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.


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.


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.

After dinner, I decided to do a quick test to consider the pros and cons and y’all, I find myself being somewhat perturbed. You see, I actually like the dip pen and india ink better. The problem with this is that the major con to this is the fact that there’s a reason we use contained pens these days, and that reason is that dip pens are a lot of work. You can’t just pop the cap off and on and walk away. There’s multiple parts to set up and then clean up, and you have to clean up, or you screw up your tools.

It’s so much nicer looking, though, for this piece. It wants more…rustic…looking lines, and the Micron wants to do clean, uniform ones. The particular shade of brown is a richer, nuttier shade that compliments the piece so much more.


Looks like I’m just gonna have to suck up the extra time and work involved, because dammit, I really like character and charm that the dip pen is going to add to this piece.

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…


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.


Two Steps Forward, One Back? Ish?

The good news!  I made a whole Foxentree illustration digitally, and it looks awesome!

The “bad” news!  I didn’t do it CMYK format, but in RGB, which is great for monitors but not for Redbubble’s upload guidelines, so now I have to decide if the minor loss of color accuracy will be a problem for me or not.


On the other hand…


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.

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…

World’s Shittiest PSA

It’s looking like my Stripey old man cat, Torin, is in his last days. Possibly hours, to be honest. I’m hand-feeding food a single kibble at a time and doing what I’ve done the entirety of his life, and that is the best I can to make his life as comfortable as I can. for as long as I can. Me? I’m….

not okay but doing my best to pretend that I’m not staring into the void of a world without my Stripey Love and no longer having an idea of how to function in a world where I don’t go to sleep with him hogging the bed or refusing to let me finish sitting down before he climbs into my lap, or waking up to his nose in my eye because he’s clearly never been fed in the history of ever, or following me around like an ever-present tabby shadow, or a hundred other pieces of daily life for the last nearly 18 years.

The worst part of sharing our lives with others is saying the final good-byes, knowing that we will have to face a world that they are no longer in.

Adulting Is Boring

As part of the transition away from Patreon and over to Ko-fi (and eventually be able to set up a subscription/donation option on here, directly), I’ve finally finished setting up a Stripe account (look, just because I started to in 2019 but never got around to finalizing it). Mostly because I need it to link to Ko-fi, since they don’t have an automatic option for credit card donations built in.

Now I wait to get the confirmation that it is, in fact, live and ready to go, which the automated email said might take a few days. Hooray.

Adulting is boring. Time to go play video games.

Why Are Bodies?!?

In this week’s lesson, our heroine is reminded that her tendons are terrible (holdover from the sheer amount of corticosteroids I needed to remain alive as the Victorian-esque sickly child I was) by playing too many video games. Guess who spent the last several days in a wrist brace ’cause she’s a dumbass!

It’s a damned good thing I’m cute, because sometimes I’m pretty sure it’s all I’ve got going for me.

On the other hand, the enforced downtime gave me some good, solid time to stare at the walls and think about all the art things I wasn’t able to work on and, surprisingly, there was a lot of them. Like, holy shit a lot. Also a fascination with creepy bird figurines and strange things found in the woods, so that’s going to be interesting.

Now I need to carve out the time to work on them, because after nearly 6 months of near-total loss of creativity, there is a BUMPER crop of ideas growing up from the mud in my brain, and they need to come out into the tangible world. I need them to exist in the tangible world, and I suspect others do, too.

On which note, it’s time to go find a blade sharp enough to slice through time, clear a space on the workbench, and see about harvesting what the part of me that spawned the Poppet Witch and her creepdorable little poppets has been growing in her strange little garden.