Monday, May 29, 2017

Natters - May 29 / Still Alive


Well, hello there.  I hope your Memorial Day weekend has been safe and happy.  We didn't do anything for the holiday, no cookout or get-together or anything like that.  Hubby's been working all day for the past several days at his parents, rebuilding their deck/porch/ramp.  Ty and Casey were both hanging out here today, playing video games and chitchatting.  It was nice to have a mellow day for once, without Casey's drama ruining things.

Update on that drama, because I know you're all on pins and needles about it.  PrincessRoommate still has not officially moved out.  She spends almost no time there but her stuff is all still there, packed in boxes, waiting to be relocated.  She supposedly has been approved for her own apartment somewhere and can move into it June 1.  HOPEFULLY she gets her crap moved out next weekend and this mess can be done.  Casey's at least in a better mood about things.

Ty's working a temporary second job.  I can't remember if I mentioned this in my last Natters, but he's helping a former coworker get his own machine shop started up, and is working for that guy whenever he's not working at his regular full-time job.

Works been ridiculous again.  It's the whole sucky management thing again.  I've pretty much cut ties with 2nd shift for the four hours that my 12 hour shift overlaps their 8 hour shift.  The 2nd shift supervisors are spineless and let those people get away with anything so I'm taking the super mature and professional option of dealing with them by ignoring them.  lol  I've had an awesome work schedule for this holiday weekend though, so I guess I can't complain too much.  I had my two days off, worked Saturday, have had Sunday and Monday off for the holiday, and now Tuesday and Wednesday will be my regular days off again.  Wheee!

I've been playing Wizard101 a lot during all this time off.  I've been struggling with my moody angry funk again lately and this occupies my mind, keeps me from wallowing in my pity party thoughts.  It's been quite fun and relaxing to allow myself to do this.  I still can't get hubby or the boys to play but oh well, I'm still having fun alone.  My newest, and current favorite character is up to level 22 already.  Whee!

Apologies for the slightly blurry picture!  I've been taking more of my blog pics on my phone lately and didn't even realize this one was so shoddy.  Doh!  Anyway, this book came out last week and I bought it as soon as I saw it, and started reading it that same day.  I'd just recently started reading the second book in Rick Riordan's Apollo series but this one has bumped that one back onto the shelf.  This is the second one in the Dark Artifices series, the one that follows Julian and Emma and the LA shadowhunters.  I really enjoyed the first one, mainly because of Mark and the fairie elements.  So yes, I'm really looking forward to this one!  It's a beast though, 699 pages.  Ugh.

 I don't think I've shown these two cards.  Gah, this is what happens when I don't post regularly.  This first one was for a little boy family member.
And this one was for hubby's parents' 53rd wedding anniversary.  It's similar to the anniversary card I did for my brother earlier this year, but I switched out the knight and castle for a Viking theme since hubby's dad is the one who brings all this Viking-ness to the family.

I know I haven't shown these yet.  I made these thank you cards for a bloggy friend who just wrapped up a huge giveaway.  I think you can guess who that was . . . 

Alrighty, well it's getting late and I have a large and exciting book to read.
Have you read any of the Shadowhunter books?
Are you a fan of YA (young adult) paranormal/fantasy books?


Haul - And More Walmart Wax!

Yep, I'm still picking up a pack or two of Scentsationals and/or Better Homes & Gardens wax from Walmart every now and then.  And nope, I *still* have not started melting any of these!  LOL  I keep telling myself that when I get through what little bit of indie vendor wax I have I'll start on these, but that day just doesn't ever seem to come!  Cripes, unofficial start of summer is, well, now!  I need to get on these . . . 

Woodland Magic (Scentsationals) - 'A mystical blend of rosemary, Texas pine, and sparkling aldehydes.'
Sparkling aldehydes?  What the heck is that?  The only Google showed me was chemical compound stuff.  Anyway . . . I totally got this because the little description on the package says 'Not all who wander are lost,' and to me that is Lord of the Rings related.  Plus, those trees look Shire-ish, right?  Perhaps the Shire even smells like this.  It's sort of a sweet, outdoorsy scent.  I saw someone had described it as lemongrass.  I can see that, but I also get a sort of musky cologne note with it.  This is not the type of scent I usually go for, but it's not horrible.  If I chose not to melt this one I know plenty of people who do like this type of scent.
 
