Ready to Spring into Spring

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Happy Spring, everybody!! ❀ Life’s been quite topsy-turvy as of late, but thankfully, things are looking up. πŸ™‚ I (like many of us, I’m sure) am beyond thrilled that spring is finally upon us. With all the snow and ice and winter vortex business we’ve been dealing with the past few months, warmer days are definitely something to look forward to. Plus, no more of those horrible “winter hands” from all that cold, dry air. You know what I’m talking about. πŸ˜‰

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So, with spring here, I’m curious what everyone is looking forward to the most? I just bought one of those little pop-up greenhouses today so now I’m even more excited for gardening than I already was. πŸ˜€ The past couple years I’ve taken to going outside and taking lots of photos of all the flowers and plants. I’m no pro or anything like that, but it’s something I’ve come to enjoy doing, so expect plenty of outdoors pics in the months to come!

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Anyway, even though I’d been too sick/busy/exhausted to do much blogging in the last few weeks, it was never totally far from my mind. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the direction I want to take the blog in and what kind of posts I really wanna focus on. I also definitely want to give the whole look of the blog a major re-haul before July when this little baby blog turns three whole years old!

Anyway, I’m keeping this post short and sweet, but it’s good to be back. Looking forward to catching up with everyone and I hope you’ve all been well. πŸ™‚ Lemme know what you’ve been up to and what adventures you’re planning for spring!

 

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Howl’s Moving Castle (Book) Review

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I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until last year that I even knew Howl’s Moving Castle was not only a fantastic animated film, but also a book! I found a copy in a 2nd and Charles Free Book Bin and snatched that baby up immediately, and I’m so glad that I did! This book was pure magic. ❀ I feel like if you’re a fan of the Miyazaki film, or if you enjoy light-hearted whimsical stories like The Last Unicorn or Stardust, that Howl’s Moving Castle might just be right up your alley. πŸ˜‰

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β€œIn the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.”

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Having grown up in a small hat shop and expecting a very uneventful life due to the social stigma of being the eldest, Sophie has her world turned upside down due to a witch’s curse that transforms her into an old woman. But perhaps the Witch of the Waste’s curse is just what Sophie needs to push herself out of the dull fate she had previously accepted for herself. Setting off to find a cure for the curse inflicted upon her, Sophie winds up finding much more than that. Witches and wizards, shapeshifters and fire demons are only a sample of the strange characters she’ll meet as she is forced out of her comfort zone. She’ll venture to moving castles and palaces and more in an effort to undo the Witch of the Waste’s magic, and she’ll do it with a sassy attitude to boot!

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The characters in this story are all so quirky and fun, and the book has a lovely light and humorous tone to it. I think the whimsy of it really made this book one of those special sort of “Feel Good” reads for me. πŸ™‚ I’m not usually a re-read sort of person (only due to there being SO MANY books out there to be read) but this is one I would consider re-reading in the future.

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β€œIt is quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair.”

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Diana Wynne Jones weaved quite the enchanting story, so I would definitely like to read more of her work in the future. She was very imaginative and created a lovely fantasy world with entertaining characters to fill it. Apparently there are two other books related to this one, so I plan to check those out one day, too!

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My First Drawings of 2019

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New Year, New Sketchbook

I mentioned recently that I’d try to make more time for drawing this year, and part of that goal is to fill up the new sketchbook pictured above! πŸ™‚ I loved the cover when I saw it and figured the new sketchbook might help to inspire me to keep at it with my drawing if I had an actual set amount of pages to fill up. So far it seems to be working. I’m definitely rusty and I’m tinkering around with watercolor brush pens so that’s been fun. It’s taking some getting used to but I feel like I’m *starting* to get the hang of them. Anywayyyy, here’s some of the WIP drawings I’ve got going so far.

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I did this Ignited Moth to be my profile picture and debut picture for Instagram. It seemed fitting to finally make a piece to go with the alias I’ve been blogging under the past couple years.

