Monday, May 31, 2010

In My Mailbox (25) Makeup Addiction

In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

Fun fact: I meant to type "Makeup Edition" as the title of this.

So anyways, I had an elf order come last week and here's what I got:

I love the quads. There are so many colours and the pigmentation on them is usually just gorgeous. The only thing is I recommend using a cream eyeshadow under them to make the colours look more true to themselves. If you're looking for a more sheer, less dramatic look, using them alone is nice, too, though. :)

I got four Brightening Eye Colours in Glam, Day 2 Night, Teal Dream, and Rocker. I think I actually have all of these except two. I also got two Duo Eye Shadow Creams in Butter Pecan and Coffee and Cream.

I wanted to try the $1 eye primer since I've only tried the mineral eyeshadow primer. The clear mascara is for my eyebrows 'cause they're nightmares and I got eyeliner in Black, Gilded (gold) and Ash (grey) because I really like elf eyeliner.

The little round things are Studio Cream Eyeliners which are new to elf. The only thing I didn't do was buy an angled brush for them. Whoops. I got them in Midnight (navy blue) and Black.

The pressed powder is way too dark for me, unfortunately. I wanted to see if it'd be lighter since my other elf powder makes me a bit yellowy. The two cover sticks are nice, though. I got Ivory and Fair and fair is a bit lighter, closer to my skin tone.

The two blushes I got were in Coy and Flushed which is really bright and nice. I also got the Shine Erasers which are good. I like those.

I really quite like the squeezing lip glosses. The one on the end isn't actually brown. It goes on as almost like a sheer red which I'd totally wear for a formal event or something. And I really like the pink one.

The Candy Shop tins were 50 cents each. I got six of them, all except for coconut, because I don't like coconut.
I bought another Studio powder brush because I want one for liquid foundation, another eyeshadow brush because they're awesome, a sqoogley brush because I broke/lost my other one and that's what I use if my mascara goes funny and a smudge sponge brush, which I like. Don't get me wrong, it's a sponge on a stick, but for a dollar, it's nice fo smudging eyeliner.

I really really wanted new nail polish. I got navy blue, dark purple, shiny purple, light purple, dark red, pinkish purple. (Getting a theme here?)

Okay, so that's everything!!
Peace and cookies
Laina

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In My Mailbox (25) Library Sale Edition

In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

This is going to be a two-part post, I think. I went to a book sale at the library yesterday and picked up a bunch of books that you guys might be interested in.

Vamps by Nancy A. Collins - Paperback

When the sun goes down, New York's true elite all head to one place: Bathory Academy, where the young ladies of the finest vampire families are trained in shapeshifting and luring their prey.

Bathory's reigning queen, Lilith Todd, is the daughter of a powerful vampire businessman, and she knows exactly what she wants from life. She wants to look beautiful for eternity and party till the sun comes up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Jules. And she doesn't want any New Blood upstarts standing in her way.

Enter Cally Monture, an unexpected threat from a trash zip code. When their first meeting leads to tragic results, Lilith is hungry for revenge.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I tried this one before and it was an DNF, but I figure for a quarter, I may as well buy it. Worst case scenario I snark the heck out of it and a fine time is had by all. :P

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - Hardcover

Maniac Magee is a folk story about a boy, a very excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say. It's also the story of how this boy, Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee, confronts racism in a small town, tries to find a home where there is none and attempts to soothe tensions between rival factions on the tough side of town.

(Summary from goodreads.)

If you all have never read this one, we can no longer be BFF's. Jerry Spinelli is seriously awesome. Also a quarter!

The Maze by Monica Hughes - Paperback

The Maze is an exciting and challenging novel from the pen of one of Canada's best science fiction and fantasy writers for young readers. Monica Hughes thrusts us into the troubled life of 15-year-old Andrea Austin, who has her fair share of problems. She's being raised by her dad, a cold professor of mathematics who doesn't seem to understand the pressures of being a contemporary teenager and who's more interested in making sure that dinner's precisely on time than in what's happening in Andrea's life. She's also the new kid at Abbotsville High and the latest victim of a cruel gang of school bullies known as the Six. Under the auspices of their leader, Crystal, the Six make Andrea's life hell, and she can't figure out how to get them to leave her alone.

