Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Perfect Christmas

Just another quick post to show yesterdays page. Yesterday was all about the perfect Christmas. For me Christmas is always sparkly which is why I added the glitter. Think it might have been too much though. I rushed and the glue didn't come out evenly.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Christmas Cards

Just a quick post to show yesterdays Christmas journal page. It was about Christmas cards. I took the front of one of the cards I made this year to decorate it.

Declaration and Snow

My first two pages are done. Every day we are given a prompt for that days page. Day 1 was for the declaration. Why we are keeping this journal and what we hope to gain from it. I wasn't feeling very creative that day so I just copied out the declaration that was sent along with the prompt. Day 2 was about Christmas weather. You can see that I have been using my beads and felt again. Both pages took me a little longer than they normally would. I had a little mishap with my beads. I leaned over to look for a smaller needle when the box upturned and landed on the floor. It took me hours to sort them all out. I was tempted just to leave them mixed up but then I remembered just how much I had spent on all those beads. Also I thought of how annoying it will be to sort through them when I want to pick out all the same colours. I would eventually get fed up and sort them out anyway. So frustrating and a total waste of a day off.

You'll notice that the front cover of my journal is done in traditional greens and reds whilst these first two pages are done in blues. I was swithering whether or not to stick to one colour scheme. I thought it would look better using just the one. However, knowing me I will get bored with working to one colour scheme the whole month. So as long as the pages sitting side by side are using similar colours I have decided to go with what feels right.

Thank you again for all your lovely comments. Judy, I honestly have the exact same doubts as you. The only reason I tried my hand at anything other than cross stitching was that a friend demanded a leaving card using stamps she knew I had just bought. I think if it wasn't for that and the reaction I got from the card I wouldn't be scrapbooking now. Another example is quilting. I have been wanting to try this for years now. Every year I make a new years resolution that I am going to try it. Every year I think of an excuse not to. The real reason though is that I think I will probably make a mess of it. Then there is my knitting. There are so many patterns out there I want to try and yet I never knit anything other than scarves. I'll try a new type of stitch but always knitted into a scarf. Just worried that I wouldn't be able to follow a pattern yet I have all these books there with lots of lovely patterns.

The Christmas Journal class is done on line. I have probably mentioned it before but one of my favourite magazines at the moment is Scrapbook Inspirations. I like it because it doesn't just show you mundane layouts of everyone's kids. It shows you different techniques and how to make mini albums as well as about a dozen other things. One of my favourite contributors is a woman called Shimelle. Her pages just always stand out for me. I finally came across her blog a while back and at the time she was offering an online class. I didn't go for that one and kind of regretted it. So when this one came along I jumped at the chance. She set up a board for everyone who takes part. Every day in December she emails out that days prompt with the reasons behind it. Lists some websites you can look at. Then she gives some ideas that you could use for your page. Worth the money since I will be able to join again next year if I wished to.

I LOVE your idea for a book journal. I have tried it a few times and never really stuck to it. I think I made it too complicated by wanting to illustrate each page. Maybe I should try it again but doing it much more simply. A project for after Christmas though. At the moment I still have so much to do before Christmas. As much as I am organised with all my gift buying my crafts are way behind. Why don't you give it a go? You have lots of good ideas for it!

I have managed to convince my mum to see Golden Compass with me. It's out here this week but will probably wait until the following week. I convinced her that she will like it since she liked Harry Potter and that James Bond is in it. She said yes very quickly after that. Enjoy your Christmas dinner.

Lili, you will be pleased to hear that I have started work on your Christmas card. I finally came up with an idea.

Timewarden, I am so glad that your mum is getting out.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Christmas Journal Cover

So far the class for this journal has give some tips on preparation and some sketches of different layouts to try. The preparation is mainly common sense things such as tidying your workspace and having a routine. It also recommends that you tell people that you are doing this. You are more likely to finish it if people know you are working on it. I have already done those (although who knows how long my workspace will remain clear). I am hoping to post each days page here. Two years ago I had a question every day in the run up to Christmas. I wanted to do something similar again and have decided on this.

I have been itching to get started on this. When you have new project on the horizon it always feels like this. I was tempted to do some of the sketches. The sketches are there to make layouts ahead of the actual class. So that when it comes to each days prompt you are really just adding the journaling and a photo. I personally prefer to wait until the day before I decide what is going on my page. When it comes to scrapbooking I'm not really a planner. Instead I like to see what works as I am doing it. Probably not the best way to work but it works best for me. Seems a little strange since I plan everything else.

Yesterday I was feeling bored and frustrated. Nothing I was working on at the moment appealed to me. So I decided to decorate the cover of my album for this journal. The album I bought for this is a plain beige 8x8. I was very tempted to buy the hot pink at the time. I decided to go against it as hot pink doesn't really scream Christmas. I am glad that I didn't now as I wouldn't have been able to decorate it with traditional colours. I have a thing for sequence and felt just now and so used those along with some ribbon. A photo is supposed to be placed in the window but I really wanted a little felt tree in there instead.

Timewarden, I am so sorry to hear about your mum. I am thinking of you all.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Christmas Is Almost Here!

There are less than 40 days until Christmas. It really doesn't sound a lot when you hear it like that. Once again I am counting down the days. I finished the wall hanging I was making for my mum yesterday. Once I had done all the stitching I put off the backstitching. It doesn't take long but it's just so boring. I finally decided that yesterday I wasn't going to put it down until it was all done. Actually putting it all together was fairly simple and the instructions were easy to follow. My mum was very pleased with it. She is a collector of all things Santa. This year though she has been good and hasn't added to her collection. I decided to do it for her with this.

My sister has been turning her hand to crafts of late. Since moving out she has had to put herself on a strict budget and has turned to crafts to make extra gifts for everyone. She has been making lots of cute Christmas decorations using lovely beads and felt. I was in a craft store recently and that had lots of packs of sequence. I couldn't resist and made these tree decorations using those, felt and beads. I am posting them out to my sister so that she can use them as another idea. The green is my favourite as it is edged in pink beads (the photo doesn't show it too well).

I have a few other Christmas projects that I am working on. I have joined a class to make a Christmas scrapbook journal which I am very much looking forward to. I am making a scarf for myself and once it is finished plan to make one for my gran. I am making one of those banners for my sister (hers has snowmen). I am putting together my own Christmas crafts folder and I still have a few Christmas cards to make. I am going to be busy this month.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Deep Space Nine: Season4

Season four is one of my favourites. Simply because this is the season that sees the return of Worf to our screens. Whilst not my favourite character amongst the Next gen crew (I didn't dislike him either) his character was just perfect for this series. Here you have a crew who are so different to each other and therefore adding in a Klingon seems only natural. Especially a Klingon so different from your usual Klingon's. I think Worfs character had a better chance to grow in DS9. There was more opportunity for him. He showed his sense of humour more (which I loved) and showed more of his difficulties in reconciling with his Klingon and Starfleet sides.

