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New Books about Race, Stereotypes and Black Lives!

 

Disclosure: I was sent digital copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

Have you been enjoying your holidays? I have not been writing since I have been taking time to be with my family. This holiday season has been special for us because we are realizing it is probably the last one with my father being somewhat mentally present. His Alzheimer's is getting bad and we know the end is coming whether he will be alive and not aware or die this year we are beginning to prepare ourselves. This week I am getting ready for Hazel's birthday. We decided to have a small gathering of girls from her school and doing our best to keep them socially distant and with masks. But before the year ends I wanted to review these four books. Two of these books have not been released yet and the other two are new in the past couple of months. It seems fitting to end 2020 with books about race, stereotypes and Black lives. 

Craft Books Galore! Review and Round-Up of Craft Books--Quilting, Embroidery, Paper Quilling, Origami, Knitting and more!

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books and kits in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of products that you purchase through them. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

As I have been doing the last few weeks I am trying to share all my books with you before Christmas. Although it is getting late now to order you can still get some by Christmas. So today I am sharing three craft books with you and then a round-up of the craft books I have to review still. We are going to start with our craft space and organizing it! 

Middle Grade & Young Adult Novel Reviews

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

A week or so ago I shared a round-up of the picture books I have to review. I meant to do these books that same week but life got in the way. So I am continuing with some middle grade and young adult novels for gift ideas. I am focusing on the four gift idea and the fourth gift being something to read! Here are some ideas for something to read. The first two are middle grade books for ages 8 to 12 and the last two are young adult books usually 14+. 

Home Sweet Home 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have to confess--between the pandemic and winter about to begin, I have not really been motivated to do anything. Yesterday as the snow fell my biggest achievement was going out to fill the bird feeders. They were busier than ever with the snow. They still are. I loved sitting and watching the snow and the birds. Today isn't much better. However I finished this puzzle quite a long time ago and have been meaning to write the review but just haven't gotten to it. So here it is. I have been writing reviews of 1,000-piece puzzles in my Mommy Time Reviews. I am going to include a round-up of them as well as the five puzzles on my to do shelf! I just need to make space to do one. Lately my puzzle space has been filled with diamond painting instead.

Mulan--Teach your kids the story of Mulan and not only Disney's versions

 


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you seen Disney's live action Mulan yet? It came out on Disney+ a couple of weeks ago for the subscribers that didn't pay for the premium subscription. I made Hazel wait until it was included in our regular subscription. Her love of Mulan was reignited recently. She loved meeting "Mulan" at Disney last February. 

New Picture Books

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Continuing on our theme from yesterday with the four gift rule and one of them being something to read, I am sharing a round-up of new picture books that are perfect to make your younger readers happy!! The books range from alphabet books to biographies and more! The first one is The ABCs of Christmas by Jo Parker and illustrated by Flora Waycott. 

Fun Books that Teach

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you heard of the four gift rule? It says parents should give their kids only four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. With the holidays quickly approaching I want to share some fun books this week in time for you to make purchases for gifts. If your child is like mine you will be buying books for both something they want and something to read. My family has been complaining because the only things on Hazel's wish list for the most part are books. (Hard to believe when you think about all the books I get to review but they are not all of the series she loves.) Anyway, today I am going to share with books that teach something to the reader.  These books are for ages 8 - 18. Most are for ages 8-12 but there is one for high schoolers. We will start with Brain Candy 2 by Kelly Hargrave.

Lark and the Loon -- Book Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you ever read a book that just makes you think about your own life in new ways? A book that teaches you and has you questioning your own choices and actions? Today's book is one of those type of books. It is Lark and the Loon by Riannon Gelston. 

One Real American: The Life of Ely S Parker, Seneca Sachem and Civil War General

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Who do you remember from the Civil War history you learned about in school? You probably remember Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. You probably know a out Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. And of course President Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. But did you know Native Americans fought in the Civil War on both sides? Have you heard of Ely S. Parker? I know I hadn't until I read today's book which is so fascinating. The book is One Real American: The Real Life of Ely S. Parker Seneca Sachem and Civil War General by Joseph Bruchac.

