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Monday, August 29, 2016

ootd 8/29/2016

ootd 8/29/2016

27863207 Unraveled by Jennifer Estep
Kindle Edition400 pages
Expected publication: August 30, 2016, by Pocket Books

GoodReads Summary:
After the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled.

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

My Review:
Now that Finnegan Lane's back to being himself, things seem to have gotten lively around Ashland, or at least around Gin, again. This is a rousing romp of a story that just seems a bit more lighthearted than the previous books. Maybe the author decided it was time for a little relief from all that tension of the last several books. I gave it a four-star rating, but it's a bit of a weak four stars. The next book is due out in a few months and I am sure the tension will be back up. But just because this is a fun romp instead of a dreadful, dark tension filled thriller is no reason to skip it. By all means, this is a great late summer read. Gin gets the bad guy, of course. In fact, Gin gets a lot of bad guys and has a great time doing it!

Pocket Books and NetGalley provided me a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own. This book is expected to be published August 30, 2016
~Judi E. Easley

Friday, August 26, 2016

ootd 8/26/2016

ootd 8/26/2016

Detroit Is No Dry Bones by Camilo Jose Vergara

 Detroit Is No Dry Bones
by Camilo Jose Vergara
University of Michigan Regional, Arts & Photography, Publish date August 28, 2016

NetGalley Summary:

Over the past 25 years, award-winning ethnographer and photographer Camilo José Vergara has traveled annually to Detroit to document not only the city's precipitous decline but also how its residents have survived. From the 1970s through the 1990s, changes in Detroit were almost all for the worse, as the fabric of the city was erased through neglect and abandonment. But over the last decade, Detroit has seen the beginnings of a positive transformation, and the photography in Detroit Is No Dry Bones provides unique documentation of the revival and its urbanistic possibilities. Beyond the fate of the city's buildings themselves, Vergara's camera has consistently sought to capture the distinct culture of this largely African American city. The photographs in this book, for example, are organized in part around the way people have re-used and re-purposed structures from the past. Vergara is unique in his documentation of local churches that have re-occupied old bank buildings and other impressive structures from the past and turned them into something unexpectedly powerful architecturally as well as spiritually.

My Review:
This book had an unsettling effect on me. All those ruins and they really are ruins, relics of a grander time. All the life, gone. Vergara commented on it himself at one point. There are no people in his photographs. He'd start to take a picture and try to refocus to capture a person, and the person would be gone. There are whole parts of Detroit where there are no people, though. Nothing but rotting floors, rusting pipes, faded signs, fallen roofs. Abandoned. Burnt. Abused. And graffiti over all. In some landscapes, that's the only color, the graffiti. It's a stark sight and he's been photographing it for a long time. Each year catching the changes. Some slow, gradual. Some as quick as a flash of hot fire. No one to stop it. No one to care.

No, that's not true. There are people who care. The African American population in Detroit fights back as it can. However, the money in Detroit doesn't belong to them. And Packards aren't made in Detroit anymore. No jobs. No money. No power. No progress. Slow progress. The revelation of the condition of their city has embarrassed some of the people of Detroit and things are ever so slowly changing. It's going to take time. It's going to take a whole lot of money. And it's going to take a whole lot of caring. I hope Mr. Vergara keeps dropping into Detroit with his camera to take pictures.

This book is being published on August 28, 2016. I was provided a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review by University of Michigan Regional and NetGalley. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions stated are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley

The Art & Craft of Handmade Books by Shereen LaPlantz

31252346 The Art & Craft of Handmade Books
by Shereen LaPlantz

Kindle Edition129 pages
Published June 22nd 2016 by Dover Publications

GoodReads Summary:
This innovative approach to bookbinding demonstrates an array of creative techniques that elevate handmade books into extraordinary works of art. Easy-to-follow, well-illustrated directions for more than 25 patterns explain how to make seven different kinds of books with pop-up panels and pages that "explode" from the spine as well as slipcases, tassels, and other distinctive features.
The guide begins with instructions for a simple accordion-fold book. Successive projects build on methods readers have already mastered and introduce new skills, including the pamphlet stitch, ideal for photo albums and scrapbooks; tacket binding, the versatile stitch of medieval Europe; and the Coptic stitch, employed by Christians of ancient Egypt. A full-color photo gallery, with contributions from more than 60 artists, offers further inspiration for enhancing and personalizing projects by using alphabets, bestiaries, botanical illustrations, and other designs. The author includes a glossary of terms as well as information on materials and tools.

My Review:
I was really surprised by the books in this guide on book making. Usually, you see regular books and how to stitch them and it's really basic. I was so pleasantly surprised to see art! These little gems created by the author and her assistant were lovely. They used the traditional techniques, well explained, to create pieces of art. The idea that totally caught my imagination was the bestiaries. The idea of creating a modern bestiary is really a great idea for someone just starting out bookmaking. There were several ideas presented on how such a projected could be approached depending on the person's level of expertise and talent. I found myself impatient to get into my studio to work with my supplies and create! I definitely found this book to be inspirational and instructive at the same time! I would strongly recommend this book to a beginner or more advanced bookmaker. The beginner would learn a lot, both historically and skill-wise. And the more advanced bookmaker would definitely be inspired by both the text and the pictures. This is a book that will see some use in my studio!

