Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Children Make Terrible Pets / children's book reviews

Great book, made me laugh, and the illustrations are AWESOME.

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More

This was a smash hit at story time with the 3-4 year olds. (ok, it was a smash hit with me as well). As an added bonus, the song gets stuck in your head!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Favorite Halloween Costume and Makeup Tutorials

This post is a compilation of the videos and links I've been using for inspiration for my homemade costume/makeup this Halloween. 

I'll include some of my own findings about cheap makeup ideas at the bottom of the post (including where to get some uber cheap makeups so you get the look without breaking the bank for Halloween, along with diy recipes for makeup remover and brush cleaner).

Martha's Ghostly Equestrian

Martha's Madame Butterfly

Whether you like her or not, Martha Stewart has some of the BEST costume ideas on the web.
Even if you've seen these before, they are worth looking at again for inspiration--they teach you how to take mundane things and make them something special. 

Martha's Spellbinding Sorceress Costume

New and sort of hidden this year, is the full tutorial of how they created Martha's Enchantress Costume for 2010.  Follow this link to get the step by step instructions!  AMAZING!  And the things they use to create the look probably could all be found at the $1 store or thrift stores (or a substitute anyway).  (images from marthastewart.com)

This tutorial got me into a fairy wing mess of my own...I'll post pictures when I'm done.

My suggestion would be to keep it simple (notice there is only one color of paint used in the tutorial), have some glitter on hand, and see if your Walmart has incense on clearance like mine did for 75 cents.  Walmart also has really cheap knee highs in little plastic balls (like the kind that come out of vending machines with a toy surprise inside).

I have become quite entranced by the tutorials by MissChevious because makeup is somewhat of a mystery to me, and she makes it much, much less mysterious.  I've done two trial runs using some of the techniques she shows, and even with my dollar store makeup, I'm finding I can get pretty close to her look.  I'm only embedding one tutorial here: check out her website for many, many more.


Never underestimate the deals you can find online. If you give yourself a head start time wise, you can buy good makeup for reasonable prices online. Same goes for craft supplies. Especially if you live in a semi remote location like I do where selection is limited when you do get to an actual store.

The Dollar Tree is your friend for makeup (the larger the store, the better). Don't overlook Ulta (the makeup superstore)--it turns out their house brand Ulta and their other brand Essence can be Very Cheap. And when it comes to cheap, nothing beats E.L.F. makeup--I bought false eyelashes for $1, glue included! And most of their stuff is $1. DON'T ASSUME THE CHEAPEST PLACE IS WALMART! Shop around (even within the store--quickly walk through all the makeup selection and the Halloween section to get an idea of what the price range is).

Moo and I have found E.L.F. at Target and Big Lots, you can also order it online, but you might not get it in time for Halloween...they do have a 50% off eye makeup right now online, which makes a bunch of stuff 50 cents! I wish I had found that deal earlier. Use this link to find a store that sells E.L.F. near you.

HIGHER QUALITY MAKEUP FOR LESS--Just from perusing the nets it seems that NYX is a higher quality but still very reasonably priced makeup brand. I think it can ususally be found at Ulta and online. It's heralded as a cheaper alternative to MAC makeup.


For eyeshadow base, mix foundation and facial lotion (2 parts lotion to 1 part foundation), spread it on/around your eyes and your shadow will stick better and "stronger."

Eyeshadow Mixing Medium makes any eyeshadow more like a paint or into an eyeliner.  Use 3 parts water to 1 part glycerin (at walmart, the glycerin is on the same isle as rubbing alcohol)

I am a goof, I know, but I'm really excited to stick little jewels all over my face this Halloween. The cheapest route I found this year was to pick up scrapbooking jewel stickers at Michaels (on clearance and regularly priced for $1-$2), peel off the sticker back, then put a dab of eyelash glue on them then stick 'em on. Easy, cheap, and very effective. The advantage of looking in the scrapbook section is that they have a larger range of color. I needed browns and goldy-yellows--only found that pallette in the scrapbook section.

Best kept secret is that you can use artist brushes for makeup brushes.  You can buy them for a fraction of the cost of nice makeup brushes, and I saw one video where the guy showed both the makeup brush and the artist brush side by side and they are almost exactly the SAME (e.g. the handle is longer on one)!  Price wise you're looking at $20-60 for a makeup brush and $3-15 for the same artist brush.  The recommended artist brush brand: Loew Cornell.  (don't pay full price, these go on sale at Michaels and Joanns regularly--and you might try a discount art store too).

