The Littlest Watcher

Recently we went to a local botanical garden with some friends, which was glorious. I took a million photos of plants and flowers for references, and maaaay have gotten an idea for a new Watcher painting from them. Finished it a week or so ago, and am in the process of getting it matted and ready for sale as soon as I can get the store up and running.

I also gave in to the inevitable and subscribed to Adobe for Photoshop/Fresco for digital art. The other programs I looked at all, while less expensive, all had interface issues that were going to bug the crap out of me in the long run and also have the small problem that pretty much every print site is geared for Photoshop’s formatting options. Maybe someday, when I get better at digital artwork, I’ll switch to something else, but for now here we are. C’est la vie, I guess.

The Saga Continues…

Who’d have thought that trying to find a CPA to work with, at very least long enough to get my tax registration stuff sorted out, if not longer, would turn into a several month long saga? Utterly ridiculous. After having to prod the local Chamber of Commerce to reply to my email for local recs for attorneys and accountants, and then failing to get any of the attorneys suggested to respond, the accounting firms turned out to have similar issues. So, I contacted the local small business associations, and their recs were no better about responding. Finally turned to FB yesterday, and got a rec from a friend that has potential.

Cross your fingers and light a candle for good luck for me. I’m passed the point of tired of fighting with yet another thing that should have been pretty straightforward but is, instead, taking exponentially longer than it ever should have to take care of.

Someday I’ll get to be able to finish getting the store set up…

Greetings and Salivations!

An drawing in black ink on brown paper, showing several strange little creatures carrying boxes and lamps and things, as if it's Moving Day.

Welcome to my new home on the Internet! Please excuse the mess, as I’m getting the studio moved from it’s old home at The River’s Wayward Daughter and to this, it’s new official one! That’s right, I’m all official and shit now. Soon, all the monsters and oddities will be here and settled in, and there will be a Real Store for my art, and it’s gonna be great.

New Name, Who Dis?

After much ado, the paperwork has been submitted and accepted, and as of roughly noon yesterday, May 24, Tricksters Road Studio is now a Really Real Thing! As mentioned previously, I’ll be moving everything over to the new site in the coming weeks, getting my Ko-Fi and Patreon pages, etc. updated accordingly, and…..

Setting up my own actual shop on my own actual site.

Finally.

So yeah, that’s that. It’s probably going to take a little bit, since I have to do everything manually, but I’m am SO EXCITED to finally be able to get this all set up official-like. Sorry about the chaos, but well, there’s a reason the studio is named what it is. 😀

Seriously, I am ecstatic. This has been something I’ve been trying to make work for so long, and y’all are a huge factor in my finally being able to get here. I genuinely couldn’t pull this off without the support you’ve all given me over the years, and I so very much appreciate it.

Let’s Just Focus On The Flying Toads, Shall We?

It started off as a normal, if deeply irritating, dream of dealing with petty middle-school grade Drama, and ended with me hysterically shaking my limp body, begging it to let me back in and wake up, and then being awake while I woke up, hyperventilating and needing to actually poke myself to make sure I was Really Awake This Time, FFS.

I think I’m just going to work on remembering the bit with the gorgeous flock of grey and burgundy tree toads taking flight, even if I’m somewhat vexed that I wasn’t able to get my phone out in time to take a photo of them…

Today was a Weird Day.

Still thinking I might need to paint the toads, though. They really were gorgeous.

An Assortment Of Inks

I started working on a new Smol Monster/Watcher painting this week, and came to the point in the process where I have to start thinking about whether I’m going to use watercolor pencils or paint, whether I’m going to outline in black or brown ink, or something else. I decided that I wanted to do a nice sepia outline, but realized that many of the details on this piece are particularly small and I don’t have a Micron pen in size 005 (extremely fine point). So, off to the craft store I hied myself to see if I could find one, or if I would have to order one.

I, um, came back with rather more than a single pen.

Oops.

In my defense, the india ink and dip pens were *right there* and I’ve wanted to use them again for a while, and my old ink was drying out and well, then I needed cleaning solution, and something to use for an inkwell until I can get a real one, and then I needed storage for all of this, and….

I can’t be trusted around art supplies.

To Name A Thing Is To Give It Shape And Form

*drafts post*

*things explode*

*deletes and redrafts post*

*things explode again*

*grumbles, deletes posts, and redrafts it again*

*things explode. again.*

sounds of hysterical cackling

Quick, Melissa! Write a quick summary and get it posted before things explode again!

