"Whatever you are, be the best you can be."

Saturday, 25 December 2010

New Sketch - Holly & Pigs in Blankets!

Here's something I sketched today whilst feeling festive! Merry Christmas Everybody!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Feeling Festive

Last night I watched the last Hornblower TV series episode, Duty. I had forgotten it was set at Christmas and New Year, with Horatio Hornblower getting married, getting coated in snow in the middle of the ocean, and finally toasting the New Year with his new family back in England. I loved it, and the perfect time of year to watch it in the end.

I loved the new song by Hurts, called All I Want for Christmas is New Year's Day, it's starts out strange with the video set in a graveyard seemingly at a funeral, then oddly a Christmas Tree, complete with lit candles, comes rising out of the grave! Suddenly everyone is happy and feeling the Christmas cheer, as we see their little faces all aglow with the warm candlight. It really captures the spirit of Christmas. I love it.

Hurts - All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day

So now I'm feeling festive. Thank you Hurts and Hornblower. :)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Girls Are Like Apples...

I saw this and loved it, so wanted to post it here:

are like
apples on trees.
The best ones are
at the top of the tree.The
boys don't want to reach
for the good ones because they
are afraid of falling and getting hurt.
Instead, they just get the rotten apples
from the ground that aren't as good,
but easy. So the apples at the top think
something is wrong with them, when in
reality, they're amazing. They just
have to wait for the right boy to
come along, the one who's
brave enough to
climb all
the way
to the top
of the tree.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

'Small Survivors' #Nanowrimo Banner

Here is my brand new banner for my Nanowrimo 2010 novel, 'Small Survivors' - I'm really proud of it! This now graces my Nanowrimo forums posts!

My Nanowrimo Novel premise is basically this:

"A group of strangers are abducted by a top secret government agency, who perform an illegal experiment on them and shrinks them to just six inches tall. Small Survivors, Giant Terror. What happens next? "

Let me know what you think!

You can also read more about my Nanowrimo exploits, and see more graphics and characters for my Nanowrimo novel on my dedicated Writing Blog!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Just A Little Gratitude...

Today I am grateful for...
  • reaching my Nanowrimo word count goals today,
  • the sunshine,
  • having a relaxing day,
  • having loving and supportive people around me

Thank you.

13,837 Words - Farther Than I've Ever Gone Before!

Wow, I've reached 13,837 words so far in my Nanowrimo 2010 novel! This is now the farthest I've ever gone with a novel before! I think it helps that I'm posting my word count on my Twitter, and I'm posting on here too! Plus I really want to write and complete this novel! I tend to have a problem finishing what I start, so now I want to make sure I complete this, so I have something completed (however bad this happens to turn out), so I can at least have something I can proudly say I have seen through to the end.

My novel is a little shaky at times, some scenes I have written have way too much boring dialogue I am sure, and some scenes are not well enough explained or detailed, some almost completely lack description, some I've forgotten to 'show don't tell' and for some strange reason, I seem to be writing in past tense in some scenes when it's meant to be present tense - to give you a sense of immediacy and excitement! My only consolation is that I can remedy all of this on the rewrite - which it will need plenty of work doing on it then. But at least I will have a framework to rebuild and perfect it around. Right now, I'm attempting to suss out my plot, remember all my characters names (with notes to help, otherwise many characters would have changed their names and spellings many times over by now), and try to decide what to write next! It will all come together in the end. Right?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

7943 Words - I'm behind, but not that behind!

Having missed the two previous days and not done any writing for Nanowrimo, I find I am behind! But I managed to write an extra 1376 words today - Yay me! I just updated my word count on the Nanowrimo site, and took a tentative look at what my writing buddies are doing on there, fearful they will be way ahead of me, and what do I find? Chris Baty, the founder of National Novel Writing Month, is on 7504 words! He's actually behind me! Only a little, but it's boosted my confidence! If he can be a little behind, and still confident that he can do 50,000 words in time, then I'm sure I can too! I only have a few words to catch up on - I can do it! :)

I have had my characters abducted by a bogus bus, gassed, put into a top secret experiment where they have been shrunk to approximately 6 inches high, put through scary tests trying to outrun giant cockroaches, spiders and lab rats, and now, I've just exploded the lab, and set them free! (They had to climb their way out of all the fire, debris and ash, but they madee it!). Now I hope I can manage this a lot easier, though I am struggling a little.

Two things I need to remember:

  • Show don't tell
  • Let the characters follow their most logical course of action next - they will write the plot!

Now how easy is that? I hope!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

4722 Words & Counting - Now What?

Wow, I've made it to 4722 words today! I managed to squeeze in some extra writing time yesterday evening and got more done then. Only one writing session today, it seems I can get more done, and be more productive if I have two writing sessions in a day - great for when I'm work!

