Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Hat #2

Christmas Hat #2
Originally uploaded by my_weezy
Pattern: An Unoriginal Hat by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Aran
Needles: US 10.5

Love this pattern and it knit up very quickly. Warm and cozy. Need one for myself. This one is going to my other sister in law.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Hat #1

Christmas Hat #1
Originally uploaded by my_weezy
Pattern: Adjusted Hot Head Pattern from Stitch N Bitch
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb Pride's Bulky in Aran, scrap Malabrigo Bulky in Sealing Wax
Needles: US 10.5

I collected all my bulky yarn scraps, half skeins and full skeins and started seeing what I could do with them. First hat completed was this variation on Hot Head. Edged with scrap Malabrigo bulky in sealing wax for a little splash of color. Pattern was used for stitch count and style, not color. Crown decreases changed to continue ribbing to the top.

I quite like it. Hopefully, so does my sister in law. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Vacation Reads

I flew out of Austin yesterday and am now in California for the holidays once again. The all important decision making of which books to bring with me happened late Wednesday night. I am hoping that I made the right decisions. So, here is what I brought with me...

Sense and Sensibility and Sea MonstersSense & Sensibilty and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

This one was sent to me a couple months ago from the publisher and have been meaning to get to it. Read some on the plane yesterday. All I can say so far, is poor Colonel Brandon. Not only is he old at five and thirty, but now he has a face covered in tentacles. 
<---- Check out that cover.

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas FlamelThe Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I picked this one up months ago at Half Price Books and have yet to read it ( along with a whole other huge stack of books). Thought it would make a good easy read while out of town. I have been wanting to start this one for quite awhile. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

This was one of my Amazon purchases on Cyber Monday. I had read so many good reviews and it just sounds like a book I would enjoy. I had to bring it along with me. Last Christmas I read In The Woods by Tana French and enjoyed it. Figured this would also make for good vacation reading. I love a good mystery.

Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel (Friday Night Knitting Club Novels)Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs

I had to bring along at least one holiday themed book. This one I got as a prize during the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. The perfect book for me. It has everything I love...knitting, Christmas and Ireland. :) Now, I have not read Knit Two. Is that going to be a problem? Anyone know if I should read that one first before reading this one?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Review- Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe's Tale Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

I am really glad that my first book into the hubby's Sci Fi collection was this one. It is a standalone story that parallels Scalzi's Old Man's War series and told by the teenage adoptive daughter of the main characters from those books. This book follows Zoe from Huckleberry to Roanoke, the new colony her adoptive parents are heading. Her history and importance to another alien race make her all the more interesting.

Not being familiar with the other books was not a problem. I had no trouble getting into the story and never felt lost. I did ask questions of the hubby when I started but all the questions I had were answered eventually in the book. Zoe was an easy protagonist to like. She is a strong teen girl with a sarcastic sense of humour and a good heart. Her story and the way she told it was quite engaging.

I really want to read the previous books now. I am very interested in the world built by Scalzi. It is an interesting one with interesting characters. Lucky for me, the books are right down stairs.


AtoZ Challenge


Monday, December 14, 2009

New Reads

I have been having very quiet weeks lately in the mail department. Books haven't been coming in as quickly, but this week has been very different. 5 books have come into my house. 

In the mail from Amazon, bought on Cyber Monday, were Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. 

Also in the mail were a couple of giveaway wins... Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind Combo book by VC Andrew (from The Chick Manifesto) and Run for Your Life by James Patterson (another win from the Read-a-Thon).  Thank you!

I also bought myself a paperback copy of Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. I have been picking up myself copies of the books as they come out in paperback. Now, I just need Breaking Dawn.

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia of The Printed Page


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Sunday Salon

This has been quite a busy weekend. Friday was our holiday staff party that I hosted at my house. Saturday I spent all day baking cookies with a friend to bag up for coworkers and families. We finished an hour before some other friends were to get here for a dinner party. I got the lasagna, that I put together the afternoon before, into the oven right after the last batch of cookies. I managed to shower, make a drink, and toss the salad right when our first guests arrived.  Fun weekend, but exhausting.

So, now it is Sunday and I am still in my pajamas, eating left overs and watching a Doctor Who Marathon on BBCA. Very nice to sit and do nothing. I did pull out my knitting. I have a few more gifts to finish before Christmas. Can't rest too much, unfortunately.

