Monday, May 31, 2010

Giveaway: Pearls of the Stone Man

I am very excited to have THREE copies of Edward Mooney Jr.'s The Pearls of the Stone Manto give away to my readers! Originally published in 2002, Sourcebooks has recently re-issued this endearing story of Joseph and Anne Marino, married for 53 years. The Pearls of the Stone Man is the first in an anticipated trilogy, and The Journey of the Stone Man is the second book. I greatly enjoyed Joseph and Anne's story, as they continue laughing and loving, knowing that the end of their wonderful lifetime together is soon at hand. Anne expresses her feelings about this time in a beautiful letter to her husband, which is shared in the video below.

  • Just leave a comment stating you'd like to win this beautiful love story. Be sure I have a way to contact you when you win.
  • Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM EST Friday, June 18. Winners will be notified via email and will have 3 days to get back to me with a mailing address.
  • For extra entries you can 1) become a Follower of this blog, or let me know you are already a Follower, 2) Tweet or post to Facebook about the giveaway, 3) Mention it on your blog and link back. Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry, for a total of 5 possible entries.
More great books are being shared at Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesday! AND he's having an Amazon GC giveaway!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Monday Reading Report 5/31

I participate in two great reading memes each Monday. Mailbox Monday, hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page is a meme where folks share the yummy books that showed up at our doors! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!! It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books.
Bloggers share books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books you plan to read this week.
In my mailbox this week I received for review The Pearls of the Stoneman by Edward Mooney, Jr. from Sourcebooks, and Mary Kay Andrews' The Fixer Upper from Harper Collins. Look for a review and multi-book giveaway for Pearls of the Stoneman in the next week.
Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Brown
The Devil’s Queen by Jean Kalogridis (audio) - Historical fiction told from the point of view of Catherine de Medici. Loved it.
The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser - Sweet story about small-town life and quirky characters.
The Calder Project by Blue Balliett (audio) - Young adult mystery about a mobile by Alexander Calder that goes missing.
U is For Undertow by Sue Grafton
The Pearls of the Stoneman by Edward Mooney, Jr.
The Postmistress by sarah Blake
Woman in Red by Eileen Gouge
The Geometry of Sisters by Luann Rice
Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland (audio)

I am all caught up on my reviews, so I didn't have to write any this week!
GIVEAWAY for Leaving Unknown ends Friday. It's one of my favorite books this year, so I hope you'll check it out!
Writing a post each week about what I've read and plan to read makes me feel I've accomplished something. How about you?


Friday, May 28, 2010

Pink Saturday's Second Anniversary!

I haven't participated in Pink Saturday for a few months, but when I received Beverly's notice that this would be the second anniversary, I eagerly responded that I would be at the party! I have written 73 Pink Saturday posts, and was browsing through them to get ideas for a "wowser" of a post. I was struck by some of my photos that stood out in my mind as funny, or gloriously pink, or of something lovely and feminine, so I decided to share my favorite Pink Saturday photos that I took myself.
November 2009: My niece in my mom's hairdryer from the 1950s.
December 2008: Gloriously pink vintage Christmas ornaments.
January 2009: A noble lady from the 1780s, this container  belongs to my mom.
March 2009: Yummy, scrumptious pile of pink buttons.
I hope you will take the time to visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound and wish her a Happy Second Anniversary. Over the two years, over 800 different bloggers have participated in this meme, and it is featured in this month's issue of Artful Blogging!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Memorial Day

With the Memorial Day weekend upon us, I thought some patriotic images might be appropriate for Vintage Thingies Thursday. I would never think to send a Memorial Day postcard myself, but a little souvenir card tucked into the corner of a mirror, or on the fridge with a magnet would be a nice reminder to be thankful for the men and women we have lost in battle.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our country. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead. This information is from U.S. Memorial Day History, a site with poems, prayers, speeches, and ideas for ways to observe.
In 2000, Congress passed a resolution creating a National Moment of Remembrance, which asks that at 3:00 PM local time, all Americans "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps".
Enjoy the holiday weekend with your family, after you check in with the Vintage Thingies Thursday participants at ColoradoLady!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Giveaway & Review: Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs

Maeve Connelly is on a road trip of epic proportions with her foul-mouthed cockatiel, Oliver, as navigator. Traveling across the country from her home in North Carolina, with the ultimate goal of reaching Los Angeles, Maeve has planned her journey to include stops in as many towns as possible that have unique names. Toad Suck, Arkansas; Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; and Ding Dong, Texas are all part of the plan until her 1970 Plymouth, affectionately named Elsie, breaks down outside of Unknown, Arizona. All Maeve wants to do is earn the money for Elsie's repairs and get out of Unknown, but the warm-hearted and eccentric residents are pulling her in more every day. With Leaving Unknownas her ultimate goal, Maeve finds a job at the local bookstore, and takes on the daily running of a rooming house in exchange for her own place to live. As Maeve becomes more entrenched in Unknown life, she also starts to find a focus for what appears to have been a day-to-day existence for many years. Kerry Reichs slowly reveals the source of Maeve's wavering lifestyle through flashbacks and revelations Maeve shares with her new friends. Ultimately Maeve does manage to get out of town, only to realize that she has left her heart and soul in Unknown.
I absolutely loved Leaving Unknown, and it is now the third book on my Top Ten of 2010. To many it may seem to be a standard "finding your place in the world" story, but to me it struck many personal, resonant tones. Besides having me laugh out loud constantly, I appreciated that romance was not at the heart of this piece of "women's fiction", although there was some that helped Maeve move out of her floating existence and into real relationships. Because I felt such a personal connection to Maeve and her story, I may be a bit prejudiced toward Leaving Unknown, and I encourage you to visit the other blogs on this TLC Blog Tour. Some of them are giving away copies of the book!
CAUTION: Small spoiler below!!
As a cancer survivor, Leaving Unknownis the first novel I've ever read where the feelings of the patient have been expressed so accurately. Cancer patients are usually portrayed as brave or sad, and I've never been exposed to a literary character before Maeve who seemed so true and richly faceted.
Official FTC Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review other than an advance copy of the book.
  • Leave a comment about a favorite book you've read this year. Be sure I have a way to contact you.
  • This giveaway is open to US residents only.
  • Giveaway will end on June 4.
  • For extra entries you can be a Follower, Tweet about the giveaway, post it to Facebook, or mention it on your blog. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. +1 each
More great books, are shared every week at Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesday!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monday Reading Report 5/24

I participate in two great reading memes each Monday. Mailbox Monday, hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page is a meme where folks share the yummy books that showed up at our doors! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!! It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Bloggers can list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books you plan to read this week.
Just one new book this week,The King's Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick, from Sourcebooks. I've been reading a lot of historical fiction lately, and Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the best!
Hens Dancing by Raffaella Barker
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connolly
Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde
Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Brown
The Devil’s Queen by Jean Kalogridis (audio)
The Calder Project by Blue Balliett (audio)
The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser
U is For Undertow by Sue Grafton
The big news...I am all up to date on my book reviews! I know many of you can relate to my elation over that!
I hope you'll stop back tomorrow for my book giveaway of Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs. It's one of my favorites of 2010, and all the blogs on the TLC Book Tour are loving it, too!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scoring a Treasury

If you are an Etsy shopper, you know about the great tools they have to help you find just the right thing. Of course there's a regular search box, but there's so many other neat things, that when I first started visiting Etsy I would get lost for hours using the different shopping tools. A buyer can Pounce, which means finding shops that have either recently sold something, or have recently updated and are looking for a first sale; you can Shop Local, which means you are supporting crafters in your own geographical area; use a color wheel to see what pops up in a particular shade, or visit the Treasuries.
Treasuries are groups of items chosen by any etsy user, usually with a theme. It's a great way to get your items seen because when someone has an item showing in a Treasury they tell all their friends and everyone visits. The Etsy administrators also choose many of their front page items from Treasuries. The thing that makes being in a Treasury special is that they only last for 48 hours, and there's a limit to the number that can be listed at any one time. So you've got to time it just right to be able to score the opportunity to make one. I don't work full time, and I have a very erratic schedule, so I've been lucky to have made 4 Treasuries in the last few months.
I also discovered Treasury East, a new beta tool etsy is using to refine the way Treasuries are made. Treasury East is cool, because more items are featured and they don't expire. Instead of being listed by date/time they are listed by levels of "hotness".
I try to feature items from members of my EtsyBloggers Team, since the point of a team is to support each other. I search for my theme idea, such as "turtles", and include "etsybloggers team" with it. I took screenshots of the three treasuries I currently have up. You can click on the picture and it links to the live page. The Red, White and Blue expires Saturday, so I hope you'll check it out right away, and leave a comment there, too!
Are you an Etsy shopper? Have you tried any of these tools? Or maybe you have your own shop?
CAUTION: If this is your first time visiting Etsy, be sure to set aside plenty of time to lose yourself in the beautiful and creative items made by people from all over the world!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Some More Crewel-ty