Violet Cocktail (Scentsationals) - 'This delicious blend is made of black currant, wild acai, and warm black orchid.'
 I had been looking for this one without even knowing just why I wanted it.  Maybe it was the purple calling to me?  (It's actually a much darker purple than this pic is showing.)  Maybe because I've liked black currant scents before and thought that would be a strong note.  My Walmart finally restocked the wax shelves and I finally found this!  But I don't care for it much.  Figures!  You know I'm not a floral fan, and that 'warm black orchid' note is quite strong.  I would say this is a floral scent first and foremost.

Exotic Paradise Punch (BHG) -'This sparkling scent of juicy pineapple, sweet orange and Fuji apple becomes enriched with Rainier cherries and passionfruit. Tahitian vanilla and white musk leave a beautiful fragrance experience.'
Mmm, just looking at the color of this and the picture on the label make me think of yummy blue freeze pops.  This is fruity and juicy, strong on the pineapple and apple.  I don't get any distinct cherry note.  There is a subtle creaminess to this scent, and a soft hint of something like perfume, probably coming from the musk.  This is interesting, not just your typical summer fruity scent.

Summer Fruit Medley (BHG) - [no scent description]
Either I missed this all the other times I browsed the shelves or they got this in new just recently.  I grabbed this without even smelling it.  Research and reference, ya know.  I was hoping there would be more berry notes it this but it's mostly a zesty citrus type scent.  It's not as bright and perky as a straight up orange juice type zesty citrus.  It's more like a grapefruit type but with something dragging it down, something a bit 'warm.'  Maybe coming from the berries?  Not sure.

This is all I have for now.  I'll probably hold off on buying any more and get busy actually melting these first.  I do have quite a few now and I don't melt a lot each day.  I don't melt anything at all on days that I work.  So yeah, I have to get busy!

Have you tried any of these?
Which is your favorite?




Sunday, May 28, 2017

Haul - More Craft Items

Lawn Fawn had their big summer release recently.  You know I'm all about Lawn Fawn!  At first I wanted almost everything I saw in the new stuff.  Then I went to the extreme opposite end of the spectrum and decided I didn't want any because I'm not using my current things very much anyway.  I eventually settled somewhere in the middle and picked up a few things.

This is one of their mini sets and is so cute for summer.  Pineapples are the hot theme this year, huh?  I'm seeing pineapple everything everywhere.  Anyway, I probably won't use the little faces, but I'm imagining these on summer themed notecards.

I'm not normally into the whole pirate thing but I saw several cards made by the design team and oh my gosh, I got sucked in!  There were all these treasure map looking backgrounds and I was like, in love.

I like the constellations theme of this set but I was also imaging those animals on Christmas cards, looking at up a decorated tree, or the star.  Could even use the animals on baby themed cards.  Or again, simple notecards using that large 'wish' stamp.

There is an airplane themed set in this new release that I did not grab . . . yet.  These stitched 'trails' can be used with the planes set, or with other things like butterflies or birds or whatever.  Some of the pirate cards I saw even used these as the sort of path guides on the treasure maps.

That's all I got for now from the Lawn Fawn summer release but there are plenty of other things I'll probably go back and get soon, if they're not already sold out.  I did get some other random things that aren't from Lawn Fawn too, so let me show you those.

I saw this on Amazon and decided to get it because I just don't have any anniversary stamps.

I ordered this from Amazon too.  I've had a paper trimmer for years and years but it was just a simple, small thing that I used for trimming coupons and stuff like that.  I week or so ago I'd finally bought a bigger better one at Walmart but found it wasn't big enough for what I wanted, so I returned it and found this big mamajama instead.  If I remember correctly (it's not nearby at the moment) a 12 inch sheet of paper will fit in here.

Also got this from Amazon.  It's one of those roll up pencil cases.  I found it was very awkward and messy to try and work with my big box of colored pencils, having them roll all over and fall off the table as I look for the color I want.  With this, you put each pencil in its own little elastic slot, can roll it out flat to see everything, roll it up when you're done, and everything stays in place.  There is an interior zippered pocket on one end, like for erasers or whatever.  It ties shut when rolled up.  And I love that kitty print!  The only problem is that this only holds 72 pencils and my big box of Crayolas is 100 pencils.  72 is the biggest one I could find.  I'm debating now whether to get a smaller one for the remaining pencils, or just put a rubber band around them and stick them inside this roll.  Hmmm.

And finally, I picked up these two jars of embossing powder.  I was playing around with embossing last week and was frustrated by the lack of options I had in my newbie stash.  I got this white, super fine detail powder because apparently there IS a big difference in powders.  I have a jar of clear but it's rather chunky, which leaves lumpy, uneven lines once melted.  Definitely not good for finer details.  And then I got the orange with fall and Halloween in mind, again thinking of notecards.

