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Cool friends who make stuff

I have been so busy today completely reorganizing and categorizing the site (look, see? much easier to navigate, more relevant categories. Really nifty, if I say so myself) that I don’t have time to write a real post. So instead, I’m going to introduce you to my cool friends who make stuff. If you like it, please buy it, and support small business.

This post was originally spawned by filkertom (Tom Smith) who writes and performs filk songs (no, not folk, filk — they are based off science fiction and fantasy, done in a folk song style). What he linked to wasn’t actually his (oh, the stars, the STARS! and the link plays music, too,) but in payment for pointing me to it, I’m linking to his buy stuff page at his website. Making music costs time and money. Please buy his stuff or subscribe to his streams. And I dare you to watch this video without laughing:

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‘Tis the season to make a wish list of gifts that you really, really wish someone would buy you because you would never spend your money on that for yourself. In the spirit of the season, here are a few things that I think are beautiful, adorable, or just plain cool:

Goes with anything, pretty, reminds me of the dance of life. I love jewelry. I don’t love fine jewelry, because I’m brutal on it and tend to lose or break it. But I love good costume jewelry and handmade beadwork.

Wish List

From Cultural Elements. I would wear this every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cap’n Reynolds, Zoe and the rest. Great company for a winter day or two. Firefly just makes me feel good. And determined that good shows like this one get a good run, instead of a few measly episodes.

Wish List

Curling up in front of the TV with my Husband watching these? Any day.

 

Klimt‘s Three Ages of Women. Just Lovely. I have a gallery of women’s images in in office at home, and this would be right at home there. Okay, ‘gallery’ may be too strong a word. ‘Collection of random art with female images that I almost can’t see through the clutter’ might be a better way of stating it.

wish list

One of my favorite bits of art. Would love for my office at home.

Wish list

Xperience Days offers a walking tour of New Orleans flavors in the French Quarter.

Oh, and this. Oh my god! This. Unfortunately, this is the largest image they had on the site, but really: Walking around New Orleanson a food tour? I’m in! (Followed by some serious blues searching after dark? Magnificent!)

I am in love with the company that offers this tour, Xperience Days. They sell interesting experiences, everything from spa days to skydiving to driving a race car, and their packages start at under $100. There are a couple of local packages I intend to try very, very soon.

 What is on your wish list?

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Well Appointed Kitchen

We’re not all made of money, but if we were, what would we have in our well-appointed kitchen? And who can we gift with these lovelies this year? I’ve provided lots of links to cool online stores with this article, but feel free to cruise Craigslist or thrift stores or garage sales, if that’s what your budget calls for, and if you’re lucky enough to have good local sources for these, by all means utilize them.

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The Essential Thanksgiving

 

Turkey, despite all rumors to the contrary, is not essential to Thanksgiving, even in the US. Blasphemy, right? Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, and of course the fruits of harvest are important to the festival, but it is more than that. The essential Thanksgiving doesn’t require particular foods or table settings, but these ideals. 

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Twisting Love

Buy at Art.com

Twisting Love by Megan Aroon Duncanson
Giclee Print
Buy From Art.com

Beautiful, isn’t it? A friend linked to another of the artist’s prints on Facebook and I got curious. Thinking of buying this one for my office at work.

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It is said that the most segregated hour of the week in the United States is the hour when people go worship the deity of their choice. I would contend that the bookshelf is perhaps the most segregated place in America. And it’s a damned shame. Midnight is a historical romance written for African Americans that I strongly suggest White readers ‘cross the aisle’ to read.

I have read most of the great and ‘crossover’ African American writers, and am aware of their rich and powerful literary tradition. Too often, though, fiction that is not written as a ‘great novel’, such as genre fiction, gets stacked separately, and not marketed to middle aged blonde women like me.

Such was the case with Midnight by Beverly Jenkins. It’s a historical romance set in and around Boston in the early days of the American Revolution, and the main characters are pulled out of the free Black working and middle class of the time. I picked it up in my latest library haul because I really liked the cover art and because far too little historical romance is set in that time period.

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Cover via Amazon

Gretchen Rubin has the enviable ability to make her readers want to know her personally. This has been demonstrated both through her blog and her book, The Happiness Project.
I’ve been wanting to read this book since I heard of it a couple of months ago, and once I picked it up and started reading, I was very glad I had.
daisies by countryboy1949 at flickr
The Happiness Project reads almost more as a memoir than a self-help book, which I think is part of its charm. It gives you an intimate portrait of Rubin’s attempts to find deeper and broader happiness within the context of her life, and her ongoing and daily struggles with integrating what she was learning.
Rubin tells a story early in the book about getting a terrible review from a reviewer and, even though she (privately) took it very personally, she composed herself and wrote a calm email in response, thanking him for his feedback. She talks both about how difficult it was to take that step and how wonderful it felt when she did it (and doubly wonderful when she got a gracious response).

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