Friday, November 10, 2017

Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey is Packed with Tons of Informational Watercolor Tips, Tricks and Advice for the Novice Painter

I love all types of art. I've tried just about every medium possible to create paintings, greeting cards and ACEOs. I do love watercolor, but I must admit I've been baffled about how honest to goodness watercolor artists achieve those great effects you see on Etsy and Instagram. So when I had the opportunity to read and review Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey I grabbed it. I'm so glad because I was incredibly impressed with this book!

Everyday Watercolor is a contemporary watercolor guide for newbie artists to follow over a thirty-day period. The author begins with the basics of brushstrokes and ends with step-by-step, fully completed watercolor projects.

Everyday Watercolor is packed with eye-catching illustrations and informational tutorials set up with easy to follow instructions. There are five sections within this book:

  • Technique
  • Form, Perspective and Light
  • Complex Shapes and Forms
  • Value, Volume and Depth
  • Application       

Within each of these five sections is a wealth of tips, tricks, techniques and advice for even the most novice watercolor artist. The author has a lovely conversational style of writing, which makes the reader feel as though they’re being personally taught the art of watercolor.

© 2017 Jenna Rainey

The illustrations are beautiful and highly motivating. Even if one decides not to pursue the art of watercolor, this book is coffee table worthy just for the pictures alone. It’s fun to watch the artist turn a few well placed splotches of color into a beautifully detailed painting. I loved that the author included those oh so popular cacti that we've been seeing all over the place lately!
© 2017 Jenna Rainey

I’d highly recommend Everyday Watercolor to anyone considering taking up the art of watercolor painting. There’s so much valuable information here that you can’t go wrong. Thanks to Blogging for Books, the publisher and the author for providing a complimentary copy of this book!

5 of 5 Stars, Susan Barton, DIY Mom Blog

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Angel on Assignment by Wanda Carter Roush is a Sweet and Encouraging Faith-Based Book for Children!

Angel on Assignment is an award-winning, faith-based children’s book, written by Christian mother and author Wanda Carter Roush. The author shares how the story idea came to her while caring for her youngest daughter, who has severe epilepsy. Wanda’s hope is that this book will “stir an awareness that angels are among us”.

What a sweet and endearing book this is. It’s short – just 21 pages with the “Let’s Make an Angel” section, but it’s packed with positive, encouraging words for children. The illustrations are colorful, expressive and adorable – sure to capture the attention of even very young children.

I loved the message in this book. Angels are sent from Heaven to look after us. They appear several times in the Bible and this book is a wonderful kid-friendly way to explain this. I highly recommend this book. Thanks to Book Crash, the publisher and the author for providing a complimentary copy!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Friday, October 20, 2017

31 Proverbs To Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs Book Review

31 Proverbs To Light Your Path is a 31-chapter compilation of Proverbs, chosen as favorites by hundreds of women. Each Proverb has been selected because of its clear message of God’s faithfulness in our lives, as demonstrated in Proverbs 4:11, “I will instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Each of the 31 Proverbs is listed at the top with the chapter heading. The author provides accompanying chapter text in the form of a verse breakdown and explanation. Each chapter also includes a prayer and a “One Minute, One Step” challenge for do-it-now tasks, which readers can accomplish in a minute or less.

 This is the second book from Liz Curtis Higgs that I’ve read and reviewed, and I have to say that I’m just as pleased and impressed with 31 Proverbs To Light Your Path as I was with 31Verses to Write On Your Heart. The author has a lovely, personable way of writing. Her style is conversational and highly encouraging.

There is so much wonderful and insightful information packed into this book. It’s not overly long, just 206 pages, but it’s filled with tons of Biblical teachings that would be suitable for Bible study, church groups, etc. Although the book blurb states that these were Biblical verses chosen by women, I would definitely say this is excellent information for anyone to read through. The study guide at the end has plenty of helpful material for individuals and groups to use. 31 Proverbs To Light Your Path is a wonderful addition to any Christian library. Thanks to Blogging for Books and the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC of this book.

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty Book Review

I spotted this book at my local library and couldn’t believe my luck. Liane Moriarty’s books are difficult to get a hold of at my library and I happily grabbed it right away. But then I found out the reason why it sat all by its lonesome – it’s not exactly one of her most popular books.

I admit I had a great deal of difficulty getting into Truly Madly Guilty. It started soooo slowly it was almost painful. The author offered so few tiny crumbs of information for several chapters. Readers knew something awful happened, but we didn’t know what happened, why it happened or even who the awful thing happened to. We just knew it was bad and it happened at “The Barbeque”. I soon found myself so irritated with this cheesy writing ploy that I ended up putting the book down in frustration, only to pick it back up several days later. Then I found that once I got about 150 pages into the book it actually picked up and got a bit more interesting.

Truly Madly Guilty is filled with dysfunctional characters, with dysfunctional past and present lives. By the time the author finally reveals what terrible event occurred at the infamous barbeque it’s almost a letdown. We’re expecting a monumental, devastating occurrence, but it’s not quite there.

I was not at all a fan of the dangling carrot ploy used in this book. It was cheap and unnecessary. I can see how it’s angered many Moriarty fans – myself included. I wouldn’t say that Truly Madly Guilty is a terrible book – I’m not sorry that I stuck with it to the end. However, I would say this is definitely not one of Moriarty’s best novels and I sincerely hope she rethinks things in her next book.

3 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies, Oh My! Michael Okon Releases Paranormal SciFi Monsterland Novel with Book Swag Giveaway

Author and screenwriter Michael Okon will be releasing his YA Paranormal Fantasy novel Monsterland on October, Friday the 13th and DIY Mom is sharing an AWESOME book swag giveaway!

Michael is giving away FIVE signed print copies of Monsterland. Readers will be treated to a thrilling futuristic story that includes Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, a maniacal professor, geeks, jocks and cheerleaders. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Saving the 22 Veterans Outreach Website is Looking for Your Stories

If you’re a Military Veteran who uses the arts as a way to control anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms then Saving the 22 is looking for you.

The statistics are staggering. PTSD, depression and anxiety are just some of the issues many of our nation’s heroes struggle with daily. Most of us have heard about the benefits of art therapy for children, but there have been surprisingly few studies conducted on the ways creative therapy can help Veterans. However, there are so many wonderful stories out there to prove how creative outlets can help heal our minds, bodies and souls.

The message of Saving the 22 is simple, yet highly encouraging: “Our focus on Saving the 22 is one of faith, hope and optimism. Healing through Creativity is our message and we want to share this message with you through stories, ideas, art, photography and other creative outlets.”

If you have a story to tell, please consider connecting with Saving the 22. Perhaps your message of healing through creativity will motivate someone else to do the same. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Day of the Dead 99¢ Store Craft Haul

If you're like me, you love a great craft bargain. We have tons of dollar stores here in North Texas, but it doesn't seem like we have nearly as many 99¢ Stores. So when we decided to go thrifting a couple of weekends ago, we were thrilled to spot a humongous 99¢ Store close by. I LOVE Dia de los Muertos decorations and found these awesome items just waiting for me on the shelves. 

The plaques, stickers, banner and knee socks were all just 99¢ each! The skull is a nice substantial piece with some weight to it and was just 1.99. 

If you have a 99¢ store near you, you better get over there quick to grab your Halloween and Dia de los Muertos craft and party supplies soon! Happy fall crafting!