Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Your Brain Doesn't Work...

Because of the bad news with my dog I haven't been able to read or really do anything that requires use of the brain. So what to do with excess worry energy? Make chapstick holders! This was a pattern I saw and slightly adapted to make it more "brainless". I'll provide the directions below since it is so easy to do, and makes a quick gift!

I used whatever yarn I had around with a E hook. You can go for a slightly bigger hook and I don't think there will be much difference.

4 chain
slip stich to make a circle, 1 chain
in the circle 9 sc, slipstich to finish, 1 chain
Then I modified it with a version I found that I was told was a Japanese way of doing crochet in the round.
You take the outer stitch and sc around until you achieve the desired length. Measure to your chapstick. No need to count or have a specific number to go by. Once you have the length you slip stitch, 9 chain, sc

in the next loop, slip stitch and finish off. Either by weaving in the end or knotting off. That's all. Easy.

Guess what people are getting for the holidays?

I also want to thank those who expressed their feelings to me. It is a hard time, but I'm getting through it by playing with the dogs that are still here. My dog will now be watching me wondering... why are you making another chapstick holder?!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Away from Posting


This handsome guy is the reason I may be away from the computer for a bit. This was taken quite a bit ago which ended up being one of my favorite pictures of him. He's not doing well and will not be with us for much longer. He's a sweetie and one of the best pups I had the pleasure of knowing. Intelligent, stubborn, and seriously, a great looking dog. He could size you up and tell you what he thought. And believe me, he was always right. I will miss him so much.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mermaid Swap (part 2)

This was the second part of what I did for my swap. The bath products were a essential oil scented lotion. I do those all the time for family, so that one was easy. Bath bombs. One is the usual type and the lighter colored one is a milk bath bomb. I've been asked to do a tutorial on that so I will blog on that at another time. The last in this bunch is a bath brush. The story with that one is funny to me. I drew a simple mermaid on the handle and gave it to my mom to paint with a paint pen. I'm allergic to the solvent in the pen, so I had enlisted her help. Well, the pen spilled and my mom was beside her self. So, I just took some acrylic paint that had to "fix" it. Happy accidents I remember calling things like that. ;) It was then fixed to the handle with an acrylic spray. Anything in a humid environment needs to have a bit more care.

The other thing I included was a print of a picture I painted in watercolor. I had actually been away from the pallet for quite a while. I used this opportunity to get me to paint a bit. My partner wanted a bunch of bath stuff since they were making the bathroom a mermaid paradise. So, I painted a mermaid in a bathtub. I just drew her out and then painted it. I will have the original painting in my Etsy shop. I just need to cut a simple mat. I don't like cutting mat, but I don't like shipping anything without some sort of backing to it. Makes the picture safer. Granted others will ship in a tube, but those are hard to come by and a bit expensive.

Well, those were the objects I placed in the swap. Now, I just have to wait anxiously to hear back. I think I'm more nervous about what I sent than what I will get back. Of that, I have no doubt I will like it. It was a fun swap and one I may do again. Depending on what it is, I may have to wait until after Christmas as I have a few projects I have to finish first. ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mermaid Swap (part 1)


After being a part of the Craftster community, I finally decided to do a swap. I chose the mermaid swap since I've been a fan of mermaids since forever. There are personal reasons, but those could embarrass those that I love... and I chose those times carefully. You know these people know where I live. :)

Anyway, thought I'd share a few of the things I did for the swap. I feel it is safe to do so since the recipient got the package yesterday.
As you can see I did several sewing projects. The purse you see on the side was from a project designed by SewSpoiled on Etsy. It is her small ladybug purse, but I just couldn't resist seeing the tail of the mermaid in the design and found the perfect pattern that would allow me to split it in an eye pleasing way. The other two projects were easy ones for me. The first picture is obviously a head band made with mermaid fabric. The other is an eye pillow. I've made these before, but I decided to add a sleeve. That way the outer shell can be washed since the inner pillow cannot. That way everything is kept quite hygienic. Since the pictures were getting a bit screwy on me and I'm being lazy and not dealing with the html or css, I'll continue this on another blog post. So there will be more to come soon.

If you are considering doing a swap, there is a walkthrough there at the Craftster site. Makes it for newbies like me to have a bit of fun without a lot of the worry. Now I only hope that my partner likes her goodies. To be continued....



Monday, September 14, 2009

Addiction

I have to admit it, I'm addicted. I recently got an iPod Touch and I have been on that thing a lot. So much so, that my dogs now have been giving me a dirty look every time they see it with me. What I'd like to introduce to you (if you happen to have a iPod Touch or iPhone) is the "Kindle for iPhone". It is available in the iTunes store for free. You can then download kindle books and read them on your device. Right now until Oct. 1 of this year you can get a few books for free as well. I have got some of the free books and downloaded them and they work fine. Just go to the kindle store or it's simpler to just click on this link here... deals on kindle books

So far I have downloaded "Elric Stealer of Souls" by Michael Moorcock, "Darkfever" by Karen Marie Moning, "My Soul to Lose" by Rachel Vincent, "Queen of the Orcs: King's Property" by Morgan Howell, "Kiss of Midnight" by Lara Adrian, and "The Angel Experiment" by James Patterson. Quite a lot of books for the bargain price of $0! Of course this also applies to those that have the Kindle device as well. So, hurry and get your books now! :)

Win!

