Sunday, January 27, 2013

Candle for a Corpse book review

My first every official book review:
(Please not this review is un-paid, I receive no compensation in any way for reading and reviewing this book, except the pleasure of a free book to read)
I am a member of "The Romance Reviews" website and the original review can be found here:
Author: Marilyn Leach
Publisher: Pelican Ventures
Release Date: December 2012
ISBN: 9781611162646
Four Stars from me....
Book Genre: Romantic Suspense/Mystery

An Advent gathering that ends in murder, a vicar's wife with a nose for investigating and a small English village full of colourful characters that all seem to have something to hide. 

Along with an incompetent police constable and a reluctant husband, Berdie Elliott investigates the mystery, uncovering town secrets along the way very discreetly over tea and scones. Her best friend/sidekick Lillie accompanies her and has the good fortune to meet a handsome caring doctor who then jumps into the fray and assists them in their pursuit of the murderer.

An Indian grocer who happens to be in the right place at the right time, the electrician apprentice who tries to leave town, the strange visiting clergyman with a short fuse and the poor confused neighbour are just a few of the interesting people you will meet.

With a whole cast of wonderful characters that feel like you could meet them should you walk into any small country village in England, CANDLE FOR A CORPSE is a great romp through the countryside.

This was a very enjoyable read, the characters felt very real without all the excess waffle and fancy conversation that seems to appear so much these days in books. Berdie and her husband are lovely caring characters and their relationship is a good old fashioned marriage with all the right values of caring for each other and the people around them. The story rolls along nicely, meeting new characters and discovering new elements smoothly.

Overall I found it a great read. The story flowed well and was a very enjoyable old fashioned murder/mystery without the sex and gore that can sometimes occur in today's fiction. I hope there is another mystery for Berdie Elliot to solve soon for me to read about.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Washi Dress pattern review.

I have not done a review of a sewing pattern before but this dress has got me so excited that I had to do a review.
Just so you know I am in no way affiliated with this designer or getting any profits from this review, it's merely my joy in a great pattern.

Washi Dress - Made by Rae

Washi Sewing Pattern

There is also a long sleeve tutorial which is free:  Free Long Sleeve tutorial for Washi dress.

This pattern comes in both Paper and PDF format and is multi-sized.

I purchased the PDF so that I could get it right away. It was easy to print the pattern pieces and they are very well marked for sticking together and cutting out.
These days I tend to not cut out a particular size, I use a wheely marker thing (yes very technical I know) and some tracing paper to mark my fabric by rolling along the appropriate size lines and marks, then I cut out the fabric.

There are only a few pieces to the pattern.
The back of the dress is 1 complete piece and shirring across the middle back adds a lovely fit to the body without needing to add zipper.
The front, comes as a bodice and skirt that need to be attached after the skirt has small tucks folded.
The bodice has side darts which are very flattering and you can choose to do a keyhole in the front or leave it straight.
The dress has pocket option, with length options of tunic or knee length and again on her blog there are free tutorials for maxi length.
There are so many great options to this dress. The pockets can be sewn in separately if your fabric is not wide enough to cut them in one piece with the skirt.
Short capped sleeves are included in the purchase but as I said above there is a free pattern and tutorial for adding lovely sleeves (this is the option I put together).

I made my dress using 100% quilting weight cotton by Riley Blake, part of the Alphabet Soup range.

I have to say I was worried, it can be very hard to find a tunic style dress that does not make my tummy look pudgy (or even pregnant) and the pockets had me worried that I would look wide around the hips.

However, upon finishing and putting it on I was so very pleasantly surprised and so very happy that I made this dress.

The tucks at the front skirt are small and not over done and do not add weight to my tummy. The pockets sit beautifully and you would not even know they are there.  The shirring across the back brings the dress around the body in a very flattering way and eliminates the need for a zipper so it can pull on and off with ease.
I used the 3/4 sleeve option as I try to stay covered up even in summer and often am self-consious of my upper arms. The sleeves have a slight gather at the shoulder and are flattering.

Overall as you can probably tell, I am in love with this pattern and the many options open to it.
I will be sewing up another one very soon and I am going to mix up the fabric and maybe even add some lace or trim.
I am going to try it in a slightly heavier weight fabric for winter too and wear it over some long sleeves.  For this option I will probably make it one size bigger too for layering purposes.
Here is a pic of me, see what you think.....

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year, Sewing, Reading and other things.

Hello, hello to anyone out there who still bothers to read my blog.

I am not one to make New Years Resolutions, I am usually very happy with life and what I have been dealt and where life is for me right now.

However, this year I would like to make a couple of resolutions and place them here for anyone to see.

  1. Blogging at least once per month. Simple really, let's see how I go, more than once is all good but at least once is my goal.
  2. Reviewing on my blog. I have found some wonderful sewing patterns and other things that I would like to share with anyone who cares to read about them.  I will blog here and share with you what I find.
  3. Books, books and more books.  I have 2 challenges concerning books this year.  I have taken on the job of reviewing some books that are not yet published.  Now these will be a wide variety of books but mostly based around the romance genre.  I am not getting paid for these reviews it is merely for the love of reading for myself that I am doing this.  
  4. I have also joined a challenge being conducted by a blogging friend of mine to read 13 books in 2013.  Now this will not be a great challenge for me as anyone that knows me will know that I always have a book on hand and sometimes 2 or 3 on the go at onces.  So I have taken on the extra challenge of reading 13 different genres for my 13 books.  I have created a tab at the top of the page where I will be adding all the books and a short review for this challenge.
  5. Last but not least just to enjoy life.  I have a wonderful and I mean amazingly wonderful husband and 2 fabulous children (they are challenging but still wonderful) and we are super happy on our farm but occasionally I get a case of the "Woe is Me's" so this year I will have another page at the top of the blog called 'WONDERFUL', here I am going to make a list of all the wonderful, fun things that happen this year to share with you all but also to have them to read at the end of the year.
So there it is, I am wishing you all a wonderful 2013, may your hopes and dreams be fulfilled.