Freshly Made Sketches #219

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Woohoo! I was productive this morning!

I’ve been needing to make some birthday cards and I figured that actually completing another card challenge would be killing two birds with one stone. So, here’s my entry into the Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #219:

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I made 2 other cards for challenges that I will post separately.

As a reminder, I have other cards for sale in my shop Serendipitous Cards. This card isn’t for sale, however. Sorry!

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Rhinestones

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When I sold my first (and so far only) note card a few months ago, I received payment via Pay Pal, a service I’d never used before. Not knowing what to do with $2.10 in Pay Pal and not needing to immediately transfer the money into my bank account, I hit up E-bay to see what über cheap things I could find.

Apparently Chinese rhinestones are indeed super cheap with free shipping (a package of 800 4mm for $0.30 anyone?). So, I bought $2.00 worth and am very happy with my purchases (so long as they’ve all come in–I’ve kind of lost track).

Now tiny rhinestones are tiny, in case you didn’t know this. So, found myself fumbling with them even though my fingers are equally tiny apparently my ring finger is size 5 3/4). Months ago  while doing card making research (i.e. drooling over what other people have created) I stumbled upon posts mentioning wax pencils and I wondered what they were used for. Apparently they pick up rhinestones.

Well, if you can’t tell by me snapping up all the $0.30 rhinestones, I don’t have a lot of money to spend on crafting materials. 90% of what I use came to me via gifts, swaps, and stealing from work (hey! I literally take the stuff out of the recycle cans, unless of course I’m able to snap it up before it physically makes it into the recycling because that’s where it’s definitely going to go otherwise). 5% of what’s left I only get because I’m justifying the gift giving potential of said item before it becomes “leftovers”. So only 5% of what I buy is purely for my own playing pleasure. I’m not going to justify spending money on tools that my fingers could do if I just try hard enough, at least until I’ve exhausted every other option.

Did I mention that my mom used to buy me crayons all the time up until a few years ago? Or that a few years ago I was given a vintage-looking small crayon tin with the classic 8 package of crayons as well as some stamps within?

Aren’t wax pencils and wax crayons awfully similar in composition? Hehehe. (Yes, that is my evil laugh).

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As I started to get frustrated with my rhinestones I remembered what I’d read about wax pencils and thought “what the hell?”. Turns out that for this chick, those crayons do a terrific job! And were free without having to ask for wax pencils for Christmas. Woo hoo!

I’m behind in posting my latest creations for sale, but here’s a few that are available right now!

 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor by Ellery Adams

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I feel like I cheated with this book. The whole premise of Storyton Hall, a resort where folks go to get away from technology and read, is to get away from technology and I read this one as an e-book on my computer because I was too impatient for my library to get a physical copy. I don’t think they let e-readers into this place, but they certainly make people leave their cameras, phones, and laptops in their rooms.

This cozy mystery is set during Valentine’s Day during a week full of events geared towards Regency Romance Novel lovers. Once again it’s all very well done and completely believable even with certain spins this family takes (you’ll understand what I mean once you read Murder in the Mystery Suitethe first book in this series). I am a sucker for a sweet romance and I like the depth of one hinted at within this book. At first I wasn’t impressed, but as I finished the book, I have high hopes.

Bookworm's Laptop Case
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Vintage Altered Art Rabbit Book Page iPhone 6 case
Vintage Altered Art Rabbit Book Page iPhone 6 case by gidget26
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Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

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“Miss Jenkyns wore a cravat, and a little bonnet like a jockey-cap, and altogether had the appearance of a strong-minded woman; although she would have despised the modern idea of women being equal to men.  Equal, indeed! she knew they were superior.”

 I picked this one up to satisfy my continued need for period pieces written in the period as well as it being the novel a TV show I watched was based on. It’s a nice tale, a stream of consciousness view of life in small town England with all it’s quirks. I’m still not sure what to think about the husband who wrote to their son that his wife had sprained her ankle and therefore wasn’t able to hold a pen. Considering her note on the back of the page, I guess the pain in her foot didn’t affect her hand that much. I don’t know whether to laugh at the obsurdity or to suspect that something more sinister was amiss.

I wouldn’t consider this a special piece of literature per se, but it’s definitely a good introduction to social history and viewing historical figures as they viewed themselves.

Flapper in a Feathered Turban
Flapper in a Feathered Turban by hermoines
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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

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11/1/15: I did not finish this book and right now I have no intention of picking it back up. It’s not a bad book, per se, but it’s not what I enjoy in a history book. I like social history, which to me means lots and lots of personal anecdotes that help describe why things happened the way that they did. I’ve never cared much for political history, which is (again to me) all the wheeling and dealing that goes on behind closed doors within governments that make for the “big” changes like war. Political histories tend to be full of analysis because I’m supposed to walk away with the same conclusions that the author did. This is a political history with, as far as I can tell, not very much social history included. It’s an interesting book, don’t get me wrong, but there are simply too many names to remember and places to keep straight to make it a “fun read” and since I’m no longer in school, I can afford to focus on the fun reads instead of trudging through books that don’t maintain their hold on my interest.

If you like dense political analysis, then you’ll like this book. If you like books that focus on regular people, like I do, you probably won’t make it very far in this book. My conclusion is that you’ll either like it or you won’t. There’s nothing wrong with the research or even the style–it’s just not my cup of tea.

