January 2016 Book Report

Last year I set what seemed like an attainable goal, to read 50 books in a year. And I failed. But it was a very busy year for me. This year I've set the same goal for myself and I am more confident that I can achieve it.

So here is a list and review of what I read in January.

One thought I had...would you like to have a review of what content is included that some might find objectionable due to morals? I try to read mostly Christian fiction, but I do also read a lot of other fiction as well. I was thinking something minimal but kind of in the style of PluggedIn does for movies...yes, no or doesn't matter to you?

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A Taste For Murder - Hemlock Falls Mysteries
by: Claudia Bishop

The original overview I read for this story described it as two sisters who run the Hemlock Falls Inn and who solve murder mysteries. It sounded intriguing. And while that description is accurate, it ended up being very different that I imagined. The mystery part of the story was pretty good actually, but it was the characters who I just didn't connect with.

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by: Jane Johnson

This was a very quick read. I printed the digital version and had lots of passages that I highlighted. While I loved what Jane had to say, I just wish there was a bit more to this book, especially for the price.

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by: Lauren Willig

This is the 3rd book I've ready by Lauren Willig. The story follows the lives of two cousins who grew up together in the early 1900s as well as a relative in modern times who learns about the stories of the cousin's lives. This is another book that had potential but ended up being my least favorite book by the author. The biggest plot twist was easy to figure out from the beginning. Beware this is a book that switches between time every chapter or so.

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The Inheritance
by: Tamera Alexander

This was my favorite book of the month. It was an easy read with a simple story line but I find those to be favorites to quickly get in. The story is set in the 1800s in Colorado. It follows the story of McKenna Ashford and her brother as they move from Missouri to Colorado to get a fresh start. Unfortunately troubles fall into McKenna's way at almost every turn. From beginning to end it had a good moral base. 

- Jessica


Studio Calico Sunday Sketch

It's been a while since I've pushed my creativity in crafting. Lately I've just been in a rush and falling back into the basic templates I know and love. And while that works, I find that the more I push myself, the more the creativity starts flowing. So I've been looking at challenges to help me find that spark of creative juices.

This past weekend I chose the Studio Calico Sunday Sketch to quickly make a card. I didn't want to overthink it, just get to work. While the card didn't stray far from my usual style, it was a great jumping point for me and I think it took maybe 5 minutes for this card to come to life.

What's your favorite way to find creativity?

What are your favorite creative challenges?

- Jessica


I'm Back!

Hello all! Just wanted to pop in and say that I will be back to blogging this year. 2015 was a rough year for me and I just didn't have time or energy to work on blog posts.

But I'm excited to start posting again. I have a list of blog post ideas and I'm ready to freshen things up around here.

- Jessica


taking a break

just wanted to put up a quick little post to let you know why i've gone missing.

for the past year and a half i had been living with my nanny (grandma) as her health had been declining after a small heart attack. this spring she took a bad tumble at the house and ended up in the hospital and rehab for over a month and then finally in may came home with palliative care. a week after she was home the Lord said her battle here was finished and she passed away peacefully at home.

i do miss her but at the same time i'm thankful that she is no longer struggling with her bad health.

since i was a partial caretaker for her this past spring was such a busy time for me with her and is actually a bit of a blur. and even after her passing i have been helping my mom go through and take care of all of her belongings. we are finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

so i will be back, just not sure when. hopefully in a month or two.

today i'll leave you with this photo of my nanny and i circa 1990-ish...

- jess


cards for difficult times

hello all! today i have a couple of cards to share with you. please note though that this isn't my best photography. i actually photographed these in december and was trying a new little setup. only i didn't process the images to tonight and they were almost all blurry or the focus off :-( i'll try to do better next time!

these are some technique driven cards. i had bought the moroccan stencil from simon says stamp and used it with the tim holtz distress inks and mini blending tool. i've made several cards recently with this technique and colors and i can't seem to get enough of it. those inks just blend together so beautifully and effortlessly plus that stencil is just gorgeous.

to finish up the cards i just added a few diecuts i had and added a bit of stamping.

- jess