Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Happy List: Great end to a rough year

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1.  We had a drop in from Kevin's Aunt and Uncle.  The girls love spending time with Ron and Sherrie and it was so nice to catch up with them.  We already have plans to see them again in a few months. 
2.  We are heading to the farm for the New Year.  It is so much fun to see the girls play in the big open fields and to roast marshmallows out at the sharecroppers cabin.
3.  I've decided to offer all of my artwork that I create for Alpha Stamps for free in my Etsy shop.  I made this announcement a few days ago.  Uploaded 7 pieces of artwork and they all sold!
4.  I was feeling so good from those sales that it spurred me to finally get all of the seam binding I have to offer for sale into the shop.  And some of that sold too!
5.  I finished the best book!  This year has been a bad reading year for me so to finish the year out with a book I loved is awesome.  I will be doing a review of this novel soon.
So what made you happy this week? 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Victorian Paper Doll Swap & Free Art

Love Paper Dolls?  Well Alpha Stamps is hosting a Victorian Paper Doll Swap, come join us!
I made mine a ribbon doll and it is available for free (well, you pay shipping and handling) in my Etsy Store.
All the items I used are available from Alpha Stamps
Seam Binding (also available in my Etsy Store black, silver and white)
Many of the items are available in the January Romantic Women Kit

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Firsts for 2014, Art Swap and Free Art!

Yes, I know it's not 2014 yet but today marks the announcement of the first swap for 2014 on Alpha Stamps.  I will be embarking on yet another year where I have the privilege of hosting this wonderful companies art swaps. 
This swap is all my creation.  A "Lovesick Heart Book" swap.  If you would like to participate please visit the Alpha Stamps yahoo Group or send me an e-mail (link on my sidebar) and I will send you the details. 
But what I am really excited about for the upcoming year is that I have decided that all the artwork I create this year I will be offering for FREE! Well, not entirely, you pay the shipping, but that is all.  I have already uploaded this lovely heart into my shop so if you would like it please head over and snatch it up quick.   
All the supplies I used for this heart are available at Alpha Stamps and many items will be on sale because of the swap.
Cream Seam Binding, available in my etsy shop, 5yrds for $1.75 or at Alpha Stamps
Looking forward to a wonderful year! 
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.
William Landay wove a story that I enjoyed despite not liking any of the characters.  Despite the unoriginality of the storyline I couldn't put this book down.  Landy's pacing was spot on and I enjoyed how he broke up the book with different texts to show the current timeline, the father, Andy, sitting in the witness box being examined by a prosecutor, vs. everything that happened leading up to the trial. 
Defending Jacob is told from Jacob's fathers point of view, Andy Barber.  He, like the other characters, is greatly flawed.  He is simply unable to see anything negative about his son.  This is deeply contrasted by how the mother views her son.  It left me feeling like Landay wrote the two extremes in parenting.
Landay spends a lot of time on the murder gene.  This is the first time I have ever heard of this type of behavioral phycology.  It really got me thinking about what might be hidden in my genes and if I believed in this or not.  I enjoy books that make me think and this one did.  It also scared me because this family on the surface appeared close but none of them really knew each other at all.  How well do I know my family?
Mystery/thrillers are not really my genre so I can' say if this was a good one or not.  What I can say is that I enjoyed this book despite the wide open ending.  If you are okay with there not being a definitive answer on "who done it" this is a great novel for character development, the ties that bind or unbind a family and how secrets can destroy everything. 
I am linking up with Art @ Home's Literary Friday
come join us! 
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Visions of sugar-plumbs danced in their heads" Matchbox

 This holiday season The Circle of Friends decided to exchanged decorated and stuffed matchboxes.
 While I was at Sweethearts on the Homefront I purchased the lovely vintage pompom fringe you see in the images.  It was sitting on my studio table when I started this project and it became my inspiration.
 Pink is not the first color that comes to most people minds when they think Christmas but I think I pulled it off by fully embracing the idea of Sugar-plums and the bright happy colors that the dancers are often depicted in.  I mean the dancers, not the candy.
 For some reason I always want my matchboxes to have something around the base or some kind of stand.  I folded two metal snowflakes to prop up my matchbox.
And I stuffed it full of handmade items and some trinkets I thought my partner would like.