Summer Reading

Happy First Day of Summer!

How’s summer starting out for all of you?  I don’t think there’s one season I love over another, but summer comes pretty darn close to being at the top for me!  I just love the laziness of summer, the casualness of cool nights spent on the deck, get togethers with family and friends, and afterall who doesn’t love a season bookended (is that a word?!) with holidays?  Another thing I love is the image in my head of spending time at the beach with nothing better to do than get caught up on my reading … definitely an image, because I haven’t done this in forever!  So for all of you summer lovers out there who are looking for a good book to read my mom, Penny, has put together a list of some of her recent favorite titles.  I lean towards the romantic side (yes, I am a hopeless romantic, emphasis on the hopeless part!), but my mom loves mysteries … always has and probably always will!  Anyway, I’m handing the blog over to her … Here you go!

With those crazy, lazy days of summer finally here, what better time to not only quilt but also read.  Reading is another one of our favorite pastimes!  Megan enjoys historical romances by Deborah Holland.  She also enjoys reading Debbie Macomber and Brenda Novak books as well.

While I enjoy reading Debbie Macomber’s books, I really enjoy books by David Baldacci (did you know that the characters, King and Maxwell on TNT at 10:00 on Mondays this summer are from a number of his books?), Lisa Scottoline (so far, my favorite has been The Vendetta Defense… the story line is interesting and the characters actually make you laugh out loud at times with their shenanigans. But, my all-time favorite author is … Dorothea Benton Frank! She writes a novel once a year, usually it is published each June and they are all packed with human interest, laugh out loud humor along with interesting tidbits. Last year’s novel, Porch Lights, was focused on interesting information about Edgar Allen Poe.   This year’s novel is entitled The Last Original Wife: A Novel.

Another genre of books that Megan and I enjoy are cookbooks. We enjoy reading/looking through all of the cookbooks we have. Our latest find is The Smitten Kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman. The writing is phenomenal, pictures scrumptious and recipes make you want to jump up and cook immediately! Best of all the book lays flat which is great when trying to follow a recipe!

What books or authors do you enjoy reading?  It would be great to have you share! … Penny


Playing Around With Colors

Believe it or not I would definitely consider myself a novice when it comes to the Adobe suite of products.  Back in November I faced the stark realization that I needed to make “the switch.”  Thankfully though, Adobe now has a service called Adobe Creative Cloud.  It is, in a word, awesome! I was hesitant at first, but not having the $1,000+ to throw down on Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, I decided to give the Creative Cloud, a shot and I am so glad I did.  I specialized in Information Systems with my business degree, so I’m pretty comfortable with the computer.  I was also the “queen of handouts” (an honor bestowed upon me by my supervisor, complete with a certificate … lol) when I was a college math tutor, so I was comfortable making graphics and writing directions.  What is the Creative Cloud?  You pay for it monthly and it houses pretty much the entire suite of Adobe products and then you can download the programs you need … as many as you need!  To me, $50 a month was much more reasonable than the upfront cost of the standalone Adobe products.  The other huge upside is you don’t have to worry about product upgrades and having to pay for those as well.  The upgrades with Creative Cloud run seamlessly through your product and when one arrives, you’re simply notified – it all is included with your subscription cost.  Oh, and you’re getting the professional grade of the Adobe products!

That turned out to be a lot more information than I was planning on saying, but if you are in need of Adobe products I would definitely recommend looking into this and seeing if this would be a good fit for you.

Like I said, I’m still definitely a novice.  I do a lot of trial and error.  The worst is when I get something right and I have no clue how I did it!  Grrrr … does that ever happen to you?  Well, I won’t forget this little trick.  Last night, I was working on proofing some new pictures and I stumbled upon this photo alteration trick.

Do you remember our pattern Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend that I debuted in the spring?  It’s a pretty peach and spring green …

… But look what happens when you change the “hue” using Photoshop?  Oh, the color combinations!

Option #1: Aqua and Purple

Option #2: Two-Toned Green

Option #3: Two-Toned Purple
Option #4: Blue and Green
Option #5: Pink and Peach (My fave!) 

Option #6: Purple and Pink

What’s your favorite “new” color combination?  We’d love to hear!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Life’s a Charm June: Fun Notebook Cover

This project is so incredibly easy …  it comes together in a snap, literally a few hours!  I think sometimes it’s nice to have a mindless project to just make you feel you accomplished something, at least this is true for me!

This month we simply sewed together 40 mini charms into an 8 by 5 rectangle to create a notebook cover.  How simple is that!  I can so see these for the beginning of school or baby shower gifts for moms-to-be to chronicle their months or just a fun way to scrapbook your family’s summer adventures!

You will simply need a Mead notebook, a mini charm pack, an iron, and your sewing machine – mine broke during this project 😦 so don’t look to closely at my stitching 😉

We cut out red, white and blue fabric from our own stash and then simply sew 8 blocks across horizontally and 5 blocks vertically.

Then fold under twice 1/8″, press down and stitch a straight line to hold your edge down.

Once this is complete, simply use your notebook as a template.  Iron down the top and bottom, then the sides.  Pin the sides down and using a zigzag stitch, stitch along the entire top and bottom at the edge of the cover.