Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book 24 of 100

I just finished reading another interesting book. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova, was not something I normally would have picked out to read. But my sister ordered it by mistake, and thought it might be interesting. I had just finished my last book, so I thought, "What the heck..." I was pleasantly surprised and how much this book kept my interest. The book opens with a semi-famous artist attempting to attack a painting. He is subsequently arrested and taken to a mental hospital. After making a single statement ("I did it for her!") to his attending dr, the artist stops talking. The books is written in from the doctor's point of view, as well as from the various women in the artists' life. This book delves into Impressionist painting, psychiatry and obsession. If any of these things intrique you, I would highly recommend this book!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chocolate Fountains

HELP!!!! I have been working on some miniature chocolate fountains...I am trying for the larger 'wedding reception' style ones. I have come up with 2 different designs so far...I am not sure which I like better...or maybe a mix of the 2? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear your opinion of them as well as any creative criticism you have to offer!
Thanks! =D

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Books 21, 22 and 23

No I have not read 3 books in 2 days...I actually read books 22 and 23 several weeks ago, and just finished 21 about 2 days ago. These last 3 books were read a bit out of order. Book 13 was the last book I read in Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series I discovered after reading Book 13, that I was missing the next book in the series. No one locally had it, so I did something I normally hate doing. I skipped it, while waiting for it to arrive! Now the nice thing about that is that although these books are all part of a larger series, they are each pretty easy to read as stand alones. But I am going to review them in the order they should be read.

Book 21 is Caressed by Ice Judd Lauren is a Psy Arrow, part of a covert team of Psy Assasins. But Judd dropped out of the PsyNet with his brother and his nieces and nephew to escape Silence. SnowDancer(the wolf changling pack) has given sanctuary to the Lauren family. Brenna is a wolf changeling, who was kidnapped and tortured by a Psy sociopath. (during Book 13) Though physically healed, Brenna is acting more Psy than Changeling and that scares the heck out of her. The only one she feels can understand her torment and help her is Judd. She knows he is dangerous, but she is strangely attracted to that danger. Judd can't afford to feel anything for Brenna, not only would the Psy Council discover that he isn't actually dead like they think, but Judd could literally kill Brenna with an errant thought.

Book 22 is Mine to Posess Clay Bennet is a Leopard changeling, a sentinel in the DarkRiver pack. But he didn't always belong...Clay grew up with his human mother, who hated his Changeling nature, trying to please her he stifled that part of himself. Talin was his best friend, the sweet little girl in an apartment down the hall. Tally grew up in foster care and Clay was the best thing in her young life. He made her laugh, and made her feel safe. Until the day she confided in him about her foster father's abuse. Clay's Leopard went crazy at the thought of his little Tally enduring the evil. Blood flowed that day...and innocence was shattered even more than it had been at the hands of those supposed to care for her. Clay spent years in a Juvenile detention center, not at all sorry for killing the man that day. But part of him died the day he was told that Talin had been killed in a car accident.

Talin McKade may have gotten past the nightmares of her childhood, but now a new terror threatens her sanity. Talin works for social services and the children under her care are starting to disappear and reappear dead. She knows there is only one man she trusts enough to help her...the only trouble is Clay thinks she is dead!!!

Once over the shock of seeing his long dead friend not only alive and well, but begging for his help...can Clay get over the lies, and can Talin convince him that they need each other again.

Book 23 is Hostage to Pleasure Dorian Christensen is a DarkRiver sentinel, he is also the only Changeling without the ability to shift but he has never seen himself as 'different' nor do his Pack members. Dorian may not be able to fight with teeth and claws, but he made up for that by becoming an expert marksman. Ashaya Aleine is a Psy scientist, she is different from most other Psy as she feels. Silence was never fully took with her, but her shields are strong enough that only 1 other person knows that. Forced to work on a secret project for the Psy Council, they hold Ashaya's son as collateral. In Mine to Posess Ashaya helps Clay, Talin and the DarkRiver pack, but with a stipulation...they must rescue her son from the Psy Council and keep him safe! Changelings are very protective of cubs and children, so they easily agree. Now that her son is safe Ashaya must discover a way to stop the very project she is directing.
Dorian hates Psy! There are no 2 ways about it. (in Book 13 His sister is kidnapped by the same sociapath as Brenna, unfortunately Kylie doesn't survive.) So imagine his surprise and anger when his dormant leopard recognizes Ashaya as his mate!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Little bit of life and Books 18 through 20 of 100

