Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Incoming Spewing of Motivational Nonsense!!

It's time to dust off the cobwebs. Take stock of the situation. And stride, march, or-- if need be-- limp forward with pride. It is a new year. One that looks promising to be something greater than the last one was. I'm taking steps and pushing forward and trying to be more than I was the year before. Not just because of the new year, but because it's time for me to grow up. To move on. To make the best of my life as it is and stop hiding beneath a blanket of self pity.

There will always be obstacles. There will always be hardships. And I am still learning that I just have to suck it up and keep pushing through with everything that I have in me. It's a slow process, and a difficult one. But I am giving it everything I have in me. I will be better this year. Then the year after. Then the year after that. We are humans and we never stop growing as a person unless we decide to. Unless we give up.

And I am, most certainly, not ready to toss in the towel anytime soon.

~*~ This dribble is brought to you by the department of "I'm sick of this crap."  Partner and associates of the "It's time to make things better for myself" development team.~*~

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finally a post about Sugoicon!

It took me a lot longer than I had intended, but my thoughts have finally come together and here is a post about the event that I participated in back in early November.  ((Okay, so not so much my thoughts as much as I finally got my images off my camera and edited... XD))  Sugoicon is a Northern KY anime convention that has been going on for several years, and I had not been to the event for a very long time despite it having been my first anime convention.  It was very exciting as well as slightly nerve-racking, admittedly.

I would like to start by giving a great big thank you to Miss Linda over at I Just Work Here.  She was a great help with getting things together and helping me set up and she sat with me for the first day and a half of the convention so that I was not alone and was able to take the occasional short break where the opportunity arose.

The lovely Miss Linda.  Complete with cat ears.
What?  It was an anime convention!  Of course there's cat ears!

She was also the photographer for all of the images of my Artist Alley table, having taken many lovely details of it as well.  She did a wonderful job of really capturing the table... after having helped me set it all up to begin with. ^_^  I suppose I shall begin with those.
There I am!  It's a Bardic Kitty!
And yes, I totally has black and red cat ears of my own!  How could a girl named Kitty not wear cat ears at an anime convention!?

A close-up of the lovely banner that my sister-in-law, the Crochet Lady, helped me put together and ordered for me.  Find her over at http://crochetitsacraftything.blogspot.com/.

And there you have it!  My chainmail jewelry and art prints 
displayed lovingly with help of my brilliant assistant. 

I had a lot of success at this event, for which I was very pleased and surprised.  It really helped to prove to me that the venue is more important than I gave credit for.  My experience at Sugoicon was so far removed from the craft shows that I had attended previously.  It was also extremely fun and I got to see a lot of awesome costumes, some of which I got pictures of but don't plan to post here because this is already a very photo-heavy post. XD

The most popular item at the convention were my little scalemail flowers.  They were, in fact, a new item being sold for the first time at Sugoicon.  Linda, in particular seemed to really love them.  But I'm sure you can see that for yourself.
D'aaawww!!  Isn't it such a cute little flower!

Most of the little scale flowers were sold simply as pairs of earrings, and I feel like I did very little else but make flower earrings all weekend. People loved them and they were perhaps priced a little lower than they could have been considering how much everyone loved them and how many I sold.  ^_^()  But it's a learning experience!  We'll see how things go in the future.

Either way, here is a picture of the lovely Orihime from Bleach wearing a pair of purple flowers.  Fitting, I would say, considering that the character's design includes floral hair pins.

The other thing that I have done with these flowers was that I got a custom order request for a necklace made using rainbow flowers.  It turned out looking really awesome if I do say so myself.

She requested a necklace and this is what I came up with.
Then, of course, I made earrings to match.
Don't let her expression fool you! She totally loved the set!

So that was Sugoicon.  ^_^  Tons of fun, much success, and a total learning experience in all the best ways.  Admittedly, I had to fight with my social anxiety issues a little and there was once or twice where I had to retreat to the room for some quiet.  I also received an art commission while I was there, which I will post as soon as I get the okay from the commissioner.  It's of her and her girlfriend, so I don't want to risk putting it online anywhere she may be able to see it before the commissioner can give her a print of it.

