Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tell a Tale: The Historian

I didn't think this book would scare me....but it did!


Summary (from Goodreads): To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

Vlad Dracula
also known as
Vlad the Impaler
Review:  I don't normally read thrillers or mysteries or anything that I think will freak me out, but the title of this book intrigued me so I picked it up.  At 752 pages it's a rather long book.  I'll be honest with you, it wasn't bad but I did feel like I invested an awful lot of time into it, and freaked myself out quite a bit,  with very little payoff in the end.

The main story is told in a series of flashbacks that are presented to the reader as if the father has written it all out in a series of letters to his daughter to explain the present day situation. I didn't feel like this literary device worked all that well. I would have preferred that the story had simply been told from the father's point of view from the beginning.

As always, I'm a little annoyed by coincidences that are stretched as far as they possibly can be, so for that, this books merely gets an OK from me.

I don't believe I'm giving anything away by telling you that this story centres on the hunt for the myth and the man named Vlad Dracula.  However, I have to say that this isn't some teeny bopper vampire fantasy, and actual vampires are pretty few and far between in this novel.  What I am most amazed about is how the author is still able to scare the living daylights out of you with just the hint of the possibility of something a little scary and dark out there.  Believe me, when you're reading this alone late at night alone in your house and you hear a creak in the hallway, your mind will wander to some very crazy places~

Do you read thrillers and scary novels?  Do you like being scared?  Leave a comment below~

PS....Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Block the Noise in Style

I work in a cubicle in an office where my co-workers can get a little rowdy from time to time.  I don't like to always be the one telling everyone to be quiet and get back to work so instead I throw on my  headphones and crank the YouTube music videos on for background noise.

I actually prefer complete silence when I'm working, but that's just not realistic.  All of my coworkers do completely different work than I do so they just don't understand why their constant chatter bugs me....but they do understand my need to look stylish while blocking them out.

It's just a bit of gorgeous scrapbooking paper adhered with some Mod Podge but I think they look so much better.

Do you work in a noisy office?  Do you enjoy the noise (some people do?!?!?) or do you have some tricks for blocking it out?  Some days I listen to Chopin Nocturnes, other days I listen to Fleetwood Mac.  What do you listen to while you work?  Leave a comment below~

You can see my travel headphones transformed HERE.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Won't you take me to, Funkytime?

Funky time, funky town, same thing~

So, I know Christmas seems like a long ways off, we haven't even had Halloween yet.  Some of you haven't even had Thanksgiving yet!  But really, it's just around the corner.  Which is why I have to tell you about this cute little publication over at Issu called Funkytime.

It's full of all kinds of FREE printables perfect for the holidays.

Like these cute soap wrappers.

I love these two little elves.  I think they'll look super snazzy on my mantle this year.

And there are pages and pages of all sorts of gift tags.

I love that they give you ideas for all of these fun images.

There's a link on the last page that will take you to all of the images to download.  Be patient, it takes awhile to load, but it's worth it.

I bought my first Christmas present last week.  I thought maybe I was a little crazy but another lady saw what was in my cart and asked me all kinds of questions.  She figured she needed to go get the same thing before they sold out and she didn't have the right gift for her daughter.

Have you started getting ready for Christmas yet?  Leave a comment below so I know I'm not alone~

Monday, October 28, 2013

Movie Monday-Ghostbusters!

Happy Halloween~

Do you remember how CRAZY popular this song and movie were?

Ah, the 80's...good times~

Friday, October 25, 2013

Easy Lace Cuffs

I told you the other day that lace cuffs have been on my 'to do' list for way too long, so I finally got to work...and finished this project in about 2 minutes flat!

DIY Lace Cuffs, Boot Socks, how to make lace cuffs

Here's what you need to make your own pretty cuffs:

-Wide stretch lace
-standard sewing kit (sewing machine, thread)

Before we begin I should mention that I have very tiny wrists.  So, I'm not going to talk measurements.  Just make sure you have enough lace to wrap around one wrist twice (if you're making two cuffs) plus just a tiny bit more for your seam allowance.

1) Just cut your lace into two pieces that will comfortably fit around your wrist.

2)Sew the raw edges of each of your pieces together, creating two lace tubes.

That's it!  You're done.  So pointless, but so pretty!

This is pretty much the same project as the Lace Boot Socks we did last year but this is for all those ladies out there who said they can't wear boots or leggings or whatever.  This just adds a cute touch of femininity to all those bulky sweaters we end up wearing when the temperature drops.

Now before you doesn't matter how wide your elastic is, just do what's comfortable for you. And sorry but no, I don't know where you can find this lace in your town, because I probably live in a different country than you.  Just Google "elasticized lace", I promise you will get more than a few sources.

