Sunday, February 27, 2011

Easy Peanut Blossoms


Easy Peanut Blossoms
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

My DH's favorite cookies - I made these for him for valentine's day. We were at the grocery store together the day before, and I went off to find the chocolate kisses. He found me there a little later, debating between dark chocolate and milk chocolate (I bought the milk chocolate because that's what he prefers). He told me he'd thought he'd figured out why I'd wanted to stop at the store. So then he asked me whether I'd rather have chocolate or flowers, and I told him that while I love flowers, I think they're overpriced at valentine's day and I'd rather have chocolate - he could give me flowers some other time! LOL!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Coventry by Helen Humphreys

Harriet Marsh is standing on top of Coventry Cathedral, filling in for a neighbor in the nightly fire watch on November 14, 1940, when the town is attacked by German planes.  During the chaos that follows the bombing, Harriet befriends Jeremy, a young man who reminds Harriet of her late husband, Owen, who was killed in World War I.  Jeremy turns out to be the son of Maeve, a woman Harriet met on the day Owen left for the war in 1914.  It is a short novel (177 pages), and while it portrays the terrible night that Coventry was destroyed, the character development was a bit weak.  It was good, but not great.  I rate it 3 out of 5.  It was my 3rd book for the New Author Challenge and my 4th for the Off the Shelf Challenge.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge - Opposites


Opposites 1
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

I painted these fish on a card for my son and daughter-in-law. It was for lesson 2 in Laure Ferlita's Valentine Card class (the card can be seen here). It also fit the Sketchbook Challenge February theme of Opposites, so I scanned the card and glued the fish into my journal.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

This was my book club's current month's selection.  I've also had the book on my shelf awhile, waiting to be read.  I really enjoyed it, and I think it will generate good discussion at our meeting.

During an unusual blizzard in Lexington Kentucky in 1964, Norah Henry goes into labor a bit early.  Her husband David, an orthopedic doctor, drives her to the clinic he shares with an obstetrician, who has unfortunately driven his car off the road and doesn't make it to the clinic.  This leaves David to attend his wife with the help of his nurse, Caroline Gill.  He delivers a healthy baby boy, and is then surprised to deliver a second baby, a girl with Down's Syndrome.  He asks Caroline to take the baby girl to an institution (a common practice in 1964).  Caroline agrees, but when she sees the institution, she can't leave the baby there; instead she takes the baby, leaves town, and raises her as her own child.  Meanwhile, when Norah wakes up from anesthesia (another common practice of the time), David tells her that she had a second baby who died at birth.  He believes he will spare Norah grief and heartache, but this lie haunts him the rest of his life and creates a wall between him and his family.  It was well written and I rate it 4 out of 5.  It was my second book for the New Author Challenge 2011 and my third book for the Off the Shelf Reading Challenge 2011.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentines Cards - Lesson 3 - Fishy Love


Fishy Love
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

Valentine's card for my son and daughter-in-law. Third assignment (two of a kind) for Laure Ferlita's Valentines Cards eClass. I also scanned it and put it into my journal for the Sketchbook Challenge February theme of opposites.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Cards - Lesson 2 - Essence of a Rose


Rose Card
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

Valentine's card for a friend. Second assignment (essence of a rose) for Laure Ferlita's Valentines Cards eClass.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More Classes

I was NOT going to sign up for any new online classes for awhile - at least a week or two.  So what did I do instead?  I signed up for TWO new classes.  I must be crazy!  But it's always fun.

One class is 21 Days in February . . . Explore Your Creativity with Watercolor Journaling.  It is a series of daily journal prompts taught by Donna Mulholland, and the class overview can be seen here.  I signed up late, but I'm trying to get caught up.  I'll try to get these posted here on my blog eventually, but for now they can be seen on flickr here.

The other class is Be Still My Heart, which is on painting expressive hearts with watercolor and words.  It is taught by Gina Rossi Armfield, and you can read more about it here.
Hearts Card Peek
I hope you can see why I couldn't resist this class!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Cards - Lesson 1 - Sweet on You


Chocolate Chips
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

Valentine's card for my husband. First assignment (sweet on you) for Laure Ferlita's Valentines Cards eClass.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Progress on 3 Coneflowers


Progress on 3 Coneflowers
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

I've made progress on my 3 Coneflowers quilt. I've gotten all of the pieces stitched down and borders added. Now I just need to quilt and bind it!

March by Geraldine Brooks

This is the story of Mr. March, the father in Little Women, who was a chaplain for the North during the Civil War.  He was a very idealistic man, and went to war to support his anti-slavery convictions.  Once he got to war, he became disillusioned, not about the cause, but about how blurred the lines were between right and wrong, good and evil.  I enjoyed this book much more than Little Women, in large part because the characters felt more real to me (ie, not perfect but flawed, with real feelings and emotions).  Most of the book is narrated by March, but part of it is narrated by Marmee, March's wife and the mother of their four "little women."  March had a very small part to play in Little Women, so most of the story is completely new.  But the parts that overlap Little Women remained true to the original.  Now I'm glad I read Little Women first, as I knew the characters, even if I didn't enjoy it that much.  I rate this book 4 out of 5.  It is the second book for two of my reading challenges this year:  US Civil War Reading Challenge and Off the Shelf Reading Challenge.  And it is the first book for another of my reading challenges:  I Want More Reading Challenge.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I've said here several times that I haven't read very many classics.  I actually read Little Women many MANY years ago, but I didn't remember it at all.  Because I wanted to read March by Geraldine Brooks, which is the story of the father in Little Women (by a contemporary author), I thought it would be a good idea to reread Little Women.

It is the story of the March women:  mother (Marmee) and 4 daughters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) while father is a chaplain for the North during the Civil War.  I really struggled to get through it.  It was too syrupy sweet for my taste, with way too much moralizing to be enjoyable.   If I had remembered it, I certainly would not have read it again.  I rate it 2 out of 5.  It was the first book for two of my reading challenges this year:  US Civil War Reading Challenge and Off the Shelf Reading Challenge.