27 October 2013

Moving on

After many years here at Blogger, I've decided to move on Wordpress. This blog will remain, so please continue to enjoy and explore these old posts.

For everything new, head over to artofsallymackblog.wordpress.com.

04 December 2012

Books I've Read, 2012

Calling it early, because I know I won't be finishing anything before the new year.

 +Rumours by Anna Godberson
+Fables: The Mean Seasons by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: Homelands by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: Wolves by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Envy by Anna Godbersen
+The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
+Splendor by Anna Godbersen
+The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maybe I should have reread the first two before reading this one, but I didn't care much for this book.)
+Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs (Again, the perfect mix of information and entertainment. Love this author!)
+The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (Really enjoyed this book. A little difficult to understand some bits given my limited knowledge of chemistry and physics, but still informative and fun.)
+A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene (Great book and blog!)
+Blood Work by Holly Tucker (Interesting history of the first attempts to perform human blood transfusions. Early medical "science" is facsinating!)
+Fables: Sons of Empire by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: The Good Prince by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: War and Pieces by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: The Dark Ages by Willingham, Buckingham, et al
+Fables: The Great Fables Crossover by Willingham, Sturges, et al
+Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (reread)
+Crossed by Ally Condie
+The Lost City of Z by David Grann (This was optioned years ago by Brad Pitt. It will be interesting to see how/if this is translated into a movie)
+The Lost World by Michael Crichton (This is exactly like the movie, in that it is nowhere near as good as the first.)
+The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean (Another fun non-fiction read! Much easier to understand than "Spoon" thanks to the many biology/genetics courses I've taken over the years.)
+A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Great follow up to "Across the Universe." Can't wait for the final book to come out next year!)

Best Books: So many good ones this year! In the non-fiction category (which I know isn't everyone's cup of tea) I really enjoyed Sam Kean's The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb. Both are great science reads, filled with anecdotes of how elements and genes have changed the course of history. Holly Tucker's Blood Work delves into the earliest attempts at human blood transfusion, which I was shocked to learn started way earlier than I thought. I also loved The Lost City of Z and The Devil in the White City, both of which are attached to some big league actors for future movie adaptations (Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, respectively).

If you prefer fiction, A Million Suns by Beth Revis is just as intriguing as the first novel in her series, Across the Universe. (And as an added bonus, the final novel, Shades of Earth, comes out January 15!) The Luxe series is also a fun, fluffy, historical romance read, which I really enjoyed. (Rumours, Envy, and Splendor are part of this series.) I also still recommend Jurassic Park, the only reread on my list this year.

Worst Books: When I started the Maze Runner trilogy, I really enjoyed it. However, the final novel, The Death Cure, was a big disappointment. The plot didn't quite make sense, and the conclusion fell flat. To be fair, there was a big gap in time between when I finished book two and started book three, and I had forgotten some plot details. I might give the series another try in the future, but for now I don't recommend it. Also, skip The Lost World-- book and movie.

Looking forward to in 2013: Besides Shades of Earth, I'm excited to finish the Matched series by Ally Condie (Reached is patiently waiting on my bedside table.) The second book started verging a little too much into Twilight territory for my taste, but I have faith that it will end well. I'm currently reading Tales From a Midwife by Jennifer Worth, and need to track down a copy of the BBC series when I'm finished. And speaking of BBC period dramas: the creator of Downton Abbey is developing a series for US television, set in late 1800s New York City. So basically The Luxe, complete with gorgeous gowns, jealousies, and high society intrigue. Just take my money now, Julian Fellowes!

01 July 2012

Back to business

I know I haven't posted since March. Let me explain my absence: The college semester was wrapping up from April to May. I was deep into HTML, CSS, and web graphics. My finals went well, and I now know more about web standards, best practices, and browser compatibility.

Also in May my boyfriend and I attended the wedding of one of my close college friends. The ceremony was beautiful, and the reception was a lot of fun. It was well worth the 14 hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles to be there, and we even got a shout out during the ceremony for our feat.

Shortly after my boyfriend became my fiance. Very exciting! A little overwhelming! Completely awesome!

A few days after getting engaged, my fiance and I left California for the East Coast. We bounced around visiting some of my family and friends, and seeing a lot of sights. I started a travel diary blog of our trip. (I realize I should have posted about this sooner, but it slipped my mind. Call it engagement brain.)

After six weeks of travel, we returned to Sydney. Since returning I've been busy filing visa paperwork, mentally planning the wedding, trying out Instaprints, and looking for a job.

So yeah... very busy summer, and it's not even over.

