Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trove Treasures - Celestial Fantasy

Celestial Fantasy

Here are some lovely moon, sun, and star items from the Fantasy Artists of Etsy street team. To find more fantastical pretties, search faeteam on Etsy.

ooak cloth art doll, Aster the star fairy
Wolf Angel - Winged Wolf Art - Fridge Magnet
Petite Siren Tiara
Dragon art, Art Nouveau, fantasy art print, 5x7, limited edition, luna moth - Wishing on a Star
Moon Art Dream Catcher Fantasy Print Dreamcatcher Painting Moon Goddess - Sarah Alden
Ear Cuff Wrap Faerie Moon Goddess
OOAK Mermaid Art Doll Fairy Mermaid Soft Sculpture Cloth Mermaid Doll Blond Purple Violers Fantasy Fairy Mermaid Art Doll
Tea Infuser with Purple Star Charm
Sterling silver Baltic amber necklace, exquisite box clasp, unpolished raw, Sun Moon Summer Solstice pendant - unique silversmithing jewelry
Moon Goddess in Bronze and Red
Bead Embroidered Cabochon Earrings  - Ruby Spikes
SUN Mask,  bright gold with silver leather mask
Sun flames handmade leather mask Mardi Gras masquerade costume Halloween
Original silk painting, fantasy, fairy-tale illustration, fairy scarf, bride, baby, sun, elven fashion, pink scarf, fairy gift idea
The Golden Sun Door
Sun Magick Spell Candle - Success, Illumination, Courage, Power, Creativity, Boosting Energy, Uplifting Moods, Manifest, Enlightenment, Lugh

Powered By Toastie Studio - Etsy Tools

(I know I usually title these posts as "Trove Thursday" but I made the treasury on a Friday and didn't want to wait until Thursday to share it. So "Trove Treasures" it is!)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Art Update - Custom Cartilage Chain and Double Lobe Earrings

Recently I've been making connecting chain earrings for custom orders for my Etsy shop. I love custom orders because it means I can experiment with ideas and colors I wouldn't normally have chosen or thought to make. That's always fun!

First up is a pair of double pierced lobe earrings with gunmetal colored spikes, double silver chains, and purple semi-precious stone beads:
Purple and Silver Double Pierced Spike Earrings

This pair of black and silver bow cartilage chain earrings were a kind of combination of these feather earrings and these bow earrings. That's why I love custom orders- I wouldn't have thought to combine those. :) The one earring connects between two lobe piercings and a cartilage piercing while the other connects between two earlobe piercings:
Triple and Double Pierced Black and Silver Bow Cartilage Chain Earrings
These are a custom order, but I liked the idea so much that I have them in my shop as a regular listing, too.

These are probably my favorite of the bunch, but that's just because I'm partial to greens and browns and leaves. ;) This pair of double pierced earrings connects between two earlobe posts with handmade chains and has dangling glass leaf beads:
Double Lobe Connecting Chain Leaf Earrings - Brown and Green

This arrow cartilage chain earring was another neat idea a customer had- combining the handmade multi-color chain with a thinner silver-plated chain to connect from the earlobe to the upper ear cuff. I wish the picture had come out clearer, though, because it's hard to see the purple and black chain here:
Arrow Cartilage Chain Ear Cuff Earring


This week I realized that I had made a ton of earrings about a year ago that I never got around to photographing and listing. Since I have so many of them, I decided that I'm going to list some of them in batches in my Etsy shop rather than individually. I feel like I'm swimming in earrings most of the time since I'm always coming across ones I'd made and forgotten about. Or possibly I'm making them in my sleep. Considering that I'm an insomniac, probably that one. ;)

So far I listed this series of cartilage chain earrings with colorful spike charms attached. These are fun because the spikes are actually two different sizes at the lobe and the cartilage. The listing is available here with the choice of purple, pink, or red spikes, as well as a choice between pierced cartilage posts or ear cuffs.
Purple and Silver Spike Cartilage Chain Earrings

Pink and Silver Spike Cartilage Chain Earrings

Red and Silver Spike Cartilage Chain Earrings

I have other color spikes, too, so I'll be adding those to my shop later. I'll share more pictures later as I sort through the piles of earrings. Can't I hire a fairy or a brownie or something to do this for me? What helpful creature likes jewelry, anyway? I think a dragon would be too big for my apartment and the cat is absolutely no help. ;)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Photo Challenge: Goal, Pets, Love, Relax, Movie, T-shirt, Exercise

Here's another photo challenge update. :)


(Page 183 of the novel I'm working on. My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of July. Of course I've been saying for months that I'll finish it, so we'll see.)


(My cat again.)


(My grandmother passed away a few months ago and in her memory my sister got these necklaces made for me, herself, and our mom. I have mine hanging above my desk on my inspiration/note board.)

Favorite relaxing activity:

(I always do some yoga to relax before bed, so here's my beat-up old yoga mat.)

Favorite movie:

(The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. [But don't get me started on "The Hobbit" movies. I hate those.])

Favorite t-shirt:

(Speaking of LotR! This isn't technically my favorite, but a friend gave it to me as a birthday present a few weeks ago and I love it.)

Favorite form of exercise:

(Surprise, surprise, it's hoop dancing. I'm amassing quite a collection, although one of these is my husband's. And bonus form of exercise: my walking stick that I take hiking/geocaching.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo Challenge: Love, Black and White, Yellow, Friends, Summer, Fun, Selfie

I'm super behind with the daily photo challenge again- I think I missed most of May and June. I'm not going back to do the ones I missed, so I'll just try to catch more of them from here on out. :)


(I was laying out the plushies I'm working on and my cat flopped her head down on one of them. "I love this one, Mommy!" must have been her thought.)

