elegant blend


Hollister House by Charla
Via Flickr:


Zakka Embroidery presents designs that are an elegant blend of Japanese and Scandinavian style

Zakka Embroidery: Simple One- and Two-Color Embroidery Motifs and Small Crafts
by Yumiko Higuchi
Roost Books
2016, 192 pages, 8.3 x 0.6 x 5.9 inches, Paperback
$14 Buy on Amazon

I’m a sucker for fiber arts. I only ever had a passing interest in embroidery and basically did all of my needlework embellishments freehand and on-the-fly. But since hitting the embroidery thread jackpot at a yard sale last summer, I’ve been inching slowly closer to learning the actual craft. Zakka Embroidery was exactly what I needed.

Yumiko Higuchi first draws in readers with a collection of beautiful embroidery motifs (shot clearly and up close so that you can practically feel the stitches on the muslin) with corresponding projects. All the motifs are garden/nature inspired and only use one or two colors of thread. This was a huge selling point for me, as I am not naturally drawn to overly colorful designs and have a hard time figuring out what goes well together (outside of gray and dark gray). The projects range from sweet, floral clutches and satchels, to baby items, to home decor. There are a lot of great gift-projects in this book. The second half is a thorough, photographically illustrated guide to embroidery techniques, and then the actual embroidery and project patterns.

Because many of the projects in this lovely little book do involve sewing, it’s good to have some basic sewing skills to fully utilize it. But don’t let that stop you! You can easily embroider these motifs onto pre-made garments (some projects actually call for this), tea towels, or accessories. You could even make these tiny gardens into your classic wall-hanging, but I think one of the nicest things about this book is that everything is intended to be actually used, worn, and appreciated in action.

– Marykate Smith Despres

March 27, 2017

Kdrama Female Fashion: W Two Worlds (2016) and Suspicious Partner (2017)

Of course everyone’s heard of ‘W Two Worlds’ kdrama starring Lee Jong Suk and co-star, Han Hyo Joo! Though the drama finished (sadly) last year, the trendy outfits are still going on. Han Hyo Joo’s charater in ‘W’ was fawned over the excessive number of outfits throughout the whole drama. 

Sometimes we don’t really want to look through our closets and just stand there wondering what to wear. Yeah, me too.

All this fashionista really wears are cute girly outfits. 

These two outfits are nice patterned dressed, and can be worn to any semi-formal event. It’s an even blend between elegant and expressing one’s self. 

Han Hyo Joo also goes for the sweetheart look where we can see the off-shoulder fashion trend. Pretty in pink!

One of my favorite looks is when she paired a snug sweater tucked inside a long brown skirt. This is the best look for Fall and Winter, I feel. You’re keeping yourself warm, but you’re also looking good at the time time. Good bye fluffy ugly sweaters! 

Now, before you get too scared of the word “suits,” you have to know that it is a growing trend that’s making a comeback. Yes, SUITS. 

As we can see in the newest kdrama ‘Suspicious Partner’ there’s a lot of the latest Korean trends. ‘Suspicious Partner’ is a romantic comedy just released this year (2017) starring Ji Chang Wook and co-star, Nam Ji Hyun. 

Here’s a few looks:

I told you. Suits are a new thing! Partnered with the right colors, suits are actually cute and make you look professional at the same time! Time for those job interviews now. Phew! 

We also see a lot of stripes, too! Stripes give the illusion of a skinnier form- though none of these actors or actresses need to look any skinnier than they already are. 

Another thing with Korean fashion is that shirts that cover the upper chest area are very popular. Probably due to the fact that many elders tell girls to cover up, it also seems more fresh and approachable, to me at least. Also, Korean ladies tend to show much more of their legs than cleavage- mile long legs. 

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this small snippet of Kdrama Fashion for these 2 dramas. Leave a comment below or message me on ideas for the next Fashion blog. 

A Moment Alone

For @reiswonderlanduk.  Now I can give you your birthday present.  Happy belated birthday Rei!

Based on this fabulous art

Rated: K

“How much farther?”

“Almost there.”

Anna’s excitement was bubbling over.  She was trying to go slow and let her sister take the lead, but she was almost certain where they were and the stretch of path should be straight.  She picked up the pace, not able to wait another second.

