Good luck to squeaky with the recovery!
Up, but weary, and to the office, where we sat all the morning. Before I went to the office there came Bagwell’s wife to me to speak for her husband. I liked the woman very well and stroked her under the chin, but could not find in my heart to offer anything uncivil to her, she being, I believe, a very modest woman. At noon with Mr. Coventry to the African house, and to my Lord Peterborough’s business again, and then to dinner, where, before dinner, we had the best oysters I have seen this year, and I think as good in all respects as ever I eat in my life. I eat a great many. Great, good company at dinner, among others Sir Martin Noell, who told us the dispute between him, as farmer of the Additional Duty, and the East India Company, whether callicos be linnen or no; which he says it is, having been ever esteemed so: they say it is made of cotton woole, and grows upon trees, not like flax or hempe. But it was carried against the Company, though they stand out against the verdict.
Thence home and to the office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed, and had a very pleasing and condescending answer from my poor father to-day in answer to my angry discontentful letter to him the other day, which pleases me mightily.
Dimitry is a 25-year-old photographer based in Limoges, France. Now a full-time freelancer with a very extensive portfolio, he became interested in photography at age 17. “I used my parents’ camera. I didn’t like school at that time and photography was an amazing way for me to communicate.”
Dimitry’s models are artists and athletes of different ages and performance levels. Most contact him and book him for personal shoots for their contact cards, social media, and portfolios. He likes to work closely with his models to build the desired mood and ensure that they feel comfortable with his style. Every session is improvised. He’ll scope out some venues and go there with the model to force them to engage and remain creative. “I always try to make the model interact with the environment to create something really aesthetic.”
Dimitry has always been a creative person. “When I was younger, I liked to create original self-portraits. I was inspired by TV series like The Walking Dead and Dexter, or by other photographers like David Olkarny or Julie de Waroquier.”
His interest in body-arts photography started a few years ago when he met his namesake, a model named Dimitri. “It was the very first session I did with a gymnast and I really liked it! That was the beginning of a beautiful story,” he said. When he’s not shooting in scenic cities like Paris, Montpellier, Bordeaux, or Toulouse, he’s at home doing the post-processing work.
We were drawn to Dimitry’s work because of the beautiful French landscapes he chooses as backdrops for his carefully-composed images and for his ability to perfectly capture the harmony of a body’s movements.
To create these dreamy photographs, Dimitry likes to work in semi-manual mode, using a large aperture to blur the background. “I work only with fixed focal lengths: the 24mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.8.,” he explained.
Follow Dimitry’s Flickr photostream to discover more beautiful images of ballerinas, yogis, and circus artists and to find out about his next photographic project coming up in 2018. Stay tuned!
Flickr Heroes Honorable Mentions:
If you want your photo to be considered for a Flickr Hero feature, submit it to the Flickr Heroes group pool by Monday morning next week!
These days, I’ve been feeling like I’m juggling lots of balls and I feel like I’m dropping just about everything. I’m not, but I am. I can look at the last two months (from the beginning of the year), and I’ve completed two books. That’s big. I’ve been being a mom. I’ve been having dental work and helping my husband through a miserable wisdom teeth extraction complete with dry sockets.
All the same, I’ve let a lot of balls drop. I’m not sure why. Am I disorganized? Taking too much on? Not using my time wisely? Probably all of the above. I know that things crop up and the next thing I know, I’m dropping a ball.
Why am I talking about this? I find it’s one of those things that’s hideously embarrassing to me and also makes me feel incredibly stressed. Like constant balled up painful stomach and a headache. Plus like most everybody else, I worry about money and paying bills. And then there’s the political stuff going on. A lot of that eats me up, but it’s not going away soon.
A lot of people have this sort of stress. I know exercise can help. Meditation. Yoga. I’ve not learned the latter two. I get in some of the first, but ironically, that’s the thing that goes first because it’s not got a deadline of any kind. It’s the least insistent of things. I know I should put it first, but a lot of times I just don’t.
