Monday, June 30, 2014

Winners chosen for Audiobook Giveaway!

 Today is June 30th, the last day of June and the last day of Audiobook Month!  As promised, once again I used my high-tech method for choosing two winners for my final drawing for this year's Audiobook Month.  (See photo.)  Drumroll...  the winners are Powder River Rose and Patricia Mann!  I'll be contacting both of them and they each get to choose an audiobook from my recordings on Audible.  My list of recordings can be found here.   Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered!

George picks the winners!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Another Audiobook Giveaway for 'June is Audiobook Month!'

As promised earlier this month, I'm having another audiobook giveaway/drawing to celebrate 'June is Audiobook Month.'  Once again, there will be two winners chosen but this time the winners will be able to select a book from my recordings.  For a list of what I currently have available check on Audible here.   To enter, just leave a comment either here -- it can be the name of the book you'd like or 'I'm in!' or just 'Hi' -- or on this post on Facebook.   Just check my Facebook page.  The entry should be open to the public: 

If you find that you're still having a problem leaving a comment to enter, just shoot me an email at LAHOWLETT (at) yahoo (dot) com

On June 30th, two names will be drawn and the winners may choose their own title from my Audible list.  Once again, I'll be employing my 'high-tech' method of slips of paper in a glass bowl and my husband, George will choose the winners.

Just like last time -- George will select the winners!

If you're looking for other giveaways and freebies for audiobook month, search for the term #audiomonth on Twitter.  This drawing runs for 10 days but some of the other offers are for a shorter term, so start searching.  There are a bunch of them out there so check it out and treat yourself!

Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My newest recording released on Audible today!

My recording of a classic short story by Henry James, The Ghostly Rental, is now for sale on Audible.

A young theology student discovers an old house while on his daily walks. There appears to be no one living there but something about the house strikes the young man as strange. After observing an old man entering the house, the student eventually befriends the man in order to discover what he can about the old house besides the gossip in the town. The old man once owned the house but now only visits it briefly four times per year. He claims to have killed his daughter with harsh words and now she haunts the house but agrees to meet him four times per year so that she may pay him rent. In return, he is not to inhabit the house. This tale is as much a story of the psychology of people as it is of ghosts. How much do grief, ego, spite, and revenge play into our ideas of ghosts and being 'haunted'? This was an early Henry James story before he wrote "The Turn of the Screw." 

To listen to a sample and/or purchase, just click here

New home office art -- including my finger-knitted wall hanging!

Well, I finished the finger-knitted wall hanging that I blogged about earlier here.  Overall, I'm really happy with it -- flaws and all.  It doesn't look as neat and pretty as Anne Weil's piece on her blog Flax and Twine but I know where I made my mistakes.  It now hangs over a shelving unit on the wall above my desk in my home office.  Actually I'm kind of excited about making another one in specific colors to hang in my guest room.  It's relaxing to finger-knit and I feel much more knowledgeable about making and using the hula hoop loom now.

However, I also just framed a signed print from an artist that I've admired for some time now.  Ray Ferrer, who states that he 'traded his MFA for a spray can' has some of the coolest art I've seen lately. His official website is called Emotion on Canvas and he has an Etsy shop, UrbanWallArt.   How Ray creates his art is one of the most interesting things to read about.   He only recently began offering signed prints for those of us with lighter wallets.  I purchased the print below -- signed by Ray -- and I love it.  People don't always realize who the subject is -- it's Cyndi Lauper.  So, please check out Ray and his sites.  You won't be disappointed.  Oh, and Ray does commissioned work, too.

Cyndi by Ray Ferrer on my office wall.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Winners of the audiobook giveaway!

My husband, George, just pulled the two winning names for my #JIAM June is Audiobook Month giveaway.  Both names won a download of my latest audiobook, Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret by Tony Jerris. 

And the winners are:  Georgia and Betsie!

Please contact me with your email address here: so that I can gift you the book via Audible.  Thanks to everyone who entered here or on Facebook.

I plan to have another giveaway the last week of June where the winner gets to make his/her own choice of my recordings available on Audible.

Congrats to the winners!

George choosing the winners.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Almost finished with my finger-knitted wall hanging...

Full view.
Well, I made a few mistakes here and there (live and learn) but, on the whole, I'm pleased with my first attempt at making a wall hanging (or rug) from finger-knitted yarn.  Here are pics of the piece still on the loom (in this case a hula hoop) with a close-up of my work. (Don't look TOO close!) 

One problem I encountered that I understand now had to do with using extra bulky yarn.  I finger-knitted all of the yarn remnants using the four finger method.  For yarn as thick as the black extra bulky yarn, I should have used one-finger finger knitting or simply crocheted a chain from it in order to get it closer to the thickness of the rest of the yarn.  That's why you can see the white stripes of  the tee shirt where I wove it under and over.  Most of the yarn is pushed closely together to the point where the tee shirt strips are invisible (except for the center).  Next time I'll know better.  I'm probably going to go ahead and finish it off the loom as it stands now.  The finished piece measures approx. 15-16 inches on the loom but will be a little smaller after I've tied everything off and pushed the rounds closer together.  I even kind of like the white stripes on the black yarn.  Oh, I should mention that the small piece of yarn hanging off the front towards the bottom of the work is just a marker to tell me that I'm weaving over the doubled piece of tee shirt loops.  It comes off when I'm finished.