After yet another bullying, she escapes into a cozy old antique shop where Sophia, the proprietress, gives her the Maze, a small black box inlaid with an intricate silver design. Andrea soon discovers that the Maze is an intriguing means of escaping from Crystal and company. But then everything seems to go wrong. When the Six attack Andrea in the park, Crystal and her second-in-command Serena suddenly disappear. Andrea discovers that they've been swept into the world of the Maze and only she can rescue them.

(Summary from goodreads.)


I read this ages ago and liked it. Also a quarter.

See You Later by Christopher Pike - Paperback

Mark has just fallen in love for the first time. Her name is Becky and unfortunately for Mark, she already has a boyfriend. Mark tries his best, but he is unable to win Becky for himself--until he meets Vincent and Kara and strange things start to happen.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I like Christopher Pike. I think I've probably read this one, too, but I can't quite remember. Quarter.

Reflex by Steven Gould - Paperback

A mysterious group of people has taken Davy captive. They don't want to hire him, and they don't have any hope of appealing to him to help them. What they want is to own him. They want to use his abilities for their own purposes, whether Davy agrees to it or not. And so they set about brainwashing him and conditioning him, and they have found a way to keep a teleport captive.

But there's one thing that they don't know. No one knows it, not even Davy. And it might save his life...

(Summary from goodreads but tweaked to match the back cover.)

You know the movie Jumper? This is in the series of the book Jumper that the movie was based on and I've been meaning to read them. The copy I got doesn't even look like it's been read. For a quarter!

Velocity by Dean Koontz - Paperback

If you don't take this note to the police... I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher... If you do... I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours.

The typewritten note under his windshield seems like just a sick joke. But in less than twenty-four hours, Billy Wiles, an ordinary, hardworking guy, is about to see his life take on the speed of a nightmare.

A young blond schoolteacher is murdered--and now Billy has another note.

And another deadline.

This time he knows it's no joke. He's racing a killer faster than evil itself. And Billy must accept his terrifying challenge: The choice is yours.

(Summary from goodreads.)

My mom is actually reading this right now and I think she likes it so far. Another one I've been meaning to read (and you guessed it, it was a quarter). It also looked like it'd never even been read.

The Mulberry Tree by Jude Deveraux - Paperback

Quiet, unassuming, and overweight Lillian Manville did anything and everything to please her husband, the illustrious self-made billionaire James Manville. Since the tender age of seventeen, she had obeyed this powerful older man's every command and in return she received a life beyond her wildest dreams.

But when Jimmie dies suddenly in a plane crash, Lillian's pampered life comes to an abrupt halt. She learns that Jimmie has bequeathed all of his riches to his devious siblings. All, that is, except an old farmhouse in small-town Calburn, Virginia.

Although Lillian is devastated by Jimmie's death and apparent betrayal, her unexpected circumstances quickly transform her for the better. She loses weight and, with the help of Matthew Longacre, a kind, handsome local man, begins to renovate the farmhouse and establish friendships with Calburn's quirky townspeople. In time she develops her own thriving business and an inner strength she never knew existed. But, though Lillian's new life seems as strong as the mulberry tree firmly planted outside her farmhouse, there remain secrets and lies that threaten to uproot the past she cherished and the future she will fight to protect.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I actually read the first couple of chapters of this in the back of another book and liked it so when I was helping sort out the hardcovers from the paperbacks for the booksale and saw this, I was quite glad. :)

And that's the last of the library sale books. I also got a ton of picture books, all in all getting 40 books for ten dollars, but this is all that you guys would be interested in.

Oh, but...

Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine - Paperback

I bought this one at the Pharmasave (and I'm not telling for how much because they are so overpriced in that store it's ridiculous) a week or two ago and I just forgot to do an IMM with it because my mom stole it. I'm not posting the goodreads description because I'm in the middle of reading the series and I don't want to spoil it for myself.

