Check-In: April 6

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What I’m working on: So my birthday was Saturday! I’ve been playing with birthday presents all week. Because I’m kind of a weirdo, I guess — one of the things I asked for and got from my parents was a Victorian-era penmanship course. I’ve been wanting to improve my handwriting for a while, so I’m going old-school with it. Maybe this will lead to some hand-lettered design stuff.

What I’m reading: I’ve finished from Hell and I’m still working on Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. My brother and  sister-in-law gave me volumes 2-3 of Chi’s Sweet Home, so I’ve got those locked and loaded for when I’m done with true crime and desperately need a palate cleanser.

What I’m watching: My birthday gift to myself was an iTunes season pass to RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9. So far, I think my favorite is Nina Bo’Nina Brown. I was intrigued by her promo look, but it turns out I love her personality. I’m also looking forward to seeing more from Sasha Velour.

What I’m playing: Man, it’s been a video game kinda week for sure. My husband bought me Rimworld, which I’m a little addicted to. It’s a space colony sim type game that scratches that resource management itch in a big way. There’s a lot of fun weirdness, too.

Persona 5 came out, too! Finally! We’ve been waiting for this one for… years? I’ve only gotten to play a couple hours so far, but I can say its really stylish and has enough depth that I got confused in Tokyo’s subway system. I’m not as immediately drawn in like I was with Persona 4, but that was my first Persona game AND it had a murder mystery. Judging from reviews, however, I’m going to be much happier with 5’s gameplay. I have high hopes for the story, too.

I also got some Steam money that might go to Crusader Kings II expansion packs and an Amazon gift card that might be used on Let’s Dance 2017… because I need something to counteract all this unproductive sitting I’ll be doing.

Check-In: September 29

What I’m working on: I haven’t got much going on this week. I’ve been working on a pretty big custom order, so that’s nice… but not exciting. I did make a new banner image for my shop and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

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Yay! I need to start working on more note cards and invitations next.

What I’m reading: I got Where’d You Go, Bernadette from the library… but I haven’t even opened it. I’ve gotten so bad at reading lately. I’m the wooooorst.

What I’m watching: Here’s a problem I rarely have — I’ve got too much to watch. Season 6 of Portlandia is out on Netflix, and I’ve almost finished it. I’ve got 150 more episodes of The Chris Gethard Show to catch up on. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 2 is happening right now and it’s everything. I’ve also for some reason decided it’s high time I watched Twin Peaks.

And now Lyn has me hooked on Eat Your Sushi (formerly Eat Your Kimchi). It’s a YouTube channel presented by Simon and Martina, a Canadian  couple who moved to Japan this year after several years in Korea. I have to admit, I was a little bit put off at first because the initial impression is that they’re a little overly otaku-y. But, they really grew on me and I kind of feel bad for the knee-jerk reaction. (Especially considering what a weeb I used to be.) And I’m kind of supremely jealous that they’re living in Japan and being internet stars.

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Sometimes they find a lady walking a rabbit on the street in Tokyo and react very much like I would (i.e. freaking the eff out).

What really hooked me though is the look into their every day life in Japan. I love travel shows and I love food shows and I love Anthony Bourdain waxing poetic about global issues while eating pho. But what I find endlessly fascinating is how normal people live in other countries. Beyond the famous sights and cultural treasures… I want to know what houses and schools and grocery stores look like in the rest of the world. Watching a video blog by a couple of ex-pats is good for that. They’re figuring out how to live in a new country, not just visit it. Anyway, if you’re at all interested in every day life in Japan (or what to see all the crazy snacks they find over there), I recommend it.

Where I’m going: I’ll be MIA next week, because the husband person and I are going to Chattanooga, Tennessee at the end of next week. Hopefully we’ll get to experience a little bit of real life fall. Something we don’t get much of here in the subtropical Deep South. I’ll be back the week after with pictures!

Check-In: September 8

What I’ve been working on: Guys! My shop’s been open for a year now! Here’s some (digital) cupcakes to celebrate!

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I’m not exactly an e-commerce powerhouse, but I’m happy with the growth I’ve seen in the past year. There was (and still are) a lot of lessons to be learned, but I’m optimistic. I started this endeavor as an experiment and went into it fully prepared to fail. But… I didn’t! Not yet, anyway. Hooray!

I’m planning on doing a whole separate post on what I’ve learned in my first year, so stay tuned for that. Until then, happy birthday!

What I’m listening to: I just started listening to You Must Remember This, a podcast about “the secret and/or forgotten history of Hollywood’s first century.” I listened to the series on Joan Crawford (which is still ongoing) and really enjoyed it* and right now I’m listening to her series on “Charles Manson’s Hollywood.” (Which, sitting here alone in the house waiting for my husband to get home from work, I realize now might be a bad idea.) Nightmares notwithstanding, it’s also a very good story. They’re all thoroughly researched and contain SO much detail. I love so much detail.

*Despite the narrator’s tendency to read Crawford’s quotes with a not-great Transatlantic accent that was accurately described by a friend as sounding like Janet Snakehole. You’ve been warned.

