Mar 30, 2013

Color Palette Blog Hop

Okay call me insane.  In the midst of preparing for the Bead Soup Blog Hop (my reveal is on April 13th) one of my swap partners, Bonnie of Jasper Gems,  decided to host a blog hop and I just couldn't resist. We were give the choice of three different palettes and instructions to make a piece jewelry around those colors.


I just couldn't resist this picture.  Not only it is of a stone circle but some of my favorite colors are contained within.  I did a lot of playing trying to decide just what I was doing until I came around a set to commercial beads that contained all of the colors that just cried out to be made into a bracelet.






I had all kinds of fun mixing the copper and brass together.  And that one ceramic bead in the middle.

Now that you have seen my humble offering be sure to check out what everyone else has come up with.


Alicia Marinache
Leah Curtis
Cheryl Dunham
Andrea Trank
 
Penny Houghton
Mar 28, 2013

Book Review: The Cat Whisperer




Who says you can’t train a cat? Just when you thought you had reached the end of your ball of twine, one of America’s most popular cat behaviorists comes to the rescue of perplexed cat owners everywhere, providing practical and effective strategies for solving every feline behavior problem imaginable—from litter box issues to scratching, spraying, biting, and beyond.

Cat Whisperer Mieshelle Nagelschneider has been helping people deal with these dilemmas for two decades, achieving a near-perfect success rate. Central to her approach is a keen understanding of the unique way cats see the world—their need for safety and security, their acute territoriality, and their insatiable desire to catch and kill prey. Her proven C.A.T. cat behavior modification plan is a commonsense course of action that can be specifically tailored to your cat in the context of its behavior problems and its particular household environment. Easy-to-implement solutions help transform even the most anxiety-riddled companions into confident, gregarious, and relaxed cats who live longer, happier, and healthier lives. 


* * * * *

I have always had cats and have been able to work with some hard cases to turn them into happy felines with contented families.   I personally love to civilize feral cats and find homes for them.

If you are having any issues with your cats at all I highly recommend picking up THE CAT WHISPERER.  Rather then reading like a dry training manual, I felt as though I was sitting down with Ms. Nagelschnieder drinking a  cup of tea and discussing just how to get all my cats to get along better.  I picked up a lot of tricks that I wasn't aware of even after forty plus years of living with them.  I just loved the stories of the various cats that she includes to illustrate the methods being discussed. 

I rate this book a 5 as this is the best book I have ever read about understanding your cat and how to live with them in a more comfortable atmosphere.  It is especially suited for multi-cat households as it does a great job about explaining cats and their fluctuating territories.

*** 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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Mar 26, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Bastard






An ambitious intern.
A perfectionist executive.
And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other. 


* * * * *

 This story was originally found on fan fiction sites as THE OFFICE.  When it hit over two million reads the story was picked up by Gallery Books so that the rest of would have a chance to enjoy the story and it has been picked up for a movie.

I found this to be a really hot book which both myself and my husband really enjoyed however the plot itself isn't the strongest.  I found it difficult to believe that someone as driven as Chloe would risk loosing it all by having sex with her boss in the conference room.  If you are willing to suspend belief then BEAUTIFUL BASTARD is a fun book with some very nice side benefits and I do recommend it for any readers looking for a hot erotic novel.  There are some very explicit sex scenes so it's not really suited for younger readers.

I rate this book a 3.5.

*** I received this book at no charge in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Mar 23, 2013

Focus On Life: Observe the Curves



 “In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.”        

~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

I have found that I am really enjoying the Focus on Life series as every Saturday we get a new prompt from Sally at Studio Sublime.  I have found that these prompts have me paying attention to my surroundings in a whole new way.  

I had no problem finding curves as they are all around me.  The issue was trying to decide just what pic I should use.  I took quite a few pictures of my cats as they sleep in balls, in the shape of their ears.  I took pics of my husband as the muscles in his arms form curves, the stones in the retaining wall next door are curved.  Well you get the picture.  I finally decided to highlight one of my sun/moon mirrors that I have been collecting forever.

Mar 22, 2013

Year of Jewelry Project: Week 12



I actually found time to spend on making a necklace for the Year of Jewelry Project.  (It's not that I haven't been making jewelry lately.   It's more that I have been making them for blog hops so that I can't reveal them as yet.)  The theme this week is spring and I couldn't think of anything more springy then a honey bee.  The beautiful focal is artisan made but I was gifted it in a swap and I can't quite made out just who the art is from the little stamp on the back.

