Friday, July 31, 2009

Broccoli Salad

This is a great recipe for making Broccoli salad. I have been looking for a recipe like this for a long time.

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables and I love the sweetness of the sauce paired with the crunchy almonds and bacon. I'm not sure where I found this particular recipe, but it's definitely a keeper.

I know this picture isn't great, but oh well...

Ingredients:

2 bunches of fresh broccoli (I used some broccolini)
1/2 med purple onion finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon cooked till crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or slivered almonds
1/2 cup raisins

Dressing:
1 cup mayo
2 Tbsp Red vinegar
1/3 cup sugar*
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Make dressing and chill for at least one hour before tossing with salad.

2. Once dressing has been chilled, mix everything together leaving the bacon for right before you serve.

Couldn't be easier.

*I recommend starting with a 1/4 cup of sugar and adding from there. I used the full 1/3 of a cup because I can't stand the taste of mayo, but it might be too sweet for some people.

Hood

Title: Hood
Author: Stephen Lawhead
Genre: YA Fantasy



Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Date: April 8, 2008
Hardback: 512 pages

Stand Alone or series: Book one of The Raven King Trilogy.

Summary:(from Goodreads)

Robin Hood

The Legend Begins Anew

For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.

Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne Elfael, has abandoned his father's kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him-for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.

Like the forest itself, Hood is deep, dark, and at times savagely brutal-yet full of enchantment and hope. Internationally-acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead has created a lyrical rendering of a time-honored story that will lead you down strange pathways into another time and place.


Review: Robin Hood has been taken out of the Sherwood Forest and transplanted into the primeval forests of eleventh century Wales.

This is the first book I’ve read by Lawhead and I have a sneaking suspicion he is soon to become a favorite author of mine. He has the ability to write realistic characters. They are flawed and uncertain and entirely realistic. I also really love how the “bad” characters aren’t overdone as well. Most books seem to have a hard time with the characterization of these sorts of characters and go overboard with the cliched “evil” acts of an "evil overlord." Instead, Lawhead has a way of writing characters you dislike without them having to be seen as “evil.”

The main character, Bran, is great as well. Instead of being the honorific steadfast hero we see in a lot of books, Bran is deeply questioning of his abilities and often times wants to just run away. I can’t tell you how refreshing that is.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: I really loved the historical information at the back. It made the story more interesting and explained a lot about Lawhead’s decision to write the story the way he did.

Verdict: I loved this book. I seem to have a soft spot for the re-telling of stories. Whether it be a new twist on an old fairy tale, or a Robin Hood made into a Briton, I just love them. I’ve never read any other Robin Hood stories to be honest, but I like the way Lawhead makes the reader really believe that his story is possible.

I already put the second book in the series, Scarlet, on hold at the library and can’t wait to get started. This book was shelved in the young adult section of my library, but I don’t know if it actually constitutes a YA book. Either way, this is definitely a fantasy that can be enjoyed by a person of any age.

Rating: High 8

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Seer and the Sword

Title: The Seer and the Sword
Author: Victoria Hanley
Genre: YA Fantasy



Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Publishing Date: April 8, 2003
Hardback: 340 pages

Stand Alone or series: Stand Alone.

Summary: (from goodreads)

Legend states that there exists a mighty sword that makes its possessor invincible to his enemies. But there is a curse on anyone who lifts the sword for conquest. King Kareed of Archeld goes after this sword anyway, winning it from the King of Bellandra. When he returns home from battle, he brings his daughter, Princess Torina, two special gifts. One is a unique crystal, in which she can view visions of the future. The other gift is the defeated king’s son Landen, who is to be her slave. Torina immediately releases Landen, who becomes a member of the King’s army and her close friend.
But trouble is lurking in the kingdom of Archeld and people are accusing Landen of plotting against the King. Torina refuses to believe he would hurt her family. Then Torina begins seeing deadly visions in her crystal. Can she save her father’s life and the future of her kingdom?


Review: I loved this book.

This book really has a lot to offer its readers; fantasy, political intrigue, coming of age, and even a budding romance. The characters Torina and Landen are okay on their own, but together their just lovely.

