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Kissed by Fire

It has been ages since I posted something painted by the hubby.

Here comes his latest portfolio piece, a character from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Ygritte the wildling.

Tiziano_Baracchi_Ygritte-Sthalek-2015

New Review Up

I've a review for The House of Shattered Wings by aliettedb up at Outside of Dogs

New Review Blog

I've started a book-review blog on Worldpress, I'll keep this one for mixed personal things.

First review is up, it's for Court of Fives by kateelliott (spoiler-free).

If you like my review, follow me at Outside of a Dog, re-blogging and signal-boosting welcome.

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Aug. 20th, 2015

I just joined NetGALLEY, it seems an interesting place and another way to find (and read, and share, and promote) good books is always welcome.

Thanks to aliettedb for the opportunity.

Challenge Participant

Reading Is Reading

Every now and then I get caught in the sidelines of the 'paper book vs. e-reader' war. I admit I never understood why it has to be one or the other instead of one and the other, so today I made available my opinion in graphic form via Society6 :

https://society6.com/product/reading-is-reading_t-shirt#11=49&4=104

In case any like-minded individual is interested in making the point.

Here's how the T-shirt looks

22920989_9367449-tsrmw119_pm

The tote bag is quite nice, if I say so myself

22921064_5739418-bagtote16_pm

And here's the mug, for those crispy fall afternoons of hot beverages and reading

22921109_15118746-mugs11f_l

Need help with metric conversion

Hi,

I need a bit of help with a recipe, could someone let me know how much a cup of diced fresh fruit is, in grams?

It doesn't need to be absolutely precise, for this recipe there's no great difference between, for instance, 230 grams and 250.

Thank you!

Home-made sports drink

This summer the weather has been horrid over here, hot and damp. Doing anything more strenous than breathing resulted in being drenched and feeling light-headed.

Everybody have been drinking a lot to cope, for me the best refreshers are two all-natural solutions:

coconut milk (nothing added, drink cold, slowly)

or

our former gongfu instructor's homemade sports drink, I make it with our 'standard-size' bottled water, for 1.5 liters you'll need:

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons of sugar (I use cane).

2 coffee spoons of salt.

when I make it I pour some water in a glass before adding the other ingredients and then top the bottle as needed.

NOTE: if you use sparkling water pour about half in a carafe before adding the juice and the sugar in the bottle, otherwise you'll get a white-water eruption.

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I'm in love...

Hubby and I have been back from the US for a few days and now I'm starting to feel at home in the time-zone again (well, more or less).

Our trip went extremely well, both on the vacation side (Miami Beach), and the vacation-cum-businness one (Gen Con Indy), hubby landed a couple of rather big new clients and much fun was had.

And about fun...I fell in love hard.

While we were in Miami, uncle Mirco proposed kayaking on the Oleta River,not knowing what was involved I was a bit reluctant but went along...and had the time of my life.

I loved everything about it: tandem paddling, the quiet, the proximity of water, the manouverability, I could have happily spent our whole holiday flat water kayaking (now, white water is definitely NOT for me).

There are a few physical activities I really like but most of them are impossible for me for different reasons:

my ophtalmologist had me drop gongfu (I still smart about that), horse riding is unaffordable, locations for the kind of archery I enjoy are too far from here to allow for decent practice.

...But we live 10 minutes away from the biggest lake in the country, one that is eminently suitable for day touring kayaking.

It has become my personal project: save enough to buy a decent tandem kayak and related equipment, hopefully next summer I'll be able to go out in my own boat.
For ease of storage we'll need an inflatable, but I did want something that sits in the water rather than on it, after a bit of research I found this beauty.

advanced-elements-kayak-advancedframe-convertible-con-cubiertas-1-4413_thumb_432x345

It's the AE 1007-R Advanced Frame, by Advanced Elements

All reviews are extremely positive, it comes out as a great touring kayak: stable, rugged and with good load capacity and great tracking, it's also quite affordable to boot.

I can't wait. :)

Tags:

Just unprofessional or even uglier?

I just witnessed something I deem very ugly, on a social network.

One very renowned and rightly well-regarded illustrator calling out in public a collegue for 'plagiarizing' one of his artworks.

Both artists work on the Game of Thrones IP, both artwork depict the Great Hall in the Red Keep, the lightning, floor, wall behind the throne are different, the only thing that is very similar is the design of the Iron Throne but that's OK with the first painter (after all, when the author himself says that your rendition is how he himself envisioned the throne, it turning into reference is just about a given).

So, given that the first artist is no newcomer and knows how the industry work, why this public attack impugning a collegue's ethics and professionalism? If anything, I'd say, let's tackle any issues privately... that would have been the professional thing to do.

But...an ugly thought raises its head.

This is the second time I've witnessed something of the sort. The first time it was back around 2006 and it was another illustrator (a good one) accusing a brilliant collegue of 'cheating' (that is photomanipulating and / or painting over photos), it turned into a lynch mob. The accused tried to defend herself then withdrew from the Net for the sake of her own sanity, she worked on a movie (wich taxed her even more) and then, as far as I know, disappeared althogether from the art industry.

I don't know how her accuser fares, I hope thoughts of that 'crusade' still haunt him from time to time.

Nine years are an eternity in Internet time, and the world of digital painting has changed, but the similarities in the two instances make me uneasy.

In both cases we have well respected women illustrators accused in public via internet of un-ethical practices.

In both cases the accuser is a (male) collegue, well respected and with a distinct following of his own who...should know how to behave professionally.

In both cases the accused is somehow an outsider in the field, a woman that, at long last, find herself under the spotlight (in the first case as 'the' then master of digital painting, in the second as the first woman to paint a 'Song of Ice and Fire' calendar after the likes of Michael Komark, Ted Nasmith, John Picacio etc.

Do some illustrators feel themselves so threathened by a talented woman that they have to go out of their way to bring her down?

Kittens

A friend of mine has taken in a pregnant cat in need of rescue, she gave birth to four kitten today.

They are a red tabby (most likely male), one tortie, one tortie with white (females) and one black (sex unknown); they'll be available for adoption in 3-4 months and will be neutered before going to their new homes.

The kittens are located in Dunfermline, Scotland, photos coming soon.

If you can't adopt but would like to help, signal boosting is really appreciated.

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