I don’t know a lot about what I’m going to do about it. I used to keep lists of things to-do. That helped me feel less stressed because at least I wouldn’t forget stuff I needed to do. So I need to do that again. Why did I stop? Things got away from me.
I keep telling myself that I just need to get myself caught up and then I can organize. Reading that, it’s kind of nuts, isn’t it? I should probably organize in order to catch up. So I make this post and promise myself that I will make an effort to start getting organized and chip away at the things I need to do and start planning a schedule in order to do that.
I was an honorary cub scout around age 6, because A) my brother was an actual cub scout, B) our mom was troop leader, and C) we didn't have a babysitter. My only clear memory of that time was making salt dough pretzels with the boys, though, which tasted terrible. The pretzels, I mean. I didn't taste the WHOA THIS GOT DIRTY FAST.
Er, my point is, I don't remember cake at any of our troop meetings, but maybe that was for the best:
These are the extra tiny Cub Scouts. From the future.
Dangit, Michael, not again!
This month was the 107th birthday of the Boy Scouts, so naturally:
The only thing missing is U.
Or a bad Scottish accent. ("Ach! Me wee bairns!"*)
[*Sorry, that's from all the Star Trek books I read as a child. Scotty said it all the time, but I have no idea what it means. If it's something dirty, please accept my apologies/knowing looks & elbow jabs.]
And finally, bakers, why don't you give us the 411?
Or, sure, that works.
Thanks to Colleen R., Miranda E., Robert W., & Amy H. for always being prepared... with their phone cameras.
Award-winning writer Marissa Doyle was born to a family of readers deep in the heart of American history. Water also figures into her comfort—in Massachusetts you are always close to the ocean, and she is happiest when she can hear the sound of waves. Perhaps all that history led her to Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in history and archaeology. To this day she still reads nonfiction in her fields whenever she can find a moment.
But her life diverted from archaeology, and the distractions eventually led her down the path to writing fiction. Her inner history geek demanded a young adult series about Regency and Victorian England (Bewitching Season, Betraying Season, and Courtship and Curses, plus an ebook novella Charles Bewitched) as well as adult fiction that reflects her love of fantasy and also academia. (And romance. We can’t forget the romance!)
Now a member of Book View Cafe, Marissa Doyle is releasing her adult novel By Jove, where Latin teacher Theodora Fairchild returns to academia to pursue her doctorate but finds herself still instructing “humanities”—this time to a charming, introverted post-doc who is much more than he seems. His enemies are also much more than they seem…and are happy to use Theo as a weapon to rekindle an ancient rivalry. But Theo is determined to rescue them both before it’s too late.
Because even gods can die—or wish they were dead.
Doyle still lives in Massachusetts with her family and a litter box-trained pet rabbit named Beatrice (rumor has it she is bossy but adorable) and both gardens and quilts whenever she can find the time. She loves collecting antique fashion prints, and says that coffee completes her life. You can find out what she’s up to between books by visiting www.marissadoyle.com, stopping by her teen history blog http://nineteenteen.com, and Friending her on Facebook.
Q: You are best known for your Regency England stories about the magical Leland family, but By Jove is modern and suggests the Greek and Roman Gods have not gone gently into that good night. Is there a connection to the Leland twins’ universe, or is By Jove something totally different?
A: Nope, no connection whatsoever. That happens sometimes. Though I do like to sneakily tie stories together with common elements—John Winthrop University is referred to in a book my agent will shortly be submitting, and the fictional Cape Cod town in Skin Deep, another of my adult books, also appears there.
Q: Do you think your “voice”, the thing that stamps your writing as uniquely yours, changes from book to book, story to story—or can you already see themes that reoccur in your work?
A: I think all writers have core stories or themes they return to over and over again, and one of mine is young women discovering and embracing their strengths and talents and finding their places in the world…which is one reason I write books for a young adult audience, because that theme is quintessentially YA.
Q: So many writers love dipping into the well of the nineteenth century English aristocracy. Why did you choose Regency and Post-Regency England as the place to put the Leland family and their magical teenagers?