Printable DIY Advent Calendars and Week 1--Hope

 


Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is always my favorite time of the year. I love the preparation building up to Christmas. It always seems like such a happy time to me. The lights are hung and trees get decorated. People seem a bit more bright and giving. This year even Advent is looking different. We are not physically in church yet, so there isn't the beautiful organ music of Advent songs. But even with Covid the meaning of Advent and Christmas remains. Jesus was born to save us from our sins. To celebrate Advent I created three printable "Advent Calendars". Now we have a beautiful wooden Advent calendar that I need to fill each year. I decided to use one of these in our Advent calendar and one in her lunch box (at least the days she will be in school). The first ones I have to share are the names of Jesus. I made two versions. The first is a small and plain one with the different names in different colors and fonts. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Today we are honoring the Indigenous People of Massachusetts with a Tribal Nations Puzzle

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this puzzle as a gift from the maker. All opinions are my own.

As I sit and think about Thanksgiving I remember the history we have been taught and much of the history I have learned. With my parents on Cape Cod I drive through Plymouth, Massachusetts every year on my way to and from Thanksgiving dinner. I think about the friendships that were made between the Wampanoag People and the Pilgrims and how the white colonists truly treated the Natives who helped them survive the first year. It saddens me that we are taught such a different story about what Thanksgiving means. To me this is a day to give thanks for the blessings we have and to gather with loved ones and be thankful for the time with them. This is especially true for my family this year since it may be one of the last ones that my father will be truly present as his Alzheimer's is getting much worse. 

Thanksgiving Books for the Very Young

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving. 2020 has been quite the year. It has been a year of loss and fear as well as finding blessings and silver linings. For those with young kids we still want a sense of normalcy for them. Today I am going to share two that are perfect for younger children. The first is a board book that is one where kids can touch and feel different textures. It is See, Touch, Feel Happy Thanksgiving by Roger Priddy.

Books to Learn about Animals

 


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I want to share two fun new books about animals. From a very young age Hazel was in love with animals and wanted to learn all about them. I tend to gravitate to books about animals because of her interest. Today I am going to share two books that will teach kids about animals. The first is Endangered Animals and How You Can Help by Sam Hutchinson and Sarah Dennis.

DIY Christmas Decorations -- a Crafty Sundays Post

 


Sorry I was missing this past week. Hazel got sick and was out of school all week. I felt like I was fighting it and with some extra sleep and Rachel Carapella's advice, I seemed to fight it off. Now sadly Steve seems to have it. Fortunately it is not Covid-19. It seems to be a cold or a little bug. While being home with Hazel I was able to make some crafts I have been thinking about for awhile. Have you noticed gnomes seem to be everywhere this year? One of the moms of one of Hazel's friends loves them so I have been noticing them everywhere. I was going to try to make one of the fabric gnomes shared here, but haven't gotten around to it. I shared the tutorial with my friend but she wanted a non-sewing version so here is what I came up with.

Modernizing the Traditional Double Wedding Ring Quilt

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

My mother made two quilts when I was younger that became somewhat family heirlooms. The first was a sampler. I believe it was her first quilt. It had squares to represent our family, our home and more. The other was a double wedding ring quilt. I don't really remember when she made this one but I fell in love with it. My sisters and I all fell in love with both quilts. My mother decided to pass them on to us. I got the sampler because I'm the one who can mend it. The binding is in need of replacing. One of my other sisters got the double wedding ring. My goal is to make my own double wedding ring at some point. Although I tend to like more traditional quilts I was very interested to see what Victoria Findlay Wolfe came up with modernizing this quilt pattern in Double Wedding Ring Quilts Traditions Made Modern.

Holiday Shopping Recommendations!

