Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My new audiobook on Harry Selfridge is now on sale at Audible!

My latest recording, Selected Articles on the Life and Career of Harry Gordon Selfridge by Various, is now officially on sale on Audible.  I loved reading through the available material written during Selfridge's life to get a handle on how he was viewed via the press, etc.

Harry Gordon Selfridge (1858-1947) was an American born merchant who built Selfridge’s, a London department store, which opened in 1909.   Using his 25 years of experience at Chicago’s Marshall Field and Co., Selfridge initiated the use of American innovations and methods of business in his London store.  These articles reflect how Selfridge was viewed by the press in the U.S. and London along with how he was seen by his fellow merchants and tradesmen during the years his store was built and thrived.  There are also a number of sections in Selfridge’s own words.  He loved publicity and was very interested in the ideas of his competitors, employees, and how business was done in other countries. This collection contains articles and excerpts from newspapers, books, magazines, and trade publications published from 1890-1922.  Harry Gordon Selfridge and his store were the basis of the PBS Masterpiece Classic series, “Mr. Selfridge".

To listen to a sample and/or purchase the book, click here.  I hope you find these articles as fascinating as I did.

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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tweaked my finger-knitted wall hanging. Status -- much better!

I'm sure that you know the old saying about "from the mouths of babes"?  Well, the one thing I was really not happy about, when I wove my finger-knitting from excess yarn into a wall hanging using the talented Anne Weil's blog instructions on Flax & Twine, was the thick piece of bulky black yarn that I had added to the mix simply because it was part of my leftover yarn.  I couldn't get the yarn pushed up far enough on the warp strands to cover the actual strands where the black bulky yarn was used.  I had (sort of) convinced myself to just live with it since it's just in my home office and it was my first time, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Yesterday was the first day of the week-long visit of my sister and her little daughters.  My nieces are now 7 and 5 and the 7 year old loves to finger-knit.  Well, the first words out of her mouth when I showed her and her sister my wall-hanging was, "the black looks kind of funny."  Egads.  Children can be so cruel!  (Heh, heh, heh.)  So I explained what happened but when I was thinking about it late last night I decided to see if I could 'fix' it today.  I snipped out the thick black yarn and finger-knitted some hot pink that I had in my left-over stash.  I'm so glad I did this and I can't wait for my niece to see it tomorrow!  I'm much happier with the result and I no longer have those white bits of the warp showing up in one section of wall hanging.  Here's my before and after pics:

Before -- with the thick black yarn.

After -- no more white warp showing!

Here are before and after close-ups:

Before removing the black yarn.

After replacing the thick black with hot pink.

I learned a lot from this project about finger-knitting and weaving and I'm hoping to make a more serious wall hanging for my guest room using specific colors.  Now my nieces, particularly the 7 year old, wanted to get started right away on a wall hanging using the hula hoops she immediately spotted in my office.  I promised her that if she continues to finger-knit sections, the next time I visit her in Virginia, we'll see what we can do!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trip to Ikea; New audiobook coming out; Family coming to town

Mrs. Peel -- loaded down.
Whenever Duane, Linda, and I decide to make a trip to Ikea we always try to go a on a week day.  We did that last Friday.  We went in the afternoon just after lunch time.  Usually Ikea is pretty empty during the week at that time.  Surprise!  We forgot that the kids are out of school for the summer.  The store was crawling with kids and a lot of them really did not want to be there.  I heard one man telling his young daughter enthusiastically, "People spend all day here!"  Boy, did that poor kid look unimpressed.  Message to ourselves -- summer is not a good time to shop there.  This wasn't just stay at home moms who dragged their poor kids there but couples were there, too.  I don't know if they were just taking the day off or were on vacation.  My sympathies (after the one for ourselves for having to dodge children every way we turned) were with the kids who were forced to go along with their parent or parents.  If they're really young, you can probably entertain them in the kiddy area but the older kids were out of luck.  Anyway, we all got what we planned to buy along with a bit extra and managed to fit all of it into Mrs. Peel.  YES!  She rules.  You can't tell from this pic but there was a Poang chair and cushion, 2 floor lamps, a large rolling clothes rack and too many small items to mention.  We just needed to make sure that there was still room for the three of us to make it back to Duane's house where the goods were divvied up before Linda and I headed to our respective homes. 

