Saturday, March 28, 2015

Book Review -- Cats in Hats by Sara Thomas (for knitters and crocheters!)

You've heard of the Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. But have you ever wanted to knit or crochet your darling fur-baby their very own hat?


Why of course you have. And now you can!


I have two cats. One is geriatric and a cuddler and MIGHT let me put a hat on him. But he would look peeved about it. He's between 6-8 pounds, depending on the day.  Max is a fluffy rescue kitty who is about 17 years old.


The other cat is a Maine Coon. Vernon is six and he is enormous. It's not fat but ... CAT. He weighs between 25-27 pounds. This is a cat who, should I try to put a hat on him, would claw me senseless, and he's not a mean cat. He does, however, act like a dog, including raking his nails down the wall in the bathroom and gouging out a two foot stripe into the dry wall.


I shall not put a hat on Vernon. Otherwise knows as Big Kitty. Also know as Good Dog. I value my life and there are not enough bandages in the world.



Max and Vernon


Sara Thomas wrote a book for Running Press. I'm a knitter and a crocheter and the idea of cats and hats made me happy, regardless of whether my cat needed a hat or not. There are some strays that run around the neighborhood and I might try and coax one into wearing one.  And then sit back and watch our neighborhood message board go all kinds of nuts.





The book by Sara Thomas is adorable. Running 112 pages with the kind of paper I just LOVE (I just have a thing about good quality paper, I can't help it), there are 30 knit and crochet patterns for your kitty. The photos are both awe-inducing and awwww-inducing -- unbearably cute kitties on the pages! Patterns are clearly marked, and there are various levels so you can start with one and work your way through to your comfort level. Leave this on your coffee table and your friends are bound to love it (and your cats parading through in their kitty finery).




According to the press release, "This book is the perfect knit and crochet guide for creating quirky and unique hats for all of your kitty companions. The Punk Mohawk suits edgier cats while The Cat in the Hat is great for felines that love great literature. Complete with a breakdown of skill level and method (knit or crochet), suggestions for yarns, and written patterns and charts, even the most amateur crafter can create adorable headgear for their favorite kitties."  And I agree! They're cute, and if you're a skilled knitter, I'll bet you can convert these hats to fit your kidlet (or yourself!) as well!


The other participants of this blog hop:


AUTHOR KICKOFF: 3/16 Scooter Knits 



3/19 In Stitches 









3/28 Pretty Things Blog (you're here!)




This contest will run from 3/16 to 3/30 @ 12 AM EST. 

The publishers are giving away generous prizes, and I'm giving away one.




:: ONE person will receive a copy of the book, an EXCLUSIVE hat pattern from author Sara Thomas, and enough Lion Brand yarn necessary to complete the pattern.


::  FIVE runners up will receive a copy of the book. Winners will be contacted by email and
must notify the publisher within 48 hours of the notification email with address and acceptance. Please note that winners can be from the US only.  (Sorry -- the cost of sending just 5 oz many places is up to $12 now, eek).


To enter for the first two prizes, the publisher is using a Rafflecopter giveaway system. If you have trouble with that link, then try at https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1017537212/



:: In addition, I will pull a name from my list of comments and mail you a copy of the book along with some yarn to start making all the cats in your neighborhood the most stylish around. If you don't have a blog that has you email in it, or some way to contact you, please take notice and either get that tweaked or leave your email in the comment.  Again, only US unless you want to pay the shipping, which can be found at www.usps.com.



The fine print:  I was given a book for free to give my honest opinion. I was not paid for my blog post. These are my own thoughts.


CATS IN HATS: 30 Knit and Crochet Patterns for Your Kitty
by Sarah Thomas
Running Press • Paperback w/flaps • $16.95 US/ $19.95 CAN
112 pages • 7 x 9
ISBN: 9780762456635 • eBook ISBN: 9780762456703
Publication Month: April 2015



Enjoy, and look for the Pretty Birds review (with giveaway) and a Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine review (with giveaway) soon. I'm running on half steam so things are slow but I do follow through.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Giveaway Coming -- Cats in Hats, for knitters and crocheters

On March 28th, I'll be posting my review of the craft book "Cats in Hats".  If you want a chance to enter to win things, you can start the blog tour early!  The reviewers and dates are listed below.


