It has been a few days

Good morning guys, well whats left of it!!!!!
Its been nearly a week since i last posted!!! wow lol i have been so busy making up orders and getting ready for our summer fayre at school organising my own stall and the whole day as if you may remember im on the ptfa and its busy busy busy lol,
Ive also just come back from the Boots staff shop and bought lots of top notch goods lol it was friends and family day and my lovely ang took me with her lol, i got loads and loads of fcuk and other top brands including gift sets and all for the measly sum of £54 lol probs worth nearly £200 if id have bought it from the shop!!!!!!
Any way back to craft lol one of my orders was for a little girl who loves anything to do with princesses and hello kitty, she was going to be 6 and loves girly pinks!!!! anyway i wanted to make something a bit special but didnt have hello kitty in my stash, so i googled copyright free images and printed this hello kitty princess off lol,
 i coloured her in with my promarkers and popped some glossy accents and stickles on her to give her that Bling factor,
the papers are from the dovecraft basics III they are lovely,
I got out my old sizzix alphabet dies and dusted them off, and popped her name on the card which i think always goes down well, added lots and lots of flowers, some pretty pins with thier caps tightly on lol and along with more stickles some dewdrop gems, some stampin up ribbon and voila lol,
If you cant tell in pic the whole easel card is A5 in size so a decent size as well.
I was really nervous wether her mummy would be pleased with it but she loved it!!!!! PHEW
Here is a close up of the image, it didnt print brilliantly but with the promarkers and glitters etc it looked ok when i had finished with it lol
Another close up of her glittered name, the font i think is called lipstick from the sizzix range, and that sentiment i had in my stash was a gift from god lol, and was perfect for the theme,
What do you think??? I wasnt 100% ok with it but the recipient loved it so now so do i lol.

Id love to enter the card into the following challenges please;

1.Incy wincy - Anything goes
2.Allsorts - In bloom (lots of flowers here and there lol papers dont count)
3.Crafty catz - Use your metal (the 3 heart pins)
4.Fussy and fancy - Fancy folds (easel card design)
5.The poodles parlour - Cute and or cuddly (i think she is both)
6.Charisma - Anything goes
7.I love promarkers - Anything goes

Hope you enjoy my card lol,
also i have been practising colouring with my pro's and copics, and did these last week, im still very much a learner even after using them for over a year!! i just struggle with light and shading, what do you think of these lovely ladies???? any input would be welcomed lol

Hubby has gone in to work for and extra day today so wont be home till gone 10pm as he commutes to warrington and we live in derbyshire, so ive had to think of a last min plan for me and the kids,
They are going to a fancy dress party later then for tea im taking them to georges chippy its a lovely walk from here past the local dam and up thru the fields.
Last night i let alex stay up with me till 9pm making jewellery lol he loved it so he will be tired out hopefully to go to bed on time tonight,

Call for Entry

Did you notice I added a new title under PAGES? (over on the right side..see it?)

It's called Call For Entry.

Check it out! The title of the juried exhibit is MINERALS. You must be Canadian to participate in this one (sorry to all my international followers!).

I will keep adding other opportunities for all quilters and textile artists to exhibit their works in Canadian and international juried shows so check it once in a while.

Stingray alert!

Remember how my son Geoffrey got stung by a stingray here two years ago?  Well, my daughter-in-law Kendell got stung yesterday.

On the plus side we knew what to do this time around.  We didn't stand around, wondering whether or not my brother Jimmy should urinate on her foot.  We immediately got that foot into some hot water, ran her up to the ER, and pumped her full of antibiotics.  Because she is tough and awesome, she was even able to participate in the Family Olympics last night wherein she perfectly nailed my brother John with a water balloon.

Nice work, Kendell!

Featured Vendor - Gilbert & Leona

Art, arguably, is seeing what others do not and capturing it, celebrating it, expressing it or turning it into cute purses.  Meet Gilbert & Leona, official FAF vendor and repurposing genius.  The name is a dedication to the grandparents of the owner of this fine operation which specializes in handmade, one of a kind items made from recycled or post-manufactured materials.  This is repurposing at its best with quality and artistic results. "Our company name reflects the philosophy and values of a time, when a different relationship to objects meant everything had a purpose, even an unintended one. When Gilbert attached a doorknob to a piece of driftwood to make a walking stick, he didn’t consider himself an artist, he was merely giving usefulness to found & common objects, a use that might not be obvious. To him, almost every object had intrinsic beauty and a purpose waiting to be transformed. We feel the same way," declares this shop of distinction.

Where can you find these works of recycled art?  Gilbert & Leona are not just a local sensation.  You can find them in New Jersey, NYC, Philadelphia, OH, KY and oh yes, the Woodbury Fall Arts Fest in September.  
Welcome to the Fall Arts Fest Gilbert & Leona!


Today, my oldest son is leaving home, 
to attend junior college in Phoenix, 
900 miles away from Denver.  
I will drive halfway, 
or maybe a little farther, in my car, 
and then I will turn around, 
and he and his roommate will drive on.

And while I am thrilled for him, 
I am so, so sad.
I am sad for me
because I will miss that guy--
the sticky floor by the refrigerator 
when he slurped juice from the carton,
the "oops" holes in walls,
that crooked, gap-toothed smile,
the "uh-huh" when I ask
"Do you know how much
your mama loves you?"

More, though, I am sad 
for my younger son.
I adopted my boys from foster care 
when they were seven and nine.

For years, all they had was each other.

And they have been 
best friends,
I cannot imagine one of them 
without the other. 

My younger son 
is without words
he has been 
in his bedroom
with the door shut
since six o'clock last night
refuses to ride along 
even though I would love 
the companionship
will probably not 
say goodbye
to his brother.

And yes, I know growing up 
and moving on is a natural part of life, 
and I know we will get through it, 
but today
I am so, so sad.

"To a Daughter Leaving Home"
by Linda Pastan

… I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving

Read the rest of the poem here.

Poetry Friday is at Paper Tigers.

