Jul 30, 2012

Blog Hop Lineup

This next month is going to be a very busy month for jewelry challenges so I thought that I would post a reminder of what I have going on.  And in the order that I will be sharing my designs.






This first hop is being presented by Charming Peggy.  Peggy sent us all some links like the ones above.  Our task was to make jewelry out of them.  I will be showing off my design on August 17th.



The next challenge I have is for the Bead Soup Blog Party.  I have four pieces completed so far and a few more to go if my hands cooperate.  In this one the hostess with the mostest Lori Anderson of Pretty Things assigns each of us with a partner whom we then send of a soup mix to.  The mix must contain a focal, a clasp and some supporting beads.  My partner Maria Rosa Sharrow was really generous and sent me four soups.  So be sure to pop by on August 25th to discover what I cook up.  Oh and I will be giving away a piece of jewelry for this hop.



The last one (so far) that I just signed up for is being hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz of Treasures Found.  In this blog hop we are being asked to make an accessory for a country.  We could choose our country or have Erin surprise us.  I chose to be surprised so I will let you know where my inspiration will be coming from when I find out.
Jul 27, 2012

Randomness

  • It's Kharma just the cutest thing.  Too bad his nickname is Pomeranian Devil.
  • Got in my order from both Andrew Thornton and ArtBeads today so that I can get started on my next helping of Bead Soup.
  • I love having the window open in my office.  All three of the cats come into visit me.
  • Sure makes the day go faster when my furkids stop by to chat.  And yes I have VERY chatty cats.
  • Going to Wild Wave tomorrow and looking forward to it.  My company pays for tickets every year for the employees.
  • Sure hope that the DH is going to be able to get in the water.  He has come down with a disease that cuts off the blood circulation to his toes in the cold.
  • Finished a necklace for another blog hop that I am in.  I love being ahead since this hop isn't until the 18th of August.
  • Had a slow day at work so spent most of the day playing on Facebook and reading blogs.
  • Hey this blog has a page on Facebook and I sure could use the likes.  Just click .here.
  • Hmmm.. wonder why my blog posts are posting to Facebook.  I will have to fix that.
  • Have to fill out a form tonight so that I can get a banner for ArtFire.  Yep planning on having the shop open for Christmas/Yule.
  • My stepkids will be coming up the first week in August.  I can't believe that one of them is 18 already.  He was just a little kid when I got married to his father.
  • Think that I am just going to grill hamburgers for dinner.  That way I can get to my studio earlier.
  • Have the night to myself as the hubby is working.  I have to admit enjoying the quiet time when he is gone.
  • Listening to "A Discovery Of Witches" when I am working down there.  I just love audio books.
Jul 25, 2012

Heart of the Woodland

For some goodies to come in before I start working on my next helping of bead so.  So in the meantime I made a necklace with the leather I picked up at the Indian Trading Store.



The focal is by Cheryl Harris and I fell in love with it when I first saw it.  Took me a while to decide just what to do with it but in this case simpler is definitely better.
Jul 24, 2012

Book Review: Dragon Justice



WE KNEW THE JOB WAS IMPOSSIBLE WHEN WE TOOK IT... 

In my time with PUPI, formally known as Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, I’ve seen a lot.  Learned a lot. And not all of it’s been good. But what we do—make people accountable for crimes committed with magic—is important work. 

Still. Even I need to take a break every now and again. Or so I’ve just been told (ordered). 

So hey, vacation. Maybe I’ll finally figure out what’s going on with the “special bond” between me and the bossman, Benjamin Venec. Venec seems to like that idea—he’s invited me down to join him on a jaunt to Philly. But no sooner do I arrive in the City of Brotherly Love than we’re called in to look at a dead body. 

And that’s when life gets really complicated.... 

* * * * *

I love Bonita 'Bonnie' Torres.  She doesn't have a lot of diplomacy but that means that you know exactly where you stand with her.  She straddles the line between being Council and being a lonejack as well as being a pup.  She is also a perfectionist and will do almost anything to get the job done.

DRAGON JUSTICE is what I can brain candy.  It is the perfect book to curl up with and let the storytelling carry you away.  It is well written and there is nothing, well except for the need to sleep, that pulls you away from the world Ms.Gilman has created.  

