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Armchair Travel

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The cheapest travel, and you get to sleep in your own bed at night. . . .

Here's what I've been reading lately:

Ancient Rome:

Detectives in Togas Don't let the modern cover fool you. This book was originally published in 1956 and has been translated into several languages. I enjoyed this one so much. Mystery of the Roman Ransom is the sequel, which I also enjoyed. I've made these assigned reading for my daughter for 5th grade. My son wanted to read them too, so he read them right after her. I guess he'll just have to read them again when he gets to 5th grade.

OutcastAn interesting view of Roman life from different parts of the Roman empire. This was a very informative read for me that really helped me to better picture the time period.

"We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth." John Lubbock
Here are some of my recent favorites from the web:


Felt Hair accessories I want to make these, and not necessarily for the baby! I think these would look great on barrettes and headbands for my older girls. I also love the ones someone linked to in the comments (pansies) that the commenter sells at her Etsy shop, too.

Because I love her posts and I have some knit scraps now after a project, I think I'm going to have to make these from her too.

Trish Burr's Needle Painting. This is by far the best needle painting (long and short stitch embroidery) I've ever seen. Better yet, she'll teach you how to do it! There is a cost involved (she sends you a kit from South Africa), but what an amazing skill. I remember watching my best friend, who is Chinese, doing this type of embroidery when we were both 11. This is the kind of beautiful Chinese-style embroidery that you may have seen done on silk before. Trish's images are nothing like you've ever seen, however--they really do look like paintings. I've been intrigued by this style of embroidery since my friend showed me what she was making. I have a piece of needlework that has embroidered rose petals in this style, and I've been wanting to learn this stitch. Trish's work is worthy of hanging on your wall. She says she teaches people to complete the projects in 2 days!

Janet Gilbert's blog. Some of you will recognize her name. Check out this free smock plate! I am linking that one to the smocking page on my site!

Madeira Applique tutorial Very well-done. I also loved her explanation about the importance of using a sharp needle when sewing woven fabrics. I linked this tutorial over on my sewing page for easy referencing.


How to edge your beds like a pro (without putting down edges). If you want pretty garden beds and don't have anything to spend, but are willing to work hard, this might just be a great solution for you.

Growing Water Lilies. The recent edition of Martha Stewart Living (which I get for free with points from Recycle Bank.  They have an offer up to get 60 free points right now; a subscription to MSL is 300 points) has an interesting article about creating water gardens in large containers. Though the article isn't on her website, there were instructions on her site for doing the same thing on a smaller scale--indoors! I'm intrigued by the idea of growing water lilies inside, perhaps on my bathroom counter or on the kitchen table. There was a beautiful picture with simple instructions here. There were better instructions here.


DIY Rose Bouquet One of the absolute best classes I took during my university studies was a floral arranging class. I love this simple bouquet using garden roses that is arranged in hand. You can substitute something else in your garden for the other flowers.

Where have you traveled (by book, magazine, or online) lately?
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