ACW Episode 304 – Keeping the beat

Webcomic!

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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!

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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!

February Cats – Busy Day, Sleepy Cats

I got up early this morning, spent 2 hours at karate class, did a bunch of crafting stuff with the kids, worked on a painting for the school auction, and then squeezed in a little time for the Catbug pillow. I didn’t get enough done to bother posting a picture of the work in progress. However, Princess managed to record a quick video of one of our real live cats taking a snooze. Turn up the volume (I promise, this is not a trick) and listen carefully…

  
Yes, that’s Mister Big, and he is snoring! Which is what I’m about to do right now. Good night!

ACW Episode 282 – Run, Princess, Run!!

Webcomic!

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Yes, it took me forever to get this one done. I apologize. I started this at the beginning of October, which turned out to be one of the busiest months I’ve had to deal with in a loooooooong time. It was so busy and so hectic, in fact, that I look forward to the peace and quiet of Girl Scout cookie season.

Yes, I actually said that. And now I’ve put it in writing.

What kept me so busy? Well, Girl Scouts was one part of it. In addition to our troop meetings, we also had an archery trip and a murder mystery party. Then there was Halloween and All Saints Day. The girls attend Catholic school, and this year Pixie’s class held a “Courtyard of Saints,” where all the students dressed up as different saints and gave a sort of living history presentation. Pixie was Mother Teresa, so I spent a week sewing that costume for her. And then, since we can’t visit one end of the spectrum without seeing the other, I also had to sew her a Kylo Ren costume for Halloween. Princess wanted to be a Jedi, so there was that to sew. And of course, I was busy working on the October Crochet challenge. But what kept me busiest of all in October was…

Cross Country.

Princess was encouraged by her friends to join, and I’m very glad she did, because it was a great experience for her. She went from barely being able to run a mile to running 3 miles, and over the course of the month shaved 4 minutes off her mile run time. Thankfully, though, the Cross Country season ended before Halloween, because practice was 3 days a week with a race on top of that, so just about every day after school, we were running somewhere for 2 hours at a time. Well, Princess was running. I opted to do lawn work at the school (we do school service hours every year), or drive kids to races and chaperon at events. It was time-consuming, to say the least.

But now Cross Country is over, and November’s challenge is drawing, so I’m going to get back to regular work on the webcomic. I can’t promise weekly updates, but I certainly think I can do better than once a month!

Enjoy the webcomic! Later today, I’ll post another update for the November drawing challenge.

ACW Episode 269 – Sleeping Beauty

Webcomic!

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Kids are so much fun to draw comics about. And so easy. They offer so many real-life instances for inspiration.

Princess does not wake up easy. Even as a toddler, she would sleep hard for hours at nap time (ah, those were the days) and then wake up all bleary-eyed and groggy. Not much has changed now that she’s a pre-teen.

When I started work on this cartoon, it immediately reminded me of some of my favorite “Bloom County” comic strips. Nobody draws groggy, sleep-deprived people like Berke Breathed does. I even pulled out some of my “Bloom County” books for inspiration and spent all day reading comics. That was not a waste of time at all. Nope, no-siree-Bob.

Evil Crafting – Princess has another use for Perler Beads

Believe it or not, I have been very busy working on things for the blog. But everything is still in progress, so I haven’t been able to post stuff yet.

However, Princess came up with something that I really wanted to share with you all. Remember how overjoyed I was to discover the Perler Bead/Geek connection? Perler Beads are PERFECT for recreating 8-bit graphic images, and there are TONS of patterns online for all my favorite cartoons and sci-fi shows.

But Princess came up with a totally unique use for the beads. She had to make a diorama about the nitrogen cycle. Apparently cows play an important part of the nitrogen cycle, so we had to go to the craft store to buy a little toy cow. And to show why cows are an important part of the nitrogen cycle, Princess decided to use Perler Beads. Here’s a picture of how she used them.

Moo...

Do you see the Perler Beads?

Mooooo...

How about now?

Moo poo!

There they are!

Yep,  my kid turned Perler Beads into moo poo! And just so you know, she got an A on her diorama 🙂

ACW Episode 249 – It’s fitting time!

Webcomic!

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Princess is 11 years old. Seriously. Keeping up with school uniforms is getting expensive.

The kids are back at school, and I’m trying to get to work on a schedule that will let me get comics done on a regular basis again. Of course, I’m once again juggling volunteer work with my own personal work. I’ll have to see how this works out.

I’m also trying to do more blog posts. You may start seeing quick posts that are just shots of whatever my current work in progress is. I’d love to start doing some posts on craft projects, like some of the crochet toys I’ve done, but that means I’ll have to find time to do the crafts as well as write the blog posts.

Anyhoo, if you start to see lots of quit photos of drawings and weird cat or crochet pictures, that’s just me flailing around, trying to do some blogging.

Ya know, strangely enough, it was easier for me to write blog posts when I had a pre-schooler and an infant that it is now that I’ve got a pre-teen and a grade schooler. What happened to my time?!

ACW Episode 247 – Swim test, anyone?

Webcomic!

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File this one under the category of “things that really happened.” The lifeguard at our pool is the son of our next door neighbor. I’ve known him since he was about 6 years old. Now he’s in college and taller than I am.

Of course, Princess (who is only 11) is going to be taller than he is very soon.

ACW Episode 246 – Shear horror

Webcomic!

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Well, once again I’m a little late getting this done, but there is a good reason. I’ve been working to draw better comics, and that means more active poses for the characters, more detailed backgrounds, improved inking, drawing the word balloons by hand, etc. I use Manga Studio 5 EX to draw the Cynical Woman comics, and it’s got a lot of interesting tools and features for making comics. Honestly, I’ve only just scratched the surface of what this program can do, but it seems like every week, I discover something new I want to try. While learning the ins and outs of the program does slow me down, I also think it improves the comics a LOT.

Anyhoo, yours truly will be doing a lot of gardening this year. I volunteered to work on the school grounds, pulling weeds, planting flowers, etc. Honestly, the school could not have found a worse person for the job, I think. But no one else had stepped forward to help this summer, so I decided, what the hey? I’m good at killing plants, so maybe I can at least put that talent to use to get rid of all the weeds.

Unless they get rid of me first, of course.

Let me know if you think the artwork in the webcomic has improved. I’m going to keep working at it regardless, but feedback is always nice.

ACW Guest Artist – Princess!

I'm still recovering from being sick. Fortunately, there's only a couple more weeks left of Girl Scout cookie season and I'm starting to get some down time. I am drawing the next comic, but in the meantime, Princess gave me this to share with everyone…

The Goonie Bird!

Actually, I don't know what Princess calls this, but to me, it's a Goonie Bird, and a very lovely one at that. I hope you all enjoy it!