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cook*create*read: May 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two More Caravans!

Week 21: Rebel ... struggled with this one, though I LOVED Tangie's parcel for us this week!

and Week 22: Whisper ... loved the colours and prettiness in this week's parcel too!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Story of Forgetting

Title: The Story of Forgetting
Author: Stefan Merrill Block
First Published: 2008

My Rating:

"Fifteen-year-old Seth Waller is devastated when his mother is diagnosed with a rare, early-onset form of Alzheimer's. When he was growing up, his mother always brushed aside questions about her past and family, and Seth realises that soon he will lose his chance to find out any more. He decides to uncover the truth about her life, their family history and the condition, and what he discovers is more surprising than he ever could have imagined.

Inspired partly by the author's own family history, The Story of Forgetting is a moving and exhilarating novel of love, loss, hope and genetic destiny."

I have literally just finished reading this book, and it is perhaps too soon to write a review of it. My initial impression is disappointment. It's one of those hyped up books that I was expecting big things from, but in the end it just didn't deliver for me. I empathised with the characters, but did not really like any of them. It is a devastating illness, but I was not moved to tears (as I am usually very easily, it has to be said!). I found the "science" bits rather too clunky and didn't feel they integrated into the story very well. I did like the story of Isidora, however, which reminded me somewhat of Narnia, and the (too brief?) glimpses of Jamie's deterioration and Seth's sense of loss were touching.

Perhaps I'm missing something deeper in this novel, but it just did not live up to its' promise. Moving? Exhilirating? Not for me. A disappointing 3/5.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

It's gone a bit quiet in blogland!

But I do finally have a page to share!

This is for Week 20 of the Art Journal Caravan on Scrapbookgraphics

All elements by CrowaboutStudioB from DeviantScraps
Wings by Tangie Baxter at Scrapbookgraphics
Apple by BGD at Scrapbookgraphics
Quote by Colin Raye

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

Title: A Town Like Alice
Author: Nevil Shute
First Published: 1950

My Rating: 4/5

This is the story of Jean Paget and Joe Harman, Japanese prisoners of war, told through the eyes of Jean's trustee, Noel Strachan. Crossing the three countries of Malaya, England and Australia, we follow the characters through some tough times and harsh climates during and in the aftermath of the Second World War, where love endures.

It is an engrossing read, covering many fascinating facts and touching on several interesting themes that affected the people of this time. Most interesting to me was the contrast between the treatment of male prisoners and their children and female counterparts by the Japanese. I found the respect, care and attention (within their capabilities), shown to the women and children quite touching, and, I feel, still a true reflection of the Japanese culture of respect today. This also contrasted with the way in which the Australian cattle farmers treated the local "boongs" or Aborigines. Although they seemed to be well cared for within the story, they still had to be served in different shops and were not allowed to mix with the whites.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The characters were, for the most part, likeable and believable, although I did have one or two little niggles about Jean. I found her to be far too sensible for my liking and was willing her to some small frivolous thing with her new-found wealth. I also found the way she ended almost every sentence with "Joe" a little irritating! A small point, I know, but I am very tricky to please! These two small chinks stopped me from rating this a full 5/5.

I thought I had read this in my late teens, but none of it seemed at all familiar, so I think I must be thinking of a different book. I read this for the Spring Challenge on Goodreads - the task was to read a book written under a pseudonym. Nevil Shute's real name is Nevil Shute Norway.

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

More ATCs

Thought I'd post up the other ATC size cards I've done for A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. For those of you who don't know, this is headed up by the very inspiring Rachel Whetzel who, along with her guest designers, gives us two journal prompts a month, along with technique to try if we should fancy! As I'm doing these digi (and starting very late!) I can't do all the techniques, but I am going to try and translate the technique to digi each time (though I completely forgot the stitching on my "unknown" card below! Think I was too keyed up about the election!)

Anyway, so here is Week 1 - What (hiding your journalling)

This font is called Cupcake, I got it via Jessica Sprague's site, and then I basically just used a shedload of brushes. Background paper and stitching from Digital-Crea.

Week 2 - (masks) - this was a totally new digi technique for me, and I'm so glad I learnt how to do this!

Bird mask from guest host Glenda Tkalac, alpha by Jessica Sprague, papers by Digital-Crea, lots of brushes!

Prompt 4 - "silence" (inchies)

Background paper by Carrie Stephens,bird and flower by Fanette Designs at Ditial-Crea, overlay by Chris Ford at 2ps.

And one more - Prompt 5 was "un" and the technique was to use a texture overlay! Right up my street! Another topical election focussed one for this ...

I used my own photo of Westminster, a texture by Axia comm from this Flickr group, which I used twice, opposite ways, and then blended with a soft light blending option, and I used a default "aged photo" action in Photoshop. I love this one!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

A quickie ...

I've started trying to catch up with A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. I'm doing these as digi ATCs and have done the first three, but just wanted to post this one for now, as it is voting day here in the UK, and I am actually quite scared about what the results will bring! The theme for week 3 was "unknown":

The photo background and union jack are my own, red paper by Tangie Baxter and a grunge overlay from I'm not sure where .... grunged it up with a brush. The Alpha is from Jessica Sprague and the font is 1942 report from DaFont.

Will share more at the weekend!