Saturday, May 31, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
**********Warning -- Spoiler Alert ********************
I read this book all in one night. It was written about two friends being "re-educated" in communist China in the early 1970's. (Interestingly, the author himself had been through re-education). While the two city boys are working in a remote mountain village, they get acquainted with the Little Seamstress, a beautiful girl who the one boy, Luo, falls in love with, and who both boys are captivated by.
Being educated boys, able to read and write, they feel a duty to help broaden the Little Seamstress' horizons by reading to her from a stash of forbidden Western novels they find. After tales from Balzac and the Count of Monte Cristo, the Little Seamstress slowly, and inevitably, begins to change, cuts her hair, changes her style, and decides she wishes to be a city girl. And she leaves her love and her friend to take her beauty and her new-found knowledge and intelligence with her.
To me it read as a parable, a cautionary tale, and I was so sad at the end. I actually thought that one sad outcome was going to happen, but was rapidly introduced to the new one. Neither would have been a happy ending. The book, although sad, was a terrific read, and it often had some rather funny moments. This is for anyone who has ever lost themselves to the world of books.
A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was deeply, deeply affected by this book. I've read and loved everything Augusten Burroughs has ever written, and have enjoyed his writing style -- the laugh-til-you-cry type of writing that keeps me reading all night long and into the early hours of the morning. Yes, it covers some deeply human subjects, but his humor was, to me, wonderful.
This book was a departure from the norm. I won't go into the plot. What I'll say is that it took great courage to write this book, greater courage to survive his life intact in order TO write it. I can't write much more about it. Like I said, it affected me deeply, and to write at length about it tends to make my hands shake.
Read the book.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
"Pink Garden Party" is a bracelet made with lots of handmade lampwork beads, Swarovski crystals, clusters of Czech glass flowers, silver butterfly beads, and a stunning sterling silver toggle clasp. $110
You can see even more handmade beaded jewelry at www.lorianderson.net
Monday, May 26, 2008
Here's what she made:
Utterly cool, are they not? And a perfect Father's Day present, so visit her store to snag some. They come in blue and in yellow.
I went back to her store the other night to look and fell in love with her necklace made with vintage LEGO(tm) parts. Not only is it just cool, but it has a fidget factor, something I like to incorporate in some of my own jewelry -- I like things that move. It came with extra parts, too!
I mentioned to her when I bought it that Zack would LOVE this, so she sent me a bunch of extra LEGO(tm) parts, including the coolest popcorn popper I've ever seen.
Zack was thrilled, and of course went for the wheel bit first.
I handed him the bag of parts that Sherry had sent, telling him he MUST give me back ALL the bits when he was done, as this was a Very Special Present and he had to take care of it.
He decided his pendant needed a little sprucing up.....Yup. He used ALLLLL the parts the Sherry sent. Every last one, except the motorcycle, which is lying beside him. Both the little men. The popcorn popper. All of them. I was quite impressed!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Some people express their style by their hair style (or color!), clothing, or mannerisms. My personal clothing style is pretty bland. I own a short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirt in pretty much every color available, plain and unadorned, and wear that with jeans. My personality, and my style, comes through when I wear all kinds of jewelry with those plain, boring t-shirts. The shirt may be ordinary, but the jewelry is anything but!
When customers visit my booth at a craft show and pick up an exciting, whimsical necklace, or an elegant, glittering bracelet, they often say, “I love it, but I don’t know what I’d wear it with.” I always have to chuckle and say, “See what I’m wearing?” Yep, it’s jeans and a t-shirt, and that necklace they just complimented me on five minutes ago. They didn’t even notice the clothing — they zeroed in on the jewelry. And that’s my style. I’m “The Jewelry Lady”. To heck with the latest fashions. It’s all about the jewelry I choose to wear each and every day.
Pick your own style. Make it your own. Have fun reading up on “the latest” but don’t stress over it. Your style should be like your signature, unique and YOURS.
Discover it, explore it, and celebrate it!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
In the first parts of the book, I found myself snickering and shaking my head, because I could identify with Yossarian. I spent four years in the military, and married a retired Air Force Chief, and there were a few Lieutenant Schiesskopfs and Colonel Cathcarts out there. The black humor, the satire -- I liked that.
But then it truly started getting dark for me. Here I'd be laughing over something and WHOOMP, an innocent character gets senselessly killed. Which really, is what the story was all about to me -- the idiots seem to make it out all right, but the good guys, they seem to get some truly bad breaks.