 



Have you started your holiday shopping? This year is going to be different than others and that makes it the perfect year to think about what and where you are purchasing your gifts. So many of us support the big names that make ordering easy and somewhat quick. Although there are many shipping delays since so many of the products come from overseas. This pandemic has really affected everything. I wanted to gather a list of products and stores to shop that will appreciate the business and will put smiles on all the gift receivers! Also please remember many people out of work from their full time jobs so they are depending on their side gigs, so please consider ordering from one of the direct sales vendors you know. 

Let the Sun Shine In 1,000-Piece Puzzle -- A Mommy Time Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The weather has been beautiful here and I didn't get around to doing my Mommy Time Post on Friday. However I did finish my puzzle so I want to share it with you today instead. The puzzle is Let the Sun Shine In and has 1,000 pieces. 

Meet Rachel Sage Carapella of Native Sage Nutrition -- Native American Heritage Month

 


How is the weather where you are? We have been having a warm stretch and I have been enjoying it and not on here writing the posts I had planned. Sorry! However November is Native American Heritage Month and I love Native American culture and what to share it with you!! This year instead of doing research on Native American history and finding books, etc. I have changed it up by sharing Native American business owners and their businesses with you. This year has been tough on so many of us and especially on our small businesses. I am hoping by sharing these businesses with you, you will help support them! Last week we learned about Diane Tells His Name and her dolls and for Indigenous Peoples' Day I shared some of Aaron Carapella's posters from Tribal Nations Maps. Today I want you to meet Rachel Sage Carapella. She owns Native Sage Nutrition. In this post you will learn a bit about Rachel and her business and she provides some tips for us to stay healthy as flu season starts up among the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Silver Box & The Enchantment Lake Series

 


Disclosure: I was sent copies of all the books in this series in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share with you the Enchantment Lake series by Margi Preus. This book is part of the blog tour for the third book, The Silver Box. Before I get into this book, though let me talk about the first two. The first book is Enchantment Lake and the second book is The Clue in the Trees.

Learn the Real History of the Pilgrims and their Journey with History Smashers Book--free printable lunchbox notes

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe it is November. That means it is our month to be thankful and grateful! But why is this the month of Thanksgiving? Do you know the real history? I have done so many posts about the Pilgrims, Wampanoags, Mayflower, and Thanksgiving. You would think I know it all, but guess what I didn't. Today I get to share with you another History Smashers book. This one is History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate Messner and illustrated by Dylan Meconis.

Meet Diane Tells His Name and her Dolls

 


A few weeks ago I shared two of the beautiful Tribal Nations Maps about Indigenous women. One of the people shared on them is Diane Tells His Name. Diane has an interesting life story and she makes the most beautiful dolls. As a doll collector from my childhood I have always loved dolls. My sisters and I had a doll collection that was displayed in a curio cabinet in our dining room. Over the years some dolls have been lost or damaged as we each have moved and separated our collections. I still have some and they are now in my china cabinet. I have a love of dolls from different cultures because they share so much about the culture from their features, their clothes and often their stories. Perhaps this is why I was so drawn to Diane and her story. However as I learn more about Diane I find her story even more fascinating.

The Sound of Falling Leaves -- a Mommy Time Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have to admit I do not read that many adult books these days. I am always reading my review pile and lately they seem to be middle grade or young adult books. But I jumped at the opportunity to review this new novel by Lisa Carter. I love mysteries and it is one. I love some romance--it's in there. And I love God and yes religion plays a part as well. This book is right up my alley. It is The Sound of Falling Leaves. I have to say it has been hard to wait for this week and Friday to share this book with you. I loved it that much! This week is the Blog Tour for the book so I had to wait.

Review of Stories of the Saints -- a Book to Celebrate All Saints Day

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I grew up Protestant and did not learn about saints. We now go to an Episcopal church which is still Protestant but recognizes the saints. Plus Steve is Catholic so he wants Hazel to know about the saints. With All Saints Day coming up I thought it was the perfect time to share today's book, Stories of the Saints by Carey Wallace and illustrated by Nick Thornborrow. 

