Sep 30, 2012

Beautiful Things



The picture today is from my visit to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.  I swear that I do MUCH better at animal photography then I do with jewelry which is just silly when you consider that the jewelry moves much slower then an animal does.  Since I missed last Sunday I am going to try to get some beautiful things from each week.

  • I finished up my charms for the charm swap and even got in business cards for this blog.  I am going to ship them out on Wednesday and hopes that they pass muster.
  • Indian summer seems to be hanging on.  It's been cool in the mornings but glorious in the afternoons.
  • Steam cleaned the carpets and it is so much fresher in here.  It doesn't matter how much we keep up on the animal, seven of them does make the place stuffy.
  • Went and got a manicure and pedicure.  Now my nails are all ready for fall with deep red colors.
  • I have all my pieces for blog hops completed and now I can just play with some ideas.  I plan on doing that once the DH goes to work.
  • Found out that I won a major prize package from the Noise Girls.  There are a lot of good things in it but excites me the most is the spinning composter.  We have decided that we are going to plant a container garden on our front porch next year and this will really help out.
  • I had a huge smile when I found out that my little 6 pound female Chloe is a real scam artist.  She is an indoor/outdoor cat.  (As a feral she refuses to adapt to indoor only.) We apparently she has convinced a neighbor that she is a stray cat raising kittens so he was feeding her and supposedly babies.  Now Chloe is spayed and eats more at home then either of my two larger boys.
  • I am really glad that I volunteered to work with a special group within the sales department who also sells cell phones as I am not effected by the changes within the department and I still get a bonus for dealing with them.  The changes are a good thing as we are taking on more states for our company and it will bring new jobs locally.  I am just glad that I don't have to deal with it until the hub bub dies down.
  • My husband came down with what we know think was salmonella poisoning after seeing some recalls a couple weeks ago.  He is now doing fine and everything is back to normal minus the twelve pounds that he needed to loose.  Hmmm...possible diet where I don't have to worry about my lack of won't power.
Sep 29, 2012

Review: Bead Soup



What happens when one energetic, well respected jewelry-making blogger and 26 talented beaders connect through social media and end up swapping their leftovers? You get a mélange of projects bursting with every flavor imaginable! Each designer was given a focal bead, a unique clasp, and coordinating beads, and was charged with creating a dynamic piece of jewelry. These artists push their own boundaries to come up with new combinations and original pieces.

* * * * *

It isn't often that I get to combine my love of books and reviewing them with my other love which is jewelry design so I consider this to be my lucky day.  It is almost like I hit the jackpot especially since I really loved BEAD SOUP.  

Do not get discouraged thinking that this isn't  a book for all levels of experience as there are instructions in the back of the book covering the techniques. So take your time and soak up all the inspiration of this wonderful recipes.   Lori and her contributors really think out of the box with their bead soups.  And it has quite a lot of helpful tips that had me wondering why I had never thought of that.

Some of my favorite pieces in the book were Stone Soup, with its tips on creating a unique chain, the Handmade Soup Bowl and the Blue Onion Soup.  I just know that everyone will have their own favorites and I would love to hear about yours.  

As you can tell I really enjoyed this book and I rate it a 4.7 based on how inspired I feel after drooling over all this great designs.   If you do design jewelry I definitely recommend this book.

***I purchased my copy at Amazon.com. 

**** Edited as I had missed a whole section of the book.
Sep 28, 2012

Review: Love Unscripted



Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that accepting a role in an unknown film would toss his career into overdrive. His new fame has cost him dearly; anonymity is no longer an option. His fans stalk him, the paparazzi hound him, and Hollywood studios all want a piece of him. Despite all of that, Ryan Christensen craves the most basic of human needs - to have love in his heart and privacy in his life.

Taryn Mitchell, the story's protagonist, is a realist. She's been feigning contentment, running the family pub in Seaport, Rhode Island, while quietly nursing her own internal heartaches. Her feet are fairly glued to the ground and she doesn't buy into all the hype that has descended on her tiny, coastal town. In her world, men are safe if they're kept at a distance.

Fate has other plans for these two when their paths cross one sunny afternoon. A group of female fans has attacked him, leaving his shirt torn, his face cut, and Ryan in obvious distress. Bonds between them form from the most dramatic of circumstances while jealousy, insecurity, and the stress of his celebrity life try to tear them apart.

