Aug 31, 2012

Podcasts: Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Podcasts Screenshot
 (Photo credit: Dale Gillard)
I admit that I am addicted to my Ipod and I am not an Apple fan.  It's just that when it comes to podcasts and audio books ITunes makes it all so easy.  And let me tell you a little secret.  I don't have any music loaded onto my Nano.

I listen to a lot of audio books but even closer to my heart is the podcasts.  If I am not on the computer, I have my headphones in and listening.  When I am down in my studio, I am listening.  Heck I can't even go to sleep without a podcast blocking the outside noises.  They even help me to overcome my road hypnosis as they keep my mind awake and active.

Today I thought that I would share a one of favorite podcasts.  I am actually thinking about making this a series and through my standbyes and review ones that I are new to me.

One of my favorites is BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES.  This actually the name of an online magazine that focuses on fantasy short stories.  Some of the stories from the magazine are also made into podcasts.  You can subscribe to the podcasts and the magazine itself for free as long as you don't want the issues delivered directly to your Kindle.

I have ran across some of the most unique stories in these podcasts.  We aren't talking about standard stories either.  If I had to pinpoint them I would say that they are speculative fantasy.  While not every story is to my taste, there are far more that just hit the spot.  Most of the stories are between 20 to 45 minutes which is just perfect for a quick project such as driving to the store or cooking dinner.

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Aug 29, 2012

Book Review: One for the Road

D’Anne Palmer and her husband had a life others dream of—traveling the US in a luxury forty-foot motor coach, going where they wanted. Suddenly, D’Anne finds herself a widow with her only asset being the motor home. Without funds to return to California, she decides to hire out the RV.

Tyler White was a “one-hit-wonder” ten years ago. At a crossroads, he decides to attempt a comeback. He’s hoping the three-week tour he’s put together will reignite his career. All he needs now is some cheap transportation, and the widow with the RV might just fit the bill.

D’Anne and Tyler discover a lot about themselves—and each other—as they journey from Nashville to Las Vegas, via Texas, with the band and Tyler’s dog. Can close quarters really help a has-been singer on the comeback trail and a widow with California style find love?

* * * * * 

First of all. let's make it clear.  I can't stand country music and the lifestyle utterly baffles me.  So needless to say, I became a little wary when I discovered that Tyler was a country singer.  But I  had committed myself  to reading ONE FOR THE ROAD.  And I absolutely loved it!

I think what impressed me the most was how real everything is: the characters, the situations that they find themselves in, their worries, concerns and emotions.  D'Anne starts out as a middle aged soccer mom who needs to find a way to get back home.  She is very closed off and cautious.  You can see her blossoming as she worries about crow's feet.  Tyler is a country gentleman through and through with a prescription for Viagra.  The rest of the band are unusual to say the least.

ONE FOR THE ROAD is a fantastic book that doesn't shy away from the concerns of middle age romance.  This is totally refreshing.  I mean, seriously, when you read young adult you hear about teenage angst.  Let's show the other side of it more often.

I rate this book a 5.

***Book was a gift.
Aug 26, 2012

Beautiful Things

If you are looking for the Bead Soup Blog Party click here.

The picture above is Kitsune, our eleven year old Shiba Inu.  Sorry about the background but I can never stay ahead of the nose prints on the window.  The back of the couch is one of his favorite places to be and since we don't know how much longer he will be around, well he gets spoiled.

  • I had been missing an envelope from ArtBeads and it contained items that I need for my next blog hop including a clasp that is now out of stock.  Saje was gathering up the library books and found it being used as a bookmark in one of them.  We had searched the house but we hadn't searched the book so now I am back on track there.
  • I spent a very enjoyable day yesterday kicking back and looking at the masterpieces of the various participants in the Bead Soup Blog Party.  There is so much talent out there.
  • Saje had to work last Wednesday so I finally had the house totally to myself.  It has been a few weeks and I had almost forgotten how much I need those times to recharge my batteries.  Not that I don't love having my husband around, it's just that I tend to be really sensitive to noise with my fibro so a totally quiet house is heaven once in a while.
Aug 24, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party VI

It is finally here and I am so excited to be able to show off what I made with all the wonderful ingredients sent to me by my partner Maria Rosa Sharrow of Willow Street Gifts.   According to the rules of this hop, we sent each other a focal, some supporting beads and a clasp that isn't a lobster claw.  Maria was more then generous and actually sent me three soups and a focal.

I do want to apologize up front for the pics.  I have tried every which way to get some good ones and have come to the conclusion that I have to find a mannequin since I tend to go for longer necklaces.  Guess that it is time to start haunting thrift stores.

I also want to thank Lori Anderson for putting together such a wonderful hop.  I have no idea just how she managed to keep track of 400 of us and to do it with such grace.  She has a book coming out in October based on these hops so aptly named Bead Soup.  Be sure to check it out!

