Blog Sharing Saturday: Crystalized Designs

This blog is owned and run by Crystal. She’s a fantastic designer who shares a ton of free patterns on her blog! She also has a lovely website and a shop where she sells even more patterns! Each pattern is wonderful made and fully tested before being presented to the public.

I enjoy the emails I get from her, and she doesn’t overload me with them either which is a relief.

One of the first patterns I ever saw of her was the Gnome Wall Hanging, and it’s the cutest thing ever!

How adorbs are these guys!!

They look like they might be complicated but after reading over the pattern, I don’t think they’ll be all that hard to make. When I’m done with my long list of projects, this is going on the new one. Try it out today:

Gnome Wall Hanging

Post pictures if you make one or all of them!! I’d love to see them!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Free Pattern Friday! Crocheted Baby Hat

It’s that time of year again to make cute baby things for your baby or for those you know who have, or are expecting, babies of their own.

Fave Crafts has the cutest baby hat, and the pattern is free! What’s not to love about that!

Baby Blue Hat

If you make this hat, please share a picture of it! I’d like to see it!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

Book Review: Shadows in Death – J.D. Robb

Copyright 2020

Published in the U.S. by St. Martin’s Paperbacks an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group

This is the latest title in the series starring Lieutenant Eve Dallas, her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, and Civilian Consultant(aka Hubby) Roarke. Secondary characters who have helped round out the series and make it even more relatable include Peabody’s beau, Detective Ian McNabb, EDD lead Captain Ryan Feeney, Mavis Freestone, Nadine Furst, Dr. Charlotte Mira, Chief Medical Officer Morris, Lawrence Charles Summerset, and Galahad.

This novel is as action packed and suspenseful as all the rest in the series. Robb keeps death and sex scenes minimal yet impactful so those who are easily triggered may take care just in case. Keeping the blood and gore details just to what is needed to make the scenes believable is a nice change from a lot of books in this same genre. Romance is part and parcel with this series and allows the reader some breathing room while showing the softer side of the main characters, especially Eve. It makes them more relatable. Sex scenes are not graphic and are described with a romantic tinge rather than a carnal one.

J.D. Robb weaves her way through a plot from start to finish with flare, throwing in a twist here and there. She keeps the energy up where it’s needed and slows things down a bit where it makes sense so there’s no jarring. There’s no filler or fluff just to fill pages, every scene has a purpose – to further the story.

Eve Dallas open the story investigating a murder that happens as she’s out with her husband, Roarke. Roarke, a former criminal, sees someone from his past, a murderer nicknamed Blade, in the crowd surrounding the murder scene. Blade had been a bane of Roarke’s existence while Roarke had lived in Europe to the point of attempting to kill Roarke twice. Linked to hundreds of crimes in Europe but never caught, Blade has come to the States to try yet again to end the other man’s life while getting away with a murder for hire plot – or so he thinks.

He hasn’t taken into account Lieutenant Eve Dallas being assigned the case, as well as being the wife of Roarke. Both make her a more than formidable foe, and with her team fully behind her from the Police Chief on down, it’s only a matter of time before Blade is in a cage.

I really enjoyed this novel, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes murder mysteries.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Prompt: Making a List

Writing isn’t all about writing fiction/non fiction stories. It’s about making a plan, making a list, and even brainstorming. Taking a break from your novel by making a list, or anything else not related to your novel will actually improve your writing efforts on your main project.

In this prompt just choose a project you want to make in the future – even if you don’t really want to. This could be anything from making a book nook to rebuilding a car. Whatever you might be interested in at this time. Once you have a project in mind, make a list of all the materials you’ll need to complete the project. You could also make a list of the steps needed to complete the project instead. Whichever you choose. It doesn’t need to be a complete list. Write one off the top of your head, this is supposed to be fun not stressful. Here’s mine:

“IT” book nook

  1. 2 Ramen Noodle boxes
  2. Paint
  3. Foam
  4. A pair of toy rubber boots/rain boots
  5. Paper boat
  6. Resin
  7. Glue
  8. Light
  9. Toothpicks
  10. Cat litter/sand
  11. Mod podge

I hope you enjoyed this prompt. Let me know in the comments below.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

YouTube Tuesday: BookshelfWorld

In line with the book nook I shared yesterday, I decided to share this YouTube channel which features only book nooks. I am hoping this creator will make more nooks as the ones they’ve shared are wonderful!

Be sure to let the creator know how you felt about this build, good or bad by commenting and not just choosing thumbs up or down. They would really appreciate the feedback I’m sure.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

My First Book Nook!

