Inktober Days 8,9,10: Crooked, Screech, Gigantic

8Crooked9Screech10Gigantic

Playing catch-up again, here’s the last three days of prompts crammed into one drawing. Still not great at coloring.

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Inktober Day 2: Divided

2Divided

After kicking off the Halloween season last night with some Netflix horror movies, today’s prompt brought me right into the zombie apocalypse. Assume I’m standing on something and not just picking off the short zombies, also, probably assume I have no idea how to draw chainsaws… or perspective.

Oh well ūüôā

Inktober 2017

Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.

Since I have this blog just kinda languishing here I figured I might as well post some random bits. With October freshly begun I’ve decided to give Inktober a shot this year.

Basically, like it says above, one ink drawing every day during the month of October. Then you post it to social media and add the #Inktober #Inktober2017 tags.

You can visit Inktober.com for the “Official” daily prompt list or forge your own path. Since I’m a newbie I figured I’d stick to the prompts and see where it takes me.

Even though I’m not really an artist I figured that drawing everyday for a month will only make me better.

Today’s prompt is “Swift” so here’s me taking the house wolf for a walk, or maybe she’s just dragging me.

1Swift

Happy Inktober everyone.

Beginning again, and again

in-the-beginning-logo

It’s that time of the year once again, when we finally stop¬†a minute to take stock of our lives and realize we want to do so much more than we have been. A lot of people seem to scoff at New Year’s resolutions, claiming they are doomed to fail because there is nothing magic about a new year that will make salad and gym visits any more appealing then they were last year. I get that, but at the same time, it’s just nice to feel like you can push all the disappointments and setbacks from the previous year aside and tell yourself, okay, this time I’m gonna do this right.

So maybe that’s what I’m doing here. I had a small handful of goals or ideas which I wanted to pursue this year. I tried to keep them attainable, without being so vague as to make them meaningless. Firstly, I wanted to write more. I’m always saying I need to stop “being a writer” and just actually write something. Tada! Here I am. To help facilitate this a bit more I’ve signed up for a Blogging 101 Course over at The Daily Post. My first assignment? This post here, introducing myself, or rather reintroducing the purpose behind this blog. As for my great and glorious purpose, well let’s come back to that in a minute.

In addition to setting myself up with two nights per week devoted entirely to writerly pursuits, I’ve also decided to spend the following two nights working on my mad crafting skills. Yeah that’s right, I used to have a handmade toy business, but it was a tough uphill battle with all the new regulations coming in after all the lead scares. Plus, most of my favorite things to make were custom pieces for grownup collectors. I’ve been kicking around the idea of slowly building up a new business, but this time with a clear focus on nerdy, geeky, fandom loving custom works. Everything I love to make, from plushies to clay figurines. I missed crafting, this feels like seeing an old friend again. Like, an actual friend you liked, not the ones you put up with because your parents made you.

Aside from these two main goals I am of course doing the ‘yay fitness’ kick again. I’ve opted away from the boring “try to lose weight” plan and instead I’m focusing on actually doing cool fit person things. Last year I managed to run three 5k’s. This year I’m already planning my first 10k and want to add at least one more race than last year. If you’ve read around my blog in the past you know I am not a fit person by any means. When I say I ran a 5K I really mean that I managed to plod along without dying while making vaguely running like motions with my legs and arms, occasionally at the appropriate intervals. I’m not fast. I will never be fast, but I will finish and I will sign up for another race. I gotta represent my pudgy brethren.

Since I can only¬†feign¬†so much¬†optimism¬†about doing something I’m terrible at and don’t enjoy much I’m also taking up archery so I can be a badass. Just got my recurve bow in today, as such I am a fresh beginner in unmarked territory. Should be interesting to see if I shoot my eye out.

There you have it, all the things I’m starting to make myself the best version of me I can be.¬†That’s pretty much what I think this blog is about this year. If you have any interest I’d love to have you along for the ride.

new-years-resolution-list

I get why people turn up their noses at the idea of trying to start fresh each year. You don’t really get a blank slate, all your baggage and stress is still there on January 1st, ready to ride into the year with you. ¬†I get their point, but I still think they are wrong.

