Sunday, March 31, 2013

French Couture

It's time for another Alpha Stamps Kit Swap.
The April Kit is all about French Fashion.
The Swap associated with this kit will be:
The French Couture 4x6 Swap, and requires that you create 3 sturdy 4x6 pages (OR you can use the Lightweight Chipboard Postcards) as well as any images from the Alpha Stamps Collage Sheets with a Marie Antoinette or French Fashion theme. You must also use the Die-Cut Chipboard Dress Forms on each 4x6.
The Marie Antoinette and French Fashion Collage Sheets Collage Sheets are here (AND the entire section is on sale!):
When I made my samples for this swap I didn't follow the instructions (bad bad me) so make sure to check out the inspiration gallery.
This is the back of my Post you can see not a post card at all...
The Location of the shop
And a 15% coupon for the customers first purchase.
Please come join us...this one is going to be one to go down in the books, fashion books that is (ugh what a horrible thing to write).  To sign up please visit Alpha Stamps yahoo Group.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vintage Photo Image ATC's

Well I've been sharing all the returns I've gotten.  Figured it was time to share what I made.
The background I used is from The Cyclone Collage Sheet and the woman is from Le Pigeon by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, I got it from HERE
I did custom backs for each ATC to make them extra special.
The image of the woman in the back is the Vintage image and I got her from the same place as the one above, HERE, I also got the men from Alpha Stamps. 
I'm not a huge fan of the blue ribbon at the bottom but I needed to hide the mans feet, who wants to look at men's feet anyway :)
I had a lot of fun creating this one, but it was also the hardest.  The background is from an old calender I had.  I then brushed it with distress ink and a crackle glaze.  The effect is really neat but hard to see in the photo's
I made the letters from ledger paper and tied them with gold DMC floss.
I hope those that receive my ATC's enjoy them.  I had fun making them. 
These are the ones I received
Kris D.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation—the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

Cloud Atlas was brought to my attention by the movie trailer. 

Please enjoy Cloud Atlas-Sextet while reading my review. 

Cloud Atlas is written in a unique way that I found extraordinarily interesting.  The talent it took to pull 6 separate yet interlocking stories together amazes me.  Each section is also told/narrated or read by the next stories main character.  Mitchell does this going forward in time and then backwards to where we, the reader started.  Mitchell also has a talent for ending a story at a cliffhanger so all I really wanted to do was skip ahead and find out what happened. 
I am going to do my best to keep any spoilers out of my review, concentrating more on the amazing style and how the book is put together.
The Chatham Islands from space. Chatham Island is the largest, Pitt Island is the second largest, and South East Island is the small island to the right of Pitt. Image from Wikipedia
The first story, The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing,  takes place in the Chatham Islands in the 1800's and is written in a Journal style (not my favorite).  I had to really pay attention to what I was reading because of the language and vocabulary Mitchell used.  I found it authentic and a great way to enrich the readers experience.  As I already stated Mitchell has mastered the cliffhanger, and leaves this section hanging mid sentence. 
The Second story, Letters from Zedelghem, jumps to the 1930's and is set in Belgium.  This section is told in a series of letters that Robert Frobisher writes to Sixsmith as he reads Adam Ewig's journal.  Robert is a disgustingly low cad that thinks way too much of himself.  A total opposite personality than Adam's and written that way.  I did not like this section because of Robert, to not like a story because the characters personality is written so strongly is not a new thing for me just highly  uncommon.  I can only think of a few other books that I've disliked a character so much.  Robert will be added to that very short list. 
Image from Seaport Community Church click image to go to source
This is the section where music comes into play, Robert is writing, he is Vyvyan Ayrs amanuensis (I had to look that one up it is a person employed to write/type what another dictates).  Can you imagine trying to write out music!  I have a background in reading and playing (piano and french horn) and this boggles my mind. 
Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, 1979
Story 3, Half-Lives The 1st Luisa Rey Mystery takes place in the 1970's and surrounds the controversy of 3 Mile Island.  This is the first section written in 3rd person and reads like a story.  After the previous section I needed this and really enjoyed this part.  Maybe because the story was also moving into territory that I am familiar with. 
Now we move onto The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish who works as a publisher for Vanity Press in Great Britain.  To me this section started off very confusing with Cavendish's narrative about the death of one of his authors.  This is another section where Mitchell was able to create a rather rotten character and I didn't much care what happened to him.
The next two stories take place in the future, An Orison of Sonmi-451 and Slooha's Crossin' An Ev'rythin' After. 
I really enjoyed the Sonmi section but then again I am a sucker for science fiction and this story is pure science fiction. 
However the final story, Sloosha's Crossin' was really hard to read.  Mitchell wrote it in what he viewed as a futuristic way of speaking/writing (kind of a throw back to the first story but much more difficult).  This section reminded me of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells where if you go so far forward in time you end up right back where you started, in a Hunter and Gather state. 
First edition cover
There are a few elements in this book that constantly come up like the Sextet and a birth mark but this is the first story where the title seems to be explained, done in this sections style, here is what is said...
"I watched clouds a wobbly from the floor o' that Kayak.  Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an' tho' a cloud's shape not hee nor size don't stay the same, it's still a cloud an' so is a soul.  Who can say where the cloud's blowed from or who the soul'll be' 'morrow?  Only Sonmi the east an' the west an' the compass an' the atlas, yay, only the atlas o' clouds." pg 308 
click on the image to enlarge
Now we start going backwards, filling in the cliffhangers.   
Paul Mison's Red Ink Guide to Cloud Atlas
When it is all said and done I was disappointed with the book as a whole.  I enjoyed individual stories, I liked how Mitchell weaved them together.  I found the Slooha's Crossin' An Ev'rythin'After story (the longest) to be tedious, dull and difficult to read.  It would have been very easy to put down the book and not pick it back up.  I am glad I finished it because I did want to know what happened to Adam, Sonmi and Luisa Rey.  But I could have done without all the rest. 
After reading multiple reviews of those that have read the book and seen the movie I don't know what to do, look forward to seeing the movie or dread it, I am going to watch it either way. 
As for reading the book, if you are not a die hard Science Fiction reader you need to skip it and those of you that are Science Fiction readers need to be prepared for something much different. 
 I'm linking up with Art @ Home's Literary Friday, come join us!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vintage Photo Image ATC by Kris D.