Okay, so I also had an elf order come this week and I'm going to post a seperate IMM for that tomorrow, okay? Because otherwise this would be way too long and have waaaay too many pictures.

So that's everything for today.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (35)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Here's a story for you guys. I heard a snippet of this song quite a while ago, downloaded it, then forgot I liked it (I do that a bunch). Then I heard her on Kids CBC performing it live and fell in love with it all over again.

So here it is!



A Little Bit of Red by Serena Ryder.

Whatcha guys think?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (45)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

How to Make a Bird by Martine Murray - To be released June 1st, 2010

It's dawn, on an empty road in the countryside. Empty, except for the girl in the long, red evening gown, standing next to a bicycle, and looking back at the home she's about to leave. Mannie's ready to start a new life and forget the terrible things that have happened here, but there are questions that need to be answered before she can let go. Questions about her elegant but unstable mother, her brother who's always overshadowed her, and his friend Harry Jacob, who just might be Mannie's boyfriend...

And her only clue is an unfamiliar address in Melbourne, written on a scrap of paper found in her brother's room. As she makes her journey to the city, the mystery of this vulnerable, quirky girl is revealed piece by piece in her search for a way to become whole again.

With rare sensitivity and a poetic voice that is unmistakably her own, Martine Murray tells a story about growing up and listening to your heart.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: To be honest, I'm in love with the cover. Yes. I'm shallow. Plus plus plus it sounds really, really good and it's set in Australia and everybody knows Australia is awesome. (Except it's one of those random words I have trouble spelling. Sorry Australia! It's not you, it's me.)

And this one comes out in just a few days, so you don't have to wait very long for it!


Majix: Notes From a Serious Teen Witch by Douglas Rees - To be released July 1st, 2010

Kestrel (don't call her Susan) Murphy is angry. Forced to leave her posh San Francisco Bay Area home by her father's illness, she's living in Jurupa (sounds like vomiting), Southern California. It's too hot. The people are stupid. And you have to chew the air to get the oxygen out of it. On the plus side, Kestrel is a witch. Well, a witch-in-training. And she's going acquire the magic she needs to get her life back to normal. At first, she barely notices the people around her-Aunt Ariel, who's taken her in and is herself a well-known white witch; Jose Iturrigaray, the quiet, talented young artist; Blake Cump, troublemaker extraordinaire; Laura Greenwood, who wants to be Kestrel's friend. But life has its own magic, and gradually Kestrel finds that much of one's success as a witch lies in being open to it.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: Douglas Rees wrote Vampire High which I quite loved, so I can't wait to read this one.

Okay, so that's it for this Wednesday! Hope you guys enjoyed the bookshelf posts (and commented!) and look out for another Storytime Spotlight tomorrow. And comment!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bookshelf Pictures - Part Two

As promised, here's the second part of my bookshelf post! If you remember the last one (you should, it was yesterday), this bookshelf will look awful familiar. (That's because I have two of the same bookshelf.)

You can see the side of the other one in this picture, haha. And, like the other one, this one looks like something a kindergarten class threw up.

Shelf one:

My signed Cassandra Clare's are on this shelf, along with some of my other bought and won YA hardcovers. The two Thirst books are stacked there because they're so thick and they take up way too shelf space, so... plus I think they look pretty nice like that.

Second shelf picture one:

I have my L. J. Smith's stacked like this for the same reason as the Pike books. And no, I don't burn those candles there, I just put them there when I was cleaning and they looked kinda nice there so I left them. Cracked Up to Be and If I Stay are just there because when I was rearranging my shelves, I forgot those two were in my room and by the time I realized, I was done, so there they went.

Second shelf picture two:

Some of these I've bought, some of these I've won. This shelf is semi-arrange by size, which is why the two hardcovers are on the sides. It's totally not a sensible system at all, but it works for me, so run with it, okay?

Third shelf:

For the most part, these are either books I've reviewed or books I've won but aren't at the top of my to-read priority list. And a special edition of Breaking Dawn that I bought because I wanted the poster. I'm a fangirl. Deal with it.

