Archive for November, 2011

Just Finished Reading – Series Reread

I have this habit, before a new book in a series comes out, I reread the entire series first. I find it helpful because it reminds me of what happened and I’m more prepared for some minor plot point that might play out in a larger way in the new book. I also like that it gives me a reason (as if I really need one) to reread a favorite series. These books have been out awhile so I’m not watching for spoilers, so if you haven’t read them yet, be warned.

On Nov. 1st, Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire was released. It is the fourth book in the Wicked series, so I am rereading the first three before I buy the new one.

First in the series is Wicked: The Like and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. This book is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. This book begins with the Witch’s parents awaiting her birth. She is born green and with a set of nasty little teeth. Her parents name her Elphaba (which is a play off the name of the author of the original Oz books). The story has the barest resemblance to the original with handfuls of familiar names and ideas. It can be hard to read, with prose so florid that it seems almost another character in the story.

Second in the series is Son of a Witch. This book follows Liir and tells the story of when he left Kiamo Ko with Dorothy after the Witch is killed. He becomes a soldier, is horribly injured, meets a girl, and uncovers a plot hatched by the new Apostle Emperor, Shell Thropp (who just happens to be the younger brother of Elphaba). This book can be a little convoluted and moves kind of sideways. It’s much easier to understand on a second read, but Liir is an interesting character and only at the end is there any real evidence either way that he is Elphaba’s son.

Third is A Lion Among Men  and, you guessed it, it is the tale of the Cowardly Lion, who only makes a fleeting but significant appearance in the first book. The story is in the present, but has a lot of backstory. I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the book is the backstory of the Lion, whose name is Brrr. Now knowing that there is a fourth book, upon rereading I think this book was just set up for Out of Oz. It is interesting and there are a couple of interesting twists that make it worth the read.

So, now I have to go buy the fourth book. Maybe I’ll go get it, stay home and read it this weekend while all the insane are out battling crowds of crazy people. 😉 .


Crafting – For the Holidays (Partial Stash Bust)

I got a new magazine and it had a lot of good craft ideas. One of those is a wreath. I decided to make one for fall and then one for Christmas. I made the fall one first. It was good for getting rid of some of my craft stash, since the wrapping on the wreath got rid of an entire skein of yarn. With the exception of the orange and yellow, the other felt all came from stuff I already had. The wreath is 14″ and the flowers used less than a yard of felt total.

Close Up

Crafting – Yarn Stash Bust

So, like a lot of crafters I have way way way too many crafting supplies. One of my biggest problems seems to be yarn. I just can’t resist it. The colors. The funky textures. The way it feels. I have a lot of yarn that when I bought it I’m sure I had a plan for it, but none of those plans ever seem to pan out. In an effort to get it under control – and so I don’t feel too guilty when I buy more for projects that I want to do – I’m going to do some Stash Busting projects.

The first is a rug for the kitchen. I’ve been wanting one for in front of the sink and I’m probably also going to crochet one for in front of the stove too. The yarn is 100% cotton, so it’s washable, which is important for a kitchen. The pattern came out of  the July/August 2011 issue of Crochet Today. If you do any crocheting, I recommend getting this magazine. It has great, modern patterns.

Yarns Used

  • Lily Sugar and Cream
  • Lion Brand 100% Cotton

    In Front of the Sink

Close Up


It took me about two weeks off and on to finish this. Hope you like it.