September 14, 2012

In a Million Years You'll Never Guess

Remember how we made jewelry out of things like macaroni and beans when we were in Kindergarten? I thought that my days of crafting with edible jewelry components were long gone, but this project has me thinking otherwise!

You'd never guess that you were looking at spray painted beans, right? And I love that you can use nail polish for paint...I have so many colour options!

September 13, 2012

Just Make it Stop!

Things I am Tired of Seeing on Etsy

1. Moustaches

2. Egg and apple "cozies"

4.Poo and pee items--I can't see anything cute about excrement, sorry.

5. Octopi and this particular octopus especially

6. Dictionary pages with vintage images printed over them Surprise, it's another octopus!

7. Images/jewelry/tee shirts featuring the outline of a state with a heart in it

8. Bacon

9. Cowls

10. Zombies--get real, people! There is not going to be a Zombie Apocalypse!

Things I am Afraid I am Going to Hate if They Keep Being so Prolific on Etsy

1. Cupcakes

2. Elephants

3. Owls

I love these three, especially owls and elephants, so don't ruin them for me, Etsy!

What trends are you ready to see the end of? Please click on the title of the post and tell me in the comment box.

Lulu for Books!

Ever since I found out that the fan clutch Helena Bonham Carter carried at the Oscars was by Lulu Guinness, I have been in love with this truly unique designer's expensive but gorgeously-made bags.
Black Sophie Fan

That isn't paint or embroidery--it's beadwork!

I can't afford to actually own anything by Lulu Guinness, but I love to check out the latest designs and drool every now and then. Today I was so happy to receive an email with the newest collection, especially when I saw that it is right up my street. Lulu, are you designing specifically for me now?

That's right, there is now a Bookshop Collection from Lulu Guinness! Feast your eyes on all of this bookish glory!

Library Mini Frame Purse

Bookshop Top Zip

Black Library Small Jenny

The most interesting of all is the "Bag of Books." It looks like a stack of books with a handle, but opens to reveal a spacious interior and a surprise message.

Bag of Books

Now I just need to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so I can buy these!

My First Fall Treasuries

I couldn't resist making a nice treasury featuring things with the colours that I think of when I think of fall.
Leaves and Sky

And of course, that got me thinking about Halloween! So here's my first Halloween treasury. Believe me, there will be more.

Halloween is Black and Gold

Now maybe I can finally get some sleep!

September 12, 2012

Book Review: The Keys of Egypt

For my 50th post, I'm reviewing the book I finally finished reading yesterday. Hurray!

I think I have mentioned before that I am very interested in Egyptology. The fascination began when I was about four years old and saw an Aliki book called Mummies Made in Egypt read aloud on Reading Rainbow. Watching The Ten Commandments made my Egyptomania even worse. I still read more nonfiction books on this subject than on any other, and was delighted to find one in the library that I had not noticed before. I am not quite sure why, but this book was hiding next to the fairy tales and folklore.

The Keys of Egypt by Lesley and Roy Adkins tells the story of Jean-Francois Champollion and his lifelong quest to translate the hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt. Of course everyone knows that Champollion is famous because he did in fact succeed where so many had failed, but it was very interesting to find that the Rosetta Stone, though useful, was not the Holy Grail of decipherment as we are usually led to understand. Champollion's success was due largely to other documents and to his extensive knowledge of the Coptic language, not to the Rosetta Stone inscription. It was also fascinating to learn of his miserable but precocious childhood, the continued revolutionary activities that kept him in trouble all his life, and the malicious, delusional rival he found in an Englishman named Thomas Young. Indeed, Young's ridiculous letters were such fun that they made the whole book worth reading even if the rest had been rubbish!

While I did learn a great deal about Champollion's life and struggles, I still felt that more of his actual words about his methods and conclusions were called for. The wonderful quote on the back dust jacket was really the greatest insight into his view of his work that the reader is given. Footnotes or endnotes are also to be expected but were not present in this book, which was disappointing. I am a nerd and I like to fact-check! The passages about Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, for example, were so written as to make the noted general look a complete fool, and whether this was bias on the part of the authors or the unvarnished truth, I will have to do more research to determine. The works recommended by the authors in the Further Reading section, however, are not going to be easy to obtain. Specific references to their sources throughout the book would have made a huge difference in the reading experience.

My Rating:
3 1/2 out of 5 stars

You can find The Keys of Egypt on Amazon (of course) but try your local independent book store first!

Snazzy Zigzags

Overall, I am getting a bit tired of the chevron trend. But I love the cheery snappiness of this bag from I Am Momma-Hear Me Roar!

Zigzag Bag Tutorial

Is that fun or what?

September 11, 2012

A Trend Worth Buying Into

Teeny Tiny Necklaces

I am in love with the itsy bitsy charms on the delicate--and surprisingly affordable--necklaces from Madewell.

For example, there's a classic miniature bow necklace, for those not bold enough to try a real bow tie.

How feminine is that?
Mini Bow Necklace

Sheep seem to be a trend this fall, which is great because I love sheep. I even wanted to have sheep, but that won't work in our new neighborhood. Madewell has a cute little sheep just for all of us fibre fanatics!

And finally, the coolest of them all (and the one I have been dying to buy for months). It's a LLAMA! Why a llama? I say, why not? Whether it is because it reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite's pet, Tina, or because of the wonderfully silly Monty Python sketch, I am in love with this necklace. Cuidado llamas!

Llama Love necklace

I have seen this trend popping up all over Etsy as well.

Just in time for hunting season (joke), a tiny golden deer!

Leaping Deer

A darling elephant!

Cute Elephant

Just one more? Oh well, okay. A beautiful little acorn.

Tiny Acorn Necklace

Why is this trend "worth buying into?"

These necklaces are going to continue to look elegant for years to come. You will be able to layer them with other necklaces or wear them alone. Their refinement will keep them from looking vulgarly out-of-date the way those huge chunky statement necklaces will in a year or two. And if you for some crazy reason actually do get tired of them, you can always give them to a little girl, for whom the scale will look just right. My guess, though, is that these lovely little pieces will become much-loved staples in your jewelry box.

Please note: I have no affiliation with or any of the etsy sellers featured.

September 9, 2012

Look What I Found!

Finally, the perfect note cards for nerds who are cat lovers!

Nerd Kitty Cards

I love the artist's other work too. Take a look!

Nerdy Quote of the Week

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
Mark Twain

There has been a lot of emphasis lately on getting kids to read "anything, just so long as they're reading." While I think it is important to find books that people like, I think we are focused so much on reading what is popular and new that we have forgotten the idea of quality in literature. I think it's a shame that teachers are pushing Twilight and The Hunger Games to get kids to read when there are plenty of well-written books out there that would probably interest them just as much without subjecting them to so much poor phrasing, bad plot development, and cardboard characters. We all love junk food, but we would think that someone who eats nothing but junk food was not only unhealthy, but missing out on a lot of the good things in life. If all you eat is Snickers bars, think of all the steaks you'll never taste.

I want a steak now.

Anyway, I guess I'm just saying that I find it depressing that in an age when we have easy access to the greatest works of all time, most of us are choosing instead to read a steady diet of rubbish.

Let's make the choice to limit our junk book intake and read good books more often! If we don't, our literacy is doing us no good.

King Arthur Slept Here

In a previous post, I said that I was going to try to make these crib guards to keep The Precious from eating her crib. What happened to that plan?

Well, they always say "measure twice, cut once." I, however, have measured five times. And every bloody time, I get a different measurement! It's like the "graves" of King Arthur that supposedly change size every time you measure them. For more info, read section F., Arthur's Graves

I can only deduce that this unassuming crib purchased from J.C. Penney is in fact the lost crib of King Arthur.

Whoever would have thought?

I finally gave up and went with a sort of average of the five measurements, and of course ended up with some pieces a bit too long and some a bit too short. I think it will work anyway. But I was so worn out after all of that that I never got any sewing done. My plan is to work on that tonight. Let's just hope the fabric I chose doesn't have any magical properties or I may not finish these until The Precious has gone off to college!