A: The Leland Sisters stories came about through a perfect storm of a writing prompt exercise we did at my local RWA chapter and what I happened to be reading at the time. The exercise was to write the beginning of a story with the opening line, “Oh my God, you killed him!” It was a fun way of showing that even when everyone starts at the same place, we all bring our individual voices and experiences to creating a story. So when I sat down to do this exercise, I got a mental image of a girl in a long, 19th century dress standing over the figure of a boy collapsed at her feet. What had happened? She’d been practicing magic, and her little brother had gotten in the way. Now, at the same time, I’d been reading a biography of Queen Victoria and was at her teen years, when she had to deal with her mother’s perfectly horrid advisor who was trying to compel young Vic to demand a regency should she come to the throne before she was 21—and that and the writing exercise clicked to form the basic story of Bewitching Season—what if the horrid advisor had turned to magic to compel Victoria to make him the power behind her throne, and my teen debutante witch who’d accidentally bespelled her little brother was the one to save her?
Q: What have you learned from your own writing? To what concepts, intentional or not, do you think you’ve exposed your readers?
A: I’ve always had it as a sneak goal to subliminally show readers just how fascinating history can be—that it’s not just dates of battles and dull lists, but stories about real people and what they did and how they’re both different and similar to us today. It’s part of why I do as much research as I do—those details can be so sparkly!
Q: Living in Massachusetts, you are surrounded by ghosts of the Colonial Period. Has the weight of local history suggested a story to you yet?
A: Not as much as one would expect, oddly enough. I do have a story based on historical events and set in my town in the mid-seventeenth century that I’d like to write someday, but it hasn’t pushed its way to the head of the line yet. So far I’ve been more influenced by my love of New England’s natural aspects (ocean and forest) in books I’ve written. Go figure.
Q: Where did By Jove begin? Did Theo present herself to you and start telling you her story, or did you follow the plot into an alternate world? Do you always start a book in the same place (a character, a kernel of plot) or does it change with each story?
A: By Jove was born from a segment of a dream—yes, I’m one of those people who has crazy convoluted dreams and writes them down in notebooks that live in my beside table because You Just Never Know. My story ideas come from all sorts of sources, as we’ve already seen in this interview—no two stories I’ve written have been born in quite the same way.
Q: You are a huge fan of house rabbits (and appalled by hutch rabbits.) When will we get a story with either a comfortable house bunny or a magical rabbit familiar? (Bunny pictures welcome!)
A: I would love to write rabbit stories, but I simply don’t have the knack for writing for audiences younger than YA, unfortunately. When my son was in elementary school we co-created a series of adventure stories featuring our first bunny, a French Lop named Simon who had a wonderful, extroverted, outsized personality, and over the years my kids and I have created whole elaborate (and very silly) mythologies for the lagomorphic members of the family, but I don’t know that they’d ever see the light of day.
Q: Can you give us any hints about what you are working on right now? Will we see any more Leland books, or another in the By Jove world?
A: I’ve just finished up revisions for my agent on a YA historical fantasy set on Cape Cod in 1917 with selkies and small town gossip and first love and German spies (and hoping we’ll be going out on submission soon.) And I’m halfway through a sprawling Regency fantasy featuring the Lady Patronesses of Almack’s Assembly Rooms, London’s most exclusive social venue that can best be summarized as “Georgette Heyer meets the Powerpuff Girls.” It’s been almost too much fun to write. I don’t have any specific plans to write more stories set in either the Leland Sisters’ or By Jove’s world, but I don’t have plans not to—if a story idea jumps into my head, I’ll write it.
Q: Why writing to communicate your vision, and not art, drama, etc?
A: Heh—because I can’t sing, draw, paint, or act (well, maybe act a little.) For me, from a very early age, it’s always been words on a page. And while I do a lot of craft-y stuff like quilting and knitting and sewing, writing is what scratches my deepest creative itch.
