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Happy Shark Week!

Woo! It’s that magical time of year again! ❀ I’ve been gearing up hard for Shark Week this year, so expect lots of fun shark-related posts. I’ve been working on fun shark-related drawings, using any ounce of free time I can get to play the video game Hungry Shark World, and am all set up with my Discovery+ account to binge-watch some fin-tastic shark content!

I may have gone overboard at work, but I know my class is going to have an absolute blast this Shark Week. I’m generally the only room that does Shark Week in the building, but this year our excitement seems to have caught on, and another team is joining in on the fun as well. πŸ˜€

In case any of you haven’t seen it already, here’s this year’s Shark Week lineup, as well as the extras available on Discovery+. Aaaand, don’t forget to check out all the oldies but goodies that air all throughout the week as well. πŸ˜›

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Will you be partaking in Shark Week this year? What’s your favorite fictional shark? I couldn’t find any art challenges going on this year, so I mostly just drew shark fan art for fun. I hope you guys all have a Jawsome Shark Week! Looking forward to nerding out about sharks with you guys! ❀

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Adjusting to My New “Normal”

Hi, there! Hope you guys are doing well. ❀ In my previous post I mentioned how the trials of sorting out my mental health have not been without its ups and downs, but how I was finally starting to work on creative stuff again. …Guys… it’s been absolutely amazing being back at it. I am someone who thrives off doing creative things just about every day, so to experience the dry spell I recently had where I had no desire to write or draw or do much of anything with my solo free time was a nightmare.

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I’m so happy to be working on my hobbies again. I have really been enjoying working on the next draft for the book I’ve been writing, and I also have plans this week to get together with a friend to create some art. Hopefully I’ll have some new illustrations and maybe even a painting or something to share with you guys soon. πŸ˜‰

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I’ve also become a lot more outgoing recently. It’s been kind of surreal learning how to live a less anxious and more focused life, but hearing the positive changes my loved ones have been seeing really makes me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. ❀

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Now that it’s summer, what things are you guys looking forward to the most? How are your hobbies going? I’m looking forward to more time spent with amazing friends (like this past weekend we spent with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes having fun) and doing the things I love to do, as well as trying new things along the way as well! πŸ™‚

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Belated January 2022 Art Update

Man, February was an intense and upsetting month, so here’s to what will hopefully be better days as we move into March. I’ll do a proper February Wrap-Up Post soon, but first I wanted to catch up on a post I’d planned to do much earlier in the month. It may be a little late, but I wanted to share my art update for January, so let’s do this! πŸ˜€

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Having the absolute best best friend a girl could ask for for over 2 decades has embedded a strong appreciation for friendship in me, so I just wanted to draw a fun little picture of two BFF’s taking a selfie together. ❀ They actually remind me a lot of 2 of the characters in the story I’m writing, so it’s another instance where one creative hobby starts to bleed into the other. πŸ™‚

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Werewolves are always fun to draw. I had an especially amusing time making that big toothy wolf grin. πŸ˜€

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I wanted to do a quick experimentation in working out comic panels but since I didn’t have a plan of what to fill those panels with and was mostly looking at it as a bit of rough practice, I decided to go with something I was already familiar with. Hence, this Sailor Moon transformation I did in my own style. It’s meant to be messy and rough around the edges since I was mostly focused on panel layout and trying out a couple new techniques and tricks I was learning.