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Ok this piece is one of my new faves yall should listen to it.

But im not making this post for no reason, this piece has a very specific style, which even the title conveys really well. That is one that is very soft, blended well, elegant, slow, and just pretty. Like a song that contains a lot of imagery.

I’m currently working on a Concert Band piece with this style in mind titled “Kaleidoscope”. But there’s one issue: I just got done rehearsing Grainger’s “Molly on the Shore” with my Clarinet Choir. WHICH IS THE TOTAL OPPOSITE OF THIS STYLE. So now It’s extraordinarily hard for me to work on Kaleidoscope because of this.

So do any of you know a song that has a similar style to this? Instrumentation is up in the air but i’d prefer an Orchestra or Concert Band as opposed to a String Quintet, Piano Solo, Flute Solo etc. When I try to think of a song with this style I CAN’T PICTURE A SINGLE ONE OTHER THAN THIS. I just really would like some inspiration. Thanks!

I originally planned for this one shot to be based on the ‘Enrapture’ prompt, but it actually has elements of the ‘Look Each Other in The Eye’ and ‘Devotedness’ prompts as well. So I decided to make this fic a little longer and sweeter for my followers.❤️


Natasha watched Steve as he stood away from the dance floor. For some reason, Tony thought it would be a good idea for the Avengers to host a Valentine’s Day party - a Valentine’s Day party, for God’s sake.

When a few of the other Avengers questioned why the hell Stark wanted to throw something so frivolous and cheesy as a V Day party, he just said, “Hey, we’ve all been through hell the past couple of weeks, cleaning up after miscellaneous Hydra bases all over the globe. I think we deserve a break for once.”

Then he made eye contact with Natasha and obnoxiously waggled his eyebrows at her before switching his gaze to Steve and grinning lasciviously. “Besides, I think a few of you guys could use some loosening up,” he’d said in a stage whisper.

All of the Avengers had suspected there were romantic feelings between Natasha and Steve. In a way, they had been engaging in a little dance of their own together, but neither chose to step forward and do anything about it. Hence, this damn party thought up by Tony to try and push the two of them together.

Now, the Valentine’s Day party raged on and to Natasha’s surprise, she was actually enjoying herself. Wanda and Vision were dancing - well, floating slightly above ground while swaying, which was pretty cute - Clint and Laura were chatting with Sam and Maria and showing them pictures of Nathaniel, Tony was being the life of the party, as always and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Everyone except Steve.

From her spot at the buffet table, Natasha could see the longing and apprehension on Steve’s face. It was clear that he wanted to be out there, dancing like the other couples, but as he’d told her many times before, he had two left feet and didn’t know how to dance.

Every time the subject was brought up between them, Natasha felt a pain in her chest because Steve always got this faraway, broken-hearted look on his face. She knew that was because of the promise he made to Peggy Carter, a promise to dance with her, which sadly, was never fulfilled.

The crash had ended any chance Peggy and Steve could have had together, but being a part of the Avengers gave Steve a new family and a cause to keep fighting, continuing the kind of work he’d done before. He wasn’t so alone as he previously thought.

As Natasha had gotten to know Steve, she felt blessed that he considered her to be his friend. He was such an amazing man, unlike anyone she’d ever met before. He had a heart for people and a protective, patriotic kind of character that urged him to do his duty, using his abilities to keep the world safe.

Personal experience taught him to defend those who couldn’t defend themselves and he never judged people by their past mistakes. He let them prove who they were in the present by their actions.

At first, it astonished Natasha that Steve was willing to overlook all of the bad she’d done and let her work as an Avenger speak for how she had changed and overcome the Black Widow persona to just be herself, Natasha Romanoff.

Her biggest breakthrough would always be that moment they shared in Sam’s house, when she asked Steve if he would trust her to protect him. From the three words he responded with, “I would now,” she felt like a load that she hadn’t even realized she was carrying, lessen.

In that quiet moment with Steve, hearing him say that he trusted her, Natasha had begun to fall in love with him and it continued through the following years. Oh, she wanted to tell him many times, but the words always got tangled up in her throat.

She did know that Steve cared for her just as much, if not, more than she did for him. Countless times on missions, when she’d gotten injured, he would always check on her and make sure if she was alright.

