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One of my friends, and another artist I follow, have little courses up on Skillshare. I've been meaning to buy into the site for about a year now, and I finally did yesterday. It's kinda like Linda.com - it's just a range of videos teaching all kinds of how-tos.

I don't know if it's standard or just a promo they're running, but when I signed up, the first three months were only a dollar, and will follow with a monthly charge of $12 (be careful of the $8 option - that one is a yearly charge of 95 bucks instead).

But it's kinda cool. Each class has a number of videos attached, and they're between a few minutes and a half-hour or longer, depending on the type of thing you want to learn. I've found the art and language and writing ones are much shorter, and the animations and programming ones are longer.

You can totally find all this stuff online for free, and there are some free classes, but I like the idea, and some things you might not find elsewhere. I'm planning on watching my $3's worth and maybe stopping after.

Ooh, you can also speed up the videos, too! That helps!

Another cool they do with most of the classes is to encourage a "homework" project that you do based on the class, and then upload to the page. I'm looking forward to actually taking these classes into practice in that way.

YOU CAN EVEN TEACH if you have a moderately professional setup to make some videos :D

I'm "enrolled" in six courses:

-First, my pal Marty's Perspective for Comic Books class. Haven't gotten to that yet - Need to be able to sit with my sketch paper.

-Yuko Shimizu's Ink Drawing Techniques (this is the other artist whose work I follow over on FB). Very excited to check out this one.

-Expressive illustration (not as excited, but willing to check it out). edit: checking it out now.

-Sketchbook Practice (growth as an artist) - this one was really good. It wasn't instructional, so much as it was a show-and-tell lecture (with a tutorial at the end). I plowed through it yesterday. The instructor showed all her daily sketchbooks that she'd been keeping for years, which she completed in watercolor, and it showed a steady and inspiring evolution of her technique and skills, as she moved out of her comfort zone. I loved it.

-Bite-sized French - I only chose this because it's Canadian French, but it's really kinda below my skill level (still, it's a good refresher).

-Simple Character Animation - for years, Charles has promised to teach me AfterEffects. Fuck that guy. This class will teach me to make a simple character go for a jaunty walk.

-5 Ink Effects to Add Dramatic Impact - this was a bit blah for the most part. Very very beginner stuff, but I did learn a couple new tricks. I just now finished this one.

In case you wish to sign up, here is my referral link [wheeeeee] (I get a month free for every referral).


Since my sinuses usually trigger sensitivity in my gums and certain teeth, I've decided I need to really ingrain a rigorous hygiene routine into my life. I was never taught proper hygiene as a kid, so it grew into a life-long struggle to make it like second-nature. Mix it with depression, and I'm just a big ball of stench and rotten teeth.

A lot of people with depression know how hard it is to muster up the energy to eat right or shower... I get that struggle too. It's always worse in the winter. So I put it on my weekly checklist on my board (with "(3x a week)" written next to it). I've never had a problem remembering to or getting the energy to moisturize after a shower, since my skin gets really uncomfortable if I don't.

I've up'd my water intake a lot since the summer, but I still need to actively work on this. I tend to get most of my water through tea - I drink an entire pot of tea with cream - which is also a way I make sure I'm getting enough fat. But I really need to pound back more water. Winter really dehydrates me.

They say it takes a month to form a habit. They also say it takes two months to form a habit. They've even said it takes 600-something hours to form a habit. I'm going to take at least three months to form this habit.

My teeth and gums were bad before my sinus infection. But at least I stopped eating sugar and carbs.

I bought interdental brushes and learned to use them (still working out the sizes I need), I learned the proper way to floss, and I learned how to use my electric tooth brush (I have always preferred a manual brush). I intend to brush in the morning (or during the day, after I come home from work), and perform my 10-minute routine at night. At least my night routine, if I don't get to the day brushing.

That is: interdental brushing, then flossing, then electric brushing, then tongue-scraping, and then the dreaded Listerine rinse (which I learned from Ron that you shouldn't eat/drink anything shorter than an hour after doing, or the rinse won't do its job).

I'm really hoping my gums will improve.

I don't usually even need deodorant unless my hormones are working overtime (usually during ovulation). But occasionally I need it right after a shower, if I'm active afterwards (I prefer to shower before bed, though). I don't like deodorant, because it seems like it always causes clogged pores and large, painful cyst-like blemishes that can get up to the size of a cherry-tomato. So I'm going to get one of those deodorant stones. I think that will help.

