Introverted Hermit on YouTube

Getting a YouTube channel up and running has been a goal for a while now. However, I just never seemed to get it done. So instead of dreaming about this fictional channel and all the fancy (translation: expensive) equipment I’d need to do it, I decided to just get it done.

I sat down and filmed myself drawing with what I had – my phone, my iPad, and some ok lighting. Am I making mistakes?

Oh, yeah.

But I’m learning from them. And that’s the point, right? For instance, I’ve already learned that you can’t upload a video longer than 15 minutes unless you have ‘verified’ your YouTube account. I’m not sure why I have to do that, since really all they want is a phone number, which Google already has.

In any event, I haven’t taken that step. It doesn’t generally take me longer than 15 minutes to draw a mandala, so I don’t need to – yet. I have taken the step of ordering a soft box light to help with my lighting issues. I can’t seem to find a good/comfortable place to draw that doesn’t result in some kind of glare or reflection from the light.

I’ve also learned that dealing with music on YouTube is a pain. I don’t want my videos to be silent, but music ain’t cheap. I’ve looked at a couple of options for *gasp* subscription services for this, but I decided I want to wait for a bit. YouTube has free music options, although they are admittedly not great. But they are free. 😀

So right now I film, use iMovie to edit/remove the audio and then upload to YouTube. Then, I find free music to use and add it. Then I wait a million years for YouTube to process the videos with the added music. THEN I can schedule/post the video.

Finding songs longer than 2-3 minutes also took some searching. And, while I’m not thrilled with the music I found, it’s free and I don’t have to worry about downloading the same song EVERY TIME I want to use it with a video. (Some of the subscription services make you do this – which, to me, misses the whole point. I didn’t want to download a file every time I made a video, so for now, I’m making do with what I have – access to YouTube’s free (albeit not great) music library.)

Filming with my phone has also been an experience. I have an older phone, so there isn’t a lot of space on it for filming videos. I can film one video at a time – then I have to delete it before I can film another one. And then I had to learn how to really delete the videos, because Apple. :/

Luckily, my husband gifted me his old phone. The screen is cracked, but since I’m just using it to film, it doesn’t matter. And since no one is using it as a phone, there’s nothing on it, so there’s lots of storage space. 😀

Now I can film several videos at once when the creative mood strikes, rather than being forced to do everything one step at a time.

I’ve gotten several done and uploaded to YouTube, so if you want to head over and check them out, click here. These are different mandalas than the ones I do for Mandala Monday, so they won’t be repeats of what you see here.

I am debating whether I want to add the mandalas from the videos to my Etsy shop. They are not necessarily drawn with coloring in mind, but I think many of them would work nicely. Something to think about while I revamp my Etsy listings. 🙂

If you like what you see in the videos, don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Planning for February

It probably seems crazy to already be planning for February, but I am trying to work ahead this year with my planning. Last year I always seemed to be creating things at the last minute and so I was never really happy with how some of my monthly stickers turned out.

I got January 2021 set up near the end of December last year, so I turned my attention to February. February is one of my favorite months – both because it’s short and because it’s my birthday month. 😀

I usually avoid heart-themed things for February, but this year I decided to embrace the hearts while still keeping it relatively simple. I find most of my photos and backgrounds on Pixabay, since everything is free to use (even commercial use!) with no attribution required. So I went heart hunting and found all the reds.

I like how it turned out, even though all the red is not usually my favorite. My cutting machine, however, did not like it and threw a complete fit when I tried to cut the stickers. I must have printed and cut the sheet at least 10 times, and every time it was cutting crooked, ruining the stickers.

I ran my printer out of red ink, I had to reprint it so many times. Eventually, after much cleaning, swearing, and repositioning of the light, it worked and cut the stickers correctly. So they are now in place in my planner and I can look ahead to March and figure out what I want to do for that month.

Last year I went with a Celtic/landscape theme for March, rather than the traditional shamrocks and leprechauns. I don’t know if I want to do either of those or something completely different. We’ll see what inspires me when I go image searching.

Diamond Painting WIP

At some point, my obsession with diamond painting will wane.

Not today, though. 😛

I’ve started a huge project, and even though the sheer size of the canvas is a little daunting, I am excited to get it done. With diamond painting, the bigger the canvas, the better the finished painting looks, because the more detail it has.

I think of the diamond drills like pixels. The smaller canvases have less pixels, so they don’t look as good as the ones with a large number of drills. So bigger is definitely better in the diamond painting world. The downside of this is that the larger the canvas, the longer it takes to finish.

The peacock diamond painting I did took me about 34-35 hours to complete. It was 45x75cm. The painting I am working on currently is called Grandios Greece and is a kit I had forgotten I ordered before Black Friday. It is a Diamond Art Club kit and it is 98x70cm. At the rate I’m going, I figure it will take me about 120+ hours to finish.

Doing a canvas this big has already changed how I diamond paint, even though I only have about 20 hours of work done so far. For one thing, in a canvas this large, there are large sections of one color, so I have learned to make the multi-placer tool my friend. I didn’t use them on any of my previous paintings, because I couldn’t figure them out.

I have now. 😀

The multi-placer tools let me place multiple drills at once, speeding up large one color sections. I have ordered a few more tools to help with placement, including a wheel multi-placer and two straighteners. The straighteners help keep the rows of drills straight and so far are fairly easy to use. The wheeled multi-placers haven’t arrived yet, so I will see how they work when I get them.

