Tuesday 28 August 2012

An Open Letter to the World

Dear Readers - I'm sorry the blog has been quiet lately, and installments of Kysharok have stopped temporarily. I've been quite preoccupied with my new book plan - I'm almost at the point where I can begin writing the book itself, and I'm really quite excited! Sadly, though, the blog has been suffering the most from this, but I have been working a little more on Peaches and Pebbles.

Dear Literary Agencies - I know you agents are busy, and I know you must receive an awful lotof manuscripts, but 10 weeks to respond seems to be taking a little longer than most. Have you even received my manuscript? I begin to wonder.

Dear Etsy Seller with a Tasty Looking Avatar - Please stop posting in the same forums as me, I'm failing with my diet as it is, and your slutty brownies are killing me. To top it all off, you don't ship to the UK.

Dear August - I hate you, you smell. My shop has made no sales all month because of school holidays, but hopefully September will get back to normal.

Dear World of Warcraft Players - Please stop complaining about MoP, the concept of the Pandarens have been about at least since 2003, when one such creature appeared in the Frozen Throne expansion of Warcraft 3, while Kung Fu Panda was released in 2008. Also, stop taking the game so seriously and go outdoors. No one is forcing you to play.

Dear Neighbours - Put a bell on your bloody cat, it's sneaking up on poor birds and chasing squirrels now, let alone the fact that it's managed to sneak into our house already and try to catch our bird. Some people might get funny about people telling them to keep a bell on their cat, but it's your responsibility, especially in such a wildlife-rich area.

Dear Giveaway Sponsors - Please don't fake giveaways, when individuals "win" it can really be upsetting to find out you had no intention of delivering your "promise" of the item in question, and reflects very badly on your business, and yourself. Be warned that some people have very influential blogs and won't hesitate to call out liars.

Dear Mosquitos - Muhahahaha, I see you really do hate vanilla. I've not been bitten in weeks, and neither has Seeg, who is prone to bites, despite them getting into our room all the time.

Dear Christmas - Do hurry up.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Sponsor Call & Junk

   Well, the free ads are over, but the cost is still quite low. The two ad sizes - medium and large - both come with guest post spots, and the ads run for 30 days. Have a gander at the Sponsor Page to apply.

   On another note, we finally have a new mattress. Our old one came with the bed, and wasn't great quality because we couldn't afford a better one. Springs have been sticking in my ribs for a year and a half now, and it's gotten worse and worse. So finally having a mattress that won't dictate where I can and can't lie is wonderful. I might stop accidentally (yes...accidentally...) stealing Seeg's side in the night now!
   It's a bit higher than the old one, so for me with my little legs it's really very noticable. I stood on it to get the duvet cover straightened and almost fell off of it rather than climb.
   I've never been so productive, too! When we took the mattress off the amount of dust covering all the junk beneath it was ridiculous. I'm also trying to move beyond my hoarding tendancies, and get rid of stuff I have no use for anymore, and today was the best time to start. I might start trying to flog off my hardly touched make up on you all. I've never worn much to begin with, I'm an eyeliner girl - and only eyeliner. I don't bother with foundation, lipgloss, mascara or any of that. My sister is my complete opposite, so while I watched her apply her make up the other day, sure I might have been judging to begin with, but she's very chavvy, so she was properly shovelling it on anyway. It did not look good, and I tried hard to keep that opinion from my face.
   I still buy the occasional eyeshadow, the last was from etsy, but otherwise I never really touch the stuff. Nail polish, too. I have loads of it, but never wear it because I've never liked how it looks on short nails, but once my nails get long enough, after applying the polish, my nails start to splinter and flake. So I leave them be.

   So yeah, if anyone is interested in not quite second hand make up, keep your eyes open here. I need to get rid of it, it's cluttering up my shelves. When I'm done, all I'll have left is a pencil and liquid eyeliner. And a mirror.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

A Wonderful Realisation.

   Well, I've not been doing too well on Etsy lately. My views have been tanking, and while my sales are inconsistant, I can generally expect to make on every 9 days. But I've not made one for three weeks.
   I've made lots of new products, even rephotographed some of the older ones, and I've changed about tags and titles too. I'll be honest that I don't actually know how to advertise my shop, the best I can do is renew items occasionally, showcase new pieces here, and occasionally tweet a discount code, but that's about all I can think to do.