Other happenings on the jewelry side is that my stamps finally arrived so I can start playing with them.  I also finally picked up a torch.  Of course in my excitement I forget little things like flux and solder so I haven't been able to really play with it but I am excited that I can finally make my own headpins and I can close the links in a necklace that I really like whose links keep popping open.

Edited to add:  My swap partner has confirmed that the focal is from Gaea.  Thank you so much Tara!
Mar 20, 2013

Earth Day

Crystal earth recycle icon
Crystal earth recycle icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today is very special day.  It actually has two titles; Earth Day and First Day of Spring.  It is a great time to be thinking about your footprint upon the Lady Earth. 
  • Do you recycle or reuse everything that you can? 
  • Do you carpool to work or perhaps work a condensed shift?  How about opportunities to telecommute?
  • Have you considered shortening your morning shower?  Even just a minute a day can sace a lot of water.
  • When you purchase new appliances do you make sure that they have a good Energy Star rating?
  • Washing a full load in either the dishwasher or the clothes washer will end up with a savings in water, energy and on your utility bill.
  • If you have a faucet that is leaking, fix it as soon as you can.
  • Bring your own reusable bags when you shop.  A lot of grocery stores even give you a credit off the the amount due.
  • Purchase locally when possible.  Not only will your food be fresher but it takes less energy and pollution to get to your table.
  • Make sure that you recycle your old electronics.  It keeps them out of landfills and a lot of guts of these devices can be reused.
Those are just a few ideas on how to help this wonderful planet that we live on.  Oh and don't forget to take a small walk tomorrow and enjoy the scents and feelings of the first day of spring.
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Mar 16, 2013

Focus on Life Week 11






“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility."  ~Victoria Moran
 

The prompt this week was all about endless possibilities and the first place my mind went were to tools that I use every day.  This is my home office where I am lucky enough to be able to telecommute.  This is  where you will find my dual monitor work computer, my laptop, my cell phone and my Kindle fire.  When I am using this electronic devices the only limit is one that I impose upon myself.

Being able to do this from home has really opened up my possibilities as I have fibromyalgia and not having to brave the cold and wet just to get to work leaves me with the ability to work in my studio, to have friends over to dinner, to have my animals go to work with me.  It leaves me with a better outlook on life as I am not as crippled up with pain.

And we don't even want to talk about how this set up allows my imagination free rein.  If I want to know what a clown fish looks like, I just hit google.  If I want to buy some beading supplies then I hit the internet.  If I want to curl up and read a good book then I have thousands at my finger tips.  This office really is my haven that sets me free to explore everything.

I do want to apologize to everyone else who is involved with the Focus On Life photo hop.  I am really behind on everything but I will be stopping by and commenting.  And for those that aren't quite sure just what the Focus On Life is all about, be sure to head over to The Studio Sublime to meet our hostesses Sally and see what everyone else has taken a picture of.
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Mar 15, 2013

Year Of Jewelry: Week 11

I really haven't spent a lot of time in my studio this week.  I really hate it when life interferes with my studio time as that time is what allows me to recharge while my mind is taking time off.  I am not going to allow doctor's appointments or whatnot to interfere again especially as I am still working on my Bead Soup pieces.

The theme this week was 'Rescued From The Scrap Bin.  Now I don't really have a scrap bin as I tend to reuse everything I can.  Well I guess that's not true as I do have a little container filled with sterling silver wire.  I have ordered a torch so I will be able to make my own headpins but the pieces in my bin are too small to do anything else with them.

So I used what I had which is a container fill with broken jewelry that I have picked up in various places and I dug through there.  I didn't have a lot of time to work on a piece as I finally was able to whittle out a small block of time yesterday so I went with quick and simple.



The focal is actually an old earring where I used the earring post to make a bail and the chain is off of another retired necklace. Very simple with quite a bit of bling in this necklace.  I am going to have to scramble some more among my old earrings to see what I can come up with.
Mar 13, 2013

Gardening



One of my dreams when we got our house was that I would be able to do a garden.  Just the thought brings back memories of my Gram's garden.   The taste of her vegetables were so delicious.  We used to go out and pick a tomato, then cut it up and put a bit of Miracle Whip on the plate, and that made up a great snack.  Both my mother and myself really moved about too much to set up a garden.

But now we, myself and Saje) have put down roots.  This is where I will be living until I retire or can't stand the weather's effects on my body.  Which ever comes first.  Probably the weather.  To tell you the truth, I would be living in Arizona now if it wasn't for the friends I have here and my job which I really enjoy.

