Friday, October 17, 2014

"The River" by Beverly Lewis

From the back of the book:

"Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau."

This is the first book by Beverly Lewis that I have read. I am not really in to Amish stories, but I thought I would give this a try.   The thing that caught my attention first was the fact that the girls left the Plain life.  I was very curious why they would leave, what had caused it.  

We begin in the Autumn of 1977.  The books pace is pretty good and it starts out by giving some background to where Tilly and Ruth are now.  From the beginning there is so much mystery and I was really curious, but the book slows down and I just lost interest.  I kept putting the book down and coming back to it days later.  It just seems to take to long to get the answers you want.  I really liked Ruth's storyline and was really curious about what would happen.  I just couldn't connect with Tilly. 

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for review by Bethany House 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: "Miracle in a Dry Season"

I first read Sarah Loudin Thomas in “Appalachian Serenade” a novella.  I absolutely loved that story and thought to myself, “I have a new author to read”.  I loved that “Miracle in a Dry Season” was a continuation from “Appalachian Serenade”.  I loved revisiting those characters again. 

The author has a wonderful way of writing the characters personalities.  I felt like I really knew these people and could easily relate to them throughout the story.  I love a book that literally makes you feel like you are there.  Thomas has a way of describing things that makes it easy to escape, for example from page 88, “The beans, simple beans, melted in his mouth.  Perla must have used ham hock to give them their slightly smoky, savory flavor.  He could sense the shape of each individual bean in his mouth just before they dissolved into deliciously creamy mass.”  Doesn't that bring back memories of eating ham and beans?  I can almost taste them now.

“Miracle in a Dry Season” touches on several things that happen every day.  Judgment of someone’s character is so easy to do, yet we don’t think of the repercussions.   I think the author does a great job touching on this subject without it feeling too preachy.  I love getting a feel for how Casewell feels versus how Perla feels.  Honestly, I could relate to Perla, and the fact that she really didn’t feel like she deserved a good man.  Throughout the story Perla believes she has gone too far from God for him to hear her.  I really like how Thomas addresses this at the end, through Casewell. 

Overall, “Miracle in a Dry Season” has a great flow to it and really gets to the heart of the matter.  When you believe in the power of God’s forgiveness it can really change how you look at people.  I can’t wait to read what is next from Sarah Loudin Thomas. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Characters with Spunk

Agatha and Zayne have a history that goes far back and when they run into each other again, they both decide the other one needs saving.  Agatha is in hiding and Zayne doesn't want to be found.  When the two collide again it makes for an interesting story.

First, I must start out by saying that I had no clue this was a book in a series and feel that it could stand alone.  There were characters that came in and out, but I didn't feel like any back story was really needed.
There are many reasons I really enjoyed this story.   One reason being that it had characters with spunk.  There was always playfulness and silliness going on.  I laughed aloud a few times.  Another reason was it was a quick read, I had this book done in just a couple of nights of reading.

Overall, "A Match of Wits" had playful banter, great descriptions, and great characters who were developed well.  I would recommend this book to anyone who would like a fun, light read.  Jen Turano is an author I will be reading again for sure.

Thank You for joining me for another book review,


This book was given by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review

Friday, June 6, 2014


I recently got my hands on a Silhouette Portrait.  I was so excited to get to work with it, but when it finally came I was a little out of my element.  I am use to stamps and ink and I felt like an idiot trying to figure it all out.  After a week or so I finally got the hang of it and I'm in LOVE!  The possibilities are endless and you better believe I am going to make that machine work. :)  Anyway off to my first successful project.

I used the 3-D bow from Silhouette.

I kept the card pretty simple, so the bow would shine.  The stamp set is from the Camelot Card kit over at Studio Calico. I just love that banner and the font.  

Thanks for stopping by, 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review "Until I Found You"

Today I am sharing something a little different!  My very first book review! 

"Until I Found You" by Victoria Bylin

Kate Darby is taking a leave of absence to help take care of her Grandmother Leona.  After an accident she meets Nick, a new Christian, who has made a promise to God he intends on keeping. Leona, Kate's Grandmother is praying Kate will see God in every part of her life and all that he has planned for Kate.
Overall, "Until I Found You" is a very genuine story.  Throughout the whole story I found myself saying this is very realistic.  My favorite character from the very beginning was Leona.  From the start any part she had in the book felt real.  Her parts were so heartfelt and it almost felt like a different person wrote those parts.  Even though Leona was suffering, she still looked towards God for help and answers.  Leona wrote letters to Kate about her life to encourage and hopefully lead Kate to God.  The letters were truly my favorite part of the book.  She described hardships and how she came through them and was still able to have a relationship with God.