   It's been making me a bit miserable, to be honest, especially since my new items didn't bring many new views in. I was talking to Seeg last night and saying "I don't know what's happened, I listed lots of new things today, but got next to no views from them, and I'm not sure how to promote my shop anyway, and it's only going to get worse because it's nearly Aug--" then it hit me right in the face.

   It is August. It's been August for 3 weeks. With the school holidays/back to school, sales on luxury items tend to tank, on and off Etsy. If you're selling back to school items or stationery, you'd probably see an influx of sales in this period, but otherwise, no one is in a rush to buy new jewellery right now.

   If you have an Etsy/Storenvy/any store at all, you might want to take what remains of this month to work on your SEO - your titles, your tags, descriptions - rephotograph your items, stock up on everything, and work out a schedule in case you're one of the lucky ones who get a massive burst of sales over the holiday period and can't possibly keep up with it all. I will be attempting to do the same.

Saturday 18 August 2012

New Prizes for 'Destroy This Journal' - CuteTapes.com

   Washi tape is very big right now. I love the stuff, personally! It's a material I use a lot whether it's paper craft, packaging or just generally trying to bling something up, so I'm really pleased that 3 rolls are now another prize on the list! CuteTape.com, a great website just full of delicious papery goodness, has donated 3 rolls of 15mm wide, 15m long tapes for the winner of the 'Destroy This Journal' competition! I'd love to win that, to be honest! I'm a simple person, so a golden journal and some nice new washi tape would do me very well!

   Follow their facebook for news of sales and giveaways - I certainly am!

♦In the event that one of the tapes is unavailable,
the winner will be entitled to choose a replacement.

Friday 17 August 2012

Kysharok - Part 11

   "I have little doubt, personally, that this whole situation is swimming in demonic magic," Sancturist Arthalun continued, folding his arms across his chest. "Merrith is leading the investigation into what has happened here, which was why I brought her in here to hear what you had to say, and now I'm more certain than ever."
   Varai's dark eyebrows drew together tightly as he stared into the depths of the lead sancturist's eyes. There was indeed a certainty there, along with a burning urge for knowledge. He wanted to take a step back, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the grave aura surrounding the older man, but forced himself to stand his ground. "What do you mean?"
  "There have been rumours. Vicious rumours, every other man will tell you, that involve the head of our entire order, as Salori. The rumours suggest that High Acten Alleria - the unquestioned leader of our magical society, our Queen - has had a dark aura about her in the past months. She's always been troubled ever since the tragedy six years ago, but now it seems to have deepened.
   "The Salori working closely with her who are privy to knowledge of such magic had began noticing it about two months ago, but they had also said that they were not experts, and it could have just as easily been someone else in their vicinity, and that their aura had rubbed off on her.  Either way, from their reports, it's clear that whatever demonic magic is surrounding her, it's much further along than it should be for just two months.
   "We still can't say anything for certain, but just the fact that you have witnessed the High Acten do something as terrible as this is enough to investigate. If she herself isn't responsible for her actions - and knowing her, I expect that to be the case - then someone else near her has a hold of her senses, which is even more alarming."
   "What are we going to do?" Varai asked, folding his arms as the woman, Merrith, rose to her feet and walked behind him.
   Arthalun spread his hands, palm upwards. "I'm not entirely sure. I've suspected foul magic for a long while, but we've never had enough information to even really create plans for hypothetical situations..." he shook his head, "but I don't think anyone truly suspected the High Acten of anything directly."
   Varai felt contact on his back, and turned abruptly, startled. Merrith was stood behind him, and pushed him by his shoulder back to his previous position. "Did that possessed one do this?" She asked, slightly alarmed.
   Varai recalled the scratches on his back that had been inflicted not that long ago, and found that they were in fact painless. He frowned. "Yes...I'd forgotten..."
   "Well, you got of lucky, then. If it was close enough to do that you could have been dead in seconds if they'd had a firmer hold."
   His eyes widened in fear. "Even from behind?"
   She nodded and walked back around in front of him. "It's close enough to the heart. If he'd managed to get a good enough shot he could have sucked your soul clean out. Does it hurt?"
   He shook his head.
   Merrith frowned. "That's odd. But perhaps you just have a high tolerance for pain. You were a Velinil, weren't you? You are Varai Kural?"
   He nodded. "I am. Perhaps that's it..."
   "Were?" Arthalun asked. "What happened?"
   "An accident," he replied, turning to look at the Sancturist. "I lost a lot of my men because of some bad decisions, so I decided it might be best to change profession."
   Arthalun's eyes narrowed slightly, but he didn't say anything for a while. He seemed to study him for a moment instead, and Varai could see that he wasn't making judgements so much as deciding the truth behind his words.
   He nodded gently and blinked. "I understand. Well, Mister Kural, I think I have a task for you. Time is of the essence, and while we may not have an established plan, we need someone to go out and do something about the matter. No one who reports to us is strong enough to handle themselves should they need to, so having someone of your background investigate the High Acten's residence would be very helpful."
   Varai bowed his head. "I'd be glad to."