Fourth shelf:

This shelf has no rhyme or reason, it's just random books I had that didn't fit anywhere so I tossed them onto this shelf. I think when I was filling this bookcase I had just bought some books from the library and they ended up here. Or something. Except for Parents From Space because that book rocks socks.

Now, let's move onto the books in my room. First we have this:

(Sorry for the cruddy picture. It's the best I got and I'm not getting up to take another picture.)

I bought this for six bucks at a yardsale and it's the only bookshelf of any kind in my actual bedroom. I keep a bunch of hardcovers in it because they fit quite well. Books that are signed include: Trash, Nothing But Trouble (I think), Wake, The French Mistress, Love, Lies, and Texas Dips, Death by Bikini, Mayhem on Mackinac Island by Johnathan Rand, and Bleeding Violet.

Normally, on top of The French Mistress are my Morganville books, but I'm reading them right now so they're next to my bed.

You see in the side of that picture how there's another one of those blue bins covered with a cloth? Those are MORE of my mom's romance novels (how do I end up dealing with them??).

Anyways.

On that bin is my review pile:

It's in roughly (roughly being key) chronological order right now, but chances are I won't read it in such. Need to get on that, actually...

And then next to it is just a stack of books:

The Day The Falls Stood Still and my House of Night books that I haven't touched but my mom likes. Sorry about the glare but the other picture I took was waaaay too dark to use.

And finally my work/reading/library pile:

The other thing this is called? A mess. But this is the romance books from the library I'm reading/need to return, a bunch of work books, and my Morganville books 'cause like I said I'm reading them. From the time I took this to now this has already changed, but you get the general gist of it. It's never the same for long, but it's basically the same idea all the time.

And I think that's about it, besides those books we all have that don't live anywhere and so are... everywhere. But I'm pretty tidy right now, so yay!

Comment and let me know what you think!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, May 24, 2010

I will beat you with a stick

or: Please do not spoil books.

Twice in this last week during my non-usual Google-Readering I've had several books mildly ruined for me. They include: Along For the Ride, Shiver, the Vampire Academy series, Willow, Evermore, Fallen, and most recently, How I Live Now and the Mortal Instruments books.

Good week, hey?

Some of those are small enough that I'll forget them immediately, but others, including things about character's sexual decisions, relationships, and GIGANTIC PLOT POINTS, I doubt I'll be able to get out of my head. The best example of this is the Mortal Instrument books, which happened just today, where someone (I'm not naming names) revealed a MAJOR plot point on someone else's blog about an entirely different book (I'm not linking to it).

The other ones... I mostly got over. But I own SIGNED COPIES OF CITY OF GLASS/ASHES/BONES! And I was REALLY looking forward to them. I will probably still read them, but chances are it won't be for ages in attempt to forget what I read. Because it was GIGANTIC and would colour my reading of the books.

And maybe you're saying "But Laina, they're popular books!" (and if you are, you're not nice), but they haven't been out that long! The third book was only published in 2009. It's not unheard of for me to not have read a book that's only a year old. There are a LOT of books out there.

Basically, here's a lesson for the future. If you reveal a major plot point or character thing or ANYTHING big about a book, please give a WARNING so people like me know to stop reading. And if you don't, don't be surprised to one day be randomly beat with a copy of the book you spoiled.

And also if you ever spoil a book in my comments, I'll delete it.

(Sorry for all the capitals. I love you guys and love it when you comment. No spoilers, kay?)

Peace and slightly burned cookies,
Laina
(Please go read my bookcase post after you're done leaving nice spoiler free comments here, okay?)

Bookshelf Pictures - Part One

Hey, guys. So I was bored the other day and had found my camera (it likes to disappear randomly along with sucking) and I decided to take pictures of my books/bookcases.

To start, we have to start in my the in the spare room of my house.

That blue box (which by the way weighs a freaking ton) holds some of my mother's romance novels.

Then we have this. The other blue bin? More romance novels, along with one and about a half of those white bins. One and a half of the white plastic bins are my books, mostly older ones and ones that I don't have a ton of interest in right now because that closet is a bit hard to get into. (Yes, the pink slippers are mine. Shup. I don't wear them anymore, I wear these now. When I wear slippers, that is, which I don't very often.)