The characters, most of who you meet in earlier books, are well developed.  I was very happy to see that Bonnie and Ben are finally starting to pay attention to the huge white elephant that's in the room with them and discovering that it does have its good sides.  We are also given more glimpses of what causes the other Pups to tick.  Some of them would be very mentors when the time comes.

The case that comes up when Bonnie tries to take a vacation is deeper and darker then the PUPI norm yet watching the pack work together is a true joy.  And it keeps the readers on their toes as they discover more information.  

DRAGON JUSTICE is a great addition to the Paranormal Scene Investigation series and I can hardly wait to see what the next book holds.  I recommend this book to any readers who enjoy urban fantasy.

I rate this book a 3.75.

*** I did receive this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.
Jul 22, 2012

Beautiful Things



It sure doesn't seem as though a week has gone by since I last posted one of these.  Though I guess that it hasn't actually been a week as I was late posting the last one.  I have a few beautiful things this week.

  • My muse has been going crazy.  I have made 3 necklaces, a pair of earrings and an anklet.  I really enjoy it when she takes charge.  Though I do feel kinda guilty since I keep deserting my husband.  He is okay with it though.  And if I plan on opening up a store on ArtFire for Yule I do have to build up some inventory.
  • We had a really small group for the potluck last night.  Just mainly us girls so we were talking about crafts and beads.  Oh speaking of that, a friend of a friend got a hold of me since she is starting to bead and wanted some tips.  We are going to get together on a Wednesday in August.
  • We have been having some awesome thunder and lightening storms.  Don't usually get those here but I just love the power in the air from them.
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Jul 19, 2012

Book Review: The Witch (War-N-Wit #1)



Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order. She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part. She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancé who’s a CPA. You just can’t get any steadier than that. Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett. What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway? Warlock and Witch? For real? Oh, yes! For real. Her life as she knows it is over!

* * * * *

What a delightful story.  Novella really at 108 pages.  But don't let that count against it.  We are given a surprisingly complex background on Ariel who was really featured in this episode along with sketchy ones on Chad and her sister Stacy.

If someone had told that the first third of a book is going to be all about emails, texts and occasional phones of an online relationship, I probably wouldn't have looked at the book  So I am glad that I wasn't warned as I enjoyed every bit of getting to know Ariel and Chad.  In parts I was laughing my head off and in others was filled with tension.

This book was just fun and I do recommend it for anyone who enjoys lighter urban fantasy.  I rate this book a 3.8.

***This book was purchased through Amazon.com.


Jul 17, 2012

Book Review: Shine Shine Shine


 

 Sunny Mann has masterminded a perfect life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town. Even her genius husband, Maxon, an astronaut on his way to the moon, has been trained to pass for normal. But when a fender bender sends her blonde wig flying, her secret is exposed. Not only is she bald, but she’s nothing like the Stepford wife she appears to be. As her façade begins to unravel, we discover the singular world of Sunny and Maxon, two outcasts who found unlikely love in one another. Theirs is a wondrous, strange relationship formed of dark secrets, long-forgotten murders and the urgent desire for connection.


* * * * * * 

A week ago I would have said that there are no truly unique books anymore.  That is until I read SHINE SHINE SHINE.  What really make this book so unusual are the main characters.  Sunny was always a bald nonconformist until she becomes pregnant with her son and then she starts wearing wigs and becomes a stepford wife.  Maxon, Sunny’s husband, is a genius who is currently on his way to the moon with his beloved robots.  He wasn’t able to perform the task of being the husband of a stepford wife as he isn’t comfortable relating to people without his formulas.   
SHINE SHINE SHINE is a fresh take on love and what we has humans will do to ourselves to fit into society.  I loved the author’s voice and how she makes me sit and think about things that I have always just taken for granted.  And about the parts of myself that I have suppressed in order to fit into today’s world.  
I was impressed by this book as you can tell.  And novel that remains with me after the reading and causes me to reexamine myself to determine what is real and what is part of the ‘wig’ that I put on to hide in plain sight is a great book. 
I do highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fresh take on life and love.   I rate this book a 4.25.
**I did receive this book at no charge thru NetGalley  in exchange for an honest review.

