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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Puff Stitch Hat with Video Tutorial Share

The winters aren't exactly overly cold here in Texas, but I do enjoying wearing hats now and then. I love to crochet and have been making things since grade school. However, for some unknown reason I've never attempted the puff stitch before.

I love the way this pattern looks, so I decided it was about time I learned it. I found an AWESOME video tutorial on YouTube and, with the help of B. Hooked Crochet, I had this gorgeous hat worked up in no time. It's super simple and fast.


I have to say that B. Hooked Crochet's tutorial is one of THE best and one of the most easy-to-follow videos I've found on YouTube so far, so a BIG thank you goes out to this lovely lady!



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Do Something Creative Everyday - Crochet Messy Bun/Ponytail Beanies



Happy Wednesday, everyone! Are you like me and you've come to realize that creating art is good therapy? There's no denying that our brains have the ability to relax and regroup when we're lost in an art project. Art can be anything that you take the time to sit down and create. Some people are quick to deny that they're artists, but I say that's just plain nonsense. If you've created something - anything - then you're an artist.

Lately, I've been on a crochet kick. When I spotted messy bun/ponytail hats on Facebook, I was intrigued enough to do a Google search. I found there's a ton of people making these functional, gorgeous accessories. I found a few patterns, but I wasn't quite satisfied with them, so I tweaked them and came up with these.




Like most crochet beanie-style hats, these don't use much yarn. I used Hobby Lobby's "Love this Yarn" because it's easy-care acrylic, super soft and economically priced (just 3.99 per skein). These hats take no time at all to make and are wonderful gifts. I've already made several and gave them to friends and family. 

So, what are you creating today? I'd love to know. Tell me in the comments below. 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Made for a Purpose by Kristie Wilde Teaches Kids About God's Purpose for Everyone



Made for a Purpose is a sweet and short book that teaches children facts about several different animals and why God made them the way He did. Frogs, turtles, ducks and more are all illustrated and discussed in a way that even very small children will understand.

I enjoyed this cute and quick book. The illustrations are lovely and remind me of soft watercolors. The vocabulary is simple and age appropriate. It combines some interesting facts about animals with a positive Christian message for children. I read this book to a group of three, four and five-year-old children and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Recommended! Thanks to Book Crash for providing a complimentary copy.


5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

Thursday, December 8, 2016

How to Write and Publish a Children's Book Using Microsoft PowerPoint - Video Share

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know how much I LOVE children's books and sharing the books I've read. There was a time that publishing children's books was a print-only ordeal. It was super expensive and labor intensive. Not anymore! Anyone can write and publish a children's book with the help of the Kindle Kids' Book Creator. That's how I published all of my children's books.

I've found an AMAZING video that explains the full process from start to finish in a way that I know I never could have done. I knew I had to share the video here with readers. So, if you've been sitting on the fence about writing and publishing your first children's book you can literally do this today. Thanks so much to J. Bruce Jones for sharing his expertise in his fantastic video!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rosie and Friends Positively Different by Helen Hipp Book Tour Spotlight



Paperback: 28 Pages
Publisher: Different Kind of Safari, LLC (August 17, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989013421
ISBN-13: 978-0989013420

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Rosie and Friends is Helping Children to Understand That Their Uniqueness Is Not a Weakness.

Rosie the Pink Hippo asks readers "What advice would you give your friends who want to feel better about themselves" in this adventure book to help readers see that being different can be positive. Join Rosie the Pink Hippo, Olivia the Ostrich, and many others in this educational and eye-opening 28-page illustrated children's book, Rosie and Friends Positively Different, a creative and fun teaching tool intended for parents, caregivers, teachers, and children who may have felt at some point in their life that they were different from their peers.


ABOUT HELEN HIPP

Helen Hipp has had her own kind of safari through the land of a large family. She was always exploring new ways to define herself. There are many ways to navigate the waters of life says Helen. “You may ride in a canoe, sailboat, motorboat, or you may find yourself on the back of a pink hippo!”

With a mindset that centered on creating opportunities out of obstacles, Helen explored career opportunities, by connecting her personal experiences (parenting a child with special needs) with her beliefs, professional skills, and aspirations.

Helen received her M.A. in counseling and began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families.

Helen has authored articles for Family Works and Washington Family Magazine and written multiple self-help articles published by ezine.com where she is viewed as an expert in her field. She has been a contributor as a special needs consultant to FOX44 News in Burlington, Vermont.

In addition to her work, Helen has written two children’s books creating a very effective way to motivate kids of all ages to meet their challenges with self-acceptance, confidence and understanding.

