Thursday, February 21, 2013

Can You McTavish?

Mastering the Art of McTavishing – by Karen McTavish

96 pages
Footnotes/Endnotes: No
Illustrations: A plethora thereof
Suitable for eReaders: Yes (IF it's a tablet with good resolution and color)
5 Stars
NOTE: This book also comes with a 90 minute DVD

If you are a quilter, have watched any of the TV shows on quilting, you have undoubtedly come across at least a few episodes that had Karen McTavish as a guest. She has invented a new way of freehand quilting that is gorgeous, fluid, and gives movement to quilts.

There is a lot of information in the book, though not much in the step by step method, that is contained in the DVD, which I have yet to sit and watch.

Karen McTavish has several books out, and I think anyone who quilts would enjoy any of the books, and eventually possibly want them all. I know I do. Her method of quilting will turn any quilt into an art quilt.

Although the book is thin in pages, it is full of photos and information. 

22 Feb 13
I watched the DVD that came with the book, and it shows her doing the stitching that the book shows stills of. (Can I make that any more convoluted?) She interviews two women, one a hand quilter, and one who uses her domestic (sewing) machine, and both demonstrate the ease of doing McTavishing in their chosen method.

If you like to quilt, get this book. Read it, watch the DVD, and get out your paper and pen, or white board and marker, and practice your own style. I can hardly wait to get a quilt on the machine and try it.

A Necklace, a Calabash, and Judge Dee Solves the Mystery

Necklace and Calabash: A Judge Dee Mystery –by Robert van Gulik

144 pages
Footnotes/Endnotes: No
Illustrations: Yes (line drawings by author)
Suitable for eReaders: Yes
4 Stars

Judge Dee mysteries are based on an historical person in China, having lived from 630-700AD (Tang Dynasty). He earned fame both as a detective and as a great statesman.

My Sis sent me this book, and it's the first of his several books I've read. I'll probably read the others. Gulik was born in The Netherlands, and was quite a student of the Orient, so he was familiar with the culture, language, and customs. Van Gulik was a Dutch Diplomat.

The vocabulary is, at times, stilted, and sounds almost British, but the books were written in the 1950s and 1960s, probably in Dutch and then translated.

The book opens with Judge Dee arriving in a small town, and he wants nothing more than to have a few days of rest and relaxation, a chance to catch up on some fishing, etc., before his men catch up and they travel home. (His men are hunting) Instead, he is thrown into mystery upon arrival, first with a young man found brutally murdered, then the Emperor's favorite daughter, Third Princess who lives near by asks him to find a priceless necklace that was stolen, and gives him no clues, and all this while he is incognito as a Doctor.

A quick and enjoyable read, Necklace and Calabash is worth the time investment. Mr. van Gulik died in 1967, so there are no new books out there, but some are in electronic format, and most are available as used books. And, of course, there is always the library;-)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Meow, Merrow, Meeeeow!

I Could Pee on This – and Other Poems by Cats –by Francesco Marciuliano

111 Pages
Footnotes/Endnotes: No
Illustrations: Yes
Suitable for eReaders: maybe
5 Stars

This is a small book, roughly 5" x 6.25", it's a delight to hold, it's fun to turn a physical page. I think much would be lost on an eReader.

This book belongs in your hands.
This book belongs by your bed.
This book belongs in the Guest Bathroom.
This book belongs in your living room.
This book belongs wherever you have
a flat surface on which to set it.
This book belongs!
                        --Tashiko Akuma Pestini, Lenora's feline owner

If you like cats, you'll love this. If you don't like cats, you'll love this. You will laugh out loud at these poems.