Christmas Owl Post, tips for making sure it arrives in time!

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Despite my good intentions, most years my Christmas shopping always turns into a bit of last minute rush to get those last few presents sorted before the big day. And often my plan to order something unique and special from an Etsy shop is foiled, when I realise I’ve left it far too late for the order to be processed and delivered…

This year however, I’m going to try and get it right! And as I’ve recently had to do a fair bit of research into postal cut off dates for my own Owlstation Store, I thought it might be handy to share a couple of things I’ve learned with you…

Firstly, if your sending cards or ordering presents and want them to arrive in time for Xmas – it’s worth checking your local postal service website for details of their latest recommended postage dates. I’m in the UK and use Royal Mail who have some handy info here. If you’re sending or ordering packages internationally, make sure you find the latest postage dates for the country your sending to or ordering from.

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Secondly, If you’re ordering a gift from an online store, be sure to check their ‘processing time’. That is how long they say it will take them to prepare and package up your order. For example for a handcrafted item, the seller may need 2, 3, 5 or even more days to create or customise your gift. You’ll need to mentally add this time (sometimes the site does it for you!) to the given delivery dates to get a clear idea of how long your gift will take to arrive…and make sure it’s before Christmas!

Thirdly, remember that the festive period is a very busy one for sending and receiving post and it can take much longer to arrive than it does for the rest of the year…

But at the end of the day, it’s only Christmas!

If you miss postal deadlines and end up scrambling around in Flying Tiger on the 24th of December it doesn’t really matter (and I may well see you there!). It can be a stressful, tiring time of year and keeping calm and looking after yourself is more important than a big pile of presents. Good luck and happy hunting!

If you’d like to order a present or card from the Owlstation Store and need help with any Xmas queries, feel free to pop me a message. For the UK I advise ordering before the 10th of December. For International orders, please do get in touch as Xmas delivery recommendations vary from country to country.

 

 

 

 

 

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

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After an exciting but tiring month of client work and opening the Owlstation Etsy Store, it was brilliant to get away for a few days holiday to Glasgow. I’d never been before and loved exploring the city and recharging with plenty of decadent treats (hello gourmet donuts!) I was especially taken with the botanic gardens, so many beautiful exotic plants and exquisite natural patterns and colours.

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The Owlstation Store is OPEN!

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The Owlstation Store is now…OPEN!!! You can now find a curated selection of my illustrated Prints and Cards at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OwlstationStore with more to come soon!

It’s been a long old journey getting everything set up and ready, so I’m super chuffed to be able to share this with you all! I just want to say a big thank you to my friends and family that have helped and supported me this year in this adventure. Your advice, time and hugs made all the difference, you are excellent human beans 🦉! Extra special thanks to the talented @alekadzie for his epic photography skills!

Countdown to Launch on 10th of October!

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I am indeed counting down the days to the 10th of October when I’ll be launching the Owlstation Store on Etsy! It feels really good to be at this point and to finally have a home where I can share my products and illustrations with you all, such as my ‘Save Progress?’ greetings card.

Having grown up with retro PlayStation games like Final Fantasy 7 and Tomb Raider 3, I got used to saving my game’s progress by seeking out ethereal Save Crystals…I thought it would be fun to make a card that lets you and your friends save your life progress whenever you need to! Be sure to pop back in 8 days time when I’ll be sharing my store link, hooray! 😀

Owlstation Store Update

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I’m getting ever so close to opening the Owlstation Store…in fact, I’m pleased to announce that I have set a date! As of the 10th of October you’ll be able to visit my Etsy shop! To begin with, I’ll be selling a curated collection of illustrated prints and greetings cards, inspired by my love of retro PlayStation games and fantasy adventures (sneak peak above!). Moving forwards, i’m excited to grow my store and create new collections in between my freelance design projects. So…pop the 10th of October in your diary and please do check back here for more updates through September!

 

Magical Zelda & Returning to Console Gaming

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It feels like years since I’ve gotten lost in a console game. As I’ve gotten older and life has gotten busier, my gaming adventures (and game design work) have tended to take place on mobile or desktop. A train journey here or flight there being the perfect time to explore a new story or world. But the ritual of setting up the Playstation and telly, getting comfy on the sofa with friends and settling in for an evening’s session has been something missing from my adult life…until now!

It seems odd that my brother and I never got round to playing Zelda together as kids (we were very focussed on Final Fantasy) but I always suspected it would be something I’d enjoy. This year the planets finally aligned as my boyfriend Adam decided to set up The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on an emulator.

!!! SPOILERS BELOW !!!

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At first I wan’t entirely sure about the strong primary colour palette and chunky 3D characters, but after an hour of gameplay I was addicted. As we’ve explored the vast ocean world i’ve grown accustomed to the simple visual style and been impressed by how many emotions a small number of polygons can trigger. Sailing in our little dragon boat over stormy, rain-whipped waves, I’ve felt glad to be safe inside our living room. Creeping in the shadows of an enemy’s lair to avoid their searching spotlights has had my heart rate climbing…

It’s lovely to slowly learn the language of a new game again. How do I jump? What can I smash? How many weapons might there be?…Beginning to uncover it’s depth. When you first play a game you’re unsure if it will all be over in three or four missions, realising that the map is much larger than you thought and the path to the final boss is by no means clear is just so exciting! And as it turns out, there is plenty to do in Wind Waker.

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Some bosses have had us stuck for hours, straining our brains to work out clever ways through only to realise it was a completely logical solution  all along (usually centred around the last weapon or item we’d unlocked).

The UI and UX can be pretty frustrating at times. Having to repeatedly open and close the menu to equip items into slots is quite fiddly. The level maps are often scantily basic too…however the game’s charm more than makes up for this. Then there’s the evocative music, which coincidentally is a great soundtrack to work to! Crawling through giant shells, edging around perilous cliff faces, launching into the air with a leaf parachute, it’s just so good to get lost in a console game again!

All Zelda images gratefully borrowed from the internet and used here without permission.

Spellbooke & Other Items

Owlstation_owlstation print 2019_spellbookeHere’s a little glimpse of some adventure items for a new A3 print I’m working up. A rune covered Spellbooke shown above…Owlstation_owlstation print 2019_treasure chestIt should be noted that true adventurers keep their sandwiches in ancient, Spanish treasure chests…

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…And for those stubborn cauldron stains, only the strongest, fungus-based cleaner will do! More progress on my illustrated prints and the Owlstation Store coming over the Summer :).