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.

Two Wizards, a Rogue, and a Centaur . . .

Sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it? I’m still plugging along painting my seemingly never-ending trove of D&D minis. I managed to get a few more painted, and I must say, the practicing does help. Of course, so does better paint and paintbrushes!

First up is the wind wizard, as I’ve dubbed him in my head. A plastic mini, so the facial features are not sharp, but I think he turned out okay. My youngest wanted to know why I painted him in Captain America’s colors. Something I hadn’t really thought of – I just wanted him to be showy, because he seems like that kind of wizard.

Next up is the centaur. Now that there are some PC centaurs, I’m curious to see whether any of my players will choose it. I did pick up the new Mythic Odyssey of Theros book, and I would love to run a game using it. We’ll see how the players feel after we are done with all the Icespire Peak add-ons. Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but he is mostly drybrushed, which I think worked out well with all the ab muscles and the horsey bits. 😛

Next up is another wizard. This was a metal mini, and the details were much clearer. His face is a bit shadowed because of his hood, but that works for him. The staff seems a little oversized, but maybe he’s a strong wizard? I used mostly contrast paint on this guy, and I love how he turned out.

Lastly, my current favorite, the rogue. Again, a metal mini, so lots of details. Her eyes are a bit cartoony, but they’re good enough for my shaky hands. A mix of contrast paint and Vallejo paint on her. I’m not sure I’m happy with the leather of her boots, but it’s good enough for the table.

I’m still working on others – plugging away on my vampire and base coating the remaining minis. I do have a couple more completed, but I haven’t had a chance to take photos yet. I’m sure one of them will end up being my new favorite, too. 😀

More Dot Mandalas

First, let me say that I am NOT a fan of the “new” Gutenberg editor that WordPress has gone to. For some unknown reason, and unlike the “classic” editor, when I add an image to my post, it doesn’t show up. If I add all my images to my media library first, and then add them to a post, they show up fine. Not the end of the world, but certainly irritating.

Anyhoo.

I found myself with some free time the other evening and decided to try some more dot mandalas in Procreate. I love how easy it is to control the size of the dots and to erase my (many!) mistakes. For now, I’ve been sticking with pre-made color palettes.

I like the purples and blues in this one, though I think I started too small in the middle. Or maybe I should have stopped a few layers sooner? I’m debating whether I want to offer these for sale as prints in my Etsy shop.

I was still having fun playing around, so I made a second mandala.

This one reminds me of cat ears. 😛 I like the color scheme, but not sure I’m happy with the final design. I could go back and play around with it some more, but I usually end up feeling like I should have just left well enough alone. So for now, this is it.

If I do offer them as prints (digital downloads) in my Etsy shop, I’m wondering whether I should sell them as-is, with the background, or if I should delete the background and let people choose their own. Or maybe both?

We’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m in the middle of sanitizing and cleaning the classrooms I will be in charge of this year – assuming school opens on time. Problems for another day!

Miniature Painting

Along with my new obsession with diamond painting, I have continued to paint my trove of forgotten D&D miniatures. I broke down and purchased some of the new contrast paints, and I’ve been building up my colors in those as well as the Vallejo Game Color paints.

I have finally said goodbye to my craft paints and moved to solely using paint made for miniature painting. I’m still learning, but I think I’m getting better?

I started off with some small pieces – some familiars from various packages that I found among the pile of forgotten minis.

First up are the eagle and some sort of tree/woodland creature familiars. The tree was super simple – black primer and some brown and green drybrushing. The eagle had to be glued together and then I used some of the contrast paint on the branch he is sitting on and on his beak. He got a coat of brown, then some tan drybrushing and green on the base.

Familiars 2

The other familiars are a small fairy and a vulture. The fairy was not fun to paint. It is made of plastic and the sculpt was lacking a lot of detail. However, I powered through and got enough paint on it to call it done.  The vulture was another simple and quick job.

Monk

After the familiars, I started working on some of the other plastic minis I had. This monk was purchased for a player at my table, but never got used. Not a lot of detail on this one either, but now she is done.

Next I chose a mini I thought I would have more fun painting.  It was a Hero Forge purchase for a PC my youngest was playing at the time.  Poor Tink sat on the table unpainted for quite a while, then got thrown in a box and forgotten.  But the 3D printed minis generally take paint well and have a nice amount of detail. 

Tink

Again, a simple color scheme, but it did give me a chance to practice painting eyes.  Eyes are so hard to paint, especially with my shaky hands, so if they look close to human, I call it a win. 😛

Following Tink I picked another plastic mini.  I wanted to play around with the contrast paint and see how it took on the plastic.  This mini was supposedly primed, and I wanted to see how the paint performed on it. 

Ranger

The cloak was painted using the contrast paint.  It wasn’t horrible, but I have a sneaking suspicion that repeated handling will end up causing the paint to flake off.  Lesson learned, and I primed all the rest of the plastic minis I had, even if they said they were pre-primed. 

Finally, after struggling with the plastic minis, I chose an old pewter mini to paint next.  I primed it white and then used both contrast paint and the Vallejo paint on it.  It was such fun to paint this one, as there was a ton of detail. 

Dwarf Fighter

I have a soft spot for dwarven fighters, and this one is a favorite of all the minis I’ve painted so far.  I was able to give his weapon, his armor, and his chainmail all different colors, something I hadn’t been able to do before, because my paint colors were so limited.  I love his braided beard and hair – and his bushy eyebrows!

He will certainly get used on our table – if we ever get back to playing face-to-face.  In any case, I can mark these all off as ‘done’ and move on to the remaining pieces.  I’m currently working on a vampire and another ranger.  I’ll post again when I get them finished.