Pizza is always a good idea. I really want some now!

Happy fluffy sheepy. I’ve been playing around with different brushes in procreate app, and Much like pizza, fluffy sheep are fun.

How is everyone doing? I’ve been doing a lot of reading, playing video games, napping, and making rice krispie treats. Time has become a bit squishy in its passing. Even though things are opening up, we’re staying at home and only going to the grocery store right now.

It’s weird but this is settling into an alternative normal. Chores still need doing, work still happens, and the krispie treats taste just as good as during regular times. For a while, I felt like I was on pause, waiting for this to be over, but it’s going to be a while, and I don’t like it, but thats just the way it is.

I hope everyone reading this is safe and healthy. 💙

Baking Failures

For Miss Hale: May you accumulate many fantastic baking failures on your journey. They make the best stories, and make the baking successes that much sweeter.

Pizza

  • I tried making pizza dough a few times. Once I baked a pizza, and when I took it out of the oven it slid off the pan and landed on the electric coil and caught on fire. I ran around shouting “OH NO! OH NO!” and then grabbed it with my oven mitts and threw it in the sink. (not unrelated, I bought a fire extinguisher that year!)
  • Once I tried making pizza, and forgot to stab the crust so it expanded and all the toppings fell off my blimp crust.
  • Now I made delicious pizzas in very odd shapes because they always lose their shapes when I slide them onto the pizza stone. DELICIOUS FAILURES

Pumpkin Rolls

  • The first time I made a pumpkin roll, I was really worried about overbaking. So I thought “This is beautiful!” and flipped the pan over to cool the cake and half-baked batter exploded all over my kitchen. I found bits of pumpkin cake a week later!
  • The second time I made a pumpkin roll, I got the cake stuck on the towel that you’re supposed to roll it up in. Repeat for attempt 3 and 4.
  • Attempt 5 the cake was over done and just cracked into cake rubble instead of rolling.
  • Attempt 6 with cracking cake, I called my friend who had finished making her 4 pumpkin roll to give away to friends and said “HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS, YOU WIZARD?” and she said “Use wax paper instead of a towel!”
  • Attempt 7 I GOT IT TO ROLL!

Cack

I wanted to bake a cake for my mom’s birthday. I was going to make it FROM SCRATCH. There was going to be a nice raspberry coulee mixed in with the cake and what emerged was this gooey mess. I had to run to the store because we ran out of baking powder so after that, family started to arrive and distract me while I was baking. BUT I WAS DETERMINED. And what emerged out of the oven were these flat rubbery rings of not cake, but CACK. I forgot the baking powder! The whole reason I had to run to the store! My family loved me enough to swallow a few bites and we all had stomach aches that night.

I’ve made some really delicious baked goods for my family, and I’ve cooked amazing meals, but those failures are pretty memorable, and we have a good laugh over them, because everyone in my family has good “we messed this up!” stories. But when you get it right, it feels AMAZING because you know it’s not easy. 🙂 You got this! Keep going!

This wonderful doctor shared a video on keeping clean groceries during this pandemic.

Click here for the video

Pretend everyone outside is a skunk and keep your distance!

I’ve been cleaning a lot during these past couple weeks, and trying to relax with reading, playing the piano, and obsessively checking the news. 🙂

Since I work from home anyway, I didn’t expect a huge change in my schedule. But I didn’t realize how often I run errands! I seem to have a lot of time lately, and am learning to slow down and not rush so much.

I sincerely hope that everyone is healthy and stays healthy! ♥️

Peeved Pickle does not Panic

In light of COVID-19 spreading across the globe, lots of officials have been asking people to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus and avoid large gatherings

That suits Pickle just fine. He really prefers to be alone anyway. When the call came to self-quarantine, he was already well ahead of everyone else. He stayed safely in his jar and didn’t let anyone near him.

Don’t Be a Peeved Pickle, You Got This!

Child Study

Sometimes a project gets put on hold until I level up enough as an artist to take it back out and complete it. Usually this happens when I’m stuck in my head, and I start to draw the life out of everything.

And when it’s time to bring it out, I feel determined. I’m RESOLVED to draw the thing. But I’m also intimidated. I remember how frustrating it was, and I find myself stalling. “oh, I was going to work on that, but I decided to cook bacon! Uh.. I needed to fold towels! I have to run an errand! Oh does that need cleaning AGAIN? Just a few more chapters in this book, and I’ll get right to it.”

Procrastination is sneaky.

