Friday, August 30, 2013

Book 8 and a Wolf

The eighth book for The Artful Readers Club is
by Elaine Pierson

My review:
I was intrigued by this story at the beginning because Lacey was portrayed as a victim of her powers and she took control of her own life when things at home went sour. However when Lacey met Jesse, I didn’t like how manipulative she was and how she acted with Scotty to make Jesse jealous. And when the two friends started fighting because of it she didn’t even feel responsible let alone remorseful. Not that Jesse is any good either when he decides that a girl he met a day ago is more important than his friendship with his pack. I understand this was to illustrate their attraction and insta love but it made them look childish and selfish. 

And why in hell did she so easily tell Cole about her powers when she tried so hard to keep them hidden from her doctors who tortured her? She didn’t even tell Jesse and here she is spilling it all to her enemy. Also I didn’t understand the need for Cole and Lacey to be together. It was a poor attempt to make a bad guy look like he has feelings even though he’s supposed to be the villain in this story so the reader really shouldn’t be sympathizing with him. 

And it made Lacey look slutty. She didn’t even feel any attraction to him, there was no conflict in her mind and the only explanation we got is that Cole looked like Jesse being his identical twin. Obviously she just forgot about the fact that he kidnapped her, drugged her, locked her in a room, chained her and was trying to use her for her powers.

"For some, it's happiness and for others, it's acceptance. Whatever it is for you, don't stop until you find it." ~ Elaine Pierson, Growl

"She learned early on that she was different and people didn't like different." ~ Elaine Pierson, Growl

Linking to Paint Party Friday.


Friday, August 23, 2013

New obsessions and Frida

I have a new obsession. You heard me talking about ATCs for All (AFA) forum before where I trade my ATCs and join swaps but then I found SwapBot.

It's a trading site where you sign up for all kinds of swaps not just ATCs, some are not even art related and your swap partner is computer generated. (I don't know if I phrased this right but you get the point, right?) It's a little more risky but the novelty of it is still stuck with me for now.

Then I found Postcrossing where you mail postcards to random people around the world who's addresses are also computer generated so they are as random as they can get. :)

So, I'm into mailing postcards now. But here's the problem. I feel like postcards are near extinction. The only place I could find them was at the post office and at a newsstand but the variety was so poor it was ridiculous. I have to go on the hunt for postcards now. :)

This photo though is of Frida ATC.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

P.S. Have you checked my new tutorial for custom made Menu Bar? You can find all my FREE tips HERE.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to make a custom Menu Bar

What is a menu bar? Those static pages below the header that take you places like your “About me” page or Etsy shop etc.

If the only page that shows on your blog is “Home” and you’d like to have more of them, here is how you add them.

  • Go to “Pages” on your Blogger design
  • Click on the “New page” and select either “Web address” or “Blank Page”
    click the image to see it bigger
  • Use “Web address” if you want your page to open a link like your Etsy shop, Facebook, E-mail etc. or even to link to a certain blog post or multiple posts with a certain label
    click the image to see it bigger
  • Use “Blank page” if you want to compose a blog post like About me page
This is what you do extra for the custom menu bar:
  • Choose the “Don’t show” option
    click the image to see it bigger
  • Click on “View” on all the pages and they should open in a separate tab. You will need their URL later on.
If you have done the image map header tutorial, you already have this part done. If not, here’s what you need to do.
  • Go to your Template > Edit HTML
  • Back up your template.
  • Search for 'header-wrapper' and find these lines:
    click the image to see it bigger
  • Change the following: showaddelement from no to yes
Save and go to your Layout to check if there is “Add a gadget” option below or above your header.

There are several ways to do this. Be aware of the height and width measurements. I used 100x100 pixels but customize this to your own preference.

