1) My partner for Lori's Bead Soup Blog Party
Michelle is awesome! And she seems like somebody I would enjoy getting to know.
I am delighted with her polymer clay pieces, and impressed by her willingness to explore many kinds of crafts. I like a couple of other things, but don't have time to get good at them. Michelle is good at a LOT of different things- paper crafting, beading, polymer clay. Very cool things.
I want to show you some of my favorite pieces from her blog...
Her pieces are so beautiful! I love her floral motifs, and the way she uses paint and color. So pretty. I'm looking forward to seeing what shows up! And I'm nervous about what I'm sending...
2) New Shoes
I've got new Merrell shoes! I haven't purchased new shoes in forever, partly because of how well my old Merrell's have lasted. I love how they feel, and how I feel wearing them. They've got fabulous traction on ice, and they are so comfy.
I've got some serious weird feet, and as I've gotten older they have given me more and more problems. I can't wear pretty shoes, probably ever, unless I get a surgery to correct the weirdness of my left foot. Anyway, these shoes keep me more comfortable than any other pair I've ever have, and I'm delighted with some of the ways they've changed these shoes and made them better. I'm thinking seriously of buying another pair in a different color...
3) The book Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I thoroughly enjoyed this book- the dark fantasy style, the quirky characters, the rich texture of language, and the intriguing setting. It's rather a modern, adult version of Alice in Wonderland with a mystery to solve and a bumbling hero. I fell into this book quickly, and was swept away with the story line. I really wasn't ready for it to be over...
From Gaiman's web-site:
Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her--and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.
Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his hundred rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.
For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family's slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door's entourage in their determined--and possibly fatal--quest.
For the dread journey ever-downward--through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time--is Richard's final hope, his last road back to a "real" world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.
If Tim Burton reimagined The Phantom of the Opera, if Jack Finney let his dark side take over, if you rolled the best work of Clive Barker, Peter Straub and Caleb Carr into one, you still would have something that fell far short of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. It is a masterful debut novel of darkly hypnotic power, and one of the most absorbing reads to come along in years.