Cats in Hats, by Sara Thomas

lg150325a1Another cutie-pie project book that I was fortunate enough to receive for review from Running Press, Cats in Hats, 30 knit and crochet patterns for your kitty. Don’t tell anyone but my 13 year old loves kittens and this book had him squee-ing as we turned the pages. The poor kid is very allergic so he has to settle for Youtube videos for his doses of cuteness. Cats in Hats gave us a little time together to see all the cute kitties and their equally as adorable head gear.

The hat projects are just as adorable as the cats and I can’t wait to try my hand at crocheting them. We have plenty of friends we can give them to, if the kids don’t keep them for their stuffed animals. I might want to try and adapt a design or two for a kid-sized hat.

The book is beautiful and the directions are easy to follow with print that is easy to read. Thirty fun patterns from Santa to one with a heart that hovers overhead like an antenna. Our favorite is the shark fin. Perfect for if we did have a cat so it could watch our Beta fish in the tank.

See what other bloggers on the tour are saying and be sure to enter the contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3/16 Scooter Knits

3/17 Yarning 4 A Smile

3/18 Wendy Knits

3/19 In Stitches

3/20 Polka Dot Cottage

3/21 FaveCrafts

3/22 Recycled Crafts

3/23 Lorelei’s Blog

3/24 CraftSanity

3/25 Lori Greenberg

3/26 Crafting a Green World

3/27 Gaea Handmade

3/28 Pretty Things Blog

Pretty Birds, by Virginia Lindsay – and a contest

Pretty BirdsI’ve been spreading myself nice and thin lately. I guess it’s just that time in the cycle for me. The good news is, it’s all good stuff…not like I usually do, over-committing to other people. No, this includes lots of craft stuff. So, when asked if I was interested to review a copy of Virginia Lindsay’s Pretty Birds, of course I said, YES! Eighteen simple projects? Sign me up!

My first thoughts were that I could do these little projects with my crafty daughter. We’ve had fun in the past making felt plushies. Then I thought, oh no, we just made her get rid of a lot of her stuffed animals to make room in her clutter-crafty bedroom. We don’t need more stuff!

I was very excited when I started reading to see that every project has a page titled “Other Ideas to Try” that tells you how to make your little birdy functional! Bingo. Some of the suggestions are decorative, like a mobile or refrigerator magnet, but they also include something that can make your bird sing, er, work for you. Think, computer charger caddy, napkin ring, car air freshener, etc.

What cute gift ideas! Attach it to the outside of a present and voila! Personal touch that shows I care. Flipping through the pages I had a growing desire to give more gifts just because.

As for the actual mechanics of the book, the directions are simple to follow and you don’t need a sewing machine. I have a machine that I got a couple years ago but it’s still in the box. I like that I can bring out the hand-sewing supplies and get down to business. The font is easy to read and very welcoming. The way the cover folds back easily makes it easy to use while doing the project. In this day of digital books, this one, with it’s matte pages is easy on the eyes and just feels good in your hands.

These little bird projects have sparked so many ideas. When my grandmother passed away, my cousin had all of her pjs and favorite robes made into pillows and fabric bookmarks for all of us grandkids. I’ve heard of people having quilts made in the same manner. I think these birds would be perfect for that kind of project too since each piece only needs scrap pieces of fabric.

Thanks, Running Press, for sending this book my way. We are going to have lots of fun with these projects and I’ll be back to show y’all!

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Win a bird fabric kit and a copy of this book at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see other reviews of this book, please visit:

25 You Go Girl

2/26 Erica B. DIY Style

2/27 CraftSanity

2/28 Recycled Crafts

3/1 Sew Mama Sew

3/2 Lorelei’s Blog

3/3 FaveCrafts

3/4 S is for Sewing

3/5 Lori Greenberg

3/6 Killing It As A Grown Up

3/10 Sweet KM

3/11 Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

3/12 Buzzmills

3/13 Girl Like the Sea

3/15 Cut Out + Keep

Friday morning writing catch-up warm-up.

Coming here to warm up my little fingers and get the writing juices flowing; or not. More stream of consciousness button pushing.

I’ve done the read-through of my 88-page first draft, of which I was so proud. I made written edits and am incorporating them into my writing software. That pride has turned into, “Damn, this totally sucks, what am I doing?” Interspersed with, “I can fix it.” And lots of, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Focus, NOW!” I’ve also decided to totally change the age and personality of my main character, which means that lots of other stuff will need to change too. Heck, why not just rewrite the thing? I guess that’s what this stage is all about. Rewriting sounds way more appealing than editing. Maybe someday I’ll find a rhythm.

I’ve discovered that getting to it in the morning after one kid is dropped off, and the rest of the house is still sleeping, is much more productive than hanging out on Facebook with my coffee. I’ve also learned that the homeschooled kid can work on his own a lot, except for math. Math sucks.

The book cover designer I had lined up had to bail on new work so I’m in the process of finding a new one. We’re getting ready to start construction on the studio, after another permit delay this week. And I really need to do some more de-cluttering. If that new space was ready, I wouldn’t have to!

On the good side, I got these kawai little train cases that will help hide some of the clutter.

kauai train cases