Friday, June 22, 2012

Crayola Model Magic Angry Birds craft!

It's been so hot outside I wanted to find a fun craft to do inside to get out of the sweltering heat and humidity. My son suggested clay, so I picked up some Crayola Model Magic-the pack came in a bunch of colors for $10.00.

When he saw the colors he immediately gravitated towards making some "Angry Birds" from the game.

A pic from the game..
White bird, yellow bird, red bird, space blue bird, blue bird. Top row: Pig, green bird, space red bird, and black bird.
It's really fairly easy to make these. It's basically just starting out with a round piece of clay, flattening the bottom, and then eyeballing the sizes of basic shapes to put on the bird body. Round for the eyes and pupils, flat  "coils" or "snake shapes" for the feathers and eyebrows, triangles for the beaks. Just play around with the shapes and have FUN!

Note to parents: I found the Model Magic to be perfect-there is practically no smell, it comes out of the pack soft and air dries in 1-3 days!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to get free Amazon books for your Kindles.

I wrote in another post that Hubby bought me a Kindle for Christmas. I have since read 72 books on it! It is so easy and best yet, I can read at night with the lights off because it is lit like a notebook PC. Since I tear through books electronically, I am always looking for cost savings on books.

Amazon has free books all the time you just need to wade through them. Pixel of Ink is a great blog that highlights Amazon's free books for the day.

Non-fiction reads highlighted here. You can have the email delivered each day and then click on the book link, and it brings you to the book on Amazon. *note:Make sure the book is listed as $0.00 before you "buy" it as some books may change price since the email was delivered*

There's also Pixel of Ink for Fiction books at:

Children's and Young Adult reads are here:

Browse free Kindle Books available on

Some other helpful Kindle/Amazon links:

Lend Kindle Books
Give Kindle Books as Gifts

Happy Reading!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Genre - "Young Adult" books. What exactly ARE they?

"Young Adult". What exactly are they and who are they really written for?

Wikipedia defines Young Adult novels as:
Young-adult fiction or young adult literature (often abbreviated as YA), also juvenile fiction, is fiction written, published, or marketed to adolescents and young adults. The Young Adult Library Services (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) defines a young adult as someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Authors and readers of young adult (YA) novels often define the genre as literature as traditionally written for ages ranging from twelve years up to the age of eighteen, while some publishers may market young adult literature to as low as age ten or as high as age twenty-five. The terms young-adult novel, juvenile novel, young-adult book, etc. refer to the works in the YA category.
YA literature shares the following fundamental elements of the fiction genre: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. However, theme and style are often subordinated to the more tangible elements of plot, setting, and character, which appeal more readily to younger readers. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent, rather than an adult or child, as the protagonist.
The subject matter and story lines of YA literature are typically consistent with the age and experience of the main character, but, beyond that, YA stories span the spectrum of fiction genres. Themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth, sometimes referred to as problem novels or coming-of-age novels.Writing styles of YA stories range widely, from the richness of literary style to the clarity and speed of the unobtrusive and free verse.
When browsing this section at the local bookstore for my next "fix", my cheeks would flush, my eyes shifted around looking nervously to see if any other adults were viewing me with amusement. Why exactly, I thought, would normal adults read literature specifically written for teens?

I know why I read the genre-the stories I gravitate towards are usually about a late teen-early twenty something person who becomes something greater than they thought they were by the end of the story. Harry Potter is one such example, and I suppose my first foray as an adult into this genre. I have since discovered SO many well written, engrossing books since then.

I think many adults like myself read Young Adult Fiction because so much of it is so well written. For fantasy lovers, jump into Julie Kagawa's The Iron King series and prepare to be enthralled with her use of language to create a darkly lovely world full of beauty and danger.

The characters play a huge part in any good YA novel as well. So many of them face heartbreak,loss, love and joy at a level we as adults have forgotten. It is an opportunity to step back in time almost to how we felt and acted at that age and imagine what we ourselves would have done had we been the protagonist in the novel. A great example of a love story written against a mafia setting is Sempre by J.M. Darhower. Haven and Carmine's relationship is sweet and timeless.

The subject matter is varied as well. Its not all stories about dating, or school. Whatever genre you like to read, it's represented in YA literature. Steampunk, Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopian, "Growing Up" stories,'s all there.

So, should someone be embarrassed about reading YA fiction? No, I have come to realize that YA is for the young at heart.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Minecraft Shrine..

As I'm sure any of you who read this blog know, my 9 year old loves Minecraft.

Minecraft site

He makes Lego representations of the items from the game and I was persuaded to make him a painted foam pickaxe. He collected all his goodies and placed the on the creeper costume we made for last Halloween..we call it the "Minecraft Shrine"..

There's Ghast tears, golden helmet, golden apple, grenade(I think this is just in the style of Minecraft, not from the actual game), and gold ore..