Q: Do you still read for pleasure? Fiction, non-fiction, both? What are you currently reading?
A: Absolutely—one must refill the well. I read both fiction and non-fiction—the non-fiction can be both for research purposes (I have a scary big research library on 19th century English history and culture that has distorted the wall of my house) and for particular areas that I’m just interested in, like public health and meteorology and space exploration. Right now I’m nearly done with Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle and have the sequel, Mercury Retrograde, on deck…and am also working on The Housekeeper’s Tale: The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House by Tessa Boase
Q: How did you become involved with Book View Café? What is it about the BVC organization that appeals to you?
A: I tend to get slurped into groups because I’m an incorrigible organizer: I’ve held board positions in multiple RWA chapters, was co-president of the Class of 2k8, a debut YA and MG group, co-founded The Enchanted Inkpot blog, am an administrator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s forum…you get the picture. Book View Café strongly appealed to my desire to DO something, be part of something, work with others to foster a vibrant organization that produces compulsively readable, high quality books for readers. I love working with others to produce books—I’ve developed some small degree of skill in doing interior design for print books, so to work together with the author and the cover designer to make a beautiful book is deeply satisfying.
Meanwhile, I have taken up tatting!
So the weird twisty helix-looking part of the beginning of the strand is because I had forgotten that you have to do two half-hitches in opposite directions to get a tatting double stitch. Then the light dawned (I'm slow, okay?) and the straight-cable-looking section is where I figured it out and practiced that for a while. It's hard to see in the photo, but I'm using two different colors of thread (yellow and orange, both colors I hate  so I don't mind using up lots of it making ugly practice tatting, I'm weird) so that I can tell what the working thread is.
 My favorite color is black. Which reminds me, I need to write up The LEGO Batman Movie, which Joe and I saw together.
I was introduced to tatting by lshelby, who generously set me up with basic supplies and some instructions. I struggled with it for a while (to master the double stitch, you have to figure out how to "flip" a loop, which is apparently the big stumbling block when most people try to learn tatting) then set it aside. The kit didn't survive the flood but I remembered how intriguing it was (also, she sent me the most GORGEOUS tatted dragon pendant, which also didn't survive the flood, and I want to make some of my own! she has the pattern online), and it's cheaper than knitting. Tatting thread is, like, basically thread, so it's much cheaper than fancy yarn. (Also I divorced knitting because I can't knit lace to save my soul.)
I use two shuttles to do tatting, although there are other ways. I picked Aerlit shuttles because they seem to be reasonably well thought of and were reasonably priced ; some people like the tiny crochet hooks for unpicking stitches gone wrong, some people hate them for catching in thread. I don't have a strong opinion yet. There's also a kind of tatting you do with needles, but I don't know how that works at all.
Also, the shuttle doesn't come with a cat sticker on it, I just stuck it on for decoration and to help me tell the two shuttles apart (because you have a working thread and a non-working thread). The smart thing to have done would have been to buy shuttles in two different colors but I didn't think of that. Whoops!
 You can even make your own tatting shuttles out of cardboard or plastic. But at a few bucks apiece I figured I'd rather have the kind with a bobbin. There are super fancy shuttles carved of the bone of unicorns or whatever the hell, but I'm not making that kind of investment in a new hobby I don't even know yet if I'll stick with it.
ETA: Tatted Treasures has a lot of great tutorial videos and posts on shuttle tatting, if you're interested.
ETA #2: Tatting the double stitch would have made so much more sense so much earlier if people had explained it to me in terms of KNOT THEORY.
ETA #3: I sent this pic to my mom, who reports that when she was in school, she had a friend who made tatted lace, but that at school they learned crochet and knitting, not so much tatting. She also reports having heard of or seen books on tatting in bookstores, although again, not as popular as knitting or crochet. And that she's seen Japanese shuttles that have pointy ends but not the crochet looks like on my Aerlit shuttles.