Been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. :-( Life has been kind of chaotic. Hubby is heading out next month for another deployment to the Middle East. He'll be gone for a year. So we have been trying to get all his stuff in order and spend some quality time together too. We'll be taking a few little day trips around town and the local area while he's on his vacation. So I am sure I'll have some pics and stuff about that later.

Well now, back to the books...Book 18 was the start of Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Warstrilogy. Book 19 is Seeing Redd Redd Heart leapt through the Heart Crystal out of Wonderland into Victorian London. While Alyss tries to learn just what her imaginiation can do and also the ins and outs of being Queen. King Arch of Boarderland has his own agenda. he's not happy ruling Boarderland...he wants all of Wonderland and has a plan to accomplish just such a thing.

Book 19 is ArchEnemy is the final book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy. Arch has accomplished his diabolical scheme and has taken control of Wonderland. Alyss and Redd are forced to work together to save Imagination.

If you enjoy the Alice in Wonderland tale, I really do recommend this series as well

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lacie WIP update

I have decided that my Lacie will be rather scantily dressed, so I took my porcelain figure and filled her in (except her arms, I'd like them to move)with Super Sculpey clay. Then I played 'plastic surgeon' Lacie got a boob job and a tush lift. Next she will get a coat of paint to even out her 'skin-tone' As unfortunately Super Sculpey blends in perfectly when raw but darkens noticeably when baked. I think I need to play around with some mixes to see if I can find one that bakes to match the porcelain. But any ways here she is in all her glory. oh yeah and she's running around in the buff. (But then again if Tessie is right Lacie won't be cognizant of anything until she is dressed and wigged anyway.)

I have also discovered the need for buying good quality dolls from a reputable dealer. Lacie was bought on ebay for a really good price. Maybe too good a price. I have noticed that she is rather 'rough' nor smooth and clean like Orah or Giselle were. So from now on I will stick to dealers I know even if the prices are higher. I think this is one of those times where you get what you pay for. Even still the roughest areas will actually be covered so it'll be ok! =D

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I did it, I did it, I did it!!!!

I finally faced my FEAR...I painted a 1/12th scale face!!!! I bought several blank doll kits on ebay several months ago, but was absolutely terrified of messing them up. I am a bit of a perfectionist. When I see something I want to do MINE just as well. Well face painting is one of those things that if done poorly can really mess up a figure. So I have left my blanks in a box...hiding from the FEAR. Well I have an envisioned figure that I desperately want to create, and well I NEEDED a doll. So this evening I faced my FEAR and put paint to brush, and brush to porcelain. And you know what...I DID IT!!! Lacie has a face, and I think she looks pretty darned good! YEAH me! =D

Orah's new hat

I was lucky enough to 'win' a trade with Kat the Hat Lady. She made this fantastic cream Mad Hatter-style top hat. I sent her a stash of trims! I am so excited and so is Orah! She just adores her new chapeau. ;-) In the second picture is the plain black hat I commisioned Kat to make for me. This one I will decorate to go with my next doll design. (it's a secret!heeheehee) But hopefully I'll get to her shortly! (I just need to remember where I put my stash of doll blanks!!! LOL) I am so very thrilled to own not one but two of Kats' fantastic hats. I do hope you will check out her blog and see more of her amazing work!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Finally finished some minis!!! (picture heavy)