Through all the tabloid lies, secrecy, and pressure, can Taryn's peace and Ryan's high-profile insanity live together in harmony?


* * * * * 

I have often wished that romance novel would be longer so that I can really learn the characters and live in their world for just a while longer.  I got my wish with LOVE UNSCRIPTED.

This book is all about the characters and Ms. Reber has done a wonderful job with them all.  Ryan is just a sweetheart who really wants to live a normal. life when he is not on the set.  I found him to be really well grounded and just an all around prince of a guy.  

Taryn was a different story.   I just loved her character in the beginning of the book.  She was steady with both feet square on the ground.  As the time goes on however the plot line gets taken over by Taryn's insecurities about Ryan and the actresses that he works with.  It would be fine if it was only mentioned a couple times but it seems as though she is always have breakdowns about it.  Personally I feel that she was dating the wrong person if she feels that threatened.

The story is redeemed quite a bit by the secondary characters who really keep the plot moving.  I just loved Ryan's parents and Taryn's best friend Maria.  

I did enjoy this book overall but I think that it could have been so much better.  I rate it a 3.5.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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Sep 27, 2012

Ramblings



  • I can tell that Fall is here. We are still getting the warmer weather in the afternoons but I woke up this morning and it was only 64 degrees in my house.  I am so dreading having to turn the heat on for the winter.
  • Been a strange week already.  Half of our systems were down at work but they finally fixed them today!  Yay.

  • Found out today that T-Mobile fixed my plan so that I can get a new phone.  I really want the Samsung Galaxy S3.  It would be my first android phone as I have stuck with my old Blackberry because I only had to charge it like once every five days.  I am thinking that it is time though.  I want to take advantage of the coupons and other apps that I could use.
  • Finally have MY car back.  It took us longer then expected to get tabs for my husband's car so he had mine on the nights that he was working.  And since I don't usually want to go out the nights that he is home this was rather inconvenient.
  • Still working on the bead soup from Kalmbach.  My first necklace didn't turn out quite as I wanted.  Good idea for the style of beads but it needs a bit of work.

  • Got in a couple beading books that I was looking forward to reading.  The first was Bead Soup by Lori Anderson. The review for this book show up on Saturday.  
  • The other book was Rustic Wrappings by Kerry Bogert.  I haven't written up a review on this book but it is great!  I love the fact that I can change the colors of my favorite metals by using potato chips.
  • Plan to sit down with hubby after work and try to clear a few things off the DVR.  I am always running behind on watching shows which really tends to frustrate the hubby.   Hmm...might be able bring up my bead soup and work on while I am watching the shows.
  • Sorry about not posting on Sunday.  My fibro was demanding a day no more taxing then reading a good book.  I always try to include personal posts along with my book reviews so I guess that is what this is.
  • Need to clean up my office again.  I swear that jewelry books really tend to take over.
  • I stocked up on teas that I can ice for our potluck and I was really eying some new oolongs from one of my favorite tea vendors but decided that I couldn't afford them right now.  However when I opened up the box there was samples of those oolongs along with a couple extras.  I just love those little touches even though I do have to write up reviews on the samples.
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Sep 25, 2012

Review: Project Moses



Enzo Lee, 37, a burned out reporter, has forsaken investigative reporting on the East Coast to churn out feature fluff in San Francisco. He likes his North Beach apartment, steps away from his Chinatown roots. Running, tai chi, great food, women who are attracted to his exotic looks. Life is good. Then, Lee is ordered to cover the unexplained deaths of a local judge and prosecutor. Intrigued by the connection, and the judge’s attractive niece, Sarah Armstrong, Lee begins to uncover a bioterrorism scandal whose perpetrators - including government officials and Silicon Valley titans - will kill to conceal. When Lee and Sarah become targets, the question becomes whether the pair can evade their hunters and piece together the story before their time runs out. Project Moses is set in San Francisco, New York and Silicon Valley.

* * * * *

Looking for a well paced thriller?  One that  characters that you will either cheer for or look for way to get rid of?  If so then PROJECT MOSES is the book for you.  

I don't read mysteries but was really in the mood for a good thriller on the day that I picked PROJECT MOSES up.  I am really glad that I didn't let the mention of mystery on the cover dissuade me as this book is incredible.  Has to be one of the best thrillers that I have read in a long time.

