Motivating Myself

img_0087-1Ever have one of those days where you just can’t make yourself do anything?

Me, too.

Like today.  (This is past me, so by today, I actually mean yesterday, because you’ll be reading this in the future.)  I have a ton of things I should be doing, but I can’t seem to make myself do any of them.  Everything seems to take more energy than I have.  And not physical energy, but mental energy.

Maybe I just need a nap?  I’m not really tired, though.  Maybe I’m just bored.  Which seems crazy, because I have a LOT of things to do.  None of them have to get done, though, which is the real issue.  The only one putting deadlines on me is me, and though I do my best work under deadlines, it’s clearly not ones I set for myself.  Those deadlines I just ignore.  Because, honestly, what happens if I don’t?

Nothing.  That’s what happens.  Nothing.

Like what I’m doing now.

Although I guess I’m not doing nothing.  I got up today.  Made my bed.  Showered, dressed, did the dishes.  Which probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but some days, I can’t even motivate myself to do those things.  I haven’t gone into work this week, which I think is part of the issue.  Also, my husband is working a big storm right now, so he’s gone, which means I have to cook.

I hate cooking.  I’m not good at it, and I don’t enjoy it.  I mean, I’m not a terrible cook, and I know my way around the kitchen, but I don’t like doing it.  My husband loves to cook, so that’s his job when he’s home.

I’m trying to keep myself occupied, but today has been a struggle.  I’m working on a new project, which I hope to show you in a later post.  Today, though, I think I’m going to call it quits and go snuggle under my weighted blanket.  I love that thing.  Seriously, if you’ve been thinking about it – get one.  Best purchase of the year so far.

Many More Minis

I’m still trying to finish up my batch of forgotten minis.  I’m getting close – I think I have maybe 8-10 left?  I bought more contrast paints a few months ago and I think I’m getting the hang of using them.  At the time, I felt like I bought a lot of brown shades and I wouldn’t use them all, but I have.  I haven’t opened everything I bought yet, and some colors seem to work better than others, so we’ll see how the rest do. I did open the contrast yellow and I am much happier with it than the Vallejo yellow I was using previously for hair.

First up is the fighter.  He was pretty easy to paint since most of him is armor.  However, I did spend some time picking out details on both the armor and shield, just to make him a little more interesting.  His hair didn’t turn out great – for some reason my Vallejo black is very runny.

FighterBut, he is done and ready to go on the table.  After him I turned to an easy job – a pseudodragon or dragon familiar.  I decided to paint it metallic blue.  I had put off painting it because it was in two parts and superglue is not my friend. 😀

However, I faced my fears (and my possibly stuck together fingers) and finished him.

Pseudodragon

He’s a bit plain, but he’s done and ready to use should any of my players decide their wizard needs a dragon familiar.

This next one is one of my last couple of plastic minis.  The detail seemed nice on the bare mini, but like with the last batch, I wasn’t sure how she would hold up once I started painting.

Female Dwarf Fighter

Again, the eyes are not great, but at least she doesn’t look cross-eyed, so I’m calling that a win.  I used some of my contrast browns on her boots and fur cloak, and I love the way they turned out.  I probably could have filled in some of the gaps on her with greenstuff, but since I don’t have any and I have no idea how to use it, I just painted her. 🙂

After the dwarf I turned to an older metal mini.  He’s a bit weird, because his proportions are off.  He’s got a weirdly long torso.  Also, because he’s so old, he’s one of the minis that came with a slotted base.  So, he got a fancy flocked/tufted base to hide the ugly slot.

Blue Fighter

I don’t think he turned out too badly, even if he looks a bit weird due to the proportion issue.  And for once, I think I applied the wash correctly – or at least I got the look I wanted from it.

This last one is a favorite.  I did have to glue on his hand and bow, which was a bit fiddly, but I got it done.  I had more green contrast and Vallejo paint to use this time, so I had fun sticking with the typical green/brown ranger color scheme.

Elf Ranger with Bow

That’s it for this batch of painting.  I have more already sitting on handles, waiting to be painted.  Hopefully they will be a nice change, since a few of them are more monster than PC/NPC types.  I might actually get to use my monster red!

 

 

Busy, Busy, Busy

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Credit: Pixabay

Life has suddenly gotten crazy busy.

I’m hip deep in lesson planning for school.  I’ve started a new diamond painting, this time with square drills instead of round ones.  I’m busily painting minis and trying to improve both my painting and photography skills.

I’m desperately hoping that my black thumb hasn’t killed all my garden plants, though I’ve yet to actually see any produce.  And my children are starting college, so I’m scrambling to pay tuition, buy books, and arrange schedules.

All while trying to get my Etsy business off the group, as well as launch a YouTube channel for my mandalas.  Speaking of, (insert shameless self-promotion here) if you haven’t checked out the mandalas on my Etsy store, you should!  They are larger and more intricate than my Monday mandalas.

Right now it’s just got coloring mandalas, but I’m debating putting some of my stickers up as well, maybe even some of my dot mandalas.  I’ve been hesitant to just jump in before now, but it’s amazing how having to pony up for college tuition can railroad right through your reservations about something!

I did manage to snap some photos of my most recent finished minis – I’ll try to post them later this week.  I think I’m learning how to use the contrast paints more effectively.  Now if I could just find the time to watch some tutorials on painting eyes.

