Thursday, 28 April 2011

Book Review - Paradise Fields by Katie Fforde

Fantastic Fiction Review: It's not as if Nel hadn't enough on her plate already: organising a farmer's market in the beautiful Paradise Fields and sorting out a house full of animals are quite enough to keep her busy. But then her old friend Sir Gerald dies, and soon afterwards his son, accompanied by his glamorous but eccentric American wife, takes up residence in The Big House. Distressingly, it seems that preserving the meadow's way of life is not on their list of priorities. Nel takes up arms, determined to fight for the meadow and the market she loves. But whom can she trust? She's pretty sure her friends Sacha and Vivian are on her side. Her sensible boyfriend Simon, a real estate agent, seems to want to help, but something tells Nel there's a conflict of interests. And then there's Jake, the infuriating yet attractive stranger who kissed her under the mistletoe. Maybe she's been a celibate widow for far too long...

For my 9th chic lit challenge book I turned again to one of my favourite chic lit authors, Katie Fforde. I've never read one of her books that I haven't liked. I enjoy her style of writing which is witty and easy to read and every time I read one of her books I can imagine it as a screen play. Yes, her books have predictable 'Happy Ever After' endings but, I like that. The only disappointment with this book was that I found the ending very rushed - the main character, Nel , went from despair to happiness in one final hapter. That aside, all in all this was a thoroughly good read and highly recommended.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Hoooo Ray!

Last week whilst blog hopping I saw some amazingly cute felt owls on the Anj's Snowy Bliss blog. They were so sweet that I quickly popped along to her Etsy shop and bought a copy of the pattern. Yesterday afternoon after our Easter Egg hunt I set about making my owl and a couple of hours later 'Hoot' had been created. Needless to say he wasn't MY owl for long as he was soon adopted by Lara.

Here he is in all his glory - Really cheap and easy to make and one little girl is very pleased with him.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Book Review - A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

Fantastic Fiction Review: Since Sandy Shortt's childhood schoolmate disappeared twenty years ago, Sandy has been obsessed with missing things. Finding becomes her goal - whether it's the odd sock that vanished in the washing machine, the car keys she misplaced in her rush to get to work or the graver issue of finding the people who vanish from their lives. Sandy dedicates her life to finding these missing people, offering devastated families a flicker of hope. Jack Ruttle is one of those desperate people. It's been a year since his brother, Donal vanished into thin air and the sleepless nights and frantic days aren't getting any easier. Thinking Sandy Shortt could well be the answer to his prayers, he embarks on a quest to find her. But, when Sandy goes missing too, her search ends when she stumbles upon the place - and people - she's been looking for all of her life. A world away from her loved ones and the home she ran from for so long, Sandy soon resorts to her old habit again, searching. Though this time, she is desperately trying to find her way home!

I loved this book. It was so different to other chic lits I've read - it wasn't a boy meet girl love story. It was an original and imaginative story about being lost and being found. I really liked the main character Sandy Shortt (who was very tall) and sympathised with her obsession with things that go missing. A great read from Cecilia Ahern and thoroughly recommended.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Book Review - A Valentine's Kiss by Lucie Hart

Fantastic Fiction Review: This Valentine's day Imogen is going to meet the man of her dreams. If only she can discover who he is...At a gloriously over-the-top house party in the balmy South of France, British trainee chef Imogen finds herself playing blind man's buff with a host of impossibly handsome men. And then one of them kisses her. It's the most perfect kiss she's ever experienced in her short - and frankly, to date romantically disappointing - life. Sweet, sexy and full of promise. Imogen wants more, but by the time she recovers her wits sufficiently to remove her blindfold her mystery kisser has disappeared. Could her Prince Charming be one of her fellow-chefs, Dimitri or Bastien? Both are clearly interested in her. But there's also enigmatic Latino hunk Enzo, good-times-guy DJ Cheyenne, aristocratic Amaury, and the American visitors - Archer and Everett...So many men, so little time. And Imogen can't just keep kissing men until she finds the right one...can she?

This was another debut novel mentioned on the Chick Lit Plus website and having throughly enjoyed 'Postcards from the Heart' which was also another debut novel mentioned on that website I decided to give this one a try. I'm glad I did.

The story was set in France with a culinary background to the story which made a nice change to the majority of novels which I've read lately which have tended to be set in the US or UK. The book was quick to get into and I liked the main character Imogen and like how her personality developed and grew throughout the story. Once the 'Valentine Kisser' had struck I was eager to find out who he was although the blurb on the back cover did kind of give it away.

A really good read - marks out of 10! 9/10

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Scrapology - B is for Bunting

For April the Scrapology design team choose to scraplift a layout by the scrapper Sarah Youde. The layout featured bunting so that was our theme. My layout featured a family photo taken a few years ago, shortly before my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary.

I used patterned papers from Echo Park, some letter stickers from K&Co (which I recoloured), some string and to make my bunting I used the Technique Tuesday's 'message in a banner' stamps.

The spiral flowers on the layout were made from scraps of Echo Park paper. There is a tutorial for making those flowers here on the Technique Tuesday website. This was Sarah's original layout.

And this was Lynn's sketch.

Those Technique Tuesday stamps are great to use and so I went on to create another layout using them.

I used more Echo Park patterned paper, Bazzill card stock, flowers from Petaloo, buttons, American Crafts Thickers and made more of those spiral flowers.

Do pop over to Scrapology to see all the gorgeous layouts the team have created. This months layouts are all so different and real feast for the eyes.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Crop Day

Today was my monthly crop. I hadn't actually been to the crop since January due to other commitments so it was nice to go today and spend a day scrapbooking and catching up with the others. I managed to complete two layouts and part finish two more.

The first layout I actually started at Debden but it needed to be finished.

I used white Bazzill card stock, patterned papers from Scenic Route and Echo Park, ribbon, buttons, self adhesive badge from Flair Designs, a piece of a very, very, VERY old Creative Imaginations transparency and alphabet stickers. I've made several layouts with white card stock backgrounds recently and quite like the effect.

The second layout I put together was based on a layout by Gabrielle Pollacco. I used Patterned Papers from Cosmo Cricket's DeLovely collection, Bazzill card stock, ribbon, a paper doilie (thanks Anita), brads, blossoms, unbranded chipboard accent and Heidi Swapp bling. The title was cut on the Quickutz. The frilled border was cerated by pleating strips of white paper which was punched using a Martha Stewart border punch. It took 8 x 12" strips of paper to go all round the edge! After pleating an sticking the first two strips and realising how much more I had to do I did wonder whether it was worth it, but I do like the end result.