It was always Natasha who he would go to in the middle of the night whenever he had a nightmare, needing someone to comfort him. It was Natasha who he exchanged witty banter with and sent cryptic, yet meaningful looks when he thought she wasn’t paying attention. In his own way, he made her a priority in his life. Perhaps he didn’t know it, but she did.

How long are we going to play this game? Natasha thought to herself. Steve Rogers was truly an amazing man and she was sure that if she didn’t make a move soon, someone else would and she would spend the rest of her life wondering about what could have been.

Well, there was no way in hell she was going to let that happen.

At this point, she was tired of being alone and denying herself happiness out of a fear of rejection. That was something a the old Natasha would do, and Natasha was not that same woman anymore. It was time for her to take a chance and lay it all on the line.

Closing her eyes, Natasha murmured to herself in Russian, summoning up her strength. Then she took in a deep breath and moved through the crowds to Steve. When he was close enough, she grasped his hand in hers, pulling him to the dance floor.

The handsome blond blinked down at her and furrowed his brow, but he didn’t pull away. That was a good sign because Steve didn’t let just anyone tug him around anywhere. “Nat,” he asked, “what are you doing?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Natasha replied with an bit of sass. “I’m going to dance with you.” She took Steve’s left hand, placed it on her waist, put her right hand on his shoulder and took his other hand in her free one.

She looked up at him and couldn’t resist the laughter that bubbled up from her throat. He looked so nervous. “What’s wrong, Rogers? Is this your first dance since 1945?”

“Well…yes.” He licked his lips and he held on to her a bit more firmly, but there was something gentle in his touch. Being in Steve’s arms was startlingly intimate and the redhead had to keep from trembling at the closeness of his body as he lessened the space between them.

“I’m happy to contribute to it, then.” His hand felt so warm as he held hers that she felt herself melt a little inside. In all her life, she’d never had a man hold her like this. Like she was something to be treasured and cherished.

Steve returned her smile and entwined her fingers with his. Natasha laid her head on his chest and they swayed to the sound of Andy Williams crooning a love song above their heads.

I have often walked down this street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before. All at once, am I several stories high, knowing I’m on the street where you live.

No one knew this, but ‘On The Street Where You Live’ was one of Natasha’s favourite songs. For years, she wondered if she would find a man who loved her that much, someone who would be so enraptured of being with her that it felt like he were flying. Yes, it was a bit of wishful thinking on her part, but she was still a woman and wasn’t it the wish of every woman to be loved wholeheartedly?

After a while, she pulled back and said, “You know, you really aren’t as bad as you think. The way you dance…it’s almost as if you’ve done this your whole life. Are you sure you want to stick with your original 'I can’t dance to save my life’ story?”

Steve laughed out loud and the reverberations shook her to her core. God, she loved his laughter. It was so full and deep, like it shook every part of him. It made sense because Steve wasn’t a man who did things halfway; he was an all or nothing kind of guy.

“What can I say? I guess I just needed the right partner…”

Those words made Natasha’s head snap up and she stared at him in shock, hoping that her ears weren’t deceiving her. “You’d better not be teasing me, Steve,” she said in a hushed voice.

A possessive look appeared on Steve’s face and he gave her a gaze that burned her with the raw desire behind it. “I’d never do that to you, Nat,” came his husky reply.

Natasha knew that she could get lost in those blue eyes if she wasn’t careful, but that wasn’t such a bad thing. After everything they’d been through together, they both deserved a win. She knew that she and Steve were just right for each other. He was her missing puzzle piece. With him, she was complete, stronger and happier. They were already a great pair in the field and even better as friends. Love was the obvious step to come.

For Steve, there was a blend of elegance and toughness imbedded in her personality, a distinct feminine sensuality and that kept him on his toes. Natasha was a woman through and through, but she could be just as capable and skilled as a man. He may not address it, but that was a big factor in his attraction towards her and she knew it.

In those brief moments right before a mission, she’d catch Steve watching her out of the corner of his eye and she knew that he liked what he saw, but it was more than just that. He looked at her, proud of the woman she’d become and as if he didn’t regret choosing to trust her with his own life all those years ago.

The thought that Steve could see her in such a way made Natasha’s head spin. Her life may not be a fairy tale, but dammit, she was going to get her happy ending one way or another.

After a while of dancing, Steve surprised her by suddenly adjusting his hand placement on her body, then twirling her away from him and back into his arms. She let out a delighted gasp. “I didn’t know you knew how to do that.”

Steve leaned forward, so that his lips brushed against her ear. He whispered, “I’m a fast learner.”

Shivers ran down her spine, but she got ahold of herself and replied, “Interesting. After this dance, I’ll have to see what else you can pick up quickly.”

There was a sizzling look in Natasha’s eyes and Steve felt his whole body warm from the intensity of it. He felt like he could look into those blazing green eyes and just get lost in them.

Maybe that’s what he needed all along. The right woman to wake him up from his doldrums and bring him out of the cold for good. They were good for each other. Anyone could see that, and at this stage in their relationship, Steve knew that the time had finally come for him to let his feelings be known. It was hell holding them back from Natasha as well as fighting the urge to take her in his arms as he wanted to so many times before.

“This feels nice…and right.” Natasha murmured as they danced on the floor. Her heartseemed to beat in time with Steve’s own and he kissed her hand, wrapped up in a feeling of wonder.

“There’s no way it could be wrong…could it?” He pulled back slightly so Natasha would lift her head to look at him.

“Being around you is never a bad thing, Steve. You always seem to find me when I need you the most and…I don’t want to lose that.”

Now, they had stopped dancing, and Steve stared down at Natasha, eyes full of hope. “Nat…?”

The redhead just looked at Steve, an overwhelming look of love on her face and she said, “I’m saying that I want this. I want us.”

Steve’s mouth opened and closed several times, but words failed him. She had finally told him. This was it. This was what he’d been waiting for ever since that that stolen moment they shared in Sam’s guest room. Clutching her more securely around her waist, Steve managed to breathe out, “You mean…?”

Natasha pressed herself closer to Steve and ran her finger along his jawline and up to his lips. “I want to wake up next to you every morning and go to sleep in your arms every night. You, Steven Grant Rogers, are the only man I want to be mine. I want forever with you.”

Suddenly, it was like time stopped and everyone else in the room faded away, leaving only the two of them. Steve caressed Natasha’s cheek and she smiled at him, nuzzling her face into the touch. Steve’s heart pounding in his chest even harder and he thought that he might leap for joy. “I want forever with you, too, Nat. I want everything.” He placed his palm on her heart, where he could feel her own muscle beating, proud and strong.

Tears shone in Natasha’s green orbs and she sighed in relief before she laid a passionate kiss on his lips. Having his arms around Natasha was wonderful, but from the little teases of her hands and the nips he made on her mouth, Steve knew it was a mere shadow of the other pleasures he’d experience with her.

As Steve and Natasha danced together, they both believed wholeheartedly that no matter what they’d face in the future, their love would never run dry because it was truly everlasting.


First Look: The New Audi A5 Sportback

Seven years after the birth of the A5 Sportback, the new version now makes its appearance. The five-door coupé blends elegant, emotional design with high functionality and abundant interior comfort. The family-friendly car is perfectly connected and offers the latest infotainment features. Plus, the second generation comes with a completely reengineered suspension, high-performance drives and innovative driver assistance systems. 

Happy National Sugar Cookie Day!⠀

The modern sugar cookie is one of the latest incarnations of a portable treat that’s been making tea and snack time an occasion for generations. It may seem like the unimaginative half-brother of the much-ballyhooed chocolate chip cookie, but the sugar cookie has a long history and a distinguished pedigree. For the cookie purist, there’s nothing more refined and elegant than that buttery blend of sugar and cake that makes the sugar cookie a handful of goodness.⠀

For cookie aficionados with an on-the-go lifestyle, sugar cookies are a portable feast. They’re as at home in a lunchbox as they are on a dessert cart, but convenience probably wasn’t the reason cookies were first invented. Like many good things, cookies were probably first discovered by accident. They may well have been the brain child of a busy Middle Eastern baker around the seventh century who decided to sell the small batter cakes he used to test the temperature of his cooking oven. Eliminating waste by selling these portable, tasty mini-cakes caught on and a revolutionary sugar-based creation was born.⠀