Dorktales -- a Funny Podcast Series for Families

 

Disclosure: I was paid a nominal sum for sharing and reviewing these podcasts with you. All opinions are my own.

In our world today we have just about everything at our fingertips. We can give our kids our smart phones or tablets to entertain them. Kids today are glued to the television or some form of technology. When Hazel was young we started her at a Waldorf school. One of the things I loved about the Waldorf philosophy was the no technology rule. They actually took it even further for the younger kids. They encouraged storytelling without books or with wordless books. The philosophy believed that preschool kids' bodies were developing so fast at that time that the body should be allowed to do its growing without the burden of trying to work to learn letters and words. The art of storytelling seems to be gone especially during this pandemic. However storytelling is important for our kids' development. From stories kids learn virtues and good character especially from stories that demonstrate it. Kids will often copy the behavior they see or hear about. This is why we turn to fairy tales over and over. The basic tales have good overcoming evil over and over again. The honest, kind, good people are rewarded while the dishonest and cheaters are punished or lose. 

The ABCs of Black History--Upcoming book to teach young children about Black History!

 



Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Last week I did our last Black Lives Matter Series post and said I was going to focus on Native Americans but this book passed my way and I have to share it with you. This book is coming out in December 8, 2020. The book is The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer. 

Beautiful Origami Paper Wreaths -- Crafty Sunday Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book (and the origami papers) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know that yesterday started World Origami Days? World Origami Days run from October 24 through November 11 each year. October 24 was picked because it was the birthday of Lillian Oppenheimer. She started the first origami group in the United States as well as being one of the founders of British Origami Society and OrigamiUSA. November 11 is Origami Day in Japan and thus why it was picked to end the celebration. (Source) In celebration of World Origami Days it seems we should create some origami, so today I am reviewing an origami book. All of the papers I am using I have shared previously but they all come from Tuttle Publishing

Mommy Time Posts--Otomi Journal and Quilt Update

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this journal in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you make time for yourself? For self care? As mothers we tend to have the weight of the world or at least of our homes, families and work on our shoulders. It is hard to find time. A friend recently shared a post on Facebook of a conversation between two women. It involved finding time to meet God in mountains. In the Bible men are often climbing mountains and meeting God. Women however are back tending to the house and family. Does this mean women do not have God in their lives? No, the conversation shared that God knows the role women play and meets them at home. God is always with us to care for us because we don't have the time to just take off and climb a mountain. However it is important for us to take the time to take care of ourselves. I have decided to try to share products, activities and things about self care and mommy time on Fridays. First a quilt update. A few weeks ago I shared a review of Wintertime Shimmer. I decided to try the wall hanging option and instead of winter try to capture the beautiful autumn colors outside. I still have to do the applique on it and am planning on putting a female cardinal on instead of the male. (Yes I have an obsession with the female cardinals.) Anyway, here is the pieced portion of the quilt.


 I have to say it was very quick to piece and I love the pattern. I may make a winter one as well. I do find quilting, sewing, and crafts as part of my self care. I have a strong need to create and if I ignore the pull towards crafts I find myself lost. 

One of my favorite self care activities is journaling. There are times when the emotions are too much and I just need to let them out. I find my journal helps with this. Do you love journals? Hazel and I love them and tend to collect them. I was fortunate enough to get sent this beautiful Otomi Journal to review. 

https://papress.com/collections/journals-notebooks/products/otomi-journal-embroidered-textile-art-from-mexico

This journal has embossed Mexican embroidery design all over the cover. It is based off the traditional embroidery of the Otomi People in Central Mexico. They are an indigenous group to Central Mexico.


Inside the journal there are lined pages. Then every fifth page of so a print from the traditional embroidery appears. They are animals or flowers. 


I love the little surprises of the print. The pages themselves are thick and a good quality. I haven't started to use it but plan to keep track of some health data so I know what to tell doctors when I have appointments. Nowadays they tend to be telehealth appointments so it is important to be able to tell my doctor everything I need to since she is not really examining me. 


