by that sort of thing. Kate still needs a good editor, a few too many errors are creeping through that could set off the “Grammar Nazis”. Nothing five stars, but still well worth the $3.99.

The newest, Maggie on the Bounty (Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker #3) was published July 15, 2013 and flew in right under my radar. I will be checking it out soon.

From the GoodReads blurb:

maggieonthebounty
The newest Maggie!

New business partners, Maggie and Killian, are looking forward to their latest gig: finding out why all the ghosts are disappearing from the Empress Adelaide, a turn of the century ocean liner who once shuttled Hollywood’s finest across the Atlantic. But Maggie and Killian find themselves trapped in the past, caught in a time rift with only a ghost of a chance of escaping. This ain’t no pleasure cruise.

Review: Maggie for Hire: Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 1 by Kate Danley

Maggie For Hire Book One of the Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Series

maggieforhire
Come on, get the series. If you have a great sense of humour, this is a great series!

First, let’s get out of the way what Maggie isn’t – this isn’t a “romance” paranormal or not. It isn’t a “serious” urban fantasy work in the vein of Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson. It is, instead, a pure and total snarky laugh riot. It is total enjoyment, a few hours of pure relaxation, where the weight of the world goes away and you can immerse yourself in another world.

“I suddenly felt like I was about to learn that I had walked into a great big game show of The Multiverse’s Next Top Stooge, Riiight.”

The world that you are immersing yourself in is really two worlds – the “normal” everyday world, and another, sitting side-by-side with this world, where all of our dreams and fears exist. If you have ever read Heinlein’s “The Number of the Beast” you are familiar with multiple world theory (well, if you are familiar with modern science, you are also familiar, lol) The Other Side, in Maggie’s case, is a world that fairy tale creatures and monsters of all types populate. As a Tracker, Maggie finds, and brings back to the Other Side, those who ‘slip’ across the barrier between worlds. What happens in this edition is exciting and entertaining, and full of a kind of snarky attitude that had me laughing out loud all through the book.

A couple of favorite quotes:

“Lacy interrupted herself to shout at the zombie porter, “Cut it out! He’s a vampire! he doesn’t have a brain!”

“Locking eyes with a vampire: “Way To Get Yourself Killed Right Quick #84″ in the Idiots Guide to not Getting Dead By A Monster.”

See? Pure fun, with a bit of action, a lot of crazy uncle and grins galore.

Now, “I shall run a load of laundry before we kick the bad guys’ asses.”

Read. Relax. Enjoy. And don’t go in with any expectations other than the fact that it is supposed to be fun and you will be very glad you did.

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