What I’m watching: I just finished up the new season of Difficult People. Such a fun show. I’m also devoting a significant amount of my time to RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2, of course. This whole thing where the top two have to choose one of the bottom three to eliminate is rough. All (most. shade.) of the queens on this season are SO GOOD. How can you choose a bottom three much less send someone home? I can’t even. I’m sure my favorite, Katya is going to go far. I’m worried about my other favorite, Phi Phi O’Hara, because they seem determined to give her the villain edit again. (Look. I love Alyssa Edwards. You love Alyssa Edwards. But Phi Phi ain’t wrong when she says that if you’re trapped in a room with her, a little Alyssa goes a looooong way.)

Check-In: August 25

What I’m working on: Finally! Finally I can make this big announcement that I’ve been keeping a secret for absolutely no reason! For the past few weeks, I’ve actually been working on a whole new category of offerings for my store:

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Printable invitations and note cards! Yay! I’ve got three listings up now, and I’ll be posting some thank you note cards very soon. I’m starting off slow to kind of refine processes and test the market, but I’m feeling pretty optimistic.

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I’m also excited to get to do a different kind of design. I’m still very much exploring pattern design, but this kind of thing is actually more what I’m used to. So we’ll see where I wander to in both areas.

What I’m reading: I just started Cailin Moran’s How to Build a Girl. I’m only a couple chapters in, but it’s a delightful change of pace from the absolute downer that was Valley of the Dolls. I enjoy that the main character has the same daydreams I do about being friends with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.

What I’m watching: I’m actually typing this entry up on Wednesday night and scheduling it to go live on Thursday, because this time tomorrow I’ll be watching the premier of RuPauls’ Drag Race All Stars Season 2!! and I will be completely unreachable. Just leave a message and I’ll get back to you after Untucked.

I’m 100% #teamkatya but also #stilldelightedifalaskawins and #justhappytoseemoreofalyssaandphihi.

 

Check-In: May 1

This is what.. two days late? I really don’t have an excuse. I’m kind of pulling myself in too many directions at once right now. Here’s hoping for a little focus next week.

What I’m working on: I had a little fun with some old vintage floral engravings earlier in the week.

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And right now I’m working on some more vintage, turn-of-the-last-century flowers:

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I’m hoping these will turn into something a little more complex. I’ve been cranking out a lot of basics lately, which is good for building inventory in my shop, but I do need to flex a little more creative muscle.

I’ve been having a whole lot of ideas lately, but I’ve put very little into action. I’ll start something, then go work on something else at the same time… and then drop them both for something completely unnecessary. And in the end I’ve got very little to show for myself.

I’ve got a few ideas for regular features on this blog, so I think I’ll focus on getting at least one of those put into the design phase next week at the very least.

What I’m reading: I’m currently reading Spark Joy, Essential X-Men, Vol. 4, and I’m still working on The Bees. So, you can kind of see where I’m stretching myself a little thin.

What I’m watching: Still watching so much Drag Race. Two more seasons and I’ll be all caught up and then maybe I can catch up on all the OTHER TV I’ve been missing. The husband person, a friend of ours and I went to see Keanu on Friday. It was a fun time. There were kittens.

Check-In: April 21

What I’m working on – I’ve been trying to make myself sketch more. I’m getting stuck WAY in a rut and need to loosen up a little (a lot).

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Look closely for insightful notes.

I also did another pack of solid colors. I discovered it’s kind of hard to come up with a palette of 24 colors without relying on just a rainbow spread. But I like how it came out.

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What I’m watching – Y’all, I’m so far down the Drag Race rabbit hole, I haven’t even started the second season of Kimmy Schmidt. I’m on Season 6 of Drag Race, though. (Favorites? Darienne Lake, Courtney Act and Bianca Del Rio. Obvs.)

What I’m listening to – My husband is playing some Slick Rick on the other side of the office.

Check-In: April 7

This is gonna be a pitiful check-in. We’ve been super busy. The husband person’s been working a lot — so much so I can’t remember the last time we had dinner together at home. We’ve also had other things keeping us out of the house when we’re not working. Then on top of that, I use my recent birthday as an excuse to let myself be lazy and eat whatever I want. (And let’s not get into the state of my house.) Anyway… enough of that.

What I’m working on: I’m actually working on a pretty big commissioned illustration. Nothing too polished to show off yet, but if it turns out well it’ll be pretty exciting.

I’m also going to try and get a couple more listings up in the shop by the end of the weekend. (That’s another thing I’ve slacked on lately. Can’t let that momentum die down.)

What I’m watching: So, I’ve been watching a whole lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I started with Season 4 (which is the earliest Netflix had, otherwise I would have started at the beginning) and I’m a few episodes into Season 5. I usually haaaaate reality shows. And this one does have a lot of that awful, obviously fake reality show editing — but the people are just so consistently charming and entertaining and creative that it sucked me in.

Thoughts on Season 4: Latrice Royale is my number one forever. I love Sharon Needles’ humor. And while I didn’t like her on the show, I started following Phi Phi O’Hara on social media after I watched the finale… and I kind of love her now.

Thoughts on Season 5: Rolaskatox! Don’t tell, but I think Alaska’s even funnier than Sharon.

What I’m reading: I’m going to be starting The Bees by Laline Paull. Book club starts in a couple minutes, so we’ll be discussing Wicked Temper. Then it’s my turn to pick our next book. I’m going with The Bees because it’s been on my to-read list for ages AND it’s available at my library. I’ll actually have thoughts on it next week.