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A WIP shot of the girl that kicked off the following WIP piece. I need to fill in a dark background for it and add some more details, but you get the idea. I’ve always been a fan of drawing monsters, so expect plenty of those in the art posts to come. πŸ˜‰

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It’s been interesting using the watercolor brush pens more. They’re definitely a good practice in patience for me. I have to go slowly and deliberately with each stroke and it can be difficult for me with my itty-bitty attention span. It’s kind of relaxing in its own way, too, though. Here’s a close up of the monster pictured above:

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I don’t really know what exactly I was going for with this guy. Like a horse skull mixed with some sort of Krampus vibe is about the only way I could describe the creative notion behind him.

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This drawing almost didn’t get beyond the sketch stage. I was originally going for a pinup Poison Ivy, then when it wasn’t going how I wanted I was going to do a whole DΓ­a de Muertos inspired makeup on her, but for now I’m leaving her like this. We’ll see what happens with her in the future. πŸ™‚

Well, that’s it for today’s art post. I hope you guys enjoyed. What creative shenanigans have you been up to lately? What are your go-to art tools of the trade?

 

Updates: Writing, Drawing, Reading, OH MY!

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Hi, guys!! ❀ Life has been a whirlwind the past couple weeks, so apologies for my unplanned absence so far this month. There’s been some pretty big ups and downs, so I just haven’t been able to sit down and sink my teeth into blogging during all of it. But, I’m back, and I figured I’d throw together a quick update post full of Blah Blah Blah’s to catch up a little bit.

BLAH #1: Instagram has really been a lot of fun so far! I know I was late to the party on that one, but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ I’ve mostly been posting drawings, photos of Bailey, bookstagram and breakfast posts so far. Due to a busy schedule it’s been a lot easier updating on there more frequently, but I still love the blogging life and all my blogging buddies, so it’s good to be back! ❀

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BLAH #2: I’ve been drawing more, just like I said I wanted to. For the new year I treated myself to a new sketchbook, so the un-official goal is to fill it up by the end of the year with new drawings. πŸ™‚ I’ve posted a couple WIP pieces on Instagram, but I’ll post some more here soon as well.

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BLAH #3: Writing has been going really well. Usually fall seems to be my big creative season, but this winter I feel like I’ve really hit my stride again with my writing. It feels great. I have been learning to navigate my way around Scrivener. (Thank goodness for Youtube tutorials!!) It has some pretty damn snazzy tools and features for writers and I feel like it’s been helping keep me focused and on track with my writing since I started using it. Big thanks again to the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes for gifting it to me for my birthday! ❀ I’m the sort of person who likes practical gifts and this was the perfect surprise. I’m using the hell out of it and it’s helping me a lot as I work on my story.

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BLAH #4: In reading news, I’m currently doing a Harry Potter re-read/buddy read with the previously mentioned C&M. Neither of us seem to re-read books very often since there’s just sooo much out there to be read, but I’ve greatly been enjoying re-reading this one. Most. Magical. Buddy. Read. EVER.

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Anywhoooo, that’s about it for me right now. How have you guys all been doing?? I’m so behind on everyone’s posts so it’ll take me a hot minute to try to catch up a bit, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting news of yours I may have missed. I hope everyone has been having a great February so far. Have a wonderful weekend! ❀

IgnitedMoth has fluttered onto Instagram

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Hey, guys! ❀ I just wanted to pop in real quick to share with you that I finally joined the Cool Kid Party and started an Instagram account! Took me long enough, right? πŸ˜‰ I guess that’s what getting a new phone and a wicked case of Cabin Fever will do to a girl, huh?

Anyhow, I’m still figuring it all out but it seems pretty straight forward so far, thankfully. I’ve posted a couple things (including 2 new drawings) if any of you lovely people are interested. I go by ignitedmoth on Instagram as well, so I should be pretty easy to find. If you have an Instagram account gimme your user name in the comments so I can creep at you in a sufficient manner. πŸ˜›

I think I’ll pretty much be sharing photos related to the stuff I babble about here on my blog, so books/comics, my drawings, some of the stuff I’ve cooked, and pet/outdoor photos, mostly. πŸ™‚ Who knows, I may throw in the occasional wildcard here and there.