I managed to squeeze in some more art work in February over on myΒ Instagram account, so I’ll try to make sure I share them over here in the near future too. πŸ™‚ I’m slowly starting to pick up new handy little tricks here and there on Procreate, so hopefully I’ll be able to learn and draw some more in March too. I’ve been hard at work on the second draft of my book I’m writing (whenever I’m not too burnt out from work/life in general) so we’ll see what I can manage. πŸ™‚

Did you find any time for any particular hobbies this month? ALSO, if you happen to have any handy tips for making more time for the hobbies you enjoy, please feel free to share!Β 

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January 2022 Wrap-Up

Well, after dodging covid for nearly 2 full years, it finally reared its ugly head in our home. My husband and I had both been having these weird headaches for a few days and honestly, we have been so careful and had barely even gone anywhere around the time this happened other than the grocery store (both of us were even off work when this all happened) so the last thing we were expecting was covid. Well, my husband was due for surgery that week so he had to get tested and sure enough, he tested positive. 😦

Thankfully, other than being tired and having the bad headaches it was all very mild. Thanks, Science! πŸ˜€ Very, very glad we were both vaccinated and had our boosters. It could have been so much worse. Anyway, my husband’s surgery had to get postponed, so that’s coming up this week. We both had masks on when we went to the store, so that is just further proof that this Omicron variant isn’t fucking around. Be careful out there, guys. ❀

There were several other things that made January kind of a rough month, but I’m just thankful none of it was as bad as it could have been. Anywayyy, here are some things that brought me some joy in a month I would otherwise sum up as “mildly horrible”. πŸ™‚

Books Read: 3

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Vicious (Villains #1)Β by V.E. Schwab

I absolutely LOVED this book.Β Cupcakes & Machetes had read and raved about it years ago so it’s been on my radar for quite some time and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. I would have immediately dove right into the sequel but C&M and I are doing our annual beginning-of-the-year Harry Potter buddy read. It’s the fourth year, which means it’s time for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, baby! πŸ˜€

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I recently decided that I wanted to re-visit some of the spooky comics I loved back in my teenage years, so I started re-reading theΒ GloomCookie series of graphic novels by Serena Valentino. Volume 1 held up, with gothic modern fairy tale-like stories and spooky-cute characters and humor. I still enjoyed volume 2 as well, but not quite as much as the first one. A lot of the characters were just too angsty and bitchy this time around for me. Still gonna continue reading the series though. πŸ™‚

Baking Buddies: New Achievement Unlocked!

I’m usually the baker in our household, but my husband joined in on the fun last month and we ended up making 3 different desserts together. 2 were great, and the other was “meh”, but I enjoyed having a partner in confectionery crime. πŸ™‚ He made a delicious peanut butter buttercream for one of the desserts, and it was his first time making any kind of frosting, so kudos to him! We share quite a few hobbies already so it was fun trying something new together.

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Some of my Favorite Things I Watched:

The Lost Boys (You can check out the buddy review C&M and I did for it over on our joint-blog Sugar and Scream if you’d like!)

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Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train (OMGGGG! Amazing animation and fight sequences, and it’s got me so hyped for season 2!!)

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Attack on Titan, Season 4 Part 2 (If you aren’t watching this show yet, GET. YOUR. LIFE. TOGETHER. AND. WATCH. THIS. MASTERPIECE. Seriously, if it doesn’t pull you in by the first episode alone I’d be stunned.)

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Hobbies: Drawing and Writing

I’ll have to do a post soon with the drawings I made during January. (I think I only did like 3 for the whole month, but one was a rough/practice comic page, so that was fun and different.)

As for writing, it was a pretty productive month for working on my book’s second draft, especially given how stressful things were.

Leveling up to 35: My Birthday

With everything going on, it ended up being a very low key kind of birthday. My husband gifted me with a bounty of awesome books/graphic novels, and we got takeout from one of our favorite local restaurants (with cookie butter cheesecake for dessert!) πŸ˜€

Well, that pretty much sums up my first month of 2022. I hope you guys had a better start to the new year! ❀ What was your favorite part of January? Any plans for February that you’re excited for?

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New Year, New Goals: The 2022 Edition

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When you’re trying to be productive in the new year by starting a new Planner and your cat decides to flop down on your pens and stickers for it like, “Nah. Our only plan for today is to be lazy and comfy.”

Happy New Year! ❀ I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is ready to kick some ass in the new year, and by that I mean, of course, find and do all the things that make you happiest in life. πŸ™‚

Now, before we get on with this year’s resolutions, let’s see how I did with my goals for 2021. *drum roll, please!*

After the dumpster fire that was 2020, I decided to be gentle with myself when setting goals for 2021. I really wanted to work on my focus last year. My brain is all over the place all the time, my attention span sucks, and I have a tendency to start ALL the things and complete almost none of them. (It’s not beating yourself up when it’s 100% truuuue!) πŸ˜€

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That said, I think I nailed this goal. 2021 was the year I completed the first draft of my book I’ve been working on, which was a HUGE milestone that I’m very proud of. ❀

My other goals had been to push myself out of my comfort zone more, and to work on my mental health. I think these were both kind of a mixed bag for me, and they’re things I’d like to continue to work on in 2022.

SO, that said, let’s get into the year at hand: 2022 πŸ˜€

Goal #1: Finish the second draft of my book. I’d really like to get this done by mid to late summer if I can.

Goal #2: Work on my overall well-being. Health, Mental Health, Working on my goals, but also making sure to set aside time to have fun.

Goal #3: I set my Goodreads goal for 20 books/graphic novels this year. I wanted to keep the number of books I read reasonable since I will be spending so much time writing. Another part of my reading goal is that I primarily want to read things I already own.

Goal #4: Scheduling my days and living by a solid collection of To-Do Lists is how I thrive, so I want to try to structure my days out a little better this year so I have time for all of the things I enjoy and want to achieve.

Goal #5: I’ve been struggling with making time for drawing AND writing, so I’d like to try to find some balance there if I can.

What are your goals for the new year? How did you do on last year’s resolutions if you made them? What things are you most excited for in 2022?

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Pup Cups, Pumpkins, and Photos: July 2021 Wrap-Up

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Update #1: Pup Cups

My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) πŸ˜›

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Update #2: Pumpkin Babies

Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. ❀ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!

Update #3: Writing Progress

Writer Girl Summer is going really well. πŸ™‚ I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*

Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of

I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

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Update #5: Drawing

Other than completing theΒ Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!

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Update #6: Watching

July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.

Update #7: Baking

For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly bakedΒ bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.

What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! πŸ˜€

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Haunted Garden Art Challenge

I’m sure most of you know by now that I LOVE a spooky art challenge, so how could I possibly pass up on Grace.Moth‘s Haunted Garden Art Challenge? An art challenge hosted by a fellow moth? Clearly this was just meant to be. πŸ˜›

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I can’t wait to join in on the fun of another art challenge, especially one with such fun prompts. Aaaand each prompt gives you two days to work on it, rather than having to do one per day, which should make it less stressful to take part in. Any medium is welcome, so I’ll most likely be taking this as an opportunity to practice more digital art, but I may throw a traditional piece or two into the mix. We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we? πŸ˜‰

I’ll be posting them according to the prompt schedule over on myΒ Instagram account, and then I’ll just post a few at a time periodically here on my blog throughout the challenge as well.

What do you think of the prompts Grace.Moth came up with for her challenge? I love them. ❀ Are you working on any challenges or special goals at the moment?

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May 2021 Wrap-Up

May really feels like it lasted all of ten whole seconds this year. I couldn’t have told you it’s already been 2 weeks since my lastΒ Fan Art Friday post, but here we are just the same. πŸ˜›

Anywhoooo, it’s update time. Gonna keep this brief because I’m very, very tired and sleep is calling my name.

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READING: I finished reading all the volumes of Attack on Titan that are currently out, and now it seems I’ll be waiting until October for the final volume to be released so I can see how the epic saga ends. That will be pretty good timing since the second half of the final season of the anime will start back up this winter. I really hope there’s a good ending because the series has knocked my socks off since the beginning.

TELEVISION: Schitt’s Creek and a bunch of anime, including Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, which I’m really enjoying so far. πŸ™‚

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BAKING: The only things I was ambitious enough to bake this month were a coconut cream cheese danish for Mother’s Day and a dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for a family member’s birthday.