Wednesday 15 August 2012


   Well, I'll apologise. There's been a lack of any real posts lately from me, nothing deep and nothing too interesting. There's lots of new prizes for the competition, but no entries yet, which is making me a bit miserable since I'm doing all I can to spread the word, and my biggest fear is embarrassment that I'll have gotten other people involved to both co-host and donate prizes, only for no one to enter at all. Still, it's only been 2 weeks, but I have to say, I'm already feeling a little hopeless about it, and not sure what to do now.

   I've been busy otherwise, working on a plan for a new book. I finally came up with another good and more original idea, so while I wait to hear back about my trilogy, I'm putting the second book of the three on hold while I plan something new. I'm planning a single stand-alone book now, so that at least I won't need to worry about any three-book-deal business standing in my way. I'm coming along well with the villain and their plot, and now I'm turning attention to other key characters. I'm kind of excited by it, but at the same time I still have the fact that my trilogy is as yet unfinished hanging over my head which is a little distracting from time to time.

   I finally came up with some new jewellery for Peaches and Pebbles, but because it's entirely white, I've had a hard time photographing and post-processing it. I had the same trouble with my antlers and now with these, but I'll just have to jump into Etsy Success and ask about a bit - unless anyone here has any suggestions? I had a great time watching Star Wars/Bleach movies while making these ^^

   My monster shop is coming along slowly, but it is definitely happening. I've been sewing them in steps to try to cut down on the time it seems to take, but if I keep going at the rate I am, I can probably get them all done in a few weeks as opposed to a few months, which is a nice thought. If my head is in gear I might be able to open a month sooner!

   Also, the new World of Warcraft expansion comes out in a month or so, and I've not plaayed for months. I'm looking forward to going back, it'll be nice to have something more colourful to do while my mum doesn't need my help while I look after her. A lot of people are complaining about the Panda people, they say it's a rip off of Kung-Fu Panda - but Pandarens were in Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne in 2003 while Kung Fu Panda came out 2008. No one ripped anyone off. I'll give the haters that it does seem like a silly idea, but I also think too many people take the game too seriously. They forget it's a game, that it's supposed to be fun, not a second life or something.

   I've also not been feeling well lately, though. I'm having stomach pains, my legs have been giving out on me before I even reach 15 minutes of exercise, I've got lots of headaches, and I feel like I've gained weight, but Seeg says that that is in my imagination. I don't know. I avoid the mirror as much as I can to be completely honest, so I can only really go by tape measures, looking downwards, and poking.

   This feels like a complainy post and I'm in no mood to complain at you lovely people, so I'll cut it off here. Hope everyone is well! Let me know how you are - bloggers love comments, and I do read them all ♥

Tuesday 14 August 2012

New Prizes for 'Destroy This Journal' - Camera Coats

   I love camera coats. I own one myself, and it's just awesome. It seriously gives your camera that little bit extra! So I'm very excited to tell you that Emily of Camera Coats has very kindly donated a $20 Camera Coats giftcard! That shears off a fair bit of the price, but it's definitely worth the full price either way! They're durable, so cute, individual designs aren't available constantly, which means you'll be only one of a handful of people with that design, and she even has waterproof ones! I have my eye on one in particular so when I go to London in May next year I'll be fine against the rain - it's England, rain is guaranteed. I suppose we should have told the Olympic spectators that before they boarded their planes!

   The prizes are really piling up now! It only takes a few days of fun and lazy work to destroy a journal, so it's easy to enter! See the competition page for details on how to do so!

Saturday 11 August 2012

Beginning to Panic...