Brush cleaner can be made using rubbing alcohol, purified water, baby shampoo, etc....here's a link.

Use glitter approved for use by your eyes (duh) but!  one way to get it to stick: Vaseline.  Smear some on, then brush on glitter on top.

If you don't mind using an oil based remover, get a cotton ball or pad and dampen it with water, then pour a few drops of olive oil onto the cotton and rub it over your eyes.  Works like a charm.

Alright, that's enough for now.  If you've found good stuff like this on the nets, let me know!  Happy Haunting!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Momma Done Told Me

In the Looney Tunes cartoon My Favorite Duck, Daffy sings part of "Blues in the Night," and Porky sings part of "Moonlight Bay." Both good classics. Here are two versions I like. Enjoy! Happy Friday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Next Crazy Coupon Lady

At the risk of becoming that lady you know that RAVES about coupons (I'm not going to rave, not even close) I wanted to share the link to this website (moneysavingmom.com), that a friend shared with me. It's FREE. And it looks like it has some good stuff, namely the part where you click on a store logo and it shows you the best deals of the week from that store and provides links to coupons to make those best deals even bestier.

the end.

I will now resume my regular posts about books, libraries, and story times.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child

This book is hilarious--the little crocodile gets tired of eating bananas and wants to eat a child instead.  You'll have to read this (very) short book to find out if he gets what he wants.  After I read it, I was thinking, "Awesome Storytime Book."  Which, by the way, I'm now a storytime lady (think: You've Got Mail, when character Kathleen Kelly wears a princess hat and reads to little kids, except I don't own a quaint bookshop in New York...but The FP is pretty dang close in many respects.)

I still don't have a sweet hat to wear, but that hasn't stopped us from having a BLAST. Last week's highlight was The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree.

I loved that book as a child, and since there aren't very many words in it (a must when reading to 3yr olds), and because it is sort of Halloween themed, I tried it out on the little kiddies.

At first some of them looked a little apprehensive, like: Maybe this is going to be a scary book, and I don't like scary.   But they got into it (you know, acting out being the bear with the light, the bear with the stick, and the bear with the rope and answering the questions the book poses to the audience: Do you think they went down that spooky old hall???? (so as not to leave you in suspense, they DO go down the spooky old hall.))

Anyway, the kids loved it, so we read it twice and it was requested again for this week...so they get it again, bless their little hearts. So tuck that away as handy information when entertaining three and four year olds, Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. It's a hit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Foray into Hobby No. 4,039

Better than an alphabet sampler for a first project.

As hobbies go, embroidery is not on my Exciting Things to Do With My Life list. Though, I should have seen it coming--the fact that I would one day get tangled up in embroidery (literally, at times)--because even when I was a child, my favorite pillowcases were the ones with embroidery on them (same with hand towels, clothes, etc.) Turns out, I like embroidered things.

Recently I reached beyond merely liking embroidered things:  I started creating them.   Hello!  I have my very own Pegasus embroidered entirely by me!  (let's not look too closely at the stitches, friends, because neat, even stitches aren't my strength yet).

The big drawback is that embroidery involves hand sewing--heck, it's just combinations of different hand sewing techniques. And I am not one for sewing pretty and even little stitches by hand, let alone for finagling with needles and thread (I don't even like reading about girls in books  sewing things by hand with pretty, even little stitches.  Yes, that means you Little House on the Prairie).

You know what did me in though? It was a book that I checked out from the library during the summer doldrums that showcased different types of stitches (though I think the book was billed as hand quilting, not as embroidery, which was very sneaky of them). To my delight and surprise, I successfully completed some of the stitches, including a tricky looking flower one.
By "successfully completed" I mean,they look sort of like the ones in the book.

I had a fantastic idea for making little bracelets with embroidery on them, and my practice run turned out to be a beaut.

At this point I figured I was ready to see what the next step was in the world of embroidery.  Thankfully there are two embroidery books on the market right now that quite captured my attention--one, Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart, has a pattern I love
(cheerfully colored skulls! hoorah!)

and the other, Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs, has a pattern I couldn't live without. So I braved dark roads and a snooty parking garage in Scottsdale to get my very own copy (with my 40% off coupon, of course).

Image from country Bumpkin & Inspiration

My pegasus at the top of the post is a modified version of a winged unicorn pattern by Aimee Ray--which can I tell you that I would have LOVED this as a coloring book page when I was 5 years old? Unicorn pegasus with stars on it and a long, flowing mane and tail! Does life get any cooler than that?!

