Spring Shared Story

The Etsy DListers have written a shared story for your reading enjoyment. It all started with this sentence:

Lucy ran down the hill to the creek as fast as she could.

She knew the water would be glistening in the sun, and the sparkles always made her smile.

She knelt at the edge of the water and watched the little minnows swim by and tossing bread crumbs on the water’s surface so they would come up to feed.

There were dragonflies dancing above the water which drew her eye to the other other side of the creek.

The cows were grazing lazily in the field.

And a bumble bee was buzzing around a group of red flowers. Afraid of bees, Lucy moved behind a tree to watch.

Above her head a bird flew from the tree, a feather floated gently down towards her.

And landed on her new dress.

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Ghost Stories

October is the perfect month for stories about ghosts and spirits. The DTeam members have been sharing their personal experiences with each other and we thought it would be fun to share a few with everyone. Read on for tales from the other side!

Grape Vine Ceramics and Gifts has a great story that makes you realize our loved ones who have passed are still here in spirit and watching out for us. Here is her story:
When my youngest son was born, there were major complications due to the fact that he was six weeks early. We live in a small enough community that the doctors here don’t always have access to the needed equipment. When that happens, they life watch patients to larger hospitals that are at least 3 hours away. Chris was life watched because the next level respirator was in Wichita. They offered to take my husband with him because I had had a C-section and they weren’t ready to move me, but he was 5 pounds over the weight limit. So he drove (I should say flew in his own way). We have friends on the highway patrol that knew I was pregnant, when they clocked him at 120 they began pursuit and called to the hospital to see what happened. They let them know that Chris was being life watched and that he was heading to the hospital. Our friend then tried to set up an escort a) to make sure my husband got there and b) to keep him from getting a ticket or worse. Eight troopers tried at various overpasses to get in front of him and lead – it didn’t work. There’s an area called the Cheyenne Bottoms between Hays and Wichita and it is notorious for heavy fog at night and early morning. When my husband came up to it there was a small pick up that set the pace and wouldn’t let him pass. It was the same color pickup that my husband’s best friend had had. As a matter of fact the same color truck that his friend had rolled and lost his life in six years earlier. Once he was through the area of fog the truck was gone. I don’t necessarily call this one a “ghost story” but I do know that someone was looking out for him that night.

Elephant Beads has a story that animal lovers, especially those who have lost a beloved pet, will be fascinated with:
Back in August of 2008, my 10 year old ginger cat, Eddie, died suddenly after being attacked by roaming dogs. His soul-mate was Maisie, a little pixie of a cat with a manx tail – she was bereft when Eddie died, and after moping around for a day, she vanished for two days. We looked everywhere for her, but couldn’t find her. When she returned, she was cheerful and happy – but strangest of all, she began spending her time in all of Eddie’s old sleep-spots. She had never been willing to climb the big olive tree in the backyard, but immediately she went up into the tree, just like Eddie used to, and lounged in his “spot” up in the crook of two branches. I was absolutely convinced that when she was gone for two days she had gone away, met with Eddie’s spirit, and gotten some Eddie-pointers from him. 

When we moved to our new home in Phoenix, we brought our Eddie memorial stone and placed it in our new yard. It had only been about a year since his death, and I was mourning the fact that we had to leave his spirit behind. But about a month after moving here, there was a really spooky twilit  evening when the wind was blowing and I heard a strange sound outside. I went out front, and there was a HUGE beach ball (at least two feet in diameter) bouncing down the street, and not a soul in sight. I watched it bounce out of sight, and then in a flash, there was Eddie, running across the corner of the front yard, and up the path beside our new house. I know it was him, because this was a new development, and there were NO cats around, before or after that day, other than our cats. I think he was letting me know he was still with us.

Meg’s Crochet Jewels and Aunt Meghey’s Cottage has another pet story:
My cat is really in tune with the “otherside” I am positive that we have a ghost in this house because she never used to do this at the trailer where we lived before. But here she will stare at the same spot on the ceiling, and then sometimes it moves and she follows it around but it always starts in the same spot on the ceiling.

Reading with the DTeam

I have been in total bookworm mode lately. I don’t want to do anything except read. If only I had the ponytail power Jeannie had in I Dream of Jeannie. Just one swing and everything I have to do would be taken care of and I could read all day long! One of my team members has some great recommendations so read on!

Simply Clutch suggests, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. She says it “is my fave book!” and describes it as a “really great love story with the right pinch of drama”.
She also recommends “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout. Of this she says, “It’s a compilation of short stories of different people of a small town in Maine, but creates a novel centered around one character, Olive. Beautifully written.”.
“The Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri is another suggestion she has saying the book has “fantastic short stories about India and Indian-Americans”.
For guilty pleasure reading, she chooses “the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan (fantasy books) and the Luxe Series (they are young adult so read really fast, but it’s essentially “Gossip Girl” meets 1899… AWESOME).”