I’ve watched quite a few YouTubers making book nooks, and I decided to try my hand at making one as well. I didn’t know anything about painting, making book nooks, putting in mini lights, or anything else that might help me with this build. I researched, asked questions, and watched what other people did. Then, more importantly, I just did it. I just started making a plan on what I want to make and how I was going to make it.

I gathered all the materials, and I began to put the thing together. Some things didn’t work at first, and I had to backtrack. Still, I moved forward and didn’t give up. Now the infinity mirror effect I tried didn’t work the way I wanted, but I have learned why. With this knowledge, I can try again in the future with more confidence it will work the second time.

I didn’t take pictures of the build itself, only the end results. It wasn’t something I planned to teach people to make or anything. I just built as best I could over the course of three weeks – most of the time spent waiting to get materials like the faerie lights. I did take pictures of the end result, and I welcome feedback.

I am a big Stephen King fan, and I thought this would make a nice first try as well as a great addition to my bookshelves once I’m able to have them again. I think I did okay. Feel free to comment on the build and what you think of it.

Note: the box is not made of wood. I had some friends tell me when I showed them the pictures they thought the wood box was great. It’s actually the box Ramen Noodles come is – the 12 pack box. 🙂 I had to actually use two boxes to make the final one because I used the second one for parts, including the right wall.

I had a lot of fun making this nook, and I learned a lot while doing so. I plan to make another one inspired by the book, IT, but I won’t be doing it right away because I have a bunch of projects still waiting to be done.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Flash Fiction!

Flash Fiction is a very short story with a word count from a handful of words to 1,000 words. It’s a complete story in any genre you so choose to write in. They, like regular stories, contain a beginning, a middle, and an end with a fully developed plot and at least one main character.

I challenge you all to write a flash fiction story with a cap of 1,000 words. I’ll be writing mine on Wattpadd, and I’ll put the link in this post when I’m done with it.

Please, feel free to share links to your own flash fiction stories. These can be f;an fiction as well as your own work with your own characters and story line.

Most of all, HAVE FUN!!! This is something that’s supposed to be fun, not stressful!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Fantastic Happenings at Darkest Raven Designs on YouTube!!!

As you all may, or may not, know I am a HUGE fan of Chantal and her YouTube channel, Darkest Ravens Designs. She is an AMAZING artist with a lot of wonderful interests including Harry Potter, Poe and Tim Burton – to name a few. She recently made two amazing builds I’d like to share with you today.

She and Sarah from Scribble Fix went to their local hardware store(they both live in Australia and have the same chain hardware store where they live), and they both bought the same box. This box looks like a book so naturally, they collaborated on decorating their boxes. You can find Sarah’s build here.

Chantal decided to decorate her box using inspiration from a video game from American McGee which features Alice and her friends from Wonderland. It’s a dark game full of gorgeous artwork and new looks for all of the characters, Alice included. As a Patreon supporter, I am able to get backstage peeks at the build, and I am in awe of her talent!! Click on the video below to see her awesome build!

Chantal has been doing a series of matchbook miniature dioramas based on Harry Potter including shops from Diagon Alley. She has done 14 I believe, putting out one every month. This month, however, she’s doing something very different. Because this month has 5 Fridays in it, she is creating Dumbledore’s office in 1/12 scale and releasing one video a week the entire month. Her first video features Fawkes in both adult and baby form!!

If you watch these videos, PLEASE, comment at the very least!! Chantal responds to practically all comments that are left, and she really appreciates the feedback. You don’t have to Like/Dislike or Subscribe, but they are nice as well.

Check out Fawkes and the beginning of Dumbledore’s office below:

As a member of Chantal’s Conspiracy(aka family) of Ravens, I am blessed with the ability to talk to Chantal and other Ravens on her Discord channel. She is a very wonderful and down to earth person I’d love to meet in person one day. By becoming a Patreon supporter of hers, you will be able to talk to Chantal, me and others in the Conspiracy.

I just love saying that word! Conspiracy! 😀

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

Writing Prompt : Alien Visitation

This is meant to be a fun little exercise. You can use your favorite character or make a new one. You can have it be from the POV of the alien, from the POV of your character or the all knowing POV – it doesn’t matter. Dark, funny, absurd, shocking – however you want it to be. Just keep it fairly short so you don’t get stressed out. As I said, this is supposed to be a fun exercise. My attempt is below:

Mira’s skin tingled as she materialized in a cramped, smelly area of what research had revealed was called an alley. Research had also shown that materializing in full view of the planet’s inhabitants could prove fatal if not quite uncomfortable.

She stepped around a puddle of especially pungent smelling liquid, her six toes curling to avoid touching it.

