Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Me Big Copy Cat

I went outside this morning to photograph a basket of yarn that Widya unraveled for me and noticed that some of my new perrenials are blooming! Most are from divisions my friend Karen gave me in the spring. Inspired by her blog (http://karenslate.blogspot.com/2009/06/summertime.html) where she showed blooms from her garden, I decided to be a big copycat and post some garden pics myself. My pics aren't gorgeous like Karen's but it was fun to take them . . . and I now need Karen's help remembering their names!

Is this a gerbera daisy? or an aster?

I'd like to knit something in these 3 shades of purple for Bella. She looks amazing in purples, pinks, and especially magenta.

Sidenote about nature-inpired knitting . . . My Ravelry friend Kay (needlenit) showed me this really good blog this morning from Sock Pixie: http://sockpixie.blogspot.com/2009/05/new-flower.html#links This color artist dyes yarns and creates projects inspired by fine art and nature.

And speaking of Needlenit . . . I wouldn't knit any new pattern without first checking on Ravelry to see if Kay has already knit it. She makes amazing improvements to everything she knits and supplies detailed notes on her project pages. The designers and magazine editors should hire her to test and improve patterns before publishing them because her changes are excellent and always make me wonder why the designers didn't think of them. She has a great eye for form and function.

Back to the blooms . . . I think this is Shasta Daisy with Blue Sage in the background, right Karen?

What is this yellow and green plant? Does it bloom?

This is the bee balm, right?

Love this delicate flower atop a spindly onion-like stalk; what did you call it?

Eureka! My photo expedition led me to the first ripe tomato of the year! It's not the first one we've eaten though. I cut up a green one the other night and tossed it in a veggie stir fry.

The perfectly sweet scent of my butterfly bush always reminds me of my perfectly sweet Anna.

Is this artemisia?

What did you call this, Karen? Will it bloom or is it a groundcover?

This sweet little plant looks promising; what is it?

Thank you again, Karen, for all these great cuttings! They've really beautified my perennial beds and they remind me of your sweet self every time I see them!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs created by Stephen Elkins, illustrations by Tim O'Connor

I’ve seen beaucoup Bible story books over the years. I’ve purchased them for my children, edited them professionally, and now I’m buying them for my grandchildren. This one is simply magnifique! It contains 100 key stories that will provide a good basis of biblical literacy as well as 100 related songs with arrangements that are fresh and toe-tappin’ happy.

Many nice details went into the creation of this book. Its size is perfect for holding with a child in your lap. Its padded cover is squishy and fun to touch.

With the exception of the Wise Men story (which shows the Magi at the stable in Bethlehem rather than a house in Nazareth) the text and illustrations are biblically accurate. It isn’t easy to retell a Bible story in one paragraph and keep it meaningful—not to mention engaging for children, but most stories meet the challenge. Teachers will appreciate that each story includes full references—even multiple ones for each Gospel account.

I like the way certain words are colorfully highlighted to either bring subliminal attention to them or to provide discussion tips for the adult. (For example, in the story of the prodigal son, the following words are highlighted: two, money, hungry, traveled, father, God, forgiving.

The illustrator put a lot of emotion and whimsy into the work that children will appreciate: flabbergasted prophets, worried fishes (is Jesus gonna step on us?), and happy-to-be-found sheep.

The main lesson of each story is synopsized and then followed by a life application challenge: “I will follow Jesus and tell others about Him.”

It would be nice if the stories and songs were all numbered 1 through 100 so that you could follow up any story by going directly to that song, or vice versa. There is a good index, but it would be easier if everything were numbered. Perhaps getting the second CD to display its tracks 51-100 was technically impossible.

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers