Search This Blog

Monday, December 26, 2011

Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

Breath of ScandalBreath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A revenge novel, "Breath of Scandal" benefits from well-developed characters behaving in a setting and in patterns that are believable.  Jade Sperry is a determined and capable protagonist with good reason to focus her life on destroying those who robbed her of her dreams.  Her focused desire for revenge leads her to success and love.

A well-told story.

View all my reviews

Heat Lightning by John Sandford

Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)Heat Lightning by John Sandford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dead bodies with oranges stuffed in their mouths are turning up at veterans' monuments in Minnesota. Lucas Davenport, busy arranging security for the Republican convention, assigns the cases to Virgil Flowers, his younger, outdoor writer/detective who is as comfortable solving murders as he is fishing for muskies. Unassuming and charming, Virgil searches for the link between the murders and finds himself in more complex circumstances than he has ever encountered.

As usual, Sandford's characters are well-developed and interesting, the plot is thick and fascinating, and the conclusion is dramatic.

View all my reviews

Internation Quilt Festival, November 2-6, 2011, Houston, TX

It has taken me a while to get around to this post. There was so much to say about this fabulous show. And, it was a great trip with quilting friends Rosemary, Dale, Catherine and Regina. So, let me describe it chronologically.  From Wednesday through Saturday night, I stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel three blocks from the George R. Brown Convention Center.

George R. is the largest convention center I have ever seen.  About three blocks long and three stories high, it was vast.  The vendors' booths were located on the first floor. Here is a view of about 1/3 of the vendor floor space.
The Houston skyline is spacious and new.  It seemed that everything in Houston was fairly new.

On Thursday, I took an all-day bus tour to see a bit of Texas.  We visited La Grange, Giddings, and Round Top. LaGrange was the most interesting.
It is the home of new Texas Quilt Museum.  The Museum opened just to give us a sneak preview that day.

We were not permitted to take photos inside the museum.  The quilts on display for the inaugural exhibit were all made by Texas women.  They were pretty amazing.  I liked the courthouse steps borders that were favored by many of the quilters and will definitely try my hand at creating them in one of my future projects.

The Museum is right on Courthouse Square in La Grange. Great care was taken to restore the building to its original condition.  It is about 100 years old.  We were treated to baked goods when we were settled back on the bus.  The area was settled by  German, Czech, and Moravian immigrants.  And their baking skills have survived and thrived here.  I would come back here just for the bread and pastries!

In Round Top, we spent some time at the Copper Shade Tree, an artists' boutique for quilts, jewelry and other handcrafts.  This shop was Texas outside and 5th Avenue inside! The hand-crafted jewelry was really pretty. I dropped a bundle of money for Christmas gifts here :)

Did I mention that all of the items were crafted by men? Yes, indeed, there were no women allowed.  This is a men's art collective.

On Friday, I spent the day in a class taught by Charlotte Angotti of Quiltmaker's Studio. What a hoot!  This talented lady should be a stand-up comic.  In one day of instruction and non-stop sewing, she walked us through an almost complete construction of one of her latest designs, "Amber Waves of Grain."  I just got mine back from Janice Jamison (great long-arm quilter, and will tell you more about it after I get the binding on and take some pictures.

Saturday was a time to spend viewing the festival quilts, meeting Alex Anderson, and ending the day by enjoying the concert performed by Ricky Tims.

At home, I want to find a couple of the fabrics featured: Robert Kaufman's "Florentine" and "Jewel & Earth" as well as "Etchings" by Moda.

I purchased a CD with professional pictures of all of the winning quilts.  There are restrictions on posting the quilt pictures on a website. So, if you would like to see the quilts, I would be happy to lend you the CD.

It was a great trip.  I can cross "Attend the largest international quilt show" off of my to-do list :)