Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Ten Books Challenge

I've been Nominated by Susan Yorke on facebook to list The 10 books that have stood out for me.  Since I have things to say about some of the books, I decided to do the explanation part as a blog.. The funny thing is the longer I think about it more books/stories occur to me as important to my life!  Here are the 1st 10 I thought of...

The 10 books that have stood out for me(in no particular order) would be:

1. Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
   the whole series is amazing, but this is the first Lois book
I read.  I thought about naming my daughter after Cordelia
but after Buffy came out and I'm glad I didn't.... (not that I didn't
like Buffy's Cordelia but naming your child after her?)
Lois is absolutely my favorite Author.  I could go on for HOURs
on how impressive this book ( the the series) in general
is, but this book is not only very good read it really will
make you think.

2. the Hobbit by Tolkien ( what else can I say about this?)

3. Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I read this when I was
maybe 12? it made a huge impression on me.. the whole gorilla
warfare part was mind blowing at 12.

4. Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein.  this would be
one of the first science fiction books I ever read, again
around 12.  This and Have spacesuit will travel.  I'm still
a huge fan of Heinlein.  Starship troopers is another

5.Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden  I read this when I was
14-15 and it was a life changer.  At that point I wasn't
into guys, so I was "scared" that maybe I was .. gay? In the mid
80's this was a scary thought indeed.
This book helped me figure out I wasn't gay, but if
I was , that would have been OK as well. We are all
just people at the end of the day. I believe this book
helped me move past my parent's views into my current views
on homosexuality.

My mother was horrified I read this book!  It's one of the really
bad fights I had with her growing up. She wanted the
library to pull the book, which is about the only
time I can remember her hating a book.. I get my love of reading
from my mom, and I consider it one of the greatest
gifts she gave me!

I think she was
afraid I was gay too.. she was probably afraid I was gay
until I met my now hubby. She even asked me once when I
was 21-22... which pissed me off not that she asked but
that it should MATTER either way!  It really doesn't you know.
If everyone was the same how boring this universe would be.

6.Fragments of Isabella: A Memoir of Auschwitz

by Isabella Leitner  I read this in high school and it really
rocked me.  I've always been interested in WWII and the
Holocaust.  This is a autobiographical book, and it's
very emotional. 

7. Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer.  The first heyer I read,
and still one of the best.  1st true regency romance I read as
well... I'm very lucky that way.  Regencies are now
one of my favorite types of books.  Any book by Heyer is recommended
but this one is still special to me.  If you would like to
try Heyer, this is a good option... you can also read Arabella,
Cotillion, or the Grand Sophy as excellent starts.

8. The Heart of Man by Erich Fromm
I read this as a freshman in college. I feel some of my personal
code of ethics comes from this book.

9. OK, I am sad to say I don't remember the name of the book.
Read it in high school, and it's a collection of feminist
essays.  One of them was all about marriage.  It's from this
book I decided I would not give up my last name
if I ever got married. I wasn't gonna hyphenate either as
that just seemed a sop to the whole issue.( Jerry and I decided to share.. we
combined our names into a brand new name, complete with
brand new social security cards: BarronMiller.  No hyphen allowed)

10. Maus by Art Spiegelman This is another survivor's tale
of the holocaust, drawn and written by the son (Art Spiegelman)
This is like witnessing therapy in the best possible way.  It's hard
sweaty work but it needs to be done.
if you have never read a graphic novel, read this.  I'm not
the only one who thinks this.. this is the first graphic
novel to win a Pulitzer prize!  Have a box of Kleenex handy
and you will be ANGRY/depressed after reading this, so plan something
to run off that energy/depression.  Having said that, I think everyone should
read this book, along with the Diary of Anne Frank, the fragment book above and watch
Schindler's list.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Busy busy busy......

Recent shot of the booth... from Riverloop in Waterloo
Another grand time at the Farmer's Market today, and next weekend is ....... ARTapalooza in Cedar Falls, one of my absolute favorite shows!

