Friday, April 11, 2014

Is Anyone Still Out There?

It is possible that you are seeing this post and thinking to yourself "who is writing this? I thought that Kelly Michelle disappeared off the face of the earth last May.." Well folks, I didn't. Sorry if I caused you any concern.

Yes, it has been almost an entire year that I have gone without blogging and to say that I have missed it would be an understatement. I often start blog posts in my head or think about topics that I would love to write about but I don't want to be a wishy-washy blogger who posts once every two months. I think that it has to be all or nothing. That being said, I have been toying with the idea of starting a new fresh, new blog and I just wanted to see if there was anyone out there who thinks I should. Or who would want to know the new address if I did. Or who has any recommendations for me.

In the end, I'm just wondering if I still have any readers here or if this corner of the blogosphere has gone completely neglected.

Any responses appreciated! :)

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Judging a Book by its Cover


I have always found it a little odd when I see multiple covers for the same book. I come across this often when searching Google for the image of a book I've read because typically the cover I am familiar with is not the only one out there. When you think about it, it's not a stretch to imagine why publishing companies do it, as it is a rather clever marketing tactic. Another quick search yielded this article on the subject.
 
I finished reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield the other day and I must interject my main point to say that I loved it! It has been on my to-read list (on GoodReads) for a while and it exceeded my expectations. Well, when I went to search for an image of the book, I was presented with three different covers.
 

They have decidedly different moods to them and I can see why each would attract a different type of reader. The first cover has two sweet little girls with matching outfits and light colors, making the potential reader believe it might be about children and bedtime tales. The second cover is darker and more foreboding, indicating the story inside might be of a mysterious or sinister nature. The last cover implies it is a story about books, that the tales are the main feature.

Incidentally, it was the second cover that attracted me to this book. I won't give away anything else about it but this book did something that most books don't usually do these days, it surprised me. As an avid reader, I am used to being able to predict the ending of many books and movies, maybe not to the littlest detail but the general gist of how the story will end. It is a welcomed thrill when the author is able to reveal a twist at the end of the book that I didn't see coming without it being something totally out of left field. I highly recommend this book and gave it 5 stars on my bookshelf (which is where I keep a running list of books I've read and my ratings).

One of the things that I do not like is when the new edition of a book uses a photo from the movie. Come on people, the movie is not the book! They are separate entities so please keep them as such. I can say I have definitely passed on buying a book I like because it had cover art from the movie. I don't know, call me a book snob, whatever.

[ source ]

I have been using my GoodReads page a lot lately, both to follow what some of my blog friends are reading, to keep a list of what books I have read and others that I want to read. It really comes in handy when I'm at the library (if I am not there to pick up a book that was on hold) or on the library website looking for my next ebook. I can just pull up my to-read page and go through the list to see what book I want to read next. I am always updating it and looking at what recommendations Goodreads has based on what books I liked or didn't like. Another good thing about Goodreads is that with each book, they will show the other cover art, just in case you're like me and you're interested in what angles they chose to portray the story.

Screen shot from Goodreads.com
 
I think I have found what works for me in terms of reading. There are lots of books that my county's library system doesn't have in ebooks format so I borrow the paper version. This tends to be more of bestsellers and newer books, so most of the time I have a paper book in my purse that I'm reading and an ebook on my Kindle and my phone that I'm reading. The books from the library tend to be more serious, dramas or mysteries while the ebooks I read are light, funny and typically chick-lit that is a quick read and keeps me entertained. I am reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (one of my favorite authors) and the plot centers around a former SS Nazi and the Holocaust. As you can imagine, sometimes I need a break from such an emotional book so last week I read I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. It was light, funny and a very easy read. Since I like all different types of books, reading two vastly different stories makes it easier for me not to get totally wrapped up in a story and have it get inside my head too much.

The only problem I had recently with this system was when I was reading The Thirteenth Tale and What's Left of Me, by Kat Zhang, at the same time. It was right after I finished reading a Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Neffinegger, which is a story about twins. Well The Thirteenth Tale also has to do with twins and What's Left of Me is about hybrid people born with two personalities in each body. So much use of the word "we" and "us" and two of everything started to make me feel crazy. It was just by coincidence that I read them all in a row and I am glad to be past that.

Since the newest and most popular books at the library are the most sought after, I think I am on the waiting list for at least 4 paper books and 5 ebooks. So far, they have only overlapped once and I was left with several books that each had only a 14 day limit. I love to read but as I do have to live my life as well, I had to go back on the waiting list to get one of them out again so I can finish it. I have two thick hardcover books out now and two ebooks waiting to be finished before I can start the book we chose this month for book club. Oh, yeah. I started a book club. I figured that since they don't have AA for bookworms, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Our first meeting is at the end of the month so it looks like I have 5 books to read this month, as long as my other library holds don't become ready. It's okay, I like a challenge.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Nail Files Friday: The Outdoor Edition

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has been enjoying the beginning of May thus far, though I know it might have snowed where some of you live. Sorry about that. In WNY it has jumped right from winter to summer and we got up to 80 degrees on May 1st and 79 degrees yesterday. There is no prediction of rain in the forecast for at least a week and I already have some pouches of Margarita waiting in the freezer for Cinqo de Mayo so I am a very happy lady. Of course with such great weather, I had to break out the flip flops and paint my toe nails so good thing it's Friday again!

The Nail Files Link Up

I can't say I usually have any reason to take pictures of my feet so here is a first for me.

 
This color, though not looking it's best in my iPhone photo, is Object D'Art by Finger Paints
 
 
It looks more true to its color in this shot and no, of course I didn't take this picture at work, why do you ask? (You can still see the last speck of blue on my thumb from three weeks ago. I'm a mess.)
 
 
It was so bright out this morning that the sun kept washing out my shots. Logic would say that maybe I should use the real camera to take pictures outside but I was trying to knock out two birds with one stone and it is not advisable to try and hold two dog leashes with one hand and take pictures with an expensive camera with the other.
 
 
So for now, I'll settle for sub par iPhone shots. And the maxi dress I'm wearing today made my shadow look very tall and much like Mrs. Butterworth, I even have my hair in a bun.
 
 
Great, now I want pancakes and this post is going in a very strange direction. I'd better quit while I'm ahead...
 
Want to check out everyone's nails and see if I'm the only one talking about looking like a syrup bottle this morning? Stop by Tara's blog and see everyone who linked up.
 
Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Covered Wooden Letter for Book Lovers

Remember a couple weeks ago when I told you about a project that I completed but had to keep under wraps because it was a gift? Well even if you don't, I am here with the secret project reveal.
 
 

I had planned to make this for my sister and her husband a while ago but never got around to it so when their fifth anniversary was getting close, I knew now was the perfect time. Since I've had the wooden letter B for so long, I can't remember how much it cost but I know I got it from AC Moore (that's my go-to craft store) and since I'm pretty cheap frugal, it was probably under $5. I had seen something similar made with sheet music but for a couple of bookworms, like me, I knew my sister and brother-in-law with love their last initial covered in pages from a book. It would look neat on a wall of pictures or a manel or even on a bookshelf.
 
Here are the supplies you will need:
A wooden or cardboard letter
Modge Podge
A small disposable brush
A book you're willing to part with
*A good show on Netflix is recommended but not required.
 

I had Deadly Women on while I did this and it made this so the time passed quickly. Don't judge but I have a strange addiction to true-crime shows.

The first thing I did was pull the pages of the book in strips. The book I used was pretty small, just a boring story that I picked up from a thrift shop, and at this point it doesn't matter what direction the words are going.


Now you can painted on a little Modge Podge where the first strip of paper would be go. You don't want it too thick or the paper will wrinkle and not covering too much or it may dry before you get to that spot. Also, it gets a little messy if you paint too big of an area at once so I found the best way was to cover just enough. You can, and will, add more later.


Place the paper on the front of the letter and wrap the edges around to the back.


This way, the front of your letter will look the best and you can clean up the back at the end if you need to.


Every time you fold a little more around the edge, add some Modge Podge to that spot to stick it down. It's just like gluing it in place.

 
As you keep wrapping sections in paper, the letter will start looking better and better. At the beginning, it doesn't matter what direction you go in or how disorganized it looks in the beginning because you can continue to covor it with layers until you're happy.

 
Sometimes the corners were a little strange to work with but you just have to get creative, like when you're wrapping a present. It all depends on the letter you're working on, where an O has no tricky corners, an E would be a little tougher.
 

When the letter is just about covered and you're putting the last layer of paper on, you may want to start paying attention to what words appear on the paper strips. I happened to find both my sister and her husband's names in the book I was using so I made sure to put them together (Jenn: you should see if you can find them!), but mostly you want to steer clear of any inappropriate language or violence, depending on what book you chose to use.

 
When the letter is all covered in paper, put one more thin, even layer of Modge Podge on to seal everything in and let it dry. Mine only took about 1/2 hour before I thought it was okay to handle but I let it dry overnight before I wrapped it up and threw a bow on it.
 

And there you are, a covered wooden letter for the book lover in your life! I am dying to make another one for our house because it turned out so cute.

 
I hope these directions were clear but feel free to ask any questions if you have some. I hope you try making one because it really is a quick and easy project that looks great when it's done.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Before and After

I am linking up with Tara at Fabulous but Evil and Vicki at My Vickilicious Life for this week's Nail Files but instead of sharing my beautifully painted nails (because I am lazy and they look like a chipped version of 2 weeks ago's nail files), I am going to share a couple pictures of a pretty boy who just went to the groomers and his nails clipped as well as his annual haircut.

The Nail Files Link Up

Yup, it was time again for Huey Lewis to get his puppy cut. He was a little overdue but with the weather still being so cold up to last week, we decided to hold off so the little guy didn't freeze. He doesn't have that extra layer of fat that we typically accumulate around Christmas-time so he has to rely on his hair to keep him insulated. Besides, he doesn't mind looking like a homeless dog for a while as long as I keep his hair trimmed around his eyes.


Isn't he just the cutest? I think I prefer his hair loner on his head but short on his body, like a tiny lion. And despite his sad eyes, he is one of the happiest dogs I know. Every year when he gets his haircut, he prances around the house for days because he is so proud. If only I could get my husband to let me paint his nails...

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