Review : Dracula, My Love oleh Syrie James

Judul : Dracula My Love
Judul Asli : Dracula, My Love - The Secret Memoirs of Mina Harker
Pengarang : Syrie James
Penerbit : Bentang Pustaka 
Tebal : 570 halaman
Diterbitkan pertama kali : Februari 2011Format : Paperback 
Target : Dewasa
Genre : Gothic Romance
Bahasa : Indonesia
Status : Punya sendiri
Website Pengarang: Syrie James


"Aku telah melewatkan malam-malam sunyi selama ratusan tahun. Aku mencari sosokmu, tapi yang kutemui hanyalah hembusan angin. Aku bisa saja menekankan dalam-dalam taringku ke lehermu dan membawamu masuk ke duniaku, mengubahmu seutuhnya menjadi salah satu dari kami. Namun bukan itu yang kumau. Aku menginginkan jiwamu yang suci, hatimu yang dulu pernah, dan akan selalu, jadi milikku."

Tak seorang pun pernah tahu, betapa menderitanya Count Dracula didera kerinduan selama ratusan tahun terhadap wanita yang sangat dicintainya. Jika kini takdir memberinya kesempatan itu, salahkah bila dia melakukan apa pun untuk menggapainya, termasuk membunuh? Tak seorang pun peduli tentang itu, kecuali Mina. Dalam catatan rahasia inilah Mina akan menceritakan semuanya.

Terinspirasi dari novel klasik terkenal Dracula karya Bram Stoker, Dracula My Love menyajikan kisah cinta romantis sepanjang masa.

Semua orang setidaknya tahu dengan Dracula karya Bram Stoker, yang mempopulerkan makhluk malam nan mengerikan yaitu vampir. Walaupun misalnya belum baca pun, pasti tahu film Dracula besutan Francis Ford Coppola pada tahun 1992, dimana kita bisa lihat wajah unyunya Mas Nunu aka Keanu Reeves. Atau yang masih baru - baru ini (ga terlalu sih), pasti tahu film Van Helsing yang bikin saya suka sama Hugh Jackman. Di semua media itu (kecuali Van Helsing), diceritakan Dracula merayu dan menghipnotis Mina Harker untuk menjadi pasangan abadinya. Tapi bagaimana kalau sebenarnya Mina mencintai sang Count? Bagaimana kalau sebenarnya Mina berpartisipasi aktif dalam membantu Count berusaha membunuh suaminya sendiri dan professor Van Helsing? Semua itu ada di buku karya Syrie James ini, Dracula My Love.

Diceritakan dari sudut pandang orang pertama yaitu Mina sendiri. Dimulai dari persahabatannya dengan Lucy Westenra, kegelisahannya tentang sang tunangan yang tak kunjung datang dari Rumania, Jonathan Harker. Lalu, saat dia akhirnya bertemu dengan pria yang nantinya akan menjungkir balikkan dunianya, Mr Wagner atau Count Dracula. Sayangnya disaat Mina terpikat oleh Mr Wagner yang paham dengan dirinya, datang kabar dari Jonathan. Mina bergegas ke Transylvania, dan mendapati Jonathan menjadi setengah gila. Mereka pun akhirnya menikah di Rumania, tapi keadaan Jonathan yang kurang sehat membuat malam pertama Mina jadi hambar. Kasihan ya Mina, hehehe. Setelahnya, Jonathan dan Mina kembali ke Inggris untuk mendapati bahwa Lucy dan ibunya sudah meninggal.

Sayangnya kematian Lucy sangat janggal, dan Mina pun bertemu dengan Abraham van Helsing yang mengatakan bahwa Lucy mati karena dihisap darahnya terus menerus oleh vampir. Buruknya Lucy menjadi vampir itu sendiri! Van Helsing beserta 3 pelamar Lucy, Lord Godalming, Dr Seward dan Mr Morris terpaksa membunuh Lucy lagi. Dan Mina pun akhirnya mengetahui identitas asli Mr Wagner, yaitu sang Count Dracula. Di luar dugaan Dracula menepis semua tuduhan yang ditujukan padanya, sehingga Mina mau tidak mau percaya padanya. Mereka bahkan bertukar darah, dan terjalin hubungan telepati diantara keduanya. Di saat pertempuran antara Van Helsing, Jonathan dan yang lain melawan Dracula, Mina justru membantu Dracula dengan menipu suaminya sendiri. Mina yang terombang - ambing antara perasaannya cintanya pada Jonathan sebagai istri sahnya, dan kepada Dracula sebagai kekasih yang membuatnya bergairah, akhirnya harus membuat keputusan terpenting. Kembali pada Jonathan, atau menjadi kekasih abadi Dracula untuk selamanya?

Lebay, penuh drama, bikin saya memutar mata berkali - kali dan lebay (lagi). Itulah perasaan saya membaca buku ini. Inilah masalah saya kalau membaca novel yang diceritakan dari sudut pandang orang pertama. Kalau tokoh utamanya nyebelin, ya saya akan sebel setengah mati. Mina ini benar - benar plin-plan. Sudah bertunangan dan nikah sama Jonathan, tapi selingkuh dengan Dracula. Ya, saya ga terlalu suka sama novel perselingkuhan. Apalagi disini pengarangnya seakan mengarahkan pembaca untuk bersimpati pada tokoh Dracula. Bahwa apapun yang dilakukan Dracula itu ada alasannya. Yah, cukup berhasil sih. Tapi pada akhirnya menurut saya Dracula ini makhluk paling egois! Dia juga master manipulator yang akan menghalalkan segala cara untuk mendapatkan Mina. Dracula mungkin lupa sama pepatah " bahwa cinta tidak harus memiliki".

