So, I go at a maddening pace…

;)

Well, maybe being more honest, its not that I haven’t felt a desire to blog or been too slammed with school…I’ve been reading. Sometimes I disappear into books. I haven’t done it much since the girls were born – its just not feasible for me to sit in bed reading for 8 hours with toddlers in the house – but now they’re pretty good at entertaining themselves. They’ll curl up under the electric blanket and read their own books with me.

I am not a big fan of single volume stories. I need, crave, epic storylines. I’m sure that vast and convoluted character developments and 6-7 pages descriptions of single room would drive most people mad, “Just get to the action, already!!”, but I love it. I was probably spoiled the minute Dad gave me his boxed set of The Lord of the Rings – paperback from 1965) when I was 12. I read The Two Towers in 13 hours (mostly because I couldn’t put it down and by the time I got to Shelob’s lair I couldn’t go to sleep and started The Return of the King). I read super fast and I need that stuff to slow down the pace of the story so I can really enjoy it.

With last week being school vacation and the girls having playdates and two super snowy stormy days thrown in the mix I had LOTS of time to read. I tend toward Sci-fi and Fantasy – also probably Dad’s fault – I remember seeing The Empire Strikes back in the theater, I was 5, he was 27. Anyway, I was in the middle of several different series – I do that too, read more than one book at a time.

First I finished the second trilogy Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon by reading the last two books, Warrior and Warlord. I read the first trilogy, The Hythrun Chronicles – Medalon, Treason Keep and Harshini in January. Good quick fluffy reads. I already know what happens to the main character because he features prominently in the second two books from the first trilogy but it was enjoyable – swashbuckling, romantically chivalrous cliche cliche cliche (not her writing – me). I liked it.

Then I read the second book in the new series by Tad Williams, Shadowplay. I love Tad’s stuff. My auntie Tam gave me her copy of Tailchaser’s Song when I was 13 and I’ve been hooked since. The thing with his books is they are REALLY hard to start, for some people. He gives lots of back story and set up and detail, detail, detail. He also has a thing for caves and being underground – there are loooong stretches of folks being stuck in the earth in almost everything he’s written – with the exception of War of the Flowers, I don’t remember one in there, unless stuck in a collapsed building counts. His Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series is one of my alltime favorites but I have to tell people to just keep reading until Simon gets out of the tunnels – sounds easier than it is, but the story really explodes after that. Hmmm, Tad also seems to have a thing for one-handed and crippled main characters, hmmm. Yeah, so Shadowmarch was the first book in the new series and was originally written as a script for a television show – woulda been cool. I already love the Guard Captain, Ferras Vansen – sorta did by the end of his first chapter, poor love-lorn fool. Sadly, I will have to wait at least another year for the next book since this one just came out. Its Ok though, I’ve been reading The Wheel of Time series since I was 16 (12 books, multiple short stories, a prequel and its still not over).

Finally, on Monday I read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It is a teen book so it was easier and faster to read than the others but I melted through that baby like a hot knife through butter! Whooo. I already have the second and third books on order ( all through the library) and I can’t wait for the fourth book due at the end of the summer. Vampires, werewolves and teenagers, Yay! They have a movie version in the works with this guy cast as Edward, I would have gone with this dude but I ‘ll still go see it.  (Man I totally forget how raging and obsessive teeneage hormones can be and I didn’t have all these crazy technologies. Edward, the ficticious main character,  has a Myspace page and there are at least 50 fan films on youtube where kids have cast the books/movie to their liking and I’m not the only one who thought my dude would have made a good Edward)

Right now I’m reading Scandal of the Season, only one chapter in, s’ok

More crafties soon

Toots

I love it when you call me Big Poppa…

;)

My friend Erin, AKA Sparkles, had her big family baby shower this past Saturday so I can show you what my friend April and I made for her – since she missed the surprise shower we threw for her :)

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First is the blanket from April. She found this awesome fabric. That frog is So rockin the chronic. Somehow we went from laughing at the frog who looked like he was high and chillin to trying to figure out who he looked like and strangely landed on Jake Gyllenhall. So, Its the Jake Gyllenfrog blanket. heee heee heee

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I whipped up a couple reversible bibs – she’s not finding out the sex of the baby until it arrives – and a little extra something for the expectant mamma.

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I’m also working on a scarf for me, maybe, with this awesome yarn from Berroco called Seduce – I’m calling the scarf “Sensual Seduction” and now you will know why!

I love it! love it! love it! beyond ridiculousness – The KEY-TAR!!!!

I haven’t felt mush much blogging desire the last week or so, it’ll take me awhile to settle into the new schedule with school and get back to making and talking – hang in chickadees.