Today I reached 100 Followers! Thanks to Padfoot and Prongs, my 100th Follower, I will be having a big giveaway to celebrate. Be sure to keep an eye out for it later this week. 

Here's to a great week and hopefully some great reading. One book read last week. One book for the month and it is already the 13th. I am well on my way to the worst month totals. :) 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

This was my first time participating and I am so glad I decided to join in the fun this year. My wonderful Secret Santa sent me some lovely gifts. Thank you, thank you!

I received Knitorama by Rachael Matthews, a really cool bookmark that is a replica of a rug from China, a cute note pad and some M&Ms all in a really awesome bag.

(Sorry no photos. Camera is dead at the moment.)

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Review- Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

I am still not really sure what I think about this book. It is only the second Jodi Picoult book I have read, the first being Salem Falls, which I really enjoyed. This one...I am just not sure. I liked it, but there were things about it that I didn't.

The premise was definitely interesting. I can't imagine what it would be like to find out as an adult that you were kidnapped at 4 years old by your father and the mother you thought was dead has really been searching for you for over 20 years. I thought it a nice touch that Delia, with her dog, work for search and rescue. She looks for those who are lost as someone once did for her.

I think my problem with the book was that, on top of this very big and full plot, it also dealt with alcoholism and child abuse, a love triangle and a suicide. There were just too many unnecessary characters and side stories that took away from the main story line. It would have been so much better had it stuck to the story of Delia and her father's reasoning for kidnapping her and how it affected the lives of all involved.


AtoZ Challenge


Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Movies to Watch (December 13th)

The Christmas Secret
I thought some of you might be interested in this. I have not seen them before but am looking forward to seeing them now that I have read The Christmas Secret. (You can find my review here.)

On December 13th, the Lifetime Movie Network will air the following television adaptations of Donna VanLiere's first three books in her Christmas Hope Series:

4PM ET: The Christmas Shoes
6PM ET: The Christmas Blessing (LMN Premiere - one telecast only)
8PM ET: The Christmas Hope (Premiere)
10PM ET: The Christmas Shoes (Encore)

12AM ET: The Christmas Hope (Encore)

***Check local listings for scheduling changes.

In December, will post an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS SECRET and an original essay by VanLiere. The site will also sponsor a contest to win signed copies of the "Christmas Hope" books. Details will be forthcoming on

More information about THE CHRISTMAS SECRET and Donna VanLiere's work can be found online at, including:

-About Donna VanLiere:

I love holiday movies. A Christmas Story is definitely my favorite. What is your favorite holiday movie?


Sunday, December 6, 2009

November Wrap Up (TSS)

Well, November turned out to be a low book month. Only 5 books read! That is my lowest in a really long time. I was sure that my book count would be better than that.  This isn't helping my Challenges either. Already a week into December and I still don't have a book to add as read.

86. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
85. The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
84. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
83. Tithe by Holly Black
82. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer

Too much to do... christmas gift shopping and making, cookie baking and parties. I don't know how many books will get read this month, but here is what I have planned...

For atoz challenge:
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Piccoult
Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Any ideas for Q, W and X? Shorter ones, preferably.

For Serial Readers Challenge:

The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer


Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Lots of books and so little time.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Review- Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

One of the critiques about Julie Powell I read while checking out reviews of Julie & Julia was that she is too self-centered. Well, this book is a memoir, which in itself means that it will be all about her, right? I actually really enjoyed reading about Julie’s successes and mishaps while attempting to make all of Julia Child’s recipes in her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in one year.

Julie came to notoriety through her blog that she kept throughout her year of cooking. It garnered a lot of attention and made her a bit of a minor celebrity. I must admit, I don’t remember any of it. I first came aware of her with the release of the movie of the same name. I wish I had known about the blog, though. Her writing style, her humour and the content would have all kept me reading.

The book had me laughing out loud, but what was most funny to me were the parts that had nothing to do with her actual cooking. I related more with her love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Silence of the Lambs, of her liberal and honest views of the world, and her take on her blog readers’ reactions to her posts. The parts of the book focused on her cooking was just as funny as well.

Julie & Julia was really enjoyable, laugh out loud funny, a great look into the life of an Austinite living in New York. Which reminds me, the Austin references were fun to read as well. One other thing, I know I have complained a bit in the past about the overuse of profanity in novels. Well, there is quite a bit in this one as well, but it didn’t bother me in the least probably because it seems realistic, part of Julie Powell’s personality. Just be forewarned.


A to Z Reading Challenge