A Field Guide to Color: A Net Galley Review


Color Theory… it isn’t something in which I thought I would ever have an interest. Then my daughter found art to be a fulfilling hobby and I began to search out avenues for her to enjoy. She had a wonderful time last year with a dear friend and local college student who taught her much about art theory, especially color. They studied many artists and discussed their use of color. I did not join in on their lessons and found this to be an excellent explanation of color and an inspiration in my own water color adventures. 

This has the feeling of a hand-drawn journal making it quite personable. Within the pages are opportunities for you as an artist to create your own color palates and really practice your craft. I love that it begins with the assumption that the reader is a true beginner, which I most certainly am! It would be a great addition to any art library whether you are a teacher or student.

I also appreciate that the Table of Contents is broken down into exercises and use of color for shapes to try. It truly is an inspiring book for any artist, especially those who are just trying the medium of water color. 


I’m excited to grab a hard-copy of this as I was reviewing a digital version. It will definitely be more valuable as a hold-in-your-hand paper book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about color theory with regards to water color!

I used a little big of what I learned in drawing this crazy little lizard!

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Be A Super Awesome Photographer: A Net Galley Review

First of all, I adore the title of this book! Who wouldn’t want to be super awesome at what they love? I am definitely not a professional photographer by any means. I am not looking to become one either, but I am always looking for ways to improve my hobby. 

The reason I want to improve is so I can continue to record our family’s history. I love to scrapbook and have come to a point where I want to improve my photography skills. 

This wonderful title has helped me look at things with some new perspective. When my girls were little, I did a good job of getting on their level, but beyond that, I really didn’t have much change in how I took pictures. Recently I have been more mindful of my position in addition to the camera. This book definitely gave me the insights I was looking for!

The photo challenges are much like taking a class! Once a new concept is introduced, a new challenge is given to the reader. Here are a few of the photos I have taken after reading this title. Some are with my phone and others with my camera. 


Used the room lighting creatively

Getting up close to my subject


Capturing light sources


Patience with animal photography!


Create a scene! (Rose did this one!)


This is my favorite!

With this last photo I sat for over an hour under a tree in our front yard and patient waited, taking picture after picture until I finally captured this! 


If you are looking for a way to casually improve your photography with ease, check this out! 

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Little Learning Labs: Math Games for Kids: A Net Galley Review

Is your kid totally into math? Or maybe the opposite is true and they do everything they can to get out of completing mathematics assignments. Both traditional schoolers and homeschoolers alike struggle with mathemtaics concepts. One of my favorite ways to overcome this is through hands-on activities, especially where games are involved!

My kids really love games of all kinds. Mathematics games are a genius way to introduce as well as solidify topics in a concrete manner. I’ve always loved titles form Little Learning Labs. I was certainly not disappointed in this title either. 


The games are arranged by topic in the table of contents making it easy for you as teacher or parent to find exactly what you need. Geometry, curves, graphs, mathematical theory and more can be covered in a clear and understandable way…even for those of us adults who are not super “mathy” by nature!

My favorite activity was right at the beginning! By using toothpicks and gum drops you can clearly explain prisms. They are 3D models…and absolutely delicious! I firmly believe that in addition to hands-on, food is a wonderful way to retain understanding!


I highly recommend this title if you are looking for some new and creative ways to present mathematical concepts.
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Learn to Draw Disney/Pixar Toy Story Collector’s Edition: A Net Galley Review


This was one of the most fun reviews I’ve done in a while! I was excited to have all the new characters from Toy Story 4 as well as all the old favorites. 

I have recently renewed my joy of sketching and had fun browsing through this title. My one disappointment was that the images appeared to be computer generated rather than hand-drawn. While I fully acknowledge the amazing technology which brought us the movie, it might be discouraging to a child to not be able to recreate replicas. Still, I found it to be quite enjoyable. 


I first this little alien with pencil. I then used water colored pencils and a water brush pen to fill in the colors. Then I used a dark colored pencil for details. 


When I showed my daughters my work, they were surprised and impressed! I assured them the book was incredibly helpful and they too could draw beautiful illustrations. They had fun picking out favorite characters to draw again. Forky is definitely a favorite!

This is a beautiful book compiling all the favorites of all the Toy Story movies. If you or your child is a fan of this Disney favorite, you will be delighted with the compilation of how-to drawings. 


Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen: A Net Galley Review


This is quite the gem of a little book! While the use of fountain pens at one time seemed to be a thing of the past, the idea of using this fabulous writing utensil is coming back to life! Most of us have no idea how to go about starting to use a fountain pen, so a guide like this is just what we need. 

There is something uniquely satisfying about dipping a pen into ink and putting pen to paper. I have recently worked to correct my pen grip. My parents tried and tried when I was younger to help me, but time and time again I went back to my incorrect grip. I finally have mastered the correction only going back every once in a while accidentally. I rewarded myself with a glass dip-pen and a package of gorgeous drawing inks from Winsor & Newton. 

I love how this book is organized with both drawing and writing fonts. It is understood that most people will not be using a dipped pen or fountain pen on a regular basis as more convenient and less messy options are available, but for creating art and lettering this particular medium is both unique and beautiful. 


I loved the line drawing pages! They are clearly hand sketched rather than computer generated which is important to me in a book with drawing instructions. The explanation for how to hold the pen at what angle, how to produce thicker vs. thinner lines, and how to create shadows were clearly expressed. 


Having never drawn with an ink-dipped pen I found the etched feeling of writing on parchment paper quite lovely. I have recently begun to sketch more and more and I am definitely adding in the use of my glass pen due to this book! 


I’m not very proficient at lettering yet, but I had fun trying some different fonts. Again, the letters in this book were each clearly hand-drawn giving me greater inspiration over the typical computerized styles I’m used to. 

Overall I was quite thrilled with this title and am looking forward to purchasing a hard-copy soon!

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament


I’m becoming an advocate for combining art and faith. I am learning how the Lord has given us artistic creativity to express our praise and worship of Him. Everyone naturally accepts that of music and even of creative writing, but artistic rendering through brush and pen are sometimes neglected. I’ve been a fan of Karla Dornacher for a while and was super excited to check out this collaboration she is a part of! 

Studying how Christ has been a part of history from the beginning fascinates me. This wonderful way of looking at Scripture brings new life and insight into the Old Testament as well as helps us to understand the redemptive nature of our Lord and Savior. I have heard sermons which traced Christ through the Old Testament, but have never completed a Bible study which solely focused on this. I really liked the simple format as well as the artistic application as well. 

Each of the 12 chapters is divided into 5 daily readings. There are also artistic activities to go along with each chapter. These would be so very fun to do as a group! The projects should not be overwhelming to beginners (just like me!) and will open up lots of opportunity for discussion during creating. I love the coloring pages at the end which are great no matter your age. There are also beautiful bookmarks to correspond with the chapters as well. 

The reader is encouraged to find their own creative outlet as well. There is a spring-board list of fantastic ideas in the appendix to get you started. I found this to be helpful to think outside of my personal creative box. 

I plan to have my daughters work through this study this year. It is deep enough to challenge them, but not so academic that it will become drudgery. This would make for an interesting group study as well. I’ve been excited to read this title and look forward to working through some of the art activities as well. I think it would be fun for a high school girls study or young women too. I really see many applications for use! 

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Finding Lady Enderly: A Net Galley Review


I love a good mystery with a bit of humor and romance. This wonderful story had all three and was one of the most creatively written novels I’ve had the privilege to read. The author was new to me and I enjoyed this so much I am already exploring some of her other works. 

The basic premise is a bit of a Cinderella story. A poor young lady is given the opportunity to live a life of opulence for a time as she pretends to be someone she is not. The enticing presentation of a solicitor, who guarantees there is no harm nor illegal act, is too much for her adventurous curiosity. Since she learned of the death at sea of the young man she loved, she has been looking for a way to escape her life and this seems to be the opportunity. Soon, however, she realizes there must be something awry in spite of all the fine promises of the solicitor. 

Two things struck me as I read this novel. The first was the way in which the author presented the story. Current trends lead novelists to write in 3rd person limited fashion with usually two lead characters (one male and one female) giving us insight into their perspectives, but not from the personal perspective of I. In this novel there was a shift in perspective, but one used 1st person (the heroine) and one used 3rd person limited (the hero). I was initially surprised by this style but ended up absolutely loving it! It kept the writing fresh and alive and my attention was completely held from page one. 

The second was the setting. I loved that the mansion our heroine arrives at is actually a abbey which was once used by monks. Its history and beauty shone through the author’s pen and made me want to live there myself! Not because of the opulence, but rather because of the meaningful spiritual context. 

Finally, I loved the complex plot and unexpected twists throughout the narrative. I was continually surprised and ready to learn what would happen next. 