That is my crafty haul for now.
I'm sure there will be another one soon enough!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Read - Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
adapted by Elizabeth Rudnick
2017
275 pages

'Belle wants more out of life than the small provincial town of Villeneuve can offer.  There she stands out from the crowd with her unique point of view, her strong-willed independence, and her love of books.  She longs for travel and adventure, for a life as exciting as the stories she reads.

But when Belle's beloved father is taken prisoner by a beast in an enchanted castle, her path is forever changed.  Risking her freedom and her future, she takes her father's place, secretly vowing to escape.  But as she learns more about the Beast and his mysterious castle, Belle realizes there may be more to his story -- and her own -- than she ever could have imagined.'
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you believe I have never read Beauty and the Beast, have never seen the classic Disney cartoon version, did not even know the story???  When this new Disney version came out recently I was curious because I'm really drawn to these live action adaptations of the Disney classics, but I wasn't wowed enough to pay much attention because I just didn't know anything about it.  I like to buy the books of these movie versions too as they come out.  I have Maleficent and Cindrella, and I grabbed Beauty and the Beast when I saw that one on the shelf.

It's a short and easy story to read, only 275 pages.  I finished it last night and oh my gosh, why did it take me so long to come around to this story???  I absolutely need to see the movie now.  I think it's even still playing in my local theater.  Ah, who are we kidding?  I'll probably wait for the DVD to come out.  But anyway, I loved this story!  Yeah, it's predictable as all fairy tales tend to be.  I mean, we all know they're going to fall in love and live happily ever after, right?  The thing that makes this one so much more appealing to me than, say, Cinderella, is the fact that there is a *beast.*  It sort of fits into that weird fascination I have with seemingly dark, very powerful people still being good and caring underneath it all.  

By the way, does The Beast have a proper name?!

I do have a couple little gripes about this adaptation of the story.  Maybe some of these things are answered in the movie?  Like, how did Belle's father escape after Gaston left him tied up for the wolves to find?  Did no one else see Gaston fall and apparently die at the end?  Did no one wonder about where he was?  Did no one care because the spell was broken and they were all thinking clearly now?  Why was The Beast cursed but Gaston, who was just as bad, never was?  I'd started to wonder if there was some time warp or alternate universe thing going on where Gaston and The Beast were the same guy.

And didn't the enchantress put an unfair curse on The Beast?  How was he supposed to learn to love if she'd also cursed the castle and the townsfolk, so they'd eventually forget it existed?  How was he ever supposed to encounter anyone that he could learn to love??

I'm being nitpicky, I suppose.  I just want more of the story though!  LOL

I finished the book last night, and first thing this morning I looked up the movie trailer on YouTube.  And yeah, I cried.  I can't wait to see it now!

So am I the last person on earth to learn the story of Beauty and the Beast?
Are you a fan of this story?  Have you seen the movie?
Can you answer any of my questions??

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Read - The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl

The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl
by Paige McKenzie
2017
322 pages

'Is Sunshine Griffith who she thinks she is? Now that her luiseach powers are fully awakened, and having barely survived an abyss full of demons at the end of Book Two, Sunshine must figure out who-or what-has been organizing the forces of darkness against her.

Thanks to her brainiac boyfriend, Nolan, they not only unearth that Sunshine's death would trigger a calamitous event, but that all civilization depends on her survival. So when an unexpected event unleashes a fierce war between the luiseach and the demon army, Sunshine will learn a shocking truth about herself. Can she bring herself to make the ultimate sacrifice to save humankind?
'

*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

 (Read my review of the first book in this trilogy HERE.)
(Read my review of the second book in this trilogy HERE.)

When I noticed this book at Walmart recently I was like "Oh my gosh, I'd forgotten this was coming out!" and snatched it up immediately.  This is third and apparently final book, making this a trilogy instead of the series I'd thought it would be.  I'd seen this mentioned somewhere as 'the final installment,' but I don't see that stated anywhere on the book jacket and they did leave just enough little things open at the end of this to easily continue.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I enjoyed this book.  I like that it was shorter, not some 700 page beast.  It kept a decent pace and did not have a lot of extra side stories and complicated twists or filler.  The characters continue to be likeable because the author just lets them be, doesn't try too hard to force their personalities on the reader.  Things are quite to the point, and somewhat easy to figure out if you're paying attention but not so obvious that it bores you.  I did have some cranky moments though.

