Jun 24, 2011

Beautiful Things

I am really trying to get back on schedule with my posting and this post is supposed to be done on Fridays so here it is.  Actually I have a friend that will yell at me if I don't post so I decided to avoid that fate.

1.  Father's Day.  I don't have a father so I have never celebrated it especially since I don't have kids.  But this year was special.  My husband for the first year since we have been together was actually contacted by his kids to wish him Happy Father's Day.  I am not quite sure how that happened but it made him very happy.

2.  Flowers...  I actually have some flowers blooming in my flower bed!

3.  Time alone.  I sure have become accustomed to having someone here all the time but it sure has given me a lot of time to play in my studio.
Jun 21, 2011

Review: Lagan Love

If you know something about passion, and desire, and giving everything to live your dreams then leave your world behind for a while. 

Come with Janice to Dublin, in the mid nineteen-eighties when a better future beckoned and the past was restless, whispering in the shadows for the Old Ways. Janice has grown tired of her sheltered existence in Toronto and when Aidan leads her through the veils of the Celtic Twilight, she doesn’t hesitate. In their love, Aidan, Dublin’s rising poet, sees a chance for redemption and Janice sees a chance for recognition. 

Sinead tells her that it is all nonsense as she keeps her head down and her eyes fixed on her own prize – a place in Ireland’s prospering future. She used to go out with Aidan, before he met Janice, so there is little she can say. And besides, she has enough to do as her parents are torn apart by the rumours of church scandals. But after a few nights in Grogan’s, where Dublin’s bohemians gather, or a day in Clonmacnoise among the ruins of Celtic Crosses, it won’t matter as the ghosts of Aidan’s mythologies take form and prey on the friends until everything is at risk. 

I have to be honest.  When I first started reading LAGAN LOVE, I wasn't too sure that I would care for it.  I tend to really shy away from authors that are too descriptive because I would prefer to build my own images from their words. And yes, that means that I don't care for Tolkien. 

The book started off rather slow and I had problems really relating to any of the main characters.  Both Janice and Sinead are likeable enough characters but there was nothing about them that really made me care what happened to then.  And Aiden... well if I was to list the top ten things that I don't care for in a man, he would hit every point.   I do want to give the author kudos though.  He did a fantastic job of portraying them.  I just didn't care enough about any of them to anxious or happy about the situations that they find themselves in.

This book does raise some interesting questions and they say the sign of a good book is if you continue to ponder them after you are finished.  In that case, LAGAN LOVE is a good book.  And I am sure that many readers will absolutely love this book for the wonderful descriptions of Ireland and perhaps even for the characters.  It just didn't hit the spot for me so the rating is probably lower then the book actually deserves.  If you read it, be sure to let me know that you think of it.

I rate this book a 3.5.




Jun 20, 2011

Playing with Wire

Yesterday was kinda strange because I pretty much had the house to myself with the exception of one of my roommates who is recovering from surgery and pretty much hides out in his room.  Saje was at work and Dustin was out playing on a car.  So it was pretty quiet here.  I have to admit that it was almost too quiet.  And that to me is really strange as I have always loved having a house to myself.  Makes me wonder if my hermit-like leanings need to be updated.

Having the house to myself was really nice in one way.  I was able to go down to my studio and play without guilt.  I know that it is silly but I kinda feel guilty if I am down there when Saje is home.  He says that it doesn't bother him but I know that he likes to have me around when we actually have time off together.  And lately his hours have been down so we spend a lot of time together.  So no guilt yesterday.

I went down just planning on playing with wire.  I now have another steel block and some heavier wire so I wanted to see about making up my own clasps.  Instead I ended up doing some more cleaning and organizing.  In my organizing, I found some cathedral beads that I had forgotten that I had.  So of course I had to use them.

I ended up making a bracelet and necklace set.  I couldn't believe just how easy it was either.  Now that I have my copper organized, it was a matter of finding a clasp and the rest just feel together.  I guess that I am definitely one that works better in an semi organized space.  I have beads all over my table but having the clasps and findings all in one place made it so much simpler.

Oh I soon should be able to add decent pics.  Or at least I hope.  I have become a project for a friend of mine who is determined that I get some items up in my Artfire shop so she has tasked Dustin to build me a light box and take some pics for me  (who knew that he would be so multi-purpose).  So let's see how that goes.

