Tag Archives: Books

Another State Of The Squelf ๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ๐Ÿฟ๏ธ

Greetings! Well, I’ve certainly not been terribly activeโ€ฆ Art has been slow, and I’ve barely popped up on chats or comments. I figured it was time for an update.

So here’s what’s kept me occupied and/or the state of things:

๐ŸŒˆ My Sites/Books:

The most important factor in my lack of activity. Wix is not always great, and very expensive, and I really like this WP blog. So I tried to move to WordPress.org, then simply upgrading my WordPress.com (where this blog was started) when the transfer of this blog to WP.org became much more bug ridden than I hoped (and I knowโ€ฆ I knowโ€ฆ one shouldn’t pay for WP.com, it’s a ripoff. Don’t give me a hard time, I had my reasons, I also had true expert assistance during the process, and the best they could do could not accomplish things as neatly as I wanted.)

Even when I upgraded my WP.com, the things I wanted to do would still have involved probably a full month of difficult manual work transferring my Wix galleries. I just kept running into issues and things didn’t really look like I wanted.

In the end, I downgraded WP.com to just “no ads” (mainly an issue on mobile) and stayed on Wix but that, too, necessitated work.

You see, unless you’re using dynamic pages, databases, etc, Wix has a 100 page limit. I had a lot of pages. Each of my book sections had its own splash page, a page per chapter, a page per character, an About page, a FAQ, a Chapter Index. For both of these, I significantly consolidated pages using anchors, so now, each book has a single page for characters, a single page for all chapters + index, and the about page is the splash page. Additionally, I had to change the font across many pages, as this, too, was giving errors, though only on mobile. All of this took hours and hours of work.

Why was I concerned about the page limit now? I hear you, I do, I haven’t posted a new chapter in a long while. But we knew, from the start, that I would reach a point in my book where there was a large space between chapters that I would need to fill, and try as I might I could not rush it. A lot of writing has been happening in the sidelines, I’m getting very close to when I’ll need to publish again, and doing it on a site that was constantly warning me of how close I am to the 100 page limit was distressing, so anyway, I fixed that.

I’ve also done adjustments to my Trello: the amount of columns has been significantly reduced. Now there is the Welcome column, the Label Guide, Waiting List, one column for ALL commissions in progress, one column for ANY free art, gifts included, one for Trades and Collaborations, and finally, one for personal art.

In addition, I added a “Book List” to this blog (similar to my anime list, only of books I’m reading) and greatly expanded my blog’s FAQ, as well as added anchor navigation to it. A countdown to the next significant event has also been added to the right sidebar (currently, for commission openings.)

I’ve also created a few new banners for my blog. Most of the year, you will see three variations of my older banner, which will show randomly (and, I will probably add more) with Ricky Parky making different faces. However, for fall/autumn there will be a specific banner (currently displayed) and a Halloween one for all of October. There will also be a Christmas banner from Black Friday to New Year’s. I plan to make Easter/Spring and July 4th banners eventually too.

This is mostly for my own amusement since… no one visits my blog as much as I do. Lol.

๐ŸŒˆ Commissions:

With some delays still, they are being fervently worked on. I currently have a complex YCH for Kiba, a 4 page, 3 character comic for Snow, and the commission for Island, in different degrees of progress (all between 60%-80% completion.)

๐ŸŒˆ Other Life Stuff:

Hmm, okay, what else… I’m awaiting two bunnies, a Charlie Bears one, and a Steiff one.

Stock photo of “Cabbage Rose” by Charlie Bears.

The Charlie Bear bunny I’m waiting for, is Cabbage Rose. I LOVE her name, but as usual I’ll pick one of my own. She will be my first jointed Charlie Bear bunny. Her ears are poseable!

I’m not sure if I will keep the Steiff bunny. I wanted a special plushie for sleeping with, that was soft. So it needs to be cute but not so cute that I worry about ruining it.

Being Steiff, it is overpriced, on par with some of my cheaper Charlie Bears, but being soft, non-jointed, and rather average looking. What I really wanted was the 45cm version of him, but it was a too costly for just a few extra inches, so I went with the 35cm one.

Stock photo of Hoppi by Steiff.

It sounds like it will fit the bill of what I am after, but if it is too cheap-looking, back it will go. It’s coming today, so we will see what we see. If it’s exceedingly adorable but too small, then I’ll send him back and consider the bigger one down the road.

(And if you saw me mentioning purchasing a Steiff bear on Discord, I actually canceled that order in favor of Hoppi here.)

I don’t have names for either bunny yet, which is a bit unusual for me. Hoppi is the bunny’s stock name.

I’m also waiting for more bear sweaters, and a new book, “Firstborn” by Tor Seidler. I’m really looking forward it. I’ve been reading lots, recently having finished “Toby Tyler; Or, Ten Weeks With A Circus” by James Otis, a very touching little book, if obviously dated.

Last night was date night, and as a rare treat we went out to eat. It had been a few months since Christopher and I last went out to eat as a date. It was really nice.

