Apr 30, 2015

Amethyst Aether Special Challenge Redo




The date for this hop was pushed back after my post had already gone live last week.  So rather then redoing it, I just wanted to give you the link so you can check out my post.

Apr 28, 2015

Book Review: The Scoundrel and the Debutante






When a man on a mission takes on a beautiful but unlikely ally, seduction and adventure are inevitable

The dust of the Cabot sisters' shocking plans to rescue their family from certain ruin may have settled, but Prudence Cabot is left standing in the rubble of scandal. Now regarded as an unsuitable bride, she's tainted among the ton. Yet this unwilling wallflower is ripe for her own adventure. And when an irresistibly sexy American stranger on a desperate mission enlists her help, she simply can't deny the temptation.

The fate of Roan Matheson's family depends on how quickly he can find his runaway sister and persuade her to return to her betrothed. Scouring the rustic English countryside with the sensually wicked Prudence at his sideand in his bedhe's out of his element. But once Roan has a taste of the sizzling passion that can lead to forever, he must choose between his heart's obligations and its forbidden desires.


I do enjoy reading a good historical romance from time to time. I have found that the ones that I really get into tend to have spunky heroines who find ways around society’s strictures.

That is what I thought that I was getting with this book. Instead, while I liked Prudence, she was far to prone to regrets when she did do what she wanted. There was so much angst dripping off of the pages that I wanted to just shake Pru. Why worry so much since she was already considered ‘tainted’ through no fault of her own.

Now some of my readers might really enjoy this book but it definitely wasn't my cup of tea. If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know what you think.  
Apr 27, 2015

Art Bead Scene April Monthly Challenge


Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
By Frida Kahlo


I just love this picture and had so many ideas and inspirations from it.  I mean it has some of my favorite totems in it with the dragonfly, the black cat and the hummingbird.  As seems to happens though, this month managed to get away from me especially with the closing on our house getting closer and closer.  I did manage to find some time last Wednesday to sneak away to my studio.



I really wanted to feature a dragonfly in my design so I started to dig through my art beads to find one.  As I was digging however I found this gorgeous focal from Beads By Earthtones that had all those glorious greens along with touches of gold.  I dug a bit further but the die was cast.  I still wanted to feature dragonflies however so I found a brass stamping and finally used my hole puncher (the dang thing intimidated me) and away I went.  I also added in some vintage African seed beads, some golden pewter chain and a pewter dragonfly clasp.  Not exactly what I originally had in mind but I am rather happy with this necklace.  Besides, would you be able to resist that focal bead?
Apr 25, 2015

Hurray For Spring Challenge




Spring has definitely sprung here in the Pacific Northwest with all the beautiful flowers and green leaves so it only seems fitting to participate in one of Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures' challenges. 



Lisa sent me quite the collection of sea glass, crystals and pewter from ZNet Shows to work with.    I was stumped by this challenge however until I started digging through my own collection of focals as I wanted something lightweight that would go great with a sundress.



I ended up pairing a spring goddess focal with that beautiful blue sea glass and the pewter.  I tend to be partial to beaded chains and find they are so relaxing to make.



And since I just loved that glorious green crystals that were sent, I ended up using some to make a pair of earrings.  The color of the greens remind me of spring leaves as they are just opening.  These will do donated to Ears to You.
Apr 23, 2015

Amethyst Aether Special Challenge




Wow!  I almost did a huge oops.  I was thinking that the challenge was taking place on Monday, March 23rd and while I was stressing where I lost all the time too, I made sure that I was ready. It was just as I was getting everything ready to go that I saw I had the wrong date entirely.  This isn't a bad thing as I can now concentrate on getting all my pieces ready for the Swap N Hop.



So I decided to combine the challengers.  Deciding to make earrings also wasn't much of a hardship to me since I tend to make at least a couple pairs since Andrew is also so generous.  I always have so much left over that I put away for later use.



Along with all those beauties above, Andrew also sent along a focal that he made himself and some pyrite spears.  They were so gorgeous together that they deserved their own picture.



And here is the complete necklace.  I am really happy with it though it underwent a metamorphosis during the making phase as I managed to tear the sari silk in half and it was too short for what I originally had planned.   This necklace is up at Shaiha Designs.



