Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Reviews :: Tiny Bear's Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Igor Oleynikov and Little Bunny's Bible by P. J. Lyons, illustrated by Melanie Mitchell

Tiny Bear's Bible is a Bible story boardbook wrapped up in a soft cover. The material for the bear is a medium brown, fuzzy fabric and the ears are flaps that can be lifted and played with. The material covering the background is a soft tan/cream fleece fabric. The title ("Tiny Bear's Bible") appears to be iron-on lettering on an oval of blue felt. The blue straps on the bear are also made of blue felt. Everything appears to be securely stitched in place. Although the fuzzy fabrics on the cover of Tiny Bear's Bible don't seem to come apart when I pull at them, I am not sure what they would do if a baby put them in their mouth...and I am not going to put this in my mouth for the sake of a review. ;o)

(Note: There is an older version with a cover for Tiny Bear's Bible that has a fuzzy, light brown bear on a fuzzy, light brown background, shown below. I have this edition as well and much prefer the new cover with the medium brown bear on a cream colored fleece background.)
(Note: Tiny Bear's Bible also has an alternative "pink" version with a pink bow on the bear's head. I do not own this version, but imagine that the cover is just as soft as the one I am currently reviewing.)
The text of Tiny Bear's Bible is written by Sally Lloyd-Jones. There are 11 Bible stories retold (in rhyme) in Tiny Bear's Bible
They are:
  • God Makes the Whole Wide World, Genesis 1-2 (Creation)
  • God Promises to Rescue Noah, Genesis 6-9 (Noah's Ark)
  • God Keeps Moses Safe, Exodus 1-2 (Baby Moses)
  • David Fights a Horrible Giant, 1 Samuel 17 (David & Goliath)
  • God Protects Daniel in the Lions' Den, Daniel 6 (Daniel in the Den of the Lions)
  • Jesus is Born, Luke 2 (Birth of Jesus)
  • Jesus Stops a Scary Storm, Mark 4 (Jesus Calms the Storm)
  • The Lord's Prayer, paraphrase of Matthew 6 (The Lord's Prayer)
  • The Friend of Sinners, Luke 19 (Zacchaeus)
  • God Makes Jesus Alive Again!, Matthew 27-28 (Death and Resurrection of Jesus)
  • "I am with you always", Matthew 28 (Reminder that God is always with us)
In each each story is a reference to Tiny Bear and something that ties in to how the story relates to us (God keeps his promises, God takes care of us, God helps us, etc.). I appreciated these additions to the story-telling to remind us that these are more than just stories.

The illustrations in Tiny Bear's Bible are done by Igor Oleynikov. Each 2-page spread is fully illustrated. On the left page of each opening (along with the title and Scripture reference), there is an illustration that corresponds to the Bible story being retold. On the right page of each opening (along with the story text), there is an illustration that shows Tiny Bear in a scene that corresponds with the Bible story. The illustrations are beautifully done in a colorful, but slightly muted color palette. The illustrations are not quite as cartoonish as you might expect in a children's book, but I appreciated that.



Little Bunny's Bible is a Bible story boardbook wrapped up in a fuzzy cover. The material for the bunny is very soft, fuzzy fabric and the ears can be lifted and played with (the tips are stitched to the cover, but the rest of them are loose). The material covering the background is a soft light gray fleece. The title ("Little Bunny's Bible") appears to be iron-on lettering on an oval of gray felt. Everything appears to be securely stitched in place. The fuzzy fabrics don't seem to come apart when I pull at them, and seem quite sturdy. Even with that said, I am not sure what they would do if a baby put them in their mouth...and I am not going to put this in my mouth for the sake of a review. ;o)