So how did you spend your Sunday?
Jun 19, 2011

Another wonderful contest

Andrew Thornton of The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton is giving away some utterly fabulous beads this week that he picked up at the Bead & Button show.  A lot of them are one of a kind beads that will really move your jewelry up to the next level.

Click here to check it out.

Wonderful Giveaway

I just stumbled upon a new to me blog, somethinguniquebylaura, who just happens to be having a wonderful giveaway!  So be sure to wander over here to check this blog out.
Jun 18, 2011

Three Beautiful Things

Yeah I am running a day late again.  But this time it was intentional as one of my beautiful things happened last night.  Besides yesterday was busy what with sitting in doctor's offices with the husband.  His entire throat was swollen up and made it rather difficult to eat, talk and even breath.  We have him on some powerful antibiotics so hopefully that will clear up.

1.  My first beautiful thing is how much people are willing to help.  I have posted about helping out on a fund raiser for a friend so that she can get her daughter a service dog.  Well one thing she has been doing is setting up silent auctions.  I have another friend, Cassie, that just became licensed as a massage therapist so I asked her if she would donate a massage for the auction.  Cassie doesn't have insurance yet so wasn't able to do so.  Instead she offered to purchase a certificate to donate.  Now when she went to purchase it from one of her friends that had graduated, this friend instead donated it.  Isn't it beautiful how people are willing to contribute to a good cause.

2.  I was finally able to buy my new engine yesterday!  The roomie, Dustin, will have my baby up and going supposedly by next weekend.  Agreeing to take him in was one of the best decisions that we have made lately.  He is always willing to help out around here and is just plain enjoyable to have around.  Another case where trying to help someone out has worked out well.

3.  And for the last, one of the necklaces that I donated to the cause went up for silent auction last night.  The pearl one.  Someone that I had never met, who just happened to be a customer of the wine shop where the even was being held, fell in love with it and won it for $75.  I was estatic that it went for so much.  Really makes me feel that I am going the right direction with my jewelry.
Jun 15, 2011

Big Bead Giveaway at Pretty Things!



Lori Anderson at Pretty Things just got back from the Bead & Button Show.  She brought back quite the haul and is going to share it with nine of her readers!  Be sure to jump over to her blog, Pretty Things, to check it out and enter.
Jun 13, 2011

Sense of Accomplishment

I love it when I actually feel as though I have accomplished what I set out to do or in this case a bit more then I had planned.  Let me back up a bit.

I tend to purchase a lot of my beading supplies on impulse.  Which is all well and good except for the fact that I end up repurchasing a lot because I had ran out of storage so everything was crammed together.  So I decided that I need to start picking up some storage units especially for my brass as I have found a new supplier with killer deals that I can't resist.

I picked up this storage unit from Fire Mountain Beads

It has little dividers that I can set up as I need with up to 96 compartments!  Just what the doctor ordered. 

So yesterday I put on one of my audio books and organized my copper.  I even went on and organized some of my crystal into an old spice rack I had.  I think that I need to start hitting GoodWill and find some more of those.

Oh and as a side benefit, I had a necklace hanging around that I had ran out of bead caps for.  And I couldn't remember where I had ordered them from so that I could replace them.  Well in my organizing spree, I managed to find another package of them so I finished that necklace and started another.  How is that for a productive Sunday?

So how was your weekend?

Jun 11, 2011

Three Beautiful Things

Oops.  I totally forgot that yesterday was Friday.  Well not really forget as I did remember that today was Saturday but forgot as in there were things that I try to do on Fridays such as this post.  So I am a bit late but here it is.

1.  Last Saturday.  It was the first truly summer like day of the year.  It was up in the upper 70s.  We (myself and Saje) went over to a friend's house to work on editing his book and then we escaped and headed out to Pt. Defiance Park.  We stopped by the house first to grab BeiJing and went to the off leash dog park there.  It was fun and great way to spend time with Saje.

2.  The way that gift cards breed.  I ran into work on Thursday to pick up some gift cards that I had won.  There were supposed to be three $25 Visa cards there.  Instead for some reason, there were nine.  I think that I am always going to let them sit to see if they breed.

