My journey to the centre of Eretz ~ aka the day I met my favourite author Laini Taylor...

Eretz, also referred to as "Elsewhere", is one of the known universes in the Continuum. It is the world that chimaera originate from and reside in. It is also parallel to Earth and portals connect the two worlds. 

When I first heard whispers of the possible New Zealand visit of my favourite author Laini Taylor, I outwardly gasped and secretly held my fingers crossed behind my back for what seemed like months. If you're a long term reader of this blog, you'll know that I'm a big fan and that Laini wrote Daughter of Smoke and Bone - a book of which I raved about on here. AND the two books following it; Days of Blood and Starlight and most recently the final in the trilogy Dreams of Gods and Monsters. So you could imagine that getting the chance to meet Laini (first name basis now, we go way back...) is pretty darn fantastic and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Luckily my southern partner in crime Angela was with me as I journeyed into the centre of Eretz and met the beautiful mastermind behind the whole thing...

We spotted her on the street, outside her boutique hotel on Auckland's High St. The gasping started again and the giddy fangirl in me reared her ditzy-wide-eyed head and I may have jumped up and down clapping my hands and staring longingly into Angela's eyes. flutter flutter...

It all went very fast but oh it was good. SO GOOD. We'd brought cake. I thought chocolate cake would be pretty cool since it happened to make an appearance a fair few times in Zuzana's dialogue but mostly in the novella A Night of Cake and Puppets. We ate the cake with teaspoons on vintage saucers (yup I hauled all that stuff up that street and into that hotel... no one was going to stop me). I was very happy when Laini took charge and happily cut the cake and served it to us! WIN.

Of course all my questions left my head as soon as I saw her and the cake wasn't doing me any favours so I sat and listened to Angela's questions and friendly banter. It was awesome hearing that Laini had been working on screenplay drafts for the movie adaptation of DOSB and hearing about what music and surroundings helped her to zone out and dive into her writing. (Persian rock, local caf├ęs, hotels and noise canceling headphones). I learned Laini hasn't closed the land of Eretz completely and that there is definitely potential for more to come from Elsewhere...

I felt the time slipping away and since Laini was so nice and so down to earth it all went very fast (we only had 45mins!) I acted quickly and remembered we had brought our books along to be signed. This is when it all got a bit real and I realised who I was sitting next to. I'd actually tucked into one of the books some pictures of my high school sketches and my most recent sketches that I had brought along, with the idea of showing Laini if the interview happen to go that way. It all kind of tumbled out of my mouth when I saw them but I got the majority of what I wanted to say out regardless. I wanted to let her know why the main character Karou resonated with me and so told her about my drawing angels, dragons and my wings obsession and how it was somehow similar to my own life at that time (err... I didn't have hamsas tattooed to my hands or a Brimstone behind a secret door but hey you get me). I may have choked up a little and forgot to tell her I had also (like Karou) made giant wings for a school project that hung on my wall too. Angela said we'd had a moment... there may have been more gasping and more eye gazing, it was all such a magical blur.. I can't really remember.

We finished up and left Laini with a very cute, very NZ inspired DOSB style gift and headed to Remuera Library to hear her speak. It was fantastic hearing more about who she is and why she wrote DOSB and how she got where she is today with her writing and creative career. I loved the way she motivated the younger members of the audience to hone their craft and to do what they love. She was very professional and full of advice and also had a wonderful knack for expanding each question the audience had put to her, adding in snippets of her life, family and inspiration.

She made us laugh and I almost cried again and to close the event she asked the most FaerySarah question to the audience... Of which I knew my answer STRAIGHT AWAY. If you could use one wish to fly would you; a) fly like superman, no wings, just you OR b) totally have wings. WELL DUH. Wings! Come on! I did have to mention to Angela that my wings would also be magical and hide under clothing when not being used... Which would you choose? a or b? (Although that would mean I'd either have ripped clothing for be completely naked whilst I flew so I might need to think that one through a bit more...)

