Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Bag

I think I've become overly fond of making bags. I now have quite a collection of them and I show no signs of stopping. They seem to multiply much like my book collection does. I especially like the patterns from Pink Sand Beach Designs. Not only are they attractive, but the pattern instructions, complete with color photos, are very easy to follow.

The Hamptons Handbag is the 3rd PSBD pattern I've made. It's designed to use 5" charm squares, typically sold in packs of 40. I love the batiks used in the pattern's picture below.

But I had a set of charm squares from the Sphere collection by Zen Chic that I thought would work nicely and I wasn't disappointed with the results.
Inside there are 6 pockets and it closes with a magnetic snap.
I used Aurifil thread, Light Turquoise (#5006) 50 wt. to make it and it was the perfect color, especially for the topstitching.

Beside the charm pack, I had some larger pieces of the collection for the lining, bottom and straps. I used scraps from those for a new coin purse and Kindle sleeve.
I'm looking forward to using these!

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Reading

October was a weird month. A rather distressing one at times, given some of the news and behaviors affecting the online community where I lurk. I hope November turns out better. I didn't read as much as usual. I think I spent more time sewing, which may account for some of it. I also spent more time doing online Jigsaw puzzles. That is one addictive website.

There were several books that I enjoyed, but not to the point I couldn't put them down. Average and mildly entertaining is the best way to describe them. This includes Counterfeit Countess by Lynne Connolly and two more of Kristen Ashley's backlist, Creed and Lady Luck. Lauren Willig's The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla was fun, but I think I'm worn out on this series. I hope it's true that the next book is the last one.

Speaking of series, as I write this I realize that the only book this month that wasn't part of a series (as far as I know, anyhow) was Connolly's. So, there were three new entries by authors who are auto-reads for me. Jennifer Ashley's Rules for a Proper Governess and Elizabeth Hoyt's Darling Beast were both above average, but Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe was my favorite book of the month. This was the only book of the month that I put down only when I absolutely had to.

Two were first books in new series. Nalini Singh's Rock Addiction was rather disappointing. I ended up skimming the latter part of the book. However people seem to really like the next book Rock Courtship. I'll give that one a try, but I'm not sure I'll keep going after that. I really liked new-to-me author Penny Reid's Neanderthal Seeks Human. The heroine was so charming and the humor in the book appealed to me. I am looking forward to reading the sequel Neanderthal Marries Human. (Can you consider the latter title a spoiler?)

I continue to explore my library's audiobook collection. I've been limiting myself to the ones in MP3 format available via Overdrive because they're a snap to download to my phone. The selections there are not overwhelming, but it did lead to me trying a new author.

First, I listened to a really old Linda Howard, Midnight Rainbow. Taciturn hero and perky heroine. This has been done elsewhere by Howard herself much better than this, but it wasn't awful either. Then I revisited an old SEP, First Lady. I last read this 10 years ago and I don't really remember how well, if at all, I had liked it. I was not so fond of it this time around.

My third and final audiobook was Laura Kaye's Hard As It Gets. This was the first book by Kaye that I'd ever read and it's first in her Hard Ink series. And today I finished listening to the second book in the series, Hard As You Can. Frankly, parts of both books seemed a little too far-fetched, but they were entertaining and had me pretty engaged. What I find interesting is that the books are structured to actually overlap one another. Not just continue one another, but whole scenes are played out again, this time from the POVs of the h/h of that particular book. I haven't listened to it yet, but the next book, a novella (Hard Ink 2.5), will surely have scenes that are repeated or expanded because the h/h of 2.5 are featured prominently in 2.0. It's a clever way to engage the reader in the entire series, but it hasn't all been published yet and I'm totally going to forget stuff between now and whenever I get to the books coming in 2015. There's a suspense thread that runs through the whole series which means that this will continue to be on my radar because I want to know how it's resolved. I have A Theory.