Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Quilt for a Wedding

I honestly thought I would not make this deadline, but somehow I did; and I just finished making this quilt. The quilt is a wedding gift, and amazingly, I cut the fabric, sewed the squares, and stitched-in-the-ditch by hand in a matter of two weeks.

There was a slight break in the action because of Comic-Con. The basted version came to San Diego with me, but I was too exhausted every night and just could not work on the quilting. As a result, my fingers are a bit numb and slightly callused after some mad sewing over the past two days!

As you can tell, the bride and groom are Eagles fans and like beer and music. Picking out the fabric was a little difficult, since I was trying to steer away from anything to feminine. Then there was the beer fabric. It was difficult finding something, but I searched online and found The Craft Connection. They are a great online source for fabric, and they have reasonable shipping prices!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my.

That was intense.

And now I have to wait for what seems like forever for Forever.

I don't even know what to say right now. Except that the intensity I felt when I read Shiver is completely different from the intensity I felt while I read Linger. This was definitely a darker, more roiling story than Shiver; and my brain is just humming, no thoughts, just buzzing.

I was able to meet the author, Maggie Stiefvater, yesterday during her book event at Barnes and Noble, and she said "I hope you cry." Well, Maggie, cry I did.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Linger at a Bookstore Near You

Holy cannoli, what a day! Usually my brain is in a constant state of thought. The mental hamster runs and runs while thoughts mill around in my head. But today is not a usual day, and right now my brain is spewing a steady stream of "!!!!!!!"

Giddy is what I am. Giddy, because this morning, I drove back from Orange County to get back to the Bay in time for an appearance at Barnes and Noble by Maggie Stiefvater. Her newest book, Linger, was released earlier this month, so she's on tour. The drive took me six hours and 45 minutes, and I arrived 30 minutes late; but I was able to hear some of the question-answer session, listen to her read a chapter from Linger, and get my book signed.

I actually wasn't sure what to expect with this event, and I was pleasantly surprised. Maggie is a great storyteller, and very funny. She is also friendly, and took the time to talk to each one of us who stood in line for her autograph; she even asked us questions! She thought I looked familiar, and asked if I have ever attended a convention. Unfortunately, this is when I had an attack of nerves, and I think I accidentally cut her off. At least we got to talk about which book of hers is my favorite (Ballad), and she took a picture with me.

This was a wonderful experience, and a great way to end my Comic-Con trip. If Maggie happens to be touring in a town near you, and you enjoy her books, make the trip to see her! She truly has an endearing personality, and I laughed at her stories. The crowd is also more than manageable, and actually quite intimate in size. Perhaps due to the size of the group, Maggie was willing to sign more than one copy of her books per person. The greedy part of me wishes I thought to bring Shiver with me, but really, having Linger signed is enough.

Thank you Maggie!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

30th Birthday Blanket

This blanket has been a few years in the making. I have been meaning to make Mr. U. a blanket for a few years, but never got around to it, and since he turned 30 this year, I made it a priority. As you might guess, he likes sports, so it has football, baseball and golf on it. There's also some dart-beer-themed fabric.

I hand-tacked with embroidery stitches. The main body of the fabric is stitched with a fly stitch.

The border is stitched with a knot-stitch, but I forgot what it's called; and I can't refer to my book as I am writing this from Comic-Con.

Here's a full picture of the quilt, and you can even see our freshly stained deck. Next time I'll take this picture earlier in the day when the deck's not shaded.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Anrui (Tears in the Darkness)

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its AftermathTears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath by Michael Norman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Michael Norman and Elizabeth Norman wrote an incredible book when they wrote Tears in the Darkness: the Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath. The surrender of more than 76,000 American and Filipino troops on the Bataan peninsula is not a part of World War II that I learned much about in history classes, and I am so thankful that I stumbled upon this book at the library.

Captivating and well-written, this book also dredged up academic memories from college experience at Whittier College. Initially, I found some of the facts so horrific and disgusting they were nearly unbelievable. And then, I found myself intensely disappointed with a four-star general; so disappointed that I started to think about the classes I took on history and theory. This general is so celebrated, and when I read what he did, I wondered why this bit of his military career is kept so quiet.

Then I remembered how history is an account influenced by a historians experiences, the questions they ask and the answers they seek (something I learned at Whittier). Even now, after I finished the book, I wonder what made the authors chose to tell this particular story in this way. Tears in the Darkness is told from the American point of view, I found that the Normans also give you a flip-side perspective, so you cannot help but question our own country's actions.

It was a humbling and emotional experience to read this book. I cannot even begin to understand how American and Filipino prisoners of war endured, nor can I wrap my mind around the inhumanity we humans inflict upon one another. Then there was anger, shame, and pride. Anger and shame for both the Japanese and the Americans. Pride in how these POWs withstood the degradation, helped one another and most of all, survived.

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I love summer. There's just something about June through August that makes me happy. Well, besides, the warm weather, the sun, and the longs days, there's just something about summer. Right now, I'm just missing living by the beach. Then I would be in a state of bliss.

Yay! Welcome summer. Stay for awhile, okay?