On my sewing table…

I have been so busy working on some major projects this last month that I haven’t actually done a whole lot of sewing. One of those projects was this fancy new blog over on WordPress thanks to my great friends at Innovative Software Solutions and Stephanie Canada Photography (the other project is still being perfected).Tonight I felt as though I just needed to get in there and sew a few stitches.

Since I don’t have anything finished to show you I thought I would share what is on my sewing table right now.

Multi-bags. Lots and lots of multi-bags.
The beginnings of Sweetpea’s quilt. I anticipate this being a fun, quick sew and I am very happy to finally be working on it!
What about you? What are you working on?

The Storyteller by Sharon Tillotson

From Goodreads: Sarah is a Soul who is trying to guide Suzy along her path of rediscovering herself… Or is it redefining? Reinventing? Sarah thinks it might be better defined as remembering, but it’s only Suzy who is concerned about the semantics. Sarah just wishes Suz would get on with it. A rather spirited Spirit, Sarah often finds herself rolling her eyes at Suzy’s antics and the walls she has built up following the death of her husband. Sarah knows the body/mind/spirit energy who is currently housed in the human called Suzy has faced far more difficult challenges than the one she chose for this reincarnation.

 Storyteller is the most common role this body/mind/spirit has chosen for its human lives and Sarah chooses to tell the story of Suzy’s spiritual awakening as it unfolds, interweaving compelling stories of past lives and how these individual energies accomplished their shifts in awareness.

Suzy’s journey takes the reader from the lush shores of Seattle to the deepest heart of Africa where humanity is said to have made its first appearance.

My Thoughts: The story begins after Suzy’s husband dies and she finds herself on the verge of losing everything including the business she and her late husband built together, as well as a sense of who she is. The reader is taken on Suzy’s journey to rediscover herself and this includes flashbacks of her soul’s past experiences and lessons learned.

The Storyteller was a bit of a difficult read for me, at times I loved it (usually when I was reading about the flashbacks of Suzy’s soul) and at other times I felt as though I really had to work to get through each page.

The transitions between the present the Suzy’s “souls” past were awkward at best. The narration of her soul seemed so out of place and read rather amateurish. Had a little more time been spent making more of a connection between Suzy’s present and the lessons learned in her past I’m sure this voice could have been eliminated all together (at least I would have preferred to read it this way).

I just could not get pulled into this story. I found the flashbacks to be quite interesting and well written. Tillotson painted a vivid picture of these ancient times and the lessons Suzy’s soul learned but they came at what felt time random times in the story. While I enjoyed reading about the flackbacks the way they were interspersed into the story of Suzy’ present made the whole story feel disjointed. I could absolutely see where the author was going with this but it didn’t work for me.

I really wanted to love this book, the concept grabbed me instantly but the rest of the book didn’t hold my attention the same way. That being said it was still an interesting and thought provoking read and I would recommend this book to someone looking for a slower paced novel about self discovery and reinvention.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts are my own. 

Release Date: July 30, 2010
Publisher: Two Moons 
Source: Free Review Copy From Author
Find the Author: http://www.storytellerauthor.com

2 Years and Counting

Two years ago today, at exactly this moment, our little Ladybug entered the world quickly and with lots of excitement. We woke up to an unexpected blizzard and a few feet of snow on the driveway… and the beginning signs of labour.

Ladybug at 1

Ladybug has been making life exciting ever since and I am blessed to have witnessed her journey over the last two years and look forward to watching her grow more and more every day!

An almost 2 year old Ladybug doing what she does best… being a goof!
Happy birthday sweet baby girl. You are loved… oh how you are loved!

A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston

From Goodreads: Rebecca Kauffman’s tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her “English” sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica’s rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.

My Thoughts: A Gift of Grace was an interesting read. At the beginning of the book Clipston prefaces her story with the warning that just as Amish culture varies from community to community some of the language and behaviors in the book might surprise readers who are used to a specific picture of Amish life. There were a few places in this book where I had to re-read and thought to myself “did that really just happen”. This wasn’t necessarily bad but it did challenge the view that I had in my head of the ‘typical’ Amish man or woman.

Above all A Gift of Grace was a sweet story about two teenage girls struggling to find their place in the world. There was definitely an underlying theme of truly listening to God and following His plan instead of one’s own. This is something that most every character struggled with at some point and it was interesting to see how each character reacted to the obstacles placed in their path.

Clipston did a great job of portraying her characters for who they were. I got a sense of actually knowing them, and I found myself really becoming invested in them especially with Rebecca. Her struggles really pulled at my heart.

This is the first in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I am very interested to see what happens next as A Gift of Grace closed with a bit of a cliff hanger and certainly didn’t end the way I expected it to.

Release Date: April 20, 2009

Publisher: Zondervan
Series: Kauffman Amish Bakery Series Book #1
Source: Library
Find the Author: http://www.amyclipston.com