I'm pleased I've managed to get ahead of my word count target, normally I fall behind and have to chase it to catch up, but so far this year I am ahead! I had to pause tonight as I've come to a little sticking point. I have my characters abducted, miniaturised, and put in cages. I know my cruel scientists will probably want to perform some cruel experiments on them, and then I want to cause an explosion or fire, in which the miniature people get to escape. Trouble is, I have no idea what experiments to put them through. And I don't want to bore my readers, they have to be exciting enough to keep them reading until they escape.

Any ideas or suggestions would be gratefully received!

Monday, 1 November 2010

And we're off! 1947 words!

I think I have just written the most difficult part of my story - the beginning! I have got going! I know I want to get my characters to a lab and being shrunk to 6 inches high, but getting them there, and seeing them full size before we get there is the difficult part I think! I'll no doubt find more difficult parts ahead, I'm just glad I managed to get started! And with a headache too, so I think I've done doubly well today. Well done me!

I've written my characters in a cafe, in the bus in the pouring rain, and I've managed to introduce all nine of my main characters with visual descriptions! Now all I have to do, is figure a way for everyone on the bus to get shrunk. Do I put hidden gas cannisters on the bus and knock everyone out? Have a beam of energy attack the bus and shrink them? What shall I do? I've got until tomorrow to think something up! I'm writing my story one (or two) scenes at a time!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween! It's bright, colourful, welcoming Autumn with cheer and fun, lots of chocolate, treacle and decadent treats, spooky things, and supernatural movies which I love! I have to say, I loved Strictly Come Dancing's Halloween specials, Brendan Cole amazed me with his Time Warp Jive, so much fun, and how amazing were the pro dances? The male professionals stripping off for a sexy and scary paso doble, (always good men stripping off!) and a fantastic Ghostbusters number tonight! I loved it!

I'm also really excited it's Nanowrimo kickoff tomorrow! Time to start my fantastic new novel Small Survivors! It's gonna be brilliant!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

I've chosen my characters!

Just a quick note to say I have my characters names and basic appearances chosen, I've used actors and models images to represent them and you can see them all lined up at the top of my Writing Blog! I am so proud of them!

I really struggle choosing names for my characters, I have two baby names books that I pir through agonising over which name to use and whether the meaning of the name matches them or not. And with the challenge of only having this week to choose nine characters names, that's quite a lot of pressure! In the end I found sitting in front of my word processing screen and picking names at random seemed the best solution! I went for the first thing that popped into my head when thinking of their characters, and what sounded right for them! The sound of the name is often more important than the meaning, as the general public puts connotations to the sound of the name rather than the meaning. How many names do you actually know the meanings of without looking them up? You certainly don't think of that when you're reading a book or watching a movie! And it makes it a lot easier to pick their names - the pressures off!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Nanowrimo Ideas - Shrinking People

I've started planning my Nanowrimo novel with a vengeance, I've decided to write about shrinking people! I have always been fond of various TV series about "the little people" - two of my favourites being: Land of the Giants and The Borrowers. Here's what I've come up with so far:

My Nanowrimo Idea
I've got the basic idea of a top secret government experiment to shrink people to approximately six inches tall. They pick their test subjects randomly from the British public, anyone they deem to be not important, or a pain in the side of the British Government or society in general. Something goes wrong after they've shrunk their test subjects - an explosion destroys the building the lab is in and the equipment there. Miraculously, a number of miniature test subjects survive and escape into the wild. They are a group of odd random people, struggling to survive in a giant world. Consisting of (possibly) an MI5 agent, a Professor of Ecology (like a college lecturer), a Cafe Worker (a Waitress), an immigrant from another country (maybe polish, or some part of Europe), a young college student girl, a rich business woman, and maybe a criminal of some sort).


I have been making brainstorming diagrams with pen and paper (something I've not done before when planning a novel), and I like the sinplicity of it, and how easy it is to throw various ideas to a question you have about your novel. A very good piece of advice I found when planning a novel is to keep every idea and let it tell you why it deserves to be in your novel. Then later you can cut what you don't like, but at least you have plenty of ideas to play around with and then you're not staring at a blank page with no fresh ideas to play with.

Good Luck to everyone else embarking on their Nanowrimo adventure this year - Hope to see you on the forums and reaching 50,000 words by the end of November!

Book Recommendation: Make A Scene

As you may be aware from reading my blog, I am busily preparing for Nanowrimo next month - I aim to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I've been reading No Plot? No Problem! to prepare my novel ideas and hopefully get me through to 50,000 words. Although my plot ideas are coming along well now, and I have a few main character ideas, I have been worrying about writing good interesting prose. I don't want my novel to suck!

So now I have started reading Make A Scene - Crafting a Powerful Story, One Scene at a Time by Jordan E Rosenfield. And I am really impressed with this book. It gives plenty of examples from a range of books with detailed discussion as to how they have balanced description, action, dialogue and narrative to make vivid interesting scenes that won't bore your reader. I find the author's text engrossing, she writes in a way that makes you want to keep reading and keep turning the pages - exactly the kind of qualities you want to find in your own writing. So obviously a great person to learn from!

