Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Spice King

Elizabeth Camden has once again written a fabulous historical fiction in The Spice King. I absolutely loved her characters and the depth of their interaction.

Annabelle Larkin is determined to win a donation from the Delacroix plant collection. Fresh out of school in Kansas, she feels somewhat at a lose to be living and working in Washington DC. Working in the Smithsonian for only two months, she tries every way she knew to contact the elusive Gray Delacroix.  After writing two times to Gray, she refuses to give up, being the latest of in a long line of botanist who'd tried and failed to make headway with Mr. Delacroix. If she can obtain the coveted Vanilla Orchid, she would secure her position with the Smithsonian. Boldly she makes her way to the Delacroix home. Along the way she spies a Spice map and hopes to gain entrance to entice his interest. As she meets Gray she notices that he is quite ill, the effects of Malaria, but he demands to see the map. Adamant that he doesn't trust the government, Annabelle charms her way into the man's greenhouses.

This is the most charming tale. The story is full of historical insights from a time when there was no regulation on foods stuff. I love how the relationship between Gray and Annabelle progressed and how they learned to trust each other. A definite 5+ star on my scale.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Crafting for Health?

There are so many different aspects to crafting.  I think we all need some kind of creative outlet.  Whether we are good at something, or just enjoy the process.

Are you a sensitive person?  Do you notice fine scents, sounds, tastes or works of art? I tend to notice sensory changes.

 For so many years I would stuff it down, and try to conform to what everyone else was doing.

When I read an article on how crafting can actually advance healthy living along with  joy and creative satisfaction, I stopped to ponder about this.

Whether it is cooking, gardening, knitting or sewing, crafts have become a proven way to bring sanity and calmness in a sometimes hectic world. You see apparently the brain cannot dwell on stress when it is engaged by the repetitive movement of your chosen craft. 
 Sometimes you come up with a solution to a problem when you give your brain a break.

So is that the reason we should cook, garden, knit, or quilt??  No I think the reason is that we enjoy it. And in turn that becomes our "therapy".

Crafting makes us happy, and we can also make other people happy, by making gifts for our family, friends and charity.  
So let's think of it this way.  The quality may not be perfect, but in the end, you have gained a healthy attitude and you have not wasted your time :-)

To find out if you are a highly sensitive person, you can do the self test at this website Highly Sensitive Person.  

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Killing Tide

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

Gabby Rowley is an investigative reporter. And as such, her life is threatened by a major drug lord she helped put away in prison. Her brother Noah seeks the help of his friend CGI agent Finn Walker to protect her. But keeping an eye on Gabby turns out to be a bit of a challenge.

The Coast Guard Investigative unit, are investigating a murder of one of their own.
Gabby feels certain that she can fend for herself as she tries to find clues in the investigation.

Dani Pettrey always writes such interesting novels. Reading The Killing Tide and how these agents risk their lives every day, helping people at sea, is pretty mind boggling. I have a growing respect for the men and women in all sections of military, sacrificing their time and lives on our behalf.

Ms Pettrey will be donating 10% of the profits of the sale of this book to the Coast Guard Foundation.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Another UFO finished!

Doesn't it feel great when you can accomplish something? I've had this quilt top ready for some time, but motivated to complete it for a wedding gift, got the Handi Quilter's needle going up and down.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Yours Truly, Thomas

Returning to Azure Springs, Rachel Fordham has written a wonderfully sweet second novel, Yours Truly, Thomas.

The story centers around Penny Ercanbeck who works in the dead letter office in Washington DC, piecing together missing information to try to send letters on its way. The year is 1883, no electronics, or computers to help in finding information about the writer or sender. Penny finds a letter, filled with the pain of losing his love, which captivates her. A romantic at heart, she longs to carry the letter to Clara, and help restore a relationship.

Thomas is running from his past. He ends up in Azure Springs, where he writes his heart felt letters to Clara, never expecting to receive a reply after a fatal accident . The people of Azure Springs befriend him and are trying to  help him to move past his pain.

Penny finds herself in Azure Springs, determined to meet Thomas. Although Thomas doesn't know that Penny knows him, their friendship blossoms.

This is such a lovely story, filled with hope, and inspiration. Ms. Fordham writes emotionally engaging characters, wholesome, with a touch of romance and humor. A delight for summer reading.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Another Lost but found

So while digging through fabric and ufo's, I came across this Bargello type quilt that I made many moons ago.