Thanks to Worf there are some fantastic episodes in there such as "The Way of The Warrior", "The Sword of Kahless" and "The Sons Of Mogh". At the last minute it was decided to bring the Klingon's into the mix and with Worf they really decided to go for it. I think that returning to a war between the Klingon's and the Federation could have been boring. It's been done before. However, with keeping the Cardassians and the Dominion involved it worked.

The whole series wasn't just about Worf and the Klingon's. There were a lot of other great episodes in there and some of my favourites include; "The Visitor", "Hippocratic Oath", "Starship Down", "Little Green Men", "Our Man Bashir", "Hard Time", "Shattered Mirror", "For The Cause" and "The Quickening".

Timewarden, I agree, those covers are fantastic. After Christmas I will certainly be purchasing the rest. I only buy the audio's that really catch my interest. Back when I first came across them I was tempted to start collecting them. However, I soon discovered that many of them weren't that great and it was better to stick to the ones that stood out for me. Basically anything with a returning Doctor Who baddie that I liked. In this case it was my interest in the companions themselves. I watched Shada when it was played on the BBC website. It was a few years ago and I enjoyed it at the time. I have heard of Freewheelers but didn't realise that Wendy Padbury was in it.

Lili, Douglas Coupland was my first choice initially. Then I read your answer to that question. You said that you wouldn't want to meet authors like that because you might be disappointed. The image you have of them through their writing might be very different from what they are actually like. Douglas Coupland is also an artist and a travel writer. He has such a wide range of interests that it would be interesting to talk to him. Going by interviews as well as his other pursuits I think he might fall into that line. Haruki Murakami on the other hand seems very straight forward. Having read his biography and his interviews I think what you see is what you get.

Judy, I would love to go and see The Golden Compass. I just need to find someone to drag along to it (it's not really they type of film my friends would want to see). So many people claim that all fantasy started with LOTR and that every fantasy book is influenced by it. I enjoyed the book and I loved the films but this really annoys me. There are so many fantasy books that have more to them than that and so many that cover a wide range. I find it difficult to believe that all can be traced back to LOTR.

I like your question. When I read about a book that I have very much enjoyed being turned into a film I usually have reservations about it at first. Especially if the book is quite detailed. In those cases a lot would have to be cut out and I wonder if they could really do it justice. The more the magazines talk about these films then it could go either way. With the case of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and now "The Golden Compass" I began to look forward to it the more I read. "I, Robot" is a film that had the opposite effect. The more I read about it the more I became annoyed. The only thing the same was the title and a couple of the main characters names. I still went to see it and did actually enjoy it for what it was. I do think that they should not have been allowed to use that title and should have had the lines "Very loosely based on."

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Book Tag

Lili has tagged me to answer these book questions. You can also see that Judy has answered them too.

1: Hardcover or paperback, and why?

I prefer to read paperbacks. Mainly because they are easier to take into work. Also when reading at night they are more comfortable to read with. I do like hardbacks. Especially when it is signed or a limited edition. I am so conscious of possibly damaging it (more so than I am normally) that I never feel totally comfortable reading them.

2: If I were to own a book shop, I would call it…

Just Books. I would have a cafe in there but other than that and some seating it would be filled with just books. No games or gadgets or stationery to distract people. Wall to wall books.

3: My favourite quote from a book (mention the title)

"A plague a' both your houses" Romeo and Juliet. I always thought it was a great curse (providing of course you're not taking it seriously). It just always made me laugh. I know it's not supposed to but I guess I just have a sick sense of humour.

4: The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…

Meeting authors doesn't really work well for me. I get too embarrassed. If I could get over that then Haruki Murakami. Going by his interviews and biography he seems so well mannered and relaxed. I would imagine you could have a normal conversation with him.

5: If I was going to a deserted island and could bring only one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

To be honest I'm not sure. Maybe the complete works of Shakespeare as there are so many plays in there that I have wanted to read. I am sure that I have answered this question before and each time it has been different.

6: I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…

would protect a book no matter what happened to it.

7: The smell of an old book reminds me of…

going to the library with my mum. Most of the kids books didn't have that old book smell. When I moved on to you adult and fiction they did and I loved it.

8: If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title) it would be…

My answer to this changes a lot too. Maybe Lyra from Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. She goes through a lot for someone so young but she also has lots of adventures and you get the impression from the end that there are a lot more to come.

9: The most overestimated book of all times is…

So many people are going to hate me for saying it but..."The Lord Of The Rings". I loved it. I loved the movies but there are so many better books out there. Plus all the songs got on my nerves after a while. Do love those Ent's though.

.10: I hate it when a book…

Doesn't go anywhere. It shows so much promise at the start. You really get involved in the story line. The characters are great. Then it doesn't do anything else until right at the end.

I tag everyone who would like to answer them.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

What About The Companions?

Some time ago now I had mentioned that Harry was one of my favourite companions. I think I may have mentioned that I would always have loved for Harry to come back or for there to be after stories featuring the character. Timewarden kindly directed me towards this book written by the actor who played Harry Sullivan. Here Harry has his own adventure without the Doctor. He has been given orders to help with biological weapons. However, he is caught up with people who are trying to steel it and while he has been given blame he doesn't know who to trust. Very much written as though Harry is a Jame Bond character (or wants to be anyway). A fun quick read so long as you don't take it too seriously.

Big Finish obviously saw with the return of Sara Jane that people were interested in the companions. They have released a series of audio books called the Companion Chronicles. Each features a companion who tells a further story of an adventure with the Doctor. In the first Maureen O'Brien returns as Vikki. She tells the story of the Doctor, herself and Steven coming across a phoenix egg in London. The phoenix egg is determined to be born but the cost would be the Earth. The second features Wendy Padbury as Zoe. She is telling a story of an adventure that she only remembers in her nightmares (in the classic series Zoe's memory of travelling with the Doctor were erased before she returned to her own time). In these dreams she comes across the Daleks who are trying to use the mind of herself and the Doctor to take over the universe. Starting with an assassination.