Now for the earrings.   This first pair came about because I was digging through my focals and realized just how lightweight these propellers were and how they reminded me of a dirigible floating through the skies.  This pair is up at Shaiha Designs.



I have always adored mismatched earrings and when I was younger, I would wear three posts in one ear and then a dangle earring in the other.  Now they have become popular and you can easily purchase sets that are mismatched or askew as it now called.  You can find this pair for sale here

There were twenty of these kits sent out so be sure to check out what we have all made when starting from the same goodies.

Apr 17, 2015

Ramblings




  • Getting so close to owning our home that a lot of stress is dissolving. I have been worried about having a home for my critters. Yeah I am nuts. I am buying a house so I don't have to worry about having trying to rent an apartment with all my furkids. 
  • Won a bit at the casino so I treated myself to a subscription in the Simple Truths club. Once a month for the next few months, I will be receiving beads. I love the fact that they are usually geared towards the Art Bead Scenes Monthly Challenges. I love the inspiration pictures that are chosen but I haven't participated the last couple months so I am hoping this will kick me the rear.


  • I swear dogs can be like kids. Rusty has been yipping when touched randomly so we took him to the vet. Of course, he acted like he felt wonderful that days. 
  • I really love being able to do blog posts on my tablet but it is annoying that I can't get pictures to pull over from my phone or cloud. 
  • Think I managed to break my toe again. I am really started to worry about my bones breaking so easily. I just tripped over a dog and I felt it snap. 
  • Even though yesterday started out horrible with an accident making me late for work, I ended up having my best day of sales since I came back to Inbound Sales.  Just goes to show that you never can tell.  When I saw how bad the traffic was, I really wanted to turn about and go home.  I am really glad I kept moving forward though.
Apr 14, 2015

Book Review: The Highlander's Folly




A brave fifteenth-century Highlander fiercely devoted to his foster family, Hunter of clan MacKintosh can defeat any man in battle. Thanks to his fae gifts, he can read the intent of his opponents and guess their next moves. But when the faerie Madame Giselle sends Hunter to the present day, he stumbles into a staged battle and rescues a young knight—only to discover that the knight is a woman, and she’s anything but a damsel in distress.

Meghan McGladrey learned martial arts and sword fighting from her father, a time-traveling Highlander himself. To Hunter’s surprise, Meghan is as skilled as any knight. When both of them are pulled back to the fifteenth century, Meghan becomes desperate to return to her time. Hunter, who is pledged to another, begins to fall for the beautiful, brave warrior as they fight side by side against a common enemy. Now, he must decide which matters more: his honor, or following his heart.


* * * * *

There are times when I want to just sit down and read a book for pure fun.  One that will take me away from it all while renewing my belief in the power of love and how men can be blind regardless of the era.  THE HIGHLANDER'S FOLLY succeeded on all counts.   

It is a fun time-travel story with a bit of the paranormal tossed in with the fae.  The pacing is smooth, the characters vivid and the dialogue witty.  It's the perfect bit of fluff when you are looking for a bit of brain candy.  And it has men with kilts!
Apr 10, 2015

Ramblings



  • There are benefits to having a much younger roommate.  Not only does she maintain our computers and network but she managed to get my window fixed.  Apparently all it needed was some WD40.  There is some truth to the saying that stuff will fix anything.
  • You don't realize just how much you rely on a driver's side window until you don't have one.  No more stopping by McD's to get sweet tea.  No more just flashing my badge at the card reader.  I am sure that it is healthier to have to park and walk into every place but boy what a pain in the arse.  
  • I am closer to buying my house.  Last estimate is that I will be a home owner by the end of this month!  So excited.  
  • I have gotten spoiled.  I remember the days before computers and I survived.  I remember packing up and taking my laptop into work with me each day.  Lately however I have been feeling handicapped because the OneNote on my tablet and the OneNote on my phone wasn't syncing.  Finally spent a couple hours last night tracking down the issue and fixing it.  Just when did I become so dependent on technology?
  • Could I survive a month without the internet?  I think so as long as I was able to access my either my laptop or download a ton of books onto my tablet and phone.  The important thing to me has always been access to my books.  I could even stand a month without contact with another human even via technology (phone,computer or *gasp* in person) as long as I had my books and my critters. 
Apr 8, 2015

