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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! ❀

 

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Art Update: August 2020

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Happy Friday!! ❀ I hope you guys are all doing well and staying safe. I know 2020 has been a total hot mess, but I hope you’re finding ways to keep yourself sane during all of this. I’ve been finding a lot of solace in drawing and it’s been really nice. Like spending time with an old friend from before the stressful days of adulthood. (Maybe it just feels like that because I haven’t actually been able to see any of my friends in-person since February due to the pandemic!)

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For most of my life, drawing was such a huge part of my daily existence. The past 10 years, though, I found myself doing it less and less. Sure, sometimes I’d make time for it, but it just wasn’t how it used to be. Well, the past year I have definitely been at it more again and now I’m pushing myself to not just settle into my drawing comfort zone, but to work on new poses and techniques, and really work at strengthening my skill again. I’ve got a long way to go, and a lot of learning to do, but I’m enjoying being back on the journey. πŸ™‚

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One of the ways I need to push myself further with my art is getting back into digital art again. It’s been a long ass time. I’m strangely intimidated, to be honest. I got this great new art tablet but to quote the Joker from The Dark Knight:

“I’m like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one”

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Well, one thing that will eventually force my hand to branch back out into digital art is the fact that most of my markers/brush pens are on their last leg. Filling up that sketchbook I got a while back has been slowly murdering all of them. πŸ˜₯

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Plus, I don’t think I’ll forgive myself if by the time I eventually return to work, I STILL have not gotten the hang of the new art tablet. I mean, it’s literally been 5 months since my work had to temporarily close its doors due to the coronavirus. Usually I have the excuse of not having enough free time, but that excuse has kind of gone right out the window this year, hasn’t it?? πŸ˜‰

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I hope you enjoy the new art. I’ll be posting some shark illustrations soon that I’ve been working on during Shark Week for an Instagram art challenge I’m participating in. It’s been a lot of fun so I figured I’d feature them in their own little post at the end of Shark Week. πŸ˜›

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What skills have you guys been building on during this year? What hobbies have you found comfort in?? What have you been doing to keep from going completely stir-crazy???

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Thanks, as always, for checking out my humble little drawings and reading my ramblings! ❀ Have a great weekend!

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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™‚