A Beautiful Surprise from Switzerland!

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This lovely little book, sent to me by an extraordinarily artistic and skilled Swiss quilt maker by the name of Maryline Collioud-Robert, couldn't have arrived at a better time. It happened to arrive just as that nasty old bug got hold of me. I didn't feel like doing much of anything but reading and knitting.

When I shared Joanie's Forager Bag in January, Mary wrote me a comment telling me that Joanie's image made her think of the book "Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier.

The story is actually based upon two real life friends, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, avid fossil hunters who brought to light previously unknown creatures buried for eons in the beach cliffs near Lyme Regis, England. The unlikely friendship between the two women and the impact their discoveries had on the scientific community during the early 1800's is richly and beautifully told by historical fiction novelist Tracy Chevalier.

Mary asked me if she could send it to me. And I responded by suggesting that I might be able to find it here and save her the cost of shipping.

But Mary actually had a very good reason for wanting to send the book!

Have you ever heard of Bookcrossing.com? Mary is a member and wanted to have a book "released" in America. I told her by all means - send the book and after I read it I will release it here!

The book is identified on the cover with little sticker labels that say "I am not lost, I am a part of a global book club. Take me home. Then pass this book along or release it." Each book receives an ID number which makes it possible to see where the book has been, who has read it, what they thought about it, how it touched their life.

Mary is hoping to follow it's journey on this side of the world. I will either pass it along or simply leave it somewhere like a Starbucks to be found.

But before I release it, I am reading it again! I love reading an author who can create vibrant, fascinating characters using just one or two sentences! I am hooked and now eager to seek out other books by Ms. Chevalier. Historical novels, especially well written ones, have always appealed to me.

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The book was only half the surprise waiting for me in Mary's package. She had tucked in these two stunning little embroideries, created by Afghan women who live north of Kabul.

Pascale Goldenberg heads an embroidery project in Afghanistan. Women living in Laghmani, Afghanistan embroider 8x8 cm embroidered squares which are then sold to artists and crafters to be used to adorn bags, pillows and table runners.

Mary shares many images and provides links and more information on her blog "Mary & Patch". You will definitely want to visit!

Some embroideries measuring only 4x6 cm are embroidered with the finest silk thread and the tiniest stitches you can imagine. Don't miss seeing these.

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And be sure not to leave Mary's site before you visit her galleries of fabulous quilts. Even if you are not a quilter, you will be glad you took the time to see her work. She is a very accomplished and inspired artist. And I know you too will be inspired as you view her quilts.

When you follow the link, you will be given a choice of English or French. choose one and begin your journey.

Mary, thank you, for introducing me to Tracy Chevalier by sending me" Remarkable Creatures". Your book will be sent on it's way soon.

And an extra special thank you for the two beautiful little Afghan embroideries.

It is pieces of beautiful artistic expression like these that I feel are the true treasures of this world. I feel honored to hold these in my hands, to touch the perfect stitches and to have these lovely connections with two young women north of Kabul.

That book sounds great. I

That book sounds great. I love historical fiction. And what a cool idea for a book club. I'm definitely going to check that website out! Thanks for sharing this.

Also that embroidery looks amazing. I can't imagine stitches that fine. Wow!

Tracy Chevalier writes

Tracy Chevalier writes wonderful stories. I hope you find more of her books now that you have discovered her!

I love that book crossing

I love that book crossing idea, and it seems like a really interesting book to read. I am glad it helped in getting you better.

What a nice treat for you.

What a nice treat for you. Tracy Chevalier is one of my favourites! You may have seen the film Girl With a Pearl Earring, I haven't seen it but I read it, it's it's probably her best known novel and a great one.

You must also read her book The Lady and the Unicorn. It's about Belgian weavers who make the famous five senses tapestries. You will love it!

You may also like The Virgin Blue. Check out her website to get more info and introductory chapters.

Lyme Regis isn't too far away from here either. I haven't read remarkable creatures yet, I'll have to get it.

Jx

Thanks so much, Pam! It was a

Thanks so much, Pam! It was a pleasure meeting you through the blog! Life always has nice surprises in store for us!

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