Toots

I just want to feel deep in my own world…

 ;)

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When we went to see Spiderwick we saw a previews for a few upcoming movies. One was the new Indiana Jones epic. I So want to like this, the first three are lifelong favorites, albeit for totally different reasons, and it has Shia. * Patrick and his fellow employees were encouraged a few months back to come up with/suggest some new drink ideas in cafe to increase sales, he came up with the Chai-a LeBouf*

Anyway, I’m not sure from the preview if I’ll have the courage to watch it. Harrison looks physically fit but his face looks too old and…doughy, like they had to put way too much make-up on him. It makes me wonder where the stories would have gone if River hadn’t died. I remember watching the weekly Young Indiana series when I was a teen and being totally wrapped up in it. I’m not sure if it was the constant adventure, the mystery solving or imagining myself as the pretty girl that would inevitably be kissed each week.

We also saw the preview for Penelope. I lurve Christina Ricci and I really want to go see this one. Besides, I want her scarf, so I started making a quick ole crochet version. Maybe I’ll post a pattern :)

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Toots

P.S.  that thing I said about my husband, you know, the A word. I said it with a smile. Truth is we never watch anything without tearing it to shreds, ask anybody who knows us, and what he said made me bust out laughing. We had even spent the earlier part of the movie making fun of the Rohirrim men for not wanting women to fight with them. We had this whole extra storyline going with Theodin ordering all the able-bodied goats to take up arms, cuz women with swords would just look silly.

The last march of the Ents

;)

Fine. Okay. Whatever.

I happen to think that this actor, Karl Urban, is an attractive man. Done. Said.

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See, pretty good lookin, huh? So we’re watching LOTR :TTT tonight and in the final battle scene at Helms Deep when, as promised, Gandalf shows up at dawn on the fifth day who does he have with him? Karl Urban, in his role as Eomer. I’m not really paying attention because I’m crocheting and plotting new projects and… hell, I’m just distracted Ok.

And then I, because I am a silly girl, look up at the screen, see what is going on and say, “Oh, Karl Urban.”

My husband smirks and says in a very Dudley Do-Rightish voice, “Yes, Karl Urban and his buttery good looks are here to save the day.”

Asshole

Closing walls and ticking clocks…

;)

Ok, big movie night tonight. No not that one, but…

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…I think I have mentioned before that I like swamps, and I lurve the bridge troll from the second Spiderwick book: The Seeing Stone, it totally reminded me of the crazy swamp witch from Legend (top 10 movie love right there. Haven’t seen the 2002 directors cut? Totally different movie, truly amazing what this movie was supposed to be. Trust me)

So, I got to thinking about trolls and swamps and water – especially with all the amazingly crappy, rainy, wet weather we have been having over the last week and all the swampy floodedness of everything around us right now and I decided it needed to be expressed in jewelry.

Behold the River Troll Ring: I lurve me right now.

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I’m going to wear the ring tonight to the premiere and then put it on Etsy tomorrow, but if you’d like to make our own here’s a quick tutorial :) And I do mean quick.

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1. Decide on wire and beads you want to use. (I used a very fine wire from an old Klutz kit and a pile of different beads from my collection) Make sure your beads will glide easily along the wire’s  length. You may end up with some very small kinks in the wire and you don’t want your beads getting stuck. Try to stick with E-beads and larger stones, seed beads are just too small. Use a ring sizer to determine the size you want (try to find a solid surface to wrap your wire around, spoon handle, pen, marker – I have an old bead tube that worked for me). Cut a 2 yard piece of wire and beginning in the center wrap the wire 2-5 times with each piece, meeting back at the point where you started (the number of wraps determines how substantial your band will be). Use the tails to wrap the band together at the base, moving in opposite directions, then divide the band into 2 equal halves.

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2. Now, starting on either side, you place the beads that run along the side of your ring one at a time. Wrap your wire tail3 times around one side of the ring, thread on your first bead and then wrap the wire 3 times on the opposite side of the ring. Repeat 2 to 3 times more depending on the size and number of beads you have chosen and repeat on the other side.

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3. Work you center bead separate from the ring, new piece of wire about a yard . You may choose to use one stone or many, the important thing to have is a sturdy ring of wire all the way around the bead. Add whatever embellishments you want and bury the end of the wire inside a bead or in a wrap.

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4. Attach your center piece to the ring using the tails left from wrapping your side beads. Make sure you thread the wire underneath and through the wire around the center bead and along the two sides of the band. When it feels secure bury the wire ends. Voila!

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If you make one send me pics!! And feel free to ask questions. I do it a little different every time and you may find a way that works better for you. I have more pics on Flickr.

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Toots

I’m searching the dial while I’m scanning the sky for a patch of blue

;) 

I’m not sure when the last time was that I “did” Valentine’s Day. Patrick and I aren’t big on celebrating this kind of holiday – heck we’re not that big on our own birthdays or anniversary, but the girls are just SO excited. I think they got to me, a little.

