Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Resolutions and Year-End Review

And so, another year passes. 2011, you have been a harsh mistress and you won't be missed. I know that many of you have had a rough year as well. There have been a few highlights, but overall - pretty blah. Here's hoping that 2012 will be more forgiving.

The list below not only contains my next set of resolutions, but also a review on what I've accomplished.

1) Reach my goal weight - I've lost about 33lbs. this year and whittled down from a size 8 to a size 4US (or 3/5 juniors). Yay! So I've accomplished my weight loss goal (20lbs.) and went 13 lbs. beyond that. My friend, Jane got me hooked on MyFitnessPal (username is mjrojas if you wish to add me), a free online diary where you can keep track of your daily fitness and caloric intake. Using this diary has made me become more conscious of what and how much I eat, as well as motivate me to exercise more. It's been very well the far most effective weight loss plan I've ever used - and I've done 'em all!

Now all I need is to lose the last 15lbs., which I should achieve come this spring. I wanna buy up and rock some skinny jeans in all the colors of the rainbow!

2) I've surpassed my 300 sales goal, that is if you count all sales outside of Etsy. I'm still adding up the total, but I know it's far more than 300. Perhaps I should go for 1,000 in 2012?

3) Accomplished goal #3 by partaking in Underground Artists Market's fall craft show. Not that many people showed up due to the freak snowstorm that weekend, but I managed to make some sales and network with a some wonderful vendors and and a few customers.

I'll definitely try to participate in more craft shows, especially People's Choice. I will need to invest in an EZ-Up tent and stuff to outfit said tent. I still prefer indoor craft shows, though. :P

4) I didn't get to take Marduk out for as many walks as I'd like to this year, due to work and personal stuff, but I'll try harder this time. I'd love to take up hiking, just some easy trails for us.

5) Again, did not achieve the interior re-painting for parts of the house, and I still have the floor left to scrub and paint in the art studio. Will try to get the formal living room done this January and go from there.

6) I finally got around to replacing the nasty 20+ year-old carpeting in the den with some gorgeous acacia hardwood flooring that I got on clearance at SimpleFloors. I still have to find proper matching thresholds (the most difficult task) and install those, but other than that, it's all done.

7) Hallway bathroom renovation has not been done yet, although I don't really count this as a goal. I did acquire some new hardware and accessories and have also found the toilet, tub, vanity, tiles and fixtures I want to buy.

8) I did manage to work on some kimono and kanzashi stuff for myself and for a few clients. Hope to make plenty more of the stuff this time around, I've been drafting out some concepts for a new collection. I even snatched up a nice ro silk momiji bolt that will be turned into a hikizuri.

9) Did not get into RCIA this year. My friend, Ant has attempted to contact the local parish several times but got no response. I even went down there by myself to find the office closed. By his last attempt, it was already too late. :/ Oh well, just need to make more in-person visits.

10) Need to better organize my shtuff - take care of things right away, not at the last minute. Trying not to pile so much work on my plate.

11) And last, but not least, is to try not to overwork myself and relax more. I really need to get back to doing more personal artwork and try to venture out of this boring town. I could kill for a vacation right about now, or at the very least, a nice day at a spa.

What's your New Year's resolution?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And yet another holiday sale

For those of you who missed my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, fear not - I'm holding another special:

US Buyers: Free First Class domestic shipping! Enter USFREESHIP at checkout.

International Buyers: Get 10% off your entire order! Enter INTLTAKE10 at checkout.

Good until 12.31.11. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Sorry, holiday special does not apply to wholesale orders. Please use the appropriate coupon code as accordingly.

(Click the images to head over to my shops)

Red and Black Sakura Kanzashi Flower Hair Clip
Kanzashi Shop

Kingyo Screen Printed Crewneck Dress
Yay for Fidget Art!

Tree Branch Silhouette Aurora Borealis Photography Print
Photography Shop

Friday, November 25, 2011

New shirt design

Mock-up of my latest design - a fat, little kinglet perched on a branch of blossoming ume. I'll probably tweak with the design a bit more like adding a few falling petals and whatnot, but this is pretty much what I was going for.

I can totally see this being printed on the front of a zip-up hoodie or other cute winterwear. What do you guys think of the design?

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!