After reading the book, I did some research, learned what I was "supposed" to think about it, what each character was supposed to stand for, etc etc etc. Essentially, I got all that. But one thing I've enjoyed as an adult is not having to sit in a classroom and pick apart a perfectly wonderful book, and just let it stand on its own merit as superbly readable.
View all my reviews.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I escaped for a few minutes to update the web site when Zack decided he wanted to do everything all by himself. I heard him get frustrated as he kept knocking over the dominoes before he was ready. Sad boy.
So I called him into my office and pulled up trusty YouTube and found videos of those guys that stack a gazillion dominoes just for fun and then pray they don't knock down ten thousand of them before the competition, so I could show Zack that grownups goof up, too. And we found this, and I had to share.
This is 10,000 dominoes per second, done by a German team. I have no idea how many dominoes they have there, but I'm just glad I don't have to clean up THAT play room!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Like this one, which I will repeat here, in case the thing sells before whoever is reading this reads this.
Once upon a time, there was a Princess. She saw that the Queen had a purse, and oh she wanted that purse very badly. So the Queen took the Princess shopping.
The Princess was amazed at all the purses. She wanted a pink one. And a green one. And a blue one. And a yellow one. But the Queen said she could only have one. The Princess pouted.
But then the Queen (who really was a Very Cool Queen) pointed out the Perfect Purse.
It had all kinds of colors on it.
And the Princess took it home, and asked her Fairy Godmother to make her a matching bracelet to go with it.
And here it is.
Then I put up two more bracelets, Monkey Shines and Powder Puff Pink. I kinda like Powder Puff Pink, as it has a song that is "best sung while wearing a tutu and twirling around with arms outflung".
Tomorrow I'll be back to my regularly scheduled jewelry, but I have to admit, that was fun!
See more of the jewelry at http://www.lorianderson.net/ and http://www.lori2.com/
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I usually donate some jewelry for door prizes, but this year they weren't doing door prizes. So last week I got the idea of making a combination bookmark/gift certificate for everyone. But that looked a little boring, so I added a zipper pull to each one.
There were a lot of beads involved:
And then after a couple of mishaps at Staples and the color copier, I got the bookmarks printed, scored, cut out, folded, hole-punched, yarn-adorned, zipper-pull-decorated -- and here's what 150 look like in a bowl --
One side has the gift certificate on it, with the web code, and the other has the "gift for you" message. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, and think that next time I do something like this, it won't take quite as long because I'll know what I'm doing!
Friday, May 16, 2008
They then did some of their daily routines, like the calendar, weather patterns, and favorite songs. Some of the songs were utterly hilarious and are still running through my head as I write -- in fact,today as Zack and I were walking to the library, we were singing and making up silly rhymes to the "Down By the Bay" ditty.
Then they did give out little diplomas. When Zack got called up, he was so excited -- he shouted, "I knew I'd get a green ribbon!", green being his current favorite color -- much to the enjoyment of the audience.That shirt he's holding is a surprise shirt he got -- everyone got one. A bunch of friends of his had painted things on it, and the teachers wrote some things that certain friends had said that they liked about Zack. One was, "He has smart ideas and I like to play with him, Love Emery". Another was "We like to knock down blocks. We play together! Love Isaac". How cute is that? Every kid got one.
Because of the way the class was oriented, I got a lot of "back of the head" pictures, and a lot of blurry action shots, but I kept them all, because isn't that what kids are -- fast-on-their-feet, growing-like-a-shot, amazing creatures?
I got a huge folio of his artwork that was saved and not sent home with him and I can't tell you how amazed I was at it. Christ Church is top notch, the absolute best thing I've ever done for Zack. I have no idea how Kindergarten is ever going to compare. Being in the afternoon class, he only had eight other kids with him, and the ability to have that kind of attention is amazing. But it wasn't only the attention -- it was the creativity, the things they did! I'm going to take photos of all his art work and put it up in a Flickr album for people to look at as soon as I can, just so you can see. Totally amazing stuff, and hopefully inspiring to people for ideas of things to do with your own kids.
So there's my little guy, done with preschool, and ready to launch himself into the world of Big Boy School. He's so ready. I am so not. I'm terrified that this is the end of his innocence and I know he has to grow up one day, but since he's my only baby, it's hard for me. Every night I lie awake and just remember and remember and remember. He's just the most, you know?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
I have a lot going on this week, with Zack's pre-school graduation, and preparations for a private event (I have 150 zipper pull/bookmark/gift certificates to make) so I'll leave you with some pretties that will be hitting the web site this week....
