A sweet little bookmark

A tiny little embroidery project to finish the day 🙂

001From the Little Stitches book of embroidery designs by Aneela Hoey

002So sweet!

….and now you also know what I am reading! What are you reading this week and what do you use for a book mark?

In the Spirit of Play (or how I spent my April allowance)

Last January I posted my about word for the year: PLAY!

So, in the spirit of that resolution, I spent almost my entire April allowance on playful inspiration: books!

013I want to knit something bigger than a sock or a hat, but I know myself…I will make the front of something, or a sleeve, and then put the project away. Why? Because I just hate sewing the seams. I actually have an entire knitted sweater – front, back and two sleeves sitting in my basket. It’s been sitting in my basket since…um…gah! I am embarrassed to say it: about 1998. Needless to say, it no longer fits. But the yarn is good! It was expensive! So I’m in the process of unraveling the entire thing so that I can make something lovely with it. Knitted tops with no side seams! Yay!

012Prairie Children and their Quilts because I love anything to do with history and story-telling, and I’ve also become fascinated with miniature quilts. AND Mastering Quilt Marking because I want to expand my hand quilting beyond using purchased templates. I’d love to quilt some of the beautiful, intricate feathers & fans etc. I have the skill to do the hand quilting, but lack the technique of how to get the markings onto the quilt top. Maybe I can practice on a miniature quilt! Boo yah!

014Bread from Sourdough to Rye because I’ve been given the wonderful gift of heritage Yukon sourdough starter (read all about it here – it’s a cool story!) and I’ve been experimenting with baking bread. This book also has breads from all over the world, from challah to chapatti! And The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair because I follow her blog, which is all about yummy Asian-style cooking. (And Jaden is also a quilter, so duh….)

015And then BONUS! Look what my extraordinarily fabulous son of mine sent me for Mother’s Day!

All the indoor rainy-day bases are covered! Over the next couple of months I’ll be saving my allowance for outside play…new hiking boots and a day pack.

A spending allowance is built into our retirement budget.. I’ll post about it soon!

How did you spend your allowance last month?

What I’m Reading: Juliet Marillier

I put a call out to my Facebook peeps for book recommendations, and the author Juliet Marillier was recommended. The library only had one book on the shelf, Heart’s Blood. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

Juliet Marillier writes Historical Fantasy. This is a new genre for me. I have never been a big fan of “traditional” fantasy…you know, castles and dragons and magical swords (outside of Tolkien, that is). But historical fantasy? Wow…I’m hooked!

Marillier’s books take place in ancient 8th and 9th century Ireland, when Christianity was fairly new to the island. Many people still followed the old ways and worshiped the ancient gods & goddesses.

Marillier herself is a member of the druid order OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids), so she writes with authority on druidic spirituality and belief.

…her spiritual values are often reflected in her storytelling – the human characters’ relationship with the natural world plays a significant part. Juliet’s novels combine historical fiction, folkloric fantasy, romance and family drama. The strong elements of history and folklore in her work reflect her lifelong interest in both fields. However, her stories focus strongly on human relationships and the personal journeys of the characters.

After I finished Heart’s Blood , I found the first book of the Sevenwaters Series, Daughter of the Forest.  Like Marillier, I also am fascinated with folktales, and I was delighted to discover that Daughter of the Forest is a loose re-telling of the German folk story the Six Swans.

Now here is an odd thing: The Okanagan Regional Library System only owns the first, fourth and fifth books in the series, which I find very odd! However, I am an intrepid library patron, and pursued books two and three through the inter-library loan program. Son of the Shadows and Child of the Prophecy both arrived a couple of days ago and are due back in less than three weeks. Both of them. No renewals allowed on inter-library loans. Guess I better get reading!

I was completely enthralled and eagerly let myself be led back through the mists of time to a place where Gaelic mythology comes alive. If you are looking for something to read while waiting for the snow to melt and the crocuses to bloom, I highly recommend Juliet Marillier.

What are you reading this weekend?