Dec 30, 2014

Review: Dark Prayer




Eloise Blake is on the run from a life she can no longer remember. And from a killer who will stop at nothing to protect a secret as old as time. From the award-winning author of SEASON OF THE WITCH comes a thriller about memory, identity and the murderous consequences of a quest gone wrong.

* * * * *

I have always found books by Ms. Mostert to be rather eerie and difficult to categorize in any one genre.  But oh so enjoyable.  DARK PRAYER is no exception 

This is a book that engrossed me from the very beginning with superb characters such as Eloise/Jenilee and Jack who are the second generation in a game of memory that began with their parents.  And whether it is worth the loss of love to remember just who you really are?

 It asks questions about just what would happen if we could control what a person remembers and what they forget.  What would happen if we were able to implant memories in the mind of another.  This is one book where one question being answered leads to another hundred being asked.

I do recommend DARK PRAYER as I very much enjoyed it but don't expect the ending to be wrapped up nicely.  I am left pondering just what is going to happen with the future as our 'real world' work with memories progresses further and further along.
Dec 26, 2014

Ramblings



  • Well I am back in Inbound Sales and I do have to say that yesterday, Monday, was an utter waste of a day.  I got to spend all day listening to another agent's calls.  Boring anyways but this was newer agent so I was the one showing him tricks rather then the other way around.  The grey skies perfectly reflected the day.

Dec 23, 2014

Review: The Republic of Thieves



With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body - though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean's imploring - and the Bondsmage's mention of a woman from Locke's past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha - or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.


* * * * *

I am really on the fence about this book.  While it is the third book of the series, I didn't feel any lack in not reading the first two since the author did an excellent job of covering the back story.  And the tale or tales was one that immediately intrigued me.   

My issue was that this was actually two stories, one that was happening in the present and yet another that happened years ago.  They did relate in that the main characters in both tales were the same.  I just would have preferred to have picked up and read two books rather then jumping back and forth through time.  

I do recommend this book because the writing was exceptional and the plot engrossing.  I even really liked the three main characters, Locke, Jean and Sabetha.  I am just finicky about only wanting to keep track of one story at a time.
Dec 21, 2014

Blessings



I hope that all of my friends and family have a magical Yule.
Dec 20, 2014

Pine Ridge Treasures Pearl Challenge



Just a quick post to show off some pretties that I made using glass pearls and Tiaria crystal from Znet Shows.  Well actually I got the pearls from Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures for this challenge but they originally came from Znet. 

When I first received my beads, I admit I was stumped.  Gorgeous, rich colors of a deep forest green and a beautiful navy blue but I couldn't wrap my head around just how to combine them.  I finally decided to to make up a couple designs.



This first one ended is actually the second one I made. I love charm bracelets and it has been so long since I have made any.  They tend to be hard on the hands but I figured with the larger pearls and crystals it wouldn't be so bad.  And I was right.



Oh and let me show this gorgeous clasp that I used.  It just adds to the sparkle.



As you can guess, this set was the first to come together and it definitely reawakened my love of knotting pearls.  This necklace has that touch of elegance that comes with knotted pearls with the added flash of the Tiaria crystal.



And of course, it has a fun clasp.  Just love this mermaid.



Oh and I did mention set.  Yeah there is actually matching earrings.

Now both of these beauties will be up for sale at Shaiha Designs on Sunday.
Dec 19, 2014

Ramblings


I am sorry that I didn't have any ramblings for last week.  I had spent most of last week sick with something but this is a new week.

  • One of my best friend's uncle was killed in car accident last friday night.  He was t-boned by a drunk driver.  Personally I think that anyone who drinks and drives should be convicted of murder.  They knew that there was a chance that they would kill someone.


