finally i can post my piece from the @juliangardenzine Garden of Atonement, which preorders ended for yesterday.
i really am grateful to have been a part of such a wonderful and charitable project with such incredible, incredible artists and writers. this was my first time doing something like this and i can only wait until i can participate in more… 👀
These previews are part of a small collection of new work I created for a solo exhibition at @lightgreyartlab alongside their Parallel show opening on Friday 9/22. The show is titled Crossroads and is inspired by the world of Dragonfly Holiday, one of my personal narrative projects. So excited about this! I’ll be sharing the full pieces after the opening.
PS so sorry for the lack of updates here- life has been… crazy to say the least. More posts should be coming very soon!
For more frequent updates, WIPs, and pics of my dog follow me on instagram @mcrockefeller
- 1 stick vegan margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup smooth soy nut butter
- 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons oil, and 2 teaspoons baking powder (mixed together to sub for 2 eggs)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 9 ounces vegan chocolate chips
Roll into balls (about golf ball size) and set on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Pop in the oven at 375 degrees for 9 minutes and let cool. Makes about 30 cookies.
These cookies are seriously awesome! They’re soft but with a slight crisp on the outside and they just melt in your mouth 😍 so so good and perfect for the holidays!
its getting to be holiday season, and crystal snow is such a lovely song. the vocals make me want to sing ahhh.
i’ve been getting a lot of asks about this, so tip of the day: your studyblr/tumblr is yours. that’s the beauty of having your own blog. there is nothing you can do to attract more followers, not even making it more “aesthetic.” the term “aesthetic” has many meanings. beauty is objective. post what you want to post, and don’t apologize for it.
wishing all those with upcoming finals the very best xx
Feeling quite dapper this Christmas! Finally got some stuff designed by my biggest inspiration @dappermouth ! I hope you have a wonderful holiday Jen and thank you for inspiring me to continue to find myself in the art world!
Summary: Felicity Smoak and Lyla Michaels are both lost in their jobs and their places in life. Both are in desperate need of a holiday, and what better time to escape than Christmas-time? When they find one another on a home exchange website and agree to switch houses, they assume all they’ll be getting is a getaway in a stranger’s house for a couple weeks. They never bargained to find love. (Loosely based on the Christmas rom-com, The Holiday!)
Author’s Note: I posted this fic over on Ao3 last night and so here’s the Tumblr post/version for you. You can read it on Ao3 here! :D Enjoy!
“Just be honest with me, Ray!”
The silence that has overtaken him infuriates Felicity. He’s never quiet. Ever. He’s typically more talkative than she is, but now he’s absolutely silent. His eyes are downcast in feigned shame and his lips have morphed into a sad pout. He’s a wounded puppy who got caught stealing his human’s favorite pair of shoes to use as his personal chew toys.
“Ray, just tell me.”
“Alright!” he exclaims, wounded demeanor quickly shifting into exasperation. “Fine… I stole the prototype.”
Hearing the truth she’s already been so certain of doesn’t make her feel any better. “That wasn’t yours to take, Ray.” Her tone is laced with venomous disappointment. “Your hands are stained with the hopes and dreams and foiled change of those who could have benefited from the plans I had for that prototype.”
“That’s not what I’m most worried about.”
“What’s more important or worrisome than that?” Felicity spits out, anger escalating.
Ray’s eyes widen for a few seconds before he frowns. “Our relationship, Felicity.”
She buffs out a sarcastic laugh and continues packing up Ray’s clothing. “Our relationship became past tense the moment you chose your own success and ego over mine… your reputation over the betterment of society.”
“You have such a high opinion of yourself, Felicity. But don’t pretend my momentary lapse in good judgment is the cause of this relationship’s deterioration.”
Felicity tosses one of his sneakers into the suitcase violently. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You built a lab in the house. You and Curtis work nonstop and you’re always checking your phone and jotting down new ideas.”
