More Minis

I have spent the last couple of days hurriedly trying to finish up painting my pile of miniatures for Ann’s ‘Paint the crap you already own’ challenge, which ends today.

Sadly, I didn’t make it to all of the minis I had planned to paint, even after I cut out all of the Critical Role KS minis I still have waiting.  However, I’m still claiming success, because I managed to paint a whopping 23 miniatures during the challenge.  Woohoo!  That’s 23 minis that would still be sitting in boxes or drawers waiting to be painted, and they are now DONE.

If you want to see the first batch I posted, you can find it here.

What else did I manage to finish?  These two were quick paint jobs, but they still count, darn it!

Stone Golem

The stone golem was just a black base coat followed by some shades of grey drybrushing.

Bat Swarm

The bat swarm was just some grey shades for the headstone and black and brown shades for the swarm itself.

Troll Mini

This troll was also easy to paint, since most of him was green skin.  His tongue is still too pink – I think it’s a bit jarring, but he’s done, and good enough for table use.  Maybe I’ll just make him a variant troll that has some weird disease that turned his tongue pink.   😀

Next up was a set of bandits.  Painting people is always harder for me than painting monsters, because you know what people look like.  Or should look like.  Painting monsters gives you a bit more free rein because they don’t really exist.

Bandit 2

The first bandit was definitely a challenge with his eyepatch and overly complicated accoutrements.  I persevered, and now he is done.

Bandit 1

The second bandit was a bit easier, since most of him was covered by clothing.

After the bandits we have the gnolls – just regular gnolls. 😀

Gnoll 2

I looked at the back of the package and online to see how others had painted them.  I tried the orange stripe of fur on one, but I didn’t like how it turned out, so I skipped that on the second one.

Gnoll 1

The second one was a bit more complicated with all the bits and bobs on his belt, so it seemed like a good balance to skip the orange.  I think the orange made me think of hyenas, and they don’t seem very scary.  This guy ↑↑ does.

The last two minis I am pretty chuffed about, I must say.  I’m usually very critical of my work, but I think these two turned out really well.

First up is the bugbear.

Bugbear Mini

His open pose made it easier to paint all the details.  Painting on his chest would have been near impossible if he had been posed like the big gnoll.  He was just fun to paint, and I think he came out great.  His weapon is oddly curved because he is plastic, but he is still very menacing.

Finally, the last of the minis I managed to finish.  I didn’t have the box for this one anymore, so I had to look him up online to figure what he was and how to paint him.  I thought he was a mummy lord, but it turns out he was actually a mummy captain.  I saw a really cool paint job online and tried to imitate it – I didn’t manage it exactly, but I’m still really happy with how he came out.

Mummy Captain

I was hoping to get all the minis finished so that I could put my painting supplies away and work on one of my other projects.  However, I think I might actually leave them out for a while.  That way I can finish up the last of the plastic minis and maybe even take a crack at some of the CR minis.  We shall see.  In any event, participating in the challenge was fun and I’m glad I did it.  😀

Digital Coloring – Mandala 27

As I continue to draw mandalas, I’m still learning what elements lend themselves to coloring and how many details I should put in to make the final product more pleasing to the eye.

I’ve stated before that I suck at picking out color palettes, so I’ve saved lots of them to my iPad.  When I get ready to color, I can just swatch the colors from the color palette and everything hangs together.

Mandala_27_ColoredColoring in Procreate (and coloring in general) is very calming for me.  I can find my zen and just let everything else be while I work.  I had fun coloring this mandala, although I wish I had picked a color palette with one or two additional colors.  There are enough details that making it all work with my limited palette was a challenge.

I think it turned out well, though.  😛

Busy Is Not Better

One of the things I’ve noticed with everyone at home is that people seem to feel guilty if they are not ‘busy.’  It apparently has become a cultural expectation that you are ‘busy’ all the time.  The busier you are, the more successful you must be.

The internet is filled these days with things you can do/learn/bake/read/create/draw/make/paint/etc. to make sure that you’re staying busy. You’re made to feel guilty if you aren’t using this ‘time off’ (hah) to somehow improve yourself – whether it’s by learning a new skill, working on your fitness, or whatever.

I find this strange on several levels.

If you look at people who are very wealthy, they’re not generally very busy.  Some are, of course, but most aren’t.  “Deals get made on the golf course,” you’ll hear.  As if the deal they are supposedly working on somehow cancels out the fact that they are golfing, not working. 

I think we can all agree that meetings are some of the least productive things you can do with your time.  But again, wealthy people (like CEOs) expect you to believe that they are busy (and thus important) because their days are filled with meetings.

Also, busy does not equal productive.  You can be very busy and accomplish nothing.  You can be less busy and still be productive.  Here’s a little secret:

It’s okay if you aren’t busy every minute of every day.

The world won’t end.  It just means that you need to slow down sometimes and recharge.  Vacations are a thing for a reason.

Although, now that I think about it, most people are encouraged NOT to take vacations (at least in my experience).  You need to be busy, busy, busy and putting your time and effort in at your job.  (This may not be true everywhere – I happen to live the US, and that is very much the culture here.)  In fact, most people only get two weeks of vacation a year, and that’s if you have a very good job.  In today’s gig economy, most jobs don’t offer benefits like vacation.  You can take a vacation, but then you don’t get paid – something a lot of people can’t afford.