Random books in a box. The one with the Pikes and stuff on top of it is mostly because I got lazy. I'm not entirely sure what all is in here... the box under the pink rabbit has picture books and comics.

Now let's get onto my bookshelves!

Bookshelf numero uno:

(After this picture I had to move a bunch of stuff so I could take closeups of the shelves. It honestly is cleaner now. My mom notices and she doesn't notice when I clean usually.)

The top shelf:

Yes... that's a roll of toilet paper. No, I'm not sure why it's in there. So, top shelf = Twilight books and Harry Potter books except for one because it didn't fit.

Second shelf picture one:


As you can see, besides looking like something a kindergarten class threw up, my bookshelves aren't very big, so I have some books that didn't really fit anywhere stacked on this shelf.

Second shelf picture two:

This shelf has the first Harry Potter book and a second copy of Prisoner of Azkaban someone got me, along with a bunch of Scholastic books. I think my logic with this one was that (most) of these are in a series? I'm not sure, it's been a while since I organized them. Also I have two copies of that Artemis Fowl book because I bought the paperback in a pack and then later found the hardcover for 6 bucks.

Third shelf picture one:

Also double-stacked, but there are a few less in the front row on this one. Some Meg Cabot, Eragon, a couple Sue Graftons, a J. D. Robb, just stuff I've bought from the library (minus Eragon, that I bought on a school trip years ago.)

Third shelf picture two:


I brought a lot of these with me from Ontario. Only a few of them were bought here, like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (brand new at a library book sale, 25 cents).

Fourth shelf picture one:

A couple of these as well came with me from Ontario, but most of these have been bought here at, you guessed it, library book sales. On this shelf, I have two copies of The Little Princess, some Susan Cooper, some Madeleine L'Engle books, some Monica Hughes. That kinda thing.

And finally fourth shelf picture two:

I think this one is actually vaguely alphabetized... maybe. There's Harriet the Spy, some Judy Blume, a few more books that came with me from Ontario.

Okay, that's my one bookshelf! This post is already really long, so I'm going to make it two parts. Part two will be up sometime Tuesday. No IMM this week (didn't get anything).

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About (34)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

I've had girl singers and bands the last couple of weeks, I do believe. How about a guy band now? 'Cause boys make things fun. XD

This song is called Breath and it's by Breaking Benjamin. I don't know how popular it is or was (I'm really out of touch sometimes), so I don't know if you guys have heard of it or not. But a good song is a good song, so... I just lost my train of thought entirely. On to the music!



Thoughts, comments, music recommendations? Leave them in my inbox (aka the comments).
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Storytime Spotlight (1)

Okay, so Picture This didn't go over so well and I haven't done it again, but I'd like to thank Shesten of I Heart Monster for inspiring this new feature which will hopefully go a bit better.

Most of you probably know that I work at my library holding a weekly Storytime every Thursday, for around three year old kids to around five year old kids, with some closer to twos and some over fives. Shesten suggested that I share my lesson plans for the week. I rarely actually have a lesson plan, since most of my Storytimes follow pretty much the same general structure, but I figured I'd share with you guys what I'm reading and such each week. So... let's see how that goes!

This is a Storytime that we did on May 6th. It was garden themed.

Books we read:

Martha in the Middle by Jan Fearnley

Being in the middle is no fun for Martha. She gets squashed between her siblings when they argue. She never gets called "big and sensible" or "cutesy-wootsy." Sometimes she even feels invisible. One day she gets so fed up, she decides to run away. Luckily, Martha meets a wise frog who points out that the middle is the best bit — the tasty seeds in the sunflower, the sweet peas in the pod, the juiciest part of a watermelon. With beguiling warmth and humor, Jan Fearnley reassures children that being in the middle of things is a choice spot after all.

What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park

A rabbit explores a garden, finding flowers of every color, before hopping home for a nap and dreams of rainbows. Rhyming clues invite the reader to answer the question: What does bunny see? Linda Sue Park's sprightly verses and Maggie Smith's cheerful illustrations will delight young children, as each turn of the page yields a colorful surprise.

