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Today Is MondayToday Is Monday by Eric Carle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say? It’s Eric Carle!

I picked this up at the library because I wanted art inspiration. I have always thought Mr. Carle’s work visually exciting. From the Hungry Caterpillar and Angry Ladybug, I was in awe of the way Eric could make his own prints and cut them into amazing pictures. The other side of that is his books are so much fun to read aloud to kids.

Having had a few accidents where crepe paper got wet and left an interesting stain behind. (Cleaning said stain wasn’t fun but I loved how the stain looked–though it didn’t belong there.) I realized when I read the first Eric Carle books to my kids that this was crepe paper stains cut and reformed into fantastic illustrations. I have learned since that he uses tissue paper to make his own prints. Makes me want to play with this method.

This book had pictures that looked less like crepe or tissue paper but the visuals didn’t disappoint. The story was rhythmically satisfying. And at the end of the book, the words are placed into a song. I think it would be a fun way to teach a little songwriting or other musical lessons. So with this book, we get so many things to learn.

I didn’t miss how inclusive the author was to minorities and the handicapped. All done in a sneaky way that most children or adults might not notice. But on each reading of this book, the onion can be peeled back to show children new lessons.

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The Land of Lost Things / El Pais de Las Cosas PerdidasThe Land of Lost Things / El Pais de Las Cosas Perdidas by Dina Bursztyn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little book for anyone, young or old, trying to educate themselves in Spanish or English. Timely in my case since I am working with colored pencils. And I seem to lose things. And obviously, I need more work with past tense in Spanish. And–And I see how much more work I need on word order. As if I am good in my own language!

The pictures were wonderful! Imagine a forest of blue pencils! Or an umbrella garden! Very creative! And what if you could look into a hole and see all your lost things? If only most of my lost things didn’t happen during my multiple moves or in that storage unit we gave up on. Still, there are things I think made it here. My old glue gun, my polymer clay? I know I’ve seen them since I moved here. My hands put them away without informing the brain!

Anyway, this is a fun book and it helped me on quite a few levels! And I’m not a kid!

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Forever Road (Peri Jean Mace #1)Forever Road by Catie Rhodes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was one of those I could have put away after the first chapter. I didn’t much care for the timid ghost-seer. I cared even less for most everyone in the book except the grandmother. And because of the grandmother, I pushed on. The book took me way longer to read than it should have but I just didn’t want to be reading it.

Here’s the deal. If you see ghosts all your life, I think it would not be so scary. Sure there might be ones that are not so nice. There are live people that are not so nice. But you would learn to filter your reactions so as not to show fear and try to show understanding.

So if you stay with it, you may find that around 70% into the book, it finally got interesting. But suddenly you have names that had been thrown at you over the first half of the book that you can’t remember who they are. Don’t worry, if you forgot as the book goes on you will be reminded.

The book was free. I think it still is. So if you want to read another ghost story, here ya go. But I am still not into the main character enough to pursue the rest of the series. You might just love it, who knows?

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How To Color With Colored Pencils: The Complete Step-By-Step Beginners Guide To Color Palettes And Coloring Techniques For AdultsHow To Color With Colored Pencils: The Complete Step-By-Step Beginners Guide To Color Palettes And Coloring Techniques For Adults by Margaret Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, while preparing to write this review I couldn’t find a page on Amazon to read stats and reviews about the book. I did find a place from a link in Margaret Fox’s book to place a review so I will copy this there next.

I read this a couple nights ago when I was between fiction books and not ready to get involved in a deeper story. It fit the bill. It inspired me to get out my pencils and start playing again. As much as I love my coloring books, though, I am not enjoying ‘coloring’ with the pencils. I think I’ll start trying sketching and coloring in my own work so as to really experiment, and pull out my Crayola (not some cheap knockoff that is always way too waxy) and work in my coloring books that way.

Does anyone find themselves over-inspired most of the time? I’m planning out my NaNo for this year–hey, I have one character–that makes it less ‘seat of the pants’ than former years. I don’t like my stories when I pants it. I continue loom-knitting toys and comfort items for charities. I have started working on needle felting. I still think about and sometimes get in and spend time at the piano or singing, or just listening to music to keep my musical brain happy. I still try to work on Japanese, Esperanto, Spanish, and German on DuoLingo daily. So when I find a book that inspires me to action I have to weigh what to give up or lessen to have time to devote to the new creative avenue. So much fun to try and so little time!!!!

Anyway, this book did the job. And, of course, I learned of new items I will have to buy to try some of the technics I learned in Ms. Fox’s book. But there are plenty of endeavors I can try with what I have. I think I will use colored pencils to draw my characters as they develop.

I hope this book will be available for others to try soon. It is a good beginner’s book or one to inspire and get you started playing again.

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Goodbye Summer Part II


Because of this:

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I had to wear these:

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(Far too many rocks outside to go barefoot.)  But that resulted with this:

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TANNED TOES!!!! The only tan I have had in years!!!! By the way, taking pictures of one’s feet is not easy!

So goodbye bare feet and tanned toes. Wearing socks in the day and shoes outside. Ugh!

