Archive for September, 2012

Giveaway: BlogFest 2012!

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I know I am a bit late in posting this, but better late than never. This is my first time participating in BlogFest hosted by Cinnamon at A Journey of Books. There are a couple hundred blogs participating in the hop. Below the Rafflecopter widget you’ll find links to the next 5 blogs on the list. Each blogger will post links to the next 5 blogs. The master list can be found at A Journey of Books. During the next couple days you’ll have the chance to enter into hundreds of great giveaways! And if you fill out the tracking survey you’ll have an extra chance at a very special prize.

I am giving away your choice of a book up to $5 from the The Book Depot or a $5 gift card to Amazon.com. Hope you have a great weekend!

~Jaclyn~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next 5 blogs on the list:
Parent Place
Double Crossing
Jamie Haden
Writing is a Blessing
The Relentless Reader

Review: Oddities & Entities Handmade Journal

Review: Oddities & Entities Handmade Journal
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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A couple of weeks ago I received a handmade journal from Ryan at Oddities & Entities. I love to write (surprising, I know) in journals! I first started to keep a journal in middle school and as I got older I began to choose certain types of journals to write in. I felt that while this was an inanimate object that it was helpful to almost “feel a connection with” the blank book I was sharing my most intimate thoughts. I found that I preferred journals that either opened flat or were spiral bound as those are easiest to write in and those with ‘pretty’ pages.

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I had never had a made by hand journal before and was so excited to receive this one. Ryan said that I could pick the thread color and the color of the interior cover. I chose teal from the long list of thread colors and said that I’d love either matching teal or contrasting purple as the interior cover color. I also choose parchment looking paper and asked for as many pages as possible. When Ryan emailed me just about a day later that my journal was finished I was amazed!

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Literally less than a week went by before I received my custom journal. I immediately tore into the package to pull out my brand new journal. This beautifully created blank book has a white canvas covered board with dark purple on the inside of the covers. After admiring the even stitching on the open spine I looked up a little bit of information about book binding. I learned that the stitch Ryan uses is called a coptic stitch. And the final product reminds me a little of a braid. I also read that this type of open binding allows the book to lie flat which makes writing easier. Sure enough I found that my journal laid flat.

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According to wikipedia, Coptic binding was developed by Christian Egyptians, the Copts, as early as the 2nd to 11th Centuries C.E. and could be covered or left uncovered in which case glue wasn’t need. I find that so amazing that such an old art is still being used by artist such as Ryan still today! Coptic bindings differ from European binding from the 8th Century C.E. onward in that Coptic contains codices or sections of papyrus (or paper nowadays) folded in half that are chain stitched together. Whereas European binding (traditional hardcovers) used cord running throughout all the pages, but needed a covering on the spine and glue (which eventually decomposes).

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I was very impressed to learn that this very old style of book binding hasn’t been lost and is still practiced today. I love the look of this very old style and look forward to writing in my very special journal for quite awhile. You can purchase your own customized handmade journal from Ryan’s Oddities & Entities Etsy page where you can choose what size you want along with thread color, interior cover color, from options other further personalize your journal. I received a 5×7 inch journal which is the size of a typical paperback.

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Since the covers are canvas covered I am planning to paint them with my acryllic paints. Once I have finished I will take pictures and post them on my blog. Do you keep a journal? Or have you kept one in the past? If so, do you write consistently or sporadically?

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~Jaclyn~
Disclaimer: I received this item complimentary from Oddities & Entities for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.

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Oddities & Entities:
Etsy page can be found HERE
Facebook page can be found HERE
Website can be found HERE
Twitter page can be found HERE

Review: Starlooks’ August Starbox 2012

Review: Starlook’s August Starbox
Rat
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I was very excited to receive my August Starbox as I’ve been enjoying the products I’ve received thus far. For the very first time Starbox had a limited edition box! This one contained items hand picked by celebrity fashion designer Lauren Bradley. According to the note card included, Lauren Bradley not only wore the included makeup items in the Lookbook (on Starlooks website), but also featured items from her newly released lingerie line “Le Sang Bleu“.

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As usual my box arrived very quickly and this time was an all black box with red print and tied with a black ribbon. When I opened the box I found that in addition to the note card was metallic ribbon wrapped several times around a black envelope culminating in a black wax seal. I thought that the ribbon and seal were so unusual and pretty that I still haven’t unwrapped it. I have only seen wax seals a couple times, wax seals used to be very common. Not only are wax seals a beautiful decoration, but extremely practical as well. As it is impossible to preserve one once the envelope has been open and were a great way to make sure that only your intended recipient actually opened its contents. Seals were also often unique to their authors much like ones signature. I wish people still used wax seals more often. I’d very much love to have one of my own!

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The first item I pulled out of the box was a lip gloss in the shade Pink Petal Rose. This fairly bright pearl pink lip gloss is creamy and not tacky feeling. The note card says it has a formula similar to Chanel lip glosses, but I’ll have to take their word for it as I’ve never owned a Chanel lip gloss or any Chanel cosmetics for that matter. It is a bit too pink for my taste as to what I typically pick out for myself and tend to prefer more of a (red) wine colored lip gloss and lipsticks. But it looks decent on and so it will be one that I’ll use.

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The second item I took out was a Pointed Slant Eyeliner Brush (#844) and like the brush I received in the June box is of excellent quality. I’ve mentioned before that I really do NEED brushes as I literally have about five full sized brushes with two of them being from Starlooks. I would so very much LOVE a set of Starlooks brushes! Especially since the two I’ve used so far are extremely well made. You’ll be able to see on the swatch below that this eyeliner brush draws a very ultra-fine line. This 100% percent synthetic Japanese nylon brush that causes no gathering or grabbing of ones eyelid and is perfect for cream eyeliners.

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Which brings me to the third item, one of Starlooks Infinity cream eyeliners in the shade Sculpture. Sculpture is a very pretty charcoal grey that is also smudge and waterproof. It is a very creamy color that should be able to go with just about any other color of makeup. I can’t wait to be able to try out all sorts of different looks! Before this one, I only had one other cream eyeliner that I purchased 75% off at Rite Aid in Black. It came with a teeny tiny mini brush that is very stiff with a thicker edge than this Starlooks one. I felt very awkward using the pinky length brush, but had no trouble using the Starlooks one whose edge is about half the width than the drugstore chains version.

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Lastly was another quartz crystal which last month’s card said would be included in each box from July on. A suggestion on the card last month was to start collecting them in a container as a brush holder. It’ll take a long time to have enough to use for that purpose. A thought of mine was wrap in wire and make a pendent out of which I still will probably do. I do however hope that other months contain colored and not just clear quartz. I did notice that the ‘value’ of this months box is significantly less than the June box and somewhat less than the July box. I personally hope for more brushes and eye makeup in future boxes. If you would like to read my previous reviews you can do so by clicking HERE for June’s review and HERE for July’s review.

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If you would like to subscribe to Starlook’s Starbox you can do so by clicking HERE. It is a monthly cost of $16.98 (including shipping). If you do decide to subscribe I would VERY much appreciate it if you could PLEASE list Jaclyn Cotton or Jaclyn’s Musings. And if you already subscribe to Starbox or any other monthly subscription service I’d love to hear what your favorite item(s) from August are!

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~Jaclyn~

My Life Monday: Big Scare

I know it has been a couple weeks since I posted a My Life Monday article as I am recovering emotionally from an infection scare. Several weeks ago when I unwrapped my leg from the full leg length brace, I noticed a spot on top of my knee that had opened up along the incision. I was so terrified that another infection was brewing.

My worst fear was that I would need yet another surgery and possible lose my graft. I have gone through so much to get to where I am I just couldn’t bear the thought that I might have to start over. The PA (physician assistant) at my surgeon’s office said that I should continue on antibiotics preventatively, have lab work done, and that I had to come in weekly until it was healed. He also wasn’t sure it there was another infection starting or what was going on.

On my next visit the following week, the opening was definitely smaller and my lab results were fine. So he didn’t think it was an infection, but time would tell. Amazingly the very next day when I looked at my knee the wound had shrunk by almost half. And so by the time I saw my ID (infectious disease) doctor it was scabbed over.

Thankfully on my next visit to the surgeon’s office the wound had completely closed and he said that he’d start letting me bend my knee. Although the first increase on the brace is only 20 degrees which is really not a whole lot, but a start. I return again this week and should have my brace adjusted again, this time to 45 degrees. I’ll then continue to have visits every two weeks until after my brace is set at 90 degrees for two weeks and then should be able to finally ditch this brace.

If things continue to progress on schedule from now on I should be out of this necessary, but obnoxious brace right around Thanksgiving. While I feel quite relieved that this scare wasn’t an infection, I can’t help but feel a little bit anxious about my knee still. Even though there isn’t a rejection risk with this graft as there is with most other types of donor grafts, there is still an infection risk.

Eventually though if a biopsy of my kneecap or tendon were done it would show only my cells it’ll take about 5 years for that to be complete. But the longer I go with no problems, the lower the chance for any complications. So while I definitely feel I dodged a bullet this time I have a feeling I will still feel at least a little bit of unease still until a few more months have passed with no complications.

~Jaclyn~

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