Following a slow build up that gives the reader a chance to get to know Lee, there is non-stop action as Lee and Sarah stay one step ahead of a federal agent and other enforcers.  To be able to survive they are going to have to build a case against a large and well positioned company.   

While the action is great and causes this book to be a page turner what caused me to fall in love with it was the characters themselves.  Lee thought that he was washed up as an investigative reporter after an earlier mistake but he still has all the instincts needed which keep them alive.  Sarah is a good partner for him.  She thinks outside of the box and is great when it comes to doing research.  There are also some great secondary characters such as police detective who believes in Lee and his reporter buddies.

I highly recommend PROJECT MOSES to anyone who enjoys thrillers.  This is actually the first novel for Mr. Lowe and I will be keeping an eye out for any further releases.

I rate this book a 4.7.

***I received this book at no charge through LibraryThing in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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Sep 22, 2012

Book Review: Tangled



Constance started to keen as the air around us began to thrash and twist, the caustic scent of ozone burning my nose. As I watched, her dark gold hair began to lift and kink into knots.

“I’m here. It’ll be okay.” It was the last thing I said before my best friend’s little sister went supernova in the second-floor girls’ bathroom, taking me with her.

A month ago, Mo Fitzgerald risked her life to stop an ancient prophecy and avenge her best friend's murder. Now, she only wants to keep her loved ones safe. But the magic—and the Chicago Mob—have other plans.

Mysterious, green-eyed Luc is back, asking for help—and a second chance. Colin, her strongest protector, is hiding a shocking secret. And inside Constance, the magic is about to go terribly wrong. Tangled in a web of love and betrayal, Mo must choose between the life she's dreamed of and the one she's destined for.


* * * * *

Even though I am an adult I find that I really enjoy reading the young adult genre.  And it is books like TANGLED that keep me simply entranced.  I found this book to be an absolute page turner.

Mo is struggling to be a normal teenager, to get good grades so that she can escape her Mob family by going to college in New York and trying to decide between two men.   She is still struggling from losing her best friend a month ago but is making a new one.  Now if only the magic and her Uncle Billy with the Mob would only leave her alone.

I found myself entranced by all the main characters in this book: Mo, Luc and Colin.  I was able to emphasize with them all, and their motivations while not necessarily clear were real.  I also found the secondary characters to be well drawn out and added greatly to the story.  

Also and this is a big one.  This book is part of a series.  In fact, it is the second in the series yet I didn't feel lost at any time as enough of the back story was brought out that I felt that I was in the loop.  Very nicely done.

I would recommend TANGLED to any reader who enjoys the paranormal and the young adult genre.  I rate this book a 4.2.

*** I received this book at no charge from GoodReads in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Sep 20, 2012

Book Review: The Devil's Madonna



Happily married and pregnant with her first child, artist Kali Miller probes Lillian Campbell, her ninety-three year old grandmother, for information about her roots and her mother’s accidental death when Kali was a child. But the impact on her grandmother and the answers that Kali gets are anything but what she expected. Kali’s questions intensify the profound paranoia that has dominated her grandmother’s adult life -- that someone from the past has found her – and with Kali’s demand for the truth, Lillian sinks into a life of nightmares and paralyzing fear. Will her life in 1930’s Berlin, her loves and lies, and the true meaning of the small painting that she has hidden for more than seventy years be exposed to reveal the hideous secret that has haunted Lillian to this day? Or will the hunt to uncover her past lead to the imminent murder of Lillian and her pregnant granddaughter? Perhaps murder is the only means to keep Kali and her unborn child from a future that no one in the world would ever want to face?

* * * * *

Talk about an engrossing book.  With every secret that is revealed within THE DEVIL'S MADONNA the sense of eeriness increases and my respect for Kali grows.   

Kali is a modern day woman who is looking forward to the birth of her unborn child.  She has found the family that she felt she never had in her inlaws but she feels like an imposter because she keeps getting the niggling feeling that her own family history isn't complete.  But as she uncovers secrets about both her family, she also discovers disturbing truths about her marriage.  And the punches keep coming from both within and without.  And she discovers her own strength.