That's me... signing off because I have so many things to be working on right now.  ^_^()  Hope you all enjoyed the pictures and the report.

Future posts may or may not include: Writing updates, including a possible publication attempt.  Webcomic planning news that is directly related to gaming stuff and will also probably involve posting of some of my actual art.  And also, likely, some pixel crochet sprite characters to follow.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Vampires and Breakfast and Dogs, OH MY! ~AKA: a semi-late post about October's events

Back in late October, I had two events that I attended as an Artist / Jewelry Maker. The first was a local Halloween Expo called A Day of Mystical Bloodlust ( http://www.facebook.com/groups/mysticalblood/ ) that took place on October 22nd. It was originally coined as a Paranormal Romance convention, but due to a change in venue they had to tone it down a bit and thus why it became called a Halloween Expo. On the one hand, kind of annoying, but they were really lucky to find someone kind enough to host the event on an extremely short notice, so I really don't mind so much. ^_^

Below are a couple pictures of my setup for the event:

Yes, there is a little sign there on the corner of the table. That was from my sister-in-law Jessica of “Jessica's Creations” ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessicas-Creations/113834322001958 )-- also known as the Crochet Lady over on her blog ( http://crochetitsacraftything.blogspot.com/ ). She was originally going to share the table with me, but things came up. She was only able to sit with me and didn't really have any appropriately themed merchandise... So when she ran to do some errands after dropping me off to set up we set out a sign advertising the one project she was going to be able to have a couple of.

In case you can't read it in the small version:

Yes, you are reading that correctly. Vampire Sock Monkeys. Jessica makes sock monkey hats (amongst many other completely adorable crochet items) and for this event she stitched on little fangs and blood droplets. They were a real hit and she sold the couple that she was able to make, one of which was a commission piece she made for a little boy as we were sitting there. Unfortunately, they sold so fast that we were unable to take pictures, so I have no examples to show. ^_^() I'm hoping after the holiday season is up she'll have time to make another one and I'll post a picture if I can.

All in all, the event was a lot of fun-- albeit much smaller than everyone had been hoping that it would be. I managed to sell a couple pairs of earrings as well as a commission 'bow tie' necklace which I was unable to get a picture of before it changed hands. I got to meet a lot of really interesting people, too, like the guys sitting next to me who make their own sci-fi spoof webseries called “Breakfast Impossible.” You can find info about it on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/breakfastimpossible ) or watch the episodes on YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/user/BrunchImplausible/videos ).  They were really great guys who were funny and friendly on top of being really into what they do.  I have to say also that what I've seen/heard of the series thus far is pretty hilarious, though also not particularly suited for a younger audience. (disclaimer and all, huzzah!)  You should check 'em out if I've managed to make you curious at all!

There was also a dance/ball after the event.  Which, admittedly, was very tiny because very few people stayed for it, which was really sad.  Still!  It was an opportunity to get all dressed up, so how could I possibly pass it up?

A little boy asked me what I was and when I told him I was a cat, he looked me funny and said that I didn't look like a cat.  My response was "Sure I do!  See my ears! *points at them*"  To this, he simply looked me in the eye and said "No" and then took off to follow his parents who were leaving.  XD  I have to say, I admire the kid's spunk if nothing else...

The other event I went to in October was the next day, October 23rd, was a bit less interesting for me just on a personal level. I accompanied Jessica (same one as previously mentioned) to a somewhat local, annual event called the Canine Olympics. She loves dogs, has a dog, and also crochets dog sweaters as well as hats and baby clothes, so it was really her event that day whereas mine was more of the Mystical Bloodlust. Because... well... Unfortunately, I am not much of a dog person... That being said I can totally get behind the purpose of the event given that it is held by the Humane Society and I'm pretty sure it is entirely done as a fund-raising opportunity. (Jessica has the better information, so if you have any questions, you can direct them to the Crochet Lady ^_^() heh... sorry)

We shared a tent space at this event, with her using the provided table for her larger and more theme appropriate items:
((Dog sweaters there on the left side of the table, in case you were wondering))

While I set up on a folding table next to her and kept her company. ^_^

I did manage to sell a pair of earrings or two that day as well, but did not do nearly as well as I had the previous day (which was also not as much as I would have liked). Still, I was able to pass out a ton of business cards and meet a lot of very nice people, so it was totally worth it on both accounts.

And even if I don't really like being around dogs very much, I can still appreciate the beauty / adorable factor that come with some animals. Especially since it was near Halloween and one of the events was a costume contest for the dogs. XD

A couple of my favorites to follow:

I don't think this one needs any description... XD Some people are so creative!

And this is just so adorable with the matching outfits! So cuuute!

So that about wraps up my description of the events that I participated in during the month of October. I'm pretty sure I covered all the finer points and hopefully I was able to make you smile a bit. ^_^ Now I will go off and continue to be productive with myself.

Next post.... Sugoicon!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Prepping for Events and Future! Also, New Posts Incoming!

I've been really super busy with making jewelry and working on art stuff, and thankfully I've been getting a lot of things done!  I had a great couple of events this past weekend, which-- while I didn't really make any money off of them-- I had a really great time at.  I've got a few of pictures from each and will be typing out a post for each of these events in the (hopefully) very near future.

For now, I'm still really busy.  The events this past weekend were much smaller than what I have coming up.  This November 4th-6th, I will be at Sugoicon in Covington, Ky.  I was accepted into the artist alley there, after trying for the past two years, so I am very excited. ^_^

Anyway, just wanted to let you know what's been going on and that there are at least two pictures coming in the future, probably at least three because I will undoubtedly make a post about Sugoicon once all is said and done as well!

Peace out, peeps, and I'll post again soon!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things I've learned about life from working book retail -- Parenting edition

I'd like to think I've grown into something of an expert when it comes to working book retail... By no means does this mean I think I know everything, nor does it mean that I have any interest in going into management because I enjoy being a drone and just working with the books and customers all day.  But I have worked in a book store for about three and a half years at this point.  And there are certain things that I have come to realize about different aspects of life that I don't think I would have realized otherwise.

For this post, I'm going to start with some parenting issues.

Here's a tip, guys...  Usually, a child does actually have at least some clue what they're interested in.  Granted, it may only hold their interest until they get home, but you know what?  At home they should already have other toys, and if the thing they picked up at the book store keeps them quiet at said bookstore and all the ride home...  You've won!  I mean really, what more can you ask for?  Your child may have brought something into the house only to discard it and may never go back to it again, but you've had a semi-blissful shopping experience.

Now, before you start telling me that I'm being silly because you can't afford to buy every last thing the child asks for and besides, if you did, that means the child would grow up spoiled.  That is not at all what I am suggesting here.  I'm just saying that if you intend to buy your child something... let them pick out what it is.  I can not believe the number of times I've seen a parent trying to convince their child to buy something else.  If it's because you really just want them to buy something educational, I can get behind that.

I swear, though... The number of times I see a parent trying to convince their child that no, they really didn't want that book...  No, you want this book right here.  Why?  Because the parent is soooo certain that the child would be more interested in the other book.  Though often it's a matter of being that one dollar cheaper or because if they got the cheaper item they could get another cheaper item and have more things!  Or, the weirdest one of all, I swear I saw a parent trying to convince their child that they wanted something similar to what the child was asking for only it was slightly more expensive because they had a coupon!  Yay!  If they get the more expensive item than they'd save more money!  ... but the child really just wanted the cheaper thing and the parent would not have it...  That confused me greatly.

Now, all of that silliness aside, here's one thing that working at my current bookstore has taught me...

I really, really hate it when parents use the "monsters will get you!" ploy in order to keep their children in line.

That's me, can you tell?  Lookit the name tag.  See?

I was, in fact, assaulted by a child several months back because of this lousy parenting technique.  This little girl kept trying to wander away from where the person watching her (I shudder to think it was actually the girl's mother and hope to goodness that it was just an older sister or something... but it's hard to tell these days).  The woman was all "Oh, you shouldn't wander off.  A monster will get you."  I was shelving in the section-- young adult, by the way, where the woman was camped out trying to find a new paranormal thing to read I think-- and I happened to come into the little girl's view one of the times the older chick was saying this.  At which point, she promptly jumped on my arrival and declared "See!  There's the monster right there!  I'll let her get ya if you don't stay right here with me."