I'll tell you my secret to fun times while embroidering: good audio books. May I recommend Neal Shusterman's Everlost--the reader (Nick Podehl) is INCREDIBLE!--and the story is interesting and creative and the charaters are unforgettable.

Another audio book candidate (I'm only through disk one right now, so the jury is still out on it) The Curse of the Blue Tattoo--focuses on a girl (who in the last book was posing as a boy in the British navy) going to finishing school in Boston (in the Fall, har har) and having to EMBROIDER!

Audio books like these make the minutes fly by--and at the end of the disk or book you have more than just a good story to show for your time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I may not have a great idea, but she does!

Cathe Holden (who I blog stalk regularly) has a seemingly never-ending source of creative ideas that I LOVE. Her latest is to take ordinary objects, scan 'em, blow them up (as in make them bigger in size) then print them out and use them for all kinds of things. Check out her post.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I went out to vacuum my car this afternoon and happened to glance down and see this:

These are some great (albeit a tad gruesome for the grasshopper) photos, and it was an interesting scene to stumble upon. In my delight, I proudly showed my newfound spider to The Rock when he arrived home a few hours later (the spider was still latched onto the grasshopper).

With mild amusement he said, "Oh, yeah...and that's a black widow."
"No it's not. There isn't any red on it. I looked."
He leans closer. "Sure there is, it's maybe a little faded."
Scooting my face to within inches of the spider I said, "No. There's no red. Just black." I kept looking, watching the spider move, and then I saw it. There WAS red on it's abdomen.

There was a mad scramble to smash the spider.

The moral of the story is: If you are ever inclined to stick your hands into our flower pots...well, let's just say the Big Bad Black Widow escaped execution tonight. (shiver).

P.S.  In honor of the grasshopper (har har).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thoughts on Being a Librarian and New Releases in Young Adult Fiction

So I started my job as a librarian a few weeks ago. And it's fantastic. My only complaint is that I was already addicted to reading! How often does what you do in your free time coincide with what you do at work?!

I placed my first book order--which means I've been researching new releases, while trying to cram in a bunch of books I wanted to have read so I know who to recommend them to. See what I mean! Work is creeping into my free time territory. (I know: poor me, right?)

Ok, so now you're a wee bit curious as to what's up and coming, right? Well, I'll give you a few YA titles to maybe look forward to yourself.   (these are what I would order for my personal library, only some of them will be coming to the library I work for).

Robing McKinley.  Enough said.  (Big Mouth here: isn't the cover beautiful too!)

Bartimaeus is hilarious (thank you Mr. Stroud for writing another one!)

By the author of  The Mortal Instruments Series, which I liked well enough.  (ok, so this one came out on Aug. 31.)

Seems like there might be some time travelish thing between a girl in Revolutionary France and the present day.
Girl spy/revolution/disguises...

Did you know Orson Scott Card is writing a trilogy for YA?  Yeah.  The first book, by the name of Pathfinder, is scheduled to come out on November 23.  I'm curious to see if I'll like it. 

And the book The Agency: A Spy in the House is already out, but I haven't read it or heard anything about it until now.  (So if you have first hand info on it, give me the scoop!).

Also, (this is a long book post), have you read anything by Brandon Sanderson?  I've only read one, Mistborn, and I loved it.  The others are on hold all the time, and they are fairly long, so I haven't gotten to them yet.  BUT!  He has a stand alone book (sigh of relief because this isn't a common thing anymore it seems) called Warbreaker. AND!  it's free on the internet right now.  I haven't read it yet, but I'm itching to get started on it.  Let me know if you do.

One interesting thing is that now it seems people feel obligated to mention books they've heard about or read. Even before I worked at the library I was plenty happy to talk books, but now it seems I can't escape it. I wonder if that happens to high school teachers: people divulge their own high school experiences because that's what they know about high school?   I'm undecided as to whether these book confessions are a good thing.  Well, either way, you can give me book recommendations, but maybe not too many all at once, seeing as how I'm already bringing home piles of books to read. It's dangerous to methodically go through an entire library's shelves. You might be surprised what you've overlooked.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A song I like (though not necessarily the music video as much...maybe just listen to the song...)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moo's Birthday!

