May 31, 2012

Challenge of Literature

As should come as no surprise to anyone that follows my blog I love reading and I love designing jewelry so when Erin of Treasures Found announced a challenge and blog hop combining the two it was a no brainer to jump in.  My only issue was choosing the book.  I actually had narrowed it down to two and ended up only doing one due to a lot of overtime at work.

The book I choose is actually a trilogy (is that cheating?) that happens to be one of my favorite books and one of the very very few that I will reread.  I generally figure that I have so many books to read as a reviewer that I don't have time to reread books.  I also thought that I had reviewed this trilogy and by the time that I found out that I hadn't, I just didn't have time to do so.  So I did what anyone would do and turned to google.  Here is a review that I found at The Reading Cafe that pretty much sums up the books. 

Oh the trilogy that I choose was the Black Jewels by Anne Bishop.  I had originally planned on a necklace with crystals the colors of all the jewels of power but again that time thing and the fact that I didn't have all the crystals that I needed.  So instead I turned to ribbons and made a necklace that is inspired by a design that I found in Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry by Erin Siegel.  

So without further ado here is my necklace.

So now that you have checked out my humble offering be sure to check out what everyone else has come up with.  Not only will you see some gorgeous jewelry but you might find the next book you want to read.

Oh and I did mention a contest didn't I?  Well I will be giving away the necklace that you see above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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May 29, 2012

Cup of Bead Soup drawing.

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things and Bead Soup fame is holding a drawing for this months Cup of Bead Soup.  And that gorgeous focal...that is the soup this time around!

If you are interested then click here for more info.

PS. If interested in joining the Bead Soup, the signups are June 15th to June 17th.  Hope to see you there as it is loads of fun.
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Velvet, satin and suede oh my

I have always been drawn to textiles and I have been collecting it for awhile for my jewelry without quite knowing what to do with it.  Now I finally have some idea I am even more in love with it.  So when a friend of mine announced a contest where she is giving away all kinds of ribbons and laces, I just couldn't resist entering.  

I also wanted to give my readers a chance to enter.  So if you are anything like me, head over to Creative Chaos for more info.

Review: Casket of Souls

More than the dissolute noblemen they appear to be, Alec and Seregil are skillful spies, dedicated to serving queen and country. But when they stumble across evidence of a plot pitting Queen Phoria against Princess Klia, the two Nightrunners will find their loyalties torn as never before. Even at the best of times, the royal court at Rhíminee is a serpents’ nest of intrigue, but with the war against Plenimar going badly, treason simmers just below the surface.

And that’s not all that poses a threat: A mysterious plague is spreading through the crowded streets of the city, striking young and old alike. Now, as panic mounts and the body count rises, hidden secrets emerge. And as Seregil and Alec are about to learn, conspiracies and plagues have one thing in common: The cure can be as deadly as the disease.

* * * * * *

I must admit to being a fan of the Nightrunner series ever since I stumbled across the first book.  I fell madly in love with Alec and Seregil even though I did have trouble with book four, Shadows Return.  To me it really seemed to drag.  However they are back in fine form in CASKET OF SOULS.

With the exception of the very first book, Luck in the Shadows, CASKET OF SOULS has to be my favorite.  It is set in  Rhíminee and we get to watch two masters of the shadows ply their craft as they work to discover who all is in the various factions that are not happy with the current Queen. 

Also children from the poorer quarters are dying which really concerns Alec.  While he is investigating that, close friends of both of them start to die without a mark on them.  Is there any way that the two are connected?

We get to watch Seregil deal with his fears over losing Alec again and Thero try to throttle his love for a completely inappropriate woman.  In doing so, we get to know them better than ever before. 

I highly recommend CASKET OF SOULS  to any followers of the Nightrunner series.  It is well worth the wait.  And to any lovers of dark fantasy, I recommend the entire series.

I rate this book a 4.5.

***I received this book for no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No monies have or will exchange hands.
May 27, 2012

Beautiful Things

English: Blue and red super-delta Betta splend...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This has definitely been a week.  I think that all the overtime is starting to get to me.  But at least at the end I will be out of the hole and have some money to spend on myself for my B-day.  I am hoping to get a decent camera.  After all you do need to reward yourself.  And there were definitely things to smile about.

  •  Yesterday!  It was just a good day overall.  I even got rid of the car in my garage.  I will finally have it back to where we can put our stuff in it.
  • I am working back at home on a new project.  I have to go in today because of the OT and for Monday because I arranged a potluck for that day.  But other then that I will be here for at least the next week and I so love working from home.
  • Toby the fish at work.  My cube mate has a Betta and I have been feeding him this week.  He is the strangest fish because he won't even come up from his sleeping spot for food until he is told good morning.  I didn't realize that fish were trainable.
  • Oh and I got in a charger so I will be able to start taking pics again to share up here.
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May 26, 2012

Kick Ass Saturday

Today was the most perfect day.  Doesn't hurt that the weather is gorgeous.

I spent the morning in my studio.  I finished up one necklace for a challenge and started another for my husband.  I have been browsing thru Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords.  Don't you just love how looking thru a design book will spark so many different ideas.  I have always been drawn to textiles but not quite sure how to use them.  This book has definitely been an eye-opener.

Then when I come upstairs to be social before my husband left for work, I find three packages.  One was for a battery charger.  I had been worried about that showing up as I have to get pics taken for the aforementioned challenge.  So a very good thing.

But it was the other two packages that really excited me.  They contained 14 different teas to sample.  I swear that my husband gets the biggest kick out of me and tea.  I immediately sat down crosslegged on the floor and proceeded to open them.  I had to pout a bit as they were all vacuum sealed with is great for the tea but I wanted to sit and smell it.  Yeah I am a tea addict.

So of course I had to quit playing the studio for a bit so that I could smell at least one of them and review it.  I choose a Keemun and I swear it has became my current favorite tea.  So rich that with just a touch of rock sugar it becomes a desert tea with hints of peaches and dark chocolate.

But that wasn't the best news.  I just found out that I won these gorgeous earrings from Sharyl's Jewelry and Reflections!  She has a fantastic blog so be sure to check out.  I can hardly wait to wear them.

Now I am off to make some of my signature potato salad for Memorial Day.  Yeah I think that it tastes better when it gets to sit for a couple days though I am having to make a double batch so that there is some left for Monday.  I do know my husband.
May 25, 2012


What does this book 


have in common?

Be sure to check back on May 31st.

Might even be a prize involved.
May 23, 2012

Random Thoughts

  • Just what is a luxury studio apartment?  There is an old antique store on my way to work that is advertising these apartments.  I am so tempted to go check them out just so I can see.  Of course even if I didn't have a house I love, living above an antique store is a bad place for me.
  •  Got in my copy of Bohemian Inspired Monday.  So excited!  Wonderful projects in there.
  • Remember when I got my new computer?  Well one of the USB ports has gone out already.  I am so glad that I purchased the extended warranty because apparently Toshiba warranties on their laptops are only good for 90 days which is tomorrow.
  • I get to work from home for the next couple days.  Can you say happy dance?
  • I lost my charger for my camera batteries.  I ordered a new one so I am just hoping that it gets here before a blog hop that I am taking part in at the end of the month.
  • I just love the house before anyone wakes up.  It makes for a very pleasant time to  have a cup of tea and go thru blogs and whatnot. 
  • The pic is of Kharma, my killer pom.  Once he knows someone then he is very friendly but he is my house guard. Ready to bite anyone including my father-in-law though I admit that he doesn't get in trouble for that one.

May 21, 2012

Book Review: Kill Me

Three days ago, Claire was a wife, a mother, and very much alive… then the music called for her.

Claire has one goal for the conference— to land a few whales so that her boss will give her a badly needed raise. She pitches and prays while courting the music industry elite until her plans are derailed by hotness-in-high-heels.

Bette is at the conference on a mission—to find a human with untapped talents that she can mold and control. Bette uses her cursed violin to lure Claire in with a haunting song, which unravels Claire’s life as her new talents emerge. To make matters worse, Claire is attracted to two unlikely people— Bette and her hunky associate, Gregor. Both can light Claire’s fire, but is either of them the only one?