The Bead Soup Blog Party is all about challenge and this one presented a couple.  First of all, I have never worked with this style of focal.  They demand that they take center stage in an understated type of way.  And that led to my second challenge which was to keep things simple.  And you know I don't really understand why that is such a challenge as that is the style that I tend to wear.  I also challenged myself to use all the ingredients and I did with the exception of the bonus focal.  I am waiting for it to whisper to me.

This was my first soup.  Isn't that focal just gorgeous!  She really reminds me of a sailor's wife waiting for him to come home.

I decided to ease my way into cooking and made this pair of earrings.  In a way I guess that isn't really easing as I don't tend to make earrings even though I love to wear them.  In these I used the silver heart beads and the faceted coins.  I added a pair of sterling silver ear strands to the mix.  I am happy with how they turned out.

Next up is an anklet that has already been put to good use this summer.  In this serving I used the black crystals that Maria Rosa sent to me and I added gunmetal chain and pewter charms.

This necklace is the one where I really could have used a mannequin as it is 30" long.  In this necklace I used that lovely focal and clasp, and added in some gunmetal chain in a couple sizes, some blue beads from Earthenwood Studios with bead caps and some painted wooden beads.  Check out the redhead from the other side of the focal!

Now onto the second bead soup sent by my generous partner.  I love this focal though it isn't one I would have picked out for myself.  That is the fun of this hop.

I started out with a pair of earrings using the vintage red and gold lucite.  I just added a bit of chain and the findings.

For the necklace, I used the focal, the clasp, and some more of the vintage lucite.  I added in the chain and the gold Swarovski pearls. This is again a longer necklace at 28".

And now for the third helping.  I fell in love with this focal.  It is so unique and orange has really been calling my name lately.

I started out this soup also with a pair of earrings.  Another challenge that I made to myself and I am happy that I followed through on.  In this pair I used some of the wooden orange beads and the black crystal.  I contributed the findings and the charm.

In the necklace I used the gorgeous focal and the clasp.  I added some chain and some lampwork beads from StudioJuls.  I have been wearing it lately and I have had one person offer to buy it right off my neck.  However this one is mine and besides I had to try to get some better pics then I had.

My last piece is a combination of all the soups as I wanted to use up the rest of the beads.  This is the first time I have tried crocheting with beads and I am not all together happy with this bracelet so I will probably be remaking it.

Okay still with me?  I promised a giveaway with this party and so there shall be.  I will be giving away both the first and second pair of earrings to one lucky commenter.  I will be keeping the giveaway open until September 2nd to give everyone a chance to look at all the gorgeous jewelry that everyone has made.

Now be sure to check out everyone's blogs. There will be lots of eye candy there and possibly more contests.

Hostess with the mostest, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss,
Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson,
Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents

Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty,
Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle, 
Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier,
The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka,
Clay Space
Cherrie Fick,
En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles,
Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow,
Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles,
Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel,
Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield,
Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards,
Live to Design
CJ Bauschka,
4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith,
Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs,
Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler,
Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro,
Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie,
Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington,
Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn,
Speedie Beadie
Elizabeth Bunn,
Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs,
Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry,
Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden,
Torch Fairy
Fen Li,
Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang,
Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins,
Torque Story
Grace Dorsey,
Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation, 
Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear,
Heather Goldsmith,
As I Bead It
Heather Otto,
The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman,
My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman,
Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez,
Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller,
Jane Haag,
Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen,
Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter,
Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd,
Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman,
Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk,
Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown,
Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood,
Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker,
Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley,
Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell,
Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams,
Karin von Hoeren,
Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan,
Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel,
Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg,
We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke,
Kathy Combs,
Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer,
Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson,
Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle,
My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson,
Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon,
Only Road
Lara Lutrick,
Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther,
Blue Antiquities
Laurie Lalonde,
HourGlass Studio
Lilik Kristiani,
Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman,
Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman,
Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge,
Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen,
Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann,
Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington,
Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter,
Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis,

Malin de Koning,
Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron,
Mandy Williamson,
Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter,
The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow,
Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter,
Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina,
Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas,
Room for Change
Marelene Cupo,
Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal,
Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska,
Mary Govaars,
MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger,
Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta,
Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett,
Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero,
The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati,
Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope, 
LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner,
Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley,
Natalie McKenna,

Noemi Baena,
fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari,
Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears,
Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville,
Copper Penny
Rachel Baron,
R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers,
Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson,
Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson,
Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag,
Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher,
Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya,
Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari,
Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson,
Wild Sally Road
Sandi James,
Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe,
Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg,
City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo
Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams,
Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills,
Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis,
Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens,
Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie,
Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin, 
Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille,
Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon,
The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy,
Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan,
Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson,
Sweet Freedom,
Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger,
Modernly Created
Tania Hagen,
Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden,
Fusion Muse
Terry Carter,
Tapping Flamingo
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

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