Saturday, January 26, 2019

Here's a few of my Lanyards

Here's a few of my lanyards and other projects!














Wow! I just realized it's been 4 years since I last posted here!  Mind staggering.  I forgot all about this place.  Oops!

I'd like to say I've been doing amazing and awesome things for the past four years but .... yeah, that won't fly.  I have been keeping busy.  My chainmaille hobby has been progressing along slowly but surely.  I spend most of my time working on lanyards, the  ones that hold badges and such.  I work where lanyards are pretty much a necessity so it only makes sense that I would move in that direction.  I've also recently started making eyeglass lanyards.  The anodized aluminum rings that I use are extremely light and I've found that people actully like them.  What can I say, it always amazes me that people find my hobby projects so enjoyable. 
I've also been making bracelets and earrings and necklaces.  I'm slowly working my way to expanding my hobby into wire wrapping as I see so many cool things that are so beautiful. 
I'm also trying to get a website up and running where I can display and even sell some of my hand crafted wares.
I have continued to read, of course.  I spend quite a lot of time reading.  That won't change.  I've been that way since I was a little child  and now that I'm a much older chile (HA!) it's only grown with me. 

Well, just a note to show I actually found my way back here and I "hope" to be back here a bit more  regularly.  HOPE!  The spirit is willing but the mind tends to wander and get lost. 

Later!

Skip

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Changes and new beginnings

It's been quite awhile since I've posted here.  Things are changing and looking up and possible new beginnings are on the horizon.

I haven't stopped reading (interchange breathing with reading ... about the same thing). If anything I'm reading and listening (audible books) more than ever. Erik Schubach, Prudence MacLeod, Lynsay Sands, J.R. Ward, Bridget Essex, Natalie Vivien, RSJ Gregory, Eliza Lentzski, David Weber, Stephanie Erickson, Lara Adrian, Dana Marie Bell, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Corinn Heathers, Louis L'Amour, CW Lamb to name only a very few of the Authors.

I've added Crafts to this as I tend to spend the time I'm not reading, crafting.  I do 3D graphics on the computer using DAZ Studio, VUE, and ZBrush.  Mostly landscapes.  It's a fun way to occupy my time.  I also Crochet and Knit. I love doing Amigurami crochet. The little animals are just so cute.  They sit all about my work area, looking over my shoulders or from the top of shelves.  I have tried my hand at Beading with mixed results.  My current craft is ChainMaille.  I have found this to be a very fun and enjoyable craft and I've been going crazy in making small pieces of jewelry and decorations.  I just finished up a very nice 2.5 inch Christmas Wreath ornament this morning and a Japanese Lace bracelet for my wife.  I've been making Celtic Crosses and have even sold a few and have a few orders for more. I've made several bracelets and am waiting for more rings to come in to expand my creations. ;-)  I am really enjoying myself with this.  I've found myself starting a project and working for hours without stopping and not even noticing the passing of time.  I've surprised myself with just how focused and involved I get while making the chainmaille designs.
I spent hours this morning and afternoon making the Japanese Lace bracelet. The work is detailed and time consuming but the results are really lovely.

I am planning to add pictures of the crafts and some of my landscapes here.

We've also taken up a small zoo.  LOL! We now have 2 Panther Chameleons, 2 Veiled Chameleons, 2 Jackson Chameleons, 2 Mourning Geckos, a Blue Iguana, a Chinese Water Dragon, a Leopard Gecko, a Bearded Dragon, 2 tiny blue and yellow frogs along with our other pets, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 guinea pigs and a Cockatiel.

Life is good.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Latest Reading - 5/23/2014 -- Erik Schubach's series

