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July 2020 Wrap-Up: A Month in Photos

Whoops! Meant to do this post at the end of July but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ After doing one of these photo-based monthly wrap-up posts for June, I thought it would be fun to carry on and make this a regular sort of installment here on my blog. πŸ™‚ I hope everyone had a fun and safe July. Obviously with the coronavirus still running rampant this year’s 4th of July festivities were MUCH more low key, but Mr. Moth and I still had a great time.

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BAKING: I made these S’mores cookies on the 4th of July. They were quite good, and I’m not even a S’mores person normally. πŸ™‚ Another fun part of the 4th of July is that my very own little corner of the blogosphere celebrated it’s 4th Blog Birthday. Woo! πŸ˜€

OUTDOORS: It’s been far too hot for me to want to do much of anything outside this month, so I mostly just admired and watered our plants and then scuttled back inside.

We also recently had the pleasant surprise of discovering baby pumpkins! Can’t wait to have homegrown pumpkins this Halloween! That will certainly be a first. πŸ™‚

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BOOKS: In reading news, I’ve mostly been on a DC Comics binge this month. I recently joined the DC Universe streaming service and now that I have quite the catalog of DC titles at my fingertips I’m taking full advantage of it. πŸ™‚ As for actual novels, I finished the third novel of the Innkeeper Chronicles and also fed my Leigh Bardugo addiction by finally reading King of Scars. Now that I’ve read all of the books in the “Grishaverse” that are currently out my wait begins for the follow-up to KoS. Luckily I still have her Wonder Woman novel and Ninth House to keep me going until then. πŸ˜›

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DRAWING: Aside from my Weird and Wild Animal Drawings, I did find time to do some other drawings. πŸ™‚ Near the end of the month I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone and start drawing more dynamic poses. Then I kind of lurched to a halt on the drawing front. I’ll be back at it soon, though! I’ve had a lot of house and research projects keeping me busy.

ANCESTRY SEARCH: One of the research projects I started in July was that of my very own lineage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and what better time than while my place of work is still shut down? I’ve been able to trace 3 of my grandparents’ family histories back pretty damn far and there have been some really fascinating results that I want to do a lot more research on.

How was your July? Any exciting plans for August?? What with the pandemic and all I can’t say I have a lot planned for August, but one thing I look forward to are the Friday night video chats with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetes as well as our current buddy read as we take on Gideon the Ninth together. πŸ˜€ Not super far yet, but really enjoying the book already. Well, that’s it for now. Hope you guys are all staying safe and well. Have an amazing August! ❀ ❀ ❀

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Happy National Moth Week!

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I love random weird holidays, and obviously I love moths, so you can imagine my excitement when I just discovered that the last week of July is National Moth Week! πŸ˜€

In celebration I thought I’d share some of my old moth-inspired drawings as well as some fun facts about my blog’s whimsical little namesake.

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Fun Fact #1: Although the moths I drew in the image above are fluttering around in the dark, not ALL moths are nocturnal. Some are out and about in the daytime and some of them are even important pollinators. Some of our daytime pollinating moths are even confused regularly for other pollinators such as bees or even hummingbirds.

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FUN FACT #2: The world’s smallest moth, the Stigmella Maya, comes from Mexico with a forewing measuring in at a mere 1.2 millimeters. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the well-named Hercules Moth, with the largest ever documented boasting a whopping wingspan of 36 centimeters!

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FUN FACT #3: I was very surprised to learn this just recently, but those feathery fluffy antennae that many of us associate with moths, is actually a trait specific to male moths.

FUN FACT #4: There are some moths, like the Luna Moth, who do not even have a mouth and survive only long enough to breed. An adult Luna Moth will only live a few short days.

Well, that’s it for my little National Moth Week appreciation post! What do you think of moths? What’s your favorite kind?

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Creativity Fuel

Hey, all you magnificent people, you! ❀ I’ve been trying some different things this past week to spark my creativity and keep the flames a-going. It made me wonder if you guys ever decide to “set the mood” so to speak for your creative endeavors? Do you find that certain things seem to lend themselves to making for a better creative day?

If I’m not making any sense, which I very well may not be, bear with me. πŸ˜‰ I’ve noticed that certain times of year, like the fall or during rainy/stormy days, I tend to feel more inspired. Another element that is, more often than not, very crucial in my writing utility belt is caffeine. I’ve noticed that good writing days often revolve around a variety of things that I find comforting so I figured why not make a point of setting up several of these things all at once?

As I get ready to venture forward into today’s writing journey, I’m surrounded by pillows (seriously, we have a major pillow/throw blanket addiction in this home), I have two candles burning so that the room smells like hazelnut coffee and cinnamon baked goods, I’ve got my caffeinated beverage, and I’m playing some lo-fi rainy lazy ambient music in the background. I’ve noticed I tend to write better while listening to strictly instrumental music (hence why I have an extra fondness for video game soundtracks). πŸ˜›

I’ve also got the ceiling fan going so I can feel a slight breeze. Basically I’m attempting to emulate a rainy autumn day, I suppose. Luckily, it is nice and gray outside, which also helps. πŸ™‚

Anywayyyy, that’s it from me today. What are your thoughts? What do you do to feel inspired? Do you have any sort of creative ritual or do you prefer to dive right in and just go for it? πŸ™‚

 

 

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Weird and Wild Animal Drawings

I recently asked for weird animal suggestions, and man, did you guys ever deliver! πŸ˜€ I’ve been posting these curious critters over on my Instagram the past couple days, but now that they’re all finished, I wanted to share them here on the blog. Special thanks to all the bloggers listed below for helping fuel my creativity with these bizarre animal suggestions! ❀

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I did screenshots of these guys off my Instagram account so it cut part of the top and bottom from the picture off, but it was quite fun drawing these anteaters, suggested by none other than Precinct1313! Aside from picking interesting animals with the funnest and bushiest of tails to draw, the Precinct is always a go-to for all of your up to date DC Comics news! πŸ˜‰

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Here is my cotton-candy colored Nawhal, as suggested byΒ SP’s Projects Blog. Thanks, Pete! πŸ™‚ You can see another Narwhal in the Instagram post I did for this one. I was having some issues getting the images over onto my laptop to do this blog post, but this cheerful little Narwhal was quite fun to draw and very fun to color! You can check out Pete’s own creative works on his blog!

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I haven’t really done a solid black and white piece in a while, so this was a lot of fun. Big thanks to Dawn of the Lead for suggesting the Platypus. πŸ˜€ You can check out their painting and miniature creating skills over on their blog! I gotta say, this little guy was a joy to draw.

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You have no idea how happy I was to see one of my favorite sharks pop in your guys’ suggestions, so big thanks to Imperial Rebel Ork for suggesting it! He even got a bonus critter in his drawing with a little eye parasite. πŸ˜‰ Check out IRO’s blog for his painting and kitbashing skills, as well as some awesome post-apocalyptic fiction he writes!

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Haha I don’t think I ever would have thought of drawing a Naked Mole Rat on my own, so massive thanks to Lashaan from Bookidote for coming up with this one! πŸ˜› It’s the perfect blend of ugly and cute, I think. Check out Lashaan’s Corner on Bookidote for some awesome book and comic reviews!

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Oh my goodness, did I have fun drawing this blob fish. I asked for strange animal suggestions, and My Bookish Dream was not messing around when she suggested this deep sea beauty. πŸ˜› I don’t know why I had an overwhelming need to draw a little tongue sticking out of its mouth, but the need to give this fishy a “blep” face was just too much to resist, actual fish anatomy be damned, I say! Check out My Bookish Dream for a bounty of bookish delights! ❀

BIG THANKS to each and every one of you for supplying the inspiration behind these oddballs of the animal kingdom. πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed working on them. What current (or recent) creative projects have you guys all been working on?

