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The Return to the Sketchbook

After some neglect, I finally brushed off my sketchbook and have been showing it a little love again. I figured I’d share some of my recent illustration-sketch thingies with you guys. πŸ™‚ Here are my 3 latest pieces, all done with watercolor markers and sharpies. Some of you may have already seen them over on Instagram but I figured I’d share them here anyway. ❀

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Not my usual color palette, but hey, it’s fun to tinker around with different colors from time to time. Yellow was a bold jump out of my comfort zone.

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This one was kind of inspired by the dead twins in The Shining, but I was listening to The Birthday Massacre, hence the bunny mask. This one was just a quickie since I felt I needed to push myself that day to practice more. I wish I’d taken my time with it more, but hey, that’s what re-draws are for, right? πŸ˜‰

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Just did this one tonight. Was wanting to do a creepy spin on those cute poses couples do for photos so I thought it’d be fun to have a girl covering the guy’s eyes with bloody claw hands while he’s obliviously unaware he’s about to be dinner.

Hopefully there will be more of these art posts. Shark Week is coming up so I’d love to do some Shark illustrations soon, like last year’s whale shark drawing I did. Definitely need to buy some new watercolor markers soon. My poor little babies are drying up!! D:

Anywayyy, hope you guys enjoyed the drawings. What creative stuff have you been up to lately? πŸ™‚ I’d love to chat about it!

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Goblin Shark Facts

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One of my favorite things about sharks is simply how many different kinds there are, and how vastly unique one species can be from another. One of the first sharks to come to mind when I think about “weird sharks” would have to be none other than the goblin shark. I’ve enjoyed learning what little snippets I could about these elusive buggers for some time now, so I was looking forward to having this excuse to research them some more. So, that said, let’s get into the fun and talk about these interesting sharks!

Despite their ghoulish name (and appearance), Goblin sharks are of the “pretty in pink” variety, ranging in color schemes from a lighter greyish pink to a strikingly vibrant dark pink as they get older. Their unique color is due to their skin being ghostly translucent due to lack of pigment, so the pink you’re seeing is actually from the shark’s blood vessels showing just beneath the skin.

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If you think the goblin shark looks frightful at a glance, you should see it in action when its hungry! Utilizing a feeding method known as “slingshot feeding”, the goblin shark launches its whole friggin’ mouth forward to snatch up prey in what I can only compare to the chestburster scene in the movie Alien.

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Similarly to great white sharks, goblin sharks do not do well in captivity, and the few times they have been kept in aquariums they have died shortly after arrival. 😦 This, combined with the rarity of sightings of living specimens, makes them pretty mysterious to scientists.

Despite being rarely seen by humans, goblin sharks are found in oceanic waters all around the world, but most sightings and captures have occurred off the coasts of Japan, making it little surprise that the very first specimen was discovered there in 1898. (Imagine being the first person to find such an unusual-looking shark!)

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Posted in Uncategorized

Greenland Shark Facts Because “SHARK WEEK!”

Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

Greenland sharks are seriously interesting sharks, so I was really looking forward to doing the Info portion of this post. πŸ™‚ I had also intended to include an illustration like I did for my recent Whale Shark Post, but 1.) Greenland sharks are kind of wonky to try to draw/color (at least for me) and 2.) My access to scanners is much more limited at the moment than I had anticipated. So thank you google images! Phew! Excuses aside, onto the info:

Greenland sharks are part of the family of sharks known as Somniosidae, more commonly known as “sleeper sharks”. As the name would imply, this group of sharks are the more mellow of the bunch, swimming at lower speeds and just being pretty “chill” in general. The Greenland shark specifically is known to be the world’s slowest shark, not even reaching 1 mile per hour.

Other names for the Greenland shark include: the “gurry shark”, “grey shark”, and “eqalussuaq“.

These guys get old. Like, realllly old. Being the longest-living of all vertebrate species, these big guys are estimated to be capable of living for anywhere between 200 to even 500 years!

