April 20, 2015

Artist Date - Week 1

This post is late.  I should have written it up sometime during the week of April 13th.  That didn't happen, though, so here we are.

I don't know why I struggle with this task, but I do.  I'm not even sure my "date" was really a date.  I needed some costume pieces for the 80s Fest in Frankenmuth that I plan on attending on April 24th. Each year I attempt to do something just a little bit different from the year before.  This year I really wanted to go as Toni Basil from her Mickey video. 


I looked online for a cheerleading costume in the right colors.  The problem is the sweater.  I could find a skirt, but the top was impossible.  This has led me to the conclusion that if I plan on wearing this next year I will need to learn how to sew.  Or beg my mom to make it for me.  Frankly, though, I think learning to sew costumes would be a good thing because I also enjoy dressing up for RenFest and Comic Con

Yes, I really should learn how to sew. 

In the meantime, though, I was still in need of a costume for this year's 80s Fest, so I decided to spend an hour or so at Party City looking at their collection of 80s apparel and accessories.  I could have gone overboard.  Easily.  Somehow I managed to pick up just a few fun pieces and leave the rest of the store intact.  



I really wanted to buy Ken some MC Hammer pants, but somehow stopped myself. 



I don't know if this techically counts as an "artists date" or not, but I figured the most important instruction was obeyed:  I went shopping by myself. I spent time alone doing something I don't normally do. 




April 13, 2015

Getting Started With Scrapbooking

I sent a friend of mine a list of supplies today that I thought would help her get started on one of my favorite hobbies: scrapbooking!

She made the mistake of expressing an interest and saying she'd like to join our little group on our annual scrapping trips.  I almost feel sorry for her husband because he has no idea what's in store for him as she starts building her supplies....

The list I sent was text only because I was using FB messenger and didn't want to bombard her with a flurry of links to Amazon or JoAnn Fabrics.   Yet, the pictures are so very helpful when you're shopping for supplies you're unfamiliar with, so here we are.  On the blog.

I tried to keep the list as minimalist as possible.  These are the things I consider necessities when you're preparing to scrapbook your favorite family photos. 

  • A scrapbook to put the completed pages in.  I started with this because knowing your album size helps you determine the size of paper you're going to need to buy. 
12 by 12 scrapbook album that says live, laugh, love

  • Paper.  I love the big, pretty packs that you can buy at JoAnn Fabric's for 40-50% off if you can manage to shop there on the right day. (As I'm typing this both of these packs are 50% off.)
  • A cutter. There are lot of options, but this one packs up nicely when it's time to store it. 



  • Scissors.  Mine aren't this colorful, but now I wish they were.  How cute are those!?




  • Glue.  Lots and lots and lots of glue.  Variety doesn't hurt either. 





  • That's the starter list I gave her.  Did I miss anything?  

    April 6, 2015

    Reading Selections

    One of my favorite ways to spend a break at work is to look through the Amazon Kindle freebies.  I tend to gravitate toward the science fiction and fantasy categories, but occasionally I find myself looking through the literature, suspense, and romance lists.  This daily addiction has led to quite a collection of self-published and indie books in my Amazon Cloud Reader.



    Now, I know that some of those books will be terrible (not necessarily the ones pictured above!).  They may not have been edited. Typos could abound.  Plot holes.  Bad characterizations.  Cringe-worthy writing.  I know this because I've seen it.  I've opened more than one of those freebies and, after a few pages, I've realized I can't continue reading because, while the premise may have been promising, the author rushed to publication.  

    Yet, I also know that there will be gems waiting to be unearthed.  I've found them.  I've enjoyed them.  I've been impressed more than once.  More than one self-pubbed author has managed to get everything from sentence structure, voice, and tone to characters, plot, and theme working cohesively.  These things working together create a splendid reading experience.  

    This is why this year in addition to the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge that I am participating in, I want to challenge myself to read at least ten self-pubbed Amazon Kindle Freebies.  But I want to take this challenge one step further.  I am going to try to give each of those as-of-now mystery books a post of their own here in order to help the author spread the word about the book they've created.  

    I'm hoping to have the first review up by the end of the month.