Reading this book is giving me the confidence to believe that with practice I can write an interesting novel with great scenes that will remain in a reader's mind long after they have finished reading my book. I am looking forward to starting Nanowrimo with more belief that I can achieve it now.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Nanowrimo Here I Come!

I am looking forward to National Novel Writing Month this year, I have read the first few chapters of No Plot? No Problem! A low-stress, high-velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days! And I'm feeling confident! I don't have a plot or any real plan for my novel this year, and according to this book, I don't need to!

I would like to improve my prose, as I don't think I've had enough practice writing in prose, I'm sure my scenes aren't written perfectly and I need the practice. Writing 50,000 words of prose is certainly going to give me the practice! I just have to remember it doesn't have to be perfect - no first draft of anything is ever perfect. That's what rewrites are for!

Still, it can't do any harm to practice writing random scenes between now and November to try and get some improvement, as well as acting as a warm-up for my daily writing next month. You can write random scenes from TV series or movies you've seen, or try writing the next scene that would follow on from a scene you've either read in a novel, or watched on a TV series/movie, or try making up a new scene to a fave movie, tv series or comic book. Like a mini fanfiction piece.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

DVD - Slither

I picked this film to watch because I have developed a huge crush on Nathan Fillion since I discovered him in Firefly, and watching him play an incredibly attractive doctor in the film Waitress, my heart was lost to him! :)

When I watched the trailer for Slither, I thought this could well turn out to be a really bad American comedy. Being English, I know English comedy can be very different to American comedy, and might not be to my taste. But Nathan Fillion did look good in the clips on the trailer, so I thought I would give it a go! And I am so glad I did!

As the movie started, I thought this might not be for me, and I may well be bored brainless for the next 92 minutes, but as the story started to develop, and especially as the local residents started acting like zombies, I was hooked! I love zombie films, so anything gross, flesh-eating, and a small group of (semi)-sane people fighting for their survival, then I love it! And as I suspected before watching it, Nathan Fillion does look good in it! He reminds me a little bit more of Mal Reynolds in this, a hero with a little comedy to his character! Love it, and now I will not part with it! :)

Here's the trailer to give you a taste of it:

It's White Noise 2: The Light next, I am enjoying going through Nathan Fillion movies! :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

My Art & Writing Plans!

I want to work more at both my art and writing. Both of which I love and never spend as much time on as I should. One trouble I have is when I actually find the time to sit down and do it, I find I don’t know what to draw or write about.

So now I have a plan! A To Do List or Plan for both my Art and Writing, then I have a list of ideas for writing exercises and images I would like to do, especially to challenge myself and help me improve. Then whenever I have the time to sit down and draw or write, I will be able to pick an item from my list, and start work immediately! :)

My Art Plan

(collect reference images for the following items)

  • A movie scene / DVD still (e.g. Mal & Badger in Firefly)
  • Space scene - nebula, planets, spaceships
  • Reptiles - lizard, frog, snake
  • Plants - foliage, unusual flowers, wild plants
  • Street scene - an urban street, building, window, door
    Elegantly dressed lady, fashion, catalogue figure
  • Music Star - Sophie Ellis Bextor, Shakira, Muse, Mika, McFly
  • Unusual Still Life - keys, bank note, promo cards, tokens, keyrings, a box, plug, deodorant. Things you use every day, but never think about.
  • Weapons - guns, knives, bow & arrow - maybe in use. Find a dynamic way of using them in a scene, or part of a scene.
  • Actors & Actresses - posing in pictures. Dancers too.

My Writing Plan

(either in script or prose)

  • Visit One Minute Writer, and pick a prompt to write for one minute.
  • On a Friday, visit One Minute Writer, and write a Friday Fiction piece.
  • Write a scene from a movie or tv script, with description in prose.
  • Write a scene introducing a character.
  • Write an action scene, with fighting or shooting. Make it as intense, immediate and real as you can.
  • Write a romantic scene, maybe asking someone on a date.
  • Write a stressful scene, someone frustrated or angry. (e.g. Spooks). Use body language to help.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My Life Goals

Right now, I want to become the best person I can be, to have the best possible life for myself. These are just a few goals I'm focusing on right now to improve my life...
  • Waking Up and Getting Up on time
  • To become more of a woman - dress more feminine and wear make-up
  • Find Peace - take time to think, and ask myself what I want
  • Find a nice new job
  • Be an Artist
  • Be a Writer
  • Pursue my Dreams, one step at a time.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Power Dressing in Style!

