Finish: Henry VIII

Start: June 26, 2015
End: January 25, 2019
Designer: DMC
Fabric: 16 count
Floss: DMC, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, Kreinik #4
Beads: Mill Hill Petite Glass 

I decided to add metallics and beads to this kit. Here is a list of exactly what I used:

  • Mill Hill Petite Glass Beads:
    42043, 40557, 42101, 40479, 42039
  • Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid: PB06, PB26, PB07
  • Kreinik #4: 153V

I also changed the outline of the feathers in Henry’s hat to 838 and realigned the text in the banner at the top. If anyone would like the chart of my rechart of the banner, just email me.

Henry VIII

Book Review: Happy The Journal

Happy: The Journal Book Cover Happy: The Journal
Fearne Cotton
Courier Dover Publications
December 19, 2018

This daily journal is filled with new ideas, creative prompts, and words of wisdom that will help you write a little joy into every day of the year.

my Review

I’m really excited to start this! Yes, I haven’t started it yet. So why is it marked as “Finished”, you ask? Well, because I’ve read the preface and feel I’ve skimmed the journal enough to feel I have a good enough grasp on it to rate it.
You see, this is an actual journal. It starts on January 1st and has entries for everyday of the year. Entries have writing, drawing, or idea prompts such as “Recall a moment that was full to the brim of pure love. I love reminiscing about good times drenched in love. Happiness floods in.” (February 11) or “Create something today. It can be a drawing, a story or an idea in your head for something new. Get creative, and feel the flow.” (September 5).
This seems like a really nice way to reassess and take stock of yourself throughout the year. Like I said, I’m really excited to start on January 1st and see how it goes. It looks really promising.
So think of this review as more of an initial reaction. At the end of 2019, I plan on doing an updated review with my final thoughts.

**I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

Book Review: Bless This Mother-Effing Home: Sweet Stitches for Snarky Bitches

Bless This Mother-Effing Home Book Cover Bless This Mother-Effing Home
Katie Kutthroat
March 1, 2017

The combination of sugar and spice is irresistible in this adorable and appalling collection of cross stitch. Laugh out loud fun through crafting is found in these biting yet precious patterns. Katie Kutthroat's warped and witty cross stitch has taken the internet by storm and has been featured on TV shows like HBO's Girls. Cute but snarky, each cross stitch pattern featured in Bless This Mother-effing Home evokes laughter and irony. Perforated pages allow for readers to hang up or share favorite entries, spreading the cross stitched love.

my Review

I was really excited when I saw a cross stitch book show up on NetGalley. I like a good, snarky stitch and the cover made this one look unique. Most snark stitches you see on sites like Etsy are just words inside what I guess is suppose to be an ironic, happy border (normally flowers or something). But the cover of this one made it look like it was going to have actual designs. I mean, look at that cover. A little house with a stylized garden. Nice, right? Well, don’t let it foul you. This is just a bunch of snarky sayings with an ironic border. So. Disappointing. You can seriously buy a cross stitch border book off Amazon for like $5 and use a free cross stitch text generator online and make these. If you don’t like to chart things yourself, you can go on Etsy, browse thousands of pattern and buy one you like. I think that’s better than buying a book and hoping you’ll like some of the patterns, especially when they are so generic.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

Book Review: Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body.

Every Body Yoga Book Cover Every Body Yoga
Jessamyn Stanley
Workman Publishing

From the unforgettable teacher Jessamyn Stanley comes Every Body Yoga, a book that breaks all the stereotypes. It's a book of inspiration for beginners of all shapes and sizes: If Jessamyn could transcend these emotional and physical barriers, so can we. It's a book for readers already doing yoga, looking to refresh their practice or find new ways to stay motivated. It's a how-to book: Here are easy-to-follow directions to 50 basic yoga poses and 10 sequences to practice at home, all photographed in full color. It's a book that challenges the larger issues of body acceptance and the meaning of beauty. Most of all, it's a book that changes the paradigm, showing us that yoga isn't about how one looks, but how one feels, with yoga sequences like "I Want to Energize My Spirit," "I Need to Release Fear," "I Want to Love Myself." Jessamyn Stanley, a yogi who breaks all the stereotypes, has built a life as an internationally recognized yoga teacher and award-winning Instagram star by combining a deep understanding for yoga with a willingness to share her personal struggles in a way that touches everyone who comes to know her. Now she brings her body-positive, emotionally uplifting approach to yoga in a book that will help every reader discover the power of yoga and how to weave it seamlessly into his or her life.

my Review

Have you ever read a book that made you just want to hang out with the author? This one made me do that. The down-to-earth writing style and engaging personal stories made this book a delight to read.
This is really half autobiography and half ‘beginners guide to yoga”. Jessamyn talks about her life, what lead up to her trying yoga, and her struggles with not being the stereotypical yoga practitioner.
The information sections are complete without being overwhelming. It’s very much a beginners guide to yoga, including sections for the history of yoga, products, the different types of yoga, and excellent photos of various positions. But this is really so much more than a fitness book. Jessamyn’s personal stories sprinkled inbetween the informational sections make this far more enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this for anyone even SLIGHTLY interested in yoga.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

Book Review: Mosaic & Lace Knits: 20 Innovative Patterns Combining Slip-Stitch Colorwork and Lace Techniques