I did also order some Blue-Tac to see if it worked better than the wax provided to place the drills. It was a bit fiddly at first, but it definitely lasts longer than the wax. I’ve got about 7 hours of working with it and I haven’t had to refill the drill pen yet.

I’ve found some like minded diamond painters on Twitch to follow and I am having fun diamond painting and chatting with others who are as obsessed as I am. 🙂

Diamond Painting Overload

I think I’ve mentioned before my current obsession with diamond painting.

For Christmas, my sister got me some diamond paintings. So I now have, at last count, 8 paintings currently waiting to be done, and 3 more on the way.

I might have a small problem. 😀

I’ve also been watching other DPers on YouTube and now I want to try all the things. There are new companies popping up all the time and it all looks like so much fun!

Many of these YouTubers have a lot of ‘unboxing’ videos and I love watching them. However, I’ve begun to notice that not many of them actually show themselves diamond painting. What’s the point of having a million kits to do if you never have time to do any of them because you’re always filming the unboxing of the latest thing?

In early December I came across a YouTuber who was doing a mystery Advent diamond painting. You can buy mystery diamond paintings – the canvas is white, with all the symbols in black. So you don’t know what the painting will be until you start working on it. She had divided her canvas into 24 sections and did a section every day. It was interesting to watch her work as well as see how the image developed as she completed the sections.

I have dreams of having my own DP YouTube channel someday – but I know that I don’t want it to simply be unboxing videos. I mean, I will probably have some of those, since I currently have 2 boxes of kits waiting to be opened. 😀 I get enjoyment out of opening the boxes, but I also enjoy the actual diamond painting.

I started on my huge ‘forgotten’ purchase a couple of days ago. It’s probably going to take me something like 120+ hours to complete, and I have no idea what I’ll do with it when I’m done, but that’s ok. My enjoyment is in the process of making the painting. If I could figure out how to get paid for doing other people’s paintings, that would be a dream job! 😛

In the meantime, I’ll work on the canvases I have and see what happens. I definitely want to complete the large seaside painting, but the two kits I got for Christmas are smaller and I could complete them faster. I’m debating working on two at once, just for variety, but I’m not sure if I have enough storage to have two paintings kitted up at once.

The smallest painting is an adorable elephant and then there is a medium sized 5 panel painting that my sister gave me. The elephant is smaller, but the grid is kind of hard to read, so it may take longer than I hope to finish. The love sign is pretty, but I’m not sure how to frame it. I don’t think it would look good to frame it as one piece, but there isn’t really enough space between each section to put each individual piece on a wooden frame. And given the weird sizes, I don’t think I could find regular frames for each pieces, I’d have to have them made, which will be cost prohibitive.

Maybe I’ll just do the paintings and then give them to other people, so I don’t have to worry about how to frame them. 😀 Or I’ll add them to the growing pile of finished paintings currently sitting in my portfolio. And once those three are done, then I can open the other kits that are still in boxes.

Gifts and Reflections

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

The year is almost over and it feels like a time for reflection.

My first reflection is – this year sucked balls. And not in the good way. :/

My youngest was cheated out of his final year of competing in track and had his graduation repeatedly postponed. My oldest and I were out of work when schools closed. The pandemic has hit hard and everything has changed.

But not every change was bad.

Yes, my youngest missed competing. I think that bothered me more than it did him. His graduation was postponed several times, but it did eventually happen. Though my oldest and I were out of work, we were lucky that my husband is an essential worker and we avoided much of the financial hardship that many others experienced (and may still be experiencing).

Personally, though the reason was terrible, the ability to slow down and spend more time with my family was a gift. We spend so much time rushing here, there, and everywhere that often what is really important gets shoved to the back burner. This year I have spent more time than ever with my children – and it has been wonderful. No games to rush off to, no practices, nothing to distract us from each other. We have always eaten dinner together, but when the whole world slowed down, it seemed like we suddenly had time (and permission) to slow down and just take a breath.

That was another gift for me this year – I have seen how different my life can be when I am not constantly rushing around, worrying about ‘living my best life’ and trying to be ‘successful.’ I was free to just enjoy whatever made me happy – doing jigsaws, painting minis, and spending time with my loved ones. I imagine it’s somewhat how retirement feels – knowing that you can live without having to kill yourself working.

After this year, my views on how I want to live my life have changed. I have wanted to downsize and minimize for years. But now I have seen how much better my life could be if we weren’t spending all of our time working to afford the house we are rarely in, driving cars we have to work to afford, etc. If having less ‘stuff’ means I can relax and focus on things that mean something to me, that’s what I want to do.

It has given me even greater incentive to become debt-free. My husband and I sat down last night and discussed our financial goals for the new year. Paying off our last few debts is top of the list, of course. We also discussed smaller goals – like saving up for things. We both want new phones – his has a broken screen and mine is his hand-me-down from 4 phones ago. I have been putting money aside for just such things and we are able to outright purchase the phone he wants. That felt really good – being able to say, yes, okay, get the thing – and to pay for it in cash, with no payment plan and all the bs that goes along with them.

So I have set some goals for myself, both long and short term. I am not someone who makes New Year’s Resolutions, but I do have specific goals that I want to achieve in the coming year.

Here’s hoping that 2021 is waaaaaaaay better than 2020. 😀