Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BACK TO CHRISTMAS!! by Dennis Canfield

A Christmas Listen or Read you Don't want to miss!

OMG I loved it! Is what I sent the author halfway thru the book that is barely 3 hrs long. That is how enchanted I was by this cute Christmas story. I have to admit I am a sucker for a good Christmas story! and as with all Christmas stories yes it does have a happy ending! It was the journey getting to the end from the beginning that was so much fun! Dennis Canfield well thought out storyline and I did laugh out loud a few times. Found myself smiling knowing some of the young kids I would say 5+ would get the most out of this story and sit and listen to the whole thing. I could see this being made into a cartoon or movie for Christmas following that Hallmark christmas theme.

Oh the story you say. Well the Krumwerth family is finding themselves on the naughty list for the third time. Is there hope for them? Well one elf in charge of the nice and naughty list kind of letting them slip by on the nice list. NO NO NO! He is caught and is assigned to the Krumwerth family and picks their daughter Amanda to get them back on the nice list or they will be on the permanent naughty list FOREVER! They have less than 2 days to do this and Amanda(the daughter) thought for sure this will be easy. Not as easy as she thought.

So Marmel the elf does not think she could do it in 2 days. So when she completes the first 2 task he was surprised in one day. Now the 3rd and final task could she do it? Time to bring out the Reverse Santa to help. Can he? who is he? Amanda's tech savvy family is so into their toys and gadgets that everything starts breaking and stopping. At least that is what they think. And thru all this and other problems that arise Amanda's suggestions get them to where they need to be. 

The narrator Ralph Lister oh did he bring the characters to life. I have said time to time how narrators can change up their voice somewhat so you know the difference of the characters. But he gives each character a downright personality! I have already suggested this audio to many of my friends with kids. I feel with his narration I could see kids sitting at the kitchen table or laying on the floor coloring and crafting their Christmas decorations and gifts while listening to this book! May sound hookie but, I don't care but, I LOVED IT!

Note: This review was posted to Goodreads, Amazon and Audible. The Audio book was provided for review by the author Dennis Canfield. All views are strictly mine and not in anyway influenced by others. Thank you for your time reading this and comments are always welcome on the other sites I have listed above!

Friday, November 28, 2014

NEW!!! Audiobook Reviews! My first review "Botanicaust: Botanicaust, Book 1"

"Botanicaust: Botanicaust, Book 1"
by Tam Linsey

I always start my reviews by reviewing the narrator. Since they are the voice that makes or breaks a performance of the book! Will it want to make you want to go back and read the book! Meghan Kelly as in other books I have listen to her narrate excels in a flawless transition from one character to the next. Maintaining that difference or mood of the character as they journey thru this book by Tam Linsey. I do hope that she is brought back for any future sequels. There is nothing more disappointing when authors use another voice in a series. She really brings to life and moods of my favorite character Dr Tula Macoby. 

So let me continue with the characters without giving many spoilers! Dr. Tula Macoby coming from a society called the Haldanians, that believes can help selected others from the bio-engineered weeds that wiped out plant life 400 years earlier making all plants poison. Tula, a counselor assigned to those that are converted with photosynthetics to adjust to their new lifestyle. A society/scientist that believes they are the saviors of sorts in converting the cannibals that also roam the Earth. They also decide who lives or dies if their capturers do not fit the profile of converting to a plant society.  Believing that her way of life will save them. That is until she meets Levi Kraybill whom she believes in the beginning is part of a captured cannibal family. Only to find out he is from another society called the The Old Order. Feeling that her people may not have all the answers. With him as the story unfolds throughout she learns the truth behind her own past! Trying to understand why her feelings are so passionate for someone of a different culture and to wrong yet feels so right at the same time. 

Tam Linsey takes and draws you into the passion! Into the uncertainty! Into the truth that maybe bought her and Levi together are not ready to face about each other!

Levi Kraybill is from a society that believes what Tula's kind are doing is an abomination. They are a peaceful farming community. Believing that God has sent them down the rules to believes are they the only way of life! 

After Tula assist Levi to escape and now making them both outlaws on the run from the Haldandians! Tula learns from him the survival tactics as they travel back to his society without being captured by the cannibals or killed by the Burners. Learning along the way that Levi was on the search for a cure for his son.  Only to be saved/captured by what they thought is a fourth society, Fossilites. Which they did not know existed. Only to find out that all those Tula thought were killed are actually used for experiments of a different kind for the search for immortality.  Will Tula make the decision to stay with them if they are willing to give Levi the cure they said they had for his son? Will his clan let him back? Since leaving against the Old Orders rules shunned Levi!

They do escape and head for Levi's clan with 2 of the ones Tula thought were killed by her people. When they get back to Levi's home. Are they all left to come within the Old Order's protective field? What does Tula learn about herself? Will they accept her and the other 2 Haldadians? What becomes of Levi's son?

Leaving some of these unanswered will peak a curiosity that you will not be sorry to learn as the book whines down. There is not a real cliffhanger leaving this book up in the air till part 2. It can stand as a stand alone read/listen to. Made me wish that I could move to the next book now! I really was pleasantly surprised with this story after listening to and reading other post apocalypse novels. This is certainly a well thought out plot. Totally different! The story can definitely take itself in any direction for future parts. I would like to see the following part have that back story of how the weeds took over the other plants. Seeing it build around Levi and/or Tula family ancestors. This 10 hr plus listen really felt so much longer. Ready for a detail yet full story made me want to sit and listen right thru in a day or 2. 