Spa Day
This isn't part of my routine, per se, but I'd like to start just doing spa-type things, too, like doing my own mani/pedicures and face-peels. I'm also gonna connect my fingernails directly with playing the violin. I love it, but I find it hard to get the motivation to keep practicing every day, even though I want to. I have to keep the nails on my left hand nub-short, so I'm hoping trying to be more active about my nails will entice me more.

Also, what the hell is the point of face peels and lip scrubs if the winter just puts my skin right back to where it was?! I never used to get scaley skin in the winter. What. The. Hell.


I've been surrounded by sick people for over a month. It was bound to catch up with me. I think I caught it from Ron, who was at the tail end of his sickness when he gave me a ride home from his New Year's Eve party. I'm very thankful that my cold stayed in the head and did not shoot down into the lungs. Last time I woke up with a tickle in my throat, it decided to skip my head all together and go straight to my lungs.

At the first sign of swollen sinuses and post nasal drip, I had Charles bring down the humidifier from the attic and have kept it running in the bedroom. It helped a lot, and I think that's why the cold stayed in my head, which is the best thing a cold can do.

Then Emily asked me to help her move a mattress. That would be the night the temperature drops to below freezing and we have to spend an hour figuring out how shitty cheap racket straps work in the cold. The directions couldn't have been less clear.

That wound me up proper sick by the next day, which I had to work through. Thankfully, I only had to work one day while sick before the weekend. I stayed in bed all weekend. ALL weekend. I hated it. I mean, I liked it alright for a short time, but I had plans to clean my home and get some shit done that needed to be done. I have a small list of things I wrote on my board marked "January 4th" that I haven't been able to touch.

I did learn some tricks to help me get by - I put vaseline on my nostril walls to keep them moist (sorry for the word) while I went into the drylands (living room) to take down my tree and clean. I found a great home remedy to release the swelling of my sinuses (hold my breath and my nose while slowly rocking my head up and down until I couldn't hold my breath anymore - the brain registers that I'm running out of oxygen and slows the flow of blood in my head, thus bringing the swelling down. I was very surprised/pleased that worked). And I ate a couple of oranges for a boost of vitamin C (I can't take C tablets/powder as they hurt my stomach too much). This broke my diet rule, but I didn't care. It helped, and it was one of the only things I could really taste.

It's by-far my shortest cold, as I'm already nearly done with it. I didn't end up taking any time off work, and can mostly breathe easy, though I do still have some grossness hanging in the back of my throat.

Hopefully, I can put a dent in that list of things I should have done back last week.

Little Changes

TL;DR: New list-making scheme, new LJ/DW layouts/icons/moods, reading list.

I started using my weekly habits board again. This is the main affect of the New of New Year's. I start shit again.

I decided my habits need to be done at least once a week, instead of everything every day (except I do have some with (once a week), (3x a week), etc where I see fit). I actually have to put SHOWER on the list, because with my winter depression sinking its talons into me, it's hard for me to get up the energy to shower. Maybe I should go off-norm and shower mid-day, so I can't claim I'm too tired.

Since changing my monthly habit board to a weekly one, I've now got half the board to use for daily lists. I love making lists. They're my best way to 1) get shit done without forgetting, and 2) feel accomplished. I did just about everything from my first two days of lists, but yesterday, I only got done one thing (download some tunes), and I spent the rest of the time deciding which books to read this year, and read nearly an entire book in a day! Haven't done that since my days at Walden Books.

Here, I've also made a couple changes.

I had an increase in user icons, so I uploaded a few new ones, and changed my layout to match my new default. Currently working on uploading a new mood theme.

I also went through every livejournal I have and downloaded every single icon I could find in preparation for The Big Poof of LJ - is it really going to disappear?

If it does, my dreamwidth is the same username (diello). Bummed their paid accounts are so expensive, though. And I put up an entry so the last one seen isn't five years old.

Ever Forward

I'm not going to look back to my old resolutions to gauge what I'm planning this year. I do know I completed about a third of them. I'm honestly hoping I'll have more luck completing this year's rezzies, mostly because I don't want to make so many stone-cut expectations for myself this year.

The last one is the ambitious one, but I really want to take a crack at it.

1. Keep working toward my goal weight.
-Keep up the keto diet.
-Get back to the gym.

2. See a doctor.
-Make sure I get insurance this year.
-Pay back dental bill and also get a cleaning.

3. Read more novels.

4. Market myself to at least three conventions as an artist.
-Make more fan art.
-Make more original art.

5. Finish things.
-All craft projects started.
-All sewing projects.
-All comic ideas.
-All organizational projects.

Things I'm looking forward to this year:

Making new art and selling it
Riverdale, Emerald City, Twin Peaks, and other shows
Seeing my friends make amazing things
Violin lessons
My anticipated reading list
Hanging out with friends who made last year bearable.

