Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Artist's Play Room #112

Please scroll down for the newest Artist's Play Room Linky and enter your wonderful, creative artwork throughout this upcoming week.

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

Best,




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Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Skool Bell is Ringing!

I'm guessing most of you in the art blogging world recognize the unusual spelling of school in the title. Yes, I have signed up for the "Beginnings" Klass in Sketchbook Skool that starts July 4th, 2014. I'm really looking forward to it. I've checked out all the teachers who will be doing lessons in the six weeks of classes and I've listened to all the introduction videos for the Skool. 

I'm so excited to jumpstart my art-making abilities. I have never had a habit of art. I have always envied those who draw or paint everyday, making and finding precious time in their busy days to do what fills them up. I know I'm a happier person when I'm creating, I just don't know how to sustain the habit. Somehow, I start and then find a reason to stop and take a break. That break can stretch into a horrendous block, sending fear into my heart about how to start creating again. 

I know "Beginnings" is all about finding your enthusiasm for art and giving yourself permission to draw. It's about silencing that inner critic that can keep you from creating anything and it's about bring together people who want to use a sketchbook in a consistent way. I think it's just what I need, something to bring enthusiasm back into my life and give me new ideas about how to use the sketchbooks I have. Did I mention that I can't wait?

Front of Moleskine Cahier
In fact, I didn't wait. I used an idea posted in a little video by Andrea Joseph (she's a teacher in the second semester of Sketchbook Skool). It was such fun to once again to put pen to paper. Even better, it gives me a usable and artistic alphabet, I've been so terrible at that and I actually have a little complex about writing in my sketchbook. How to get over a fear in one fell swoop, huh? Put it on the cover! Hehehehe.

Back of Moleskine Cahier
Anyway, I've heard from many people who took the inaugural first semester that was offered a few months ago and they say it was GREAT so if you want to sign up for that same Klass, "Beginnings", you can still join hundreds of us who are gonna make art together starting July 4th. As I mentioned above, there's a second semester of Sketchbook Skool called "Seeing" and it has other wonderful teachers to continue the learning. I can't wait to take that Klass too. Hopefully I'll see you in Skool. :o)


List of links all about Sketchbook Skool:

The Teachers:
  1. Danny Gregory's Blog
  2. Koosje Koene's Blog
  3. Prashant Miranda's Blog
  4. Jane LaFazio's Blog
  5. Roz Stendahl's Blog
  6. Tommy Kane's Blog


Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: "Phantom Instinct" by Meg Gardiner

I've reviewed a handful of Meg Gardiner's mysteries and loved each one of them. Here, with "Phantom Instinct", we have a stand alone mystery with new characters that would certainly make a good series, we'll see if Ms. Gardiner goes down that road.

"Phantom Instinct" opens with a catastrophic event at Xenon, an popular L.A. nightclub. Harper Flynn is bar tending on the night that changes her world. Three gunmen break into the club and start shooting. As the packed club's clientele become hysterical, one gunman throws a molotov cocktail into the liquor display, engulfing the whole place in flames. There are two police officers present, one of them, Detective Aiden Garrison, tries to help Harper rescue her boyfriend Drew from the melee. Unfortunately Drew is shot just before the floor of Xenon collapses into the space below, taking Detective Garrison with it. 

All of the above action happens in the first few pages of the book. The story continues one year later, as we learn of the devastating injuries sustained by Detective Garrison and the death of both Drew and the two shooters. No one except Harper and Garrison seem to know about the third shooter, the man who shot Drew and got away. The fire destroyed everything and only our two main characters know the truth. Harper and Garrison must work together to prove that the third shooter exists, they're the only ones who can implicate the him, thus making themselves targets.

The psychological twists and turns that Meg Gardiner weaves into this mystery/thriller draws the reader in quickly. It's so easy to like Detective Garrison, with his damaged body and mind and Harper is our wily, unpredictable character. Harper Flynn continually makes the reader question who she is and where she's come from. I have to give this book a five out of five. Although there are a very few number of places where I felt the book lagged, I think I felt that because I wanted the answers to come quicker! I wanted to know now, now, NOW what was going to happen in the story. That's always a good thing with a mystery. I highly recommend the book and any Meg Gardiner mystery for that matter.

Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Artist's Play Room #111

Please scroll down for the newest Artist's Play Room Linky and enter your wonderful, creative artwork throughout this upcoming week.

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Book Review: Terminal City by Linda Fairstein

Linda Fairstein has her newest book, "Terminal City", staring Alexandra Cooper coming out on July 17 of this year and I got the chance to review it. I hadn't read any of Fairstein's novels and when I discovered that she has written a series of sixteen mysteries I was thrilled. I also learned that Ms. Fairstein comes by all the meaty details used in her books honestly, she led the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for twenty-five years. Now I was seriously intrigued and wanted to give this sixteenth book in the series a really fair shake. It seemed only fair that I get to know the character (Alex Cooper) from all of Fairstein's books better, before delving into "Terminal City". I decided to read the first book in the series, "Final Jeopardy", so I purchased the Kindle edition and jumped right in, I'm very glad I did.

Linda Fairstein is a terrific writer, the mystery part is intricate and interesting but the best part of her books, the part that elevates the mystery to something seriously special, is all the historic detail contained in each story. It seems that Fairstein chooses a site in every book to illuminate and give spectacular details about. In "Terminal City" she chose Grand Central Terminal, the heart of New York City. 

I'll readily admit I am NOT a lover of history. I get bored reading books set back in the olden days. But the incredible and totally cool information given about Grand Central, imparted in an interesting way, made it so enjoyable to read. In fact, I backtracked an entire chapter and read it to my mom just so she could enjoy the incredible historical details about Grand Central. What I read made me add New York City and Grand Central Terminal to a list of places I have to visit, it's now on my bucket list. Fairstein forks out digestible pieces of historical detail, all expertly woven into the mystery that surrounds it.

Alexandra Cooper is an assistant District Attorney for Manhattan in New York City, specifically heading the Sex crimes unit. Homicide detective Mike Chapman and Special Victims detective Mercer Wallace work with "Coop" to solve the city's worst crimes. In "Terminal City" a young woman is found tortured and murdered in the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. The brutal murder is complicated by the fact that the President of the United States is scheduled to arrive and stay in this same hotel next week. The case becomes the city's top priority as the killer continues upping the anti, leaving bodies closer and more connected to Grand Central, the place the President will be terminating his whistle-stop trip after taking the train all over the States, glad handing constituents. Is the killer after the President or is this something else? Alex, Mike and Mercer, along with the FBI must end this cat and mouse game soon and figure out how this all connects to one of the most beautiful and complicated buildings in New York City. 

This book was truly a pleasure to read and I'm so glad I took the time to get to know the characters first by reading the first in this sixteen book series, "Final Jeopardy". I truly appreciate the accurate details about how the sex crimes division of the District Attorney's office runs and I reveled in the background cases and goings-on that Fairstein adds to her books. I can, in all confidence, recommend this entire series, book one was a five star, as is "Terminal City", the sixteenth book in this series. Linda Fairstein is a spectacular writer, weaving fact and fiction together so the reader learns something as she enjoys a thrilling mystery. Bravo.

Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Artist's Play Room #110

Please scroll down for the newest Artist's Play Room Linky and enter your wonderful, creative artwork throughout this upcoming week.

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Artist's Play Room #109

Please scroll down for the newest Artist's Play Room Linky and enter your wonderful, creative artwork throughout this upcoming week.

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.
Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
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