Hope those who celebrated had a relaxing Thanksgiving. I spent most of the day cooking, followed by stuffing myself stupid with yummy turkey and other assorted foods, capping off the day with an MST3K marathon.

As a special treat for this weekend only, take 25% off your entire order from all three shops! Use coupon code HOLIDAY2011 at checkout. Get your holiday shopping done from the safety and comfort of your computer while supporting independent artisans. :D

Sorry, sale does not apply to gift cards or wholesale orders.

Click the images below to head over to the respective shops.

Forest Green Ginkgo Screen Printed Hoodie Dress
Yay for Fidget Art!

Red and White Ume Kanzashi Silk Flower Hairpin
Couture shop

Monarch Butterfly and Bare Tree Branches
Photography shop

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New and re-vamped goodness.

The holidays are coming up so I've been shifting into super sweat shop mode, illustrating and printing like a mad Pokey. I reeeeeaally hope I can get everything done before Thanksgiving.

Below are the new and re-done shtuff that are now available in my shops (click the images to head over to the listings):

Red Ginkgo Leaf Jersey Scarf

Ginkgo Leaf Organic Scoop Neck T-Shirt

Eco Black Momiji Hoodie

"Where She Walked"
This was a re-vamp of my popular panoramic print of the west Irish countryside. The older version seemed a bit too dreary so I added a few airbrushed layers and tweaked the channels and layer masks. To top it off, I added a very soft vignette to help accentuate the palette of pastel colors and help draw in the viewer.

"Ocean Song"
My second re-vamp, which mostly involved removing a bunch of unnecessary layers and tweaking/experimenting with existing ones. I've always felt the original was a bit too dark and heavy, and this revised version really brings out the colors in a tastefully "grungy" appearance.

"The First Butterfly of Spring"
My third revamp, which also involved removing several layers, including the vignette along the border that was too distracting. Now it looks more light and airy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall 2011 Underground Artisans Market

Hey guys, I'll be selling my screen printed goods at UAM this Saturday, October 29th between 1pm-5pm. So if you're in the State College area, stop on by and say hi (and mebbe pick up some Fidget Art! gear, *winkwink*). A part of the proceeds will go toward Schlow Library.

Get a jump-start on your holiday shopping with unique handmade/upcycled items from talented artists and avoid paying shipping costs. Click the image for more info.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween movie line-up

And so, with Halloween fast approaching, my friends and I will once again be lame and stay indoors for a horror movie marathon. Because seriously, there's absolutely nothing to do in my town but get shitfaced and act like morons, which gets tiresome rather quickly.

We've compiled a watch list for said night, as well as for the following couple of days:

Event Horizon
Jacob's Ladder
The Exorcist (Director's Cut)
Poltergeist I and III (not II, because the ending blows)
The Living Dead series (original and 90s versions)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Shaun of the Dead
Ghostbusters I and II
Meet Joe Black
High Spirits

The only other highlights would be a nice, home cooked meal and communing with the dead (in the respectful way, mind you...none of that ouija board crap).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weight Loss Progress

fat kid loves cake print
I Love You Like A Fat Kid Loves Cake - Eye Exam Chart Print by CJ Prints

For the past few years, I've been making false promises to myself to get my then-fat ass in gear and drop all of my college weight.

Backstory - In 2003, a fresh-faced Pokey arrived in San Francisco for art school, weighing in at 132lbs., and a size 7US juniors. By my last summer semester at AAU in 2007, SF has proven well in it's omnomnomy good eats as I had ballooned up to 210-220lbs. and was squeezing into a size 14-16US in womens. Curse you, SF for your deliciousness.

Got fed up, started out with baby steps by cutting back on the fatty foods, eliminating sodas from my diet. Started taking morning constitutionals in the Pac Heights region and managed to drop several inches total all over by December. Shortly after I graduated, my friends and I had to scramble together for the big move to the east coast, so wound up melting off more pounds from all of the packing, tossing out garbage and simply not eating enough.

Shortly after the great move in '08, I went to the doctor's office for my annual physical during my visit back to my hometown and weighed in at 182lbs. Found out my triglyceride levels were too high so the doc put me on a diet and ordered me to lose at least ten pounds. Fair enough, since I was trying for that anyway. Managed to lose the ten pounds...but that didn't last long.