I highly, highly recommend this novel! I can’t wait to read more by the author.
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Dictionary of Tommies’ Songs and Slang, 1914–1918: A Net Galley Review


I am completely fascinated by how language changes over time. I also love studying history. This wonderfulbook provides a combination of the two. It is in ever sense a dictionary, alphabetized with slang and definitions of each word as well as a collection of songs from the British during World War I. 

This period of war-time history was particularly brutal. In studying the war you will find the first use of chemical weapons, flame throwers, and many more horrible affects of war. As with any major period of history the culture is greatly impacted. One of the ways during this war was the rise of a slang particular to those in the war, known as Tommies. Some of this slang inevitably carried over to our own country. 

This is a republication of a text from 1930 and revisits an era long forgotten. The political agenda of the war is long forgotten by many and when discussed the individuals are lost. This beautiful compilation is an effort to bring back the individual soldier, specifically of the lower class, who was at the mercy of the reigning powers. While others may debate the war’s causes and consequences, these authors do a wonderful job of preserving the culture of the every-day soldier who lived, fought, and died at the whims of world leaders.

You will thoroughly enjoy reading through this title and getting a glimpse of the language of the day. You may recognize some slang, while much will undoubtedly be new to you. For instance, kahaki, is a term we use readily to describe the light brown colored pants and originates with the British Army. It was first used in the 1880s and is from a Hindi word which described a drab colored linin cloth. Beginning in the early 1900s the word began to be used for the material we know as kahki today. 


Discover this and more as you enjoy this fabulous time machine of language!
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Amazing Loom Knits: A Net Galley Review


When I was young my great-grandmother taught me to knit the traditional way. I have a faint memory of how to knit, but I was never very good at it. I loved the idea of loom knitting and bought a set for myself from a local store. I have made a simple hat and scarves using the looms, but that was all I thought they were for. Little did I know just how many amazing creations could be made with either round or square looms! 

This book is full of simple instructions to follow for each of the 30 patterns. Everything from hats to scarves to mittens to socks is represented here in beautiful detail. I was thrilled to discover a wide variety of simple stitches can be used! 

The fiber arts can be daunting and feel overwhelming when you first begin. The author, Nicole F. Cox, does an excellent job of giving precise yarn types as well as the specific supplies needed. Special stitches are clearly explained, even if they may take some time to master.

I am personally excited to try my hand and making the Highland Ear Warmers. I am definitely a beginner, and this simple pattern seems to be one I could manage. I also get very cold ears in the winter! I like that there are several color patterns shown as well as the optional flower adornment.

There are many fun patterns to choose from. If you are like me and have had some looms stashed away without much understanding of how to use them, this would be a great book to pick up and give a try. 

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

We Too: A Net Galley Review


This was a really difficult book to read because of the subject. I have not experienced sexual assault or abuse personally, by the grace of God. I do know I was sheltered from a lot by parents who took their role as protector very seriously. But even so, it could have been me. 

I have many friends who have been on the receiving end of the types of horrific incidents described in this book. Many have been understandably hesitant to share their pain and continued grief. Most have been ignored or not believed at some point, dismissed without compassion. It is sadly true that much of this has occurred within the American church. Mary DeMuth has been a voice at the front of those working to protect women and children within the church from predators. Her own horrifying childhood experience has given her a relevant voice in our culture. One of firm determination to expose the truth and find justice for victims. 

One important area which she deals with heavily is the problem of pornography in our society. It has never been okay, but the ease with which it is available and the increased violent and pervasive acts portrayed are far beyond what it was 30 years ago. This deplorable industry is fast growing and the money made from it fuels even more. Women and children are preyed upon to a degree many of us cannot fathom. It reminds me of ancient Rome and the culture of sexual depravity woven in and out of that society. This is nothing new. Satan merely finds new ways to entice and addict. Sadly the cycles continue when children find sexual perversion normalized. Of course, ever individual is responsible for their own actions no matter what has been done to them, but those who have faced trauma unchecked struggle more to say no to the temptations.

We as the church must rise and stand against these sins and lawless acts. The call to action is clear and must be heeded. When a victim is finally able to face what happened to them and tell someone, they must not be ignored. Truth should prevail, and they need to know they are believed.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of this title. You will gain perspective from personal experience and learn compassion for those who are grieving. But for the grace of God, it could have been me. I am blessed to not have the nightmarish past to confront, but that does not give me cause to ignore the problem. 


Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.