Monday, October 13, 2014

Perler vs. Hama

You guys asked, so here it is: Hama vs. Perler Beads..

I'd never tried Hama Beads before (they're not as easy to find in the USA), and I was very surprised by what I found.

Hama beads have a much different feel to them than any bead I've used. They are actually a bit smaller than other beads (making it difficult to handle them with the perler tweeze tool, and they didn't want to stay in place on the pegboard!) The plastic feels almost soft, and when they're fused, they become almost spongy--they still retain their shape, but they're much more flexible than any other beads so far. This flexibility might be helpful when crafting items that will be handled by children who tend to bend them. They will break if handled too much, but they'd probably withstand more than other beads. ***Please remember that ALL small items can be potential choking hazards for babies and small children!***

(Pictured above, Hama Beads: Dark blue, light blue, yellow, white, and red.
Perler Beads: Pastel blue, light yellow, pink, black, green, purple, and orange.)

Hama beads have a lower melting point than perler beads, and you can see from this picture that they look quite a bit different when melted. The hama beads ended up being noticeably shorter and more rounded at the top (like nabbi beads) than perler beads. They also have a bit more gloss to them than perlers.

Read more about hama and other types of beads here.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crafting The Guardians

I finally got to work on my Guardians of the Galaxy inspired bead sprites! Here's a bit of an inside look at how I designed them.

I always start by looking at a picture of my subject and creating a color pallet for each project. 

Designing Starlord

 Had to make one with and without a mask, of course! 


Nebula was difficult. When you have a huge block of one color, it's hard to make it look good. Adding details like the stripes in her clothes helps break it up. 

The basic outline that I did for Rocket was based off my Teemo pattern, 
but I altered it quite a bit to make it work for him. 
I started with a different color pallet to see the design more clearly, 
then incorporated the real colors later. 

Baby Groot
Believe it or not, Groot was actually the hardest to make. 
I started with a design that was much bigger and more complex, 
but wanted to keep it simple and cute. 

I put the basic design together, then add details.

And here's the final product! Find these cuties in my Etsy shop or Storenvy

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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Watchers

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.
The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watchers Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

About the Author

"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Perler Bead Obsession

I've been on another perler bead kick the last two weeks. Here's what I've come up with so far.

It started when I decided to make a Princess Peach to match Princess Daisy.
Before I knew it, I'd made a History of Princess Peach Collection!

I promised my friend's daughter a Princess Luna.. had to deliver!
And of course I needed a Princess Celestia for my MLP collection.
Which, of course, meant I needed a Doctor Whooves! 
And Zecora!
So, here's my current collection.

 Then I decided to go big. My kids LOVE Frozen, so I made a huge Elsa and Anna wall hanging.

And you can't do Frozen without Olaf...

And I ended up starting a giant MLP wall decor collection. More to come! :)
All of these and more are available in my etsy and storenvy shops.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Batman Day!

Today, for Batman's 75th anniversary, bookstores and comic shops are giving away free Batman comic books! Details and locations here.

Then, this Saturday, July 26th, libraries across the US are celebrating with Batman activities and giveaways, including a free comic book! Details here. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, July 19, 2014

To my left was a large piece of glass, roughly in the shape of a broad knife. I picked it up carefully, settled it in my palm, and then, closing my eyes, I squeezed. Instead of the sharp pain I expected, there was the shatter of glass. I opened my eyes and looked at my hand. My palm was covered with shards. I squeezed it again, watching this time as the glass crushed to powder and trickled between my fingers.

 Newtimber: Fractured

by Karen E. Hoover, a YA Urban Fantasy

Book Synopsis

There was absolutely no way a black dragon hovered outside of Newtimber. Sianna rubbed her eyes, but the dragon was still there, clutching a round object that looked like a spotted egg. And then the egg fell, hitting the ground like an atomic bomb, sending out waves of a slow-moving fog that distorted everything it touched.

The citizens of Newtimber change. The old man down the street stretches into a screaming tree. Sianna’s skateboarding friend, Matt, transforms into a giant green dragon. Pegasus. Sirens. Griffins. Vampires. Zombies. Creatures from the myths of every culture come to life through the people.

Even Sianna changes, her skin becoming stone hard, and she gains the ability to travel from the human realm into the dimension of the fae, using it to free her father from prison and enlist his aid in battling the evil bent on taking over the world.

One person to heal a family, a town, and save the world. It seems an impossible task, but with the help of her new friends, it could happen.


Get your copy of the book now! 

