Friday, June 23, 2017

Reciipe Wekend: Modern Sugar Flowers by Jacqueline Butler

.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from F+W Media, via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.
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Something else that might be on your "meaning to do" list,
 is how to properly decorate a cake.

Or maybe you already know the basics, but want to learn those WOW factor sugar flowers?

THIS book is here to show you JUST how to do that!

modern sugar flowers cover


Internationally acclaimed sugar artist Jacqueline Butler has developed a unique style of cake decorating with sugar flowers, which she generously shares in this beautifully illustrated book.

Through over 600 exquisite photographs, you will learn how to create 18 stylized gumpaste flowers in various stages of bloom, as well as buds and leaves, using a fresh modern color palette.

Jacqueline also reveals how to use the flowers to create artful arrangements on wedding and celebration cakes, including working directly on single- and multi-tier cakes, as well as pre-made toppers and separators.

Inspirational and practical, this step-by-step cake decorating book will be your go-to reference on sugar flowers for years to come.

Modern Sugar Flowers  sample 1


As you can see from the samples above, and below, you get some pretty AMAZING photos that take you step by step along the way to make 18 sugar flowers that will not only WOW your family and friends, but increase your confidence that you CAN make some pretty amazing cakes too! The instructions are very straightforward, as you can see, and the intro section goes over tools and tricks of the trade, as well as simple recipes you need tor the flowers. Due to our extreme heat wave, I wasn't about to try to make any of the flowers, but having made fondant flowers with similar techniques, I believe the one sin this book are truly attainable, as long as you have the right recipe, tools and directions, which 2 are in the book for you! Who knows, this book might just inspire you, or the teens, to start a new family business, that future generations will look back on and say "WOW it started with a book?"! We can't recommend it enough for some Summer fun!

Modern Sugar Flowers sample 2

About the author;

Jacqueline Butler is a wedding cake designer and sugar artist based in San Diego, California, under the business name Petalsweet Cakes. She teaches sugar flowers internationally, including the USA, Australia, Europe and Asia. She's known for her sophisticated flowers in soft pastel shades, modern flower arrangements and the ability to break down the flower-making process into achievable steps, leading to beautiful results. Check out her Facebook page for more great ideas and creations!

Book Review: The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide by James M. Beidler

.Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from F+W Media, via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.
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Need a Summer project for YOU, that you can get the kids involved in too?

How about tracing that family genealogy?

Along the way, the kids will learn about their ancestors, how they lived, ancient naming patterns, and maybe some history (Summer education, score!), and you can knock an item off your "meaning to do" list!

This new book can help get you on your way!

The Family Tree German Genealogy Guideby cover


Follow your family tree back to its roots in Bavaria, Baden, Prussia, Hesse, Saxony, Wurttemburg and beyond. This in-depth genealogy guide will walk you step by step through the exciting journey of researching your German heritage, whether your ancestors came from lands now in modern-day Germany or other German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, and enclaves across Eastern Europe.

In this book, you'll learn how to:
- Retrace your German immigrant ancestors' voyage from Europe to America.
- Pinpoint the precise place in Europe your ancestors came from.
- Uncover birth, marriage, death, church, census, court, military, and other records documenting your ancestors' lives.
- Access German records of your family from your own hometown.
- Decipher German-language records, including unfamiliar German script.
Understand German names and naming patterns that offer research clues.

You'll also find maps, timelines, sample records and resource lists throughout the book for quick and easy reference. Whether you're just beginning your family tree or a longtime genealogy researcher, the Family Tree German Genealogy Guide will help you conquer the unique challenges of German research and uncover your ancestors' stories.


I was VERY lucky when I started researching my dad's German line to find a cousin (like 16 times removed, LOL), who had just been and looked at farm books and church registries in the German area I needed (which was really Prussia, aka Poland now), and he was able to email me copies of the shots he took, saving me EONS of letters being translated into German and sent to archdioceses and more. But if you don't have that luck, trying to figure out boundary lines, where to find records (remember that little thing called World War II? Yup, lots of records got destroyed (purposely and accidentally). So this book is just the thing you need to not only start you in the right direction (which country now holds the records you need), but to decipher and figure out your next step. 

Being able to find your family on the big ancestral site like they show on TV is not as easy as it is made to be. Living relative's info is NOT online, so typically you have to go back 3 -4 generations, and try to make matches. That can be problematic, espeically when there are 14 Carl Otto Heinrich's in the Minnesota area, all born within 6 months of each other. Which one is your great-grandfather, and which one is a 5th cousin, twice removed? Because, as you will find out with this book, families shared the same ancestor's names, over and over. The book contains a wealth of historical info as well, that might actually help you on other lines that tie into your German ones, as well. making it well worth the money to have as a genealogical resource!