3.  Watching two gorgeous guys working together.  With those GCs, I went and picked up a patio set.  I then got to enjoy watching Saje and Dustin putting it together.  Rather nice eye-candy.  Too bad that it wasn't quite warm enough for them to strip off the shirts though.
Jun 8, 2011

In Support of Breast Cancer research


PRESS RELEASE
06/07/2011
For Immediate Release
Contact:
ImpressArt Metal Stamps
Adam Wolter
(631)940-8550


ImpressArt™ to Give Away Jewelry Stamps to Support Breast Cancer Research 

At this year's Bead & Button Show, ImpressArt will offer two free stamp giveaways, unveil brand new products, and give free demonstrations

Milwaukee, WI - ImpressArt will be giving away thousands of free stamps to support breast cancer research at the Bead & Button Show later this week. Participants can visit their booth and make a donation-of any amount-to the Medical College of Wisconsin's breast cancer research program. As a thank you, they'll receive a free design stamp of the breast cancer awareness ribbon to show their support and help spread the message.
Additionally, all participants at the Bead Social and Auction Night (June 10, from 9-10pm) will receive a free breast cancer awareness ribbon stamp.
And that's just one of ImpressArt's free giveaways. To celebrate the unveiling of 20 new design stamps and 4 new letter sets, ImpressArt will also be giving away a free heart, star, or spiral design stamp, valued at $8, to all participants who stop by the booth.
In addition to their collection of brand new jewelry tools, ImpressArt will also be releasing their first-ever counter top display for bead shops. Shop owners interested in carrying ImpressArt's exclusive metal stamp sets should stop by the ImpressArt booth to learn about dealer show specials and pricing.
ImpressArt will be exhibiting at booth #935-937 at the Bead and Button Show, from June 8-12.
For more information about ImpressArt metal stamps, visit ImpressArt.com

About ImpressArt

ImpressArt Metal Stamps offers jewelry artists exciting letter and design stamps that will leave a lasting impression on their artwork. All stamps are precision-cut from hardened steel, and are hardened to last project after project. From design to manufacturing ImpressArt metal stamps are created with the jewelry artist in mind. 

Book Review: Coming Clean

Coming clean never felt so good...
 
Grant and Vivi Michaelson share everything in their marriage: love, commitment-and their wildest sexual desires. But their relationship is tested when Vivi admits she wants a threesome with Grant's old friend Cade, proposing their annual trip to the lake as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her fantasy.
 
All three of them are aroused by the idea. Vivi and Cade have long felt a smoldering attraction to each other...and Grant and Cade have hidden an illicit desire for decades. Going through with the ménage will test their boundaries, reveal old secrets...and maybe tear them apart. After all, there might be room for Cade in bed, but is there room for a third in their marriage?

I don't tend to read a lot of erotica but there are times when nothing else suits my tastes.  And COMING CLEAN was just the right book at the right time.  Not only was it very hot especially with the touch of forbidden in being able to watch and play with two men but it was very well written.   While it was short being only a novella, we are given the chance to really get to  know the characters with all of their strengths and insecurities. 

I do recommend COMING CLEAN to any reader whose tastes in erotica leans toward hot bisexual men and threesomes.

I rate COMING CLEAN a 3.75.

 I did receive this book from NetGallery in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.
Jun 7, 2011

The 'other' necklace

I did say that I was going to post some pics of the other necklace that I made up for the silent auction.  Again please forgive the quality of the picture.  It looks much better in person.  All creamy goodness with natural cream freshwater pearls, goldstone and crystal.  If I hadn't already volunteered to donate it, this is one necklace that I would have kept for myself.




Jun 6, 2011

Book Review: Murder In Plain Sight



There are secrets buried in Amish country... 

Did a sweet-faced Amish teenager brutally murder a young woman? To save her career, big-city lawyer Jessica Langdon is determined to defend him—against the community’s bitter and even violent outrage. Yet without an understanding of Amish culture, Jessica must rely on arrogant businessman Trey Morgan, who has ties to the Amish community...and believes in the boy’s guilt.

Jessica has threats coming from all sides: a local fanatic, stirred up by the biased publicity of the case; the dead girl’s boyfriend; even from the person she’s learned to trust the most, Trey Morgan. But just when Jessica fears she’s placed her trust in the wrong man, Trey saves her life. And now they must both reach into a dangerous past to protect everyone’s future—including their own. 