There is a contest at Parajunkee's site. You can win either a custom blog graphics made by her talented hand. You can also win a book by Laurell K Hamilton, "The Harlequin". Just head on over there and enter. It's easy! Good luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)

Ok, I have to admit it. I wasn't too sure that I would enjoy Dark Lover by J. R. Ward. Looking at the cover (I know don't judge, right?) and the title, I thought it would be some cheesy romance novel with a vampire thrown into the mix. Not really my type of book at all. However, I kept reading how people just LOVED this series. So, fine, got a few of the books and picked this one up and started reading.

Here is where I apologize to the author for thinking such a thing. I really enjoyed this book. This is what belongs on a paranormal romance bookshelf. Yes, it is a romance book, but by no means a gushy one (yes, I make words up!). It does contain it's fair share of violence as the brotherhood is a violent bunch. However, the main female character, Beth, is no wilting flower. I, for one, was very happy with that characterization. She was smart, intelligent, and willing to defend what she found important. This is what won over Wrath, the blind king and subsequently allowed him to be vulnerable for the first time in his long life. I will say that the twists and turns in this story were predictable, but it still didn't take away from the story for me.

I very much enjoyed Wrath and Beth's story and I am now looking forward to reading about the rest of the brotherhood. Unfortunately I still feel the same way about the titles and covers. If you are looking for a good vampire romance and don't mind a bit of blood and guts to your story, do pick this book up. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Circle of Souls

A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandi is a murder mystery thriller with a slight paranormal twist. Amazon's quick summation is as follows:"The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. With the murderer on the loose, the police desperately look for any clues to lead to his identy. Meanwhile, a psychiatrist in a nearby hospital is also in a desperate search to find the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings s devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya's parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope. When these two situations converge, they set off an alarming chain of events. In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder."

I got this book from the author as an ARC. It is my first and I was very intrigued to read it. I had worked in a hospital for children with psychological problems and wanted to see his take on it. The author didn't disappoint and was very accurate in his description in that area. The story on the whole draws you into the mystery even though you are a "witness" to the initial crime which starts the story. Within the book, you are reading several points of view, but because of the layout of the chapters, you never get lost. The paranormal aspect begins with Naya's dreams and the main character, Peter, who is determined to figure out exactly what those dreams mean.

My main complaints with the book are perhaps minor and really doesn't take away from the story as a whole. First, he does not cuss. Now this isn't anything bad, but it is an adult novel and kids in a situation in a locked-down facility do and will cuss. If told from Naya's perspective, it wouldn't have bothered me, but it continued with Peter and the others as well. I wondered if the author had a problem with cussing.

Another problem I had was with the philosophy of fatalism. It was explained too simplistically. Even within the concept of fatalism there is an aspect of free will. No matter how contradictory that sounds, the aspect is there. Usually it is explained not as an something that you will do without choice, but if you go against fatalism, your life will not be as fulfilling and happy as it would have been otherwise.

I also felt the ending was a bit abrupt. I will not say more as it could ruin the ending, but I would have like a bit more of it drawn out. Not by much, but a little. Even with this criticism I will say the ending was interesting and sets things up for a possible second book. One that should also prove to be a good read.

On the whole, however, I would say that this book is good. It holds you interest well and keeps you trying to figure out exactly how and why until those mysteries are revealed. One that gets the wheels turning in your head and satisfies you with a ending that makes you want more.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Zombie Chicken Commands Award Ceremony


Since I recently achieved this award... this one in particular asks that you forward it to 5 bloggers.

The award states:"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken-- excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."And to avoid the wrath of the infamous Zombie Chickens, I'm happy to pass this award along to the following blogs:

  1. Bookish Britt
  2. Reading is Like Breathing... It Must Be Done
  3. Wendy's Minding Spot
  4. Frogaritaville's Bookcase
  5. ParaJunkie's View
I will forward my other awards at a later time. I just didn't want to upset the zombie chickens at this time. ;)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Full Moon Rising (Riley Jensen #1)

I was looking forward to this series of books by Keri Arthur. The main character is a dhamphire. That is a supernatural person of "mixed" heritage. Specifically, vampire and werewolf. Riley has a twin brother, Rhoan whom shares her secret of her heritage. They were both kicked out of their pack and went to work for a government agency which polices supernatural activity. Both because of the fact they both have vampire blood and also the fact that they hide it, the siblings become targets for other groups looking to further their own business of creating the "perfect" supernatural. All this sounded interesting before I read it so I dove into the book expecting a great adventure. I was disappointed.

Riley, is more wolf than vampire and so is more influenced by the moon's phases and their effect on the werewolves in the book. More like they became slaves to their hormones than anything else. Now, I'm no prude, but the sex in this book actually got in the way of the story. She describes it as sexual freedom, but you have to be free to enjoy the behavior and the werewolves were not free. It was a must. So she kept having to stop the story so her characters could have casual sex. Like I said, it got in the way of the adventure. 

Even so, I think since this is a series, I will continue to give this character a chance. Even though there was not much chance for growth in this book, perhaps Riley will have opportunity in the other books. I see a lot of potential. The adventure in this book was well written and if she can control a bit of her hormones, this trek into her dhamphire life could prove to be interesting in the end. I hope I'm not disappointed after this book.