Felicity throws her hands up. “It is my job!”
Ray reaches out but Felicity takes a step back. Not in fear. Just… sadness. Anger. She’s invested years into their relationship and now it feels as though she’s failed somehow. Failed to make her priorities clear. Failed to maintain a balance. Failed to see the same issues so apparent in Ray.
“But you have to separate the facets of your life, Felicity.”
Her eyes narrow at his words. “Is that why you did it?” She can’t help but feel the tears burning behind her eyes. The tears that never break through and fall. Ever. She fights the quiver that pulls at her lips and the wavering confidence in her tone. Everything is cascading into overwhelming hurt - wounds that have just given themselves permission to ache despite their discreet festering over time. This has been a long time coming, she tells herself. I should have let it happen sooner… before he stole my work. “Is this whole thing the reason you feel so justified?”
“I’m not justifying what I’ve done. But your prototypes were exactly what my company needed to make a comeback.”
Felicity is done. Absolutely done. She rounds the bed, pushes him backwards out the bedroom door and continues to the stairs, never looking him in the eye. Ray grasps the banister and plants his feet. She fights against him to no avail. He is cemented in place. “Get out of my house!” she hisses.
“No need to throw me down the stairs, Felicity,” Ray says in fear. “I’ll leave.”
She watches as Ray begins his descent down the stairs, then he stops three steps from the bottom and turns. If it weren’t for how infuriated she feels or the knowledge that he’s a thief, Felicity might imagine him as the stereotype for cartoon fairy tale princes everywhere: at the bottom of a tower looking up and onward in hopeful anticipation. There’s a small part of Felicity that longs for an apology… for something resembling remorse from the man she’s spent years of her life with. Instead, he grins slightly and asks, “What about my stuff?”
Felicity groans and points in the direction of the front door. “I will send you your things!” Then she whirls around and waits for the door to close, signaling the end of this lengthy stage of her life. Then she lets out a small scream.
It is anger and betrayal and sadness, all rolled into one burst of vocalized sound. It echoes off the walls, through the large house until she hears Curtis’ clumsy gait thundering out of the lab downstairs and up the stairs.
“Did that trash hurt you?” Curtis explodes, looking around with fists raised. “I’ll kill him.”
Felicity chuckles. “No.”
“The why the hell would you scream like that?”
She shrugs. “I needed to.”
Curtis shakes his head. “No, what you need is a vacation.”
“I can’t leave right now, Curtis.”
“Why not?” he asks, frustration mixing with his concern. “I can handle things while you’re gone. You need a break.”
“I have no idea where to go.”
Curtis smiles widely. “Oh, girl. I have the perfect thing for you!”
Lyla sits beside the hospital bed, hands clasped tightly in her lap. Her jaw is set and her breathing is as calm as she can get it - even with a slight hold between exhales. Rene’s breathing is less even as the machines beep and force his lungs to function through their stress. Oliver paces back and forth behind Lyla’s chair, steps tapping in even mounts along the floor, almost in sync with the medical equipment chiming.
“You’ll wear a path into the linoleum doing that, boss,” she says, voice flat and eyes never leaving the rise and fall of Rene’s chest.
“It keeps me from doing things I’ll regret.”
“Like fire me?”
A weighty silence fills the room. It keeps the hospital noises at bay. Then Oliver clears his throat and murmurs, “I’d never fire you, Lyla.”
She stands from the chair and faces Oliver. His face is tired - haggard - and his short hair tousled from the sleep she woke him from. The prim and proper, well put together mayor of Star City is not the one treading a repetitive path in the tiny room in Star City General. It is the worried friend. The fatherly mentor. The good man beneath the broody politician.
“Perhaps you should, though.”
Their eyes meet and the pain in Oliver’s gaze jumps out with horrific clarity, almost tangible across the short distance between them. He shakes his head. “Lyla, just take a break. A holiday break. None of this is your fault, and maybe some time away will help you see that.”
