Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tweeter Getter—to RT or not to RT


If you haven’t heard if Gary McCaffrey’s TweeterGetter system, you probably will soon. I expect to see his name cluttering my stream shortly. It’s essentially a pyramid scheme, designed to virally boost your followers. Gary promises you up to nearly 20,000 new followers. The kind of numbers you can usually only hope for if you are “theREALsomebodysomebody”, or if you have something really useful to say.

I was at the page, the signup form before me. Only two slots to fill in. So simple. The standard RT is already written out, ready to fly into the Twitterverse and bring me instant popularity. But I just couldn’t do it, because something just didn’t feel right.

So a Googling I went, to learn a little more about what I was contemplating getting into. On one hand, I’m seeing terms like “TwitterProstitution” and the big ugly ‘SPAM’ word, and people asking “How do I reverse this?! The mob is growing, ready march up to the castle and slay the monster.

And then there are those who are reporting the system working, and even bringing them solid followers. The ones who are interesting, thoughtful, and have likewise solid networks. And, the important part, also noting an increase in sales.

As someone who sells online and realizes the immense importance networking myself has on my business, this gave me cause to stop and put down my torch and pitchfork for a moment. My motto lately has been “Any exposure is still exposure”. Anything to get my name and links out there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so chances are, the more people that behold my art, the more likely I am to get a buyer.

So, I’m putting it out there. What are your thoughts? Anyone tried it, with glowing or dubious results? Anyone else having an instinctive ‘ick’ reaction? Or am I just being too cautious, as I tend to do?

I will say this though. Kudos to you, Mr. McCaffrey. The basic truth of the pyramid scheme is that the guy on the tip is always the winner. You are in a very nice spot. I kinda wish I’d thought of it first.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Now with THREE columns!

Diggin' on the third column in the layout?

Here's how to tweak your Blogger layout too!

Thank heavens for people who understand html, so I don't have to!

“Grandma, what big eyes you have!”

SlagsmÄlsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

From Geekologie

I’m a huge fan of fairy tales and folklore. They are windows into the cultural, social, and historical circumstances in which they are rooted.  In subsequent retellings, the modified versions reflect society's changing morals over time.

Red Riding Hood, for example, might have began simply as an illustration of a simple but very real danger.  Medieval Europe was sparsely populated.  Isolated villages were separated by miles of dense forests filled with boars, highwaymen, and of course, large wolves.  In a world where superstition and serfdom kept most people from ever traveling more than 10 miles from their place of birth, a trip through the King’s Forest to Grandma’s house could be treacherous indeed.  Not to mention Grandma might have the Plague.

It wasn’t until Frenchman Charles Perrault (also of Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast fame) published the Tales of Mother Goose collection in 1697 that Red Riding Hood even wore her red cape.  Of course, in Perrault’s time, a red cape was known as a standard uniform for prostitutes.  It is from this point that the now common themes of puberty, sexuality, and the wages of sin in the story stem from.  Today, Little Red Riding Hood is portrayed anywhere from the classic cherub with her picnic basket, to the sassy young woman of Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”, to the bloodthirsty vampire adversary featured in the Grimm table top RPG.  As the world lost it’s innocence, so too did Little Red.

And then you get things like the video above, which are just kinda cool.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

“My cat thinks i rock”

So reads our Rock Band profile motto.  It’s true. 


Harley is fascinated by all things Rock Band.  The peripherals. My husband on the mike. She even has the occasional opinion on the setlists.


We must be rockers, cuz we gots a groupie.

So when I stumbled upon this little gem among gems in GEEKitty’s Etsy Shop, I knew what must be done.



It would seem that Tippy here also harbors a secret dream of rock stardom.


Or maybe its just the catnip talking.


And we always thought she was the sensible cat.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A nice surprise

Rumplestiltzkin spun straw into gold.

I, apparently, spin doodles into tea.

I came home from a long work day and checked my Twitter feed to find this:

52teas @melusian Congrats on winning a free pouch of our Vanilla Bean Chai. You can see your artwork now at

Last night I dashed off some mini art and and sent it in to Zoombweebie’s Tea of the Week label contest. I love chai, and I love drawing Eastern motifs, so I figure why not?

Maybe my art skills kick butt. Or maybe I’m the only person who entered the contest. I dunno. I don’t care. Either way, I’m getting some free linkage/publicity out of the deal. And the knowledge that a little doodle of mine is hiding in tea cupboards all over the country.

