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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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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™‚

 

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Just Checking In

Hey, guys! ❀ I just wanted to pop in to check and see how my blogging buddies are doing during these strange and scary times. It’s been a while. February I was sick with the flu, then with a wicked sinus infection, and then had a work injury to my hand, so I failed at doing my once-a-month-minimum blog post, but I wasn’t beating myself up about it. I figured March HAD to be a better month, right? Right?? Oh, boy, what a sweet, sweet summer child I was . . . 😦

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Part of the Quarantine Art Challenge I’ve been participating in

I hope you guys are all doing well, staying healthy, and staying sane while in Quarantine. For those of you who are still working during all of this, I genuinely hope your patients, customers, etc. are treating you kindly and that your place of employment is doing their best to keep you safe and well. ❀

My last day of work was March 13th. I work at a day program for adults with special needs so we tend to follow the guidelines of the schools. Our return-to-work date has been pushed back three times and I would honestly be surprised if it doesn’t get pushed back again. My work is doing the best they can to take care of us though which I am beyond thankful for. ❀ I’ve only left the house once in the past 2 weeks. My fiance Mr. Moth is here with me, and we’ve got our kitty Bailey here with us. They’re both amazing Quarantine Buddies. πŸ™‚

TV SHOWS:Β  ShamelessΒ  /Β  The Masked SingerΒ  /Β  Lego MastersΒ  /Β  The Daily Show

MOVIES: The Pit /Β  Spencer Confidential / Us / Get Out / A Quiet PlaceΒ  /Β  Spider-Man: Far From Home

BOOKS: The Exorcist /Β  The Lost City of Z / Tank Girl Armadillo!: A Novel / Nevernight / The Indifferent Stars Above (I’m hopping a lot between books right now.) πŸ˜›

ART: I’ve worked a bit on a Quarantine Art Challenge, done some really interesting research for my writing, and some mapping (also for my writing project)

GAMES: Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice / Unruly Heroes

BAKING: Banana Bread / Rainbow Chip Cake Cookies

We’re doing okay in the Moth Household, and I hope you guys are all doing okay, too. How are things in your neck of the woods? Who are your Quarantine Buddies? What have you been up to during all of this? What’s keeping you sane?

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January 2020 Updates

I can’t believe the first month of the new year is already almost over! January is always a big month for reflection and goal setting for me. It marks not only the start of a new calendar year, but also a new year in my life since it is my birthday month.

I know my blog posts have been far and few between and while I’d like to say that that is about to change, I’m afraid I can make no such claim. This year is going to be nuts. Between planning our wedding/honeymoon, my creative pursuits, work, etc. I will do my best to post when I can, but I also am not going to beat myself up over it if it isn’t as often as I’d like. 2020 is going to be an interesting year full of lots of crazy adventures and I’m kind of just living in the moment and trying to push forward to work toward my goals while also making sure I have time for the things and people that make me happy. ❀

Anywhoooo, onto some of the stuff I’ve been up to the past couple weeks!

Currently Reading:

I’m currently hopping back and forth between Mira Grant’s second Parasitology novel, Symbiont, and January’s book club choice, Missing in Michigan, by April A. Taylor. And because reading two books at once is never enough, I’ve decided that adding a graphic novel into the mix was obviously the right way to go. πŸ˜‰ Lady Mechanika, Volume 1 has been on my TBR List (and bookshelf of neglected titles) for too long, so I finally decided to take the plunge. Between one book about everything that could go wrong when scientists play God with genetically engineered tapeworms, another about a mystery-solving therapist to the dead, and yet another filled with lots of steampunk and monster goodness, I think I have plenty to keep me entertained no matter what I’m in the mood for.

Currently Playing:

Mr. Moth and I gifted each other a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and we’ve been having an absolute blast with it. I have always loved Mario Kart 64 but never ventured into any of the following iterations of the game over the years. I always worried with all the loopy crazy tracks that it would bitch smack me with some serious vertigo. Fortunately, this turned out not to be the case. πŸ˜€ There’s definitely a lot of differences from what I’m used to with the Nintendo 64 version, but I love it. We’ve been playing some other games along the way and have really enjoyed Unravel Two. It’s such a mellow and oddly-calming game. Kind of reminds me of how I felt when I played Never Alone. Speaking of games I’ve played and enjoyed before, Shovel Knight was one we decided we wanted to re-play. “All hail the Troupple King!”

