ACW Episode 304 – Keeping the beat

Webcomic!

Click on the image to see it full-sized!

Not long after I got back from taking care of my parents last winter, this happened. Princess was having trouble sleeping, and she was worried about her heart stopping. She said she felt really anxious and kept getting a tightness in her chest, and said she could feel her heart skip a beat every now and then. We had it looked into. She’s fine. The anxiety is most likely a result of teen hormones flooding her system. The tightness is due to the anxiety, and the occasional skipped beat looks to be a premature ventricular contraction, which is perfectly normal. Still, it was a couple months before Princess’ anxiety subsided, and while she was anxious, so was I.

To paraphrase Elizabeth Stone, having a child is like watching your heart walk around outside your chest. And that’s just as amazing to see as it is terrifying.

ACW Episode 303 – Finally!

Webcomic!

Click on the image above to view the webcomic full-size!

Finally, I am back to work. At least I hope so. My schedule keeps going crazy, and I have not been the best about sitting down to work on the webcomic. I am trying to get back to regular updates. I’m even looking at posting things other than just the webcomic! But we’ve had a LOT going on, and so I am struggling right now to get back in the saddle again.

This week’s episode happened a couple months ago, not long after I got back from taking care of my parents after my dad’s heart attack. For whatever reason, Princess suddenly needed me to be “Mommy” again, and I was more than happy to oblige. But Princess is now an inch taller than I am, and I really, REALLY, shouldn’t be trying to pick her up. My back, like the rest of me, is forty-eight years old.

I already have the next episode pencilled, so here’s hoping I get to work on inking it tomorrow! You may see some style changes in how I draw the webcomic. I got a new Surface and I’ve been uploading and updating all my software on it. I haven’t managed to migrate all my original brushes and preferences from the old Surface yet, but I decided I needed to get back to posting rather than worry about little things like that. Plus, I kind of want to experiment with the look of the webcomic, see if I find a new way to handle inking and pencilling and such.

Anyhoo, that’s all for today! Enjoy!

Girl Scout Cookies VS. SNOW!!

Buy Girl Scout Cookies!

Buy Girl Scout Cookies!

Hey everyone! In case you didn’t know it, today is the first day of the Girl Scout 2017 cookie sale! This year, we’re celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts selling your favorite winter treat! We’ve got Thin Mints, Samoas/Caramel Delights, Trefoils/Shortbread, and so much more!!! And we even have a new cookie – the Girl Scout S’mores cookie! And let me tell you, that’s a tasty cookie! (Yes, as cookie mom, I do get to try the product :D)

 

Buy Girl Scout Cookies!

Haven’t you bought your Girl Scout cookies yet?!

Princess and Pixie are both selling cookies this year! If you would like to buy cookies from them and support their troops, go to their cookie sales websites.

To order cookies from Princess, visit here: Buy cookies from Princess!

To order cookies from Pixie, visit here: Buy cookies from Pixie!

Be sure to check out their art and videos that they’ve posted on their cookie sales pages. You can see on Pixie’s page just how much snow we’re getting right now!

Thank you! I’m going to get back to work on the webcomic. I know I’m way behind on publishing a new one, but the next comic should be up soon!

ACW Episode 299 – The Apples and the Tree

Cynical Woman webcomic!

Click on the image to make it bigger!

Sooooooooo… I’m a little behind schedule.

My apologies for the delay in getting this episode posted to the web. The first month of the school year has been hectic to say the least. So far, we’ve had 6 weeks of cross country practice, two 5K races, an all-day service project at a local convent (yes, I spent a day at a convent; the sisters were very nice), a Girl Scout recruitment meeting, a Girl Scout troop meeting, and Girl Scout service unit meeting, two sick kids, one sick mom, and one Hubster out of town on a business trip. Plus the usual homework, housework, and other daily chores.

Did I mention I crocheted seven Pokemon this month for my Girl Scout troop to hunt for in my yard?

So, we’ve been busy. I am trying to get back to a schedule where I work for at least an hour every day on the webcomic, but it’s a bit tough to do during cross country season. Practice is four days a week, for two and a half hours, after school. That doesn’t leave us much time in the evenings to get stuff done. And with the start of the school year, my mornings are taken up with Girl Scout work (which has to be done) and exercise (which desperately needs to be done). If I’m lucky, I find a bit of time to wash and fold the laundry and clean the dishes.

