Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. First of all I want to apologize for the inactivity –I am finally home again, and I am feeling better. Just very tired.
Though commissions are still a tad delayed, I was able to finish the warm-ups, and will be posting them shortly. I also got progress underway on three more pieces. I really appreciate everyone’s patience.
We had a nice time with family. My mom in law has a new fish. It is called a Plecostomus or simply Pleco. It’s the type of fish that suctions onto the glass with its mouth a lot of the time. He’s really cute and I love him. He’s big, too. I got a couple of photos of him just lounging.
One of the kids at my mom in law’s school made these play-doh snails when she told him I liked snails. Didn’t he do an amazing job? I love them!
I brought my new bear, Beanie, on this trip, and cuddled him to sleep…
In the morning, Beanie and I had breakfast together.
My mom in law’s fluffy cat Spaz came to me for cuddles. He’s such a softie!
After breakfast we left for Renningers Flea and Farmers Market. Beanie looked out the window all the way.
At Renningers I bought some books, a handbag, a huge snail magnet and a couple of mousepads –one for me and one for my sis in law. Here’s my haul:
Afterwards we had dinner at Makoto’s and then played cards in the evening. I tried to sneak in drawing whenever I could, so I didn’t play cards all the time, but it was nice spending time with family even when I was working.
Grandma didn’t spend much time with us while we were playing. She fell asleep on the couch. I think she fell asleep praying… it was really cute.
Before bed we played a few rounds of Trivia Murder Party and I won once.
Now I’m going to post some art, finish unpacking and then get more art done. I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s day weekend!
Yesterday I went shopping for groceries and visited a few stores for fun. I went to the Salvation Army, which was as gross as ever, and to Party City. Oh, and to Goodwill. I did find a few goodies.
At Party City I got a cup and some napkins and paper plates. Unfortunately it’s all the new 3D style. The hand-drawn art of the “generation” prior to this one is hard to find now, all they had left is a pack of thank you cards. 😞
In the mail when I got home was a little packet I’d been expecting, with a couple of signs and the thing I actually cared about, a little Fat Controller of my very own.
At Goodwill I found two books. One was a very interesting books about unicorns and their history in different cultures:
The other one was a Rugrats book about Christmas which is kinda weird since Tommy’s family is Jewish and this is told from Tommy’s POV:
The art was cute though:
At the Salvation Army (did I mention this place was gross? matches their politics I guess) I found a giant checkers set, brand new in its wrapping, for $6.99. I’d been wanting one forever, so I got it.
The little Big Bird keychain was from Party City.
Here’s an after-lunch treat I had while playing Café Enchanté. I’m finally on Ignis’ route. The main story took FOREVER!
Okay I just finished a commission and it’s not too late so I think I can complete this post before bed!
We went to a game store on Saturday. Christopher allowed me to pick one cheap “kiddy” game for our date nights. I already have (and love) Kingdomino so I could not resist Dragomino by the same makers because… BABY DRAGONS. And, this time they had Takenoko, which I’d only seen the expansions for before. So we got that also:
Before visiting the game store, I spent a long time in a thrift shop since there was a social-distancing related wait to go into the game store anyway –and BOY did I score in there! Everything was half off, from already stupidly cheap prices. I spent less than $8.00 in everything.
I got some colorful furry-ish socks for myself, and several baby caps for my bears:
Also, even though I am no longer part of any organized religion, I still have both a soft spot and a great interest in anything religious that is geared towards children. This book was free (nice copy from 1964) so I took it.
It’s not as interesting as most “childhood indoctrination” books, which I now seek, but rather a sweet little collection of stories about Jesus, beautifully illustrated.
For such an old book, it is in beautiful condition.
At the Vero Beach Book Store, I got two “Gummy Bear” clip-ons, three lovely bookmarks (lenticular bookmarks are my favorite) and a book I’ve long wanted to read, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain:
But here… now here is the best find. This was actually from the thrift shop, but I wanted to leave it for last.