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Many people tend to only think of sharks living in warmer waters, but Greenland sharks prefer the cold. In fact, they can be found thriving in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters year round, making the waters around Greenland, Iceland, and Canada their home.

Comparable in size with the Great White, these predators have never been recorded to attack humans. They sustain themselves by hunting and scavenging, and have been found with some interesting things in their stomachs when caught. (One particular Greenland shark on record was even found with the body of an entire reindeer in its stomach!) Due to their slow speed, scientists were surprised that these guys were able to prey on living seals which can travel so much faster . . . until they discovered that Greenland sharks were nomming on the speedy little guys while they were sleeping under water.

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Due to the depths these guys like to hang out in, their tissue is loaded with a potent neurotoxin (trimethylamine oxide) making their meat toxic. Despite this, they are still hunted for food, and through a lengthy and longstanding process involving fermentation and curing of the meat, they are not only eaten, but even considered a delicacy in Iceland.

There are loads of other awesome things to learn about these sharks whether it comes to them themselves or the mythology that surrounds them. Seriously, if you’re looking for an interesting shark to research, look no further than the Greenland shark. They may not be much to look at to most, but they truly are fascinating. πŸ™‚

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Posted in Uncategorized

Whale Shark Drawing/Facts

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Drawing by IgnitedMoth (aka: ME!) πŸ˜‰

My favorite shark of all is none other than the whale shark, so of course I had to do a Shark Week post about these docile behemoths. πŸ™‚

As their name would imply, these magnificent creatures are HUGE. On average, a mature whale shark is estimated to reach lengths of 32 feet, and to weigh in at a massive average of 20,000 pounds! (Even larger specimens than that have been recorded, though, believe it or not.) It’s no surprise that they are the largest fish in the world.

Don’t let their massive size intimidate you though, because these sharks are the gentle giants of the ocean. They’re actually filter feeders who use their giant gaping mouths to dine on plankton and some small fish and other itty bitty sea critters.

Much like how two tigers never have the same stripes, no two whale sharks have the same spot/stripe pattern.

Whale sharks have some BIG mouths. (All the better to nom on all that tasty plankton with!) A mature whale shark’s mouth is about five feet wide on average and is home to over 300 teeth. (Again, no worries about them coming up to divers for a little nibble. They’re basically giant cinnamon rolls just floating around doing their thing.) Fun Fact, though: These guys will use their giant mouths to suck out a free meal from the full nets of fishermen. I personally find this hilarious. Way to stick it to the man, whale sharks!

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All in all, whale sharks rock and are to be respected for the mellow and distinguished sharks they are.

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Happy Shark Week!

Woo! My favorite week for television is upon us: SHARK WEEK! πŸ˜€ I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when Shark Week is on, Discovery Channel reigns supreme in my home. I love sharks (and marine life in general) so an entire week of non-stop specials about sharks is always a big plus in my book. πŸ˜‰ Let the binge-watching begin!

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In honor of Shark Week, I will be posting multiple shark-related posts throughout the week that I’ve been putting together. You can count on there being a couple new drawings and plenty of snazzy shark facts I thought you guys might find interesting. I’ve got several posts that shine a light on some of my favorite types of sharks. πŸ™‚ Hopefully you will enjoy reading the posts as much as I’ve been enjoying creating them. ❀

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So, how about you? Are any of you fine folks planning to partake in the “Jawsome” glory that is Shark Week? Any particular sharks you’re hoping to see and/or learn more about from this year’s specials? Ever seen or encountered a shark in real life?? Let’s talk SHARKS!! πŸ˜€

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Aaaaand on a related note, I’m still attempting to catch up on reading other blogs after my recent absence. There’s so much to catch up on and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. πŸ™‚ It’s amazing how fast you can get behind and how long it takes to try to catch up. Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Book/Comic-Related Christmas Haul

Brrr! All of the people wishing for a “White Christmas” certainly got their wish here in Michigan. (What were you lunatics thinking?!) πŸ˜› I just got in from shoveling a bunch of snow and am chilled to the bone. Thankfully, hot chocolate with butterscotch schnapps mixed in is a thing. πŸ˜‰ It’s soooo good and soooo warm. I’m in a state of total bliss now as I thaw out.