An interesting necklace made with nuggets of pale pink Peruvian opal, natural amethyst, and pearls.
For your little girl -- a cute kid's bracelet with a polymer clay monkey, aptly named "Monkey Shines".
You can see more of my handmade jewelry at www.lorianderson.net
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mother's Day is so much fun when you're a Mommy to a young child. Zack was so incredibly excited about today, and about giving me presents and cards.
First, he gave me a card he made with his teacher at PreSchool:
It's a Question-and-Answer session that goes like this:
Guess how much I love you? "To a far away aquarium and back!"
What makes Mommy happy? "ME!"
Mommy's favorite color? "Purple"
What my Mommy does while I'm at school: "She exercises"
Where Mommy takes me for fun: "To aquariums"
Then he brought me a gift-wrapped and very heavy box, which was this:
What a tug at the heartstrings. His little handprint, and then he decorated it himself with carefully chosen beads and buttons and butterflies. He described each one to me and why he picked it.
He then gave me a greeting card that was totally a card meant for a grown up man to give to his mom -- "To Mother" with a flowery poem inside. But Rick told me that Zack would NOT be dissuaded, that THAT was the card he MUST have, because it had a pink flower on the front and beads on the edge. Which makes that card all the more precious to me.
I hope you had a wonderful day!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
then click here to read my latest review on "Atonement" by Ian McEwan, and find my others!
So what is Flickr?
Flickr is really cool. If you enjoy taking photos, or just enjoy looking at cool pictures, Flickr is an awesome site. There are tons of pictures, lots of groups that are themed, and if you create an account, you can do amazing things. To the right, you can see that I've created a cool motion picture thingee called a "badge" of "Bracelets Past" -- bracelets that have been sold.
If you're interested in visiting my Flickr album, you can click here and see my various photo sets. I add things to them pretty often!
Monday, May 05, 2008
I got my advance copy of "Easy Beading Volume 4" -- I'm on page 122-125. I am so completely tickled. My very first magazine tutorial, and it was chosen to be part of BeadStyle's annual book.
And I got an extra jolt of surprise when I flipped it over to find the ISBN so I could look it up on Amazon.com, and realized -- one of the three photos on the back of the book is of my necklace! Holy crow, but it's things like that that just give you a little boost, you know?
There are some fantastic contributors to the book -- one of my favorites, Rupa Balachandar, whose work is on the cover, makes the most striking jewelry out there. I hope you'll visit your local book store and take a look (the book comes out May 27th) and get inspired to make some jewelry!
You can visit my web site at www.lorianderson.net
Sunday, May 04, 2008
The best part of yesterday for me was sitting in the driveway at 6:30pm, with a nice cool breeze, blowing bubbles with Zack (we have some KILLER bubble wands we've gotten at craft shows -- BUY HANDMADE!), listening to the distant sounds of the ice cream truck, waiting for him to get to our street. That was a memory I'll revisit often.
Today, after our family bike ride, I was faced with my desk, and Zack is having a Daddy Day so I can catch up. Here's the to-do list.
1. List a couple things on Etsy (http://www.lori2.com/)
2. Ship a ton of packages
3. Enter last months receipts into Quickbooks
4. Run outside and hug Rick and blow some bubbles with Zack.
5. Finally weigh all those larimar beads I sorted and price them
6. List some bead destash for sale
7. Tickle Zack (he loves tickling, don't ask me why)
8. Coffee, where's the coffee....
10. Make jewelry after I get Zack to bed (with stories and tickles)
And that's the short list.
It's a good life, you know?
Friday, May 02, 2008
This particular bracelet is made with a very heavy gauge sterling, and the class will be using a lighter gauge, to make a more delicate bracelet, but the weave is the same. My thought process behind choosing this weave was it was a combination of two bracelets -- the Byzantine, and the Rose -- so by the end of the class, participants will actually know how to make THREE bracelets.
I hope you can join me!
(See more of my work at www.lorianderson.net)
Thursday, May 01, 2008
"Imperial Peacock" -- a very lush lampwork glass bead and Swarovski crystal charm bracelet.
"Flowers and Raindrops" --large clear vintage lucite topped by double caps of vintage enameled metal -- these will probably go to http://www.lori2.com/ first.