Thank you so much to Ruby at Hachette for making this happen, to Laini for sparing some time for us and to Angela for coming with me! Mwah!

I'm back on Earth now and everything is back to normal, but I am so glad that I can go to Eretz whenever the heck I want to just by opening up one of my books... you should too!

Get Daughter of Smoke and Bone here
Get Days of Blood and Starlight here
Get Dreams of Gods and Monsters here
Get A Night of Cake and Puppets here


Latest Amigurumi ~ Crochet Olaf

So here's my latest crochet project, in fact I finished him just last night! He is awesome! So awesome! And of course the kids love him. I'll have to make another so they have one each. xx

Pattern by Like Crochet on Etsy.

Latest Amigurummi ~ Halflings

Loved making these!

Pattern by Lucy Ravenscar on Etsy.

New Painting

I finished this a few weeks ago, acrylic, oil pastel, pencil and impasto on canvas...

 While in progress:


Frozen Fancy Dresses

Yes of course my girls are obsessed with Frozen! Just like all little girls at the moment right? So after weeks of begging and pestering I finally caved and put together a couple of Elsa inspired pillowcase dresses with some aqua fabric-swap fabric I had in my stash. The kids love them and were so excited when I had finished. Quinn wears hers every day and will only answer to 'Queen Elsa' and stays in character the entire time. They have sung the songs to us over and over again and I'm not completely tired of it yet, they are just so cute! I am loving making their little dreams come true...


Etsy Shop Update

Just a quick note to say I've updated my Etsy Shop and added my custom portraits so they can be purchased through there or direct through me only. I have put my felt.co.nz store on a little holiday as I found juggling both was a bit silly, so don't look for me there!

I have plenty of postcards in stock, a few magnets and always welcome enquiries to purchase my original sketches. Thanks to those of you who already have and my regular customers, you're awesome.

Have a great day, I really should blog more...



Labyrinth Postcards now available in my Etsy store!

Click here if you're interested in purchasing a set of 5 postcards for yourself or for a friend! Thanks for your support, check out my other notecards while you're there too! View the original drawing here.


Latest Sketch ~ Vampirella

Well this is a bit different to my usual stuff isn't it? But it was fun!

This is my little version Vampirella. She is a comic book vampire superheroine from 1969/1970. Read more about her http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampirellahere.

I drew it as a wee tribute to my Mumsy who used to draw her years ago (and who's birthday was last week). She had these two huge Vampirella sketches stored in the back of my wardrobe as a kid. My sister and I used to get them out and stare at this mysterious woman our Mum had drawn. We thought they were both cool and scary and made us think Mum was so cool and an amazing artist. An inspiration!

If you'd like to see more, there are progress shots on my tumblr page here.


Latest Amigurumi ~ Full Size Lalaloopsy Doll

My biggest Amigurumi crochet project by far, I have just this past week finished a full sized Lalaloopsy doll!

She stands at approx 40m high and is made from a cotton blend yarn.

I got pain in my hands and arms twice during the time it took to make this and had to have breaks (so I made beanies instead) since I'm not so used to working with so many tight stitches.. for such long periods of time.

It was fun, although got boring in the big parts (underskirt, dress and head) but I loved making the hair and sewing on the face. I stupidly read the pattern wrong and managed to make the dress and underskirt way bigger than they were supposed to be... whoops. Even though this meant more yarn and time... and pain - it looks pretty good all the same. You can see all the work in the underskirt in the photo below.

I got the pattern from AmigurumiBB's Blog HERE. The pattern was easy to follow, and I just chose my own colour ways and made some things up along the way to suit any mistakes or dropped stitches I made.

The plan was to make one each for the girls but, umm.... this one is MINE! (and I only plan on making one!)


Latest Drawing ~ Old Mexican Man

Here's my latest drawing, this was a really long work in progress that I tinkered with over time. I used pencils and white pen on a piece of manila folder card. I did get a little lazy near the end and didn't take so much care with the details - of which I'm a little annoyed at but oh well! My Dad took the photo I used for reference while working in Mexico...