I also have a bunch of commissions.. which I adore!   But that means I'm kind of busy.  (OK... when am I not busy??? )

So I'm very very glad it's a holiday weekend.  I'm planning on wearing PJ's and spending the maximum time I can in the studio Til Tuesday morning and I have to go back to my regular day job.

I hope everyone has such excellent plans for the weekend, whatever they might be!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

5 reasons to love the Farmer's Market....

I love love love love this vintage key on this necklace!
These are in no special order and are by no means exhaustive!

1.  The food.  OK, this might be the top reason... the food!! oh my... cookies, Uncle Wendell's BBQ, wonderful egg thingies that start with a F that I can never spell nor pronounce correctly but are beyond yummy, The Rotatory Club's fresh squeezed OJ, and if you like veggies, lots and lots and lots of veggies.

2.  The variety of stuff.  The Market folks work really hard on ensuring a varied market each week, and they really do an outstanding job of it.  While I would love ( love love!) to be at the market every weekend selling my Jewelry, each and every person who vends there goes through a jury process and are assigned slots based on a an eye towards balance and variety.  Some of the folks are able to do the market each week but it's mostly limited to food sellers.  Except for a couple of vendors that are grandfathered, most of the art and crafts are allowed only up to 8 slots each season.  Most don't get that many..  I feel very blessed I got 7 this year.  For the people who shop every week at the market, this means each week is a different mix.  Just how cool is that??

3.  Leaves the weekend free.  the Market isn't a huge time commitment either for the shopper or the vendor.  It's something you can stop by for a couple of hours as a shopper, and as a vendor I'm done and back up by 1245pm most markets... leaving the bulk of the weekend free !   I can still get together with friends and family and do stuff.  Most show weekends that's the only thing I do... not with farmer's Market!

4.  The energy of the Market.  Most of the people who go to farmer's market are in a good mood, and stay in a good mood... nothing is more pleasant that several thousand folks all having a good time at once. 

5.  My fellow vendors.  Really, some of the nicest folks you will ever meet!!

So, if you haven't been to the Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market, come on down Tomorrow 7-12pm... the weatherman says it's gonna be a great day! Jerry and I will be the south side of 3rd street again, like we have been the last couple of times....

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chain Chain Chain

mixed chain, old lock and key and a few charms
 I really love working with chain.  for one thing, when a customer needs something adjusted and it's got chain, it's an easy fix. 

This necklace is made using mostly left over pieces of chain, and chain I've adjusted off other pieces of jewelry at shows.  Waste not after all.

The idea behind this necklace is a modern day version of a chatelaine's belt.  I made the necklace long enough you could loop it around your neck twice or hang very long.  The funny thing is the gal who bought it wanted it really long.. I bet I added another 10 inches to it.

I really do love working with chain.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ode to my Printer....... and Temptation.

sewing machine lever, bobbin necklace
I've been missing my printer terribly, as it's been out of commission for almost a week.  I've decided only I am allowed in the future to use my printer, it seems like anytime someone uses my printer without me around it get's messed up.

Case in point, Jesscera wanted to print something, put in the paper wrong and it jammed.  Each night after work I would come home and try to fixed it until I reached my frustration point.

 It was soooo jammed that Jerry finally took it apart last night to retrieve a little itty bitty strip of paper approx. 2 inches across and less than a inch high.  So this morning I have my printer back, I am dancing by the computer as I type and I'm printing out a weeks' worth of important stuff I couldn't print until now.

Yesterday morning as I searched the net for instruction to take the printer apart, I of course looked at new printers.

Hubba Hubba.

I am a faithful wife, but as a owner of a printer I admit I stray, at least in my mind.  I was looking at a combo laser printer that did faxing, scanning and printing.  It was under $300.00.  Color.

Even though a few years ago that kind of printer would have been a thousand bucks or more.

So I'm glad Jerry got my printer fixed, cause another day or 2 without my printer and I might have talked myself into buying another........... and if you have to buy one, why not upgrade? 

Thank you Jerry for helping me to resist the evil lures of spending money.....  Damn you Jerry for killing my fantasy......