Have a crafty week everyone~

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tell a Tale: Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society

I haven't posted a Tall a Tale Book Review in quite awhile because I found myself on a terrible streak of very bad books, one after another.

I think it started when I picked up 50 Shades of a Grey, luckily it ended when I read today's book.


Summary (from Goodreads): At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.
Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.
By turns humorous, wise, and deeply moving, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a luminous reminder that the things we hold most dear will last a lifetime.

Review:  As an avid crafter myself this book's title and cover appealed to me. I enjoyed the little touches like detailed descriptions of various scrapbooking and jewellery making techniques. It was fun to see a bit of my 'nerdy' and sometimes solitary hobby play out in a novel.

I also enjoy stories set in small towns like the one in this novel. It always seems so quaint and connected, unlike the usual hustle and bustle of today's world.

I thought the characters were a lot of fun and from what I understand, many play a continuing role from the author's first book. The one criticism I have is that there may have been just a few too many characters. I understand that they're all there to show the many faces of a community and how we're all interconnected, but truthfully, I sometimes had trouble remembering which storyline belonged to which character. I just kept reading hoping that I would figure it out along the way, and most of the time I did, it was just a bit confusing from time to time.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I was a nice reprieve from the world of historical fiction that I usually immerse myself in.

Do you love it when your hobby sets the scene for a book or does it bug you because you're looking for inconsistencies, wondering if the author actually knows what they're talking about?

Leave a comment below~

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tag Challenge

Every week on the Silhouette America blog they have a shape challenge.  The winner gets a $10 gift certificate to the online store, which is actually quite a lot when you consider most designs are 99 cents or less.

This week's challenge is to make a tag.  You have to use one of their tag shapes and it has to be a new project, but after that it's all up to you.

I used the base part of the Love You tag, but really any tag shape will do.

Then I modified it with lettering using the character spacing and line spacing tools (they show up at the bottom right hand side of the screen as soon as you start using your text tool).

Just pull out your Christmassy paper and cut out your pattern.

This is a great project for this tiny little scraps of your speciality glitter paper that you didn't want to throw out. 

Just use your glue runner and stick a piece behind the Merry part of your greeting.

I went back and pulled out that second 'r'
once I saw it in the photos~

That's it!  Easy peasy.  The blank area in the middle is for you to write the "To" and "From" part of your tag.

Hope next week's Silhouette challenge is as fun as this one was.  You can check out the other entries (or submit your own) HERE.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Do You Issu?

If you follow FREE online magazines then you probably already know about ISSU.  If not, then get on over there and check it out.  It's a great place to find all kinds of inspiration.

Last night I was strolling around looking for new ideas and came across this online catalogue:

Victorian Trading Co
I found all sorts of fun inspirational ideas inside.

 I've been meaning to make Christmas crackers for years but have never gotten around to it.  This inspires me to use some of those awesome printables I've been collecting on Pinterest and just get it done this year!

These clip boards are so pretty...and easy to make too!

You won't believe this, but lace cuffs have been on my 'to do' list for ages.  This just might be the week that I actually make them!

I just got some very pretty Martha Stewart lace for decoupaging.  Now I just need a box to put it on.

You'll find other Victorian-ish type stuff that you would expect...

As well as a few pages of things you might not expect!

What's your favourite magazine or online catalogue?  Share the link in the comments section below~

Monday, October 21, 2013

Movie Monday-CD Envelope Treat Holders

One last treat holder idea for the season~

Now, this video actually shows you how to make a standard treat envelope, but I actually really love the project idea that Dsscrapie shows you at the very beginning using CD envelopes.  Such a great recycle idea, but they look beautiful too!

Dsscrapie has lots of other fun projects as well as an Etsy shop, so head on over there to say hi and try out her awesome ideas~

Friday, October 18, 2013

Goblet Gobblers

Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada.  I don't do any of the cooking, I leave that all up to my mom.  But at the last minute I did come up with a small contribution to the dinner table...

Want to make your own Goblet Gobblers?  Here's all you need:

-paper, mix solid and pattern papers for a pretty effect
-Glue runner

1) Cut out all of your pieces as below.

2) Make a stack of your scalloped round pieces and glue together.

3) Run a bit of glue on the top part of the body piece.

4) Stick onto the body making sure to leave enough space at the bottom to fit onto the side of your goblets.

Gobble gobble, that's it!  So easy!

You could add glitter, family names for place settings, anything you want.  Have fun with it.

Thanksgiving in the US isn't for another month so you still have lots of time to make your own.  Do you live outside of North America?  Does anyone else celebrate Thanksgiving or something like it?  Leave a comment below~


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