And I tell you all of this as a way of explaining that yes, I am going through a sort of mid-life crisis in real life right now. Well, I wouldn’t really call it a crisis. But I have been looking back a lot to the days when I was younger and my time was my own to do with as I pleased. And yes, it’s still my time to do with as I please, but how I choose to spend it now is vastly different from how I used to spend it. I no longer spend my time on me. I spend it on my kids, on my friends, on volunteer work. And I don’t think that’s a bad choice. Just a very, very busy one.

Anyway, enough chit-chat. I’m posting this now and getting back to work on the next episode. Hopefully episode 300 will be up within a week! If not, you know what’s going on. Life, that’s what’s going on 🙂

ACW 296 – What was the future supposed to be?

Cynical Woman!

Click on the image to see it full-sized!

Did you ever have a clear idea of what the future was supposed to be like? I never did, to be honest. I can’t think about the future and say where I’ll be in five years, or even in one year. I’ve never been able to do that. I can make plans, sure. I make plans all the time. But I have learned from hard experience that nothing ever goes the way I plan it.

So over the years, I’ve tried to learn to just roll with whatever happens. As a teen, I never could have imagined myself serving in the military, but I did – 11 years in the Army Reserves. As a college student, I couldn’t see myself married with kids, and yet Hubster and I celebrated our twenty-third wedding anniversary last June, with our kids in attendance. And had anyone ever suggested that I would become a Girl Scout troop leader and cookie mom, I would have laughed in their face. Yet now I am gearing up for my fifth year as troop leader and my seventh year as cookie mom.

I never had any idea what I was going to do with my life. I had no plans for what kind of career I’d have, where I’d live, what I’d do. And yet somehow, it all turned out pretty well. I still have no clear idea of where I’m going with my life, beyond the fact that I want to do a lot of drawing and crafting and take care of Hubster and the kids. And I think that’s okay. I think if I’d ever had a plan, it would have all somehow gone horribly wrong, or I would have died of stress from trying to make it work. I am not a planner. I am a “seat-of-the-pants” kind of person. Good thing I have tough pants!

February Cats – Day 14, 15, & 16, Catflu vs. the Stomach Bug! Wait, what?

Well, when last we chatted, I was recovering from the flu, and I had done NOTHING on any cat-themed projects because I was too busy either watching my feet come out my mouth or sleeping like a dead woman. I started to feel better on Valentine’s Day, and Hubster and the kids and I met with some friends at the local hibachi place for a lovely dinner. Shortly after we got home, Princess complained of heartburn, only her symptoms didn’t sound like heartburn. Hubster laughed, but I made Princess put a bucket beside her bed that evening. Sure enough, by 1AM she was puking her guts up. I ended up sleeping on the floor in her room the rest of the night. She spent the next day on the couch, slowly recovering, and I. Spent that time trying to clean and recover my house as well as my brain.

So today is the first day since the stomach flu hit this household that I’ve been able to do any work on the Catbug pillow. While I’m still not completely satisfied with the last big spot I made, I decided to move on to another spot and try a slightly different method of making it. This time, I feel like I’m getting the results I want. Here’s a peek at the spot in progress.

 

Catbug's spot!

This spot I like!

 
As you can see, I drew a lopsided oval on some graph paper and used that to plan my stitches. Each square on the graph paper represents one single crochet stitch. I have to get a little fiddly at the bottom because this oval starts narrow but expands very quickly, but I think this looks okay.

I have no idea how many more posts I’m going to be able to make this week. Troops pick up their order of Girl Scout cookies this weekend, and then we start delivering to customers. Booth sales start then, too. So I’m going to be very busy with Girl Scouts for the next few weeks. I will keep working on this project though. I have a feeling that aside from Catbug, the only other project I’m going to get done this month is another cat bolster pillow for Princess’ birthday this month. It’s one thing I know she really wants. Other than that, things are pretty much up in the air. Maybe I’ll do another cat month in the spring. Pixie really wants a Franken-kitty, and her birthday is coming early June.

I’m going to bed now. Hopefully, I’ll see you tomorrow!

Creature Comforts – Day 22 & 23, Snow Days!

So, how’s the weather been in your area?

Around here we’ve had snow alternating with rain and sleet and more snow. In other words, it’s been yucky. Yesterday, the girls’ school let out early, so I decided we’d do some crafting. There’s nothing more comforting that hot chocolate, cookies, crafting and games on a snow day. I’d recently seen some videos on resin casting with embedded objects and I already had a lot of the supplies on hand, so I decided we could try that! After a lot of set up and preparation and a game of “Adventure Time Munchkin,” the girls and I were able to make these…

 

Resin casting!