It was a little harder to relate to Kate, she was all business.  Kate has had a lot of hardships like Leona, but she doesn't have God to rely on.  This causes her to have trust issues and she seems a little dark at times.  In a weird way I liked this because, it seemed real to me. 

Nick was a guy you would want around.  He is real and honest throughout about his feelings.  He is an all-around good guy who knows that Kate needs a relationship with God before they can be more.

“Until I Found You” had some slow spots and it was hard for me to relate to the Condor parts of the book.  Overall, I really enjoyed it.  I felt like the characters came full circle and they were very realistic.

I was given a review copy of "Until I Found You" from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks so much for stopping by, 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 2014 PTI Blog Hop

Today's card is full of Melon and Aqua my two favorite colors!! 

I pulled out the Pretty Peonies and Polka Dots sets to help create my background.  I used my Melon Berry ink pad to watercolor on the butterfly.  While it was still wet I sprinkled it with some gold embossing powder and then used my heat tool to finish it off. 

Thanks for stopping in,


Thursday, April 17, 2014

#Happy Birthday with Lawn Fawn's NEW #Awesome Set

Happy Thursday,

Today, I am sharing some cards made with the new #Awesome Set by Lawn Fawn.  When I first saw this set I knew I had to have it! I loved all the social media icons (great for teens), and I just had to have that little camera.  

Hobbiesbyhollie: Lawn Fawn #Awesome Stamp Set

The camera speaks for itself, so I was able to keep the card pretty simple (my favorite CAS). To finish the card I just had to add the enamel dots. They fit so perfect in the lens.

My next card uses some of the icons.  

Hobbiesbyhollie: Lawn Fawn #Awesome

More enamel dots!

That's it! Thanks for stopping in,


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Avery Elle Challenge #4: Watercolor

I set a goal for myself to participate in a challenge a week. This week I choose the Avery Elle Challenge. I love using water color, so this was fun! 

So here we go, this is the card I put together.

hobbiesbyhollie: Avery Elle Challenge #4

I decided to do a little ombre action with some green water color pencils.  I really loved the lime green color so I decided to stick with the monochromatic look.  I stamped the sketchy dots on acrylic, then cut it out to add a border.  

hobbiesbyhollie: Avery Elle Challenge #4

My sewing machine is on the fritz, so I have been using a lot of staples.  I got to say I love it, so I used some staples to finish the card off. 

Thanks for stopping off, 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Papertrey Ink March 2014 Blog Hop

I'm popping in super fast to share my glossy card for this months blog hop.

Look at those bright a cheerful colors!  What great inspiration!

Hobbiesbyhollie: Papertrey Ink March 2014 Blog Hop

It was really hard to capture with the camera, but I die cut acrylic and added it to every other banner piece. I can't resist using those glossy enamel dots, so I added some of those as well. 

Hobbiesbyhollie: Papertrey Ink March 2014 Blog Hop

Thanks so much for stopping in,


Monday, March 24, 2014

Thinking of You with Avery Elle's Modern Leaves

Hello, there ! I am here today sharing another card using some Avery Elle stamps.  I love this little dot stamp that comes with Avery Elle's Mondern Leaves set.  In fact, I am always using it when I am layering stamped images.  I was trying to think of a different ways to use it, and decided to create a polka dot background.  I made very faint lines with pencil (I was a little nervous it wouldn't come off) and stamped the dots in Papertrey Ink Aqua Mist. Then, after erasing the marks, I started layering the card up a bit. 

HobbiesbyHollie: Avery Elle's Modern Leaves

I stamped the sentiment onto a Studio Calico wood veneer and added that enamel dot ( eek can't get enough of them!!) from my crafting stash.

That's it for today, thanks for stopping by, 


Thank You using Avery Elle's Ikat Additions

Today, I am sharing a quick card using Avery Elle's Ikat Additions. I love this set, because there are so many possibilities and ways to change it up, today I decided on some simple layering (which is my favorite thing to do these days).

Hobbiesbyhollie: Avery Elle Ikat Additions Thank You

I started out with a skinny card base (3 3/4 x 5 1/2 to be exact).  I found the perfect color inspiration here on pinterest ( I love using just 3 colors on a card). Then using the Limitless Layers dies from Papertrey Ink, I created the circle cut out from Hero Arts Punch layering paper (LOVE this color).  

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sweet Stamp Shop "Too Hip"

Hello all, 

I am just popping in to share some cards I made recently with the "Too Hip" stamp set from the Sweet Stamp Shop.  I think after getting this set it spent about 2 weeks sitting on my desk and I pretty much used it every time I crafted!  Love it! 