Sunshine is back in home after fleeing the training compound in Mexico to save someone at the end of the previous book.  Of course the full cast of characters has now assembled back in her new hometown as this story comes to a head.  Some are there to try and keep her safe.  Some are there to keeps tabs on her.  And some are there to do her harm.  Sunshine is apparently the key to some grand scale game changing plan in the battle between luiseach and demons.  Can they keep her safe long enough to come up with a plan of their own?

And that's where a lot of my squabbles come in.  If she is SO important that they've assembled all the best people to help guard her, set up schedules of 24/7 bodyguards, and whatnot, why are they always off doing other things and letting her roam around on her own?  Why are they letting her go to school and get back to normal?  And what the heck was all that about arranging for her best friend from her childhood hometown to stay living with her and transferring to her school?  I understand that the friend became a key pawn in the game but it was a weak way of going about it.  I also had a problem with the whole 'pentagram spell' in general.  If the mastermind behind it was THE most powerful demon ever, why didn't he just swoop in and nab her and kill her?  Why did there need to be this fancy spell, sixteen years to carry out, a complicated death every four years, leading up to this final battle?

I thought the big battle itself was a bit lacking but I was also glad that it wasn't some long drawn out thing.  Although it was rather short, it did pack quite a bit of emotion into it.

Although there were some demons possessing human events in this book, it wasn't really scary.  It certainly did not have the creepy factor that the first book had.  I didn't really expect it to though since we'd already learned back then what was really going on, what she was and what her powers were.  This book was more of her continuing to learn about her kind, their history, and about the challenge they were about to face . . . and why.

As mentioned, the book did leave just a few little things wide open for another book.  Part of me is hoping there will be another, and part of me will be happy if it really does end with this one because at least it's ending on a good note for me.  Far too often I get bored when a series drags on too long and I end up hating where the story goes.  This one was short and on point, and I appreciate that.

If you're looking for something quick to read with a bit of creepiness and some paranormal twists, I highly recommend this trilogy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Loot Crate - Wizarding World Box / May 2017

As soon as this fourth Wizarding World subscription box from Loot Crate arrived I noticed something different.  That little sticker label on the flap was not the usual lock-type image.  This is a spookier, creepier image that immediately made me wonder what the theme of this box was!

The design inside the box only deepened that curiosity.  How creepy are those faces??  Well, turns out the theme for this box is Dark Arts.  Heh, I guess that explains it.

First up is this cool shirt of Percival Graves from the Fantastic Beasts movie.  Pretty cool, since he was one of the things I actually liked about the movie.

Look at this fun Azkaban pouch!  It's a little bigger than a typical pencil case.  This could be used for many things.  Maybe makeup brushes or makeup items if that's you're thing.  Maybe I could cram my 100-pack of Crayola colored pencils in here?!  I'm not sure if it would hold that many.  But anyway, it's a decent size that could be used for many things.

I'm not really into pins but this is a really cool one.  As the card says, it's Tom Riddle's Diary.  The pin has a hole in that golden center blob, and that is a basilisk tooth on the attached chain.  Yep, the tooth can be poked into that hole, just like Harry destroying the horcrux.

The card maker in me was super excited to see this set!  There are six plain black cards and envelopes.  The cards have an embossed image of seven serpents, something related to the Chamber of Secrets but offhand I can't remember exactly what.  (Bad fan, I know.)  It gets even neater though, because there is also a red wax stick and a stamp of that same image, so you can do old time wax seals!  I used to have a cute little wax seal set and it's harder than it seems.  I never was able to get it done correctly.  Oh, the wax stick and stamp come in a nice black velvet pouch.

With all the dark and creepy things in the box, I totally cracked up at this.  I knew immediately was it referring to but I was still laughing in a 'What the frick?!' kind of way, more like a 'These actually exist?!'  Yes, we have four lovely, pink, flowery, girlie, kitty plates to represent evil Professor Umbridge.  LOL!  Should I hang these dorky things in my craft room???

This was a fun box.  I'm glad I didn't know anything about it beforehand, completely spoiler-free.  I think I have two more boxes and then my one year subscription will be done.  Can't wait to see what's still to come!





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Haul - Collective Crafty Things

I'd encountered a sort of lull in my card making ambition after my mad rush to get those Easter cards done.  Then I happened to be watching a bit of one of the shows hubby enjoys and a guy in there was talking about "Have fun with your passion, whatever it is."  Hubby was like "Yeah!  Listen to him!"  And I pouted that I don't know what my passion IS because my interests change so much.  Then I was like "Well currently it's card making so okay, I need to have fun with that for now, I guess."  So I gave myself permission to start buying some crafty things again.

