Saturday, 31 December 2011

Last day of 2011

I am feeling optomistic & positive about the new year ahead. The past 2 months have kicked us in the teeth, so it can only get better right?

Other than the afore mentioned past 2 months, 2011 was pretty uneventful and went by pretty quickly.

I truely think 2012 is the year for changes, for the better that is.

I'm not going to make New Years' resolutions or anything, but aim to do better in all I do.

Wishing all my friends & family alike, a wonderful, healthy, happy, joyous New Year!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

I did two watercolour paintings today

I am finally getting my art mojo back.

This is my friend Melody's dog Cady.

And this is hubs' dog Kodi when he was a pup. It is outlined in ink then colured with watercolours - it looks more cartoonish.

Each painting took only a couple of hours.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Seems I like to art late at night

I did this watercolour between 11pm & 12:30 last night/this morning.

I have to find something other than Bostons to draw/paint though :)

Click image to enlarge. This Boston is my Peanut.

Other art I have done in past few months but forgot to post :)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Recent art work

I did a pencil sketch of my friend Lisa's Boston Terrier Maggie yeaterday - I spent between 2-3 hours on it.

I think I need to do more pencil sketches, I liked doing it.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Somewhat of an update

I know I haven't been around much other than to post book reviews.

I am going to be somewhat vague here (my longtime readers can email me for details) but the past couple months have been extremely hard. My stress levels are through the roof and I need to get them under control.

Christmas this year will be quiet with only the 3 of us at home. Our usual Boxing day get together has been postponed until Jan 7th. I am hoping the break will help me restore myself. I have been sleeping too much and not well at that. I had lost the few pounds I had regained, to get back to my 20lb loss, but have since gained again.

Things are looking somwhat better, but there is still a lot to come. Starting right after our party Jan 7th, I will be getting back to my lowcarb way of eating - I have been overindulging like crazy and I constantly feel sick. No use trying to go sugar free during the holidays though, so that is the reason for the delay. I will however, do my best to curb the carb craziness somewhat before that.

I'm doing my best to stay positive and keep everyone else positive. I can't belive there are only 4 days til Christmas. Our tree is up but not yet decorated - should probably do that today. I also only have 1/4 of my house decorations up - seems pointless when no one but us will see them.

If I don't get around to posting before Christmas, I want to wish all my lovely readers a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year - may all your hopes & dreams come true and  may you and your families be happy & healthy!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Book review - Valley of Dreams by Lauraine Snelling

Publisher's blurb:
When Cassie Lockwood's mother died, Cassie began travelling with her father's Wild West Show. Along the way, she became an amazingly skillful trick rider and sharpshooter, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father passed away, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.
Now Cassie has discovered that "Uncle" Jason, the show's manager, has driven the show into debt, and he's absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Cassie decides to try to find the hidden valley in the Black Hills of South Dakota where her father had dreamed of setting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers on a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who's been with the act for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.
Will they find the valley before winter closes in on them?

My review: I must say I have never been this disappointed in a book before. That publisher's blurb tells only half the story - literally. There is one storyline about Cassie and her friends and then suddenly there is a completely different storyline about others you have never been introduced to.

The writing was mediocre at best. A huge portion of both stories could simply be cut out and thrown away as it added nothing to the plot at all. Hearing about how one brother hates to milk the cow is sufficiently stated once, we don't need to be reminded 4 more times. Telling us about mundane tasks in great detail did nothing to add to the intrigue.

I was patiently waiting for the story lines to merge and they finally do - on the very last page! To completely leave us hanging. Now I know this is the first book in the series, but you finish one book before you write the next - this book is NOT finished - it simply ended! It is like the publisher missed inserting the last chapter.

I would not recommend reading this book unless you have all books at once so you can continue the story and plenty of time to read all the boring parts.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Book review - A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

Publisher's blurb:
Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.
The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.
Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

My Review: I LOVED this story. It was fast paced enough that it did not get boring, it had twists that kept you guessing. The characters were likable and well developed. The various storylines were as intriguing as the main one. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".