If you are looking to start your German line, be SURE to pick up this book, it just might be the proverbial life-saver, and help you find your German line, and cousins, quicker than you think possible! 

About the Author:

James M. Beidler came by his German genealogy expertise honestly - it took him more than 20 years of searching to find any ancestry that wasn't from Germany! Beidler is a columnist for German Life magazine and is considered to "go-to" person for German genealogy articles and lectures.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

History Corner: Natural Wonders of Assateague Island by Mark Hendricks

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from Schiffer Publishing, via Edelweiss for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

This book gets to fall under History Corner today for a very simple reason;

Every year, for 92 years (!!) the Volunteer Firefighters of Chincoteague Island ride over to Assateague Island in July (on the 26th this year) and bring a selection of the wild ponies over, and sell them as a fundraiser (Chincoteague Pony Swim) for the fire department.Additionally money goes to their annual charity pick as well.  if that sounds familiar, it's because marguerite Henry immortalized it in Misty of Chincoteague!
Natural Wonders of Assateague Island cover


Assateague Island, primarily known for its population of wild horses and pristine beaches, is a magical place. Yet few people have experienced all of its natural wonders. Noted wildlife photographer Mark Hendricks has spent years exploring the barrier island and shares his passion for the area’s incredible biodiversity in this stunning collection of more than 190 color pictures. Through his lens and words, he captures truly rare moments with some elusive creatures, including a river otter, snowy owl, black stallion, and the threatened piping plover. From the windswept beaches to inland forests and through all seasons, this personal journey is relatable to all who have visited, or wish to visit, this enchanted island off the coasts of both Maryland and Virginia.

Natural Wonders of Assateague Island  sample 1

This is a glorious table top book that offers up all the beauty pf the wildness that is Assateague, and it's more than just the wild horses! hendricks showcases all the wildlife of the island, bringing it to life so well, you cmell the sea, salt and wild grasses, as you flip the pages. But you won't be hurrying through this book! Each photograph is one to stop and admite the raw beauty it contains. We've dreamed of goign to Chincoteague and with this book, we REALLY want to go to experience the beauty of the Outer Islands, and you will too once you check out this amazing book!

Natural Wonders of Assateague Island  sample 2

About the Author:

Mark Hendricks is an award-winning wildlife and conservation photographer as well as writer whose work focuses on the diverse habitats of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Maryland Coastal Bays.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Your Wednesday Bunny Cuteness!

bunny in harness

How to Get All Knotted Up This Summer!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from Parragon Publishing for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

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If you weren't a Boy Ccout, you may never have gotten too much skill builing on 'fancy' nots,
aka the ones you can use on adventures, or to get you out of a problem situation.

Or you might want to make some of those cool nautical knot bracelets this Summer,
as part of your family enrichment time.

If eitehr apply, I have the perfect book set for you!

know your knots cover


This 'Know Your Knots' set is great for anyone who wants to learn the most practical knots and their uses. There are multi-purpose knots, life support knots, and boating knots included so whether you sail, climb, camp, or just want to tie a bundle together this set can show you the way and give you invaluable knot knowledge for every situation. Including knots, bindings, loops, bends, shortenings, hitches, knot lore, alternative names, knot uses, and expert tips. Need a secure knot? Check this out and find the knot to fix it. The contemporary box contains a handy book on the art of tying knots with step-by-step diagrams and clear instructions, alongside two practice ropes to take you through the stages of tying each knot. The 6.5 ft. ropes come in two diameters: one 1/8 in. and one 1/4 in., so that you can try the knots on a rope suitable to your needs. Compare your handiwork to the final knot photo in the book and become a knot-tying pro in no time.


This is a reissue this year and just in time for Sumemr fun! The set comes with the instruction book and rope, so you can start learnign your knots right away! Which means it's PERFECT for Summer travel, to keep the kids occupied enroute to your destination (and maybe tying each other up????), so they're ready to show their handywork upon arrival. or you can buy more cord and be ready to make some cool bracelets with the instructions! the instructions are very clear, with colored diagrams and arrows, so the knows are very easy to learn. And thanks to the full color photos, that show the knots close up, you can easily see what the finished knot is supposed to look like! This is a FUN kit for kids and adults aliek, and we highly recommend it for family fun!

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