    This is going to be a bit of a long post.  First I want to cover the latest reading of The Valkyrie Chronicles: Seventy Two Hours by Erik Schubach.  Then I want to mention the other books by Erick Schubach as I have come to really enjoy all of his books.  What wonderfully expressive characters and fascinating stories.  Each one strong yet flawed and so courageous.  I really love all of these stories. 
     First; back to The Valkyrie Chronicles.  I love this series.  Kate and Kara are awesome and adding in Arina and Inatra made it even better.  Then the addition of the children and you have one heck of a great group of characters.  This is a take on the Asgard legends and how they came about.  Asgard is an actual place. A pocket world that can span the barriers to other worlds.  It uses these worlds to power its magnetic forces that powers the "city" of Asgard.  This magnetic energy also powers the nanites that give the Asgard their eons long life spans and it powers the special nanites given to the Valkyrie and the Einherjer so they will be able to battle the Ragnarok and protect the innocents of the worlds in which they come to stay. 
     Asgard makes a transition of 5 worlds every 5000 years.  Each world they come to they stay for 1000 years and it takes 5000 years to make a complete circuit.  They draw the energies of these worlds to replenish their own, not harming the worlds or their inhabitants. 
     The series begins with Return of the Asgard.  Here we meet Kara, the Wild One.  The lone Asgard on Earth.  She battled the Ragnarok 5000 years ago and kept Asgard safe until its transition to the next world.  Unfortunately she was then stuck on Earth for the next 5000 years until Asgard transitioned back.  Those years have passed and Asgard is due to transition back to Earth in only a few more days.  During her time of exile on Earth, Kara has battled the Ragnarok who have managed to send a generational ship from their home planet to Earth.  She has defended the people of earth from both the Ragnarok and from the evil of their own kind.  Tracking down a group of three men who had raped a young woman, Kara ends up in a bar just waiting for them to accost her so she can bring them to task.  They attack and Kara proceeds to defend herself.  One of the degenerates pulls a gun and shoots Kara in the shoulder.  Her nanites immediately begin healing her and she smashes her beer mug against his head.  At this same time, Kate, Detective Kate Summers, runs into the bar and shoots the man with the gun.  Kara, seeing things being taken well in hand, exits the bar and heads for her home.  Kate follows and here begins the rest of the story. 
     This is a story rich in mythology, science and yes, even romance.  This is a great tale of honor, bravery, devotion and duty.  Awesome characters, deep, individual, strong and flawed.  Totally awesome, a wonderful emotional roller-coaster.  It grabs you right from the start and it never lets up.
     Follow this with the second book, Bloodlines.  This is where we meet Inatra, the Ragnarok woman, exiled from her ship because she is deemed too flawed to survive.  In this story Arina becomes a striking character and the love that comes between her and Inatra is wonderful.  Arina, the Innocent, the first Valkyriefrior, Valkyrie of Peace.  She commits no harm and uses her abilities to become the best in all Valkyrie.  These two are completely awesome.
      Book three: Folkvangr.  In this installment we meet Freya, who put herself into exile to try and save the inhabitants of this planet from the Ragnarok.  Asgard has transitioned away from Earth and is now at Folkvangr.  Freya, who has been hiding and doing all in her powers to save the people of this planet from the Ragnarok has become the strength and heart of these people.  Without the Valkyrie nanites she has crafted armor and built a city hidden deep inside a mountain to protect the last of the Vangr from the Ragnarok.  Another awesome story of strength against adversity and dedication and honor to saving the innocents of a world.  Keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaning in to see what happens next.  Here we find even more and more Ragnarok seeing the truth behind the lies they have been taught all their lives.   Here we find a slow beginning of peace and cooperation between the Asgard and the Ragnarok.
     Book Four: 72 Hours.  This books rivets you to your seat! It begins with the death of Kara!!!  Noooooo!  Then it takes you back 72 hours to show the build up to this event that begins a new spin off of these amazing and fascinating characters. 
     This is truly a wonderful series of books.  Well worth your time and money.  I've had a wonderful time reading and even re-reading these stories. 
     Now I will say that I encountered more word errors in this last book than in any of the other three.  Not so much misspellings, as the words were spelled correctly, they were just the "wrong" words.
For example, "Thank you so muck, Kara...."  Yeah, would have sounded much better with the correct word "much" in there.  There were numerous occasions where this occurred.  Not enough to truly take you out of the story but enough that it was jarring at each occurrence. 