Before I know it, I’m completely stressed out because I’m not taking charge and I really WANT TO FINISH THIS, but now it’s a BILLION TIMES HARDER because it has grown teeth while I ignored it and keeps making threatening chomping noises.

Enter the drawing studies and the silly sketches. Above is a study of child. I’ve been leaning a lot towards drawing toddlers lately, and I wanted to get familiar again with bigger kids! Kids who run and play, hug their toys, get embarrassed, and grin when they figure out tying their shoes when 5 minutes ago IT WAS SO HARD AND THEY WERE NEVER GOING TO GET IT RIGHT.

*lightbulb flashes above my head*

Huh! I guess some things don’t change. Next time I want to shout “It’s TOO HARD I CAN’T DO IT! I’ll remember I learned to tie my shoes and just get to work instead of being a peeved pickle like below. 😀

 

 

Peeved Pickle

I love grouchy characters.

Battle Strategies Against S.A.D.

Winter is not my favorite season. It is so grey outside and gloomy. I’ve been posting pictures in social media, but I wanted to share a bit here too.

This is how I feel a lot in the winter. It’s really hard to get going and every year I promise myself, NOT THIS YEAR, but it comes back. S.A.D. is real and ferocious. And I noticed a lot of people are struggling this year.

So while I don’t have a cure for SAD, here are some things that help me:

Warm colors and spring themes are absolutely essential for me. Flowers, greens, yellows oinks*, I mean pinks, oranges..I have plants that are still alive somehow, and I usually draw something just to focus on the colors until I feel a sense of peace and contentment.

Warm beverages. Hot cocoa, coffee, tea are all wonderful. They warm up my hands and the steam from the mug just lifts the gentle scent and I imagine the heaviness of winter breaks away from me and is carried away with the steam to a magical place where goblins will eat it and enjoy its gloomy textures.

Sometimes when it’s really bad, I go back to bed. I dont need to sleep, I just close the curtains, turn on my lamps, and just appreciate the warm fluffiness of my pillows and comforter. Sometimes I read a book, but mostly, I just focus on the warm lamplight, and pretend my bedroom is a springtime fairy garden and everything is going to be okay. Sometimes I do fall asleep for a little while, and when that happens, it feels like hitting a reset button on the day.

I embrace the trendiest of winter fashions. Comforter chic is all the rage this season. Dont forget your fluffy slippers!

Things I havent drawn yet but are really helpful in the winter are

  1. Vitamin D3 supplements. I noticed a marked mood improvement when I take these.
  2. Exercise. My favorite is Fitness Boxing on the nintendo switch. Punching works out a lot of frustration and I find myself laughing by the end of it.
  3. Terrible jokes. The ones that are so bad, they’re good. My dad texted me one he heard recently: “A tyrannosaurus rex was arrested for selling handguns to the locals here. Apparently, he was a small arms dealer”
  4. Keeping up with friends and family. You need someone to share those terrible jokes with, and good company can be an excellent remedy for seasonal depression.
  5. Peppy music. When I feel really sad, I pay upbeat tunes. When its an emergency, I play this Song

*some typos are worth keeping

New Year, New Goals!

Are you making resolutions for the new year? This year I have two goals, and some steps to help me get there.

 

  1.  To get ready to query:
    1. Draw every day – Even on bad days, and sometimes especially on bad days. I want to push outside my “Aw, that’s really pleasant” comfort zone.
    2. Finish 3 pictures books WIPs- I have the ideas. I just need to finish them! I’m using an action planner workbook to focus on a task a week to get this done.
    3.  Submit to agents! I have a small list of agents I’d love to work with based on personal and online interactions. Once my WIPs are finished, I’m going to start contacting agents (and of course, following their submission guidelines)
  2. Get Travel Ready:
    1. Build strength, endurance, and flexibility for dream hiking, with exercise and hiking local trails 5 times a week.
    2.  Practice languages for places I’m visiting 10 minutes a day. Most people speak English, but I prefer knowing some of the language because it’s a languages are fun and a great way to connect to people.

 

Cecilia Yung had an amazing session at an SCBWI conference about goal-setting, and she stressed multiple times the importance of not setting goals that weren’t in your control. To say “I’m going to get an agent and get published this year” is a terrible goal, because I have NO control over whether I’ll get a “yes!” from someone else. But I DO have control over the work I do and submitting it. I still have a note from that session reminding me of this; it is wonderful advice.

 

This Fluff and Flowers was drawn with Copic Markers and color pencils. Copics are colorful and fun, but not my favorite tool to use. I’m not SURE what my favorite is, maybe by the end of the year I’ll have an answer for you 🙂

Fluff and Flowers