Up, Down, And Around by Katherine Ayres

This garden is on the move! A good-time, rollicking celebration of things that grow.

Peppers grow up.
Potatoes grow down.
Pumpkins vine around and around.
From seeds dropping into soil to corn bursting from its stalks, from children chasing butterflies to ants burrowing underground, everything in this vibrant picture book pulses with life — in all directions! Sprightly illustrations set the mood for a rhythmic text that follows nature’s course to a final feast of backyard bounty.

(All summaries from goodreads, click on the titles for more information and the cover pictures to make them bigger.)

When I got to the library, I had to move our tables back into place because people keep moving them which drives me nuts but that's a story for another day. Anyways, I'd brought plastic cups filled with seeding mix to the library (in a cardboard box, if you're wondering) and taped them to little plastic plates with masking tape at the library.

Once that was done, most of the kids had already arrived, and I told them I had a surprise for them, went into the store room of the library, and brought out the giant sun I'd made a few days before, out of bristol board mostly. They got SO excited about it, probably because it was just so big, as tall as a couple of them. :P

We couldn't find an sticky tack and you're not allowed to use tape on the library walls, so we couldn't hang it up, but we have this easel with a dry erase board and a felt board, so I just wheeled that over behind me and put it up there and they were happy with that.

Then we sat down and read, Martha In The Middle first because it was the longest, then What Does Bunny See? and then Up, Down, And Around. Martha was pretty well received, and with it being the first, they had a good amount of patience for the length. They absolutely loved Bunny because they got to guess what colour would be featured on the next page. The only thing was, I read it so that it was a question to get their attention more, which I recommend. Up, Down, and Around wasn't as well loved, but with most third books I read, they were starting to get antsy and were ready to be done.

On to the craft.

My prep work a few days before work:

I started with rectangular black plastic containers, about 4 inches by 6 inches or so, that my aunt gave me from these things. I filled them with chunks of Styrofoam that I cut to fit. Tip: When cutting Styrofoam, use a sharp knife and do it outside or in a basement. Not in your house because it makes SUCH a mess and takes forever to clean up.

I painted the Styrofoam green and then started making sunflowers. I cut out about... 300 petals (seriously) from yellow construction paper. They're just a pretty small tear shape, but long, and if you fold the paper right, you can cut out 30 or so at a time. The thing that takes the longest is tracing the petal. Then I cut out circles from brown construction paper, glued to petals to that, and glued it to a popsicle stick.

Tip: If you're like me and run out of pre-painted green popsicles sticks and don't have time to paint your own, you can colour popsicle sticks with washable marker. Your hands get a big green, but if you let them dry on a piece of paper, you're golden.

Last, I used pom-poms to make caterpillers. After lining them up to get the idea of how long it would be, I took light yellow bristol board (doesn't matter the colour, though, if you do this. These were pieces I found in the library storeroom), put a bunch of glue in a line down the bristol board as long as I wanted the caterpiller to be, and glued one large orange pom-pom down. Then, I put glue on a smaller dark red pom-pom, pressed the glue side against the orange one, and pressed it down on the glue on the card. Followed that with a yellow pom-pom, a lighter red one, and another yellow one.

I let the glue dry for a couple minutes so it didn't fall off or anything, and then cut around the caterpiller's body and let it dry. Oh, and I glued on little black pom-poms for eyes.

Tip: Don't do any of this the night before. Because you won't sleep. It takes a while. And besides, the glue should dry for a day or so, especially with the flowers (which mine didn't, because I was stupid and did it the night before).

All in all, what I brought to the library looked like this:

(Ignore the date stamp, it's very very wrong. I really have to take that off.)

Most of the kids that come to my Storytimes don't know how to use scissors or glue yet, so with a craft like this, I do have to do a lot of prep work, but they really enjoyed this one.

What I did:

After the books, I handed out the containers and they brought them back to the tables. Then, I handed out the sunflowers, passing them around the table one at a time so that they didn't have to wait long. (They're not very patient sometimes :P) I made 30 in all, and since 6 kids showed up, they ended up with 5 each. I should have made more, actually, so it was lucky there were only 6 kids that day.