From then up until March of this year, my weight kept yoyo-ing between 165-175lbs. and I kept hovering at a size 8-10US. I certainly had enough of that bs, so after my bitchfest/breakdown I opened up an account at MyFitnessPal and started calorie counting. Technically, I tried calorie counting before but pretty much half-assed it for a bit before giving it the boot. This time was permanent.

I also ended my gym contract since it didn't help me a whole lot (NOTE: I'm not hatin' on gym memberships, I just think I didn't achieve the best results from mine personally). Picked up a couple of Jillian Michael's dvds at the local Wally World and pushed myself through the circuit training, gradually progressing through each level. It also helped that I didn't have to deal with traffic when I used to go to said gym.

Combined with (mostly) healthy eating and cooking at home more often, I was pleasantly surprised to find my weight dropping and my clothes fitting looser. Of course, this was all over the course of several months, so it was gradual yet steady, losing an average of 4-5lbs. per month. Currently I'm at 146.8 and have lost 26lbs. (huzzah!). My clothing sizes are about 4-6US misses depending on brand and 5-7 juniors (also depending on brand). Still have a little more than 20lbs. to lose, but I know I can do it!

With that in mind, back in my SF days, I was discussing weight loss with a friend of mine and how I wanted to return to my former athletic high school physique. He responded with, "We rarely return to our glory days." True, but I still thought, 'Oh yeah? I'll fucking show ya.'

For those who are also trying to get into shape, a great method of motivation would be to buy a pair of jeans, a bikini, or whatever article of clothing fits your fancy in your goal size (or the next size down from your current) and hang it up on the wall in front of your bed. My mom suggested this to me a while back and it's been working fairly well as of late.

Also, get rid of your clothes as soon as they become too loose fitting for you. The purpose of this part is to discourage oneself from overeating and to assure that you won't need to revert back to your larger clothes again. And hey, if said bigger clothes are in decent condition, there are some thrift stores like Plato's Closet where you can turn them in for a bit of cash. Plus, there's also Ebay.

For those interested, I've kept a fitness log to track my measurements. Sorry if the calculations are a bit off, I had to readjust my new goal measurements and may have screwed up some of the numbers by accident.

Bust: 44" (lose 10")
Waist: 36" (lose 9")
Hips: 43" (lose 7")
Thigh: 25" (lose 6")
Upper Arm Cir.: 14" (lose 4")

Bust: 42" (lose 8")
Waist: 34" (lose 7")
Hips: 42" (lose 6")
Thigh: 23.75" (lose 4.75")
Arm Cir.: 13.25" (lose 3.25")

Bust: 40.5" (lose 6.5")
Waist: 34" (lose 7")
Hips: 41" (lose 5")
Thigh: 23.5" (lose 4.5")
Arm Cir.: 12.75" (lose 2.75")

Bust: 40" (lose 6")
Waist: 34" (lose 7")
Hips: 40.5" (lose 4.5")
Arm Cir: 12" (lose 2")

Bust: 39.5 (lose 5.5")
Waist: 33.5" (lose 6.5")
Hips: 40" (lose 4")
Thigh: 22" (lose 3")
Arm Cir: 11.5" lose 1.5"

Bust: 39" (lose 5")
Waist: 33" (lose 6")
Hips: 39" (lose 3")
Thigh: 22" (lose 3")
Arm Cir: 11.5" (lose 1.5")

Bust: 38" (lose 4")
Waist: 31.5" (lose 4.5")
Hips: 38" (Lose 2")

Bust: 37" (lose 3")
Waist: 31.5" (lose 4.5")
Hips: 38" (Lose 2")

(Notice the huge time gap between these entries. I was like, "fuck it!" and gave up measuring for a while, only relying on the scale.)