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In other gaming news, although I, myself, am not playing it, I have been watching Mr. Moth play Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It’s a cool puzzle-based blend of history/mythology/psychology, and it’s been fun (and frustrating) helping Mr. Moth hunt for runes in the game. I like playing games, but I also enjoy watching others play them as well. πŸ™‚

Current Creative Projects:

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Back in November I found my writing groove once more through NaNoWriMo, buuuuut then the holiday season brought it all to a grinding halt. Thankfully, things have finally settled down once more and I’m back at it. πŸ™‚

In other creative news, I have a very exciting update regarding my future art projects. Although my birthday isn’t technically until the end of the month, celebrations have already begun. Among other awesome prezzies, I received a snazzy new drawing tablet! I’m so excited about it. There’s a lot for me to learn and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to work on any digital art, but I can’t wait to get the hang of it and start making lots of new illustrations.

Anyway, that’s it for my January update post. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll try to at least do one of these types of post near the end of each month, and then we’ll see what else I can pepper in here and there throughout the months to come. I hope everyone is doing well and having a fantastic start to the new year. ❀ ❀ ❀

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The Quiet Boy (Short Story) Review

 

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My Inktober wendigo art from this year.

Who loves wendigo stories? Why, yours truly, of course! πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I love legendary and mythical creatures of all sorts, but wendigos are always a special sort of treat in my book.Β  Needless to say, I am really excited to see the upcoming horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro.

For those of you wondering to yourself, WTF a wendigo is, here is your quick Wendigo 101 lesson for the day: A Wendigo is an evil spirit from Native American Algonquian legend that will corrupts anyone who has committed the unforgivable crime of cannibalism. The evil spirit twists the human it is influencing into a monstrous version of themselves with a horrible, never-ending hunger, and a murderous cruelty that knows no bounds. Since these legends originate in Canada and the Great Lakes regions of the United States, it is no surprise that winters were hard where these tales originated. People didn’t always make it through the winter, and hunger can make people desperate enough that they’d do anything to survive, even taking part in an act as taboo as cannibalism. In a lot of ways the legend of the wendigo can be seen as a cautionary tale.

Last week I found out that this movie is actually based off the plot of a short story called The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca, creator of Channel Zero. Always a fan of reading the source material before I watch a movie or show its based on, I tried to look up the story on GoodReads but couldn’t find it. Then I saw over on the Bloody Disgusting website that you could read the entire short story HERE on the Guernica site. So, if you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway, let’s get onto my review for The Quiet Boy, shall we? πŸ™‚

Julia is just starting her teaching career when Teach For America lands her in a small town in the middle of nowhere, where the unofficial town motto is “Hills, Whores, and Liquor Stores.” Definitely not was she was hoping for when she dreamed of being a teacher. Still, our protagonist wants to do right by her fourth graders.

While teaching her kids about storytelling, specifically of the fairy tale and tall tale variety, one of her young students named Lucas catches her attention with the story he is working on. What she initially assumes is going to be another cookie cutter take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, turns out to be something much different altogether, and something far more sinister.

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Drawing from Lucas’ story in the Antlers movie trailer.

Worried for Lucas, she wants to help the boy, and learn more about what his home life might be like. Between the underlying themes in the boy’s story he is writing and the fact that Lucas always comes to school in old clothes, always smells like damp leaves and damp animal fur, and looks to be very underfed, Julia assumes things aren’t great at home. She also worries that Lucas’ father might be a drunk and not taking proper care of him or his younger brother. Her fellow teachers view Lucas as one of those lost cause kids,Β  but Julia wants to help him, and to learn more about what his life at home might be like. Due to how private and protective Lucas is any time she brings up home or his family, Julia decides to pay his home a surprise visit when she is sure he won’t be there. What she discovers is nothing she could have imagined. Things get dark pretty quickly from this point on in the story, but I won’t spoil the fun. πŸ˜‰ It’s a quick read and I provided the link so you can read it if you’re interested in seeing what Julia finds. The story does its own thing with the wendigo legend, and I thought it was interesting the direction it went in.