Simply Clutch has an Etsy shop filled with gorgeous bags. Her tote bags are the perfect accessory for bookworms since they are big enough to carry the current book they are reading! She also has smaller bags such as clutches and coin purses for those days when all you need is your ID, lipstick, and money. Stop by her shop when you don’t have your nose in one of the books she has recommended!

Reading with the DTeam

The weather has been pretty nice lately. Sure we’ve had some rainy days and some unbearably hot days here in New Jersey, but we’ve also had some nice sunny days with the perfect amount of breeze. The latter makes me want to spend the entire day outside (slathered in sunscreen, of course) with a good book. One of my fellow team members has some great suggestions, so read on!
Designing Impressions recommends The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher saying it is at the top of her list. She describes it as, “He’s a professional wizard in Chicago with a yellow page ad. He fights a good fight against people doing bad ju-ju in the first couple of books. By book 4 the Fae are heavily involved and by book 11 there’s an all out war between the wizards of the world and the Red Court of Vampire. Book 14 is coming out this summer.”
She also says she loves the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs which is “About a woman who shapeshifts into a Coyote. Her boyfriend is a werewolf and a good friend is a vampire. She’s always out solving mysteries that fall into her lap or avoiding the bullets that come her way.”

Sunshine by Robin McKinley is another one of her suggestions. She says,  “I had to steal this summary otherwise I’d tell you the whole story:
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lives a quiet life working at her stepfather’s bakery. One night, she goes out to the lake for some peace and quiet. Big mistake. She is set upon by vampires, who take her to an old mansion. They chain her to the wall and leave her with another vampire, who is also chained. But the vampire, Constantine, doesn’t try to eat her. Instead, he implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane. Realizing she will have to save herself, Sunshine calls on the long-forgotten powers her grandmother began to cultivate in her when she was a child. She transforms her pocketknife into a key and unchains herself and Constantine. Surprised, he agrees to flee with her when she offers to protect him from the sun with magic. They escape back to town, but Constantine knows his enemies won’t be far behind, which means that he and Sunshine will have to face them together. Fans of this book have been waiting for the 2nd book for 20 years now and for good reason. It leaves you wanting another chapter and another etc.”

Designing Impressions has the cutest chroceted accessories in her shop. The two pictured can be used as keychains or zipper pulls but I am wondering if she could somehow alter them to be used as bookmarks. Seeing those cute faces peeking out of my book would surely make me smile!

Reading with the DTeam

Lately we have had a lot of rainy days. On days like that I want to sit in hubby’s recliner and just read. That doesn’t do much for the state of my house or laundry basket but it sure makes me happy! I am not the only one on the DTeam who enjoys a good book and some of my teammates have shared some of their faves. Read on and you might find a new favorite!

Do Bats Eat Cats likes The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. She sums it up as “An evil postapocalyptic government gives each citizen an operation when they turn 16, to make them conventionally beautiful. A group of teens rebel after discovering that the seemingly innocent operation has unintended consequences (of COURSE it does!).”

She also recommends Matched by Aly Condie saying, “An evil postapocalyptic government, called the Society, controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives, from what they eat to their culture (art has been whittled down to the Hundred Poems, the Hundred Paintings, etc. with all others from the past destroyed, because how can you appreciate art if there is “too much choice?”) to whom they are “matched” with as life partners. One teenage girl begins to question the system when she discovers the Society may have actually made a mistake with her Match.”

Do Bats Eat Cats has lots of awesome pieces in her shop. The key chain shown here made me think that the ring could be removed and the chain part made longer and now you have a fabulous and unique bookmark!

Black Sheep Beadery shares her love of The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston. She says it is “set in England” and “the story goes back and forth between the present and the past and centers around an immortal witch and her evil nemesis.”
She also likes Blood Red Road by Moira Young. She was lucky enough to get an advance reader’s copy from the publisher before the book was available! She describes it as “sort of a coming of age story of a young girl and her younger sister who search for, and eventually find, their kidnapped brother”. The period it is set in is “sometime in the
future after us present day humans have managed to ruin the world.
The cool bracelet shown from Black Sheep Beadery made me think that she is so talented I bet she could use those same materials and design a really cool bookmark!
I am a huge fan of Sex and the City so was thrilled when the The Carrie Diaries series by Candace Bushnell came out. The books are found in the young adult section but I still loved reading about Carrie’s life before she lived in New York City. The first is called The Carrie Diaries and Carrie is still living at home as she is a senior in high school. I just finished the second book titled Summer and the City and it starts off on Carrie’s first day in Manhattan. This one was my fave of the two as this book reveals how she meets Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. I am hoping there will be a third in this series! The bookmark to the left is a tribute to Carrie and can be found in my shop, SassyBelleWares.
I also am a huge fan of every book written by Adriana Trigiani. Her Big Stone Gap series is beyond fabulous. When I read the last one I was sad because I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends I’d had forever. Her writing is such that you feel like you are in every setting with her characters. I could envision what each character looked like and what their voice sounded like. I could picture exactly what every setting looked like….the houses, the pharmacy, the town, etc. Her Valentine Series, Very Valentine (book 1) and Brava Valentine (book 2), and her stand alone books, Lucia Lucia, Rococo, and The Queen of the Big Time are also fabulous.