~ Amazon ~ B&N ~

Goodreads ~

~ About the author ~ 

Karen E. Hoover has loved the written word for as long as she can remember. Her favorite memory of her dad is the time he spent with Karen on his lap, telling her stories for hours on end. Her dad promised he would have Karen reading on her own by the time she was four years old ... and he very nearly did. Karen took the gift of words her dad gave her and ran with it. Since then, she’s written two novels and reams of poetry. Her head is fairly popping with ideas, so she plans to write until she’s ninety-four or maybe even a hundred and four.
Inspiration is found everywhere, but Karen’s heart is fueled by her husband and two sons, the Rocky Mountains, her chronic addiction to pens and paper, and the smell of her laser printer in the morning.

Follow Karen! 

~ Get The Sapphire Flute (The Wolfchild Saga, Book One) by Karen, FREE! ~ 

 ~ Amazon ~ B&N

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Difference Between Nabbi and Perler Beads

As promised, here's is another experiment. This time, I tried combining Perler and Nabbi (Photo Pearls) beads. I tested them in two different ways:

The yellow stripe is Nabbi (Photo Pearls), the rest Perler Beads. They melt differently, overall, the Nabbi beads tend to look thicker and shiny as they melt.

When overly melted (which I do on the back of most pieces to make the bonding stronger), you can see that the Nabbi (Photo Pearls) -yellow- shine while the perler beads have more of a matte finish (except for random spots that end up looking shiny.) They also retain their circular shape and are raised in in the middle while the perler beads lose their form and flatten evenly.

Which is better? Honestly, I like both of them. Nabbi (Photo Pearls) I would use if I wanted the evenly shiny look, but otherwise, I'd use whichever is cheapest or on hand. As you can see, it doesn't seem to look much different in the big picture.

Read about more types of beads here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: The Sapphire Flute

The Sapphire Flute: Book 1 of The Wolfchild SagaThe Sapphire Flute: Book 1 of The Wolfchild Saga by Karen E. Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everything a fantasy should be!

I'm a HUGE fantasy fan and an avid reader, so I started reading this with some pretty high expectations. They were ALL fulfilled! This book plunges us into a fantastical world of wonder where the magic feels real. This book is perfect balance of characterization, world building and lore, action, adventure, magic, and romance.

My main complaint with a lot of fantasy is that the author spends so much time on the action that the characters end up being so hollow that I could care less about them. The characters in The Sapphire Flute are well developed, imperfect in all the right ways, believable, and I can't wait to see what happens to them in future books!
This ebook is currently available for FREE on Amazon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FantasyCon Ticket Giveaway!


Utah is known for having the most people interested in cosplay so it's no wonder that it is ranked the most nerdy state in America. Talk about a great accomplishment! All of us have a bit of nerdiness inside and that is why I am excited to announce FantasyCon is being held in Salt Lake City July 3-5 at the Salt Palace! Plus Bargains with Brittanie has teamed up with a fantastic group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway! FantasyCon is the first convention of its kind to open the world of fantasy to all and create an interactive, immersive experience that celebrates pop fantasy culture.

With an arena, museum, archery range, children’s area, and more, it is the perfect family activity for the 4th of July weekend! I know my family would LOVE it, it's the perfect event for my little geeklets!

Tickets for FantasyCon can be purchased in single day or 3-day multi-day pass. Tickets are priced based on the day you wish to attend, and they even include discounts for teachers, college students, and military personnel. Children 10 and under are able to attend the event for free! You can purchase your Fantasy Con Tickets Here.
Don't forget to Connect with Fantasy Con to keep up with the latest news and celebrity announcements on:

Giveaway Time!

Fantasy Con is giving one lucky winner a pair of 3-Day Passes to the event! This is a $120 value!

Entering is simple. Use the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to Utah Residents only. Winner will be chosen via All Entries will be verified. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends June 27, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This blog did receive compensation for participating in this event. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Today, I remember the service of those who sacrificed their lives in the service of our country. Thankfully, my father and grandfathers returned home safely after their service. There are many who did not.

Each year, my husband and I try to take our children to the cemetery. We search for the grave markers of those who served, explain what they did, why our freedom is never free, and the kids place a flag at the grave. My children have come to see the cemetery as a reverent, peaceful place, where we remember and honor our ancestors.

My grandfathers both served in World War II, one in the army infantry, the other as a B-17 bomber. He flew over a dozen missions over Germany, and was part of the Berlin Airlift. I see part of my mischievous side in him, he was nearly court-martialed for “mis-delivering” several crates of whiskey belonging to General McNarney.

My dad served in the army, in Saigon, Vietnam. Once a year, he stands in our church and tells everyone about his experience, especially how grateful he is to live in our country and how blessed we are to have so much freedom. Living several hundred miles away from my parents, I rarely get to be there to hear this anymore, I wish I could!