So after a few minutes of silent contemplation and shared mourning for Rene’s condition, she leaves with a written request for her to take a leave of absence, just for the holidays. She calls Dinah without hesitation. “Can you take over for me?” she asks after a long explanation. Her heart aches with each gruesome detail.
“Of course,” Dinah says. “I’d do anything for you. But is it wise to leave Rene?”
Lyla closes her eyes and fights back the tears - the same tears she’s been fighting since she arrived at the hospital after the ambulance. “Oliver thinks it is for the best, and honestly, there’s nothing I can do for him.”
“You know it wasn’t your fault, right?” Dinah asks, calm but with a tinge of concern. It is just enough to keep Lyla away from her sorrow but enough for the entire situation to batter against her all over again.
“That might be the case, but it sure feels like it is my fault.”
After a small silence, Dinah clears her throat. “Well, I’ll keep you updated… if that’s okay?”
Lyla nods. “Please do. And thanks again.”
Lyla heads home and researches locations to escape to, hoping for the perfect distraction. After a few different keyword searches, she finds a home exchange site. She reads through the rules and regulations, terms and conditions, then decides to go for it. She steps outside and takes some photos of her Christmas light festooned home, then gets a few shots of each room within, equally decorated. She keeps the obvious vicinity of her home to the Queen estate a secret in the exterior photos.
Almost the moment she lists her home, she gets a message from someone named Felicity.
Felicity: I noticed you just listed your lovely home for exchange. Is it available soon?
Lyla: How soon?
Lyla stares at the word, imagining what she might be doing tomorrow if she were to say no - if she still had a job to return to in the morning. She will be outside of Oliver’s office, eyeing each hopeful person who walks by, listening to her team as they give updates on the garage, William’s school and Oliver’s estate, through the comms. But that’s not an option for her. If anything, she’ll be holed up in her bedroom watching rom-com after rom-com with wine and chocolate staining her duvet. The thought makes her shudder and her response is typed quickly… almost automatic.
Lyla: Tomorrow’s perfect!
Felicity’s cab pulls up to the quaint house just outside the city and she finally feels the chance to take a lengthy, much needed breath. She’s not exactly sure what she needs. She’s not sure if its quiet or seclusion. She’s not sure if she just needs a long bath and a good book or just a change of scenery. She hopes this little building - this stranger’s home - will give her exactly what she’s in need of.
She pays the driver and then walks up to the door. She locates the security keypad above the doorbell and enters the code Lyla gave her the night before. A low beep sounds and then she hears the locks click clear. She wonders what sort of life this woman leads that she would need such a security measure, but she appreciates it nonetheless.
She enters the house to be greeted by a meowing black cat and numerous Christmas decorations scattered about in just the right places - almost magazine ready. A tree. Stockings above the fireplace. The cat weaves itself about her legs, purring in excitement over the new visitor. Felicity lets out a sigh and then frowns.
Lyla comes up to the house, wind jerking the cab this way and that. Both her and the driver let out gasps.
“I think you’ve hit the jackpot, miss,” the old female driver says with a wide grin.
Lyla gets out, pays the driver and then retrieves her baggage from the trunk. She rushes to the door in a desperate attempt escape the blisteringly cold desert wind. There’s a plain wreath on the door but nothing else to signal the holidays are celebrated in this gigantic, modern structure. She types in the outlandish code into the security keypad by the door and waits for the tell tale click of the locks sliding away. When she opens the door, silence hits her. An overwhelming silence. For a moment it threatens to knock her down - threatens to ruin the hopefulness she’s built this trip around - but she quickly steels herself. You got this, Michaels.
She explores the house, marveling at the tall windows in each room and the perfectly curated furnishings. Atop the fireplace in the living room she finds a menorah, old and tarnished with its age - the only things that doesn’t fit in the neatness of the home. She takes a seat on the nearest armchair and then looks out the windows at the vast Vegas valley.