Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Featured on 88Links

The 88Links blog has a regular feature called Ten Dollar Tuesday, and this week, they're including one of my Instant Canteens! I've gotten a lot of good responses to these, and have sold and traded quite a few. With the weather getting hotter, they're such a great way to carry your water bottle hands-free, like if you're out walking or running, or taking the kids on an excursion. I use mine almost every day when I take Daniel to the playground.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner

I got about 120 pages into this book, then realized that for three days running, I'd chosen to reed Potty Training in Less Than a Day rather than Faulkner because the potty training book was more interesting. So I quit reading Faulkner. Because I have very little time to read right now, and I'm not going to waste it on something I'm not enjoying or learning from.

I'm not a big fan of stream-of-consciousness. Virginia Woolf gives me a headache. This didn't quite go that far, as it's not entirely stream-of-consciousness... but it's also told all out of order, which also annoys me. Sometimes it can work to tell a story in circles -- think Catch-22 by Joseph Heller -- and sometimes it seems to serve no purpose other than to try to show how clever the author is to tell a story in a non-conventional way.

Yes, Faulkner is an Important Writer. Yes, I've read some of his short stories and liked them. Yes, his books are Modern Classics. But I simply didn't like this book.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Featured on Studio 618

My Happy Denim Purse has been featured on the Studio 618 blog! It's part of their regular Friday Finds feature. Here's a link to the feature, and here's a link to their shop. Thanks, Theresa!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Tale of Two Curtains

It's been six months since my first foray into making curtains, and I have to say I think my second attempt was much more successful!

We'd had these curtains in Daniel's room since we moved here -- they're just beach blankets that I hemmed on one end so a curtain rod could slide through. I made them a decade ago, and while they were better than nothing, I really wanted something more fun for his room.

Well, our local Wal-Mart is getting rid of their fabric section, like so many other Wal-Marts. They're selling off their current fabric at 50% of the regular price, so I bought a few yards of some different fabrics. One of them was an ultra-cute Veggie Tales pattern, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make curtains for Daniel's room out of it. They had just enough left on the bolt, thank goodness.

So last week, I sewed up one curtain. I just put a plain white cotton fabric on the back, nothing fancy. But I didn't have time to sew them both, so for almost a whole week, Daniel's room looked like this.

But yesterday I finally sewed up the other curtain and hung it in his room. They make his whole room glow a little bit green, and he loves this fabric so much, he kept trying to pull the curtains right down, so I had to use some leftovers to make him a little bitty blanket to play with (which he now puts over his stuffed animals so they can "take naps").

If you don't know what these Veggie Tales are all about, visit BigIdea.com to learn more. They're computer-animated half-hour shows that tell Bible stories and teach lessons and morals, but in a really fun way. I got into them in college, where a bunch of my friends loved them, and we've got quite a few on VHS and DVD. Daniel loves watching the Silly Songs on YouTube (where Big Idea has their own official channel), and I even got him their greatest hits CD to listen to in the car. We don't let him watch "real" TV or many movies, but Veggie Tales are A-OK by us! (In moderation, of course.) They're the least-annoying kids' edutainment I've ever seen, too. Can't beat that!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Deja Dead" by Kathy Reichs

Deja Dead is Kathy Reichs' first novel, and it's a riveting read. Her dialog can be a bit stilted, but her characters were excellent, and the plot kept me guessing, which is actually a bit unusual for a mystery.

I don't mean that in a conceited way -- I love reading mysteries, and I don't usually try to figure out whodunit or anything else. I like letting the stories unfold before me, without me spending time trying to outsmart the author. If I do figure the ending out ahead of time, I get all disappointed and feel like the author didn't do their job very well.

But while I read Deja Dead, I couldn't stop the story from popping into my head while I wasn't reading it. I had theories on who the bad guy was (all wrong, yay!) and who would die next (I was mostly wrong, so mostly yay!), and I kept trying to figure out how I was going to get creeped out next.

Yes, this is a somewhat creepy book. Reichs is a real-life forensic anthropologist, like her protagonist, Dr. Temperance Brennan. She fills this book with all sorts of vivid details about death and other not-so-yummy-things -- so vivid sometimes that my skin started to crawl. If you're a fan of forensic TV shows like Bones, NCIS, and the CSI: shows, then you'll probably do fine here. If those churn your stomach, you might want to avoid this book.

Speaking of Bones, these books by Kathy Reichs spawned that show. I've been a fan of the show right from the start, due to the presence of David Boreanaz (who had starred in my second-most-favorite-show-ever, Angel). Bones is a really fun show, revolving around the characters of Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (Boreanaz). I think my biggest surprise while reading this book wasn't at all related to the plot -- it was regarding how different the book's Dr. Brennan is from the one on the show. On Bones, Dr. Brennan is socially awkward and has a pretty unusual view of life, people, relationships, everything. The Deja Dead Dr. Brennan is cerebral, but not to the point of social awkwardness. She's actually a divorcee with a college-age daughter, and seems to have no problem relating to "normal" people. There was no Seeley Booth, but I'm hoping he pops up in one of the next books in the series.

