Thursday, August 28, 2014

In the Kingdom of Men


I took a break from ancient history and just went back in time a few decades~


Summary (from Goodreads): 1967. Gin Mitchell knows a better life awaits her when she marries hometown hero Mason McPhee. Raised in a two-room shack by her Oklahoma grandfather, a strict Methodist minister, Gin never believed that someone like Mason, a handsome college boy, the pride of Shawnee, would look her way. And nothing can prepare her for the world she and Mason step into when he takes a job with the Arabian American Oil company in Saudi Arabia. 

In the gated compound of Abqaiq, Gin and Mason are given a home with marble floors, a houseboy to cook their meals, and a gardener to tend the sandy patch out back. Even among the veiled women and strict laws of shariah, Gin’s life has become the stuff of fairy tales. She buys her first swimsuit, she pierces her ears, and Mason gives her a glittering diamond ring. But when a young Bedouin woman is found dead, washed up on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Gin’s world closes in around her, and the one person she trusts is nowhere to be found. 

Set against the gorgeously etched landscape of a country on the cusp of enormous change, In the Kingdom of Men abounds with sandstorms and locust swarms, shrimp peddlers, pearl divers, and Bedouin caravans—a luminous portrait of life in the desert. Award-winning author Kim Barnes weaves a mesmerizing, richly imagined tale of Americans out of their depth in Saudi Arabia, a marriage in peril, and one woman’s quest for the truth, no matter what it might cost her.

Bedouin Man
(Source)
Review: So here's the thing, I liked this book but I was really not crazy about the ending.  Like a lot of other Goodreaders I've been left feeling a little confused about how I feel about it all.

I enjoyed the (audio) book, and really started to get into once Gin and her husband moved to Saudi Arabia. It was interesting to read about these strangers in a strange land who came from nothing and suddenly have almost anything their heart desires, or so it seems. You know the whole way through it all that it's leading up to a spectacular event, because it's revealed right in the first page. But when we finally get there I felt like it all started moving way too fast.

All of sudden, out of nowhere I was at the epilogue, and quite a depressing one at that. I think I'm glad I read this book but I really wish more attention would've been paid to the last few chapters instead of spending so much time setting us up for the major event.

I think I'm also a little upset with the main character. She has all the makings of an incredible life, one that even she never could've imagined, and she just seems to throw it all away. I guess the one good thing about this book is the lesson learned, don't let life pass you by. Take every chance you get at adventure and live it~

Bedouin Woman
(source)
Have you read this book yet?  What did you think?  Did it end too quickly for you?  Leave a comment below~

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Butterfly Cupcake Toppers

This is the last of the cupcake toppers for awhile (there are only so many cupcakes I can eat!).  But these ones turned out so gorgeous I just had to share them with you.


I used my Silhouette to make the backgrounds, then I inked the edges glued them together with the sticks, and added the beautiful butterflies (which I cut out by hand!)


They're only attached along the bodies so that the wings can be folded out to add some dimension.


I made similar ones HERE last year, but I think these ones really take it to the next level.  I can't wait to have a special tea party so I can put these to use.

If you don't eat cupcakes, you can still use toppers.  Try them on muffins or as sandwich sticks.  Can you think of any other uses?  Leave a comment below~

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sewloft

I know how much you guys like finding new places to try out FREE sewing patterns so I thought I'd better tell you all about Sew Loft!

Sew Loft
They don't have a huge stock but what they do have is modern and versatile.


They have patterns you can purchase individually or you can buy a subscription and get whatever you need for $15/month.

They also have 4 FREE patterns that I really like:

I can't wait to try this cute summery camisole.

Cami Pattern


Fall has definitely set in around here, so these leggings will come in very handy.

Leggings Pattern

You can check out the other free patterns HERE.


Their blog is great too!  They have free sew alongs, tips and tricks, and how to's that are perfect for beginner sewers.

Hop on over and see what you find!

*This is not a sponsored post and contains no affiliate links.  I just love free sewing patterns and want to spread the word~

Monday, August 25, 2014

Movie Monday: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Sorry, Movie Monday is up a little late today, but I opened up my email last night to find this....


So, today I had to do this....


And then my niece did this...


Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge and donated yet?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beautiful Boho Earrings

I've been in a very hippie boho chic state of mind lately, so I made some jewellery to go with my current vibe.

Boho, Bohemian, Festival style, DIY earrings


I haven't worn large gold hoops for awhile so I decided to wrap them up and make them pretty!  Here's what you need to make your own:


Materials:
-hoops earrings (or a bangle-shown at the end of the post)
-light gauge wire
-wire cutters, scissors
-embroidery thread
-beads
-optional: flat head pliers

Steps:
1) Depending on the size of your earrings, cut a piece of embroidery thread 1.5 - 2 metres long.  You'll be using all six threads as one so try not to separate them.  Simply tie a regular double knot at one end of your thread onto the end of your earring.


2) You'll be doing what's known as a half hitch spiral knot.  But don't think about the technical stuff, because this is one of the easiest knots ever.

Source

Your 'holding cord' is your earring.


Pull tightly as you complete each knot.  You'll notice after just a few stitches that you're creating a pretty spiral effect.


3) Just keep knotting over and over again until you go all the way around your entire earring and you're at the other side.  Now just tie another regular knot.  If you have some jewellery glue on hand you can add a dot, but it should be fine without.


4) Now cut a piece of light gauge wire (I have no clue what gauge I used as I was just stash busting and nothing has any labels.  Just make sure it's easily pliable and can wrap easily.) about 1 metre long.  About 3/4 of the way down from the front or back end of your earring, wrap your wire catching the end inside.

Cris cross a couple of times to keep everything in place.
5) Wrap the wire in wide sections, about every third time around add a bead onto your wire and try to get it to sit on the outside of your earring.


6) Stop wrapping the wire about the 3/4 mark on the other side of the earring.  Just wrap and cris cross to end it.  If you have some flat head jewellery pliers you can give it a little squeeze to keep it all in place.


I loved how these turned out so much that I used the same techniques to make a bangle too!


This is an awesome stashbuster if you're like me and you have loads of beads and old jewellery just taking up space.  I really want to try it using some variegated thread, but then I'd have to buy some, and that would sort of defeat the entire purpose of a stashbuster.

Do you have some supplies you need to use up?  What sort of stashbusters do you like to make?  Leave a comment below~

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