This utter beauty, brand new in sealed bag and still protected with foam, was $7.99, but 50% off that price. It’s small, just right for my dear little bears. I couldn’t believe how utterly beautiful it was for the price, the condition, just. All of it. I was happier about this than anything else I got this weekend.
Already Dijon took possession of it, at least for now. Doesn’t she look adorable sitting on it? 😊💕✨💕✨
Other than these outings, I did get a lot of commission work during our stay and even worked on some gift art for my friend. Overall it was a wonderful weekend. I’m looking forward to working on the current chapter of Meganeea again tomorrow and perhaps even illustrating it during the week.
I will be having Hoppi dropped off tomorrow for my refund. Still awaiting Cabbage Rose (whose name will be Mignon) whom I know I will love, and a cheaper bear that tugged at my heart strings nonetheless. He will be named Barley. I’ve made necklaces for both already.
Now I have to decide which bear I’ll sleep with tonight… maybe Mudpie? 🤔
Today was such a lovely day! 🧸💕 Sugar Lump has his own little face mask to stay safe. We all wore ours, and used sanitizer constantly, but this is so-called “God’s Country”, and a lot of people just refused to wear them. 🙄 So, the stores that cared, were understandably hard-assed about it: limited people in stores, and masks required despite no mandates in the area. We appreciated this.
We did see a bar that actually prohibited masks. The people outside of it would kinda point and laugh at mask-wearers who passed them. It boggles me mind that people can be so self centered, and care so little for others, but, that’s how it was. 🤦♀️
Among other fun places, we went to Vero Beach Book Store. It was a DREAM!! My mom in law says it’s been there since the 60s. There were even scribbles by famous authors on the walls (illustrators of children’s books) even one of Llama Llama! But I didn’t get a picture.
The entire top floor was dedicated to children’s books and toys, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Jelly Cats in one place (interestingly, this helped me determine that while I enjoy looking at them, I just don’t really like Jelly Cats a lot for some reason… I can’t bond with them unless they have a certain look in their eyes, such as my little squirrel, Circo, or my worm, Ramen Noodle. In general little “dot” eyes don’t appeal much to me.)
Anyway, getting to see the store was wonderful, I did buy a few things I’ll talk about tomorrow. Not just there but at other really cool places we visited.
But now it’s time to sleep. I’ve decided I won’t be buying a “sleeping-with” plushie. I’ll try to get over my fear of ruining my Charlie Bears by just sleeping with one of them each night and being gentle. So last night I slept with Sugar Lump and I think he was happy. 💕🌙
I’ve been reading Cubby in Wonderland, which is really boring, and more of a… commercial for Yellowstone Park? But I’m trying to get through it since it’s a just a short little book.
Anyway that’s all I’ve got to share for now. I should have lots more to share later Sunday or on Monday. I hope you are all enjoying your weekend!
Greetings! Well, I’ve certainly not been terribly active… Art has been slow, and I’ve barely popped up on chats or comments. I figured it was time for an update.
So here’s what’s kept me occupied and/or the state of things:
🌈 My Sites/Books:
The most important factor in my lack of activity. Wix is not always great, and very expensive, and I really like this WP blog. So I tried to move to WordPress.org, then simply upgrading my WordPress.com (where this blog was started) when the transfer of this blog to WP.org became much more bug ridden than I hoped (and I know… I know… one shouldn’t pay for WP.com, it’s a ripoff. Don’t give me a hard time, I had my reasons, I also had true expert assistance during the process, and the best they could do could not accomplish things as neatly as I wanted.)
Even when I upgraded my WP.com, the things I wanted to do would still have involved probably a full month of difficult manual work transferring my Wix galleries. I just kept running into issues and things didn’t really look like I wanted.
In the end, I downgraded WP.com to just “no ads” (mainly an issue on mobile) and stayed on Wix but that, too, necessitated work.
You see, unless you’re using dynamic pages, databases, etc, Wix has a 100 page limit. I had a lot of pages. Each of my book sections had its own splash page, a page per chapter, a page per character, an About page, a FAQ, a Chapter Index. For both of these, I significantly consolidated pages using anchors, so now, each book has a single page for characters, a single page for all chapters + index, and the about page is the splash page. Additionally, I had to change the font across many pages, as this, too, was giving errors, though only on mobile. All of this took hours and hours of work.