Both were fun stories to listen to and I would like to eventually listen to all the others that are available too. My favourite though was "Fear Of The Daleks". Simply because Zoe was one of my favourite companions and I have a soft spot for Daleks. They do deal with the after but only to a very limited extent. You hear more about Vikki's time after the Doctor than Zoe's as it was more relevant to the story.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Christmas Prep

It's been over a week again since I last posted on here. Truth is that it hasn't been because I haven't had time. About a month ago my Digital camera decided it wasn't playing anymore. I have been borrowing my dads since then. He has one of those big fancy ones that I would probably need lessons to use properly never mind just reading the manual. Since I only wanted to borrow it to log my crafts I didn't see the point in asking for help. Actually stubbornly refused (ask my dad a question on one aspect of it you would be sitting there for hours). So I managed the few poor photo's you have seen already but after that the camera wouldn't work. Or rather I couldn't get it to do what I wanted it to do. This morning it hit me that I actually had to pay attention to lighting. Didn't have to do that much with my last camera (it was pretty much just point and shoot). So here I am with some slightly better pics and an actual update.

As you can see I have been once again working on Christmas items. The drum tree decoration I finished a while back. That was the first thing that refused to be photographed. I am really pleased with the way it turned out and I think I prefer it over the trumpet. I think it's the bold colours of the base of the drum that makes it stand out more. My mum liked it too which was the important part. I think it's her favourite so far too. Myself and my sister had brought her a whole load of tree decorations back from Amsterdam and with all the ones we have made for her over the years she is thinking of getting rid of all the less sentimental decorations. She's very excited about decorating her tree this year. When it comes to it I might have to take a pic of it.
The second picture is of a banner or wall hanging that I am stitching (also for mum). I have just the teddy bears and then the back stitch to do and then I'm done. I think next year instead of items to hang up I might stitch pillows like I did for Halloween this year. I plan on making the rest of my Christmas cards this week too. I think this will be the second year in a row that I will once again be organised for Christmas as I have most of my presents in too. What about everyone else? Are you an organiser or is it rushed in the month of December (I usually fall under the second one).

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Still Alive

I took a little more time away than I planned. Still busy at work but I also came down with a cold. Only a slight cold so I'm fine now.

I finished stitching the witch for my sister and turned it into a little pillow. I'm now glad that I used the fabric that I did as it is just a right size for a pillow. I took two pieces of purple felt and stitched it together using orange thread to fit in with the Halloween colours. Didn't take long to make at all. I wasn't there when my sister got it but she said she loved it.

When I showed the pillow for my sister to my mum she tried to steal it. I had to snatch it back out of her hands. As a surprise I got to work on a pillow for her. Along with the witch there was a chart of this cat which was shown as a card. Once again I used the smaller fabric count and attached it to a pillow made from felt. It's actually small enough to be used as a pin cushion. My mum has a habit of leaving sewing needles all over the place (not that I can talk!). I have also been working on some Christmas items but have no photo's as yet since my camera broke down on me. Have to wait until my dad isn't using his so that I can take some snaps.

Thank you everyone for your comments on the beaded ornament. One of the Christmas items I have been working on is the drum (which is actually finished). I am thinking that the violin is next as it's my favourite. I had always wanted to learn to play the violin when I was younger but was never allowed. Took up the clarinet instead. I think my parents must have thought that a clarinet would be less painful to the ears than a violin when in the hands of a beginner. How little they knew, lol!

Lili, I've never had a book put me off a place that I love. Not that I'm well travelled mind you. Have you ever read a book that has made you want to visit somewhere? For me Murakami's books have all made me want to visit Japan. Everything else I have read on Japan since has just increased that.

Timewarden, I quite like the track "I can't decided". It's actually becoming rarer and rarer these days to find an album that doesn't have bad language in it. Not something my parents had to worry about when I was little but these days you never know. Some parents that I have dealt with don't seem too bothered by it but others don't always realise it. A few parents I've had to warn about some CD's have been very surprised.

Crazee4books, I do like vampire stories although I don't go out of my way to pick them out. I think vampire stories are difficult to write well. Actually, maybe the horror genre is difficult to write well as I said the same thing about ghost stories. I did read one of the Anita Blake stories by Laurel Hamilton but didn't think much of it.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Booking Through Thursday and a Musical Christmas!

Decorum October 4, 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:54 am

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)

Books with profanity and explicit romantic scenes don't bother me. These things can have their place in books. Stephen King is one of my favourite writers and in the past he has used both in his books. James Herbert, while not a favourite, is also an author I have read plenty of who uses these things in all of his books. He's actually famous for them. So I guess yes I take them in my stride. I don't go looking for them though. Unless of course you include "Forever" by Judy Blume like every other curious teen in my class. If the profanity is pointless and out of place in a book then I am going to be more disappointed by the writer than anything else. If the book is solely based around explicit romantic scenes then I'm not interested. I would rather read a book that was decently written and has an actual story to it.

If I close a book it has to be really bad. I don't buy racy books such as your mills and boon or the racier black lace. To me they are a waste of paper. Give me a good sci fi or fantasy book any day. So I have had no reason to really want to close a book for those reasons. The closest I came to it was when reading "Gerald's Game" by Stephen King. For those of you who have read it you will know that it's based around a romantic scene gone wrong. I didn't enjoy it at all but I forced myself to finish it because I was such a big fan of his books at the time (still am). I don't think it was really the scenes that bothered me but more that the whole book was based around one. It was just so boring. Other books that I can think of are those written by Richard Laymon. The horror genre likes to use sex and profanity. I think it's for the shock value. They like to use extremes to make a book all the more horrific. I do like horror but Laymon's books had some horror and a lot of sex. It seemed almost that the genre was used as an excuse to write these scenes and lots of them in each book.

This little trumpet is a Mill Hill beads tree decoration. I know it is very early but I can feel the Christmas spirit building already. I love Christmas and every year I seem to be starting earlier and earlier. I was on the sew and sew website buying threads for a design I am considering stitching (funnily enough a Christmas one). While there I thought I would take a look at their Christmas decoration kits. Not really expecting to see anything new. The first thing that appeared on the page was these lovely Christmas musical instruments to hang on the tree. I tried to say no but I couldn't. Next thing I know four of them were in my basket. As soon as they arrived I made a start on this trumpet and finished it that evening. I thought they were a little different to the usual Santa's and snowmen (not that there is anything wrong with those, I love Santa's and snowmen). There are two more in the series which I didn't buy but I think I am kidding myself when I say that I will probably leave those. My mum is very excited to get a hold of them and put them on her tree when finished. I am just looking forward to getting them all stitched up.

