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Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Gift Guide’

Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein {Book Review}

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Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein is a must have for needle knitters of any skill level. If you enjoy learning new techniques and creating your own original designs from them, you’ll adore this book. It’s really an extremely well laid out block stitch dictionary that gives you the freedom to mix and match to your hearts desire. I believe one could grow in their knitting needle skills by whipping up one block at a time and in turn the end results could be a beautifully unique afghan of all those blocks!

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This book features 150 block patterns that can be used to create a plethora of projects. Aside from the instructions for the numerous blocks there are also over ten patterns which include a bag, scarves, pullover, vest, afghan, shrug, sweater, a few toys, a tote bag, and several hats. There are many pages worth of different types of edgings and joining techniques which are essential in completing all sorts of projects.

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The Chapters in this book are as follows;

Chapter 1. Basic Building Blocks
Chapter 2. Ornate Appliqué, Embroidery, and Cords
Chapter 3. Creative Colorwork
Chapter 4. Special Techniques
Chapter 5. Cables and Counterpanes
Chapter 6. Eclectic Styles

Fullscreen capture 1222014 121527 PMDo note aside from the chapters that are several other areas in this book that explains to readers the important of gauge, how to mix-and match blocks, abbreviations to know, handy techniques, & resources. I feel that the book is laid out quite well. In each of the chapters, the first few pages are filled with full color photos as well as the name of each block to be knit in that section. The block instructions and charts are easy to understand and follow.
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If you are not a fan of seaming knitted projects this book may not appeal to you. Though I would say that it opens the door for many interesting pieces. In the back of the book there’s copy the pages, cut out the blocks, and try them out on the assembly diagrams in the instructions. It makes for some fun combinations! I really like all the texture and raised designs quite a bit. It’s shown me you can make truly amazing looking things when knitting! I’m looking forward to growing my skills starting with the more simple textures and moving up to dabbling in cables, exploring color work, and much more! I would highly recommend this book for any knitters collection!


About the Author: Beloved knitwear designer NICKY EPSTEIN is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting on the Edge, and Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch. Her designs have also been featured in Vogue Knitting magazine and many other knitting publications, on television, and at art exhibitions. She currently resides in New York City and travels extensively, teaching and lecturing.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience of the title.

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Giveaway & Review: Buck Denver asks…What’s in the Bible Volume 10: Jesus is The Good News!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

whatbible10Let VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer and a bunch of hilarious new friends explain the entire Bible to your kids in this groundbreaking fast-paced and fun-filled DVD series. Includes TWO 25 minute episodes: God’s Perfect Timing – Buck Denver and crew learn about the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments and how Jesus arrives at just the perfect time & The Messiah Has Come! – Learn about the life and ministry of Jesus-how He died for us and rose again to launch the kingdom of God in the world and in us!

Our Thoughts…

Buck Denver asks…Volume 10: Jesus Is the Good News! is an excellent DVD to share with children, especially during the Holiday season. I say this because in celebrating Christmas as believers we are celebrating Christ, God’s gift to us. I feel it’s very important for children to see Him as more than just a babe in a manager. This collection teaches all about Jesus and what’s He’s done for us.

On this collection the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke & John are explained and discussed. These books show us that Jesus’ arrival was perfect in timing! We also learn very much about God through Jesus’ life & ministry while here on the Earth from the promise of a Saviour to His ultimate sacrifice for us!

Phil Vischer ( creator of the VeggieTales) has done an excellent job is explaining all of this in ways children can understand easily. There’s puppets, flash animations, catchy songs, but aside from all that, the DVD explains much in a serious manner and encourages children if they have questions about any of the topics like salvation to talk to a parent, church leader, etc. I think it’s good that was suggested instead of praying a prayer right there and then not knowing what they should do next in their walk with Christ.

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Things that were covered included: How the Power of Sin & Death Were Broken, That we all became sons & daughters of Christ, Jesus showed His Authority on Earth, That in the future there will be no evil and a New Kingdom of God is awaiting us, and much more. I would suggest watching one out of the two twenty-five minute episodes at a time and then discussing it before moving on. I appreciate there was a family discussion guide included with the DVD with great questions to direct conversations.

In addition to the DVD, there some fabulous extras found on the What’s in the Bible website to use and incorporate with watching the DVD. There’s coloring sheets, family discussion guide to back up what was learned and covered on the DVD, and more to print out absolutely free!

