Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Redesigned My "The Book Review Corner" Blog and I LOVE IT!

Well, I've gone and updated my "The Book Review Corner" blog once again.  If you're wondering what I did and why - let me explain.

I changed it from a four column blog to a 2-3 column blog with multiple sections.

Now, why did I do it?  Well, for a couple of reasons.

The first has to do with my basic desire - to play.  That is - I love to experiment and change things.  And, when it comes to trying new things on the web - well, I just LOVE to play.

This time I was playing with's new templates.  And, I found one I just loved so I decided I would try it out on  "The Book Review Corner" blog.

Now I know that I changed "The Book Review Corner's" blog template not that long ago.  I changed it from a two column blog to a 4 column blog.  But, in looking at it over the last few months I thought 4 columns was just too busy.  Too much to look at all at once with your eyes having to move all over the screen.

So, I thought a more simplified blog template was in order and, to my pleasant surprise, rolled out their new template designs around the same time.   So, of course, I had to try them out and tinker with them.

The template I altered to fit my blogs' needs looks like a two column template initially, but it has multiple sections to the sidebar and multiple sections to the footnotes.  So, I can have a sidebar that has three gadgets sections to it that I can add things to.  And, one of those gadget sections is a two-column gadget sidebar all by itself.

Plus, the footnotes are is similar to the sidebar in that it also has multiple gadgets sections and one of those is also a two-column gadget section.

There are also gadget sections for tabs at the top, gadgets under the header, and gadgets following the post.

All in all, it is very versatile and I love it.

I hope you like my new design.  Hopefully, I won't be changing it for awhile.

Unless, of course, something new comes along and I just have to play!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Forgot I Had These!

I'm not exactly sure why I was rummaging through all the bags of craft projects waiting to be finished in my basement the other day. But, I was.

I had gone down there looking for some of the primitive doll kits I had put together.  So, instead of just looking through the bags with the primitive dolls - I, of course, started looking through all the bags.  And, there are lots of them.  Winter dolls - waiting to be completed.  Summer dolls - waiting to be completed.  Halloween dolls - waiting to be created, etc. 

Now you might be wondering what I'm talking about with all the bags.  I have tons of doll patterns with their respective pattern pieces already cut-out and stored as a kit - waiting to be sewn.

You see, I'm very organized and  I never do anything in moderation.  When I'm designing doll patterns I design many of them.  When I'm cutting out fabric for patterns I want to make, I cut many of them.  When I'm sewing dolls, I sew all of the ones I've cut out.  This approach saves me a lot of time but, this approach leaves me with many, many patterns saved as kits - waiting to be finished.

Do I have a lot of kits in bags downstairs - well, YES!  Too many actually - which is a little foolish as I don't know when I'll get the time to finish them all. 

Well, while rummaging through the bags, to my amazement I found several books that I had forgotten I had. When exactly I bought them, I don't remember. It must have been on one of my book shopping trips.

In any event, they're now amongst all the craft books slotted to be reviewed.

Here's the books I forgot I had:

Its All About Cards And Tags (Leisure Arts #3623)
Fresh Felt Flowers: 17 Stunning Flowers to Sew & Display [With Patterns]
Do-It-Yourself Framed Quilts: Fast, Fun & Easy Projects
Hats In Miniature
Little Traditional Quilts

Of course, after looking at some of the books I thought - some of the projects shown would really be fun to make. Now, if I could just find the time. Oh, well - I'll add these nooks to my pile of "Books To Be Reviewed!"

When exactly I'll get these reviewed - well, that is the great unknown. But, I hope to do so soon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just How Many Cross-Stitch Kits Did You Buy!

You might have noticed in my previous post entitled "Cross-Stitch Kits I Bought This Spring" that I bought quite a few kits. What I didn't tell you in that post was I actually bought many, many more than that.

I can imagine what you're thinking (she's nuts!) but, I didn't buy them just because I'm obsessed with cross-stitch - I actually had a purpose in mind. The problem was I couldn't decide which cross-stitch kit I wanted for this particular purpose and then when I was looking at all the kits I found others that I just had to have.

So, I ended up buying nine other kits. Five were for the purpose I had in mind and four were because I just had to make them. Actually for the latter it's probably more because they were either Victorian, houses, or just plain cute.

By now you must be wondering what purpose I had in mind that would cause me to buy so many other cross-stitch kits. Well, I was trying to find a large Victorian cross-stitch picture that I could make to replace a large picture hubby and I had hanging in our bedroom. The large picture that is hanging there is a pressed flower collage I had created years ago.

As with everything I seem to do there is a story behind the collage. I have been in love with flowers and cut flowers since I was a little girl. My favorite flowers to plant and cut to make a floral arrangement were and still are dahlia's. The bigger the better. So, when it came time for me to decide what to plant in my perennial gardens I wanted to plant all sorts of flowers including dahlia's.

I've always been amazed by the sheer beauty of flowers and wanted to find a way to keep them forever. I decided I should try my hand at pressing them and then creating floral collages out of them. So, over a decade ago I decided to dry some of the beautiful flowers I had in my perennial gardens and embarked on pressing hundreds of them over the course of one summer.

To press them I used old telephone books, paper towels, and bricks. First I laid paper towel on the back pages of a phone book and then laid the flowers on top of the paper towel until the page was filled. Then I laid another paper towel on top of the flowers and then flipped several of the phone book pages on top of that.

Then I laid another paper towel on the new section, more flowers, another piece of paper towel, and flipped more pages of the phone book on that until I had completely filled the phone book up. Then I laid a brick on the front cover of the phone book and set it aside for the pressed flowers to dry.

When they were completely dry I arranged them into a dried floral collage which I glued to a large piece of press board. Then I matted it and framed it and hung it in my bedroom.

Well, several decades later some of the pressed flowers have browned and the color has faded from most of the flowers. Hubby thought it was time to change it and suggested that perhaps I might find a cross-stitch picture that would fit the bill.

So, I immediately thought of some of the beautiful Victorian scenes I had seen from time to time in several cross-stitch kits. Of course, my problem was I loved all of them and couldn't choose. Plus, I wasn't quite sure exactly which ones would be big enough for the picture. So, I bought all the ones I liked and thought might do the trick.

Here's what I bought for the Victorian picture I had in mind: