Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Catch up" for the July 7th Etsyblogger Carnival

When I was thinking about topics for our etsyblogger carnival, the phrase "catching up during the summer" popped into my head. This year, I want to catch up on leisure reading. Since my book club won't be meeting for a couple of months, I thought I'd get a reading list together. I have a few suggestions from friends and family, and wanted to share them with you.

Was it Yvonne who suggested Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose? This book is a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them. Yes, my name is Debby and I am a closet writer. I guess I’m a blog writer now, which is probably one and the same. I started this book a few months ago, and finished just two chapters. So far, it’s told me about “close reading,” which I do anyway - reading word by word and paragraph by paragraph. It also stressed paying close attention to your choice of words.

At the library book sale, I picked up a couple of volumes with interesting titles. Here’s three - they might not be light reading, but sounded appealing nevertheless:
A history of historical writing, by Harry Elmer Barnes
Selections from 119 years of the Atlantic
Savage beauty: the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay
, by Nancy Milford.

This summer I want to take a closer look at some jewelry techniques I'd like to use in the future. Earlier in the year I bought Jewelry: fundamentals of metalsmithing, by Tom McCreight, who's supposed to be one of the top authors on jewelry metalworking. And palleikodesigns was nice enough the give us “Basic Soldering 101” on her blog. She suggested a great title a few days ago: Amulets, Taslismans & Magical Jewelry. I immediately filled out an interlibrary loan form. Thanks for sharing, Heather.

I mainly read non-fiction, but would love to sit down with some good fiction, especially historical fiction. OK, this is the time to spill your guts and tell me what’s tucked under your arm, as you head out to the lounge chair by the pool {:-D What ARE you reading?

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Treasury - She's a dall.

Everyone loves to look at dolls. These are a few favorites of mine:

Click to see a better view and visit the individual artists on Etsy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Traveling with a Viking Woman

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman, by Nancy Marie Brown.

I never thought too much about Vikings before someone in our book club recommended we read this book. Silly me, I thought we were going sailing with a woman in a male-dominated society. But what the author, Nancy Brown, does is trace Gudrid's travels with the aid of stories told in six Icelandic sagas.

In addition to the sagas, Brown uses scientific evidence to back up the stories. A brief overview: in the 1960s, archaeologists discovered a Viking settlement, including a longhouse, in northwestern Newfoundland. Brown believes the longhouse was Gudrid's. Then in 2001, a team of scientists found what they believe is Gudrid's last house, buried under a hay field in Iceland.

Brown gives the reader a clear view of what the Vikings were like, and how they interacted with their surroundings. I was quite taken with their bravery. And I got a laugh out of their commonplace expressions, such as "Sail south until the butter melts, then turn right." There are also little tidbits, like why the witch flies on a broomstick (that's another story altogether.)

The sagas Brown used in her research were: Njal's Saga, Laxdaela Saga, Eyrbyggja Saga, The Saga of the Greenlanders, The Saga of Eirik the Red, and Grettir's Saga. Of course, each saga is a little different, depending on where the writer came from and who's in the family lineage. But they seem altogether lighthearted, and reminded me of stories about Greek gods.

After reading this book, I now want to read one of these sagas, just for fun. They have been translated into English, so I just might, one of these days. I did find the names a little hard to keep up with, but I would recommend The Far Traveler to anyone interested in exploration, archaeology or women's studies.
Note: many in my book club felt this book was too tedious, and that the story jumped around too much. I still thought it was worth reading, especially if you are interest in archaeology.

etsybloggers treasury

I find when doing a treasury on etsy by subject, I usually do a search for my pieces. This search came from the oldest pages, hence back of the closet. Click to see a better view and visit the individual artists on Etsy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Deb's Book Reviews

A good book review by a trusted friend is essential, especially if you only have time to read one or two books a month. I hope this series of mine will help all the bookworms out there find some interesting titles. These volumes were selected by myself and members of my women's book club, who I trust completely, and enjoy spending time with once a month (if I don't see them around town.) If you have some good titles by or about women, let me know.



Feb. - Crossing the Creek, by Anna Lillios.  A double biography about two Florida women authors, Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

March - The Tiger's Wife by Teo Obreht.  A wonderful novel about a woman doctor who remembers her  grandfather's stories after his death in the Balkans.

September - Come, Tell me how you live, an Agatha Christie autobiography.  Not a mystery reader myself, but this little autobiography is Christie's life in the Middle East.  Taken from her notes and diaries.
___________________ 2011 _________________________________

Jan - Sophia Tolstoy, by Alexandra Popoff.  A woman's look at how the wife of this famous Russian author lived in the 19th century.