Tidak membaca kisah asli Dracula dan cuma ngandalin ingetan pas saya nonton film Dracula dulu, membuat saya agak sulit membandingkan buku ini dengan karya aslinya. Buku ini menurut saya, patuh dengan kisah asli Dracula, dengan beberapa perubahan. Seperti Dracula aslinya adalah Nicolae, adik dari Vlad Tepes. Jadi dia bukan Vlad itu sendiri. Lalu tiga pengantin vampirnya, dibuat menjadi saudara perempuannya. Syrie James juga menyisipkan karya - karya pengarang terkenal, seperti Oscar Wilde dengan The Picture of Dorian Graynya, lalu kumpulan soneta William Shakespeare. Lalu nama pelukis dan pemusik terkenal yang bertebaran disini, bikin saya agak puyeng bacanya, terutama pas Dracula berdiskusi dengan Mina. Syrie James juga menekankan bahwa walau wanita terpelajar pun masih dianggap warga kelas dua, dan lebih lemah dari pria pada jaman itu. Walau Mina sendiri akhirnya menunjukkan keberaniannya pada saat pergi ke Transylvania dengan van Helsing untuk memburu Dracula.

Alur buku ini sangat lambat, bikin saya agak ngantuk. Dan sikap Mina yang plin - plan bikin saya pengen jedotin kepala ke tembok saking frustasinya. Terinspirasi oleh Bella Swannya Twilight atau ini cuma perasaan saya? Lalu kenapa saya bilang lebay? Yah emang bukunya lebay banget. Seperti van Helsing yang gemar bilang "aduh!". Lalu pas Mina menyesali nasibnya setelah meminum darah Dracula dengan bilang "aku kotor, kotor!". Bikin saya memutar mata, yah salahnya sendiri kenapa selingkuh! Intinya, saya bolak balik naik darah pas baca ini, hehehe. Belum lagi "frase berbunga - bunga" pada saat adegan intimnya yang ga intim. Bukannya bikin saya deg - degan, malah ketawa ngakak. Dracula My Love bisa jadi buku paling menye-menye yang saya baca. Padahal saya ini penggemar romance. Aspek gothicnya ga terlalu terasa, horrornya juga datar banget. Dan adik saya bilang buku ini mengerikan. Ah mengerikan dari mana? Kalo bikin bete sih, iya, hihihi ^_^

Walaupun dengan segala kekurangannya, Syrie James seolah ingin menyampaikan bahwa hidup penuh dengan pilihan dan kita harus bijaksana dalam memilih. Mina harus memilih antara Jonathan atau Dracula, dan apapun pilihannya, pada akhirnya dia tidak menyesal. Semua pengalamannya dengan Dracula membuatnya menjadi wanita yang lebih baik. Kalau saya jadi Mina Harker, siapa yang akan saya pilih? Jonathan atau Dracula? Well, saya ga akan milih keduanya, karena Dracula egois dan Jonathan bikin saya sempat ga puas dengan kehidupan pernikahan. Tapi, saya kan bukan Mina, hehehe.

Mina menulis diarinya dengan menerapkan metode stenografi. Stenografi adalah tulisan pendek dan singkat untuk mempersingkat dan mempercepat pekerjaan yang berhubungan dengan tulis-menulis. Stenografi berasal dari bahasa Yunani, Steno = singkat dan Grahein = menulis. Tulisan steno terdiri dari huruf A sampai dengan Z tapi disambung hurufnya Di Indonesia sendiri, ada misalnya seperti yang dikembangkan oleh Eliezer Karundeng. Stenografi menggunakan teknik rahasia dan bersifat pribadi. Cocok untuk Mina yang memang menyembunyikan hubungannya dengan Dracula.

Sumber : click here

Favorite Quote :

- Satu - satunya cara untuk menghilangkan godaan adalah menyerah kepadanya. Lawan itu dan jiwamu akan sakit karena mendambakan hal yang telah ia larang untuk dirinya sendiri (Dari The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde)

- Apakah percintaan hanyalah sesuatu yang dapat dinikmati oleh para lelaki dan wanita harus memikul penderitaan? (Mina Harker)

- Tokoh - tokoh kita... semua adalah jiwa yang menguap menjadi udara bebas... dan, seperti penglihatan maya tak berdasar.. ia akan melebur... tak menyisakan penyesalan. (Count Dracula)

Rating Cerita :
Sensualitas :

Ada adegan intim antara Mina dengan Jonathan, dan Mina dengan Dracula. Tapi tidak eksplisit, dan sangat sopan. Cuma "frase berbunga - bunga" yang digunakan untuk menghaluskannya (atau aslinya emang gitu?) bikin saya geli, he he he.

Boys of Summer, 1955

Every day an old man pulls up in a van with a picture on the back of five young men, holding surfboards while looking tan and trim in swimming trunks--the kind Barbie's boyfriend, Ken, wore back when Barbie and Ken were first invented.    Underneath the caption reads:  "Boys of Summer, 1955."

He sits in the van all day with his window down, looking out at Doheny Point, possibly remembering the summer he and Moondoggie and the Big Kahuna fell all over themselves in an effort to impress Gidget (short for "girl midget").   Part of me thinks this is sad.  Another part of me (and I'm very serious about this) thinks, dude.  What could be more awesome than to hang at the beach all day, thinking about good times?

I have the sense he wants people to stop and ask him about those days.  And maybe I will.  But I'm almost afraid he'll tell me more than I want to know.

THESE BEES COUNT- Alison Formento

Every summer, I try hard to pretend that I am a gardener. Usually my attempts are pretty pitiful. I am really good at growing bindweed, this vin-ish thing that multiplies profusely and wraps itself around every other plant in the yard. And I'm good, really good, at petunias. The petunias in my planter boxes have a steady stream of visiting bees. It seems a good day, then, as I sit on my front porch blogging and watching and drinking my coffee, to review a new book about bees.

THESE BEES COUNT is an interesting blend of story, nonfiction facts, and counting book. Mr. Tate's class (I love that this teacher of young children is a man!) go on a field trip to a bee farm. At the farm, they meet Farmer Ellen, who provides some information about bees. The children get dressed in beekeeper garb, then head out to the hives. Farmer Ellen releases the bees, and the book transitions into a counting book, as the bees travel one by one,  from two dandelions, three apple blossoms, four wild strawberries, etc. When the bees return to the hive, the book transitions back into a fiction/nonfiction blend, and the children learn how honey is made.