Office Chic

I so need a new job - here's my fashion choice for getting to that interview and getting that job! Power Dressing in Style!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Falling for Firefly

I have a confession to make... I'm falling in love with Nathan Fillion! I have just started watching Firefly, and I LOVE it! I am so glad I chose to buy the complete series! I watched a trailer for it on YouTube and it looked good, now I am completely hooked! I am itching to search the net for more info and fansites of Firefly, but at the same time I don't want to find out what is going to happen next! Catch 22!

So I am now trying to resolve myself saving just some pictures and enjoying watching the series! I just don't want to risk seeing what will happen, but Nathan is just so gorgeous! I just have to have a gorgeous picture of him on my desktop wallpaper... sigh. I think I'm in Firefly Heaven!

Monday, 16 August 2010

New Sketch - Lady Hawkmoth

I've started my 'Lunchtime Sketches' again! Here's a new sketch I've just finished of a fairy. I've been looking at Amy Brown's art, and thought I would have a go at emulating her style of doing fairies and see how I did at it. So I thought about doing a sketch of a fairy dancing, I expected to do Amy Brown style clothing on her, with the striped tights that I love so much. But as I started drawing her, she seemed to take on a life of her own. I started thinking more and more how my fairy would dress, then how I wanted her wings - I've now discovered how difficult it is to draw the wings, trying to get them even in size and shape, and as symmetrical as possible. I've now decided that if they aren't symmetrical, not all things in nature are, so it makes her look more natural! :)

I love Hawkmoths, so used them as inspiration for the decorating of the wings. At first I was going to have the wings behind her, so you would only see the tips, but then I thought as she was dancing, she would probably have them out on show, a bit like a Peacock does when trying to impress a potential partner. So maybe this is the dance of love, and she is trying to impress a potential fairy partner?

I'm having fun inventing my own fairy world to play with!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Who Am I?

Name: Sketching Girl (I like to keep my real name private)

Age: 28

Location: England, UK

About Me: I live at home with my parents, work in an office part time to allow me the time to work on my hobbies!

Hobbies: Creating Pencil and Colour Pencil Art, Writing Fiction & Screenplays, Creating Dolls House and Miniature Scenes, Reading Comics, Watching Sci-Fi & Fantasy Movies, Tarot,

Interests: Fantasy Art, D&D Miniatures, Collecting Action Figures, Paganism, Occult, Witchcraft,

TV: Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Primeval, True Blood, Earth 2,

Music: Within Temptation, Muse, Tarja / Nightwish, Evanescence, Nickelback, Ben's Brother, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Idina Menzel, Enrique Igleisias,

: X-Men 1, 2, 3 & Wolverine Origins, Resident Evil 1, 2, 3, Dawn of the Dead, The Mist, Silent Hill, Waterworld, The Bourne Trilogy, Aliens, Alien Resurrection, Aliens vs Predator, Hellboy, Ghost Rider, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Elektra, Daredevil, and many Marvel Comics movies.

About My Journal: I post about my art, my writing, movies I've recently watched, music I like, my Dolls House Miniatures, Action Figures, Craft Projects, Goals, and Things I Want to Achieve.

What I Write/What I Don't Write: I like to write anything with a supernatural element, either fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, dark fantasy, the sort of thing I would like to read. I do like to write some fanfiction, but not usually more than just a short piece on it, a paragraph or two. I get really excited about creating my own characters and fantasy situations. I also love to dabble in movie script writing, I love watching the making of movie documentaries when they talk about how they came up with the idea and how they started to write the movie - I would so love to write for movies!

What I Read: Anything sci-fi and urban fantasy. Two of my favourite series are Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin.

Could I Edit Someone's Work: I could, as I can correct spelling, some grammar and punctuation, but I often struggle to find time to write, so would definitely struggle to find time to edit. Sorry!

What I'm Looking For: New friends, people I can bounce ideas with, and plenty of encouragement to write from like-minded individuals!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

DVD - Step Up

Today I watched Step Up, I loved it! I felt for the characters, loved the music, and loved the fashion. I really wanna go to that school! Being an artist, I would love to jump in to the art classes you briefly get to glimpse. I loved how everyone there were pursuing their dreams, be it art, singing, making music, or dancing. I was never that dedicated when I was in school - I didn't have any idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life at that age - who does? But I love the dedication they had, their mostly happy relaxed atmosphere there.

Here's the trailer:

My social circle has diminished since I left school and sixth form, I've changed jobs quite a lot, and haven't kept any long-term friends from there. I guess my social circle needs rebuilding! Perhaps going out and taking up lessons in something new might be a good way to make new friends? It takes courage to try something new like that, but also money, and I currently work part time. I do need to learn to manage my finances better, then maybe I can look towards doing this.