This book was provided to me by Dover Publications and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley

Discovered another of Shereen LaPlantz's books on my shelves when I was reshelving my library today. Cover to Cover (2000) was one of the books that got me going on bookmaking when I first tried it. Another one by her that is well worth looking into for both the art and the instruction.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's a Jungle Out There!

Yup, today it's all about the animals! In each piece of artwork, there's at least one animal. Sometimes it's all about the animal, and sometimes the animal is just there for support or laughs.
Just Dropping In
Just Dropping In
by mrscharley
3176 - Walk at your own pace
Walk at Your Own Pace
by niwi
Fantasy Moons Rising
Fantasy Moons Rising
by mrscharley
After the dance...
After the Dance
by lindafaulkner-adams
Pure Magic
Pure Magic
by mrscharley
by vlaggetje
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Welcome to the Neighborhood
by mrscharley
3174 - Prudence
by niwi

I hope you enjoyed the presentation. And I hope your Thursday is a great day. See you tomorrow for those two book reviews I mentioned the other day, Detroit is No Dry Bones and The Art and Craft of Handmade Books. Both books not to be missed depending on where your interests lie.
Best wishes from Judi and the Blue Cat

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

ootd 8/24/2016

ootd 8/24/2016

My shirt is actually a cream and grey vertical stripe, but I couldn't find one. So my look is a bit different because the shirt looks lighter in stripes (3/8"). I do love that pop of cobalt blue with a grey outfit, though. The glasses that I'm using for these sets lately are my actual glasses. I found them on Pinterest. They are charcoal and teal and I love them! They work well with my skin and hair colouring.

Aunt D gets to see Rowan today! And climb the three flights of stairs to Sarah's place...ouch! That's a killer, but it's the only way to get to her until they update the building!

Y'all enjoy your Wednesday and I'll see you tomorrow with some animal art. Best wishes from Judi and the Blue Cat


I really like the idea of carrying a card to let people know that I have pets at home that need care, in case I'm unable to care for them myself due to illness or injury. I haven't been to this website, but I think I'll just type up a card and put it in my wallet along with my regular emergency info.

As for the hiding techniques, both of my cats are masters of hiding and could teach others some new tricks, I mean techniques.

This litter box looks like a good idea, but this would be really slow and heavy, I think. Those holes would need to be quite small, so the litter flow would be slow. And you would be holding it the whole time. I'm sure there's a better design out there.

I don't know about your cat, but if I put my cats in that stack, there would definitely be fur flying in a very short time. It would start as play, but it wouldn't stay that way for very long.

I don't think the site that sells these dishes is still in business since the post is from 2011. However, if you are crafty, You could use a terracotta pot and saucer, painted and glazed, to do this for your cat. For what it's worth, here's the link to moderncat to see if they are still around.
Cat~egories 2
Did you know that your cat aged that much faster than you do? That's why their lives are so much shorter than ours. So we have to love them so much more!

This amazing kitty cat circus looks great! It also looks expensive and like a waste of money and time. My cats would rather play with the boxes until they are in shreds. However, if your cat likes this sort of thing, it's made in Asia at I went to the site and it is in their own language. My computer translated everything but the money. Sorry, can't help you there.

Has your cat showed you all its tricks? If it's anything like mine, it has more than this little chart shows. Cats are masters of disquise and trickery!

Those hammocks look cozy, but this could easily turn crazy like the stack above.

This article shows you several ways you could make your pet comfy and disguise it all at the same time! Take a peek!

My cats would need to have one of these for each of them! They both love to lie around in the sun and see outside! This looks amazing! (link to store

Having something like this at the front door seems like a great idea to me!

I am not being compensated for talking about these items by the producers/sellers. These are simply items that I have seen and thought were of interest to myself and wanted to share with you. I am not connected with any of these companies, formal/informal, in anyway.

~Judi E. Easley 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ootd 8/23/2016

ootd 8/23/2016

Let's Take a Peep at Some Great Looks!

Schedule one more pedicure. And be sure to choose a fall shade, like bronze or taupe or even a dark, dark red. 'Cause this week we look at peeps. Not Easter peeps! Peep-toes!
Simply Elegant
Lovely nude peep-toes will make your legs look longer in any outfit and they go with everything in the closet!
Black Denim with Royal Purple
Black mule peep-toes are so easy to wear, you'll feel like it's still summer!
Peep-Toes 3
Soft gray booties with the peep-toes are so on trend now, but they are just so cute you'd wear even if they weren't!
Peep-Toes 4
Here's where you can really see that nude tone shoes make your legs look longer. They'll look like they go on forever!
Peep-Toes 5
These black open weave peep-toes will see a lot of wear. You'll want to wear them with everything in your closet!
Peep-Toes 6
Light taupe? Another color that you can wear with anything. And these peep-toes are styled to do just that!
Peep-Toes 7
Ever wanted a pair of blue shoes to go with all your jeans and add a little length to that look? Well, these peeps are just the pair. Denim blue and they are just right for any denim look!
Peep-Toes 8
And here's another pair of peeps in denim blue that will make your denim looks soar and your pedicure shine!

So while the weather is still warm enough and the snow isn't upon us, this is peep-toes season! But peep-toes really look best with a nice, neat pedicure. So be sure to schedule one before you wear these delectable styles.

For what's on trend for this fall, stop by Style at a Certain Age and see what Beth Djalali has to say about it.

That's it for now, this Tuesday. My ootd will be up at noon and then it's decor for cats tomorrow! Have a terrific Tuesday!
Best of wishes from Judi and the Blue Cat