Black and White:
(Another cat photo. Lesson learned: taking a picture of a black cat with the black and white filter doesn't do much. LOL!)


(My mom gave me two bags of old yarn and my first thought was "that's a heck of a lot of yellow". I got this a week after I finished a plushie that was mostly yellow and was scrounging for yarn since I didn't have much that color- go figure!)


(The photo collage frame my sister made me years ago.)


(My cat loves that we have the windows open now that the weather is nice. What's funny is that after two years of living in this apartment, she just realized she can look out of the window. Turns out that there's such a thing as an "outside".)


(Finally got around to taping the cheap hula hoops I bought months ago at the grocery store. Love the paint splatter duct tape!)


(Of course I get back into this photo challenge just in time for yet another selfie-type theme. Sigh. Here's me today.)

Wow, that was a lot of cat pictures in this post. I swear I didn't do that on purpose and the themes were actually spaced a few weeks apart. ;)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Book Review - The Lineage of Tellus

I'm reviewing the book The Lineage of Tellus - Book 1: Memories & Murder by L J Hasbrouck. I received this from LibraryThing's early reviewer program.

Here's the summary from Amazon:
My name is Ashei Greyhawke and I'm just like you. I go to college, have a job, live with my beloved mother, and have a pet goat named Chewy.

Well, maybe you don't love your mother. I suppose not everyone's life is the same. My best friends Tristane and Marianne don't even have mothers. Now I don't either. I came home last night after a long shift at the tavern and found her dead. She'd been murdered, her heart removed from her body ... but there's no wound to speak of.

Tristane (who's also my ex--it's rather complicated) says it's the work of Sanguinem Magus. Magus is the natural energy that exists in the land I live in, called Tellus. Tris is a mage, but not the kind of mage who would do something like this.

I'm going to find the mage who did.

And then I'm going to kill them.

Memories & Murder, is book 1 of The Lineage of Tellus, a high fantasy series for fans of adventure, dry wit, and broad-minded sexuality.


If you had asked me how I was going to review this book after I had gotten about a third of the way through, I would have told you "maybe two stars". The characters were so flat and seemed to exist to only tell a constant string of sex-related jokes and innuendos. This all but pushed aside the plot and had me rolling my eyes and wishing they'd get back to the actual story. Don't get me wrong, I love humor and lighthearted stuff, but there was just too much of it and it was hurting the story rather than making it more interesting. I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters, but I kept going. I wanted to give this a chance because there was potential with the storyline, if only the characters would stop getting distracted from it.

I'm glad I stuck with it. Somewhere around the halfway mark, the author seemed to find her stride. Probably not coincidentally, this corresponded to the number of innuendos dropping and the characters moving along with the plot. There were still innuendos from that point on, but they were much better placed so that whenever they occurred, I found myself laughing rather than eye rolling. I think that's probably the balance the author has to try to reach: somewhere between humor and plot. Space the jokes out and they have a much greater effect. The characters at this point also started to get more development and became a lot more interesting. They had started out somewhat stereotypical and flat, but they did get some more personality as the story went on. Some of the plot felt a little forced, particularly at the beginning, but overall the story fit together. This book also had something that I thought was unique: illustrations. Spaced throughout the book were pictures of the characters and scenes and these were quite good. It was neat to have a visual of the characters.

I think it's probably a common problem with newish writers that the beginning of the story doesn't end up as polished as the rest; with a few more edits, I think the beginning could have been improved, too. It still read like this was an early book, but I do truly think the author has potential. I'd definitely be willing to read more in the series because I think she's going to keep improving the more she writes.

Overall, I did end up enjoying this book, something I didn't think I'd say at the beginning. I'm glad I did like it because it was a refreshing read; the book I read before this one had been filled to the brim with misogyny and this one was so very much the opposite of that one, which was what I needed. This was lighthearted, which I always appreciate. (I'm not a fan of "dark" fantasy- humor and overall positivity are what I like and this book had both.) I'll always be intrigued by books with "broad sexuality" because I love reading things with an LGBT spin- just please, tone down the frequency of innuendos next time. I'm thinking I'll give this 3 1/2 stars only because the first third of the book didn't pull me in, but I'm confident that I'd give her later books a higher star count. This young author does have potential!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Art Update - Geeky writing inspired charm bracelet

Today I'm sharing pictures of the charm bracelet I put together yesterday. It's very simple compared to the other one I made myself a few years ago, but I kind of like that about this. It makes it lighter on my wrist. This is much geekier than it looks, which I'll explain in a second. First, pictures!

Writing Charm Bracelet
Writing Charm Bracelet
Writing Charm Bracelet

Like that previous bracelet, which was inspired by the novel I was working on at the time, this one is inspired by the '13 NaNoWriMo novel I've been chugging along on for a few months. I rambled more about the meanings of the charms and why I picked them over on my writing blog, but basically the charms represent each of the seven protagonists in the story; I'm currently writing about carnival performers and artists, so the charms are the mime, the fire-eater, the blade-dancer, the painter, the fire-dancer, the fire-breather, and the musician.

The neat thing is that I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make this bracelet because money's been tight this month so I couldn't justify spending money on the charm I was missing. (All the ones I was finding online that would work were really expensive.) Without that charm, the bracelet would have been pointless to make because the painter is the main protagonist and I didn't have anything in my charm stash that would work for him. Then at the craft store this week fate smiled upon me and I stumbled across the artist palette for $1. I snatched that right up!

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