I might have shown this already.  Apologies if I have.  Remember how I'd discovered that I absolutely loved coloring my stamped images with colored pencils?  Remember how we'd splurged on a monster pack of Prismacolor pencils and I found I didn't really like them?  So I found the biggest assortment of good ol' Crayola pencils and ordered myself a box.  Wheee!

I finally gave in and got a label maker.  I've wanted one for a while but always talked myself out of it because it wasn't something I really *needed* for anything crafty.  So many of the card makers I follow though, have a neat little organization system for stamps and dies, and have nice little labels.  Hubby had also mentioned he could use some labels for some things at work, so we picked this one.  I also ordered some of the different clear storage envelopes that I see those crafters using but the pics of those are boring and not worth posting.

One of the card makers I follow often orders from Gina K Designs because she loves the envelopes and colored cardstock from there.  When I saw it was a Wisconsin site I decided to go ahead and order too.  There are a few different variety packs of cardstock available.  I decided to start with this one but the spring and summery colors.

I also decided to try the Gina K envelopes.  I'd been content with just simple white ones from Walmart before this.  But dang it, I need to have fun with my passion!  The guy on TV said so!  There are so many fun colors to chose from, but I decided on this pink because it can be used for a lot of things.

I noticed Gina K has patterned papers too.  I have struggled with incorporating patterned papers into my card designs but I think I might be slowly coming around to it now.  I looooooove patterned papers!  This pack will be good for masculine cards.

We're nowhere near Halloween yet but when I saw this pack of papers on the Gina K site I knew I had to snag one.  Better to have it now, early, than to be scrambling to find some later.  Right?!

I ordered this Once Upon A Time themed pack from the Simon Says Stamp site.  It has some fun dragon and castle and boy-type designs.

I also got this Dragon Tails pack, which is more dragons and castles and boy-themed designs, but with little knights that look like Vikings.  wOOt!

This Fairy Tales pack is castles and unicorns and girlie-themed designs.

I finally got a chance to order this Perfectly Plaid - Rainbow pack from Lawn Fawn.  It's often been sold out when I've gone looking for it.

So I grabbed this pack of Lawn Fawn's Watercolor Wishes paper too while it was in stock.

I got another dry embossing folder to add to my little collection.  This one just put simple dots all over whatever you're embossing, just adding a little extra something to the paper.

I finally caved about bought these black and white glaze pens too.  So many of the card makers I follow use them and it's amazing how such simple little touches add so much to the images!  They often dot the black on the eyes of critters they've colored to give them some shine, some life.  The white they use to add just a few little dots or lines here and there to make it really look highlights.  I'm excited to try!

One things I've really reeeeeally wanted to do is start making notecards.  In my mind they'd be more simple designs than actually greeting cards, and they'd be smaller.  One weird holdup I've had in getting started is that smaller cards would need smaller envelopes, and I couldn't find smaller envelopes.  Well, that is until I went off my usual craft supply sites.  Then I hit the motherload of color options for smaller envelopes!  I didn't know where to begin so I went with a pack of white because those are always handy, a pack of orange for fall and Halloween designs, and a pack of kraft paper color because I figured it could also be used for fall designs and probably for other types.

To go with the kraft envelopes, I picked up a pack of simple kraft cardstock at Walmart.

And of course I've gotten some new stamps and dies!  Those are maybe the most fun things of all!
I needed a sympathy card a month or so ago and found I had no sentiments or anything suitable in my collection.  I did manage to put together a spur of the moment card, but then I made sure to order a stamp set with some fitting sentiments in case I ever need them in the future.
This is that card I managed to put together at the time.

Newton's Nook is a designer I've been browsing a lot lately.  I love the cat themed images!  I didn't receive this in time for the Mother's Day cards I made but I'd totally been wanting to use this one with the cat and bird bath on a card for my mom.  Ah well, she has a birthday coming up so I'll use it for that.

I think this set is called Naughy Newton, and it is SO Minion.  Oh my gosh, I want to stamp out a bunch of these kitty images and just start coloring a bunch up so I have them ready to go.

And then this fun birthday themed set.  Ty got a kick out of the lower right sentiment, where it has 'birth' crossed out and 'cake' written in for Happy Cakeday.  Hehe, guess what will be on his upcoming birthday card!

That is it for this collective crafty haul.  I really am looking forward to playing around with these things, yet I still keep finding ways to avoid doing it.  I have to keep reminding myself, "Have fun with your passion!"  And it's the idea of notecard sets that really excites me most.

Oh yeah, and I got a bit of money for Mother's Day so guess what!  I'm going to put it towards more fun card making things!

Do you have fun with your passion?
What IS your passion?