Unfortunately for Claire, life isn’t all song lyrics and seduction. Tied to darkness by blood and power, Claire must harness her abilities if she has any hope of returning home to her daughter and regaining her former life… if that’s what she really wants.

* * * * * *

KILL ME is a fast and enjoyable read written in first person from Claire’s perspective.  Her goal at this conference is to sign up lots of clients and then go home to her daughter and dead beat husband.  That is until she met Bette.  Then her world gets turned sideways.

Ms. Owens has done a wonderful job with her characters.  It is all too easy emphasize with Claire and her worries about paying her bills.  Bette is a mixture of sultriness and feminine softness.  And the men that she meets are hot and well developed.  As busy and fast paced as this story is, it is most definitely the characters that make this tale so enjoyable.

I did find a few editing errors when I was reading and one did pull me out of the story for a minute.  But overall, they didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

I do recommend this book to vampire lovers looking for something different.

I rate this book a 3.3.

**I received this book at no charge in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No monies have or will exchange hands.

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May 20, 2012

Beautiful Things

This was a long week.  I am just not used to working 5 days a week.  I love my 4 10's.  Oh but the overtime will allow me to catch up on things and get me some Irish Waxed Linen.  I had purchased some smaller lengths and fell in love with it.  Just such a good feel and it knots so wonderfully.

Now on to the things that made me smile this last week.

  • We had our monthly potluck.  It is always great to get together with everyone.  And the food was wonderful.  One guy brought some shish kabobs, another couple brought buffalo wings and a heavenly ambrosia.  We also BBQed burgers with all the fixings.
  • Working last Sunday was actually enjoyable.  It was quiet and I always enjoy working with Joey.  He is very young but very intelligent and questions everything.
  • I read the latest JR Ward.  It had its issues but it was a fun read.  One good thing about work being so slow.  I get to read lots of books.
May 17, 2012

Book Review: The Unseen

1800s. San Antonio, Texas: In room 207 at the Longhorn Saloon, in the long shadow of the Alamo itself, a woman renowned for her beauty was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found.

One year ago: In that same historic room, another woman vanished without a trace. Her blood was everywhere…but her body was never recovered.

Now: In the last month, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies.

All young women, many of them long missing, almost all forgotten. Until now.

Texas Ranger Logan Raintree cannot sit by and let his city's most vulnerable citizens be slain. So when he is approached to lead a brand-new group of elite paranormal investigators working the case, he has no choice but to accept the challenge. And with it, his powerful ability to commune with the dead.

* * * * *

THE UNSEEN caught my interest immediately and held it tight until the stunning conclusion. The characters are wonderful and very realistic.  The pacing is spot on as the reader is taken on a roller coaster of a ride as the team attempts to catch the murderer before more bodies are found.  

Having a federal unit consisting of members with ‘special’ gifts is not a new theme though most fit into the thriller/suspense genre.  Ms. Graham has definitely added her own deft touch with the sparks that Logan Raintree and one of his team members Kelsey O’Brien throw off.  

Also the legend of the Galveston Diamond is so possible that I had to do a web search to discover whether it really does exist.  I am happy to say that it doesn’t and is only a part of Ms. Graham’s wonderful imagination that she shares with her readers.

I highly recommend it to any readers who enjoy their romantic suspense with a touch of the paranormal.  Also readers who enjoy Kay Hooper’s Bishop series will want to check out this series.

I rate this book a 3.8.

***I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No monies have or will change hands.
May 16, 2012

Art Bead Scene's May Challenge

I am so proud of myself.  I woke up this morning, caffeinated and then wandered down to my studio.

Remember this picture from yesterday?

I now have a gorgeous necklace to show that was inspired by this piece of art.
I will admit that I went downstairs thinking that all would be easy.  Well best laid plans of mice and men...

I ended up spending an hour or so moving things around, deciding on what findings and all to use.  
I did have the basics down.  I used the beautiful pistachio pearls that I picked up about a month ago.  And I did use art beads from from Beatle Baby Glassworks though not the ones that I had originally planned on.  The ones that I choose have so many of the colors from the painting.  I also used some vintage gold chain and gold plated pewter findings.

The findings along with a gorgeous vintage chain.