The Reader’s Digest Condensed version: It’s been nearly a year since Dad died and everything went to hell and required a restructure of well, close to half of my life. Also, some of my health issues have gotten worse, requiring some life changes to what I can and can’t do. What does this mean? This means that I’ve reached a point where I’m going to make a few minor adjustments, and one big change.

The big change is that the name and associated web address stuff is going to be changing. Why is that? Well, for a variety of reasons, really. I’m giving up on ever doing formal travel blogging (like I’d originally been planning to back when I settled on this name back in 2019), and that was originally what the name was associated with. Between ongoing pandemic, general life, and some medical reasons, it’s just not something I can pursue anymore and, to be totally honest, given everything in the last few years, it’s not something I even *want* to pursue anymore. I could try and keep wrangling it as is, but the reality is that it’s developed a lot of excess baggage for me, and it’s messing with my head.

Also, because I’m formally shifting focus to general writing (may not be travel blogging anymore, but I’m sure gonna keep writing apocryphal folklore and other little story bits), mixed media and digital art, and other random little artish projects, I’m also working on getting an official business license and registration! Which means, I need to actually name, well, my official business.

I’ve been poking at it for months now (okay, honestly, I’ve been trying on studio names like they were ballgowns for years), and nothing’s really been Just Right. They’ve been okay, but not…

Right.

Until recently, when I woke up in the middle of the night and just *knew*. I tried it out, wrote it on things, talked about it to the cat, and generally just quietly lived with it for a bit, just to make sure. Still pretty damned sure that it’s Right.

Still got some logistic issues to sort out, but in the next few months I’m going to be hitting the Reset Button and rebranding over to the new name and address (to be announced once I’ve got the paperwork in order for it). So yeah.

Wheeeee….

Screaming From Winter’s Heart

There are people that like winter. I don’t understand them, but I will cheerfully give them all of mine if they will trade it me their autumn, that I may have eternal October. This seems like a perfectly reasonable solution to me, and I need the Universe to get on board with this plan.

SAD is in full swing and, with the mountain of shit that the last year has thrown at me, is going as well as one might expect. So very glad that I decided to lay out the money for the Nintendo Switch, as a medical expense, because as I anticipated, Animal Crossing is basically holding my sanity together. Tragically, it doesn’t do crap to help override the executive dysfunction problems, but at least I’m not standing in the middle of the swamp screaming for eternity, so I’ll take the wins where I can get them.

Courtesy the latest N/F/T debacles, I had to change my online store host *again*. While Big Cartel isn’t openly pro-N/F/T, they not only “have no stance” (I asked them) which is a problem, given the rampant art theft involved, too many of their management team and whatnot are very definitely pro, and thus I shut down my account. Which is sad, because otherwise they’re a decent organization, but yeah, that one’s still a dealbreaker for me.

On the upside, Ko-fi has a basic Shop feature now, so until I can afford to permanently upgrade and maintain this hellsite to install WooCommerce, that’s where I’ll be putting things up for sale when I have them. I’ve got a couple of other pieces to relist over there, as well, and if I can get out of my own way long enough, will have some other items soonish.

Winter can’t last forever and, though the reason why sucks, I no longer have to be home by 7 o’clock every night and can do longer trips now, which means that once the weather warms up, there’s a lot of things I’ve been putting off for years that I can take off the shelf and put back on the table again. Might even start looking at getting myself a small camper one of these days…

Clay Tablets and Silk Ribbons: A Returning

Way back, in what would turn out to be the last days of the Before Times, I had made Some Decisions about how I wanted to make my living in this world. The Universe laughed and pretty much all of those decisions got stuck on a shelf to collect dust, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I made them and I did not forget about them. They’ve still been there, waiting for the day when the plague subsided and things returned to normal, and I could get back on track.

Annoyingly, the plague hasn’t really subsided, and it looks like my fellow humans have decided that we should all go back and live in the Dark Ages, plagues and all, because gods know we can’t have nice things, but I suppose the good thing about having spent a lifetime studying medieval history is that I guess I have a decent concept of how to navigate the kind of world that my ancestors tried so damned hard to make sure I didn’t have to live in. Things are apparently about as “normal” as they’re going to get, and anyway, I can’t put my life on hold any more, and thus some things have been taken down off the shelf and put back on the table.

Like, no really, on the actual table. I spent the day digging through boxes that never got unpacked after the studio move last June locating tools and wire, silk ribbons and beads, etc. There’s a tray of clay disks curing on a shelf that should be ready for sanding and painting by Monday.

It’s nice to be working on tangible things again.