My children are quite fans of the series and we will continue to watch and discuss it! My daughter is 6 and she’s been asking more and more questions about God. I’m glad I’ve got this series to turn too for help in explaining and answering her! think this DVD is best suited for children age 5-10 years old and it’s really great for the whole family to enjoy together during this time of the year.We’ve been fan of this series for several years now and recommend this title as well as the others available highly.

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Official Website: Click here! | Volume #10 Activities (Coloring Sheets, etc)
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Celebrating God’s Greatest Gift: Christmas Reads for Children from Zonderkidz!

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It’s December and during this time of the month, I like pulling out all of our favorite Christmas & Holiday titles to read with my family. This year I’m excited to have three new additions added to our collection from Zonderkidz. Why not check them out and see if you might want to share these with your family too!

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The Legend of St. Nicholas
The true story behind the legend of Santa Claus
Ages 4-8

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.

Our Thoughts…

This is a wonderful book that explains and illustrates the Legend of Santa Claus well! My daughter recognized the art by Richard Cowdrey from recently having read The Legend of the Candy Cane and having enjoyed that tale, was eager to read this one too!

We meet a young boy and his father out doing some last minute Christmas shopping. The young boy was not entirely eager to get shopping done for his siblings. He was busy pondering the idea of getting himself  something with whatever money he had left over. He however comes across a mall Santa telling other kids the legend of St. Nicholas and rethinks his choice.

The story kept my whole family captivated from start to finish. The message that it’s better to give than receive is very present and also that of the greatest gift we could ever receive, Christ Jesus.

The Bible verse James 1:17 is included at the ending of the book which reads, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.

I would certainly recommend this title and plan on pulling it out to re-read every Christmas season!


firstchristmasThe First Christmas Ever
Retelling of the Christmas Story
Ages 6-10

A simple retelling of the Christmas story, from the angel’s visit to Mary to the shepherds’ joyful praise of the new born Baby, this small format paperback, The First Christmas Ever is sure to be popular with young readers. Using the vibrant and popular artwork of Dennis Jones, families can share this timeless story of God’s love each holiday season.

Our Thoughts…

This retelling of the very first Christmas is done well. The illustrations are very kid-appealing! The colors aren’t dull but not overly vibrant either. I found the imagery to be rich and satisfying! There are full pages of illustrations, 4 panels on one page, and other variations.  All done quite well and kept the story moving along.

I appreciate the accurateness of the story. For example, it’s accurate as in the sense that the wise men didn’t show up to visit Jesus as soon as he was born. Often we see the shepherds along with the Wise men all at the stable together.  It was nice to see this done right!

This book is great for reading to children or having a child read it on their own. My six year old daughter read this book with ease all by herself. I will be pulling this one out to read during Christmas this month as well as for years to come for my children!


xmasstoryThe Christmas Story for Children
by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee and Karen Davis Hill
Ages 5 and up

Follow the events of Jesus’ birth as you read this lovely picture book written by Max Lucado with Randy Frazee and Karen Hill and illustrated by Fausto. The Christmas Story for Children tells readers about the birth of a special baby whose story is filled with love for us all. Young readers as well as their parents will appreciate the beautiful words and artwork that convey the message that we are loved and cherished.

Our Thoughts…

This book doesn’t just follow the event of the birth of Jesus but goes well beyond that. I frankly was quite surprised but over all delighted. The story begins with introducing us to the people of God, the Jews whom had been awaiting a Savior. It ends shortly after Jesus gets baptized and begins his ministry.

The illustrations are very attractive and the story written quite elegantly. The book paraphrases Biblical text . I feel the three people involved in creating this book did an excellent job.

The age recommendation for this story is ages five and up. I would possibly recommend it for children a little older than that. There’s quite a bit of text, and I question attention spans. Though you could break up reading this book into parts over several days.

I like that we see Christ’s birth, baptism, and beginning of His ministry. This displays who Christ was and is to us. It gives children more than the journey of Mary & Jospeh and baby Jesus being born. I feel this makes it an excellent  choice for reading during the Advent season.


Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of Zonderkidz Christmas books  for this posting. I was not financially compensated for this post.

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Felting by Elvira López Del Prado Rivas {Book Review}

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Felting by Elvira López Del Prado Rivas is an exciting book that teaches everything one would want to know about the craft. I with very little knowledge about felting before feel much more educated! I have not only been educated but inspired greatly to make my own interesting, creative, and unique things out of felt! Who knew such an age old technique from around 3500 B.C could be so be so exciting to learn about as well as take part in!