I very much enjoyed this book and felt that the pacing was perfect with just the right edge to keep me turning the pages faster and faster.  That is until the ending.  It felt rushed as though the author had ran up against her page limit.  This was a disappointing twist to a book that I otherwise would have rated higher.

I do recommend THE DEVIL'S MADONNA to readers that enjoy a suspenseful book filled with family secrets that cry out to be uncovered.  I rate this book a 3.1.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Sep 18, 2012

Bead Soup and other babblings




I was really blessed last saturday when I went to my mailbox.  Kalmbach Jewelry Books was holding a contest where they asked for bead shops to contribute some bead soup to celebrate the release of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup book.


And I was lucky enough to be selected to receive one of these soups!  I have been dipping my toes into the water of bohemian designs so I think that someone decided to push me all the way into the pool.  These are definitely not beads that I would have selected for myself but I have been having a lot of fun with them and have made the required necklace as well as a bracelet.  As soon as the pictures have been released on Kalmbach's Facebook page I will be sure to share them here.

In other news, I go into talk with a surgeon on October 24th for my elbow.  I have been asking for surgery for a couple years now as the shots just don't last long enough.  I love to work with wire but it sure cripples me up for a week or so.  So if this all works out well I will be so happy.
Sep 17, 2012

Book Review: Andy Squared



Seventeen-year-old twins, Andrew and Andrea Morris, have always been close. They share everything—from their friends to a room—and they both enjoy star positions on their high school’s soccer teams. All’s right with the twins...or is it?

When new student Ryder Coltrane moves from Texas to their small New York town, he spins Andrew’s world upside down. All of Andrew’s past relationship troubles begin to make sense and his true feelings start to click into place after Ryder comes out to him. His friendship with Ryder turns secretively romantic, but secrets, they soon find out, are hard to keep. Once rumors start to fly, so-called friends turn on them, and the boys’ relationship turns into a bomb about to explode. But Andrew never expected it would be his own twin, Andrea, holding a lighter to ignite it.


* * * * *

I love how this book covers what for some could be an uncomfortable but real subject matter.  Regardless of one's beliefs or wishes when teenagers are discovering their sexuality some will discover that they are gay.  Kudos to Ms. Lavoie for  addressing this touchy subject head on.

ANDY SQUARED is very much a character driven book and I do have to say that I  liked the character of Andrew.  The reader is given the opportunity to really get into his head as he learns to accept that he is gay.  Ryder is just a dear as he is so patient with the time that Andrew needs to accept this aspect of himself.  I found that all of the secondary characters just as well written including Andrew's sister Andrea who I felt really should have been taught that she doesn't always get her own way.

I very much enjoyed ANDY SQUARED and read it in one sitting.  I feel that it is a great book that is perfect for teenagers and adults who enjoy the young adult genre.  I rate this book a 4.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Sep 16, 2012

Beautiful Things

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Alice (fron...
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Alice (frontispiece) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This has been an enjoyable week even though I felt as though I was being pulled in a 1,000 different directions.

  • Went out to see the burlesque version of Alice in Wonderland with a good friend and her SO.  It was the first time that I really had a chance to get to know him and I can easily see why they are together.  They just seem to fit.
  • Friday was my husband's birthday.  We are pretty broke so rather then going out, we picked up a pizza and watched The Help.  Very relaxing and just great to spend time together.
  • Went in to get my elbow looked at and they have finally decided that surgery is the way to go.  Might seem strange to have that posted here but I have been asking for almost two years for them to just get in there and fix it.  The shots definitely weren't doing it as I would get relief for 2 months and then another 4 months of pain before I could get another one.
  • Had our Pagan Potluck and as always it was enjoyable.  We tried out a new game that I was sent out to review and I don't think that I have ever laughed so hard. 
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Sep 13, 2012

Book Review: A Christmas Feral



Judge Scrooge won't even heat his home for Christmas in this Roaring Twenties' short story. Judge Scrooge says that when you pay the bill, you don't feel the cold. When Judge Scrooge rules incorrectly in a cat dispute, Magical White Cat Tatania and her companion Zeus teach him the meaning of keeping Christmas and cats.

* * * * *

When I was asked to review this short story I readily agreed even though I don't tend to read a lot of short stories.  I just couldn't resist however as I have been blessed with two feral polydactls cats that have deemed to share their lives with me.