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I hope all of you enjoyed the holidays with your loved ones and had a wonderful time. ❀ (And maybe even gave and got some awesome prezzies!) πŸ˜› Christmas certainly is NOT all about the presents, but this post sure as heck is gonna be. πŸ˜‰ I was too excited about some of the fantastic gifts I got this Christmas not to want to share them.Β  and Let’s start this post off by talking about my favorite gift I unwrapped this year:

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I have been coveting these particular Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland vintage artwork ornaments for YEARS. Seriously, years. My dream is to one day decorate my Christmas tree in all literature-themed ornaments and decorations, and these fit the theme so perfectly. Needless to say, I was beyond elated to get them as one of my gifts from my boyfriend. He ended up spoiling me rotten, but these were my favorite of the gifts he got me for sentimental reasons. ❀

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Okay, enough being mushy, let’s move on and talk about COMICS! πŸ˜€ I got some graphic novels I am very excited to read. First, we have the first three volumes of the manga series The Girl from the Other Side. I’d been seeing artwork for this series floating around and absolutely loved what I saw, but I had no idea it was an actual manga series until I read a review on volume 1 from the Random Melon Reads blog. I can’t wait to learn more about this story. Here’s a tidbit about it from Goodreads:

“In a land far away, there were two kingdoms: the Outside, where twisted beasts roamed that could curse with a touch, and the Inside, where humans lived in safety and peace. The girl and the beast should never have met, but when they do, a quiet fairytale begins. This is a story of two people–one human, one inhuman–who linger in the hazy twilight that separates night from day.”

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Next, we have some more mainstream goodies starring some of my fave DC leading ladies! πŸ˜€ I’ve heard really good things about Batwoman: Rebirth, and I’m looking forward to continuing the Bombshells series with volumes 3 and 4. Volume 2 had a definite lack of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy so I’m pumped to see them right on the cover in the thick of the action for volume 3.

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Speaking of continuing series I’ve already started, I’m looking forward to seeing what shenanigans the girls from Giant Days get up to in volumes 4 and 5. I’m also thrilled to report that Cupcakes and Machetes has gotten into this comic recently as well. It’s always fun getting to talk to friends about comics and books and whatnot. πŸ™‚

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And on the topic of awesome female-centered comics I like to enjoy with my friends, I also now get to enjoy volumes 2, 3, and 4 of Rat Queens! I didn’t shy away from expressing my love for this series when I reviewed volume 1 back in March, so you can imagine how giddy I was to receive more of this series. It isn’t every comic I give a rating of “Five out of five flaming orc skulls.” πŸ˜‰

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I got some other awesome non-comic or book related gifties, but the last I want to share with you guys is this awesome shark mug and shark snack bowl duo. It’s no secret that I love me some sharks, so I was pretty pumped about these. Especially because I’m also a fan of coffee mugs. And snacks. πŸ˜›

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Did you have a lovely Christmas this year? What was your favorite present you gave and/or received? Are you glad the holiday chaos is finally over?? πŸ˜›

Oh! And because a couple of you asked to see it, here’s a pic of my R2-D2 Christmas sweater I got this year. πŸ™‚

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Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

SHARK WEEEEEEK!!

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Awwww, Yeaaaahhhhh! It’s that magical time of year again, guys: SHARK WEEK!!

I’ve always loved sharks, so tuning into Discovery Channel each Summer for all this sharky goodness has been an absolute must for me for as long as I can remember. You know how a lot of people get pumped up about the Super Bowl? That’s me with Shark Week. πŸ˜›

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Disclaimer: This image may be photoshopped.