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Maybe it was the cards they made for me, or the snow day we spent together yesterday snuggling and reading. Maybe it was their ecstatic surprise at the cards they got from Nana, Grammie B and the package from Aunt Gayle and Uncle Caboose (quit grinning, there’s an Uncle Bus, too)

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So I decided that this would be the year we did a little something special to celebrate how much we love our family, or I would anyway.

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Its remarkable how much 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder can affect how red this cake is.

E-mail me if you want recipe. ChickenBetty *at* Gmail *dot* com

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toots

They spun a web for me…

;)

Gah!! Yegads!! Holy Camoley! I’m just too excited!!!(and welcome to link central)

On Friday night the girls and I are going to an exclusive movie premiere and I can’t believe I never told any of you anything about this!!

First: we are seeing this

Why? Because *Gasp* I know Tony and Holly. Tee Hee. I know, its awesome.

To be totally honest I would say we are friendly acquantances and I am thrilled that they thought of me when putting together the premiere invite list, I didn’t think I was that high on their roster :) I’m literally pancaked with flattery.
Tony and his wife Angela are some of the sweetest, coolest people I have ever had the privilege to meet and work with. Back when I worked for the local B&N I was in charge of all the community stuff, arranging school partnerships, field trips and working with local authors. What a boon, then, to live in the Happy Valley where you can find Tony, Holly, Jane, Hollie, Diane, Jarrett, Scott , Jane, Heidi and more amazing authors and illustrators I’m sure I just haven’t had the marvelous luck to meet. Plus we’ve got the Eric Carle Museum, WOOT! ( I got to meet him and Norton Juster, Jeanne Birdsall, and Chris Raschka all in the same week a couple years back, gush gush gush) I also got to work with Tony and Angela, Jarrett, Timothy Basil Ering and the wacky Jon Scieska at the second annual Amherst Reads book festival(yes, thats me mentioned in the 4th paragraph). It was such a hoot and I’ll get to see some of them again this weekend.

So, GO see this film, it is a dream come true for some awesome people. And go check out the books, from everybody, great kids books, award winners some of em and good teen reads too, just good stuff.

And yes, Sarah, I do still think that JJK is the cutest boy! :)

Toots

Love is a story told to our friends, its second-hand

 ;)

So much doin’

I don’t have time to write much today, I have drawing class homework/sketches to catch up on.

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I’ve made a bunch of hats for a friend to have in her new store – more on that later in the month

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Friends and I had a super secret surprise baby shower for another friend on Saturday and at the last minute the poor pregnant girl had a family emergency(little brother appendectomy :( ) So me and the other two ladies drank the afternoon away. I had made ribs, babyback, and cupcakes and we had fresh veggies and fruit and yummy dip and 8 hours later I headed home. Best baby shower ever! HA!! I’ll have to hold off showing you the pics until the family shower later in the month – HA ha Erin, no peeksies :)

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We also had a birthday dinner for my Mil last night. I whipped up a cake, chili and cornbread, and some wrist bling for her. My Bil and Sil brought their super yummy mango salsa and blue corn chips and we settled in for an evening of family goodness.

snowy-rte-9-on-feb-10.jpgyellow-jaeger-bracelet-for-lois-8.jpgI’m sure there’s more but I also need to go get dinner started for Pat and the kids before I head back to work, I just won’t have time later.

Hey, anybody interested in Maple Syrup? Fresh homemade, totally hands-on (and I mean that in a non-gross, local hero kinda way) REAL maple syrup? We’re about to start tapping and we’re trying to get an idea for demand. You can pre-order. Pre-season pints will cost you$8, but after we start boiling they’ll be $9. Just let me know and I’ll send you over to Paypal. Last year we ended up with, and I’m sorta guessing here, about50 or so pints and my MIL already want 16 from this years batch.

Toots

Say what you need to say…

;) 

I miss having Netflix.

As part of our “pay-down-the-debt” year we canceled our subscription. Yeah it was great for having a movie or two that the kids could watch endlessly with no due-back deadline but really, for me, it was about the foreign films.

I get tired of listening to American English. I love the rhythms and phonetic quirks of other languages and dialects, don’t get me started about listening to Scotsmen! I like the slight lisp that seems to live buried in Spanish and Portuguese. I love the broken staccato edges of Slavic languages, the mumbled sine wave that is French, the crisp preciseness of German and the wide swing from quiet shush to caterwauling in Asian languages.

I know that I can “order” books from the library, they get borrowed from another library in the area and shipped over for me to read. I wonder if I can order movies, too? I would like to see this and this and this. Maybe I need to revisit this one, my all time favorite. Do you have a favorite foreign film?

I have my drawing class tonight – I’ll try to take some pics.

toots