Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns by Haafner Linssen

msource: free copy courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin
title: Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns
designer: Haafner Linssen
published: St. Martin’s Griffin (March 15, 2016)
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Crocheted mandalas are having a moment! And it’s no wonder the lovely mandala is in vogue: one evening is often enough to begin and finish something eye-catching. Many crocheters make mandalas as a meditative activity, while others love them simply for the wonderful opportunities they offer for mixing colors and stitch textures. A new take on traditional shapes, like granny squares or hexagons, these attractive crocheted circles are causing a real buzz in the crochet community.

Included are complete written and charted directions for a variety of types of circular designs, plus a range of creative techniques and ideas to make yours stand out from the crowd. With full patterns and inspiring photos, a review of crochet techniques, a discussion of materials, colors, finishing techniques, and lots of project ideas including bags, shawls, blankets, and pillows, this book guarantees many hours of happy mandala-making.

my thoughts:
Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns by Haafner Linssen has become an instant favorite. This one has thirty gorgeous mandala patterns, crisp photos, clear instructions and really is a visual delight.

Designer Haafner Linssen says “In Hinduism and Buddhism, mandalas have a ritual role, representing Buddha or even the universe. The different parts of such a mandala have a symbolic meaning. For instance, the outer circle often symbolizes wisdom in Buddhism”

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Mailbox Monday: Autumn and Crochet

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday. I just love this time of year, when the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are turning vibrant colors. It also makes for perfect cozy reading weather. Although, I have to mention I did shed tears last night over The Walking Dead. Not okay :*(  If you watched, what did you think about it?

Soooo onto my mailbox….

It felt a little like Christmas morning a few weeks ago when I received these, all courtesy of St. Martin’s Press:

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Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

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source: free copy via AmazonVine
title: Under the Udala Trees
author: Chinelo Okparanta
published: September 22, 2015
pages: 328
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Inspired by Nigeria’s folktales and its war, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply searching, powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly.

Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls.

When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.

As Edwidge Danticat has made personal the legacy of Haiti’s political coming of age, Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees uses one woman’s lifetime to examine the ways in which Nigerians continue to struggle toward selfhood. Even as their nation contends with and recovers from the effects of war and division, Nigerian lives are also wrecked and lost from taboo and prejudice. This story offers a glimmer of hope — a future where a woman might just be able to shape her life around truth and love.

my thoughts:
Narrated by Ijeoma, Under the Udala Trees starts off when she is just eleven years old and living in the war ridden republic of Nigeria in the late 1960’s.
When Ijeoma’s father is killed in an air bombing, her mother is left grief ridden and depressed, barely able to care for herself let alone her daughter. She sends Ijeoma off to live with a couple in another village. Ijeoma lives there almost two years before her mother comes back to get her. What she finds in this village is a friendship and eventually romantic feelings for a girl named Amina.

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Mailbox Monday: the classics

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mondays are my least favorite day of the week except when there are books and a day off work involved. On a recent trip out to Barnes & Noble in search of a new Nook charger I came home with another copy of a favorite classic. I couldn’t resist. It was just so pretty.
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“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary…” -Emily Bronte

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A favorite poem by Browning, and I think my favorite lines here are
“I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints.”

There is something just sweet and to the point about this poem. I feel it showcases how loving someone is as necessary to life as breathing is.  “I love thee to the level of every day’s most quiet need”.  

What do you think?

Follow this link  to read more of her work. Sonnets from the Portuguese has been on my wishlist for a while now, I really should grab a copy for my shelves.

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disclaimer: The photo above is my own and is not available for download.