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The book is put together very well being thoroughly detailed in the imagery of over 550-step-by-step photographs as well as in instructions and explanations. There are a total of five chapters which are: 1. Felt, 2. Material & Tools, 3. Processes, 4. Techniques, 5. Projects. Each of the chapters have several categories. At the end of the book there’s an Artist Gallery by International felt artist which features all sorts of interesting, inspiring, exciting, and amazing creations.

9780764345319cThe twenty-eight original projects presented use both industrial felt and felted wool. You can learn whether using wet or dry felt to make flowers, balls, hats, purses, slippers, refrigerator magnets, dolls, finger puppets, jewelry, and more! There are so many projects I adore!

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I took the opportunity to introduce my 3 and 6 year old to felt starting out with the felt sheets commonly found in craft stores and a few of the patterns in this book. These specific projects for younger kids include mostly cutting & gluing. Though note there are many more projects that have you creating felt yourself from wool!

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As a knitter, I am quiet drawn to the patterns in this book that feature blocking and a few other techniques I’ve been eager to try but just hadn’t done so yet. This book is taking me out of my comfort zone and for that I am glad! It has taken my love for fiber crafting to yet another level! I highly recommend picking up a copy for home, school, or crafting group use!

Interested in Purchasing?  Felting by Elvira Lopez Del Prado Rivas can be purchased on Amazon.com right now for $24.00! This book can also be bought off the Schiffer Publishing website!

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book for review purposes from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

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12 Hole “Elf” Tenor Ocarina {Review}

 

Fans of J.R.R Tolkien’s works The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings are likely to be in awe of the themed Ocarinas offered at STLOcarina.com. These would make a wonderful gift to fans whether they already know how to play or are looking to learn. Each are quite unique, ever so attractive, and I believe very affordable. It’s certainly a delight to hear such beautiful music made from a seemingly simple wind instrument!

I’ve  been playing the 12-Hole Elf Tenor Ocarina and the sound is amazing. The quality is exceptional and appearance wise it’s even more beautiful in person than I imagined it would be! It’s easy to hold and play every sharp and flat note needed. It’s tuned in the key of C major. I can’t wait to be able to play better with more practice.

I like that with this particular Ocarina, a  Lord of the Rings songbook as well as on-line instructional booklet is included when purchased. There are 7 songs in the songbook which include: Concerning Hobbits, In Dreams, Evenstar, The King of Golden Hall, Eowyn’s Theme, The Steward of Gondor, and Into the West.

On, December 17th The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies releases into theaters. I can’t help but think how awesome it would be to surprise a friend or family member with one of the many LOTR /Hobbit themed Ocarinas perhaps after seeing the film together!

Ocarina prices range vastly from type and models. There are many to chose from including Super Hero, Zelda, Homeschool, Classic, Teacups, and many more! The above mentioned Ocarina is on sale right now for $69.99!

Get Connected: www.STLOcarina.com | YouTube: www.YouTube.com/Heathersocarina |

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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Adventure Time: Finn the Human DVD {review}

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Adventure Time fans have something to be excited for with the upcoming DVD release of Adventure Time: Finn the Human! This collection features 16 fun filled action packed episodes making up three hours of viewing goodness! As amazing as that sounds, that’s not all there is to be excited for! This collection also comes with an authentic backpack that favors the exact one worn by Finn!

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The episodes included on the Adventure Time: Finn the Human DVD are:

1. The New Frontier
2. The Lich
3. Finn the Human
4. Jake The Dog
5. We Fixed a Truck
6. Blade of Grass
7. The Red Throne
8. The Great Bird Man
9. One Last Job
10. Little Dude
11. City of Thieves
12. Conquest of Cuteness
13. Who Would Win
14. Ignition Point
15. Furniture & Meat
16. Sad Face

adventuretime2The episodes are from a variety of seasons and feature not just one but many of our favorites. There’s never a dull moment with Finn & Jake. The adventures are interesting, amusing, often odd, but incredibly imaginative. I like how the throughout the series you see the characters grow and the storyline progress subtly. It’s definitely a cartoon kids will love and in some cases parents too!

Want it? Cartoon Network: Adventure Time – Finn the Human  can be pre-ordered Amazon.com right now for $21.23 before it’s release date on November 25th.

Get Connected: “LIKE” Adventure Time’s Facebook for news, promotions, and more!

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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