Wednesday, August 26, 2020

{I've Been Reading} Thread and Dead

Thread and Dead by Elizabeth Penney

The second book in the Apron Shop series has everything I love about cozy mysteries. When Iris is invited to visit a reclusive spinster to purchase some antique linens, she immediately adores the older woman and so did I. Eleanor Brady is adorable, and seemingly vulnerable to her nasty nephew. She's also got questions about how her mother, a housemaid, left behind a trunk filled with vintage Chanel. Iris is happy to help her research the family history and she's also pulled into a murder investigation when one of the environmentalists who was renting rooms from Iris for the summer is found dead on nearby cliffs.

Between the murder mystery, the antique linens, and a very entertaining cardboard boat race, I raced through this one.

Crewel  and Unusual by Molly MacRae

Here's another cozy mystery that will make you fall in love with antique linens. I've never seen needlework like the rare antique table cloth that Belinda has for sale in her shop, but I definitely want to...and Molly MacRae's vivid descriptions make me feel almost like I have seen it. Textile expert Kath Rutledge falls in love with the exquisitely stitched piece, but she barely gets a chance to examine it because accusations are flying between rival shop owners. Nervie and Belinda are both calling the other's merchandise fakes and copies and worse. Then Belinda is found dead in her shop, stabbed with a pair of scissors from the shop that Kath owns. With needlework and knitting and a helpful ghost, this one is all kinds of fun.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

{I've Been Reading} Little Disasters

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

Of course emergency room doctor Liz Trenchard is concerned when one of her friends comes into the hospital with her infant. That concern quickly increases when she realizes the extent of little Betsey's injuries and how much time has passed since what Jess describes as a minor fall. Liz follows protocol, transferring the infant into the care of another doctor and alerting the proper authorities, even though she is sure that Jess would never have have hurt her own child. They've known each other for years and Jess has always been the most careful and attentive mother in their group of friends. Liz can't believe that Jess would hurt her own baby, but everything about the situation raises red flags.

At times, this one was difficult to read, partially because the details that describe Betsey's injuries are so perfectly descriptive that I could feel them. One sentence in particular is going to stick with me for a long time. The plot moves between the morning of the accident, the present, and the early days of Liz and Jess's friendship. There are dates at the beginning of each chapter, but they're so close together that I found myself trying to figure out from context when in the sequence of events I was reading about. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, especially kids and husbands. I love domestic thrillers that involve families and this one kept me turning pages to find out what had happened.

Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison

I absolutely loved this one! Newly widowed Evie Mead is just learning that her wealthy husband's recent business failures have left her with nothing except, possibly, the Tregarrick Rock Hotel. With her sister, she heads to the foggy island, curious to see what the place is like. It's not what she expected. Access to the old Art Deco hotel is by sea tractor and there's only a narrow window each day to get onto or off of Tregarrick Rock. The locals aren't particularly friendly and the owner of  the hotel insists that he never met Evie's husband, let alone used his family's property as collateral to a loan he never repaid. There's a cast of quirky characters, and fantastic atmosphere, and a murder that makes Evie look like a possible suspect... and I can't tell you more than that because I don't want to spoil the fun. I cannot wait for the second book in this series to come out so I can see what happens next!

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Flowers in a Window

It turns out that you can have a whole lot of fun with a free pattern, some thrifted aida, and a couple of skeins of ecru floss. 

The chart is Flowers in a Window by Stone Street Stitchworks and it's a free download.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Remember Ripe Apples?

One of my goals for the next few months is to tackle my pile of UFOs. The projects that I'm still actively working on are fine. So are the ones I started and then set aside for a while because there are only so many hours in a day. 

The ones I've set my sights on are the ones that I abandoned because something went wrong. With Ripe Apples, it was the basket and  the stitches I'd left unstitched. With so many similar shades of brown and green, it was the hedgehogs all over again. 

I know that I'll keep making mistakes, but maybe I can learn from them and not do the same dumb thing over and over. It's easier to do the confetti stitching if you don't leave random bits of it scattered here there and everywhere then have to compare your stitches to the chart and figure out what color they're supposed to be.

Those missing stitches on the apples that I saw as soon as I imported the pictures? Those are stitched white highlights that are supposed to be there. I double checked.

Friday, August 07, 2020

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {August 2020)

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Bee Well

Sill here, still stitching, still doing a lot of reading, and still not managing to take pictures of finished projects to post them. That's why there was no mid-year totals post this year. Well, that and the fact that there weren't a lot of finishes by the end of June. 

I did  finish Bee Well, a free pattern by The Blackberry Rabbit. It would have been a quick stitch, but I had unexplainable trouble with the wings and wound up doing one of them three times. They're probably not perfect, and bees probably do have perfect wings, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. 

And I'm swooning over this little pressed glass boot, which is the exact color of honey straight from the hive. A few weeks ago, I saw some similar shoes at Goodwill, but they were eight bucks each and I didn't like them quite that much.  I was sure I'd find one at an estate sale if I was patient...and I did. This one was a dollar. And it's the color of honey, so I love it more than the blue ones I saw at the thrift store.

Google tells me that they're by Fenton and apparently people collect them and, compared to etsy prices, the ones at the thrift store were cheap. But I'm not a collector so I'll just keep haunting the estate sales for pretty sparkly treasures.

{I've Been Reading} Gods of Howl Mountain

Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown

This one caught my interest because it was set in the North Carolina Mountains of the 1950s, with bootleg whiskey and snake handling preachers. What I loved about this book were the descriptions. Never in a million years would I have thought I could get into a book that spent so much time describing cars and how they executed sharp turns, but this book did it. It transported me to another place and time. There was a plot and things happened to the characters, but for me that was secondary to the atmosphere.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 


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