Book Review: First Do No Harm





 This first novel in the book series features A. Turk’s fictitious alter ego Attorney Benjamin Davis, a young New York transplant seeking to make a name for himself in the Nashville legal community. After miscalculating the huge risks involved in accepting ten medical malpractice cases at one time, Davis discovers that a hospital and several of its personnel, including doctors, had conspired to provide unnecessary tests and surgeries on innocent patients…for years. With small town physicians pushing all the ethical and legal boundaries, Davis decides he has no alternative but to protect an entire community and quickly finds himself caught up in a high-stakes courtroom drama. Davis could never have anticipated his decision to right a wrong could risk his legal career, marriage, financial security, and personal safety.

 * * * * * *

I will admit to being a bit leery when I started FIRST DO NO HARM because while I really do enjoy reading legal thrillers, they can be hit or miss.  There are some that are so slow that they work as well as sleeping pills and since this was the first book for this author...

I am very happy to say that this book kept me totally engrossed.  Yes there were slower section where there was a lot of talk about legal briefs but since I am fascinated by the internal workings of the legal system, I devoured those parts as readily as the rest. They were actually some of the best parts of the book as Mr. Turk brought them to life while he can use a bit more practice with his characters.  

I really felt that I got to know Benjamin Davis rather well as his partner and mentor while there were random scenes thrown in about his adversaries that I am left scratching my head over.  Did I really need to see one of his opponents checking out what shape her body is still in?

I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in this series because I want to see where Mr. Davis goes from here and I do recommend FIRST DO NO HARM to any who enjoy legal dramas.  So many considerations go into winning a legal battle then I ever imagined.
Apr 3, 2015

Jasper Intrigue Blog Hop and Challenge




I am sure that it is not going to surprise anyone that I took part in another of Lisa of Grateful Artist's blog hops.  When she first mentioned Jasper, I perked up.  She sent me a wonderful kit consisting some of gorgeous red and dark brown jasper (not sure just what variety it is), sea glass and some brass findings which of course I forgot to take pictures of. 



I had loads of fun with this kit though. I started off with a necklace first of all.  I just loved the beautiful colors and patterns in the jasper but none of the beads were really big enough for what I had in mind.  I had picked up the focal which is tiger iron a few months ago which really played well with the jasper so I set to making a beaded chain with the jasper, onyx and brass.  The clasp is the one Lisa sent along.  This necklace will be going into Shaiha Designs later this week but you have first shot at it.  Just drop me a line.



After I finished the necklace, I still had a lot of my kit left and well the jasper was still calling my name.  I stayed with the combo of the jasper with onyx but this necklace has a much lighter yet mysterious feel with the addition of the carved magnesite focal.  This necklace will also be joining my collection at Shaiha Designs and my wonderful readers have first shot at it.



Still lots of jasper left and I hadn't even touched the sea glass.  I have always loved the look of waxed linen earrings so I made a pair. Lightweight and fun.  These will be donated to Ears to You.



The last pair has a feel of something ancient, something unearthed from a tomb with the vintage carved jade beads combined with the jasper.  This pair is also being donated though I think that I will have to whip myself up a pair.


Now this is a blog hop so be sure to check what everyone else has made with their jasper.  It is such a versatile stone and so many different varieties.  I know that I am really looking forward to see what others received and I am hoping that they remembered to take their before pics.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Susan Anderson, La Main Tresor
Karin Grosset Grange (France), Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Sheila Prose, Cheap Charms
Terri Wlaschin, Baking Beads in the Keys
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera

Ramblings



  • Yes I am still alive.  Sorry about not posting a ramblings last week.  I ended up with a kidney infection that knocked me out for a few days and I am still dragging from it.  
  • I never thought that I would end up fixing a window with duct tape again.  I do have to say that I could find my better products then I did thirty years ago.  I can actually see through it.
  • Found out that the loan for our house has been conditionally approved.  Now I just have to jump through a few more hoops.
  • I hate not having a window that I can roll down.  Now all of a sudden, drive-thrus are an impossibility to me.
  • Did you have any April Fool's pranks played on you or did you play any?  I haven't for years.  Aw the days of my youth.


  • I woke up on Sunday to find that I had won the set of lampwork beads above.  Isn't that frog just so darned cute?