AUTHOR KICKOFF: 3/16 Scooter Knits 



3/19 In Stitches 


3/21 FaveCrafts







3/28 Pretty Things Blog


Written by Sara Thomas from England, where their love of hats and fascinators is renowned, you can expect a lot of cuteness and a bit of hilarity!  I hope you join in!





Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right sidebar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Etsy Finds -- Book Love

I have an inordinate love of books. I learned to read when I was three, and wrote my first book at six. Granted, it wasn't a best seller, but my friends liked it.


Today, I want to explore the book art on Etsy.  Enjoy!

by https://www.etsy.com/shop/LeBreux

Some people think folding or cutting up a book is sacrilege, but when done this way, I have to say, well done, sir, well done.


by https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoGoBookart


First, it's a rabbit. Blowing bubble gum. I love the art prints done on old dictionary pages or what have you. Adorable!


by https://www.etsy.com/shop/malistah

I bought a similar journal for my son's girlfriend, as she travels often and I am a huge travel bug. Handmade with pockets, maps, and other cool things, this is way better than a battered notebook in your back pocket.



by https://www.etsy.com/shop/hardweardesigns

And finally, a book as a jewelry pendant. You can make your own book necklace by being really meticulous with tiny bits of paper, creating a metal edition as above, or finding book beads and going wild. I quite like this!


Hope you enjoyed the quick tour, and tomorrow I'll be reviewing a book that you might want to enter to win -- so be sure to come back tomorrow!




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Art of Awareness Blog Hop Participants

Wow, Heather at Swoondimples is going to be busy making beads!  If you haven't placed your order with her, PLEASE do so as soon as possible. Remember, you can use a meaningful word, a name, whatever you like, as awareness is personal. Also, if you don't want to use the color that your cause is for, that's fine as well. Some people are remembering people, and choosing their favorite color.


www.swoondimples.etsy.com


I would like to make a note that with blog hops like this, it is often very difficult for people to hop all the blogs, as the stories can really get to you. I do hope that you will take some time to visit those you can, but everyone should be aware that not everyone will be able to hop all the blogs.


Below is the list (not in alphabetical order, but in order of sign up, to be fair to everyone). Please check to make sure your name is there and that your blog link works.


There's plenty of time to make your piece (May 16th is the hop date) and I'll be in touch before then to remind you.


Thank you all so very much!



Lori
Heather

Anderson
Millican

www.PrettyThingsBlog.com (hostess)
www.facebook.com/swoondimples (bead artist)

Candida Castleberry www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
mischelle andrade https://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Paige Maxim http://delightfullittlegems.blogspot.com/
Laurie  Vyselaar  www.lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Alice Peterson www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Audrey BĂ©langer http://esperianterra.blogspot.ca/
Karen mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.com
Jean Wells jeanawells.blogspot.com
Ann Schroeder www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Gail Accinelli facebook.com/oregonmadejewelry
Tania Spivey www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Mallory  Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/
Mary K McGraw mkaymac.blogspot.com
Shai Williams www.shaihasramblings.com/
Beth Emery storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com
Catie Doman http://drcatie.blogspot.com
Lorelei Eurto Http://lorelei1141.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Katie Nelson https://www.facebook.com/katiebead
Patty Miller http://pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Charlee Griffith https://www.facebook.com/charlee.griffith
Kelli Nelson www.afamilyaffarekelli.blogspot.com
Catherine King http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger beadrecipes.wordpress.com
susan Bowie https://susanbowie.wordpress.com
Jennifer Justman www.soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
K Hutchinson http://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Veralynne Malone www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Evie and Beth McCord http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/
Mihaela Georgescu http://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com
Rebecca Anderso  Www.songbeads.blogspot.com
Charlene  jacka www.clay-space.com
Kim Stevens www.pickingpoppies.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland Mistheword12.wordpress.com
Sally Russick www.sallyrussick.blogspot.com
Gina Hockett www.freestyleelements.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Sandi Volpe www.sandivolpe.com
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Janine Lucas http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Lori Bowring Michaud www.artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Christie Murrow Www.charisdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
B.R. Kuhlman www.mixedmayhemstudios.com
Lupe Meter www.gesmpccorner.blogspot.com
Lucy Bejarano www.lucybejaranojewelry.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Perry www.mustardbeadbystephanieperry.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld www.beadsforbusygals.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Heather Powers www.humblebeads.blogspot.com
Katie Hacker www.katiehacker.blogspot.com
Kepi Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca 
Ellyn  Klug
Elizabeth Hodges http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com/



Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm Not Gonna Miss You

I hope I say this correctly, and with the dignity it deserves.


