Monthly Archives: October 2013

A review of Fablehaven :The Entire Series by Brandon Mull

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I couldnt help it. I bought the first book in this series and before I was half way through,I bought the other four.
I was so enthralled with the characters,plotline and wonderful story-telling that I had to have them.
All.Right.Now.
Brandon Mull completely outdid himself with the sheer pleasure these books give.The Fablehaven plot itself isnt necessarily a new concept,fairy tale creatures living amongst humans,however,our author makes a grand escape from the usual doldrums of such stories with the idea that these creatures are not what you think them to be. I was surprised by the arrogance of the centaurs,fell in love with the vanity of the fae,laughed out loud at the antics of the satyrs,cheered when an arch-nemesis Demon gave much needed advice to our young hero,Seth,and teared up when a crest fallen,insecure,young dragon found his strength and purpose. Throughout the books our hero and heroine,brother and sister, have a single purpose – to save the Fablehaven preserve from being exposed and overrun. Seems simple enough until you add in disappearing,or captured,or cryptic time-traveling adults,an evil banshee,dark flitting fairies that bite,poisonous fog and a villian with a single-minded purpose – destroy Fablehaven and unleash all of the creatures within it upon the human realm. Good and bad.
A pure joy to read,the Fablehaven series should be on every fantasy lovers shelf and in every child’s bookcase.
I am missing my friends at Fablehaven and may have to visit again,very soon.

Carolyn Seiver
Bell,Book & Candle Reviews
YA Book Addict reviewer
Hot Tree Editing

Adventures in Chalk Paint

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Merry Monday my fellow crafty people! For some reason this last weekend was very unsettling for me. i dont know if it was because of some stress here at home,or if it was the New Moon waxing…but it was odd. I was cranky. Did anyone else experience this? I think Mr SuperTrucker couldnt wait for me to go soak in a bathtub and leave him be,lol.  I did accomplish a few things I had been working on. I completed 2 Breast Cancer Awareness sock bunnies (October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.) and have 6 Frankenbunnies cut out and ready to assemble.Im excited about these,They are going to be so much fun to dream up their names and stories! I promise I will post pics and links to a tutorial to the Sock bunnies soon,so stay tuned for that post.
Now,on to my adventuring in Chalk Paint.  I have been following a favorite (and completely hilarious!) author,Jen Lancaster,with her obsession with this paint. Now,when I asked around on my FB page and in my local Hobby Lobby,Home Depot,yadda yadda…I got this reaction…”What is chalk paint?” or ” You mean,chalkboard paint?” No. I dont mean chalkboard paint. Chalk Paint.

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Annie Sloan created this awesome paint,originally for walls I believe. It is supposed to coat wonderfully,dry super fast,allowing you to apply a 2nd and even 3rd coat and have them all dry within a matter of hours.Bonus,no sanding or prepping.Hello…lazy girl paint. Im there!  Now,Ive been following Jen,like I said,and shes been repurposing furniture she finds at thrift stores and such with it and Im loving what I see. ( Im thinking of redoing my 5 yr old (Ella) daughter’s dresser in it.But thats another project. ) But,what started me on my personal quest for this paint is this

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How fantastic are these??

Believe it or not,they are plastic vitamin and medicine bottles and a spice tin. Remove the labels,cover them in 4 dif colors of chalk paint,add corks and wood trimmings. I thought “Omigoddess! How sweetly simple! ” Heh. Little did I know how hard it would be to actually get ahold of this paint. Sure,I can order it from Annie Sloan,if I want to pay full price and shipping.I can find it on ebay,IF you can find the right colors and again add shipping and wait time. Halloween is less than 3 weeks away. And,I never pay full price for anything,if I can help it. I am the couponer in my family.
The lady I spoke with at Hobby Lobby suggested making the paint myself,that she had seen several recipes online. VOILA!  I can do that! Looked it up…plaster of paris,water and latex paint. YAY!  HB carried PoP for $3.99. Water. check. now onto the latex paint. Called my local ACE hardware. Sure they have latex paint. So,I make the drive over,,only to discover it doesnt come in anything smaller than a half gallon and its 9$ a can. I need 4 colors.thats $40 for latex paint and what the hell would I do with the rest of it when Im done with these bottles? Its not like Im going to paint my walls black,dark brown,and 2 dif shades of orange yellow.
Back home,Im stumped and just a tad angry that I couldnt find this silly paint anywhere within a 50 mile radius,I decide to run another search online. I had finally resolved myself to ordering it off Ebay…then, somewhere on some page I was reading I spot this….’your local Home Depot or Sherwin Williams sells sample cups of paint for 3$’.. …. Wait.What?? Im on this like Donkey Kong.
The next morning,I trekked into Home Depot ,got my paint samples.Which are actually not cups,they are 8oz cans! Sweet! And yes,they are only $3!  The ladies in the paint Dept of Home Depot were fascinated when I told them about the paint (which they had never heard of) and were going to speak to their DIY dept and their manager about getting.They begged me to bring in my finished product so they could see. I can do that.
The next issue with this project should be simple,but its not.Finding the bottles. Unless you are a huge vitamin or medicine person and buy the large 200 count bottles,you arent going to have these on hand. So,I suggest if you want to make this project,start searching out relatives and friends for these large bottles. People throw them away. I ended up having to go buy 2 large bottles of Omega 3 (not that Mr.SuperTrucker and I didnt need to get some,but not 400 capsules worth.) . I also picked up 2 discounted bottles of shake Miracle Gro pellets for 2$ each. ok,that wasnt so bad. But,the spice tin was hard to find. Stores dont carry spices in tins like the one I needed anymore for safety and health reasons.I ended up at antique stores and got a tobacco tin,instead.
Whew. So,now you see what I have gone thru just to assemble everything I need to make these Halloween bottles. It wasnt much money,but it was definitely more time consuming than I anticipated. I hope,if you decide to make these as well,that you learned from what I went thru and have better luck!!  Ill post the finished project within the next week. Wish me luck! Blessed Be!
~Carrie
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