I’d rate it 4 out of 5 stars, and reading it made me excited to see how it will be adapted into a movie when it hits theaters in April 2020. πŸ™‚

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Inktober 2019: Week 1 Roundup

Phew! It has been a busy week. Thankfully I was still able to squeeze in just enough drawing time to complete the first seven days of Inktober. πŸ™‚ Some of the daily prompts were harder than others and some took a few tries to get the look I was going for, but it feels good to have stayed on track so far. I’ve been posting daily over on Instagram but I wanted to share a roundup of my first seven entries with you guys here on the blog. ❀

Day 1: The daily prompt was “RING” and I decided to go with the kind of rings you would see if you were to cut into a tree as my inspiration, rather than actual jewelry.

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Day 2: The daily prompt was “MINDLESS” and I just decided to go with a cute little zombie dude. This one was a quick but doing the blood was fun.

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Day 3: The daily prompt was “BAIT” and I jumped at the opportunity to draw an angler fish because they’re badass and interesting, so why not?

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Day 4: The daily prompt was “FREEZE” and I decided to draw a guy being pulled down beneath the ice by a skeleton woman. I wanted to go with muted color accents for the “freeze” prompt and I’m pretty happy with how they came out. πŸ™‚ I wish I would have added some bubbles, but it’s never too late to go back in later and add them.

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Day 5: The daily prompt was “BUILD” and I made a mad scientist building her own creation. This one was pretty fun since this mad scientist is a character I used to draw a long time ago and wanted to make a comic about.

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Day 6: The daily prompt was “HUSKY” and I just drew a husky. Wasn’t really feeling this one, but I still got it done.

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Day 7: The daily prompt was “ENCHANTED” and I had a lot more fun with this one, drawing a whimsical fairy moth lady. I also really enjoyed adding some brassy, silver and gold with my new metallic sharpies. This one was such a delight to draw that I’m sure I’ll be drawing her again at some point. I may even utilize her to jazz up the blog a little. πŸ˜‰

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I hope you guys enjoyed the drawings and I look forward to sharing my next batch in a week. Are any of you participating in Inktober or doing any other fun challenges this month? πŸ™‚

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INKTOBER 2019: LET’S DO THIS!

Awww yeahhh! October, which is only the bestest month ever (fact), is nearly upon us! That means Inktober is nearly upon us as well. Bust out your ink pens and watch out for paper cuts because we’re talking about 31 days of pure unadulterated, hand-drawn inky goodness.Β  Last year was my first year participating in the infamous art challenge, but I just kinda did whatever I wanted and only ended up doing a few pieces. This year, however, I’m following the official Inktober prompts for 2019 and following the official rules.

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I recently went and got my art supply haul for Inktober and am feeling good about my weapons of choice for the year. I’ve never actually worked with India ink before so I’m pretty excited to check that out and give it a whirl. I might add the odd dash of color here and there throughout the month, but ultimately I’m going with the traditional black and white look with the occasional metallic accents.

Screenshot_2019-09-29 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos

So, who’s with me? πŸ˜‰ Any fellow participants for this year’s Inktober challenge? Any past participants with sage knowledge and tips to pass on to a newbie like me? I’m aiming to complete a drawing for each theme throughout the month. I’ll try to share them daily over on my Instagram and will probably share a roundup of my drawings here on my good ol’ blog once a week.

I also plan to follow The Shameful Narcissist’s lead and start prepping for November’s NaNoWriMo challenge. Pile plenty of Halloween fun on top of that and October is going to be a busy-but-very-fun month. πŸ™‚

 

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Fall 2019 Bucket List

Screenshot_2019-09-24 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos
Sketchbook quickie I affectionately title “Blep” πŸ˜›

At last! Fall is finally here and I am all about it! ❀ I have a lot of plans for the next couple of months and who better to share them with than all you spiffy people?? πŸ™‚ So, without further ado, allow me to present my official bucket list for the fall of 2019:

  • Go to the Michigan Renaissance Festival
  • Participate in Inktober
  • Work more on face painting Halloween makeup again this year and put together costumes.
  • Attend Theatre Bizarre
  • Carve/Decorate pumpkins and decorate the house for Halloween
  • Horror Movie Marathon
  • Enter the costume contest at my work
  • Pass out candy to all our little neighborhood ghouls and goblins
  • More trips to more cider mills!
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo
  • Try making some new fall recipes this year
  • Bonfires
  • Decorate the house more and move some things around/finish some projects out in the yard before winter strikes again.

I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ll get up to in the months to come, but for now this is my go-to To-Do List for autumn. What are your big plans for the season? πŸ™‚ Do you know what you’re being for Halloween yet? Apple or Pumpkin??? Let’s revel in fall! πŸ˜€