Plus if I get my act together I will be able to use it to track my diet and exercise. How would you use a journal? This one is absolutely beautiful. I love the added touch of its culture. They also have Otomi Notecards if you would prefer to send the beauty to your friends and family. I would love to hear how you are doing some self care these days!

Review of Cleo Porter and the Body Electric -- where Fiction and Reality Meet

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Great Depression, the Great War, the Great Recession and now the Great Separation. Today I get to share with you a new book that is amazing it was published this year and written before this year. As we are living through the Covid-19 Pandemic and thinking about wearing masks and social distancing, imagine if the pandemic was even worse and thus the Great Separation. Before we knew about Covid-19, Jake Burt wrote Cleo Porter and the Body Electric. And that is amazing!!


Twelve-year-old Cleo Porter lives in an apartment with her mother and father. The apartment has no doors or windows. It has a chute where drones drop off deliveries. The only human contact is with one another and everything else is done through simulation. In 2027 there had been an awful pandemic caused by Influenza D. The virus mutated with every person it moved to so there was no cure and it wiped out half the population. The solution was to lock everyone into apartments without doors or windows and have no outside physical contact. It has been decades since the last known case of Influenza D but the people live this way because it is safe. Cleo wants to be a drone surgeon like her mother. She has been studying to become a doctor from an early age and has a big test looming over her. But then something really strange happens. A medicine package gets delivered to their apartment with someone else's name. Everyone says it is impossible. The medicine is for brain swelling and it could be life or death. Cleo is worried for the unknown person. She feels the need to get the medicine to her, but how? The only way in and out of the apartment is the delivery chute. Cleo manages to get out with only machines to keep her company. She is off on an adventure that will change her whole life.

Can we start with how eye-opening this book is while living through a lesser pandemic? It puts our struggles into a different light. Social distancing and masks for a matter of months (or even a year) are nothing compared to never seeing the real sky and meeting people in person. There are messages throughout the book as well including from one of the people who chose not to be locked away. There are so many interesting depths to this book as well as questions that could be used for a class discussion. I put together some discussion questions for you. 

The story itself is intriguing and pulls the reader in. It flows and is suspenseful. You want to turn the page and continue reading to find out what happens next and to make sense of this new world. I hope you will check out this book. I know I told Hazel a bit about it and she wants to read it next!

Two Beautiful Picture Books about Growing Up and Mindfulness

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to share with you two absolutely beautiful picture books. The books are recommended for pre-K through grade 3. One is about becoming a big girl and putting away toys and the other is about learning to meditate. The first book is Nasla's Dream by Cecile Roumiguiere and illustrated by Simone Rea. 

Black Musicians and Entertainers #blacklivesmatter Series

 


How has the world changed in the last six months? The fight is still going on for Black rights. There is so much hate and violence as well as peaceful protests. We are in a Movement and we can decide how we are going to respond. We can sit back quietly and watch or we can take part. There are two sides and depending one where you fall you can take action. Know that sitting back quietly and watching is an action. It is accepting what you are seeing. I know at times this summer I have wondered if my actions, my posts, my discussions are making any difference. I even considered giving them up. But I knew in my heart I had to try to make a difference and help there be change. Today we have come to the end of my list. My short list. A list of names to research and share with you because Black lives are part of everyone's history. Black people matter! Although this will be my last post in this series for now, I know I will continue it again. I know there will be future books that share about Black lives, as well as more people to feature. If you have Black people I should feature please leave their names in the comments or contact me.  But I also know I want to focus on Native Americans for Native American History Month. I know we need to also focus on them as they are suffering with Covid and not making it much into the news. 