I am excited to tell you that I am now a member of the Vintage Photo Images ATC Group.  New members must take part in a "New Member" swap.  This ATC by Kris D. is one of the returns I received. 
More to come! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Focusing on the Positive

 photo ArtatHomeButton_zps18898da7.jpg
I tend to have a hard time seeing the good that is right in front of me some days.  I've watched Art@Home "My Happy List" link party for some time and been overwhelmed believing I didn't have that many things to be happy about. 
Well today is the day that I force myself to see the positive.
1.  I'm taking this one right from Ricki,   
I want to see The Host and know that Mr. Glitter Tart will go with me if I ask so I don't have to see it by myself.

2.  Outstanding swappers
Recently I've been disappointed by the quality of swaps I've received that was until I received this additional journal (not a required item) in a swap.  Kim reminded me why I swap, because there are those swappers out there that do create marvelous pieces and share them. 
You can view the original post HERE
3.  My Family, but most recently, My Mother
who I didnt' realize how much I was leaning on until recently.  She has always been there for me but it took me 35ish years to really see and feel it. 
So there ya go, my first ever happy list.  It felt good to make it and now I can think of a ton of other things I am happy for. 
So come join Ricki and the rest of the gang and lets focus on the good.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Tin ~ by Kim S.

Sometimes I wonder if the postman knew what was inside all those boxes if she would leave them for me at all.
These are the goodies I received most recently in a BlissfulARTswap from my partner Kim of Tabitha Lenox....
This is a 1 on 1 swap with the theme
Alice in Wonderland Tea Party in a Tin
Kim said "I wanted my tin to look like something you would find tucked away in an old cupboard, you slip it in your pocket and you're ready for a tea party!" and I think she accomplished that with flying colors. 
Wanna see what's inside???
The White Rabbit dashing by the Mad Hatters Tea party.
It was so hard to get a good picture, this one just doesn't do it justice.  but each little rhinestone has been grunged up just a bit and the words are
"Could you tell me please which way" at the top and the bottom "I ought to go from here?"
There are so many neat little elements on in this tin that I could go on and on.
The tea party is amazing isn't it!
I like to imagine that the story got all mixed up and the butterfly is the Caterpillar joining the tea party. 
Don't you think he would make the most interesting tea conversationalist ha!
The little tray with all the tea pots and that cup of tea and I am going to have to ask her what she used to give the gold effect on her elements.
On top of the fabulous tin she sent me this journal. 
I journal a lot!  I've already started writing in this one.  Everything she stamped and all the colors and collage images just go so well together.
And I can't get over how simply tying these lovely fibers along the side has added so much.
Thank you so much Kim!
You have no idea how precious these pieces are to me, I will cherish them always.
Now I must get to work on yours...I think I might have a secret weapon on it's way!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Art by Wendy ~ Blissful ATC Swap returns ~ Fabulous Fabric!

Look look look what Wendy made for me!

This past month at Blissfull ATC Swap the theme was Fabric and I was partnered with the Wonderful Wendy of Art by Wendy
lace, lace and more lace, I love how it surrounds the image and the fabric tape measure along the bottom is a perfect stage for the St. Patties day queen. 
She outdid herself with this collection, I just love that all three of her ATC's have a central theme and so appropriate for March, St. Patric's Day.
This one is covered in an awesome burlap but wait check out how that ribbon across the middle works...
Isn't that a fun little element, a ribbon pocket!
She made a little girl (above) and a little boy, when you place the ATC's in a set they are waving at one another, so perfect!
Te green fabric flowers (I don't know what to call them, I think I have discovered I am quite ignorant when it comes to terminology and fabric) are gorgeous and the button centers perfect. 
Thank you Wendy, I love them!
To view what I sent to Wendy please click HERE
click image to go to homepage