It's Thursday, the day for all things vintage to be shared with your blogging friends! Suzanne, our own ColoradoLady is the hostess for this long-running meme of family heirlooms, antiques, and junk-shop finds. Be sure to visit her and the other Vintage Thingies Thursday participants.
I was inspired to share this great crewel-work shadowbox by the birds who sing in the woods outside my bedroom window every morning, starting at about 4:30, as soon as they can see the sun starting to come up. My mom made this shadowbox in the 1970s. It has many different stitches, but the one that fascinates me still is the puffy cut loops that make up the nest. I've never done that particular stitch myself.
It hung in our upstairs hallway for 20 years, until the box separated from the backing and it was never fixed. I need to take care of those stains with Suzanne's special recipe for washing vintage linens, and then I will put it back together and hang it in my house. I know nothing about birds, so if you know what kind these are, please share with us! I think the bird in the top box looks like the one on the Vintage Thingies Thursday logo, don't you?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mailbox Monday 5/17

Mailbox Monday, hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page is a meme where folks share the yummy books that showed up at our doors! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!! I received a variety of goodies this week.
Leaving Unknownby Kerry Reichs I read in 1 day. Loved it and will be reviewing it next week for a TLC Book Tour.
The Great Loverby Jill Dawson is historical fiction about a 5-year period in the life of English poet Rupert Brooke where he has a nervous breakdown and an affair with a Tahitian woman while in the South Seas.
The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace came from the goodreads book swap. Historical fiction about the invention of the first documented typewriter, its inventor, and the Italian contessa whom he loved.
Did you receive anything great this week? Looking forward to something coming soon?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Sandi's Birthday Bash!

Sandi the T-Shirt Lady, one of my EtsyBlogger colleagues is having a month-long Birthday Bash celebrating her birthday! She's offering 50% off EVERYTHING at Handmade By Sandi, AND every purchase gives you two entries into a raffle for $25.00 gift certificate! This is an extremely generous offer! Could Sandi have gotten to an age where she's lost her marbles?Sandi is an amazingly talented woman, who offers a huge variety of knit and sewn items, as well as jewelry.
I definitely could use one of her coffee cozies. The people at the Dunkin' window keep forgetting to give me the cardboard one!
Here's Sandi herself, modeling a great summer apron made with seashell fabric. Maybe I should do some modeling of my own merchandise, instead of using other people...
 Handmade by Sandi is the first shop I've seen selling these great sleeves for cold drinks. Not only does a little bit of insulation keep your drink cold, they go under the can or water bottle to help avoid condensation rings!
She even crochets earrings! I've never seen anything like it!
As you can see, Sandi truly is a versatile crafter! As a cancer survivor she also has some survivor jewelry, and lots of great hats and scarves, perfect for those with hair or without! I wish I'd know about Handmade by Sandi back when I was Baldie McBalderson! You can get to know Sandi better and see some of her talents that I haven't mentioned (like felted bowls!) at her fabulous blog, The T-Shirt Lady, where she has tutorials and features many other crafters. There's also a link to her online store Sandi's T's featuring snip-snip technique t-shirts, home decor, and gorgeous purses and bags! When you visit to check out the great Birthday Bash deals, be sure to leave her a comment and tell her Elizabeth the Evil Overlord sent you!
OOH! I forgot to remind you about my Blue Mondays in May special at Little Somethings; anything with blue on it is 10% off and free shipping. I hope you'll stop in!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: It's My Birthday

It's the Birthday Edition of Vintage Thingies Thursday! I'm very excited to have my actual birthday fall on a Thursday this year! In honor of this important occasion, I am sharing some vintage little girl birthday cards that I own.
What a graceful young lady we have here, sweetly holding some little chicks. She must have been modeled after me. I love the pantaloons peeking out from under her skirt!
I'm sure every little girl has received a ballerina card at some point!
The hat on this girl seems a little bit overwhelming, don't you think? Is it bending her head over?
I have several kitten themed cards for a girl's birthday, but I am more of a dog person. I only have this one with the funny shaggy dog being tormented by the butterfly on his nose.
And just for something slightly strange, why is this squirrel wearing a hat? At first I thought it might be a skunk, but either way it's weird. Anyone who finds squirrels cute obviously hasn't had them eat through window screens or trash barrels!
For more fun and fantastic Vintage Thingies, hope on over to ColoradoLady to enjoy a vintage-themed luncheon party, and see the list of all the participants!