Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One Ring

 Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
  Sevenfor the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
                                           J.R.R Tolkien            

This is my ring ( my Precious!). It is made from
a homemade air-hardening clay, which is why it has a rough texture. You could make one out of polymer clay if you wanted a smoother surface. All you need to do is roll it out into a long strip, and join the ends to form a ring. Mine measures
about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, but you can make whatever size you like. Then you need to paint it. I used acrylic enamel paint, but gold spray paint should work too.  After the paint dries, it's time for the writing. this is the hard part! I wrote it with a magic marker, then painted over it.
After the paint dries, all you need to do is spray it with a coat of clear coat, and it's done. Set it up somewhere and enjoy it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Prelude to Glory, The Times That Try Men's Souls

Prelude to Glory, Vol. 2: Times That Try Men's SoulsPrelude to Glory, Vol. 2: Times That Try Men's Souls by Ron Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If I was judging this book because of it's beautiful cover or gorgeous title, it would be 5 stars. But I can't say the same for the writing. First of all, I don't agree with Carter's religious view all the time but that's ok that doesn't effect how I rate the book. This book was not nearly as interesting as the first book, and there are way too many details in it which make it a little boring. On the bright side, there are a lot of interesting historical details, and a surging sense of patriotism throughout the book. I still hope to finish the series eventually, so far they are still worth reading even though I don't think they will make it to my favorites.

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Prelude to Glory, Our Sacred Honor

Prelude to Glory, Vol. 1: Our Sacred HonorPrelude to Glory, Vol. 1: Our Sacred Honor by Ron Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great book, and very informative. It had believable and realistic characters. It starts out a little slow, but it comes to a point you can't put it down because you have to know what is going to happen!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Tarts (yield approx. 56)

For crust:
    2 c. all purpose flour             1 tbsp. sugar
     2/3 c. lard*        4-6 tbsp. ice water
* you can use use shortening and 1 tsp. salt
( You will probably need 2 batches of crust, but
it is simpler to make 1 at a time.)
   Mix together all ingredients except for water until crumbly. Add water until you have a nice dough consistency. Press into the bottom and sides of well greased mini- muffin pans.
      For filling:
    6 tbsp. sugar                 1/4 tsp. salt            1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice        1 lg. egg
1 c. evaporated milk               1c. pumpkin puree      
 Mix all ingredients together and spoon into crust. Bake @ 375   for 30-35 minutes.
    These are great for parties and events, and the leftovers store nicely in the freezer for one month!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Life of Daniel BooneThe Life of Daniel Boone by Lyman Copeland Draper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an extremely in-depth book about Daniel Boone, though the manuscript was actually never finished and this book does not tell about the end of Boone's life. Still, that's just as well as the end of his life was really sad, and I prefer the book to end while he's still happy and lively.If you want to really learn about Daniel Boone, I could not recommend a better book. This is absolutely fascinating, I honestly don't know why anyone would need a fictional account of his life; his real life reads almost like fiction! I love the part where Daniel and his men are surrounded by Indians and Daniel assumes they all will be killed. "Boys, we are gone" he says"let us sell our lives as dearly as we can." I also love it when he rescues his kidnapped daughter and her friends. A terrific amount of research went into this, you will learn a lot about the real frontier in this book.

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No Safe Harbor

No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom, #1)No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cara Hamilton is an Irish immigrant in New York. Her only reason for being there is to find her brother. But he has enemies everywhere, and Cara finds herself falling in love with the man who,unbeknownst to Cara, has sworn to kill him!
     This was a great story. The plot was captivating, and the characters were great. It was suspenseful, and exciting. It had a lot of elements that I love about it;Ireland, suspense, plot twists, and a good writing style.
    It was very clean, there was nothing objectionable at all in it. There was very little violence, and only a couple kissing scenes.
   If you enjoy a good suspense story, you will want to give this one a try!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katniss Everdeen has agreed to become the "Mockingjay" for the rebels against the Capitol, but she can not imagine what that will cost her. All that she loves or cares about is at stake, all of Panem is depending on her. If she fails, they all die. Failure is not an option, at any cost she must triumph.
       This book is captivating,heart-rending, and finally triumphant. I could not put it down. Collins has done a masterful job on this series. There are no boring parts or parts that don't make sense. There is not a single page you will want to skip. She wrote it with a story to tell and a mission to accomplish. She is not fishing for ideas, she knows what she wants to portray and she does it.
      I would reccomend that parents review this and decide if they think it is appropriate for their child. I personally recommend it for teens old enough to understand the reason for the story, the fight against all odds against tyranny. Without that backdrop, some kids will think it just a cool story with cool characters and a lot of fighting and stuff. And that misses the point entirely. Children do not need to learn to participate in the "Hunger Games" by pulling for their favorite characters and hoping for others to die. That is wrong,that is not what this story is for. As Haymitch told Katniss in the arena" Remember who the real enemy is". And the enemy is the Capitol in this story, the enemy is tyranny and cruelty.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Chasing Mona LisaChasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gabi Mueller and the Resistance have a very important job,they must protect the priceless "Mona Lisa" from those who wish to steal her. But the enemy will stop at nothing to foil their plans. Gabi and the Resistance are in a race against time, but they refuse to give up!
    This story will keep you on the end of your seat, the suspense is nerve-racking. The end is surprising. And Tricia Goyer has just the perfect way of putting it all together, it is fascinating.