YEAH!!!!! I finally got some mini's done today! I have been working on some Spring and Easter mini's, I've been procrastinating on them and they'd been giving me trouble...but I finally got them to co-operate with me! So without further ado, my most recent minis!
These are the Easter Baskets that I showed off empty the other day. I have filled them with Chocolate eggs, giant chocolate bunnies, twisty marshmallow sticks and a big pile of jelly beans! Orah has decided that the purple grass one is HERS, she figures it will show up better than one with gold grass! Up next is a close up of my jelly beans...The container they are in is barely an inch around. Each bean is um, well about the size of the head of a straight pin. I used translucent clay colored with alcohol inks. I also used my Sharpie and Bic Mark-it permanent markers to add color to the clay too. BTW Don't try to color on the clay, simply roll the tip of the marker across the clay. I got some really wonderfully strong colors this way! This next picture shows of the little Monster cookies I made! I LOVE these little guys. The bakery at our grocery store makes them in full size. It's a pair of sugar cookie filled with loads of buttercream frosting topped with more frosting for eyes and m&m's or jelly beans for pupils. My boys love them, so I thought 'how fun would it be to make them in mini?!?!?' I think they turned out wonderful.Next up is a pair of teapots I made for a swap. The pink one was painted and the red and white one has slices of canes embedded in it. Both of them have a sparkly coating on them.
I had fun making these little teapots and will most likely be making more. I am thinking about finding some uniquely shaped beads and molding them to make more intersting shaped pots. Next up are some potted daffodils I made. The pots are terra cotta which I bought, but I made the flowers and leaves. I used a cardstock which interstingly when i tried to shape it with my ball stylus, it actually seperated into 2 finer layers. This actually worked to my advantage as the thinner paper was much more to my liking. I formed the cups of the daffs by moistening the paper and then pressing it into a block of florists foam and left it there to dry. The leaves are made from painted florists tape glued over thin wires. I need to try and find a slightly smaller 6 pointed flower or star punch for them to be more 'right', but for now I am quite happy with them. Last but not least, Orah has filled a big bowl with hard candy sticks. There are orange ones, strawberry ones and tropical fruit ones. She has asked me to make her loads more. She has decided to open a candy shop! So know I just need to wait for her to decide whether she want's just a simple little shop or if she wants to go elaborate. (I think I am hoping I can nudge her towards the cozy little shop!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another beautiful day!

Well I did indeed manage to cross off the 1st thing on my to-do list. I got hubby's side of the garage cleared out so he could actually park his car in it. After 3 years we finally have a running car 'living' in our garage! =D

I am also making strides on my swap projects. I spent about 2 hours this morning mixing, rolling and cutting translucent clays for miniature jelly beans. OMG they are TINY!!!! I am wondering if any one has any idea on how to make clear plastic bags for mini foods? Or a source to buy them from???

Since hubby's car is running again I have mine back. So I took advantage of it and headed off to Hobby Lobby! I was hoping to find some small bunny beads or charms. (No luck there) but I did find some clearance paint, some mini eggs for making 'chocolate' eggs, and geez I can't even remember what else. But needless to say I truly enjoyed my day out shopping.

Tomorrow is gonna be another busy day...more mini-ing in the morning, then lunch with a dear friend, and then an evenign meeting.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday and I wish you all a great Tuesday!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekly To-Do List

~Move stuff out of the way in the garage for the convertible
~Finish yahoo-group swaps
~Pack up craft area
~Move toys and furniture in boys room for new beds
~Go to lunch with friends Tuesday
~Breakfast with friends on Friday

Hmmm I could probably think of a million other things to put on my to-do list, but I think I'll stick with these. Let's see what I can get done! was a good day!!!