Why was I concerned about the page limit now? I hear you, I do, I haven’t posted a new chapter in a long while. But we knew, from the start, that I would reach a point in my book where there was a large space between chapters that I would need to fill, and try as I might I could not rush it. A lot of writing has been happening in the sidelines, I’m getting very close to when I’ll need to publish again, and doing it on a site that was constantly warning me of how close I am to the 100 page limit was distressing, so anyway, I fixed that.
I’ve also done adjustments to my Trello: the amount of columns has been significantly reduced. Now there is the Welcome column, the Label Guide, Waiting List, one column for ALL commissions in progress, one column for ANY free art, gifts included, one for Trades and Collaborations, and finally, one for personal art.
In addition, I added a “Book List” to this blog (similar to my anime list, only of books I’m reading) and greatly expanded my blog’s FAQ, as well as added anchor navigation to it. A countdown to the next significant event has also been added to the right sidebar (currently, for commission openings.)
I’ve also created a few new banners for my blog. Most of the year, you will see three variations of my older banner, which will show randomly (and, I will probably add more) with Ricky Parky making different faces. However, for fall/autumn there will be a specific banner (currently displayed) and a Halloween one for all of October. There will also be a Christmas banner from Black Friday to New Year’s. I plan to make Easter/Spring and July 4th banners eventually too.
This is mostly for my own amusement since… no one visits my blog as much as I do. Lol.
With some delays still, they are being fervently worked on. I currently have a complex YCH for Kiba, a 4 page, 3 character comic for Snow, and the commission for Island, in different degrees of progress (all between 60%-80% completion.)
🌈 Other Life Stuff:
Hmm, okay, what else… I’m awaiting two bunnies, a Charlie Bears one, and a Steiff one.
The Charlie Bear bunny I’m waiting for, is Cabbage Rose. I LOVE her name, but as usual I’ll pick one of my own. She will be my first jointed Charlie Bear bunny. Her ears are poseable!
I’m not sure if I will keep the Steiff bunny. I wanted a special plushie for sleeping with, that was soft. So it needs to be cute but not so cute that I worry about ruining it.
Being Steiff, it is overpriced, on par with some of my cheaper Charlie Bears, but being soft, non-jointed, and rather average looking. What I really wanted was the 45cm version of him, but it was a too costly for just a few extra inches, so I went with the 35cm one.
It sounds like it will fit the bill of what I am after, but if it is too cheap-looking, back it will go. It’s coming today, so we will see what we see. If it’s exceedingly adorable but too small, then I’ll send him back and consider the bigger one down the road.
(And if you saw me mentioning purchasing a Steiff bear on Discord, I actually canceled that order in favor of Hoppi here.)
I don’t have names for either bunny yet, which is a bit unusual for me. Hoppi is the bunny’s stock name.
I’m also waiting for more bear sweaters, and a new book, “Firstborn” by Tor Seidler. I’m really looking forward it. I’ve been reading lots, recently having finished “Toby Tyler; Or, Ten Weeks With A Circus” by James Otis, a very touching little book, if obviously dated.
Last night was date night, and as a rare treat we went out to eat. It had been a few months since Christopher and I last went out to eat as a date. It was really nice.
We went to Nami Sushi, and I had the Buddah Tofu and a Thai iced tea. We played LOTS of Tetris on the Switch, before and after dinner. It was a lovely evening.
Tomorrow morning we’re off for Sebastian to visit Christopher’s mom. I’m really looking forward to it. Provided my new Steiff bunny is satisfactory, I expect I’ll bring him along. 🐰
I don’t currently have any more news to share. Snail updates will be in their own post. I wish you all the loveliest of weekends!
These past couple of days were at times boring, but extremely fruitful. I first spent basically a full day of adjusting apps, settings, changing my desktop layouts on two computers, removing distractions from them, which included some minor registry fiddling, deleted some files/cleaned stuff up, in particular my desktop, adjusted my internet blocks a little bit more (which had been still on but in a sort of soft-mode; starting tomorrow it’s all on again.) I also spent a while hunting for references for the next LL design. Basically, a big day of prep for the week.