I found A CHRISTMAS FERAL to be an enjoyable quick read.  It is a retelling of Dicken's well known A Christmas Carol complete with a Scrooge and a Tiny Tim.  The ghosts however are cats who show Scoorge a future without them. 

A CHRISTMAS FERAL is a great way to jump start the holiday season.  There are a couple editing errors but I didn't find that they detracted from the story.  I do recommend this story to all who love cats and Christmas.

*** I was given this story by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No monies have or will change hands.

Sep 12, 2012

Review: Touch of Power



Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...


Sep 10, 2012

7,000 Bracelets for Hope



I try to donate to 7,000 Bracelets for Hope a few times a year. They are a great organization with the goal to donate bracelets to the mothers of children with rare genetic disorders.  To do so they are always looking for designers willing to donate blue bracelets to their cause.  I think that it is a great cause and I have sent out four different bracelets so far. 

This is the latest that I have come up with and I have one more that is in the process of being finished.  This one was made with glass beads and pewter flower links.  It is rather lightweight and just fun to wear.
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Sep 9, 2012

Beautiful Things



This has been an interesting week.  But then for some reason my weeks following holiday weeks always seem strange.  I always feel that I am running behind.  And then to top it off, my husband came home from work on Tuesday night with stomach cramps so bad that he couldn't stand upright.  Of course however he didn't want to go to the emergency room which I let him get away with because he had a doctor's appointment on Friday.  So now that you have the background.

  • We found out from the doctor that he simply has another part of Fibro.  Yeah my husband is one of those rare men that has fibro.  So nothing serious except in terms of pain.  That can be dealt with. The beautiful thing is that since he has to change the way he eats, he is losing weight which can only be good for him.
  • I found out that I start my new shift on Monday.  Same days off but I get paid more because I get off an hour later.  Fine by me since I am not a morning person and now I will still be up when Saje gets home from work.
  • You see those beads above.  I won those from a contest promoting Lori Anderson's new book Bead Soup.  I have this one on preorder.
Sep 8, 2012

Sense of Community- Eye Candy & Contest

When I first became involved with designing jewelry it was pretty much a solitary pastime.  If I wanted to see what others were doing then I purchased the magazines and got to where I recognized some names.  I was  lucky enough to stumble upon a bulk buying group almost from the beginning so I didn't have to worry about paying retail prices.  What was missing was a sense of community, a place that I could go if I had a question or just needed to vent.

That all changed when Creative Bead Chat on Facebook came about.  It is an open group for anyone that is involved with anything that has to do with jewelry be you a designer of jewelry, art beads or components.  This wonderful group was the brainchild of five wonderful individuals; Marla Gibson, Marla James, Melinda Orr, Keirsten Giles, and Karen Totten. Today I wanted to highlight each person and show off some of the wonderful things in their shops or their blog.  Oh and just click on any of the pictures to be taken to the item itself.

Marla Gibson isn't currently running her shop due to some health issues however she has a great blog.  Spice Box Designs is full of some wonderful eye candy and is just flat out an enjoyable blog to read.  Marla doesn't post a lot (unlike me) so it is easy to keep up with.





Marla James is the proprietor of Marla's Mud.  She is a clay artist extraordinaire.  Just check out some of her work above.  These are some of my favorites from her shop.





Next up is Melinda Orr who is the proprietor of Melinda Orr Designs.  She has the most incredible clasps, and textured and/patina shapes.  Above are some of my favorites.  Yeah I am showing off my addition to unusual clasps.  Melinda also have a blog that well worth following, Melinda Orr Designs.  Yes they are named the same but the links will take you to totally different places. It is full of all kinds of eye candy.




Karen Totten is the owner of Starry Road Studios.  Just the name brings to mind laying in a field of clover and stargazing.  Karen does all kinds of wonderful things with ceramics such as beads, charms and gorgeous pottery.  And be sure to check out her metal charms.  And here are some of my favorites. 





Kiersen Giles is the designer behind Lune Designs.  She makes some truly beautiful one of a kind pieces of jewelry.  Above are my favorites.  Don't they just make your mouth water?

Now since you have stuck with me so far, I am going to be doing a giveaway of one of Melinda Orr's beautiful clasps or if you would prefer a pair of earrings that I have designed.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sep 7, 2012

Review: Against the Storm



Some women find trouble wherever they go. And some men are their only protection against it.