Let's see, the sun was shining, and it was um...not quite warm, but not cold either! Hubby and I got our new memory foam queen bed this morning, (OMG it is sooo comfortable to lay on, I can't wait to SLEEP in it! =D) and we discovered why our convertible wasn't working. (completely totally utterly DEAD battery and blown fuse...easy fixes! YEAH! This means I get my van back and can now go places!!!) We also got rid of the pick-up truck that has been sitting in the garage for 3 years!!! (it was a 'classic' 81 Chevy C-10, hubby bought it 5 years ago as a 'project' truck. But due to deployments and his work schedule he just never got around to actually working on it.) A friend of our was looking for a 'project' truck too and we gladly let him take it home!!! AND, AND, AND...I made MINIs today too!!!! De over at De-lightful Minis showed off the adorable little Easter baskets she made from Aida cloth, embroidery floss, and a woodsie. I knew they would be perfect for a swap I am working on. So I made these little guys. There are 8 of them so far and right now mine are just round, but I have a HUGE bag of woodsies and will absolutely be making more!!! I made my baskets with white 28 count Aida and actually pulled out some of the threads from the roll to braid for the trim. I used thin white satin ribbon for the handles. I wanted 'grass' in mine and couldn't figure out what to use that would be 'in-scale'. :-( *lightbulb* THEN I remembered that satin/rayon rat tail cording is made up of tons of thin fibers...and it unravels pretty easily. So I spent some time fraying a bunch of different colors. I cut each piece into about 1.5 inch chunks. Then I made sure the fibers were seperate before rubbing the bundle in my palms to 'ball' it all up. Some tacky glue in the bottom of the basket and TADA Easter grass!!!!
Orah has claimed the one with the deep purple grass for herself...atleast until I make her one with GOLD grass! LOL

My other awesome 'make' today is Orah's new wooden spoon and spatula set! Yepper I made them myself from strip of large popsicle stick/tongue depressor! I split it in half and made rough sketches onto the wood based off the bamboo utensils in my own kitchen. I did some rough knife work for the basic shape and them used my trusty dremel to 'prefect' them...the spoon was carved out using a ball tip. I want to give them a very light stain and then seal them! I am freakin' excited about these 2 tiny pieces of wood! lol

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring IS coming!!!!

I just know it is...going to get the mail yesterday I noticed that a couple of my hyacinth are coming up...some even have some 'stunted' flower stalked on them! Yeah love my flowers!!!! I found buds on my roses, and daffodil & lily leaves pushing up too!!! =D I need some warm(er) weekends/days so I can get out there and weed like crazy, before laying down fresh mulch. I want to add more flowers this year too, and maybe actually keep up with them too! lol
I think i want to plant some more veggies this year too...I usually do atleast 1 cherry tomato plant,but I think this year I will pull out all my giant pots and add some other veggies too. oooh and I want to get some of those hanging strawberry bags too!!! mmmmm fresh strawberries!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book 18 of 100

With just 4 days until the theater premier of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, I thought that my book choices for this week was quite appropo! Frank Beddor wrote a fantastic books series back in 2007. Being a huge fan of Lewis Carroll's Alice, although I should say the Disney version of his book. (I am honestly ashamed to admit I have never READ the original!!! Yikes must remedy that!!!) So anyways when Beddor's Looking Glass Wars came out I jumped and ordered it right away. I read the entire book the day it arrived! I initally suggested it to friends as a "retelling" of Carroll's book, but reading Beddor's website just now, well Beddor calls it a "what if?" look at Alice in Wonderland. So what exactly is his "what if?", well Alice; rather Alyss, is actually the princess of Wonderland, her mother Genevieve the queen. The story opens on Alyss's 7th birthday, with a horrible bloody coup, by Genevieve's disowned sister Redd. For her safety Alyss is sent through a looking glass and through a series of unfortunate events (great series btw! ;-D) Alyss ends up alone in 1859' London. This first books chronicles the time while Alyss is in London and meets Lewis Carroll who twists her memories of her homeworld into the non-sensical version we know and love. It's so hard for me to tell you about the book without giving away too much of the book. BUT if you love Alice in Wonderland I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy. Now I will say that this is not your cartoon version, it's not sugary sweet; honestly it's rather dark and gritty, within the 1st few chapters, both of Alyss's parents are murdered by her aunt, whom before her banishment also murdered her own mother! The card soldiers are actually robotic killing machines, and the Mad Hatter is actually the queen's top bodyguard. I recommend this for folks atleast 12. Looking Glass Wars in actually the 1st of 3 books, and there are also 2 Graphic Novels in the series as well. I hope you will give it a read! =D