Mosaic & Lace Knits: 20 Innovative Patterns Combining Slip-Stitch Colorwork and Lace Techniques Book Cover Mosaic & Lace Knits: 20 Innovative Patterns Combining Slip-Stitch Colorwork and Lace Techniques
Barbara Benson
Crafts, Knitting
Stackpole Books
March 31st 2017

Combine mosaic and lace in your knitting for easy colorwork with impeccable style. The impact of two-color knitting made while knitting with only one color yarn per row--yes, please! Add in a dash of lace to keep the fabric flexible, and what you end up with are knockout colorful knits with beautiful and comfortable drape. Barbara Benson has been experimenting with the fusion of mosaic knitting and lace stitches over the past few years, and has created this breathtaking collection of 20 shawls, cowls, scarves, hats, and other accessories. To make the patterns accessible to any knitter, she has added a helpful instructional section that covers the basics of knitting slip stitches, how to read lace and mosaic charts, how to work mosaic in the round, and tips and tricks to help you avoid potential pitfalls. The book has projects for all level knitters. Start with a project in which the mosaic and lace are worked in different sections, such as a hat with alternating bands of mosaic and lace. Then progress to more complex patterns where the slip stitch and lace stitches are worked at the same time. Each stitch plays an important role--these patterns will keep the interest of even the most experienced knitter!

my Review

I feel the need for a slight disclaimer here: I’ve never done any colorwork, let alone mosaic colorwork. So, when I say this book’s instructions are clear and make it look simple, I might be absolutely full of shit. But, regardless, this book’s clarity give me the confidence to try. So that’s something.

Now, the patterns. I like them. As the title says, there are 20 patterns, ranging from scarfs to wrist warmers to bags. The majority of the patterns full into the “Stuff you wear around your neck” category (ie scarfs, cowls, shawls), but there’s enough variety within that category to make sure that you don’t feel like you are basically getting the same pattern more than once (a pet peeve of mine in knitting books). I’ve already picked out several patterns I’d like to try and look forward to casting on.

If you are interested in Mosaic colorwork, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this book.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

Book Review: The Confessions of Young Nero (Nero #1)

The Confessions of Young Nero Book Cover The Confessions of Young Nero
Nero #1
Margaret George
March 7, 2017

While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina's machinations earn her son a title he's both tempted and terrified to assume, his determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become, an emperor who became legendary.

my Review

You know that trend of turning a classic villain into an antihero? Think “Wicked”, “Maleficent”, “Suicide Squad”, etc. This novel is kinda like that. Nero an evil dictator? No! He’s a poor misunderstood victim of circumstance. Now, if you can accept this as historical *fiction*, it makes for a nice twist to the well-known story. In her Afterword section, George basically states that Nero has been unjustly maligned by history and this book is her effort to right a wrong. Now…..ok. She’s probably right. Nero in popular culture is an evil tyrant. Many of the stories about him are probably exaggerated or flat out wrong. *BUT* George’s Nero is a damn boy scout. I don’t think he even did something kinda bad (unless, you know, you count adultery) unless he was defending myself, which is hard to count as evil.

But, like I said, if you can get past “nice” Nero and just take this as fiction, it’s a entertaining read.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

Book Review: Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution Book Cover Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
Nathaniel Philbrick
History, Non-fiction
May 10th 2016

From the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea, comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.

my Review

This is my first Philbrick read, but definitely not my last.
This could have very easily been a straight forward autobiography of Benedict Arnold, but Philbrick adds such depth and nuance that the reader not only gets the facts of Arnold’s life, but also a truer understanding of the man myself. Great read. Highly recommended for history buffs. I look forward to reading more of Philbrick’s work.

**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** Professional Reader

Book Review: Tudor Roses review and GIVEAWAY (OVER)

Tudor Roses Book Cover Tudor Roses
Alice Starmore, Jade Starmore,
Crafts & Hobbies
Dover Publications

Created by one of the top names in knitting, this splendid hardcover volume features hand-knitted designs inspired by members of the Tudor dynasty. Includes charts and instructions, color photographs, and fascinating historical background.

my Review

Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard

If you watch my videos, you probably know, I love history. Especially English history. I’m a first-generation American. My mother was born in England and moved to the US when she was 8 years old. I grew up in a house steeped in British culture. I grew up eating British food and watching British TV shows, and now that I’ve gotten into crafting, I like to work on English-style and inspired projects. So when I got an email from Dover Publications about maybe reviewing a knitting book called Tudor Roses, I was intrigued. And man…I’m in love. This book was made for me.
Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves

This book includes 14 knitting pattern inspired by the women of the Tudor era. Starmore drew inspiration from Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, Elizabeth of York, Margaret Tudor, Katherine of Aragon, Mary Tudor, Lady Mary, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr, Elizabeth the First, and Mary Queen of Scots to create these amazing historically inspired knits.
Elizabeth the First

Elizabeth the First

Each pattern section starts with a writing attributed to the woman who inspired the piece and is a great way to set the mood for the sections. All patterns are accompanied with several photographs that show each piece to great detail (my photos do NOT do them justice). All the patterns are clear and easy to read, even for someone like me who is relatively inexperienced knitter. The end of the book includes a great section where Alice Starmore talks more in detail about how she drew inspiration from each woman and how the designs and their details represent the subject in question.

If you like historically inspired crafting, definitely check this one out. It just came out in paperback, so you can get it at a very reasonable price. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

**I received this copy via Dover Publications in exchange for an honest review**


Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore Giveaway