I have made a conscious effort to keep myself occupied, because depression can sneak up on me if I don’t.  But it’s okay if some days you just want to lay on the couch and read.  Or lay on the couch and do nothing.  All the things on your to-do list will still be there later.  It’s okay to not be busy.

Painting Progress

Since I am spending lots of time at home, I have been trying to finish up some of those ‘projects’ I’ve had laying around forever.  Ann’s recent ‘Paint the crap you already own’ challenge was very timely, and I’ve been trying to get all those miniatures I’ve had shoved in drawers for months finished.

I cleared off my puzzle table and loaded it up with all my painting gear:

Painting Table

One of the reasons I find it hard to get minis painted is that I have a LOT of stuff to drag out when I want to paint.  This isn’t even all my paint supplies or all my minis.  I have been working on them, but I don’t think I’m going to get to all of them.  I’m starting with all my Bones/Reaper/WizKids minis and doing those first.  If I manage to get through all of them (which I doubt), then I will drag out all the Critical Role minis that are still in boxes.

But even if I don’t get all of them done, I have at least made a big dent in my ‘waiting to be painted’ pile. 😀  I started out with some easy terrain/misc pieces, because I knew I could paint them quickly.  I also had some zombies that were mostly done, so I finished those up first as well.

Here are the zombies done:

Zombies Done

Not fabulous paintwork, but they are done, sealed, and based.  Good enough for me!

For the miscellaneous pieces, I had some entrails (I finished them with a gloss spray, because I wanted them to be slimy looking):

Entrails

A small treasure pile and a random pile of rocks/debris:

Misc

Two piles of bones:

Skulls

Another small treasure pile:

Small Treasure

And finally, a large treasure pile:

Treasure Pile Large

Once I finished all the easy pieces, I moved on to some of the other miniatures.  My husband wanted me to paint one of his Hero Forge minis, and it had been sitting around half-done for months.  So I finally finished Odin:

Odin

After Odin was done, I worked on the two WizKids mind flayers.  I figured they were fairly simple and quick, plus I had to base paint the other minis I still had waiting.

Here they are done:

Mind Flayers

None of these are fantastic paint jobs, but they are done and ready for use on the gaming table, which was my goal.

And now that I have taken (not great) photos and posted them, the minis will find homes with all my other D&D minis.  I still have other minis to paint, and I will hopefully finish them and post pics before the challenge ends on May 3rd.

Late to the Block Party

Ok, I admit, parties aren’t really my thing.  (Introvert, remember?)  A few days ago, when I was upgrading my WP account, I discovered that I am not using the ‘block editor’.

Huh?

I’m a WP user from waaaay back, and I remember when the editor looked like this:

Old WP Editor

So, since my new editor looks like this:

Interim WP Editor

I thought I was using the new block editor.

Nope.

Apparently, that’s the ‘Classic editor.’

The NEW block editor looks like this:

New Block Editor

I tried writing this post in the actual NEW block editor, and it made me want to pull my hair out.  Now, I’m all for learning new things, but it’s always scary to do this on your blog/website.  Because you never know what it will do to your old content.  Maybe nothing?  Or maybe it will break everything?

I mean, unless I’m updating old posts for some reason, after switching to the the new editor, it shouldn’t change anything, right?

The new editor does look like it has some cool features, but it also was frustrating trying to search around and find things, since everything seems to be moved around.

I’m also debating getting a new theme (now that I upgraded and have access to more), but I have the same fear – that changing the theme will somehow break some of the old content.  What to do, what to do.

Are you using the new block editor? Any tips/tricks/horror stories you’d like to share?

Taking the Plunge

photo of man jumping from boat to the sea
Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com

With the extra time I’ve had in the last few weeks, I’ve been doing research and trying to figure out how to make my business a good fit for me.  So much research that my brain is now filled with what-if’s – What if it doesn’t work?  What if I can’t figure out the tech pieces?  What if I screw up on taxes somehow?  What if I’ve missed something vital?

The panic and anxiety my brain can produce is endless.

But I’m not going to let it win.  So, I’m going to just take the plunge and hope it works out for the best.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do everything I can to make it successful, but it does mean that I have to let go of my fears and do SOMETHING.

Anything is better than standing still.  A journey starts with a single step.  (Feel free to throw in any other cliches that seem to fit here. 😛 )

What I’ve decided to do to start is to upgrade my plan here on WordPress to Premium.  I already pay for the Personal plan, so upgrading won’t be that much more.  Doing that will allow me to use their Simple Payments for selling digital downloads.  I already have PayPal set up, so it’s just a matter of hosting the files and posting them.

I’m still going to be writing posts about other things, but I will be adding more posts about my mandalas and the stickers I make.  I haven’t worked out all the details yet, because some of the products I want to sell are physical, not digital.  But digital is a good place to start, especially since selling them here on my own site means I don’t have to worry about pesky sales tax!  My state doesn’t collect sales tax on digital goods, and since I’m using my own website for sales (instead of a marketplace like Amazon or Etsy), I don’t have to worry about any other states either – I won’t ever hit their revenue/number of sales limits for small sellers.

In the meantime, there may some changes here and there so I can arrange things on the site for selling some of these goods, so bear with me.

Side Note:  Did you know that under your media tab here on WP you can access a library of free photos?  There’s a menu option called ‘free photo library’ with a ton of pics that you can use (the attribution is attached to the photo, so you don’t have to do anything except add it).