  • I went out on Sunday for a tea party with the Red Hatters.  It was a lot of fun with good company and a tasty tea set. This tea shop, Secret Gardens, is set in an old Victorian house that is just beautiful.
Dec 16, 2014

Word of the Year for 2015



Wow!  This year has really slipped away from me.  It wasn't until I was reading someone's blog and they mentioned that there were only three weeks left this year that it really clicked. 

I don't do New Year's Resolutions because I have found that they are set up so that I am prone to failing.  Instead I choose a word that hopefully guide me through this next year.

My word for 2012 was Focus.  I wanted to focus more on my design business as well as learn to take better pics.  This is still a work in progress.

My word for 2013 was commitment.  I had committed to getting my business up and going.  Again it it a work in progress but I do have a store both online and through FB,  Just click here to be taken to it.  . 

I had a couple words in mind but I really think the winner is purpose.

purpose

[pur-puh s]
noun
1.
the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
2.
an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
3.
determination; resoluteness.
4.
the subject in hand; the point at issue.
5.
practical result, effect, or advantage:
to act to good purpose.
 
I will be going into a new job starting next Sunday and setting goal along with intended results is going to be pretty important.  This word will also for my jewelry business..

So do you do NYE Resolutions or choose a word for the year?  If you have tried both, which works out better for you?
Dec 13, 2014

Jasper and Pearl Challenge




If I had to pick a favorite stone (and could only pick one) it would have to be Jasper.  There are just so many variations available from the Red Poppy Jasper all the way to Ocean Jasper.  So of course when Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures offered the opportunity to get a kit filled with Jasper and Ultra Glass Pearls from Znet Shows, I couldn't resist.  And of course I had to show off my design.



Here's a close of up of the beautiful Jasper!  The designs on these stones remind me of a desert landscape.

If you enjoy making jewelry from mystery kits, I highly recommend joining Pine Ridge Treasures.  Lisa always have these wonderful challenges that are so much fun. 
Dec 12, 2014

Falling into October Blog Hop



This post has ran before but the blog hop was rescheduled due to some emergencies in the hostess's life.  All of the links should be active so be sure to check out what everyone else has made.

Even though I am pagan and know that fall actually starts in September, it never seems to sink in until October comes around.  While there is something that keeps drawing me back to Washington state, one thing I miss living here is the changing of the seasons.  



I love watching the leaves turn and all the colors associated with them.  It signals to me that it is time to put away the summer and dig out my sweaters and boots.  Yep, that's the best part of the season and one that I can still indulge in even though pine trees tend to stay green year around.



Another thing that I tend to indulge in during the fall is the wearing of longer necklaces and would you believe, I didn't have one in fall colors.  So when I recieved my beautiful 'sparkling rock' from Rita of Jewel School Friends, I decided that this necklace was to be for me.  And I tend to prefer the simpler ones with just a dash of sparkle which highlights this lampwork jewel from Glass Bead Art.



I am really happy with how this necklace turned out.  That one bead demands attention and almost glows.  Thank you so much Rita for sending me this little jewel and I will think of you and this hop every time I wear it.



Now this is a hop and I am sure that you would like to check out what everyone else made.  I have my cup of tea ready and looking forward to it.

Featured Artist: Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens
Maryse's blog: Glass Bead Art
Maryse's shop: Glass Bead Art Lampwork