Looking through my files, I found an old mandala I’d drawn using Amaziograph.  I can really see how shaky my hands are when looking at the lines here.

Amaziograph 3

I do like the flow of the design and that it’s fairly simple, but the shakiness of the lines bothers me.  Or does that make it seem more ‘authentic’?  Because it’s not perfect, so it’s clear it’s hand-drawn?  Do you consider it ‘hand-drawn’ if it’s drawn digitally rather than on a physical medium?

So many questions, so little time.  I’ve got to get back to work, so I hope you and yours are all doing well right now in this crazy world of ours.

August Planner Set Up

August is just around the corner – literally. 😛  So I thought it was time to get my August monthly planner done.  I didn’t want to use a ‘back-to-school’ theme, since we won’t be going back until September.

I browsed through several kits on Etsy, then finally decided I would do a D&D theme.  I found some freebie polyhedral dice pics on Pixabay and threw in a few of my own mini pics to set up the kit.

Aug 2020 Monthly BigI don’t use the payday stickers or the bill due stickers, so I didn’t change the color on those.  The three stickers at the top are generally used for holidays – except there aren’t any holidays in August.  None. Nada.  Zilch.

It’s hard to tell sometimes from the Silhouette program how the design will actually look once you place all the stickers in your planner.  I’m pretty pleased at how this one turned out.  Black and yellow are the colors for the college my kids will be attending, so I did give that a nod with the color scheme.

I’m already trying to decide what kind of a theme to use for next month, because I doubt I’ll want to use ‘back-to-school’ then either.  What kind of themes do you like?

Weighted Dreams

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I wanted to write about this topic a while ago, but I wanted to give myself some time to see how it worked. After a lot of debate, I purchased a weighted blanket.

I am a light sleeper – something I always attributed to having children. I very rarely dream, and if I do, I rarely remember the dream. I have trouble falling asleep and if I wake up in the middle of the night, it can take me some time to fall back to sleep.

After several weeks of using my new blanket, I’ve changed my opinion on a few things.

One – I don’t think I am a light sleeper, I think was just not achieving REM sleep.

Two – Since I’ve started using the blanket, I have dreams every night. And I generally remember them the next day.

Three – I’ve been falling asleep faster and staying asleep since purchasing the blanket.

I didn’t buy a hugely expensive one – it was one I found on sale on Amazon. It was $50 USD and so far, it’s been more than worth the purchase price.

The size says full, but it is actually about twin size. And even then, I don’t think it would cover the bed completely. But for my half of our queen, it’s a more than adequate size. I don’t have a cover for it yet, so I’m using it on top of my quilt.

I have to say, it’s been one of my better buys this year. My husband even tried it for a couple of nights, and it helped with his restless leg syndrome. When using it, I toss and turn much less and my sleep is more restful.

I’m kind of kicking myself that we didn’t purchase it sooner – I could have been sleeping better and feeling more rested for months. In short, 10 out of 10, would recommend!

Still More Minis

I finally managed to find some time to take photos of the miniatures I have completed so far. We’re almost done with the huge cleaning job at my work, so I can begin to concentrate on lesson plans for the coming year. Assuming, you know, school is in session. :/

Anyhow, I’ve been painting whenever I have a spare moment and I’ve managed to complete a fair few of the stockpile. I’m still learning how to use the contrast paints and, at some point, I’ve got to spend some time learning how to do better eyes. The cartoony look is getting old, but at least they are done and ready to go on the table. If we ever play in person again, that is.

First up is a weird magic user figure. This one was plastic, though the contrast paints seemed to adhere well. Some nice detail, even though it is plastic. Not sure what the figure in his hand is supposed to be – some sort of arcane focus? Who knows.

Next up is another magic user, though she could also be used as an NPC – a townsperson or something. I was trying out new paints, so the color scheme is awful, but that just makes her more interesting, I think. That’s my story, anyway. 😛

This lady is one of my favorites so far. A metal mini, lots of details, and a color scheme I’m happy with. Her hands are a bit weirdly sculpted, but I can ignore that for the rest of the detail. I should have photographed her back as well – her hair is a long braid down most of her back and the back of the tabard is as detailed as the front.

Again, the cartoony eyes, but aside from that, I’m really fricken’ pleased with this one. His cape was a separate piece that I attached after painting. I think the color scheme works for him and the wash turned out how I wanted for once. Win!

Another metal mini, with lots of nice detail. I stuck with the green/forest color scheme. I do need to figure out some different options for hair. I almost gave him green hair, but ultimately decided against it.

This guy was pretty easy to paint, but I like how he turned out. His eyes make it appear he is looking up at something – a dragon attacking maybe? Who knows? His sword is a bit wonky, but I was afraid if I played around with it too much trying to straighten it that it would just break off entirely. In any event, another one done.

This last one was a plastic mini, and I almost gave up before I finished. Not a ton of details to paint, but certain poses and things like capes and weapons can make some parts of the mini almost impossible to reach with a paintbrush. Though, of course, you can clearly see the parts you can’t reach. So frustrating! But he is done, and I’m moving on the next batch.

Most of the ones I have left to do involve painting pieces and then attaching them, so I’ve put them off until last. We’ll see if my painting skills (and my patience) hold up.