1. Make an image map (follow the image map header tutorial for this) – this is the easiest way, if you want your menu bar to look like a continuous thing. For example a banner.
2. Create separate pictures for each page like below
click the image to see it bigger
  • Use any software you’re comfortable with to create buttons, use a photo or you can even draw / paint an image and scan it to your computer. Make sure you save the images in .png format without the background so it nicely integrates with your blog template.
  • You need to upload the menu buttons to the web. Either use a third party like web albums or you can make a blog post and publish it so you can “Copy Image Location” with a right mouse click. You can delete this post later.
  • When you have image URLs, open the previously mentioned widget below or above your blog header and choose HTML/JavaScript. Leave the Title blank.
    click the image to see it bigger
  • Paste all URL links for menu buttons in the widget clicking enter to make a space between them. If you saved the pictures to a third party you need to select HTML code. If you saved the buttons in a blog post, you need to add the following.
  • It needs to look like this. And when you click the “Rich text” you should be able to see the button images.
    click the image to see it bigger
  • To make links to where the menu buttons would open to, select the individual button link and click the "Create link".
    click the image to see it bigger
  • Remember all the page tabs you opened in the beginning? Now is the time to copy the link and enter them in the required field.
  • If you don’t want your menu bar to be aligned left but rather centered, add center at the very beginning and /center at the very end. Like below.
  • You should get something like this.
    click the image to see it bigger
Save and admire your new menu bar.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Stringy haired girl

This is an ATC (Artist Trading Card) I made during the  scavenger hunt and A-thon I talked about LAST time. I had to use tissue paper, yarn and postage stamp.

Here's some random stuff for you:
  • my cat Charlie broke my glass bowl in which I held my crystals at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. I was not happy picking up crystals and sweeping the glass this early in the day. I went back to bed afterwards. No need to be up at that hour. :)
  • I had to make a list of crystals I own so I could check if any ran away. :) Luckily I hold a record of them in some way or another so I could put it all together. But why do they have such strange names? My Word spell check is going crazy.
  • we had rain on Wednesday. I love it when it rains but what I don't like is the drop of temperature. We went from 40°C to 15°C over night.
  • I bought Chocolate scented shower gel. Wow! I want to lick my own skin. 
  • we have a lot of grasshoppers this year and they are all living in our house. Seriously, we remove 3-5 every day. I'm using "we" very loosely as I have little to do with it apart from telling my hubby to save the creature before the cats get it. They are huge and they jump and I'm not going near them. :)
  • hubby took me to the movies the other day and we watched Now You See Me with Morgan Freeman and I totally loved it. Awesome movie!
  • I've seen Isla Fisher in a few Hollywood movies now which is so exciting as I remember watching her in a couple of Australian TV series back in 1995 when I was visiting relatives.
  • is anybody else excited to see City of Bones movie? It comes out on the 29th August in my country. I read the books and I don't quite remember what happened in them but I remember loving the books. :) Take a look at the trailer.

Cotton Candy Girls Workshop started August 5th, 2013 and is exactly the same as the previous two and it's still just 25$. We're on our second lesson but you can still join us. Go register HERE.

Ayala Art is having a blog birthday giveaway. Go check it out by clicking the cupcake. :)

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Superwomen and Freaky Wednesday

Superwomen for an ATC swap. They are Catwoman, Black Widow, Hit Girl and Rogue.

Hey, did you read any good books lately?
Wombstone (The Vampireland Series) was a really good read. Mia is a feisty thing with just enough stubbornness and plenty of sarcasm. I loved her instantly. The storytelling is phenomenal and it made it so real. Mia is such a fighter and I really admired her will to escape or die trying. She didn't put up with any of the crap even when she was at her weakest.

Ryan was a great character, too. He was an evil bastard that had a change of heart. But just when I started to like him he did something stupid and turned him into a bad guy again.

I did not see the twist coming but I liked Mia's reaction to it. I was so glad it didn't turn her into a mushy thing but actually repulsed her. Although I didn't expect her best friend Evie to react the way she did. It was heartbreaking. I can't wait to read the sequel.

Tip of the week:

Funny sh*t:
Freaking YouTube:   

Cotton Candy Girls Workshop started August 5th, 2013 and is exactly the same as the previous two and it's still just 25$. We're on our first lesson but you can still join us. Go register HERE.

