Irritable Vowels and Owls

Irritable Vowels and Owls

I have realised that I’m only happy when I’m making things. Not the kind of things you make at work. Those don’t count because they have to follow so many rules. I’m talking about the kind of things that make you grin. Naughty t-shirts. Paintings for friends. Pewter projects for the kitchen. Fun things.

And this weekend fun things came knocking at my door. A friend posted an image on my facebook page this weekend with a request for a t-shirt. Now that’s what I call a good friend. Instead of laying about wondering which project to work on I had a new project: Irritable Owl Syndrome. What fun! Also, it had swear words and I’m still 10 years old when it comes to swear words *snigger*.

Strangely enough fun things get made in record time too. The Irritable Owl was saying “Fuck Off” to the world 3 hours later at which point Kevin pointed out that I didn’t have to stop there. I could make ALL the irritable things. ALL OF THEM. So now the world also has an Irritable Vowel Syndrome t-shirt. You’re welcome.

Next weekend will probably bring more foul mouthed humour and irritable things. Can you handle the excitement?

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New Shop, New Designs

New Shop, New Designs

I started this year with a bang. Or so I thought. By the time New Year rolled around I had 5 new designs and plenty of new ideas for the shop. Unfortunately my Zazzle shop doesn’t seem to have the same sense of urgency. A week after I added all my new products nothing has happened. I’ve tried to be patient. I even sent a nicely worded email to their support team. But I have ants in my pants and want my designs up yesterday. So what does any frustrated designer do when faced with shop failure? Start a new shop of course. I haven’t moved all the old designs across yet but some of the new designs are now available on RedBubble.

The range I’m most excited about is the Sty Wars range – a piggy parody on an old favourite. Go have a look and leave a comment if you like the work.

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The Subtleties of Change

The Subtleties of Change

The funny thing about change is that most of us immediately think about all the big things – weddings, funerals, divorce, drama. What most of us don’t realise is that change is in everything. It’s so subtle that one day we look up and wonder when all this change snuck up on us. Those new wrinkles appeared overnight and so did the slightly jaded outlook that comes with aging. Okay, maybe that’s just me. I’ll admit to being a bit cynical. But not when it comes to change. More

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A small update (to the tattoo)

A small update (to the tattoo)

I got my first tattoo when I was 19. A friend drove me through to Jo’burg to one of the few reputable tattoo parlours that existed in Gauteng back then. It hurt much more than I expected but I was thrilled by the result. I showed it off whenever the occasion permitted. I had been planning that tattoo since I was 7. Reaching goals is a good thing, right?

Fast forward through large amounts of living to the present day (add a music montage if you like) and my little tattoo is looking more like something you would find on a sailor. Blurred lines hint at what used to be a pretty awesome tattoo (at least, I thought so). I told my mom that one has to repaint one’s house every once and while. And boy, my paint job needs maintenance, so tomorrow I am going for a touch-up. I found a tattoo artist that does beautiful work and after facebook stalking his page for more than a year I finally made an appointment.

Tonight is the last night of blurred lines in this house. Tomorrow will hopefully bring some awesome ink. *tries not to bounce too much*

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Storm Dancer | Dark Fantasy Fun

Storm Dancer | Dark Fantasy Fun

I found Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall on Twitter where I have been spending a questionable amount of time lately. The book also came with a warning about the dark nature of the story and the disturbing themes running through it. It’s a sensible thing to do if you don’t know the person you’re recommending a book to but I wish it wasn’t necessary. The warning tinges the reader’s preconceptions and to be honest, I’ve read much more violent and disturbing books without warning and thoroughly enjoyed them too (Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant novels springs to mind).

Now that the warnings are out the way, let me get to the book. The story is set in a desert country reminiscent of Ancient Arabia one finds in Arabic fables. The protagonist, Dahoud, has turned his back on his past and his nature. After an illustrious career as one of the most violent and effective war generals in the Quislaki army he returned to the life of a labourer in the hopes of atoning for his crimes. We first meet him when he is summoned back to the Quislaki capital and ordered back into the fray.

I was drawn into Dahoud’s battle with himself from the start. Driving his desire for violence is a Djinn that takes advantage of his dark side and goads him to ever worse deeds. The Quislaki ruler, Kirral, is possessed by a similar Djinn, but one that has not been curbed by its host. The contrast between the two makes for some great reading. Add to this a feisty, beautiful magician called Merida who is trapped in Quislak by Kirral’s machinations and the scene is set for a great read. Hall’s characters are vivid and many faceted and one can’t help but empathise with all of them and their personal struggles.

Although the main theme of the book centers on violence against women I found the subtler theme of the struggle and acceptance of one’s dark side to be the more intriguing part of the story. Both Merida and Dahoud are unwilling to accept their failings and they are lessened by the limitations they place on themselves. Only with complete acceptance is each able to move forward. There may be a lesson there…

Storm Dancer is a wonderful tale of magic and myth woven into one. I couldn’t put this book down and would recommend it to all lovers of Dark Fantasy. You may want to avoid this if you’re sensitive or on the squeamish side but if that’s the case you should probably steer clear of all Dark Fantasy.

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