Note: This review was posted to Goodreads, Amazon and Audible. The Book was provided for review by the narrator Meghan Kelly. All views are strictly mine and not in anyway influenced by others. Thank you for your time reading this and comments are always welcome on the other sites I have listed above!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'm Back

It has been awhile...these past months have been a trial of sorts for me. My husband past away unexpectedly in January and I have been in mourning. I lost my job last October of 4 years due to layoff. 

Now shutting myself away but diving myself into going thru my home and yard doing what he did and what I normally do around the home. However, I did more of what my dear Bill did. 

2 weeks after he past on I slipped on ice and injured my back and knee. So it only added injury to insult. So everything I had to do around the house took weeks instead of days.

I revamp my entire yard of flowerbeds. Something I did before taking on a full time job that kept me from them. Now they are all looking amazing.  Took  me pretty much 2 months to that. 

Had a leak in my roof and damaged a room in my home nearly 2 years ago. Then the last straw when the ice and snow came in buckets. After having my roof repaired then I repaired the room. Took several months and help from my nephew to get the ceiling done. 

Then I finally after what I called the 5 year project of having a banister installed on my front porch so my dog could be outside with me while I read in the evenings. Took me 10 weeks to get it done. Not completely but the closed in part is done. Curtains - drop down for when it rains I will work on over the winter. 

Then it moved into organizing my huge shed into a wood workshop for me. I thought I was a hoarder of craft supplies. Heck no - my husband loved his tractor lawn mower parts. Did a lot of scraping! Took me 2 1/2 months of sitting and sorting out screws, nuts and bolts. found things I thought was lost forever. Installed 2 small windows to the front of the shed for natural light like he wanted to do. I labeled all the drawers. I just wish he could be here to see it. 

All doing these jobs in pain. Slowly after months of medical attention is finally getting where I could do stuff not at the slower pace as before. 

Now that winter is upon me and listening to my audio books more frequently. You will be seeing book reviews here that I will be doing for I will be doing my crafts again. Start working on  my audio scrapbooks and physical scrapbooks. Sewing and quilting. Crocheting and selling things on line. My photographs posted on Viewbug! 

So hope to see you all commenting again!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thimble Motherlode

So back from my trip from Madison WI. Spent the week with my daughter and her husband for a wonderful week of touring the area that they will be calling their home for many years to come. At least I hope so.
So one day they took us all down to this small town called New Glarus, a town that was founded by the Swiss from the town of the same name Old Glarus, Switzerland. See many things in this small town of 2500.
So hit an antique store in this small town and found a lot of thimbles to add to my collection. Between the ones I bought there and other places on my travels – adding another 23 to my collection. (Note: the first one in the album came from my husband's friend just recently back from Ireland)
So thanks for looking at my newest additions. I have extra thimbles from New Glaser so anyone looking at swapping – let me know.
Hugs and stitches, Joan

Friday, April 19, 2013

Recycle Cutout Dog Biscuit Tutorial

This is one of the Swaps I hosted on using a box from a food product that has pre-cut out fronts. Whether it has a cello front or just plain like I have here using the front and side of dog biscuit boxes for inserting scrapbook items. Click on each picture to see the steps to creating this pre-made recycled album using recycled items I received from another swap. Leaving half the pages blank towards the back for my partner to add her own special touches.
Comments are welcome.
Happy scraping! Joan

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Owl Pincushion instructions

Owl Pin Cushion Instructions

Well, hosting an owl pin cushion swap on swap-bot, but the magazine site only offers the template for the body but no instructions as promised.

So here is a short verision of the instructions.

6 x 8" for body
4 x 6 for belly
scrap of fiberfilled
1/4 cup of walnut shells or weight for bottom
(keep it standing)
small funnel to fill the cavity
scraps of off white yarn
2 - 3/4" white buttons
2 - 1/2" black buttons
doll makers needle (extra long to get through fiberfill of body.

1. Using template from this site. Cut 2 bodies pieces and 1 belly piece.

2. Lay rt side together and stitch up one curved side.

3. With right sidesup open the body and rt sides together of the body to belly, sew the curved edges pivot at the top and go down the other side. trim tip to 1/8". Turn right side out.

4. On the belly side from the top mark a line 1" from the top. 

5. Lightly stuff the point and baste the line for bending thru all layers. 

6. Fold the bottom edge 1/8" and baste a hem stitch, but leave loose. Using the funnel to put in the crush walnuts to within 1/4" of not filled. 

7. Pull threads tight and if needed add more crushed walnuts. stitch close.

8. Smooth out the body of the owl. shape as needed.


1. Fold the top 1" down with the point centered. Using embroidery floss take a few stitches through the tip and belly to form a beak. Remove the basting stitches. 

2. Stack a black button on the white and thread a need with black thread and take a few stitches to hold the buttons together.

3. Cut 3 1" in lenghts of yarn, gather together and put one end under the button holes. Take a couple of stitches to hold in place. hand stitch the eye onto the owl using the dollmakers needle. Run the thread out the bottom and back up through the buttons. Take several stitches in this manner and then finish off. 

4. unwind the yarn to fluff up the strands.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

$100 gift card giveaway

Follow this link to a $100 gift card giveaway