Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Lovely Visit

My heart is so full right now! It's been a very happy couple of weeks. God is so good!

I know a young woman who shines a smile bright with the joy of the Lord, but I almost always see it in pictures on facebook and hardly ever in person, so I was beyond delighted when it worked out for my family and me to drive down to visit my sweet friend McKenzie last Saturday! She and her family fed us hotdogs and all the fixin's and we brought our favorite coleslaw, and we all had a marvelous time! We played frisbee and took pictures and talked and talked and talked. :D I even coaxed a smile or two out of their newest little blessing, Macheus... he is an adorable baby!

Here are a couple of pictures of our wonderful day. :) And there are more on McKenzie's blog!

The lovely white picket fences and shady groves of Pecan Pastures!

Look at all that room to play! :) 

The whole gang! We make a great group all together! :D
Behind the house is the wash house and the horse pastures... farther back is the barn. :)

This is the back of the house... the boys ate at that picnic table back there. :D Us girls ate at the wrought-iron table in front of the house.

My sweet friend and I standing on very uneven ground... McKenzie is several inches taller than me!! :D

Love you, McKenzie!! :) 

(Bahahaha!) We both took selfies at the same time with our separate phones. 

McKenzie in front of the house... such a lovely smile! :)

Before you get any ideas, folks, that there is sparkling peach-pear juice! :D It was very tasty and the perfect thing to sip underneath the golden-dappled shade of the pecan trees and have a wonderful chat. :)
What have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Captives by Jill Williamson - A Review

Imagine the year is 2088. Your world and everyone you know and love has been stolen from you in one catastrophic moment.
Such is the case in Jill Williamson’s heart-pounding new novel, CAPTIVES (Zondervan; $9.99; April 2013). The Replication author delivers an enthralling account of what happens to seventeen-year-old Mason, his younger brother, Omar, and their older brother, Levi, who live in the humble village of Glenrock.
With the intriguing plot of CAPTIVES, Williamson continues to display her ability to take on a multi-layered futuristic narrative filled with suspense, philosophical messages and teenage candor similar to that in the popular Hunger Games trilogy. She deftly pens a tale that it will stay with readers long after the last page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alaska-born Jill Williamson is an award-winning novelist. Her debut novel, By Darkness Hid, won the 2010 Christy Award and was named one of VOYA’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Books of 2009. In 2012, she released the popular futuristic novel, Replication. Williamson also hosts blog tours for other YA authors, and conducts writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches. She lives in John Jay, Oregon, with her husband and two children. 

What I thought:

I was looking forward to trying out a Jill Williamson book after hearing so much about her writing. While I found Captives to be quite well-written and edited, the plot didn't grab me like I thought it might. I suppose it's because apocalyptic-type stories just aren't my favorite genre. I did find that this book was 'clean' enough to read and if one was looking for an alternative to The Hunger Games, this might be a much better option. (I have not read the Hunger Games trilogy and do not plan to.)

This was not a very satisfying story in regards to inspiring faith. The characters pray and wonder aloud what they should do, but one does not really see them following the Lord's leading or seeing his work in the storyline. I found the characters mildly interesting but they didn't strike me as absorbing or gripping. A lot of the book was lengthy descriptions about the surroundings - which was neat to read, but I prefer a book to be story-centered and character-driven, not focused on the atmosphere.

I would not recommend this book to readers younger than 16 due to references to futuristic counterparts of drugs and alcohol and the immoral lifestyle portrayed in the Safe Lands city. I was a little surprised to find that in there, actually, as there wasn't any hint of it in the book description. But it seems like a lot of books aimed at young people these days include these elements, which I think is sad. This book did portray them in a negative light, but still... :(

The ending kind of leaves you hanging, too! If you are going to read this book, be aware that there isn't really an ending that wraps up the loose ends. I realize this is part of a series and that the story continues in the next book, but it would have been nice to have some resolution near the end of this one.

I would probably read the rest of the series if given the chance to do so for free like at the library, but otherwise I would probably decline.

I was provided with a free copy of this book for review by Zondervan. These are my own thoughts on the book. :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

We have two winners!

The rafflecopter giveaway form has spoken! The winners are.....

Stella, with entry number 182, and

Hannah M with entry number 36!

I have emailed both of you to ask for your mailing addresses. Whoever replies back first gets their choice of either the light pink flower or the bright pink flower. :) Congratulations!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered and don't forget to check out Julia Lauren H-in-California's beautiful shop to get some of these lovely hair accessories for yourself!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back in the shop!

Today I got the rest of my jewelry back into Rescue Me! So glad to have that all done!
(isn't the mannequin-leg lamp weird? It's not mine!!) 

A close-up for you...

The headbands! These were really popular at the convention. :)

My new earring card design is pretty cute. 

I also have these racks displayed separately in the shop. :)
I'll be back soon with a longer blog post!
Till then,

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back From GHEA 2013!

Hey readers!

I am flat on my back, typing this from my iPhone... Not because I am still exhausted (my energy is back, hurray!) but because my shoulder/neck/back is having a 'tude after my adventures of sleeping on a hotel rollaway bed for a couple of nights, and then being wrenched this morning when I sneezed after taking a bite of peppery scrambled eggs. LOL! Good thing I got the laundry started before I cooked breakfast!

I am so grateful and thankful that the trip went smoothly and for the blessing of a good profit made by both booths!

Mama in the car on the way there, perky and wearing blingy sunglasses!! ;)

Steven was crammed in next to the cooler... we managed to get everything inside our dodge caravan,  which was a small miracle in itself!! 