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4 Years Ignited

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Woo! If you see a bunch of fireworks lighting up the night sky tomorrow night, no need to be surprised. They’re clearly in celebration of my blog’s fourth birthday! πŸ˜‰

With social distancing the new norm these days, what better celebration than an online celebration? And who better to party with than all the amazing blogging buddies I’ve made these past four years?? ❀

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So, how are we celebrating? I thought I’d try something interesting and get some creative input from you guys. πŸ™‚ After all, there’s no way I would have stuck around this long blogging if it weren’t for all you amazing people that make up the WP community. ❀ Since the 4th of July officially marks my 4 year blogiversary, I figured I’d have each of you who want to participate give me 4 bits of inspiration for drawing, and that I could post the illustrations I come up with based off your individual input. So, here are my 4 questions posed to whoever is game to play. (No pressure!) All you have to do is leave me a comment with your answers to the following 4 questions and I’ll (eventually in the near-ish future) draw pieces that you helped inspire. So, let’s get onto it, shall we?

My Questions For YOU:

1.) What is your favorite mythical creature?

2.) If you lived in a fantasy or science fiction story, what sort of occupation would you want to have?

3.) What is your favorite character from a well-known fairy tale, fable, or legend?

4.) What real-life animal do you find to be the strangest-looking?

I hope you liked the questions I posed for you guys and that you will join in on the fun and leave your input. When I draw something based off your answer(s) I’ll post it here on my blog and leave a link to your blog in thanks for the inspiration you gave. Like I said, I just thought it would be fun to try a little something different.

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Thanks again to each and every one of you who has kept me coming back time and time again over the past 4 years. I hope you all have a great weekend, and Happy 4th of July to those of you who celebrate it! ❀

 

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June Wrap-Up: A Month in Photos

Can you guys believe it’s already almost July?? It feels like June came and went in the blink of an eye somehow. I decided to do something a little different with this month’s wrap-up post, and showcase what I’ve been up to through mostly photos. πŸ™‚

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LAZY DAYS: As has been the case for much of the past few months, there’s been a lot of time at home. Here’s a pic of Bailey curled up for a little catnap in a pile of blankets. ❀ Rest assured, if there is a comfy spot she WILL find it and she WILL nap on it.

GARDENING: Hostas, Rhododendron, Columbine, Peonies, Poppies, Oh My! It was a good month for gardening and learning. We planted more lilies, new bushes, moved some stuff around, and did a lot of other outdoor projects.

BAKING: I finally slowed down my baking spree I had been on. πŸ˜› I did, however, make a really yummy peanut butter ice cream pie (graham cracker crust, thin layer of hot fudge, Reese’s peanut butter ice cream with thin sheets of chocolate, whipped cream, Reese’s peanut butter sauce drizzle, and chopped up Reese’s cups as pictured above). I also baked another loaf of Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread (soooo good!) ❀

DRAWING: I’ve been on a drawing binge lately that you can check out on my Instagram if you’re interested, but here’s a little sample of what I’ve been up to this month. πŸ™‚

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WORK: I got to go to work a couple times (staff only) to start setting up for all of the social distancing/PPE changes we will have to put into effect upon our return. Also got to redecorate a little. Pictured above is the head start I got on one of my room’s bulletin boards. We’re supposed to return to work July 6th, but with COVID cases back on the rise, we’ll see what happens. We can’t open back up until our state enters Phase 5 of our reopening plan, and thankfully our Governor has been taking this very seriously since day 1 so I don’t think she’ll rush us into that until it is actually safe to do so.

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LOSS OF A LOVED ONE: The pic above isn’t from this June, it’s actually from last year when we celebrated my parents’ pug BeeBee’s birthday party for her Sweet 16. ❀ She was such a sweet and adorable little dog and was so loved by our entire family, but unfortunately we were forced to say goodbye to her this June. It is sad not having her around anymore, but she lived such a good life while she was with us. She was adopted by my family a decade ago, and by that point she had already lived through a lot. BeeBee was a puppy mill survivor who didn’t even get to feel the grass beneath her paws for the first 3 years of her life. She was rescued from that awful situation and found a home for some time with a woman who loved her, but eventually her owner became too sick to be able to take care of her any longer. My mom was in contact with a woman from a pug rescue league and she told my mom about BeeBee and that was that. She came to us blind, but this was nothing daunting for our family. We’ve taken in several animals with special needs over the years and her inability to see was no big deal. She was sassy and fun, and my dad especially spoiled her with so much love and affection. She had a new brother and constant companion in my parent’s other pug, Brutis. They were attached at the hip and formed an instant bond with one another. ❀

She had the cutest little “bubble bark” that sounded more like “Borp Borp Borp” than the normal kind of bark you hear, loved being held, liked to adventure forward without a care in the world like she could see where she was going even if she was always bumping into things or barking in the wrong direction while trying to be “tough” like her brother. She preferred to be inside the house and wasn’t shy about making sure you knew it by finding her way back to the door and doing her little bubble bark to announce when she was “over this outdoors bullshit”. Haha

Her vet sent a very sweet card and a package of Forget-Me-Not seeds for my parents to plant and grow in BeeBee’s memory. ❀ I thought that was such a touching and thoughtful thing for the vet’s office to do.

That’s it for my own personal June Wrap-Up. How was your June?? Can you believe the year is already halfway over? With how 2020 has been going I’m sure we’re all hoping for a better second half of the year. As always, take care and be safe, guys! ❀

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May/June Book Haul

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I can’t even keep track of what day it is anymore, so some of the books in this haul may have been bought in May, and some in June, maybe all were in June, I don’t even know. lol Seriously, today was like the second time I’ve filled my gas tank since wayyyy back in mid-March if that puts it into perspective how little I’ve left the house via car to go anywhere the past few months. Needless to say, these books were purchased via my kindle. Can you tell we take social distancing serious af in this house? πŸ˜‰

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Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland

I’m about a quarter of the way through this book and I’m really enjoying it. I love the narration of the main character, plus any book that can combine historical fiction and zombies as well as this one does is a win for me. I’m already planning to buy the sequel to this book and I haven’t even finished this one, if that tells you anything. πŸ™‚

. . . . .

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Clean Sweep, by Ilona Andrews

As is often the case with good books, this one came per suggestion from none other thanΒ  Cupcakes & Machetes. Check out her review for more info on this lovely little mashup of fantasy and science fiction. I read and really enjoyed this first installment of The Innkeeper Chronicles and have since moved on to the second book. Space werewolves and vampires, living inns for the supernatural that have a symbiotic relationships with their innkeepers, and other fun little surprises kept me entertained from the start. Luckily, also thanks to C&M, I got the first 3 books in a nice little kindle bundle sale. πŸ™‚

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Sweep In Peace, by Ilona Andrews

This series is a charming read and I was glad to have it on hand for a much-needed distraction after the sudden loss of a beloved family pet. πŸ˜₯Β  I’m almost halfway through this second installment. The books definitely make for a quick and fun read.

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One Fell Sweep, by Ilona Andrews

Still reading the second book in this series, but I’m sure I’ll be diving into this third installment soon enough.

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Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

“They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.” I’ve read really good reviews for this book, and it was a GR Readers Choice Awards winner for 2018, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out.

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The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

A post-apocalyptic fantasy that boasts some pretty solid reviews. I’m excited to read this one, especially with all the talk of how good the worldbuilding is supposed to be in it. πŸ˜€

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne

Putting this out there right now, I’m fairly certain this one is gonna make me cry. I saw the ending (yes, just the ending) of the film and I was bawling my eyes out, so I can only imagine what the book is going to do to me.

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Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor

A fantasy book set in Nigeria that is supposed to be a breath of fresh air with very unique worldbuilding. Sounds good to me! πŸ™‚

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So, how about you guys? Find any good books lately? What are you reading that really strikes your fancy? Who else misses how easy it used to be to go to your local bookstore and just shop around and browse all those glorious books in person??

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Movie Suggestions: Samara Weaving Edition

Soooo, after IRO recently put out some movie recommendations, I thought it may be fun to do a post with some of my own. Being almost exclusively stuck at home for months on end has resulted in me watching a LOT more movies and television shows than I normally would. Well, during this time I watched multiple movies that just so happened to have Samara Weaving in them, and I gotta say, I absolutely love this lady. ❀ She takes on some bloody, funny, offbeat roles and I am HERE for it. So, without further ado, here are my 4 movie recommendations for anyone looking for some ridiculous and over-the-top shenanigans with a healthy side of blood and mayhem, all starring Samara Weaving.

Ready or Not (2019)

A new bride gets more than she bargained for in this horror-comedy after marrying into a family with their own gaming empire. What initially seems like an eccentric, but mostly harmless family tradition, quickly spirals into a lethal game of hide and seek.

Guns Akimbo (2019)

Action movies aren’t usually my jam, but this action-comedy seemed so over the top that I just had to see it, and I’m so glad I did. After trolling the online forums of an underground murder fight club of sorts called Skizm, Miles (played by Daniel Radcliffe) gets forcibly thrown into the mix. With guns literally bolted to his hands and the game’s deadliest, batshit crazy killer (Samara Weaving’s character Nix) on his trail, shit gets real fast.

The Babysitter (2017)

What seems to be your typical teen comedy about a kid and his awesome babysitter quickly takes a turn toward the macabre in this horror-comedy.

Mayhem (2018)

Nothing like a movie about a virus during a pandemic, right?? Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving are stuck in an office building full of people and a fast-spreading virus that causes those who are infected to lose all inhibitions and give into rage, lust, and any other impulse with hilarious and horrific results.

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So, that’s it for my batch of movie suggestions. Mr. Moth and I had a lot of fun watching these, but I am fully aware these movies are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you’re looking for something fun and bloody and crazy, you just might wanna check ’em out. πŸ˜‰

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Black Lives Matter. Period.

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It turns out creating a piece when you are actively alternating between sadness and rage is a lot harder than I would have thought, but the above image is the result of those feelings. So many people had already been showing their ignorance and disregard for others during the Coronavirus pandemic, but all of this police brutality and blatant racism that so many people seem to think is okay makes me sick to my stomach.

Life is tragically short. We should strive to use what time we have to lift other people up instead of breaking them down. Use that time to grow as people and become more compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. Listen to other people and learn about their experiences. Don’t turn a blind eye to something because it makes you uncomfortable. If you’re one of those people who think you’re sick of hearing about inequality, imagine how sick people are of living through it each and every day.

blm1The world can be an ugly place but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s be better. ❀ Lend your voice. Listen. Protest. Advocate. Sign Petitions. Donate. Anything and everything helps to make a difference. You don’t have to do ALL the things but please do SOMETHING. Also, in case it wasn’t already clearly implied: FUCK, RACISM. πŸ™‚

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Finding Inspiration During Quarantine

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Hi, guys! ❀ I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well in their own little corner of the world. πŸ™‚ I just thought I’d pop in and share a few of the drawings I’ve been working on over the past several weeks. Some days inspiration comes effortlessly, and other days I really have to fight for it. Some days I draw something because an art buddy creates something and it ignites my own creative fuel to want to make something too. Other days I do it to distract myself and clear my head. Sometimes a random bit of inspiration hits and I just do it for fun. What’s been getting your creativity flowing these days?

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The sketchbook I started at the beginning of 2019 is getting pretty damn full which is always satisfying. I’m actually hoping soon enough to branch back out into digital art. It’s something I used to do years ago, but for some reason I am finding it very intimidating to dive back into. Though, considering that many of my brush pens are on the brink of death, I may be forced back into it sooner than later. πŸ˜›

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What creative activities have you guys been immersing yourselves into lately? Do you feel like you’ve been bursting with inspiration recently, or fighting a creative drought? The past couple days I feel like I’ve been the latter. I’ve tried working on things but can’t concentrate on it for long. I think my head just isn’t in it right now. I know it will pass, and I know the reason for it, so I’m just trying to be patient and wait it out. Thankfully, that reading slump I mentioned in my last post has passed so I’ve been occupying part of my time with good books to keep me company. ❀

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Oh, I gave the ol’ blog a bit of a makeover the other day. What do you guys think? I have no idea what I’m doing with that kind of thing, so I hope it looks okay. I might fiddle around with it more at some point, but for now it’ll do! πŸ™‚