Toltec Jewels  (hostess)            Jewel School Friends
Sherri Stokey                          Knot Just Macrame
Lindsay Starr                           Phantasm Creations
Kelly Rogers                           Beadin' Black & Blue
Jennifer Reno                          Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Melissa Trudinger                    Beadrecipes
Marybeth Rich                        A Few Words from Within the Pines
Andrea Frank                         Andrea Creates Jewelry & More
Sondra Jackson                      Sondra Jackson
Robin Reed                             Artistry HCBD
Kathleen Breeding                   99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Heather Richter                       Desert Jewelry Designs
Gina Hockett                           Freestyle Elements
Mindy Shell                             Kitty's Cache Beading Blog
Debbie Rasmussen                  A little of this, a little of that
Tammy Adams                        Paisley Lizard
Carolyn Lawson                      Carolyn's Creations
Nan Smith                               Nanmade Handmade Jewelry
Evelyn Shelby                          Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Jasvanti Patel                           Jewelry by Jasvanti
Linda Anderson                       From the Bead Board
Dini Bruinsma                          Angaza by Changes
Margareta Saari                       Mags~koruja
Lori Schneider                         Bead Addict
Robin Showstack                    The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Karin Grosset Grange             Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Chris Eisenberg                       Wanderware
Heather d-Entremont              Frugal MacDougall
Linda Younkman                     Lindy's Designs
Janine Lucas                            Esfera Jewelry
Sheila Prosterman                    Cheap Charms
Veralynne Malone                    Designed by Vera
Kelly Hosford Patterson           The Traveling Side Show
Divya N                                    Jewels of Sayuri
Deb Fortin                                Studio 24
Klaudete Koon                         Only Road
Carol Briody                            A Bead's Life



Dec 11, 2014

Noble Knight Challenge



One thing I really love about the challenges that Andrew Thornton of The Writing and Art of Andew Thornton are the rich kits that he sends out each time.



As you can tell, this time around it was dark reds, rich blues along with some greys for contrast.  And you have to love the mystery component which this time is a shield of stars.



I was inspired by the deep reds in this kit and wanted to continue along that theme.  I also wanted a design that would really highlight the shield of stars that was part of the kit.  I really love this shield as it has an inner glow to it that is really brought out by the matte sea glass that I used for the rest of the design.



Here is the entire necklace.  I used some matte red sea glass as well as the facet black glass roundelles and crystals that came with my kit.



I also made up some earrings with some of the beads from my kit which will be donated to Ears To You

There were several designers all working with the same kit so be sure to take a look at what everyone else made with the same kit.  I always enjoy seeing where we go all starting from the same place.




Featured on Andrew Thornton's blog:
 
Dec 5, 2014

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop



I want to apologize first for running behind.  I knew from the very beginning just which of my hoarded beads I wanted to use as my focal but between procrastination, migraines and veritago I finished up this necklace at the last minute. Actually beyond the last minute since I finished it up a couple hours past the time I should have posted.  So much for my grand plans of making up a few designs from my hoarded beads.



I really felt that it was appropriate that I use this focal since it was the start of my 'hoard' of art beads.  Back when I first started blogging, I won this bead from one of those huge blog hops that featured all kinds of handmade art.  I don't even recall who made this beauty so if you recognize this style or if you were the artist who made it, please let me know.  I would love to give credit for this baby.



For some reason, the golden squiggles on this focal has always reminded me of the various religious symbols that can be found world wide.  I wanted to play this feature up by adding my own symbols hanging from the end of the chain tassel. 



This necklace is for me so I wanted it to be longer since I like to play with my jewelry.  I also wanted to use a stone with vibrations that I could attune.  I ended up deciding on Magnesite because this is a calming stone that also aids the wearer in aligning their desires with their heart's needs.  What could be better?  I also used some brass chain and some brass wire.



Now this is a hop and there are a lot of us that like to hoard beads so be sure you grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and check out what everyone else has made.  Just click here to go to the participant list. 


Ramblings


  • Goddess knows, I am addicted to chocolate and hazelnuts happen to be my favorite nut.  So why is it that I don't care for Nutella?  You would think that it would be a match made in heaven.
  • Been suffering from random vertigo for the last couple days.  The critters love it because when it hits, the only cure seems to be laying down with my eyes closed.  They of course take this as a sign to cuddle.
  • I am going to be attending a Christmas Tea on the 14th.  This is rather exciting as I love going out to tea and to actually find others that enjoy it is a real win in my book.  