Of course, the first sugar cookies weren’t called by that name. When word started spreading throughout Europe in the 17th century about these tasty desserts, and later when they were introduced to the Americas, some entertaining terms were employed to describe these small treats. After all, this child-sized indulgence deserves a few whimsical appellations like jumbles, jumbals, crybabies, plunkets and gemmels. Early cookie recipes that probably morphed into the modern sugar cookie were called gimblettes in France and cimbellines in Italy, too. These weren’t the only names given to small cookie-like, sugar cakes, but they’ll give you an idea of the creative diversity people were beginning to employ to personalize these miniature baked goods. https://www.instagram.com/p/BWVRWodlmh7/

𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚕𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚌... || 𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚟𝚊𝚖𝚙𝚒𝚛𝚎

@erinthevampire liked for a thing from Thomas!

    It was a strange thing, performing for the first time in what felt like decades. Thomas had spent months in hiding, fearing another relapse. He didn’t wanna hurt anyone, especially not another human. There was that monster hidden inside of him that had been desperately trying to claw its way out, and Thomas was going to do everything he could to keep it from getting out. So he locked himself in his apartment, with nothing but a piano and blank sheet music.
   Those months of isolation were poured into his music. Every ounce of fear, anger, sorrow and hatred was written in the form of beautiful notes and sweet, sweet melodies. He went through what must have been 50 different drafts before he finally felt at peace with both himself and the piece he had spent those months creating.

   The night of his first performance in over a year was one of complete and utter chaos. From finding the venue, to almost forgetting his sheet music at his apartment. It almost felt as if the universe was against him that day. But even still, he had a performance to do, and he was determined to make it absolute perfection.
   It wasn’t a very big gig, just a small local theater, but a gig was a gig, and the theater was nice and homely. There was a beautiful grand piano in the middle of the stage in the medium sized performance hall, and red velvety curtains hung high and wrapped around the front part of the stage when closed.
   Thomas couldn’t recall another time where he had actually been nervous. He never got nervous about performing. Perhaps it was because of how emotional this particular piece was. It reminded him of his mother, as it was the style of music she would always have him play for her. Dark and dramatic, with a few hints of elegance blended in between each measure.
    Was he nervous, or terrified? He wasn’t sure. All he could do was pace back and forth backstage, trying to decide whether to go on, or run back to the safety of his small, cramped apartment


A sparkling golden tower on the banks of the Nile, the luxury 5-star Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah reflects contemporary elegance with its artful blend of Pharaonic, Arabic and French art deco design. Located on the quiet southern tip of El Gezirah island, you will be close to some of Cairo’s great points of interest. Start the day with a stroll along the Quai du Nil, do a bit of shopping for antiquities at the Egyptian Museum, arrange a Pyramids tour, and spend an evening at Cairo Opera House. Return to a refreshing dip in a heated infinity pool overlooking the Nile. Magnifique!

I recently (finally) finished LEGEND OF KORRA, after nope'ing out of the fandom in the first season and I found that I really loved it, I have such emotional investment in Korra as a character and, naturally, that means fic! I gave some thought about what kind of fic I wanted to read (what I want most of all is good Korra character stuff, I love gen, and then some extra shipping stuff piled on the side, in my dream world) and eventually realized, as I talked about in this post, that Korra’s bisexuality means so much to me that I want to celebrate both her relationships, with Mako and Asami, that they’re both important parts of her character. So, I’m pretty much down for both pairings, I like them both, and my recs will reflect that. ♥

the next six months by swapcats, korra/asami, post-series, 4.3k
    Vacations in the Spirit World don’t last forever. The first six months of Korra and Asami’s relationship.
In Quiet by exmanhater, korra/asami & pema & tenzin & katara & meelo & ikki, 5.7k
    Days and nights at Air Temple Island, after the poison.
Sleep by clarias, korra/asami & tlok cast, 14.3k
    Korra deals with the aftermath of her fight with the Red Lotus, with a lot of help from her friends.
not there for the noise by amillionsmiles, mako/korra + kids, 2.6k
    Mako and Korra show up to support their daughter during her championship probending match, and, afterwards, celebrate with a night in town.
Restitution by BobLoblawLawBlog, korra & tonraq & tenzin & jinora & mako & bolin & asami + some mako/korra, 24.5k
    A series on Korra’s recovery process told from the perspectives of many different characters.

full details + recs under the cut!