I could see using this book from preschool to second grade. There's lots of rich information and great vocabulary (apiary, pollen, nectar, extractor) for kids to roll around on their tongues. I loved the collage/painting illustrations, done by by Sara Snow (when I grow up, I swear I am going to study collage!). I found the transition from story to counting book a little distracting, but I don't think it would bother kids at all. In fact, it might even make a great topic for discussion.

Lots of the early childhood and primary classes in Colorado study farms or insects. This book would be   a fun addition to that study.

Read an interview with the author here.

Review copy provided by publisher. 

Ceritaku Bersama Serial Inheritance

Menyambut Inheritance yang terbit pas hari Kamis tanggal 28 Juni 2012 ini, saya ingin melakukan kilas balik tentang seri fantasy yang membuat saya terpikat. Saya mulai baca Eragon, jujur karena tahu buku ini akan difilmkan. Pas itu tahun 2006, saya masih semester 3 di suatu Perguruan Tinggi di Malang (aih, jadi ketauan umur sekarang berapa :P), dan melihat banner Eragon di Gramedia. Takjub melihat tagline di banner itu, bahwa selain akan difilmkan, si pengarangnya masih 15 tahun saat pertama menulis Eragon. Jadi berangkatlah ke rental novel terdekat dan pinjem Eragon. Saya ga beli, karena pas kuliah ga punya duit dan buku Eragon tebel banget, mungkin harganya sekitar 50ribuan rupiah. Jaman itu sih 50ribu gede banget buat saya, so pinjem di Rental adalah solusinya :))

Dan saya pun bener - bener suka sama Eragon. Jaman itu saya belum tergila - gila sama Lords of The Ring (filmnya doang ;D). Dan seri fantasy lain yang saya baca cuma Harry Potter, itu juga baca dah dari jaman SMP. Lalu beberapa bulan kemudian, mencari Eldest, beberapa tahun kemudian, baca Brisingr, dan setelah menunggu hampir 4 tahun, tibalah saya di penghujung cerita, Inheritance. Rasanya kangen banget sama serial ini. Pengen sih baca ulang, tapi saya udah ga setenang pas kuliah dulu. Jadi saya ingin mengulas balik apa yang saya rasakan saat membaca 3 buku pertama serial Inheritance.

Review Eragon, Eldest dan Brisingr ini mungkin akan ada spoiler. Susah juga nulis spoiler-free apalagi bukunya nyambung terus. Reviewnya juga ga seperti biasanya, saya cuma nulis yang saya inget aja, hehehehe. Oh ya, postingan ini akan "agak" panjang. Karena saya membahas 3 buku sekaligus.

Semua bermula dari ERAGON....

Baiklah, saya baca Eragon sebelum tau ada Goodreads. Dan heran kenapa orang bule banyak yang rating 1 bintang. Kalo dipikir - pikir lagi, emang Eragon ini bagaikan Harry Potter meet Lords of The Ring. Tapi berhubung pas itu saya ga gitu ngeh, akhirnya yah cuek - cuek aja. Dan emang ternyata beneran kayak LOTR ya. Ini beberapa kesamaan diantara dua seri ini :

- Eragon : Aragorn dengan sifat dan tampang seperti Frodo. Yah, tinggal di mix aja deh :))
- Arya : perpaduan Arwen dan Eowyn (Arwen kan di LOTR ga terlalu terliat ass kickingnya, dan Eowyn lebih dominan). Rambut Arya sama dengan Arwen, sama - sama gelap. Tapi saya lupa warna mata Arwen.
- Brom : Disini peran Brom sama seperti Gandalf. Sama - sama udah tua, pengalaman dan ilmunya sangatlah banyak
- Shade : kayak Saruman, mungkin yah. Lebih tepatnya kayak Witch King of Angmar.
- Galbatorix : Sauron. Ini sih jelas banget.

Sayang ga ada kembarannya Gimli ma Legolas :)). Ada kurcacinya, elfnya. Cuma biar ga terasa kalo Eragon ini njiplak LOTR banget, ditambahlah tokoh naga, yaitu Saphira. Bagi saya Eragon ini buku yang lebih banyak petualangannya. Mobilitasnya lebih dinamis ketimbang 2 buku setelahnya. Jumlah halaman yang banyak banget malah ga kerasa lama, karena begitu asyiknya saya baca Eragon. Thumbs up juga buat terjemahannya yang oke. Ada peta dunia Alagaesia jadi saya ga kesulitan bayangin Eragon pergi kemana saja. Selain Eragon, tokoh - tokoh lain yang saya suka, seperti Brom yang mengajarkannya sihir dan ilmu pedang, Murtagh yang menjadi teman seperjalanannya setelah Brom tiada, lalu elf wanita yang jadi cinta pertama Eragon nantinya, yaitu Arya. Dan tentu saja Saphira dong :). Sayang disini Eragon ga ketemu musuh utamanya, Galbatorix (ya iyalah), tapi Shade yang merupakan anak buahnya ga kalah berbahaya.

Sekarang lanjut ke filmnya. Bagi saya film Eragon itu GAGAL TOTAL. Sudah plotnya diganti - ganti, endingnya maksa. Aryanya jadi terlalu kayak tante - tante (tapi Sienna Guillory cantik), Ed Spellers yang jadi Eragon juga kurang banget aktingnya. Tapi efeknya keren buat naga Saphira nya. Cumaaa, suaranya Saphira berasa tua. Si Rachel Weiszz kan emang udah tua gitu. Galbatorixnya juga cuma tempelan. Untungnya ada yang lebih bisa dilihat disana, yaitu Garret Hedlund yang jadi Murtagh, hehehehe.

Rating Cerita

Rating Film

Dilanjutkan dengan ELDEST....