Up, and after dressing myself handsomely for riding, I out, and by water to Westminster, to Mr. Creed’s chamber, and after drinking some chocolate, and playing on the vyall, Mr. Mallard being there, upon Creed’s new vyall, which proves, methinks, much worse than mine, and, looking upon his new contrivance of a desk and shelves for books, we set out from an inne hard by, whither Mr. Coventry’s horse was carried, and round about the bush through bad ways to Highgate. Good discourse in the way had between us, and it being all day a most admirable pleasant day, we, upon consultation, had stopped at the Cocke, a mile on this side Barnett, being unwilling to put ourselves to the charge or doubtful acceptance of any provision against my Lord’s coming by, and there got something and dined, setting a boy to look towards Barnett Hill, against their coming; and after two or three false alarms, they come, and we met the coach very gracefully, and I had a kind receipt from both Lord and Lady as I could wish, and some kind discourse, and then rode by the coach a good way, and so fell to discoursing with several of the people, there being a dozen attending the coach, and another for the mayds and parson. Among others talking with W. Howe, he told me how my Lord in his hearing the other day did largely tell my Lord Peterborough and Povy (who went with them down to Hinchinbrooke) how and when he discarded Creed, and took me to him, and that since the Duke of York has several times thanked him for me, which did not a little please me, and anon I desiring Mr. Howe to tell me upon [what] occasion this discourse happened, he desired me to say nothing of it now, for he would not have my Lord to take notice of our being together, but he would tell me another time, which put me into some trouble to think what he meant by it. But when we came to my Lord’s house, I went in; and whether it was my Lord’s neglect, or general indifference, I know not, but he made me no kind of compliment there; and, methinks, the young ladies look somewhat highly upon me. So I went away without bidding adieu to anybody, being desirous not to be thought too servile. But I do hope and believe that my Lord do yet value me as high as ever, though he dare not admit me to the freedom he once did, and that my Lady is still the same woman. So rode home and there found my uncle Wight. ‘Tis an odd thing as my wife tells me his caressing her and coming on purpose to give her visits, but I do not trouble myself for him at all, but hope the best and very good effects of it. He being gone I eat something and my wife. I told all this day’s passages, and she to give me very good and rational advice how to behave myself to my Lord and his family, by slighting every body but my Lord and Lady, and not to seem to have the least society or fellowship with them, which I am resolved to do, knowing that it is my high carriage that must do me good there, and to appear in good clothes and garbe.
Mardi Gras is this week, peeps, and you know what THAT means:
Time to make Fat Tuesday live up to its nommilicious name!
Although I found so many gorgeous masquerade cakes this week I've decided today will be less Mardi Gras and more carnival masks in general. That way I can show off ALL the colors.
Speaking of which, let's kick off with a classic:
(By Petit Cali Cupcakes)
Ahhh. Gold leaf, black lace, and red roses were meant to be together.
Or for something kicky:
Love the topsy turvy design here; doesn't it look like it's dancing?
You guys, these textures are everything:
What are those on the bottom? Glass drops? And the berry sprigs are perfection.
Here's one inspired by fire and ice:
I like the reversed colors and patterns on the mask.
And another stunner:
(By Kelvin Chua of Vinism Sugar Art)
Look at those metallics! Ah! And the butterfly mask matches the one on the cake board!
A sweet pastel number:
(By The Frostery)
So many cute elements - see the striped handle for the top mask? And I'm digging the random confetti bits sprinkled around.
If you're looking for wedding inspiration, I've got you covered right here:
(By Ana Paz Cakes)
And this next one is - dare I say it? - peachy keen:
Those are all handcrafted sugar flowers - can you believe it? So gorgeous, I want one to wear!
And finally, I don't know how they did this next one, but I think I'm in love:
(By Clairella Cakes)
Look at that oh-so-subtle leafy texture, and those colors! Ah! Reminds me of old-fashioned marble paper, or a soft watercolor painting. And while I'm collecting cake things to wear, I'd like that top mask, pretty please. :D
Hope you all enjoyed! Have a sweet Sunday, and a merry Mardi Gras!