Feb - A Severed Head, by Iris Murdoch.  A very risqué book, written by an award winning British author.  Short and easy to read.

March - Pearl Buck in China, by Hilary Spurling.  An interesting book about Pearl Buck, especially in China.  The author points out where the topics to Buck's books come from.

April - The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton.  More than just a love story.  Here's wonderful character development wrapped in an interesting fictional history of New York's well-to-do at the end of the 19th century. 

May - Living History, by Hilary Clinton.  If you didn't like Hilary before reading this book, you will definitely change your opinion.  What a supporter of human rights, especially women and children.

June - The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards.  A great story about a doctor and his wife who have twins.  There are two families' lives that are followed, with a surprise ending.   

Sept - The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.  Not in my book club, but rave reviews from everyone.  And they were right.  Haven't seen the movie, hear there's a different ending in parts.

Dec - Louisa May Alcott: the woman behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen.  You don't have to be a big Alcott fan to enjoy the book.  Fascinating woman and life.
___________________ 2010 _________________________________

Jan - The House at Sugar Beach, by Helene Cooper. Fantastic, slow beginning...

Feb - Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. My suggestion, read on vacation in Ireland. The story is set in the 17th century, about a housemaid in England during a year of plague.

March - Scarlet Sister Mary, written by Julia Peterkin, was a Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction in 1929.

April - The Woman behind the New Deal, written by Kirstin Downey. Great biography about Frances Perkins.

May - The Bonesetter's Daughter, by Amy Tan. Put this on my list to read, when Tan became a speaker at an annual convention I attended. It's great - yes, it did have a mother/daughter theme... and more!

June - I started this month The Artist's Way - A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. It's a 12-week program that will surprise anyone who "indulges." Spent the summer working with it, and developed a series on my blog every week.

August - Dorothea Lange : a life beyond limits, by Linda Gordon. An in-depth look at a 20th century artist's life, the photographer who "invented" documentary photography.

September - Passing Strange: a gilded tale of love and deception across the color line, by Martha A. Sandweiss. An interesting look at a famous man who lived two lives in the same city.

November - Wolf Hall: a novel by Hillary Mantel.  Historical fiction focusing on Thomas Cromwell, who becomes one of the most powerful men in Henry VIII’s English court.

December - The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver.  A historical novel using 20th century artists and writers in Mexico and America as a backdrop.

Chronological order (can't help myself, keeping things neat) from 2009:

January - The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich.

February - Couldn't get into the book chosen for February - glad I didn't buy it! Read another book by Erdrich, The Master Butchers Singing Club and worth the read. The plot involves a love triangle, their families and friends, dealing with hardships after World War II in a small North Dakota town.

March - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. The subject is actually more serious than the title lets on.

April - we were treated to Virginia Woolf's, To the Lighthouse. Such a unique writer!

May - started Ladies of Liberty (by Cokie Roberts), but didn't finish. For vacation, though, I picked up a book that was set in the 17th century, about a housemaid in England during a year of plague, called Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. It was fantastic!

June - Home (by Marilynn Robinson). This was completely depressing, and I didn't get too far through it.

Our book club doesn't meet during the summer (July and August). Brooks is such a good author, I decided to read another one of her books, March, a Civil War historical fiction about the father figure in Little Women.

September - memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin, called Wait Till Next Year.

October and November (combined) - A Distant Mirror, by Barbara Tuchman. Sorry, too boring for me. Didn't make it half way - and that's not like me to put down a book!

December - Elizabeth Cody Staton : An American Life, by Lori Ginzberg. Nice to read a biography of a famous woman that isn't complete adoration.
December 2008 book: another eastern non-fiction the book club read was Scheherazade Goes West, by Fatema Mernissi.

November 2008 book: Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is an autobiography about a young Islamic woman from Africa.

Marketing and selling your handmade jewelry is a quick read on marketing, specifically designed for jewelry artists.

Just finish a novel by Senator Fred Harris, Following the Harvest, a coming of age story of a boy on a harvesting crew in 1943.

So many people are talking about August, Osage County that I decided to see what this Pulitzer Prize winning play was all about.

In July 2008, our book club didn't meet, but I read two great books Reading like a writer: a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them by Francine Prose and The Widow's War by Sally Gunning.

June 2008 Book of the Month ** The far traveler: voyages of a Viking woman, by Nancy Marie Brown.