History Smashers Women's Right to Vote

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The other day my husband and I were discussing current events and the differing views in society. We are on opposite sides politically. We were discussing a bit of the discrimination going on in our country. My husband being a white, conservative man is pretty sick of being blamed. I am trying to educate him that part of the problem is he doesn't realize his part in the discrimination and how it is built into our society. We talked about history books. My conservative friends have been posting many things about how awful it is that people don't teach the traditional history any more. I asked him who wrote the history books when we were kids. I asked him which women he learned about in history. He told me the important ones, then he started listing people like Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony. I asked him if he knew who Elizabeth Cady Stanton was. He said no. I used this information and the knowledge from today's book to make my point. In fact today's book let's us know that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the official history of the women's suffrage movement before it was over and that is what is taught still today. 

Books to Celebrate Filipino American History Month

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know October is Filipino American History Month? Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the nation. They are third largest ethnic group in California (after Latinos and Blacks). October was chosen because it commemorates the first Filipino to step foot on the continental United States. On October 18, 1587, Luzones Indios came ashore at what is now Morro Bay, California, from Nuestro Senora de Esperanza, a Spanish galleon. In 2009 the United States Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month. (Source) To celebrate I thought we would look at some books about the Philippines and their culture. 

Learning about Indigenous Women with Map and Poster from Tribal Nations Maps

 


Disclosure: Aaron Carapella gave me permission to use his copyrighted photos. They are all copyrighted by his company Tribal Nations Maps.

Although some people still celebrate the holiday as Columbus Day, many are changing it to Indigenous Peoples' Day. I shared years ago about how I feel about Columbus Day. For more reasons to change the day to Indigenous Peoples' Day check out here. To celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day, I turned to my friend Aaron Carapella of Tribal Nations Maps. Years ago I had the pleasure of sharing my prize with you of one of his amazing maps. Since then he has added so many different maps and products. He has added maps Indigenous Peoples of regions of North America as well as Central and South America. 

Chapter Books Involving School

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

How is the school year going where you are? Hazel's private school started the Tuesday after Labor Day. They were doing great until last week. Hazel was learning remotely last week because she had a cut on the ball of her foot but apparently a student who had two negative tests got tested a third time and went to school before getting the results. The results were positive so the school we completely remote for three days, then the grades that were separated enough from the student were allowed back this week. All the other grades have to have a negative Covid test or wait fourteen days to come back. Hazel and I went to get tested this week. I got her negative results last night so she is finally back in school today after being home for almost two weeks. The local news here is full of public schools having issues--unions fighting with districts, outbreaks and more. So how is school where you are? Are you remote or in person or hybrid? 

Black Lives Matter-- Mary McLeod Bethune & Coretta Scott King

 


I only have a few more people on my list for our Black Lives Matter Series. I have been saving these two women for the end but wanted to share them because today is World Teacher Day. These two were both activists. We will start with Mary McLeod Bethune because she was a teacher!

Paper Quilling Four Seasons: Chinese Style -- Crafty Sundays Review

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have become a bit fascinated with paper quilling. I shared my first projects previously. After trying it a bit I wanted to get some books about it. I bought a paper quilling kit from Amazon. Then I looked for some books to review. Tuttle Publishing answered my quest. Today I am going to share one of the books they sent me. Paper Quilling Four Seasons Chinese Style by Zhu Liqun and Zhu Liqun Paper Arts Museum. 

Cottontail Rabbits -- Who's In the Backyard? Series


I haven't done a Who's In The Backyard? Post in awhile. I had planned on doing my rabbits weeks ago but was having internet issues as well as a busy life. So here it finally is!! In our backyard we have cottontails. They are probably Eastern Cottontails, but there is a slight chance they could be New England Cottontails. So my focus is going to be on both species and the differences. 

Weird But True: Halloween -- Fun Facts about Halloween with free printable

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe October starts tomorrow? October has been a bit of a dreaded month in our house. Since a young age Hazel has hated the scary and gory Halloween decorations and costumes. It got so bad I couldn't take her into stores with me in October. Last year she decided she no longer wanted to trick-or-treat. She use to love dressing up for trick-or-treating but now is getting older and not caring. Little does she know that there was a time where Halloween decorations included cupids to encourage romance. In fact Halloween was associated with love and romance. Yes, this is one of the weird facts I learned from National Geographic Kids Weird But True: Halloween by Julie Beer and Michelle Harris. 