I just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and cannot say enough about how amazing it is. I could not put it down and never wanted it to end! It is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s and centers around three women, Aibileen and Minny who are black and Skeeter who is white. Aibileen and Minny are from a different world than Skeeter but what is in their hearts is the same. The three of them secretly work together on a project that holds serious risks for all of them but their desire and hope for change toward a better day eclipses the risks. The writer does such an amazing job of portraying the characters that I could not only picture each one but I could hear them speak. Her writing causes you to feel emotion for the characters. I loved Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter, and Celia and was always cheering for them, wanting to hug them, and wanting to protect and help them. I despised Hilly and Elizabeth with such a ferocity I always found myself wanting to punch them in the face! A movie version of this book will be out in August of this year and I hope it is as good as the book.

Reading with the DTeam

The DTeamers not only share a love for creating fabulous items for their shops, they also have a love for getting lost in an awesome book! Some of the team members have shared some of their favorite reads. If you are a book lover or know someone who is and need a gift for them, read on. You may find the perfect book!

Add Some Stitches has a few recommendations and says:

“I REALLY liked We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier. It’s written unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s got 3 story lines and they all collide. I read this book in a matter of days because I was completely hooked. I was also a HUGE fan of Interview with the Vampire and most of the books in The Vampire Chronicles. Interview with the Vampire is my favorite though. I’m totally in love with Louis! He’s my favorite character in all the books. Lestat gets too much credit and all he does is run around, break rules and make trouble for everyone.”

Stop by her shop and you will find some great items including this bag that is perfect for toting around the current book you are reading and whatever else you must have with you!
The Feisty Redhead suggests reading the young adult series, Hunger Game. She says they were “great” and “quick reads” Her other suggestion made me laugh, “Read them now before the movie is released so you can be the person annoyingly whispering in the theater, ‘This isn’t how that happened in the book’!” Take a peek at her shop a pick up something like this cool tee shirt necklace so you can be the most fashionable annoying whisperer in the theater!

Fiberpuppy is very enthusiastic about Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, saying it is “AWESOME!”. She says it tells “the real story behind the fancy chef hats”.
Her shop has lots of fabulous felted items including this tote that is perfect for making sure your book is always with you…you never know when you may get stuck waiting somewhere with nothing to do!

Reading with The DTeam

Memorial Day is almost here and after the true and most important meaning of the day in which we honor those that passed while serving our country, barbeques, picnics, a day at the beach, and other long weekend activities
come to mind. A day at the beach, lounging by the pool, relaxing at the park or any other place you can think of often calls for a good book! The DTeam doesn’t spend all their time creating fabulous pieces. The Dteam also loves to read and has shared some of their favorite books. Read on for a wide variety of great reads!

The Lime Grashopper recommends The Strain & The Fall (book 1 and book 2 of a series of 3) by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan saying the stories are “a different take on vampires, being it is a spreadable disease and not glamorous at all. I am awaiting book 3, due out October.”

The Lime Grasshopper has a great market bag that is perfect for carrying your book and other necessities.

Pinky Crafts says, “I have a thing for British chick lit, and there are quite a few funny British authors that I’m in love with.” One of Pinky’s faves is Jemima J by Jane Green. Pinky describes it as “A lighthearted book about an overweight gal who lies about her looks in an internet dating ad, and then must turn into that person in order to meet the man she believes is the man of her dreams.” Pinky also recommends The Confessions of a Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. She shares, “My favorite books are the light-hearted ones that can make me laugh, yet keep me so interested in the characters that I don’t want to put them down. Each book in this series is just that!” One more pick from Pinky is a stand alone book by Sophie Kinsella titled The Undomestic Goddess. Of the author, Pinky says, “I like just about everything she writes!”
  and gives this peek into the story, “A workaholic bails out on her job after she makes a huge mistake, and she accidently accepts a job as a housekeeper, although she doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing. Its not only funny, but there’s a cute romantic component as well”. I’ve read the Sophie Kinsella books Pinky recommends and I loved them too! I call them laugh out loud funny books.

Pinky’s shop has these really cute drink glass tags that are perfect for book club get togethers. I think the word “drink” could be changed to “book” on the tags and then you could have a matching set of drink tags and bookmarks for your book club! I bet if you ask Pinky she would be happy to do that for you.

Tam from Nesting Pretty says, “I adore books and I just happened to finish a great read by Stephen King called 1922. It is the first of four shorts in his newest book titled Full Dark, No Stars. I love a book that grabs your curiosity right from the first sentence and this one did that and more. It was a fast page turner. I could not put it down. If you love Stephen King or love to be on the edge of your seat with anticipation of what’s to come, then this is a read for you.”

Nesting Pretty has lots of fabulous hair pins but I’m thinking these pretties could do double duty as a bookmark!

This is just a few of the books recommended by the DTeam so stay tuned for more to come!

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