And all the fun I had this summer. These crazy kids:Michele and Yve and me

Got to visit and loom-knit/crochet and CHAT in the same rooms rather than over the internets. That was so fun! The one on the right came up to see me a couple times! Oh, and my hair is very short now. Hope I don’t freeze in the winter!

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I love these ladies to pieces!

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The above tree has no more leaves now.

 

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The driveway has more leaves now and the above trees are far yellow-er.

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And this currant bush is showing beautiful colors.

It is getting cold at night. Days get to the 60s when we’re lucky but we are back to the faucets dripping at night to prevent frozen pipes. The poor turkeys’/chickens’ water is frozen when we wake in the morning.

The saddest thing is I didn’t get to swim at all this summer. 😦


You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always admired Felicia Day. It was great to see a smart female actress playing smart female characters on the shows I’ve seen her on.

This book gave me insight to the person and her history. It was fun to know that we shared a similar history. No, I’m old enough to be her mother. But my children shared her history and I through them. We learned the computer from way back with CompuServe, Prodigy (where I met my husband) and various video games and bulletin boards. Her ultimate game was WoW whereas my kids got into EQ. It was fun reading about how it was physically meeting the friends she made online. That experience the kids and I shared. But it was fun to watch the computer evolving with the generation who came of age at the same time.

My children were homeschooled, too. It was interesting to see her thoughts on it. I find that we who were schooled who wasted so many years with more time dedicated to kids with bad behaviors or teachers who bored us to sleep and were still quite socially shy and experienced depression tried to save our children of that. Instead, they blame their very anxiety on not having to school. They don’t realize the opportunity they had without all the wasted time. Felicia became a professional violinist. And all these skills she acquired that makes her unique are a direct result from not being squeezed into a mold that schools force children into.

Anyway, I loved being able to listen to Felicia read her own story. It gave, even more, credence to autobiography. I knew I wanted to listen to her read it. But I found that there was no Text-to-Speech. That made me sad because had I not been able to afford the Audible version to whispersynch I would have had no way to enjoy this book. Still, it was delightful to listen to her voice. I wish her the very best in life. She deserves it!

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How to Make a Needle Felted StarfishHow to Make a Needle Felted Starfish by Loretta Alvarado

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Of all the Kindle versions of felting books I’ve read, this is the most inspiring. Since I am working on a seahorse, a starfish seems the most logical next project. The pictures were beautiful and well presented so one might not need the words to do the job. The instructions were short and to the point.

If you are thinking of needle felting, this may be a good first project for you. Great job, Loretta Alvarado!

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Though this book had a lot of fun things to make, they were all wet-felted. Worst of all the pictures were not visible in any way. I read it on the PC because it makes the font and pictures bigger than on my Kindle Fires. But this one it didn’t help at all.

Still, the instructions didn’t seem impossible to understand so if you wanted to make the product reading could get you there. This is another one I will revisit next summer when I can handle getting wet. It is almost too cold to do the dishes in our house right now. Sure your hands are warm while in the water but the minute you put the last dish in the drainer your hands are cold. I’ll stick to the less painful, yet occasional prickly needle felting. Weird that I prefer blood to cold.


FELT IT for beginners: 25 PROJECTS FOR DECORATION AND THERAPY (THE CRAFT OF FELTING- FUN AND THERAPY Book 1)

Though this book is about felting, it is more about wet-felting. And though there is a bit of needle felting and some ideas for what to do with defective or broken needles, it wasn’t enough for me and my need to learn about needle felting.

Another cool thing about this book is that it is for parents or teachers/counselors of children with disabilities. I can see how the wet felting could be fun and how it could be a great bonding experience for everyone. And the squishing wonderful feeling of wet felting has to be a lot of fun. Maybe as good as making slime, but you get to keep the item you make, not just clean it up.

But for me, it is getting cold and I just don’t have the room that is warm enough to do wet felting. Maybe next summer I will revisit this book and this part of the craft of felting.


Needle Felting for Beginners: Sculpting with wool - cute, easy projects with step-by-step tutorialsNeedle Felting for Beginners: Sculpting with wool – cute, easy projects with step-by-step tutorials by Lori Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to give this book 5 stars. I really do. But with no Text-to-Speech for some of us, it is hard to read. Maybe I could give it 4.5? Because…

It is the perfect book for a felting newbie. It really does start with cookie cutter easy felts. And there are a few websites to go to from the book. Too bad they aren’t links. And you can’t copy the URLs to paste into an address bar, so … just not as well formatted as it could be.

STILL, for those just getting started on this craft, this may be the best book to get. I have ‘leafed’ through it several times on several of my readers. The best one is the PC Kindle as the pictures and fonts are much larger.

Maybe a warning I just picked up on, one shouldn’t use upholstery foam because it has fire-retardant. I cut up an old neck pillow that I gave up on a while ago. Since I’ve already spent my fun cash for this new hobby, I can’t afford another. But I’ll try to get a new felting cushion soon. I hope I don’t get to the point of it being dust that would be bad for my lungs.

So get this book if you can. There’s a lot to learn in it despite the formatting.

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