Category Archives: Books

Etsy obsession in blue

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I have spent so much time on Etsy lately it’s becoming an obsession. Seriously, I’m out of control. I haven’t bought anything in awhile but I have been window shopping like a madwoman. If you too are an Etsy addict you can look me up on the site under the username Phera if you want to add me to your circles.

Now that I’ve admitted my addiction as a first step to recovery I have to say how impressed I am with some of the things people create and put up for sale. Awhile back I mentioned my interest in beading but the necklace that restarted my fascination was this one made by the artist at Circe’s House. I’d absolutely love to steal her picture of the necklace just to show it off here but I respect how much work she did making the piece. I will be teaching myself how to do bead embroidery after I finish knitting some objects that I can’t post pictures of until after Christmas.

In my various Etsy forays, I’ve noticed I’m drawn again and again to the vivid blues, greens, purples, and reds. Minus the red, the colors are what I call the peacock colors. Apparently I have a peacock color palette fixation. My husband and his brother are anti-peacock because according to them peacocks are evil based on their mysterious ability to fly even with all those tail feathers and the sounds they make. If you’ve never heard that sound imagine a cross between a very loud housecat and a donkey braying or just listen to the video.

Besides wasting time on Etsy, I’ve started reading a new book. I meant to read Steve Jobs’ new biography next but I’d forgotten that I pre-ordered Brandon Sanderson’s new book called the Alloy of Law. It’s set in the same world as the Mistborne Trilogy but not the same characters so far. What really drew me in to his writing was the unique magic system he created for his world. I’ve been an avid fatasy fiction reader for  as long as I remember but I do get bored when the worlds are populated with elves, orcs, and dragons all the time. Sanderson’s worlds have been unique and I’ve really enjoyed the five books of his I’ve read. Also, he’s an avid blogger on his website where he’ll share his inspirations, and thought processes that go into his writing. It’s fun to read what triggers his imagination and how he translates those into his novels.

Creators. Collaboration. Compromise. C^3?

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I’m still musing about Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and her classification of people in two general categories of creators and second-handers. Since this a major theme of the book, I’m not going to explain it as a basic Google search will bring up all kinds discussions and I highly suggest reading the book but one of her quotes got me thinking about the how people are using the internet.

“The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary. The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism. ”
-Rand, Ayn (2004). The Fountainhead (pp. 665-666). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

A couple years back Time Magazine voted You the person of the year instead of an individual and here’s where Rand’s creators and second-handers start getting blurred in my mind. Are the creators the ones who created Twitter, Google, Facebook, Ebay, Etsy, blogs, and so many other software tools for linking people, information, and products or are the creators the ones who use those tools to accomplish their goals? An example of this would be what is now known as the Arab Spring. The makers of Twitter didn’t organize the revolts but individuals used the tool to spread the word about the location and times of the protests. Even then it wasn’t one person organizing the protests, it was a movement of multiple people across multiple countries. Who then is the creator and who’s the second-handers?

Rand’s main character was an individualist architect who refused to work with others because it compromised his vision and work. In today’s world, large visions usually are accomplished by large projects requiring collaboration between multiple disciplines because it’s just about impossible for one person to have the specialized knowledge across multiple fields to build something like an LEED platinum certified building on their own. Rand used the Cortland building project as an example of how wrong a project could go if second-handers tried to add their inputs to the artist’s original vision but how do you get anything done these days without collaboration and some compromise?

The reason I think my mind is churning so much over these matters is because I’m in the process of starting a home business. My ultimate goal being to work for myself instead of someone else as I’m tired of feeling like a second-hander so much of the time. People tell me I’m in my head too much and I should not over analyze but it’s part of who I am.

Anyways, enjoy this funny cats video as it always makes me smile:

I feel better! Finally…

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Sheesh that was a doozy of a sickness. Turns out I had a sinus infection instead of just a common cold. I’ve been muddling through day to day living but today is the first day I don’t feel like a run-down doormat. I took off work for a total of 7.5 days which was not ideal but needed and during that time I did a lot of sleeping, reassessing, random internet searching, and reading. I have finished Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead which was certainly worth the read.  I’m still processing my reactions to her themes of egotism vs. altruism and I’m not clear yet on what aspects I agree with her on. However, I do think this the right book at the right time for me. There are definite large changes in the wind for me regarding my career and how I want to earn money as a creator instead of a second-hander. I don’t want to go into too many details in an open online blog but I’m excited and can’t wait to start. For just a hint of what the change entails, I’ll need to develop my skills in photography, Photoshop, Illustrator, 3-D modelling, descriptive writing, crafting skills, and networking.

Rainy day desires

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I’m having trouble this morning finding something to write about that brings me happiness. I was up late last night reading Ayn Rand’s, “The Fountainhead,” so all I wanted to do this morning was stay in my nice warm bed sipping a hot chocolate and finish the book. This plan was especially appealing because it’s an overcast rainy day where I feel the changing of the seasons. Unfortunately that plan was not to be as I needed to get to work and finish up some projects due shortly.

Fall is my favorite season and I’m getting excited for Halloween. In that vein I thought I’d share two links I came across this morning that made me smile. The first is Ray Villafane’s amazing pumpkins and the second is a video from NASA showing the aurora borealis as seen from the International Space Station.