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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Captured by Love ~ A Book Review

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

I recently won a giveaway for Jody Hedlund's newest book, Captured by Love. I was so excited about it but my mush brain had totally forgotten about it until the book arrived in the mail. Then, I was so excited about it all over again! Maybe losing my mind will be fun after all... :)

This novel was set in 1814, near the end of the War of 1812. Mackinac Island was occupied by the British and the Americans have been forced to swear an oath of loyalty to Britain. Pierre Durant, a fur trader, returns to find his family farm in disrepair and his mother nearly blind, only surviving due to the aid of his childhood friend, Angelique Labelle. As the time for battle nears, Pierre and Angelique must make difficult decisions and fight for survival.

The history in this novel was very interesting. I honestly learned very little about the War of 1812 in my high school history classes. I have always thought of it as "The British wanted a rematch and lost. The End." This definitely put a new perspective on things and it was very informative.

The characters in this novel were fun and likable. They showed growth and depth throughout the novel. The romance aspect was very well done. The first kiss scene was very, very well written. Wow!

The plot had many twists and turns. I was not sure how it was going to end and there were some real surprises! 

I was not compensated in any way for this review- I am just happy to share my enthusiasm for such a great read! I would definitely recommend this book!

Friday, July 25, 2014

KCW: Day 5 ~ Rubber Stamped Hem Skirt

I killed many birds with one stone, er, skirt today.
  1. My 6yo didn't want get to sew doll diapers and wanted her turn to sew today.
  2. I wanted to participate in Skirting the Issue.
  3. We have some smaller pieces of fabric leftover from the Malawi dresses.
  4. I wanted to hop back on the wagon for Kids Clothes Week.
kid's clothes week

After organizing my scraps from the donation fabric tote, I could NOT decide on what fabrics to match up. I asked my 6yo to pick and she picked one that matched nothing. Of course. 

So, I raided my personal stash and chose this lime green solid. It was still a little too plain for this super busy bird print, so I let my 6yo choose some paint and a rubber stamp. I brushed a little paint on the stamp with a foam brush and let her (carefully) stamp the border. I was inspired by the Kids Art theme and THIS skirt, but we did the stamping before the sewing, just in case.

She also helped push the pedal, thread elastic, and organized the pins in my pincushion by color. She inherited my OCD.

I think it is pretty special that another girl her age in foster care will be receiving the skirt we made together.

Here she is checking the size for me and modeling a bit. Yeah, that is her swimsuit. I didn't put a lot of effort into these pics.

So, that wraps up our week. I don't think we will sew over the weekend, but who knows. I have two more girls who want to join in on the skirt sewing, too.

KCW: Day 4 ~ Priorities

I must confess. I didn't actually sew any kids clothes yesterday.

I spent nap time visiting with a friend. Time well spent. :)

And, as I mentioned before, the girls wanted to sew diapers for their dolls. They helped cut them out and flip them around, but I did most of the work. There are two sizes for the two different types of Baby Alive dolls. The girls asked for velcro closures instead of snaps this time.

See my little trick for making these diapers fit more snugly in the back?

We raided the scrap bin and made a reversible dress, too. The pattern still needs some tweaking, but it is OK.

So, today, maybe I will sew kids clothes. Maybe not. Family and friends come first. I gotta' prioritize.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

KCW: Day 3 ~ I procrastinated long enough...

kid's clothes week

I really didn't get much time to sew today. I did, however, squeeze in a few minutes to finish something. Do you remember Hannah's Easter dress?  Here it is...

Vintage Baby Dress Collar Tutorial

I started a diaper cover to go with it and never finished it. All I had to do was sew white bias tape around the legs and insert elastic. Well, it is finished now.

I used THIS free pattern. Not a big sewing day, but at least it is something. The girls asked to make more doll diapers for their Baby Alive dolls, so if I do get a few more minutes to sew we will be making those. I guess baby bottoms are the theme for today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

KCW: Day 2 ~ Upcycled Baby Sweater Dress

kid's clothes week

So, a lot of people in the northern hemisphere are sewing cute summer clothes for their kids. That is great, but I thought it was the perfect chance to get ahead for fall. I know that before too long it will be canning season and then ornament season for my etsy shop. I never really make any cute fall or winter clothes and my girls' winter dresses are usually lacking. I have been wanting to make sweater dresses for a long time and have a whole tote of them ready and waiting. This sweater was one that I received as a gift a few years ago and it is too big for me. I loved the edging and the cable knit texture.

upcycled baby sweater dress

The color is perfect for fall, too. So, I upcycled it into a sweater dress for Hannah. I know the button is a choking hazard, so we are gonna have to be careful there.

upcycled baby sweater dress

It fits her well, with some room to grow, which is what I was going for. I plan on taking pics of her wearing it eventually (it is so hot right now!) but I want to whip up some leggings to match. What color do you think would work with this?

upcycled baby sweater dress

Monday, July 21, 2014

KCW: Day 1... Kind of...

OK, so I totally forgot about KCW today. There is a lot going on right now. :(

kid's clothes week

I DID sew a little today, but I was working on another quiet book! Totally distracted here...

Last week, however, we were sewing like crazy! So, I am gonna' blog about that today instead. A bunch of us got together and made peasant dresses for girls in Malawi. We made an astounding 40 dresses!

It is such an easy dress style. One of these years I am going to post some tips and tricks we have for mass producing them. We also like to dress them up with lace and trims.

Then, I had some caffeine one night and whipped up 5 more so that we could beat last year's record and fill out the box. I added elastic to the sleeves of these.

Some of the sewing I do this week may be for kids other than my own so this is a little preview.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Through the Deep Waters ~ A Book Review

In Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Dinah Hubley runs from her past and takes a job as a chambermaid in an uppity hotel. She shields herself from those around her and buries herself in her own shame. A local chicken farmer with a disability shows her kindness and love, but she needs to accept the love of God to heal her broken spirit.

I was a bit skeptical when I first ordered this book. I thought it was going to be another light read and it would take awhile to finish. I was so wrong. I really could not put this one down. Some of the material was a bit disturbing to read, but it was important to the storyline. The change in the characters throughout the story was wonderfully portrayed. I especially appreciated that the hero in the story was, well, human. He wasn't perfect, either. It wasn't a simple, Cinderella-style romance. I would definitely recommend this book to others.

I received this book compliments of Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

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