They understand without me even telling them to stick the popsicle stick flowers in the styrofoam, which is great. Then, I gave them stickers and these cool foam stickers we have that you just peel off the backing which were great.

While they were decorating their gardens, I took about two of them at a time off the the side and gave them each a cup of seeding mix. They got to pour in the water to moisten the dirt and mix it up with a pencil (it was the closest thing I grabbed and worked well). I held the dirt cup for them and they got to pour, which was neat. Then I had them make a hole in the dirt and they got to put a seed in it.

By the time that was done, the kids were about done their gardens so we did a couple of colouring sheets. I only brought one, thinking the gardens would take longer, but I had a spare duck colouring sheet in my folder, so we did that, too. We probably could have used another one yet, but two was pretty good.

And that's my Storytime!

Tips:

Before I start reading, once everyone has sat down and settled, I ask them if they remember the Storytime rules and then have them say with me "Turn your listening ears up. Sit in your chair. Look with your eyes, not with your hands." For listening ears, I pretend to "turn up" my ears, for sitting, I tap my hands on the legs of the chair, and for the last rule, I point at my eyes and then at them.

If they start talking too much and not paying attention, I say to them "Do you guys know that the book won't open if you don't listen?" and pretend that it's slammed shut and won't open again.

If you wanted to, you could put down a plastic tablecloth or something on the floor if you were worried about spillage, but I just told them to be really careful and didn't fill the cups up to the top. Plus the plates taped to them helped.

Other garden themed books I found:

Harriet and the Garden by Nancy Carlson
A Garden of Opposites by Nancy Davis
Zinnia's Flower Garden by Monica Wellington (This is the one that actually inspired the whole thing, along with the containers from my aunt)
The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

And that's it!! Normally, I don't do a craft like this, so this one was a lot longer (to type, the Storytime took the normal hour), but this is about what I do every week.

What do you guys think? Interesting? Want more of these? Comment and tell me what you think!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (44)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Guys. Guys. Guys. GUYS!!!!

Pegasus by Robin McKinley - To be released November 2nd, 2010 (Just in time for you to get it for my birthday, December 13th)

A gorgeously-written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her pegasus

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: ROBIN MCKINLEY ROBIN MCKINLEY ROBIN MCKINLEY!!!!!! I love her I love her I love her I love her I love her. She is one of my favorite authors EVER!!

Okay, enough fangirling. Deep breath. Deep breath. Robin McKinley! No, I'm good, honest! Haha.

Next up is:

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John - To be released November 11th, 2010

THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.

THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.

THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: I love music books, like Audrey, Wait!, the cover of the book is gorgeous, I love her boots and sunglasses, and the deaf storytime sounds utterly awesome.

Okay! That's it for now!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MG Review: Clair-de-Lune

Clair-de-Lune by Cassandra Golds

Published: I believe it was first published in 2004 in Australia, but I'm not sure of the publisher, then in the US in 2006, by Knopf Books For Young Readers which is a division of Random House Books.
Genre:
Middle grade fantasy.

Page Count:
197 in my hardcover copy

Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): Clair-de-Lune lives with her grandmother in the tippy-top of a peculiar old building. Every day she practices ballet, just like her mother before her — the famous ballerina who died when Clair-de-Lune was just a baby. Since that day, Clair-de-Lune hasn’t uttered a word.

Then one day the girl who cannot speak meets a remarkable mouse who can. Bonaventure dreams of founding a dancing school just for mice — but he dreams of helping his new friend, too. Soon the brave little mouse introduces Clair-de-Lune to a hidden world inside, and yet somehow beyond, her building — a world that slowly begins to open her heart. Maybe one day her dreams will come true, too.


Review: Like I said in the published note, Clair-de-Lune was published in 2006, but Cassandra Golds' voice seems timeless. I believe the book is set around the late 1800s, maybe the 1860s? The actual date, as far as I know, is never mentioned. The opening line mentions "one hundred years ago, and half as many again". You could, however, believe that it's set almost anywhere up until probably the early 1900s, which I think is a great thing in a book.