We went to Nami Sushi, and I had the Buddah Tofu and a Thai iced tea. We played LOTS of Tetris on the Switch, before and after dinner. It was a lovely evening.

Tomorrow morning we’re off for Sebastian to visit Christopher’s mom. I’m really looking forward to it. Provided my new Steiff bunny is satisfactory, I expect I’ll bring him along. ๐Ÿฐ

I don’t currently have any more news to share. Snail updates will be in their own post. I wish you all the loveliest of weekends!

Busy Days! ๐Ÿฟ๏ธ ๐Ÿ’ฆ

These past couple of days were at times boring, but extremely fruitful. I first spent basically a full day of adjusting apps, settings, changing my desktop layouts on two computers, removing distractions from them, which included some minor registry fiddling, deleted some files/cleaned stuff up, in particular my desktop, adjusted my internet blocks a little bit more (which had been still on but in a sort of soft-mode; starting tomorrow itโ€™s all on again.) I also spent a while hunting for references for the next LL design. Basically, a big day of prep for the week.

I also, however, got to read a bit: the latest volume of Beastars, and my antique copy of La Condesa De Sรฉgurโ€™s โ€œLos Niรฑos Buenosโ€, a favorite from my childhood (already ancient when I read it as a child!) I found a Spanish copy which certainly brings a lot of good memories.

Today all of that prep paid off. I got my chores done in time, worked on commissions, my books, personal art, even got to read for a while. It was an extremely satisfactory day!

I also went for a walk to get groceries for tomorrowโ€™s dinner and to Hobby Lobby where I scored a few nice goodies:

A little mesh container that will serve as a wonderful emergency snail hold, some colorful wood pieces to decorate my walls, a pecan log (something Iโ€™ve never tried) and a squishy pen in some of my favorite colors. I also got a little hat, unsure of who would wear it. In the end, it was Ramen Noodle who got to keep it:

Iโ€™d say he looks quite dapper, donโ€™t you?

After I decorated a little I wanted to take a photo of my computer area with its new wallpapers because itโ€™s making me so happy:

Everything around me is so colorful and it really fills me with joy.

Anyway thatโ€™s all for now I guess, I know Iโ€™ve been very quiet on Discord and Iโ€™m super sorry. Iโ€™m just working a LOT on art. Since I know some stuff is still delayed. I am grateful to everyone for waiting patiently. ๐Ÿ’•

My Birthday ๐ŸŽ‚

Todayโ€™s my birthday! I finally got to open the box with my birthday bear on it (Wilfy, whom Iโ€™ve named Toby). The outfit I put together for him fit him really well! I think heโ€™s got to be one of the nicest Charlie Bears I have ever seen.

I also got to open the gift from my friend Riley. The second Escargot book! Itโ€™s so cute and I canโ€™t wait to read it with Christopher. These picture books really are a must for any snail lover.

I really wasnโ€™t expecting to get to go anywhere today. Though I was so happy to get my new bear, it was a really sad and also very stressful day. Iโ€™m gonna go into more details about that in a later post.

But our friend Kris very generously offered to take us out both to distract us and to celebrate my birthday. He let me pick anywhere I wanted. That was a huge treat as well as seeing two of my best friends. It really made a bad day end a lot better. It felt a little odd to dress up to go out given the circumstances but I tried to be kind to myself.

I hadnโ€™t put together an outfit in a while and Iโ€™m really happy with this one. I took MoonPie along:

We went to The Tavern. Our table was lovely, next to the fireplace, but the light also made it hard to get a good picture, as you could tell in the photo:

I had a fancy drink:

Sorry the photos are so bad, the light was really poor as I said… anyhow, it was a nice enough evening after such a day. Now Iโ€™m 37. Happy Birthday to me!

Snaily Books ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ“š

Recently Iโ€™ve started to collect snail related books, since there arenโ€™t a whole lot. Some of them have begun to arrive:

Snail Trail by Ruth Brown is definitely a winner. Only a fellow snail lover can really understand the utter love and observation the author has, and put into, snails, in order to create this book. Snails are surprisingly expressive and easy to anthropomorphize, not necessarily visually (though the author did a superb job) but rather, to someone who loves and watches them, itโ€™s impossible to miss all the little ways in which they move their feelers, how their eyes often look in different directions, how they stretch, etc. You can tell the author took careful loving observation of these traits.

I can not recommend this book enough. Look for it on Amazon. Itโ€™s very short but it is lovely.

Iโ€™ve placed it on display in my studio. Thereโ€™s a little snail toy Iโ€™m expecting, which I will display next to it:

Ten Shiny Snails by Ruth Galloway has been another favorite. Inside, there is a lovely page featuring the snails with a squirrel! I was so tickled by this, that I gave it prominent display in my studio as well:

I donโ€™t expect to share all of the books I ordered but thought these were cute enough.

It’s Porch Weather!

Good morning everyone! I’m spending a happy morning on the porch over here, with MoonPie and all our cats:

Watching the blue jays eat corn and the squirrel eat critter mix (theyโ€™re eating from different feeders.) Drinking my favorite coffee, listening to music, reading a good book, working on art… feels good. How are you spending your Sunday?