Tuesday Treasure Trove  April 15, 2014

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


Things of Note:

Hey all! I’m back. I pretty much slept all weekend to recover from my (younger) sister’s visit last weekend. We did a LOT. Probably some pictures coming tomorrow. Um, what else is new? I took a cooking class last night, which was supposed to be condiments and sauces, but really just ended up all condiments, which is not that useful to me since I really only use ketchup. But hey, I apparently have good recipes for homemade mustard and mayonnaise and cilantro vinaigrette now (triple ick). I’d really hoped to learn more actual sauces (marinara, marsala, alfredo, that kind of thing) from scratch, but oh well. There were some good general kitchen/using herbs tips at least. Speaking of cooking, the boy has yet to announce what recipe we’ll be tackling for Easter this year, so that could be interesting. I need to get back into trying new recipes in general; I do like it, and it’s been too long since I’ve posted a fun recipe here on the blog.

What are you up to this week?
 

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April Etsy Round-Ups  April 14, 2014

Time for pretty things from Etsy! I have two lovely collections again for you this month. And no, they are not Easter-themed (I’m so sick of seeing bunnies and carrots and eggs everywhere). One is all about April showers (which hopefully bring May flowers) – fitting as it is currently storming outside. The other is about the name of April, which comes from the Roman verb aperire, “to open,” in reference to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to open. Take a look:


What does April make you think of?


Book Review: Written in Red  April 10, 2014

Written in Red

by Anne Bishop

Written in Red I’ve been a long-time fan of Anne Bishop (loved her Ephemera series, and her Black Jewels series is also great). But somehow I missed that book one of her new series came out last year, and only just got around to reading it. It’s adult urban fantasy, set in an alternate reality of Earth where The Others (fair folk, werebeasts, elementals, vampires, etc.) not only exist, but are the dominant society on the planet. Humankind maintains an ever tenuous truce with them, in exchange for (basically) being allowed to live and form human communities. But humans, living separately from The Others, occasionally forget just how easily they can be snuffed out, and disasters ensue.

The first book in this series focuses on Meg, who is not your average human. She’s a blood prophet, who experiences visions of the future when her skin is cut. She’s been kept ignorant and captive (by other humans) in a compound full of blood prophets, until piecing together information from visions gives her a way to escape. Stumbling through a winter storm, she finds herself at the Courtyard, a community of Others inside a human city. And they just happen to be looking for a human liaison. So starts Meg’s new life, learning to live among the dangerous Others while hiding from her former owners. As bounty hunters close in and the Others start to look on Meg as one of their own, a potentially major clash between the two sides brews.

I loved this book. It’s a bit slow to get going, and Meg’s blood prophet gift doesn’t really come into play until later. And while there was no romance, there’s an obvious potential for that brewing for book two. But the sheer otherness of the Others and the tension behind every interaction just drives the story along. There’s intrigue and friendship and danger and humor. I’ve long admired Bishop for her unique world-building and characters with depth, and this did not disappoint. I’m on the waitlist for book two from the library, and plan on diving into it. I would definitely recommend.

I give it 4/5 stars.

Written in Red


Design Files: Twisted Thread & Hook  April 9, 2014

A little while ago, I put out a call on Twitter for a free sidebar ad design. My motives were two-fold: 1) I needed a break from the project I was working on, and 2) I wanted to publicize the fact that ad design is one of the design services that I offer, and could use these freebies as examples of my work.

Magda of Twisted Thread & Hook answered the call. She runs a shop specializing in wonderful handcrafted rugs and mats with a nautical twist. Based on her current branding (heavy on the blue) and product line-up, these are the ads I came up with for her:

TTAH-ads

I focused on the texture of her products, but kept the blue look and font styling. I also used the doily element from shop banner as a larger decorative element. I did a whole coordinating set, rather than just one size, so that the new ads would be versatile.

Magda said she loved them, and I guess it was true because then she hired me to design some new business cards for her! :) The current cards she was using were just too small to read, and she wanted to give them a refresh overall. See what I did:

TTAH-cards

You’ll notice that one of those front designs matches the new ads we had done. Her reaction? “These look great! I cannot decide which one I like better!” Luckily, she didn’t have to, as Moo printing lets you have multiple different designs on one side of the card. ;) And now she has a fun refresh for her existing brand! She was a pleasure to work with, as well. Don’t forget to go visit her shop!

If you’re looking for a little spring cleaning for your brand, I can help you out, too. Check out the design services that I offer, and drop me a line.

What do you think of Magda’s refresh? When’s the last time you gave your business a facelift?


Tuesday Treasure Trove  April 8, 2014

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


Things of Note:

Did you see the announcement yesterday? That’s definitely my biggest news of note. :-D

Other than that, my sister got into town yesterday afternoon. We had Torchy’s Tacos and hung out. Today is for hiking with the pup, dim sum, home-brews with a friend, and then some downtown bar-hopping action. The last is at her request, I assure you. ;)

What are you up to this week?
 


Announcing Dragonflight Digital  April 7, 2014

Dragonflight Digital

This is something I’ve had on the brain for awhile, and have hinted at here on the blog, but it’s finally happened! I’ve opened a 2nd shop, specializing in design services and digital goods. It’s called Dragonflight Digital, and will eventually have WordPress and Blogger templates, Etsy shop banners, digital prints, listings for pre-made mix-and-match options, and completely custom design services options (logos, blog headers, sidebar ads, etc.). I just opened less than 2 weeks ago, so there’s not a whole lot there yet. But I’ve already had two sales, which was kind of amazing to me.

Here’s some examples of some of the things on offer so far:

FLpaper-pack1-main

3-ad-set

blogger-tweaks

And don’t worry, the Dragonflight Dreams shop is staying open. I still love my screenprinting. I just wanted to do digital design-centric stuff, and a separate venue seemed like the best way to go about it.

So that’s my big news! I hope you’ll stop by and check it out, maybe give it a heart. ;)

Any advice for digital products that would be useful to you? Have you ever had two shops open at once?