Sunday, December 28, 2014

Last Make it Monday~

If you found time to link up last week, make sure to drop by Donna's to see if she featured your project.

Party Every Monday Night
Blogging everyday for over 5 years is a very hard habit to break, but the time has come for me to devote some of my time to other interests.  I hope to still post from time to time, when I have something to share but otherwise things will slow down here at Etcetorize.

This means that this will be the last Make it Monday party.  I've loved having you stop by to share all of your creativity and I've been so lucky to have such a great co-host in Donna.  The party was short lived but we were both so thrilled with the turn-out every week.  It was so much more than either of us ever expected.

So, we decided to go out with a bang.  This week want you to link up anything you want at all.  If you had time to post something new this past week you can link that up, but if you were like me and spent most of your time with your family and enjoying the holiday you can link up your all time favourite post.

Donna and I will still try to get to as many as we can to comment and she has graciously offered to pick some features for next week over on Distressed Donna Down Home.

Thank you everyone for partying with us!  It's been fun~

Your Hosts:

Party Every Monday Night

Let's see your all time favourite posts!

Sunday Inspiration

Forget about New Year's Resolutions....

Friday, December 26, 2014

Books This Year

Somewhere around mid year I noticed a little feature on Goodreads where you could post your goal for how many books you wanted to read for the year.

I knew that I had lost quite a bit of time earlier in the year when I got sidetracked by watching all 7 seasons of Stark Trek: The Next Generation in a row, so I randomly figured I could read 30 books by the end of the year....and I did!

There are a few in there that I didn't tell you about on any Tell a Tale Thursday posts.  That's because I wanted to keep my reading posts here to just the good ones (that's a nice way of saying that there were a few duds), but if you find me on Goodreads you can read all of my reviews.

The top reads for me this year were easily Cane River and The Flower Boy.  They were both beautiful stories that took me outside of my regular Historical Fiction genre.

I'm so grateful for Goodreads.  Without it I'd never remember some of the books I read.  And it keeps me honest too!  I thought I had read so many more books than 30 but the years are starting to melt into one another now so I'm probably just remembering great books from past years.

Next year I'll shoot for 40 books.  As long as I limit my Netflix time this should be easily reachable.  How about you?  What did your year in books look like?  What was your favourite book of the year?  Leave a comment below~

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feliz Navidad

Hands down, still my all time favourite Christmas song of all time!

Have a wonderful Christmas Day everyone~

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Crafting

Only a couple of more days left for Christmas crafting.  If you're looking for an easy, last minute project try one of these! (links below)

1. Easy Felt Stocking            2.  Personalized Party Glasses          3.  Last Minute Gift Boxes

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Make it Monday:Christmases Past & Present

This week we're going to do things just a little differently, so make sure to pay attention!  Don't just link and leave because then you'll miss all the fun...

First of all though, we have to do a shout out to some great link-ups from last week:

 1. I Sew, You Sew: Kids Christmas Dress   /   2.   Sadie's Seasongoods: Refashioned Necklace
3. T Shirt & Jeans: Sweater Stockings   /   4. Halfway to Hipster: Thranduil Dress

If you were featured, make sure to grab a button and brag about it!

Party Every Monday Night

OK, now for some Christmas fun.  You've all been doing a great job of linking up your current Christmas posts all month long, 
but this week you have permission to link up 
your favourite post(s) from Christmas past

You can still link up your regular posts but let's see what else you've got 
that you want people to remember.
Your Hosts:
Donna, Tamara
The rules are the same as always:
Party Every Monday Night

Sunday Inspiration

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bubble Light Holder

I can't get my Christmas tree lights to co-operate, but I can still enjoy my bubble lights!

One of my favourite parts of Christmas when I was a kid was when my Grandma would put out her bubble lights.  They were like magic to me.

I suppose they're meant to be put on a tree, but my Grandma always lined them up in the window behind her Christmas village so that's how I like to display them now too.  But that can be challenging when they look like this....