The author occasionally breaks the fourth wall, speaking directly to the reader, which I personally think, if done right, can involve the reader and make a book more personal.
Set in third person, the imagery in Clair-de-Lune is just incredible. The building in which the majority of the book is set in seems like a living, breathing creature, and even the characters you might not like so much, you can't help but sympathize with at times.

Plot (in my words):
Clair-de-Lune is about a girl named (duhn-da-da-duh) Clair-de-Lune, after her late mother, who was named La Lune. (La Lune is the Moon in French, and Clair-de-Lune translates to moonlight. Isn't that just adorable?) Clair-de-Lune does not speak, cannot speak, although she doesn't know why. The book follows her budding friendship with a mouse named Bonaventure who can talk, and her journey learning how to speak, as well as why she cannot.

Characters:
Clair-de-Lune is twelve or thirteen at the oldest. I'm not entirely sure of her age (I probably missed it) but she couldn't be more than thirteen. Since she can't speak with words, she speaks through dance, ballet dancing, as her mother danced before her, as her grandmother danced before her. She would give up anything, though, to be able to speak.


It's very interesting how the author makes a character who doesn't speak, verbally, at least, so alive and real. Despite being in third person, Clair-de-Lune's voice is very much her own, and there's a definite difference from scenes set in her point of view and scenes set from others' points of view.


The other characters, right down to the mice, are very realistic. There are a lot of French(?) names, which could get a bit confusing for some younger readers, but their personalities make them stand out enough that it wouldn't be too confusing.


Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I don't have anything much to say here besides mentioning again that the names could get a bit confusing for some younger readers.

PG-13 stuff:
Well, this is a middle grade book, so there's virtually nothing like swearing or anything in it, but there is a *SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT* death in the book that might be a bit difficult for younger readers. Heck, I cried like a baby. But, there is a happy ending, so it all balances out as far as I'm concerned.


Cover comments:
This isn't my exact cover. If you go
here and look at the US edition (the third one on the right), that's the one I have, which the colours are a bit more muted in. However, I think this is a beautiful cover in either form. It's actually one of the things that caught my eye and made me order this book. (I was actually on my library's website looking for picture books at the time.)

Conclusion:
Clair-de-Lune is a very cute, sweet book. I think both of younger and older readers would enjoy it, and although it's aimed more towards girls, some boys as well might be interested. Very good to give to someone who's shy, as they would probably greatly relate to Clair-de-Lune. Four out of five roses.


Other notes: - Actually, I don't have much. Most of what I wrote down ended in my review. Sorry!!
- Oh, wait, I had a couple of quotes I really liked.
From pg. 12:
For the mouse hole was a tiny replica of the room outside it. Along its walls were mouse-sized mirrors, put together painstakingly from discarded powder compacts. Suspended halfway along both sides there was a mouse-sized barre, constructed from toothpicks. Standing beside it, in first position, was a mouse-sized mouse.
From pg. 15 (Bonaventue speaking about his friend):

"Moreover, his heart was once broken, therefore he is very wise."
- More about my rose rating system.
And that's about it!

Peace and cookies,

Laina

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

So these are the books I've gotten in the last two weeks. Not very many, but I'm very very excited about both of them.

For review:

Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw - ARC

Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I don't know if you guys remember this, but I WoW'd this a while ago and then I got an email saying that I was being sent it. Apparently, I have, like, contacts or something. How freaking AWESOME is that????? I can't wait to read this.

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin - ARC

New girl Raye Archer is desperate for a way into the In crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker chooses her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity as “Elizabeth” so that she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. While a fun and dangerous thrill at first, what Raye hadn’t counted on was falling for Julian herself—and igniting Ella’s rage.

As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge. Now it’s Raye who falls victim, as Ella creates an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she’s helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter.

(Summary from goodreads.)

I WoW'd this, too, and a couple days after that, Adele emailed me and long story short, looky! I have no words to express how excited I am about this.

Okay, so this is everything I've gotten lately.
Peace and cookies,
Laina