     Now to mention other series by Erik.  His Music of the Soul series is absolutely fantastic.  Romance with the added touch of majorly flawed characters. Disabilities, both physical and mental, tear at these women and somehow make them stronger and more awesome in their abilities to over come these troubles to find themselves and somehow become stronger and better because or in-spite of them. 
     Music of the Soul, book one in the series, is the story of Mandy Fay Harris, wild and crazy rock star and Annabella West, the young, deaf girl who totally turns Mandy's world upside down.  Mandy Harris, lost, pushed to be something other than what she wanted by the avarice of the record labels and their greed for money.  She's trying to find herself again and goes back to the one place she never thought she'd ever see again, home.  Back to the small, music school where she first learned to play her guitar and learned that music was the one refuge that made her more than what she was.  Back to her roots, trying desperately to hide and protect the one thing that made her want to be a better person, her daughter June.  Here she meets up with Annabella and her family, a deaf girl who has come to idolize Mandy.  Has come to survive and become more than her handicap through the magic of music.  Mandy's music.  They immediately hit it off, a flare, an unstoppable force, drawing them together.  It doesn't take long before the paparazzi find Mandy and with a single picture of Mandy and Bella together, brings everything crashing down.  Mandy knows she's ruined Bella's life and she's desperate to get away, to give Bella a chance to pull her life back together.  She takes on a tour to take her as far away from the one she's hurt.  This tour takes on a new meaning though as Mandy, through self searching and memories of Bella and June, turns this tour into a farewell tour, a healing tour, where Mandy goes back too her roots, back to the music she wanted to make right from the beginning but wasn't allowed to.  This is a tour of self-discovery and healing and through it all the gentle touches of Bella and her family and thoughts of June bring Mandy the strength to face her inner fears and become something even more powerful than she ever was.  Emotional rock, a release of the feelings and fears and hopes and dreams transforms Mandy Harris into Mandy Fay Harris as she fights her way to a new beginning and realization that love can overcome any obstacle put in her way.      This was a beautiful story, a story of growth and love and realization.  Yes there were a few weak points and a few difficult to grasp situations/responses, but over all it was a beautiful story and yes, a really emotional roller-coaster ride. 
     Next: A Deafening Whisper.  What a beautiful, heart-rending story.  Two young women, fighting an almost debilitating case of OCD and Tourette's as well as cystic fibrosis. Two seriously messed up individuals that somehow manage to find love and joy amidst the pain and fear.  This is definitely a serious tear-jerker.  Oh I loved the characters of Mia and Valla.  Vicky was another story all together.  What a beautiful love story.
     Third was: Dating Game. 
      Fourth was: Karaoke Queen
      Fifth was: Silent Bob
      Sixth was: Five Feet or Less
      Seventh was: Broken Song
      Eighth was: Syncopated Rhythm
      Ninth was: Progeny
Each one of these was a true roller-coaster of emotions.  I won't go into detail on all of these.  I will say that all of these stories are tied to each other as they all take place in and around the same city and all of the characters are connected in one way or another.  I think this adds a depth to the stories as the characters interact and play off each other.  While all the stories are pretty much stand-alone reads, it really adds color and emotional depth to the stories when you put all the characters into place and see how intertwined the lives and loves of these amazing women are.

     Erik also has two other series out, each with only one book so far. 
Fracture: Divergence.  This is the first book of the Fracture series. 
Drakon: Awakening. First book in the Drakon series.

     All of these are excellent books, fun, emotional and well written. Each one has strong, powerful characters that take charge of their lives and push forward despite all odds.  I highly recommend any and all of these stories. 



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Currently - Drakon: Awakening by Erik Schubach and Old Family Mansion by Prudence MacLeod

Just purchased Erik Schubach's newest release, Drakon: Awakening and Prudence MacLeod's Old Family Mansion.  I'm looking forward to reading these books.  I also read the preview chapter for next book in Erik Schubach's Music of the Soul series: Progeny and I have to say I'm excited.  I love these characters and now the children are coming of age and making this series such a rich and fulfilling read.  This one is due out in April and I'm marking my calendar! 
 
Audio wise I'm still listening to David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Currently that is War of Honor with At All Costs and Mission of Honor cued up and ready to go.  As I said these are great for my drive in and back from work.  Three hours round trip and I love my audible books!
 