26 March 2012

Keep the productivity going

Yet another new design, this time for a save the date:

This adorable design will eventually have a wedding package to match. With my holiday retail job ending, my Etsy productivity will hopefully increase. :)

16 March 2012


New item alert! 

I've (finally) designed a complete wedding invite package. These are digital files, that are customized to include all your wedding info and colors, created to work with MOO templates.

More designs are on the way, and I will be ordering and photographing actual sets once a few more designs are up. I also plan to create sets that work with Vistaprint templates for budget conscious couples.

And while we're at it, there have been some small changes to my shop policies that you may want to check out.

27 February 2012


I've been much too busy to post lately (work, school, new Etsy projects, reading), but wanted to post a quick update on a previous post.

Last year I made a little outfit and blanket set for a friend expecting her first baby, and she recently posted a photo of her son wearing it:

Such a cutie!

It was a challenge picking gender-neutral fabrics (my friend opted to leave the baby's sex a surprise), but I think this outfit would be darling on a girl as well. :)

08 February 2012

Like this, please

I finally bit the bullet and created a Facebook fan page for my Etsy shop: facebook.com/artofsallymack. Please head on over and "like" my page.

On a related side note, is Facebook going to apply their new Timeline features to fan pages? The current layout just looks so old compared to the new design, especially the lack of a large banner image. I hope Facebook updates this, so every page can include lovely large images.

03 January 2012

Love is in the air...

Christmas and New Years seem to be the season for proposing.  Two former coworkers are now engaged (to different people, not each other) and this Yahoo article gives a rundown of recent celebrity proposals.  Perfect time to introduce my newest Save the Date design: 

Congratulations to everyone tying the knot this year!

21 December 2011

Books I've Read, 2011

+Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell (More famous than 'Lawrence of Arabia' in her time, but nobody's made a movie about her. Sad.)
+The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (reread)
+Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (reread)
+Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (reread)
+Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
+Across the Universe by Beth Revis
+Different Seasons by Stephen King (I only read "Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption" and "The Body," but I think it counts as reading a King book. Especially since these were, in my opinion, his two best movies.)
+The Maze Runner by James Dashner
+Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton (A good graphic novel, but the original is just too complex for this format to do it justice.)
+From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell (I found the chapter notes more intriguing than the actual story. Not a great sign.)
+The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (Why do I have to wait until August for the final book? I need to know how this ends NOW!!!)
+All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (reread)
+Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (So, somehow I skipped the previous book in this series. :/ )
+All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (OK, I didn't skip a book. I just have a terrible memory.)
+Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
+Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
+Delirium by Lauren Oliver
+Bossypants by Tina Fey
+Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Interesting beginning to this series. Will definitely be continuing it.)
+Matched by Ally Condie (Yet another series I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of...)
+Specials by Scott Westerfeld (My first borrowed book using my new Australian library card!.)
+Fables: Legends in Exile by Willingham, Medina, Leialoha, & Hamilton
+Fables: Animal Farm by Willingham, Buckingham, & Leialoha
+Enclave by Ann Aguirre
+Fables: Storybook Love by Willingham, Buckingham, & Leialoha

+Luxe by Anna Godberson
+Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Willingham, Buckingham, Hamilton, Leialoha, & Russell
+From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

Best Books: I always enjoy Mary Roach, and Packing for Mars is just as funny and interesting as her previous books.  I know non-fiction isn't for everyone, but I definitely recommend her to even the most ardent fiction lovers.  Tina Fey's Bossypants is another humorous gem.  All Quiet on the Western Front has always been one of my favorites, but it's not exactly an uplifting story.

Worst Book: This year's list doesn't have any real losers, but there were a couple disappointments.  As a Jack the Ripper buff, I was looking forward to reading From Hell.  While the story itself was only OK, I found the chapter notes very intriguing and often quite funny.  The graphic novel version of Fahrenheit 451 was also a bit disappointing.  This is another of my favorite novels, and though the artwork was 
great, I feel the story is just too complex for this format.

Looking forward to in 2012: As a fan of the Harry Potter series, I know the agony of waiting for the next installment of a series to be published.  So you'd think I'd avoid newly published series in order to avoid this, but it seems like I'm drawn to them like Harry to the Mirror of Erised.  (Seriously though, is every young adult novel these days part of a series?  Sometimes it's nice to read a book and be finished with the story at the end.)  Across the Universe, Delirium, EnclaveLuxe, and Matched all have just released or soon-to-be-released sequels I plan on reading.  I also need to read the final installment of The Maze Runner series, and I'll probably continue with some Sookie Stackhouse books.  They are light, entertaining palette cleansers, and vastly more interesting than the True Blood TV series.