New Year, New Store

Update December 2015: The store has changed to nerdfelt.storenvy.com, please look there instead!

So now it’s 2015. Has been for over a week, in fact. It’s no longer the year in which I graduated, I’ve started doing more freelance work, and—even more exciting—I’ve set up my own online shop for crafts and prints. It’s located on Storenvy.

This shop really is years in the making. Starting around first grade, maybe earlier, I made up my own “business” that I called Katie’s Kreations. I made little crafts such as painted rocks, desktop-printed cards, and some other silly things that only family members would buy because I was a kid. I even made my own business cards. For the next few years in my gifted & talented class, I used desktop publishing to write and design my “logs,” or journals, instead of simply handwriting them.

But it wasn’t until high school that I realized I could put my creativity into use as a graphic designer. Over four years later I’ve now graduated, and I’m sort of back where I started—making designs and crafts to sell—but of course in a much more advanced way.

I started with printed designs that were (and are) printed by another company. Some of them were designed as a part of my classes. After graduation I designed a set of mugs for coffee and tea drinkers that include quotes ranging from literature and pop culture.

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I’ve also designed stickers, a few of which were modified from class projects.

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But again, printed items are not the only things in my store—now that I’m out of school I have had more time to do crafting. In the past year I have taken up needle felting and have made several projects with the process, most notably my eco-friendly dryer balls that help finish laundry faster & therefore cheaper.

dryercmysign

But I have—and continue to—make paper crafted, felted, and various fiber arts projects.

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And so my store continues to grow every day with new designs and crafts, and I hope I’ll be able to sustain this store for as long as possible, because I really do love it.

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The Ethics of Ebooks: Downloading in the Digital Age

Putting the finishing touches on my portfolio, I only just realized that I’m missing an essay from a year ago that I never published online. It is an ethical look at the illegal downloading of ebooks and how to help the industry change. Let me know if you have any comments!

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NaBloPoMo 29.2: Doctor Who and Harry Potter trivia realizations

Today my friend and I had a lazy day on the couch as we watched Harry Potter on TV. While doing so, I realized a few things:

The bridge that collapses at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, the Millennium Bridge, is the bridge that has never been very sturdy. Before last January, when I was in London, I didn’t really know which bridge that was, but now that I’ve seen it, I made the connection and I remembered how it was closed while I was there. Clearly the bridge doesn’t need Death Eaters to render it unusable—although it hasn’t actually fallen to the bottom of the Thames as far as I know.

The voice of the Ministry of Magic lift, Daisy Haggard, was also Sophie in Doctor Who. There is a long list of Harry Potter/Doctor Who actors, but I don’t think I’ve seen her on that list before. In fact, I have just found this list that has a lot of Classic Doctor Who actors that I had no idea were also in Harry Potter.

When seeing Ollivander in Harry Potter, I realized there is yet another prominent actor to be added to this list, now that John Hurt has been in Doctor Who for the fiftieth anniversary.

I know about a lot of Harry Potter trivia, but sometimes I am surprised by new things. When watching the movies on ABC Family, like today, trivia pops up on the screen but I have known these facts for years. But it’s always great when I surprise myself with new trivia.

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NaBloPoMo 20.2: Always reading everywhere

It’s been a while since I really sat down and read a book. This year I told myself I would read 35 books this calendar year—last year I read 25. So far I’ve read 29, which is 2 books behind schedule, but some of these books are actually short stories that are sold as ebooks. By the end of the year I will have read ten of these short stories so I suppose I’m not cheating myself out of any goal and I will still have read more than last year.

The only problem is, the last time I really read was a month ago, and that was only for reading one of these short stories. I love reading, but sometimes when I’m in a lull it’s hard to get back into it.

And so of course tomorrow the second installment of The Hunger Games movies, Catching Fire, will be in theaters. I’ve read the entire series at least twice, but I also like to reread books before I see the movie unless I read them recently. So about a week ago I began reading the book, got about 50 pages in, and then I stopped due to schoolwork. Then two days ago, Monday, I realized I really needed to get going on it because there are 391 pages and I have a limited number of time to read it. Even writing this blog post is cutting into some reading time (but that’s okay).