May 2008 Book of the Month ** Nuns: a history of convent life, by Silvia Evangelista

Sunday, June 22, 2008

etsy seller and blogger, vickangaroo

I've just come across the cutest stuffed toys, at an etsy shop called the vickangaroo.

I found Vic through a Etsy Treasury, called Etsy Zoology. Here's what started my search: Errol the Unicorn

Vic's shop has a bunch of other fun toys. If you want a good laugh, check it out. He also has great blog named The King Kongery.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Max, the sleepy cat

Stepping softly, Max
Reached the grass and laid down for
His afternoon nap.
- storybeader

This is the cutest pendant, 2.5" long, with a cat named Max laying in the grass. The pendant is carved from bone, then soaked in tea, to create an 3-D look with shadowing.

The foundation row is made with wood beads and green "cat's eye" beads. Well, I had to look up what the REAL name of the stone was - it's chrysoberyl. Probably why they use the nickname - I can't say it! The stone is found in deposits in Brazil, Sri Lanki and East Africa. Cat's eye protects the wearer and keeps disasters at bay. The stone is usually made into cabachons, because the taller rounded shape of a cabachon gives off a line, or slit, looking like an eye. But I thought the rondelle beads were appropriate here.

The total length of the necklace is 47" long, and it has a sturdy barrel clasp. But you don't even need to open it, since the necklace can fit over your neck.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lovin the Craft...

...that’s one of the themes for the June 23rd Etsybloggers Carnival: What kind of crafts do we do for ourselves. “Is your home filled with your creations? Do you make your own clothes, jewelry, etc.? If so, why not show off your favorite item you kept for yourself.”

I sat down at the computer to write about this serious topic, and realized that my jewelry surrounds me. I didn’t notice it before, but I hang my work all around the house.

I have a few favorites. My turtle treasure necklace (above) has to be my most favorite - it's for sale on Etsy. I priced it high; someday, someone will come along and buy it, and I‘ll be sad to see it go. I‘ll just have to make another to be my favorite.

I started out making jewelry in the first place a few years ago because I couldn't find a turquoise necklace to wear! Yes, me! working in a museum in the southwest, and I couldn't find a turquoise necklace. Luckily, there was a bead store in town at the time and I made a chipped, double strand necklace (that's it to the left; sorry, my photo skills weren't the best back then.) After a few compliments on my handiwork, I decided to make more jewelry - for family and friends. The great thing about beading is, you can make pieces to fit the person who will wear it.

BTW, I sold this necklace a few months ago - just had it out at a craft fair, and someone wanted it. I couldn’t deny the sale. Now I miss it. Come to think of it, I’ll have to make another. {:-Deb

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What do you collect?

I think most people like to collect things. When I was young, I collected matchbooks from all the places my parents visited. And of course, I had a collection of stuffed animals. No dolls. I've collected tea sets and books, but in the past 10-15 years, my favorite item to pick up has to be the turtle.

Of course, the stuffed animal theme stuck with me.

Here's a puzzle I did - and my DH laminated it and we put it on the wall.

Most of my little turtles keep each other company on the bookshelves ...

marching right along in a row...

My pin cushion turtle keeps ME company at my work table, even though I don't sew.

Turtles are suppose to be wise and are a symbol of Mother Earth. This one likes hanging around with one of my plants.

You can also find turtles outside our house.

I never had a pet turtle. When I see them in the road, I just place them on the side, and they usually scurry off down the embankment. Freddy (above) got a paint job from my DH Danny - I think he looks pretty good.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Etsybloggers Treasury

I snagged a weekend treasury, full of etsybloggers.
Tried to get as many people as I could:

Click to see a better view and visit the individual artists on Etsy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coffee break is over

Click to see a better view and visit the individual artists on Etsy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

AliciaMae, Featured Etsyblogger

Alicia Mae has a great looking blog on xanga. I thought I'd start there to find out more about this month's Featured Estyblogger. Well of course I got engrossed in her blog for quite some time. There's so much to look at.

When I finally moved over to her Etsy stores (that's not a typo, it's stores) I noticed that her artwork didn't just include jewelry design and photography. She also works with acrylics, woodburning and polymer clay.

And, of course, being an etsy seller myself, I had to check out her supply of commercial and handmade beads at

I had to difficult time choosing which of her photographs to put on my post, but settled on two from her photo series "New York Though My Eyes." These were two great images from a trip to the Big Apple in 2005. They're beautiful, and really gives the viewer an idea of how fun NYC is. Hope you had a good visit, Alicia Mae.

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