Today is Moo's Birthday!
In honor of her Special Day I'm putting up some linky/videoy things she likes.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Observation

The Geologist and I have made an observation about people who shop/pretend to shop at REI. (We're in the pretend to shop category because we like to go and and admire and touch all the shiny bikes and tent poles, but then we go home and look online for where whatever it is we want is really on sale. REI's idea of 'a sale' is not our idea of 'a sale.')
Anyway----we've concluded that on any given day at any given time that we stop in to REI, there will ALWAYS be 1.) a Subaru Outback (usually green) with 2.) a roof rack. Stickers about the environment or similar are optional. 

This last time, we counted roughly 8 altogether, 5 with roof racks. They always park facing Yosemite. Just kidding. But this last time there was quite the bumper crop, and I had to take a picture.
These were at another outdoors store, but as you may guess, not in REI. (The one on the far left is the "Buck and Doe" arrangement. The doe has little antlers, but they're hard to see.) They also sell fake coonskin caps, and if my head were smaller, I'd ask for one for my birthday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Famous Person Alert

I've been a bit slackerish of late when it comes to posting. And I apologize, hence the uncomfortable, apologetic sounding "yerm."

BUT! did you notice that the VERY PERSON WHO CREATED THAT WONDERFUL COMIC STRIP I TOLD YOU ABOUT LAST POST LEFT A COMMENT?! Yeah, buddy. Can you say coolest blog comment ever! Wow. That's practically like shaking hands with him. Sweet. (I did a happy dance just then! woot woot!)

Ok. Ahem. Read the comic.

In other news, I am back from my almost week long trip to the lovely girls' camp, and my work schedule will settle down soon (right after tomorrow's Big Hulabaloo Eclipse Pre-Release Party. We are watching the first two movies, eating dinner, giving away free movie tickets and generally bingeing (see m-w.com if you don't believe that spelling) on all things Twilight Saga. Sorta scary and sorta fun all at the same time).

And if the T word isn't quite your thing, you have The Last Airbender to be looking forward to--are you? I'm taking The Rock to see it someday soon, I just know it.

This Saturday marked our first true summer excursion into The Out--which means pick a dirt road, park when you find a good spot, get out and start climbing.  Then, an hour or so later, start picking your way back toward the original road.  It's not a plan for the faint of heart (or the organized of mind).

That is a snakeskin in my hand.  And let me tell you, it took quite a bit of reassurance from The Rock that No, it did not contain disease or other harmful substances, before I agreed to pick it up with my own bare little fingers.  Bleh.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little more humor just for you

My brother showed me a cartoon called Mal and Chad. It's Calvin and Hobbesesque--Mal is a little boy and Chad is his talking dog. Though, unlike Calvin who can be stupid at times (e.g. his school report entitled "Bats are Bugs"), Mal is smart, and Chad, well, he's a talking dog!   Mal builds robots and jet packs and supposedly spent his summer building a rocket that he took into orbit (which makes it totally understandable that he's a little paranoid and mistakes his babysitter for a fed who's come after him). Here's a link to the first comic in the series that's posted online. (and I recommend you read them in order).

Tho, you could read just one out of order, and if so, it should be this one.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A little humor just for you

I don't know anything about MTV or its music awards, but this commercial played when we were at the movie theater and I think it's pretty funny.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summertime Fun!

As you probably realize by now, I like good birthday parties quite a bit. I happened across two sites--both are full of goodness (the sugary kind for the first and the fun, fun, fun kind for the second--ok, and it has a sort of circusy feel to it's opening page. Do you speak French? I don't, but apparently they do!)

As you may also have noticed, there has been a dearth of posting here lately. My job has started consuming more of my time lately, though in a very fulfilling sort of way. I'm running a summer program for youth--for instance we tie dyed shirts today. Thirty at least. Maybe more. I'll have to count tomorrow. In case you've been wanting to tie dye (or never have? or have a lot in the distant past) may I point out to you the beautiful things called Tie Dye Kits available at Walmart/craft stores? No cooking, no stirring, just fill up the squeeze bottles with water and dye your shirt! Easy peasy.And those spiral types: SO EASY.  Who knew.  I thought they took a lot of time and effort--they don't.

As a part of the summer program, I made up some flyers--do you mind if I show them off to you here? (I'm going to, so if you don't want to see them, exit now!)  And then, if I can get my show on the road I will put up a summer funtime blog so you can do the same activities we're doing.  (I know; I know.  A lot of say so and not a lot of do so. I'm getting to it.)

Anyone feel like helping me bake a million and one cookies for the cookie decorating class this Thursday?  Any ideas for how to decorate them?  I think I'll just make little gingerbread man shaped sugar cookies and let the children go to work on them unless some other great idea comes along.