I loved the fashion I found in this movie, the main actress dresses very feminine in this movie, lots of floaty skirts over leggings, feminine tops - combinations of vests and shirts. She looked good. And what I really liked, was how she didn't have the figure of a stick insect - you could relate to her. I certainly don't have the figure of a stick insect, but I'm not obese either, I consider myself quite average in build, a little puppy fat to lose! lol! But I want to look good, and I want to dress more like a woman.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Today's Sketch - Blair (Terminator)

Continuing my daily sketches, I tried something a bit more taxing today - a figure study of the character Blair Williams from the movie Terminator Salvation. Yesterday's sketch was completely easy and lots of fun, this one certainly strained my meagre art skills! I enjoyed doing the details on the clothing, doing zips and curves in the clothing is fun for me, but getting features right, the hair, and especially the hands, is really hard work for me! Just shows what I need the most practice with! It's only now I look back on it I really see how big I've made her nose - it's actually smaller than her mouth! Ooops! Perhaps I should aim to do at least 1 - 2 portrait/figure drawing sketches a week, that way I will make progress on my people and make them more realistic - and easier to draw!

Any constructive criticism would be gratefully received!

Monday, 12 July 2010

In the Garden

Here are some photos from my garden! I love taking photos in the garden, especially when the sun is shining. I am most attracted by the flowers, insects and funnily enough, spiders too. Anything that captures my imagination and inspires me. So I wanted to share some of them with you on here!

Click any of the images below for a larger view!

This bee was fantastic, going in and out of the Foxglove petals!

Hungry Caterpillars!

This mouse was funny, I couldn't get a decent picture of him through the window, the sun was shining brightly and everything was reflecting in the glass. So I crept outside, and knowing how keenly they can hear things, I was very careful, and sneaked halfway down the garden to take the photos...

...then a bee buzzed past my ear, I duck suddenly, and the mouse runs off the bird feeder table, along the beam of wood on the fence, and freezes as if to hide against the wood of the fence - perfect photo of mouse doing trapeze acts for me! LOL!

This is all that's left of my nasturtium hanging basket!

I know it's hard to see, but this is the beginning of my French beans - where one of the flowers used to be. Makes for a beautiful picture even if you can't see it!

I love lilies, especially these yellow ones, whose seeds dry out and explode across the garden!

This bumblebee was fantastic, pausing on the French beans leaf to post for me - even moving his antenna in different poses for me!

I hope you enjoyed my photos! I have lots more to post if you do! :)

45min Sketch - Space Pod

After being inspired by the Lunchtime Sketches by DCriler in my last post, I had a go at a short sketch myself. As I work part time, and only have two official lunch breaks each week, only half an hour long, I don't think I can call mine Lunchtime Sketches. But I would like to do a 30 - 45min sketch each day, that would be similar to a Lunchtime Sketch. Today I sketched for 45 minutes after tea, I sketched a Space Pod from an exercise in my "Awesome Things to Draw" book. It may be a kids book, but it shows you fun things to draw in easy step-by-steps. Great for when you want something planned out for you!

I like how my space pod turned out, even experienting with using my eraser to create highlights on the nose cone and a little on the tail exhausts. Perhaps the nose cone is a little too dark, but I still had fun doing it! Just click the image above for a larger view, and feel free to comment below - I'd love to hear some constructive criticism, or even just that you like it! :)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Inspired by Lunchtime Sketches

I stumbled across an artist, DCriler, on the DrawnToday blog, where I found the Lunchtime Sketches post there, and Aspen's Story post on his own blog. I love how well detailed these sketches are, and how they're fantasy themed. These sketches took a couple of lunchtime breaks to complete, so it's great practice every day, and fun too. I'd love to try this, I only have half an hour lunch break, but I'm sure I could find some time each day to sketch. These look great, and would be fun to try.

I see on the DrawnToday blog he also did a quick master copy when he ran out of ideas - another great way to practice when you don't know what to do. This could be a good way to kickstart my creative juices and get me producing more of the art I want to! If I can sketch every day, as well as working on a piece or challenge each week, I should be able to improve and complete the work I want to do get done. Thanks for the inspiration, DCriler!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

What did I do last month?

Today I find myself wondering what did I do last month. I know I didn't accomplish all my goals, though I found some new goals to try, and managed to do some things, and hope I've learned a better way to do some things. I have a bad habit of latching onto something, whatever goal it is, and doing nothing but that until I exhaust that particular goal, and then I move on to another, and do that until I exhaust that too. Maybe this month I should look to doing things in moderation, so I can learn to hold back on doing things to the point of exhaustion and never doing it again. I guess like my starsign, Taurus, I can tend to go at things like a bull at a gate!

Things I achieved last month:
  • Learnt to crochet - Basics, but it's a start!
  • Watched a ton of DVD's, and managed to make a dent in my collection, I will get them all tested!
  • Managed to get up early with the help of Tools to Life site, and arrive at work on time! A miracle for me!
  • Took part in a Carnival, first ever for me!