Jul 16, 2012

A Late Beautiful Things



Sorry about posting this late but I was blindsided by a migraine yesterday so no being on the computer.  Actually no nothing but a dark room with a scarf wrapped over my eyes.

  1. Saturday I had a 'pamper me' day with a manicure, a pedicure and a hair cut.  I hate to go get my hair cut so it was full of split ends and the stylist ending up cutting off 6".  This was actually a good thing as I discovered that at this length my natural waves come thru beautifully.
  2. I managed to get three pieces done on my Bead Soup project including one anklet that I love and am wearing now.
  3. We had thunderstorms on Friday night.  I just love them and we just don't get them very often where I live.  I just wish that I had been able to get some pics of the lightening.
  4. One thing that I have noticed since I got the new camera is that my husband and me are hitting a lot more of the local attractions just so that we can get some good pics.  I love it!

Turtle Fight!!

This is something that you don't see every day.


Hmmm...you have a better spot then I do.



What you don't want to move?  How about it I just move you then.


Take that!  Bet that you will move faster next time.  Hmmmph.

(I just wish that I had a pic of the outcome but you know how slow turtles move.)
Jul 14, 2012

Review: To Rule This Broken Earth



The trouble with the various rulers of the earth is that they're nearly all wizards, and the trouble with wizards, if you ask Dave Valdman, is that every one of 'em is crazier than a two-headed ferret. Dave is plenty happy staying beneath their notice, staying on the move, and delivering mail and the occasional cart of potatoes. But when Dave rescues a fugitive priest from the soldiers of an infamous warlord, he finds himself drawn into the kind of conflict he's spent his whole life avoiding.

* * * * * 

I think that one of my favorite things about reviewing books is when I stumble across authors that I have never heard and that immediately go onto my 'auto buy' list.  This is one of those books.

Mr.  Garraty is a master of characterization.  I immediately fell in love with Dave.  He is one of those folks that just don't fit in with people on the long term so he has found the perfect job with being a guide.  But now he is discovering just what caring for people can do to a man's life.  He changes so much throughout the book yet remains true to himself.  Excellent.

And then there is Jeremy and Denise and Mary... it doesn't seem to matter just how important a part the secondary characters play, they are so well thought out that the reader will feel as though they really know them.

There is also more then enough life and death action to keep the story moving right along.  There is even blood and gore for readers that require it in their fantasy but under it all is the characters.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoy alternate earth novels as well as fantasy readers.  I rate this book a 4.5.

***I received this book at no charge from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 12, 2012

BSBP: Sent Ingredients

My partner Maria Rosa Sharrow of Willow Street Shops received the ingredients that I sent out for her Bead Soup so I thought that I would show you what I stirred up for her.



Jul 11, 2012

Book Review: One For the Money


Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash--fast--but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water--wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight--and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.

* * * * *

I am definitely behind the times when it comes to reading this book but when I saw the movie I just couldn't hold out any longer.  I enjoyed the movie and enjoyed this book even more.  

There is a lot of action happening what with boxers turning into stalkers and cars blowing up yet what really kept me reading was the characters.  Stephanie is a Jersey girl through and through.  And way over her head when she takes on a job as a bounty hunter yet she is not about to give up.   A very plucky heroine whom it was a real pleasure watching as she learns and grows.  

Of course she starts out taking on a jumper whose skills far out match her own.  And it doesn't help that they have a personal history.  Joe Morelli, being investigated for murder, is one hot hunk of a man and deep down a good guy.  Oh and there is a personal history between the two that causes some sparks between them.

If you are anything like me and haven't had a chance to read this book then I recommend not waiting a minute more.  The book is pure brain candy.  There are some tense moments and some violent scenes but there is really a book that can be read by anyone of any age.

I rate this book a 4.25.  

***I picked this book up at my local library.
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Jul 10, 2012

ABS July Challenge

"Two Acrobats with a dog" by Pablo Picasso, 1905
 
I have been lax about entering the monthly challenges over at Art Bead Scene which is a shame as that was one of my goals for this year.  My only excuse is that I have been entering other blog hops/challenges.  I really thought that I was going to have to sit out the one this month also as I am prepping for the Bead Soup Blog Party.  That is until I saw the inspiration photo.  