Alzheimer's Disease is something I fear. I think it's a disease everyone is terrified of -- to not know who you are, where you are, or who's around you. I don't have Alzheimer's, but when I forget what I'm talking about, when I forget the names of things right in front of me, when I struggle to think of the right words ... even though I know it's because of neurological Lyme disease and can sometimes be reversed, it still scares me. It's not as simple as getting older; there's a definite difference between who I was three years ago and who I am now. Adding to the fear is I also know that people with neurological Lyme have a greater chance of getting Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, MS, and similar diseases.


The brain is an amazing thing. It's also a mysterious thing.


This year Julianne Moore won an Oscar for playing a woman with early-onset Alzheimer's in the movie "Still Alice". I read the book when it first came out, and I have to admit to crying while reading it.




In 2014, Glen Campbell's documentary "Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me" was released. His last song, written for the documentary, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You", was sung last night at the Oscars by Tim McGraw. It's a poignant, gut-wrenching song about perhaps the one good thing about Alzheimers - if you don't know who people are, you can't miss them when they're gone.



As I write that, I hope you understand I'm not trying to gloss over the agony of Alzheimers to the person afflicted with it and the family watching this tragedy unfold. I've listened to the song several times, read the lyrics, and this is the part that hits me the hardest:


You're the last person I will love
You're the last face I will recall
And best of all, I'm not gonna miss you
Not gonna miss you


I write journals for my men -- one for my son, and one for my husband. I don't write every night, but I write about things I remember so I don't forget later. Things they did that day that made me happy, things we've done together that I hope I'll always be privileged to remember. There have been times in my life when I thought it would be better to end it. Lately, I've had some really good days, days that make me think my fight with Lyme is over ... and then I wake up and cry when I stand, grit my teeth until I get Zack to school, and come home to fall apart a bit.


Then I take a deep breath and I write. I keep on. I can't quit. I may want to, heaven knows. I hate the rollercoaster life my family has to deal with; I hate being a burden (even when they say I'm not); I hate losing time.




But I love too many people. And I love my life to much. I don't know what will happen but that's part of the thrill, and part of the fear, too. But I've been given this life and I'm going to see it through to the end.


I respect people like Glen Campbell and Alice Genova. I respect how they're brought attention to Alzheimer's and to the people whose names we don't know and the people who care for them.


If you are interested in learning more, are caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease, or would like to make a difference, please take a look at http://www.alz.org/ . It's not just an "old person's disease"; it can affect people in their 40's and 50's. If you're interested in joining Heather and my Art of Awareness Blog Hop, the color for Alzheimer's Disease awareness is purple. You can learn more about the hop here and here.

Your bead can include any word or name, and a customized awareness ribbon stamped on the back.


I hope I've said what I meant to say (today isn't a "good brain" day, and it's one of the reasons why I don't blog nearly as often). I hope it's understood that the more people know, the more compassion can be shown, and even more importantly, a cure can be found. It's out there.


Someone just has to find it.



Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Art of Awareness -- So You're Having a Hard Time Picking a Cause? We Can Help.

My last post was about the Art of Awareness Blog Hop organized by myself and Heather Millican of SwoondimplesSome people have contacted us and said they're having a difficult time picking a cause, as, if you look at this list, you can quickly become overwhelmed.

I dare say we've all been affected by more than one thing on that list, so here are some things that can help.

I love her thoughts.

First, I want to explain the purpose of working with Heather Millican and the purpose of the hop.