When I saw that MURDER IN PLAIN SIGHT was set against the backdrop of the Amish culture, I couldn't help but grab it for review.  I have to admit that I have always been fascinated by their culture and how they have been able to keep it so pure through the years.  Even though their teens are allowed to time to experience other cultures, most of them find their ways back into the fold.  And that sureness of knowing where you belong is missing from most other cultures especially here in the States.

I found both Jessica and Trey to be intriguing characters though I felt there were discrepancies between how Jessica was portrayed and some of her reactions.  This fact made the ending not quite as believable as I would prefer.  In fact, it felt rushed as though the author ran up against her page limit and had to finish it up in a hurry.

That being said, I did enjoy MURDER IN PLAIN SIGHT and a good part of the enjoyment was the peek into the mindset of the Amish.

I rate this book a 3.

I did receive this book from NetGallery in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.
Jun 5, 2011

Hair

What is it about men and hair?  I have kept mine short for years and that's how I like it.  It's easy to deal with and looks okay.

Well my husband finally managed to convince me to grow it out.  And I have to admit that it looks good but what a pain.  Now I have strands of hair everywhere.  And I have cats walking on it when I lay down.  I just know that it is going to start clogging up the drains too.

Why oh why did I let him talk me into this.  I just know that if I get it cut now that the DH not really say anything but there would be a lot of heavy sighs and long faces.  Better not to go there.  The things that I put up with in the name of love.
Jun 4, 2011

Fairy Tale Blog Hop

And today is the big reveal!  I am sorry that I am running a tad late.  Had issues with the pictures as usual.  I really think that I need to take a class on photography.  Oh and get a better camera.  I have to admit to feeling slightly guilty about this piece.  My swap partner, Sweet Addy Designs,  sent me all sorts of wonderful beads and my muse had so many different ideas but what it finally came down to was me using the focal and raiding my stash for the rest.  I just couldn't get Serenity to settle down on one design otherwise.

So without further ado.....







I am sure that you can guess at the fairy tale I was aiming for.

This set is being donated to a charity that works hard to provide Service Dogs for autistic children.

Now be sure to check out all the other wonderful designs.



Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Courtney Breul, Beads By Breul 
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Evelyn Hall, Dragon Lady Evelyn
Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
Tara Plote, Newbie Beader
Christine Brandel, A Hot Piece of Glass
Lisa Sittniewski, Alterity Art
Joanna Matuszczyk, Filcowe
Jenni Connolly, Jenni Bead
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Sally Russick, Wireworked
Mary McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found 
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Shai Williams, Shaia's Ramblings
Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass
Jun 3, 2011

Three Beautiful Things Part 5

One thing about holiday weekends is that they sure make the rest of the week pass quickly.  I can't believe that it is Friday already and time for another episode of Beautiful Things.

1.  Having the weekend to spend time with the husband.  We didn't make plans for this weekend but instead hung out together.  It was fantastic just to have that time.

2.  Sales.  I found a wonderful sale at Victoria Secret's for panties.  I picked up some and regret not picking up more.  I have had a horrible time lately finding panties that fit.  They all want to fall down.  I know too much information but this issue has been driving me insane.

3. My muse.  I have been fighting with her trying to get a necklace finished for a blog reveal tomorrow.  I was finally able to win the battle last night.  I just went down to my studio, plugged in an audio book and played.

So what beautiful things happened with you this last week?
Jun 1, 2011

Just Relaxing




Today almost feels like a continuation of the weekend especially since I had to work yesterday and then today I was off.  I have been puttering about in the kitchen making up a potatoe salad and trying to catch up on my email while cuddling with my critters.  I just wish that I had a lion.  Oh and I have typed up a couple tea reviews so I guess that my relaxing is actually quite busy.

I also have a necklace that I have to start on since we are doing a web reveal this saturday.  I have been having a bit of a problem with this necklace.  My swap partner sent me all kinds of goodies and I just have too many ideas running about in my mind.  I have to get settled on one idea and get started.  Never thought that I would grumble when my muse is too active.  Ah well....

I hope that everyone had a relaxing weekend that is carrying over into the week.  Those are really the best kind.