I think I have learned this month that I need to schedule things more loosely for me to do them, like Art, Crafts and Writing. I need to do things spontaneously if I am to enjoy them and not think of them as chores. In a way, I maybe need a checklist of tasks to do, just choose randomly at the time which I feel like doing - be it writing, art, crochet, scrapbooking, dolls house miniatures, DVD watching, Video Game playing. But when I've done it in the week, I must tick off that item, not to do it again that week, unless I've done everything else on the checklist. This might stop me from sticking to one thing, doing lots of that and ignoring everything else!

I'd like to progress with my art every week, and it's sad that I haven't done any drawing or art at all last month, and I want to have something to post. I want to create checklist, of Art, Writing, Crafts, and then sub-checklists within each section, so I can see what within those sections I can choose to do, i.e. the Art section would have various Art Challenges listed, along with study suggestions, and reference images to try, maybe even lessons from some of my books to try. I must have ideas and things to do in each section to try - or I won't have anything I can do when I have the time to do them! Then I can share with you what I do!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Marvel Ultimate Alliance on PS2 - I love it!

Today I played Marvel Ultimate Alliance on PS2, I loved it! I originally loved the X-Men Legends games on PS2, I loved being able to swap and choose which X-Men to have on your team, but with Marvel Ultimate Alliance, you get to choose from all of Marvel's heroes! I am a huge fan of comics, especially Marvel Comics, so this makes me feel very much like a kid in a toy shop!

The cool thing is, I can swap and change between all four active characters during gameplay, and I never know which one to stick with 'cos I love them all! They all appear strong and worthy opponents, albeit with differing abilities, and some characters are better at some things than others, so it does help to have a balanced group of strengths and abilities in each team, but it's just so much fun! I wonder now why I haven't played it before, 'cos I'm gonna be playing it so much now!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Monday, 14 June 2010

Polyvore Fun - A Makeover!

I had a little fun on Polyvore today, I decided to do a pretty much average wardrobe for what I usually where every day...

Just an Everyday Joe

Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

And then created a fun one the complete opposite of what I wear! Do you think Gok would be proud? ;)

Boho Beach Babe

Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife

I love the Resident Evil movies, they're the reason I fell in love with zombies. Ever since I first saw the beginning trailer of Resident Evil 3 on the Playstation One console, I thought zombies were cool. Every Resident Evil game since then has impressed me, none more so than Resident Evil Code Veronica X. I loved the crazy Alexia/Alfred twins, Claire Redfield is cool, and I totally fell in love with Steve Burnside. Such a lovable character, I so would love to see him in a movie. (Here's hoping this is the one!).

I just discovered the trailer for the brand new Resident Evil: Afterlife movie, does it look good? It looks BRILLIANT!!! Alice is back, Milla Jovovich plays her brilliantly - a character invented for the films, and now a firm fan favourite. Claire Redfield, played by Heroes Ali Larter, who first appeared in the last Resident Evil: Extinction. I've now stumbled across the IMDB page to see Sienna Guillory will also be reprising her role as Jill Valentine! And just when I think I could not be happier, I saw Wesker in the new trailer, showing off his red eyes and looking menacingly into the camera as he flicks his cool shades away. I cannot wait to see this film! Check out this trailer below, you will love it!

The brand new Resident Evil: Afterlife will hit cinemas here in the UK, on 10th September 2010! I can't wait!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Star Wars Legacy & Firefly

I've just finished reading Star Wars Legacy - Vol 7 "Storms". I've not read any of the other books in the Star Wars Legacy series, but I really enjoyed this one. I find Cade Skywalker and his crew endearing, I like both Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue. Deliah's a fun kind of girl who seems to care about her crew deeply, especially Cade, whom she seems to have had a past relationship with, she seems very self-assured and able to take care of herself, as well as being someone the crew could turn to for help. I love this portrait of her, I think it shows her personality well:

Deliah Blue

Jariah Syn

I also love the style they've done Jariah Syn in, he reminds me very much of some of the characters in The Matrix, their pilots were similar, and I just love the desperation and craziness in their daredevil antics that they just about pull off. I think together they are very reminiscent of Han Solo and Chewbacca travelling across the galaxy trying to make a buck whilst avoiding Imperial entanglements!

A small crew, rather like a small family, trying to make money any means they can, and having adventure along the way, that makes for entertaining reading, and very believable storylines that you can relate to even though we don't live in the Star Wars universe. Good fun, old fashioned adventures, I love them!


I seem to be craving things sci-fi now, as I've just bought the complete first series of Firefly on ebay now, along with the follow up film of Serenity. I've never seen this series, but saw this trailer on YouTube, and now I really wanna see it! It's kind of like cowboys in space, a crew living together and trying to survive, having adventures along the way. Here's hoping it's as good as it looks on here.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

DVD - 30 Days of Night

I wanted a gory scary movie, and that's exactly what I got! 30 Days of Night completely reinvents the way Vampires are seen on screen, and although it's unusual, I thought it worked very well, and reignites your interest in them.