And of course, some free tea. Oh baby.

I’m a tea addict, and this guy knows how to make some knockout chai. I have a tiny bit of the limited edition butterscotch chai left that I’m hoarding like gold.

If you like tea or wacky flavored things, check him out.


I don’t win stuff much. It’s nice. I like it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Project Roll Call 2

Another update of what I have going. Some things have moved along further than others.




It’s been a busy week, with helping friends move. (All of our friends seem to be moving right now, but they are all moving closer!)

That, and playing with my new toy. I got a laptop upgrade, which came preinstalled with Windows Vista and only Vista. As a solid disciple of XP, this terrified me greatly. I’d heard the tales of woe from current Vista users, and that sneaky “Mojave” ad campaign didn’t really help. But now that I decided to just bite the bullet (and let my software tech genius of a husband figure things out and translate for me---I love being married to my tech support!), I’m finding Vista to not be so bad. Not convoluted or buggy. Even…likeable.

Could be worse.

I could be forced to own a Crapintosh.

Apple: one of the main reasons I majored in Ceramics instead of Graphic Design (:shakes her fist at a faraway Mac-only computer lab).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Batteries not included.

I was so excited. I’ve got some lovely drawings of otters and tiki gods to share, and some great sewing/salvaging inspirations. Even my cats are feeling photogenic today.

Seizing my camera in a burst of productiveness, I press the power button. The Zoomy Tube in the Front springs into action! Then retreats. I coerce it. Again, only a couple seconds of life. Dead batteries. Again.

Given the frequency of this occurrence, can you guess how many AA batteries I have lying around? That’s right. Big ol’ zero. I’m reluctant to pirate a couple from my husband’s games n’ gadgetry, as I tend to forget to replace them. He doesn’t like little surprises like that. Can’t say I blame him.

I plan to get a new camera soon. One that isn’t an energy vampire. But for now, batteries.

In the meantime, enjoy this San Diego ComicCon vacation classic:


Saturday, March 14, 2009

New ACEOs on Etsy

I'm joining the trend! Brand new ACEOs (3.5 x 2.5 art trading cards) just listed in my Etsy shop . $3 each w/ $1 shipping (no shipping charge for additional cards). All are signed and dated, of course.

If you are looking to start a collection, ACEOs sure beat stamps. Or dust bunnies.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

FEST: 5 FEST Freebies - March

FEST: 5 FEST Freebies - March

First Florida FESTers Freebie F...givaway. (aww so close!)

Here's the deal. You visit, peek into some nifty Etsy shops, and then comment on the post corresponding to your pick of the 5. Browse, comment, and cross your fingers. It's as simple as that.

You're gonna wander around the Internets and comment on things today anyway, might as well win yourself something nice for it. You might even find some new favorites!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Project Roll Call

I'm going to try and make a habit of a once-a-week update on everything I'm working on. I'm one of those people that tends to multi-task and juggle my projects. Sometimes I lose track of what I'm doing, or get 'stuck' on something. Then I rediscover them later and its clear to me how to finish. In school, I always wrote the closing paragraphs to my papers first, and went backwards from there. I finish what I start (usually)--I just take the scenic route.

This is a pattern from Crochet Today for a circles rug. I'm using green, grey, and white (for the small circles) because I like the sea foam/oceany feel of these colors, and think it would look nice in the guestroom. That, and those happen to be the colors of the awful scratchy squeaky yarn I've been trying to get rid of for months. If I empty out my stash box, that just means I get to fill it up with more yarn, right? Right?

What do this jacket and this cat have in common? Both are black, both are furry...and both are much too large. (At least only one of them gives me attitude.) I'm bad about checking my gauges before I start a crochet project, and have tended to stitch looser as the years go by. Combine that with substantial weight loss, and I have a coat that I'm swimming in. All that is left is to add the collar and finish the edges. And figure out either how to either slim it down or who I can give it to without insulting them.
Maybe I should add "Cat Diet" to my project list too.

Rough sketches for my next two surf/mermaid paintings. I got some new pencils lately, and am looking forward to having some new colors in my palette.

More rough sketches--these for my current stained glass commission. Once I get a layout I like, I'll scan it into GlassEye (digital stained glass drawing program) and complete the drawing in detail. Grid paper works well, since measurements and details in stained glass must be exact. The scene will be an Idaho mountain stream. The request for a split level water scene will be a challenge, though.