Sebelum mereview tentang Eldest, saya jadi teringat perjuangan buat baca Eldest ini. Dulu pas mau baca lanjutannya Eragon, ternyata Eldest ini baru aja masih fresh dari oven. Akhirnya setiap hati kerjaannya nerorin yang punya perpustakaan. Dialognya kira - kira gini :

Saya : Mas, Eldestnya sudah ada belum?
Mas Penjaga Perpustakaan (disingkat MPP) : Masih dipinjem tuh.
Saya : Terus aku kapan nih?
MPP : Dua kali giliran antri deh. Seminggu lagi balik yah

Akhirnya pulang, sedih deh saya :((...
Seminggu lagi..

Saya : Mas, Eldestnya?
MPP : masih dipinjem tuh.
Aku : Loh, kan aku udah indent pinjem
MPP : Ntar aku bilangin ke yang lagi pinjem, dibalikin besok sore kok.

Esok sorenya..

Saya : Mas..
MPP : (udah tau masnya, saya cari apa). Belum balik bukunya
Saya : Ye, ga bisa. Kan katanya sore ini (ngotot)
MPP : Bentar deh, aku smsin dulu yang pinjem.
MPP pun ngeluarin hapenya, dan mulai SMS. Saya sudah mulai naik darah. Akhirnya MPP selesai sms, dan baca balesannya
MPP : Ntar malem ya kesini lagi.
Saya : Janji lo beneran.

Malemnya, ternyata mati lampu. Ohhh, dasar PLN! Kayaknya udah jadi penyakit itu namanya mati lampu. Tapi saya tetep nekad ngeluarin sepeda motor dan berangkat ke rentalan :

Saya : Mas..
MPP : Belum.
Saya : @$#$%*&()&^
MPP : Tungguin bentaaar deh.

Saya pun mulai mondar mandir, mana perpusnya gelap pula (kan ceritanya mati lampu). Selang beberapa menit kemudian

MPP : Nah akhirnya dateng juga
Saya : (pelototin yang abis pinjem Eldest)
MPP : Ini batas pinjemnya 3 hari ya
Saya: He? Buku tebel gini mana bisa 3 hari?
MPP : Kan yang antri banyak
Saya : Ya udah, ntar aku perpanjang lagi ..
MPP : Boleh, tapi cuma 1 kali perpanjang lo

Saya pun sukses pinjem Eldest, dan pulang. Ternyata masih mati lampu. Akhirnya saya pun membaca Eldest ini gelap - gelap dengan bantuan lampu lilin (miris amat sih]. Dan lampunya baru nyala jam 12 malem. Bisakah saya menyelesaikan ini dalam 3 hari? Ternyata bisa lho, wkwkwk. Untungnya sudah libur kuliah pas itu, dan walau ibu saya udah teriak - teriak kenapa saya bak orang autis selama 3 hari itu, yang penting selesai juga kan baca bukunya?

Nah, sekarang ke ceritanya :D. Eldest ini secara gaya penulisan sudah lebih mature dari Eragon. Tentu saja bagian yang mirip LOTRnya masih ada, apalagi pas Eragon ada di Ellesmera. Tapi saya suka banget pas Eragon di sana. Magical banget gitu. Dan scene dia pas mengungkapkan perasaannya sama Arya. Berbanding terbalik jelas sama Aragorn- Arwen, dimana Aragorn berusaha menolak perasaan Arwen karena memikirkan nasib Arwen. Eragon disini lebih mirip sama Eowyn yang harus menelan cintanya ke Aragorn. Duh kasian saya, hehehe. Eragon yang masih 16an tahun itu ngungkapin perasaan buat cewek umur ratusan tahun dan ditolak. Perasaannya pasti hancur =)).

Di Eldest ini POVnya ga cuma dari Eragon. Ada yang dari Roranm sepupu Eragon, sama Nasuada juga. Roran yang berusaha mencari Katrina, istrinya yang diculik oleh musuh. Dan Nasuada yang berusaha memantapkan posisinya di Varden, kaum Pemberontak. Yang saya suka dari Eldest ini pas di Ellesmera, dunia para elf yang menakjubkan. Disini Eragon belajar lebih banyak tentang sihir, pedang dan perannya sebagai penunggang naga. Lalu juga mempelajari asal -usulnya. Nah, satu yang bikin saya gregetan. Endingnya yang berasa Star Wars banget!! Eragon tahu siapa ayahnya yang sebenarnya dari Murtagh, yang pada awal cerita ditangkap musuh. Murtagh ini lalu dipaksa Galbatorix untuk jadi penunggang naga juga yang membuatnya otomatis jadi musuh Eragon. Dan kenapa saya bilang Star Wars? Cara Murtagh memberi tahu siapa ayah Eragon dan hubungan dirinya dengan Eragon mirip banget ma salah satu adegan Star Wars. Yang jelas, Eldest adalah buku terbaik dari seri Inheritance, walau beberapa bagian bertele - tele. Dan kenapa ada foto close up Murtagh disini? Yah, karena Garret Hedlund cakep banget pas jadi Murtagh :))

Rating Cerita :

Tunggu! Masih ada.... BRISINGR

Proses mendapatkan buku ini ngga "semenyakitkan" pas dapet Eldest. Soalnya MPP (Mas Penjaga Perpustakaan) sudah belajar dari kesalahannya, dan beli kira - kira ada 5 eksemplar. So,saya kebagian deh :D. Sempat bengong pas tau Paolini memutuskan untuk memanjangkan kisah Eragon. Loh, katanya Trilogy, kok malah jadi Cycle? Akhirnya Brisingr ini malah terkesan dipanjang - panjangkan ceritanya. Jadi beberapa bagian malah blunder. Disini juga Paolini mengungkapkan pemikirannya tentang agama dan kepercayaan. Entahlah rasanya bagi saya kayak dipaksain.