  • The only downside was that I had to find a purple formal or semi-formal dress to wear.  Now I have never been a clothes horse and since working from home, my wardrobe has really diminished.  And I have never been one to wear purple.  So the quest was on.  My goal was to find a nice dress without paying an arm and a leg.
  • I actually lucked out. It's simple so I need to make up some jewelry to go with it and it fits like a dream.  Now I just want to find a little black sweater to wear with it so I don't freeze to death.
Dec 2, 2014

Time Flies




I can't believe that it is time to change the calender.  Yeah I know that I am a month early but I have already started my 2015-2017 pocket calendar.  This is where I put all my blog posts and ideas and well it is all so clean and fresh right now. 

I want to start filling it up yet I like the uncluttered look of right now.  But life (and this blog) can't stand still.  I tend to save the calenders of previous years as they are little snapshots into what I was doing.  Kinda like journaling without the work.

Truth be told, I actually started to blog to act as a journal for where I am been and what I was up to.  When I look back over the years, I can see how my interests and skills have changed.  There have been up and downs but overall, I have enjoyed the path,

I have tried journaling on my phone but I tend to feel guilty if I only have enter one line.  Perhaps I need one of those journals that only allows you to write one sentence.  It would be interesting to have to compress a busy day into one line.

Do you tend to journal?  Any paper or electronic ones that you would recommend?
Nov 29, 2014

Art Jewelry Elements November Component of the Month Reveal




One of my favorite blogs, Art Jewelry Elements, just happens to do a monthly component reveal where one of their contributors will make up a component then they all will design a piece around it.  The best part is that they invite different designers in to play.  I was lucky enough to be one of those designers this time around.

What was being offered was these beautiful seed bead rings made by Kristen Stevens.  Aren't they lovely and so out of my wheel house that I was jumping for joy when my name was picked.  The ones that were sent me was the Terra Dark Denim.

Since they came in a pair and I have really been working on designing earrings lately, I decided to make up a pair of ear wires and grabbed a pair of lampwork headpins made by Earth Shine.



I just love this pair of earrings because this is the first time that I haven't used something that was commercial be it earwires or jump rings.  And I want to thank Art Jewelry Elements and Kristen for the opportunity to push my limits yet again.

Now be sure to click here to see what everyone else made with their wonderful rings.
Nov 28, 2014

Ramblings



  • I am not one that does well without a car.  I have had one pretty much consistently since I was eighteen and since I have gotten older with fibro, it has become an necessity.  My car went down last Monday and hasn't worked since.  Apparently it was just a battery that needed supercharged but it was a comedy of errors getting that done.  It's working right now.  I am just hoping that it continues so I can go into the office tomorrow.
  • Why is it that you can pay into the SS system for years and when you are disabled, you have to hire a lawyer to get disability?  Why is it that in a a lot of states, your claim is going to be automatically denied no matter what the doctors say unless you are dying?  I know that lawyers have to make a living but folks that are trying to get disability really don't need to pay 25% to a lawyer.  Arg!
Nov 24, 2014

Art Charm Exchange & Charity Auction




It's that time of the year again where a bunch of us designers create Art Charms to swap with each other and to let you in on the fun, we also have an auction of the Art Charms.  The best part is that all of the proceeds from the auction benefit Beads of Courage.

Now I am sure that everyone has heard about BOC but just as a refresher, they are a non-profit that provides arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.  They have so many different ways to support them such as direct donations of cash or if you make beads, they can always use more.

Now as far as the exchange, us designers make up ten art charms to display and one to be auctioned off on E-bay.  Our theme for this year is Soar!  Just look at these gorgeous charms that I received all based around that one word.





 What came immediately to my mind was hot air balloons.  Now I don't make my own beads so instead I took some lampwork beads made by Spawn of Flame which reminded me of blue skies and whispy white clouds.  I attached some balloon baskets to the beads using sterling wire and added on a ring so this charm can be attached to a bracelet or a necklace.



Now the important part of the exchange is the auction so be sure to pop over here to see what's up for grabs.

And be sure to check out what everyone else designed around the word Soar!


Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net