Shark Week has always given us landlubbers a chance to see (and learn about) what’s really going on out there in the deep blue yonder. I love sharks, but like a lot of things in nature, I prefer to love them from afar. Preferably curled up under a blanket with my cat minion purring beside me as we nom popcorn like sharks nom their prey.

A lot of people tend to mainly think of Great Whites when they think of Shark Week, but several of my favorite programs over the years has focused on the vastly different species of shark. Monday, for example, there will be a program called “Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins” about some of the unsung heroes of the shark populace, the bizarre weirdos of the deep. πŸ™‚

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How about you? Are you going to watch any (or all of) Shark Week? I’ll admit, tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones will manage to pry me from my shark binge for at least an hour, but otherwise it’s gonna be sharks all day, every day.

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Wishing a merry and Jaw-some shark week to one and all! πŸ˜‰

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Posted in Uncategorized

Hello, Nyquil, My Old Friend

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Guess who’s siiiiick again?? *mouth breathes with tissue crammed up both nostrils* Yeah, baby. This girl right here! I’m fighting off sleep for a hot minute though so I can post some random bits because sleep is for suckers!

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Bit #1: Castlevania on Netflix is really good. You should check dat shit out.

Bit #2: Shovel Knight was a very fun game. “ALL HAIL THE TROUPPLE KING!”

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Bit #3: I checked out the first three volumes of the Soul Eater manga from the library. I liked what I saw of the anime before, so I’m looking forward to reading it. πŸ™‚ Have any of you guys read it already?

Bit #4: I forgot to mention that I saw the new Spider-Man movie when it came out. It was pretty good. πŸ™‚ A really fun movie. I really want to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets!

Bit #5: That Game of Thrones premier.Β  Oh my gods (the old AND the new!) πŸ˜›

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Bit #6: Butts.

Bit #7: Is anyone else out there watching season 2 of Attack on Titan?? I love that show! I thought I had a lot of questions when season 1 ended but now I’ve got even MORE!! The season finale is this coming weekend and shit is gonna get REAL! πŸ˜€

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Bit #7: Summer is laaaaame. Let’s skip the rest of this icky hot weather and get straight to Fall colors, cider, Halloween, and hoodie weather!

Bit #8: So, um, this Sunday is sorta, kinda . . . THE START OF SHAAAARK WEEEEEK!!!!

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Mmmmkay, eyes can barely stay open at the moment so goodnight to one and all!

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Posted in Uncategorized

A Series of Blah Blah Blah’s . . .

I’ve got a teeny bit of free time right now so I’m gonna just share some quick updates! Here they are, in a quick succession of brief blah blah blah’s:

Blah #1: The new job is going great. πŸ˜€ I love being a program instructor and my class and team make me enjoy going to work every day. ❀ Plus the schedule is fantastic and I’ll never have to worry about working holidays or weekends.

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Blah #2: Had a great weekend with my boyfriend. πŸ™‚ We went and did a lot of things this Friday and Saturday (like see the new shark movie 47 Meters Down at my insistence). lol Sharks are my jam, what can I say? We also played a bunch of Shovel Knight which was a lot of fun.

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Blah #3: I failed at doing a Father’s Day blog post in honor of my dad like I did for my mom. I got to spend time with him though and we watched Star Wars movies and I gave him prezzies for being such an awesome dad. We had a nice dinner, too, so it was all good. πŸ™‚

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Blah #4: The new job (combined with the one I had) leaves me without as much free time so I’m doing me best to keep up here. If it takes me longer to post or comment and stuff that is why. I still love blogging and chatting with you guys! ❀

Blah #5: I haven’t done a writing update in forever here mostly do to lack of time, but I haven’t given up! I just need to find a happy balance and figure out ways to squeeze more writing time in. Hopefully I can do a proper writing update again soon.