Hobbiesbyhollie: "Too Hip" glasses
I seriously love these glasses!  
Going for a boy, girl look here.  For the girl glasses I stamped the top half, then I stamped the bottom again in black. I used a small post it to cover the stamp. 

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Too Hip Happy Birthday

So, a little secret about me is that pretty much every card has a little mistake that I have to fix. Some how it makes it look way better anyway.  So it works out for the better right? :) That's kind of what happened on this card.  I was messing about with an edger ink thingy and it kind of went everywhere, so I chopped the card in half and then angled it on another card base.  I try so hard to be careful, but I'm a little klutzy. Anyway, I really like how it turned out! 

Thanks so much for stopping by,


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Papertrey Ink February Blog Hop

Hello all,  

Just popping in for a bit to share my bright and cheery SPRING card!  A friend of mine had her baby today, so with that in mind I decided to make a baby card.  

hobbiesbyhollie: Designed by Hollie Shepard

I kept it simple with just a little masking of the cute flowers from the Sweet Spring set. 

Thanks so much for stopping by,


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Papertrey Ink Building Blocks Design Challenge

Hello, All,
I find myself saying the following a lot " this is my favorite Papertrey Ink Stamp", when in fact that is impossible!  Every stamp set I pull out I love and today I pulled out Rosie Posie and found myself saying that phrase again!  I forgot how great this set is, I only wish I had more time today to play ideas.  The truth is I'm not completely happy with it.  I was trying to balance helping my children finish a V-Day gift and the desire to really want to play along with this challenge. Anyway,  what I really loved about the challenge was the challenge :) !

My Building Blocks were:

  1. Dark Chocolate
  2. Orange Zest
  3. Aqua Mist
  4. Kraft
  5. congratulations
  6. water coloring
  7. glitter
  8. seam binding
Now that's a lot more "building blocks" than I normally use, and Orange Zest isn't really a color I use a lot. Don't ask me why I have it, but turns out I like it paired with Rosie Posie!

So here's my card, with some poor lighting! :)

Thanks for stopping by, 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hello, Baby!

Today, I am sharing a couple baby cards I included in some gift sets for a couple friends.  

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Designed by Hollie Shepard
 I love this first card so much!  I love the flair and that bow OH MY! I love bows! 
It's also 98% Studio Calico kit material (cardstock is Papertrey Ink)!  

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Designed by Hollie Shepard

The blue ink is Pool from Hero Arts and I look for a reason to use it on any card, it is just the perfect mid-tone color to pair with the darker blue.  I love blue and it seems to make an appearance on a lot of cards.

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Designed by Hollie Shepard
Look at those flowers!  I LOVE them! The patterned paper is part of the Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Parade.
I seriously love everything from the Dear Lizzy collection, !

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Designed by Hollie Shepard

I used the Headline letter dies from Papertrey Ink, and I don't for a day regret buying those!  
They come in so handy!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Papertrey ink Birthday Card: Challenge #5

Hello all,

Stopping in to share my Happy Birthday card for Papertrey Ink!  Today's inspiration for my card was my favorite things from Papertrey Ink; Doily dies, Mini Bloom Stamp Set and my all time favorite color is Aqua Blue!  Not the best picture, geez :) 

Here is a picture of me and the card in my craft room.  Can you see the blue on the wall?  Its pretty darn close to Aqua Mist!  :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Papertrey Ink: Free Image


Just popping in to share my card using a FREE image from Papertrey Ink.  I love these free images every year!  Today I chose Betsy Veldman's image,  I was really drawn to her colors and also that fancy lettering! I kept it pretty simple, I stamped Chevron Stripes in Aqua Mist and then added the enamel dots from My Mind's Eye.

Look at all these free images! Super cute and I plan to use them all!

Thanks for stopping in, 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Papertrey Anniversary: Color and Sketch Challenge

Hello all,

I always get very excited when February comes along and the Papertrey Festivities start. This time of month I literally get a cup of coffee in the morning and check out Nichole's Blog first thing. But  with the Anniversary comes challenges, I LOVE the challenges so much, my husband even knows not to schedule anything, because I have PLANS!

Anyway here we go with the first challenge,

My recipe cards:

Again, I chose Mini Blooms and combined masking.  I promise I have other stamp sets :) ! 

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Papertrey Ink Anniversary Challenge

HOBBIESBYHOLLIE: Papertrey Ink Anniversary Challenge

Thanks for stopping in, 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Papertrey Ink January Blog Hop

Hello there,

Hopping in to share a card for the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop .

I decided to do a little masking with the PTI Hearts Die and the Mini Blooms Stamps.  I'm in love with the Mini Blooms set.  I am seeing these cute little flowers everywhere.  So trendy! 

Thanks for stopping in,