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Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 Katniss Everdeen has survived the "Hunger Games", but the Capitol has some unpleasant surprises for her.Her life will never be normal again, she has defied the Capitol,and they will not forget it. And there is rumors of revolution, a revolution that Katniss unknowingly has caused to start "Catching Fire".
Can she, can anyone, defy the Capitol and live to tell about it?
       I was captivated with this book. I couldn't put it down. It is sad, yet there is a glimmer of triumph. You have to read it to grasp it, a great story.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting Creative With REcycling

Denim is wonderful stuff. It's rugged and durable. It's fashionable. It's versatile. And it makes a lovely  quilt! I recently made an adorable rag quilt out of recycled denim pants, and I'll tell you how to do it as well. Ok, so your probably thinking " Boring and monotone". I was amazed at how many different shades of denim I found! Everything from khaki,dark blue,bright blue, stonewashed,bleached,white, black, you name it. And when you put it together it is so cute. So without further ado, let's get started.
What you will need:
Blue jeans ( old ones, stained ones, anything you don't mind cutting up.)
A sewing machine with a size 18 needle on it.
Machine quilting thread
Good cutting scissors
   For the "rear pocket method" you will also need:
A good strong hand sewing needle
Embroidery floss

1. Cut out your denim into squares. Make them whatever size you want, the bigger squares you use the less you will need. I make sure not to get any seams on the squares as they are very hard to sew over. It is easiest if you do not use the rear pockets, but if you are experienced at sewing and want to try it read the section at the end of this article called " rear pocket method
2) Lay out your squares until your quilt is as big as you want it, then cut out the same number of squares again for the back.
3) Take two of your squares and sew them back to back with the wrong sides touching in an X shape. Make sure to stop 1/2 in. from the edges for seam allowance. Repeat until all your squares are used.
4) Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance sew your blocks into strips, then sew the strips together to finish the quilt.
5) Run it thru the washer and the dryer so all the ragged edges will ravel.

Rear Pocket Method
1) When you cut out the rear pockets leave 1/2 in. fabric around the pocket for seam allowance.
2) Sew your squares into a front and separate back. Basically, 2 single thickness quilts.
3)Sew the front and back together at the edges with the wrong sides touching. You will not be turning the quilt, so do not leave an opening.
4) Put a hand tack stitch in the middle of each square. On the squares with pockets, I do not sew thru the top of the pocket so the pocket will not be closed.

Have fun and be creative! I would love to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scotland's Defiance

Scotland's Defiance:Scotland's Final Fight for FreedomScotland's Defiance:Scotland's Final Fight for Freedom by Edward Torrance

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this story, the British government is trying to tap into Scotland's fresh water supply. A proud Scotsman named Andrew Ross, a modern William Wallace figure, leads his people to stand up for their rights and independence. This is a well-written, fast-paced story. It is written by an obvious Scottish patriot, and I think many people will enjoy the strong Scottish pride portrayed in this book. For me personally though there was one huge fault; there was way too much profanity for me. I estimate 30 words in 166 pages, to me that is obsessive. This would be a wonderful and exciting book if the author was to edit it and clean up some of the language.
    I received a complimentary copy of Scotland's Defiance:Scotland's Final Fight for Freedom
      as a member of the   

    Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit dorrancebookstore.com

    to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Night Song: A Story of SacrificeNight Song: A Story of Sacrifice by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was great! I was not really excited to read it, I am not really into World War 2 fiction, and I really expected it to be boring. But since I was bored anyway, and it was about violins, I read it. It is one of the best books I have read this year. Even if this isn't specifically one of your interests, I think you will like it. It is extremely well written, and it not even a little boring. Highly, highly recommend!

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From Dust and Ashes: A Story of LiberationFrom Dust and Ashes: A Story of Liberation by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once more, I started this book hesitantly and ended up loving it! This is a great story, perfectly written.  In this heart-wrenching story, we meet 3 special people. Helene, the wife of a Nazi SS guard; Peter, an American G.I.; and Micheala, a Polish girl who has survived the Mauthausen concentration camp. After Peter and the other G.I.s have liberated the concentration camps, he is doing all he can to help the survivors. Helene is shackled by guilt because of the cruelties that her drunken husband and all of the Nazi's have inflicted upon fellow human beings. Micheala is caring for her traumatized friend and trying to adjust to being free once again. Can Peter, Helene, and Micheala find the love and forgiveness they all so desperately need? This is definitely worth reading!  I have heard it said that those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it. Never let us forget the price others have paid for our freedom. Never let us forget the Third Reich and the horror they caused. Let us pray these things never will be repeated. And let us all do our part to ensure that they never will.

Hostage LandsHostage Lands by Douglas Bond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautiful story of a young Roman soldier who is sent to find out about the Celtic rebels. He is befriended by a young Celtic man.A girl is held hostage by the Romans, and the men risk their life to save her. Because of their courage and loyalty, the two nations finally are able to be at peace with each other.This book was written for younger(12+) reading levels, but it isn't a simple childish story. It was an excellent story, it is well worth reading no matter your age.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first looked at this book and saw that it was written in first person, I didn't think I would like it. And I just really didn't think the story would be something I would like. But I decided to give it a try anyway. As soon as I started it I was hooked!Some books seem like the author makes a crash-landing at the end just to finish it up. This book gets better and better. It is very sad, but the violence is not graphic. Absolutely cannot wait to finish the series!

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