The text is written by P. J. Lyons. There are 8 Bible stories retold (in rhyme) in Little Bunny's Bible
They are:
  • God's Wonderful Work, Genesis 1-2 (Creation)
  • God's Friend Noah, Genesis 6-8 (Noah's Ark)
  • Daniel in the Lions' Den, Daniel 6 (Daniel in the Lions' Den)
  • Jonah Learns a Lesson, Jonah 1-3 (Jonah)
  • God's Greatest Gift, Matthew 1:18-24, Luke 2:1-7 (Birth of Jesus)
  • The Lost Lamb, Matthew 18: 12-14 (Parable of the Lost Sheep)
  • It's a Miracle, John 6:1-13 (Feeding of the Many with Loaves and Fishes)
  • Jesus Opens Heaven's Doors, Luke 23:44-24:8 (Death and Resurrection of Jesus)
The illustrations in Little Bunny's Bible are done by Melanie Mitchell. Each 2-page spread is illustrated (although they are not edge-to-edge illustrations). The left page of each opening has a white background and includes the title, Scripture reference, story text, and a small illustration of Little Bunny in a circular frame. The right page of each opening is a full-coverage illustration that corresponds to the Bible story being retold. The illustrations are cute and colorful, as you would expect from a children's book.

If you have seen Little Chick's BibleLittle Bunny's Bible is very similar. There are, however, 3 stories that are in Little Chick's Bible in place of 3 that are in Little Bunny's Bible.
They are:
  • Baby Moses in a Boat, Exodus 1-2 (Baby Moses) - in place of Daniel in the Lions' Den
  • David Fights a Giant, 1 Samuel 17 (David & Goliath) - in place of Jonah Learns a Lesson
  • The Real Neighbor, Luke 10:25-37 (The Good Samaritan) - in place of The Lost Lamb

Since I received both Tiny Bear's Bible (by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Igor Oleynikov) and Little Bunny's Bible (by P. J. Lyons, illustrated by Melanie Mitchell) to review, I cannot help but compare the two. I the covers on both Little Bunny's Bible and the new cover on Tiny Bear's Bible (they are SO soft!), but prefer the text and illustrations from Tiny Bear's Bible. However, if it comes down to it, I think either (or both!) would be great to share with little ones.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Monday, March 2, 2015

I'm Here For You {MFT Sketch Challenge 217}

Well...there has been a lot of buzz lately about the challenges over at MFT (My Favorite Things), and the most recent sketch challenge immediately gave me an idea for a card when I saw it. 

Here's the sketch:

Here's my card:
I love the MFT Abstract Art stamp set and thought it worked perfectly for the challenge. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Midnight Black 130#, Brilliant White 80#);
Stamps: My Favorite Things (Abstract Art, Get Well Wishes);
Ink: My Favorite Things (Dye - Black Licorice); Memento (Dye  - Lilac Posies, Pear Tart, Tangela, Bahama Blue, Dandelion);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);

Friday, February 27, 2015

Little Love Animals

Today I wanted to join up with Unity's Friends With Flair (FWF) and share these cards that I created with the new Meow. Purr. Baa. kit:

I am so excited about this new kit (and the Roar. Grr. Eek. kit, too!) and can't wait to see what others create with them!

{See more cards I created with these new kits on my blog post from yesterday.}

PS - They are both available for only $6 each with this weekend's fantastic salebe sure to add them to your cart!

Baa. Card Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#);
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Miss Caroline - Fiddlesticks);
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (Meow. Purr. Baa.); 

Colored Pencils: Prang (17, 18);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);

Meow. Card Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#);
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Follow Your Heart - Be Happy);
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (Meow. Purr. Baa.);
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Natural);

Colored Pencils: Prang (14);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors, Circle Punches); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);

Thursday, February 26, 2015

All Kinds of Happy {Unity Stamp Company}

Today is a busy blogging day for me! 
Looking for my SEI Guest Designer post? 
I'm squeezing in again today to Unity's hop to share a couple cards I created with a new kit I designed, "All Kinds of Happy".
During this weekend's sale, you can get the new "All Kinds of Happy" stamp kit FREE with a $60 purchase...not to mention the free sentiment stamps you will get with every $10 you spend.
("All Kinds of Happy" will be available for purchase after the sale is over.)
For both of these cards, I did a bit of paper piecing. I designed this kit (and last week's new kit, "Hello Birdie") specifically with big, open areas and clean lines that are easy to paper piece and/or to color.
I hope you will have as much fun with these new kits as I am having!