It’s not about having to start over every year, it’s about letting yourself have a new beginning. Remember that great and glorious purpose I mentioned earlier? The point behind this blog? Just making a little place where I can go to remind myself that falling short or failing isn’t the end, as long ¬†as I begin again.

(Too hokey?  No worries, I have all year to work on it.)

10 Reasons you should buy handmade this holiday

Handmade Stuffed Bunny with Green ScarfWith the holiday shopping season fast approaching (most retailers already have their Christmas items on the shelves) it’s time to start planning your holiday shopping lists. This year why not be adventurous and try buying some handmade products for the ones you love? Why should you buy handmade instead of the usual store bought products you’re used to, well I’m glad you asked. Here are ten reasons why I think you should shop handmade for the holidays.

  1. Be original. Handmade products are usually one of a kind or produced in small batches so you don’t have to worry about gifting something the person already has or giving the same gift as someone else. Instead you’ll be able to find something just as unique as the person you’re shopping for and nothing brings a smile to someone’s face better than knowing you really cared enough to find them the perfect gift.
  2. Support people, not companies. By giving your business to local artists and crafters you’re helping build a better economy without lining the pockets of overpriced corporations who’s only interest is the bottom line. People care about each other, companies care about themselves and getting as much of your hard earned money as possible. A crafter will appreciate your business while a corporation demands it. The choice seems pretty clear.
  3. It’s more environmentally friendly. Handmade items are usually made from natural raw materials with much less waste and machine emissions than mass produced items. If your goal is to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet that you can’t go wrong with locally produced handmade items.
  4. Build a personal connection with the person making your items. Craftspeople love what they do and not only does it show in their work, but also in their attention to customer service. Have a question about how something is made or what inspired it? Ask away and the crafter will be thrilled to tell you all about it. Handmade items have a story and a history that mass produced products will never have.
  5. Avoid shopping at the mall. Holiday shopping can be pretty crazy and sometimes even dangerous as the days tick by. Why not save yourself the trouble of finding a parking space and braving the overcrowded big box stores by shopping local boutiques, craft fairs or even online handmade outlets like Etsy. Finding the perfect gift for a loved one should be fun, not frantic.
  6. Get it customized. Since the items are made by real people you can often ask for little extras like customization or even fully commissioned work to your exact specifications rather than having to settle for whatever the store has in stock.
  7. Handmade products are made with passion. Crafters pour their time, talent and passion into everything they make. Store bought items might all be the same size and specifications, but they will never have the heart or soul that a good handmade product is made with.
  8. Quality counts. Because even the raw materials are individually selected by hand more effort is put into the quality of each individual piece. Crafters want each and every product they make to be of the very best quality as a testament to their work They don’t take mass produced shortcuts or shortchange the customer by using lower quality materials, just the best material carefully crafted into the best possible product.
  9. More unique choices. An individual making a handfull of something is able to be more adventurous than a corporation which must sell ‘x’ amount of a product to be able to turn a profit. This means that handmade products can afford to be more unique and creative than store bought products.
  10. More value for your money. Handmade items are made to last. While mass produced items must be made quickly for as little money as possible handmade products are made from only the best materials and techniques. Corporations don’t mind if their products break down over time, then you’ll just have to buy another one. A well cared for handmade product on the other hand can last generations. Perhaps that is the reason people are still crafting by hand today even with all the advancements in technology trying to render them obsolete.

Bonus Point! Know where your gifts come from. There is something empowering about taking control and making something yourself, or at least supporting someone who does. It’s making a conscious decision to spend your money on a quality item instead of a mass produced product built by machines and underpaid workers in a distant country. Show support to your local economy and buy from artists and crafters in your area this holiday season.

Are you going to buy any handmade products this year? Share your handmade gift ideas in the comments section.

Story Builder Toy’s Custom Creations – Dr. Doofenshmirtz

My husband is a big fan of Heinz Doofenshmirtz from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb so after promising him a plush for over a year I finally broke down and got it made. It took about 2 days and I used a body pattern I found here and made the head from scratch.

The lab coat is so essential as he’s just not a evil doctor without it. Plush once the coat was on it really just pulls the whole toy together.

He’s made from poly fleece with some felt parts and took a bit more handstitching than I’m used to doing, but I’m really pleased with how it came out.

Critiques and comments welcomed and appreciated.