Redheads like Maggie O'Connell are nothing but trouble. But Trace Rawlins, a former army ranger turned private investigator, takes the case anyway. After all, he knows a thing or two about women.

Trace can sense that something is wrong--Maggie isn't telling him everything. If these menacing calls and messages are real, why won't the police help her? And if they "aren't" real, what is she hiding?

As Trace digs deeper to find the source of Maggie's threats, he discovers a secret that no one was meant to uncover. And the only puzzle left to be solved is whether the danger comes from an unknown stalker...or from the woman he's trying his hardest not to fall for.


* * * * *
I just want to get this out of the way and then I will go onto the actual review.  I totally disagree that any women's only protection against trouble is a man.  They are wonderful and I would hate to live without men but they are never the only  solution or protection.  Okay now I have that off my chest.

I think that I am in love.  No not with the hero Trace but with all the characters in this book.  And it's not that they are all that nice.  Some are definitely not that.  It's more that they so are so real and the setting with the complete with the local cafe is so perfect.   It's a big city yet there are those neighborhoods that are like villages within.  I have lived in a few of those and they satisfy both the need for twenty-four hour convenience and the need for hominess.

Ms. Martin also has a very apt touch with pacing of the tension.  She divulges one of the villains rather quickly.  Perhaps one might say a tad too quickly yet the person behind the original threat will come out of left field, or at least it did to me.  But it's not all danger.  This book definitely has its...well let's just say... hot moments.

I do recommend AGAINST THE STORM  to any of my readers who enjoy romantic suspense with a touch of spice.  There are some sexy scenes but it never crosses the line into erotica.  Still I only recommend this book for adults.

I rate this book a 4.5 and am planning on picking of this series backlist.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Sep 6, 2012

National Courtesy Month

Singa the Courtesy Lion
Singa the Courtesy Lion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
September is National Courtesy Month.  In a way I think that it is sad that we need a month to remind us to be courteous but on the other hand perhaps isn't such a bad thing to go back over some of what it entails.

I find that people tend to be a lot more polite in person.  We were raised to say please, thank you and you're welcome.  I tend to find however that courtesy gets pushed the the wayside when it comes to email and social networking.
For the most part it really comes down to treating others as you would like to be treated. 

With email there are some added considerations though so I decided to share some suggested rules.

  • Make your Subject field meaningful.
    Let the recipient know what your message is about. Well-chosen words in the Subject field may help your message get attention sooner.
  • Know your audience.
    Use a more formal tone if you do not personally know the recipient. Check beforehand to see if a recipient is interested in receiving material that some might consider annoying; e.g., jokes, political messages.
  • Be concise.
    Keep an e-mail as short as possible. If it must be long, break it up into paragraphs with headings that the reader can scan quickly.
  • Don't reproduce an e-mail message in full when responding to it.
    Select only the parts that you want to answer. However, do not edit quoted messages to change the overall meaning.
  • Be careful about forwarding.
  • Check your e-mail regularly and respond promptly.
    Ignoring a message is discourteous and confusing to the sender. Always reply to an e-mail, if only briefly, to let the sender know you received it.
  • If a message is important, follow up.
    Never assume that a message you sent has been read. Follow up an important message with a phone call if a reply is overdue.
  • Don't spam.
    In the context of e-mail, spam means electronic garbage. Sending junk e-mail (e.g., advertisements, chain letters) to a group or to someone you don't know is considered "spamming."
  • Don't "flame."
    A "flame" is an inflammatory or overly critical response to an annoying message (e.g., spam, controversial statement, incomplete information). If you do get flamed, it's best to just ignore it. Responding to a flame can escalate into a "flame war."
  • Don't use ALL CAPS.
    This is the online equivalent of shouting. Avoid using a string of capital letters in your correspondence unless absolutely necessary.
  • Be patient.
    Wait before re-transmitting a message or sending a follow-up message.
  • Keep your signature lines short.
    Large signature blocks (more than four lines) are generally considered rude. 
Also remember that the person that you are 'talking' with is unable to hear the tone of your voice so you might have been making a joke while the person on the other end might take it as something else entirely.  Use of emoticons can really help with that.
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Sep 5, 2012

BSBP Contest Winner




I am so sorry that I am running late.  I have been having such issues with my shoulder/elbow lately that I pretty much took a break from my computer.  No excuse I know but I did draw a winner.