Bust: 37" (lose 3")
Waist: 32" (lose 5") :(
Hips: 38" (lose 2")
Thigh: 22" (lose 3")
Arm Cir.: 12" (lose 2") :(

Bust: 37" (lose 3")
Waist: 31.5" (lose 4.5")
Hips: 37.5" (lose 1.5")
Thigh: 21" (lose 2")
Arm Cir.: 11" (lose 1")

Bust: 36.5" (lose 2.5")
Waist: 31" (lose 4")
Hips: 37" (lose 1")
Thigh: 21" (lose 2")
Arm Cir.: 11" (lose 1")

Bust: 36" (lose 2")
Waist: 30" (lose 3")
Hips: 35.5" (reached goal)
Thigh: 20" (lose 1")
Arm Cir.: 11" (lose 1")

Bust: 35.5" (lose 1.5")
Waist: 29.5" (lose 2.5")
Hips: 35" (reached goal)
Thigh: 20" (lose 1")
Arm Cir.: 11" (lose 1")

Bust: 35" (lose 1")
Waist: 29.5" (lose 2.5")
Hips: 35" (reached goal)
Thigh: 20" (lose 1")
Arm Cir.: 11" (lose 1")

Bust: 34"
Waist: 27"
Hips: 36"
Thigh: 19"
Arm Cir.: 10"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Plague Doctor!

In preparation for Halloween, I wanted to do a piece that will fit the atmosphere of the holiday and I've been itching to sketch up some plague doctor art for a while. Actually, I did draw several pieces on the subject earlier this year but they didn't turn out the way I wanted, so they wound up in the ever-growing reject pile.

But now I got it down right this time! At least I think so...the results are below:

The work-in-progress version. Credit is due to my awesome-possum Connor for the hand modeling. Initially, I shaded in the eyes with vertical stroke marks but replaced them with circular strokes to give the doc a more piercing gaze.

Aaaaand the finished version (both posted pics are intentionally lower res). Background has been darkened some since the scarlet in the WIP just wasn't cutting it for the end result. I've also toned down on the glow of the flame to accentuate the warm tones. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how the shading turned out on his proto-bio hazard suit, hat and gloves.

However, I'm also on the fence on whether to add in texture to the background (or overlay it over the entire illustration) or to leave it solid like some of my other Fidget Art! pieces. Thoughts?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hardwood Flooring Update

Sorry it's been a while since I've last posted, guys. Life's been hectic as of late, which included shop-related things. Since Etsy's relevancy switch, I've been seeing a LOT more sales (yay!) which has been keeping me busy. I've also spent practically the entirety of August working on the third outfit for my friend, Cortana for PAX 2011 (pics for that coming later).

And now onto the hardwood flooring!

As you can obviously see, it's still a work-in-progress and it's almost finished (yay again!).

I used Roberts Black Jack underlayment for laminate and engineered wood flooring (purchased from Home Depot). It was easy to cut and lay out, and was even more pleased to find no hollow noise when I did a test walk on the installed flooring portion. For the plank adhesive, I used Lumber Liquidator's Tongue and Groove adhesive. Application was a cinch, leaving very little mess, although I may need to pick up a third bottle to finish the job.

After I took these pics, I've installed a couple more rows and laid out the last row of underlayment. Yes, I'm uber-slow at installation...don't judge me. What little spare time I had to devote to this project, I was lucky to get in two rows at most each time. But overall, the floating method was much, much easier than I thought it would be. The Bosch jigsaw has been serving me well *strokes it like a Bond villain stroking his cat.*

After putting in the last few rows, I still need to stain the quarter round trim, purchase the threshold and stain those and rent a miter saw to cut the corners. I think that's all that's left to do, and I can finally move all my crap back in the family room and not have to stay cooped up in the bedroom!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goodbye, carpet!

When I first bought my house, one of my first home renovation projects was to replace the manky 20+ year-old carpeting in the family room. Initially, I wanted to replace it with new carpeting, but then I remembered, oh yeah, I hate carpeting. So after much contemplation and research, I finally settled on engineered hardwood flooring.

The benefits of engineered wood flooring is that they can be installed above or below grade and have a higher tolerance to moisture compared to solid hardwood flooring. My family room has a screen door that leads out to the deck (pictured below), it snows and rains a lot where I live so you can figure out the rest yourself.

After several months of shopping around, I fell in love with some lovely handscraped acacia finished in a luscious cocoa brown with a satin sheen. With a janka rating of 2400, I'm hoping it can take the punishment of a 75lbs. lab and a clumsy housemate. All nine crates arrived without any problems (with the exception of hauling each 60lbs. crate up a flight of stairs!) and are currently sitting in the tiled portion of the family room. In the interim of the shipment, I hauled out all of my furniture into the now-cluttered living room. Below is the "before" picture:

Gross carpet, huh?