I haven't forgotten about the little witch that I was stitching. I have just about finished and she should be ready to be attached to a pillow over the weekend. So expect a photo soon. Actually it might be a week or so before I am able to post again. I have a lot going on at work just now (nothing bad but I have a big project to do which is going to take up most of my time). It don't think that it will take me much more than a week. When I come back, as well as a pic of the finished witch, you can expect me to be talking about Dr Who, 4400's, DS9 and possibly more book reviews.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Book Reviews

Bethany is a young girl who works in Staples. She doesn't know what she wants to do with her life but she knows she doesn't want to spend the rest of it stacking shelves. One day she comes across a journal written by her co worker Roger. Except this journal is written as though she herself has written it. Bethany writes a reply and although angry at first she wonders how he can write as her so well. From then on they communicate through this journal. We learn more about them both as Roger writes his book for Bethany and Bethany replies to him.

This isn't my favourite Coupland book. However, it would be difficult to out do his previous book "Jpod". I still enjoyed it. I thought it the friendship between Roger and Bethany was sweet. You couldn't help but hope that everything turned out for the both of them. You wanted Roger to get his life back on track and you wanted Bethany to go out there and actually live her life. A friend of mine felt that it was saying that you don't have much of a life if you work in retail. I don't agree. Yes there was a hint of that but I don't think it was directed at retail. Roger and Bathany could have worked anywhere just about any job that involved a little monotony. The point of the book would still have been the same. A great book if not Couplands best.

Jude is an aging rock star. He is living out his life in a huge house with occasional road trips to let the world know he is still alive. He is also a collector of anything dark and unusual. One day his agent comes across a ghost up for sale. All Jude has to do is buy a suit belonging to the old man and his ghost will follow. Not really believing it but not wanting to miss out just in case Jude buys the suit. Sure enough the ghost follows behind it but it's not the friendly old man he was hoping for. This old man was the step dad of his old girl friend who killed herself. This old man is out for revenge against Jude and everyone close to him.

For those of you who don't know Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. It was my curiousity over that which made me pick up the book more than anything else. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. His writing style is very similar to his dads but he adds a modern touch to it. Probably the same touch King was able to add during his youth. Despite that if I had read it without knowing who I would probably think it was King. Still worth reading as it was a good story and good ghost stories are difficult to write (same as good vampire stories). It will be interesting to see if he develops his own style as his career develops.
Anna is a surplus child. She shouldn't have been born along with everyone else in the surplus complex. Surplus Anna is the best surplus child in there. She makes sure that every hour she is awake is filled with usefulness to make up for her parents greed. She has a secret though. A diary and if anyone was to find out she would be badly punished. For surplus children are not allowed to have anything of their own as they shouldn't be there in the first place. Then along comes a surplus boy who tells her he knows who she it. He tells her that her parents love her and want her back. He tells her that surplus children aren't a drain but the people who want to live forever are.

I'll be honest. I was attracted to this kids book for its cover. I'm glad I read it though. It is very simply written but sometimes those are the best. It looks at the questions what if we run out of energy? What would happen to the planet if we found a way to live forever? Really not what you are expecting when you see the bright pink cover. It's definitely worth a read and if you like Malorie Blackmans "Noughts and Crosses" series then you will love this too.

This is the sequal to Hamilton's "Pandoras Star". In book one we learn all about how humans have expanded across the galaxy. They learn of a star system which has been enclosed in a Dysons sphere and send a ship out to investigate. While there the sphere comes down and a war race attacks the confederation. Meanwhile the confederation is fighting another battle. That with the cult called the guardians. They believe that the old alien ship "Starflyer" is not so dead and that it is turning humans into it's agents. "Judas Unchained" continues on from those events. The commenwealth is now coming up with battle plans to save their worlds from the motile aliens. If none of these plans work they may have no option but to consider genocide. Meanwhile a few high up in the commenwealth are beginning to believe that maybe the guardians are right. Maybe the starflyer is an alien working against humanity. Maybe the Starflyer brought down the sphere in the first place.

I love Hamilton's books. I shouldn't because they always involve a lot of battle. Essentially they are science fiction war books. The stories though are so complex and involve so many different characters and story lines that all eventually come together. It's for that that I enjoy them so much. That and I do like the technology he comes up with. Like all his others it's a large book and there are probably so much he could cut out but I enjoyed every page. Definitely one for science fiction fans.

Judy, I suppose I do have a large DVD collection. All the Star Trek ones aren't mine though. They belong to my mum who loans them out to me. I do seem to spend most of my money on DVD's and books. Occasionally I will spend it on craft supplies instead though. And I only buy DVD's that are on sale unless it's something I have been waiting impatiently for (like BSG).

Friday, 28 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday and Some Stitching

Suggested by Marsha:
Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.
What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

This is actually a difficult one to answer. I enjoy buying books for other people and have done so for many reasons. I did buy a friend of mine a while back a book that listed book winners of various awards in the past ten years. At the back it had a space to keep your own book journal. I happened to come across it and this friend was the person that popped into my head when I saw it so I picked it up for her. I also love talking to Lili about books and quite often she will ask me for recommendations. Since she has enjoyed most of the books I have recommended I have since sent her various books that were favourites of mine in the past. So I have bought friends books for various reasons and what I chose always depends on that person.

If I was to chose just one today though I would chose "Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman. The main reason being is that last week I read a book that very much reminded me of it (I'll be reviewing it next week). Although it is aimed at teenagers it's a book that I think most people can enjoy. I know that a lot of people I work with have read and loved it. It's just so different from most of the teen books that seem to come out these days. It isn't chick lit for teens or fantasy. The easiest way to describe it is that it's a different dimension of our world. One where white people were treated like second class citizens rather than black people. Where white people had to fight to be allowed to go to the same school as black people. It isn't just about that though. It's about two friends who try to ignore the boundary that has been built up. It's a great read and to be honest I think it should be part of recommended reading in schools

As you can see I finished the book bag for my friends birthday. She is a fan of punk and loves skulls hence the skull and cross bones design. I think if I was to design it again I would make it a little less square looking. My friend is also very girly and loves pink which is why I chose to stitch it in pink. I used black ribbon to set it off though. I'm glad I chose metallic threads for the bones. Took me a little longer to stitch because of that mind you. I even thought I wasn't going to get it finished in time. I hate stitching with metallics but like the effect too much to give it up. My friend loved it which is the main thing. Although she is considering using it for make up rather than to keep a book in. Not that I mind so long as she likes it.

I also began stitching the Halloween witch from Quick and Easy. I plan on turning it into a little cushion for my sister. I think this is 18 count Aida I am using (possibly higher) which is why the design is turning out so small. If you go to San's blog you can see it finished on the size it's recommended. I am definitely in the mood for Halloween. This is the first time in years that I have stitched any Halloween designs and I am loving it.