Close-up before removing.

I'll post here when it's actually finished and hanging on the wall of my home office.  After that, I'm seriously thinking of making one for the guest room in the colors I've used in the room.  The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's Spring Bud (a very pale earthy green) and I have accents in yellow and white, etc.  So I thought I might attempt a small wall hanging by finger-knitting the various yellows and greens with (maybe) a bit of white thrown in.  I'll see where it takes me.

Once again, I'd like to thank Anne Weil from Flax and Twine for the wonderful instructions and pictures on her blog for this project.  She inspires me to not only try these projects but to, ahem, improve as I learn. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June is Audiobook Month! Chance for a free book!

Along with my annual excuse to post my favorite meme featuring Ryan Gosling, June is Audiobook month!  I decided to hold a drawing the first week of #JIAM for two free downloads from Audible of my latest recording, Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret by Tony Jerris.  This will be very scientific.  Just leave a comment below -- even if all you do is say 'Hi' -- and next Sunday two winners will be chosen to be gifted a free copy.  For the 'drawing' part of it, I plan to print and cut out the comments, fold them up and place them in a bowl.  Then I'll have my husband, George, pick two of the entries to determine the winners.  Oooh -- that's some high-tech stuff.

If you've never listened to an audiobook before, consider this a chance to find out what it's like.  While I'm at it, I'd like to give a big shout-out to LibriVox -- a site that offers free recordings of books in the Public Domain.  (That would be books published before 1923 in the U.S.)  Check them out if you've never been to their site.  I don't record as much for them as I used to but I try to never miss the weekly poetry reading.

Have a great week and, remember, leave a comment below for a chance to win the Marilyn book! 


A Shop Local Day

Yesterday, Duane, Linda, and I decided to make it a 'shop local' day in Duane's part of Tampa, Seminole Heights.  Lots of independent businesses in the Heights that I've blogged about here before along with great places to eat.  We started at the Bali Bay Trading Company.  (In addition to their website, here's their Facebook page.)  They've really expanded their furniture and home decor section along with their usual jewelry and accessories.  The owner told us that he's expecting two more shipments in June so Linda and I both decided we would wait on purchases we were just about to make.  Can't wait to see their new stuff before making up our minds.  All three of us have bought items from Bali Bay before and the owners are very friendly and inviting.

Our next stop was A Modern Line owned by our buddy, David.  Due to a fire a few months ago in his original location, David had to relocate but he's up and running again.  Great place for mid-century modern furniture and decor.  Linda and I have bought furniture from David and all three of us have purchased decor items.  I've even placed items on consignment in the shop.  There was a new watercolor dating from the '70's that Linda and I both had our eye on.  We decided to think about it.  In addition to his website, David also has a Facebook page here.

We noticed a new vintage shop that had opened next to A Modern Line and decided to stop in and check it out.  Frolic Exchange is a cool little boutique with vintage clothing, accessories, home decor and even some furniture.  Duane fell in love with a chair she saw but needs to make sure that the measurements will work for where she'd like to put it.  The decoration of the shop was adorable.  We complimented the young girl behind the counter and she said that she and her mother did it themselves.  Very eye-catching!  We recommend checking out this new shop.  They have a Facebook page here.  This mother/daughter duo have done a great job.

Our last stop before lunch was another long-time favorite -- D & D Antiques and More  -- which also has a Facebook page here.   Duane has purchased several large pieces of furniture from D & D and yesterday I got lucky with some smaller items.  I purchased a long scarf style necklace, two pink Depression glass dessert plates and a piece of Hull matte white pottery (yes, one of my obsessions and not the first piece I've bought at D & D).

By then we were ready for lunch.  We decided to eat at one of the many local favorite diners and went to the Three Coins Diner which also has a Facebook page (doesn't everyone these days?) here.   Three Coins is open 24 hours and has a huge menu of selections including breakfast anytime.  Duane and I both ordered breakfast food and Linda had a gyro.  Then we decided to splurge on dessert.  I thought I had left plenty of room but, let's just say that they don't skimp on portions at Three Coins.  My brownie sundae was HUGE.  I did manage to tunnel through it and only left a small piece of brownie.  Linda had a chocolate sundae and Duane had one of the diner's most popular desserts -- their rice pudding.   To say that we rolled out to the car afterwards would be an understatement.  But it was worth it.

We plan to have another 'shop local' day in a few weeks so that we can all go back and buy the larger items that we weren't quite ready to commit to yesterday.  I'm looking forward to it already.

My purchases from D&D Antiques and More.