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That’s it for my quick little updates. I hope you’re all having a great week. Feel free to share any recent blah’s of your own! πŸ˜€

Posted in Random Fun Stuff, Uncategorized

Spread the Love: The One Lovely Blog Award

I was so pleasantly surprised to see that I was nominated by none other than The Shameful Narcissist for The One Lovely Blog Award! πŸ™‚ Special thanks for the nomination. I really do appreciate it. πŸ™‚ Her blog is a fun and well-worded medley of her love for retro video games, fantasy, books, her own reviews/fan fiction, and more! Her passion for these things shines through in her well-worded posts. I highly recommend checking her blog out!

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Although I had never heard of The One Lovely Blog Award until I was nominated for it, I can really get behind what it stands for. Those nominated share a few interesting facts about themselves and then nominate others to do so as well. As said by The Shameful Narcissist: “It creates a potentially never ending cycle of sharing and positivity, something there can never be enough of in the world.” I couldn’t agree more. With all the negativity out there, we could use a little more fun and love out there for one another.

The Official Rules of this Award go as such:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

  • List the rules and display the award.

  • Nominate 6-10 bloggers to receive this award.

  • State 7 facts about yourself.

So, without further ado, here are 7 random tidbits about yours truly.

Fact #1: I have what is often described as a “young” sounding voice. It makes doing most vocal impressions difficult for me, but I have a couple that I am quite proud of. One is the titular character of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo when she gets excited and screams “HAM!” and the other is that I can do a mean impression of a Murloc from World of Warcraft. It isn’t much, but you work with whatcha got! πŸ˜›

Fact #2: When I was a kid my first little girl crush was on David Bowie in Labyrinth. I regret nothing!!

Fact #3: I have a cat who is my furry little minion. Her name is Bailey and I love her beyond measure. I call her by like a thousand nicknames. Some are plays on her name like “Bailbo Baggins” or “Peter Bail-ish”. Others are things like “Chub Cat”, “Pound Cake”, or “Chubkins”. She is a cheeseburger cat.

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Fact #4: I love learning. My favorite subjects are history, mythology and folklore, anatomy and physiology, and marine biology, but I love to research a wide variety of different subjects. I adore museums and libraries. If schooling was more affordable I would probably be enrolled in classes until the day I die.

Fact #5: My favorite holiday is Halloween! What’s not to love? The spooky fun, costumes, candy, scary stories and movies, pumpkin carving, apple orchards for cider and donuts, the list just goes on and on and on for me. It’s also the highlight of my favorite season: autumn.

Fact #6: I love sharks. There are so many kinds and so many interesting things to learn about them all. They truly are amazing creatures. They’re just fascinating. My favorite species is probably the whale shark. They’re gentle giants.

Fact #7: I am very passionate about people learning first aid and CPR. Sounds weird, I know, but these are easy things to learn that can literally save a life. I took my first CPR and First Aid class in 2009 and I remember as we learned the Heimlich maneuver thinking, I’ll probably never use this, but I guess it’s good to know. I kid you not, the following weekend I was out to dinner with my ex and his family and his great uncle began choking on his dinner. And I don’t mean he was coughing like crazy kind of choking, I mean his windpipe was completely blocked off and he could not breathe or even make a sound because of the food lodged in his throat. My ex’s step-mother noticed his situation just before I did and saved him by preforming the Heimlich on him at the table. A couple years ago, I myself was choking but there was no on there who could help me, so using a chair, I performed it on myself and saved myself. That was empowering to say the least. If I hadn’t known how to do it, I can say with almost certainty that I would not be here today. It’s a humbling thought how easily things can end if you are not able to take matters into your own hands when needed. I feel like these are things students should learn in school and that should be much more widely taught to the public.

So, there’s my 7 facts about me! πŸ™‚ I tried to think a little outside the box with these since I’ve covered other more general facts about myself already in my blog. Thanks again to The Shameful Narcissist for the nomination. If you hadn’t already just completed this fact challenge I would have your blog on my list of nominees as well. πŸ˜€

I nominate:

Cupcakes and Machetes

The Mighty Castle

Forged From Reverie

Unbolt

Crumble Cult

Agatha Chocolats