Timewarden, I agree Jacqueline McKenzie is great in the 4400. I didn't enjoy Deep Blue Sea though. It's more my mums type of film than mine. No I won't be buying the Davros box set. I have all but one on DVD already and I don't see the point of buying it just so that I can get the audio story and the box they all come in. The DVD I don't have is being released on its own anyway. To be honest I like being able to put all my Dr Who DVDs in the correct order and with that box set I wouldn't be able to do that. I am even considering getting rid of the boxes of the box sets I already have so that they all look the same sitting on the shelf. I haven't done it though in case I regret doing it.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The 4400

I have pretty much managed to avoid reading anything about this TV series. I even skipped those articles in my favourite sci fi mags. Too eager to get to the pages I am really interested in. I always meant to go back to them but then there is always something else to do or read. Not long ago I had heard that this series was actually quite good and that if you enjoyed heroes you might like this. What put me off a little was that it has also been described as the New X-Files. While I enjoyed the X-Files my main thought was that it had been done already. No need to watch something like that again. I then saw series 1 at such a low price it made me think twice about giving it a go.

I am so glad that I did. Over the past decade people have been disappearing and all of a sudden all 4400 of them come back. They arrive together in one place with no memory of where they have been and no indication that they have aged. Not knowing what to do with them Home Security put them in quarantine and then eventually let them back out to society. It is then that a few of the 4400 are showing signs of having a special gift. Each episode shows the continuing story of a few of the 4400 such as Lily and Richard who become a family, Homeland Security agent Tom's nephew and Mia a little girl who was one of the first to disappear. Each episode also centralises around one 4400 who is suddenly displaying a gift. These gifts are meant to be a way of working towards saving humanity.

If you ignore the fact that it has been said to be like Heroes, X-Files and even Lost then I think most people could enjoy this as a show in its own right. It could get boring and predictable with each show being about a 4400 who all of a sudden displays a gift. However, there is also a running story line through out with the regular cast that makes it something you have to keep watching. I was pleasantly surprised and I am now working my way through series 2.

Once I have finished watching series 2 of the 4400 I have something else to look forward to. "The Key To Time" box set arrived in the post today. This features all episodes with Mary Tamm who was the first actress to play companion Romana. I have yet to see these episodes since they aired before I was born and this is the first time they have been released on DVD. There are a total of 6 DVD's in there so I have a lot to look forward to.

Lili, I am so glad you loved the book. I have to admit that I liked "All Families Are Psychotic" for the same reason that you liked it. All the way through you feel for these characters and you think that there is no chance that it can be put right. Coupland surprises you that way. I have been trying to think of which of his books you might enjoy next. "Hey Nostradamus!" is a lovely book but so very sad. I think you might actually like "Microserfs". It's funny and a little more upbeat than the ones you have read so far.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

DS9: Season 3

I seem to be flying through these box sets even though I have been taking breaks between them. This season is the first with the new ship Defiant. An experimental ship built for war. Actually the only reason that this ship appeared was because of Voyager. The extras tell you that the Voyager team were bragging about how good their ship was going to be and that DS9 would be second to their show. The DS9 crew insisted that they got their own ship and that it didn't matter if it was small but it had to be powerful. It worked though as there were some great episodes thanks to this ship and a lot of them were in season 3. Season 3 was about the threat of the dominion but it didn't take up the full series. There were still some character episodes such as "Facets" and "Distant Voices". As well as Bajoran and Cardassian based story lines.

I think that's maybe why I like DS9 a little more than all the others. It has a running story line from season 2 to the end (two if you count the emissary plot). It doesn't monopolise each season until you get to the end. So there are still episodes to develop the characters and to look at the relationships between all of these alien races. TNG didn't really have that. Voyager did have that but it wasn't as convoluted as DS9. Or at least it didn't seem that way to me. Their running theme from the start was to get home. Later it also involved the Borg. Maybe I am just biased as Voyager was never a favourite of mine anyway.

Some of my favourite episodes are in this series. I did enjoy "The Search" parts 1 and 2 at the start simply because we discover that Odo's race are the founders of the dominion but it's not at the top of my list of favourites. My favourites include "Civil Defence", "Past Tense", "Through The Looking Glass" and "Adversary".

Lili, your right that book does feel a little like Irving. Maybe that's why it is one of my favourites. Mind you I haven't read a book by Coupland that I haven't enjoyed. Going by the title it really wasn't what I expected. I thought there was going to be more humour in there. I wasn't disappointed though.

Crazee4books, the question was what would you choose to read on a day where everything is perfect and you are in a fantastic mood. You're right though books can change your mood. I love the type of books that gives you an energy boost or inspires you to get on with the various projects you've got going.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

The reverse of last week’s question:
Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .

To be honest if it is that good a day I am more likely to want to go out and do something or sit down with a craft than read. To me that would be a perfect time to give a new craft a try. So if I had to chose a book it would probably be a new craft book. I love craft books and every time I come across a new one that I like the look of I can't help but pick it up. My recent craft book splurge has been on knitted toys. After making the sock monkeys I liked the idea of going back to knitting toys. When I was younger I knitted some dolls for friends. My mum has a great book for this although I can't remember what it is called. I have ordered one for fantasy knits but it is taking it's time on getting here. As soon as I have finished making something from each of these I will do a proper post on them (including my mums book).

If it is at the end of a great day then yes I will pick up a good book to read. Again I am more likely to try something new. Maybe and author I have never read before or even a genre I don't usually read. On those type of days it could be practically anything.

Lili, don't let me put you off. Rose is still a good character I was just a little disappointed with her in the end. Not at all the fault of Billie Piper as she played the part well. You may feel differently though. I am looking forward to hearing what you think.

Funnily enough I have only ever watched the first episode of Lost and then I wasn't really given much choice over it. I was over at the ex's and he wanted to watch it. I think all the hype has put me off (not like Heroes as I had already watched some of it by the time all the hype came out so knew it was good for myself). Occasionally I will hear a friend talking about it and I do think that maybe I will buy the first box set but then I forget all about it. Maybe one day I will watch it. Do you like it Lili?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Monkeys and a Dragon

As you can see I have been busy making sock monkeys again. The first two are to be given away to people. The last one I have made for myself. I brought some socks back from Amsterdam and decided that I would use a pair to make myself a souvenir. His name is Dutch and he used to be a boat tour guide. He now makes a living as a romance writer under the pseudo name Delila. I have been considering taking him on any travels I might go on rather than Mr Sparkles. Poor Mr Sparkles is looking a bit poorly (have learned since to never use sparkly socks). As much as I want to make sure Mr Sparkles doesn't get any worse I do prefer having him along with me. The other option is for Dutch to keep me company in work. I haven't decided yet.