Beautiful designs, lovely pieces!

I have sent her out an email letting her know.  And I want to thank everyone that took the time to comment.  It's those comments that make blogging all worth while.
Sep 4, 2012

Book Review: Ghost Crown



A priceless mystical treasure, a dark secret order, and a vengeful fallen angel forces collide as the battle for Middleburg continues . . .

For gang members Raphael and Ignacio, plans for the homecoming dance are almost as harrowing as their recent victory against the demonic forces that threaten their town. Despite their tentative alliance, a fight breaks out between the preppie Toppers and the goth Flatliners when Topper girl Aimee shows up at the dance with Raphael, the rival gang's leader. In the midst of an all-out rumble, the homecoming queen discovers a supernatural power that causes a potentially deadly catastrophe. Meanwhile, a charismatic half-angel, half-human arrives in Middleburg with plans to steal Aimee from Raphael.

To add to the bizarre circumstances surrounding the town, real-estate moguls begin buying up most of the Flats and evicting the tenants. These mysterious men seek a priceless treasure prophesied in ancient Chinese writings and will stop at nothing to find it. But Raphael and his friends vow to get to it first and use it to reclaim their homes.

As Raphael and the Flatliners and Zhai and the Toppers hone their supernatural abilities and search for the treasure, Aimee begins kung fu training, intent on using her new skills to locate and rescue her mother. When she discovers that the elusive treasure may be the key, the race to find it intensifies.

But there are others who seek the treasure too, and they have the power to reduce all of Middleburg, and perhaps the world, to ashes. . . 


* * * * *

One of my favorite musicals has always been West Side Story and in GHOST CROWN that is what you get along with a whole bunch of magic and the paranormal to keep it interesting.  And it was interesting.

I found that all of the characters were very well developed even the secondary ones though I will admit at times it can be hard to tell just who the secondary characters are.  And there are a lot of characters in this story.  Since I didn't read the first book in this series, I will admit to being lost just who was who in the beginning but that didn't last long simply because they are so well written with their own personalities and goals.  

There was one more thing that was confusing in the beginning was how Nash was called both Nash and Ignacio interchangeably in the same scene.  It felt as though he was different people in that scene.  This almost feels like an editing error that needs to be cleaned up.

The plotline itself was very tight and I loved how all the threads were pulled together in the stunning conclusion though the tale is far from finished.  I know that I will be looking forward to the next book in this series to come up.

This is a young adult and there is some violence however due to the paranormal influences it almost doesn't seem real.  I do recommend this book for readers of all ages who enjoy the paranormal.

I rate this book a 4 and it would have been higher if it had done a better job of standing on its own in the beginning.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.



Sep 3, 2012

Labor Day



I was planning on doing up a blog post for this special day since so many of us, myself included have forgotten just why we have a Labor Day. However I then had a change of heart.  My husband, Saje Williams, is a fantasy author and  a political writer.  He is much better at writing then I will ever dream of being.  So I decided to share his post with you all.

Click here to read it.
Sep 2, 2012

Beautiful Things



Good Morning, err..almost afternoon.  This is the Labor Day edition.  I know that for a lot of people this weekend symbolizes the kids getting back to school.  Or perhaps the time to harvest and stockpile for the winter.  To me, it means that the quiet time is coming closer.  A time to reflect, for my muse to start going nuts and most importantly, it is a time to stay out of the cold. 

The picture that I selected tickled my muse as it has the deeper colors that I associate with the dark time of the year while the butterflies symbolize spring and rebirth to me.  I will have to play around with that. 

  • I love my doctor.  I had to go in and get my FMLA recertified.  Can anyone tell me why they suddenly changed the certification from one year to six months?  I mean a chronic disease isn't going to go away soon.  Anyways we were just sitting in there laughing as she filled it out and did a quick check up on me.  She also treats my husband and was asking about him.
  • I have a few more necklaces down in my sketchbook.  I was planning on working on them today but my shoulder is saying no.  But I am thinking on Wednesday after my massage.
  • The windows in my bedroom are really high up so I never close the blinds.  The bed is in perfect position to look out on of the windows to see the stars.  Friday night was just perfect because I was able to lay in bed and gaze at the Blue Moon.  She was so beautiful.
Sep 1, 2012

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop





When I signed up for this hop I asked Erin of Treasures Found to surprise me with a country in Europe.  The country she choose for me was Portugal.  Now I have to admit that for some reason I was thinking that this country belonged in South America.  Yeah geography is NOT my strong suit.