My booth! :D My usual bright pink tablecloths were missing, nowhere to be found, so we improvised... the tablecloth at the back is actually my bedspread, and the one on the right is the leftover fabric from sewing my curtains! And look how well it goes with my rug! :D

Steven, setting up his booth... he had a partial wall next to him this year that allowed him to hang a few more of his epic book covers and weaponry, which looked really great. :D

Some of my pretties... that 3-strand gold necklace sold, as did most of those little rosebud earrings on cards. The blue necklace on the hook next to that white bust was traded as part of a bartering transaction with a bookseller, allowing me to pick up five old books in exchange for jewelry to bring home to the bookseller's wife! A win-win! I also traded a headband and a few pairs of earrings for half the price of some sweet wireless headphones to the nice guy running the t-shirt and toys booth across the aisle. :D

Looking good... :D I brought a nicely-sized mirror, which was a huge benefit, as many people tried on the headbands or held up earrings next to their faces - and then bought them! :) See all those floral headbands? I think I've got six left now.   YAY!

I sold most of the jewelry in the flat display boxes, including a long rainbowy-colored necklace to one of the really nice  "H" sisters who visit me every year! :) It was so fun to see them again! :) I also sent off some pre-ordered jewelry via her parents to Katelyn, who reads my blog and comments faithfully! :D I loved meeting the friendly homeschoolers at the convention this year, and we made some great new friends. :D

On the way out of the convention hall on Thursday evening, we stopped to get this photo of Steven with the dino head at the Creation Ministries booth! We emailed it home so Mark and Daddy could see it that night. 

And since the mall was so close by, we had to pop over for a visit at the LEGO store! 

It was an amazing sight to see more legos than Mark and Steven own, because that's saying something!! They have a HUGE collection already, but we took advantage of the pick-a-brick wall to get some of the pieces necessary for building castles and landscapes. Mama and I face-timed with Mark on Mama's iPhone so that he could tell us which pieces to get for him, while Steven shopped away. :)
We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Chick-Fil-A and settled into our hotel room. The next day, it was SELL-SELL-SELL! :D

So. Proud. Of. Him. :D Steven sold most of his weapons on Friday and hardly had any left on Saturday! He also ran out of Knight Book CD's! :D

I wore my Popsicle Kisses silk hair flower for the first day of selling... I love it! It went perfectly with my 'peacock' skirt. ;)

(there's the skirt!) The nice lady helping with the t-shirt booth noticed Mama and I taking photos of our booth and asked if we'd like a picture together. :D 
 Friday was the busiest day of sales, Saturday turning out to be slower, which isn't the norm. I heard talk of Six Flags having "homeschool day", which might have interfered with the traffic of people a little bit. But it was a great weekend nonetheless!

I have found a new favorite item on the Chick-Fil-A menu. The Cobb Salad. YUM. 

I didn't take ANY pictures at the convention hall on Saturday, but we had such fun and got the booths packed up in record time at the end of the day (especially considering it was just me and Steven - with mom directing - instead of our whole family)

And, Saturday evening, home at last... zzzzZZZZZ

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm Off! GHEA Convention 2013! :)

Hey Readers! I'm so excited about the GHEA convention this weekend. I'll be there as a vendor in the exhibit hall, displaying my wares... handmade jewelry and e-books on CD about how to make jewelry. :D

As you can imagine, I'm crazy-busy over here finishing up all the little details for the trip... and I am not a detail person. *sigh* :) Lots of work, but I know it's going to be worth it!

If you would be so sweet as to keep me and my mom and brother Steven in your prayers this weekend as we sell our stuff, I would so appreciate it! Prayers for safe travel and rich blessings of good sales would be awesome! :)

Toodle-loo! See you when I get back! :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review and GIVEAWAY- Popsicle Kisses Co. Flower Hair Clips!!

Yes! You heard me! There is a giveaway here, people! Not just one, but TWO people will win. Oh yes. You are not going to want to miss out on this. :)
It's not often that you meet somebody with both your same first name and middle name. :D Julia Lauren of Popsicle Kisses Co. has been a blog reader of mine for a long time, but just recently introduced herself to me  and told me how much she likes my blog... (kinda makes me wonder how many others of you out there I'm missing out on knowing because you haven't said hi... Lurkers, reveal yourselves!) ;) AND... Julia also asked me if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway on my blog of some of her handcrafted hair accessories.

"Well." I thought to myself, "Giveaways are always fun..." 

Then I clicked on the link she gave me to her Etsy shop, and my jaw dropped. Her headbands, hairclips, and especially the silk flower hair clips are ADORABLE.

I'm quite a quick typist but I think I broke my record of words per minute when writing back to Julia, as fast as I could, that YES, I would LOVE to host a giveaway!! :D 

And oh, heavens, I also got to keep one of the flowers for myself! *Happy sigh*

I chose the sea-green flower hair clip to review, and I have to say it's one of the prettiest hair accessories I've ever seen, much less got to keep. :D It is beautifully made with exquisite ruffled fabric and three pearls stitched to the center. An alligator-style clip is securely fastened to the back for easy clipping to the hair. (this would even make a CUTE brooch for a jacket lapel, or be the perfect addition to a lovely scarf. The possibilities are endless.) 
 NOW for the PRIZES...

Julia and Julia are giving away two hair flowers! Two lucky winners will each receive one of these pink hair blossoms. We have a bright pink "Valentine's Flower" and a soft pink "Neutrals and Pink" flower up for grabs.

Um yes. They are gorgeous.

The lighter pink flower is 3 and a half inches across, and the bright pink one is slightly smaller at 3 and a quarter inches. The. Perfect. Size. Not too big and not too small, they would grace any head of hair and can be added to a myriad of hairstyles. (So pretty!!!) :D

Details! How do you win these pretties for yourself??

Enter via the rafflecopter form below. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. You're welcome! Have a perfectly lovely day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway