Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: You have Power! Touch of Power

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)
(I picked this cover because I like it much more than the American version. Not fair Australia always gets the better covers!)
Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Scheduled to be released:
December 20, 2011 (Just in time for Christmas!)

Why I'm waiting:
All day I've been trying to remember where I first picked up a book by Maria V. Snyder. I think it was at the library. I know it was her book, Poison Study. The cover was stunning and of course the word 'poison' is enough to intrigue anyone. Since reading the Study Series I've read most of her other books and can't miss anything new coming out!

Book 1 Summary:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mundane Mondays: Christmas, Reading and Adventures

The day certainly got away from me. . . hence an evening post. A post all the same, though. :)

I spent my evening working. The Christmas Open House, for our town, is Saturday and if you don't know me by now, well I'm a procrastinator. Someday they will invent (or I will) a tonic concoction to help remedy this annoying trait, but for now I do my best. I've known for at least a month (longer ashamedly than that really) that I'm supposed to decorate a tree for the Christmas auction. So what do I do? I wait 6 days until the event to start working on my tree. Ha! I can do it. It is a challenge.

My idea is an advent tree. I have always loved that about Christmas, the advents. Advent Adventure Tree! The advent (my mum's original creation, that she has used for us for a few years) is 25 mittens. Each mitten contains candy or some such. I plan to google for an advent idea, because I want more than just candy. Although, who doesn't love candy?!? The mittens take have lots of hand sewing, which I much prefer over using the machine. Hello. . . blanket stitch! They are made out of our various colors of felt we had stashed on the fabric shelf. I really wanted some brown felt, but no such luck. Due to the lateness of the project (my fault entirely) I'm not allowed to buy extra materials, according to my mum, I must make due with what I have!

Thank goodness I have tomorrow at the bookstore to work on this and yes my own personal sweat shop. . . grandma. :) She volunteered (I promise) to embroider the numbers. The numbers on my mum's set are made out of felt, but time shortage calls for alternatives. As I said to mum, "If grandma hadn't been willing to embroider the numbers, I would have thrown the mittens across the room by now." Embroidery is not my strong suit.

Mondays are not always about crafts. I wanted to update you on what I have been reading. LibraryThing sent me an early reviewer, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (speaking of which I'm way behind on updating my GoodReads, so don't be looking on there to see how I'm doing. . . mental note to update that tomorrow). I'm on chapter 9 and thus far it is entertaining. It is nothing earth shattering and I wonder why I picked this book out of the last batch of early reviewers. Typically I'm not the "oh let's read about witches" type. I'm also not huge on throwing religious fanatics in books (especially young adult novels) that way the general public associate (in this case) Christians with those found in the story. It must have been the cover that drew me in, not sure. 

I also have a tomb sitting on my shelf to read from LibraryThing a Catherine the Great non-fiction book by Robert Massie (I have a thing, perhaps obsession with Russian history). I'm eying that book right now, with half dread half intrigue. I'll pick it up soon. . . maybe after Christmas.

Oh and ugh, I'm still reading The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (great name!). I purchased this book in Long Beach last year and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was because of the cover. Yes and the prospect of it being a steampunk novel (which as far as I can tell, it is not). Maybe this is the type of book that you need to devour immediately, rather than shoving it in a corner, hoping the next time you pick it up you're somehow closer to the end than when you put it there. Wishful thinking? Much of the book is over my head and that makes me feel stupid. Then there is the fact that I want to read more about specific characters, but no I keep getting chapters about the people I could care less about. I also have this pet peeve, authors if you are going to have foreign languages in your books, please translate for us "normal" folk. As mush as I would love to say "hey I speak Thai", I don't right now and can't see it happening anytime soon. Sorry. Here's to hoping this book changes within the last half and oh yes. . . that I finish it.

Final thoughts. . . 
Should I do a book giveaway? I have a few books I wouldn't mind passing on to someone (Born Wicked perhaps) who could enjoy them. Leave a comment if you think I should or not.

Check out the music from the group Set it Off. I really like their music, especially their song Horrible Kids. Maybe later this week I will post a music playlist of must listens!

Now to bed!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Timeless

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created byJill at Breaking The Spine.) 

I realize it is almost 11:00 PM, but better late than never. I've been working and baking. . . Thanksgiving is tomorrow after all. I didn't want to slack, though, and took a break to write a WoW post.

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5) by Gail Carriger

Scheduled to be released:
March 1, 2012

Why I'm waiting:
Gail Carriger's books are an adventure. Each time I sit down to begin, the pages fly by and I look up to find that I've finished and had wild fun along with all the hilarious characters. The setting of the books are great. Plus they are steampunk, they have vampires, werewolves, ghosts. . . a bit of something for everyone. I can't wait for another read with Alexia Tarabotti!

Book 5 Summary:
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tattoo Tuesdays: Meet Melissa

Uh-oh?!? Are you thinking I've finally reached my limit and inked my skin with some art? Well hopefully you didn't get the idea from the picture above, because that is a very crude doodling done by yours truly. My sister and I have this in common, when ink pens are around we can't help, but to take them to our flesh and begin doodling. I even write poetry on my palms (while driving, bad habit). I don't know about her, but I even have a particular pen I like to use. Which explains why the Tattoo Tuesdays picture is not very good. I left my pen in the car*.

Maybe it is a secret or maybe not, but tattoos hold a certain fascination for me. I'm always tempted to ask people for a closer look or to ask where did you get it done. You know with every tattoo there is a story, a motivation, and I wouldn't mind knowing that too. Of course I want one, but there are some moral issues to sort through first, until then I'll keep ogling other people's tattoos.