. . .

Okay, for one thing, she just called me a monster.  That just ain't right, in and of itself.  What makes this even more annoying is that she keeps playing it up, pointing me out to the child every single time she does anything the older girl doesn't like or starts trying to wander off.  Next thing I know, I'm crouched down to put away some books on a bottom shelf... and the little girl throws her jacket at me as hard as she could and is standing there glaring murder at me.

Did it hurt?  Not really, no.  The zipper caught me on the top of the head, but it was just a very small girl throwing a jacket at me.  Still, what the heck?  I toss the jacket back to the little girl with a smile, go back to shelving, and she hits me with it again!  At this point, the woman realizes what's going on, grabs the girl and starts really chewing her out.  Umm.... you're the one who told the impressionable child that I was a monster.  Who's fault is this really?  *rolls eyes*  At that point I had to leave the section in order to keep from pointing this out to the woman.


Alright, so that's the negative, now time for some positive.  Here's a good example of parenting (in my humble opinion).

At the store I currently work at, we keep the books 'fronted' which basically means the spines all straight and even with the edge of the shelf.  This makes it easier to shop because you can actually read all of the spines, whereas books pushed back against the back of the shelves can overlap and be very difficult to deal with when they're all different sizes.  The most common issue we have with this is the children who go through a section pushing in every single book on every shelf they can reach.  Whenever I happen to see a child doing this, I generally will smile as nicely as I can and politely ask them to please not do that.  Not harsh or scolding, just asking them politely.  Usually this gets the child to realize that it is something they aren't supposed to be doing, but we still have to go in and fix it after them.

Well, once, I said something to a little boy who was doing it and his mother turned around very quickly to see what was going on.  I had a moment of panic thinking I was about to get chewed out for telling her child what to do, but instead she looked at the books pushed in on the shelves and immediately told her child to pull all those books back out.  I was very surprised that she reacted this way, because we often get people who are of the opinion that we 'get paid to clean it up, after all.'  This woman, however, acknowledged that her child had done something that would make it more difficult for us, and made sure that he didn't leave a mess for someone else to clean up.

That, my friends, is a very responsible attitude to teach your child at a young age.  The idea that your actions have consequences and that if you do something you shouldn't, that you have to fix it.  ....Or something like that.  Admittedly at this point I'm getting a little fuzzy brained.

I think it is about time for me to wrap this up.  Especially since I feel like I've been rambling on for quite too long already. ^_^()  Thus, I conclude the first edition of "Things I've learned about life form working book retail."  Of which, I haven't the foggiest clue how many there will eventually be.  I have at least one more that I may type up in the near future which will probably be called "Cures for bookstore boredom."

For now, I feel like I have taken enough time away from the drawing I had been working on previous to the sudden inspiration to type up this blog post.  I shall work on it just a little longer and then promptly head to bed considering that it is already almost 3am and I am...

 ...a very sleepy Kitty.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Obstacles of being an Artistic Otaku... With no interest in drawing fanart!?

(((Quick disclaimer:  I will not always be talking about anime, so if you are not an anime fan, please don't run away just because that's what this post is about.  ^_^()  Anime related rants should happen rather infrequently...)))

Everyone loves fanart, right?

I will admit to having found a lot of fanart that I enjoy.  I even used to peruse the shelves of ff.net back in the day.  Heck, you can still find some of my YuGiOh fanfic on there from when I was in high school, and I still occasionally get requests for more. (Will link if someone expresses interest in it.)  Yet even people who do not have the time or patience or energy to put into reading/writing fanart still love to see images of their favorite characters doing wild and crazy things-- whether within the realm of the series/fandom or not.

Am I right?

So you'd think, as an artist who happens to fancy herself a bit of an otaku (used here in the basic American terms of being someone who loves anime and not in the more negative original Japanese sense), that I would draw fanart.  At least a little.  Or that I would easily be like "*ping* oh there's an idea for a cute picture involving those characters!"  It should be easy and I should really enjoy it...