These are NOT muffins! Do not eat them!

 
The shiny sparkly blue casting is Pixie’s. The pretty red sprinkly one is Princess’. And the thing that looks like sparkly raw eggs is mine.

Before I show you how mine turned out (the girls absconded with theirs before I could get pics), let me explain what Iwas trying to do. I wanted to place some small buttons of breakfast foods in the front of the casting and layer a kitten sticker behind that. Then I wanted to add a layer of pretty yellow glitter, followed by a layer of clear yellow resin. The idea was to make a sort of sunny kitten breakfast scene. However, I didn’t leave anough time between my layers, and this is what I got instead.

 

Breakfast Kitten!

“Breakfast Kitten Trapped in Runny Eggs”

 
I like it, but it does look like I embalmed that poor kitten in egg yolks for all eternity.

Aside from the layers getting all mixed up, I think it looks pretty good. I’m wondering if polishing would help clear it up, but I’m not sure I want to try that. I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. I think instead, I’ll do a few trial pieces and learn how to polish on those. For now, runny-eggs-breakfast-kitten looks good to me.

Good night!

Krampus Challenge – Day 25, A special elf for me

 

Special shrunken elf head

“Can you ‘ear’ me know?”

 
It’s Christmas Day. I got VERY little sleep last night, staying up to finish off wrapping presents and setting up little surprises for the girls. And then Pixie wanted me to get her up early so she could make the family a special Christmas breakfast of strawberry cream cheese sandwiches and ice cream. That’s when I discovered the dishwasher was totally full but wasn’t working, and I managed to wash 5 sinkfuls of dishes before Hubster (who KNEW the dishwasher wasn’t working) decided to flip the circuit breaker and voila! The dishwasher was now fixed. And also empty because I’d already hand-washed everything.

On the bright side, it was a slow, liesurely day. The kids tore through a mountain of presents and were very happy with (and even thankful for) what they received. Hubster was happy with his gifts too (more kitchen wares and dishes for me to wash… grumble, grumble…). And I got some very nice gifts, including a whole bunch of Studio Ghibli movies and some classic horror books.

Princess chased the cats with her new BB-8 while Pixie assembled her new Hot Wheels RC car, and I kind of stumbled around trying to pick up all the torn wrapping paper, or get the kids to pick up the torn wrapping paper, and sometimes even the cats picked up the torn wrapping paper, so I suspect we may get some very nicely wrapped gifts showing up in the litter box later this week, if you know what I mean.

And in between all this, I found time to work on a special shrunken elf head for myself. This guy is made with Vanna’s Choice yarn and he’s going to have EARS in addition to stitched on eyes and mouths. I think the ears really help sell the whole “shrunken head” thing.

And that was our Christmas Day. Oh, one more thing. Our household Krampuses (Krampii?) decided to come out and play in the tree. Here are a couple shots of the little buggers. 

Pink Krampus

“I see England, I see France!”

 
 
Green Krampus

“I see STAAAAAARS!!!”

  

Yes, that is underwear they’re carrying up into the tree. Don’t ask me why. It’s just what they do. Merry Christmas ya’ll.

Krampus Challenge – Day 05, Krampus Cowl in progress

Krampus Cowl!

We are a little further along!

Actually, I had hoped to have another 3-4 stripes done on this cowl, but I discovered I’d made a mistake… About 3-4 rows after I had made it. So I ended up tearing out an hour’s worth of work and starting over again for the day.

But that’s okay! Mistakes happen, things have to be torn out, and we all have to start all over again from time to time. At least that’s the lesson I try to teach Pixie and Princess whenever they work on a project. And we’ve been starting a lot of new projects lately, especially Pixie. She got a set of knitting looms two weeks ago and has been learning to use those. Then this week she got a new sewing machine! Not a kid’s sewing machine that uses glue or string to put fabric together, but an actual Singer sewing machine that uses actual thread, and has a bobbin and real needle. We set it up today and I watched while Pixie sewed a very basic pillow first and then started work on something a little more complicated. That’s probably about the time I made my mistake on the Krampus Cowl, but that’s okay. I got to watch my youngest figure out how to thread her sewing machine and set up the bobbin, figure out how to pin fabric and run it through the machine. There’s nothing like watching a kid catch fire over a new hobby.

But if she breaks into my yarn or fabric stashes, I will squish her like a bug. Just between you and me.