I spent the weekend and most of today putting the finishing touches on my next audiobook.  I just sent it off to the publisher.  This is the book I produced from public domain material that I titled Selected Articles on the Life and Career of Harry Gordon Selfridge by various authors.  Here's a peek at the cover.  It should be available on Audible within 2 weeks.  I'll post here when it goes on sale.

The other news is that my youngest sister Heidi and her husband and two daughters will be flying down this Wednesday from Virginia.  Heidi and the girls will be here for a week.  Her husband, Charlie, will be coming down separately for the weekend.  Can't wait to spend time with two of my favorite little people.  I'll be pooped afterwards but it's always worth it.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Three Estate Sale Friday

First sale.  Cool terrazzo floors.
Friday morning, Linda, Duane, and I set out early to hit three different estate sales.  The good part was that they were all real estate sales and not garage or yard sales.  The bad part was that it looked like  someone had drawn a triangle across the city and our sales were represented by each point on the triangle.  Yes, they couldn't have been farther apart and they all started at the same time.  Sigh.  It happens, so we try to make the best of it.  We decided to hit the one in the south part of town first because it was in the oldest house. 

It was a cool mid-century house with pretty terrazzo floors.  The house wasn't very big but the lot was huge and there was a big kidney shaped swimming pool, a workshop, and a gazebo in the backyard.  I was the only one who bought something at this one -- a DVD.  The owner had great taste in movies but I had already seen or owned most of them.

Second house sale.
Our second stop was more to the west part of town.  This was in a much newer house and the owner had a lot of really nice things.  I bought another movie (big surprise!) and was really interested in an abstract painting but I couldn't make up my mind that quickly on a $200 purchase.  Linda bought (of all things) a brand new garbage can.  It was pretty funny loading it into Mrs. Peel but we got it to fit and still leave room for the three of us.  Duane bought a large pet bed cushion.

Then we hit the last of the three sales which was much further to the northwest of town.  It was being held in a really nice retirement/assisted living type of place.  I had been to a couple of sales there before but decided that it wasn't a great place for them because people looked like they had already downsized before moving in.  However, the person or persons who had lived there had great taste in movies and books.  Duane and Linda both bought books.  I bought another DVD.  Once again, I had already seen most of what they had but we certainly shared the same taste!

This house also had a beautiful wood chest made by Lane.  I'd love one of these if I had a place to put it.  Our buddy David currently has a gorgeous one in his store, A Modern Line, and I've drooled over it the last couple of visits. 
Pretty mid-century modern chest.
We know that we missed quite a bit at the second two sales because we literally arrived an hour after the start of the second sale and between 90 minutes to an hour after the start of the third and last sale.  Still, we did all manage to find something and drool over some things we couldn't afford.

Books and movies.
Linda's new trash can and Duane's pet cushion.

We made our way back to a Panera's to get a snack and stretch our legs.  Honestly we were in the car longer than we were at the sales.  Maybe next time the estate sale gods will be in our corner.

Friday, July 11, 2014

"The Woman's Ghost Story" now on Audible!

The short story I recorded by Algernon Blackwood called The Woman's Ghost Story is now on sale at Audible.  This one is more of a psychological ghost story.

A woman tells her story of an encounter with a ghost in a deserted old lodging house in the middle of London years ago. She was told that a woman had been murdered there before she agreed as a "psychical researcher" to spend a night in the old building. Her expectations are challenged in this psychological ghost story. Algernon Blackwood wrote over 200 ghost stories as well as being a novelist, playwright, and a writer of nonfiction and children’s stories. His ghost stories fall into what is usually called 'weird'  fiction.

To listen to a sample and/or purchase, check it out on Audible here

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Catching up!

Harry G. Selfridge
I've been really busy researching my next book for recording.  I decided to record a book about Harry Selfridge -- the founder of Selfridge's department store in London.  George and I are both big fans of the PBS Masterpiece Classic series "Mr. Selfridge."  I wanted to go with a slightly different angle by reading articles and excerpts from newspapers, books, popular magazines, and trade magazines written during Selfridge's life.  Harry Selfridge loved publicity so there hasn't been a problem finding pieces about him and his career.  However, this research has added to the usual work when creating an audiobook -- the pre-read, mark-up, recording, and editing -- before it goes to the publisher.

So I decided to take a little break from Harry and record a short story -- a ghost story by Algernon Blackwood called The Woman's Ghost Story.  I just submitted the finished files to my publisher and I'll post here when it's available on Audible.  Meanwhile, back to the grind...

Coming soon to Audible!