   Yes, here comes another post about my agency hunt, with nothing new to really tell. I'm very concerned. It was about 2 months ago today (just about 9 weeks ago) that I sent my first material manuscript (printed and sent via post rather than email) out to a promising agency, following a request after a preliminary letter.
   I obviously understand, of course, that it can take a very long time to hear back, because agencies receive lots of manuscripts every day, but can only take on about 2 new clients a year, or something similar (the more clients the agents have, the less work and time they can give to each individual, so they try to keep their lists small). That said, on average, it can take about 7 weeks to hear back from agencies after sending your work in to them. I was hoping that within that time I'd have heard from them, but 9 weeks have passed now, and I'm just a tad worried.

   The dimensions of the package I sent them was on the border of the maximum dimensions for a large letter. I took it to the post office to have it checked, but because I intended to wrap it in brown paper to make it look more parcel-like than packet-like, I hadn't sealed it up. To ensure weight wouldn't be a problem, I added a small catalogue into the package when I took it to have the postage sorted (don't worry, I did remove that before sending it), and I also had to stamp the extra envelope inside so it could be sent back to me once they'd decided whether they did or didn't want it.
   I did all that, then when I came home, I stamped the self addressed envelope, put it inside, and wrapped the whole thing.

    Now, bubble wrap envelopes (I chose for protection - waterproof and tearing) have those flat bits around the edges, I taped them against the envelope itself in hopes of reducing the length and width slightly, then I wrapped it up. The weight didn't change - in fact it probably lessened slightly - but the thickness did after I tied string around it. I measured it, and it should still have been fine.
   Now, if the postage isn't quite enough, then instead of it being delivered to the recipient, they receive a card asking them to pay the rest of the shipping, and a £1 handling fee - I doubt an agency would pay it, to be honest. They're not stingey, but it's not their responsibility to cover postage, especially not for people who aren't even their clients.

   My concern is this: enough time has passed for them to have received it (in fact, if they have, they could be reading it right this moment and I'll feel like a muppet in a few days' time), read it, and responded, I'd think - but enough time has also passed for a request for postage to have expired. Once this happens, the package is returned to its sender. I wrote my address on the back of the envelope it all went in - but I don't remember if I wrote it on the back of the wrapped package.
   If postage wasn't enough, then I may never see it again, and the past 9 weeks have been spent waiting for nothing to happen.

   I sent them an email today, attaching the picture of the package (thank goodness for being a blogger!) and asked if they recognised it. I'm hoping, since it was a small agency, and my package doesn't look too ordinary, they should hopefully recognise it. Hopefully I'll hear back to that email in a few days.
   In the mean time, I'm going to make sure to add stamped, addressed postcards to the packages so that I'll know when it's been received/opened to save me this hassle and worry. I read that it was a good idea somewhere a while ago but it never occurred to me at the time. I suppose I can use it as an opportunity to show more of my personality by the cards I choose, and from what I've read, your personality is almost as important as your writing - you have to be sellable, as well as your work, I think.

   I really hope I'm worrying over nothing, but at least if they don't recognise the package, I can safely assume they won't be receiving it, and send it all again, with a postcard.
   Sorry to blather on about the same old stuff, but I've been worrying an awful lot about it lately.

No Kysharok this week, I've been very busy working
on the monster plush shop and didn't have time to write
an installment. I certainly will next week, though!

New Prizes for 'Destroy This Journal' - LASTsarahann

   Sarah Ann from LASTsarahann has kindly donated one of her cute little cards to the 'Destroy This Journal' competition prize list! Her designs are so simple but I find them so minimal that they're enough. Any more would surely spoil it. Her designs feature both illustrations, and 3D work - my favourite is the sleepy bed "I miss you" ^^ They're wonderful cards - and I'm also rather partial to her scrapbook pins!

   Great cards for many occasions, and her illustrations are so cute! I love this little shop, and the little lady behind it is just fabulous. Definitely a great shop for cards for occasions or just because! ♥

Monday 6 August 2012

New Prizes for Destroy This Journal - Emsawhatsy

   We've got lots of new prizes lined up for 'Destroy This Journal' Competition! I'll introduce each new prize every week (first come first served), so to kick things off this week, I'll introduce you to Emsawhatsy, who has kindly decided to donate some of her handmade polymer earrings.

   She's even donating a 30% off coupon as a participational prize! Her shop is full of unique and gorgeous earring designs, all made by hand, of course, and a few paintings and calligraphy cards - I love calligraphy, and briefly had a go myself once. The only one I've done turned out quite well, but for some reason I'm just not confident enough to try it again.