I also, however, got to read a bit: the latest volume of Beastars, and my antique copy of La Condesa De Ségur’s “Los Niños Buenos”, a favorite from my childhood (already ancient when I read it as a child!) I found a Spanish copy which certainly brings a lot of good memories.
Today all of that prep paid off. I got my chores done in time, worked on commissions, my books, personal art, even got to read for a while. It was an extremely satisfactory day!
I also went for a walk to get groceries for tomorrow’s dinner and to Hobby Lobby where I scored a few nice goodies:
A little mesh container that will serve as a wonderful emergency snail hold, some colorful wood pieces to decorate my walls, a pecan log (something I’ve never tried) and a squishy pen in some of my favorite colors. I also got a little hat, unsure of who would wear it. In the end, it was Ramen Noodle who got to keep it:
I’d say he looks quite dapper, don’t you?
After I decorated a little I wanted to take a photo of my computer area with its new wallpapers because it’s making me so happy:
Everything around me is so colorful and it really fills me with joy.
Anyway that’s all for now I guess, I know I’ve been very quiet on Discord and I’m super sorry. I’m just working a LOT on art. Since I know some stuff is still delayed. I am grateful to everyone for waiting patiently. 💕
Today’s my birthday! I finally got to open the box with my birthday bear on it (Wilfy, whom I’ve named Toby). The outfit I put together for him fit him really well! I think he’s got to be one of the nicest Charlie Bears I have ever seen.
I also got to open the gift from my friend Riley. The second Escargot book! It’s so cute and I can’t wait to read it with Christopher. These picture books really are a must for any snail lover.
I really wasn’t expecting to get to go anywhere today. Though I was so happy to get my new bear, it was a really sad and also very stressful day. I’m gonna go into more details about that in a later post.
But our friend Kris very generously offered to take us out both to distract us and to celebrate my birthday. He let me pick anywhere I wanted. That was a huge treat as well as seeing two of my best friends. It really made a bad day end a lot better. It felt a little odd to dress up to go out given the circumstances but I tried to be kind to myself.
I hadn’t put together an outfit in a while and I’m really happy with this one. I took MoonPie along:
We went to The Tavern. Our table was lovely, next to the fireplace, but the light also made it hard to get a good picture, as you could tell in the photo:
I had a fancy drink:
Sorry the photos are so bad, the light was really poor as I said… anyhow, it was a nice enough evening after such a day. Now I’m 37. Happy Birthday to me!
Recently I’ve started to collect snail related books, since there aren’t a whole lot. Some of them have begun to arrive:
Snail Trail by Ruth Brown is definitely a winner. Only a fellow snail lover can really understand the utter love and observation the author has, and put into, snails, in order to create this book. Snails are surprisingly expressive and easy to anthropomorphize, not necessarily visually (though the author did a superb job) but rather, to someone who loves and watches them, it’s impossible to miss all the little ways in which they move their feelers, how their eyes often look in different directions, how they stretch, etc. You can tell the author took careful loving observation of these traits.
I can not recommend this book enough. Look for it on Amazon. It’s very short but it is lovely.
I’ve placed it on display in my studio. There’s a little snail toy I’m expecting, which I will display next to it:
Ten Shiny Snails by Ruth Galloway has been another favorite. Inside, there is a lovely page featuring the snails with a squirrel! I was so tickled by this, that I gave it prominent display in my studio as well:
I don’t expect to share all of the books I ordered but thought these were cute enough.
Broiled yesterday’s nuggets and they were even better today! Great with a little kale and mushroom salad, and reading one of my books about pioneers.
I like this book a lot because despite being very much a children’s book, it doesn’t shy away from at least some of the havoc pioneers caused on their quest for “Manifest Destiny”, including some of the atrocities committed towards Native American people.
It even has a mention of the cannibalism that took place during the ordeal endured by the Donner party! I was surprised by this and will look for other books in this series.
Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!