So, I came up with a wonderful recycle project that makes life with bubble lights much easier!

-Bubble lights
-empty Christmas wrap tube
-craft knife
-pencil and measuring tape

1) Count out how many lights are on your string and make the same number of markings on your tube, equal distance apart.

2) Use your craft knife to cut holes at each of your markings.  The holes should be big enough for your light bases to fit snugly.

3) Now just take the lights out of the sockets and set them aside and then ease the cord into the tube, pulling up the sockets into each hole.

4) Place the lights back in the sockets.

That's it!  I just set mine up on my window sill and threw some fake greenery on top to cover the tube.  You could paint the tube to help camouflage it even more but I found that this step wasn't necessary (plus I was throwing a party in a few hours and didn't have time for paint to dry).

Turn on your lights and watch the magic happen!  Bubbles everywhere!

Do you have bubble lights?  How do you display yours?  Leave a comment below~

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Make it Monday!

Only a week and a half left until the big day!  Are you ready?  Have you been crafting up a storm?  I can't wait to see what you've been working on.

If you want to see if your link from last week was featured, make sure to hop over to Distressed Donna Down Home to check out her picks.

Party Every Monday Night

Now onto this week's party!

Your Hosts
Donna, Tamara
Party Every Monday Night
Let's Party!

Sunday Inspiration

Christmas Quote, Inspirational Quote

Friday, December 12, 2014

Calling Me Home

I know it's not Thursday, but I enjoyed this book so much I didn't want to wait until next week to tell you about it...

Summary (from Goodreads): Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler is a soaring debut interweaving the story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in 1930s Kentucky with an unlikely modern-day friendship

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son’s irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper—in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way. 

Review: About half way through listening to the audio version of this book I found myself really getting into it and falling for the characters. Some of them verge on the stereotypical, but I still liked them. I checked back on Goodreads to see if my instincts were right and was a little surprised by some of the negative reviews and "controversy" surrounding the book's premise.

Racism is a hard thing to read about and to write about. Even in writing this inconsequential little review I find myself deleting sentences, wondering if what I've written will be taken the wrong way and someone will be offended. I think it takes a brave author to venture into this arena.

I liked the relationship between Dorrie and Isabelle and although I could see bits of myself in each character, found myself wanting to be more like Isabelle. I envied her ability to fall head over heels in love like she did. 

This book is heart breaking in so many ways though. All of the missed opportunities for love, understanding, and happiness are frustrating. To make up for it, there were many great lessons to be learned, the most important being that "The truth will set you free." Keeping secrets in an effort to protect someone else is almost never a good idea. Second and third chances are rare, especially when it comes to love.

For me, the surest sign that I've fallen in love with a book is when I find myself still thinking about the characters even though the book is over, wondering what they're up to and how they're getting on. I like to think that Dorrie and Isabelle are closer than ever and that both have found their way back to a peaceful life filled with family, joy, and most importantly, love.
This book was inspired by
the author's grandmother.
Definitely put this on your Christmas list or books to read next year.  It's being compared to The Help because of the subject matter and the time that it's set in, but at it's heart it's really a love story.

I have one more book to go and then I've hit my goal of reading 30 books this year.  Do you have a reading goal?  Leave a comment below~

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Make it Monday

It's December!  That means it's time to really immerse ourselves in Christmas crafting!  Lucky me, I got to pick the features this week, and they're all Christmas themed:

1. Sum of Their Stories: Sequined Trees / 2. Across the Boulevard: Stacked Paper Tree 
3. Vintage Paint and More: Ribbon Tree / 4. Penny's Vintage Treasures: Christmas Mantle

If you were featured, make sure to grab a button and brag about it!

Party Every Monday Night

Now onto this week's party...
Your Hosts:
Donna, Tamara

Big thanks to those of you who posted our button
 or linked to one of our blogs last week.

Party Every Monday Night

Let's Party!


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