10/10/15: I’ve been slow reading this one. It’s a fascinating book and what I consider to be my first real delve into the history of the Holocaust, but it’s dense. Like, really dense. So much information and detail. I guess I was hoping for something with more first hand accounts and less political discussion. I honestly find treaties to be dull reading, but leading up to WWII, that’s what it was. Still, there is a lot of really fascinating instances here, like how Britain and France handed Hitler Czechoslovakia and how Germany blamed the Kristallnaught on a displaced German (Polish? Russian?) Jew who killed a German minister in France.

Granted, this time was all about political intrigue and shifting border lines and it was complex and we have to really look it instead of making broad blanket statements like “Nazi gun control caused the Holocaust” (–Ben Carson), but what I want to know about the Holocaust is how could non-Jews have let it happen. And that, my friends, has been summed up on page 88: “Of course, it was possible for Germans not to wish to see violence inflicted upon Jews while at the same time not wishing to see Jews at all.” The one common thread between EVERY nation involved in this atrocity (to which I include every country that didn’t open their arms to the Jewish people) is that they didn’t want to have a Jewish population. There was the “Madagascar Plan”, which was the generic name for moving the Jewish people out of what they were currently calling “home” be it in Poland, Russia, or Germany and putting them either on the Island of Madagascar or in Palestine (the two leading destinations though the actual destination didn’t particularly matter). Britain considered going along with this plan (as the owners of Palestine), but decided that it’d be worse to anger the Arabs already living there than the Jews who would be moving there.

This whole mentality of “out of sight, out of my way” disgusts me and as someone who has never been the biggest fan or Israel today, I’m starting to have even less respect for the way they constantly defy current boundaries in their own ambition to have “manifest destiny”. The idea that that is their “homeland” is a crock when in 1938 Jews were being forced out of the HOMES they’d established in Europe–HOMES that they’d hoped to live in for generations! Don’t get me wrong, first and foremost, I believe that EVERYONE has the right to live where ever they damn well please so long as the property is bought legally and doesn’t harm anyone else in the process. That is NOT what’s going on in Palestine where the land in question is under investigation to determine ownership. It’s like a Zombie House (one that the owner has left because they expected a foreclosure, but then the bank decides not to foreclose). It would not be legal to sell the house to a new owner without finalizing the paperwork to establish who the owner really is. Some may argue that the land in Palestine is unoccupied and therefore up for grabs, but when there’s global interest in establishing real boundaries, no one should live in the area until the paperwork is finalized. Otherwise, we should just say “screw it–if one side gets to live there then both sides do” and open the area to ALL migrants (much like the homesteads of the US). Be like, “you’re all one country now, congratulations”. You’d think that the Jews who were forced out of Europe would have more of a claim to those former homes and businesses that they’re family used to own instead of claiming “historic ownership” to land they personally have no tie to.

Anyway, I’m writing the above as I take a break on page 100. I’m hoping that once all the background information is done (and the war finally begins) this book will move faster. But we’ll see…

Heh. I just read a truly interesting view of the alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union. Apparently Evangelical Americans saw it as “the realization of a biblical prophecy (Ezekiel 38) of an alliance between Gog and Gomer that would attack the Land of Israel and thus fulfill on of the preconditions for the return of the messiah.” This is what I meant above about claiming Palestine as “the Land of Israel”–these Americans and probably most Jews as well didn’t view that land as their homeland then, why should they view it as such now?

Also along Biblical lines, aren’t there a couple of passages about how God mandates (or at least doesn’t frown upon) “his people” invading nearby towns and destroying them? That sounds a lot like the way Hitler believed it was his right to completely annihilate the countries around Germany because they weren’t German.

Christmas Giveaway: win some stationery goodies!

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Puddleside Musings

Photo - Christmas Giveaway

     Hey guys, I’m pretty excited about this blog post because it’s a giveaway – yup, I’m doing another giveaway and I’m doing it bigger! I know, some of you are probably wondering why I’m posting a Christmas giveaway when Halloween hasn’t happened yet but I just want to make sure the giveaway is open for a good length of time.

     Anyway, on to more interesting matters –  this time, I have a selection of stationery/planner goodies to give away – there’s some tape, stamps, ink pad, sticky notes and a cute card holder!

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If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

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Ugh. I have a headache now from all the crying I did while reading this book. I still rated it a 5, but it was just so dang depressing for a Kristan Higgins novel! Spoiler alert (it’s in the blurb) one of the husbands is a cheater.

I’m not sure exactly what made me cry so much. They were the leaky tears that you don’t even notice until they either roll down your cheeks or make it difficult to see the page. I suspect my BF’s smoking played a roll in my tears because it’s our “other woman”. BF won’t lie about it, but he certainly isn’t as forthcoming as he should be and there are a lot of the same “I’m weak” comments. Grr.

My mom came out here to spend half the day with him since she had the day off and with two full grown children her compulsive shopping addiction has gotten out of control (she’s depressed). He took her out to lunch, drove her around the county on all his favorite back roads, showed her a Fort we found, took her to get a car with the tow truck, and at some point brought up the idea of marrying me. She gave her blessing, of course (she’s had us hitched since she first found out we were a couple). He told her that it won’t happen until he’s been smoke free for 2 months, but there’s still the Feb 29th deadline looming. And I came home yesterday to him in the backyard smoking a pathetic looking butt that he wouldn’t but out until he’d gotten one last drag on it. So yeah…while I don’t have to worry about another woman catching his eye, I still have to contend with the siren’s call that can be triggered by nothing more than a neighbor asking if he has a cigarette to spare. By the way, he’s been telling me for a week that he’s only been getting drags, rather than whole cigarettes from his friends–how did he end up with something smokable in his pocket?

Wedding Love Postage
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