It's not very big. Perfect size for a doll quilt.  I think I made it from a magazine pattern. 

Have you ever made a Bargello quilt?

Friday, July 5, 2019

Lost and found

When ever I am looking through my stash fabric, I always seem to uncover something that was made years ago.

So when I came across these two quilt blocks I had to go ahead and finish them for the 4th.

My daughter made one quilt block and I made the other. When putting them together there was a difference in size, even though they were made by the same pattern. So I washed the larger one, and trimmed to fit the border. Using different sewing machines apparently was the key.

Although the fabrics are dated, I think they fit right in for the 4th of July celebration.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independance Day

"Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 33:12)

Wishing you a very Happy and Safe 4th of July

Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Reluctant Bride

 A Reluctant Bride - Hedlund, Jody

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund is her best historical fiction novel yet. I absolutely loved this story. It was one I could not put down.

Mercy Wilkins is a poor waif from the slums of London in the 1800's.With no hope of a job, she finds that she is just another mouth to feed in her family. In spite of being poor, she gives of herself to help others.

Lord Joseph Coville is an amazing character in the story. He never let his wealth affect his desire to help people. He became a doctor following the tragic loss of his family..

Mercy, adamant about not marrying, finds herself on a ship heading to British Columbia, not aware that it is a bride-ship. Joseph, the ship's doctor, seeks Mercy's help, and as such they form a friendship. This turns into a fabulous romance, leaving both Mercy and Joseph unsure of any future. Mercy feels the weight of their social differences, and Joseph is filled with fear of loving and losing any one else in his life.

 Ms. Hedlund did a remarkable job of research about the bride-ships. And many of the stories within the story are a true recount. An absolute 5 star book.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Getting started!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July! Finished this table topper.

And here it is on the table.

Oh and one more thing. A pincushion made from scraps.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Traveling along

Finally making progress on my 25+ pillowcases. But in the mean time I made this decorated kitchen towel to gift a friend.

I had to get a  picture of it with the Airstream in the backdrop :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2019


You know, sometimes a pattern just captures you. When I saw this pattern on Thimble Blossoms Instagram, I was in love.

I dug around and found this Thimble Blossoms fat quarter bundle.


And you  know, while I was at it, I had to go ahead and order these two patterns also.

Whoop! I think I hear my quilting buddies knocking on my door :-)

Happy Quilting

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Number of Love

The number of Love, a new series by author Roseanna White, comprises of intrigue and complex characters as the Codebreakers first introduces us to Margot DeWilde, an extremely intelligent young lady. Margot's world revolves around numbers. During WWI she thrives in Room 40, decoding German messages during a time when women were expected to be nothing more than a secretary.

When Drake Elton meets Margot, he is captivated by how different she is from every other woman he has met. He pursues her by learning her numbers language, and over time, gets to know her and her quirky sense of humor.

I found the book to be engaging with a different twist in teaching us a little bit more about the intelligence operations of the British during the War. The mystery and adventure were well played, adding a bit of romance to the mix.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Shop Hopping Day 2

So here we are again, shop hopping. We move now to the south side of our county for these shops.


This was a very nice shop. Sewing machines and lots of pretty fabric.

Our final destination was to Inspire in Plant City.

This is a very nice shop but has a lot of modern fabric and Florida theme fabric.

I did love the patriotic quilts they had on display.  

We enjoyed our shop hop and will probably find other fun places to go this summer.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Shop Hopping

One day last week, my quilting buddies and I went on our own personal shop hop. 

First on the list was The Quilted Twins.

This is a fabric warehouse that is only open three days a  week. They are mostly an online fabric store, but wow! what a selection.

I believe they said they have 13,000 bolts of fabric. And a few samples made up.

The amazing thing about this shop is all the fabric is $3.99 and $4.99 a yard! The wide back is $8.49. The shop is located in Dade City Florida, so if you are ever in the Tampa area, it's just a 30 minute drive north and very easy to find.

Next was Quilts on Plum Lane. And old favorite of ours. 

It is also in Dade City so you could hit two shops on the same day.

I'll share the rest tomorrow, as this is pretty picture heavy. Isn't it fun to visit these quilt shops?

Happy Quilting!