Quite a while ago I stitched this elemental dragon onto black fabric with the intention of turning it into a book bag. Last week I stumbled across it again and this time decided I wasn't putting it down until I had finished stitching it all together. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Although I think I will think twice before I make another one of these in black again. I am working on another one. This time for a friends birthday. I have had to design the pattern myself as I couldn't find one that I wanted. Just hope it turns out. Will post a pic of the cross stitch part as soon as it is done.

Lili, I am glad that you have become a Doctor Who fan. I do like Christopher Eccleston but I have since begun to favour David Tennant as the Doctor. Mind you they both have very different styles. I think you will like Tennant. Billie Piper leaves at the end of season 2. I did like Billie's character although she did begin to annoy me a bit at the end. Came across as too needy when her character seemed strong in season 1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on season 2.

It's been a while since I read Curious Incident. I do remember that it was a very sweet story and also a little sad. I also found myself laughing at various points but felt guilty for doing so.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

BSG: Season 3

The third season of Battlestar Galactica came out a few weeks ago and I have now watched all but the extras. The end of season 2 saw the last of the 13 colonies on New Caprica a year after they had settled there when the cylons once again attacked. This time Admiral Adama ordered both Battlestars to retreat as they had no way of beating the cylons and protecting the people scattered over New Carpica. This season starts a few months after that. The Battlestars are endlessly training their crew for a rescue mission while the people of New Caprica are having to cope with a Cylon occupancy. Colonel Tigh, Anders and the Chief are part of a large group of dissidents making life difficult for the new cylon regime. While Baltar is being held by the cylons and made to carry out their bidding. The first few episodes are based on the fight to free the people of New Caprica.

After that the Battlestar continues almost as normal. They are following a path to Earth while constantly on the look out for the Cylons. There is a divide amongst the people. There are those who remained on the Galactica and those who were left behind. Once that is sorted out another divide appears later. One that divides the officers and the manual workers. The most interesting part of this series are all the episodes which focus on the Cylons themselves. Thanks to Baltar being taken prisoner by the Cylons we see more of their ships and learn much more about them. It does mainly leave more questions which can only be a good thing as it leaves you wanting to learn more. Especially at the end of the season.

I did enjoy the first and second season more than this one. I think that might be a reason why the producers have decided to end it on the fourth season. When I first heard about this I was disappointed. Why would anyone want to end a perfectly good show? Now I can see why. End it before the fans get bored and are frustrated from not learning more about the cylons. For me the first and second season are the best because I feel that the season two cliffhanger is a difficult episode to beat. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the third season. There were a lot of great episodes in there which are definitely worth watching. Now though I will have to wait impatiently for season four to come out on DVD and try to avoid reading about what happens at the very end.

For all you book lovers out there I read a very interesting post on the way people organise books on Craft. The idea is to organise your books by colour. Seeing the picture on the Craft website it does look very pretty. An artist in San Francisco organised an independent bookshop in San Francisco this way. With a couple of helpers it only took him the one night. In a book store it would be total chaos as you would never find anything. Although I did hear about one bookseller who organised the area she looked after by colour and after she was told off about it she changed it to size order! It would be interesting to organise books at home like that. I don't have the space to organise all my books anymore. They are all packed into my bookcase in a way that will allow me to get as many in there as possible. I would maybe consider it once I did have the space though. Not sure how long it would last though.

Lili, I liked Menolly too but my favourite character was always Master Harper Robinton. I Just liked the idea of this old man who was so accepting of people, had a great sense of humour and fun but was pivotal in the events that took place. I think your daughter might be glad about changing your mind on naming her Menolly, lol. Thanks for the offer of the chart but I already have it somewhere. I had actually planned on stitching it at some point but it was one of those things that I would be lucky to get round to doing. Makes your gift of it all beautifully stitched all the more precious.

Timewarden, it surprised me you choosing "Crime and Punishment". Simply because I assumed that everyone would choose a light book for comfort. I guess though whole point though is not just comfort but to find a book you can really lose yourself in. Not sure what music I would chose though. To be honest I haven't been in that situation or much like it. If I am feeling a little bit down though I tend to listen to songs that are more upbeat. The Zutons first album is a good one for that (for me anyway).

Crazee4books, like you I never got past the first Wheel Of Time book by Robert Jordan. I found the first one to be repetitive and dull and so didn't bother with the second. Such a shame since I know of so many people who love them. I was more disappointed for myself than in the book. I didn't realise that the author very recently passed away. 58 is such a young age too. There will be many fans out there who will be upset. I don't think he even finished his series.

It's a shame about Madeline L'Engle too. I read "A Wrinkle In Time" for the first time not that long ago and very much enjoyed it. It's one of those books I wish I had read when I was younger. I hadn't heard of the author or this book until a few years back and I was reading about books that had been banned. That's what made me want to read this book in the first place. It always surprises me when I see how many children's books have been banned at some point.

You're right it is two great losses to the sci fi book world.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.
What do you read?
(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)

This is actually very easy to answer. If I was to chose a book purely for comfort I would probably chose one of Anne McCaffreys books from the Pern series. To me something that will make me feel better is an easy read but one that I have fun reading too. The Pern series fit that for me. I would probably chose one of the later ones since I have read the first few a couple of times. I am thinking possibly the Masterharper of Pern as it involved one of my favourite characters.

Crazee4books, thank you for your comments. I must admit that I too prefer those frogs than the other type of frogs involved in stitching. I first saw Earthshock years after it had first been broadcast so I knew that it was the one where Adric died. Even then I was pleased that he had left. He wasn't my favourite character. Still a good story though.

Thank you lili, lol. I will see what I can do with your cards. Glad you are enjoying the first season of Dr Who. That episode put a lump in my throat too. Glad you are also enjoying the Diary of Anne Frank. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've read it. My sister is reading it just now too.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

It's About Time!

Yes, I have actually finished off some crafts. Lili you will be pleased to know that I finished stitching the frog trio. I have attached it to the front of my paper journal. It was actually very easy to stitch and had I took the time to do it I could have finished it in a couple of days. There are no fractional stitches and the majority of it involved half stitches for the shading. I quite like the way it turned out. It also brightens up my boring notebook.

Yes, another frog. This is the lovely pin that Lili sent me for my birthday. I loved it so much it really didn't take me long to stitch. I couldn't put it down. I love kits which involves a lot of bead work. Thank you again Lili. I think Mr Sparkles will wear her for me.

Lastly, a friend of mine gave me a beautiful Christmas card making set which will keep me going for at least a couple of Christmas's. I had to try it straight away and put this one together fairly quickly. The candy cane and the snowman are made from clay. They can both be removed from the card so that the candy cane becomes a tree decoration and the snowman becomes a fridge magnet. I am thinking of attaching these to most of my Christmas cards this year.