So, I enjoyed Deja Dead, and I hope to read the next book or two later this summer. If you like forensic mysteries, you'll dig it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Busy Moms: Grace Hester Designs

Looking for fun scrapbook pages? Want some whimsical artwork for your child's room? Click on over to Grace Hester Designs to see her amazing pieces! Then go here to read an interview with her.

This is the last store I'll be featuring as part of the Busy Moms marketing blitz. It's been lots of fun bringing these stores to your attention and showcasing some of their fine handiwork. I hope it's helped you find some new favorite shops!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Quick Shout-Out

There's a cool new blog called Big Winds Moon that's featuring my Etsy mini in their sidebar right now. The blog is run by the Etsy shop Soapsrus. They've got lots of nifty soaps, shampoo bars, and lotions. Check them out!

Busy Moms: Cantaloupe Corner

Looking for some new shirts for yourself or your little ones? Visit Cantaloupe Corner for beautiful hand-decorated shirts!

And don't forget to click here for an interview.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Review Preview

I've been considering posting book reviews here. I mean, my own reviews of books I've read. I love hearing what other real people -- not critics -- think about books, and would rather take their recommendation than some guy who gets paid to rip apart books. What do you think, Gentle Readers? Would you be interested to hear my take on the books I read, maybe discuss them a little with me? I've got a pretty wide range of interests; I read mysteries, historical fiction, a little fantasy, a few westerns, some YA, biographies, the occasional chick lit, and "classics" -- pretty much anything except bodice-rippers and most horror.

I've added a thingie to the sidebar telling what book I'm currently reading, so you'll know what I'll be reviewing next. I'm almost done with Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs, so I could begin with it.

Busy Moms: Sassy Stampin' Divas

For beautiful photo cards and other digital artwork, stop by The Sassy Stampin' Divas. You can print the cards yourself, or pay them to print for you. Either way, you'll have cool, personalized cards!

An interview with this mother/daughter team can be found here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Busy Moms: Nilma Hunter Creations

From fused jewelry to glass tile pendants to tote bags, Nilma Hunter Creations has lots of great things in store! Visit her shop to see what you can find for yourself or a friend, and then go here to read an interview with this Busy Mom.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Busy Moms: Chicken Tattoo

How's this for a fun-and-funky shop name: Chicken Tattoo!

Today's featured Busy Mom has a shop full of whimsical, child-oriented items that match her store name perfectly.

Interview is here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy Moms: WovenStones

Our featured Busy Mom shop today is WovenStones, home of Viking Knit jewelry and other pretties. This Viking Knit stuff is something else -- follow the links to see more! You won't be sad you did.

Oh, and go here to read an interview.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Busy Moms: Ozark Scents Candle Co.

I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for a beautiful candle. I love the friendly flicker of a candle flame keeping me company while I write, and I love the aroma they provide. If you're the same way, you need to visit Ozark Scents Candle Co. They have oodles of beautiful soy and soy-blend candles like these. They even have trial-size candles if you just want to try out their different scents. And as always, read an interview here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy Moms: Bijoux Designs for You

If you like whimsical beaded bookmarks and subtle-but-stunning jewelry, visit Bijoux Designs for You. And check out her great blog, where she's been posting the interviews with all us Busy Moms.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Busy Moms: Bagel Creations

Today's busy mom shop is Bagel Creations, home of cool coffee cozies and other things made from far-out fabrics like these. Drop by this shop and see what you can find, and don't forget to go here to read an interview with its owner.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spiral Scrubbies

I tried out a new pattern this week for these adorable spiral scrubbies. They're such fun to make! They're meant to be dish scrubbies, but I'll tell you a secret: they work great in the shower too! The little ridges are equally good at exfoliating and scrubbing away stubborn food bits. Though I'd recommend using a different scrubbie for each job ;-) I'm selling one scrubbie plus a matching washcloth for $7 -- I have two sets made from 100% cotton yarn for sale right now, with more to come.

If you want to use them in the shower, I can add a little loop to them so you can hang them up to dry. Either convo me or request that in the "Notes to Seller" when you check out.

I found the pattern here, on a blog called Crochet Patterns Only, which has all kinds of free patterns created by Judith Prindle.

Don't forget I'm offering a FREE mini-notebook when you spend $10 or more in my store -- offer ends at midnight!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Busy Moms: Me!

It's my turn to get featured today, how cool is that? To celebrate, I'm offering a FREE collaged mini-notebook when you spend $10 or more in my store. That offer's only good today and tomorrow, so take advantage of it while you can! And go here to read an interview with me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Busy Moms: New Hope Beading

Remember that gorgeous lavender jade bracelet I featured a couple months ago? The one my husband surprised me with on my birthday? It came from today's featured Busy Mom shop: New Hope Beading.

While that particular piece of jewelry is now mine-all-mine, there are plenty of other lovely things in that shop waiting for you to fall in love. Go see for yourself! And go here to read a quick interview with Caroline, the mom behind the shop.