   I feel I should also let you all know that we don't expect you to fill every single page of the book you choose to destroy. That would probably take quite a long time. By all means, go ahead if you wish, but you could do the bare minimum of 6 or 7 pages, the front cover, and leave it at that. This info has been added to the competition page under "Important Info".

Meet the Sponsors

   Meet my lovely sponsors for the month of August! This is the last month of free ads - so if you want to get an ad space in for next month for free you'd best do it quickly! There are changes coming to sponsor spaces starting from...well, now, so if you wanna know what's what you best check out the updated sponsor page! It's for the benefit of everyone, really - no one will be chased up to do guest posts or giveaways, anyone is entitled to do one regardless of ad size, which also means that I'm more likely to get sponsor content on my blog with less trouble. If no one wants to do one then that's fine, but if they do then they just have to drop me a line. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

My name is Patricia and I blog over at Red Writing Hood.  My life entails, at least at the moment, of me going to EMT school, and painting, writing my first novel, and spending a lot of time traveling! You'll get to see all that on the blog.  I am also a huge fan of homeopathy and red hair, which might worm their way into my posts sometimes.  Though I'm a gamer and a nerd and very socially awkward, I LOVE socializing on blogs so don't be shy when it comes to talking to me.


Hey ya'll!  I'm Sam and I blog over at Reddy or Knot.  I am twenty three, newly married, and loving life. I am obsessed with delicious food and making my favorites healthy.  I believe in making the most of everyday and taking pictures to remember it all.  You might have seen me on Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids but you are now welcome to check out my real life!

Hey, y'all! I'm Jessie from Young Georgia Love! I'm young, in love, and full of wonder about the world. My blog looks a lot into my personal life: my relationship with my boyfriend, recipes I'm making, and basically finding my way to happiness. There is a large focus on loving yourself and making your life as fulfilling as possible. I hope you check me out!

Friday 3 August 2012

Kysharok - Part 10

   "Where are the others? The ones who are still sleeping?"
   "They're in another room," one of the other sancturists replied, looking up from his work. "We want to keep them separate incase they decide to feed off of them."
   "Feed?" He looked back down through the glass window to the 'walking corpses' in the room below. 'Well what else would they do with the souls they manage to tear away?' He thought to himself, but as he watched them, he found himself wondering back to when the young man had first attacked him. One hand had been on his shoulder, but the other had been awfully close to his chest, hadn't it? He lifted his hand to his heart and felt it skip a beat in panic. No, going by what he had already been told, if he had managed to suck out his soul he'd have done it immediately and he'd have well and truly been dead by that point.
   He stepped away from the window and searched the room for the Sanctuary leader who had brought him there. Spotting him at the other side, he approached and lowered his voice. As he reached him, the sancturist he'd been speaking to walked away to see to his work. "I know what happened here."
   Arthalun frowned at him. "What do you mean?"
   "To these people."
   "You know what ails them?" He asked, his voice sounding younger and hopeful.
   "No, not exactly, but I know what happened here that day."
   He glanced about him, searching for someone, and as he caught sight of a young woman, he beckoned her over. "Are you free to speak of it now?" He asked as she approached.
   "I'd rather not do it here," he replied, looking around at the other fifteen or so people in the room at that moment. As busy as they were, no doubt some would listen in, and he wasn't sure it was a good idea that everyone here what he had to say - not all at once, at any rate.
   Arthalun nodded and lead the three of them out of the room, down the hall and into another, much smaller and empty of people.
   As the door closed behind them, Varai didn't really know where to start. Did he explain why he was in the Sanctuary in the first place? Did he jump right in with who he thought he saw behind it all and risk them not listening to another word he had to say? Or did he leave that detail until last? He'd have smiled to himself if the situation weren't so grave. He'd resigned from his post as Velinil, regiment leader, only seven years before, and already seemed to have lost his ability to compose verbal reports - but, at the same time, when had his reports ever had the possibility of being considered too outlandish to be true?
   He made his decision and started from the beginning: "I was heading to the Sanctuary for meditation, but before I reached the gates, I heard screaming," he began, looking to both of them in turn. "I hurried along, and found there to already be several bodies lying on the ground in the courtyard. They were still, but I didn't devote the time to check whether they were alive or not. I assumed them to be dead, and attempted to cause a distraction so that those who were not already on the ground could escape. I think about ten managed to get away, perhaps less."
   "But who was it you were distracting?" Arthalun asked as he and the woman who had accompanied them had taken a seat in some comfortably upholstered chairs.
   He hesitated. "Alleria."
   The name he spoke seemed to linger in the air for a moment, and neither people before him reacted for what felt like an eternity. Their faces only changed to a frown when it seemed to hit the surface.
   "High Acten Alleria?" The woman said surprisingly calmy, as though she had been certain that she was mistaken.
   "The very same," Varai answered firmly.
   The woman and Arthalun glanced at one another, but their expressions barely shifted. The next thing Varai knew, he felt a strong magical force move through him and expand out around them, and the Sancturist was moving towards where he stood. His face was grave, as was the woman's.
   "I knew I was right to bring Merrith here with me," he said, indicating the healer, then he turned his full attention to Varai, and his eyes darkened.