Here is a look at the Hello Birdie Kit that was released last week:

And here are two new kits that I created (only $6 each this weekend!):
This one is called Roar. Grr. Eek.:

And this one is called Meow. Purr. Baa.:

And if you like the new kits, you may also enjoy "Flowers for a Friend" - a former Stamp of the Week that is now available to purchase for non-SOTW members:

Don't forget: for today's blog hop, Unity is giving away two great prize packages! Be sure to leave a comment on each blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) to be entered to win. (The winners will be announced Monday night on the Unity blog.)

Continue hopping on through to the Unity blog, and then go shopping!



Thanks for stopping by today!
Oh Happy Day & Happy For You Cards Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#); Papertrey Ink (Rustic Cream);
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Lime Twist - Life of the Party 6x6);
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (All Kinds of Happy);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);


Go Wild. Card Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#);
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Stella & Rose - Mabel 6x6);
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (Roar. Grr. Eek.);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors, Circle Punch); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);


Squeak. From All Of Us. Card Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#); Papertrey Ink (Rustic Cream);
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye (Cut & Paste - Adorbs 6x6);
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (Meow. Purr. Baa.); 

Twine: The Twinery (Solid Blossom);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors, Circle Punch); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);

Two Cards and a Tag {SEI Guest Designer - Day 2}

Hi again! I am excited to be back again today to share a few more SEI projects with you!
(I hope you stopped in yesterday to check out my mini album.)

Today I've got two cards and a tag to share - again using products from the Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit. For each of today's projects I used a 3x3 journaling card (or two) from the perforated sheet along with some solid and patterned papers from the kit.
For my first card, I started by layering a solid and a patterned paper that I had previously cut to 4x6 (I thought I might use them in the mini album that I shared yesterday). I simply added a few leaves from the Kraft Chips package and two 3x3 cards from the perforated sheet (included with the kit) to finish off my card.
(Note: White cardstock base not included with the kit.)
For my next card, I went with a simple approach - just a solid paper, a piece of patterned paper, and the "lovely day" 3x3 card from the perforated sheet (all included in the kit). Sometimes you just need a quick card...and this card was certainly quick to assemble.
(Note: White cardstock base not included with the kit.)
I had some small scraps left over from the mini album and cards I had created, so I decided to give them new life on a tag. I layered a couple patterned papers to create the background and trimmed a 3x3 card to fit the top of the tag. Then, I used another 3x3 card (which I trimmed to accentuate the flag look) for a sentiment. I threaded the hole with brown grosgrain ribbon (from the sundries package) and then tied a little twine bow through the button to hold it all in place.
(Note: Tag base and twine not included with the kit.)

The Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit has been so fun to work with and I still have a lot left to create with!

Thank you for joining me again today! Have a wonderful day!
Supplies: 
Patterned Papers and Embellishments: SEI (Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit);
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#);
Twine: The Twinery (Buttercream);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hello My Love Mini Album {SEI Guest Designer - Day 1}

Hello there! I am excited to share that I was asked to be a Guest Designer for SEI!

It was so exciting to open my Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit - it was packed with a fun selection of papers and embellishments!
It was great to have some project instructions included...but I must admit - I'm not often accused of following directions. ;o)

Today I would like to share with you a mini album I created using products from the Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit.
(Please be sure to stop back tomorrow as well - I've got more projects to share!)
I started by choosing a theme and color scheme for my album. I laid out some papers and embellishments that I planned to use with the 4x6 album that was included in the kit.
This 4x6 album is where I will be keeping ultrasound pictures and photos of my pregnancy progress, and I thought the title "Hello My Love" (created with Kraft Chips) was fitting.
The stickers and embellishments included in the Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit made it so easy to decorate and fill the pages of this mini album. I used a variety of patterned papers from the kit to fill each photo sleeve and I can easily slide in pictures and add journaling as my pregnancy progresses. With three kids already at home and another on the way, this 4x6 album sure does make memory keeping easy!

Thank you for stopping in today - see you back here again tomorrow!
Supplies: 
Album, Papers, and Embellishments: SEI (Club SEI March 2015 Paper Crafting Kit);
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review :: Only God Can Make A Kitten by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrations by Laura J. Bryant

Only God Can Make A Kitten is a new book written by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. (I have reviewed other books by Rhonda Gowler Greene in the past, and this one is by far my favorite of hers that I have read.)

