Monthly Reviews

End of the month update: August

what I mostly wore in august

I cannot deny that I have actually been wearing shorts for 90% of the Summer and only haven’t drawn them yet because I knew I’d have to draw some ankles. Also I don’t really wear my shorts outside much unless I’m on the bike. But I bought some new shorts this month so here you go. August was good, especially all the wholesale orders, getting to paddle in the sea and MY BOOTS. Hopefully I will get to draw myself wearing my boots next month – imagine!

Reading, Watching, Playing

The discovery of Tahiti: From the journal of George Robertson, Master of H.M.S. Dolphin
I mostly bought this because it’s so pretty and has lovely woodblock prints inside. I do like old expedition books too though. This is exactly what the title says and sadly doesn’t even cover the journey to and from Tahiti in any detail, concentrating on the daily observations of a senior officer as they arrive at Tahiti. Once the initial threats and scuffles with the natives are over, it becomes fairly repetitive but the language and daily incidents provide plenty of entertainment. I particularly enjoyed his 18th Century style bitchy girlfights with the First Lieutenant, “Old Growl” who does indeed sound like an ass. At the very least, it has given me the words bumbard, calabash and musquetoon, all of which I think would make excellent modern day insults. And a working knowledge of the worth of nails when it comes to barter.

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
As expected, once I got myself interested in Pride and Prejudice, I’ve been zipping my way through the others in my pile. Sense and Sensibility is not entirely dissimilar but is nicely understated and subtly humorous with the sort of romantic misunderstanding type plot that doesn’t quite tip over into farce. Short and sweet, in fact.

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
Since I’ve been reading a lot of books about islands lately (is it LOST withdrawal?), I figured now was a good time to read this. I’ve seen parts of the film so I knew generally what it was about but always better to read the book. However, I found it very dull and disappointing. The whole excitement of shipwreck tales is the ingenuity and exploration offset by loneliness and disasters. The Robinsons are certainly ingenious but arrive equipped with literally everything required to start a new civilisation, from food and animals to farming equipment, windows and a handy build-your-own fancy sailboat. Which makes things a bit less exciting. You also soon come to despise Mr Robinson who is something of a walking encyclopedia and just happens to know exactly what to do with any animal, plant and mineral they discover, not to mention his extensive knowledge of farming, engineering, hunting and medicine. This might not be quite so annoying if he and his many sons didn’t also kill everything in sight, generally so they can find out what it is and then eat it (and this island seemingly has every animal in existence – penguins, ostriches, bears, jackals, sharks, whales, rabbits, monkeys and even an elephant! However, it doesn’t have a single human, though I imagine they would relish the opportunity to shoot some of those too). By the last third of the book even the narrator is saying how repetitive it would be to continue describing their adventures and eventually they wrap things up with a rescue of sorts. At which point I was entirely happy to see the back of the lot of them.

Sherlock
How can I put this? I totally loved everything about this. Like immediate addition to my favourite TV shows ever. I am often one of those people who moans about modernising of classic novels and language but now I see what I am actually moaning about is unnecessary modernising of classic novels for the sake of it, badly. When done properly by people who actually love the originals and are possibly geniuses, then it’s brilliant. Sherlock Holmes is not my favourite Conan Doyle but I have read a lot of the short stories, and there seemed to be just enough nods to the books to make fans happy while basically changing whatever else they liked. The amazing part is that everything works so brilliantly in a modern day setting. As much as I love Doctor Who, Sherlock was basically the TV show I wish Doctor Who was – the same sense of gleeful madness but with less silliness and monsters. Also as an overly-gullible TV dullard, I also liked how it made me feel clever. The moment in the first episode when I realised I was supposed to be thinking Mycroft was Moriarty was a high point in a lifetime of TV watching. I would pretty much like this to be on every weekend, forever.

Covert Affairs
This is basically a fluffy Alias with a perkier, blonder, more naive female lead, less disguises, less ass-kicking, no hilarious Rambaldi nonsense and less awesome characters. Though it does have a hot blind womanising techie with a futuristic braille keyboard. No, really. Last week he even ‘went rogue’ and fought some bad guys on a train. Bad guys with guns, and eyes that can see. I hope they don’t get really bored and have him been faking his blindness for evil means in about S4. Anyway it’s entertaining likeable spy fun with ridiculously overblown musical cues and I like it a lot. Possibly because I miss Alias a lot (even if was totally stupid from S3 onwards).

iPhone app of the month

LoveFilm (Free!)
As often mentioned, a large proportion of my TV and film watching is done via LoveFilm. I very rarely go to the cinema ‘cos it’s so expensive, and instead take mental note of any interesting sounding films and add them to my rental list for when they eventually come out on DVD. The problem of course, comes with my terrible memory and I forget them all. Now I can add them straight to my rental list and also use it as a quick research tool instead of Amazon (since looking up stuff on Amazon is one step too close to buying stuff on Amazon). The only rubbish part is you can’t seem to re-order your list unless you remove a film and re-add it. Hopefully they’ll add more features soon.

Resolution update

– Ordering my cards in bulk is a big step in lots of my resolutions
– I have something being made right now that was on my big secret list

Websites I’ve been enjoying

– For some reason I’m feeling pleased that I have nothing new to add here. In fact I removed quite a lot of stuff from my RSS.

Things to look forward to in September

– Using my new prescription goggles to go swimming on my own for the first time in my entire life. I am too blind to find my way around without my glasses. Freedom! (Actually, I have just done this – it was amazing).
– Some new products arriving and hopefully being awesome
– my rainboots arriving? Please?
– New season of Fringe – hurray!
– The days near the end when I realise it’s only a month til I go to Japan – eeeek!

New Product Round-up

Sew Cute Rainboots!
Improved Jammie Dodger, Happy Orange and Ice Cream Bears cards

Online sales

Items sold on Shopify: 16
Items sold on Etsy: 20
Items sold on Folksy: 16
Items sold on Dawanda: 10

Bit quieter this month, but then I was on holiday for a week.

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