Archives for March 2018

Tool Time Product Review: Clean Zig Markers

Hello my crafty friends! I have been hoping to get this post up a while back but not sure how it got lost in the pile of “need to dos”.

During the Christmas holidays, I kept watching videos about these lovely markers by Kureteke. I saw some glorious examples using them to create watercolor backgrounds and I just had to have them. After all, I am a colorist and that means all things to do with coloring makes me happy. So I ordered them. But boom, I soon realized I purchased another brand of watercolor markers. So I quickly realized my error and ordered this 36-piece set of Zig Clean Color markers. As are most of the tools of the trade, they are quite pricey so until I tried them out and decided I wanted to use them often, I think the 36 piece set is perfect. I also bought Ranger’s Multi Medium Matte glue and this precision tip container that I saw on a YouTuber’s channel. For those of you that use Glossy Accents, you will appreciate this precision tip. I don’t know how many times the glue clogged the tip and I couldn’t get the blasted stuff out. So I quickly replaced the tip of the Multi-Medium Matte with the precision tip and voila – problem solved!  So I will be buying another for my glossy accents. When it comes to craft supply organization, Jennifer McGuire, an amazing crafter, has got it down to a science. So I watched one of her videos to see how she organized her markers. So in order to capture each color and their variations when water is added, I made a swatch sheet and wrote the corresponding number below each color. Then I used a hole-punch and punched out tiny circles to place on the tips of each marker for quick access. I then used the multi-medium matte to adhere them to the top of each marker and once that was dry, I applied glossy accents to give them a lovely seal and shine. In Jennifer’s video, she didn’t say what to do with the remaining color swatch but I decided it was the perfect size and slid it into the back of the marker case. So now I have two references and this one I can take out and look at all of the colors side-by-side in one glance to see what colors I want to use. I love organizing supplies as much as I love purchasing them so this was really a fun activity. I am going away in a little over a week for my annual girlfriend creative escape and I can’t wait to bring these markers to play with them.

Hope you have a crafty day!


Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies Dectective Agency (#1) by Alexander McCall Smith

Hello, my bookworm friends! Oh, these gray days are perfect for beautifully illustrated books. This is another book review for the Literary Voyage Around the World Reading challenge. It is also a book I am using for March Mystery Madness, a BookTube reading challenge for the month of March. So for the month of March you are to read mysteries and they challenge you to read a book for each of the following categories:


You can interpret these words any way you would like. For instance, the word SHELF could be a book off of your shelf etc. I might use this book for FOREIGN since it is set in Botswana.


Title: The No. 1 Ladies Detetive Agency (Book #1)
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Copyright: February 18, 2003
Genre: fiction
Format: audiobook Narrator: Lisette Lecat
Duration: 08:11:14

“Detective agencies rely on human intuition and intelligence, both of which Mma Ramotswe had in abundance. No inventory would ever include those, of course.” p. 3

Summary (from Goodreads):

Mma “Precious” Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

About the Author (Genevieve Cogman):


Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.

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Botswana flag

My Thoughts:

For many years now I have collected books in this series as I come across them at thrift shops. The covers always struck me a beautiful. So what better time for an audiobook than when you catch the flu. Yup, you heard it right, I was brought down by the flu. So I downloaded it off of Hoopla and let the story unfold.

I also chose this book because it fulfills the Mystery March Book challenge and the Literary Voyage Around the World.

I truly enjoyed listening to Mma Ramostwe’s story and how she became a lady detective. There were several cases that she tended to in the book and I appreciated being able to learn a little more each time about life in Botswana. Even though the stories are fiction, these types of cases to occur so it allowed the reader to see some of the struggles that society has to deal with in Botswana.

“I love all the people whom God made, but I especially know how to love the people who live in this place. They are my people, my brothers and sisters. It is my duty to help them to solve the mysteries in their lives. That is what I am called to do.” Mma Ramotswe, p. 4

Rather than follow tradition Mma Ramotswe feels compelled to help her people and despite the obstacles for women in this profession, she pursues it with gusto.

I really look forward to reading book two and will be sure to come back with another review.

Overall I enjoyed the story of Mma Ramotswe and the variety of cases she solved. The audiobook was delightful and although I wasn’t feeling well, this book was a welcome distraction. For these reasons, I would give this book 4 butterflies.

Happy reading!


Happy Monday!

Hello everyone! I am back to hang out a bit. It’s freezing outside but the sun is blasting so that makes it better.  Another storm is heading our way on Wednesday, hopefully, it doesn’t bring any significant amounts of snow.  Spring is tomorrow so I have no interest in seeing any more snowstorms.

Last week was a fun week despite the Nor’easter which dumped quite a bit of snow. So you can see why I might not be in the cheering section for another storm. The one thing I love about big storms is snow days and my boys get to stay home with us.  I love having my peeps around.

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Yesterday I took my boys to see, “A Wrinkle in Time” and wow it was fantastic. I liked the messages in the story and the visuals were amazing.  I was taken aback by the marketing that this movie was for “Father-daughter or mother-daughter dates”. My sons enjoyed it and the messages were important to everyone. So I am quite confused why anyone would wish to limit the exposure of this movie. I also found this lovely interview with the granddaughter of the late Madeleine L’Engle. She believes her grandmother would have loved the film.

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Lately, we have been picking winners to see at the theaters. The last movie we saw was Black Panther and I loved it. I rarely want to see a movie again on the big screen but this one gave me all the feels and I am so tempted to go see it again. My hope is that everyone gets to see this film because it isn’t just important for black people to see themselves portrayed as strong superheroes. It is important for everyone to gain more exposure and then maybe one day he will just be a celebrated superhero.

As you know, I still have reading sessions with my youngest son and our latest book is blowing my mind. It is called, “The Other Mozart: The Life of the famous Chevalier de Saint-George“. I first heard about him on an episode of The View in which they would feature a different person each for Black History Month. So I wrote it down and checked it out of the library. I listen to a variety of music including classical and I have never heard of Chevalier de Saint-George.

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (December 25, 1745 – June 10, 1799)[1] was a champion fencer, a virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy planter, and Nanon, his African slave.[2] During the French Revolution, Saint-Georges was colonel of the ‘Légion St.-Georges,'[3] the first all-black regiment in Europe, fighting on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry.

We read half of the book on Saturday and then found his music to listen to online. We will finish the second half tonight. But what a pleasant surprise to learn of this man and his achievements. I love finding opportunities like this to expose to my boys so they are reminded what is possible.

Well, I am off and I hope you all have a blessed day!


Well Hello!

Well hello everyone! Wooha! It’s been a crazy few weeks over here. We had a nor’easter on Tuesday and it dumped over a foot of snow.  We had two snow days which made my kids very happy.  I really love being snug inside with them during storms knowing we have what we need and don’t have to go out. Prior to all this, I had the flu which took me out of the game for almost two weeks. Hence my lengthy absence.

I am so happy with our new plow guy because he did a remarkable job on our driveways and all of our walkways. I was so grateful not to have to shovel at all.  Just stayed inside and played board games with my son and video games with my oldest.  Aside from the flu and snowstorms, I have been doing a lot of reading and coloring with my colored pencils. I have a few fun posts planned so come on back.

My kids are back in school today so I am sitting down at my desk and look forward to finding my rhythm again for creating and publishing posts.

Have a blessed day!



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