Well, I hope everyone has a fun weekend in store. I’m finally going back to work today, so I should probably go get ready for that, but knowing me I’ll probably wait until the last minute and be rushing all around the house. πŸ˜›

Birthday Snow Day

Brrrr! My portion of Michigan is currently under a Wind Chill Warning from the National Weather Service that included fun little details like “Wind chills as low as 45 below zero expected.” and “The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.” So, basically, stepping outside right now is like getting bitch slapped by a Wampa.

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With all the snow and ice we’ve had lately I’ve been on a little unplanned vacation due to all the snow days at my work. All the schools are closed due to the weather so I’ve been able to stay cozy at home and do a bunch of writing, reading and drawing which has been really nice! πŸ™‚ I hadn’t planned on taking my birthday off from work so it’s kind of a fun little surprise having it off today. Mother Nature can be cruel AND kind. πŸ˜‰

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It can be difficult finding ways to go out and celebrate your birthday when you were born in the frigid dead of winter, but this year I managed to celebrate AND stay warm, so it was a win-win. Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes and Machetes came to stay the weekend, which included going to dinner, going to a giant arcade, prezzies of the most epic caliber, and board games galore! I also celebrated with family before the weekend came to an end, and of course that was fun too because my parents and brother (and the puggies!) are awesome. Needless to say, it was a fun but exhausting weekend, so I wasn’t totally heartbroken when school/work was canceled. πŸ˜‰ (The only thing that sucks is not getting paid for all these snow days!)

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Poor Mr. Moth had to hop on his tauntaun and brave the cold today to go to work so I plan on getting good and properly caffeinated and writing my butt off. More birthday shenanigans to ensue once he gets home, but for now I’m off to work on my book with an awesome new writing program courtesy of the bestest friend in all the land, C&M. ❀

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Hope any of you a bitter cold winter like us is staying as warm and cozy as possible right now. ❀

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible

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“On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda.”

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Back around Halloween I watched the Netflix show’s version of this and loved it. I also enjoyed their Christmas special, and am eagerly awaiting season 2’s release in April. So how do I get my fix until then? Why, by reading the source material, of course. πŸ˜‰

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If you remember those wholesome Archie comics (or even the 90’s TV show) of old you’re likely to be shocked by the element of horror and praises of Satan in this much darker incarnation of Sabrina brought to you by Archie Horror, a more horror-centric branch of the Archie comics. We’re talking necromancy, witch orgies, cannibalism, etc.

I didn’t initially plan to compare the new Netflix version with the comic version, but seeing as so many people have already seen the show, it seems like a good baseline to go off of, so here we are. πŸ˜› There are definitely a lot of similarities between the two, but there are also some pretty damn big differences. Let me start by saying that I did really enjoy the comic, BUT . . . I did enjoy the characters more in the Netflix show. I think they had so much more personality, diversity, and charm. (Except maybe Salem. He talks in this comic, he’s snarky and also a caring companion for Sabrina. I loved Salem in this comic and thought he made a great familiar to our young teenage witch.)

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“. . . Beer . . . I miss beer . . .”

Now, seeing as that the comic came before the show, I think it only fair not to dwell on the show that came after it for too long, so we’ll just move right along onto the comic itself. This artwork had me swooning with nostalgia. As a kid, I loved any chance I got to read my dad or grandparents’ collection of old vintage horror comics. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes place in the 1960’s (with flashbacks of the 1950’s) and the artwork does a nice job of reflecting what comics looked like at that point. The colors, the art itself, it was all great in my opinion. Adding to the nostalgic feel, are some Rosemary’s Baby and other vintage spooky film overtones.

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The end to the first volume leaves off on quite the cliffhanger, so you’re likely to be left with your fingers twitching for volume 2. I know I am. I’d give it 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed it, I just wish the characters had a little more personality like they do in the current show. It was a really solid introductory volume and there were a couple moments that genuinely surprised me.

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