101 Itty Bitty Celebrations – A Review

Happy New Year! Yes, I know I’m a month and a half late and Valentine’s Day has come and gone which means that we’re already halfway through the month of February, but my writing muse seems to have taken a bigger hit last year than I’d realized. For some reason I just could not get “in the zone” or whatever writers call their place of creativity. I’m going to try and correct that though and have actually written a bit of a story for a contest that I ran across last week. I figure if I can write for a contest I can surely write for my beloved ladies, and gentlemen, who have connected with me through this medium of blog postings.

Bk-MG-B1565-101 Itty Bitty Celebrations-Front CvrSo, without further ado, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on a new book by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings fame. This book actually came out last month, but I was supposed to have been at the beach all of last month so had cancelled my standing order with Martingale for new books during the month of January. After all, I didn’t want them to be delivered and have to sit on the front porch for three weeks before I got back home. Even with a wide front porch we still get rain blown in underneath, sometimes all the way to the front door even. That’s just not a good environment for books.

Lisa’s new book, as indicated by the title, contains 101 2″ stitcheries that cover just about any and every occasion you can think of, and then some. They are grouped together by season and theme.  Hers were done in wool, but I will make mine using our great selection of wool felts. Thankfully, I have a good set of scraps from where Miss Martha did her stitching over the years. The pieces in these little projects are so tiny that I’m sure I’ll be able to find what I need among those scraps. I’ve already told one of my ladies that I think we’re going to need some tweezers to pick up and hang on to these tiny bits. Thankfully, we both have the wonderful Wonder Clips by Clover to help us keep things together while we stitch.

Some of the samples in the book have been clipped to a wooden board, as you can see on the cover, and could be changed out weekly, monthly, quarterly, or with 101 of them, almost daily.  One of my first thoughts when I looked through this book was how perfect these would be for those folks living in a tiny house.  Even after clipping them to the wooden stand they’re not going to take up very much room, which is a good thing since tiny houses aren’t blessed with a lot of room as a general rule.

FINAL Cover_B1565.inddOne of the other display options that was shown in the book was a group of these little designs placed in a drawer of what appeared to be a small case that had three vertical drawers.  I’m going to have to find one of these now because it was beyond cute.  These itty bitties could also be worn as a pin, used as a bookmark or scissors fob with the addition of a bit of ribbon, sent to a friend who’s in need of a little day brightener, or mailed to a special someone who is having a birthday.  Stitch up several of the ones with a birthday cake and you’ll be set for every birthday boy and girl on your calendar this year.  These little designs are right up my alley being that I’m a miniature everything fan.  I think I’ll have to stitch them two at a time though when I intend to gift one, maybe one in my colours and one in colours that would better appeal to the recipient.  While I know it’s hard to imagine, not everyone likes the colour purple (gasp!).

Needless to say, I love this little book.  If I were to give any unsolicited advice to Martingale on a future book of this type it would be to include an index that gives both the design name, i.e. birthday cake, schoolhouse, strawberries, and the page where it could be found.  An alphabetical index as well as an index by theme or season would be most helpful.  That would save both time and lessen the opportunity for distractions.  Knowing me as I do, I’ll look for one design and get sidetracked by all the others.  I sure do hope none of you have this same problem;-).

There are no affiliate links in this post.  All links are given for ease of reference only.

Mind Boggling!

From time to time I am sent books to review by various publishers. Sometimes they’re quilt related, but most of the time they are not. Such is the case with the book I recently read and will review for you now. I’m not going to give the Flash Point, by Thomas Lockeplot away and hope that I have written this in such a manner that it entices you to read the book as well. It will definitely give you something to think about the next time you find yourself sewing those looonnnggg strip sets together.

If you find yourself intrigued, you will want to enter the book giveaway on the author’s Facebook page that will start at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time, Tuesday, August 2. You could win both books in the Fault Lines techno-thriller series.  Once there just leave a comment on this question:  If a voice from beyond…your OWN voice…prompted you to walk away from everything so you could change the world, how would you respond? #flashpoint

Now for my thoughts on Flash Point

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, flash point is “a point, place, or situation in which sudden anger or violence could happen; a point at which someone or something bursts suddenly into action or being.  That being the case, Flash Point, the latest offering in the Fault Lines series by Thomas Locke, has been well named.

There are essentially three story lines being told that you can sense will eventually converge into a final eruption, and boy, do they.  In addition to returning characters that were introduced in the first book, Trial Run, which I highly recommend you read in order to understand exactly what’s going on, there are several new characters that come on the scene whose lives will intersect with a select few of the original characters.  In some cases new friendships will be forged, in others, old rivalries will be revisited and revenge will be the order of the day.

What one man creates to better the lives of others, another man will exploit and use for his own personal gain, usually to the detriment of others.  Herein lies the main plot of the Fault Lines series.  Two groups of scientists/researchers have the same technology, or elements thereof, at their disposal.  This technology was used in Trial Run by the original developer, Dr. Speciale, and her group with good intentions.  It was also studied by another group to be used for the opposite reason, i.e. spying for personal gain.  The technology is expanded upon in Flash Point and we are given insight into how it can be used to better the lives of various people, those in pain for example, or as a weapon used with the intent to kill by those who are on the wrong side of law and order.  The former reason for using the technology is heartening, the latter reason is extremely scary.

While the whole concept of moving through time without being seen by those around us is both intriguing as well as mind boggling, I hope it is just a figment of the author’s wonderful imagination and never actually comes to pass.  Although, given the opportunity to go back and fix some mistakes or make different and better choices, without permanent physical damage mind, I can safely say I would do it in a heartbeat, or less.

For those who homeschool high school students, I could easily see this series used as a unit study to stimulate interest and studies in various areas of math and science. These studies would create some very deep discussions regarding quantum theory, the ethics behind aiding others in dying, philosophy, etc.  As always, I recommend that you read this book first in case there is something that you are uncomfortable sharing with your child(ren) as there is a little romance included but to the best of my memory nothing explicit.

While I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review, I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this second book in the Fault Lines series and anxiously await the next addition.

 

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