There is a lot of screaming in this film, and a lot of blood and gore - so this definitely qualifies as an over 18 movie, and a fairly strong stomach is required. I enjoyed it, although there isn't much light relief in the movie, the Vampires are scary and creepy, and you get the feeling your just struggling to survive, which I guess would be true if Vampires really did move in and you had no sunlight for 30 days!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

My First Crochet

In keeping with my goals this month (see down the right side column for this month's goal list), I've started to learn to crochet. Today is the first time ever I have tried to crochet - and I have learned it is quite a humbling experience! For what you first think will be a doddle to learn, you soon realise actually requires quite an amount of skill!

Today I have created a long chain, and a few single crochet stitches. Considering I did Textiles GCSE at school and came out with a D, I think I've done surprisingly well in the end! It is surprisingly fingers and thumbs, attempting to keep the tension right and make the links in my chain all the same size, it does resemble what it's meant to look like! Not all the links are the same size, and the tension does need some work, but I think with practice, this might be something I could get good at - but I definitely need more practice!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June 2010 Goal List

  1. Get Up Early Every Day
  2. Declutter Surfaces and Keep Them Clear
  3. Hoover once a week
  4. Continue to lose one pound in weight a week
  5. Curb spending on luxuries! No more ebay and etsy purchases this month - Stop Looking!
  6. Catch up with emails and read them every day
  7. Continue to pay my debt off and clear it
  8. Choose a Decluttering session once a week!
  9. Declutter Clothing (Entire Wardrobe and Bed Drawers)
  10. Declutter and Alphabetically organise CD's
  11. Watch at least 4 new DVD's
  12. Play at least 4 new PS2 Games
  13. Choose a drawing lesson/session once a week, no matter what, and stick to it. Work on a challenge or study.
  14. Choose a writing lesson/session once a week, and stick to it. Find writing challenges online, write a scene, use One Minute Writer for inspiration.

* Plan the lessons/sessions before I start them, so I know what I'm doing and have no excuse not to do them!

Monday, 31 May 2010

May Achievements

  • I created my Triffid Colour Pencil Drawing for Wetcanvas' Monthly Colour Pencil Challenge.
  • I lost 3 pounds in weight!
  • I paid £120 off my debt
  • Took pictures of a gorgeous snail on my windowsill
  • Watched at least 4 new DVD's this month: Elizabethtown, Twilight, Starship Troopers 3 and Make It Happen.
  • Played one new PS2 Game: X-Files
  • Closed a bank account and credit card I no longer owe any money to - Woo!


I'd like to do more writing, after ScriptFrenzy in April, I didn't do any writing this month! Need to do more hoovering, decluttering and PS2 Game Playing! I also want to do some more art, I only did one piece this month! I need to find a way of balancing all my challenges, so I get to do a little of everything each week, and make progress with everything to keep it all ticking over nicely - a happy balance is what I need!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Eurovision 2010 - Proud to be British

I was so surprised by Eurovision this year, there were many more really good songs! And it's nice to say I am proud of our English entry! Usually they either can't sing, or have a rubbish song, or just really annoying! But this year Josh sang lovely!

Here are some of my favourite songs from the night, but before that, here is Alexander Rybak's winning song from last year - I love Alexander Rybak, I'm in love with a fairytale...

British Entry - Josh Dubovie - That Sounds Good To Me

I don't think it was necessarily good enough to win as the competition was surprisingly good this year, with only a few really rubbish entries, but it certainly wasn't the worst!

Romania - Playing With Fire

These were very bouncy, fun and such a catchy song. The woman also reminded me very much of Shania Twain! Loved the interaction between them, and how well she integrated classical singing into the song! Ever since I watched Popstar to Operastar (On ITV I think), I've really discovered how much I can enjoy opera singing when it's done well!

Denmark - Chanee and N'evergreen - In A Moment Like This

An amazing song that just hits you and instantly you love it! Apparently both the man and the woman singing here are well known singers in their own right in Denmark or all over Europe, and I think it shows by how professional they are and how well they sing together. They're obviously enjoying the song, and it makes the audience enjoy it all the more too! I love this one, it could definitely be a winner for me!

Ukraine - Alyosha - Sweet People

This was great how one woman, with impressive vocals, held our attention, and for me personally, sang from her soul. A slightly melancholic song, but I loved it!

Georgia - Sofia Nizharadze - Shine

I'd never heard of this country before, and have no idea where it is other than in Europe, but what an amazing song, passionate performance, and lovely movement with the dancers! Ok, I like the male dancers dressed in white uniforms, and that is a gorgeous red dress I would love to own, but it is still a fantastic song that country should be very proud of!