In a normal month I would have looked at the picture that we are given for inspiration and start a new piece of jewelry.  This time around however I had a bracelet that I had just finished a couple weeks ago that fits perfectly.



The art bead used was from Lea Avroch  of LA Jewelry Designs.  I also used sapphire beads with faceted blue topaz. The clasp on the wrap bracelet is from AZ Lampwork Beads.  

ABS is also asking designers to donate a bracelet to the 7000 Bracelets Project.  I won't be donating this particular set as I am being greedy and keeping it for myself.  However I do support Gene Project two bracelets to send to them as soon as I can pop my head up for air.   They are doing a wonderful thing and I have donated to them in the past.  In fact, I do encourage anyone that makes jewelry to get involved.
Jul 8, 2012

Want some more beads?



I just love sharing contests for beads.  I mean who can have too many beads.  Skye of Creative Chaos is offering up these beads this month.  Don't you just love those two-toned coin beads?

For more info click here.

Kreativ

After a day filled with board meetings when all I wanted to do was finish my darn book, I was finally able to get home and get on my computer (after I finished the book of course, have to have your priorities straight).  And I discovered another beautiful thing to bring a smile to my face.



This was awarded to my by a dear friend Skye of Creative Chaos who I had been partnered with during an earlier Bead Soup Blog Party.  Now normally I don't play with the badges because I remember when they ran rampant over all the blogs and I swore then that I wouldn't get involved.  But since Skye is such a friend I am going to play partway in that I will list seven random things about myself but I won't be sending this out to others.

  • I used to be such a chameleon that I wasn't quite sure just who I was.  It finally got to the point to where I pretty much became a hermit for a couple years until I learned myself and learned to love myself.  Once that happened I met my third husband, the one that I will grow old with.
  • I can't say that I really have a personal style.  All the styles that I find that I adore I am really too short to look good in.  So yeah I have always wished that I was 6" taller.
  • I tend to move quietly enough that I spook people so years ago I got in the habit of wearing bells.  I don't do that very much any more but when I do I feel so much lighter and free.
  • I am technology nut in that I have to have a computer.  In fact, I tend to freak out when one dies on me.  Oh and I have been using e-readers for about 12 years now.  I always have at least my tablet on me at all times yet I am still totally baffled by the TV's remote control.
  • Two of my favorite hobbies are designing jewelry and reading a book so I have combined the two by plugging my Ipod into my stereo on my studio and listening to audio books.
  • Because I design jewelry I have a lot of it but I find that I tend to forget to wear it.  I am more prone to wear one or two bracelets that I just don't take off so that I don't forget them in the morning.
  • Because I work from home, people really don't want to see me before 4 in the afternoon. I take my shower and get dressed during my lunch at 3:30.  Before that I could scare 10 years off someone's life because my hair is so curly it goes nuts when I sleep.
Okay there are seven random thoughts about myself.

And I definitely could nominate ten bloggers that brighten my day but I really don't want to go back on my promise to myself.
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Beautiful Things



Last week was just wonderful as I took my vacation then.  So I have lots of things that made me smile.

  • The cactus garden that my mother sent me for my birthday.  I have three huge windows in my dining room that I am trying to turn into a jungle so all plants are welcome.
  • Being able to play in the ocean up at Ruby Beach, Washington.
  • Being able to hear a lot of stories about the animals of Woodland Park Zoo from the girlfriend that I went with who works there.
  • Had a BBQ potluck for the 4th and one of the guests thought that it was our monthly potluck whose theme this month is Greek.  He brought some stuffed grape leaves that were the best part of the meal.
  • Had my yard done so now I can actually get out and enjoy it.  Just in time for the warm weather.
  • And last but certainly not least, my bead soup arrived!  So many goodies for me to play with.
Jul 7, 2012

Wow! Five Different Giveaways



And all from Lori Anderson of Pretty Things.  All of the goodies shown in the picture is just one of the prizes.  There are also books, bags and more.

Click here for more info.

Bead Soup Blog Party Ingredients

I am so excited!  My bead soup from my wonderful partner, Maria Rosa Sharrow has arrived.  And boy was she generous!  I have so many ideas running through my head and since our reveal isn't until August 25th you can bet that I will be making a few different pieces.  Well since they say that pictures speak more loudly then words...






