Double Down  October 9, 2014

The AC Vent

Today, I officially become a two-blog gal. I used to have a blog on my freelance site, but it went dark a while ago because I just didn’t know what to write/how to blog/how to keep up with it. I feel like writing Dragonflight Dreams the last few years has taught me some of that, and I actually have ideas for it now. So I’ve brought The AC Vent back from the dead. You can find it here, if you care to poke around – there’s not much there yet, just some old archives (that have been somewhat de-scarified). The first real new post (i.e. not the welcome post) will land tomorrow.

Let’s see if I can rock the dual blogs like Sarah von Bargen (1 and 2). :)

Have you ever kept up with writing two blogs at once? Any secrets?


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?

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

Rose Gold & Indigo

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

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?