All in all, an impressive Eurovision! I just wish one of these would have won, instead of the winning German entry by Lena, as I didn't think it stood up to well against the ones I've pointed out here!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Planning a Naga - How to draw a monster?

The weather is gorgeous, and I have two days off work this week! Woohoo! I'm going to tackle my next drawing challenge - Wetcanvas' Creature Feature - a Naga. A Naga is a mythological creature, usually seen with a female head and torso, and a serpent tail from the waist down. It has the ability to change form either fully human or fully serpent.

I am not at all experienced at drawing a make-believe monster, or planning out how I want it to look! The links on the Wetcanvas Creature Feature forum lead to images of statues, the Naga creature appears to be depicted as a many headed snake, and I really fancy having a go at that. I will need reference photos of snakes, especially angry looking snakes. I want to do individual heads all looking angrily at the person viewing the picture.

Looking at some other artists work to get ideas as to how they do their monsters, I was looking at Marc Scheff's website, and found this image of a "Scorilla". Not only is it an awesome and imaginative creature, but I noticed he gave it a background that it seems to fit into. So I think rather than just do a dark background, I could do with thinking about where my creature is likely to live, where will it be found? My first thought is a D&D dungeon, though it could also be in the water.

Another artist whose great at doing Monsters is Christopher Burdett, a couple of his images really caught my eye, Galog Bullfrog and Post Apocalyptic, both are action shots that appear to tell a story, and both have extra characters in them you either feel sorry for, or will to fight and overcome the monsters in the images. I would like to include another character in my image, but I'll have to see how I can fit them in. I'm thinking of doing the image in colour pencil on A4 paper (English Letter Size), not sure how much room that will give me to do detail on the secondary character. Although having said that, Christopher Burdett managed to fit his extra characters in easily, although I don't know what size he was working on, probably digital so I guess the size doesn't count the same on the computer!

I'll also need to come up with a pattern on the snakeskin, either similar to that of a real snake, or one made up. I might use a real snake's pattern but change the colours - I quite like the greens and yellows from the first picture of a Naga at the top of this post. :)

This picture is definitely going to be a challenge, but again looks like it will be good for me to improve my skills! Any help or advice anyone can offer would be gratefully received!

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  • Louise
    Petite Wonders 28 is a gorgeous blog featuring Louise's crafts in Polymer Clay and Roving Wool, I adore her cute dogs! She also has a great Etsy store you might want to check out!

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Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Borrowers - New Miniatures

I've been buying some new miniatures from ebay. I love ebay for the unusual items you can find, plus I've found by looking in non-dolls house categories you can find suitable things for The Borrowers. For example, a search for McDonalds Toys could contain something you could use as an ornament. Do you remember the Chess Piece Ornament The Borrowers used in their original home under the floorboards at Firbank? The 'statue' gave the room an air of prestige. Although a McDonalds toy isn't quite so majestic, it does give an amusing and colourful addition to a Borrowers living room, or bedroom. Here's my recent addition:

When I first bought him I didn't realise he came with such a large base, I'm now wondering if my Borrowers would even be able to lift Sylvester & Tweety Pie? Although they would probably be able to sit on the edge of the base quite comfortably!

Spare Board Game pieces are also handy as ornaments or even useful utensils. This Scrabble Tile Rack is handy as a shelf for displaying coins or ornaments, and these spare scrabble tiles could be used as a chopping board, or turned upside down and becomes a bowl! Try searching on ebay for Spare or Part in the Board Games section.

Looking under all toys and games on ebay is where I found these Lego Helicopter skids. These will be good for propping up against a wall and hanging laundry from. A Borrowers gotta do their own washing!

Food is important to a Borrower, so I picked some grapes in a basket from ebay's Dolls House Miniatures section. To a normal 12th scale dolls house these would be perfect size for grapes, but I found them excellent size for Blackcurrants or Brambles, in a handmade basket! Perfect! I also have this crazy idea that as Borrowers would go foraging for food humans drop, and if you look on the streets these days, humans drop all kinds of food, mostly chips in plastic cartons, but also many different kinds of sweets. I imagine a half-eaten Mars bar would make a great dessert for a borrower, just keep it cool (in a dark shady place under the floor), cut a triangle shape out, maybe put a small slice of fresh fruit on top (a sliver of fresh wild strawberry perhaps?) - and it would look a lot like this novelty bead I found on ebay!

Now as for wall decoration, wouldn't keyrings be the most easy to hang wall ornament available to a Borrower? Nails are easily found dropped down the back of furniture, with a small stone to hammer it into an under-floor joist. Keyrings come in all shapes and sizes, but these picture ones would be the closest to having your very own framed picture! And yes, I did choose Bella and Edward from Twilight, but it's only because they are both climbing in trees, and it reminded me of Arrietty and Spiller climbing the hedge in The Borrowers novels - honest! ;)

I hope you like my choices, and hopefully come up with many more of your own - I'd love to hear about them!