Good thing I like challenges.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Soup--is good for you!

Those poor defenseless asparagus from yesterday can take solace in the fact that they helped make something beautiful. And green. Greenly beautiful.

Note: This recipe is based off of George Stella's recipe from "Eating Stella Style", with some changes to make it even lower carb and *somewhat* HcG protocol-friendly. Just giving credit where credit is due.

Also note: I'm not much for exact measurements. I cook by gut feeling and the desire to do as few dishes as possible. So the ingredients listed here may be a bit off. But isn't tasting the best part of cooking anyway?

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 tablespoon EV Coconut Oil
about 15 stalks of fresh asparagus, trimmed to 1" pieces
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
red and black peppers to taste (i like it spicy!)
1 1/2 cups Pacific organic vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 oz. swiss cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat (keep watch, coconut oil melts fast!). Add asparagus, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper and saute about 5 minutes.

Add the broth, cook on high until the broth is reduced by about half. (This is a French reduction, and a fantastic way to thicken soups without using a roux).

Toss it all in a blender and liquify. Watch it spin. Remember that slime that Nickolodeon used to dump on everybody? You should have something like that happening in the blender about now.

Return the puree to the pan and, with medium high heat, stir in cream and cheese. When the bubbles say 'blorp', it's done. Makes about 2 servings, or one big bowl, like this one.

(That's green tea in the mug. I like themes.)

This is tasty stuff. My remaining asparagus never had a chance.


Whatever. I still want a Kindle 2.

--Comic by Gabe and Tycho over at Penny Arcade

FAEteam exhibition--Springtime in the Glen

Spring is in the air on Etsy! And some of the talented artists of FAEteam have put together an exhibition to celebrate. New artwork will be circulating in thru April--you may even see yours truly (RadianceArt) make the cut.

Stay tuned for more exhibitions. Next theme will be "May Queens".

Monday, March 9, 2009

Is it my imagination...

...or does my asparagus look afraid?

Like it knows what Fate has in store?

My whole crisper is trembling in terror. Because when the root veggies move out and the greenies move in, it means one thing. Its time to play another round of Dr. Simeon's HCG Protocol Ph2!

It's tough. It's monotonous. But does it ever work! Like 25 pounds (and counting) work. Like resetting my taste buds and being able to eat Splenda without getting sick work.

I won't go into the details here, because you'll think I'm a loon. Seriously. My mom did this, and I was more than skeptical. I thought she was nuts. But as I researched with the intent to talk her out of it, I realized that the science behind this actually makes sense. Both in theory, and now in practice. (She finds this roundabout way of coming around utterly hilarious, btw. I think she just likes being right about everything.) So if you've got 3 weeks worth of willpower and some pounds that won't budge, have a look at the link.

Anyway, back to that asparagus.

You'll enjoy being soup. Think of it as a higher plane of being. Or don't think. Because your a headless bunch of grass.

Note: this is an experimental soup. If it is a success, I'll post the recipe. If not, I'll pretend I don't know what you're talking about.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chapter 1: In Which I Claim this Shore for Queene and Country

"This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it...This Land!"
Wash (as Stegosaurus)--Firefly

As I survey my vast new domain dramatically, metaphoric flag in hand, I try to think of how to set the stage for the multitude of posts which will follow and populate this place I have Captcha'd into existance.

I've tried this before, with that other, short-lived Wordpress blog. (I may borrow from it's carcass for a post or two, though). However, I think I know what went wrong:

A. I limited myself. I've got my sticky, unmanicured hand into alot of things, and I'll take pictures of them all.

B. I tried to be professional about it. Make no mistake, I AM a professional at what I do. And I'm good at it. But I just gotta be me.

C. Go to Lowe's and try to build a house while all the Aprons are on break. That's about how Wordpress feels to the fledgling blogger.

D. The name was dumb.

And so, with these past trangressions in mind, here I sit at the keyboard, with the possibilities of Blog 2.0 spread out in front of me. This will be more than just inbound linkage to my Etsy store and website. This will be an outlet for all my various projects and thoughts. And maybe you'll laugh at my quirky turn of phrase (or just at me, that's ok too). Maybe you'll think some of my pictures are coolness. Or maybe I'll forget to to post for a week, and you'll curse my sudden but inevitable betrayal.

Hopefully not that last one.

I'll try hard. I promise.

Now to do something about this layout. GENERIC!