Tuesday Treasure Trove  July 29, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.


Things of Note:

Well, Ian’s work schedule is changing up once again over at Samsung. I think it will be a good change this time. His new hours will be 10am-9pm, so no needing to go to bed early, or get up early – things neither of us like to do. He expects to sleep much better. And since my sleep schedule (as a work-from-homer) by default generally follows his, I hope to sleep better, too. We do have to move our weekly date night to the weekend, since far too many places close at 9pm on weeknights. But overall I think it will be good. We shall see.

Otherwise, it’s still just a whirlwind of craft show prep over here.

What’s new with you this week?
 

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Countdown  July 28, 2014

I have less than 3 weeks until my first major craft show. Can we just take a second for me to freak out? Haha. Only half kidding. I’ve met with the gal I’m sharing a booth with (hi, Rachel!) and she was both super sweet and super helpful, so for a little while I was less stressed about the whole thing. But now it’s creeping up and I’m getting all anxious again. And it’s not even like I haven’t been getting stuff done that needs to be done for it! I got my table skirt sorted this past weekend, and already have my custom order form and lookbook updated and printed out. I signed up for Mailchimp to start a newsletter and have a sign-up sheet for that. I’ve got battery-operated lights for my booth. And extra business cards. And extra bookmarks. And I have been printing up a storm in hopes of hitting some mystery number of perfect amount of prints. Witness:

Printapalooza

It’s a 2-day event, and supposed to attract between 8,000-10,000 people. I have no idea what the ideal amount of inventory is for a situation like that. I’ve heard everything from ‘expect to sell 10% of your total inventory’ to ‘bring enough to fill your booth once over for every day of the event’ to ‘expect sales to 5% of foot traffic’ and about a dozen other formulas. So I’m basically just printing as much as I can and still have time to trim and bag and tag everything. It’s the most I can do, right? So it’ll have to do. But it doesn’t keep me from fretting. I didn’t have any of the booth setup stuff (table, spinning rack, grid walls) before this, so between that and the booth fee is a not insignificant amount of money sunk into this venture. I’d like to at least make that back in sales. It might be a blessing that I don’t have any idea of what to expect, so I don’t really have a concrete sales goal, other than make back my investment. Ideally, I’d like to do even better than that, but I’m not setting a number.

Our booth is right smack up front when you enter from the lobby, so that’s got to be good, right? And my stuff is colorful and eye-catching, which I can only imagine helps.

Cross your fingers for me (or more specifically, my sanity in the coming weeks). And if you’re in Austin, please stop by the show on the 16th & 17th. :)

Ever done a craft show with your shop? Do you get all nervous beforehand still or are you an old pro?


Series to Read While Waiting for GRRM’s Next Book  July 24, 2014

If you’re a Game of Thrones/Song of Ice & Fire fan, you’re in a bit of a tough spot right now. It’s the break between TV seasons, and the next book in the series is nowhere in sight. If you’re waiting for the next book in particular, you likely have more than enough time to read everything on this list before it appears. So if you’re jonesing for an epic fantasy fix, I’ve got some suggestions for you:


Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings

Assassin's ApprenticeGreat characters, above all. If you think you care about GRRM’s characters, Hobb’s about to school you in emotional hooks. But this group of books also has: political scheming and intrigue. Magic. Strange foes, unlikely friends, rare dragons, long journeys. While Hobb doesn’t kill off characters with quite the frequency of GRRM, it packs a gut punch when she does. This is possible my favorite fantasy world, and the first trilogy especially possibly my favorite series. It’s so good, you guys. The different trilogies/groupings of books all take place in the same world, but don’t all focus on the same time period or characters. But there’s just enough overlap between them (random cameos and references) that they’re connected and you feel like you’re in on an inside joke. While most of these sets are complete (no waiting!), she did just start a new series in this world that I have an ARC for, and I’m super excited about it.

Start with: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Series reading order:


Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Universe

Kushiel's Dart This is another series with sweeping political intrigue and continent-spanning drama. It takes place in an alternate version of Europe, and follows (at least for the first series) the life of courtesan and spy Phèdre. There’s plenty of danger and a good amount of sex, given her profession. The characters and world are both richly developed. Like GRRM, Carey doesn’t shy away from hurting or killing off characters. This is another one of my all-time favorite series, especially the first trilogy.

Start with: Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1)

Series reading order:


Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince

Dragon PrinceIf you want complex, world-spanning political drama and power struggles, this will fit the bill. The world is richly developed and diverse. It’s got an interesting magic system. There’s a decent amount of love stories/sexy times, if you’re missing that about the GoT HBO show. The cast of characters is huge and the POV jumps around to follow different people, much like GRRM’s stuff (there’s a handy chart of families/characters included in each book). And, you know, it’s finished – no waiting.

Start with: Dragon Prince (Dragon Prince #1)

Series reading order:


Steven Brust’s Dragaera

Taltos If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a break from the grimness of GRRM, you might give this world a try. Brust has set up an unusual world, with distinct houses of power and more than one kind of magic. The Vlad Taltos series especially is just fun to read – the narrator, Vlad, is a smart-ass, wise-cracking type of guy. It wasn’t unusual for me to laugh out loud reading these. That’s not to say Important Serious Things don’t happen in the books, because they do. But humor is one of Vlad’s coping mechanisms, so it diffuses things most times. The other books in the world are even more tongue-in-cheekily written, with a healthy dose of the absurdity that historians can display. You still get the intricate political intrigue, and danger, and adventures, but in a lighter tone.

Start with: Taltos

Series reading order:


What fantasy series would you recommend for those coping with Game of Thrones withdrawl?


Right Now  July 23, 2014

Right Now

Right now, I am…

still in PJs. It’s only 9am here, so I don’t feel too bad about that. Plus I’m waiting for Ian to get out of the shower.

considering firing one of my clients. The pay is good and I like the company in general, but the new marketing person that I interface with is a headache to work with. Subtle attempts to educate her about design and email clarity have fallen flat. Not sure it’s worth the stress to continue with them.

addicted to a new game on my iPhone – Two Dots.

drinking sweet tea.

glad that my only out-of-the-house to-do today is grocery shopping. I’ve had social outings the last 3 days, which were all fun and good, but I just need a day home.

happy to have met up with my booth partner for the upcoming craft show, and am feeling a lot less stressed about it. Yay!

so excited to have been approved on NetGalley for ARC’s of Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Assassin and Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King – can’t wait to read them!

needing to weed the flower beds and water the plants.

getting stinkbombed by Sienna laying under my desk.

feeling like we accomplished a lot the past few days. Ian took off work from last Thursday to today, and we’ve been doing some major house cleaning and closet organizing. I still have to sort out my office and office closet, but pretty much everywhere else in the house is done.

relieved to have gotten a good night’s sleep last night, after the insomnia attack of Monday night.

How is your hump day going?


Tuesday Treasure Trove  July 22, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.


Things of Note:

Not too talky this morning. Insomnia hit hard last night; I need all the coffee, please. Still working through shop photos, still doing house-cleany things with Ian since he has a week off. Our major projects have all been closet-related. Our open spaces are kept pretty neat, but apparently are various closets are where we let our inner packrats loose. No more! There have been two full-car loads to Goodwill with clothing, books, random furniture type things, etc. And there was organizing on top of the de-cluttering. We have bins and designated shelves and shoe cubbies now. Shoe cubbies, you guys. Like, an actual separate piece of wooden furniture specifically for shoes. This is what being an adult feels like, amiright?

What have you been up to? What’s made you feel like an adult lately?
 


New Prints  July 21, 2014

Well, I finally got around to photographing all of the new prints I’ve been churning out for the upcoming craft show. And listings have started to go up in the shop. Here’s a peek at a few:

yellow flower

bubble seahorse

red dragonfly

white ivy

mint birds

More will be coming as I work my way through the photos. I took something around 1100 photos (for over 100 prints total), so it’s a bit of job, to say the least. I’ve got another big batch I want to print, so there will probably be another big photo shoot, though maybe not until after the show. But today I have a meeting with my booth partner for the show, and it’s officially less than a month away, so things are going to get down the wire fast!

What creative pursuits did you get up to this weekend?