DRAWING: After finally getting the iPad Pro and accessories I’ve been drooling over for a while, I’ve been having a ball starting to learn how to use it all and have already picked up some really useful new techniques and skills I didn’t have before. It’s all been very exciting! ❀

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I am soooo ready for this long holiday weekend. I have 5 days off from work and I’m planning to savor every single minute of that time. Especially because I finally get to be reunited with the most fabulous BFF in all the land, my number #1 Partner in Crime, Cupcakes & Machetes!! ❀ ❀ ❀ Can’t wait for the shenanigans to commence! πŸ˜€

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Art Update: Rewinding Back to October 2020

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Happy December and Happy Holidays, everyone! ❀ It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a real art update around here so I figured I’d share some of the pieces I’ve been posting over on myΒ Instagram over the past couple months. πŸ™‚ It seems like I have dry spells where I don’t do much more than sketches/scribbles and then I hit my stride and put out multiple pieces right in a row. I’d really like to be more steady and consistent with my art output in 2021 but we’ll discuss that further when I do my New Year’s Resolutions post soon! πŸ˜‰

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These pieces were from back in October when I started (but failed to finish) the Corpsetober Art Challenge. It was so much fun, but October was such a whirlwind of a month that the challenge really got away from me pretty quickly in. I’m not upset about it though. With the stress of 2020 always looming I’ve spent much of this year being less critical of myself and more focused on mental health. ❀

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I think part of the reason I enjoyed this art challenge so much was because it called for me to lean heavy into my interest in all things spooky, and that’s always a treat. πŸ˜‰ What was not as fun, however, was dealing with my dying, busted ass brush pens and other markers. *SOBS* The silver lining of that, though, would be that it gives me a gentle push to try other mediums in the near future. I’ve been having fun with brush pens for the past 2 years or so and they’ve had a good run. Now I’m ready to tinker around with more tools of the trade. I’ll go more into that when I do that New Year’s Resolutions post I previously mentioned.

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Since this post features mostly horror/spooky themed art, my next art update I do will feature some of the fantasy art I’ve been doing more recently. Gorgons, flying purple rats, merfolk, and dryads, oh my! πŸ˜›

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Do you have any creative projects you’re currently working on before the end of the year? If so, I’d love to hear about them! ❀

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August 2020 Art Update: Part 2

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Apparently August was a good month for drawing, because here we are with another art update for the month! πŸ˜€ It’s been really nice drawing so much more. I’m hoping this trend will continue when I return to work.Β  I wish I’d done the above drawing in a proper sketchbook, but when inspiration strikes while you’re on hold with your insurance company, you draw on whatever you have within arm’s reach. πŸ˜›

Part of my drawing spree this month can definitely be attributed to Shark Week. I took part in the #DrawingSharkWeek art challenge on Instagram created by MarcctheSharkk. It was a lot of fun, and the daily prompts pushed me into drawing some different sharks that I may never have done without that dose of inspiration. I did 5 out of the 7 days and I’m really happy with that. πŸ™‚

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I know the last shark image is a sad one, but it’s an important issue that is really messing up our ocean’s ecosystem.Β  If you aren’t already familiar with shark finning, it’s when fishermen catch live sharks, cut their fins off to be sold for shark fin soup or bogus miracle cures and then they discard the rest of the usually still-living shark back into the water. Without their fins, these poor sharks will either slowly suffocate or be completely vulnerable to other predators. Either way, its a horrible death that awaits an astronomical amount of sharks each and every year.

Aaaand back to fluffier content, the next 2 are just 2 ladies I drew in warmer color schemes than I usually do these days. It was kind of fun branching out from the cooler color schemes that have mostly been my comfort zone for a while now. ❀

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How have you guys been keeping busy (and sane) this month? I’ll be doing an August Wrap-Up post soon with more info on what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. Take care, guys, and have a great week! ❀