“It smells,” she muttered into her comm unit; a tiny bit of silver inside the two foot tall ear on the left side of her rather small head.

“You knew it would,” came the reply. “Are you okay?”

“So far things are well. You’re certain most are in their sleep cycle?” she asked in a low voice.

Research had shown the majority of the beings were diurnal, sleeping during the dark phase of their planet’s rotation around their star. They called it “Night”. It also showed that the younger of the species as well as certain workers were nocturnal yet slept during some of the “Morning” hours. It had been determined the best time to visit was during the early phase of this time.

“Scanners show there are beings about but not many. This is a small enclave,” her commander told her.

Mina’s nose twitched, wrinkling at the smell in the alley even as she made her way towards the road. She wanted fresh air. Carefully, she stepped out to the mouth of the alley and sniffed. She was looking for a specific smell, and she had the best nose of her entire ship.

“Are you sure this is the correct enclave?” she muttered, her lips barely moving as she stepped to her right onto the sidewalk.

Research had shown sidewalks were the safest place to walk to prevent being murdered by the fossil fuel vehicles this species still employed for travel. The beings moved very fast and were not always aware of their surroundings while in these conveyances. Care had to be taken while on the sidewalk not to be “mugged” by beings who were want to accost and rob other beings rather than procure things for themselves in the proper fashion.

This had Mina touching the skin toned pouch on her left hip. It blended in with the paleness of her skin, but she didn’t want to take any chances. Her mission was very important.

“Scanners show it to be,” came the reply.

Mina started walking, scenting the air as she went. She tried to ignore the beings who were staring back at her as she walked along. She’d been taught they were called Human, and they were an emerging species. Contact was to be minimal, and those visiting needed to blend in as much as possible to avoid difficulties with the species. Many had proven to be quite aggressive. It was another reason this small “Village” had been chosen.

A scent caught her attention, and she froze, face tilted up so she could breathe deeply.

“I’ve got it!” she said and began to hurry forward.

She knew she was being followed by a good dozen beings by now, all of various age, as well as two companion animals who had the good sense not to challenge her, and she didn’t care.

“Are you sure?” the commander sounded excited.

“The queen will be most pleased,” Mina purred.

She stopped at the end of the sidewalk and looked around. The road was quite wide, and she could see the vehicles, the “cars” on either side. She was afraid to cross to the other side, to the sidewalk across the street. Her ears quivered.

“Here,” a soft voice said, “I’ll take you across,”

Mina froze and slowly looked down at where the voice had come from. She had a translator pressed against her throat so she could understand and be understood by the locals. The voice came from a small being, one of the offspring of the bigger beings.

“You want to cross the street, don’t you?” the little being asked, its blue eyes big and gentle.

It waved a hairless paw at the busy road. Mina slowly nodded, the scent making her nose twitch. She dipped an ear tip at the sidewalk across the road.

“Cross street,” she managed.

The little being took her hand in its paw and when the cars stopped in the road, leaving a wide channel to cross, it led her across. Mina’s ears dropped as noise filled the air, raucous and painful. She mewled softly, and the being patted the hand it held with its free paw.

“It’ll be ok,” it said in a tone meant to reassure.

Finally they got to the other side, more beings gathering to stare. Mina dipped an ear at the little being even as she sniffed the air again. The scent was stronger here. Without thinking, she started off down the sidewalk, the little being still holding her hand. They traveled a short ways before Mina stopped and took a deep breath just outside an open portal to a dwelling. The scent came from here.

“Do you want sweets?” the little being asked.

“I have found the source!” Mina burbled into her comm, thrilled to be close to ending her mission.

Aside from the small being, she wasn’t comfortable around the other beings.

“Good! Do you have the currency they require for exchange?” her commander asked.

Mina touched the pouch on her hip again.

“Yes,” she said. “There are quite a few beings here, a small one is quite close,” she reported. “I hope we won’t have any mishaps with extraction.”

“Things will be fine,” her commander assured her. “Complete your mission.”

Mina dipped her ears as she stepped carefully into the dwelling. The little being still held her hand and so, it joined her.

“This is my gran’s shop,” the little one said. “She makes the best sweets.”

She released Mina to bounce ahead into the “shop”. Mina would need to remember this was not a dwelling, it was a shop when she wrote her report.

“Gran!” the little being called out even as Mina followed her nose away from it.

She heard the little one murmuring to someone else, but she wasn’t concerned. She walked over to glass case with several shelves holding what she sought. It was a dark brown to black substance that was mostly in long rectangular shaped and stacked together. Others were small and round, sitting in bowls. MIna’s nose twitched, and her mouth watered.

