Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scandal, Adultery, and Manipulation

Yesterday I (finally) finished Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, and I have decided that reviewing the books I read would be fun to include here. The book is divided into 3 sections. The first one is all about Charles Bovary (who marries the title character). It was really slow going; by slow I mean I had to renew the book from the library before I finished Part I. I found it interesting - Flaubert just includes SO many details about pretty much everything, so it took a little longer. But once I hit Part II, I pretty much sailed through it.

Flaubert had some really good insights. I really liked how we see Anne Bovary break down little by little, and her adultery and debt consume her. As I neared the end of the book, I couldn't figure out how she would solve her problems, and the way she does really surprised me. I won't tell you how, but the blame she was hoping to lay did not end up where she had planned.

I found it very sad how very little she cared for her husband, who was such a good man and would have done anything for her. She 'knew' if she hadn't settled for Charles that a better man would have come along - which goes to show how foolish she is, since she is the daughter of a poor farmer. She was lucky to marry a doctor, let alone such a kind and loving man.

It was interesting to me how she changed her role in her second affair to be more like the man in her first - and how she got almost everything she wanted from anyone (until her first lover deserted her, that is).

I would recommend this book - I did enjoy it after I got through the first part. A line that really stood out to me as very insightful:

"...the more flowery a person's speech, he thought, the more suspect the feelings, or lack of feelings, it concealed. Whereas the truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars."

Love it.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wipes and Diaper Case

I have been wanting to try this tutorial on Make It and Love It for at least 2 months, and I finally got around to it. I LOVE IT!!
Check out her tutorial here. I would change one thing, to make it a little easier for putting in the lining. I found that by turning the lining right side out and inserting that into the inside-out main part, the right sides are together and it's less confusing where to sew and which pieces go together. It was also easier to maneuver around the sewing machine.

And I had a lot of fun burning my fingers with hot glue - which is something that I have not used much, and I have really enjoyed it. I am almost out of my clear glue - 7-8 sticks in the past week.

Recycled Cereal Box

Corn Flakes box turned magazine holder:

I saw this idea in the Family Fun magazine, and also on a random blog I came across one day. This was my first attempt at Mod Podge, and I am a little disappointed in it. However, I learned a few things about it. If you have any suggestions, PLEASE let me know.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Magnet Board & Yo Yos

I finished my new magnet board - I made one last fall with the help of a lady in my ward, and when she was getting ready to throw out the leftover metal, I went and picked up 2 more pieces - one you can see below as the Cool Summer Days board. This one I plan to use for FHE so we don't have to hold the pictures that go with the lesson, and also use flannelboard figures on it (but since it's metal and uses magnets, I can LAMINATE the figures - woot!). I am pretty excited. Plus, it was not very expensive: $5 for the frame (1/2 off from Michaels), free a/c metal, hot glue, metal cutters (borrowed), $1-2 for magnets, and $1 for the glass rocks:

And I have decided to make Maiby a dolly blanket for her birthday, which is in 2 months, so I have plenty of time. I got the idea for a yo-yo covered blanket from Our Side Notes; I know one of the authors and they have great ideas - check it out. Also, as you can see in the pic, I bought a 'Quick' Yo Yo Maker, which I saw on Sewing With Nancy in the one episode I watched. Let me tell you, if you like yoyos, you will LOVE IT!! It takes just about 5 minutes start to finish for one yoyo. In the pic, I made these 4 (my first EVER) in about 30 minutes, and it just got quicker from there...and it was only about $3.50 - with a 40% JoAnn's coupon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Felt Food

I have been wanting to make some felt food for months and months, and I finally got a little bit done.

Eggs, bread, ravioli, and sugar cookies with frosting.

The bread pattern came from, and the others I made from pictures found on various sites.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quiet Book

I finished a quiet book for my daughter. It's my 2nd try - I used the Simplicity pattern #3709, but made a few alterations and the 1st time I didn't like the results. But I am quite pleased this time. I didn't secure it the same way; instead I put 2 button holes on each page and put a large ring through them, so I can pass a page to a nearby child or add more pages from the ideas hidden in my head...

The cat has tiny jingle bells in the bow.

The butterfly's wings crinkle.
Each of the flowers come off the buttons.

The bird's nest contains a surprise of eggs.

The doghouse holds a cute dog on a ribbon.

The corn husk unzips.

A page for peek-a-boo.

And the cover I designed myself.

There are some great resources out there on the web. Homemade by Jill made a VERY cute book for her son, and has included templates on her blog to use for your own.
And check out the Craft Patch; I know this woman, and she has AMAZING things. She has made a fabric quiet book and a really neat magnetic book (on my someday list).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cool Summer Days

A summer advent calendar -what a great idea. Thanks to Chocolate on My Cranium for the idea. You can check out hers here. I made it my own by using paper, glue, and a free metal sheet from a local a/c place...can't wait to try it out.

The plan is to put some ideas for each day for one month of activities that we can do. Trips, cooking, crafts - anything that can be done as a family. So what I have left to do it make the paper strips with activities, and drill a couple holes in the top so it will hang on the wall.