Jul 5, 2012

More Beads!!!



Today must be the day for beads.  CJ over at 4 His Glory Creations is giving two people some of beads in her stash.  And boy does she have a stash!

Click here for further info.

July Beads of Clay



Every month the Beads of Clay blog gives its followers a chance to win some gorgeous ceramic beads.  And it is that time again! 

Just look at those gorgeous beads! 

For more info click here.

Getting Older....

I really don't mind getting older.  In fact, my only real objection is recovery time.  Since I was on vacation until tomorrow, we decided to do a couple day trips over Sunday and Monday.  And today I feel totally wiped out.  But you know it was totally worth it!

I have a bunch of pics but I am not going to put them all up at once.  Remember how I promised that I would put up more of my own pics once I got my new camera?  Well I am most definitely going to be able to keep that promise.




Our first trip on Sunday was to the Olympic National Park.  This park is huge and there was no way that we could see it all at once.  The plan was to hit Hurricane Ridge first but that was a no go.  It was so foggy that you couldn't see the road let along enjoy the views.  So we then headed out towards the tide pools.  On the way we passed Crescent Lake.  Oh my goodness, talk about gorgeous.  The water was a deep aqua.  I just wished that I was able to capture that color.



Also on our trip up there we found a great shop in Port Townsend that has an Indian Trading Post.  Usually when I see those I think tourist traps but not this one.  We were able to pick up a gorgeous wooden cane for my husband for only $18 but that wasn't the best buy for me.  I was able to pick up 25 yards of 1/4" suede lacing for only $9!  I just wish that I had brought along more money as they sure had some gorgeous colors.  I picked up a deep forest green.  

Oh another thing that I don't care for about old age.  My memory.  Just as I was going to sleep on Sunday night, a design for a necklace using that suede came to mind.  And now I can't remember it.  And I can't get up to turn on the light and sketch out designs when they come to me like that otherwise I never get to sleep.




The next day we went to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.  Say what you will about zoos but at the rate we are going, they are going to be the only way that future generations will be able to see lions and tigers.  Woodland Park also has come great conservation programs going.  And their habitats (definitely not cages) are such that the animals have room to move and play.


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Jul 3, 2012

W.W Seymour Conservatory



Tacoma has the most wonderful conservatory that was built back in 1908.  Stepping into it is almost like stepping back into history because most of the original architecture is still in place.  And talk about some gorgeous plants...

Myself and my husband got a chance to go there last Wednesday.  I was rather surprised that he had never been there even though he has lived in this area most of his life.  Myself...I used to live right across the street from it so I  spent a lot of time there especially during the gloomy fall/winter days.

I did take hoards of pictures while I was there which I am sure that you don't want to sit and look at so instead I made up a little collage to give you an idea of some of the variety it contains.


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Jul 2, 2012

In the Beginning...

Now that I have finished up with my Cup Of Bead Soup, I wanted to share a bit of my journey with my addiction.  Now I have never thought of myself as a creative person.  Always thought that I had my feet just too firmly on the floor to be able to imagine and then create anything.  Since both of my husbands have been artists this kinda bummed me out but I figured that it was my lot in life to support not create.

But then lightening struck.  Or actually it was a beading kit that I picked up at One Spirit to work on while we were slow at work.  Just that one kit and I was hooked.  I really wish that I had taken pictures of my earlier pieces just so that I could see how I am grown but I do have a few.



This is a bracelet that I did a few years ago for a friend using copper and smokey quartz.  Just simple stringing.


This is one of the first necklaces that I put together using beading chain, some MOP and some ceramic beads.  And yes, my pictures were really horrible back then.  I sure hope that they have improved somewhat since then.



This is a piece I made for a fairy tale bead swap.  I used copper chain along with pearls and crystals in this necklace.



And this one was for a monthly ABS Challenge.  This one is knotted with gorgeous AAA pearls and lampwork beads from BeatleBaby Glassworks.

This trip down the memory lane has been fun. It gave me a chance to see how I really am improving.  And now that I have a good camera, the pics for this upcoming Bead Soup Blog Party should be all the much nicer.

Also it occurred to me while I was scheduling this post that it really is a good time to look back as today is my birthday.