Her debut children’s book, A Different Kind of Safari, released in 2013 addresses the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. Once again, the engaging safari family, led by Rosie the Pink Hippo inspires, and help you see your life differently in her new book, Rosie and Friends Positively Different. With a cast characters experiencing real-life issues such as anxiety, fear, physical differences and poor self-esteem, Helen Hipp’s adventure books provide children with the opportunity to identify, understand and feel supported by the characters handling of similar fears, interests, and concerns.


Readers can connect with Helen Hipp on her website and on Twitter.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Interview with Children's Book Author Helen Hipp


A few questions for author Helen Hipp:

Q: Your children’s adventure books are based on some unusual true-life experiences, please explain and give a brief description of your books.

A: While on Safari in Africa during 2001, my family witnessed something few get to see – a pink hippo. Separated from the pod and barely tolerated due to her differences, my son Ray, who has been diagnosed with autism, felt an instant affinity to the hippo and he named her Rosie.               

Rosie – the Pink Hippo knows a lot about being different, and her adventures offer up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. 

Q: What vision do you have for your books and where do you want it to take you? 

A: My adventure books have already taken me on a journey’s that has given me the opportunity to meet a large number of wonderful people, all of which I refer to as my “Safari Family”. I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than bringing more of Rosie’s adventures and their powerful message onto the stage and into schools to create an atmosphere of enjoyment, understanding, acceptance and awareness.

Q: What appeals to you most about children’s books?

A: I find the presence of innocence, imagination and creativity that is woven into many of the children’s books very captivating. I guess you can say I am a child at heart.

###


ABOUT HELEN HIPP

Helen Hipp has had her own kind of safari through the land of a large family. She was always exploring new ways to      define herself. There are many ways to navigate the waters of life says Helen. “You may ride in a canoe, sailboat, motorboat, or you may find yourself on the back of a pink hippo!”

With a mindset that centered on creating opportunities out of obstacles, Helen explored career opportunities, by connecting her personal experiences (parenting a child with special needs) with her beliefs, professional skills, and aspirations.

Helen received her M.A. in counseling and began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families.

Helen has authored articles for Family Works and Washington Family Magazine and written multiple self-help articles published by ezine.com where she is viewed as an expert in her field. She has been a contributor as a special needs consultant to FOX44 News in Burlington, Vermont.

In addition to her work, Helen has written two children’s books creating a very effective way to motivate kids of all ages to meet their challenges with self-acceptance, confidence and understanding.

Her debut children’s book, A Different Kind of Safari, released in 2013 addresses the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. Once again, the engaging safari family, led by Rosie the Pink Hippo inspires, and help you see your life differently in her new book, Rosie and Friends Positively Different. With a cast characters experiencing real-life issues such as anxiety, fear, physical differences and poor self-esteem, Helen Hipp’s adventure books provide children with the opportunity to identify, understand and feel supported by the characters handling of similar fears, interests, and concerns.


Readers can connect with Helen Hipp on her website and on Twitter.  


Monday, November 28, 2016

Bear with Bear by Hagit R. Oron is a Uniquely Unconventional Book for Children!

I LOVE unusual and unique books for kids and Bear with Bear certainly fits that category. It's honestly unlike any other children's book I've read before. I knew I had to share it with readers!



DIY MOM BOOK REVIEW


The book blurb describes this as an unconventional children’s book. In the author’s words, "if you are looking for a conventional book you should continue your search, but if you're on a lookout for an original, non-traditional work then take a look inside." Well, I'm glad I took a look inside, because Bear with Bear is certainly unlike any other children's book I've ever read before. 

Bear with Bear begins with a note from the author to the reader, explaining that this is an unusual story about a child who wishes to have an unusual pet. The telling of the story is also unusual – the interactive format allows children to click on images to read the “story behind the story”. The little flags in the lower right hand corners of the pages allow readers to see if certain elements of the story are based on truth. The backstories are also located at the end of the book. What a fun way to present a children’s tale! Readers can also read the book in the conventional way – it’s totally up to the child.

Bear is a curious youngster who enjoys playing with “creepy” things. Bear tries to befriend any number of would-be pets, but his sister Penelope is easily scared and his mother tends to discourage Bear’s pet choices. Bear gets into all sorts of predicaments in his search for the perfect creepy pet.

I loved this book. I found it to be a unique and clever way to present a story to children. The vocabulary is age-appropriate. The illustrations are sweet and colorful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the author’s personal stories as well. This is like getting two books for the price of one. Highly recommended!


5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton