Tuesday Treasure Trove  October 7, 2014

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


Things of Note:

So far it’s been a sloooooooow week. Honestly, I’m in a place where I’m a bit stressed about money, and that always leaves me feeling blah. Which of course is not helpful in generating the necessary energy to be productive and drum up new business, so it’s a vicious cycle. But I’m forcing myself to work through it. Like right now (as I’m writing this Monday afternoon) I could give in and just take a nap I don’t really need, but I made myself a) write this blog post, b) put up a new quote request form on my freelance site, and c) pulled together the info I need for a guest post that’s due in 2 weeks. So things still got done, despite the blah. Now I’m going to reward myself with a brownie.

Do you ever have days like that? What are your tricks for working through the blah?
 

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October Etsy Round-Up  October 6, 2014

Ah, October. Arguably my favorite month, and not just because it contains my birthday (woo!). In Austin especially, the weather is my favorite in October – still warm and sunny, but not sweltering. Colors transition into my favorite palette, and it just feels like the season of getting things done. And of course there’s Halloween. So many reasons to like this month. So today I have two Etsy collections that speak to me of October – one around Halloween (unavoidable) and one with a muted color palette that makes me think of fall.

Modern Halloween

Ceramic Mugs, Bat Mugs, Handmade Poterry, Unique Modern Ceramic Design, Black Ceramics and Pottery
$65.50
Orange Earrings, Drizzled Black Earrings, Artisan Glass Earrings, Lampwork Dangle Earrings
$28.00
Pumpkin planter, pumpkin candle holder, Fall wedding favors, mini succulent planter
$5.00
Orange Red Bird Scarf Orange Scarf with Beige Bird Cute Birdy Pattern on Orange Red Scarf Soft Fall Scarf Christimas Gift
$15.00
Black Cat Shaped Bowl, Ceramic, Pottery - Halloween Ring Dish, Tea Bag Rest, Spoon Rest, Jewelry Dish, Ring Holder - Lauren Sumner Pottery
$14.00
Modern Halloween garland, Orange and black Halloween decorations, Paper Garland, Halloween Wedding Decorations, Halloween Home Decor
$15.00
Gold Masquerade Mask With Dragon Scales Texture -  Metallic Venetian Mask Decorated With Gold Flake Beads
$80.00
Halloween Bracelet - Orange Black Picasso Czech Glass - Charm Bracelet - Bronze - Bohemian Bracelet
$34.00
Black Tree Branches Pillow Cover -Black and White - Modern Home Decor - By Aldari Home - Halloween
$35.00
Halloween Mug Halloween Kitchen Decor Fall Decor Autumn  Hand Painted Ceramic Coffee Mug Minimal Modern
$25.00
Pumpkin Soap - Sensitive skin Soap, Antioxidant Soap ,All Natural Soap, Unscented Soap, Vegan Soap
$6.00
Necklace, white coral, jade, sterling silver, silver 925, silver necklace, modern necklace, gem necklace, white, colorful handmade, original
$34.00
Halloween Wall Decal, Halloween Town, Black, Houses, Full Moon, Modern, Halloween Decoration. Halloween Town Wall Decal
$39.00
Spooky Halloween Ghost Necklace - Modern White Laser Cut Pendant - Boo Gold Chain - Fall Fashion
$26.00
Halloween sign, gold foil halloween decoration, gold Halloween Print, BOO print, Halloween decor, modern halloween,INSTANT DOWNLOAD
$5.00
Set of 3 Trio Ceramic Bottles, Modern Fine Home Decor Orange White Black Vase minimal handmade pottery vases
$130.00

Rose Gold & Indigo

Floral sun print iPhone case
$36.00
Rose Gold Leaf Branch Bobby Pin Set - Leaf Spray Hair Pins - Woodland Collection - Whimsical - Nature - Bridal
$26.00
Meadows original design in dark blue colours - linen/cotton pillow Cover with invisible zipper
$42.00
Rose Gold Nuggets Necklace / Simple Minimalist Pink Gold Jewelry / 24K Rose Gold Vermeil on 14K Rose Gold Filled Chain
$42.00
Rose gold wire tree sculpture
£18.00
Navy and Cream Mokume Shibori Bamboo Tee (extra small)
$77.00
Mason jars, gold vases. Copper decor, rose gold, metallic table decor, wedding centerpiece, New Years eve party decor, gold decor
$26.00
Indigo geometric Wood Necklace - Boho Necklace - Everyday
$30.00
Indigo Wall Art, Beach House Art, Indigo Coral Prints, Indigo Blue, Coastal Wall Art, Nautical Decor, Algae Coral Print, Nautical Bedroom
$19.99
Rose Gold Omega Round Cufflinks Copper Wedding Anniversary Gift for Husband Prestige Gift Omega Watch Cuff Links Copper gifts for Men
£130.00
Midnight Blue Resin Indigo Stacking Ring Gold Flakes Thin Faceted Ring OOAK navy blue glam minimalist jewelry deep blue
€25.00
NEW! Real Rose Dipped in Rose Gold by Living Gold (12" Open Bud)
$99.99
Rose Gold Wedding Ring , Rose Gold Faceted Band , Solid 14K Gold
$340.00
Triangle silk cotton Scarf Indigo -  Hand painted lightweight Silk Cotton blend
$70.00
Rose Gold Dalmation Dot Print Handpainted Porcelain Mug
$15.00
French Butter Dish (indigo + white)
$58.00

What’s your favorite month? What does October make you think of?
 


Book Review: Grave Mercy  October 2, 2014

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

by Robin LaFevers.

Grave Mercy If you’re looking for a blend of historical fiction, fantasy, intrigue and romance through a young adult filter, this book is for you. It’s the story of Ismae, a young girl in late 1400’s Brittany. Horribly scarred from birth, Ismae has always thought she was cursed. But after escaping an abusive arranged marriage, she is taken in by the nuns at the convent of St. Mortain. She discovers that her scars and certain other talents mark her as a daughter of St. Mortain (aka. the old world god of Death), and she is to be trained as Death’s handmaiden (aka. assassin). The convent serves Death, but they also serve the duchy of Brittany, and so Ismae is plunged into a world of political intrigue and danger. And, inescapably, an unexpected romance. Thrust into the unfamiliar world of the high court of Brittany, Ismae has to figure out who to trust and where she really belongs.

This was a good read. I have a bias towards liking female assassins/warriors in medieval settings (girl power!) so I’ve read a lot of such stories, and this one was a bit different. Since the setting is an actual historical period, and not pure fantasy, the story was more grounded and the political stuff more interesting. Ismae is a well-written character, and you see her growth throughout the story. The romantic interest is fun, and the touch of fantasy elements add some unexpected angles. I did figure out the ‘mystery’ well before the characters, so that felt a bit obvious. And I refuse to believe that anyone teaching/learning poisons wouldn’t also teach/learn the antidotes. But overall, I enjoyed this read.

It is part of a series, but it looks like it’s one of those series where each book focuses on a different character. In the case of this series, the other books go on to focus on some fellow trainees from the convent. Ismae’s story was wrapped up nicely, though I’m sure she’ll have cameos in the subsequent books. I will likely pick them up eventually.

I give it 4/5 stars.

Grave Mercy


October Shop Charity  October 1, 2014

NBCF October Shop Charity

In case you missed it at the start of the year, one of the things I’ve decided to do with my shops this year is donate a portion of all sales to charities or causes that I support.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. That combined with the fact that I had a family member who dealt with breast cancer made this month’s shop cause a no brainer. The beneficiary for October is the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer is a big problem for women in the United States: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There’s not currently a full cure, and so early diagnosis is critical to survival. The NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through their network of hospitals, and also advocates for education and support services for those who been diagnosed. If you agree that women’s health is an important issue, you can support the cause by a direct donation on the NBCF site, or by shopping in either of my shops (screen printing or digital) this month.

At the beginning of this month $20 was donated to the September shop charity – thank you!


Tuesday Treasure Trove  September 30, 2014

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


Things of Note:

This weekend was mostly good – a nice mix of socializing, going out, and vegging out. The boy and I have a) started watching Arrow on Netflix, which is entertaining so far, and b) started a replay of Riven, the sequel to Myst. I played it way back in the day and only very vaguely remember details about the puzzles and he’s never played it, so it’s almost like playing it for the first time. We have so far resisted looking up play-throughs or cheats, but the damn boiler house island might defeat us.

This week is looking to be slow on design work stuff, which means it’ll be heavy on shop work stuff and house work stuff. Which is probably good, as the shops have been a bit neglected lately. If you want to get the skivvy on when I have something new for one of the shops (before all the unspecial nonsubscribers ;) ), you should sign up for my shop newsletter. Use that link, or the sign-up box in the sidebar. I will hopefully have some particular good news soon, and the peeps who sign up will be the first to know. *hint hint*

How was your weekend? Read any interesting web articles lately? Any plans for this week?
 


Friday Favorites: True & Co  September 26, 2014

I assume most of my readers are ladies, and as such I’m going to share something with you today that I think we all could use. If you are, oh I don’t know, any kind of normal woman, bra shopping can be a pain in the tush. Particularly figuring out what bra size fits best, and not breaking the bank in the process. Well, there’s a new online service to help with all of that. It’s called True & Co, and it’s specifically for bras. I read about it in this article and decided to try it out. And I have to say it was amazing.

Their motto is “Fit starts with your shape, not your bra size.” First off, before you even get to their product line-up, you take a little quiz. It’s all about how your current bras fit you and any issues you have (straps sliding, gaping in cups, etc.). They’ve compiled a database of all sorts of bra fitting info, and they run your answers through it to pop out the size they think will best fit you. And surprise, it’s often not the size you’ve been wearing. This was the case with me. I’ve never had an official/expert bra fitting, so based on taking my own measurements for those ‘what bra size should you wear’ fit guides, I’d been wearing a 36B. True & Co suggested I try a 36C. OK, I was game to try a new size, but didn’t really want to pay for a bra in an untried size and then have to go through the hassle of returning it and waiting for a refund.

true-co-screen

Options in my new suggested size.

This is where True & Co’s 2nd genius feature comes in. You can add things to your cart like normal and checkout, OR they have a service called Home Try-On. You can pick as many as 5 different bras to try on at home for 5 days, and you only pay for what you keep. No shipping fee, no upfront payments. This is what I opted to do, given that I was switching sizes. I was specifically shopping for a new everyday bra, so I picked a few different basic/nude styles from my personalized suggestions, and requested my home try-on box. It arrived like so:

true-co-box

true-co-open-box

true-co-bras

And, you guys, True & Co was totally right!! The 36C, while not a huge change from the 36B, fits SO MUCH BETTER. I ended up keeping 3 of the bras – an everyday (far right), a racerback (2nd from right), and the grey push-up(far left) – and sent the rest back in the provided envelope with the provided shipping label. Just an easy drop off at the post office.

The best part? Most of their bras are around $40-$60, which is really reasonable for quality bras. Yes, keeping 3 was a bit of a splurge, but they all fit beautifully. I’ve been wearing my new everyday bra almost every day – it doesn’t dig in or have slippy straps and is not uncomfortable in the least, even after a full day wearing it. Life. Changing.

I will definitely be using this service again, probably not too long from now to get a new black bra in my new size. If you’d like to give this revolutionary bra shopping experience a go, too, you can follow this link for $15 your first order (or off of whatever you keep, if you do the home try-on). For full disclosure, I’ll get $15 off my next order, too. That’s a win-win deal, right? Right.

Now if only they’d create a service like this for jeans. *le sigh*

Do you find bra shopping a pain? Have you ever discovered that you’d been wearing the wrong size bra?