And there are some GIVEAWAYS happening over at A Cat-Like Curiosity blog. Click away and find out what you can win. :)

Linking to Paint Party Friday.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

$100 Book Blast Giveaway - Persephone the Daring

Persephone the Daring (Goddess Girls #11)

Mortal rock star Orpheus steals the spotlight in this Goddess Girls tale of love and lyres!Orpheus is a mortal rock god, and the girls at Mount Olympus Academy are wild about him! With his lyre and singing voice, Orpheus can charm pretty much anything—even things like stones and trees. But Hades and the other MOA boys aren’t charmed. In fact, they are less than thrilled that the girls are so gaga over this guy.

His fans are especially excited about his latest song about the girl he loved and lost, Eurydice. Orpheus was devastated when he lost Eurydice to the Underworld, so he asks Persephone to help get her back. Though it means breaking some very serious Underworld rules, Persephone pushes Hades to return Eurydice to the living world. But restoring Orpheus’s one true love might jeopardize Persephone’s own chances with her biggest crush...

Praise for The Goddess Girls
“…a clever take on Greek deities…”
~ Booklist

"Readers familiar with Greek myths should get a kick out of this plucky restaging."
~Publisher's Weekly

“…an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity…”
~ School Library Journal
The Goddess Girls Series
The Goddess Girls series, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

  • Athena the Brain Finding out she’s a goddess and being sent to Mount Olympus brings Athena new friends, a weird dad, and the meanest girl in mythology—Medusa!
  • Persephone the Phony Hiding her feelings works fine for Persephone until she meets a guy she can be herself with—Hades, the bad-boy of the Underworld.
  • Aphrodite the Beauty Sure Aphrodite is beautiful, but it’s not always easy being the goddessgirl of love.
  • Artemis the Brave She may be the goddess of the hunt, but that doesn’t mean Artemis always feels brave.
  • Athena the Wise Zeus says Heracles has to do twelve tasks or he'll get kicked out of MOA! Although she's not sure it's wise, Athena agrees to help out.
  • Aphrodite the Diva Isis claims she's the goddess of love? Ha! But to keep the title all to herself, Aphrodite has to find the perfect match for Pygmalion, the most annoying boy ever.
  • Artemis the Loyal It’s time for the annual Olympic Games, and Artemis and her friends are not happy. It’s boys only. Not fair!
  • Medusa the Mean Medusa wants to be more like her two sisters and the other kids at Mount Olympus Academy -- immortal. Is that too much to ask?
  • The Girl Games (Goddess Girls Super Special) Listen in on what all four goddess girls are thinking as Mount Olympus Academy hosts visitors from many lands--including an adorable kitten!The first-ever standalone superspecial in the Goddess Girls series!
  • Pandora the Curious Pandora is one of the few mortals at Mount Olympus Academy—and probably the most curious of all the students in school.
  • Pheme the Gossip As the goddess girl of rumor and gossip, Pheme prides herself on being “in the know” and having the most up-to-date info on anyone and everyone at Mount Olympus Academy.
Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children's choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 - 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 - 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.
Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children's books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children's books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.

Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/22/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, August 2, 2013

All Types of ART marathon and Scavenger Hunt

Over the weekend I participated in an a-thon over at AFA forum. What that means is that for a certain period of time, we make art and have scavenger hunt and have fun chatting in the forums. I haven't made this many ATC's the entire year as I've made them in these 3 days. And you know I'm crazy about challenges. :)

The challenges for these four ATC's were:
  •  complete 3 projects - each with a face having a different expression
  •  complete 3 projects - each with the same item shown in different ways or media
  •  Illustrate the four seasons. (can be all in 1 project, or 4 separate projects)
  •  Illustrate a dream (or object from a dream you had). - purple scarf
  •  Illustrate a Chair - any style, real or imagined.
  •  Illustrate a mood - (but use no people in the project).
I have many more to share in the future. :)

Cotton Candy Girls Workshop starts August 5th, 2013 and is exactly the same as the previous two and it's still just 25$. Go register HERE. To everyone that already registered, I sent the invitations to the class blog yesterday. If you can't find the invitation, check your PayPal associated e-mail and / or spam folder. And feel free to contact me at any time for whatever reason. :)

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

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