We went out this past Thursday and ordered two iPad Air tablets.  I needed more mobility and this will be just what I needed.  While this will not replace my Kindles it will add another source of access.  I still enjoy my Kindle for just plain reading, no distractions but there are times when I need the Internet access, the app access of my phone (but without straining my eyes on my phone screen) and the iPad will fill that slot. 
 
I purchased several new Amigurami books over the past few days and I'm having fun learning new things to crochet.  Here is also another great place for listening to my audio books.  I have the audio book on in the background while I'm reading the patterns and creating new little amigurami to share my spaces with.  Talk about combining two of my favorite pass times in a wonderfully enjoyable manner!  Yes, it's the little things that keep me happy!
 
I also just picked up Rebound by Lynette Mae.  This one has been in my wish list for awhile now and I finally caved in and just added it to my Kindle.  So much to read and just not enough waking hours to enjoy them all!
 
Well, I hope you all have a most wonderful day and a fantastic weekend.  More later!
 
Skip
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

7 March 2014 -- thoughts

Looking forward to new books this month.  I bought the new Prudence MacLeod book Old Family Mansion today.  I enjoy her books and this one sounds very interesting. I'm also looking forward to the new J. R. Ward book, The King coming out this month.  The 25th I believe. 
 
I have quite a few books in my read pile on my Kindle.  Out of Darkness & If It Kills Me by Jason D. Morrow.  A futuristic story of apocalyptic nature.  They are book 1 & 2 and I liked the blurbs. 
I have Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Origins & Apocalypse by Kyle West, Bear Naked by Dana Marie Bell, All Saints' Secrets & To Murder a Saint by Nicole Loughan.  Remember Me by Syd Parker, Waking Forever by Heather McVea, to name a few.  I've been doing what I usually do when I find myself with too many choices and I've been re-reading books that I really enjoy.  At this point those are the books by Erik Schubach, including his Music of the Soul books & the Valkyrie Chronicles.  Also books by Prudence MacLeod, her romances and her Science Fictions.  I'm also listening to the Honor Harrington series by David Weber on Audible and I'm at book 9 at this point.  I've also recently picked up some of my old favorites growing up: Anne of Green Gables, the Complete Little Women, Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Andre Norton.  Soooo many books and never enough time to read/re-read them all but at least I never run out of good reading material!
 
Back to my books!  Happy Reading!
 

Safe Passage by Kate Owen

Safe Passage by Kate Owen was a very interesting and captivating story.  I enjoyed the characters and was very pleased with the story.  Set in New Orleans, both characters, teachers, came together naturally and smoothly.  The story, a light mystery, had very good details and the chemistry between the characters carried it along very well.  This was a fun read and I really liked the smart language and come-backs between characters.  Definitely worth the time to read and enjoy.  Over all a good 3 1/2 to 4 star rating.  I have only two main gripes and they are both minor.  One was a slip very near the end of the book where Gen was going to borrow Jules car.  There was a slip where the character Jules went to get her keys to give to Gen and as it was written, she gave them to herself.  This caused a moment of confusion as I had to go back and make sure of what I had just read.  Not a big glitch and not all that distracting but enough to make me step back and lose the thread for a moment.  The other is just my own desire for the story not to end. It was a good, complete ending but somehow it just felt truncated to me.  Like, there should have been more.  Almost like, OK, we figured it out.  End of story.  Annoying but not to detract from a very good story.  That's my look at it anyway.  I'd like to read more about Gen & Jules.  They were good, well defined characters and they really drew me into their story. 
 
 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Grace Falls by H. P. Munro

Grace Falls by H. P. Munro is a funny, wonderful love story set in a small town in rural Alabama.  Maddie, needing to get away from the memories of a failed marriage, heads across country to a new beginning in California.  Unfortunately for her, her beloved car blows a gasket just outside of Grace Falls, Alabama.  This story has wonderful characters and tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps this story rolling from the very first. The characters are realistic and you find yourself drawn into their little town and all its quirks and foibles.  This is a great story full of happy and sad tears as well as laughter and joy.  For anyone who has ever lived in a small town there is a lot that is familiar and bring a chuckle to your heart.  It's fun getting to know Maddie, Alex, Jessica, Sully, Peter and Ruth and Mack.  This was great fun to read and a wonderful way to spend a cold, wintry afternoon.