And so I get back into the routine of reading every chance I get. When I say that, I mean it: I bring my book to classes, read when before class starts, read curled up on the couch, read over meals—I even read while waiting for the lights to go down before an on-campus performance this evening.

All of these things are fairly normal for avid readers, but I’m not sure if walking and reading is quite as normal.

My view on my walk to work today.

A post shared by Katie Hambor (@katiehambor) on

I do this frequently—but only when the sidewalks aren’t busy. I have good enough peripheral vision that I can see what’s in front of me as I walk and read, and so far I haven’t gotten dizzy from the movement, probably because I’m doing all the movement myself. I don’t know what other people around me think of this, though sometimes I’m self-conscious about it. But I’m not any more self-conscious with this than I am about my hair, or my height, or the way I dress, because reading no matter where I go is a part of me that will never change.

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NaBloPoMo 11: I enjoy reading essays about novels

Warning: Harry Potter spoilers ahead if you somehow have avoided spoilers after five years from the last book being released and a year after the last movie being released.

Over the summer I discovered a website that featured many fan-written essays about Harry Potter. I never thought about this before, reading about stories that I’m already reading. The only extent I’d ever thought of this was in fanfiction. I, personally, do not like fanfiction. I do not want to read it—I like knowing only the story’s canon. I feel that fanfiction writers should be creative and write about their own characters from their own head. However, I do understand that people like to hear more about their beloved characters—I do too—but I still like canon better. But I know practice makes perfect, and fanfiction certainly does help budding writers to blossom and get their writing and creativity out there. I just hope they continue with their writing with their own characters. (And we all know the Pornographic-Book-That-Must-Not-Be-Named came from fanfiction as well.)

But fanfiction is not the only way to write about other stories. There are essays too, particularly from The Sugar Quill. The particular essays I’ve read so far are about the Trio’s love lives, all written by Red Monster. The first one I read was about Harry and Ginny, and I kept trying to understand why the writer wasn’t including anything from the last two books. Then I realized: they hadn’t been written yet. This person had so much information, and Harry and Ginny hadn’t even gotten together yet, nor has Harry even explicitly said he was interested in Ginny. I also read, and just recently finished reading, an essay by the same person about Ron and Hermione, which was also written before the last two books were published. It was great to read all of the evidence for both couples’ love for each other even before they realized it themselves. It’s also a great way to revisit such beloved characters, still in canon, and see them in a whole new light.

 

Books, books, books (and more books)

I would just like to inform you how wonderful books are, and how great it is to get them.

Okay, now that I’ve done that, I can tell you about my adventures today. I went to the library with two friends, and instead of going into the library area (read: books to borrow for three weeks and bring back) we saw the used books section which was $5 per bag. Each bag was a shopping bag. This resulted in us spending about two hours looking through the books. Final result: four bags of books, two of us having one bag each, and another friend having 2.

My books consisted of some typography books (Letraset! Font reference guides!) as you can see at the top of the following picture. There’s also Dirk Gently, because I haven’t read it yet, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (this was signed, I’m so sad for the person that gave away a signed copy!), a few Buffy books, and four books that inspired the show Bones (I’ll probably read them eventually). There are a few others you can see, I just don’t feel like listing everything. I also found 3 books that will be gifts, and they’re not pictured here, as well as a hardcover version of Eragon to match my set. There’s also a Sorcerer’s Stone audiobook on cassette, as my car luckily only has a cassette player.

So between all four of us, the car looked like this:Okay, as you can see, two bags here are not paper bags from the library. That’s because we also went to Barnes and Noble. Of course, J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, was just released, and I did a bad job of resisting the urge to buy it. I also bought David Levithan’s Every Day, because I keep hearing raving reviews (and it also just happened to be signed!), Just My Type, because I’m halfway through and I would like to own it, and The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because I’ve wanted the Barnes and Noble version for a long time as I only have the set in a big softcover book.

So, the total count for books today:
Me: 20 books and 1 audiobook from the library, 4 from Barnes and Noble
Chrissy: 32 from the library, 4 from Barnes and Noble
Hilary: 44 from the library, 1 from Barnes and Noble

I think therefore, today was a successful day.