Thursday 2 August 2012

Homemade Sugar Lumps DIY Tutorial

   I'm not really sure why this came to me. I don't drink tea as much any more, and I didn't always add sugar even then. And when I did it wasn't in lump-form. But, I suppose one gets curious! I did mention back at Christmas that if something is made in a factory, it can also be made at home. Some things will require heavy machinery so sometimes it is best to use a factory instead, but a lot of the time it can be make in your kitchen or living room.

   This is another simple tutorial, much like my washi tape holder. It requires very little, and takes little time, but it can take a few days to set - but, it's not like you have to do anything to it while it does, is it?
   All you need is some sugar, water, and a mold. I stupidly bought one a few days ago for this tutorial before remembering I had two perfectly good ones in the cupboard. They came from my favourite box of chocolates, and they've been sat in the cupboard for a couple of years now, I think, just waiting for some kind of usage. So I took these out and cracked on.
   You can add food colouring of even flavouring to these for something extra special - but be aware that the more things like this you add, the less water you need to include.

But how do you go about it?

1. Measure out about 1/4 cup of sugar (or however much you want, really) and put it in a bowl. The finer the sugar the more detailed molds you can use. I used standard granulated sugar.

2. Add about half a tablespoon of cold water (warm water might be more likely to make the sugar dissolve) and mix it together. The sugar should not be wet, or it'll dissolve, but it needs to be damp. If you think you've added too much water, just add more sugar!

Optional Colour and Flavouring - if you're adding colouring or flavouring, then be sure not to add too much. Reduce the amount of water you add - once again, if you add too much just add more sugar. If you want bold colours, add more colouring and a little less water, if you want light colours, only add a drop or two of colouring. If you make it too dark by mistake just add more sugar. If it seems too dry then add a sprinkle more water.
   If you're adding flavouring, do remember that the purpose of adding sugar is to sweeten it. If you add flavouring, don't make it too strong or overpowering. Lor Ann Oils might be a bad idea because of just how potent they can be - not to mention that they're quite thick so one drop of Lor Ann oils is about double a drop of, say, standard vanilla essence.

3. Press the sugar into the molds. Fill them until you are satisfied. If you want to take note of how many spoonfuls of sugar helps the med--sorry, no, how many spoonfuls of sugar are in each lump then just count it out as you go. If they're flavoured lumps I'd suggest perhaps making them a little smaller. My sugar lumps are probably about 2 and a half spoons, so probably about 2 small lumps, maybe 1 and a half. Which is about right for me, I'd say.

4. Leave the molds to sit overnight at room temperature. Using a sturdy plastic mold can help you determine when they are done. The tops exposed to the air will set first, and after a single night they still might not be done. Mine took about 2 nights, I think. When I tried to take them out the first time, the surfaces were solid, but the bottoms - the shaped parts - were still soft. I could see through the clear mold that the sugar was a lighter colour and moved about as I tried to pop them out. In this case leave them overnight again.
   Just in case, only pop one out at a time. They won't fall out too easily, so tipping it upside down shouldn't cause them all to fall. If the one you take out is still soft, leave the rest. If it isn't, the rest should be fine.

Store them in an airtight container and they'll last a year or so. Brilliant, eh? Perfect for a nice spring or summer tea party, and you can change the colours to match! Perhaps great sugar lumps for bridal showers and weddings, too! Maybe even as favours! ♥ Pack it with some nice fruit tea and you're all set ^^


Wednesday 1 August 2012

Destroy This Journal Competition - Live!

   Blackberries, iPads, iPhones, raspberries and iPickles are everywhere. Most places I look
there's someone flicking the air across the screen of their miniaturised computer with
a blank, zombified look on their face.