So time to do some research on this beautiful country.  I discovered that it is the westernmost county in Europe with a population of 10.6 million with over half of them living in two major cities, Lisbon and Porto.  It is a land that has been populated since the prehistoric times and became a nation in 1139 making it one of the oldest of the European countries.  During the middle ages, this country was actually a global empire and one that lasted until 2002 though it was considerably smaller once Brazil became a country in its own right.  Interesting information.






Now what I was actually interested in was the jewelry though looking at the pictures of the scenery has put it on my bucket list.  It appears that fiber used a lot in their styles.  I could work with that.  In fact I had plans for two pieces of jewelry.


My main piece was a necklace patterned after one worn by past royalty using pearls and chain with a nice focal.  This necklace has given me nothing but issues starting with losing the package that my finding were in.  So I finally found the illusive envelope hidden in of all things, a library book.  So I finally got a chance to start working on it much later then I had planned.  Then I had a missing cat scare.  Yeah I was searching for a cat when I should have been working on this. He was finally found and is now grounded.  The last straw was my elbow.  I have acute tendonitis in my right elbow that they are still deciding whether it needs surgery.  So of course it decided to flare up to the point that holding a pair of pliers was very painful.  That is when I decided that I wouldn't be able to complete the necklace.

Not all was an epic fail however.  Since a lot of the jewelry being made is using a textile of some type, I had decided to also make a bracelet using waxed linen and a stone that I think is cracked agate.  I was gifted with the stone during a bead swap.  I made it up into a rich wrap bracelet.



So not exactly what I had planned but I am happy with this piece.  Kinda blingy in an understated kind of way.

Now be sure to check out everyone else's creations.  I am sure that they had MUCH better luck.




Monique Urquhart
Africa
Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers
Africa
Egypt
Therese Frank
Africa
Kenya
Raychelle Heath
Africa
Lesotho
Joan Williams
Africa
Mauritania
Sherri Stokey
Africa
Senegal
Regina Santerre
Africa
Seychelles
Raida Disbrow
Africa
Tanzania
Kristi Wodek
Africa
Zimbabwe
Sally Russick
Americas
Brazil
Melissa Trudinger
Americas
Mexico
Tracy Stillman
Americas
USA
Sandra Wolberg
Asia
India
Tanya Goodwin
Asia
Japan
Susan Kennedy
Asia
Japan
Beth Emery
Asia
Japan
Lisa Cone
Asia
Japan
Tanya Boden
Asia
Japan
Inge von Roos
Asia
Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz
Asia
Nepal
Dee Elgie
Asia
Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson
Asia
South Korea
Lisa Stukel
Asia
Sri Lanka
Elly Snare
Asia
Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner
Europe
Austria
Mallory Hoffman
Europe
Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim
Europe
France
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Europe
Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Europe
Greece
Evelyn Shelby
Europe
Iceland
Holly Westfall
Europe
Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag
Europe
Ireland
Toltec Jewels
Europe
Ireland
Lee Koopman
Europe
Ireland
Laren Dee Barton
Europe
Italy
Cindy Wilson
Europe
Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik
Europe
Poland
Shaiha Williams
Europe
Portugal
Jennifer Justman
Europe
Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Europe
Spain
Lola Surwillo
Europe
Sweden
Kim Hora
Europe
Switzerland
Leanne Loftus
Europe
The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen
Europe
The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll
Europe
Turkey
Marlene Cupo
Oceania
Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle
Oceania
Fiji
Tammie Everly
Oceania
Guam
Alice Peterson
Oceania
Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld
Oceania
Nauru
Susan McClelland
Oceania
New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland
Oceania
New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman
Oceania
New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson
Oceania
Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi
Oceania
Samoa
Kari Asbury
Oceania
Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier
Oceania
Tonga
Emma Todd
Oceania
Tuvalu
Debbie Price
Oceania
Vanuatu



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