Disini Eragon diajar oleh Oromis, salah satu penunggang naga yang tersisa. Eragon sempat marah kenapa Oromis tidak membantu peperangannya melawan Galbatorix. Tapi, kondisi Oromis yang tidak memungkinkan membuat Eragon menelan kata - katanya. Oromis langsung mengajari Eragon, biar Eragon bisa lebih upgrade tentunya. Kan namanya juga mau perang besar. Lalu, kalau di buku 2 Eragon yang menyatakan cinta, sekarang giliran Saphira! Yup, Saphira si naga betina satu - satunya ini naksir Glaedr, naganya Oromis. Cuma yah nasibnya sebelas - dua belas sama Eragon, hihihi.

Saya tetep suka sama seri ini, imajinasinya begitu kaya. Dan saya benar tentang siapa sebenarnya ayahnyanya Eragon, ha ha ha. Apa yang awalnya berasa Star Wars di Eldest, berhasil dipatahkan oleh Paolini. Mungkin karena dia dikritik sana sini gara - gara ending Eldest yang bikin nyesek itu kali ya :D Cuma kurang rasanya kalo ga ada yang mati. Setelah Brom, Eragon bakal kehilangan satu sosok yang berarti baginya :(. Siapakah itu? Cari tahu aja di Brisingr.

Oh ya, mungkin ada yang bingung Brisingr itu apa. Brisingr adalah kata sihir untuk "api", dan yah nama pedang Eragon (spoiler dikit) setelah pedangnya yang dulu diambil Murthag. Di buku ini selain masalah kepercayaan, politik kerajaan kurcaci dan elf makin rumit. Bikin boring juga sih. Saya maunya kan langsung perang gitu. Bagi saya, Brisingr ini lebih semacam filler ke buku terakhirnya, yaitu Inheritance. Lebih mematangkan Eragon dalam menghadapi Galbatorix nantinya.

Rating Cerita :

Akhir Kata :

Seri Inheritance adalah seri yang akan selalu di hati saya selamanya. Satu dari dua seri fantasy, yang lain Harry Potter, yang mengawali kegemaran saya dalam membaca novel dan genre fantasy. Inheritance memang tidak terlalu original, tapi kemampuan Christoper Paolini dalam merangkai kata, membuat dunia Alagaesia, sukses memikat banyak pembaca, dan saya tentunya. Saya akan membaca Inheritance dengan hati senang dan sedih. Senang karena akhirnya bisa mengikuti petualangan Eragon lagi, sedih karena harus berpisah dengan dunia yang menakjubkan karangan Paolini ini.

Patchwork from Grade 8 students

When I look at the works from the Grade 8 art class at Branksome Hall, the quilts from Gees Bend come to mind.

this is CONTRAST

I see a modern art aspect, like from the 60's, with some of the combinations.

photo by T. Butler

The wonkiness of some blocks is primitive yet so charming.

detail, MOVEMENT

The girls made 6 quilts using different art concepts- Contrast, Unity, Movement, Pattern, Balance and

The students designed and sewed their own blocks. They tied their quilts with embroidery floss and the teacher put the binding on.

They will be displayed at the school before they are donated.

this is a detail from BALANCE

I wasn't involved in this class but I did watch them work once. It was nice to see them problem solving with measurements and placement of their chosen fabrics.

this is EMPHASIS

 Because quilting has been such a positive thing in my life, I was glad to see a new generation introduced to it.

Conversation overheard whilst sitting here at a McDonald's in Dana Point

One patron to another patron:  "Hell, I just got my third criminal trespassing notice.  I don't even know what that means."


Yesterday morning I took a long run on the beach from here to the San Clemente pier.  It's a nice beach to run because parts of it are quite secluded due to limited access from the road.  That's probably why I saw a single crane just standing there.  No one around to bother it.

Have you ever seen a crane up close?  They're HUGE.  And this one was standing as still as death.  As I approached, it didn't flinch.  Not a bit . . . until I was a few feet away.  And then with a flick of reptilian eye, it took flight, beating the air with broad prehistoric wings until it glided over the water and into sky.

Awesome.  Truly.


When the going get tough, the tough go to the movies. That's always been my theory anyway, and it's proved workable at many different points in my life. 

Take my twenties, for instance. I moved to Denver pretty much straight out of college. I got involved in a church and established a really fun circle of friends- people to eat with and hike with and see on weekends. But then those friends started getting married. And I wasn't. Most of the time I was ok with that.

But then, there were times when the loneliness closed in. And then, I did what any thinking person does. I went to the movies. I would buy a box of bad for you movie popcorn and a drink (or sometimes I'd sneak in my own) and settle into for a couple of hours at a dark theater. For two hours, I'd forget my quiet house, the nights of Lean Cuisine, and my longing for companionship-- and I would settle in to somebody else's life or story. And when the lights came back on, I was good to go again.

Fast forward ten years. The summer I adopted the boys was full of adjustments, for them and for me. The boys had been through a lot, and they had lots to overcome.  Like most new mothers,  I was exhausted, most of the time. My independent do what I want when I want lifestyle had been totally altered. Gone were the days of author readings at the Tattered Cover and Tuesday hikes with my home gals. I didn't have a lot of backup. I couldn't take a nap because there was no one to watch my two very busy guys.

So I did what any thinking mom would do. I took them to the movies. I would buy them their box of $4 candy (I know, horribly unthrifty of me) and for two hours, they would be entertained. And me, well during those two hours, I'm ashamed to admit, I often dozed off a little, ok, sometimes from the opening scene to the credits, but…). For years, I thought I was fooling the boys-- until finally, when Son #1 was about 13 he asked me why I always bought a ticket, when all I did was sleep anyway!

Fast forward ten more years… this has been, so far, a long hot summer. neither of the boys has jobs. Son #1 is in what I'm told is a common push me/pull me, "I'm a man, I can do it myself, I don't need you to tell me what to do, no wait, I need you to …" routine. Pretty much every day he tells me that he is leaving and will not be back for two years, not even for Christmas, and that I will not hear from him, and I better not call. He breaks my mama's heart.  Son #2 is having a really hard time with life in in general. His brother/best friend is leaving for two years. A girl that he has cared about deeply (and now insists he doesn't, although my mama's eyes tell me different) is leaving for college. He made some really poor choices in school and is now facing the consequences.  It is not a lot of fun living with him.

