Year of the Dragon, in Red

The Chinese New Year festival started a few days ago, marking the new Year of the Dragon on the Chinese Zodiac calendar.  While the little I know about the Chinese Zodiac comes from fortune-telling books and Fruits Basket, I did learn something interesting in an e-mail from Polyvore:

Dragons love rubies, the color red, big ideas and flamboyance. Dragons deliver good fortune to all.

That means this year is a Red year.  According to NationsOnline.org, red is a traditional bridal color in China and represents vitality, good luck, creativity, and joy, among other things. Coincidentally, red is my favorite color – and based on its meanings, it seems red would be a great color for writers to keep in mind as they set goals and try to find inspiration.

Check out these red things to inspire you – or just make you grin and procrastinate before you settle at your keyboard to work on that latest chapter or newest revision.

This cute crochet cup of hot chocolate was created by Meredith, who blogs at One Sheepish Girl.  Meredith is one of my favorite bloggers, especially when she posts her outfit blogs.  She did it to help gain confidence, and I admire any young woman who does something like that!

Her Etsy shop, Sheepish Knit Crochet, has lots of adorable and lovely accessories and fun things.  I love the little “drinks” in the shop, from teacups and lattes to several variations of this adorable hot chocolate drink.  You can buy it (and plenty of other delicious and beautiful creations) at her Etsy shop.

This is a digital painting of Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid by alicexz on deviantART.  You can check out the full-sized version here.  Visit Alice on her deviantART site or her Tumblr site.

If you’re a fan of The Little Mermaid (and other Disney movies,) check out Heather Traska’s One Woman A Cappella Disney Medley and Disney’s The Little Mermaid A Cappela Cover on YouTube.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of an Etsy fan – you can find so many beautiful and wonderful things on the site.

One of those things are these cute red items, Burgundy Knitting Fingerless Gloves by Afra.  They were listed in the Valentine’s Day section – it’s coming up, as well – but they’re so lovely I’m sure anyone could find use for them any time of the year.

I talked about inspiration above, and I’d say these probably inspire me the most: I’m a fan of steampunk, and for some reason these fingerless gloves just cry out “Victorian” to me.  (I’m not sure whether the artist would take that as a compliment or an insult.)  I’d love to buy a pair, though, so I guess that makes it a compliment!

What red items inspire you?  Post your links in the comments!

(For added bonus points, write a blog about how the color red inspires you and link it to my blog.  I’d love to read about your CNY inspirations!)

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Best Bet Blogs for Fall 2011

I haven’t really tried this before, but I’ve seen plenty of blog roundups and finally decided I would try it, just once, and see how all this turns out.

After spending way too much of my free/not-so-free time reading blogs and blog articles, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are definitely some blogs worth looking at, just because it’s fall and they give you that fuzzy and cozy feeling on the inside.  Here are my favorite picks for fall blog reading this year.

one sheepish girl

This blog, run by a lovely young lady named Meredith, is a very sweet blog about knitting and crochet.  Meredith runs an Etsy shop, which you can find on the page.

I love some of the features on one sheepish girl.  I can usually count on a few – like the Blush List or Weekend Plans – but my personal favorite is a relatively new addition called DallasMADE, which explores the crafting community in Dallas.  (Reminds me a bit of Indie Toledo, I guess!)

Basalmic Sesame Chicken from Just Bento

All right, so this isn’t really a new blog post – it’s from 2008 – and it’s an end-of-summer post.  But what sounds more delicious than Maki’s Basalmic Sesame Chicken?  This recipe features pan-fried boneless, skinless chicken you can enjoy hot or pack in your lunch.  I hope to make some this fall to pack in my bento, which is a Japanese-style packed lunch.  You can learn more about bento at Maki’s site Just Bento.

APPLE A DAY’s Slow Cooker Maple Applesauce

Here in the Midwest, fall means apple season.  You can head out to an apple orchard and buy a whole peck of your favorite apples – but what to do with them once you’ve got them?  Try this applesauce recipe for a slow cooker found on APPLE A DAY, a recipe blog with original and found recipes.

While you’re at it, check out everything else on APPLE A DAY – like these ham and egg cups with pesto a friend of mine recommends.  Everything on the site is drool-worthy, and there’s something to be found for every taste.

Conclusion

These are some of my favorite posts and blogs!  What are your favorite fall-flavored posts and blogs this fall?