And just for fun I came across the Simpsons movie site. It allows you to turn yourself into a Simpsons character. You can either design your own or you can download a photo and have them do it for you. I used a photo as the one I did myself didn't really turn out.

Timewarden, I have noticed they seem to be bringing out the poorer episodes too and they are bringing them out so much more quickly too. I just wish they would go back to bringing out some favourites. The one I really want them to bring out is "War Games" with Patric Troughton. It's a family favourite that we once had on VHS but was lent out and never returned.

Lili, I agree that Fforde still came up with great ideas. It's the little things that I seem to really enjoy about his books. While I feel that maybe he is now just producing them because they have proved to be popular I would still read any future ones. It would be interesting to see what else he comes up with.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

"Time-Flight" & "Arc Of Infinity"

The Doctor decides to take Tegan and Nyssa to the Great Exhibition to help them take their minds of the death of fellow companion Adric. Instead they end up at Heathrow airport just after a Concord has disappeared from its flight plan. Just for a change the Doctor and his companions aren't blamed. Instead, thanks to UNIT, they are recruited to help. Going along the same path they end up in prehistoric Earth which someone is trying to hypnotise them into believing is still Heathrow. They come across the mysterious Kalid and the Doctor is determined to find out just who he is and what he wants with the TARDIS.

This story was heavily criticised by fans as amongst one of the poorer in the series. Whilst not exactly the best I didn't mind it either. Yes, the sets are poor and the effects are bad even for Doctor Who. I think that I have a soft spot for it though because it features the Master and I do think there was a lot of potential there in the story. I do feel though that it was a poor way to end the season. They did try to turn it into a cliffhanger by making everyone believe that Tegan had left the show. I think though it would have been far better to have ended it with "Earthshock" and the death of Adric.

"Arc Of Infinity"

The Doctor and Nyssa are making some long needed repairs to the TARDIS. Suddenly the Doctor is attacked by a force trying to take him over from another dimension and he is recalled back to his home world Gallifrey. Instead of trying to help him the Timelords believe that the Doctor is guilty of helping this creature and so he is arrested and sentenced to death. Meanwhile Tegan has arrived in Amsterdam and is searching for her cousin who has went missing. The creature who is responsible turns out to be the same one who is trying to use the Doctor. Inadvertently that same creature discovers Tegans link to the Doctor and decides to use it to get what he wants. Which is to move from a dimension of pure anti matter to live in our dimension despite the disastrous consequences if he were to fail.

This episode is famous for a few reasons. First it was televised during the year Dr Who would be celebrating its 20th anniversary. It saw the return of nemesis Omega who last featured in the 10th anniversary story "The Three Doctors". It was also filmed overseas which hadn't been done in Dr Who in four years. Lastly it also guest starred Colin Baker as Timelord Maxil who later became the 6th actor to play the Doctor. This one was never one of my favourites. I just never saw the attraction of watching the Doctor run about the streets of Amsterdam after a copy of himself. Since then I have grown to appreciate it. But then maybe that has more to do with the fact that I love the city of Amsterdam than the story itself. I especially enjoyed watching it this time round as I had just come back from Amsterdam. Funnily enough this was one of my sisters favourites when she watched the show. Very rarely did we share favourite episodes. I think "Robots of Death" may have been the only one.

Book Reviews

It has been a long time since I have done one of these posts. Basically I haven't read that many good books of late. Most of what I have read I haven't finished because I am so easily distracted. Here are one or two reviews though for now.

"First Amongst Sequels" by Jasper Fforde.

This is another Thursday Next series and is set many years later. Thursday now has a teenage son and two daughters. Her husband continues to write while Thursday pretends to work for a carpet company. Thursday is really still working for Special Ops and Jurisfiction. Her main worry is encouraging her lazy son Friday to become the genius time agent he is supposed to become. She soon discovers however, that Goliath are up to their old tricks and trying to get back into jurisfiction and in the land of fiction there is a serial killer on the loose. Unfortunately Thursday's time is spent training other jurisfiction agents not that she lets that stop her.

I was so excited when I heard that there was going to be another Thursday Next story. I had believed that the last one was actually going to be the last in the series. While I didn't feel that this one was quite as good as the others I still very much enjoyed it. It had all the things that I loved about the others. So many books referenced and characters from them making an appearance (one of my favourites was Jiminy Cricket and his stunt double). I couldn't help but feel though that the author is now writing them just because they are popular rather than because he has a story to tell. Going by the way it ended there is definitely going to be more still which adds to that feeling. This shouldn't let fans be put off reading it because it's still a good Thursday Next story and worth reading.

"One For The Money" by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum has just lost her job. She is now struggling to survive as she has sold just about everything she had worth selling. She is now hanging onto her flat with the edges of her nails but refuses to move back home. On one of those visits to home she hears from her mother that her cousin Vinnie is looking for a Secretary. She decides to pay him a call only to find that the position has already been taken. Instead she decides to take on another role as a Bond agent. Stephanie now has to bring in people who have run off after making bond. Her first one is a hard one. An ex cop who is accused of murder and has went on the run. Not only that he was her first love. Stephanie has to get over these feelings in order to bring him in but he insists that he's innocent.

I have said many times that I don't read crime. A friend of mine who is actually a very high brow reader surprised me by mentioning how much he loved these books. On this recommendation I decided to give it a go. Surprisingly I very much enjoyed it. It was a fun and quick read. Perfect for when you are in between reads and not sure what to move on to next. Or if you are looking for something light. I would definitely read the others in the series.

"Cross Stitch" by Diana Gabaldon

Claire is a nurse in 1948 who is recovering from working during the war and getting to know her husband all over again. They have taken a trip to Scotland where they first honeymooned. While there Frank is looking into his past lineage and Claire is learning about the plants in the area. One area in which both their interests cross is the standing stones of Craig na Dun. they visit there and discover the local women carrying out some sort of ceremony. Once over Claire goes back to find the flower she first saw only to disappear. She finds herself face to face with someone who looks like her husband but clearly isn't. just managing to escape him she is then kidnapped by a group of Scots and taken to their castle. There she realises she is in fact in 1743. While trying to find away back home she falls for the young Scot Jamie Fraser and is torn between returning home and staying with him.