And so, I make the only obvious choice. I go to the movies. A couple of times a week, when my patience has reached it's absolute breaking point, when I can't stand one more minute of nasty teenagers, or a just cleaned already messy house, I simply leave. And I go to the movies. For two hours, I slip away into someone else's world- this summer I've been to India, the bayous of Louisiana, and last night, a small island in New England. Better yet, this summer, I have discovered a new theater. It costs $3 more than a regular theater, BUT (and here's the hook for me!) the popcorn and soda are FREE! So actually I save about $6 or $8 every time I go.

When the going get tough, the tough go to the movies.

tweet tweets

Good morning guys we have a new challenge at creative craft challenge and we are looking for tweet tweets, we are being sponsored by robyns fetish who offered the dt thier digital images to use,
here is my card which if im honest and i think you will see, i struggled with it, and my time had been taken up with other things i dont get time to redo stuff,
the image is fab tho just wish i coukd have done it justice,
 i thought it would make a fun new home card lol, the dcwv glittered matt stack is blossoms and butterflies, and is beautiful, and the pastel yellow grossgrain is from anitas,

id like to enter this card into
1. Cupcake crafts - Birds of a feather
2. Cute card thurs - Here comes summer
3. Charisma - Summer

Hope to see you there joining in with our theme xxx


Review : Elementals oleh Brigid Kemmerer

Judul : Elementals
Pengarang : Brigid Kemmerer
Penerbit : Kensington
Diterbitkan pertama kali : 27 Maret 2012
Format : e-book
Target : Remaja
Genre : Paranormal Young Adult
Bahasa : Inggris
Seri : Elementals
Buku ke : 0.5 (prologue)
Website Pengarang: Brigid Kemmerer


Earth, Fire, Air, Water they are more than you dream. As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn t have much power. That 's okay she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He 's an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy, dangerous, and completely off limits. At least according to Emily 's family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily 's family doesn t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.


Alasan saya baca ini :

- Covernya penuh dengan cowo remaja - remaja yang ngingetin saya sama One Direction (tapi saya lebih suka Bigbang benernya #oot)
- Dari sinopsisnya sepertinya menarik. Tapi jadi keinget sama Aang : The Last Airbender, karena tokoh utama cowoknya adalah penguasa elemen alam. Jadi jangan salahkan kalau pas baca ini, yang namanya "tapi semua berubah saat negara api menyerang" terngiang - ngiang terus di otak.
- Covernya keren

Baiklah. Untuk genre young adult, terus terang saya agak males bacanya. Karena kalau ga mirip Twilight, ya mirip The Hunger Games. Aneh juga kenapa ga nyoba bikin macam Harry Potter atau Lord of The Ring atau Narnia. Itu kan notabene lebih bagus gitu daripada Twilight atau THG. Tapi yah, itu pendapat pribadi. Eh, malah ngelantur. Jadi, saat saya melihat di Goodreads, beberapa teman membaca seri Elementals karya Brigid Kemmerer, saya mau ga mau tertarik.

Pertama, jelas dari cover. Beda dari YA kebanyakan yang covernya udah kayak majalah model dimana memang sepertinya dibuat seperti itu, seri Elementals ini sedikit berbeda dengan menampilkan semuanya lelaki tanpa ada cewek satupun! Tentang boyband, atau mirip posternya film The Covenant, itulah pikiran saya pertama kali. Lalu saya tertarik baca sinopsisnya, seperti yang saya bilang sebelumnya, mirip The Last Airbender. Lagian, untuk Elementals yang merupakan prologue ini, di Amazon juga gratisan. Yah, test drive dulu deh.

Bersetting 5 tahun sebelum event di buku pertama, Storm, Emily Morgan harus menghabiskan musim panas dengan kerja paruh waktu di pusat olahraga (sport center itu apa yah kalo disini?). Saat itulah dia bertemu dengan Michael Merricks. Hal yang menarik, disini Emily sadar Michael itu sama - sama istimewanya dengan dirinya. Yah, Emily dan Michael adalah penguasa element alam, dimana Emily menguasai elemen udara dan Michael menguasai elemen tanah. Keluarga Emily memperingatkan dirinya agar menjauhi Michael. Karena keluarga Merricks dianggap berbahaya. Tanpa sengaja Emily mengadu pada ortunya, dan ini membuat ortu Michael menyuruh Michael untuk lebih "berhati - hati"

Di luar dugaan, Michael sebenarnya tidak berbahaya. Dia bahkan bukan tipikal orang suka bikin onar, dan menyayangi adik - adiknya yang juga punya kekuatan sama. Michael justru khawatir dirinya akan menyakiti orang lain. Hubungan antara Emily dan Michael mulai berkembang, pelan tapi pasti. Adegan Michael mengajari Emily main baseball jadi bikin saya gigit jari, karena pas SMA saya ga punya pacar apalagi dekat sama cowok, hahaha. Sayangnya, Tyler, adik Emily tidak suka dengan Michael dan menyerangnya. Sekarang, bagaimana Emily meyakinkan keluarganya kalau Michael sebenarnya bukanlah masalah? Bahwa yang jadi masalah itu justru anggota keluarga Emily sendiri?

Diceritakan dengan sudut pandang orang ketiga, membuat saya begitu bersyukur dan lebih menikmati cerita Elementals ini. Karena, jujur saja saya kurang suka sama sudut pandang orang pertama. Agak sulit bersimpati. Alur ceritanya agak lambat, tapi semua berubah saat negara api menyerang, errr maksudnya saat Tyler mulai menyerang Michael. Sayang juga karena hal ini baru terjadi menjelang akhir cerita dari buku yang cuma ada 7 chapter di dalamnya ini. Dan endingnya? Jelas bikin saya sewot setengah mati. Karena ibaratnya saya lari, di depan tiba - tiba ada tembok yang saya ga liat sebelumnya dan nabrak! Intinya, kurang puas.