Off the top of my head, I can only think of four pieces of fanart that I have drawn in the past...  Three done in high school, and both of Yami Bakura from YuGiOh.  One was to go along with one of the earlier mentioned fanarts, and one was a slight cross-over kind of thing with whatever Gundam series/movie I saw pieces of.  (Not really a Gundam fan, personally...)  The fourth and final and most recent piece was done only because it was a gift request from a very dear friend of mine-- who can be found over at http://purple-octopus.blogspot.com/.

I can't help but wonder if this makes me weird.  Or maybe I'm just not as much of an otaku as I like to think that I am.  I have been noticing lately that I seem to lack a certain amount of interest in keeping up with the current anime that's coming out in Japan and that I often seem to just stare blankly at people when they start listing series they enjoy.  I've always just chalked that up to there being a lot of it out there and that no one can honestly expect to see every series and movie ever animated.  And I have been known to start talking about series that people I know haven't seen.  For example, I was very surprised recently to find that the anime obsessed man whom I am dating at present has never seen any Ranma 1/2.

The thing is, that I have a tendency to over think just about everything.  Fuel to the fire?  I'm hoping to get into the artist alley at a convention coming up in early November.  Now the thing is, that I won't know until Oct 1st if I made it or not... but by then I would only have a month to get anything done.  So I really want to put in some work now just in case I do get in, because that way I can have more stock and better quality stuff if I'm not having to rush at the last minute.  The combination of these two things has me a little obsessive over my lack of inspiration when it comes to fanart...

I have managed to half form a few ideas that just need some fleshing out, and hopefully won't be too contrite...  And I do love me some gothic lolita style, so doing something Chobits related will probably be both easy and delightful.  So I'm sure I'll be alright in the end.  I just needed to get these concerns and worries about my own otaku-ness and lack of interest in fanart out there so that it wasn't all bottled up inside.

.... So have I accidentally lost all of my non-otaku readers yet?  ^_^()  Gomen nesai! (I'm very sorry!)

((On a random note....  My blog is extremely lacking in fun graphics and things to make my posts more interesting... shall have to remedy this in the future.))

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hellooooooo Blogspot!

So I have been tossing around the idea of starting a blog for a couple of months now.  I kept worrying about what I would post about and whether or not I would be able to keep up with it and wondering why anyone would want to read my drivel anyway.  I fretted and argued with myself about whether there was any reason for me to have a blog at all.

Fact # 1:  I'm a bit neurotic and over-think just about everything.

And yet here I am, it's one in the morning, I have to be awake by about 8:30 in order to get ready and catch a bus to work and what am I doing?  I'm watching Dr. Who and typing up a blog post that seems to be heading int he direction of "random facts about me."  Well, I suppose there's worse openings for a blog.  No reason not to let you know a bit about me before I start posting.

Fact # 2:  I suffer intense bursts of late night / early morning inspiration and motivation.  This is good for productivity, but not great for my sleep patterns.

Fact # 3:  I <3 Dr. Who.

So really the question is, now that I have started writing with no real plan, where to go from here?  I suppose I could actually give you some idea of what I hope to accomplish with this blog.  Mostly, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure.  There you go, how's that for honesty?  I dabble in this that and the other thing.  From writing to art to various crafting endeavors.  This will be a place for me to keep tabs on my own work and progress.  A place to track how productive-- or, more often, not productive-- I am being, while at the same time hopefully adding a little color and amusement to your lives as well.

Fact # 4:  I do so love to make other people smile.

I feel like this post has gone everywhere and nowhere all at the same time, but hopefully you will bare with me.  I do believe that watching 5 episodes straight of Dr. Who is making my mind race a little more than usual, and it may, in fact, even be affecting my 'speech' patterns.  .... Is it still considered a speech pattern if it's written word?  Writing patterns, I suppose, would be more accurate and yet it doesn't seem to hold the same connotation for me.

That, I think, is proof enough that I am too tired to continue and that I really should get to bed so that I can be even remotely worth while at work tomorrow.  So, to make a long story short ((too late, I realize, and for that I apologize)) this is a place where I will hopefully be posting random bouts of creativity in the future and I hope that you will enjoy what you see and give me honest and constructive feedback.

Fact # 5:  I always appreciate honest criticism-- even when it makes me cry.

Fact # 6:  I am often over-emotional, so don't take it personally if I do start to cry. ;P

Thank you and goodnight!