Tuesday, June 3, 2008

{the good things in life are free}

A few weeks ago, Penguin Publishing contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a new book, based around scrapbooking. A free book, with scrapbooking involved? Heck yeah, I was interested! Especially when I read that one of the characters in the book had 4 children, as I do. The book is called "A Page Out of Life," and I just finished it last night.

Even better? The nice people at Penguin sent me 4 copies, so I have 3 to give away! If you would like a copy, leave a comment here for me, and I will draw 3 random winners to receive a *free* copy of this book, so that you can judge it for yourselves!

So, here's what I thought. While the book is called "A Page Out of Life," there was actually very little scrapbooking in the plot. The story was based around a group of women who met weekly for a scrapping get-together. Each chapter was titled after the character it revolved around, and each woman had their own interesting story. There was plenty of drama, including an almost-affair, an impending divorce, and a secret that involved two of the friends. The author was obviously intelligent and well-informed on some of the economical, political, and educational issues in the book, but the writing style wasn't always to my liking. I thought a bit of it was unrealistic (but, hey, that's why we read, right?), and the characters sometimes spoke a bit too correctly. My favorite part? The way the group of women really came together and supported each other when it really mattered. My favorite part of scrapbooking is the (usually) warm and caring community, and how we can all join forces when someone is in trouble. That was certainly well-represented in this book. The storyline was pretty intense toward the end, and I stayed up late to finish it. It was an easy read, and a great way to relax before bed.

Speaking of free..... a popular Brazilian scrap-related blog is having an anniversary celebration! They are giving away a huge collaboration kit that I contributed to, along with Gina Miller, Kate Hadfield, Lili, and a few of their own designers!

The kit is centered around Valentine's Day, which is this month in that part of the world. Be sure to stop by their site! All you have to do to get the free goodies is participate in their challenge: scrap a page with a "celebration" theme, and leave a link to it in their comments. Voila! Free kit!

more camping photos

I've finished editing all my camping photos, and thought I would share a few more of my favorites.

My uber-cute nephew. I was so lucky to catch this look!

Jessie and Alex playing "horsie" on the curb:

The view at the beginning of the Cedar Falls Trail. There was a beautiful waterfall at the end, and yes, it's at the bottom of that valley there. The way down was quite steep but fun! And worth it!

Stopping along the trail for a rest:

The falls spilled into the huge pool. It was gorgeous.

We had a spring running through our campsite, and the kids loved to go wading in it:

Photo opps at the Bear Caves:

And, of course, I've already started scrapping them!

latest layout

Here's to the free things in life! Cheers!


denali said...

Byooootiful photos, as always! You inspire to me to try SO much harder to get better pictures of ordinary life. I find myself asking, 'How would Amy shoot this?' I kid you not. So thanks for the inspiration :)

The kit looks wonderful, but I'm lost on that blog given my language limitations. Darn! A reminder to expand my horizons, I think ;)

Your review was honest - I like that about you! Sounds like a decent read, and I'm all for that.

Thanks, Amy!

Mic said...

Amy, we at Scrapblog are sooo happy to have you as a special participation in our Birthday Party! The kit is awesome and, just a reminder that whoever wants to have it needs to participate in our challenge! :) As it´s in portuguese, i´ll explain it here: you have to scrap a page with the "celebration" theme and leave the link on the comments. Easy like that! .)

Mic - www.scrapblog.com.br

Jenny said...

Hi AMy!!

I just finished my first year of Nursing School the middle of May and I could definetly handle some 'light' reading ;)

Beautiful pictures!!

Jenny in Maine
MY BLog: www.ThisEveryDayLife.com

mickey said...

I just found your blog from another scrapping blogger. Love your photos! :o)

You mentioned Gina Miller on here. I used to visit her blog every day. Then we moved to build a new home and didn't have internet for about 5 months. When i finally had a chance to check out her blog, it was gone. Does she have a new one? Miss reading about her days. :O)

Book sounds like a great summer read. I too appreciate the honest review, and I'd love some light reading by the pool. :o)

Melinda said...

Sounds like a read I would enjoy- I'd love to have a copy!
Have you read any of Laura Child's scrapbook mystery series? "Keepsake Crimes" is the first in the series, and it's entertaining :) I liked them well enough to read all of them!

Anonymous said...

I love your photos, beautiful as always!! And that layout...WOW!

I heard about that book, sounds interesting and like an easy, fun read! Very cool! :)

Adriane said...

Hello - found your blog thru a friend - i absolutely love your photos!!! i just got a SLR in Februrary and desperately need to learn how to use it better :) anyways, the book looks great... i would love to win that :)

Stacey said...

I am an avid reader and always looking for new authors to try - this sounds right up my alley! Thanks for always sharing your incredible photos and talent with those looking to learn more!

Amy said...

Mickey, since I don't have a way to contact you, I will just answer your question here :) Gina no longer blogs, but you can find lots of her ramblings at My Scrapbook Art (www.myscrapbookart.com). HTH!

Krista said...

Oooo your camping pics are fun! Great LO too. Thanks for the Brazilian site link.
The book sounds interesting... enter me please:)

Bonnie said...

Just wanted to say I love your work & kits!!! I'm a trasplanted Arkansan living in Scotland. Enjoyed looking at your camping photos!

iris said...

I always enjoy reading your blog Amy. And your latest layout is fabulous! I wish I could do that with paper.

mickey said...


Thanks for clueing me in about Gina's blog. So sad. Her blog was a fun and entertaining read. :o) I'll look for her on the one you shared. Thanks so much! :o)

Rita said...

Ok. Seriously. That page is the MOST amazing digi page I have ever seen. I cannot believe its digi. You so rock. Awesome fun photos. Can't wait for the pages and I totally want to read that book. Pick me!! :)

Emilie said...

Hi Amy!!
I've heard of this book on Emily Powers' blog. It looks great!!
I love your latest layout, it's always a pleasure to see your layouts at MSA. ;)
Great camping photos! Your kids are really cute.
Have a nice day! :)
Emilie (AmyPunky)

Rachael Giallongo said...

I would love to win a copy of the book! I also have 4 kiddos! :)

inlovewithdots at aol dot com

LBMann said...

Love your layouts and your use of
3D techniques. I am inspired by how you aren't afraid to off center your work as well.

I thought your book review was open and honest. I will out the novel on my "to read" list. Thanks for sharing with us!!

catherine said...

Thanks for the review Amy , i was wondering if I should order that book from amazon.com.

Fabulous photos, they will be a wonderful memory of your caming trip and I can't wait to see more layouts with them!

Off to check the Brzilian blog, that collab kitis fantastic!

Have a nice Sunday.

Faith Ann said...

I love your camping photos!! I especially love that last photo of all of your kids sitting on the rock... gorgeous photo.

I can't wait until our first camping trip of the season, unfortunately, I have to way until July :(

Priscilla said...

that book sounds like a fun read :D

Karla Dudley said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...girl so much going on! You are such a ball of light!!!!! Congratulations on the opportunity to review the book! How cool!!! Love the pictures and am drooling over your pages!!!! Just stunning!

Have a great night honey,