My friend, C. helped me move the uber-heavy TV and stand onto the tiled portion, which may the heaviest objects in the room combined. I then spent about a week ripping out the carpet and foam padding into 2-to-4-feet sections, prying out the many nails and staples and lastly, the tack strips (my most hated part). This was followed by much vacuuming, patching nail holes, sanding, more vacuuming, leveling and finally hauling the carpet rolls down to the basement. Got a great workout in all this, at least. Below is the work-in-progress:

As of late, construction came to a halt until I can get an electrician to remove the two old electric baseboard heaters (not pictured). :/ Since this is the "summer slump" for sales, I was hoping to take advantage of this free time to finish up this project by the end of the month, but it's likely not going to happen. Fingers crossed, I'll be able to begin installation soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Need opinions, please!

I'm in the planning stages of sewing a custom evening gown for myself and I just recently got my custom dyed silk fabric in the mail. I had originally wanted to go for a deep plum color, but was politely notified in advance that it will be slightly lighter than the swatch I had sent them. I figured, "okay, sure." Results are below:

Shot under daylight

Shot during overcast day

I'm kind of on the fence on whether I like this or if I should send it back for re-dyeing. Part of me finds this shade of purple rather pretty, but then there's that nagging feeling that the color screams "PIMP PURPLE!" A couple of friends kept reassuring me that it looks fine, but I still need more opinions. I don't want to be sporting an evening gown at the opera with the possibility of people jokingly ask if I'm gonna pimp slap some hoes. :P Thoughts.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meet Arthur Llwynog

red fox print
Arthur Llwynog's Tea Time 8x10 Print

The newest addition to the Yay for Fidget Art! family. Hailing from Wales, this dapper, old-world gent has a passion for history and you will find him holed away in his study almost any given time. While polite, he's rather shy and would much rather curl up with a good book than join in on a party. But don't be fooled by his pince-nez glasses and his fancy clothes - he may very well hand you your ass if you bug him during his tea time.

I've also made a mock-up of the t-shirt version, which will be available in my shop soon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Time for another giveaway!

Yeh heard me, and this time it's a shiny 8x8" photography print from one of my shops of the famous Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland ($23US value):

"The Temple Bar" © Copyright Marissa Rojas. All rights reserved.

Printed on Legion Moab luster finish paper using Epson UltraChrome K3 ink (the good stuff that lasts a looooooong time), I took this photo one early morning during one of my walks around downtown Dublin, shortly before the tourist rush. And this print can be yours by following these simple guidelines (trust me, it's not as much of a hassle as my last one!):

You can do any one of the following:

-Follow my blog by clicking the "Follow" button of the Google Friend Connect on the left sidebar.

-Follow my Twitter Page.

-Follow either one of my Facebook Pages: Yay for Fidget Art! or my kanzashi shop. (Sorry, I don't have a fan page for my photography shop. :( )

-Favorite my photography shop.

-Send your friends this way to partake in this giveaway!


After completing one of the above requirements, you can post up to three comments below to let me know, along with your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. Said winner will be chosen via random number generator. So if you use all three of your posts, the greater chance you'll get at winning. :)

The deadline for this giveaway will end June 15th midnight EST.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

New items and other ramblings

"Misty Ruins" 8x8" Print

Oiran Loose Crew Summer T-Shirt - Sizes XS/S/M (unisex fit)

Sakura Organic T-Shirt - Sizes S/M/L

Yellow Hibiscus Kanzashi

I apologize for my sporadic posts over the past few months - I've been mostly busy with tax season, organizing my house and dealing with personal issues. Lately, I've been catching up on backed up custom orders, attempting to draft up new designs for art prints and t-shirts to send out to various boutiques and galleries.

Oh yeah, I also saved up enough pennies to buy a shiny new screen printing press! I'm still awaiting for it to arrive in the mail, more crappy homemade press and foam boards for me! The metal clamps I used are still in excellent condition and are only a few years old, so I'll be listing those on Ebay relatively soon.