This first part, of another new series, will be long because it is an intro, but I hope for these to be short in the future. My only intent is for a blurb and picture of favorite tattoos I come across. However, to start, I want to tell you about a tattoo artist I really admire, Melissa Metz (screen name on Flickr: ImeanHoneyBee).

I was internet “introduced” to her by my friend Nicole a few years ago. Back then Nicole was bragging on her photography and I can still see why. She is who inspired me to start my first 365 Photo project and to delve into photography more. I'm still an extreme amateur with my pictures, but I hope I can someday capture the world with a lens the way Melissa does. So I've never truly met her or talked to her, I "stalk" her on Flickr. She doesn't know, I assume. It was there that I discovered her tattoos and her other awesome ability . . . she is a tattoo artist!

The older I get the more I feel I want to surround myself with these artistically awesome people. Perhaps become guilty by association? I feel the same about my sister, when I look at her room, I feel dull in comparison. So when I grow up I want to be a mix of Melissa and my sister with my only little twist. :)

From what I can tell from Melissa's pictures on Flickr she designs her own tattoos. She has one full sleeve, I think. (If I get the tattoos wrong, it is because I'm a poor researcher or not a good stalker :) As well as a gorgeous tree spanning her entire back. I have the picture of this, which she posted on Flickr, on my iPod**. FYI Flickr folk, I do this with my favorite pictures. It is my modern version of being a "grandmother" and taking my wallet out and showing people your amazing talents. I'm advertising your skills! I'm always saying "If you like this, check out their other stuff on Flickr. Go! Now!"

Melissa recently shaved part of her head and got a tattoo in its place of buttons. Sweet! When I shared the link on my Facebook everyone assumed I wanted the same. :) I like my hair too much.

She lives in New Zealand now and still tattoos. Previously she was inking in California.

Okay, so here is where I get a little ridiculous (if I haven't already). I want to fly to New Zealand to get my first tattoo done by her. I would do it too, if I didn't think she might look at me like I'm mad. You never know, though, perhaps she is used to crazy folk . . . like me. I know what I want for my tattoo and I'm very tempted to message her. I would be like, "I think you’re awesome! Because the chances of me making it to New Zealand in this life are slim, I was wondering would you at least be willing to design my tattoo?" Should I brave it?

So check out her pictures and her tattoos! Maybe tell her, Maddie sent you.

Do you want a tattoo? Do you have a favorite you've seen?

*I could go get it, but it has been pouring down rain all day and I'm relatively warm in the shop. Where is snow at people?!?

**That is not the picture I have. I promise the photo (not good quality pic of my iPod below showing it) existed at some point, but I couldn't find it on her Flickr. The link above is another picture of the tattoo that I found while trying to link to the other one for you. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mundane Mondays: Knitting Update

I couldn't have said it better than on Twitter:

motivation comes in the form of 4 hour road trip to Ohio. I do my best thinking in the car, albeit that means less focus on the road. :(

Friday I drove to Ohio to pick up my grandmother for Thanksgiving. While certain people always monopolize my thoughts, I did manage to think about other "pressing" items. For one my lack of writing lately and blogging. You may think it is cheesy, but I love blog post series titles. It is the keeping up with the committed serialization of the blog that I have issues with, but I'm willing to try this again.

Of course I did my normal "bite off more than you can chew" and I came up with a title for everyday. (blush) Also keeping in mind I try to participate in Waiting on Wednesdays already and 2 others I came up for Thursdays and Fridays. It remains to be seen weather I can keep with these in addition to the new. I'm willing to try, even I have to write by candlelight.

With that said, welcome to Anything, but Mundane Mondays! These posts will be about books, crafts, everything, an update of sorts or just a post about new things I've come across. Post one is about knitting.

I feel as though knitting is sucking away my very life. Okay so let's not be dramatic, it is only sucking away my time and then in turn my free reading. What's reading? I can't remember because I haven't read more than 2 chapters in one sitting for the past few weeks. Ugh am I sick or something?

I'm complaining I know and I shouldn't be. I'm not 100% upset about all this knitting. I've sold 2 pairs of gloves (last 2 pictures below) to girls at work. I have at least 4 more projects ordered and who knows what else could come up. I've always wanted a chance to make and sell items. Although, I had no clue it would ever be knitted items. The downside of it all is, these projects are eating up my Christmas gift time. I should be working on the huge list of items my family has asked for (ok so not that big) and I have several gifts I want to make for friends. Knitting isn't bad, I just need to strike a deal with Father Time. Do you think he likes scarves?

I've now attempted 2 different patterns for fingerless gloves, click here for pattern A. and click here for pattern B.. I'm working on trying a third pattern now, not so sure about it yet. The count is in though, I really like pattern B (first and fourth picture below). It is simple and the way it works up makes it look more complicated than it really is. Only issues I have with it are: It is for children. If I can figure out how to size it for adults we are gold! The thumbs are a bit tricky and I'm still trying to make them not look strange (at least to my perfectionist eyes). Pattern A (2nd, 5th, and 6th picture below) isn't all that bad. I like it, but I struggle with the final set of rib stitching.

I also took a knitting class for how to make socks. The class is over, but I'm not finished yet. I will say one thing for socks, you can't be sidetracked while making them.

Before I leave to your own explorations, you can click the picture below and it will take you to my flickr page for my finished projects. 

You may also want to checkout this awesome site: Pinterest. Turns out you need an invite to be a member, otherwise you are wait listed (at least that is what my sister told me). If you need or want an invite send or message me your email. I'd be happy for you to join the Pinterest world.

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