Untuk sebuah cerita pendek, Elementals cukup menarik untuk diikuti dan membuat saya tidak sabar untuk membaca buku yang selanjutnya, Storm. Yah, jarang - jarang saya nemu novel remaja yang bikin saya excited. Apalagi Brigid Kemmerer ini pengarang Australia. Dan orang Australia itu biasanya lebih bagus kalo bikin cerita YA.

Rating Cerita :

Hanya ada adegan ciuman sekali saja antara tokoh utama. Tapi jadi keinget pas awal - awal pacaran dulu :)) (mana nih guling, mana, mana?)

Featured Vendor - Ray Hennessy

Meet Ray Hennessy, NJ native, FAF vendor and nature capturer.  By day, this talented artist makes his living as a photographer alongside his wife Kim.  This camera-wielding duo work out of Clementon, NJ in thier booming business KGM Expressions where they specialize in weddings and location portraits.  However, it's not all bridal gowns and family groups for Ray.  When he's not nurturing his growing business, Ray spends his spare time exploring the great outdoors.

Using his trained eye, quick trigger finger and gut instinct, this photographer captures the often unseen closeups of nature.  What you or I might pass by, Ray finds and celebrates.  In this is where he finds passion.  "I never pass up a good photo if it presents itself," Ray says in a casual modesty about the quality of his work.  Feeling more the student of the subject than the master and with more lessons to learn, this gifted artist looks to expand, to find new outlets for his work, to explore without boundaries.  

Click Here to visit Ray Hennessy online to view more of his stunning photos.

Welcome to the Fall Arts Fest Ray!


It's been hot, hot, hot in Colorado (today is the third day of +100 degrees) and our air conditioning is on the fritz. We don't belong to a pool, so my solution is to seek air conditioned places, like ummm, bookstores! Got lots of reading done, then, starting with a whole pile of picture books!

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You- Nancy Tillman
I'm kinda maudlin this summer- already missing my eighteen-year-old, who is headed to Phoenix to play football. I don't especially like LOVE YOU FOREVER, but came across a new to me book this week. Think I will be tucking WHEREVER YOU ARE, MY LOVE WILL FIND YOU in my son's  boxes, for him to find. (He will probably think it's corny, but oh well! Sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!)

Back to School
I have mixed emotions about leveling books. I definitely think that emergent readers need lots of texts they can actually read. At the same time, I don't like the "That's not my level" mentality that seems to pervade so many of our classrooms.

  • Wow! School!- Richard Neubecker- Not sure how I missed this one- it's actually been out since 2007 and there are several more in the series (Wow! America!, Wow! Ocean!) Each colorful two page spread has two words, "Wow! ______). Think the little guys will love this one-- I'm definitely going to look for others in the series. 
  • One Two That's My Shoe- Allison Murray- New take on an old favorite rhyme. A puppy steals its owner's shoes. Another one that is sure to be a hit with beginning readers. 
  • Wolf Won't Bite- Emily Gravett- The three little pigs have captured the wolf in a circus wagon and force him to do all kinds of tricks. I read one review that thought this book could be used to discuss animal cruelty-- I guess I didn't go that deep, I just thought kids would love the repeating refrain and predictability of the text.
  • Five Little Monkeys Read in Bed- Eileen Christelow- Most people who know children's books know the FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS series. In this one, Mama puts the monkeys to bed, but then has to keep going back to settle "book uproars." Love the repeating refrain and the surprise ending. I think this could promote some great beginning of the year discussions about reading mentors and reading habits, even with intermediate grade kids. 
  • Miss Smith Under the Ocean-Michael Garland- I became acquainted with this series a couple of years ago. It's kind of Miss Frizzle meets read aloud. In this one the class is going on a field trip to the aquarium and all sorts of ocean-related books come into play. Think it would be great to talk about how readers use background knowledge to comprehend, or maybe how important it is to read widely so that you understand authors' allusions.

Dog Books

Silly Doggy- Adam Stower- A fun new take on the "I Want a Dog" theme. Pair this with ME WANT PET!, CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS, and THE PIGEON WANTS A PUPPY.

Zorro Gets an Outfit- Carter Goodrich- My sons would argue that I take dog loving to an extreme. My dogs ride in the car. They sit on the couch. They sleep with me every night. At the same time, they do NOT wear clothes! I loved this book about a dog whose owner forces him to wear a Zorro costume!

Good Night Books
When my nephew was little, he had a couple of favorite bedtime stories that we read ad infinitum. I was always on the lookout for replacement stories.  Here are a couple of fun "good night" stories.

Dini Dinosaur- Karen Beaumont- Preschoolers and beginning readers are going to love the predictability of this book about a very dirty dinosaur who gets in the tub with all of his clothes on. 

Tuck Me In-Dean Hachohen- Really sweet predictable book. Every other page asks the question, "Who needs to be tucked in?" The next page is a half page blanket with a different animal all ready to go to bed. I could see using this as a read aloud with toddlers and preschoolers. I also think beginning readers would love the predictability and question/answer format. 

Chapter Books
I also read a few chapter books this week. Totally loved Kate DiCamillo and Allison McGhee's Bink and Gollie: Two for One; in this book the two good friends head to the State Fair. Funny, lots of interesting vocabulary, and some really big truths about friendships.

Also have read a couple of intermediate grade chapter books-- ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Linda Mullaly Hunt, which I reviewed last week, THE WHOLE STORY OF HALF A GIRL by Veera Hiranandani, a coming of age story about a girl who is half Jewish and half Indian. Thought this would be a great one to hand to a reader who had enjoyed ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME MARGARET. Finished the week with THREE TIMES LUCKY, which I had heard about from Bill at Literate Lives.

This week I want to finish Lone Wolf by Jodi Piccoult. Also need to get busy and do some more professional reading. And work on my Spanish. And clean the garage!