On a more personal note, my weight loss progress has been swell. During the last three months of my gym membership, I put in a whole ton of extra effort and the weight started to melt off. Upon the ending of my membership (beginning of this month), I picked up a copy of Jillian's 30 Day Shred dvd. I've been alternating between levels 1 and 2, and so far the workouts have been kicking my ass. I don't necessarily do the workouts every single day...more like 4 to 5 times a week, with a "rest" day in between 2 to 5 workouts. Even on said "rest" days, I normally do some low to medium-impact yoga or cleaning. Based on the workouts from the last months of my gym membership and the Shred dvd, I've dropped about ten pounds and a couple of dress sizes (now about a size 6US). Yay!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tsunami Relief Kanzashi

Recently, I went into super-kanzashi-making-mode and whipped up a bunch of ume and sakura kanzashi hairpins for the charity section of my shop...and now my fingers are cramped. :P

These cute flowery hairpins make lovely Mother's Day gifts and the sales will go toward a good cause. All proceeds (after Etsy and PayPal fees) will be donated to Red Cross - please pass on the link!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Supermoon Tonight!

Tonight will showcase a rare and extraordinary event - the full moon will be at its perigee (closest orbit point to earth), with brightness at an extra 30% and largeness at an extra 14%. Fingers crossed, hope it won't be too cloudy tonight.

To celebrate this event, here is a collection of lovely items made by talented Etsians:

full moon
By the Light of the Moon by mingtaphotography

full moon quilt
Rice Moon Art Quilt by Uncommon Cloth

full moon lampwork cabochon
Full Moon Organic Lampwork Cabochon by Truewealth

full moon organic soap
Full Moon Artisan Soap by Relic Soap Company

Blue full moon upcycled rug
Full Moon Crochet Upcycled Area Rug by ekra

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kimono Charity Auction

In regards to the tragic events that are going on in Japan, my friend Naomi of Immortal Geisha is holding a charity auction from her personal kimono collection. 100% of the proceeds will go toward GlobalGiving's "Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund," including the 20% in fees that Ebay/PayPal takes (she will cover that out of her own pocket).

All of the items offered are very lovely unique items, and she will also be adding more stuff to the auction soon. So please check it out and bid, why don'tcha?

(click the image below to head over to the listings).

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Currently, my living room is bare, with the exception of a couple of folding bookcases. More friends and relatives are wanting to pay a visit later this year so I probably need to get the ball rolling in furnishing my house to accommodate them.

For said room, I've been eyeing a few cushy-looking modular sectionals that will suit my love for all things contemporary while at the same time not break the bank.

The Baxter Sectional from West Elm
I love almost everything that West Elm offers and if there was one place where I can max out my credit card, this is the place! I've been drooling over this particular sectional for the past month, with the clean lines, the low/deep profile and its supposed comfiness (from what I've heard). Unfortunately $1,597 for the faux suede (plus shipping) reaches the very end of my budget. Plus, there are no showrooms located near me, so I can't exactly test the product personally.

Home Reserve's custom armless sectional in Altima Sand (photo pictured in Delmar Spice)
I personally own a Monroe-style sofa and loveseat set from Home Reserve, and I can personally vouch for how awesome they are. Practical and aesthetically pleasing, you can customize your sofa, sectional and more in a wide variety of styles and fabrics. They're also renewable in that you can always order replacement parts should your furniture be ruined by act of dog, cat or drunken room mates.

I've been fawning over the particular layout pictured above, but in their Altima sand fabric. Said fabric is great for those who have pets since it's been treated to resist stains and liquids. I have a 75lbs. lab/coonhound mix, so this may be the wisest choice for me (and at a more fair price of $737 + shipping). The downside is that their seating isn't very deep. For reference, I'm about 5'7" and I can't lie down on the sofa without scrunching up my shoulders some. Home Reserve does offer a new piece called the Lounger, but the backing is a bit too short and I can't really piece several of those into a sectional without them looking awkward. I suppose that for the aforementioned pictured layout, I can maybe spring for the corner ottoman to add more depth.

Bobkona 5-Piece Sectional in Pebble
At $744.63, this sectional looks like a reasonable deal. While the seating looks deep enough and comfy, I'm not too crazy about the leather bonded base, but for the price I'm willing to put up with it. Again, I wish I can see and test the product in person.

Lastly, I've also been checking out Ikea's sectionals online. The downside is that I would have to rent a truck and make a day trip out the Pittsburgh location. Decisions, decisions...