Thursday, June 4, 2015

Random Update: Slowing down! More blog entries coming.

Goodness! I only blogged a few times in May.  I apologize for that!  Particularly because both Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends and have sent me some of their products to review for my readers, I've been wanting to get back on top of Witchy Words.  Now that things are slowing down, I might finally get a chance!

My absence can largely be attributed to my work as a caricature artist.  May turned out to be just as busy as April, which was a bit of a surprise to me.  In March, I signed up for a commission agency thinking that it would only give me a few leads a month.  Instead, I've been booked ever since I started and it's turned into a second full-time job.  It's been a great deal of fun, but I definitely needed to find balance.

Above, you can see that I did 45 commissions this month.  Last month, I did over 50.  Both times, it works out to around 2 commissions a day every day with no time off.  I talked with my agency to arrive at new prices and contract requirements that should help me have a much steadier flow of business without the overwhelming onslaught I've seen for nearly three months now.  I've already seen a relief this week.  I still have commissions but my list isn't 16-24 contracts long.  Phew!

Secondly, I used some of my new-found income to make a major purchase - a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2.  For those of you who don't know what this is, a drawing tablet is something that allows you to draw digitally with a pen.  I've been working with the cheapest Wacom tablet, the Bamboo, which gives me a small, flat gray space to draw on.  However, the visual display (where I draw in my program) was still on my computer screen, which means that I was drawing on my tablet but looking up at my screen.  This scenario creates a coordination disconnect I just couldn't shake.

For comparison, here's my old Bamboo with my new Cintiq.  Not only is it much bigger, but I can now draw directly onto the screen, much like drawing pen to paper.  The coordination disconnect is gone!  Plus, being a Companion, I can disconnect it and take it with me if I want to work away from home.  So if someone invites me out for coffee, I can go and still work.

The CC2 is my biggest work-related purchase to date, but I'm fortunate enough that the following check from my commission agency replaced the money I spent on this item entirely.  As long as the CC2 relieves my work anxiety and saves me time, it'll be a worthwhile purchase.

Of course, I've also worked a number of events drawing caricatures this month as well, including birthday parties and weddings.  Lots and lots of weddings.

While the 80-hour work weeks have been incredibly fulfilling, I'm ready for some downtime - a chance to relax, get my house back into order, spend some time with my pets and get back on top of my health.

I've still been attending Zumba when I can.  I've made more classes this month than last, but I'm still missing at least one or two out of four classes a week.  I'm seeing a change to my body but the measurements and the scale aren't budging.  I'd say numbers don't matter but I know that I need to get this extra weight off of my joints.  The heavier I am, the more likely I am to have an autoimmune flare.

I did invest some money in new exercise clothes this month.  Everything I had was leftover from my first weight loss journey in 2013 before my massive flare.  All of it is stretched out and none of it is good with sweat.  I'm always drenched after Zumba, so I started looking for moisture wicking exercise clothes.  I came across about 6 or 7 new outfits for Zumba that should solve that issue.  Plus I think I look pretty darn good in them.

I haven't had much time to work on anything home-wise.  That's why I've been unable to update my altars as of late.  I did purchase some new lanterns for in front of the window.  I don't want to go overboard, so I think I'm about done with hanging anything here.  I do want to get a couple hanging terrariums for a few blank spots but, once I get those, this portion of the house will be complete!

My husband was sweet and bought me roses and a card on Mother's Day as an "anti-Mother's Day gift."  For those of you who don't know, we're childless by choice.  This means that we don't plan on having children ever.  There are a lot of factors behind it, many of which are pretty personal, but a large portion of it is due to my health.  I just don't think pregnancy and child rearing would be terribly good on my body, which already fights itself enough as it is.  We've known for many, many years that this was the direction we wanted to go.  It's been a bit of a fight since it's not exactly the societal norm, but then again, I'm pagan; since when have I exactly cared about the societal norm?

Other than that, I've just been trying to relax when I get a chance - even if that means passing out on the couch in jeans between gigs.  I've also been trying to keep up with the Circle and visit friends when I can.  Here's a lovely picture of myself and my friend Kolika's familiar, Howl:

Speaking of familiars, my fuzzy ones have been doing great.  There's not much to update on this front, so I'll just give you an onslaught of photos:

Apollo and Hermes look so regal here.  What a facade.
Speaking of regal, Artemis overlooks his "dominion" out the front window by laying on the back of the couch.
Apollo has never known a hard day in his adult life.
Artie has, but it's been a long time since then.  Plus, who could stress when you have a sea of toys?
Zeus and Hermes love.
Hermes and Apollo love.
Artie and Zeus love.
Artie and Apollo love.
All the love.  Love everywhere.
Hermes being ridiculously cute, probably because he's about to be a jerk.
And one last d'aww.

And on that note, I should probably get off of here and get some rest.  I have a ton of gigs in the upcoming days, including drawing at a Royals game, a few birthday parties and some employee events.  Wish me luck!


  1. Well done buying this new tablet! It looks amazing and so much more user friendly than the other one! The reason why you are not losing weight is because you are building muscle and muscle is heavier than fat. You look much slimmer now and you are heading in the right direction! Pregnancy and child rearing definitely takes a toll not only on the body but on the mind. After having my daughter, my body just isn't the same anymore. Don't listen to what other people say: your body, your life, your choice! Great post and great pictures!

    1. It's been pretty great! I've been asked by my caricature community to do a review, so I imagine I'll be posting one over here sometime eventually.

      Unfortunately, I'd love to say I'm building muscle but I'm also not eating entirely right and I can't always make Zumba either. Plus I have Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome including hypothyroidism, so it makes it that much tougher to actually lose weight. It's a long list of reasons why nothing's changing. But I'll get there eventually! I have no other choice.

      And thank you so much! I truly appreciate it.

  2. Look at the fur-babies! Too cute!

  3. I hope the new tablet works out. Be sure to take some time for yourself so you don't get burned out. I LOVE those lanterns. Love to you and the fur babies.

    1. Burned out is the name of the game lately. But I'll get there eventually! Thank you so much!

  4. Wow, with the art gigs~ well done! Not surprised you crave some down~time.
    I liked reading about your days, lately, Marietta.
    As for the furry~ people, big aawwwwwwww : )

    1. Thank you so much, Evie! I'm definitely ready for a break. I don't have any gigs this weekend, so I'm hopeful I can get on top of things!