We are all so incredibly blessed to have so many men and women sacrifice so much to preserve our freedom. Please remember to honor them today and all year round.

Rare Pre-Release Opportunity!

I met Author Jaclyn Weist a few months ago at a book release. I'd never been to a book release like was a St. Patrick's Day themed party! I'd brought my kids along, and I'm so glad that I did, they still talk about it! (Sorry the picture is so blurry, my son took it!)

Jaclyn Weist is an amazing author who writes family friendly fantasy. I can't wait to read her latest and go to her upcoming event here in Provo, UT!

Here's a short message and pre-release opportunity by Jaclyn Weist:

Hello everyone!

I am so excited for the paperback copies of The Princess and the Prom Queen! And I’m excited to offer YOU the chance to preorder a copy! If you’ve been wanting to read the book, but only like print copies (I admit, I love to hold the book in my hands), now is your chance!

This means that you can have a copy BEFORE it’s available on in stores or on Amazon! Isn’t that awesome???

All you need to do is email me at and let me know how many copies you’d like (and of which book, The Princess and the Prom Queen $14.99, Best of Luck $13.00) and your address. Then I will send you an invoice and you can pay me through paypal. Or if you live nearby, you can pay me in person when you pick up the books. It’s that easy!

Also, I’ll be at a family activity signing on June 2nd signing books, as well as June 21st in Provo for the Trifecta book launch.

Find out about the family activity here.

And check out the launch info here.

The blurbs for the books:

The Princess and the Prom Queen
Jenny’s had it with her life. Six siblings in an overstuffed house are enough to drive anyone crazy, and sometimes she dreams of escaping to some fantasy world. When she suddenly wakes up to find herself being kissed by a strange—but very handsome—prince, Jenny knows her life just got a lot more exciting. Now stuck in a medieval land of castles and royalty, when Jenny learns that the queen has agreed to marry her off to the prince, it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She goes on a quest to find out who dragged her to this time while trying to keep from falling in love with either of the boys vying for her attention.

Princess Genevieve has only known life under her mother’s rule. She wants to do more than go to battle or deal with suitors. She wakes to find herself in a new world filled with gadgets, electricity, and moving carriages. She finally has the freedom to be who she wants to be with a family who cares deeply for her and a boy worth any sacrifice. It’s more than everything she always wanted.

As Jenny and Genevieve settle into their new lives, they face an unknown evil which threatens everything they care about and makes them face tough questions—like who they are and what they really want their lives to become.

You can find The Princess and The Prom Queen Ebook here.

And Best of Luck:
Megan has had it with leprechauns. They want nothing more than to take over her luck—something she’s not willing to give up. After finding herself locked in a dungeon on Christmas morning, she vows to take O’Malley down.

Between trying to have a normal life in high school, and fighting various fairy tale creatures thrown in her way, Megan barely has time to breathe. But when a mysterious darkness begins to snatch the fairies and leprechauns that have protected Megan and her family, she must learn the history of her luck and defeat the bad guys once and for all.

This book releases June 1st so I don't have a purchase link for the ebook yet.


Jaclyn Weist
Author of Stolen Luck, Twist of Luck, and Best of Luck
Author of The Princess and the Prom Queen

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Review: The Princess Sisters

I really enjoyed the concept of this book! Five cousins who are as close as sisters, all named after fairytale princesses, and all struggle with ironic issues related to their namesakes. Belle has dyslexia and hates to read, Ariel is afraid of water, Aurora has insomnia, Snow White hates apples, and Cinderella refuses to wear anything but tight-laced boots that can't slip off her feet!

The story was cute, although a little dramatic, and deals with issues commonly faced by teens (bullying, crushes, friendship, betrayal, self-esteem, popularity, etc.) I especially loved how they ended up dealing with their biggest problem!

Parental Advisory: While no profanity is used, at times, the language is not appropriate for young readers. I started out listening to this audiobook with my (almost) 8 year old daughter but had to finish it without her.

Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became 'True Aggies'. She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing. After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. She and her husband have three children, two Corgis, and a fish named Don.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Free Comic Book Day is Coming!

This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day! That means that all around the world there are comic book stores giving away free comic books and having fun events for geeks like us! It's been a family tradition of ours to go, the past few years. Our local shops around here in Provo, UT are great. They bring in local artists to show off their art for us, and they even give away free sketches!

For click here more information, or to see which comic book stores near you are participating, click here.

Here are some pictures from our last Free Comic Book Day. 

House of Geekiness on Esty

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