Overall, the friendship between Torina and Laden is very sweet. Even though their eventual romance is pretty obvious and expected, I still found myself waiting for them to get tpgether. The fact Hanley switches between their POVs was also interesting and well done. It gave a sort of interconnectedness some books lack.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: I loved the saying Landen used to clear his mind, “The present moment is everything. The moment is vast.” It taught to him by his father and I thought it was poignant.

Verdict: Great story. It was fast paced and it was nice knowing, that for once, the story would actually have an ending (series books can be daunting sometimes).

The only problem I really had with this book had to do with secondary characters. Not only were a lot of them looked over, but they were also either good or bad with little room for shades of grey. The “bad” character weren’t sympathetic in any way and the “good” characters were almost too good.

Other then that though, the book was great.

Rating: 8

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Evernight books by Claudia Gray

Title: Evernight and Stargazer
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy



Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: Evernight May 2008, Stargazer March 2009
Hardcover: both 336 pages

Stand Alone or series: Books 1 and 2 in the ongoing Evernight series by Claudia Gray.

Summary: (from amazon)

Evernight: Grade 8 Up—Bianca has been uprooted from her happy, uneventful life to start anew at an elite boarding school where her parents will now be professors. Even though Bianca doesn't feel that she is the Evernight type—rich, beautiful, or gifted—she knows that her parents feel this is best for her. She and Lucas Ross share a special connection from the moment they meet and he, like Bianca and a few others, is an outsider. He is a rebel who is on a mission to discover the secret behind Evernight Academy. As the weeks progress, their relationship heats up. What they don't realize, however, is that they each harbor a great secret that could divide them forever. Can their love survive the truth?

Stargazer: The bloodthirsty boarders at an exclusive prep school for the undead return in this sequel to Evernight (2008). Sophomore Bianca, still human but almost a vampire, continues her clandestine, passionate romance with Lucas, a member of the vampire-hunting Black Cross. Together with handsome fellow student Balthazar, the kind of nice vampire boy Bianca’s parents envision as her boyfriend, Bianca and Lucas investigate violent, ghostly incidents at Evernight and the underlying question of why the Academy admits humans. Once again, heart-pounding suspense, steamy romance, and textbook-gothic details drive this rapid read that will please Twilight fans, too.


Review: It’s kind of hard to describe these books without giving too much away. By detailing what happens in the second book, the events in the first book are pretty obvious. So if you want a more detailed description of the plot, I’d check out amazon or Harperteen.

I did have a few issues with the overall story though and most of those had to do with the “true love” aspects of these books.

I know some people will think I’m being cynical, but I’m tired of reading books for young girls that promote the idea that love is something that should be valued above all other things: family, friends, honesty, hopes and dreams. These authors make the characters one dimensional by promoting such blind indifference to the rest of their lives.

In the books, Bianca lies continuously to everyone around her so she can be with Lucas. Yet, she never wonders if that dishonesty might be a sign that she and Lucas aren’t meant to be together.

Why? Because Gray, much like Stephanie Meyer, made the idea of them not being meant to be together completely implausible. Of course Lucas and Bianca are meant to be together. They’re teenagers who’ve only spent a short time together. He’s possessive and she’s self-conscious. He’s only controlling because he wants to “protect” her. How could they be anything besides “soul mates” or “mates for life” or any of the equally ridiculous “we’ll love each other forever” euphemism writers like to use?

I can’t help but feel like we’re doing a huge disservice to our daughters by teaching them that everything will be okay if you get a boyfriend. It doesn’t matter if you have to lie or steal or abandon you’re family, so long as he promises to stay with you forever everything will be okay in the end. These books are no better then the white horse fairy tales that have ruined relationships for women everywhere.

It’s just so silly. Bianca is so angry that her parents lied to her (in Stargazer) without any regard to her own lies. Her parents lie isn’t even that bad (at least in the world of vampires). Instead, it should have made Miranda guilty for being so sanctimonious when they proved, once again, how much they love her and would have done anything to have her.

But we can’t have that now can we?

So instead, the lie is used as the reason Bianca won’t ever become a vampire. Pretty convenient. It also seems unlikely when Bianca is already drinking more blood and even killed a mouse without realizing.

I also felt that Stargazer ended poorly. After the huge fire and the possible death of most of the people she knows, including her parents, Bianca doesn’t question leaving Lucas even for a second. Of course not. Instead she decides to join a group of vampire killers without any thought to how she’s going to survive without blood or how she’ll handle being inside churches. Not to mention how hard it’s gonna be to hide a hazy reflection when she’s not getting blood regularly.

Or the fact they might have just killed her family. (But who needs family when you have “hope?” Family schmamily. It’s just another hurdle in the way of true love right?)

And just because Bianca and Lucas are together, doesn’t mean the book has been wrapped up. What about the wraiths? What about her parents? Why was Mrs. Bethany hunting ghosts? What will happen to the humans around her when the wraiths find her? How will she get blood? What will she do when her parents track her down (which seems very likely if they survived)? What about Balthazar? What will the humans do when they find out the truth?

Stargazer ultimately felt like the middle book. There were too many lose ends and not enough character development (even thought the relationships did become more complex). I understand that series books don’t answer all the questions in each book, but there could have been much more closure in this book (at least a chapter with Bianca actually questioning throwing her life away with the Black Cross). A writer’s imagination and talent should be what makes me want to pick up the next book. Not a ton of cliff hangers.

I also thought the climax was a bit…well anti-climatic.

Verdict: Now all that being said, these sorts of love stories always bother me and are not necessary to these specific books. So please don't take my rant to mean the books were poor.

In fact, I really did enjoy these books. Even though they do have a lot in common with the Twilight series, I think they’re written much better. I have a sneaky suspicion that these books are going to keep getting better and better.

Rating: Evernight - 7, Stargazer - 6. Even though I thought the writing was better in Stargazer, I can't get over the ending. It was just too flimsy in my book.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Blood Confession

Almost everyone has heard of the legend of Elizabeth Báthory, otherwise known as the "Blood Countess." When I saw this book, I thought the premise looked interesting and decided to check it out.

Title: The Blood Confession
Author: Alisa Libby
Genre: YA horror/historical fiction



Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publishing Date: August 17 , 2006
Hardback: 360 pages

Stand Alone or series: Stand alone.

Summary: (from amazon)

As this novel opens, Countess Erzebet Bizecka, imprisoned in the castle tower awaiting trial for the murders of a number of her serving girls, recounts her gruesome story. A beautiful young noblewoman living in 16th-century Hungary, Erzebet becomes obsessed with youth and beauty after her mother goes insane, and performs a ritual that involves bathing in blood. As Erzebet herself teeters on the edge of sanity, she begins to hallucinate about an attractive young man, Sinestra, who encourages her hobby and eventually convinces her that she must commit murder in order to gain immortality.

Erzebet, based on a real-life Hungarian blood countess, is an interesting character. She feels trapped and powerless in a world dominated by men, but soon learns that her beauty is a source of power. Readers will sympathize with her feelings of loneliness and abandonment, while being repulsed by her actions. The descriptions are mildly gruesome without being overly graphic or sensationalized. Even so, the book is not for the faint of heart.


Review:

This is one of those books that are hard to explain. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m having a hard time explaining what it is I so thoroughly enjoyed.

Something I found surprising was the way I felt about Erzebet. My expectation was that Libby would try to make us sympathetic to her character, but she really didn’t. Right away Erzebet was annoying and shallow. Worse off, she was sadistic in the sense that the only way she felt powerful was to hurt other people. Even though she has reason to be so obsessed with her looks (seeing as this is the only sort of attention or appreciation she received from her parents), the degree to which beauty becomes the sole reason for her existence is a bit repulsive and shows us that Erzebet obviously isn’t mentally stable.

I think my favorite aspect of the book was in regards to all the questions about morality and god. The book brought up some interesting questions about free will and the role of fate that each person really has to answer for him/herself. Even though there isn’t a lot of gore or action, I was still captivated by the characterizations and Erzebet’s decent into madness.

My least favorite aspect was actually Erzebet herself. Her obsessive vanity and lack of empathy gets tiresome after a while. It was interesting to watch her try to rationalize her behavior, but her blatant disregard for the lives of other’s could have been a bit more fleshed out I thought. And the way she leaps from one conclusion to another is a bit tenuous at best, but I suppose it’s that vagueness that’s the strongest and weakest aspect of this book. Did the blood ritual really work? Has she really not aged at all in the last few years? Was Sinestra a figment of her imagination or was he real? If he was real, who was he really? What happened to Snow? These are the questions that kept me racing through the book, but also made me feel a little unfulfilled in the end.

Most of this comes from the fact the story is all from Erzebet’s perspective though. It would be quite interesting to read a book from Snow’s point of view that overlaps with her participation in the blood rituals.

Notable Quotes/ Parts:

I loved this conversation between Erzebet and Sinestra on page 303. It's a prime example of how she is convinced that the only way to save herself is to kill these girls. Sinestra constantly strokes her fear while simultaneously quieting her conscience.

“What is Heaven,” he asked, staring into my eyes, “but freedom, and beauty, and comfort?”

“And salvation,” I added.

“Yes, of course” – he smiled – “but what is heaven alone? It is a dream for these pitiful creatures blundering through their common lives, eager to see what lies in the world beyond in the hopes that it may be better than what they have here.”

“That is greed,” I told him, “and pride. The sins are a part of us all. I sometimes think that humans were made entirely of sin. No wonder they are so consumed with a fear of damnation.”

“This idea of heaven is meant to show people the right path to walk, in order to end up sleeping in the arms of angels,” he mused, lowering the candle over the flames of the fire; I heard the wax sizzle as it sparked a flame. “Heaven is a gift from God – or is it a gift from the church?”

“That’s blasphemy!” I laughed nervously. “And what of your fascination with hell? If heaven in not real, then most likely hell is a construct of imagination as well, to terrify people into behaving themselves.”

“What have I taught you, Erzebet?” he asked, enclosing my hand in his. “It does not matter what is real, but what people believe is real. You must make them believe…There is only one thing that never dies”

I stared into his eyes, awaiting his answer.

“Death,” he said.

“I will create heaven and hell,” I told him. “I will be like a god to them. I will be their death, exacting their final judgment. What then? Will I be safe forever?”

“Yes,” he said.


Verdict: Overall, I loved this book. Even though it's hard to sympathize with Erzebet, in the end you can't help but be captivated by her. And pity her as well.

Rating: solid 7

I do want to point out that this book is a complete fiction. The real Countess not only lived to the age 54, but she was indeed married and had children. The idea of her bathing in blood has also been proven to be legend rather then fact (not that this makes her killing of these girls any better).

-You can read more about her here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PVC Pipe Frame

Man I love this picture frame made out of peices of PVC:




I'm a sucker for PVC and cement form tube projects. I have no idea why, I just am.

-You can find instructions here. And if you don't own a saw, you can buy a kit with the peices all ready to go from Michele Beschen here.

New Direction

I don’t get a lot of traffic on this blog, and that’s totally okay with me. I started artistic illusions because I needed a place where I could talk about things more crafty/home oriented and I felt my other blog just wasn’t the place.

Actually, in a lot of ways this sort of dichotomy has always been prevalent in my life.

There’s the side of me that’s more intellectual and really really political, and then there’s the artistic hippy-ish thing I’ve got going on. This has made it difficult to figure out what I want to do with my life and often leaves me feeling a little unfulfilled either way.

Um. I really didn’t mean for this post to go in that direction, but there you have it.

I guess my point is that I don’t have as clear of a picture for this blog as I do with Crazy Thoughts. There are a lot of great blogs that fill this particular niche out there already and I’m still trying to get my bearings straight.

One thing I’ve decided to do is more book reviews. I don’t know how it’s going to unfold in the end, but since I tend to read more than a few books a week this seems like the natural progression of things.

So don’t be alarmed if you see a lot of book reviews in the future. I have been itching to do some more DIY and crafts lately, but I just don’t have the funds. So books and recipes will have to suffice for now (though I do have an interesting painting project I hope to share soon).

Cheers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ruffled Umbrella

I am completely in love with these Guy de Jean Can Can Umbrella/Parasols from Raindrops.




Unfortunately, I can't really afford to spend over a hundred dollars on an umbrella (I don't think I've ever spent more then $20 actually), but I'm thinking it might not be too difficult to replicate.

We'll see...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bangers and Mash with Red Onions and Wine Gravy

Lately, I’ve been looking through cookbooks that feature recipes from different countries. Williams – Sonoma’s Foods of the World is great. Not only do they share different recipes, but you learn a lot about the history of food in that area and about the culture.



Last night I made Bangers and Mash with Red Onions and Wine Gravy from the London edition, and all I can say is yum. Yum yum yum. This is the sort of meal that’s easy and perfect for a cold night.

It was 90° yesterday and it was still perfect.



Ingredients:

2 lbs – or about two sausages per-person - good quality pork sausage (I used spicy sausage)
Tbsp olive oil

Boxed mash potatoes or these ingredients:
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For gravy:
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 red onions (halved and thinly sliced)
1 ½ tsp flour
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken or beef stock (I used beef)
salt and pepper

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the sausages in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat, and spread out in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through, until evenly colored.

2.Meanwhile make mash if you're making it from scratch. I decided to use my favorite boxed mashed potatoes, so I didn’t make them till the last minute. You're going to cover the potatoes with gravy, so boxed potatoes are perfect for this.

Otherwise you want to:

Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in saucepan with water to cover, salt water and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain, cover with a kitchen towel and let stand until dry, about 5 minutes. In same pan over medium-high heat, combine milk and butter and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside. Place potatoes in a bowl and mash. Add hot milk mixture and beat until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.To make gravy, melt butter and olive oil in a saucepan. Add onions and reduce the heat to low. Cook onions until they are soft and brown (about 20 minutes). Then raise the heat to med-low and add the flour. Cook flour for about 2 minutes to get rid of the flour taste. Add vinegar and cook until evaporated. (Make sure you don’t breath in the vinegar steam. It will clean out you sinuses in an unpleasant way.) Stir in the red wine and stock. Raise the heat to medium and allow the gravy to boil. Simmer for about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4.Divide the sausages and the mash among individual plates. Top with the onion gravy.



I had never roasted my sausages before and I think I nearly died they were so tasty. It was ridiculously good. I am already thinking about making this again.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Daughter of the Forest

Anyone who reads a lot will understand the immense feelings that can overcome you when a book grabs on to the very core of your being.

And I’m not talking about the type of book you simply enjoy and then casually think about picking up the sequel some time down the road (though they fill their own role I suppose). I am talking about the stories that leave you feeling changed in ways you can’t fully explain.

Books that you hate to put down for even a moment. Where you find yourself weeping and laughing and then weeping some more.

I know that sounds immensely corny, but it’s the simple truth. Some of you will understand what I’m saying exactly and if you don’t, I urge you to keep reading till you do. Because it’s amazing.

My point in all this rambling, is that I just finished reading Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier and WOW.



There are many things I could say about this book, but here is the summary from the author’s website:
First published in 1999, Daughter of the Forest is loosely based on the traditional story of The Six Swans, which appears in Grimm’s Fairy Tales and has been re-told in many versions, including one by Hans Christian Andersen.

In Daughter of the Forest, the fairy tale story – a youngest sister must maintain complete silence while weaving shirts from nettles in order to return her swan brothers to human form – is combined with a family drama set on both sides of the Irish Sea. More than anything, this is a story about the bond of love between siblings.

I will admit upfront I’m a sucker for retold fairy tales (like Jack the Giant Killer and the like) but this book is plain perfect.

I started reading last night and literally could not put it down. When Ryan’s alarm clock went off at 4:30 this morning I finally forced myself to go to sleep, but it wasn’t easy. As a raced through page after page I fell in love with the characters over and over. I found myself crying and wishing for their happiness more then you would have thought possible and I’m sad in a lot of ways to have finished it.

I’ve already put the sequel on hold at the library.

I’m not going to go into much detail about the book (you can read a great review – the one that made me read the book – here), but if you like fantasy or romance you would be a fool not to read this book.

That’s really all I can say.

Edit: I've actually finished the other two books of the trilogy and it's amazing. Read it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Book Smugglers

Out of all the different sites I've found that review books, The Book Smugglers are by far my favorite (fantasy is my favorite genre so I get a good variety at their site).



I know how hard it can be to keep new books flowing in when you read as much as I do, so I thought I'd share two of their posts, "Half Year Mark: Ana and Thea’s Favorite Reads of 2009 (so far)" and “Books You Really Should Be Reading…,” that have some really great recommendations in them.

I put at least 10 new books on my to-read list after reading them and I would definitely check them out if you're into fiction and/or romance.



I feel a little ashamed at how many fantasy books I read, so I'm trying to add a few non-fiction books - or anything not fantasy really - in with every trip to the library. (Do you like how I try to dwindle my guilt about reading so much with more reading?)

Right now I'm reading some philosophical books and The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, but I need a few more to balance out this new onslaught of awesome books I must read.

-If you're interested in any of the books pictured, you can find out more about them here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Water-bottle Chandelier

Look at this lighting project from from How to Make (Almost) Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer:



Is that not the coolest? I can not wait to make this.

Here's what you need:

9 glass bottles
9 pre-wired light receptacles
9 lightbulbs
Electrical tape
2 power strips
Large ceiling eye hook (to mount overhead)
Plastic tie

TOOLS
Bottle-cutter kit (runs about $50 at a craft or hobby shop)
Wire cutter
Wire stripper
Glass plate (you will use this to sand down your cut glass)
Candle
Matches
Ice cubes
Kitchen towel

Directions:

1. Remove caps, rinse out the bottles, and let them air-dry.
2. Set up the bottle cutter and determine how long you want your pendant to be. Make sure you have
a solid end guide for the bottle when you rotate it on the cutter so your etch line will connect. We used a small, heavy box.
3. Using both hands, rotate a bottle in one continuous motion, applying even pressure throughout the rotation for best result.
4. Light the candle. Remove the bottle from the cutter and hold the etch line above the lit candle to heat the cut.
5. Slowly rotate the etch line above the flame in a continuous motion to apply even heat. If it gets too hot, you will hear the bottle crack. If you don’t heat it up enough, the glass won’t break off as described in the next two steps. This is a trial-and-error part of the process that depends on the thickness of your glass.
6. Remove the bottle from the candle heat and apply an ice cube directly along the circumference of the etch line, letting it drip over the towel.
7. The end of your bottle should break off by itself from the change in temperature. If not, using the towel, hold the end that needs to break off and gently twist. It should come off easily. (If it doesn’t, dry off the bottle and repeat steps 5 through 7.)
8. Wipe the end of the cut bottle and set aside.
9. Repeat steps 3 through 8 for each of your bottles.
10. Set your small glass plate on a level surface and sprinkle about a teaspoon of the carbide polishing powder that came with your kit and 1/4 teaspoon of water onto the glass plate.
11. Set the cut side of one of the bottles down on the glass plate.
12. Rotate the cut side to the flat of the glass in a figure-8 motion. The polishing powder and the water, combined with the rotating grind, sands the cut glass into a smoother edge. This process is very loud and will take about three to five minutes per bottle.
13. Wipe the bottle edge clean and set aside.
14. Repeat steps 11 through 13 for all the bottles.
15. Because the plug end of the light socket will not fit through the mouth of the bottle, you will have to cut the wire (preferrably closer to the plug end).
16. Feed the cut end attached to the socket through the bottom of the glass pendant and up through the bottle’s mouth.
17. Next, strip both cut ends of the wire, reattach, and wrap with electrical tape for a secure, safe connection.
18. Plug it in to see if it works.
19. Repeat steps 15 through 18 for the rest of the bottles.
20. Once you have all the sockets threaded through the bottles, arrange, and use a twist tie to hold the electrical cords together.
21. Secure to your ceiling hook, plug in the chandelier, and enjoy a glass of high-class water.

My neighbors an electrician so I think I'll ask for some help, but boy does it look pretty! (Found at Cucumbersome.)