“It’s almost magical!” she breathed, leaning down to sniff and look.

“This is my Gran,” the little being was back, and it was leading an elderly looking being by a paw.

Mina turned, still half bent over, and she dipped an ear tip at the case.

“Are you wanting some chocolate dear?” the Gran asked in a gentle voice. “Have a taste first. I make these myself.”

The elderly being went around behind the case and moved about the shelves on the wall behind it. She brought out a small box and put it on the glass case. Mina’s nose twitched. The smell came from the box too. She chuffed softly when the being opened the box to show small squares of the brown substance inside. The being offered the box to her.

“Try one,” she said.

Mina hesitated, unsure what to do. The elderly being took a square out of the box and handed it to the little being who was reaching up for one from Mina’s side of the case. The little one took the square and bit into it. Mina watched with wide eyes and turned back to the box which was offered to her again. Careful not to touch the other squares, Mina gingerly picked one up. She bit gently into the squared and hummed with pleasure as the best taste she’d ever experienced flooded her mouth.

Still humming and chewing, Mina tapped the case with a fingertip.

“How much would you like?” the elderly being asked.

Mina pulled out the round thing she was told was called a “gold coin”. The beings on this planet valued this object and would happily trade anything for it. She placed it on the glass and as she did, a loud murmuring rose from the crowd of beings peering into the shop from the sidewalk. The elderly woman made a shushing noise as she rang a small bell Mina hadn’t noticed.

Another being, one much younger than the elderly but older, and taller, than the youngling appeared from a portal.

“Shelia, close and lock the door pet<” Gran ordered, waving a paw at the front of the store. “Then help me bag up the chocolate,”

The being stared at Mina who was looking back at the contents in the case.

“It’s called chocolate,” Mina murmured into her comm, the word awkward yet oddly delightful to say. “It’s very good.”

“You consumed some!” the commander was outraged.

“Shelia get on with you lazy girl!” Gran’s sharp tone had Mina wincing, but she relaxed when she opened the case and began pulling out the trays and howls the chocolate was in.

“The coin is worth a great deal apparently,” Mina assured him. “I am receiving a large quantity.”

The being, Shelia, finally did as she was told, and the chocolate was placed in boxes that were heaped onto the top of the glass case.

“Why do you want so much chocolate?” the little being asked.

“Queen’s birth day celebration.” Mina spoke carefully; human speech was full of different dialects, and she tended to confuse some. She didn’t want to be misunderstood and offend. “Gift to her.”

“You’ll be wanting a cake then too” Gran announced. She handed Mina the little box, the eaten chocolates having been replaced. “Here, you can keep this for yourself.”

“Cake?” Mina asked even as she tool the box.

“I’ll go get the big one, yeah?” Shelia asked Gran who nodded.

Soon Gran nodded and made a face at Mina research had shown to be a smile, a look of happiness.

“That’s all my chocolate though for the coin, you could have anything else you’d like as well.” the elderly being told her.

The case was covered in boxes and bags full of the substance Mina had been sent to get.

“I’d suggest having her try the Dark Chocolate first,” Gran told Mina, nodding at the box she still held. “That’s what’s in the box.”

Mina dipped both of her ears even as she carefully placed a silver disc in the middle of the pile. She hummed as she looked over what Gran and Shelia had given her.

“Good gift,” she said, ears dipping again even as the disc began to hum itself. “You have confirmation?”

“Scanners show a large amount of the substance you call chocolate within the boundary of the teleporter. Is this correct?” her commander asked. “That’s quite a lot of it.”

“Confirmed,” Mina answered.

The pile dematerialized, bringing muted noises from outside again.

“Are you going now too?” the little being asked, tugging on Mina’s tunic.

“My mission is complete,” Mina announced, relieved to be going even as she looked down at the little being.

She was surprised to see water shimmering in the being’s eyes as it gave her what was assuredly a sad look.

“You can’t stay and play with me?” the little one asked.

Mina’s left ear dipped, and she was at a loss for words.

“Nuani leave our guest be. They have a birthday party to get to no doubt,” Gran bade the little one, coming out from around the counter to take the little one’s paw in one of her own. She nodded at Mina. “I hope your queen likes the sweets.”

Mina’s ears dipped low even as she felt herself dematerializing.

“Thank you and good bye.” she barely remembered to say.

If you’re here with me now, thank you so much!! My little story took on a mind of its own. I’m liking it so much, I’m going to add it to Wattpadd as part of my story collection there. I’d love to see what you’ve done with this writing prompt yourself so please, post a link in the comments below!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!