The story is written in rhyme and follows a mother and her children as they discover a variety of things that remind them that God is the creator. (This is not a story about kittens, but is more generally about what "only God can make".)
The illustrations are nicely done and in a soft color palette - a good accompaniment to the story. (I personally prefer the interior illustrations over the cover image.) 

I love the concept of this story and think this is a fantastic reminder for all of us to look around at all the amazing things that God has created. I look forward to reading Only God Can Make A Kitten with my children many more times. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review :: Princess Faith Sticker & Activity Book - inspired by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson, pictures by Omar Aranda

The Princess Faith Sticker & Activity Book contains 16 full-color pages with a variety of activities and 50 reusable stickers that any 4-8 year old girl is sure to enjoy. 

The activity book also has a small story that runs through it about Princess Faith. (Princess Faith is one of five princesses in The Princess Parables series. The others are: Joy, Grace, Hope, and Charity.)
The activities in the Princess Faith Sticker & Activity Book are simple and a range of levels - some may be too difficult for a 4-year old to do on her own, some may be too easy for an 8-year old to hold her interest, but altogether there is a good range. Here are some of the types of activities included:
  • Finish the picture with stickers
  • Finish a drawing
  • Color the picture
  • Word Search
  • Decode the message
  • Count the items
  • Find items in a picture
  • Compare two pictures to find the differences
At under $4 retail, the Princess Faith Sticker & Activity Book is a great value and would be a fun gift for a little girl in your life. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book Review :: Patriots, Redcoats, & Spies by Robert J. Skead and Robert A. Skead

Patriots, Redcoats, & Spies is a juvenile fiction novel written by father/son team Robert J. Skead and Robert A. Skead. The Skeads have family ties to the Revolutionary War, so this book seemed to be particularly special for them. 

Patriots, Redcoats, & Spies is a 19-chapter, 192-page novel (the actual text of the story covers from page 9 through page 174). There is also some additional bonus material:
  • Note from the Storytellers
  • Acknowledgements
  • Discussion Questions
  • Historical Characters
  • Glossary
  • Letters by General George Washington
  • Excerpt from the sequel: Submarines, Secrets, & A Daring Rescue
There are a few black and white/line art illustrations included, as well. (There are 7 total illustrations spread throughout the story.)

As for the story itself, the year is 1777 and 14-year old twin boys (John & Ambrose Clark) are tasked with getting a top secret message to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The boys' father (Lamberton Clark) is part of the Culper Spy Ring, and must pass his mission on to his boys after being injured.

Patriots, Redcoats, & Spies keeps a steady pace right from the start. The book is interesting, start-to-finish.   

I enjoyed reading Patriots, Redcoats, & Spies and have passed it on to my 9-year old son to read. We will also be keeping our eyes out for the sequel, Submarines, Secrets, & A Daring Rescue, scheduled to be released in August of 2015.

FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hello Birdie {Unity Stamp Company}

I am thrilled to be able to sneak into this week's Unity blog hop!
Although I am not technically a part of the Unity Design Team, I am one of Unity's Artistas...so I was able to squeeze my way in. :o)

I am so excited to share my cards with you today. To create them, I used a new stamp kit that I created (Hello Birdie) - available from Unity Stamp Company.


During this weekend's sale, you can get the new "Hello Birdie" stamp kit FREE with a $60 purchase...not to mention the free sentiment stamps you will get with every $10 you spend.
("Hello Birdie" will be available for purchase after the sale is over.)

Don't forget: for today's blog hop, Unity is giving away two great prize packages! Be sure to leave a comment on each blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) to be entered to win. (The winners will be announced Monday night on the Unity blog.)

Continue hopping on through to the Unity blog, and then go shopping!





Thanks for stopping by today!
Supplies: 
Cardstock: Discount Cardstock (Brilliant White 130#);
Patterned Paper: American Crafts (Dear Lizzy - 5th & Frolic 6x6);
Stamps: Unity Stamp Company (Hello Birdie);
Twine: The Twinery (Solid Honeydew); 

Colored Pencils: Prang;
Tools: Fiskars (Trimmer, Scissors); Scor-Pal (Scoring Board);