Black Authors -- #blacklivesmatter Series

 


Today we return to your Black Lives Matter Series. I am working through a list of Black people that some of my Black teacher friends suggested everyone should know. Today I am going to focus on three famous Black authors that my friends added to the list: James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Toni Morrison.

DIY 1980's Doll Accessories -- A Crafty Sunday

 


Have you seen her yet? American Girl has come out with a new doll and she is from the 1980's. Her name is Courtney and I think I am in love. After all I'm an 80's girl. Although I'm not as in love with the actual doll (at least from photos) I love her outfits and accessories. I turned ten in 1980, so the 80s represent my teen years. I remember the neon, off-the-shoulder, leggings, legwarmers, rubber bracelets, walkman, denim, and scrunchies. Plus the Pac Man and Lisa Frank and rainbows. American Girl also added the Care Bears but I was a bit old for them. I decided to try to create some of the accessories for Hazel's dolls. 

New Latinx Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. September 15th is also Mexico's Independence Day. This year I am seeing the word Latinx being used a lot and wanted to see how it was different from Hispanic and Latino/a. Latinx is a nongender word to use instead of Latino or Latina. It is a word that is mostly used by young women according to this article I found. The article says one in four Latinos have heard the word but only 3% use it. Have you seen it around this year?

Creating a Happy Place in Your Home

 

Disclosure: Artsy Couture sent me this metal print in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

With so many of the schools starting back up remotely this year, it is important for you to have your own happy place at home. Whether you are working from home or are a stay-at-home mom like me, you need a space that is yours for when you need some quiet time, alone time or just a place to bring you up a bit when you are down. I created one for myself over the summer. I have shared bits and pieces of it with you but want to share some of the things I find important in it. My space is a corner of our family room. Our family room is a room with lots of windows that looks out upon our backyard and thus my bird feeders. I find watching my outdoor critters so relaxing so this is why I chose this space. Steve helped me move the furniture around so I have two comfortable chairs facing the windows. We actually switched one of the chairs to the glider we had in Hazel's nursery. It is so comfortable and has become my chair now. One of the chairs has an ottoman so that is there. I also put a small folding tv tray table to put drinks and things on. Now it has our collection of gel pens in case I want to color. 

Besides the furniture I have decorated my happy place corner. I had a pillow made that literally says "This is My Happy Place." I have family photos as well as picture to remind me "Prayers & Love over worry & fear." I have sayings about love and life. My latest addition however is a beautiful metal print of my other happy place--my family vacation home on Cape Cod. This is the house my grandparents built and I spent most of my school vacations visiting when I was young. I took a photo of Hazel looking out over the marsh from the deck of the house. This is truly a happy place of mine. I love sitting on the deck and watching the animals and enjoying the breeze.


Since it is a metal print, it has a bit of glare and reflection issue when photographing it. However, I LOVE it!! The print is absolutely beautiful in person. I love sitting in my glider and looking at it. I can almost smell the marsh and feel the breeze. I definitely begin to breathe a bit slower and feel my body relax. It is a peaceful place and a wonderful reminder of it. Plus usually I am at it with my family: Steve and Hazel as well as my parents and my sisters and nephew. It is a place where there is love and where I know I am loved. This print has all of that in it as well as just being beautiful for others to see. 

I have had other metal prints made. I had a sunset print for my parents since they moved out of this house with the beautiful sunsets. I had scenic prints made to decorate the house we now rent out. I also have canvases and prints of family photos and memories from vacations. This is the first time I made one for me to remind me of a peaceful place that makes me relax and be calm. I love what it does for me. 

As we proceed through these strange times of social distance think about what makes you happy. Grab a photo of that place or memory and get a print made. Create your own happy space in your home. We all need one these days!