This will be our third year here and our third attempt to garden.  Both myself and my hubby are pretty much novices at this growing your own thing and our first garden's reflect that.  I just really hoped that we learned from our mistakes. 

The first year we started out with a raised bed.  I decided where I wanted it to go based on my plans for the future.  The thing that I didn't consider was the most important.  This location only gets around 2 to 3 hours of late afternoon sun if that.  I ended up growing a bumper crop of mushrooms.  And I don't know enough to know whether they were a safe type so that was a total wash out.

Last year wasn't quite so bad.  We got some really big planters and purchased some tomato and squash plants.  We did manage to get a few vegetables off of each but not as many as I was hoping for.  It took me until later in the season to realize that if I set the planters on the concrete out back they will grow better.

This year (and I hope that I am not too late) I plan on starting a container garden on my front deck.  It is about 8' wide and goes the length of the house.  And it's main selling point is that it get full sun for about 6 to 8 hours a day.  Now I just have to find containers.  I am leaning toward livestock troughs but I am open for suggestions.

Does anyone have any great links for planters?  Preferably ones that allow you to layer the pots so that I can get more growing area out of a smaller location.
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Mar 11, 2013

Book Review: Blood and Magick

 If you are looking for the Spring Fashionista Blog Hop please click here.



Taking out hellish creatures—not a problem. Armed with blessed silver hollow-points and the ability to manipulate magick, he’s ready for anything—except betrayal he never saw coming…
Deacon Chalk knows the biggest danger in fighting monsters is becoming one. Just another day at the office for your friendly neighborhood occult bounty hunter. If keeping three helpless were-dog children safe means battling a malevolent trio of witches by any means necessary, so be it. If that means partnering with a ruthless government agent to stay one step ahead of the allies and friends he must now suspect, he’s not going to cry about it. The only way Deacon can save humans and shape-shifters alike is to embrace a power beyond his imagining, putting his team at stake—and his soul on the line…


* * * * *

It seems as though lately all the protagonists in the urban fantasy genre are women.  Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy seeing women taking names and kicking butts but I also enjoy seeing/reading about men doing the same.  This is what attracted me to Deacon Chalk.  He is big tattooed man with a shaven head and a heart of gold for anyone being terrorized by monsters.  And there is a woman taking names in BLOOD AND MAGICK who just happens to be Deacon's lady Tiff.

This book really starts out with a bang or more correctly an explosion and goes from there. BLOOD AND MAGICK  is very fast paced with a strong storyline interspersed with just enough downtime to give the reader a chance to catch a breath.  This is a book that I just didn't want to set aside as I couldn't wait to read what happens next.

I did have a couple issues with the book such as Deacon calling the older pagan gods demons and few editing errors that slipped through.  These are not enough however to keep me from hunting up the back issues so that I will be all caught up before the first book.

I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the urban fantasy genre.  I do have to issue a warning however about the language, violence and strong christian bias that is present in the book.
I rate this book a 3.4.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
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Mar 9, 2013

Focus On Life: All Wrapped up



Definition: Wrap
As a Verb
1. To arrange or fold (something) about as cover or protection.
2. To cover, envelop, or encase, as by folding or coiling something about
3. To enclose, especially in paper, and fasten: wrap a package; wrapped up the peelings.
4. To clasp, fold, or coil about something
5. To move (text that will not fit on a line) automatically to the following line.
6. To envelop and obscure.
7. To surround or involve in a specified quality or atmosphere: The plan was wrapped in secrecy.
8. To engross.
9. To put on warm clothing. Usually used with up.
10. To conclude filming.

As a Noun
1. A garment to be wrapped or folded about a person, especially an outer garment such as a robe, cloak, shawl, or coat.
2. A blanket.
3. A wrapping or wrapper.
4. A flatbread, such as a tortilla or lavash, rolled around a filling.
5. The completion of filming on a movie.

   Are you all wrapped up in warmth or are you diving into a dessert that is all wrapped up in yummy goodness? You have a prompt that has many different meanings, grab the camera and show us how you are interpreting "all wrapped up"!

   Such a fun prompt for this week's hop.  I am one of these people that have a sweater wrapped around myself from September until almost May and I almost took a picture of that sweater.  The only problem is that my sweater is so well loved that it is developing holes all over the place.  Not something that I would want going out world wide.  So instead I though of all the cords, C-Lon and Waxed Linen that I use in my designs and in so many wonderful colors.  So without further ado...