A few years ago, I had a monthly design challenge called Cup of Bead Soup, which was a riff off my popular annual Bead Soup Blog Party. This year, I didn't feel up to doing the hop, as after eight years (with some years involving three hops up to 500 people), I felt I needed a break, the hop needed a break to freshen up, and I needed to have time to put on other blog hops I'd dreamed up. Each month, a new artist of handmade beads offered a small set of their beads, there was a random drawing, and the winner paid the artist and created something that we'd all show on blog hop day. It was a great way to see how different minds thought about things even when given the same beads, and it promoted handmade.



A word bead by Heather Millican and an owl by other favorite clay artist, Barbara Bechtel.

Some people have requested beads that have a color with a specific meaning to them. That is totally fine! I seriously doubt anyone has that long list memorized, and you should make an awareness piece that is meaningful to YOU. If you need to be reminded to be gentle to yourself, choose your favorite color and word. If you have breast cancer and are sick to death of pink, choose your favorite color and a word that mean something, like your child's first word.


Awareness jewelry doesn't have to mean just awareness of an illness or syndrome. Believe me, we're all aware of something that has changed our lives! Think of this blog hop, this jewelry challenge, as a way to celebrate a life, to honor a person's key word, to create something that makes you smile when you see it.


I hope this explains things better, and I hope it encourages you to try the challenge! Again, if money is an issue, please message me on Facebook. I've saved back some money so that anyone who wants to do this project can. 



To keep things simple, Heather and I chose her word bean beads. However, if you have burning desire for something different, please feel free to contact her and discuss it with her. It will take more time and have an additional cost, but she treats each customer with care and empathy.


To sign up, click here, and at the bottom of the page is the link for the sign up form. On February 25th, I'll list the participants and their blogs or Facebook accounts, so you can have fun exploring new places and learning about new people.


Heather and I hope you'll join us!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Announcing The Art of Awareness Blog Hop

I am so excited to bring to you a new blog hop with my friend Heather Millican of Swoondimples. I've been a fan of Heather's polymer clay work since my first trip to Bead and Button ages ago.


Recently I bought a set of word beans from Heather to make myself an awareness bracelet. (Yes, they're called beans... bead beans. Cute!) In my career, I've made a lot of awareness jewelry and always worked hard to make them unique and unlike things you often see in department stores. Lying in bed one night, I thought, "I wonder if Heather would be interested in a blog hop?".

Thankfully, she was!


I love this one -- it's my awareness color, and such a simple but powerful word.


For the past few weeks we've been hammering out the details for this very special blog hop and I hope you'll join us.



The details:

At the very bottom of this post there will be a link
leading you to a form to fill out for participation. 
Please be sure to fill it out or I won't have your information for the blog hop! 
And remember, you need to use one of Heather's beads to participate.


1. Visit Heather's store by clicking here.


2. Let her know you are purchasing a bean bead for the blog hop,
and let her know the word you want on your bead.

For information on awareness colors, click here.

One side will have a custom-designed awareness ribbon stamped onto it.



3. Each bead is $12 plus shipping. 
You only need one, but can order as many as you like.

Each is handmade by Heather,
so please order by April 30th (earlier if you're international, please!)


4. Create a piece with your Swoondimples bead, post it on your blog/Facebook
on May 16th,
and feel free to tell us the story behind it, if you like.


5. Upload the button below to your blog. 
Don't have a blog but want to participate?
It's OK to use your Facebook link!
And let your friends and groups know about the hop!





As everyone's blogs are different, you may need to resize the photo to fit. 

For Blogger:

:: First, left click the photo above and save it.

:: Choose "Layout"
:: Choose "Add a Gadget" 
:: Choose "Image"
:: Click the button "Shrink to Fit" (or not, if you want it larger)

:: Upload the photo file you saved
:: Put the html link below into the HTML space

http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2015/02/announcing-art-of-awareness-blog-hop.html

:: Save, and then drag and drop the gadget to where you want it on your blog
This will lead people to this specific page for more information.





Sign ups will stay open until February 24th.



Click here for the sign up form.


Heather and I are looking forward to this hop
and hope it's meaningful to you.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Take What You Need, and Pass It On





I think I need to make up a bunch of these and get permission 
to post them places.


Time to make some people smile!
Be kind ... it's catching.






Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.