Sunday, August 10, 2014

clock earrings and a little green guy

clock part earrings......

one of Jesscera's little friends... isn't he cute? it's hard to tell in the photo, but he's one of the ones shaped like a leaf.. very very kewl...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The clock from the garage sale

inside the clock.  look how huge the movement is !!

on 6/14/36 a clock maker did something to this clock...

The front with the face... wouldn't this make a yummy picture frame?

resting on my hammer is a bracelet using one of the gears from the clock!
Soooo.. last weekend at the garage sale on highway 141 we
bought this older mantle clock for $5.00.

I'm not sure how old it is.  I couldn't find solid dependable
info on this brand, but it has a maker's mark dated 1936.
Whenever a clock or watch was fixed or cleaned by a clock
maker, they always dated it.  so the wooden shell of the
clock is at least from 1936.

However, the movement looks newer.. and it has no
patient marks, which would likely be there it if was

so i can't judge how how it is.

But I adore it!

I am keeping the wooden shell, it's in pretty good shape.

I'm either making it a picture frame or maybe a shadowbox or something

I begged Jerry to rip apart the movement and I've used one
of the gears already in this lovely bracelet...

I'll have it out this weekend at Riverloop fest in Waterloo
so if you are in the area, stop by and see it in person!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Highway 141 Garage Sale

Most of the treasures lined up: 1 sewing machine, 2 clocks, 1 typewriter, 2 adding machines ( one for a buck!!), a divider for my paints, 3 medial thingies that looked interest, 3 or more pounds of 20 gauge wire, a cash register, a bunch of interesting cookie tins to cut up and a few odds and ends.  We spent under $100.00 total, which includes a few bucks spent on non business " raw materials"

I adore this sewing machine tag!! soon to be a bracelet.... the sewing machine was FREE.  yep.  I  bought old metal bobbins for 50 cents, and walked out with this sewing machine as well...

Last weekend was the 100 mile garage sale on highway 141.

What fun!! I swear next year I will take Friday off so we can do the first day of it.. Jerry and I found some sweet sweet deals for the business, and even picked up a few bits for family fun.  The folks running the garage sales were all smiles and happy, and many said the crowds on Friday were marvelous.  The weather I'm sure was helpful!  Who knew August in Iowa could be so darn ... pleasant?? (word is the harsh heat is coming back soon though, drat)

And most of it was cheap cheap cheap.  Not that a few folks had things priced at unbelievably high prices.. but that's the joy of garage-ing. The trick is to just buy the cheap stuff, and dicker down the prices. 

I  found one old clock for just $5.00, I didn't even try to bargain on that, it had such lovely clock movement!! But most stuff, Offer half and settle for 25% off.  sometimes I get lucky and get my half!

We made it to Bayard and only gave up then cause it was getting so late -- the garage sales started at 8am, and by 330pm they were closing down.

I predict this will be a fun family event for years to come.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fuzzy vacation pictures

walkway , where we took the Garden Photo
Japanese Garden
 My most of my family are huge picture takers... me.. not so much.

Part of it is I take lousy pics, most of them are fuzzy.  These in the blog are the best of the lot... now some of the fuzzy isn't really my fault.. many area's of the House on the Rock are dim, and no-one is gonna take good pics in dim light.  I think the lens might get dirty as it's just my cell phone and it's always jammed in my pocket.

I've never been a purse gal, so in the age before cell phone camera's , it rarely seemed worth it to lug a huge camera around and be constantly afraid I would loose it.

Now we have camera's in the phone...

But I just don't think about taking pictures much.  I love looking at them, but taking them.. it's like my brain is Teflon coated and I just can't remember to wip out the phone and take pictures.

the flowerhead belly dancers in one of the bathrooms...
 My daughter loves taking photos.  On the computer she downloaded over 100 just from our little trip last week. 
OK, I really do like the sinks in the rock formation, same bathroom...

Demon as you enter Section 3 of the house exhibit...
 One last note.. if you go to the House on the Rock, make sure you check out all the bathrooms.  Each bathroom had different displays.  My favorite is the glass one.  (this link is to someone else's picture, as mine didn't turn out)