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Happy Shark Week 2021

Aside from binge-watching Shark Week goodness all week, I’m celebrating by participating in the #DrawingSharkWeek art challenge hosted by Marcc the Shark over on Instagram. πŸ™‚

Some of these haven’t been posted yet on myΒ Instagram page, but I’m posting them here anyway because I don’t feel like waiting until the end of Shark Week to do my celebratory Shark Week blog post! πŸ˜›

Prompt #1: Hybrid (Puppy Shark!)

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Prompt #2: Reef

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Prompt #3: Earth

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Prompt #4: Titan

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Prompt #5: Galactic

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Prompt #6: Mutation

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Prompt #7: Chonk

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I hope you guys enjoyed my silly shark drawings as much as I enjoyed creating them. ❀ This was my first year doing digital Shark Week drawings and I really had a blast with it. Even though I don’t always finish all the prompts for the art challenges I participate in, I still like to give it a shot when I can since it’s a good exercise in thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas for things you may not have drawn on your own, and it’s always good to push yourself and try to learn more. πŸ˜€

Have you been watching Shark Week this year? What’s your favorite type of shark?

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March 2021: Digital Art, Fluffy Friends & Other Updates

Oof, March has been an absolute whirlwind of a month. It’s been quite the mix of high and low points. Registering for classes, family health emergencies, the sudden loss of a wonderful friend who taught me so much about life and brought so much joy to everyone who knew her, house and yard projects and repairs, and many other things have had me a bit stressed these past few weeks to say the least.

I did manage to squeeze in a bit of practice on my art tablet, taking some old sketches and outlining and coloring them digitally as seen below:

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Started playing Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U with Mr. Moth so that’s been a fun distraction from some of the more stressful stuff that’s been going on lately.

I think the only thing I baked this month was a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Soooo good! ❀

I haven’t finished reading anything new at all this month. My mood has been all over the place, which also means my reading preferences have been just as erratic. I did start reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saints and re-reading Shadow & Bone in preparation for the Netflix show coming out. It’s been like 7 or 8 years I think since I read S&B so I was definitely due for a refresher before the show starts. I always think it’s interesting to see the differences between a show or movie and its source material. I also started reading this big ol’ Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology that had belonged to my grandma back in the day. It’s something I have read bits and pieces from but never completed reading from start to finish so I’d like to finally do that. I’m not in a rush though, It’s a lot of information that I’d rather take my time and read here and there rather than all at once.

All the critters are doing well. Luna the baby hedgehog at my work is getting sooo big. She’s “quilling” right now so she’s a little grumpy at times but the Aveeno Oatmeal baths we’ve given her have helped a lot. Quilling is basically a process that can take up to 6 months of age where she will slowly be losing her baby quills here and there and having them replaced with her big girl quills. Here’s a pic of her after her first Oatmeal bath. She was so happy and relaxed afterward.

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Bailey’s been living her best life, as always. πŸ˜› Mr. Moth got her one of those little flower-shaped kitty water fountains and she LOVES it. It’s funny because he wasn’t exactly Team Cat before Bailey and I lived with him and he’s since turned into this Turbo Cat Dad, spoiling her rotten and researching things to make sure she is the happiest kitty she can be. ❀

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My parents new fluff monster is also doing really well. πŸ™‚ He had his first vet appointment and got a clean bill of health. He did really well while he was there and so he got a special “Shit Happens” treat from the doggy bakery. Kind of appropriate since they needed a stool sample from him for his first visit. Haha He’s such a happy boy and has already brought so much joy to my parents’ home with his goofy personality. The neighborhood squirrels may not like him but we adore him. ❀ We’ve been working on tricks and he currently knows “Sit”, “Lay Down” and “Speak”. He’s also really good at solving dog treat puzzles. ^_^

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That’s pretty much it for my updates for March. I tried to focus on the more positive stuff for my post but it was definitely a month with its fair share of worry and tears. Hopefully April will be better. πŸ™‚ How was your March? Oh, yeah, and Happy Spring! πŸ˜€

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February 2021: Huskies, Hedgehogs, and Honey Chai Cakes, Oh My!

I can’t believe it’s already almost March! February was a busy and awesome month full of surprises so I figured it was time to get my butt back on the blog and do an update post. πŸ™‚ I just got my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine this past Tuesday and I’m so happy and grateful. (Even if it did really knock me on my ass the day after with sore muscles/joints, fatigue, little waves of nausea, and a headache). After that, I was back to my normal self though and I was just thankful to be able to get it, so no regrets. Thanks, Science! ❀

I also started the process towards going to school for graphic design. Michigan has a new program it has rolled out to get people over the age of 25 back in school to get their associate degree by covering their tuition. It’s such a great opportunity and was too good of an offer to pass up, so I’ll be starting classes this summer. I’ve even already got my college ID! One of my co-workers is already taking the exact program at the same college and has had great things to say about it, so I’m really excited. Pluuuus, I’ll get to share in this experience with my BFFΒ Cupcakes & Machetes since she is going back to college as well starting in the spring. πŸ˜€ Different schools/classes, but we’re both excited to geek out over school stuff together so that will make it even better all the way around!

Other fun surprises this month came in the form of two new fuzzy and prickly friends. A girl I went to school with before was recently trying to find a home for a good dog in a sad and tough situation so he wouldn’t have to go to a shelter so long story short, my parents opened their home to him and now have a lovable, goofy, clumsy, fluff monster to call their own. ❀ My other new little animal friend came in the form of a lovely little hedgehog at my work. She’s so sweet and cute and the participants at my job just absolutely adore her, as do I. πŸ™‚

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It wouldn’t be an update post on THIS blog if I didn’t mention recent reads, hobbies, and baking. I didn’t have as much time for those things as I’d have hoped, buuuut I did bake this delicious Honey-Drizzled Cinnamon Chai Cake:

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In reading news, I happily read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard BookΒ  this month. It was such a treat. Kind of a nice and cozy, comfort read. πŸ™‚ I also started reading Leigh Bardugo’sΒ The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse)Β  and, for a refresher before the Netflix adaptation comes out, I’m re-reading/listening toΒ Shadow and Bone. I just watched the official trailer yesterday and I. Am. PUMPED. ❀

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Well, those are my updates for the month! πŸ™‚ I also did some writing and more practice with digital art but not as much as I had planned due to all the other stuff going on. All in all, though, February was a pretty good month. I hope you guys all had a good go of it as well. ❀ Looking forward to catching up on some blog posts I’ve missed but please fill me in on any excitement I have missed in the mean time. What were your highlights of the past few weeks?

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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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Shark Week Drawings: 2019

❀ Ahoy! Happy Shark Week! ❀

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Fan art for the game Hungry Shark World by yours truly.

This has truly been a Jawsome Shark Week so far, but it has also been a VERY busy one! I was beginning to fear that I would run out of time to do some Shark Week art this year, but I managed to squeeze in the time for at least 2! (Which is one more than last year! Haha) πŸ˜›

I recently learned about the game Hungry Shark World (and totally want to play it) which resulted in the fan art you see above. All the sharks in the game have attitude and some are really outlandish and cool looking. It even has zombie sharks and prehistoric sharks you can play as, along with a few other non-shark species. I guess the premise of just eat all the things is pretty simple, but it looks fun to me, so, why not? πŸ˜€

The other drawing I did is definitely more in the “doodle” category, but I did it more for fun anyway. πŸ˜› Every single time I see a photo of a basking shark gliding through the water with its mouth gaping open as it feeds, all I can imagine is it saying “Hey, you guys!” in the voice of Sloth from The Goonies. Don’t ask why my brain works the way it does, because even I couldn’t tell you sometimes. Haha

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If you don’t know about basking sharks, here’s a quick little Basking Shark 101 for ya:

Basking Sharks are the second largest shark in the entire world, dwarfed only by the whale shark.

Luckily, like the whale shark, basking sharks are one of three gentle giants of the sea, using filter-feeding as their method of consumption. That means, despite the intimidating size and wide, gaping mouths, they’re really just cruising around for plankton and other itty bitty prey.

They are surprisingly capable of breaching the surface and launching themselves out of the water, which, when you consider their size, is pretty cool and terrifying all at once if you just so happen to be in a boat beside one. πŸ˜› The reason they do this isn’t really known since they aren’t doing it for hunting purposes like great whites do. Some theories are that it could be a move to impress the ladies during mating season, or that it is in an effort to rid themselves of parasites and lamprey eels that hitch along on them for a ride. No one knows for certain, though. Apparently one is reported to have unintentionally capsize a boat off the coast of Scotland while breaching, resulting in the drowning of 3 people. 😦

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed the Shark Week drawings this year! πŸ™‚ I wish I’d had the time to do more, but even though it’s still technically shark week, I am going to be too busy having fun and hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes and Machetes this weekend as we enjoy shark week, our body weight in rum, and celebrating Mr. C&M’s birthday! Have a great weekend, everyone!! ❀ ❀ ❀

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SPECIAL SHARK WEEK SPOTLIGHT: Sharktopia

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I love art and I love wildlife conservation. Combine the two and you have such an utterly amazing win-win situation on your hands. πŸ™‚ I recently discovered the site sharktopia.org through theirΒ Instagram account and I am absolutely over the moon about it! ❀

Sharktopia is run by the friendly and talented Caiti Rose, a self-described “coffee-loving, shark-obsessed, happy vegan artist with the goal of altering the misconceptions surrounding sharks and other Ocean life”.

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She uses her creative and amazing art to help spread awareness about a variety of topics regarding sharks and other ocean life. Her work ranges from absolutely adorable and lighthearted to impactful and eyeopening, and all of it is for the benefit and love of sharks.

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The line work and coloring and cuteness, I just absolutely adore it. ❀

I’ve already purchased and received my own shark goodies and can honestly say that they were absolutely worth the money. πŸ™‚ I love what I ordered. ❀ I also printed some of the free coloring pages available on the site for my participants at work to color and learn more about different types of sharks as they do so. The coloring pages are awesome and so informative!

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Be sure to check out the Sharktopia website and enjoy some great artwork featuring our favorite finned friends and Caiti Rose’s great mission to raise awareness about their struggle. There’s the free downloadable coloring pages I mentioned, a great shop, and more to be discovered there, so dive on in! πŸ™‚

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SHARK WEEK!

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It’s that magical time of year again, guys! ❀ SHARK WEEK! ❀

It’s no secret around here that I friggin’ LOVE sharks. I love marine life in general, but sharks always take the cake for me. Needless to say, this week it’s all about sharks on my blog. πŸ™‚ Even at work, I’ve planned my weekly activities with our finned friends in mind. I’ll have my group doing shark arts and crafts, doing cool mini-lessons about them, and making shark-themed snacks and desserts for cooking! I can’t wait! A few of my awesome participants love sharks as much as I do so I can’t wait to see what they think of the activities I have planned. πŸ˜€

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Sorry in advance to the parents who will have to hear about sharks ALL.WEEK.LONG. from the participants on my team. Haha #sorrynotsorry

Do you tune into Shark Week each year? What are you looking forward to seeing? I personally would be thrilled to see more love for the sharks that aren’t great whites. Great whites are awesome too, but there are SO MANY amazing and fascinating types of sharks out there that they could cover. Gimme those whale sharks, your Greenland sharks, threshers, goblin sharks, gimme ALL the sharks! I get that great whites are what the average person thinks of when they picture sharks, but all the more reason to mix it up a little. πŸ˜‰

So, what can you expect to see around here this week? More shark doodles from yours truly, updates about what shark projects we’re doing at my work this week, a special spotlight post on a great artist with a mission, and more! I hope you guys enjoy the posts and have a JAWSOME Shark Week! ❀

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My Writing Minion

That moment when you’re doing your best to concentrate on character sheets for your writing project and your fuzzy cohort says “Screw that shit, it’s cuddle time!”

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Bailey cares not for productivity. She demands pets and undivided attention from all mortals.

It’s isn’t easy resisting those giant imploring kitty eyes when you’re trying to work on stuff. Still, I wouldn’t trade my writing minion for the world. ❀ Generally she’s pretty good about just relaxing by my side while I write, but today she wasn’t having it, rolling over onto the books I was referencing, meowing at me incessantly.

What are your biggest and/or cutest distractions when you’re trying to get your creativity on? Do you have the willpower to resist or do you succumb to the cuteness? I’m a sucker for all things adorable so I’m pretty sure you already know what my answer is. πŸ˜‰