Posts Tagged ‘books’

Birthday Party Ideas: Book Exchange Party and Printables

My daughter turned 11. Diapers one day… eye-rolling tween, the next. I joke. She’s a great kid, growing into her own person. How do they grow so fast? To celebrate her birthday, we hosted a simple evening with a few of her close friends and a book exchange. (I give her all the credit for choosing that.) Sharing books, swapping with everyone, tearing open the wrapped books… it was like Christmas all over again! The nice part: all gently used books. Bring one, leave with one; bring two, leave with two.

Keep going for the free printables!

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Book Review: The Adventures of Little Mouse

The Adventures of Little Mouse (Williams)


“True friends are the ones you can count on to be there for you…”

The Adventures of Little Mouse: (Life outside the Mouse Hole) by Sherri Williams (AuthorHouse, 2012, 43 pgs.) tells lessons of friendship, listening to your parents, and making good choices. Williams uses a family of mice and short stories in this book to demonstrate decision-making and consequences for young readers.

The Adventures of Little Mouse (Williams)

This is unlike most of the books I review (projects and crafting), but this author is also an avid quilter and has developed quilt designs based on each story. (Her designs are also available online.) I read this book aloud with my 6-year old and felt that it was appropriate for his age group. I’d say it targets kindergarten through third grade.

The Adventures of Little Mouse (Williams)

From Julie Tiu|Picasa Web Album

The twelve short stories cover topics like being a good friend, helping others, being careful, but I feel the overall running theme is that you don’t always appreciate what’s right in front of you (i.e. your home life, family) and parents are just looking out for their kids. A theme of being cautious almost seems too forward in some cases, but definitely a good lesson for little ones.

If you’d like a copy of this book for yourself, The Adventures of Little Mouse: (Life outside the Mouse Hole) retails for $21.00 (softcover) at most bookstores and is also available on Kindle for $3.99.

Leave a comment here for an opportunity to win a copy for yourself. It makes a nice stocking stuffer for your special youngster! I’d love to hear from you and send you this book… Comments welcome until Thursday, Dec. 6, 10 pm CST.

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Craft Book Review: Desire to Inspire

I picked up “Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World” by Christine Mason Miller (2011, published by North Light Books) this summer after spying it in a picture… in a magazine. (Keen eyes, eh?) I thought, “That looks interesting.” Actually, the magazine article was about Miller’s creative space – I wish I had that creative space. Rephrase: I’m wishing and hoping that I get my act together to make a creative space.

Miller brings together a body of artists, creative writers, entrepreneurs to showcase the ways we can impact the world through sharing and making art – nineteen contributors plus the author, in all. The book intertwines stories, exercises for the reader, and includes pull-out inspirational quotes.

The personal quotes, photos, original artwork… beautiful and nicely organized. Sometimes I found the book theraputic, sometimes as an art journaling manual, helping corral your thoughts on paper, artistically. Sometimes, I just found myself drooling at the pictures. I used to journal like the one in the picture below.

You might think it’s a “new age” book… not spiritual, but it kind of is. All the contributors speak of their creative passions… sharing them to inspire others.

This book would be great, not just for all you creative types, but for those of you who want to be creative but don’t think you are… does that make sense? Everyone’s creative – just different levels. It doesn’t have to be all paint, drawings, sewing, paper and scrapbooking. The book helped me take time to rediscover, review qualities that I sort of know are there, but just haven’t thought about in a while… I found the book at a good time when I was talking to my husband about using my talents to help others, to do good.

“Being of service to others starts with being exactly who you are. The world needs your gifts.” – Jamie Ridler

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Craft Book Review: The Star Wars Craft Book

The Star Wars Craft Book | project-in-progress

“Dedicated to Geeky Craftsters everywhere. May the glue gun be with you!”

I received The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton (Del Rey, 2011, 156 pgs.) as a Christmas gift last year. Galactic ideas here. Clever projects use material you can probably find around your house, and if not, they aren’t too pricey. Like usual, I devoured the book and earmarked some projects, (like this R2-D2 beanie!), but only recently started my first project.

If only I knew how to crochet…

I found the book tone very casual unlike a Martha Stewart craft book – very precise. That’s not a bad or good thing… just an observation. The patterns for all the projects are located at the back of the book and online (if you don’t want to cut up your book, or need to copy and enlarge the patterns).

Jar Jar in-progress

My son asked me for Jar Jar Binks Jedi Mind Trick Doll. Not my first choice. My husband asked him if he might like some other project: the Bith Band puppets, a Bantha… maybe Han Solo in Soaponite. Nope.

“Jar Jar. Because he’s cute.”

One issue with the Jar Jar project material list: red felt is missing. You need it for Jar Jar’s tongue. The directions are easy to follow, but the directions fail to include a step for the arms. They are included in the pattern.

So as of this post, the project is in-progress. Since I didn’t have any felt on hand, I decided to use what I had: cotton and some flannel. I always seem to drift away from patterns (craft apron), directions (t-shirt quilt) and recommended materials. They’re just suggestions, right?

I’ll post the finished project as an update… and, would this book be a welcome addition to the Geek Crafter in your life? Yes, yes it would. It’s fun for the whole family, it’s fun if you’re a Star Wars fan… just plain fun!

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Craft Book Review: With Fabric & Thread by Joanna Figueroa

You know the feeling when you’re waiting for a package in the mail, or waiting for Christmas Day? That was me a few weeks ago. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. published With Fabric & Thread by Joanna Figueroa this Spring – and I was thrilled to receive a review copy.  I’ve read this book twice since receiving it. How would I describe the book? Hmm… fabulous for every level whether you quilt or sew.

If the “by-project” pictorial table of contents isn’t enough eye candy for you, just thumb through the book and you’ll find plenty of reasons why you should pick it up. Ms. Figueroa opens with personal stories of discovery. I was so touched by her introduction; she reaches out to all of us. Her delivery is so personal that she made me feel like I was sitting across from her, having a cup of coffee with an old friend. More than that, her story resonated with parts of my own journey of reinvention and I have a feeling that other readers feel the same.

Figueroa includes two chapters on basics: quiltmaking and sewing. And for a beginner like me, it’s nice to learn about the differences – and not in a snooty way either.  The chapters are nicely thought out. Besides the projects, my favorite section is her chapter on color. I love that she says, “…throw out everything you have ever learned about the color wheel.” It’s not about completely reinventing the wheel, but rather, not to let yourself be bound by rules or theories. Time to break out your fabric stash and rearrange or just come up with new color combinations!

About the projects, there are twenty-two (patterns included in the back of the book) to tantalize you. She breaks it up in three parts, sewing, dual projects (both sewn or quilted), and quilting projects. In a way, they are broken into a basic difficulty level, but it may have been helpful to have some sort of written or drawn difficulty level associated with the projects. Like any project, read through the instructions all the way… Figueroa’s instructions are complete with illustrations.

Can’t wait to start on these projects! With Fabric & Thread is sure to inspire you, too!

Joanna Figueroa is a fabric designer, pattern designer, active quilt instructor and owner of Fig Tree & Co. Her beautiful blog, Fresh Figs, offers more quilty and fabric fun.

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Five Foodie Books for Festive Gifts

Here are some gift ideas for the foodie in your life, or for yourself! These food books live on our bookshelves with the exception of the children’s book and Ruhlman’s Twenty. That’s on my wish list – maybe Santa will leave it under the tree for me. Click on the images for more information. What’s on your “to-read” list?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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