Keep reading


First Look: The New BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

BMW is preparing to launch the latest BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo in time for summer. Blending the elegance of a coupe with the spaciousness of a luxury sedan & the boot capacity of a station wagon, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has developed into a firm fixture of the mid-size class over the last three years. 

Its biggest sales markets are China, Germany and the USA, and the majority of BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo customers are new to the BMW brand. The new version of the Gran Turismo cuts a visibly sportier figure, and the three petrol and five diesel engines in the range offer noticeably higher output. All the engines are turbocharged and burn up to 14 per cent less fuel. 

The interior, meanwhile, impresses with its high-quality materials, the new user interface for the Navigation system Professional (taken from BMW’s luxury-class cars) and even better smartphone connectivity.

WTNV Tarot


When representing a person, he is likely to be involved in finance, and to be successful in the business world.  A lover of the finer things.  Reversed, the King of Pentacles may become a cheapskate or an exploiter. He may be a business owner who underpays his employees, cheats on taxes or operates dishonestly. He may be overly conservative, thereby impeding or preventing progress. He may view people simply as resources.”

Wealth and all that is entangled with it, that is Marcus Vansten.  Before I even had the entire Major Arcana planned out I had Marcus pretty firmly placed as King of Pentacles.  The King of Pentacles is the prime symbol of earthly matters of wealth, which fits him beautifully.

I really like how this piece turned out!  I wanted to use some brighter colors this time around, seeing as how recent pieces have been more monochrome or washed out.  While other material entities like Strex are associated with orange and gold, I associate Marcus with royal blues and gold, a very elegant blend of colors.  I also gave around his window ivy and plants, since upkeep of healthy plants would require water, and it’s the possession of a scarce resource in the desert.  For all you fans of flower symbolism there - I’m a big fan of motifs, including flower language - notice the basil, King’s Cup, and narcissus in the pots.  The accents around his window hint to his role in The Debate.

Remember folks, it isn’t indecent exposure if your watercolors are blended below the waist. ;)

Click Here for the Masterpost of WTNV Tarot Cards!

(dangit, I forgot to time this one.)


Fandom Friday!! This week dear bloggers we have a treat reminiscent of, “Welcome to Night Vale”…….Or in our case, “Welcome to Lush Vale”….

For this elegant blending of golden sunshine straight from Desert Bluffs, you will need a Strex Corp approved Sunnyside bubble bar. The beautiful lustre makes an iridescent glittery effect like the sands in a desert storm. (Which is why I call it, ‘Midnight Sands’)

The Night Vale purple is caused by the sweet smelling Blackberry bath bomb. The Government agent assigned to you from the Sheriffs Secret Police Department and the Old Woman who secretly lives in your home will adore this Lush cult classic. Whether you’re sharing the bath with your perfect scientist or having some time to plan your next radio broadcast pondering over the many mysteries of life, this bathing beauty is so perfect, you will fall in love instantly!

(If you haven’t listened to Welcome to Night Vale yet, you totally need to! It’s free on podbay or itunes. For more “Welcome to Night Vale” themed awesomeness check out the way I used our products for my cosplay)

Musings on Love - A Tanka Collection [Kindle Edition] is available at amazon now!

This edition includes 60 tanka stanzas accompanied by 36 color illustrations in 71 pages, plus an appendix with the full bilingual line to line rendition of the original Japanese text and its English translation.



“in my dream I was washing you and crying
harassed by butterflies without antennae”

Naoko Higashi is a Japanese poet who has been expressing her feelings of love and intimacy into Japanese Tanka. Tatsuro Kiuchi has extended her world and captured the depth of her feelings in beautiful illustrations. The combination of her Tanka’s alluring simplicity with the understated elegance of the illustrations blend to create an intense world of emotional and artistic awareness.

Jonathan Leask’s English translation has deftly kept the meaning and rhythm of the Tanka intact, providing for a highly enjoyable reading.

First published as paper book by Poplar Japan in 2004, and the Kindle Japanese edition was released in 2013.