2016 Art Box

About halfway through the year, I decided to forego making a website (something I'm still on the fence about) and made a Facebook like page for my art, so this might be the last time I'll be making a year's end Art Box post.

So as not to blast you with dozens of imagesCollapse )

Fuck Off, 2016!

This fuckin' year, eh?

I've been meaning to break my LJ silence for a long time, but the Dark Times (tm) got to me. This whole year got to me. It's been a roller coaster.

I spent a large portion of the year trying to perform the simple task of getting my shit together. I joined a gym, I got a Fitbit Flex (which I no longer need, so if anyone wants to buy it, hit me up), I started using a DivaCup, I upgraded my bed, upgraded my wardrobe, upgraded my makeup, donated a shitload of clothes and other crap I'd cleaned out from my home, I came out as asexual, I got a brand new violin, and I found a great diet that really works for me.

I tried new things, partly due to getting back into regular hang-outs with Emily, but also by drawing inspiration from other sources and friends. I applied to some conventions as an artist (instead of my usual jeweler 'sona), I joined an aerial yoga class and a pole fitness class, I hosted a Skype-in with my Whitechapel family, I had an experience with a hash brownie (my first and definitely my last), I voted for a woman to be president, I tried Pokemon Go (my first Pokemon experience at all), I translated three episodes of a Canadian French tv show, and I even wrote a waltz with my friend John.

Then, of course, there's the shit. All those deaths aside (David Bowie, my god, that hurt so much - I could barely cope at work, and still cry thinking about him being gone), Brian stopped taking his meds, and I slowly had to deal with him going insane, from being a sweetheart who spent sick-time on the couch with me, to being an angry hobo, so filthy that he ended up giving me bedbugs, disappeared several times, and eventually started actively hating me before landing in the asylum. He's not the only best friend who put me through emotional strife this year. I've had scares of suicide attempts, been outright betrayed, and even ghosted. But the good outweigh the bad, and I mostly forgave.
Low-key shit included going to West Virginia, which became the world's longest mistake of a weekend with no escape for even a minute. And being fired for half the summer. And seeing a beating at a riot downtown, in my own backyard. And Trump winning. Man, fuck that guy with course-grit sandpaper. At one point, I said fuck everything and built a blanket fortress of solitude and stayed in it all weekend with a video game and Oreo cookies. And did you see that Rocky Horror remake? Nightmare!

I got to attend a few cool events. Yearly parties and picnics, weddings (my friends Jackie and Chris, and Niki and Carl), sushi night, three Thanksgivings, abandoned subway adventure (when I also discovered another awesome art store), Jay Lincoln debuted his Tarot paintings (of which I had two friends be models), I went to IKEA for the first time, I had several bookshop adventures courtesy of Tim (who bought me many great books), I attended one moderately busy visit to Toronto involving the usual comic festival and a few run-ins with Robin who published a rad book about Ontario beer, and one really busy weekend in Toronto involving a group hangout with Toronto Whitechapelers, Nuit Blanche, and IMATS. I watched many performances including Jeff and Ron, and I got to see Emmet Otter performed live!

End of the year stuff? I started watching one of my favourite artists' live feeds (3x a week), I got bit by a tiny ball of terror my aunt calls a dog, and drunken shenanigans with Sam led to me finding a niche product that became very popular in the eyes of friends with money to burn on a painting!

Now for things seen and heard:

The Revenant
The Oscar-Nominated Animations
Dead pool
The Witch
The Mermaid
Inside Out
The Lobster
Batman The Killing Joke
The Devil's Carnival 2
Kibo & the Two Strings
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Miss Peregrine's Home for peculiar Children
Suicide Squad
Under the Shadow
RHPS the shit of all shits
Neon Demon
Little Sister
Gray Gardens
The Voices

Rick & Morty
Stranger Things
The Magicians
The Night Of
Gothic Homemaking

Vampire en Pyjama, by Dionysos
Over the Garden Wall soundtrack, by the Blasting Company
Working Stiffs Unite, by Sisters of Murphy
La 4ième Dimension, by Les Hay Babies
I-VIII, by Guild the Mourn
Dark Drive, by The Rain Within
Cry Baby, by Melanie Martinez
★, by David Bowie (which I haven't heard yet, because I just can't, but it needs to be here).
Mon Corps Mon Amour, by Olivia Ruiz
Beat the Champ, by the Mountain Goats

Was going to include books and comics, but there's over 30 this year, so just roll over to my Goodreads

Portal 2
Beyond Two Souls
Heavy Rain
Batman Arkham Origins
Bioshock 2

The Mountain Goats
Shonen Knife
Periodic Table of Elephants
Fox 42
The Undead
Sisters of Murphy
Nuit Blanche

Art to follow...


I haven't been drawing too much, but I've been trying really hard to change that, especially since I've just applied to a local convention as an artist for the first time ever (as opposed to my usual application as a jewelry designer), and I need to bulk up my recent works (especially of Fan Art, so... suggestions welcome).

I've got about four items of sketch that will be transferred into good work this weekend. But for now, I figured I can show you my three latest pieces (as well as a couple of pieces done back in late October/early November).

Latest pieces:

And a couple digitals from a couple months ago:

I've also been working on some jewelry, since I have a show coming up this Sunday. No new photos (yet), but I did do a commission necklace in late October.

I have a few items that I make available at events only, but I desperately need a good showcase item or two. Something that will make my table fee back (however, table fee has not been brought up by the organizer of this event yet, though I have asked). I'm also totally unsure if I'm bringing my own table or if he's hooking me up (I'm bringing a small card table just in case). I'm kinda excited, and also hoping this isn't going to be an outdoor event, because he didn't mention anything about being outside. I will just go home if that's the case, because we're about to get SLAMMED with snow.

The Nightmare Continues

Not even 24 hours later, and the racist piece of shit bigots are out doing their part to make the world a terrifying place.

Yesterday, I was invalidated across both my Facebook accounts for being asexual - something I thought was the safer of the LGBTQ+ family. I was told I was defective and that they (Herr Trump and Pence) are going to take care of me like all the others, and that I will learn my place as a woman.

If any of you on my friends list voted for the Trump World Order, this is what you wanted. Please remove yourself from my sight.

9/11 Meet 11/9

I haven't been in this kind of shock and numbness and anger since September 11th, 2001. I watched the polls obsessively until the moment, around midnight, that Pennsylvania turned from blue to red. I threw my phone off the bed and shut my eyes. I knew this would be the last time I'd get some sleep before rage kept me up in the aftermath.

I bawled my eyes out in the morning when I checked the phone to confirm my worst fear. I think that was the last time today I felt pure dread and sadness. After that, the tears came, but no feeling to pair with it. Just a wash of numbness.

You fucking people*.

This was not the time to protest-vote. This was not the time to throw your vote away on some third party who you damn-well knew had no chance. You fucking knew die-hard republican right-wing extremists only had one candidate to vote for. You knew the only chance to keep him from office was to vote for Hillary, and not some other person who doesn't even matter.

NINETY electorals could have gone to her if you hadn't voted third-party. A number of votes actually went to Harambe - a goddamn DEAD GORILLA.

Fuck you idiots.

And fuck all you selfish assholes who didn't even vote at all because you thought it didn't matter. This election was the difference between no change and the worst fucking change. If you're working poor and no president has ever affected your life before, what the fuck difference would it have made to elect Hillary? But no, you goddamn let the next Hitler into office. Seriously, look up how Hitler came to power. You elected someone who wants to deport millions of people based on the color of their skin, to "correct" LGBTQ+, to take safety away from women, and to register all Muslims. How does that not sound familiar to you?

Yeah, the two-party system sucks. Yeah, it sucks that this is the first election in FIFTY YEARS without the voting rights act protections making sure people of color and other marginalized groups can get to the polls. But the people I saw who just hmm-haw'd at home on voting day were white millennials. I try hard not to blame millennials for dumb shit regarding the decline of society, but this? This is one instance I can lay at least part of the blame on you little pieces of shit.

You want to change the two-party system in this country? You want to change the electoral process so that Hillary's million-votes ahead actually meant anything? Then do something about it BEFORE it's too late. I mean, do it NON-STOP. You have to dedicate some serious power behind making any change in this country. You want things to change, but you don't want to DO anything that makes a difference. Instead, you just fuck the country.

Like you never learned anything from Brexit.

I have disconnected my Facebook accounts from those who openly supported him, and from those who liked his page, including my own sister and grandmother. My grandmother - the only connection I have left to my First Nations (native) heritage. I think it goes without saying that if you voted for Trump, you can show yourselves out of my friends list. This isn't politics you've voted for. It's personal. It's hatred. A vote for Trump is a vote for removing basic human rights and invalidating the suffering of so many people. As a queer native non-Christian woman, I say: Go shit yourselves.

*obviously not anyone who voted to keep him out.

The silver lining is seeing loads of TRANSMETROPOLITAN images on my feed, as well as the realization that punk music is going to get good again.