Yes, once again I moved away from what I usually read. I thought that I really enjoyed that crime book and decided to give this romance book a go. I had heard that the author insists that her books are not romance (despite their classification as such in most book shops). She describes it as an historical fantasy. For that reason it stood out for me as one book I might consider trying. However, I only got about a third of the way through it. To me it was just a romance. While it did have a good beginning nothing much else seemed to happen after she got together with Jamie and I became bored with the story. It wasn't badly written but it just wasn't for me. I do think this is most definitely a romance book and if you enjoy historical romance then you might enjoy this.

Timewarden, hope you are well. I didn't watch "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" until after I had saw her in DS9. I wasn't a fan of Jack Nicholson and so it took me some time to be convinced to give the film a go (very glad that I did). I loved Louise Fletcher in the role of Nurse Ratchett. She plays that part and the part of Kai Win very well. I actually once saw her in a made for tv movie. She played the caring and worried grandmother. Nothing wrong with her acting there but I preferred her in the role of the bad guy.

Lili, while I do find it easy to slip into a book no matter where I am I do prefer to be on my own. When I think about it I can lose myself more easily then. When it comes to writing though, like Timewarden, whether it's my blog or a letter or email, I do need the conditions to be just right. I can't concentrate while someone is talking to me at the same time.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Goldilocks September 6, 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:44 am

Okay, so the other day, a friend was commenting on my monthly reading list and asked when I found the time to read. In the ensuing discussion, she described herself as a “goldilocks” when it comes to reading–she needs to have everything juuuuuust right to be able to focus. This caught my attention because, first, I thought that was a charming way of describing the condition, but, two, while we’ve talked about our reading habits, this is an interesting wrinkle. I’d never really thought about it that way.
So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?
Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

I am not a Goldilocks reader. I can read just about anywhere. The only place I have difficulty reading is on a bus or car and that's due to travel sickness. I am one of these annoying people that can zone everything out to concentrate on what I am reading. Of course I can only do this if the book is good enough. If the book isn't good enough to catch my imagination then it won't happen. Many a time I have had people try to catch my attention and it takes a pat on the shoulder to drag me out of my book. Funny though, when it comes to sleeping I need total silence.

I do have ideal places to read though. I love nothing more than at the end of the day to sit in bed and read with a cup of tea. Or to soak in the bath with a book (lots of bubbles and a glass of red wine). Lastly I love to spend a day book shopping and then sitting in the cafe and reading something I have purchased while sipping a coffee. Unfortunately I very rarely get to do the last one. Especially since my favourite place to go has closed down.

I'm going to leave you now with some more sock monkey pics. Three of them are of Scarlett (the monkey I made for my mum) who has not long come back from Boston. Some pics of her were taken in a park. The last pic is of a new sock monkey. His name is Col. Pillage and he has went to the aid of a Viking.

DS9: Season 2

I have just finished watching the second season of DS9. This one is certainly different from the first. In the extras the people behind the scenes as well as the actors talk about how this is the season that DS9 finally comes into it's own. I can certainly see why they would think that. Ds9 was always going to be different from the others as it was the only series based on a stationary community. In the first season the episodes are a little all over the place. A few really stand out as a way of allowing the viewer to get to know the background of the Bajorans and the Cardassians and the relationship with each other and with the federeation. The rest were really character episodes. Nothing wrong with that but it would be a little boring if that was all DS9 turned out to be. In the second season though the Gamma Quadrant is brought more into the picture. We hear about a group called the Dominion early on although they don't really have a big part at that point. The hint is there and in hindsight we know that the majority of the show was soon based on the Dominion war. We also learn a lot more about Bajoran politics as well as Cardassian politics which again also has a larger role in the show later on. What we are really getting is small chunks of a story that later becomes very interesting and interconnected.

Another interesting thing that was mentioned during the extras was that the show was originally seen by the producers as a Western show. We already can guess this from season 1. Especially when we have Dr Bashir talking about his having any choice of placement in the fleet but he wanted to practice "frontier medicine". Really looking into it though you can see more hints of it as the extras mentioned with Quark as your barkeep and Odo as the Sheriff. While I think that there was some success at this obviously they still wanted it to look like a Star Trek show. The only sci fi series that I think has been successful at the whole Western theme is "Firefly".

Getting away from the extras I do have some favourite episodes. While season 1 was missing those double part episodes this one had them in abundance (almost as much as TNG season6). The first three episodes; The Homecoming, The Circle and The Siege, are all linked and are amongst my favourite. Here we see the return of Vedek Winn (brilliantly played by Louise Fletcher) in a bid to become Kai and getting rid of the Federation once and for all. Of course she is only behind the scenes of this plan and allows others to take more risks. A role she continues with throughout the DS9 series. Other favourites include, Armageddon Game, Whispers, Paradise, The Maquis 1&2 (used to help set up the background to Voyager), Crossover, Tribunal and of course The Jem'Hadar.

Big Thank You To Lili

It was my birthday last week and the lovely Lili sent me some lovely gifts. First of all she sent me some items from sew and so. A lovely frog pin and a dragon chart. I am looking forward to working on both. I am thinking of stitching some of those dragons individually. She later sent me the items I photographed above. The card which has been stitched using variegated thread and the David Tennant design. Both of which are beautifully stitched. She also sent me the most beautiful linen with little frogs stamped on it. I am going to keep that for something special. Thank you so much Lili, you really did spoil me.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Statistics August 30, 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:59 am

There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

Not being American none of my friends fall into it. However, at school I was the only one amongst my friends who was an avid reader. A few of them did read occasionally but most of them only read when they had to for school. At school it was sort of considered uncool to be a reader. Not that I cared. I never hid the fact that I read and most of my friends accepted it. I did have one friend who read just as much as I did. However, she had been bringing back a book I had loaned to her and when someone asked her if she had actually read it she made some sort of sarcastic comment. It wasn't directed at me since no one really ever made fun of the fact that I was a reader. But she didn't want to be known as one and so scoffed to hide it. I remember being upset with her. Simply because she was one of the most intelligent girls in the school and was well known for being intelligent. Yet she decided she would rather hide it just because she was worried about what one person thought. I think I was more disappointed with her than anything else. I guess she just didn't like her whole persona of being the good girl who always studied. I met her a few years after we had all left school and we had both moved on to different Universities. After saying hello she told myself and the friend I was with that she was supposed to be in class right now and that she was going to be late with an assignment but had went shopping instead. After telling us this she said something about how she bet we would never have thought she had done something like that at school. Mind you she must have changed her mind about that image as she is now doing very well for herself.

Now most of my friends are readers. I still read more than a lot of them but most of them always have a book on the go like myself. We all really love talking about books and swapping them. I really missed that growing up (unless of course you count my parents). We all have at least one type of book that we like in common so we always have something to talk about when it comes to books. It's hard to describe to the non reader the excitement you feel when you find friends like that.