   When was the last time you saw anyone using a pen and paper? Even schools - the place I learnt to write - are implimenting laptops for kids to work on nowadays. I understand completely that these things might be considered "safer" for storing work on, or "smarter" since you can store a lot of info in one place and use lots of different programs and applications, but using an argument about having to keep "up to date" with today's technology is rubbish. If notebooks were outdated, would they still exist?

   So I have a proposition for you: go get a notebook. A pretty, hardback journal, with roses and polka dots all over it, with a wonderful, unbroken spine and crisp new pages. It's a wonderful feeling. Take that lovely notebook, open it up (sniff the pages) and write something - anything; a secret, a joke, a stressful issue - and maybe do it again and again. Perhaps write something you might tweet instead. Treat it like your phone, perhaps - but, wait! It isn't your phone, is it? It's paper; sweet, blank, beautiful paper. You could tear that piece out in front of you right now, fold it into some clever origami buffalo or something. You could glue it back in on another page. You could grab some fun felt tip pens and doodle all over another page. You could get stickers and stick them all over the front, washi tape and embossing powders - anything!

   But what else could it take? A hole drilled through it? It would function just fine afterwards, afterall. Half-drop it in a tin of paint? Drop it in the sink? Let your 2 year old nephew near it? Even let your dog chew it up a little bit. But what else could it take? What else, what more could it take that an iPhone can't?

   Creative destruction is something that goes out of the window as you grow up. As a youngster, you may well have played in mud, coloured in your dolls' hair, or attempted to make a toy fly by tying a back to its arms and throwing it out of the window. But as we get older, and we get money, and shiny new technology is placed in front of us, we start to value our possessions - perhaps a little too much in some cases. If you once said "I couldn't live without my iPod" then I mean you - and look after them more than we ever would before.
   This is what I, Kaitlyn and Shane want to encourage you out of with this project. And as a little incentive, there are also prizes to be won for the most creative finished piece.

   You get yourself a nice new notebook or journal (or maybe make it yourself), consider using it for a while first, fill it up with things that are important to you, either in a good way or a bad way, but of some significance - make the book important to you.
   Once you've done that, and it could have just been one secret or worry on each page, start to consider the versatility of the book and its pages, and destroy it creatively. This does not mean set it on fire or tear it to pieces - it doesn't even have to be "destroyed" in a negative way. You can rip pages out and stick them in elsewhere, you could add pages to them, you can saw it in half.
   There is only one catch: it must still be readable. Its contents must still be reachable and readable. You can have painted over them, but as long as the words are still visable, it's fine. You can add some kind of locking mechanism to the book, but as long as it opens, it's fine.

   • This competition will run for two months. Completed entries will be accepted by email (the button at the bottom of the page), there's no need to email me to let me know you plan to take part ^^
   • Entries should consist of pictures of several "destroyed" pages, and the finished book - a minimum of 5 pictures, but 7 to 10 would be excellent. Some pictures could be the process of "destroying" some pages, while others could be pages once they've been altered.
   • Please include your name, email address, and a single webpage you wish to be associated with (your blog, your shop, your facebook, etc)
   • Creativity is key. Throw away all the boundaries, stop thinking and just do. Maybe use some of the materials of your trade, whatever that would be. Be original, but please be sensible.
   • None of the hosts or prize contributors will be held responsible if you do something silly and get yourself hurt. I did tell you to be sensible.
   • The winner will be voted for by the hosts and prize contributors.
   • Prizes, including participational, will be given out once the winner has been announced. All entries must be sent by email, therefore participational prizes will be sent out quickly the same day as the winner is announced. Please note, that some prizes - physical or digital - may take longer to be received than others, depending on the location of the donater. I, for one, am in England, Kaitlyn is in Canada, and Shane is in the US.

BWS tips button

(Still accepting new prizes so watch the competition page for updates)

An item of choice from Peaches and Pebbles
A baby plushie monster*
Free medium ad space on A Blackbird's Epiphany 
A Handmade gold hardback journal from isavirtue
Set of dark teal embossed birdcage envelopes from isavirtue
A tribal necklace from Whispering Sweetly

Unique 50% off code for Peaches and Pebbles
Unique 30% off code for isavirtue
Unique 25% off code for plush monster shop*
15% off code for Whispering Sweetly

*Name TBC; Opens October 1st